I Don’t Want to Be a Lady Chapter 60
Violla raised her gaze at Charter’s flustered voice. Her straight and unshakable black eyes never wavered. It made Charter at a loss as to what to say.
Could it be that my sister… He never thought she would object. She was like a pillar he could lean on in case of an emergency, always standing one step behind and trusting his decisions while supporting him silently. That pillar…. had collapsed.
Violla said to him, who was staring at her eyes blankly in a gloomy mood, “What’s with that shocked face?”
Charter’s brow narrowed due to his sister’s words.
Violla saw his expression and swallowed her laughter inwardly. He’s serious. What an unfortunate situation. She remembered the conversation between Arianne and her maid in the city that morning. Obviously, Arianne said that it was a marriage she had to do.
What should she do with her naive younger brother, who was sincere alone? Obviously, she should be angry with the woman and said this marriage wasn’t right for her brother. However, she wasn’t angry at all. She just felt sorry and sympathetic towards the woman who had to do an unwanted marriage. She thought it wasn’t too late to stop this marriage, as they hadn’t yet been married. That’s why she talked to Charter.
If I say it one more time, I might get kicked out. When she saw her brother looking at her as if she was his enemy, Violla thought about it.
Ten years have passed, but she still felt bitter about getting into an unwanted marriage just because she was a woman. Today was the first time she saw the woman who was going to marry her brother. There was no reason to feel sorry for the woman. After all, that’s what marriage was all about. But she didn’t know why she cared so much about that woman. She could have stepped down, but Viola forced herself to speak one more time.
“An unwanted marriage only hurts each other.”
Charter, who was lost in thought for a moment at Violla’s words, spoke firmly. “It’s a necessary marriage.”
Marriage out of necessity was more realistic. Marriage for love was just an illusion.
Today, Violla felt the taste of tea was especially bitter.
* * *
It was the next morning. Because it was the day before the wedding, there was no shortage of guests. I seemed to be losing my mind while being introduced to his relatives from the outskirts and greeting them individually.
I knew there were many nobles in this empire, but there was no end to introductions. There were too many nobles in this empire for nothing. I didn’t even feel the slightest bit of gratitude for those who came this far to see my wedding.
As a courtesy, the invitation I sent comes like a flock of blood-smelling wolves. Of course, they came here to see Duke Kaien, not me, but I got tired of it anyway.
“Mother, can I leave for a moment?”
“Yes. You must be tired. Take a break.”
As usual, Madam Kaien was a woman who would never ask for a good rest.
“Really! I won’t take the Duchess’s position even if you give it to me! There are so many things to do and people to take care of. Sigh.”
Madam Kaien endured without changing the color of her face while welcoming so many guests. That would be a virtue as a duchess, but I only wanted to avoid it.
I stood in one place for a long time and rubbed my bloodless legs. As my legs relaxed, I headed to the forest behind the duchy. Fall was already in full swing, and fallen leaves were being stepped on every step.
“Now I can breathe a little better. Huh?”
I found a round brown head on the edge of a tree in the distance and took my steps. He was Prince Britana with brown, wavy hair, different from the black hair of the Kaien family. The prince seemed oblivious to the sight of something lying on his lap.
“Prince? What are you looking at?”
He flinched. I felt sorry when the boy’s shoulder flinched, surprised by my sudden voice. From the boy’s eyes, who gently turned his eyes, I could see embarrassment and shame as if he had been caught doing something. I teased him with a mischievous expression.
“What were you looking to be so surprised about? Where? Let’s see together~”
The boy was so surprised that he couldn’t even think of covering it up and was blinking his eyes in a daze.
What is it? A fledgling love letter secretly exchanged without his mom knowing? Or the candy he kept secret from his mom? I thought whatever it was, it would be good to tease him.
“Huh? A sword?”
The thing the boy was looking at was a sword presented by Charter. At my curious gaze, the boy soon blushed and hurriedly covered the lid of the box.
Why is he so embarrassed? I couldn’t understand. Is he already in puberty after being treated precious for a 10-year-old boy?
The prince seemed hesitant to open his mouth. I didn’t intend to listen to him, but I sat next to him because It was too late to avoid my seat. After a while, he went on again.
“I’m worried that I won’t be able to live up to his expectations.”
