Author: Byuon

On the way to the office following Helios, we ran into Escal.

Escal, who was heading to the room with the book he was reading, stopped walking.

“Escal, have you read all the books?”

“Yes. I’ve read it all. I’m going to go do my homework now.”

“Then follow me for a moment.”

Helios beckoned bluntly.

Escal rolled his eyes, not knowing what to do.

I smiled lightly and held out his hand.

Escal’s expression, crouching and holding my hand, was released just then.

“I have a present for Escal.”

“A present?”

“Yes. Escal will love it. You can look forward to it.”

Seeing the child’s face full of anticipation, I entered the drawing room with a happy heart.

The box on the table was closed as before.

It seemed that Merlin was clearing out the boxes as he removed the teacups.

As if intuition that the box was his gift, strength entered Escal’s fingertips as he grabbed my hand.

“Come on, open it.”

As soon as my words fell, Escal rushed to the box.

The box was so large that it seemed difficult to open the lid, but Escal succeeded in opening the box alone without asking for help.

“Wow…”

The child’s eyes widened when he saw the neatly placed sword.

Helios picked up the smallest sword and handed it directly to Escal.

“Grab it.”

“Uh, yes.”

Escal, who was handed the sword with a wriggling hand, carefully drew it. The blade is not sharp so as he won’t get hurt, but it was still a sword, so there was a sense of intimidation.

The child held the sword in both hands and looked at it for a long time. His sparkling eyes filled with joy as if he had put stars in them.

Escal, who was looking around the sword, took a posture and swung the sword.

The rustling sound of the wind was quite plausible.

The child did not even notice Helios because he couldn’t practice swordsmanship for a while after breaking the branch.

Helios, who watched him with his arms crossed, frowned.

I was going to tell him to go out to the garden in case he gets scolded again.

“Escalium Anthemion.”

Helios called out the child’s name.

Escal, who was swinging the sword, shrugged.

Just as the startled child had just dropped his sword, Helios spoke again.

“Step forward with your right leg and bend your knee further. When the center of gravity moves quickly, it is easy to cope with the attack.”

“Yes?”

“Have a habit of holding it with one black hand. If you hold it with two hands, it will be difficult to defend, so you should be able to use the hand that is not holding the sword freely.”

“Uh, yes.”

Escal answered with a bright face. The tip of the sword dropped as soon as he took one hand off the sword.

Helios pointed sternly.

“Put your sword straight. If you don’t even get strength that much, you don’t have the right to hold a sword.”

At Helios’ words, Escal straightened his sword. His sword-holding hand was trembling, but his posture was quite plausible.

“Practice holding that position for an hour.”

“Yes!”

Escal answered loudly and ran out of the drawing room with a sword.

He really love it.

The child, who was running to start practicing immediately, suddenly stopped and returned to the drawing room.

“Thank you!”

Don’t be polite either.

Helios, whose ears were red in response to Escal’s loud thanks, answered after coughing.

“You have nothing to thank me for. Say it to your mother.”

You paid for it, but you’re embarrassed.

Escal, who turned to me, bowed his back as before, and said with a happy face.

“Thank you very much. I will study hard and practice swordsmanship.”

“Yeah, don’t overdo it.”

“Yes. Then I will go first.”

Escal ran away with his short legs diligently.I watched him happily, then tapped Helios on the side.

“You will teach him properly, right?”

“What?”

“It’s been a long time since you held a sword, too. I was wondering if I could trust you.”

“What. You don’t trust your husband’s skills that much?”

“It’s not that I don’t believe you, but you know. Escal’s talent isn’t normal. What should I do if you teach poorly and get into a bad habit?”

Helios’ eyes narrowed as I responded playfully with a desire to make fun of him.

“What do you mean? I did a lot better than Escal when I was that age.”

Look at this man, jealous of his son.

His serious face was cute and I giggled.

Helios frowned and asked.

“Why are you laughing? it’s real.”

“All right, that’s what it is.”

“Hah, you don’t believe me?”

“What if you believe it or what if you don’t believe it? …Ahh!”

Suddenly my feet fell off the ground.

Helios, who held me in his arms, bit the nape of my neck and whispered.

