Chapter 1. The fiancé is back
It was about 30 minutes later that Kalian returned.
Kalian didn’t ask me anything, but I was embarrassed to look at his face for no reason, so I looked down at the teacup.
“I’ve thought about it before, the Lady seems to like teacups.”
That was out of the blue. I didn’t know what he meant by that, so I looked at him and Kalian added.
“I said it because there’s a person in front of me and she kept staring at the teacup.”
If Kalian said something like that, it seemed that I had only looked at the teacup.
Oh my. I’m not a child who is just learning etiquette, why do I keep making mistakes like this?
I politely put my hands together and apologized.
“I apologize, Your Majesty.”
“You have nothing to apologize for.”
Kalian smiled mischievously and stroked his chin.
“Because it’s my fault.”
“I’m less attractive than the teacup, isn’t that why you don’t look at me?
What a ridiculous thing to say.
I hurriedly denied it, thinking that Kalian was having a strange misunderstanding.
“N, no! Your Majesty is attractive enough!”
It was rather embarrassing that he took it as if it was obvious. I didn’t know what to say.
As I stared blankly at Kalian, he laughed cheerfully.
“Haha, the Lady seems to be weak at jokes like this.”
Ah, that was a joke, huh?
I didn’t even notice it and reacted like a fool.
“I see, a jo…”
“Well, I was stating the truth.”
I was speechless again.
“So, why did you come so early?”
Kalian asked, filling the empty teacup himself.
“Do you not like the mansion you live in?”
“No. I really like it. Thank you for renting me such a nice mansion.”
“Renting you, huh?”
Kalian smiled slightly and picked up the teacup.
“Yeah. I’m glad you like it. Then, what is it?”
“I heard from Baron Delrond yesterday that he was very busy. So, I wonder if there is anything I can do to help…”
“Does that mean you’re here to work as an aide?”
When I nodded, Kalian looked at me with puzzled eyes.
“Didn’t I tell you to take a week off to unwind?”
“I have unwind enough.”
“So you’re asking me to get you to work right now.”
When I nodded, Kalian shrugged.
“The Lady is a workaholic, huh?”
So you don’t like it?
Fortunately, Kalian nodded as if it wasn’t.
“Well, okay. I was tired because Ver was whining. If you want to help, there’s no reason to refuse.”
“I should be the one who’s thankful. Thanks to the Lady, I was able to reduce the work’s burden.”
Kalian’s eyes bent in delight.
“I’m telling you just in case, once you start, you can’t quit.”
He gracefully picked up the teacup.
“Even if you want to rest later, you won’t be able to rest until your next vacation.”
It was better to work than to do nothing and rest. It was only then that I could feel that I was alive.
I didn’t want to be a useless human being.
“Then I’ll get to work right away.”
“You’re full of enthusiasm. I hope that enthusiasm lasts for a long time.”
Kalian put down the teacup and shook the bell on the table, then an elderly attendant came in.
“I haven’t eaten breakfast yet, has the Lady eaten?”
“No. I usually…”
“Then, let’s eat breakfast together.”
Breakfast with the emperor alone?
Just thinking about it made my heart race and my mind went blank.
“Rahel, prepare breakfast.”
Before I could bring up the fact that I usually didn’t eat breakfast, Kalian gave an order to Rahel, the attendant.
I wanted to refuse it even now, but there’s no good reason.
If I had known this would happen, I would have said that I had eaten breakfast.
Rahel left and Kalian stood up.
The emperor stood up, and I couldn’t keep sitting down, so I, too, quickly stood up from my seat.
Kalian smiled and reached out to me.
“I want to escort the Lady to the dining room before you become an aide. It’s okay, right?”
He even said he wanted to escort me, I couldn’t say I wasn’t going now.
“…it is an honor.”
I struggled to raise the corners of my mouth and gently placed my hand on Kalian’s outstretched hand.
Table manners were the most important etiquette among the etiquettes learned by nobles.
If I made a mistake here, there’s no turning back. I would be branded as an uneducated person. I should never make a mistake.
I sat down on the chair pulled out by the attendant, recalling the table manners I had learned when I was very young enough that I couldn’t even remember.
Then, I belatedly realized that this seat was right next to Kalian and I opened my eyes wide.
It’s not like there aren’t any other seats, so why am I here?
I’m sure I’ll definitely get indigestion if I eat here.
“I’ll go to another seat…”
As I was trying to say that I would go to another seat, I heard the door open.
I turned my head inadvertently and saw Baron Delrond creeping in like a zombie.
Perhaps he had stayed up all night in the Imperial Palace, he wore the same clothes as yesterday and had sloppy appearances.
The dark circles reached down to his nose, and his face looked exhausted. His eyes were full of drowsiness.
Baron Delrond stopped and stared at me, rubbing his eyes.
