Thanks to Caca for sponsoring this Chapter!
I could imagine well what George would look like if I showed him this and tried to look good. It seemed like Belia had the same thoughts as me. But I still spoke with determination.
“Let’s make it first, then I’ll hide it.”
Belia also answered me solemnly.
“Let’s make it first and hide it?”
The two of us nodded at the same time. She measured me quickly before showing me the colored belt that she had kept. When I saw it, I was certain that the fabric and the colored belt came from the same merchant. I felt overjoyed.
“Then, I’ll place this tassel on the strap of the top.”
She waved a cute and loveable golden tassel in front of me.
Our eyes were filled with hearts as we continued our pleasant and enjoyable time together.
She only showed me things that I liked. And once I sent the fabric that I chose to the seamstress, I would get my new clothes in a week.
Before I left the store, she asked me…
“Arielsa, would you like to come often? I had a lot of fun with you today.”
I wasn’t sure if she had fun today because she sold a lot or because she spent time with me but I knew that I liked her. Aside from the fact that we’re almost like twins spiritually, she had a pleasant personality. And above everything else, she did not seem like a bad match for George.
Her face reddened at my words.
“Actually, I felt upset all these years since you kept on calling me Ms. Belia… I’m glad that you called me with that name, Arielsa.”
I quickly gave her a hug before returning to the castle. My heart felt warm as the sunset as I walked back.
When I opened the door to the office, Duke Kyron was staring at me with half-closed eyes.
“Do you think you’ve only been gone an hour, Arielsa?”
I quickly glanced at the window.
It was already the time for the sun to set. No matter how much I would insist, I wouldn’t be able to claim that I had only been gone for an hour.
But when a woman chooses pretty clothes, everything in the universe stops!
I quickly pulled out the candy that I took from Belia’s store and presented it to the Duke with both hands. His eyes were immediately filled with fire when he saw me acting like this.
“I chose some fabric to make some new clothes at the dry goods shop. I also only talked about clothes with Aunty Belia. I didn’t meet anyone else at all.”
I silently placed the candy on the table because holding out with my hands felt a bit embarrassing.
Duke Kyron stared at his desk for a while. He looked like he couldn’t keep his irritation at bay. So he just began to rewrite his letters once again.
“I told you that you wouldn’t be able to walk around if you’re not under my watch.”
Ah. I remembered him saying something similar to me before. I couldn’t help but sigh deeply. But this was fortunate. I was true with my words and it would be good for him to know that my words were true since he followed me around.
“You should be punished.”
I stared blankly after hearing his unexpected remark.
I’m not an elementary student, what do you mean by punishment?
Then, Duke Kyron dripped wax on the envelope as he continued to speak.
“I’ll tell you tomorrow about what kind of punishment you will get. Go back for today.”
No matter how ridiculously stupid my common sense was, this was his world and his land. This was a place where his maid could be punished if she failed to comply with the Duke’s order to return in an hour.
So all I did was shut up as I trudged around. But strangely enough, when I closed the door, I could vaguely hear him munching on the candy.
I came to work feeling a bit refreshed as I recalled my new clothes that were being made by now.
Duke Kyron was sitting on his sofa today while the usual neat collar of his jacket was loosened. His desk was also strangely clean. He looked like he was focused on something as he stared out of the window pensively.
“Duke, please have some tea.”
“Is it yendell today?”
“It’s releis. It smells good and it’s supposed to cheer you up.”
“But the greenhouse is not yet fixed?”
“I rolled and kept some before.”
Duke Kyron took a sip before putting his cup down quickly. It seemed like it did not suit his taste. It felt a bit disappointing but I was only able to roll some of the releis herb once so there wouldn’t be much left for me to throw away.
Duke Kyron continued to stare at me.
I was smiling since I felt excited about the clothes that he had paid for me.
“If it doesn’t suit your taste then I’ll make you a different tea next time.”
But then, one corner of the Duke’s mouth curled up. I knew very well what that look meant. So I paused and stared back at him.
“Shall I give you your punishment?”
I looked at him slack-jawed.
His temper is really nasty. Arielsa must have felt really bad!
I finally understood why she was obsessed with tea to kill his temper.
“What kind of punishment shall I give you?”
“―Duke. It’s Chaers.”
He stared straight at me before speaking.
