Chapter 1. The fiancé is back
Why is he like that all of a sudden?
I was curious, but his expression was so serious that I couldn’t talk to him.
Marquis Hutton looked around silently several times before looking at me, stroking his chin.
“Sir, do you perhaps have an escort knight with you?”
“Yes? Escort knight?”
Escort knight out of the blue?
I was wondering, but I answered him truthfully first.
“No. I don’t have an escort knight with me.”
“Really? Then, did I feel it wrong?”
I don’t think so.
Marquis Hutton mumbled to himself and talked to me again with a friendly smile.
“By the way, how old is Sir this year?”
“I’m 24 years old.”
“You’re still young. It’s a waste of time to keep sitting still after failing once.”
He was talking about the break-up with Philen.
I felt like he was a little nosy, but it was something anyone could say.
Because it’s very rare for a 24-year-old noble lady to live alone without getting married.
“If you don’t mind, can I introduce you to a suitable partner, Sir?”
…this is definitely nosy.
“I’ll just accept your goodwill.”
I didn’t intend to continue living alone, but I also didn’t intend to get married right away.
“If you have nothing more to say, can I take my leave? I have an appointment later.”
“Oh my. I’ve kept a busy person for too long. Go ahead.”
“Thank you, Marquis. Then, I’ll get going.”
After bowing my head to Marquis Hutton, I hurried to my room so I wouldn’t be late for my appointment with Diane.
Marquis Hutton smacked his lips as he watched Leila getting farther and farther away.
“It’s a pity, such a pity.”
It would be great if a child like that came into the family.
Other nobles thought it was bad to have a woman, who was too smart, enter the family, but Marquis Hutton was different.
The family was peaceful only when a smart woman came in.
Especially if you had to leave your family a lot because you had to go to sea like him.
Of course, there’s nothing more he could have hoped for if his sons played that role, but unfortunately, that had already failed.
His first son was chosen by God early and became a priest, and his second son, Aldor, was a troublemaker every time.
He wasn’t a man who was talented enough to rule Hutton, the port city Marquis Hutton had been carefully working on for a long time.
Since there’s no one else to inherit the title other than Aldor, he would one day become the Marquis of Hutton and rule Hutton.
That’s why Aldor’s wife had to be a smart one like Leila.
There’s a rumor about Leila being the emperor’s mistress, but after a few conversations, he knew it for sure.
Leila was never the emperor’s mistress.
She must have been purely recognized for her ability and became an aide.
“As expected, she’s a talented person.”
The desire to somehow make her Aldor’s spouse arose abruptly.
Leila already said no, but he didn’t care.
If she didn’t like it, he could make it happen!
Just in time, a small banquet would be held tomorrow evening for the reconciliation of the Natsha Kingdom and the Cardin Empire, so he should aim at that time.
“Where’s Aldor now?”
Marquis Hutton went straight to Aldor, who would be the protagonist of his plan.
After the long five-day meeting, the diplomatic meeting was finally over.
Marquis Hutton threw a small party to celebrate the successful end of the meeting.
I was going to wear a uniform to the party too, but Marquis Hutton sent me a dress.
There were also accessories and shoes that matched the dress.
“Oh, my. What a beautiful dress, My Lady.”
Eria praised the dress and carefully looked into my mood.
Maybe it’s because I had intentionally dirtied my dress before.
I did that not because I didn’t want to wear the dress, but because it was a dress sent by Marquis Valdir.
I didn’t intend to do that again this time.
“I will wear this dress to the dinner party, so please get ready.”
“Th, then, can I keep the dress until then?”
Eria hugged the dress box and asked me as if she didn’t believe me.
Such Eria was so cute that it made me laugh.
“As you like.”
Only then did Eria smile brightly and go outside with the dress.
After a while, Eria returned with another maid.
She was the maid to help me dress up.
“Since My Lady is one of the only two ladies in this party, we’ll make you look beautiful!”
“That’s right! The Viscount from the Natsha Kingdom was also said that she would wear a fancy dress!”
If she’s a Viscount from the Natsha Kingdom, they must be talking about Diane.
“Viscount Andrian will also wear a dress?”
“Yes. They said it was a dress with a hollow on the chest and widely open from here.”
Eria drew a long line from her pelvis to her ankle.
Such a dress exists, huh? It’s amazing.
I really wanted to see what kind of dress it was.
“My Lady, the bath is ready.”
After washing me with warm water, they applied perfume to my body.
It was my favorite rose scent.
In the meantime, Eria brought back the dress she had kept carefully.
“If she comes out with an alluring image over there, we go with an elegant image.”
“That’s right! I’m happy that the dress that Marquis Hutton gave you is just that kind of image!”
