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The Duke, who gave me a questioning look, was silent for a moment, before his face grew cold. It was quite spooky to see such a similar expression, reminding me that he was really Izek’s father.
“Brother didn’t even show up.”
Ellenia stepped in again, as usual, her tone suggesting why we would do that.
Nevertheless, the Duke’s expression remained unchanged as he shot me a bitter gaze.
“It’s already winter, and you haven’t finished your duty yet?”
“Excuse me, Young Lady, I don’t know how to accept this present situation. Your Holiness assured me that he would never insult the North, so what is going on?”
Your guess is as good as mine. Why don’t you ask your son?
It wasn’t that I didn’t understand the Duke’s reaction.
From what I knew, I couldn’t claim that we were a proper couple since we didn’t spend a night together after the marriage. It would be unacceptable for such a proud family to suffer the humiliation of undergoing marriage annulment like my previous grooms did.
The problem is, why did Izek’s father, who only sat aside in the original, suddenly come out like this? The Duke’s aggressive pushing for Izek’s marriage was largely aimed at not being able to give his daughter to the Pope’s second son, but at the same time, there was also a hope that he would break his hard headed son’s bad habits.
Once the marriage was over, it would be easier to annul it, compared to if he had gotten married to a good northern family’s girl.
In other words, the Duke also expected that our marriage would not last long.
What was wrong with him? Are they just trying to show that they’re not that easy? To show that they had the control, and would gladly let me go when the time came, and to not even dream of doing it my way?
Haaa, if it were Rudbeckia, she would have turned the table upside down or laughed and provoked the other side.
He was doing this because I didn’t look like I would do that, right?
Should I be grateful that they were already underestimating me? I picked up the teacup again and smiled a little, “It’s just that I’ve fallen ill so many times. Everyone’s been pretty considerate. I’m ready to do my duty, so please don’t be angry, Father.”
The Duke still looked incredulous, but his expression relaxed slightly.
“Then I’m relieved. You’ve come all the way on a ship, so I hope you’ll feel better soon.”
“Thank you for your concern. Izek must be so sweet because you resemble your father. I think I’m very blessed.”
“…It’s a relief he’s understanding.”
Why did it sound so fake when he said it’s a relief? Did he expect a fight? A conspiracy sprang up. If I spent a night out with my husband, and we really became a couple, it would be difficult to break up later.
If we didn’t have our first night, like so far, there would be no need for annulment.
It was easy to make relationships, but divorce was another story.
Divorce in Romagna, ruled by the Pope, was taboo regardless of status. The neighboring countries loyal to the Vatican with the same faith also had a similar trend.
Of course, as anywhere else, they’re legally married. There were also people who lived separately and freely, but divorce was not an easy matter.
No matter how openly the Pope had children, it would not be easy.
Even my father and Cesare would have to give up quite a lot to agree that the night was never going to happen and to take me back.
That was what the Duke is after, but…
After becoming a real couple, I have more time.
In the original, Rudbeckia has poisoned Ellenia and returned to Romagna in time for the annulment of the marriage. So, as my divorce procedure would become more complicated, the plot to assassinate her might be delayed accordingly.
If I did well and my plan succeeded…
Izek may just leave me here instead of sending me home. Maybe he’d let me live here as a hostage or whatever. Cesare couldn’t take me at will if Izek didn’t allow it, so I’d stop Ellenia’s death and save my life at the same time.
Oh, oh, sounds good. Very good!
I took the role of a fan who wanted nothing, but wanting nothing was different from being faithful to one’s duty.
Well, more than anything, Izek’s father was pushing my back.
There’s nothing I could do when he was angry that we didn’t do our duty.
The only problem was how to seduce my cold husband.
He was well-known as an unmoving ascetic… would he really want to do something with me that might make him tainted…?
* * *
Surrounded by gray fog, the temple had a different feeling than when it first saw it. At this time, the gloomy and mysterious atmosphere of the North was overflowing.
“Ah, my Lady. You’re here!”
