Chapter 1. The fiancé is back
“My Lady! Did something happen?!”
As soon as I got home, Sarah grabbed me and asked.
“I just… met someone I knew for a while.”
I said roughly because I couldn’t tell her that I met His Majesty and went to the black market with him.
The quick-witted Sarah noticed that I didn’t want to talk about it and didn’t ask anymore.
“I’m glad you came back safely.”
Sarah was truly relieved and wiped her chest.
“I was very worried if something might have happened to you, My Lady.”
I hurriedly changed the subject before Sarah asked about what had happened.
“How did you get home? Did Sir Hiltine take you home?”
Kalian said Sir Hiltine would take her home, but I asked just in case.
“I guess the name of the man with silver hair is Hiltine.”
Sarah’s cheeks turned slightly red.
I held back the laughter that was about to burst and poked Sarah’s arm.
“You’re in love with him, huh?”
“I’m in love with him?!”
Sarah shook her hand.
“Ho, how dare a maid like me…”
“What’s wrong with you?”
“…no. Let’s go in.”
I really wanted to tell her what I thought, but I couldn’t.
I was afraid that Sarah would needlessly mind it.
I was afraid that she would have vain dreams like my mother.
…and I was afraid she’d die miserably.
I consciously raised the corners of my mouth and patted Sarah’s head.
About 5 days from the capital to Hutton.
And it took at least a week to negotiate with Natsha Kingdom and settle incidental matters there.
In other words, once I left the capital, I couldn’t return for almost a month.
“So it’s okay for you to go back to your hometown for a while.”
Leaving Sarah alone at home for a month bothered me, so when I said that, Sarah’s face brightened.
“Yeah. Go and buy some delicious food for your siblings and your mother.”
I gave her 10 gold generously.
It was quite a lot of money in my current circumstances, but for Sarah, who gave up her stable job because of me and left her hometown and family, I could bear this much.
It was also payday soon.
Come to think of it, my payday was after I left for Hutton. I wondered if I could come back on my next payday.
And I didn’t think I would get my paycheck at the Imperial Palace, but still, I was curious about how the paycheck would be paid.
I’ll have to ask Baron Delrond later.
With that in mind, I packed my things.
Sarah helped me while packing her luggage as well.
I usually wore a neat and practical dress, but as it was a schedule on behalf of His Majesty, I dressed neatly in uniform. And my long hair was also neatly tied high by Sarah.
“Are you not wearing any accessories?”
“Well, I think it would be neat not to wear anything in a uniform.”
“That’s true, but it’s too neat. Wouldn’t it be better to wear at least one?”
Sarah rummaged through the jewelry box and took out the spirit necklace that Kalian gave me before.
“I think this would be fine.”
I also thought it wasn’t too bad, so I obediently put on the necklace.
I even wore my coat and looked in the mirror to see if there was anything strange, but Sarah’s eyes twinkled.
“My Lady, dressing like this makes you look like a cool knight.”
“Yes! If My Lady was a man, I would have fallen for you.”
I smiled at the nice compliment. Then I picked up my luggage and left the house.
Sarah followed after me.
We stood at the gate and waited for the carriage to the Imperial Palace and the carriage to Williot territory.
The first to arrive was the carriage to the Imperial Palace.
Sarah looked at me with a face that seemed to burst into tears at any moment.
“I’ll miss you, My Lady.”
I opened my arms to hug her. And Sarah hugged me right away.
“In the meantime, take care of yourself, okay?”
I gently patted Sarah on the back.
Sarah muttered, putting her face on my shoulder.
“My Lady too.”
“And don’t get sick.”
“My Lady too.”
“Why did you suddenly become a parrot?”
“Because My Lady says everything I want to say.”
Is that so?
I laughed quietly.
I wanted to talk to Sarah a little more, but I couldn’t make the carriage wait any longer.
“Then, see you later, Sarah.”
I said goodbye to Sarah and got into the carriage.
The outer palace was busy preparing to set up the delegation.
I passed by them and entered the relatively quiet office of the inner palace.
Looking at his desk, it seemed that Baron Delrond had already come for work. But the person was nowhere to be seen.
He must have gone to the outer palace to prepare for the diplomatic mission, right? But when did he come to work?
I was pretty early, too, but it was amazing that he came first.
I took a document out of my bag while glancing at Baron Delrond’s desk, which was piled up with documents.
The document was a combination of the information Khun gave me yesterday and the information I had gathered so far.
I left the original one on my desk and took only the copy.
I had to give this to Marquis Valdir, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
If my prediction was correct, it would definitely be helpful during the diplomatic mission.
I took the copy and headed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the outer palace.
