Duke Kyron spoke irritably.
He spoke as I jumped up to go to his desk.
“I said that it’s noisy.”
But I didn’t even make any noise and the entire office was so quiet. I couldn’t hear any noise louder than usual from the outside. But I still took a glance out of the window and said…
“Should I tell them to be quiet outside?”
“The sound of your embroidering is loud.”
I stared at Duke Kyron’s profile before speaking once again.
“You’re just nitpicking because you want to rest, right?”
He snapped the pen in his hand before turning to look at me. His eyebrows were all drawn in a line.
Ah, I messed up.
“Are you nitpicking me?”
Unfortunately, no, fortunately, I received Arielsa’s memories from last time.
Even as a child, Duke Kyron would vent his anger on Arielsa whenever he was stressed. He would go and pick on her work over nothing. That was also the case when young Arielsa bawled her eyes out and got obsessed with letting Duke Kyron drink tea.
But strangely enough, I don’t remember anything after that day…
Well, the young ducal prince must have made considerable efforts to change himself after that day.
Doing something that he did not usually do was testament to the fact that he was extremely aware of the fact that he had actually lost Arielsa.
I turned around and went to the console table. I made him some yendel tea with honey and made sure to make it sweet.
“Duke, please have some tea.”
Duke Kyron’s brows furrowed further.
“Right now, are you telling me to shut up and drink tea?”
“I received some honey from the kitchen. They said that it’s the best of the best.”
Lost for words, all he could do was snort loudly as he drank his tea. The way he was gazing at me clearly expressed his worries on where he would start his torture on me.
I gulped, barely feeling relieved over my situation.
Did Arielsa really accept this hateful personality without feeling any remorse? For you to even grow herbs and make tea in hopes of making him feel better…
Born as the Lord of the North and coupled with his extraordinary abilities, he was bound to be lonely from the very beginning. The person that he could consider to be most similar to a friend was Arielsa, a maid who stayed beside him ever since his childhood.
Respect for Arielsa Lockeman slowly creeped up my head. I couldn’t help but spit out some words as I stared at his self-indulgent appearance.
“The Duke developed well thanks to Arielsa and her tea.”
Duke Kyron’s sharp gaze stuck to me. I felt like a sword was being pressed on to me with how sharp his gaze was. I quickly stepped back to my desk at the corner.
“P, please have some! Have some and drink more! It’s sweet.”
Eat something sweet and calm down.
He drank the still hot tea in one gulp before slamming the teacup down. Fortunately, he did not come after me. I sighed with relief deep inside before picking up the embroidery that I had placed down earlier.
How can something like this be loud?
But there was no need for me to unnecessarily provoke him. On the other hand, I couldn’t fathom the reason why a corner of my heart was being tickled with warmth. Ah. Perhaps it was because Duke Kyron truly cared about Arielsa.
A person who would care this much about someone would definitely not be a bad person. Even though he was ill-tempered and cruel sometimes. After all, he was our male lead.
Without realizing it, I fell asleep. It was already dusk when I woke up again. I stood up quietly and went outside.
It seemed like Duke Kyron was completely engrossed in his documents that he did not realize that the doors were opening.
When Duke Kyron found me in the garden, his teeth were already gritted. One side of his cape was lifted so he must be holding on to the hilt of his sword. When he pulled out his sword, my legs almost gave out.
I paused and staggered back but strangely enough it did not occur to me to run away immediately.
Duke Kyron stood in front of the fading light of dusk. I did not even argue against the fact that he was extremely beautiful. I looked at him for a moment before turning to get a paper lantern. He watched me as he stopped pulling his sword.
I carefully grabbed the lamp that lit up from behind me before bringing it in front of Duke Kyron. His eyes shook lightly as he alternated between me and the paper lantern.
“Maybe they came with the wind. Arielsa must have also passed by with the wind.”
HIs voice was low and a bit rough.
“She’s getting better there, Duke. But Arielsa must have felt sad that she couldn’t greet and say goodbye to the duke… So she let these lights follow the wind to deliver her goodbyes.”
