Chaers looked at me with a doubtful face as he asked me again.
“You did not eat anything weird by any chance. Right? Perhaps you have a disease that could be transmitted to the Duke…”
I called out to him with the most pitiful face that I could muster. When he saw the expression on my face, all he did was sigh ruefully before going outside with a wave of his hand.
“Yes. That’s finally done.”
I felt a sense of elation when Chaers suffered a defeat against me. However, I still felt nervous and anxious that Duke Kyron’s doubt might grow and explode any time.
I shouldn’t be excited that easily!
Chaers would only come to my room with George if he was ordered by the Duke. He would then think of countermeasures for all kinds of incidents and cases. Perhaps they would find me insane and they would lock me up until they confirmed that whatever I had was not contagious. If I looked fake or suspicious, they would definitely lock me up in the dungeon immediately and tortured me.
At least, he would have already realized that his Northern Harpel Territory was not as peaceful as it seemed to be. However, I was still fortunate enough that he did not pick on my ‘ladder sickness’. Even the Duke’s bookkeeper would not blindly accuse and abuse George’s, the Duke’s left arm, daughter.
I pulled the blanket over and was relieved when the tension finally left my body. I was glad that I could meet the doctor. Meeting him had given me the thought of acting like I had a headache whenever I encountered a difficult situation in the future. However, I was still scared that I would not be able to continue to do a good job of acting like I was the shy and timid Arielsa.
When Duke Kyron meets with the female lead called ‘Rose of the South’ and finally falls in love with each other, what will happen next? Will I be able to go back to my home?
I was avoiding it the whole time but it was still wrong of me to think of this as my own home. I fell asleep while sobbing under my covers.
I could feel something hot and warm touching my forehead. I was overcome with warmth while I whimpered in my sleep. When I woke up at dawn, I realized that the warm touch that lingered on my forehead came from my ‘Dad’. And I also realized that the words that he whispered to me were real and were not a figment of my dreams.
It seemed like George guarded beside my bed and stayed up all night. It looked like he had just left when I woke up. I felt a bit sorry for the small chair that had been bearing his huge weight all night long. Even though I was alone when I opened my eyes, I still felt much better when I woke up.
“Arielsa. If anything happens to you, your dad… please don’t scare your dad. Get well soon, you brat.”
I was a bit afraid and a bit guilty when I recalled George’s caring and loving whispers. My state was even enough to keep him up all night and I wasn’t even his real daughter.
Arielsa had probably died when she slipped off of the ladder and fell on the ground. I felt guilty at the thought that he was losing his time to grieve for his real daughter because I took over her body. But I couldn’t tell him that.
Without George, my flimsy life would be thrown out and battered like a person without a shield. And I also did not have the courage to tell him that when he looked like he would risk his life with just a single ‘Dad’ from me. I decided to become Arielsa for him in return for his protection.
Let’s protect the male lead, George and the hateful but loyal Chaers all on my own! Let’s protect George and let him live so that our male lead will not need to lose his northern territory.
After I made up my mind, I felt relieved. I was also strangely encouraged and believed that it was something that only I could do.
“Duke, good morning.”
After entering Duke Kyron’s office, I greeted him as gently as I could before heading straight towards the console table.
He did not answer me. He did not even give me a glance. He looked like he was teasing the pen with how fast he was writing his reply letter.
I quietly placed the winter strawberry tea in front of him. Despite having strawberry in its name it has nothing to do with strawberries. Regardless, this herbal tea exuded a unique sweet scent around the table.
Duke Kyron took the teacup as he let the scent waft through his nose. Then, he took a sip before placing it back down. After doing that, he sat back on his chair with a straight back.
Kyaa. He looked at me. The Duke is handsome today too! No, no. Calm down.
He spoke softly to me.
“It’s different from the usual.”
“I steeped it lightly today. How does it taste?”
Duke Kyron stared at me as he lifted the teacup again.
Oh my. Is it fine for him to hold a sword with those long, slender and white fingers of his?
Where has my determination to calm down gone? I quietly gulped down as I left my wandering thoughts aside.
He took another sip of the tea and said…
“I like it. This is the best winter strawberry tea that I’ve ever had.”
Arielsa would definitely not dance around when her boss praised her. The most appropriate response would be ‘Sigh. Thank goodness.’. I pinched my thighs with my fingernails and smiled slightly. It was time for me to step away from the desk.
“Why didn’t you steep it like this before?”
[Most people have said that Duke Kyron was both picky and priggish. However, the truth was that he had never complained when the tea that his maid had made was unpalatable. He would only be picky and priggish when he had good reason to be.] was what I had read in the book. Duke.
