“The only warehouse that Romney manages is the Forslan warehouse but according to you and your review of the books, grains were lost equally among all the warehouses and it wasn’t only Forslan that had lost grains. It is proof that he is innocent.”
I felt the hairs on my body stand up. I did not remember the name Romney, the only thing I knew was that the name of the administrator of Forslan warehouse was not Romney.
Who was it…
He was the one who played a major role in Duke Kyron’s defeat when he intentionally did not send provisions to the Ducal Army. He was a traitor.
It seemed like I just prevented a traitor from being in charge of the Forslan warehouse by proving Romney’s innocence. It was highly likely that the people who had accused Romney were a group of defectors or the traitor himself.
I clenched my sweaty palms. It was a bit presumptuous for a maid to ask but I couldn’t let this opportunity go. This had to be asked.
“Duke. If Romney was ousted from his administrator position, who would you have chosen in his place?”
“That’s something that I will only think about if he was proven guilty.”
Duke Kyron’s answer was short and blunt. Perhaps it was because he believed in Romney’s innocence so he even thought about those things even with me in here. However, it was quite hard to know if I wasn’t there.
“By any chance, may I know who accused―”
“You may go. Call Chaers over.”
It was the only natural answer. There was no way that the Duke would willingly speak of the affairs of the estate to a maid like me just because I helped him sort out his books a bit.
I stepped back meekly and obediently but I could feel my heart ache.
Are all the incidents being sowed here, there and everywhere already?
I felt like every event that I had read and enjoyed in the book was something that would become a reality that would come and find me in the future.
Then, Duke Kyron called out to me.
Tasked with calling Chaers, I was quite surprised when he called me back. I turned around to look at him and wait for his next words.
“Give me another cup of cinnamon tea.”
It was strange but the tension that surrounded and suffocated me seemed to scatter like a spring breeze entering through a window.
“Duke, please have some tea.”
I quickly preparead a warm cinnamon tea before picking it up and handing it to him. This tea was the thing that linked the two of us.
I layed down in my bed, staring at the ceiling of my room as I pondered and brooded over the conversation I had with Duke Kyron.
In fact, the first thing that flashed in my mind was his appearance. The Duke had a subtle and delicate glow around his body that contrasted his stubborn expression. It was a bit shocking to me. It couldn’t be helped. Objectively speaking, he was hard-hearted, stubborn and short-tempered. He even looked like he would continuously snub Arielsa. It was only probably because of his picturesque and superb appearance that it wasn’t that upsetting to me.
Yes, I was that stupid.
I closed my eyes tightly as I tried to focus. Once I focused, Arielsa’s childhood memories came back little by little.
Arielsa was very timid and soft ever since she was young. She had always been a quiet girl. When her dad, George, scolded her, she was so scared that her body froze as she wailed.
Although she was not clever or tactful, Duke Kyron never cared about her dullness. It might have been because he already had the smartness of around 2~3 people alone since he was young.
Arielsa took very good care of Duke Kyron after she was appointed as his playmate. Half of it felt like she was playing with her younger brother while the other half felt like she was playing with dolls. Of course, the doll was the Little Duke back then.
She had no intentions of flaunting herself and looking good in front of the future Duke. That was just how her nature was. Due to her nature, the Little Duke took to Arielsa and became more comfortable with her. He let her stay with him rather than those plastic boys who tried to beat him up.
A vague memory passed through my head. I could see the sight of the Little Duke Kyron giving Arielsa a flower bracelet that he had made on his own. It was during their study break in a sunny garden. His expression clearly said ‘I tried this because the other kids did these too but now I don’t have anywhere to throw it away.’ However, regardless of his expression, Arielsa was overjoyed with the gift.
There was also a time when the boys who came to the castle picked on Arielsa on the streets when she went out. Little Duke Kyron went and saved her from their bullying. He threw a pebble at them but with every throw the mean little boys would get hit in the head. They were hit one after another until they screamed in pain.
His athletic ability was innate and has naturally been awakened back then? How cute!
When the kids ran away in fear, Arielsa wanted to say ‘Thank you, Little Duke.’ as her greeting but the shy and timid Arielsa took a long time to open her mouth. And during that time, the Little Duke had already turned away and drifted away from her sight.
He was less than ten years old so I couldn’t believe that he could be so chic and cool like that. The memory warmed Arielsa’s heart.
“So that’s why Arielsa stood by him silently. It was thanks to those good memories.”
I liked the fact that the extras also had their own warm stories and good memories. But our male lead, the silent and emotionless Duke Kyron, even from an early age, he could already make my heart race.
It was a pity that I was not able to read this part in the original book. But looking through these memories, I thought that I would be able to forgive him a hundred times for his short-tempered and blunt attitude now.
