Chapter 9

 

Thank you Asha for the Kofi~!

 

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“Your clothes are crooked, Master.”

 

Reinhardt, who was looking at her dress, approached her and lightly grabbed the hem of the dress. He loosened the bow and neatly tightened it again.

 

“No matter how many times I teach you, you can’t memorize it.”

 

“……isn’t it time to go out?”

 

Reinhardt, with a bright smile on his face, put a red necklace on her neck. He even put a thick 

shawl over it.

 

“Another disappointing sound.”

 

Valletta let out a sigh.

 

Two years had passed since Reinhardt desperately clung to her with a bruised body.

 

Time had quickly flown by.

 

After that day, Valletta stopped uselessly trying to resist the Count’s orders. She adjusted and obeyed.

 

Her faults were then poured onto Reinhardt through violence. It was, of course, due to the last warning given by Count Delight.

 

The remaining time left is 4 years, but that person still hasn’t thought of leaving.

 

“I’ll arrange your hair again.”

 

“It’s fine.”

 

“If you are fine with your hair being blown into a mess by the wind, you can go out.”

 

Whether it’s an excuse or a threat, Valletta shut her mouth, now accustomed to his serving.

The relationship between the two is still master and servant on the surface. As she sat down, 

 

Reinhardt skilfully touched her hair with his long fingers. 

 

He was wearing an earring on his ears, a similarly designed but less glamorous bracelet on the other arm that is not occupied by a bracelet that was attached like a locator, and a necklace that has a magic on his neck.

 

They were a simple design made solely according to Valletta’s taste.

He has never talked about his tastes, so how would Valletta know?

 

“But why are you going to the market?”

 

“To look for medicinal herbs.”

 

“Hmm……”

 

Reinhardt even put a robe on her shoulder.

 

“Can I go too?”

 

“No.”

 

“….. oh.”

 

Reinhardt quietly shut his mouth at the blunt refusal.

 

He knew that she’d recently been trying to leave him behind or send him away somewhere. To say that it did not put him in a foul mood would be a lie.

 

“What is it that you dislike so much, Master.”

 

Valletta’s mouth closed at his whispering voice, as if they were glued together.

 

Without glancing at him, she flinched at Reinhardt as he raised one of his eyebrows. 

 

‘If I twist her neck, she will die.’

 

He slowly reached out his hands and placed his fingertips at Valletta’s neck.

 

Valletta raised her head and looked at Reinhardt with a slightly stiff frown.

 

“There is dust on it.”

 

Reinhardt rubbed her neck slightly with his thumb and then stepped back. If she dies, he won’t be able to see and hear her expression and voice ever again.

 

The thought was not very pleasant.

 

She rubbed her neck that had goosebumps because of Reinhardt’s touch.

 

“I can’t do anything if my master says no. Then, be careful on your way.”

 

Reinhardt lightly stepped back. Valletta glanced at him silently and nodded. He didn’t really follow her after he finished seeing her off.

 

She’s free after a long time.

 

***

 

“I’m really sorry to have come so late. I should have come sooner.”

 

“Forget it. You can’t send a signal to here anyway, and you won’t find it by simply looking for it.” 

 

“It’s the magic of an individual that is binding you. It’s not hard to break. We will release it, so please come to the tower with us. You can stay there until you are an adult.”

 

Valletta, who had deeply fallen asleep, woke up slowly to a small voice that penetrated her hazy mind.

 

‘Where is that voice coming from?’

 

At least it’s not coming from her own room.

 

As Valletta turned her head, she saw the curtain in the window in her room flutter.

 

‘The next room?’

 

Whoever hears it will know that it was Reinhardt’s voice.

 

Nobody uses the room next door, but it isn’t locked so people can go in anytime, but she never thought he would be there.

 

Valletta brooded over the conversation from earlier, covering her mouth with her hands and swallowing her breath.

 

‘…… Did they meet so soon? A year ahead?’

 

Now Reinhardt is 21, and Valletta is 19.