“I must be seeing things because I haven’t slept.”
“What nonsense are you spitting out all of a sudden?”
Kalian, who was seated on the higher seat, asked indifferently.
[T/N: higher seat = a seat of a person who is of high-ranking or who is older.]
Ver rubbed his eyes again and looked at me.
“I really can see things…”
….were the things Baron Delrond talking about me?
Kalian seemed to think so too. He frowned and rebuked the baron.
“I can’t believe you called a person who definitely exists in front of you as things.”
It was then that the baron widened his eyes, perhaps realizing that I wasn’t an illusion but a real person.
“Why is Lady Thebesa here…?”
“She said she’s here to work.”
Kalian nodded, and the baron’s mouth opened wide. His sleepy eyes gleamed like stars.
The baron strode over to where I was, took my hand, and said,
“Let’s work right now.”
Looking at his expression, I thought I should go right away. I leaned forward a bit and lifted my butt.
Then, at Kalian’s command, I put my half-lifted butt back on the chair.
I tried to read Kalian’s face, but the baron didn’t.
He said, looking at Kalian with dissatisfaction.
“She is here to work, so I am going to take her to work. Why are you stopping me?”
“Because she has to eat breakfast.”
“Ah, right. Breakfast.”
His face that had shone brightly became sullen again.
“Everything you do, you’re doing it in order to eat and live, so of course, she has to eat. Well, I, too, have to eat to work.”
[T/N: Everything you do, you’re doing it in order to eat and live = this phrase is usually used when they’re talking about the importance of eating and good nutrition and living well as opposed to the importance of hard work and frugality.]
The baron muttered to himself and sat to Kalian’s left, that’s, opposite me.
Seeing Baron Delrond sitting there, it looked like he’s sitting so close.
Well, thinking about it, the room was big and there also weren’t many people, seeing the way we’re seated, I found it funny.
When the baron sat down, the attendants served the food.
Soup made with oatmeal, hot freshly baked bread and butter, and salad with fresh vegetables, tomatoes, and salmon.
It was an easy meal to eat for breakfast.
As Kalian began to eat, Baron Delrond also picked up the cutlery.
As if he was familiar with this kind of seating, the Baron ate casually.
“Oh, Your Majesty. You got another letter from Lady Alton.”
Then they exchanged conversations that had nothing to do with work.
“Her heart for Your Majesty was desperate.”
“You read the content on your own again.”
“Should I not read it from now on?”
Kalian drank water and replied indifferently.
“I’d rather have your eyes dirty than mine, so keep doing that for a long time.”
“Wow, you’re so mean. My eyes are precious too, you know?”
Do they… usually eat in this kind of atmosphere?
I, too, had meals with the aides several times when I was working at the Duke of Williot, but it wasn’t in this kind of light atmosphere.
We ate in a strictly formal and rigid atmosphere. The only conversation we had throughout the meal was about work.
And if I ate in such an atmosphere, I always had indigestion.
So, not wanting to show that from the first day, I didn’t eat as much as I could and only rummaged through the salad.
“Lady Thebesa, is the meal not to your taste?”
As their eyes focused on me all of a sudden, I looked at the baron with my fork.
“It’s because you talked about useless things.”
Baron Delrond responded to Kalian’s words with an unfair look.
“What did I say?”
Kalian didn’t answer. He placed a delicious piece of bread on my plate.
“You’re unusually kind, you know?”
When Baron Delrond spoke as if he was dumbfounded, Kalian’s eyes bent languidly.
“Are you jealous?”
“You’re not, huh?”
Kalian picked up two pieces of bread and placed them on Baron Delrond’s bowl, then spoke affectionately.
“If you’re jealous, you should’ve told me earlier. I would’ve taken care of you.”
Baron Delrond muttered with a face that seemed to have seen a ghost.
“Now I am afraid Your Majesty’s voice will appear in my dream.”
“It must be a lucky dream. Make sure to buy a lottery ticket.”
“I shouldn’t have talked.”
Baron Delrond grunted and ate the bread.
I also picked up the bread that Kalian gave me.
I didn’t really want to, but if the emperor gave it to me, I had no choice but to eat it.
I picked it up to eat, but the thought of eating it made me sigh.
When I hesitated with the bread, Baron Delrond said,
“If you don’t want to eat, you don’t have to eat it.”
Still… is that okay?
I glanced at Kalian, reading his face.
Kalian, who met my eyes for a moment, nodded.
“I’m not forcing you, so if you don’t want to eat, you don’t have to eat it.”
“…no, thank you for the food.”
He said he wasn’t forcing me, but I felt like I had to eat it anyway, so I tore the bread into small pieces and put it in my mouth.
Hi everyone! Join our Discord Server to be notified of our newest releases and updates!