Chapter 48 – Littenverk’s Ducal Family
Upon entering the room, she was led into, the butler went out and didn’t forget to say that he would ask her presence if the dinner was ready. After that, she flopped down on the bed, exhausted.
The entirety of their trip was crazy. Not only did they have to part with others but she went through a lot with Lawrence.
The problem was that man! Until the moment he appeared in her life, her world was just around the mansion of the Marquis of Hamilton. But his unabashed emotion for her made her attached to him, or more precisely, it drew her to him more.
The passage of time came without notice, and she was still lost in thoughts thinking about him. That man shook her calm and serene heart; she even had forgotten the fatigue she got from traveling. Her mind was clear, but her body was limp from fatigue.
All she’d ever done since she’d entered this world was make money and avoid the eerie voice she kept hearing, and she’d never cared about anything other than those two things. Now that she was free of the voice and in the Nakran Empire, maybe she could start a new life.
As she continued to ponder, Alice fell asleep, and when she awoke, it was the middle of the night, and darkness had fallen.
“Have you been sleeping?”
She remembered she would be called when the dinner was prepared. Due to drowsiness, she didn’t hear the voice from outside the door. She then scrambled out of the bed. As soon as she did, the duke’s maid, who had been waiting, knocked on her door.
“May I come in?”
The duke’s maid bowed politely to her. The maid had already been told by the butler that she was to serve the lady with the utmost respect as she could be a Duchess, and so she did. The Bluebird Room was the residence of the future Duchess of the Duchy of Littenverk.
As soon as the news spread that Alice would be staying in the room, the people who were most happy were those in the ducal family. The vassals and servants of the duchy hoped that Lawrence, who had been left alone after the death of the duke and duchess when he was very young, would have someone to love by his side.
“What can I do for you, my lady?”
“Is it past dinner time?”
“His Excellency has asked me not to wake you up.”
The maid looked momentarily surprised at how she called him by his name, then smiled softly answered.
Alice noticed the look on the maid’s face, but she didn’t say it was a mistake to call Lawrence’s name.
‘He asked me to call him that.’
She could have called him anything. She knew that in this world, calling each other’s names meant something, but it didn’t matter. Because the moment she thought about Lawrence, she knew.
‘I like it, too.’
Suddenly, she liked Lawrence Littenverk. The man who had been there for her in times of need. He was the one who helped her escape from the Marquis of Hamilton, the one who protected her when she was being chased, and the one who helped her out of the water.
How could she dislike a man who’d come to her rescue every time she’d been in danger and the only one who was affectionate with her thus far?
Lawrence was basically uninterested in his surroundings. Alice, who ran the business and watched people come and go from the Marquis, had a pretty good eye for people. The Lawrence she recognized was an unknown.
Someone who didn’t care about his surroundings and had a lot.
He was like an old wolf. A wild wolf with a nonchalant personality who leads a pack but doesn’t care about anything else. On his warm smile that looked at her, there was sharpness.
It was even harder to get away from him once she recognized the kindness in his eyes. Not only was he gentle, but he had the strength to protect her.
“Sir Plein just arrived, and they’re currently talking.”
She eagerly wants to face him right now and tell him that she feels the same way as he does.
‘But then after that?’
Her mind was a tangled web of thoughts.
“I’ll prepare a simple meal, and while it’s ready, why don’t you take a walk?”
The maid, noticing her colorful expression, gently suggested a walk. As soon as Alice left, she would tell Lawrence and arrange for them to meet in the garden.
“The gardens of the Duke of Littenverk are famously beautiful.”
“Where path should I go?”
After the maid got someone to guide her, she rose from her seat. Her body felt better, but her heart was racing.
“Maybe some fresh air will make me feel better.”
A moment later, a knight knocked on the door, offering to escort her, and Alice followed him out of the room.
“This is Jhanen.”
“I’m Alice Hamilton. Please take care of me, Lord Jhanen.”
The knight leading Alice through the room was lightly dressed. She apologized for appearing to be called out of her rest.
“You’re working late at night because of me.”
“No, please feel free to speak. I will punch those who dare to intrude here.”
“Yes, like in the face.”
Alice rolled her eyes at Jhanen, who waved a hand that looked more slender than large.
“Why, Young Lady? You don’t think women can’t wield a sword?”
“No. It’s not that, it’s just that you’re…”
“Oh, yes, I’m a bit petite.”
She laughed, small for a knight.
“Still, for a knight with mana, I can take on some pretty big guys.”
“Oh, that’s great!”
Alice’s eyes sparkled. She’d never met anyone like her in this world. And a knight who knew how to use mana. Unlike mages, knights rarely used mana, so to meet one like her was a treat.
Jhanen scratched her cheeks in embarrassment as she looked at her curiously.
“Aren’t you a great knight if you use mana?”
“You can’t use the swordsmanship of House of Littenverk if you don’t know how to handle mana, and His Excellency is a Swordsmaster.”
“Miss, you don’t know?”
Alice was genuinely surprised. She knew Lawrence had great skill, but he was a man of the enemy, the Nakran Empire, and there was no way that information about him could be known.
“Well, there’s no reason to say he was a Swordsmaster.
Alice wondered if the Erha Empire knew this, but she quickly pushed the thought from her mind. She was out of the Erha Empire now, and there was no reason to set foot there again.
“He didn’t tell me.”
“Perhaps he will tell you later, His Excellency seemed to take a real liking to you, Miss Alice.”
“I mean, he loves you. I don’t think he’d say something so cheeky as that out loud….”
Alice couldn’t help but giggle at the way Jhanen rubbed her arms together in a creepy way. Jhanen gave her a funny look, intentionally trying to make her relax.
“It’s a strange place, but the people of the Duke of Littenverk are all people of integrity. I hope you’ll like them.”
“Yes, they seem like nice people.”
Otherwise, there was no way Alice would have gotten here alive. It was only because of Lawrence’s protection and the sacrifices of the knights that she was able to escape those attackers in the Erha Empire and come here.
“Are the others still there?”
“What do you mean, Miss? Who are the others?”
“The other knights besides Plein.”
Jhanen’s expression darkened at Alice’s words.
“There are four we haven’t heard from yet.”
After Lawrence arrived a message arrived. It was a note asking them to come pick him up, as he was stranded on the border between the Nakran Empire and Erha.
“I hope they’re all safe.”
“I hope so, too.”
Alice pretended not to notice the flicker of life in Jhanen’s eyes. The walk to the garden was longer than she’d expected. She was walking slowly, looking at the paintings that adorned the interior of the Duke of Littenverk’s house, when someone appeared.
“Where are you going?”
It was Lawrence, dressed in a white shirt and black pants. Jhanen flashed him a bow of a night then hurried away. Alice blushed at Lawrence’s attitude of wanting to be alone with her, but she pretended not to notice.
“Weren’t you in the middle of a conversation with Plein?”
“The report was over quickly, and Plein needs a break.”
She wondered when he was going to get a break. Alice had never seen him sleep with his eyes closed while together with Lawrence. Lawrence always woke up earlier and went to bed later than her.
“A little later.”
“You have a lot of work to do at the Mansion?”
Alice felt disheartened that he came home only to have his work piled up. She walked up to him, who attempted a step back, but he was frozen in place by what she did. Alice’s arms were around his waist, close to him.