Translator: Latte Editor: Sasha
Caville tilted his head while staring at Sirka.
“I strangely don’t like you for some reason. I wonder why?”
Sirka had lived as a merchant all his life.
He could immediately know why Caville didn’t like him.
It was probably because of envy. He didn’t like the friendliness between Sirka and his wife during their conversations.
‘What’s with his personality…?’
Sirka stuck his tongue out.
Caville was easily jealous since he was like a child when it came to matters of interacting with others, and he still hadn’t realized it.
“Well, maybe it’s just a weird feeling?” Sirka replied with his business-like smile.
‘Madame… come back quickly. How could you leave me alone…?’
But he inwardly cried for the duchess.
‘Why didn’t I follow after her?’
He deeply regretted his actions.
Caville stared at him without answering his question.
Sirka kept glancing at the door, wiping off his cold sweat.
Fortunately, after a while, Elody, with the papers she had hidden in the corner of her study in hand, returned to the office.
As soon as Elody came in, Sirka felt like he could finally breathe.
“Madame! Why were you so late?!”
“…What’s wrong?” Elody replied, puzzled.
Caville continued to look at Sirka with a frigid stare, avoiding Elody’s gaze.
A cold sweat broke out on Sirka’s forehead, and he mopped it away with his forearm.
But when Elody looked up, Caville’s expression did a complete one-eighty. He looked like an innocent angel as if he had never glared at Sirka.
The poor merchant didn’t know what to say.
“Oh, and I’ve also checked all the bills.”
“…Yes, thank you.”
Elody signed the documents for the next payment and handed it to Sirka.
Then she quickly asked, “Ah, Mr. Sirka, would you like to go out for dinner later?”
Caville immediately interrupted their conversation by saying, “I’ve already asked, but unfortunately, he already has an appointment.”
“Oh, is that so? I guess next time then.”
He lied so blatantly without an ounce of remorse on his face.
When Elody left, Caville’s expression had turned so scary… He was like a wolf in sheep’s fur!
Sirka was bewildered by the tremendous change of atmosphere.
‘Whatever happened to his personality after the war…?’
It had been a long time since he last tasted the dishes of the mansion’s chef… he was really anticipating the meal.
However, seeing the duke’s face made him lose his appetite.
‘I’d rather starve than eat with that scary man.’
Sirka quickly escaped the mansion in case Elody would make him stay for something else.
‘Ah, come to think of it. I still haven’t asked the duchess why she was looking for buildings and greenhouses… ‘ Sirka thought.
Little did he know that Elody was planning for a divorce.
* * *
After Sirka left, Elody and Caville took a stroll around the land.
The two walked hand in hand, stopping at the fields near the mansion.
Elody still felt a bit uncomfortable to hold Caville’s hand. Nonetheless, she didn’t complain.
Because she was more worried about making him sad again.
“Caville, do you remember this place?”
They used to come here with Marie and Anna to dig for medicinal herbs.
“When I collected the herbs here, you laid down on a blanket and took a nap…”
Time flew by so fast.
Elody stared at what was in front of her standing on these hills that were so high that even the far-stretching downtown area beyond the mansion gates could be viewed.
The village was much larger than it was seven years ago.
Elody wondered what Caville would think about the current state of the duchy.
She was about to ask for his opinion, but he beat her to it.
“I didn’t expect it to have changed so much,” he said with a warm tone.
Caville looked down the hill, his eyes expressing delight.
Seeing his gaze made Elody feel proud of her accomplishments.
In some ways, she also sympathized with his words.
She never expected Caville to have changed so much.
“I have always dreamed of the day when I could meet my wife again.”
“On the day I had a nightmare, my wife carried me on her back. Do you remember?”
“Yes, I remember.”
Caville gazed at Elody with a beautiful smile, and she gazed back.
The atmosphere really felt like the warmth of a sibling’s love. Of course, those were Elody’s own thoughts.
Caville stepped forward, then bent on one knee.
“I’ll carry my wife this time.”
“I’ve always wanted to give my wife a piggy-back ride.”
And so, Elody hopped on his back and got carried back home.
His small back was forever gone. He was so huge and strong now that carrying her seemed like the simplest task.
“Am I not heavy?”
“Not at all.”
Elody carefully wrapped her arm around Caville’s neck. She felt strange.
