Author: rolypoly

The Duke’s party passed the high hills and began to pass the plains.

 

Clarisse sat in the carriage, fiddling with her pouch.

 

Quentin, who sat across from her, just stared out the window the whole time and didn’t say anything.

 

Clarisse was the first to make a sound in the quiet carriage precisely because her belly screamed first.

 

Growl.

 

Surprised, Clarisse quickly wrapped her hands around her stomach and looked into Quentin’s eyes.

 

Please, she hoped he didn’t hear it. 

 

Because she hated being thought of as an ungrateful stomach.

 

The Duke’s party provided Clarisse with food three times a day.

 

Considering that she was a prisoner of war, it was something she should be very grateful for.

 

In addition, they gave up the whole carriage, which was the most comfortable way to travel.

 

Clarisse almost fell asleep several times in the soft-backed carriage without knowing the subject.

 

But she can’t believe she makes such a sound!

 

When she looked up, Quentin was looking this way with a slightly stiff face.

 

As expected, he heard it.

 

“I, I apologize.”

 

Clarisse quickly bowed her head and apologized.

 

It was only a few hours ago that she promised not to be loud—.

 

“N—no.”

 

He shook his head and looked in the bag he had left next to him.

 

“H, here!”

 

He said something in a strange tone and held out a piece of bread wrapped in paper. 

 

The shape was pressed, but the smell was good. 

 

Clarisse didn’t know if he could take this on a noisy subject, but he was forced to take it because he recommended it again and reached out.

 

If she thinks about it, it was better than not eating and enduring without eating and then making an embarrassing sound in her stomach. 

 

Clarisse hurriedly peeled off the paper.

 

“Slowly.”

 

Then Quentin scolded her in his stern voice. 

 

Perhaps he was worried that she would eat the precious bread at once. 

 

“…Yes.” 

 

Clarisse took his advice and bit off a small piece of bread and chewed it thoroughly. It was softer than she thought because of the jam.

 

While eating bread little by little, Clarisse surprisingly realized that Quentin was staring at her.

 

Their eyes met naturally.

 

He fiddled with his glasses and frowned as if something made him uncomfortable. 

 

“It’s like a rabbit walking around…N, no. Anyway, thank the Duke.”

 

Clarisse quickly swallowed the bread she was chewing and nodded vigorously.

 

“Yes.” 

 

However, Quentin’s response was somehow not good even with such a sincere reply.

 

No, on the contrary, it seemed that the displeasure had only deepened.

 

“…But is that something to be grateful for? Damn it.” 

 

He muttered dissatisfiedly with a more stern face.

 

Clarisse looked at him while holding the bread before talking cautiously.

 

“I… I mean it.”

 

“….?” 

 

Quentin’s gaze returned to her.

 

“I am really happy. I am grateful.”

 

Clarisse recalled the condition that the King of Saphers had told her to avoid the death penalty immediately. 

 

They were told to cut her throat and bring it to him when she turned eighteen. 

 

Thanks to Duke for accepting her request, she was guaranteed a longer life than living as the princess of Grezekaia. 

 

But it wasn’t just the fact that her life had increased in length that she felt grateful for Duke. 

 

“That… I heard they say that the conditions are harsh to accept.”

 

The last night she stayed at Grezekaia Castle, the King of Sapher gave her a day’s grace. 

 

Clarisse heard people say that the King’s demands were too cruel. 

 

But the Duke didn’t even hide the fact and didn’t even say he was quitting. 

 

Clarisse was very grateful to the Duke for calmly accepting a job that everyone said was difficult. 

 

“I know that my existence will greatly inconvenience the Duke. Therefore…” 

 

Clarisse straightened up and sat down. 

 

She straightened her slightly stooped shoulders, lifted her chin, and gave Quentin a confident look.

 

Just then, bright sunlight shimmered through her pink hair.

 

“I will do my best to be the most wonderful 18-year-old in the world. I want to make sure that the Duke will never regret it when he thinks of today’s sacrifice someday.” 

 

Quentin remembered that the child in front of her was a ‘princess’. Although she is wearing old clothes.

 

“….What can you do, at best, as a sinner?”

 

He tried to ignore the emotion in his heart and spoke in a cold tone on purpose.

 

Because if he didn’t do this, he somehow felt like he would want to support the child.

 

“I will do my best wherever I am, and someday I will be of help to the Duke.”

 

“How?”

 

“At any cost.”

 

“It’s easy to say.”

 

Quentin pursed his lips as he crossed his arms.

 

“S, small and cute like you… No, you mean a terrible kid knows what to do?”

 

“Then… Would you like to think with me?”

 

“What?” 

 

Quentin looked back at the child in astonishment.

 

She didn’t look as confident as the princess of a country a while ago, and her hands were folded neatly. 

 

“There must be something I can do, for sure.”

 

“There’s no such thing. That person.”

 

Quentin pointed to the Duke’s broad back, which he could see obliquely through the window. 

 

“He’s already perfect on his own.” 

