Chapter 1. The fiancé is back
Early in the morning, on the second day after the party, which had many twists and turns.
The servants of the Marquis of Hutton were busy seeing Natsha Kingdom’s envoy off.
After seeing them off, they were even busier as we were also going to go back to the capital.
I also got up early in the morning, got ready, and headed to the main building to see them off.
Other nobles, including Marquis Valdir, were already in the main building. But Marquis Hutton and Aldor were nowhere to be seen.
Marquis Hutton went out to the sea yesterday afternoon, saying he had work, and Aldor hadn’t shown up since that day. He’s probably shut himself in his room because of his pride.
I also didn’t want to see his face, so it was a good thing.
But I don’t see Sir Hiltine either.
I’ll look for him later. I have something I want to say to him.
I greeted the diplomats of the Natsha Kingdom one by one and greeted Diane at the end.
“I’m just barely calling Leila’s name, and I can’t believe we have to part ways already.”
Diane said with a sad look.
“I think time is really coldhearted.”
“Don’t be too sad, Diane. We can meet again.”
“Still, what’s sad is sad. Are you not sad to part ways with me, Leila?”
“Of course, I’m sad.”
How could I not be sad? I had to part ways with my first friend in my life. But if I showed it, the atmosphere might become depressed, so I just didn’t show it.
“Next time, come to the capital. I’ll show you around the capital.”
Diane smiled instead as if she knew how I felt when I promised to meet again.
“Didn’t you say the capital is more beautiful than Hutton? I can’t wait to see how beautiful it will be. I will be waiting for that day to come sooner.”
“I, too, will be waiting to see you in the capital, Diane.”
“Ah, I knew it.”
Diane breathed heavily and continued.
“I’m really sad to part ways with you, Leila. I want to kidnap you and take you to the Natsha Kingdom, you know?”
“Isn’t that a crime?”
“That’s why I’m holding it in. I don’t want to be a criminal.”
I laughed softly at her joke.
“Since we’re at it, I will ask you.”
Diane glanced at Marquis Valdir and the other nobles then spoke in a voice that could be heard only by me.
“Do you want to be naturalized into the Natsha Kingdom?”
Naturalized? I looked at Diane in bewilderment at the sudden remark.
“In Natsha Kingdom, there is less gender discrimination. Women can also become officials if they have the ability.”
Diane’s eyes looking at me were very serious.
“It’s too waste for you to work with people like them who don’t even recognize you. So, I want you to be naturalized into the Natsha Kingdom. Of course, I also have the desire to be closer to you.”
The topic that could have been heavy was lightened by Diane’s playful additions.
I already had the answer, but because I thought she would be hurt if I answered too quickly, I waited for a while before answering.
“I’m sorry, Diane.”
“Ah, the expected answer.”
Diane shrugged lightly.
“Sir Andrian! It is time to go!”
“I’ll be right there!”
At the urging of the other diplomat, Diane answered vigorously and then reached out to me.
“Well then, take care Leila.”
“Diane, too, take care.”
Now it was really the last.
I smiled bitterly and took her hand.
At that moment, Diane leaned over me and spoke in a low voice.
“I want you to be treated properly for your ability, Leila. You are too talented and too good to be treated like this.”
“So, for my suggestion, think it over. As long as I’m alive, it’s always valid.”
After the Natsha Kingdom’s envoy left, I returned to my room and pondered what Diane had said.
The words were that she wanted me to be treated properly for my ability and that I was too talented and too good to be treated like this.
I didn’t know if I was a good person, but I used to think that the treatment I received was unfair.
Then, because people around me treated me like that naturally, I naturally passed it over at some point.
So when Diane pointed it out like that, I was stunned. And it was amazing to know that there were other people who also thought like that.
I’d be lying if I said Diane’s proposal wasn’t attractive at all.
If I become naturalized in the Natsha Kingdom, will I be able to be as confident as Diane? Will I be able to do what I want to do without looking at others?
I thought about it a lot for a moment. But it was still the same. The decision not to go had not changed.
There were many reasons, but the biggest reason was because of Kalian.
The kindness I had received from the first time I met him until now had been so great that I couldn’t even dare count.
So how could I abandon his trust and become naturalized into the Natsha Kingdom?
I could never do that.
When I heard the knock, I shook off my thoughts and unfolded my luggage on the bed.
Eria opened the door and came in.
“What’s the matter?”
“I’m here to help you pack your luggage.”
“It’s okay. I can do this by myself.”
I had only one suitcase, so there was no need to bother to get help from Eria. And I didn’t like borrowing other people’s hands to take care of my stuff.
