Chapter 1. The fiancé is back
Because she’s a woman. Because she’s a lady.
These were the words I heard the most from people while going from the capital to Hutton.
It felt like I had heard it more than I had in my entire life without adding a single lie.
When I ate or rested.
Even when I was sleeping, the words ‘because she’s a woman’ followed.
“Please don’t treat me like a woman.”
When I said that because I couldn’t stand it anymore, they responded with bizarre expressions.
“The Lady is not a man, right?”
I was taken aback, but there’s nothing I could say because it was true.
Still, they grumbled when I couldn’t erase the dissatisfied expression on my face.
“We’re so considerate of you. I don’t know what you’re dissatisfied with.”
“The Lady is so fussy.”
Did the meaning of considerate change without my knowledge?
The behavior they showed me was outright contempt and they treated me like an outcast, not considerate.
Should I say this was what you call bullying?
They seemed to want me to get hurt, but unfortunately, I was fine.
Because I was used to this kind of situation.
When I was at the Count of Thebesa, I was treated even more than this.
So, I was fine.
…am I really okay?
At the sudden question, I sighed deeply and closed the book I was reading.
It’s a book I had always liked, but I couldn’t concentrate on it because of the situation.
And I also felt like I was getting a little motion sickness.
I looked out the window to change my mood.
The blue drawing paper could be seen over the thick forest. It was the sea I had only heard of.
The sea I saw for the first time in my life was very beautiful.
As I looked at the vast open sea, my deep sorrow seemed to disappear.
It looked so pretty from a distance. How much prettier would it be from up close?
I was really looking forward to it. I couldn’t wait to get closer and see it.
Falling in love with the charm of the sea, I stared at the sea endlessly.
About 4 hours later.
We finally arrived at our destination, Hutton.
As a port city, Hutton’s symbol was the anchor.
The carriage continued to run diligently until it reached the mansion in the north of Hutton.
This was where Armand Hutton, Lord of Hutton, lived.
The Marquis of Hutton was a family that produced outstanding naval officers from generation to generation.
Even Armand Hutton, the current Lord of the Marquis of Hutton, was the number one person in the Empire who had no one to follow in terms of chart navigation skill.
As a result, no one could say anything about a marquis ruling over such a large city, over a duke.
The reason Hutton had grown this much was also because of the efforts of Marquis Hutton.
“Welcome, everyone. Welcome to the Marquis of Hutton.”
It was a young man, not Marquis Hutton, who came to greet us.
It was my first time seeing him, but Marquis Valdir smiled brightly and called out the man’s name as if he knew him.
“It’s been a while, Aldor.”
“It’s been a while since I’ve seen you too, Marquis.”
Aldor Hutton. Armand Hutton’s second son.
Aldor Hutton, who had greeted Marquis Valdir, looked at me and exclaimed briefly.
“Oh, who is this beautiful lady?”
It wasn’t a face that didn’t know me.
He must have already received the list of diplomatic mission, so he couldn’t possibly not know.
“My name is Leila Thebesa.”
Even so, I reached out my hand to shake his hand because it was essential to introduce myself at the first meeting.
“I’m Aldor Hutton. It is an honor to meet a beautiful lady.”
But instead of shaking my hand, he held the back of my hand and kissed it.
His behavior was disciplined and polite like a gentleman, but not in the way he looked at me.
Eyes that gleamed darkly looked like they would eat me up at any moment.
“You have fine skin.”
…it was the same eyes as when Andante looked at me in the past.
I was startled and bit my tongue.
“You are truly a beautiful lady.”
His words and gaze made me feel like I was standing on a single feather. I got goosebumps all over my body.
“If I had known such a beautiful lady would come, I would have paid more attention.”
I smiled, trying to straighten my distorted face. Fortunately, I was used to forcing myself to smile.
“It’s still great.”
I said something I didn’t mean and naturally pulled out my hand.
Aldor looked at his hand that had held me as if it was a pity, then raised the corner of his mouth, smiling.
“I’ve heard so many rumors that I’ve always wondered what kind of person you are, that’s why I’m delighted to meet you like this.”
I bet he was of the same class as Andante.
Now his target was… me?
It was terrifying just thinking about it. Cold sweat flowed down my spine.
I wanted to run away right away, but I couldn’t.
On the surface, Aldor Hutton was perfectly normal.
If I did that, I would be the only one who became a fool.
I was thinking about what to do, but unexpectedly, Marquis Valdir saved me.
“Where is Marquis Hutton?”
Of course, it wasn’t to save me, but it’s purely had something to do with Aldor.
“Father went out to the port for a while. He wanted to greet you personally, but an important trading ship came in today. I ask for your understanding.”
Still, thanks to this, I was able to escape Aldor’s spiderweb-like gaze.