My sudden entrance to this novel should have thrown me into a hopeless and devastating situation but the virtues and attitude of the male lead was making me forget all of that.
……It must be a good thing, right?
—Arielsa, are you sleeping?
I was shocked when I heard the voice from outside. I sat up in bed to answer them. It was George who called out to me.
“Yes. Please come inside.”
But he wasn’t alone. Chaers, as well as the old man that I saw for the first time when I came here, came in together. From the memory that floated in my head, I knew that the old man was a doctor.
“I’m here to see how Arielsa is doing. Do you feel any pain? Like a headache or something? Or maybe you’re feeling dizzy or you forgot some of your memories?”
I pulled the quilt up to my nose as I watched the three strange men gather around my bed.
Why are you all here all of a sudden?
I bit my lip tightly. It seemed like Duke Kyron had sent the doctor to check on me since I did something that I wouldn’t usually do. Perhaps, he believed that I did that because I got hurt and has then become strange.
I shook my head wildly as I shouted my answer to them.
“I, I’m fine!”
But no one seemed to believe me when I told them that I was fine. In fact, I wouldn’t believe me either if I heard that excuse.
George stood by the head of my bed as the doctor sat on a little wooden chair. He looked me in the eye as he moved his fingers back and forth in front of my eyes. Then, the doctor asked again.
“Do you remember what you ate yesterday?”
My eyes rolled around nervously as I replied.
“Boiled potatoes and soup…”
“During lunch and dinner.”
The doctor looked at George for confirmation. He nodded his head in affirmation. He knew the meals that I ate because he was the one who brought them to me.
“And the day before yesterday?”
“Soup and… oven-baked potatoes and boiled chicken.”
My eyes shook in nervousness as I looked at the doctor.
I don’t know what I’m talking about, Mr. Doctor!
I answered while thinking that I would eat soup every day but then I was suddenly at a loss. I was so caught in surprise that I ended up saying what I ate today.
When George heard my answer, his expression suddenly distorted. I could feel the strength that he had exerted on my shoulders. His face had turned green and he looked like he was about to turn into a giant green monster with a wide and square face. I was really scared. In fact, even Chaers was frowning.
Who remembers their every meal? Do you also remember your every meal, doc?
The doctor tried to speak in a very friendly manner but it turned out to be very awkward.
“Can you think about it again, Arielsa?”
“I eat something similar every day so I remember them…”
George suddenly roared angrily. It seemed like he was unable to bear it any longer.
“We caught a cow the day before yesterday and had that for a meal! How can you not remember that!”
The doctor stopped me when he saw me crawling under the quilt leaving only my frightened eyes behind.
“Hoho. Sir George, you shouldn’t scare the patient like that. The ladder must have taken Arielsa’s memories away.”
George and Chaers both looked at the doctor in shock. However, the only thing that the doctor did was nod solemnly.
“Yes. The ladder. A huge impact or blow on one’s head can cloud their memory. She must have hit her head hard before falling off of the ladder.”
Doc, this diagnosis is a bit…
George groaned in agony while Chaers, with his ever so cold expression, asked a heartless question.
“Then, can she serve the Duke properly?”
“Why do you say that!”
As I bursted out, the three men looked at me with widened eyes.
What are you talking about when I’m enduring my life in disguise to look at our male lead instead of just any Bob out there?
I quickly crawled back under the covers as I spoke in an Arielsa-like voice.
“C, can’t you think about it? I will forget some things sometimes but there will be no problem when serving and waiting for the Duke. I’m telling you Dad, I’m fine.”
George called out my name in anguish. Anyone who heard him would have thought that I had leukemia or some brain tumor with how sad his howl was. But emphasising on ‘Dad’ seemed to work quite well. He looked much more relieved when I did that.
The doctor quietly patted George on the back as he guided him out of the room.
“Get some rest, Arielsa. If you have a headache, come find me.”
“Yes, doctor. Thank you.”
But Chaers stayed behind as he stared at me. I could feel cold sweat popping out of my back as I saw him looking at me with his ruthless eyes that were filled with doubt.
In the original book, he was described as a stubborn man. If he had the image of a perfectionist with glasses on his eyes then I would have definitely become a fan. But he was more on the side of perversity. He even distrusted humans to the point that he was heartless and cold towards them. Aside from having the same bad and stubborn characteristics, he was like the human version of Duke Kyron’s core + penetrating insight and determination. If you’re asking for Chaer’s good points, if he has any, then it would be his good momentum. He was the type of vassal who would do anything for Duke Kyron regardless of his conscience.
It was clear that he came with George to visit me not out of concern for my health but because he was afraid that there would be a problem with the Duke’s tea time.
However, Chaers said something unexpected.
“The Duke was worried about you.”