thanks so much to Shinaenae for the ko-fi (๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵)! (1/1)
I let out a small sigh as I looked at the empty teacup.
Helena, who had come in after me, must have seen it too, because she made a sound from behind that indicated she too was at a lost.
“Your Highness, let me quickly…”
“No, judging by the warmth still coming from the teacup, I’m guessing that he just left, so I’ll go out and bring His Highness here.”
I, once again, resolutely rejected Helena’s offer despite her enthusiasm.
What was the point in sending my handmaiden?
He even waited for me, but I was the one who was late.
Now it was time for me to go get him myself.
I gently lifted the hem of my dress.
I was ready to run, no countdown needed.
“Where is the grand duke now?”
“He’s probably in his office.”
“Very well, then I’ll be going to his office. Open the door.”
Did she notice from the firm tone in my voice that I could no longer be persuaded?
Helena opened the door immediately upon hearing my words.
As soon as the door was wide open, I kicked past the hem of my dress with all my might and started walking.
“Your Highness, take it easy. You just woke up today, so don’t overdo it.”
Helena, who followed behind, made a dying sound at the sight of me walking at a near-jog, but that only made me quicken my pace.
Why were you treating someone with a cold like they’re a critically ill patient!
What kind of task were they asking you to take on, seriously?
‘I’m not sick.’
I wondered if the intention behind Benson suggesting I meet with the grand duke was to have him confirm my condition since he didn’t seem to be convinced with what I was saying.
In that case, all the more reason I should meet with Adrian.
I will meet him and make sure he knows I am alive and well.
After walking for a while, having been overcome with unknown motivation, Adrian’s office began to come into view.
“Your Highness, I will go in first and announce your visit-”
“That wil not be necessary.”
I lifted my chin and pointed towards Adrian, who had just opened the office door and walked out.
I felt this before, but he’s gorgeous.
Up close and from afar, he was a man who knew no humiliation.
His well-tailored coat suited him well, and being properly armed also suited him very well.
If he was an intelligent handsome man earlier, he was now…
I was startled as I stood in front of him, having belatedly realized that Adrian was now wearing armour.
“Armour? Where… Are you going out?”
My expression subtly stiffened at Adrian’s curt answer.
I couldn’t believe the answer I was receiving…?
Which country’s speaking style was this?
I was embarrassed by the answer he gave me, it felt as if he was telling me not to ask anymore questions. I kept my mouth shut.
I shouldn’t ask anymore questions.
I’d just heard him say something along the lines of, “My wife is always looking for me.”
The last thing I wanted to do was say anything that could cause another misunderstanding.
In fact, I didn’t even ask because I was particularly curious.
While I was mulling this over and calming myself down, Adrian’s voice continued.
“I received a report that a demon was spotted, so I was thinking of going to go check it out.”
Did he have the ability to read my mind?
I, who was grumbling inwardly, felt very embarrassed by Adrian’s sudden explanation.
I pursed my lips in disbelief.
“I told you not to pause in the middle of your sentence, Your Highness. How many times do I have to tell you that people can easily misunderstand you?”
Someone began scolding Adrian in a harsh voice.
Only then did I notice the rather thin man standing behind Adrian.
“Hello, Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess. I serve His Highness, ack!”
“I’m a hardworking lieutenant. Please don’t speak so indifferently! People will misunderstand.”
It was so obvious he was cursing him inside!
I extended my hand eagerly at the lieutenant’s words.
“Oh, no. There’s no misunderstanding.”
“No, he has a very misleading way of speaking, you don’t need to try to cover him up. It’s unpleasant to anyone who hears it.”
The lieutenant frowned.
“It’s not just that. You’re so blunt, and you don’t say much, and it’s just overall not a good way to converse. If you answer a question like that, don’t you think others will take it the wrong way? If you say ‘yes’, but don’t follow it up with something else, what would they think?”
The lieutenant was scolding his boss quite severely.
I slowly blinked my eyes as I looked at him.
A thin man with clear hazel eyes, a straightforward demeanor, and a simple way of speaking.
Ah… I knew who this was.
“…You’re a good person.”
I smiled weakly.
“I think you’re a good person.”
It sounded like he was criticizing the grand duke, but if you really thought about it, that wasn’t the case.
In reality, he was protecting his own master.
To prevent Ione, who knew little about the grand duke, from misunderstanding.