I slipped back in fear of being caught by Aldor again.
Aldor, who had been talking to Marquis Valdir for a long time, looked around the people as if he had suddenly remembered.
His gaze finally reached me.
I blatantly avoided his gaze.
Aldor then smiled and looked back at Marquis Valdir.
“Everyone must be tired from the long journey, but I’ve made you all wait too long. The servants will guide you to your room. And I’ll guide you personally, Marquis.”
Marquis Valdir smiled happily.
“Oh my. I’m grateful, but I’m sorry that I’ve been bothering you for nothing.”
“No. Of course, it’s something I should do. Come this way.”
Marquis Valdir entered the mansion with Aldor.
Immediately after that, a maid approached me and politely greeted me.
The maid, full of freckles on her face, appeared to be like Sarah’s age.
“My name is Eria. I will be serving you from today. It is a great honor to serve you, My Lady.”
“Then, I’ll guide you to your room.”
As I was about to follow Eria, a nobleman approached me.
I looked back after giving Eria a blink, asking her to wait for a moment.
“I would like to inform you about the upcoming schedule.”
I already knew the schedule, but there might be some changes, so I listened to the nobleman.
“You are free to do whatever you want until this evening, but please join us for dinner.”
They always outcasted me, telling me to eat alone. What’s wrong with them?
“Do we have any special plans for the evening?”
“We have an appointment for dinner with Marquis Armand Hutton.”
Ah, that’s why you want me to join you, huh?
Because it’ll be difficult for them to turn away from me in that kind of position.
“I understand. Is there any other schedule that changes other than that?”
The nobleman was silent for a moment before answering.
The silence bothered me, but I didn’t ask what it was.
If I asked him, I was sure he wouldn’t tell me.
I also didn’t want to argue for no reason.
“Then, I’ll see you at dinner, My Lady. Until then, rest well.”
“May the Lord rest well too.”
We exchanged bows casually, and then I followed Eria to the annex.
Except for Marquis Valdir, all guests were staying in the annex, and I was no exception.
Like a marquis’s annex, the annex was large, splendid, and beautiful.
It’s very obvious that they cared about welcoming guests from everywhere.
An envoy from Natsha Kingdom would be coming soon, so of course, he paid a lot of attention.
I was following Eria while looking around the mansion, but when I suddenly felt someone’s gaze, I stopped walking and looked back.
But there’s nothing there.
What? Am I mistaken again?
If it was the first time, I wouldn’t have minded it, but I had felt the same feeling before.
That’s why I couldn’t simply pass it, so I kept looking around.
“What’s wrong, My Lady?”
In the end, I couldn’t find anything, so I followed Eria again.
I kept glancing back, but I still couldn’t find anything.
“Here it is, My Lady.”
The room Eria guided me to was on the third floor of the annex, at the eastern end of the building.
I didn’t like rooms with large windows, but I liked this one.
Because I could see the blue sea clearly through the large window.
I approached the window and opened it. The wind smelled like salty seaweed. I guessed it was the smell of the sea.
The sea sparkling under the sunlight was so pretty. I stood by the window for a while and looked at the sea.
In the meantime, Eria, who had finished organizing my luggage, approached me and said.
“You seem to like the sea.”
“I like it. It’s my first time seeing it.”
“Oh, really? Well, you must have not had a chance to see the sea because you’ve been inland all the time.”
“Then, would you like to take a closer look?”
Take a closer look?
“Is there a beach in the mansion?”
“No way. Of course, you have to go outside.”
Do you mean I should leave the mansion?
“You’ve come all the way to Hutton, so it must be frustrating to just stay in your room, right?!”
That’s right, but…
“You don’t have any other plans until dinner anyway.”
Eria’s words shook my heart.
I also wanted to go outside, so it made me more tempted to do it.
Although I was the emperor’s agent, as a member of the delegation, I had to get Marquis Valdir’s permission as he’s the representative of the delegation.
It was only in the mansion that I was able to move freely. Outside was excluded.
After contemplating, I eventually went to Marquis Valdir and asked if I could go outside for a while.
“You can go.”
Not only did Marquis Valdir gladly give his permission, but he also gave me a carriage and an escort knight.
…why is he so kind to me?
If Marquis Valdir was originally a friendly person to me, I would have happily accepted it, but it was suspicious because he’s not.
“Can I really go out?”
When I asked for confirmation, Marquis Valdir replied with a chuckle.
“Why are you asking me that? If the Lady wants to go out, she can go out, and if she doesn’t want to, she doesn’t need to.”
His answer was that he didn’t care whether I went out or not.
Ironically, I was relieved by his words and went out immediately.
Please support to save ROS. Your help is desperately needed.