His appearance was not that bad but when a muscular man called me a ‘flower-like daughter’ with madness shooting from his eyes, goosebumps seemed to have risen from my entire body.
After successfully sending him back to the training grounds, I went to the greenhouse once again. The area near the edge of the door had been blown away and my herbs had been withered by the cold breeze of the North.
“Sob, sob. My herbs…”
Then, I went to Duke Kyron’s office with a gloomy face.
I slumped into my chair without even sparing a glance at him but I could clearly feel Duke Kyron’s gaze in my general direction so I quickly trudged back to the console table.
“We’ll have cinnamon tea today.”
I sullenly left the cup of tea on Duke Kyron’s desk. But before I turned around, I shouted. It seemed like I couldn’t hold back anymore.
“You didn’t need to break the greenhouse!”
I had vaguely remembered seeing Chaers running over before Gaurin strangled me to fainting. But the door to the greenhouse was wide open so they were not in a situation where they needed to break in. The greenhouse must have definitely been broken after my rescue.
“That’s the only way that they can feel Gaurin’s crime more deeply. Even the noisy old men who saw the scene couldn’t help but shut their mouths. My goodness, they fell silent. He. I’ll hold a trial when they get back.”
Duke Kyron sipped his cinnamon tea happily. For the first time, I believed that our male lead might be the devil. How could he be this meticulous that it was scary?
“But… What should I use to make tea now? All of my herbs had withered.”
“The glass and the new herb seedlings that I ordered will arrive in a month. I left it to Chaers so you can ask him about it.”
My mouth dropped open in shock.
“You know that glass is a luxury, right?”
I couldn’t help but chuckle. Our meticulous male lead even thought about things to that extent. I felt a bit sorry for cursing him in my head just a few moments ago. Glass was an extremely luxurious commodity in this world so I couldn’t help but drop my mouth open in shock when I heard that he bought it.
“Thank you, Duke.”
“That’s how much you’re worth.”
After spitting those words indifferently, he ignored me.
Is that right? Is it because I saved him a few times? So am I worth that much?
I felt like my shoulders were about to soar into the sky as I returned to my seat. I quietly lifted my embroidery before placing it down again as I opted to stare out the window with my chin propped on my hands.
‘It’s spring now…’
The people here have already finished all of the fun that they wanted to do in the spring but I felt like spring had only come now since the chill was already being worn off by the daytime sun. I quickly jumped off of my chair.
“Duke, can I go out for a while?”
He turned his head to look at me for a moment. Perhaps it was because I suddenly asked him with a cheerful voice. I felt a bit embarrassed because I was just moping around and crying about the greenhouse but I was now smiling. Ah, I couldn’t help it.
“Stay here. We’ll watch when Gaurin is being tortured.”
Duke Kyron spoke those words as if he was just saying ‘Stay and let’s have a cup of tea.’. But his words were quite scary so my mouth couldn’t help but drop in shock. I did not really wanted to stay and see how the Northerners torture their prisoners.
“I, I don’t want to.”
His brows furrowed as he stared at me before shaking his head.
It occurred to me that no one would ever dare say no to him when he told them to come with him.
He spat out his words with irritation.
“The market. It’s spring so I wanted to get a new dress.”
“I’m giving you an hour.”
My lips immediately popped out in a pout but I quickly straightened my face. Staying somewhere else for an hour was infinitely better than staying and watching a traitor get tortured in the dungeon.
Then, I remembered something so I turned back to look at Duke Kyron.
“Excuse me… Does my dad… does my dad make a lot of money?”
Duke Kyron slammed his pen on his desk in irritation.
Well, what did he expect? Wasn’t it rude for a child to ask this of their parents? But I couldn’t help it since I had no sense of money in this world.
He spoke briefly while my eyes darted around the room in nervousness.
“It’s enough for him to buy his daughter some clothes. If you’re going to Belia then leave everything in my tab.”
“The owner of the dry goods store. You still don’t know yet?”
Regarding my dad’s lover, it seemed like everyone knew except for me.
The hamburger index did not work here so I had no way of knowing the cost of items here. But it’s true that I did not want the cost of my clothes to become a burden to George. But I wouldn’t be sorry at all if I would be spending Duke Kyron’s money. After all, I work overtime every day without getting paid plus I also had to endure the risk of dying…
I realized that I had been ignoring something important. The Duke was about to return to his documents but he looked back at me when he heard me speaking firmly. His face was really on the verge of being irritated. But I still asked him seriously.
“Do I not have any salary…?”
Duke Kyron answered me through his clenched teeth.
“Go and check with the finance officer. There’s money set aside for you every year.”