“More than that, Eria, did you see a silver-haired man on your way here?”
“No. I didn’t.”
Then where on earth is he?
He said his job was to escort me, so he must have been nearby, but I had never seen him even once.
Well, I didn’t realize Sir Hiltine was following me until he showed up on his own.
“All right, you can go now.”
“Is it really okay if I don’t help you pack your luggage?”
“Yeah. So, you can go now.”
After sending Eria, I checked the hallway. But no matter how much I looked around, I couldn’t see Sir Hiltine.
I called out his name quietly, wondering if he would come if I called him.
“Sir Hiltine, oh my…!”
Someone suddenly grabbed my shoulder from behind.
As I turned around in surprise, I saw Sir Hiltine looking at me with a blank gaze.
“Oh, since when are you here? No, how did you get in?”
I was guarding the door though.
When I asked in wonder, Sir Hiltine silently pointed to the balcony.
So you came in through the balcony, huh?
…but wasn’t here on the 3rd floor?
Beyond the balcony was a cliff overlooking the sea. There were no trees to climb up to here, so I was wondering how he got here.
“Why did you look for me?”
“Ah, I have a question for you.”
I closed the door and turned completely towards him.
“Did you report to His Majesty about what happened between me and Lord Hutton?”
He kept his promise. I was worried inside, so it was a relief.
“But I can’t guarantee that I won’t do it in the future.”
As soon as I felt relieved, Sir Hiltine added.
I asked Sir Hiltine in surprise.
“Are you saying that you will tell His Majesty?”
“If His Majesty asks. I cannot lie to His Majesty.”
I understood Sir Hiltine’s position, but I still wanted to stop him.
If Kalian found out about this, he would definitely be furious and tried to punish Aldor. Then, everything would be known to the Empire, and I would break the promise I made with Aldor.
If the promise was still broken even though I had written a memorandum, Marquis Hutton wouldn’t stay still. That’s why I wanted to somehow prevent it from entering Kalian’s ears, but I couldn’t just ask Sir Hiltine to disobey the Imperial Order.
…so wasn’t there only one way now?
“Let me tell him.”
Sir Hiltine looked at me with subtle eyes.
I looked straight into his eyes and continued.
“I will tell His Majesty, so will you keep it a secret until then?”
If it was something that would be found out anyway, it was right for me to say it with my own mouth and ask for understanding.
I didn’t know if Kalian would understand, but… I should ask for his understanding somehow.
“I can’t wait long.”
“Then do as you please.”
It meant that my request was granted.
“It must be a difficult request, but thank you for granting it.”
He nodded and turned around.
I hastily grabbed Sir Hiltine’s arm as he was about to leave the room.
Sir Hiltine turned his head and looked at me.
“Have you had lunch?”
It was a simple question, but Sir Hiltine was silent for a moment, then shook his head.
“Then let’s have lunch together. If we leave the mansion, it will be difficult to have a proper meal.”
As we were the imperial delegation, they took good care of meals during the trip, but it was difficult to expect a meal as good as the one at the mansion.
“That’s why we have to eat well before we go.”
Before Sir Hiltine could say anything, I called Eria and asked her to prepare lunch.
By the way, where did he get his meals this whole time? What about sleep? Where did he rest?
Questions popped up one after another.
When the meal was ready, I asked him straight up.
“How did you manage your meals this whole time?”
Even though I asked another question, Sir Hiltine remained silent.
It meant he didn’t want to answer. No, maybe he couldn’t answer that.
There was no way he could have decent meals while escorting me secretly. It was the same for sleep and rest.
I felt sorry for making him suffer for nothing.
Now that I knew the situation, I shouldn’t bother him anymore.
“Sir Hiltine, when we go back, ride with me in the carriage.”
Sir Hiltine, who for some reason was only eating bread, leaving the other good food, looked at me.
His eyes were wondering why I said that.
“Sir Hiltine’s job is to protect me, right?”
I didn’t want to trouble him anymore and he’d probably refuse if I said so, so I gave another reason.
“Wouldn’t it be more convenient for you to ride in the same carriage?”
Sir Hiltine nodded, presumably also thinking it was better to do so.
“I will do that.”
“Then let’s have meals together. Ah, I’ll also ask them to let you stay in the room next to me when I sleep.”
I was worried he might refuse, but fortunately, Sir Hiltine didn’t say no or okay and kept staying still. Then, it meant I could do whatever I wanted, right?
I pushed the appetizing whole roast toward him, thinking that I should tell Marquis Valdir this.
“Protecting others requires a lot of stamina, so eat a lot, Sir Hiltine.”
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