I looked at his head with dim eyes. What is he trying to say… On the way out to get some fresh air and avoid bothersome people, I now have to listen to someone’s useless life worries. It was coming from a 10-year-old boy.
“I know very well what a sword means to my uncle. He wants me to become a swordsman like him and use this sword.”
Uh? Hmm? Is it like that?
“But I have no talent for swords. I’m learning hard from the knight commander of our kingdom, but it’s rarely improving.”
That… isn’t it because he’s only 10 years old? Duke Kaien also participated in the war with the Britana Kingdom at the age of 15 and started to make a name for himself. I heard that no one knew his talent before that…
“This sword is too good for me. I don’t want to disappoint my uncle…”
The boy ended up in tears.
Sigh. I can’t believe I’ve ever counseled a 10-year-old kid… I let out a low sigh, barely audible, and opened my mouth. “Prince, the Chater I know doesn’t force others to do anything.”
Because he didn’t expect much from the start. I was able to discover the other side of Charter during my weeks living in the duchy.
Charter was polite and indifferent to his family, but he was truly merciless to those outside. Nobles and merchants came to connect with Duke Kaien. And even women wished for his concubine’s position. Several people visited the duchy every day. However, Charter never turned down or wrapped things up roundabout way like an ordinary noble.
“I didn’t call you to hear that you won’t let this happen in the future. Now get out of this business. Next.”
If someone got caught doing something illegal, it would be over for them.
“According to the ledger I obtained, the investment was recovered, but why is it still in deficit? You look down on me. Pay the penalty twice as promised and leave this empire right away. Next.”
If you manipulated the ledger, you’re done for.
He didn’t even look at the women who were aiming for the position of his concubine.
Charter was a cold-blooded man who didn’t lift a strand of eyelashes even if someone begged for one more chance. In particular, I felt sorry for the women who were treated so coldly to the point they ruined their makeup with their tears.
I couldn’t believe it even when I saw him draw in a line with my own eyes, which I didn’t know when I heard rumors if that was true or not. For Charter, forgiveness and reconsideration were something that didn’t exist. It was a relief that I was inside his line. And looking at that box reminded me of a conversation from the past.
“What do you cherish it so much?”
I asked, pointing to the box he was sweeping with his hand as he looked at it fondly.
“This is a gift for my precious person.”
“Precious person? Is it for a woman?”
At my question, Charter smiled in vain and opened the box.
“No. I just wanted to give something I cherish to someone precious to me. The fact that he will carry this sword will always remind me that we’re connected.”
From what he said, I knew it was a gift for someone who was far away… I sighed in relief when I learned that the prince was the owner of the box that Charter used to look at from time to time.
Since he’s his one and only nephew, he must be precious. However, his gift seemed to have come as a burden to his precious nephew. If he gave a gift like this in the first place, why didn’t you explain the meaning of it properly? He would only confuse the boy and be proud of himself. Ugh. Why do I have to deal with the problem he made?
“Prince, he often forgets that he’s not good at talking when what he means could only be known by explaining it in words.”
The boy’s eyes widened at the sudden bad words I said about his uncle.
“That person wouldn’t have thought of burdening the Prince. He just thought that as long as Prince had that sword, he could live with the thought that he is always with you.”
The boy’s eyes were emotional.
“And a boy needs to act like a boy! What are you thinking so much about? You’re a boy, and you can do whatever you want. Just cry and complain about it! Because that’s how he will get scolded for. How attractive is it that you don’t have to be responsible for making trouble?”
The boy’s eyes changed from emotional to confusion, but my words continued.
“Anyway, don’t think too much. You can do that when you become an adult.”
The boy involuntarily nodded at my words.
“Then I will leave you alone. I need to serve another pack of wolves… I mean the guests.”
Arianne said her goodbye with courtesy, turned back, and disappeared. After looking at her back for a while, the boy looked at the box and repeated. “We are always together…” Only then did the boy have a smile on his face.
The unfinished conversation in the past.
“And wouldn’t it be good to protect yourself in case of danger?”
I, who was looking at Charter’s shining eyes, replied without realizing it.
“If you’re going to do that, why don’t you just give them a gun?”
I saw his eyes shaking out of focus, but I pretended not to notice and sneaked out of his study.