I thought that this world was dominated by the common law of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth but it seemed like there was an unexpected salary system here too.
I quickly went to the finance officer to disburse some money and found out that our handsome male lead was not as cheap as his irritable looks.
I hummed happily as I headed towards the market.
“Arielsa! I heard that you almost got in trouble yesterday! Are you okay?”
When I appeared in front of the dry goods store, Belia ran out and grabbed my hands. She looked both surprised and worried.
It seemed like Duke Kyron wanted to fully reveal what Gaurin was truly like.
“Yes. I’m alright. Sir Chaers rushed in like a Northern Wolf and saved me…”
I had to act like Arielsa outside so I spoke as timidly as I could but even though I did that it seemed like my response still brought about a tremendous shock. Belia’s eyes widened as she shook my hands tightly.
“Did Sir Chaers save you? As expected of Sir Chaers! I wonder how many of the ladies in the castle would be heartbroken if they heard this! Thank goodness, Arielsa.”
Hmph. Like hell!
There was a phenomenon in the North that I couldn’t understand no matter what. Chaers was quite a popular man in the castle.
I wanted to dare all those ladies that were swooning over him to get tied to a chair inside the boathouse as he threatened them with fire under his icy gaze.
However, I had no choice but to nod in agreement.
“You and him are very blessed children to stay beside Sir Chaers, Arielsa. And you even have a wonderful dad.”
The ‘him’ that she was referring to was clearly referring to Duke Kyron.
Belia seemed to be a very conservative and conscientious woman. How did I know that? It was because her voice turned small as she shyly spoke the part ‘You even have a wonderful dad.’. I would definitely have hated her at once if she said that shamelessly.
“Yes. Of course. That’s why I wanted to do something different for myself today…”
“It’s spring now, so I was wondering what it would be like if I wore something bright…”
Arielsa’s taste was so monotonous, no, she must have been color blind. But I wasn’t color blind. I wanted to wear pretty clothes that were fit for my age!
Belia seemed to be very surprised when she heard my words.
Belia’s eyes began to sparkle. The look of her eyes looked similar to George’s madness from earlier. I guess these two people were really a couple.
“Pretty clothes with patterns, embroidery, ribbons and other ornaments?”
I nodded my head violently.
The female lead praised the clothes from the North saying that she had never seen something like this when she came to this place later. Seeing those words from the original, I could safely assume that the clothes that women wear in this place were colorful and pretty. They were just not in my closet.
I couldn’t help but speak with a bit of excitement and restraint.
“Embroidery? But isn’t that expensive? The Duke told me to tell you to put it in his tab but I wouldn’t want to burden―”
“―Did he say that? My goodness! Is it to console you for what happened? He’s truly a great and generous man!”
I saw the figurative fuse in her eyes snap at that exact same moment. Belia quickly dragged me in the store as she began to scour the shelves.
“You didn’t like the fabric that I left out on purpose for you. You said that the clothes shouldn’t show the dirt that you would get when you tend to your herbs in the greenhouse. Ah! Is the greenhouse alright? Hohoho.”
Belia was so excited that she kept on chattering. I was actually starting to get a bit scared right now. Her momentum was actually comparable to the noisy elders of the East.
And finally, she turned around.
I was left speechless. This was it! This was the beautiful fabric native to the North! Belia was holding a slightly hazy yellow fabric with pretty geometric patterns printed all over. This was the fabric that I was looking for.
Belia looked elated when she saw my overwhelmed expression.
“Do you like it? If you wear this to the festival, all of the knights will definitely stop breathing. Right?”
There was a festival held in the North before the spring had fully settled and the farming had begun. Once the festival ended, everyone would be busily moving around tending to the farm, caring for the livestock and preparing for the harvest season.
I couldn’t help but drool over the fabric but I still looked at it solemnly.
“It’s expensive… right?”
I actually wanted to ask her to take my measurements right away but I had to pretend to be worried about the price to protect Arielsa’s character. Of course, it was also necessary for me to ask so I would know how much would be charged to Duke Kyron.
But Belia just shook her head at me.
“The Duke said to place it on his tab! I’ll also give you a special discount for the ornaments and decorations. There’s this colored belt that was specially imported from the South but I did not sell it since it was so pretty. And I also wanted to dress you up with it one day. I’m sure Sir George will also like… it?”
We stared at each other for quite a long time before shaking our heads slowly.
[Hamburger Index] – Big Mac index, index published by The Economist as an informal way of measuring the purchasing power parity between two currencies. Simply put, they use the price of the big mac in each country to compare the disparity between the purchasing power of two nations.
The amount of times Arielsa’s mood changes when talking with the Duke is giving me a headache.