Author: Lioness

FAKES DON’T WANT TO BE REAL

~ 104 ~

 

***.

“On the day the snow was heavy, I prospected my life had come to an end but surprisingly Duke Evergreen had appeared to be my savior. I-if it wasn’t for him, that day would have been my….”

 

Lillian gloomily sniffled, wiping her sad tears underneath her eyes. Her tale of sorrow brought tears to the eyes of the employees in the Lestir Residence. On the other hand, Psychke nonchalantly glanced at the drawn window for ventilation.

She gazed down at the figure that positioned itself outside of her room where it was undoubtedly cold. The reason for Lillian to stoop this low was so obvious Psychke could only scoff.

 

‘Nothing of hers changed.’

 

As she had done in Silkisia, Lillian skillfully tried to win the hearts of people here who sympathized with her tragic past.

 

‘You’re trying to gain allies and then use them as chess pieces, just like you did in the capital.’

 

But.

 

‘That would be difficult in the north.’

 

The North had become where living had become limited, so people had been under the circumstances especially because of the demons’ ruckus. People between the capital and the North were greatly different.

As such, what Lillian can gain is to learn that there’s something that is out of her reach- no matter how hard she tries.

 

“My, my word. I shouldn’t be here!”

 

Lillian’s tale of woe continued. Thankfully, one of the servants helped her stand up and as shy as she was, Lillian flinched at the help she received.

 

“Please get up first and talk slowly!”

“Oh, right. I, too, have something to ask of you, Princess!”

“Uh, wait a minute…!”

 

As she started to fish, the Head Chef interrupted.

 

“Princess, if you don’t mind, may you lend your hand to double-check the quantities I have here as I am unsure if it was right.”

“Uh, w-well, I don’t really know…”

“Ah….”

 

She may be the Princess of Silkisia now, but she was once at the top, so I thought she’d be able to do simple math. She may be the Princess of Silkisia, the one sitting at the top, thus the servants thought she’d be able to use simple math.

The Head Chef’s eyes turned incontinent as he shrugged off even the simplest of tasks.

Unlike Silkisia, where public and private affairs go hand in hand, Lestir kept his affairs separate. Even if they were close in private, they would disrespect if necessary.

The line underlies that pity is simply pity, and unneeded is unneeded. Because of the lack of action for her, Lillian was isolated along with the hostile gazes towards her.

 

“I wish food wouldn’t go to waste.”

“I also can’t be bothered to remake for one more person, more so if it’s for a guest.”

 

Lillian, who had overheard their conversation, sobbed under her covers.

 

“Why… are you guys doing this!”

 

She did likewise in the capital. She should have put on a better acting than that.

If Lillian’s maid was thinking straight, right now, she should be trying to make her Master’s image improve. But alas, Lillian’s maid was Melissa. And instead of improving her reputation, Melissa was had been but a trouble.

 

“I told you to add this flavoring to the water when you wash the princess’s clothes!”

 

The water in the north is limey, and certain fragrances don’t wash well. Not knowing this, Melissa lost her temper.

 

“Then you’re on your own.”

 

Due to anger, the maid in the north handed over all the Lillian’s clothes to Melissa. Thus, she washed them in accordance the way in their residence but the result was—

 

“Melissa! What are you going to do with my clothes!”

 

She didn’t have to say it long. It wasn’t just laundry.

From lifestyle to money, Melissa and the employers in the north were at odds over everything.

The mood was getting worse and worse, which is why Psychke saw Lillian out and about every day.

 

” About Princess Lillian.”

“…?”

 

Psychke was in distress from being small every night, and to add that she couldn’t sleep well due to that, she was sensitive.

Psychke, half dozing and listening to a report on a small-scale localized war with a demon, looked up.

Eric asked, his voice flat.

 

“Are you going to leave her like that?”

“What if I do?”

“No.”

 

He asked simply out of curiosity, and his interest was immediately piqued.

He continued to read the report in a flat voice.

 

“… The damage to Unit 3 is not significant, but I don’t think we can commit them to combat right away, and.”

 

Hmm. She let out a long breath and stopped talking abruptly.

Stiffly, Eric glanced at Psychke, and then at the brilliant sky through the window above, then he knitted his brow.

 

“What are you doing up at night if not sleeping?”

“I’m sorry.”

