thanks so much to Adre for the ko-fi (๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵)! (3/3)
If my memory was correct, the red-eyed mage with a haughty, yet innocent, look and hair resembling the setting sun was Seton, the Lord of the Northern Magic Tower.
The gentle-looking mage with blond hair and green eyes next to him must be the Deputy Tower Master.
When I realized who the people in front of me were, I felt like I was going to fly.
“I’ve explained it briefly for you to get a basic understanding, but engraving seals on people is a tricky task. We’d need two mages.”
These were the two mages.
My seal! As long as I have these two with me, I’m safe!
Now I realized that the sight of the two eating was a blessing.
They were noble men, not beggars.
I was so attracted to the idea that my seal was to be engraved soon that I couldn’t control it.
I couldn’t wait for Helena to stop arguing with Seton so that I could introduce myself, so I snuck into their conversation.
“Is there anything you’re missing?”
“Who are you?”
I smiled sheepishly at Seton’s blunt question, feeling my seal getting closer and closer.
“It’s nice to meet you like this, I-”
“Who is this person?”
“It’s scary when you smile.”
Helena’s expression turned grim at the sight of Seton shaking as if he was getting goosebumps at the sight of my smile. I was taken aback.
It seems that he hates me?
“How dare you be rude to Her Highness the Grand Duchess!”
“Her Highness the Grand Duchess!”
Seton, who learned of my identity through Helena’s shouting, jumped up from his seat. He bowed so low that his nose touched his knees as he apologized.
“I’m sorry, Your Highness the Grand Duchess.”
“Oh, no. I must have acted rudely because I was so excited to see you.”
“How rude of me! I misunderstood Your Highness the Grand Duchess’ heartfelt smile. I must’ve gone crazy-”
“Can’t you stop!”
The person who interrupted Seton was Helena.
She looked very angry, furious even.
“Who do you think you are to tell me what to do?”
Seton turned to Helena with a cold expression on his face, a completely different person than the one who had been cowering just now.
“How could you be so disrespectful to Her Highness the Grand Duchess!”
“And yet, Helena, do you not realize that you are being disrespectful to me?”
Seton, who abandoned his light-hearted tone, now sounded almost as intimidating as Adrian did.
I clicked my tongue at his now cold appearance. How he was acting now made it hard for me to believe that he was the same person who whined when he couldn’t get a glass of wine.
Wow, what a double personality he has.
“Whoever you are, Lord Seton, this much is clear: you have treated Her Highness with disrespect, and as the head maid serving Her Highness the Grand Duchess, this is something that I cannot overlook”
“That’s why I was apologizing.”
“If that’s what you’re calling an apology, just stop. I will report this matter to His Highness the Grand Duke and make it official-”
I wasn’t one to interfere in other people’s fights, but I couldn’t bear to watch this any longer.
What if he doesn’t engrave my seal because he’s in a bad mood!
It seemed like he already hated me.
“Everybody, calm down…”
Just as I was about to intervene, the deputy, who was behind me, suddenly pulled Seton and hid him behind himself.
“I sincerely apologize! Your Highness the Grand Duchess! I’m sorry. He’s not really this kind of person. He’s like this because he hasn’t been able to sleep for days! He’ll probably come back to his senses after he gets some sleep. I am very sorry!”
“What are you talking about?! I’m perfectly sane!”
Seton, the deputy, and Helena.
I felt like my mind was exploding from all the shouting.
Of course, Seton’s behaviour was very unpleasant and even hurtful.
But when the deputy mentioned that he wasn’t in the right state of mind after staying up for several days, I thought it was unreasonable to criticize such a person for being rude.
I didn’t know that the original work was trying to lead me on a path of evilness.
When I thought of it like that, my upset feelings eased.
I smiled at the three looking at me.
In times like these, I had to remain calm.
“Thank you, mages, for all of your hard work. Please, go and get some rest.”
Seton’s mouth, which had been open like a madman a moment ago, clamped shut.
His eyes seemed to soften, but I wasn’t too sure because he suddenly turned around and left the dining room.
“Wait, let’s go together! Ugh! Oh, I am truly sorry, Your Highness, but I’m afraid I must retire for the night…”
I pitied the flustered deputy.
I smiled brightly at him to give some reassurance.
“Don’t worry, go and rest. If you need anything, please let me know at any time.”
“Thank you, Your Highness.”
I nodded my head in greeting as he spoke without even stopping to take a breath.
As the two mages left and the door closed smoothly, fatigue suddenly hit me.
“I think the storm has passed.”
I muttered as I sat down on a couch off to one side of the dining room.
