Author: alyalia

It was not long after that that Layla visited Arianne. As soon as Layla heard that Arianne was in the greenhouse, she came running at once. She then talked to the point.

 

“Give me Bein.”

 

Arianne asked back in amazement, “What do you want?”

 

Layla said frustratedly, “Bein, that man who is your aide!”

 

“Lady Layla, I don’t know what you are talking about. You want me to hand over my aide without even greeting me first?” said Arianne with a stiff face.

 

“I will give you as much money as you want. Hand him over to me.”

 

Layla had just learned that the man named Bein was Arianne’s aide. She wondered why he became this woman’s aide, but she thought it was rather good. With that way, she could pay Arianne to buy him.

 

Often, nobles thought it was a simple matter, since there were also cases where they traded with other nobles’ concubines or servants. Layla was determined to get Bein by all means. Even if she had to bow to Arianne, whom she didn’t even want to see. That’s how much she wanted him.

 

I looked at Layla with a strange expression. She’s more pathetic than I thought. Should I say the image of buying and selling people really matches her? Of course I own Piere, but it’s definitely different because it was based on a mutually legitimate contract. From Layla’s behavior, things seemed to work out more easily.

 

“Million Gold.”

 

“I beg your pardon?” Layla asked back.

 

“Bein’s ransom. It’s a million gold.”

 

In response to my answer, Layla said as if she was angry. “A mere commoner ransom a million gold? If you don’t want to sell him, just say you don’t want to sell him!”

 

“I don’t want to sell him.”

 

“Oh my god!”

 

Arianne’s determined attitude made Layla fret over her. Layla, who was stamping her feet, suggested again. “Don’t do that. Offer a reasonable price. I’m not kidding.”

 

“I’m not kidding either. I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that, so please stop and go back.”

 

Arianne’s continued refusal made Layla feel like she was going crazy. Why is she defending a commoner that much? Of course, he’s a very handsome man. Yes, handsome…. No way?

 

Layla’s doubt soon turned to certainty. She sneered at Arianne and said, “You seem to have him as your concubine, right?”

 

At Layla’s words, I felt as if she had poured cold water on my head. Concubine? I’m treating him like that? Such craziness.

 

It was me who risked my life to mee Duke Kaien and even did a contract marriage because I didn’t want to become someone’s concubine. The word concubine itself didn’t make me shudder, but it was because she said that my aide was used as concubine. That rotten fish eyeball? What do you think of me?

 

“I don’t know what on earth is in your head that makes you think such nonsense,” said me, staring at Layla with cold eyes.

 

Layla misunderstood that Arianne’s attitude was due to being hit by the nail on the head. Her brain rolled quickly. This is my chance!

 

What if the soon-to-be-Duchess was rumored as a promiscuous woman who had a concubine? Perhaps Madam Kaien would cancel the wedding that will be held three days later.

 

Layla thought so. As a result of seeing the attitude of Charter and Madam Kaien, even if she made them call off the engagement, she was unlikely to get the position of duchess. If so, she had to get Bein as the next best option.

 

“Looking at your face, I guess I’m right. So, let’s make a deal. Hand over Bein to me. Then I won’t let anyone know he’s your concubine.”

 

It was as if she was in control of this situation. Arianne asked her as if she wanted to hear it. “What are you going to do with him?”

 

Layla blushed at the thought of Bein. She couldn’t calm down at the thought of being able to make Bein her soon.

 

“That’s none of your business.”

 

Arianne looked at Laila and said, “Well, judging by the look on your face now, you will take my aide you calm to be my concubine and make him to be your concubine. I think it’s like this.”

 

“What are you going to do if I say so? If you want to become a duchess, you’ll have to politely hand him over to me,” Layla spoke in a low-pitched voice as if it were her last warning.

 

It was then.

 

“What do you mean by that!”

 

Layla froze at Madam Kaien’s angry voice behind her. She wondered how long Madam Kaien had been listening to it. Seeing her widened eyes, it seemed too early to move on quietly. Layla quickly rolled her head and ran to Madam Kaien to confess Arianne’s sins.

 

“Over there, the man Baroness Devit made as her aide is actually her concubine!”

 

Madam Kaein asked, looking at Arianne with her cold, sunken eyes, “What are you talking about? Explain yourself.”

 

“What kind of explanation is needed? I’m sure of it!”

 

Madam Kaien said, glaring at Layla, who was chattering next to her, “I didn’t ask you.”

 

Layla pouted and stepped back. But now that Madam Kaien heard this story, the corners of her mouth went up automatically when she thought the marriage between the woman and Charter would be over.

 

Madam Kaien was waiting for Arianne’s answer without even looking at Layla.

 

Arianne stood up from her seat and greeted her politely. “I don’t know what she means. She suddenly came to me and said she would buy my aide and use him as her concubine. What kind of immoral language is that…” spoke Arianne with an embarrassed expression on her innocent face.

 

Layla exploded when she saw Arianne being like that. How dare she try to bewitch Madam Kaien with such an innocent face, even though you had been putting on a disdainful face as if you were annoyed just a moment ago!

 

“Don’t believe that. She’s trying to trick Mother with her innocent face!”

 

“Who’s your mother?”

 

“Yes?”

 

Layla turned her head and looked at Madam Kaien. However, Madam Kaien’s eyes looking at her were so cold. “No… I…”

 

“Did you really say that you would buy Arianne’s aide?”

 

“That’s…”

 

“Are you going to buy people with money? Huh, so, what were you going to do with that aide?”

 

“No, that…” Layla had nothing to say.

