Author: alyalia

A few days later.

 

“Lord, this is the document you mentioned.”

 

Joanna handed out the document she had brought. Cersinia put aside the documents and read what Joanna had given her first.

 

“It’s serious.”

 

She stroked her chin with a serious face. When she checked it, the problem was more serious than she expected.

 

“Most people who are not noble are illiterate.”

 

It was just as Joanna said. According to the survey of young people, more than 90% were illiterate. In addition, half of them said they couldn’t even write their own names.

 

On the day she met Poulin, Cersinia ordered Joanna to investigate the illiteracy rate within her territory. Even if you were a commoner, it was strange that a 19-year-old couldn’t even read your own name. But why was the illiteracy rate so severe?

 

“…”

 

She couldn’t take her eyes off the paper. She thought she was faithfully working on her estate every day, but she felt like she had missed something.

 

‘What is it? What the hell is it…?’

 

“Lord, the time has come.”

 

“Ah, it’s already the time.”

 

Lost in her thought, Cersinia came to her senses at Joanna’s words.

 

It was already the appointed time. Today, she decided to go out with Ben, May, and Archen. She felt sorry for them not being able to enjoy the vacation together because she was stuck in the mansion for a week, so she somehow managed to make time for them.

 

“Cersinia! Hurry up!”

 

At that moment, May’s voice resounded in the hallway. She was only 10 seconds late, but May was urging her.

 

In the end, Cersinia left her office with a smile.

 

* * *

 

After eating at a famous restaurant for its delicious food, the four were at Heness Shopping Center.

 

“As expected, it was good to wear a hood.”

 

Cersinia smoothed over her head before entering the shopping street. Earlier, she regretted going into the restaurant without much thought. Because the owner of the restaurant recognized her.

 

Cersinia unintentionally became a celebrity when she was given a title after putting out the fire. It became a talk that a woman with red hair and crimson eyes saved the world. From then on, the restaurant owner treated Cersinia like a VIP, no, like an emperor.

 

The hospitality was basic, but whenever a course dish was served, the owner came to her table and asked if the taste suited her mouth or if she felt any discomfort, which made her have no time to talk with Ben. In addition, the owner was so polite and cautious that it made her feel uncomfortable and suffocated, as if the food she had just swallowed was stuck in her throat.

 

Still, the best part was when the dessert came out. There was a tiny bit of dust on her dessert spoon that was placed in front of her.

 

“Bring the new spoon immediately. Right now!”

 

The owner shouted like fire and told the employee to clean it up. He felt terribly sorry for her and bowed down. His face was pale, as if he had been severely scolded for something like this in the past.

 

Eventually, after four spoon changes, Cersinia was able to scoop out the pudding.

 

‘It’s clear even though I have never seen it. Duke Kailos. It’s probably because of him. He must have treated the people with that attitude.’

 

Cersinia clicked her tongue inside and pressed her head deeper so the hood wouldn’t come off.

 

As soon as she left the restaurant, she decided she couldn’t get around like this, so she put on the black hood as a temporary measure to cover her hair. That way, people would recognize her less. As she always thought, her red hair stood out too much.

 

“But, the Grand Duke, would it be okay if he didn’t use it?”

 

May, who was ahead, turned around and asked.

 

“Huh? What?”

 

Cersinia, who was so nervous that she might be getting recognized, didn’t understand May’s question.

 

It was the same with Ben.

 

“I don’t think it will be resolved just because the Countess wears it… N-Never mind. It’s nothing.”

 

After reading her expression that she didn’t understand what she meant, May finally shook her head. She often feels it, but the two who were involved in that were too unaware. How big a ripple their appearance was.

 

“Then, shall we go in?”

 

May went into the shopping street with an uneasy heart, thinking it might be better since one person was at least covered.

 

Heness shopping street was Glory’s must-come destination. There are many jewelry stores with various price ranges from high to low, so it was fun to browse.

 

“May, look at this. It’s a hairpin made of opal. You know this place is famous for its opal, right?” said Cersinia, who discovered an opal worth quite a bit at a jewelry store.

 

The subtle opal, which emitted different colors depending on the viewing direction, was well crafted and maintained its lights well.

 

“It’s pretty.”

 

“Right? Do you want me to buy it for you?”