When they were young, Caville used to have the scent of sweets. His scent was now different, but it was surprisingly pleasant, and it made her feel weird.
Elody enjoyed the gentle wind blowing over her hair.
All of a sudden, she thought of the reason for the pounding in her heart.
‘I feel like I’m being served, what is this?’
Is this how a child feels when a grown-up carries them on their back?
Elody was thrilled at the thought and stroked Caville’s head.
Caville, who had unintentionally become her servant, only smiled without knowing what had just gone through her head.
* * *
“Brien Vedos, come here.”
Late that afternoon, Caville visited the knights’ training ground.
And he called for Brien, who was having a battle with the other knights.
Brien’s face was sullen.
Marie dumped him, but he still tried to visit her again.
He wanted to change her mind; he knocked on her door and made all kinds of excuses.
He tried really hard, but Marie still gave him the cold shoulder.
“What’s going on with you?”
Caville glared at Brien, creasing his eyebrows. But Brien was too embarrassed to face him.
“What do you mean by that?”
“Why was your nose bleeding?”
“…I was talking to Marie, and my nose started bleeding… I have a good reason.”
“Where’s my wife’s handkerchief?”
“Do I have to say it twice for you to understand? The war is over but the militia is a mess,” Caville snarled.
Brien quickly straightened himself up and replied, “I apologize.”
“Where’s the handkerchief my wife gave you?”
“…Uh, I’ve washed it and dried it…?”
“…Dirty nosebleeds. Ugh, how annoying…”
It was unfair.
‘I mean, I am sorry for dirtying the handkerchief… but I literally just got dumped.’
Caville, however, took no heed of Brien’s mind and coldly responded, “Bring the handkerchief when it’s dry, and keep out of my sight for a while.”
“…But, what about the banquet tomorrow?”
Tomorrow was the day when Elody had prepared a banquet for the knights.
Brien had no choice but to participate in it because he was the second in command of the knights.
“I’ll only allow it tomorrow.”
He was raised and taught well…
Brien glanced at Caville one more time before he grumbled and turned away.
‘Is it because he just got home?’
Caville was subtly different from when he was on the battlefield.
It seemed like he could see a bit of his past self.
He was like a terrifying person on the battlefield, but now he somehow looked more relaxed.
Brien sighed deeply.
It wasn’t the time to care about the duke.
He had a lot of things to do.
First of all, he had to unite the knights who returned from the war and those who remained in the estate.
The main problem was from the mercenaries who joined the order.
The knights were divided into three groups.
The first group was led by Solar. They were the estate’s original knights who participated in the war.
Second was the mercenaries led by Heinz.
And last but not least, was Therion’s group. The knights who remained in the estate.
Brien suffered from a massive headache after trying to join the three forces together.
He had to solve the task as soon as possible.
By all means, he was hoping that nothing terrible would happen at the banquet.
‘I’d be in trouble if they made an accident there.’
Fortunately, however, unlike Brien’s worries, the knights did not cause any problems.
However, something unexpected happened.
The vassals who had ignored Caville before came to the banquet uninvited and caused minor problems.
The only vassals who got invitations were Baron Vendos and Baron Bernard, who had participated in the war.
“…What is the meaning of this?” Caville glowered.
“Please forgive me, Your Grace!”
“I beg for Your Grace’s forgiveness!”
He was stunned to see the vassals down on their knees.
Caville knew that they were his vassals, but truthfully, he had no idea what their respective names were.
“Your Grace, I think they have reflected a lot, so please listen to them at least once…”
Baron Vendos, a vassal who had participated in the war, persuaded Caville in distress.
“That’s right. They have been asking for your forgiveness… Please have mercy on them,” Baron Bernard added.
The vassals who participated in the war and those who did not were expected to have a bad relationship with each other, but not necessarily.
Cavill spoke with a stern look to the vassals who claimed to be sinners.
“I have never invited you.”
His voice was so cold that it made them feel goosebumps.
“Just trust us! If we talk, he’ll hear your story right away!”
“Yeah, have faith in us! Instead, you must keep what you promised.”
Before the banquet, Caville remembered Baron Vendos and Baron Bernard were whispering to the vassals and asking them to trust the two who were currently down on their knees.
The two barons stared at Caville while sweating profusely.