Translator: Latte Editor: Sasha
The girl smiled shyly and fiddled with her fingers. Seeing her innocent act, Elody sniffed the flower and exclaimed in exaggeration.
“Wow, the scent is really good. Have you tried smelling it?”
The girl shook her head.
Elody gave the flower to the child.
“Do you like the aroma?” Elody asked.
“Yes,” the girl replied.
Elody then smiled and patted the girl’s head.
“I am grateful, thank you for this. I will certainly cherish it.”
The girl smiled and let out a soft giggle.
She reminded Elody of Caville.
“What is your name?”
“…I do not have one.”
“You don’t have a name?” Elody frowned.
“No, they just called me you.”
“…Will you let me name you then?”
“Really? I’m allowed to have a name?” she asked with sparkling eyes.
“Well, of course.” Elody smiled.
Elody then shifted her gaze towards the flower that the child gave her. An idea immediately struck her mind.
She spoke, “Ah! Your name shall be… Daisy.”
A pretty smile hung around the child’s lips as she admired her newfound name.
“Well, till next time, Daisy.”
The child hurriedly returned to the orphanage building, flailing her hand several times.
Elody decided that she should give names to all of the children who will come to live in the orphanage in the future.
As Elody got up and turned around, she found Marie standing in front of the carriage with a proud expression, her hands put together, and beside her…
Was Sir Therion, crying at the heartwarming scene before him.
Sir Therion immediately wiped his tears with his sleeve. Marie looked at Therion with a tired expression and guided Elody to the carriage.
“Your Grace, I…!”
Terion reached out and tried to escort Elody on the carriage, but Marie slapped the back of his hand.
After getting on the carriage, Elody sighed in exhaustion.
“Marie, you had a hard time. Let’s just eat red ginseng when we get back.”
“Yes, more than that, Madame… about Sir Therion.”
“Oh, right. Why was he crying?”
‘Because he’s in love with you.’
Marie stared at Elody.
She was far too oblivious.
“He was so emotional. I guess he really pitied the children. Hmm… maybe I should let him help around the orphanage.”
“Oh, yes…. Well, go ahead.”
In the end, Marie gave up trying to explain and turned her head. It might be better for the duchess not to be aware of his feelings.
Moments later, Elody and Marie finally arrived at the mansion.
They were utterly exhausted, but as they were about to get off the carriage, Norman greeted the Duchess with an anxious look.
“What is it, Norman?”
“Madame, have you heard about…. the Empire of Brenbell?”
“…Well, yes,” Elody nodded. “Why?”
Brenbell was a small empire located in the west of the Friar continent, on an island just beyond the Strait of Hroa.
Sirka had spoken about the empire a few times. The empire was known for its mana crystals, and it was also not far from the duchy.
“The Prince of the Brenbell Empire has arrived. It looks like he encountered monsters while passing through the Forest of Death.”
The Forest of Death was a forbidden area. Everyone knew that it was strictly prohibited to enter the forest because of the frequent monster attacks.
“Where is he now?”
“He is in the parlor.”
“But… is he really the Prince of the Brenbell Empire?”
“Well, it seems like so. The Prince said that he was on his way to the capital. He also called for a doctor to heal his injured knights.”
“Alright. Well done, Norman.”
After changing her outfit, Elody immediately headed to the parlor where the Prince of Brenbell Empire was waiting.
* * *
“Why did Your Highness pass through the Forest of Death?”
“I have an urgent schedule. So I chose the fastest route…”
Elody laid down her teacup and stared at the prince.
The blond man introduced himself as Prince Andreas Brenbell.
And next to him was a young man who appeared to be his aide.
“I’ve heard of the monsters in the forest, but chose not to believe it,” he sighed. “This is the first time I’ve ventured outside of the Empire.”
“And there aren’t monsters in our kingdom. Hence, why I thought that the rumor was nothing but a fairy tale.”
The Prince’s remarks made his aide released a breath he didn’t even know he was holding. His sigh was resigned and weary.
“I have warned you over and over again….”
The prince laughed at the aide’s words.
‘He seems a bit… lacking.’
“I see….” Elody replied, glancing towards the two.
Due to their delayed schedule, the prince and his entourage were said to have passed through the Forest of Death. They were on their way to the capital, and their destination was the Imperial Palace.
On the way to the capital, they met a group of monsters, and as a result, the knights suffered a ton of injuries.
Then, he went to the duchy and came to the mansion for help.
“But thanks to the Duchess, we survived.”
“Well, it was the least I could do.”
“No, I will certainly repay the favor.”
Elody glanced at the Prince’s bandaged arm.
It doesn’t seem like his injured arm was the one he used to wield a sword.
“If you don’t mind me asking, what business do you have with the Imperial Palace?” Elody asked lightly.
Elody speculated that it might have something to do with war.
But his reaction was quite… peculiar.
‘Why is he blushing…?’