 

His tone was pathetic, but she couldn’t care less. Psychke squeezed her eyes shut.

 

“If you’re tired, why don’t you go to sleep?”

“No, go on.”

“I don’t think you’re in the mood to listen.”

“Then I’ll see for myself.”

 

Psychke held out her hand for the report to which he handed wordlessly. He waited until she had finished before taking it back, then asked in a gruff voice why.

 

“You don’t even practice swordsmanship these days.”

“Yes, I haven’t been able to sleep.”

“Do you have insomnia or something?”

“I guess so.”

 

She didn’t bother telling him the odd thing she was experiencing and thought that she had to take a nap after he left.

But then, after a slight pause, he made an unexpected offer.

 

“If you don’t mind, I was wondering if you’d like to come out with me for a while, I was thinking of going to a tea shop.”

 

Psychke, who had been grunting as she leaned back against the backrest, opened her eyes sheepishly.

His yellow eyes, unreadable for emotion, were deeply sunken.

 

“I can’t help if you’re not in the position.”

“No, I’m fine.”

 

The more I went out and fought demons, the more she noticed a subtle change in the way Eric looked at her. He has also been expressing his emotions slightly. Despite being exhausted, this offer could pose a chance for her to know him.

Standing up, Psychke ordered Miya to get ready to go out.

 

* * *

 

As it happened, Verndia had entered the Lestir’s library a few minutes earlier. So, Psychke went to the teahouse with Eric.

The teahouse was located a little way off the main street, and it was very old- didn’t look like a teahouse at all from the outside.

The wooden tables and chairs in the back of the shop were also worn and dingy and had seen quite a bit of time.

It was a spacious place, but there were only a few customers.

No one came in pairs like Psychke and Eric, just people ordering tea and relaxing outside.

 

“This way.”

 

Eric led Psychke to a table in the far corner of the shop. His gait was familiar as if he came here often.

 

“Why don’t you sit by the window?”

 

The owner, who had come to take the order, wondered why he was sitting in the corner today.

 

“Just, I like it here today,” Eric said and ordered two cups of tea.

“Here’s your tea.”

 

Soon, the owner brought out a teapot and two sets of teacups. Psychke then took off her hood. Eric once recommended that if she dislikes crown fawning over her, it’s best to cover herself as she had done so much and became famous.

 

“It’s a good tea for insomnia. They don’t sell the leaves separately, so I had to bring you to the shop.”

 

Eric picked up the teacup and sipped nonchalantly.

 

“Hm…”

 

Psychke was a little dumbfounded by this unusually friendly explanation. She assumed something was up but then he informed it was good for insomnia.

 

“Is this why you asked me to go out?”

“Yes.”

 

Eric stared at her as if she had something else to do besides drinking tea in a teahouse. Psychke glanced down at her steaming pink teacup.

It smelled good, and the cup was pretty, and she could see why Eric had asked her to come here.

 

‘He brought me here because I said I had insomnia.’

 

She squinted at Eric, feeling somehow grateful. He was sipping his tea with that expressionless face of courtesy, the very epitome of nobility in the way he picked it up, drank from it, and set it down.

 

“Doesn’t it to your liking?”

 

Eric asked sternly when Psyche didn’t pick up her tea. Eric inquired upon noticing she didn’t pick up her tea. Responding with no, she then took a sip of it – as she swallowed the warm and sweet scent of it, something floral, yet fruity wafted throughout her mouth.

It was the first flavor she’d ever tasted, and she liked it.

I was halfway through when Eric, who had set his teacup down without a sound, cut to the chase.

 

“Actually, I had something I wanted to ask the princess in private.”

“I see.”

 

Psychke placed her teacup down, too, and looked him straight in the eye as if to say, ‘Ask me anything.’

 

“I understand you’ll be receiving a knighthood when this is over, but I wanted to ask if you had a specific one in mind.”

“Silkisia.”

 

She said without missing a beat.

 

“I want the Duchess of Silkisia.”

“Of course.”

 

He pursed his lips, as if choosing what to say, and then let the words come out slowly and without pitch.

 

“That’s expected, but not unwelcome. I don’t think you’re fit for the position.”

 

What the hell is this? Her face hardened at his blatant insult, while he glanced away, releasing a small sigh.

 

“The Princess doesn’t know how to use people.”

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