 

She got engaged to the Crown Prince 5 years ago, and on the day she becomes 20, she promised to get married and become a couple with the Crown Prince.

 

It was an arrangement between the Imperial family and Count Delight, which was against her will.

 

“Henchman…”

Valletta muttered.

 

In the novel, Reinhardt has two henchmen. The henchmen who were loyal to him and were ready to die at his command.

 

‘Valletta’s story wasn’t given in much detail…….’

 

He might’ve already had a contact over there as the timing was right.

 

She could not rule out the possibility that Reinhardt had already contacted the tower and informed them of his location.

 

‘….. Let’s try to ask again tomorrow.’

 

Since the day Reinhardt rubbed her neck with mad eyes, she couldn’t stand the passing of time each day.

 

So almost once a week, she would beg Count Delight to abandon Reinhardt.

 

Count Delight was unable to stand Valletta, and eventually, one and a half years ago, he gave her another slave to replace Reinhardt.

 

That wasn’t what she wanted.

 

Valletta sneaked up in tip toe to silence the sound, carefully closed the window, drew the curtain, and sat at the edge of the bed.

 

She was upset.

 

‘When is he going to take off this bracelet?’

 

She thought as she lifted her hands in the air.

 

She thought Count Delight would remove it once she’s old enough, but he still put the bracelet on Valletta. Will it be removed once she gets married?

 

Her frown deepened.

 

Valletta eventually stayed up all night.

 

Reinhardt was no longer able to serve Valletta for about a year and a half.

 

Because Count Delight ordered and she refused. He had a pretty hurt face, but Valletta knew that even that was a lie. Most of all, it was hard for her to see that face every morning.

 

As soon as dawn came, she headed straight to Count Delight’s office.

 

Reinhardt was now serving as the Count’s slave.

 

Fortunately, there was only Count Delight in the office. She looked left and right once more then opened her mouth.

 

“Father.”

 

“… Valletta? What is going on so early in the morning?”

 

“Nothing different…..”

 

“What’s with you clothes? Even if it’s in the house, did I not tell you to still dress modestly? You are about to be Crown Princess and soon to be Empress.”

 

Valletta’s face distorted at the Count’s words.

 

She has been listening to those words for almost 20 years now. Just hearing it gives her goosebumps.

 

“It’s… It’s about the slave that serves father.”

 

“If it’s about that slave, don’t open your mouth anymore.”

 

He said as if fed up.

 

“How many times are you going to make me say it! If you don’t want to be scolded again, go back and practice embroidery by yourself.”

 

“But father…..”

 

“Did I not say I’ll send that slave away once you’re an adult?”

 

And how many times does she have to say it for him to understand that it’ll be too late by that time.

 

‘Send him away before I turn into an adult!’

 

Why does he not realize that adulting is the problem!

 

She shouted in her heart, and wanted to pound at her chest that was about to burst.

“I know that you’re trying to annoy that slave. But you’re also nineteen now. There is only one year left, so be more patient.”

 

“….. Ah.”

 

That one year is the problem. That one year.

 

Valletta lowered her head, clenching her trembling fist. Since talking doesn’t work, there is little room to express her opinion.

 

‘I don’t know.’

 

It’s done now.

 

Valletta dropped her head. Her eyes fell on the bracelet with emerald jewels.

 

She raised her arm and waved it in front of the count.

 

“And when can I take this bracelet off? If I enter the Imperial Palace with something like this, I will definitely be ridiculed.”

 

“It’s for your own safety. I’ll take it off once the wedding is safely finished.”

 

It sounds like he would still make her wear it for another year.

 

What safety…

 

It was clear that they were afraid of something happening, kidnapping, or her even running away.

 

Despair overlaid with despair.

 

It’s hard to run away, and when she tells them to throw him away, they’re blinded by how to sell that dark thing at a high price, and refuse to listen to her.

 

‘Can a plier or something break this?’

 

As she opened the door to leave the office, she met Rainhardt, who was standing at the door. 

 

‘…… Did he hear it?’

 

Her waist stiffened as soon as her eyes met the frosty eyes in front of her.

 

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