Author: Tam Editor: Briggy

The people looked at Ilbert and the woman alternately with pounding hearts. Only the woman’s mouth was shown through the hat covering most of her face, and everyone saw that she was smiling! They didn’t miss it! She was laughing so hard! What the hell is that great boldness? Perhaps she had a card up her sleeve? There is such a thing, maybe she had a hidden power! Everyone looked at the woman in surprise.

 

“What, are you laughing?” Because of this, Ilbert grabbed the woman by the collar and lifted her as the anger in him rose, “What the f*ck is this thing—!” He raised his hand once more, looking as if he was about to slap her in the face. Just before his hand reached her face, however, the woman turned her head and Ilbert’s hand grazed the woman’s cheek narrowly, slapping her hat off.

 

As the hat fell to the ground, glittering silver hair flowed down alongside it.

 

“I-It can’t be.”

 

“N-no way—!”

 

People knew of that coveted silver hair. It only belonged to Ophelia Ryzen, the Duchess of Ryzen, the owner of the estate! But wasn’t Ophelia Ryzen the greatest evil to ever exist? The demon who beats people as naturally as she breathes in air! Such a bad woman did something so heroic? People found it hard to believe. However, that amazing look! If not Ophelia Ryzen, then who else would have such a face? Not to mention the arrogant smile that spread on her face!

 

“I-It’s the duchess!” Someone spoke up, causing the murmur of the crowd to get louder. 

 

“H-huh!” Ilbert froze in place. As soon as her hat fell, he had an ominous feeling as if it was the end for him. Although he has never met Ophelia, he often saw her from afar, so he was familiar with her face. He knew in his head that he had to let go of the hand that grabbed her by the collar, but for some reason, he was just stuck in place.

 

‘What have I done now? It wasn’t enough to grab the Duchess by the collar, I even hit her—’

 

He sobered up and somehow managed to keep his trembling hands down. Ophelia stared at Ilbert, her green eyes flashing with an expression cold and unreadable.

 

Ilbert started to hiccup. ‘Oh, heavens. Please save me. I’ll stop drinking, and I won’t hit people anymore!’ Ilbert wiped away tears, praying to a god that didn’t exist.

 

“Hmm,” Ophelia let out a low voice. Her fierce gaze roaming around his face. Then it slowly averted towards Theo, who was standing dumbfounded after learning of Ophelia’s identity. “You go ahead and get treated.”

 

“Y-yes?”

 

“You’re bleeding a lot. Hurry.” Theo’s eyes looked back and forth until ultimately deciding to listen to her. He limped away, causing Ophelia’s frown to deepen. The future Swordmaster got hurt because of this guy, Ilbert!  Ophelia turned her head and glared at Ilbert. “And you,” Ilbert quickly raised his shoulders, afraid of the hands that might strike him. He’d be beaten to dust on a rainy day was what he thought, about to cry at the fact that he would be punished in front of commoners.

 

“Kneel.” She didn’t hit him. “Hurry.” And she didn’t curse! What was this? 

 

Ilbert knelt down on his knees and Ophelia left him behind, opting to talk to the people surrounding them, “Please call the guards, we have to send this b*stard away.”

 

“Ah, yes! I understand!” The person who was pointed out by Ophelia rushed to call the guards. She looked down at Ilbert with her arms crossed.

 

‘If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have been exposed.’

 

Well, Sylvester will deal with him. Ophelia determinedly looked down on the man before her.

 

“—Aren’t you going to hit me?”

 

“Didn’t I already hit you?”

 

“Was that enough?!”

 

“Well, do you like being hit? I can hit you more.”

 

“No! 

 

‘Who’s going to slaughter you?’

 

“Today, I will punish you greatly for defaming your family’s name.”

 

“Yes! Thank you!”

 

‘What are you thankful for?’

 

In the past, Ophelia had turned upside down a person who did not greet her because they did not recognize her and hung them on the gate. Also, in the past, there was a time when someone’s family was destroyed by accident because he accidentally bumped into her while she was in disguise. However, Ophelia did not know of this at all and therefore didn’t understand Ilbert’s infinite appreciation.

 

“Thank you so much! Thank you!”

 

‘What is this… Does he like being punished—?’

 

******

 

I roughly passed Ilbert to the guards and told them to take him to the capital’s guards so that he would get a reasonable punishment. It didn’t matter anyway, the real problem was how people looked at me with sparkling eyes.

 

They saw. They saw me. 

 

“Everyone, listen up,” I clapped my hands and caught their attention, “What happened today should be kept quiet.”

 

Upon hearing that, everyone expressed their surprise.

 

“But Madam, you just saved a person!”

 

“Yes! You took a risk to save Theo!”

 

“If it wasn’t for Madam, Theo would have been dead!”

 

“Stop, stop,” I calmed them down, “It’s still a no. Nobody can know what happened today.” Frankly speaking, I would have liked for the rumors of my neighborhood visit to spread, which would show my good deeds, but I had the Crown Prince’s prohibition. I’d be in big trouble if I got caught violating his direct orders. That’s why I had to hide it no matter what. “If anyone spreads the events of today…” I pretended to cut my neck with my hands and people stepped back, swallowing their breath. 

 

Everyone nodded.

 

“I-I understand!”

 

“Ssh, ssh!”

 

“Good,” I said to the people around me, singing joy inside, “Will you please tell Theo again not to forget tomorrow’s appointment?”

 

“Yes! I’ll be responsible for the delivery of the message!”

 

“Okay,” The situation seemed to have settled down. “I hope the child is safe,” I mumbled with a sigh. ‘Swordmaster of the future, please don’t get hurt,’ was what I meant.

 

“Oh, Madam…”

 

“You worry about people like us.”

 

“Madam!”

 

They looked at me strangely despite my ulterior motives. I felt unfair and wanted to shout.

 

******

 

I returned to the castle exhausted. I wanted to go into my room right away and rest, but as soon as I entered, someone welcomed me—Sylvester. “A round of applause for Ophelia Ryzen, who was caught by the crowd as soon as she left!”

 

Clap, clap, clap clap!

 

The servants looked at each other with nervous smiles, only Sylvester was clapping excitedly. This was a ridiculous situation. “Are you copying me?”

 

“That’s right,” Sylvester rolled his eyes, “It’s amazing and a bit annoying. How can you get caught in just one day?”

 

“You think I wanted to get caught?” I asked back. Sylvester shrugged his shoulders.

 

“I heard you saved a boy?” He must have heard the story from the guard.

 

I nodded, “It appears so.”

 

“Why?” Sylvester asked as if he was really curious.

 

I replied, narrowing my eyes, “Why, you ask? The child I saved today is the one I told you about. The one with incredible potential to become a great swordsman.”

 

Sylvester pulled back and let out a low snort, “So you didn’t do it out of good faith, did you?”

 

“I don’t risk my life in good faith.” My life is too precious, I shook my head with my arms wrapped around my body.

 

The corners of Sylvester’s lips raised, “If it had been done in good faith, I would have been greatly disappointed in you.”

 

“What?”

 

“As expected, you…”

 

“Huh?”

 

“You’re my wife.”

 

He always said that. It made me want to dissect the inside of his head more.

 

******

 

I washed my body clean after rolling in a dust pit all day. When I came out of the bathroom, I found a letter on my desk. ‘Who is this?’ I looked at the sender.

 

“Callian?”

 

My mouth went dry and I slowly opened the letter. The content was simple.

 

[Do you think I’m a f*cking joke?]

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