It’s been almost a month since I started working as an aide, but it was my first time coming to the outer palace.
I only saw it as I passed by.
The outer palace was very busy with preparations for the diplomatic mission.
Regardless of the department, everyone was busy running around.
Even in this situation, when I passed by, everyone stopped what they were doing and looked at me. Their gazes were stinging more than before.
“Look over there. She came in her uniform.”
“I think she’s really planning to go to the diplomatic meeting.”
“I don’t know if she’s fearless or has good nerves. But if it were me, I would have given up.”
They talked openly as if wanting me to hear them, but I entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs without giving them a single glance.
“Hey, bring that here!”
“Hey, you have to take this over there…”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also seemed very busy. I didn’t want to disturb them as much as possible, but I had to inform his aide first to see Marquis Valdir.
Marquis Valdir’s chief aide… Ah, there he is.
I approached the man who was looking at the documents on the innermost side.
This man was Dillon Valdir, Marquis Valdir’s chief aide and his second son.
“Nice to meet you, Sir Dillon Valdir.”
Today was the first time I saw him, but I could immediately recognize him thanks to his wine-colored hair, the characteristic of the Marquis of Valdir.
Wine-colored hair was not as common as Kalian’s blue hair.
Dillon Valdir’s face, which he raised with a smile, hardened in an instant.
The people, who had just been busy walking around until now, stood there like broken toys and looked at me.
There’s an awkward silence in the office. It was so quiet that I could hear people breathing.
I didn’t like the way they looked at me and the atmosphere, but I didn’t care and introduced myself.
“My name is Leila Thebesa. I work as an aide to His Majesty.”
Dillon sighed and stood up.
Whether he had no intention of hiding it, his expression was full of irritation.
“What do you need? As you can see, I’m busy, so I’d appreciate it if you could tell me quickly.”
It meant to just say what my business was and disappeared quickly.
I didn’t expect him to welcome me, but I didn’t feel very good when he actually treated me coldly before my eyes.
Still, I answered with a smile without showing any displeasure.
“I have come to see Marquis Valdir, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.”
“For what purpose do you want to see the Marquis?”
“It’s about the diplomatic meeting with the Natsha Kingdom.”
Dillon asked again with a slightly nervous look.
“Did His Majesty send you?”
Dillon said as if he was dumbfounded.
“His Majesty didn’t send you, but you want to see the Marquis? Do you think it makes sense?”
“Unless His Majesty sent me, I couldn’t see the Marquis? I didn’t know there’s such a law.”
When I calmly responded, Dillon closed his mouth in dissatisfaction, then opened it again.
“The Marquis is away right now. I don’t know what’s going on, but you can come back again next time.”
Ah, I couldn’t believe he’s away right now.
It was a pity, but I had nothing to say. Because it was my fault for suddenly coming without an appointment.
“Then, can you give this to the Marquis?”
I put the data I had brought on Dillon’s desk.
I wanted to give this to him directly if possible, but I didn’t have time for that. I also had some work to do before I left.
And I have something to ask Baron Delrond.
Dillon glanced sideways at the document I had put and nodded.
“Thank you. Then, I’ll get going now.”
I left the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with those who were still looking at me.
Then, on my way back to the inner palace, I met Baron Delrond.
“Good morning, Baron.”
“Yes. Good morning. By the way, did you just go to the outer palace?”
“Yes. I have some business to do with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a moment.”
Baron Delrond looked surprised at my answer.
Why is he like that?
When I looked at him in wonder, Baron Delrond asked anxiously.
“Nothing happened, right?”
“Yes? What do you mean by that?”
As I asked back at the situation I couldn’t understand, the baron shook his head.
“It’s nothing. You’re going back to the office, right?”
“Then, let’s go together.”
I walked side by side with Baron Delrond, heading to the office.
“By the way, why did you go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs?”
“It’s because of the diplomatic meeting. I have found some information, and I came to tell him in case it might be of any help.”
Baron Delrond smiled happily.
“You’re working hard, huh?”
“Of course, I have to work hard.”
That way, I can be recognized by other people.
…especially to Philen.
“Your expression suddenly got bad.”
Is that so? Well, it’s only natural because I thought of Philen.
“Did I perhaps say something wrong…”
I said, shaking my hands as Baron Delrond might be misunderstood.
“It was just because something bad happened to cross my mind. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely not because of the Baron.”
“Then, it’s a relief.”
The Baron, who was smiling with his eyes folded like a crescent moon, suddenly hardened and pulled my arm.
The moment I said ‘ah!’, the distance between him and me sharply narrowed.
I bumped my head against his chest and looked up at him with my eyes wide open.