Author: alyalia

War is right around the corner, so why are they doing something stupid like this? I had to endure it. But the words that came out of my mouth had more ripple effects than I thought.

 

“What? We’re having fun? Who says it! Who dares to make that noise?”

 

“Who is it? Come out quickly!”

 

“Where are you? How dare you make fun of your mouth? Which house are you coming from?”

 

The men made a fuss, looking for the source of the sound.

 

“If you ask from which house I’m from, it’s only natural to answer. I’m Arianne from the Bornes family. And I’m the Baroness Devit,” I said as I bravely made my way through the crowd and stood in front of the man who was the center of the protestors.

 

“Bornes?”

 

“Then… the woman who received the title?”

 

“Right! That’s right! The Bornes family had silver hair. That’s right. She’s that woman!” A man pointed the finger at me and shouted.

 

“Yes, that’s me. So put that finger away now, won’t you?”

 

The street quickly became a mess. And the man who led the crowd, Piere, was taken aback. They were holding the same protest at the same time as yesterday. But today was different from yesterday.

 

A silver-haired beauty appeared in front of him. The woman looked at him as if he was a very insignificant bug. He didn’t know why he felt like she was looking down on him when he was obviously taller than her.

 

Piere was flustered for a while. The moment the word came out from her mouth that she was Baroness Devit, Piere’s heart burst out with resentment.  “You don’t deserve a title!”

 

Arianne then asked, “Why?”

 

Piere was even more upset by her attitude. Is she asking why now? Is she really asking because she doesn’t know? Or is she mocking me? A thousand thoughts passed his mind.

 

He snarled low, gritting his teeth. “You are a woman.”

 

Arianne said with a face that said what’s wrong with that, “Why?”

 

“Are you asking because you don’t know that now?” Piere was sure that woman was playing with him.

 

“Yes. I’m asking because I really don’t know. Why can’t women do that?”

 

“That, first of all, women don’t know about politics, and…”

 

“And?”

 

“Secondly, because they are distracted by luxury…”

 

I said, lowering my eyebrows in disappointment, “Is that all?”

 

“Is that all! How can a woman who doesn’t even know the meaning of ‘politic’ in politics accepts a title? Moreover, suppose women who are distracted by luxury do politics. In that case, self-interest blinded them and will ruin the empire!”

 

Hearing the man’s protest, my lips rose up strangely. Do humans who don’t even know the meaning of ‘war’ know the meaning of ‘politics’? It was time to give a blow to the people who have united with this stubbornness.

 

“First, has the empire in history ever entrusted politics to women? Why can’t women do politics? Are there any rules stating about it?”

 

“That’s! It’s not an obvious problem.”

 

“It’s narrow-minded of you to conclude something that hasn’t happened.”

 

“What are you saying!”

 

“And second, women are blinded by luxury and self-interest?” I spread my fan and covered smile, then continued. “Why? Do men have no self-interest? Don’t men have greed? Do men always work for the greater result rather than their own desires? Do you really think so? Huh?”

 

“That’s… Yes! Men know how to give up their desires for the greater result.”

 

“Do you think Count Bornes is like that too?”

 

Count Bornes was a hotbed of corruption. He was an example of a greedy human being. He won’t hesitate to use his position to satisfy his own self-interest.

 

“That person—”

 

I interrupted Piere. “Looking around, most of you seem to be commoners. Does everyone really think so? Male nobles are being fair and know how to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the empire and the greater result?”

 

“…”

 

“Why can’t you answer? Why don’t you say something when you have a mouth?”

 

The man standing next to Piere carefully opened his mouth. “But isn’t it true that women indulge in luxury?”

 

I lowered the fan that was covering my mouth and turned to him, then said, “Why can’t we do it when all we have is luxury?”

 

“What kind of ridiculous excuse is that?” shouted Piere.

 

“Why is it ridiculous? All we can do all day is put on makeup, dress up, and choose a dress while waiting for our husbands. That’s why we buy cosmetics, jewelry, and dresses.”

 

“That’s the problem. Why do you need jewelry and dresses to wait for your husband?”

 

“Because they told us to look pretty and wait for them. Won’t they bring a concubine soon if we don’t decorate ourselves?”

 

“That’s…”

 

Piere couldn’t refute Arianne’s words. Because when their own wife was exhausted with childcare and housework, men quickly searched for a concubine. Even they blamed the fault on their unadorned wife.

 

“You know that too, right? I want to do something more valuable than putting on makeup and dressing up for men.”

 

Piere felt that Arianne was right, but he could never admit it. Still, the works were divided into women’s work and men’s work.

 

“As a wife, isn’t it a woman’s duty to help their husband concentrate on outside work?”

 

Arianne said with a fed-up face, “Yes. Men use the absurd shackles of women’s duties, confining women to their liking. Don’t you think they’re being too cheap?”

 

“Why are they shackled when their duties are to give birth, raise their child, and help their husband?”

 

“If a woman has a child, can’t men raise their child?”