To prevent Ione from getting angry, he took the initiative and got even more angry than Ione would have been.
There was always a capable aide by the protagonist’s side.
But this person was at a level higher than expected.
“A good person like you, it’s nice to meet you.”
I greeted the blushing man with a simple, formal greeting.
“I am Ione…Presse.”
“It is an honour to meet you, Your Highness. I am Orgen Hartzler.”
“Nice to meet you, Lord Orgen.”
I held out my hand to the blushing Orgen.
My gesture of allowing him to kiss the back of my hand surprised him, but he gently took hold of my fingertips and brought my hand to his forehead.
“You were explaining things so I wouldn’t misunderstand His Highness.”
Orgen’s bewildered face turned even more red at my words.
He must have been embarrassed to have been so clearly seen through.
However, I found the humanity in him to be endearing.
A man of integrity, someone who would not easily be swayed by anything.
That was the man in front of me.
Despite his outward appearance of being stiff, sensitive, and nervous, he was actually quite patient and intelligent.
Just now, instead of defending or explaining what his master said, he went out and criticized him with his own mouth.
That way, no one else could dare say anything insulting to His Highness the Grand Duke. He used a mixture of words that properly described him.
It may have been a bit drastic, but it was brilliant.
Not only did that make me feel better, but I also gained information about the grand duke that allowed me to better understand him.
However, I didn’t praise him for being clever or for being a good lieutenant. Rather, I praised him for being a good person, but for a different reason.
He was the only one who defended Ione’s @sshole-like behaviour in the original work.
[“No matter how much you wanted to get His Highness’ attention, you went about it the wrong way! If you do this when he is busy, he wouldn’t be interested in you, he’d be annoyed!”]
[“If you just leave things as they are and only pay attention to other stuff, can you really say you feel sorry? Please be honest in your apology.”]
At first glance, those remarks might sound like a reproach, but in actuality, those words came from a man that understood Ione better than anyone else.
Orgen, he’s a good person.
I smiled brightly at him.
“And now, my lord, you realize this, don’t you? That I do not easily misunderstand.”
“Was… I being presumptuous?”
Of course not.
“I was impressed with your response. Thank you, and please continue to look after us.”
Really, please look after me too.
Thanks to you, the original Ione was able to survive a little longer.
I have no intention of going on a rampage and causing a scene.
Therefore… If there’s ever a moment when I’m being unwillingly misunderstood, please help me out a little bit.
There was no one for me to trust, and it seemed like the world was out to get me.
But then I was able to meet the one person who actually tried to understand the original Ione. To say I was really happy to see him was an understatement.
“Ah, yes, Your Highness the Grand Duchess. I will do my best to help.”
Orgen looked slightly taken aback by the series of unexpected compliments, but all I wanted was to be liked by him.
“Your greetings are excessive.”
The person who saved Orgen, who was struggling and unable to answer me easily, was Adrian, who had been watching the situation unfold in silence the entire time.
“Are you done?”
“I know you’ve been busy, but I wanted to say hello while I could.”
“It seems that you’ve gotten better, enough to take care of the lieutenant’s greetings, so I’ll be going now.”
Adrian’s unsmiling expression was originally cold.
His expression seemed a little colder than usual.
“I’ll be seeing you around, then. Take care of yourself, Your Highness.”
Seeing that Adrian had already moved quite far away, the lieutenant hurriedly said his goodbyes and ran off.
It was just like him to say what he had to say and disappear as quickly as he came.
“Y-you can’t just leave!”
Benson, who had not been able to say a word this whole time, belatedly moved his feet, but Adrian was already far away.
“It appears that the grand duke is busy. Let’s not disturb him. They say it’s business related to demons.”
“But, Your Highness, it’s a really important matter.”
“What important matter?”
A thought flashed through my head, and I stopped and interrupted him.
“Did you mean to say something about me to him?”
At my words, Benson responded with a natural expression.
“Yes, that’s right, Your Highness.”
At those words, I instantly felt a chill run down my spine.
The man had already gone out of his way to don his armour in the face of a demonic threat to the North, but he wanted to hold him back just because his ex-wife caught a cold?
Who in the world could come up with such nonsense?
‘What would become of me if I did something like that?’
A villain? A lunatic?
Or maybe a wife gone mad, willing to do anything to gain the grand duke’s attention?
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