He stood up as if he wanted to get off work early as he went out of the door.
“I’m going to get some sleep.”
Chaers bowed to him as he stepped out of the office. When he left, an awkward silence hung in the room. We stood on either side of the sofa and stared at each other before turning our heads away. Chaers silently sat on the sofa and I just poured a cup of releis herb that Duke Kyron disliked before leaving it on the table.
“The Duke stayed up all night questioning Gaurin. I think he’s going to rest now.”
Ah, so it was like that…
I felt a bit sorry that I was excited about my new dress while I did not know what Duke Kyron did last night. No one would do such a thing because they liked it. Even if he was the strongest of the strong, he would not be able to remain indifferent even though he would always be able to overcome the crisis of betrayal and murder.
I sat on my seat quietly. A maid should not be more conspicuous than a piece of furniture so Chaers would not be able to see me from where he was sitting. But I still could hear the sound from over the partition.
“Keughk. Ugh. Hoo.”
Fortunately, he didn’t seem to like the taste of releis herb either.
Hearing Chaers’ annoyed shout, I hurriedly jumped out and went to him.
“This herb’s unique scent is not the scent of poop. It’s a tea that you can really enjoy once you get used to it.”
Chaers stared at me blankly.
I felt a bit embarrassed so I turned my head away.
I’d like to get out of the office right now but it seemed like spending time with Chaers was the work that the Duke had left behind for me.
I spared him a glance as I sat across from him and dragged the tea that Duke Kyron left behind.
Chaers stared at my actions with widened eyes. I realized that it was wrong to put my master’s food in my own mouth but I had already taken the teacup to my mouth.
The sour and tangy flavor was a bit strong so I couldn’t help but frown for a bit.
Hmm. It seems like I brewed it wrong.
Meanwhile, Chaers just wiped his face with his hands as he stared around the room. It seemed like it wasn’t because of the releis tea that he had called me out here for.
“Is Sir Chaers being punished too?”
“I’m being punished. Sitting here alone with Sir Chaers. Well… Isn’t this like some kind of torture?”
Chaers avoided my gaze when I pointed my finger at the direction where the boathouse was.
“Going out… Did the Duke tell you to do that?”
Cheers voice was strangely fuzzy. That was not the point but it seemed like he did not understand my words.
I’m saying that I hate you enough that I don’t want to spend time with you!
But to him, I was just Arielsa who was slightly out of it and he wasn’t a traitor to Duke Kyron in the end either. The thought of that had reduced some of my hatred for him.
I quietly took a deep breath before changing the subject.
“Did Mr. Gaurin confess?”
“It’s not something you should know. Arielsa.”
Chaers placed his teacup down as he spoke quietly. The Emperor’s hostility to the duchy was the secret of all secrets. It was silly of me to ask such a dumb question. It seemed like I had no choice but to ask Duke Kyron.
Chaers coughed as he called out to me. But all I did was answer him curtly.
I stared at him and scoffed.
“So Sir Chaers is also being punished. Did the Duke force you to apologize?”
He murmured to himself as he avoided my gaze.
“Because you used me as bait?”
Chaers frowned when he heard my words.
“It’s the Duke’s order so I’m not apologizing for that!”
“Heok! It seems like you have no conscience.”
“I wanted to apologize, hmm, because I did not release you from the boathouse. I got a little upset…”
“That’s right! How much I…”
I couldn’t finish my sentence. Strangely enough, Chaers was looking at me closely as if he was a hawk closing in on its prey. How hard it must have been for a proud man like him to apologize to a maid that he looked at like his toenails.
I decided to stop since I thought that his apology was sincere. I had no complaints since he was also being punished.
It had occurred to me that the cape that Duke Kyron had put on me that day was extremely warm. And the memory of riding on the horse and hugging his waist came back to me.
Chaers looked flustered when I answered him immediately.
“I will accept your apology. I hope that it’s not something that you will do again. And…”
“I’ll acknowledge sir’s extremely suspicious disease so I hope that you also acknowledge the fact that I suffer from my ladder disease. I don’t know the reason why I have changed after hurting my head so I hope you acknowledge that in the future.”
“Cough… All right.”
Taking charge of the momentum, I was able to get insurance for my changed behavior.
I felt happy looking at Chaers who was uncomfortable from accepting my terms.