Chapter 4. The Night Sky

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Translator: Rae

Editor: Sahsah

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It wasn’t until late at night that the First Prince returned to the palace. Jessica thought about whether this had happened last time, but she couldn’t remember anything. It was because she couldn’t regain her consciousness at the time when she lost her mother.

 

‘So that’s why I missed everything.’

 

It was nearly six months since she lost my mother then and she didn’t pay attention to the family’s matters. She couldn’t prevent anything that had been going on during that time, and that carelessness resulted in letting a new person into the house. The new person propelled her political marriage and her life began to mess up ever since then.

 

‘No, my life was ruined the moment the baron’s daughter came into the family.’

 

She gnashed her teeth at that thought. The baron’s daughter, who had nothing compared to the Marquis of Viterne. Moreover the heir of this family was robbed and it seemed as if she was kicked out because she was married to another family.

 

The Marquis’ people were those who could make everything come true if Jessica ever wanted anything.

 

‘But I can’t believe that I didn’t do anything for those people at that time and went to enter the Dukedom.’

 

“I was stupid.”

 

Yes, she was stupid. Jessica muttered while looking out through the dark window. Her whispers were dissolved into the darkness, but her eyes were like those similar to a dragon. The Marquisate at night was calm and quiet. Jessica picked up the shawl by her side after looking at the garden for a while.

 

There were servants and maids passing by who greeted her as she walked through the hallway. Jessica greeted them back one by one while watching them still working and walking around even though it was already late.

 

‘They’ve all dedicated themselves to the Marquis.’

 

She didn’t know about it in her past life, but she knew now. It was her fault that she was unable to protect those who were expelled by the baron’s daughter, who claimed to be the hostess. The more she thought about it, the more she felt ashamed. Why couldn’t she protect her people?

 

She was able to escape from her grim thoughts when the wind brushed past her face. When she got back to her senses, she realized she was in the middle of the garden. She slowly approached the tea table and sat down on the chair. The night air that was still hot enveloped her.

 

“It’s hot.”

 

It was so hot that the shawl was overshadowed by the warm air. She looked up at the sky and placed the shawl on the table. The countless stars occupied their respective places in the dark night sky. She was mesmerized by the sky that had numerous stars floating in it.

 

The twinkling lights were beautiful. The starlights remained the same until now.

 

When she was depressed and struggling back at the Dukedom, she would look up at the night sky and the stars would shine warmly and comfort her. She looked up at the sky blankly then suddenly turned her head to a rustling sound.

 

“Knight Alter.”

 

She smiled brightly when she saw Alter, who was sweating after practicing swordsmanship until late hours. That was one more thing that hasn’t changed since then.

 

Alter widened his eyes as if he was surprised to see Jessica’s face smiling brightly at him then quickly regained control of his expression. The Marquis’ precious young lady has been a bit strange lately. After the Marchioness passed away, there was a lot of opinion regarding her emaciated appearance.

 

“She must’ve lost her mind.”

 

“No, if she lost her mind, she wouldn’t behave that way. As you know, she’s incredibly kind.”

 

“Well, she used to be the example of young noble ladies but now…… I don’t know how to say it, but she is similar to a noblewoman. Definitely.”

 

Everyone nodded at their fellow’s words. Then someone said something.

 

“But why is she so kind to Alter?”

 

“I told you.”

 

“Come here, Sir Alter,”

 

He said he would do his evening practice in order to avoid his senior calling for him, so he ran away to the training hall. While wielding the sword excitedly, he was able to forget thoughts about Jessica, but then he ran into Jessica on his way crossing through the garden to the knights’ quarters.

 

The way she looked at his face and drew a smile like a painting which he got lost in, made him stare for a while. He quickly shifted his attention in a hurry on her attire, a thin dress.

 

“My lady, it’s getting late.”

 

“You must have been in the training hall until late.”

 

The voice that rolled out softly filled with kindness rang through his ears. Her voice was as fresh as a green plant. He forgot to bow his head because of her attire and even raised his face to look at her. Jessica asked while smiling, seeing him lower his head again.

 

“Why do you keep lowering your head?”

 

“That……  My lady, your clothes……”

 

“Ah.”

 

The grazing sound of the dress could be heard and soon followed by Jessica’s voice.

 

“Raise your head.”

 

Jessica wore the shawl that was on the table and draped it on her as she stared at him. All she did was look at him, but Alter forgot what he was about to say at the elegant figure in front of him. The loftiness that sometimes could be seen from the noblewomen was shown on Jessica’s face.

 

Slender face with big eyes. The bright golden hair and blue eyes were revealing her noble beauty which was the symbol of the Marquis of Viterne. Was that how the reincarnation of the Goddess would look like? He knew that she had a beautiful face, but today, she was even more beautiful than usual.