 

“Huh! You’re talking nonsense. How can men raise a child!”

 

“Why do you say men can’t do what weak, protective women can do?”

 

“Each person has a job that suits them.”

 

“You have a child, don’t you? Have you ever washed, fed, or played with your child?”

 

“I can’t do that.”

 

“No. It’s not that you can’t, but you don’t want to.”

 

“It’s not like that…”

 

Piere was embarrassed when he kept getting pushed back in the argument. That woman was more eloquent than he thought. However, he shouldn’t have been pushed back like this. Many people were watching him, but if he got pushed back like this, they would ridicule him.

 

“And how you got the title is also a problem.”

 

“What’s the problem?”

 

Is she asking because she doesn’t know? Clearly, there was no way that woman would win the hunting competition. Perhaps Duke Kaien did something behind the scenes.

 

“There is no way you can win. I even wonder if you ever held a gun. I don’t know what Duke Kaien did, but we can’t admit it.”

 

Piere deliberately used the word ‘we,’ and pressured the woman by revealing the presence of the protestors who filled the street. He wanted to gain strength with the group on his back. However, Arianne wasn’t an easy opponent. And Piere touched something he wasn’t supposed to touch.

 

I felt my head go cold at the man’s words. The insults and glances directed at me were tolerable. Because I have confidence that I could pay them back double. However, I couldn’t tolerate them insulting Charter.

 

“Are you insulting Duke Kaien now?”

 

For a moment, Piere felt overwhelmed by Arianne’s momentum. However, perhaps because of the fact he was overwhelmed by a woman made him more irritable.

 

“I’m telling you the truth! Otherwise, how could you have won the competition!”

 

“The word that it’s the truth. Can you guarantee that?” My voice, which sank low, contained anger as if my reasoning would be cut off at any moment.

 

“Huh! You talk as if it wasn’t true. So you’re saying you really hunted them?”

 

I stared at Piere. How should I take care of that guy so that I can feel refreshed? It would be neither fun nor good to kill him on the spot. I, who was pondering what to do with that man, came up with a good idea just in time.

 

“Shall we make a bet?”

 

Piere frowned at the sudden talk of betting. “Are you kidding me right now? Why are you bringing a bet all of a sudden!”

 

“Now you guys are doubting my ability. So how about making a bet to see my ability?”

 

Piere glared his eyes at Arianne as if to find out what she was up to. I’m sure she’s up to something… However, there were too many eyes to turn down her bet. He reluctantly accepted the bet.

 

“Alright.”

 

I got you. Hiding my happy expression as much as possible, I talk calmly. “What would be good to prove my hunting skills? How about shooting?”

 

“Hmm! Okay, fine. You’re the one who suggested the bet first. Don’t twist your words later. What would you bet then?”

 

I raised the corners of my mouth. “I’ll put my title on it.”

 

“!” Piere was stunned by the unexpected remark.

 

“Then what are you going to bet? It would be right to bet something on the same level as my title. From your look, it doesn’t seem you have any titles.”

 

Piere shouted at Arianne’s ridicule. “I will bet my entire fortune!”

 

Ariane was dumbfounded. “How much fortune do you have? Do you think my title is equivalent to your fortune?”

 

“What do you mean! I already said I will give you everything I have!”

 

“Not everything. Your life. Don’t you think you should bet that much?”

 

“That… that’s…”

 

Is she crazy? Why would I risk my life here? Piere didn’t readily accept it, so he shook Arianne’s hand.

 

“How dare you accept a bet when you don’t have that much courage? Let’s pretend it never happened. It was a waste of time.”

 

As Arianne turned around, people surrounding Piere began to pressure him with their eyes.

 

“Come on, say yes! Accept it!”

 

“You have pride as a man! Hurry up and accept it!”

 

Piere was going crazy. They’re like that because it wasn’t their own life. He was upset, but he couldn’t help it. There was a belated regret that he had instigated people to do this, but there was already no turning back. If he stepped down here, he would be branded as a man who ran away from being pressured by a woman.

 

“Alright.”

 

The corners of my mouth went up. I turned back again, looked at Piere, and said, “When do you want to do it?”

 

Piere said timidly, “Tomorrow. Let’s do it at the Royal Shooting Range. It’s a place where the result can’t be influenced.”

 

You’re stupid. You should have come up with a way to win. Of course, even so, I will win. It was safe to say that my shooting skills could be regarded as the best marksman in the empire. Didn’t I even defeat Sir Colt, who was said to be the best marksman in the empire?

 

While others hunted for fun, I shot to soothe my loneliness and suffering. For me, guns were like my most dependable friends I could rely on and would never betray.

 

“Great. Then see you at 10 o’clock tomorrow. I’ll leave now.”

 

I walked out from the protesters with leisurely steps. They were so preoccupied with our argument that, at some point, they lost their purpose and only became spectators. None of them caught or stopped me.

 

Ben, who was following me, asked anxiously. “Baroness, is it going to be okay?”

 

I then said, “I don’t fight for losing.”

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