Chapter 1. The fiancé is back
It’s not ‘Sir’ or ‘Lady’, but ‘you’?
I paused at the unexpected title and looked at Sir Hiltine, startled by his additional words.
“His Majesty told you to kill everyone who touched me?”
Oh my God. His Majesty gave such a terrific order?
It’s a good thing I stretched myself out to stop Sir Hiltine earlier. No matter how much Aldor had done that he deserved to die, I didn’t really want him to die. I didn’t want anyone to die because of me.
“That order is too much. Please don’t do that in the future.”
“This is an order from His Majesty.”
Hiltine answered firmly with a slightly bitter smile.
“And I have already disobeyed his orders.”
He was talking about him not being able to kill Aldor earlier. Also about me asking him not to report this to Kalian.
“I’m sorry that I unknowingly made you disobey His Majesty’s orders. But my intentions remain the same.”
I said, looking straight at him as he looked at me with an indifferent look.
“So don’t kill other people. Sir Hiltine, too, doesn’t want that, right?”
Sir Hiltine’s expression changed subtly. He looked surprised and also shocked.
Why is he like that?
When I called him in confusion, Sir Hiltine covered his face with his hand.
“Are you okay?”
I tried to reach him, but Sir Hiltine avoided my hand and took a step back.
I put my awkward hand back and looked at him.
Sir Hiltine’s expression became a little more distorted when he met my eyes. He hesitated for a moment, then ‘swush’, he turned and disappeared quickly before I could grab hold of him.
I, who was left alone in an instant, wanted to chase Sir Hiltine, but I chose not to and entered the annex.
I didn’t know where Sir Hiltine had gone, and I didn’t want to go around and go through the same thing that happened to me before.
The annex was quiet, perhaps because it was late. And the silence that wrapped around me was scary.
So I quickly returned to my room like someone was chasing me.
Eria, who was waiting for me in the room, approached me with a smile.
“Are you okay, My Lady? I heard something bad happened at the party.”
Is it only known as ‘something bad happened’?
It was best for it all to be buried, but since there was such a commotion, it was difficult to bury it completely. But with this much, Marquis Hutton could be said to be quick to use his hands well.
“Just a minor accident.”
It’s not minor at all, but it’s something I couldn’t tell her, so I just roughly glossed over it.
Eria was quick to notice and didn’t ask anymore.
“Should I help you change your clothes?”
“No need. I can change by myself. So, can you leave? I’m tired and want to be alone.”
After Eria left, I sat down in front of the dressing table, rubbing my face.
The woman reflected in the mirror was gaunt and unattractive.
Why couldn’t they just leave me alone?
Andante, and also Aldor.
I got goosebumps as I remembered what I had suffered from both of them. I wrapped my arms around my trembling shoulders and lowered my head.
Aldor fakely apologized to me, but I also fakely forgave him. How could I truly forgive him when he had done such a thing?
I couldn’t do that.
“You don’t look well, My Lady.”
The next day, late in the morning.
Eria, who had prepared a late breakfast, asked anxiously.
“Did you not sleep well?”
There’s no way I could sleep comfortably when I went through something like that. Even if I fell asleep because I was so tired, I kept waking up because what I had suffered from Andante and Aldor kept appearing in my dreams alternately. And after waking up like that, I couldn’t sleep for a while due to the aftermath.
It will probably be like this for a while.
Because it took a year for what Andante did to become dull.
How long will this take? I wish it could get dull sooner.
“If you have insomnia, should I bring you some tea for a good night’s sleep? Drink it and then take a nap. You don’t have any special plans today anyway.”
Hmm, should I?
“Please do that.”
After thinking about it for a while, I thought it was a good idea and accepted Eria’s suggestion.
Eria brought the tea near the end of my late breakfast.
It was a light reddish, fragrant tea.
“You know it right away.”
“I used to drink this kind of tea a lot.”
It was the tea that Misa prepared for me, who could hardly sleep due to insomnia after the predecessor Duke and Duchess Williot died.
Besides this, she prepared a lot of things like lavender-scented candles and a pillow for a good night’s sleep.
Was it just Misa? The butler and the other servants of the Duke of Williot also cared for me and helped me a lot.
I still missed them, but this made me miss them even more.
I should write a letter to Misa as soon as I get back to the capital. To the other servants too, if possible.
With that in mind, I took a sip of the tea.