“Should I put your hair up neatly?”
Looking at the chattering maids reminded me of the maids of the Duke of Williot.
I wondered if everyone was doing well.
I missed them all, but I especially missed Misa, who took care of me since I joined the duke’s family.
Should I send her a letter later?
There’s nothing good about being caught by Philen, so I’d have to send it off secretly.
“I’ll tighten the corset, My Lady.”
At the maid’s words, I put strength in my stomach and held my breath.
The maids tightened the corset and put on the underskirt. Then I wore the dress that Marquis Hutton gave me as a gift.
It was a blue dress similar to the dress Marquis Valdir gave me. The hem of the dress was covered with sapphires.
The sapphire reminded me of the Blue Marine, something that I bought as a gift for Kalian before.
“Eria, do you know a jewel called Blue Marine?”
Eria tilted her head. Even the other maid didn’t seem to know.
Hmm, is Blue Marine not its original name?
“I mean this.”
I took out the cufflinks that were in my bag and showed them to the maids.
“Ah, I know this.”
Only then did the maids respond.
“I also have a lot of this in my house. My younger siblings went to the beach to play and they picked up a lot because they thought it was pretty.”
“I have a lot in my house, too.”
That meant that this wasn’t a jewel.
Can I give this to His Majesty?
I was happy to find a gift that matched him, but my heart became heavy again.
As I silently fiddled with the button, Eria hurriedly added.
“Bu, but I’ve never seen such a well-processed product!”
“That’s right! The stones rolling around in my house don’t shine like this!”
“This isn’t just a stone, this is a jewel!”
I was thankful that they comforted me.
Right, let’s think about this later.
It wasn’t a problem that could be answered even if I thought about it until I had a headache right now.
I put the cufflinks back in the bag and continued to prepare myself.
As they said, my hair was pulled up high and secured with hairpins.
“How about the necklace and earrings?”
Although Marquis Valdir gave me something… I didn’t want to wear it.
After thinking for a while, I took the spirit stone necklace out of my bag.
“I don’t need earrings, but I’ll use this for the necklace.”
“What a pretty necklace. I understand, My Lady.”
I was wearing the necklace while seeing myself in the mirror when I heard a knock.
I blinked at Eria to open the door.
When Eria opened the door, she saw Aldor, who was dressed neatly.
Why is this man here again?
“For what purpose are you here?”
Aldor said, holding out a bouquet of roses.
“I’m here to escort you, Sir.”
You had said that before and you come here to escort me again?
Does he have no pride? Or is he shameless?
“I will decline.”
“But my father told me to come with you.”
Haa, even Marquis Hutton meddled, huh?
A sigh came out automatically. I could guess what Marquis Hutton was thinking when he did this.
He’s trying to tie me up with Aldor, right?
I should have known from the moment he brought up the word of introducing me to a good person.
But is Aldor a good person?
I don’t think so at all.
“Once again, I will decline the escort.”
I refused again and again, and so him hanging on continuously looked lame and indecent.
Does this man have no pride?
Or is there another purpose?
“Then I’ll get going. I still have a lot to prepare.”
Whatever it was, none of it was my business.
I ignored Aldor’s words and closed the door again.
Then I told the maids who were restless while looking at my mood to finish the preparation and checked outside.
Fortunately, Aldor wasn’t there when everything was ready and I came back out.
Instead, there’s only a bouquet of roses that he had left behind in front of the door.
I ignored the bouquet and headed straight to the main hall alone.
I met Diane on the way.
She was wearing a dress I had heard of.
It was a really unique dress. In particular, it was impressive that one side of the skirt was torn to the point her bare skin could be seen.
Diane looked through me and gave me a thumbs up.
“Wow, you look so pretty today. As a woman, I’ll fall for you too.”
“It’s the same with Sir Andrian. I’ve never seen such a unique dress.”
“Right? It’s a very unique dress, isn’t it?”
When Diane spun around, her torn skirt fluttered, revealing her bare skin.
What if someone sees her like that?
I panicked and covered Diane’s legs.
Then Diane laughed out loud.
“You don’t have to be so flustered. This dress was originally made for that purpose.”
“Is, is that so?”
“Of course. Well, no one will fall for an unattractive woman like me after all.”
“What are you talking about… Sir is so attractive, don’t you know that?”
“Oh my gosh, it feels good to hear that from a very attractive lady.”
Diane gave me a wink.
We talked and headed to the hall of the main building together.
“Next time, I’ll give you a dress similar to this one.”
“I’m grateful, but I don’t think it would suit me.”
“What are you talking about? I think it’ll suit you better than me.”
Diane nodded bigly and spoke in a voice only I could hear.
“Sir has a better figure than me.”