I remembered the scene in the novel when Duke Kyron lit up a lamp to remember his dead knights after being driven to the south. This was how the northerners paid tribute to their fellow men. Back then, he even had to get persecuted because it was not easy to get a paper lantern in the South. It was a truly heartbreaking scene.
He carefully and cautiously accepted the paper lantern that I held out to him before speaking briefly.
Under the blanket of darkness, the red paper lantern shone brightly. Duke Kyron lifted the paper lantern lightly into the air.
“Arielsa. My friend. May you be at peace wherever you are.”
I watched the paper lantern floating out of his hand. It flew steadily until it disappeared from our sights. When I lowered my head, I saw that Duke Kyron was looking at me. His eyes were burning faintly, just like the red lantern from earlier.
At that time, I thought that it would have been better if he was just a stranger to me. If that was the case, then I would be more than happy to hug him and pat him on the back.
But he was a man who carried everything by himself. He had always been like that and would always be like that. So he just turned his head without looking for a place where he could lean his head.
Not long after, he looked up once again and gazed at the distant sky before turning around completely.
“See you tomorrow, Arielsa.”
I could see right away why Duke Kyron was reluctant to meet with the elders of the East.
I was actually standing by the window in the office and watching them get off the carriage one by one but the grandpas all looked like they were talking about something as they gestured violently. It seemed like they were angry about something. At first, I thought that they were quarreling in the carriage but the more I watched them the more I realized that they were talking about the things that they wanted to say.
I shook my head as I closed the window. It already felt scary that they would all be cramped in this office talking all at once.
‘What is the herbal tea that can make you sleepy again…’
The first thing that I prepared was a winter strawberry tea. I was sure that Duke Kyron would have to quell his irritation sooner than later.
“We have seen the Guardian of the North!”
The four elderly men rushed straight to the Duke’s office as they greeted Duke Kyron with a kiss on the back of his hand. And the last person to greet him was a young man with a sturdy build.
It was Gaurin.
He had short gray hair and an angular and hard face. Rather than being a dull person, I felt that he was carefully hiding his feelings and intentions. He was silently standing among the elders while guarding the entryway with his large build without talking much.
I quickly served winter strawberry tea to Duke Kyron while I served honey tea to the guests. Honey tea was something that was served to entertain precious guests in the North. This was customary in public places.
The elders from the East were all outraged. They looked like they were surprised by the fact that Administrator Hallisa was imprisoned for fraud.
Does the impression that Northern men are taciturn and brusque only apply to a certain age group?
Anyway, they were extremely keen on saying that they were not with Administrator Hallisa. They made sure to emphasize that he had been distant from them. In fact, I even felt sorry for the former administrator as I listened to them.
They even nodded happily in agreement when they heard that Administrator Hallisa would be locked up in the dungeon for three years saying that this heavy punishment was only natural since he pocketed the disaster relief and aid that the Duke had given to the east. There was no way that an old man like that could survive that long in the prisons of the North.
The dungeons were notorious in the original book. Prisoners would even volunteer to go to the barrier by the edges of the Northern territory instead of going to the dungeons. They argued that at least, they would be able to see the sun when they were out there.
Duke Kyron just listened to them with a gentle smile on his face. I noticed that he was drinking his winter strawberry tea faster than usual but if you did not pay attention to him then he would just look like his usual self. Chaers, who was standing to his right, also had a diplomatic and polite smile painted on his face.
The atmosphere between them looked similar to people serving the adults that came from far away. Seeing their smiles gave me goosebumps.
“Then, the person who replaces that unclean―”
“―I’ll take that into consideration.”
Duke Kyron immediately cut them off when they tried to sneakily bring the topic up. And Chaers immediately took the reins of the conversation.
“The banquet is ready. Shall we go down now? We are serving the meat of the deer that we have hunted during the spring hunt.”
“Oooh. The first hunt of the spring. We’re very grateful.”
The elders stood up with a laugh as they exchanged glances with each other.
I couldn’t help but admire the fantastic chemistry between Duke Kyron and Chaers. But right now, it was my turn to work so I quickly stood up to lead them to the banquet halls.