 

Cersinia flashed her eyes when May reacted.

 

The hairpin, which was a little shorter than her finger, was decorated only with opals. It gave a monotonous feeling. However, it was perfect for giving highlights to hair because it shined brightly in the sunlight. 

 

“Cersi, I also have money… I think you’re buying me a lot of things these days.”

 

Cersi was the nickname of Cersinia, agreed in advance in case the merchants would recognize her name.

 

“This is why I work. For this reason.”

 

Cersinia proudly responded to May’s nagging. Now her pockets were so thick that they were about to burst. 

 

‘I’m working hard, but I have to spend money to enjoy it…’

 

It was a bit of a reward for her mentally. A luxury given to one who was suffering. Also, she felt sorry for May because they were on vacation, but all she had been doing was working.

 

“I’m fine.”

 

May refused, saying she was fine. However, it rather aroused the fighting spirit of Cersinia. Cersinia said she would choose something more pretty that May couldn’t refuse even if it would be more expensive.

 

Cersinia looked around the shopping street and entered the jewelry shop that looked the most expensive and luxurious. Of course, Ben followed her in. Before following her, he gave a wink to Archen.

 

“Sir Archen.”

 

Seeing it, May called Archen before he followed them.

 

“Yes, go ahead.”

 

“There’s a walkway across the street, so come with me.”

 

“You mean now?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“I can’t do that.”

 

Archen refused at once. Leaving during his shift was impossible.

 

“So you’re going to follow the Grand Duke again?”

 

“Of course, it is my duty to assist him.”

 

“Are you serious?”

 

May looked up at Archen with an absurd and ridiculous face. Clearly, this person didn’t understand the look and meaning of the Grand Duke’s eyes.

 

“Of course.”

 

Archen replied with a blank look. It was so natural, and it seems like it should be.

 

“No, I mean, what would you do in the current situation? Are you going to keep interrupting their date?”

 

With frustration, May ended her words and sighed heavily. Inside, she thought the Grand Duke was having a hard time because of his ignorant subordinates.

 

“Oh…”

 

“Isn’t that obvious? It’s been a while since they went out, so you have to make them just go by themselves. The Grand Duke wanted it too. Did you not feel it?”

 

May gave the final blow to Archen, who had just noticed something.

 

“…that’s why he kept looking at me.”

 

Now, Archen seemed to understand everything, so he shook his head. No wonder his master looked at him often today. His master wanted to be alone with Lady Cersinia, and that’s why his master wanted him to leave his position. He didn’t understand that and almost followed them without noticing it.

 

“Come on, it’s on the other side. Let’s go.”

 

“Yes.”

 

Archen finally followed May without a word. Meanwhile, Cersinia, who was looking for the jewelry with hawk’s eyes in the store, raised her finger.

 

“May! How about this? This suits you perfectly… May?”

 

She found a very good gem, but May was not around.

 

“Ben. Where is May?”

 

“She went with Archen to see something else.”

 

Ben looked at the two people who didn’t come into the store and spouted his prepared words without changing his expression. Finally, Archen noticed and left his position.

 

“Really? Where did they go?”

 

“Why don’t you give May the bracelet you just picked as a surprise gift?”

 

Cersinia looked for them, but Ben skillfully made her turn her gaze away. It was as natural as flowing water whether he had done it not once or twice.

 

“Yes, that’s better. Please wrap this up.”

 

Cersinia turned her head again and said it to the owner.

 

May would refuse it if she said she would buy it for her, so she bought it first and gave it to May later as a gift. After paying for the beautifully wrapped bracelet, the two left the jewelry store.

 

“Ben, I heard there’s a famous dessert shop at the end. Do you want to go?”

 

“Of course.”

 

Ben, who carefully clasped their hands, drew a pleasant smile at that suggestion. The two walked hand in hand through a lively shopping street. It’s been a long time since they went out with just the two of them.

 

“Shall we buy enough? It would be nice to share it with the people in the mansion.”

 

“That’s good.”

 

“So, where did you send Archen and May?”

 

“Perhaps in a different direction as not to run into us…”

 

Ben, who answered the conversation naturally, stopped talking for a moment.

 

‘How…’

 

When he turned his head in surprise, Cersinia, who noticed everything, was smiling brightly. 

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