Author: Bunny

Chapter 15

 

The next day. 

 

At noon when the spring sunshine was pouring down, tea time was being held in the Duke’s garden for the first time in a long time – with Young Lady Meltain and Madam Quillian. 

 

Alice looked away at the two people sitting together. She couldn’t watch them as the sight was suffocating. Tea time had just begun, but it made Alice out of breath. I want to run away… and become a bird. 

 

But in reality, under the gazebo, she was unable to escape between Madam Quillian and Young Lady Meltain. Even though they were smiling at each other, there were invisible rays shooting out from both Madam Quillian’s and Young Lady Meltain’s eyes. 

 

Young Lady Meltain used Alice to ignore Madam Quillian, while Madam Quillian was subtly demeaning Young Lady Meltain, saying that she came from the countryside. 

 

And the winner was ultimately Young Lady Meltain- because she ignored Madam Quillian, didn’t blink an eye at Madam Quillian’s disregard on her, and only worked hard on touching Madam Quillian’s weaknesses – Madam Quillian who wasn’t recognized by the Duke’s vassals. 

 

Young Lady Meltain’s skill was unusual as she subtly touched that subject and shot at the exact point. As expected, she is the female lead who slaps the supporting characters on their cheeks with her eloquence in the social world. 

 

Alice turned her head to look at Madam Quillian and hurriedly lowered her eyes when she saw her frightening smile. I need to [tnote keyword=”cleanse my eyes”] Here, holy water. [/tnote]. She looked at the shiny flowers under the fresh sunlight. Red flowers – they resembled the fierce Young Lady Meltain but have a gentle charm. Because I, myself, can’t talk. She felt like she could breathe a little when she concentrated on the flowers. 

 

But then, Madam Quillian’s slightly raised voice was heard. 

 

“You want to go out?”

 

Go out? Looking at the flowers, Alice also looked at Young Lady Meltain. Madam Quillian was looking at Young Lady Meltain with a smile on her face. 

 

“Yes, I would like to visit the temple.”

 

“The temple?”

 

Alice widened her eyes at that moment when the words came into her ears. Unwittingly having intervened in their conversation, Alice smiled awkwardly at Madam Quillian’s fierce eyes.  

 

“Haha, because the temple was suddenly brought out…. You can go ahead, Mother.” 

 

Ahem, Young Lady. You suddenly want to go to the temple. What does this mean?”

 

“It’s nothing extraordinary, but… Our family is under the Duke’s command, and I am also here receiving the Duke’s favor.” Meltain Young-ae lowered her gaze and continued. “But my cousin is now unconscious…. I feel really uncomfortable about it. That’s why I am thinking to go to the temple every day and pray for my cousin’s health.”

 

Her melancholic face seemed to worry only about her cousin’s wellbeing – as if she had no other intentions. Madam Quillian’s face was at a loss. She didn’t want to allow her to go out, but she had no other justification not to let her. 

 

Praying at the temple…. Staring at Young Lady Meltain, Alice opened her mouth. 

 

“Young Lady saying it like this, I am truly ashamed as a Duchess, Mother.”

 

“… This may sound embarrassing to you as this isn’t Young Lady’s job, an outsider, but you, the hostess of the Duke’s house.”

 

As if she had found an excuse to refuse, Madam Quillian looked at Alice with glittering eyes. But I’m sorry, Alice didn’t have any intention to help Madam Quillian. 

 

Alice said, narrowing her brows shyly, 

 

“So, I would like to go to the temple with Young Lady Meltain.”

 

“Alright… what?” 

 

Madam Quillian, who was nodding her head, widened her eyes as if what she said was some kind of bulls**t. 

 

“Won’t it be easier for the prayer to reach God if I go to the temple together with Young Lady Meltain to pray for the Duke?”

 

“… Haha, of course it is.”

 

Madam Quillian’s lips quivered. She seemed very unhappy with this situation. 

 

After a thoughtful sip of tea, Madam Quillian told Young Lady Meltain, “I’m sorry Young Lady, but would you mind leaving first? I suddenly remember that I have an important family affair to do. It is something only the Duchess and I should talk about…. I will finish the talk with her and give you an answer regarding you going out.” 

 

“… I hope that Madam could understand how deeply I care for my cousin. Then, I’ll go back to my room first.” 

 

Madam Quillian shouted at Alice as if she had been waiting for a chance to do so, as soon as Young Lady Meltain left the garden. 

 

“What did you just do? When did I say it is alright for you to step up? How dare you interrupt the conversation recklessly?! Are you under the illusion that you’re a real Duchess just because you’re sitting in that position?!” 

