thanks so much to Nekoikoi for the ko-fi (๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵)! (1/1) (super sorry for the delay)
After waiting for a long time, I got up from my seat with an embarrassed expression.
“If no one’s coming, I’ll go myself.”
It’s not wrong to be friendly and stay quiet sometimes, but the most urgent thing right now was to clear up the male lead’s misunderstanding.
After strengthening my resolve, I pushed open my bedroom door and stuck my head out into the hallway.
I hesitated in the eerily empty hallway, where only the sound of the wind echoing could be heard.
“Your Highness the Grand Duchess.”
At the unexpected voice, I turned around, surprised.
“Did you have a good dream last night, your Highness the Grand Duchess?”
The handmaiden, Helena, was bowing and out of breath.
She was trying to hide it with a professional and experienced attitude, but with the way sweat was trickling down her forehead and how her shoulders were shaking…
It was apparent that she came running.
At that moment, I remembered something that I had forgotten.
‘Ah, that’s right. This place is very spacious.’
Helena caught her breath in an instant and bowed her head gracefully.
“I am truly delighted to have the opportunity to meet you like this, Your Highness.”
I smiled awkwardly at the handmaiden’s words.
Listening to the sounds of Helena struggling, all of the moments where I had tugged on the rope in my room as I futilely braced myself crossed my mind.
If I was able to tug on the rope, I should have also known how to wait for others.
‘I should have tried using the rope beforehand.’
At Baron Clark’s residence, there wasn’t any rope.
How could the Clark family live in a mansion that was big enough to require the use of ropes and hire staff when they weren’t able to pay for the medicines on time?
There were no maids there that served, so there wasn’t any reason for a rope to be hung.
‘I hate this poor ex-wife setting so much.’
‘I’m sure she thinks I’m going to yell at her for ignoring me, and I’m sure that that would just add to the narrative.’
Realizing the power of the original story once again, I let out a complicated sigh.
At least there was one fortunate thing.
“His Highness will be away for about an hour, so it wouldn’t be possible for you to meet him right away.”
“Ah, I see.”
Could it be that I was given an hour-long grace period?
If that’s the case, I think I’ll crawl back into bed with a blanket or have myself a cup of tea.
If I were to think of any excuses, nothing would top this one.
I nodded without any enthusiasm.
After being tense to the point of exhaustion, my whole body was trembling with relief.
“In the meantime, may I introduce you to the Grand Duchy?”
Let’s get out of here.
The words that I didn’t manage to let leave my mouth were buried underneath the gentle maid’s suggestion.
I fell silent.
The maid’s eyes were shining and twinkling like bright stars.
How could I even refuse?
The corners of my mouth seemed to be twitching as I smiled.
A problem arose.
Despite the maid’s suggestion of touring the castle for just an hour, the sun had already begun to set.
Yet, there was no sign of the tour ending anytime soon.
To be precise, I was not being guided around the castle of the Grand Duchy but was exchanging greetings with the people of the castle.
“I greet you, Your Highness the Grand Duchess.”
A new person appeared every time I took a step, so I couldn’t even properly look around.
“Your Highness, it is a great honour to meet you. I am Mrs. Bennett, and I am in charge of the maids on the second floor. From now on… Oh my God, Her Highness the Grand Duchess is so beautiful! It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such vivid green eyes. Wouldn’t you agree?”
“Have you seen them, Mrs. Bennett? I was really surprised when I saw them for the first time as well.”
“Oh my God. Aren’t they brilliant? I thought they were jewels that could only be found in legends?”
Hm… Are these proper greetings?
I struggled a lot to not blush.
Throughout my life, I had never heard such words.
Ione definitely stood out as a noticeable and striking beauty.
With dark black hair and fresh green eyes!
When I first looked into the mirror after my possessing, I was also very surprised.
But no matter how much, this was still too much!
As they continued showering compliments, I began to feel so embarrassed to the point that I could lose my composure and fall.
“Cough cough cough.”
“It’s such a fascinating colour.”
“Cough cough cough.”
What awkward coughs those were.
Mrs. Bennett’s seemingly never-ending story suddenly came to an end by the sounds of my sniffles.
“Oh my, your Highness the Grand Duchess? Did you catch a cold?”
“Oh my God. Your Highness!”
I glanced at the appearance of Mrs. Bennett and the maid, who were both surprised and startled.
You people! You didn’t even listen to my coughing until my throat began to hurt?
“What do you mean, ‘a cold’?”
I confidently replied to their questions, but just as I finished speaking, I involuntary sniffled again.
