Author: alyalia Editor: popcorn

After looking around Fabian Street, the three entered a nearby cafe. It was a cafe famous for desserts that were very popular these days.

 

“I think the capital is really nice.”

 

May muttered with a face full of ecstasy. She seemed to like the cafe.

 

“It’s well decorated.”

 

Cersinia also took a look inside the cafe. She has been to many cafes in her past life, but this was her first time visiting a cafe in this world. Besides, because the world is different, the interior was decorated in antique designs that she had never seen before. Antiques that looked expensive at a glance were placed throughout the cafe. Even the silver candlestick placed as a decoration on the table was unusual.

 

‘The things in the Grand Duchy were probably more expensive than this.’

 

When Cersinia thought about it, and concluded that the two were incomparable. 

 

‘I think the price of one decoration in the Grand Duchy could turn my life around.’

 

The statues and decorations that decorated the mansion and garden would make someone poor become rich by selling only one item. Cersinia sipped the black tea while thinking. It was fragrant, but it tasted bitter.

 

“But I don’t think I’ve seen the Grand Duke at the mansion these days.”

 

May, looking around while holding the pretty dessert that looked too good to eat, muttered. She brought it up because she hadn’t seen Ben recently.

 

“I heard that master is staying in another mansion he had bought.”

 

“Why?”

 

May respond to Verne’s reply.

 

“I also don’t know… It was said that Sir Archen always goes there every morning with paperwork.”

 

Cersinia, who had been silently listening, couldn’t understand Ben’s behavior.

 

‘Why did he leave his own large mansion and live in another mansion…?’

 

Maybe he intentionally didn’t want to show his face, so he hid after that day.

 

“Cersinia, what happened to the Grand Duke?”

 

May put down the dessert she was holding and squinting her eyes, sensing something strange.

 

“Pardon?! What did you ask?!”

 

“Why does the Grand Duke leave the Grand Duchy and live in another mansion?”

 

May held her chin in both hands and stared at Cersinia. Verne also quietly looked up at Cersinia. Cersinia felt burdened by their eyes which were expecting something from her. 

 

“I don’t know either.”

 

Cersinia fiddled with the handle of the teacup. It was her who wanted to know the reason more than anyone else. After that day, Ben disappeared like a person that’s trying to avoid her.

 

“Ah, Lady Cersinia doesn’t know it either… I thought the lady would know because you’re his lover.”

 

“What?”

 

Cersinia was surprised by Verne’s words and almost dropped the teacup she was holding.

 

“Yes?!”

 

Verne was slightly frightened by Cersinia’s embarrassment. She seemed to have made a mistake and pondered over what was wrong with her words.

 

“Lady, is there a problem with my words?”

 

“Lover? When did your relationship with the Grand Duke develop like that?!” 

 

May, who was listening, raised her voice with joy.

 

Cersinia frowned at May’s actions and said firmly, 

 

“What are you talking about? Lover? That can’t be true.”

 

“What? Really? I thought the lady was in a relationship with the master. I’m sorry, Lady Cersinia. I shouldn’t have said that…”

 

Verne bowed her head down as if she had sinned.

 

“No, it’s okay. Raise your head, Verne. Who said things like that to you, Verne?”

 

“People… That’s what everyone said, so I thought it was just like that.”

 

Verne slowly raised her head, looked at Cersinia, and blurred out.

 

“Everyone?”

 

“That’s right. Most of the people in the mansion.”

 

Cersinia smacks her own forehead at the big misunderstanding. When she thinks of it, it’s only natural for people in the Grand Duchy to misunderstand. Suddenly, their master brought a woman back to the mansion, so it could be rumored that Cersinia is his lover.

 

‘I never thought about that.’

 

It’s natural that people misunderstand if a grown man and woman lived together.

 

“So that’s why…”

 

Some servants tried to please her too much, and some servants looked down on her, perhaps because of the rumor that she was Ben’s lover. Cersinia struggled with how and where to start her explanation. She couldn’t walk around and tell everyone she met in the mansion that she wasn’t his lover.

 

“Haa…”

 

Cersinia leaned her head against the wall on her right side. The simplest way to clear the rumors is to leave the mansion, but it’s still too early for her to do that. She just got to know Verne, and there were still things she didn’t know.

 

“I’m sorry…”

 

Verne played with her fingers, which she hid under the table. Of course, she didn’t doubt that her master and Cersinia were lovers, but… she felt uncomfortable because she was making a fuss for no reason.

 

“No, don’t apologize. It’s okay.”

 

Shaking her head, Cersinia smiled and said that to Verne.

