Ellenia had been out since early morning, so there were only cold-faced household servants left in the castle.
After telling the maid who came to wake me up that I didn’t need breakfast, I went out for the first time, feeling content, and no one came looking for me at all.
Tch, heartless people.
Still, I felt a little better after lying in bed all morning.
But spending my day in bed felt like a waste of time, so I eventually got up and headed to the bathroom. Thankfully, I knew how to bathe by myself. I washed off the sweat with lukewarm water and entered the dressing room. The dresses here weren’t meant to be put on by your lonesome, but some of the simple and casual clothes I had I could wear without having to call for a servant.
After slipping on the chemise, I tightened the strings of the corset by myself and got into a simple green dress with white puffed sleeves. I should practice getting dressed on my own. I didn’t know what would happen if a maid saw the scars.
I put on a little makeup to cover up my pale complexion, combed my long hair until it glowed, and quietly left the room. As I walked down the stairs through the white marble corridor covered with rugs and tapestries, I saw guards in front of the entrance, standing still like statues.
“Is there anything we can help My Lady with?” One of the two men, holding on to his spear tightly and staring hard at me, finally spoke out loud, probably thinking that he couldn’t take my gawking anymore.
“I’m sorry to have interrupted your duties. Do you perhaps know where my husband is at the moment?”
“I apologize, My Lady, we do not know where Lord Izek is.”
The other guard secretly elbowed the one who had answered. Did they just exchange glances?
“I’m not sure, but Lady Ellenia said she’d stop by the Port of Elmos with Lady Furiana around lunchtime today.”
“Ah…” The mood felt strange.
“… As My Lady might know,” the guard hesitated, “Lord Izek is in an awful mood right now, and only the two of them can calm him.”
I see. Those two girls are the only ones who can soothe that irate man. That’s too much information for something I didn’t even ask, though. I’m sure you meant that it was my fault that he was not feeling well. Yeah, yeah, I know my place.
Looks like everyone seemed eager to see me be jealous of Freya.
It appears to be that they were of the opinion that Freya should have been in my place, but were they really expecting me to make a scene right now?
I could see why Rudbeckia in the original novel was particularly hard on Freya.
With a reputation like hers, it would have only been natural for Rudbeckia to so easily have been provoked into committing such childish behavior by everyone in this castle.
Anyways, Izek must be at the harbor then. “I see. Thank you.”
No one said anything for a while. I kept staring at them with a happy-go-lucky grin on my face, making the guards shuffle their feet in embarrassment and they eventually went back to being statues.
I must have made them uncomfortable, because it didn’t take long before a taut voice rang out, “I will arrange a carriage for My Lady if she needs it.”
“Thank you, sir. You are very kind.”
He grimaced as he heard my reply.
The Port of Elmos, the first place in Britannia I had set foot on, was a peaceful and picturesque place where the fresh sea breeze was always blowing, the scenery of the docks was brilliant, and the lighthouse, nearby inns and bars were always busy.
But now, city guards and armor-clad Paladins were wandering all over the place, making the beautiful landscape of the harbor feel eerie and grim somehow.
What were so many of them doing here? The atmosphere was quite serious. Were they going to have a meeting? Or was someone important going to arrive? I didn’t remember a foreign VIP visiting the port at this point of the story.
I told the coachman to stop the carriage a little further away to walk along the waters. A group of guards and Paladins were sitting on the stairs around a bar just across the low stone wall I walked in front of, drinking beer in broad daylight.
These people… Were they really Paladins? I hid behind the wall, leaned my head over, and looked through the window.
Haa, this really makes me feel like a stalker. It’s hard to survive like this.
As expected, Izek was in the bar. My husband was sitting next to a ruddy-looking guard with a red beard. It looked like they were talking about something serious based on the looks on their faces. It was a relief that I had found him so soon, though.
Now, how should I approach him?
“Who are you talking about?”
Oh, no, please. The sudden reply from my right made my heart beat fast as though it were going to jump out of my chest.
I turned my head slowly, barely holding in the scream that had almost burst out. Someone had crouched down next to me, without having made any kind of noise.
I saw a boy next to me.
Wait, I had seen him before… This boy was the apprentice knight that had come to find Izek by the pond last night. The young man blinked slowly as I took him in. His eyes were clear and the color of molten amber. The black hair covering his forehead reminded me of my brother, but his hair was not as black as Cesare’s.
“Oh, I’m so sorry if I surprised My Lady. It looked like you were hiding from something, so without thinking it through, I just ended up doing the same…”
So, he copied me without even realizing it? He was a bit of a weirdo.
Still, it was a good thing he didn’t exude hostility like that Lorenzo kid had done. “It’s all right.”
“Are you doing well? At the palace…”
“I’m fine. Thank you for your concern.”