 

Madam Kaien had been watching this situation from the beginning. She was just about to drop by because of Arianne’s request to have a cup of tea in the greenhouse before the hydrangeas withered. She saw Layla enter the greenhouse before her and was quietly listening to their conversation and this happened.

 

As she knew, the man named Bein was an ordinary but sincere man living with two orphans without blood ties. And she already confirmed that there was no romantic relationship between him and Arianne. Even if Madam Kaien looked generous, she wasn’t kind enough to let the future duchess without conducting a background check on the man who appeared out of nowhere.

 

But now, Layla was making ridiculous unreasonable demands and making a fuss about having that man. To make him as her concubine. It was beyond astonishment. Madam Kaien lifted her head and closed her eyes in a miserable mood. Do I have to let her go like this?

 

Madam Kaien opened her closed eyes and looked at Layla, a child who looked just like her beloved friend. Was it because of the situation that had hurt her in the end? Her eyes hurt so much when she saw Layla, who almost burst into tears.

 

“Pack your things right now and go back to your home.”

 

“Madam!”

 

Laila clung with a shrill sound. I can’t end up like this. Why do I have to suffer like this from that bitch again?

 

“Madam! Please, please trust me. I’m not like that. That woman did it. She’s an immoral woman who lived with a concubine even before her marriage!”

 

Layla had to stay here somehow. She didn’t want to go back to her countryside estate and just live as a wife of a bumpkin baron like that. She thought she would be a duchess sooner or later, but where did it go wrong?

 

“The Duchess’s seat was originally mine. But why should I lose my seat to such a woman?” said Layla while crying.

 

The look in the eyes of Madam Kaien as she looked at Layla changed. “Who said you would be the Duchess?”

 

“My father said so. He’s sure you brought me in to make me a Duchess. He said that I have to behave well accordingly.”

 

Madam Kaien was dumbfounded. On what basis did this father and daughter come to such a conclusion? Because she’s close with her mother? How can they only think of the Duchess of the Empire as their own way, even though the position of the Duchess of the Empire wasn’t determined by such personal feelings? She felt frustrated, uncomfortable, and sorry for her close friend, who had lived with such a self-centered and unreasonable husband and daughter all her life.

 

Her relationship with Layla ended here. She was determined to punish them so that they would never again bother her with such wild dreams and so that they wouldn’t torment her weak-minded friend. Layla and her father would never be able to set foot in the capital again.

 

“Now pack your things and leave. I will write a separate letter to your mother.” Madam Kaien turned away as if she didn’t have any intention of listening to Layla anymore.

 

“N… no. This is not it.”

 

Layla was staring at the spot where Madam Kaien had disappeared with a bewildered face.

 

“Tsk. If you don’t have the ability, at least you need to have a kind heart. And what’s the point of complaining like that? There is no answer to the question of why your brain is so rotten,” said me.

 

“What? What did you just say!” Lyla lit her eyes and said as if she was about to attack me.

 

“Take a step forward if you want to know which is faster between my gun or your leg.”

 

Layla couldn’t move a step. Because she knew I meant my words.

 

“Thanks to a fool with nothing but instinct, things were easily resolved. I should give a prize to my aide.”

 

I left the greenhouse, leaving behind Layla, who was shaking and gritting her teeth.

 

“Really, it’s a perfect day to send someone off.”

 

My silver hair, reflected in the warm sunlight, glistened exceptionally.

 

That evening, there was a humble procession of Layla’s return home, where no one saw her off. Originally, she was scheduled to leave the next morning, but it was rumored that Charter, who heard that Layla had spoken to Arianne about concubine, made a fuss to kick her out immediately.

 

During Layla’s short period of stay at Duchy, she only brought her belongings as many as five carriages. It was obvious the reason she only brought that much was because she and her father thought that she would become a duchess.  

 

And the next day, the Duchy was bustling from the morning. It was because it was the day when Prince Paku decided to return.

 

A large force was preparing to move in the capital as Charter had planned. The citizens of the capital were cheering and watching the parade like a festival, unaware of the movement of troops for war.

 

“You must have recovered to the point of riding a horse.”

 

“Yes, thanks for your concern.”

 

“I wasn’t particularly worried.”

 

“Is that so?”

 

Paku smiled as if he was in a good mood despite Arianne’s sour answer. It was the first and last day he saw her since he ran into her in the greenhouse that day. She was so beautiful and honest until the last moment.

 

Honestly, Paku thought that he had been cursed with a serious curse which made him seriously troubled even if she said empty words or something nice to hear for him. He liked her that much. Really, my taste is very peculiar.

 

The imperial family prepared a luxury carriage in front of the main gate of the Duchy. After moving to the border with this carriage, he was going to change to ride a horse and return to the Kelteman Empire.

 

“Then I’ll be on my way. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. Next time we meet… No, it’s nothing,” said Paku with regret.

 

“It will be uncomfortable if we run into each other. My gun will be pointed at you,” Arianne answered in a sour tone.

 

“Is that so? I hope that gun won’t be pointed at me. Then, goodbye.”

 

“Go safely.”

 

After getting into the carriage, Paku climbed into the carriage and stared at her moving away from the window. On the other hand, as if Arianne didn’t need to see him anymore, she quickly turned around and disappeared.  

 

“Baroness Arianne Devit.”

 

Paku called her name. He already felt sentimental. And he took something out of his arms and smiled softly. On his hand was a flying lace handkerchief woven from a fine thread that didn’t match him.

 

“I should never see you again, but…”

 

His words were soon buried by the sound of horse hooves. 

 

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