 

She’s very angry. Alice thought as she slightly distanced herself from Madam Quillian who spat out those words. It seemed to have been accumulated from her resentment towards Young Lady Meltain. 

 

Venting out her exasperation, Madam Quillian catches her breath. Alice opened her mouth carefully as she calmed down a little. 

 

“How dare I pretend to be a Duchess in that regard? I just wanted to help Mother, so I said I was going with Young Lady Meltain.” 

 

“Help? Tell me what did you do to keep Young Lady Meltain from going out? Who do you think Young Lady Meltain will meet outside? I am saying that we must not let out what happened to the Duke to the outside world!” 

 

“Then why don’t I join her? If I were to stick with Young Lady Meltain, then how can she talk about the Duke indiscreetly?” 

 

“…”

 

Madam Quillian, who had been huffing, paused. She was tempted by Alice’s words. 

 

“Mother, Young Lady Meltain would think it was really strange if you recklessly prevented her from going out. She could even send Baron Meltain about that peculiar thing… wouldn’t that make Baron Meltain visit the Duke’s house?” 

 

Then… then real rumors will spread in the capital by then. 

 

Madam Quillian was greatly shaken as soon as she added that. Madam Quillian wanted the Duke’s family to appear to have no problem externally, as Edelm wasn’t yet an adult. If rumors start to circulate that there was a problem within the House of Duke Diorat, the blood relatives and vassals of their territories will come and intervene in the issue of succession. 

 

Madam Quillian’s worries were brief. 

 

“… That’s not a bad idea. Can you really keep an eye on Young Lady Meltain to make sure she doesn’t talk nonsense? 

 

“Of course, Mother.”

 

Of course, that’s bulls**t. Alice had no intention of keeping an eye on Young Lady Meltain. She was just trying not to miss this golden opportunity to go to the temple. But Alice’s golden eyes gleamed as if she was only doing it for Madam Quillian’s. With her face full of loyalty, her tail would be wagging if she had one. 

 

“Hmm…. Keep a close watch on her in the future. I won’t leave you alone if strange rumors start to circulate.”

 

“I will keep that in mind.”

 

When Madam Quillian’s permission was finally granted, it made Alice smile. I can go to the temple now! 

 

∘₊──────₊∘

 

“You came early, butler.”

 

Arriving at the Duke’s bedroom excited about Madam Quillian’s permission to go out, Alice greeted the butler. The butler bowed to her when he saw the door close. He then looked up and told her, 

 

“Little Madame, I have cleaned the Duke’s body.”

 

“Huh?”

 

Alice tilted her head. She was originally in charge of Kaillus’ upper body and the butler on his lower body. It was a perfect division of labor, so why suddenly? 

 

The butler replied in a calm voice, “No matter how much I think about it, having the Little Madam serve the Duke… I don’t think that is the right thing for you to do, so I did it all.”

 

“But this is… this is something Mother told me to do.”

 

“You don’t have to worry, Little Madam. I won’t tell the Old Madam that I attended Duke. Of course, to Maris who is also out there. I will finish off all your work from now on, so you can have a rest while you are here.”

 

“You’re saying… that you’ll finish the job and shut your mouth for me?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Well….”

 

Alice looked at the butler. The butler lowered his eyes as if he was only being considerate of her and meant anything else, but Alice didn’t trust him. Because Alice and the butler weren’t on good terms with each other. 

 

It’s not that they don’t like each other outright, but the butler knew that she was Madam Quillian’s person. So in all seriousness, it won’t really bother her to do all this. Isn’t it cool that I am doing all this? Or is it because my hand won’t be able to see Kaillus’ body? Either way, he was probably trying to get her away from Kaillus. 

 

And from Alice’s point of view, there’s no reason for her to reject the butler’s offer. Even though she was used to attending him, it wasn’t very easy for her. She was doing it under Madam Quillian’s orders, but she was going to shut her mouth. 

 

It was just right to rejoice and accept it. But why do I feel like this? Maybe because I grew a little attached to him so I felt bad for being treated as a dangerous person towards Kaillus. 

 

Alice turned to Kaillus who was lying still on the bed. I really can’t give it to you. Please wake up. Alice turned her gaze away from Kaillus. 

 

“I would be grateful for the butler with that. Let’s do that.”

 

“Yes. Then please take a rest. I’ve got some work to do so I will go back now.”

 

The butler nodded and left the bedroom. Alice looked around the room with nothing to do. Maris won’t be suspicious if she went out after a decent amount of time. That’s why the butler told her she can have a rest before going. But she found the large Duke’s bedroom awkward when she was told to rest by the butler. 

 

“Hmm….”

 

After looking around the bedroom for no reason, she slowly approached Kaillus.

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