 

“Perfect…?” 

 

“Yes, if it’s martial arts, it’s martial arts. If it’s academic, it’s academic. A person who has nothing to lose. Besides, he has the noble status of royalty.” 

 

“Whoa.” 

 

As Clarisse admired with her eyes twinkling, Quentin somehow wanted to be more conceited.

 

“It is all thanks to the Duke that Sheridan in the north, which had been devastated by several invasions of demons, has become a place worth living. Because he provided equipment to supply water all year round and gave roads and carriages to distant villages.” 

 

“Wow.”

 

“That’s not all. He even found crops that could be grown in the cold Sheridan. He also spared no investment in research on farming methods.” 

 

“The Duke must be a really great person.” 

 

“Yeah, it is indeed the guardian deity of the north.”

 

Quentin answered, lifting both of his shoulders. 

 

“In addition, Sir Quentin Sinclair, who is helpful to such a Duke, is also wonderful.” 

 

“What? Ey, it’s not that much… Hmm. Well, it’s not a big deal about paperwork.”

 

He was fiddling with the temples of his glasses for no reason.

 

“The Duke will be much more desperate for a Golem master than anything like me. There are more stones than people in Sheridan.”

 

“Are there more stones than people?”

 

It was only a story of a stone at best, but the child looked very excited. 

 

“Yeah. That’s why it used to be said that it was the favorite land of Golem Masters.  Well… They say the Golem Master’s lifeline has been cut off now.” 

 

“Golem… Master? I hear it for the first time. What are you doing?” 

 

“He is a wizard who can bring life to ordinary stones. The giant golem given life like that becomes a faithful servant. Why am I explaining this? Anyway.” 

 

“It’s very fun. Sir Quentin Sinclair has a tactful way of saying things. It is my first time hearing such a mysterious and interesting story.”

 

“Ehem… Call me Uncle Quentin.”

 

“Yes, Uncle Quentin. So, what does that golem creature do?”

 

“They fight scary demons, and sometimes they become a ‘building’ itself. The Sheridan mansion is a representative structure built like that.”

 

“Whoaa, Uncle is walking encyclopedia!” 

 

Clarisse laughed and clapped, and he buried his face in his hands.

 

At first glance, he seemed to scream, ‘Ahhh, so cute!’ but Clarisse thought she must have heard it wrong.

 

“Anyway, that’s not the only great side of the Duke. He was once the most popular gentleman in the capital.” 

 

He looked very different from the beautiful Lysander, but plenty of women loved his cold eyes. 

 

“Because all the ladies in the capital wrote love letters to him.” 

 

“What is love…letter?” 

 

“Uhm, uh, so it’s a letter about complimenting him for being cool! There’s nothing like that for men and women to get along.”  

 

“Then I want to write a love letter to the duke as well.”

 

“You can’t!” 

 

Quentin shook his head in a hurry.

 

“Because it’s not for a child to use.”

 

“Even a child knows how to write compliments saying he is cool. Hearing that makes it feel better.”

 

“You can’t because it’s written by adults who like each other. Above all, now the Duke can receive a letter of love from only one woman.”

 

“….?” 

 

“The Duchess of Sheridan.”

 

Clarisse tried to imagine what kind of person the woman who had a relationship with the great Duke would be. 

 

She will be a strong and wonderful woman.

 

Because she’s the perfect Duke’s wife.

 

Clarisse was already beginning to look forward to meeting her.

 

“She’s such a beautiful person.” 

 

Sure enough, the kind Quentin began explaining again. 

 

“Should I say that everyone in Sheridan was fascinated by that quiet elegance?” 

 

“Somehow it seemed so.” 

 

Clarisse gave a quick nod, and Quentin felt better at once, adding with a very bright face.

 

“Right? The Duke’s knights even swore allegiance to her, calling her the Snow Queen! Because Sheridan is the city of snow.” 

 

“Wow, are you saying…the queen?” 

 

The moment she heard that word, Clarisse was terribly frightened without realizing it, and both of her shoulders twitched.

 

When he told her she was their queen, it reminded her of the woman who was staring at her with fearful eyes and saying, “She smells bad.” 

 

“It’s a metaphorical expression, but it’s true. Anyway, that means she’s just as beautiful as that. It’s literally a match made in heaven with the Duke.”

 

But Quentin was too excited to notice the change in Clarisse.

 

“You know now, right? That’s why you can’t be of any help to the Duke!” 

 

“…Yes.” 

 

Clarisse quietly bowed her head.

 

“….?” 

 

Quentin felt somewhat strange. He wants the child to insist and refute, saying, ‘No!’—.

 

‘No, no.’

 

He shook his head with all his might. Clarisse is a prisoner of war.

 

Being obedient was only natural.

 

The carriage became quiet again.

 

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Comments (3)

  1. please please tell me that clarisse is going to bring mallang to life! also f in the chat for quentin’s resistance to clarisse’s cuteness, it was a valiant effort but ultimately redundant