“Well, I’m 17 years old, and I don’t have a fiancé… So I plan to search for a bride at the ball. Unfortunately, the women in my empire are far from my personal preference.”
Contrary to her thoughts, his reason wasn’t that serious. Elody had also received the invitation, so she immediately understood.
She felt bitter.
‘My baby is struggling on the battlefield, but he’s holding a grand ball instead….’
“Hmm, but I don’t think I have to go to the capital anymore.”
“Do you have… a sister?” Prince Andreas gazed at Elody subtly.
He felt it in his bones, his meeting with the Duchess was none other than destiny!
He had never felt such feelings before. Her smooth snowflake skin matched her personality – devoid of any warmth. Nonetheless, he was intrigued by her. The pink-haired-lady in front of him was so ravishing yet so mysterious indeed…
It was a pity that she was already married.
Elody replied in distraught, “I do not have a younger sister. So, I suggest you go to the capital instead.”
“Rather than that, did you say that you were seventeen?”
“Yes, I did.”
In response to Elody’s question, the prince gazed at Elody with anticipation.
‘She seems to be uninterested. But she’s asking about my age. Could she be…?’
Prince Andreas smiled at the thought of Elody showing interest in him.
“If you don’t mind me asking… What do people in your age usually worry about?”
Prince Andreas’ expression fell faster than a bird with a broken wing. He was disappointed and confused. Nonetheless, he swallowed his pride and began to boast instead.
“Uh…. Well, I usually think about the empire’s situation… like the citizens, political affairs and… uh, trade?” Prince Andreas said, voice full of pride even though his answer was doubtful.
Elody, being as dense as she was, widened her eyes in astonishment and nodded at his words.
When the prince told Elody of such lies, his aide snorted and tried his best to hold back his laughter.
‘So if Caville had not gone to war, he would have worried about the same thing.’
“Hmm… I see.”
The aide next to the prince pretended to cough and spoke, “First, I’d like to apologize to the Duchess for the sudden and rude intrusion. But would you be so kind as to let us stay here for a few days? I will handle the procedures, and I will also contact the Imperial Palace about our delayed arrival.”
“Alright.” Elodie nodded.
The Brenbell Empire was the only empire that produced mana crystals.
There was nothing wrong with doing a good deed.
Besides, he might return the favor one day.
“Yes, of course. I’ve told the servants to prepare dinner, so take a rest.”
“Thank you, Your Grace.”
Elody got up, dropped a curtsy, and left the parlor.
“Does the Duchess have a crush on me?”
“Your Highness, please don’t get ahead of yourself. She is a married woman.”
“The Duke’s in war, right? Won’t he just die in battle?”
“Your Highness! Sometimes you can be very immature….”
“You’ll see, Carlson. It won’t be long until she falls for my charms.”
* * *
Andreas washed up and came out dressed in nice clothes.
As he entered the dining room, Elody stared at the prince and thought to herself.
‘His outfit… is very unusual.’
The news about the handsome prince spread all over the mansion, and the maids gathered to peek a glance at him.
“Thank you for such wonderful treatment. When I return to my empire, I will send you a hoard of mana crystals.”
“Why, thank you.”
Elody did not refuse.
As she sipped her tea, Elody thought, ‘Are there any mines in the duchy?’
If there was at least a single mine, she would have made more money than she had now…
“Your Grace’s hair color is stunning. I am mesmerized by your beauty.”
“Thank you for the compliments.”
“How about me? Do you like my blonde hair?”
“Yes, of course.”
Elody’s answer made the prince even more aroused.
She only gave him short answers, but he was not irked. In fact, it only raised his temptation even more.
“Then… have you heard of our empire?”
“In our kingdom, we are very tolerant of remarriage.”
“Ah, I see.”
Prince Andreas thought that she was playing coy to get his attention. He thought of her as cute.
But the longer their conversation went, the weirder it became.
‘It feels like talking to a wall. Is it just me…?’
“Uh… could you tour me around the mansion tomorrow?”
At the prince’s words, Elody replied firmly.
“I am very busy. I’ll have a servant to show you around.”
“I shall leave now. Good night.”
Unfortunately for the prince, Elody was a girl whose love cells converged at zero.
Moving into this world, the most important thing for her was parenting Caville, to be quietly divorced, and then spend the rest of her life peacefully.
She had never had a relationship in her previous life.
She had never noticed guys who tried to get her attention.
The biggest reason for that was her disinterest in love.
Elody never had much of an interest in the opposite sex.
Their words of affections, sweet nothings, and even the gazes they made. None of them had ever worked on her.
Caville, of course, occupied most parts of Elody’s brain.
Next was ‘The Management of the Duchy’, then ‘Life after divorce’, ‘Remedy for incurable disease’, and, ‘Red Ginseng’.
And what occupied a tiny part was ‘Sirka’s annoyance’, ‘Research on new crops’, and so on.
There was simply no time for her to think about ‘Love’.
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