When I answered with a sweet smile, the boy openly gawked at my face for a moment, and soon spoke in a low tone, scratching his head awkwardly, “I’m actually Lord Izek’s squire.”
Oh, that’s surprising. “Yes, I thought so. How long have you been an apprentice?”
“It hasn’t been that long, actually. I was lucky, because the squire before me got into trouble.”
“Yes. I think he was singing an obscene song in someone’s presence?”
Hmm… Why did it feel like he was talking about the song that Lorenzo had sung to me? Lorenzo… This kid was not telling me this just to see if I was curious about what had happened to him, was he?
“But why is My Lady hiding in a place like this? Aren’t you here to see Lord Izek? Do you want me to go get him?”
“No, it’s… I’m not here to meet him, I’m just stopping by to see him.”
“Oh, I understand. He’s the best person to admire from afar. But isn’t he pretty sweet to My Lady? He’ll be sad to know that you just hid and left like that.”
I was very, very curious to know what kind of meaning ‘sweet’ had in his dictionary.
Nevertheless, I tipped my chin down and shyly asked, “Do you think so?”
“Certainly! He’s not the type who would beg a woman to wait for him.” He blinked his eyes like an owl, like he’d only just realized what he had said. “Oh, please don’t tell anyone I said this. I might get beaten to death.”
At this point, I was wondering if some screws were already loose because he had been beaten so much. I decided to move on to another topic. “By the way, what’s going on? Why are there so many Paladins here?”
“It’s because of the incident that happened at the pond in the palace—”
“Why don’t you lie flat on the ground next time?” The frightening growl coming from up and above made the both of us gasp and shriek.
Oh, my God, stop doing that.
“My Lord! Your romantic words of adoration are on point!”
“That’s right! You’re perfect like always!”
Izek didn’t say anything for a moment. The veins near his temple popped out as he looked down at the two of us, smiling brightly and chatting happily.
Oh, so scary, husband of mine.
“Oh, that’s definitely My Lady! We were wondering who Andymion was hiding with and cursing at us behind our backs.”
So, this kid’s name was Andymion. You must have committed a lot of crimes, for Sir Ivan to worry about you like that.
I got up from my kneeling position and faced the two men standing a little further away. I felt a little dizzy, but it was fine. “Hello, Sir Ivan.”
“How are you doing, My Lady? I was worried that you might have been in shock because of yesterday… Hey, Andy, get out of here. Can’t you take a clue, you son of a b*tch?”
His smile was so beautiful that it felt like I could see rose petals fluttering and flying by his face, but by uttering those words, the illusion had shattered.
“Thank you for your concern.” I answered him with a polite smile.
“Don’t mention it at all, My Lady. By the way, are you here to meet this ferocious b*stard?”
Said ferocious b*stard was glaring at his squire, who was quickly escaping around the corner. Then, he turned his eyes to me. How could he remain so rigid all of the time?
“I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to interrupt. But I wanted to thank you for yesterday…”
“That’s something this b*stard should be grateful for, My Lady. He had the honor of saving his own wife. Don’t you think so, son of a b*tch? If you still have some conscience left, why don’t you answer?”
Needless to say, Izek didn’t have any conscience.
He ignored his friend’s taunts and said what he had to say, “It was only natural.”
I felt a pang in my chest. “No… Of course it is. If I die, everyone would get in trouble.”
Izek frowned some more at that. “What?”
“Now, now, My Lady, why don’t you have lunch with us? This guy will love it, too.” Skillfully intervening, Sir Ivan grabbed Izek’s massive shoulders roughly. Oh, he’s got guts.
“Can I really join you? I’m afraid I’ll be a disturbance to everyone and distract you from being with your close friends…”
“W-What?” Sir Ivan looked like he was about to faint. “Oh, I think you’re misunderstanding, but we’re not that close! I don’t want to be friends with them at all in the first place! That’s right!”
“B-But I think Ellen and Lady Furiana would be uncomfortable… I’d rather just go home and rest.” I tried to act as reluctant as I could be, like I was just some fangirl who had no wants or needs, but the way the two Paladins stared at me was quite strange.
“Huh? What is… My Lady?”
Eh? What’s wrong all of a sudden?
I tilted my head to the side innocently. But the looks on their faces were getting weird. Never mind Sir Ivan, why was Izek staring at me with those eyes so wide open? I couldn’t understand it.
It was then that I felt something trickling down my nose.
T/N: Casual note; I noticed a lot of reviews in kakaopage, complaining about how childish the mc’s monologue was, but imo, it just makes her seem more humane. I’m actually loving her sarcastic comments xDDD she’s a lil dense at times but… I dunno, I really like her character. Let me know what y’all think :3
And thank you, once again, for the comments <3 Feel free to let me know if I messed up something.