Translator: Latte Editor: Sasha
Late at night that day, Therion had just returned to the mansion from the Forest of Death and went to report about his trip to Caville.
“The monsters have increased. But since the vassals and their knights have arrived at the Forest of Death, I’m sure that we will see a significant decrease in their numbers after a while.”
“I see. Good work.”
Then, Caville continued to inspect the documents he received from Therion one last time before telling him to go back and rest.
On his way back. Therion headed to the garden behind the mansion as a detour.
It was his favorite place.
A few years ago, the madame had decorated the garden herself with a bunch of her servants.
At that time, Therion helped them to move heavy rocks and plant flowers.
It was one of his happiest memories.
After leaving for the Forest of Death, he tried to move on from the duchess. There was even a time where he had hoped for the ducal couple to get a divorce so he would have a chance to be with her. Yet, he realized that the duchess had never been interested in him at all.
He was utterly devastated at that time. Still… Therion tried his best to move on, and eventually, the duchess became someone whom he just simply admired…
As Therion walked to the garden, he found someone standing among the flowers.
She was gorgeous. She had luscious silver hair that was braided to her waist, and she was wearing a cute white dress.
Astonished, Therion hid himself so as to not disturb the beauty in front of him.
At first, he thought that she was a ghost, but he soon remembered the words from his fellow knights.
They said that Princess Larissa from the Empire of Dayev had come to the duchy. Plus, he remembered them saying that she had silver hair.
When he heard that the duke would divorce his wife to marry the princess, Therion was furious.
Though at the same time, he wished for the duke to actually do so, yet he still had negative feelings about the princess.
‘She looks like a forest fairy…’
Her silver hair shone brightly underneath the moonlight, emitting an ethereal glow. It made her look all the more like a fairy, like those you only see in fairy tales. Her charming atmosphere somehow stimulated his protective instinct. It was the same feeling he had when he fell in love with the duchess. The feeling that made him want to protect her…
‘It’s like I can’t help falling in love with her beauty…’
Of course, the duchess was beautiful as well, but the feel the two of them gave off was completely different.
Suppose Elody was a lovely and elegant lady who exudes bright energy like the sun. In that case, Princess Larissa could be described as someone who emitted a subtle yet mysterious aura like the moonlight.
Therion felt as if his heart was going to leap out of his chest.
It seemed as if he had fallen in love with her at first sight.
* * *
“What is up with you guys?” Brien asked Heinz and Therion, still shocked about what had just happened.
Therion and Heinz, who had been to Brien’s office for the second time for being misconducted, stood there in silence.
‘Not even seven-year-olds would repeat this kind of mistake twice…’
Brien was dumbfounded when he heard that the two got caught up in another fight again.
However, it seemed that it was more like one-sided violence than an actual fight.
“Wha… what were you guys thinking?” Brien asked, staring at Heinz.
Brien was stupefied when he first saw Therion’s state. He was beaten black and blue, and his good looking face was all but battered.
“No… why did you beat him up so badly? Why would you do this to a fellow elite knight? Do you think he’s lower than you?”
“…I hit him because he deserved it,” Heinz replied.
Brien snorted at his words.
He knew well that Therion was an extraordinary knight of good conduct. If someone were to stir up a problem, it would obviously be Heinz.
“Alright. Then, tell me. What did he do?”
“…Cough,” Therion coughed.
After Heinz did the first blow, he couldn’t fight back at all.
Heinz just kept punching him with his fist, and it seemed as if his hatred only grew stronger with each and every blow.
Therion had also become an elite knight because of his remarkable skills. But to be beaten one-sidedly like this… He was ashamed of himself.
“He betrayed the duchess,” Heinz spoke.
Therion was dumbfounded. He was appalled at his atrocious remarks.
He had just said something out of pity for the princess, who was being criticized by the knights. Plus, he fell in love with her, so it was only natural for him to do that. However, by no means did he betray the duchess.
“Betrayed who…? Sir Therion, what does he mean by this?” Brien stared at Therion, raising his eyebrow.
Therion then gave him an immediate answer, “I would never!”
“Never? You lying bastard. You think I don’t know what’s inside your head?” Heinz glowered, furious at Therion’s answer.
“Hey, stop it!” Brien warned Heinz.
Heinz only turned his head to the side in dissatisfaction.
“Sir Therion, you may leave. Make sure you get those bruises healed.”