 

“It’s getting late.”

 

“That’s right.”

 

Alter, who was contemplating for a moment while looking at Jessica who gazed at the sky, then proceeded to stand behind her.

 

“Sir?”

 

“I will escort you until you get in.”

 

“Until I get into the house?”

 

“The reverence to the lady is the knight’s virtue.”

 

She looked up at the sky again after smiling at him. Alter, who was quietly looking at her, took a further step back. It was because he was worried that he might smell bad after practicing. Whether she knew about his thoughtfulness or not, Jessica kept looking at the night sky and said nothing.

 

He slowly examined her figure. When the thin and white neckline caught his eye, his face automatically turned red. He thought all the guys who compared the neck of the noble young ladies to a deer were crazy ba***rds, but come to think of it, he had became a crazy ba***rd as well. It was a beautiful and long neck. It was really beautiful that he wanted to put his lips on that neck…….

 

‘I must be crazy.’

 

Alter shook his head vigorously at that sudden thought. What if the person who was supposed to escort, ended up harboring a strong desire for the escort? Assessing himself that the training wasn’t enough, Alter decided to increase his training intensity from tomorrow on.

 

“Sir Alter.”

 

“Yes, my lady.”

 

Jessica’s voice easily made him come back to his senses. He hurriedly answered her call for his name as if she had known his insidious thoughts.

 

“Will…… you be my escort?”

 

“Pardon me?”

 

Alter widened his eyes, surprised by her sudden words. Alter was embarrassed because her behavior of twisting her head back to look at him was way too rude to be called a noble lady. Alter averted his eyes away from Jessica’s girlish manner, who was the same as an example of a noble until a while ago.

 

“Why do you keep avoiding my gaze?”

 

“My lady, it’s…”

 

“Jessica!”

 

“Father.”

 

Jessica smiled brightly once she acknowledged Sern and Marquis Viterne approaching from afar. Her face was brighter than the moon, catching everyone’s attention. The other knights that were following behind them stopped in their places when they saw her face.

 

“Why are you out staying here at night?”

 

“Because the night sky is beautiful.”

 

After seeing Jessica’s smiling face, Marquis Viterne forgot to be angry and looked at her face. When Marquis Viterne became silent, Sern, who was standing behind him, asked Alter.

 

“What are you doing here?”

 

“I was escorting.”

 

The knight whispered as soon as Sern asked. And to add to Alter’s words…

 

“I asked for his help.”

 

“In escorting the lady?”

 

“Yes.”

 

As she stood up from her seat while speaking softly, their attention was drawn toward her.

 

“The young lady of the Marquis family can’t sit in the garden without an escort in the middle of the night, right Father?”

 

“That’s right.”

 

The whole situation was sorted out by the nod from Marquis Viterne. When the suspicious gazes toward them had disappeared, Jessica opened her red lips again.

 

“Shouldn’t I have an escort?”

 

The knights’ eyes gleamed at her words. A knight escort for the young lady was known to be the pride of the Marquis of Viterne. There would only be one knight who could take the honorable position. There was no way she would be having two escorts.

 

“I didn’t think about it. I’ll discuss it with Knight Sern.”

 

“I’ll be waiting.”

 

No one held her when she turned around to go back. Jessica walked away but the grazing sound of her dress couldn’t be heard. Marquis Viterne asked Sern, who was looking at her figure as she moved away with perfect courtesy.

 

“What do you think?”

 

“You mean the knight escort?”

 

“No, don’t you think Jessica has changed a lot since Miell’s death?”

 

His face was full of bitterness when he talked about the death of the Marchioness. Even Sern couldn’t open his mouth when he heard him.

 

“I wish my child would still be in my arms, even just a little more.”

 

Sern bowed to the Marquis Viterne who let out a sigh.

 

“She’s a wise person.”

 

“It’s a concern for parents that their child is wise. It’s a pity that Jessica is a woman.”

 

If Jessica wasn’t a woman, she could inherit the title of the Marquis. When she got married, the Marquis’ title would go to her husband. That was the law of the Ert Empire. An unmarried daughter would be shunned. Because that’s what society was all about.

 

The Ert Empire was a place where they were more lenient on men and got more freedom than women. There were no restrictions on the men’s behavior.

 

The pressure to learn about manners was so cruel and harsh for women, but it wasn’t the same case for men. It was a place where there was no problem having multiple concubines, but also a place where the legal wife couldn’t express jealousy against concubines as they had to mind their manners. That was the Ert Empire.

 

“Isn’t there a way?”

 

It was a visceral concern at night.

 

***

 

[T/N: To be honest, I wasn’t expecting this kind of relationship between the lady and her escort xD]

 

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