“I promise. I will torture you until you believe me.”

 

****

“Hah…”

“Are you tired? Did you not sleep yesterday?”

Mary asked me as I yawned.

“Yes? Uh, at night, I can’t sleep.”

“Aren’t you suffering from insomnia? Should I get you tea?”

“No. I’m okay.”

It’s not insomnia, it’s sleep disturbance.

I rubbed my sleepy eyes, swallowing the unspeakable circumstances.

My body hurts and my back hurts. What kind of trouble do I make when I made fun of him once?

“Okay….”

The sound of pain comes on its own.

Should I lock the door and sleep tonight?

… If I lock the door, he might come in through the window.

I can’t let the rumors spread that the Duke of Anthemion walks in and out of the window like a stray cat.

 

‘What I couldn’t finish today, I’ll finish it tomorrow, so be prepared.’

 

As she was about to fall asleep, barely escaping from Helios’ bullying, his soft whispered voice reverberated in her ears like an auditory hallucination.

“Ugh.”

How can you torment people all night without getting tired?

I took a deep breath in the dark feeling.

Mary, who looked at my expression strangely, asked at once.

“Are you worried about the banquet preparations?”

“What preparation for?”

“It’s the Duke’s birthday banquet. Are you going to just pass it by?”

“Helios’s… Birthday banquet?”

Hold on a second. Helios’ birthday…

“I only have ten days left?”

Looking at the calendar and counting the date, I exclaimed with a puzzled face.

As if I had really forgotten, Mary looked at me with a puzzled expression.

“You should have told me in advance!”

“I thought you knew it.”

“I’ve been out of your mind lately.”

“Tsk, I’m glad you know now. Make a plan right away.”

Mary clicked her tongue.

“By the way, Mary, the banquet… Wouldn’t it be better not to do it?”

“Yes?”

“It’s so chaotic because of the Rockefeller incident, but I don’t think it’s desirable to hold a banquet.”

“It is, but….”

Mary blurted out her words, as if she thought I had a point.

Mary pondered for a long time as if I had become the Duke’s hostess, and then she carefully tried to persuade me.

“Still, it’s the first banquet madam has held since she became the Duchess of Anthemion, so wouldn’t it be a bit odd to just skip it?”

“It’s a banquet, you can hold it at any time.”

“But the Duke’s birthday banquet is another story.”

“That’s it, but…”

Even if it’s not this case, it’s Duke Anthemion’s birthday, which is getting attention from the public.

As she pondered, unsure of what to do, Mary spoke again.

“If you are doing this for banquet preparations, don’t worry. Didn’t the Duchess hold a banquet once or twice? Just give the order and it will be ready in no time.”

“It’s not that, will anyone come?”

“Yes?”

“If I sent an invitation and no one came, would it be disgraceful?”

“Well, I guess It should. It’s not anyone else, it’s the Duke’s birthday banquet.”

“Well.”

I don’t know if Mary is optimistic or I’m skeptical, but things didn’t seem to be going so well.

I must have been deeply hated because I, who was not well-known, broke a case involving nobles.

If all the invited people agree not to go together…

After hesitating because the result was not as good as not holding it, Mary stabbed her in the side.

“In that case, how about asking the Duke and making a decision?”

“How can I ask that to that person?”

If I ask Helios, the answer is obvious.

If I don’t want to do that, he wouldn’t mind.

However, it was also flawed to pass Helios’ birthday, which was actually his first birthday since becoming a Duchess.

What should I do? Anyone other than Helios to discuss…

“Ah.”

“Why are you getting up?”

“I thought of someone to ask.”

 

*****

 

“Are you asking me how the duke’s birthday banquet will be held?”

“Of course, I know that counseling is inappropriate, but there is no one I know who has mastered etiquette like Viscount.”

Viscount Espenser looked up at me, tilting his head sullenly.

He took a long breath as he was treating me with his arms crossed and not polite at all.

I’m also a Duchess, and I don’t want to ask strangers about this, but what should I do if there is no one to ask?

“My time is expensive.”

“I’m not asking you to be a free counselor.”

“Madam, I don’t sell time for money.”

“I’ll give you the right to use the bookshelves in this mansion at your will.”

“……”

 

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