 

“I’m going to the terrace for a while, so two of you can stay here. If you want something to eat, you can order more.”

 

Cersinia got up from her seat. She went to the terrace on the second floor that she saw before entering the cafe. Even when she couldn’t see it well from outside, she was curious about the well-decorated terrace, and she also wanted to get some fresh air. It would be better too if she left for a while since Verne kept apologizing.

 

“Ah, me too…”

 

“Goodbye.”

 

When Verne tried to stand and follow Cersinia, May grabbed Verne’s arm. Cersinia passed the two and climbed the stairs to the second floor.

 

“I shouldn’t have brought it up and ruined the outing.”

 

Verne, who was ashamed, buried her face in her hands. Obviously, the three of them were excited about going out until she talked about the rumors. The atmosphere, which had been friendly, became cold. Verne was upset that she always seemed to offend Cersinia, who always helped her.

 

“Cersinia is not the type of person who will get angry just because that.”

 

May patted Verne’s back.

 

“I really didn’t know. I just thought the two of them were lovers…”

 

Verne was convinced that the two of them were lovers. That’s why she didn’t hesitate to say that.

 

Verne’s misunderstanding started when Cersinia came to the Grand Duchy. When she told her master that Cersinia didn’t look well, her master ran to Cersinia’s room, putting everything aside. Verne couldn’t forget his master’s expression and behavior at that time. 

 

It hasn’t been a while since Verne worked in the Grand Duchy, so she only has seen her master a few times, but it was the first time she saw the Grand Duke act like that. The appearance of a cold-blooded man who was always blunt and emotionless, running away in shock. For a brief moment, his face was filled with all kinds of worries and fears. It was the face of a person who was thinking about their loved one.  As if to prove her right, her master ran to Cersinia so fast that she couldn’t keep up. So Verne had no doubts that they were lovers.

 

“It’s really going to be okay. Verne, have some of this.”

 

May pushed the plate filled with desserts to Verne. May understood Verne’s feeling, because just like herself Verne liked and followed Cersinia around.

 

“Thank you. May…”

 

Verne reached out her hand helplessly and took the fork from May’s hand. The latter was urging her to eat something sweet as it would make her feel better. Reluctantly, Verne take a bite of the dessert, hoping that she wouldn’t be hate by Cersinia.

 

“Huu…”

 

Cersinia opened the door and entered the terrace on the second floor, feeling the wind and looking around. Several people were already seated there. Everyone was laughing. She wanted to be alone quietly, so when she found a seat in the corner, Cersinia quickly walked there and sat down.

 

As Cersinia leaned her back on the chair in the quiet surroundings, the scent of damp grass and the strong smell of flowers wafted out. The waist-high fence surrounding the large terrace was wrapped in green vines. Red flowers were in full bloom among the vines. It looked familiar, but she didn’t know the flower’s name. Cersinia’s hair gently fluttered in the chilly breeze, the flowers and her hair now in her field of vision.

 

“It looks alike.”

 

The red flowers resembled her hair color. Red hair, the symbol of Cersinia.

 

“Should I leave it alone?”

 

Cersinia thought blankly while looking at the flowers. It was too difficult for her to clear the rumors. However, leaving it alone would be a great nuisance to the person who will become Ben’s lover in the future.

 

‘That’s right. It’s a nuisance to his future lover…’

 

“I’m annoyed.”

 

When suddenly thinking about Ben’s future lover, she felt annoyed. She nervously stomped on the innocent ground.

 

“This is a new product.”

 

“As expected, pink goes well with the lady.”

 

The voices of two women broke through the quiet. Cersinia liked the silence, that’s why she came all the way to the corner, but she could hear their conversation getting closer and closer. Looking around, she noticed that almost all of the seats on the terrace were full. The two women in fine dresses were walking here searching for seats. Cersinia thought that she had enough time alone and moved so she could return to the girls. But she soon froze by the conversation she heard.

 

“I’m flattered. Ah, by the way, the Grand Duke seems to have completely recovered.”

 

“Is that so? But he has been ill for a long time, so we don’t know yet.”

 

The Grand Duke they were talking about was definitely Ben. Because the only Grand Duke in this Empire was the Shorevarce family. But what does it mean that the Grand Duke has been ill for a long time?

 

‘I’ve never heard of him being sick.’

 

For a moment, the wounds on Ben’s back came to her mind. Thinking it had something to do with it, Cersinia pricked her ears to listen to the women’s conversation sitting behind her.

 

“He had been lying in bed since childhood, so it won’t be strange if he collapsed again.”

 

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