Heinz glared daggers at Therion as he left.
Now, the two were the only ones left in the room. Brien sighed and continued speaking, “Do you really want to keep causing trouble? You want to be kicked out of the mansion?”
Heinz felt that he was falsely accused.
Therion was obviously at fault this time, but why was he the one being scolded instead?
It was clear that he was discriminated against because he didn’t come from the duchy.
“The same goes for vice-commander as well! Didn’t you want the princess to marry the duke?”
Brien was speechless.
He didn’t know what other people thought about that matter, but it certainly shouldn’t be said aloud!
Heinz continued on shamelessly, “It’s so obvious! That bastard must have a crush on Princess Larissa! I can tell just by looking into his eyes. He used to have that same look whenever he saw the duchess, but now he turned sides and betrayed her!”
“Nonsense! Have you ever entered Sir Therion’s heart? How would you even be able to know that for sure?”
“Vice-commander. Just look into his eyes and you’ll know what I mean. He’s so easy to figure out!”
“Would you stop looking into other people’s eyes?”
“Why do you keep taking his side? Do you loathe me because I’m non-native?”
“Fine. I won’t talk anymore. But that bastard did betray the duchess. Not long ago he would talk about the duchess like madame this, madame that. And now what? His head is filled with nothing but the princess…”
“…I find you even more strange. Didn’t you used to be the princess’s number one supporter? What made you change your mind?”
Heinz ignored his question and only said what he wanted to say, “…He even insulted the duke, saying that he was a heartless person for treating the princess as if she were invisible!”
Brien’s expression hardened at his words. It seemed as if Heinz was not lying.
“Either way, vice-commander is the same! You’re heartless too!” Heinz yelled before running away in tears.
“God… I swear. What should I do with him?” Brien said with a sigh.
His head was a mess.
For the past few days. Marie had also been treating him as if he was an invisible person. Furthermore, when he saw her talking with one of the apprentices, he was insanely jealous.
Brien contemplated asking the duchess for a favor.
* * *
He couldn’t sleep well last night as he had been reading his wife’s letters.
Fortunately, his eyes weren’t swollen anymore. Though, he was still a bit reluctant to meet Elody.
He felt strange.
Whenever he thought of his wife, his face flushed red and his heartbeat went fast.
Before, he would just feel peaceful and happy, but now, he was insanely nervous!
He wanted to see his wife’s face, but at the same time, he just wanted to hide and curl inside a hole.
“But… does she not want to see me?”
Even though they hadn’t been able to see each other yesterday, his wife never reached out to him. Of course, Caville was the one avoiding her, but somehow… it felt as if she was avoiding him as well.
Still, he couldn’t avoid his wife for too long. He had almost finished reading all the letters that his wife had sent to him. Thus, he was planning to thank her today.
‘But why is my heart pounding so much?’
“Ugh, this is driving me crazy,” Ifrit, who had been loitering around underneath the desk, spoke.
Caville glared at Ifrit.
“Why are you following me? Go for a walk or something.”
“…Then, can you ask your wife to open the door to the greenhouse?”
“It’s full of mana. Unlike yours, the mana there is refreshing and clean! Of course, I could just go there and open it myself. But if I get caught sneaking in, won’t your wife blame you instead?”
He didn’t want his wife to hate him for something that troublesome puppy caused.
“Fine, I get it. Now, get lost.”
“Yes, yes. You have to tell me when she opens it. By the way, your eyes are puffy again today, huh?”
Ifrit grunted at his remarks before slipping out through the window.
After he left, Caville took out his hand-mirror and stared at his eyes once again.
* * *
Caville had been inside his office until late afternoon, and now, he finally chose to get out.
He got himself up and fixed his clothes in front of the mirror.
A while ago, he had asked a servant about Elody’s whereabouts.
‘My wife should be in the laboratory at the moment.’
Elody was in the lab until late at night yesterday, so he was worried that she might get sick.
Caville couldn’t go on like this. He didn’t come back to the duchy just to stay away from his wife.
It was clear that she had been avoiding her as well. He didn’t know how it became like this, but he vowed to meet his wife today.
After reading Elody’s letters, Caville felt strange and confused.
However, he knew that the best solution for his confusion was to have a heart-to-heart with his wife. He knew that she would give him the answers he needed.
Thus, Caville headed to the lead with determination.
But on the way there, he ran into an unexpected person.
That person… was Princess Larissa.