I thought I was getting better and recovering, but as I stood still in the corridor, my body must’ve cooled down, starting my runny nose once again.
“Oh my goodness.”
“This isn’t good. Mrs. Bennett, call for Dr. Benson to come here right now.”
Both Mrs. Bennett and Helena began making a fuss.
Feeling like I couldn’t just let them be, I hurriedly stopped Mrs. Bennett.
“Wait! Who is Dr. Benson?”
“He is the grand duke’s personal physician, Your Highness.”
I knew that this would happen.
Someone was really about to call the doctor over some sniffles.
“It’s alright. Don’t call for him.”
“No, it’s not alright. Even northerners struggle with the winter cold. Your Highness the Grand Duchess, who is from the South, needs to be extra careful.
“No, it’s really fine. Look. Don’t I look okay now?”
If the doctor was called over a runny nose, wouldn’t I become stigmatized and labelled as an attention-seeking character!
“Why don’t you at least get a check-up? The grand duchess doesn’t necessarily have to get medical treatment, but just a check-up should be alright. Isn’t that right, maid Helena?”
“Mrs. Bennett is right, Your Highness the Grand Duchess. Just a check-up.”
I was sincere myself, but as I faced not one, but two opponents that were each individually as sincere as I was, I gradually felt myself being pushed back.
I had a foreboding feeling that I might just end up getting a check-up.
Being branded as a frivolous person who recklessly called for the grand duke’s doctor over such trivial matters was a problem, but there was something more urgent than that.
Not being able to meet the grand duke on time.
Misunderstandings, if left alone, will inevitably grow bigger.
I had seen a lot of trivial understandings escalate into significant issues before.
This, on the other hand, couldn’t even be considered a simple “misunderstanding”.
Even one day, no, even an hour of delay was concerning, so I felt an intense sense of urgency.
“No, I have to meet with the grand duke before it’s too late.”
“Ah, you’ll be seeing him at mealtime anyways.”
“I want to meet with him before then.”
It wasn’t a topic to talk about while eating, and it was necessary to set the mood for such a conversation.
I thought that if I came on this strong, I would be able to be escorted to where the grand duke was.
“…Do you really have to meet him?”
But for some reason, the response that I got was strange.
What was with this reaction?
Could this be the original story trying to deepen the misunderstanding between the grand duke and myself?
I had a bad feeling about this.
Fearing that the misunderstanding would deepen, I cleared my throat slightly and stared firmly into the maid’s eyes.
“Where is His Highness the Grand Duke now? I want to see him immediately.”
Helena’s pathetically stiff gaze hesitated, anxiously searching for something somewhere behind my back.
I thought that I might have been a bit too forceful, but this feeling only lasted for a moment.
A death flag has been risen.
“Stop trying to distract me and tell me. Helena, I am his wife. I have every right to know where he is.”
“You’re quite assertive.”
I, who had been pouring out my words in an attempt to intimidate Helena, froze in an instant.
A sound that shouldn’t have been heard rang in my ears just now.
For example, the voice of the grand duke or someone similar.
“If people who didn’t know about the situation heard you, they might think that you’re obsessed with me.”
Those absurd words made me so flabbergasted that I unconsciously turned around and faced Adrian.
“O-O-Obsessed, you say?”
Wasn’t that too much?
Wait, I didn’t mean for my words to be interpreted that way, but doesn’t this person have a habit of saying such things so bluntly?
I was about to give him a sharp reply, but as my eyes met Adrian’s, I recalled what I had just said mere moments ago.
“Where is His Highness the Grand Duke now? I want to see him immediately.”
“Stop trying to distract me and tell me. Helena, I am his wife.”
This was turning into a chaotic mess.
‘Anyone can see that I’m the one who was obsessed!’
As soon as I realized exactly what I had just blurted out while in the moment, an unbearable chill washed over me, and my whole body started trembling.
“It’s a misunderstanding.”
I lowered my head, my face turning pale.
“It’s a misunderstanding, really. I just had something to tell Your Highness…”
“Which part of it is a misunderstanding?”
I was speechless at Adrian’s question.
I said that I wanted to see him.
I said that I was his wife or something.
‘There’s no way I could say that with my own mouth!’
What should I do? Feeling bewildered, my face turned crimson, and I found myself stuttering.
It seemed like I was one step closer to the death route by behaving as Ione did in the original story.
My mind went blank, and I couldn’t think of anything to say.
“Your Highness, mischievous men are unpopular.”
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