The bitter and sweet taste of chamomile spread fragrantly in my mouth.
It seemed that my depressed mood had improved a little.
“Can I take away the dishes you’re done eating?”
“Yeah. I’ll sleep after drinking the tea, so you don’t have to come until I call you.”
“Yes, My Lady.”
When Eria went out and I was drinking the tea while recalling the memories of Misa and others, a knock was heard.
Who is it? Is it Eria? Or maybe… Aldor isn’t here again, is he?
My hand almost lost its strength for a moment, but I managed to put the teacup I had almost dropped on the table and looked at the door.
I had to ask who it was, but I couldn’t speak. It was because of the fear that it might be Aldor. But I had to ask. It’s not polite to make the other person wait too long.
When I was about to force myself to speak, the other person spoke first.
“Sir Thebesa, are you not inside?”
It was Diane. I finally answered calmly.
“No, I’m here. Come on in.”
With my permission, the door opened and Diane entered cautiously.
She looked quite different from yesterday when she bravely stormed through Aldor’s door.
“Are you okay, Sir Thebesa?”
Now that I thought about it, I hadn’t explained anything yet to Diane. She must have been very worried, it was my negligence.
I smiled brightly and nodded to show that I was okay.
“Yes, I’m okay. Fortunately, Lord Hutton confessed his fault before the sacred trial began, so it ended well.”
“What a relief.”
Diane sighed in relief and wiped her chest.
“Umm, can you give me some of your time?”
“Of course. I’ll have the maid bring the tea right now.”
Diane shook her hand as I got up and tried to pull the bell.
“No need. I have other plans, so I have to go right away. I came here just to check Sir’s condition and to say something to you.”
“Is that so?”
Come to think of it, yesterday she said she had something she really wanted to say to me.
Instead of sitting back down, I stood facing Diane.
Diane hesitated for a moment, unlike her usual self, and then slowly opened her mouth.
Why is she sorry all of a sudden?
“What are you sorry for?”
“What I said to Sir yesterday.”
What she said to me? What…
Come to think of it, she told me that I was the emperor’s mistress. And because of that, I was reluctant to see Diane.
I had been through something even bigger than that, so I forgot about it.
Yesterday I hated and felt disappointed for Diane, but not now. It was thanks to Diane who came first and apologized sincerely. Also to the trust she showed in me during Aldor’s incident yesterday.
It wouldn’t have been easy to trust me in that situation, but Diane trusted me without wavering in the slightest. That alone could absolve her of all her mistakes.
“No. It’s okay, so don’t worry about it. People can misunderstand in their lives.”
“But it was a real misunderstanding.”
Diane scratched her cheek with an awkward expression.
“Before I came to the Empire, I looked into Sir Thebesa. Ah, of course, the others as well.”
I guessed so. Because I did that too.
“And everyone said that Sir Thebesa was the Emperor’s lover. So I really thought you were.”
“I understand. But that’s a false rumor. I’m simply an aide to His Majesty the Emperor.”
“Yes, I believe that.”
Diane shook her head bigly.
“But Sir is capable of that.”
It was good to be recognized by Diane, but somehow I was embarrassed and smiled awkwardly.
“Whatever the reason, I’m really sorry for the strange misunderstanding. It was not intentional.”
“Yes, I know.”
“That’s a relief.”
Diane smiled bashfully, and then asked carefully, looking me in the eye again.
“Umm, Sir Thebesa.”
“If you don’t mind…”
Perhaps because it was difficult to say, Diane hesitated, unable to say it easily.
What is she trying to say so hard?
“If you have anything you want to say, you can say it, Sir Andrian.”
Only then did Diane speak up.
“Umm, if you don’t mind, may I call your name, Sir Thebesa?”
Calling someone by their first name, not by their surname, meaning that they were in a close relationship. Usually, names were called between blood relatives, lovers, and friends.
Kalian called me by my first name too, but it was a special case.
In other words, Diane was asking me to be friends now.
I was stunned. I thought I had become quite close to Diane, but I never thought that she would come up with such an offer first.
Diane smiled awkwardly as I looked at her without saying a word.
“I can’t do that, right? I’m sorry. I asked too much. Then, take a good rest. I’ll get going…”
I grabbed Diane’s arm as she tried to rush out.
Diane looked back at me with her eyes wide open.
I looked at Diane and smiled.
“You should hear my answer, Diane.”