“I’m sorry, Your Highness, for Seton’s rude behaviour… If I had known he was in such a state of exhaustion, I would not have made such hasty arrangements. I am guilty of not taking into account the circumstances of the situation.”
“What are you guilty of? Didn’t you prepare this meeting in a hurry today because you were concerned for me after the small incident earlier?”
Helena only shifted her eyes awkwardly, but she didn’t deny it.
“Thank you for your consideration.”
“Thanking me for that is absurd! Of course, it was something that had to be done.”
“There was nothing that had to be done.”
I looked at Helena, who was waving her hand dismissively.
I don’t know when it will happen exactly, but as long as I’m in the North, I will have my seal engraved.
However, it was a good-hearted effort coming from Helena’s consideration for me, who’d been anxious, to expedite the process.
How could this be considered normal procedure?
I spoke firmly again to Helena.
Thank you for reaching out to me in this completely hostile world.
My voice cracked as I said it, the sincerity in my words overflowing.
This time, Helena didn’t try to wave her hand.
As soon as the door closed, Seton’s expression changed completely.
He walked with downcast eyes and looked every bit the sensitive and arrogant mage.
“Thank you, mages, for all of your hard work. Please, go and get some rest.”
He knew how inconvenient it was to live on a day-to-day basis without a seal.
But was that enough to put up with the ridiculous disrespect…?
Or was she just so clueless that she actually didn’t realize the implications of his actions?
Seton was lost in thought.
“Master Seton! You really shouldn’t act like that! Do you know how surprised I was?”
The deputy master who followed him said something, but it came through one ear and left the other.
Seton had lived in the North for a long time.
He had seen many grand duchesses over the years, but he had never seen one like this.
All of the past grand duchesses were equally as brilliant as one another.
Indeed, they had to be brilliant in order to make the Blessed One, who inherited the dragon’s power, bloom.
But the same couldn’t be said for the current grand duchess.
She could easily be regarded as the worst grand duchess of all time.
This grand duchess was purchased and sent by the emperor.
Thinking about what happened three years ago, he completely understood the emperor’s concern.
‘But why doesn’t he understand that no matter how thirsty someone may be, if they drink sea water, they’ll die?’
That wasn’t the only thing he was angry about.
The grand duke did not even try to stop the emperor, who was so blind and foolish.
Neither did his vassals and servants, who’d been waiting for their grand duchess.
The most sane of them all, and the one who deserved to be listened to, was Seton Blythe.
If no one was going to stop this madness, someone else needed to step up and do the job.
For a moment, Seton’s cold gaze fell on the tightly closed door.
The next afternoon.
I was facing Seton in the reception room with its large windows.
Unlike last night, Seton, who was now properly dressed, looked so different from when I saw him last that it could be said he was a different person altogether.
All he was wearing was a white shirt, pants, and a thick robe, but he exuded an aura of glamour that no one could surpass.
Maybe it was because his long, rosy hair was so bright.
Or maybe because of his eyes, which seemed to be set in vividly saturated rubies.
The words “pretty” and “gorgeous” were perfect matches to describe his face. He had pale, fair skin and distinctive features.
“You asked to see me, didn’t you?”
“I asked Her Highness to let me serve her a cup of tea.”
The smoothness with which Helena answered Seton’s question was a skill in itself.
I felt dazed at the sight of Seton smiling brightly.
What was going on…
“Your Highness, please allow me to be there with you.”
“How can a maid be present at tea time with the Lord of the Magic Tower?”
“For a noble lady, it is very natural for her maid to accompany her.”
“But Helena, there is a big problem here. Not only are you not an ordinary maid, but Lord Seton had requested for me to meet with him alone.”
“Wouldn’t you need someone to serve the tea?”
“Helena, thank you for your thoughtfulness.”
That was how I ended up bringing my begging maid with me.
But contrary to Helena’s worries, Seton seemed to have truly become a different person overnight.
Was it really because he’d been up for several days?
When you’re tired, you take on a different personality?
Was that even possible?
I was puzzled, but at least on the outside I appeared calm.
“Would you like to taste the cookies? Agatha baked them with great care.”
I pushed the plate of ginger cookies closer to Seton.
The cookies had a wonderful spicy aroma and tasted as good as it smelled. This was because they didn’t skimp out on quality ingredients.
“Please prepare for Lord Seton some ginger cookies.”
Instead of falling behind, Helena was fully prepared.
The precious leaf tea, the price of which was said to be equal to its weight in gold, and the cookies tailored to Seton’s tastes were all fruits of Helena’s hard work.
I lightly glanced at the tea table and suppressed my sigh without any traces.
‘You didn’t have to do all this…’
Helena was so desperate that it was overwhelming.
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