I was a little grateful that he had forgotten my embarrassing self from Izek’s birthday party.
But what did he mean by ‘You’re here’?
“Hello, Sir Andymion. Did something happen?”
“What? No, nothing happened, don’t worry. I’m just saying it because I’m happy to see you.”
What is this guy? You’re bored, so this is good for you, huh?
“Are you here to see Lord Izek?”
“Yes, would you like some fruit?”
“Ah, thank you. I was dying of thirst.”
I put down the fruit basket and sat next to Andymion. Then–
With a thud, a huge paladin advanced closer to us.
The combination of his dark blood red hair, glowing amber eyes, tanned flesh and large build was very threatening. His low voice was also very husky.
Instead of answering, the angry bear-like paladin picked up a peach from the basket.
Then, he bit into it, juice pouring out, and went back to training. Staring at his back, Andymion scratched his head and gave an unspoken explanation, “That’s my brother.”
“Oh… you have a reliable brother.”
“That’s not true. As you can see, he’s not very intelligent.”
I see. I think all of you are missing a screw somewhere.
“More than that, ma’am, look over there. Sir Izek is fighting.”
“Yes. It’s five to one. Oh, it’s a fair match.”
Of course. I sat side by side with Andymion, nibbling on the fruit and watching them.
My husband, surrounded by five paladins, soon wielded a light blue holy sword.
Light waves flashed all the way over here.
“Ahhhhh! So cool!”
“That’s my boss!”
“Fighting! My idol husband!”
Let’s just say we acted as huge fans.
I didn’t want to explain with what eyes the solemn and serious Paladins had begun to look at us, clapping our hands and giggling passionately.
In any case, the massacre of the paladins under the guise of a match ended quickly.
Isuke hurriedly threw off his helmet over his fallen comrades and started striding towards me straight away. His momentum was so scary that we talked about anything we could.
“Wow, not everyone has the title of the best knight in the North.”
“Yes, I feel that every time I see him, but he really is a monster.”
“My hometown’s knights are no match, really.”
“He’s my idol, of course. Hahahahaha…..Argh!”
Sir Ivan, who literally flew in, smacked Andymion’s head. Sir Ivan’s hobby must have been bullying trainees.
“You son of a b*tch, do you want to eat fruit and laugh while they’re sweating? Huh?”
“Ugh…… hah, but I….”
“These kids don’t do what they’re told to do, slacking whenever they have the time… you came, my Lady? I was wondering when you were coming today.”
What did that mean? It felt a little strange, but I didn’t care and smiled.
“Sir Andymion was my companion.”
“It’s too much for him to be your companion. And he’s still a cub.. I don’t know what he told you, but he’s still wet behind his ears. Hey, isn’t that right?”
“R-Right. I’d appreciate it if you could just call me Andy…”
“What? Andy? Are you flirting with your superior’s wife?”
“What? How dare I…”
“Shut up, b*stard,” I heard him yell.
They really get along well, hohoh…
Izek, who wiped off his sweat with the back of his hand, looked down at me. I gulped.
“You know, you were really cool just now. I was already in love, but I think I fell for you again.”
So, why don’t you loosen up a bit? Yes?
“You come here, you b*stard.”
“No, no, why do you keep…”
Thanks to Lord Ivan dragging Andymion away, only me and my husband were left on the stairs. Apparently, Izek didn’t care much whether his trainee was harpooned or not by his foul-mouthed friend.
“A-Am I disturbing you?”
“You seem to know it.” This cold fellow took off his gauntlet and threw it randomly to one side. For some reason, he sat on the stairs near my feet and reached out to the fruit basket.
There was a moment of silence, and only the sound of Izek biting and chewing fruits rang.
Crunch. Crunch. Every time his smooth jaw moved, the sweat drop on his temple slid a bit downward.
I reached out and his eyes held me captive. Red eyes made me freeze.
Hah, so arrogant.
“What are you doing?”
“I was going to wipe your sweat.”
He frowned as I smiled softly, trying to hide my dark heart. Did he hear my thoughts?
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