However, I spoke as timidly as I could to try and win sympathy.
“Because of the ladder……”
Duke Kyron’s face turned ugly so I quickly continued my words.
“It made me realize that I was in a bad condition so I wanted to focus on my job. About serving the Duke… I would like to make you more delicious tea…”
Duke Kyron’s reply was brief and it was hard to gauge his reactions. All he did was drink his tea silently. The steam from the warm tea scattered under his aura.
Ah, my eyes are very happy.
“Even knights fall off their horses and hurt their heads. But that is no reason to have such a drastic change in personality or behavior. Arielsa.”
He was the one who was drinking warm tea but it seemed like I was the one whose temperature was increasing.
Wasn’t it resolved with the ladder sickness as an excuse? Did it not work?
My mouth was suddenly parched. It seemed like I needed to convince him further. I was so nervous that even my voice cracked.
“When I fell off the ladder……!”
The Duke raised one of his eyebrows as if he was asking me ‘This excuse again?’.
“I, I think I’ve seen the world on the other side.”
I already spilled the water. Ah. I couldn’t undo whatever water I spilled already. I could see Duke Kyron’s glaring eyes suddenly shaking. However, all he did was place his teacup down.
“The world on the other side?”
I almost spilled the words about the car that drove towards me on my way to the academy. There were too many cars in the world that ignored the traffic laws. Those freaking cars destroyed people’s lives and made them lose their dreams in vain. Thankfully, I was able to keep my mouth shut. I just shook my head in a fluster as I tried to hide the sadness in my eyes. To be honest, I truly felt sad so I did not have to act that part.
“I want to live a better life. I don’t want to make the same mistakes that I did before, I want to see a lot of good things, I want to eat well and many more things.”
Duke Kyron did not speak. He just stared at me as if he was urging me to continue.
“I want to be a good daughter to my Dad and I want to be the best maid that serves under the Duke.”
I smiled happily at him. That was my true resolution in this world. I felt more energized after letting that out of the bag.
A subtle smile hung loosely around Duke Kyron’s mouth.
Please don’t smile, it’s too bright and dazzling.
“Just tell Chaers that you have a headache.”
Duke Kyron picked the tea up once more. So I quietly stepped back and sat on my chair in the corner of the office. I could feel my heart thumping wildly.
A small desk right in front of the window placed at the corner of the office. This was Arielsa’s seat. Although I could not see Duke Kyron from this position, I would be able to run immediately when he called for me.
I was finally able to concentrate on breathing since I couldn’t see his face. I was wondering about what he was doing today but it was too dangerous for me to show more interest in his work.
It made me smile when he told me that I should just tell Chaers that I had a headache. To be honest, Chaers would definitely find words like ‘world on the other side’ more suspicious. It seemed like the Duke was on my side. Just like when we were kids…
I quickly stopped my wandering thoughts when I heard Duke Kyron call for me.
I jumped up and hurried towards his desk.
“Go to the drill hall.”
I looked at him with my wide and limpid eyes. Eyes that were so wide and innocent that they did not know what to do next. He just looked at me as he gave a brief sigh.
“Goddamn apple pie.”
He was just talking to himself but I heard it clearly that I couldn’t help but redden in embarrassment.
“Prepare my coat.”
Following the Duke’s gaze, I found a coat hanging on the wall. I quickly ran towards it and brought it to him.
I even helped him put the clothes on even though I was on my tip toes. However, I couldn’t remember how to do the unusual latch. It was neither a button nor a zipper and I had a hard time figuring out how it worked. In addition, grazing his body with my touch was making me even more nervous and flustered.
Then, he clasped the back of my hand. I looked up in amazement when he guided my hands slowly as if he was showing me the ropes of how to do it. The back of my hand that was in contact with his hands felt like they were burning.
When he heard me groaning lightly with my lips shut tight, he couldn’t help but frown before asking…
“What’s wrong with you?”
What’s wrong with me? It’s because you’re so cool!
I had no choice but to bite my lips tightly to stop myself from screaming or groaning in excitement.
Duke Kyron, who was wearing a coat with a fur collar, was extremely gorgeous. I was not aware that a single coat could emphasize his strong masculine aura.
Duke Kyron grinned casually when he saw me fumbling in embarrassment. When I saw him grin, my face turned even redder.
“What are you doing?”
He clicked his tongue as he pointed to the corner.
I followed his finger and saw my coat hanging in the corner on my chair. It was just a simple and ordinary coat. The collar of my coat was also covered in fur to prevent the wind from hitting my neck. However, it was far from being stylish and cool because it was just for practical use.
As soon as I put on my coat, Duke Kyron quickly went out of the door.