Author: rolypoly

It was a light voice, as if it was nothing, but Devina raised her head in surprise. 

 

‘Yesterday…Did you follow me?’

 

When Devina went to see Maximilian without the knowledge of her ladies-in-waiting. 

 

Despite her longing gaze, the lady-in-waiting continued to take care of her, pulling the hem of Devina’s dress with her calm face. 

 

“Yes, there were none.”

 

And Devina lowered her voice and added.

 

“There is nothing for Her Highness the Great Queen to worry about.”

 

“….” 

 

The maid finally raised her head and stared at Devina.

 

Judging from the blatantly suspicious glances, it seemed that she hadn’t heard anything about the conversation she had with the Duke yesterday. 

 

“Did Your Highness dare to approach the Duke alone to see what was on the Duke’s insides?” 

 

“I will do anything for my husband’s stability. And that…”

 

Devina took a few steps back, pulling the hem of her skirt from the maid’s hand.

 

“The same goes for Her Highness the Great Queen.”

 

The maid couldn’t refute the answer that even Her Highness the Great Queen would have somehow felt the Duke’s intentions in this place. 

 

Because the Great Queen wanted to know what was inside him, even if she opened Maximilian’s heart.

 

“You may leave.”

 

“Yes, Your Highness.”

 

Even after blatantly questioning the Queen, the Lennox family’s maid never apologized to her.

 

Devina realized that her job was, in fact, ‘watching for Devina’. 

 

‘…It’s suffocating.’

 

Since she was a child, she was taught by her parents that ‘she must become the Queen.’

 

They always taught Devina that, ‘The Queen is the most noble woman, and she is free and happier than anyone else.’

 

So, the hardships of her childhood days would end the moment she became Queen. 

 

As a child, Devina believed that word firmly.

 

She doesn’t even know that it’s a place where the Queen can’t breathe comfortably.

 

‘If only I knew this would happen….’

 

Devina continued her forbidden imagination as she ran her hand across the rough Sheridan wall. 

 

What would she be like if she had been the hostess of this Sheridan?

 

Through the open window, she could see Brielle Sheridan out into the garden, holding the prisoner girl’s hand. 

 

Wearing a comfortable shirt and pants, she was collecting dirty leaves from the garden.

 

When she saw that there was a little smoke, she seemed to be playing with fire.

 

‘There is no dignity… Max would be very embarrassed if a knight or servant saw this.’

 

As Devina was concerned about this, knights just happened to pass by them.

 

But they didn’t seem in the least ashamed of the Duchess, who was acting bizarrely.

 

Rather, ‘Madam, I have brought you chestnuts! I peeled off the skin a little.’ and throwing it into the small fire.

 

It wasn’t just them.

 

Neither the servants of the castle nor the Duke’s servants passing by were ashamed of her. 

 

They warmed themselves up by the fire and brought snacks to share. 

 

Devina had a very strange feeling.

 

Why does the shabby seat she abandoned look freer and happier? 

 

* * *

 

After breakfast, Devina decided to leave Sheridan Manor. 

 

After passing the third wall for the first time in a long time, she thought of stopping by her hometown, where she had spent her childhood. 

 

If she met her parents, the nobles around her, and her cousins, she would soon be able to shake off her strange feelings toward Sheridan. 

 

Because they used to praise Devina, who had risen to a great position.

 

Ironically, she was treated more like a Queen by her family, the Count of Bexley, than by the inside of the third wall. 

 

She stood in front of the carriage and looked back at the Duke, who had come to meet her at the entrance.

 

He was looking at her with the same dry gaze he had during the engagement days. 

 

“I hope you will return safely.”

 

For some reason, Devina felt a pain in one side of her heart, for the polite greeting had been heard with the urging of ‘Go away.’ 

 

Even so, they’ve been engaged for quite a while, but she thought it was too much to just say hello without telling her to stay longer.

 

“Max.” 

 

Calling him by that name was her own revenge. 

 

Unsurprisingly, Maximilian’s brow, which had been smooth, contorted with displeasure.

 

“Thank you for yesterday.”

 

While giving words that could be interpreted in other ways, Devina looked at Brielle’s complexion.

 

In the hope that she would be hurt if possible.

 

“….” 

 

But somehow, Brielle didn’t react. She thought she would be suspicious or anxious about Maximilian…

 

‘Have you already cleared up all the misunderstandings about yesterday?’

 

She thought so for a moment, but Devina denied it, saying that it couldn’t be. 

 

She had been watching Maximilian by her side longer than anyone else.

 

He wasn’t one to dwell on someone’s misunderstanding.

 

Wasn’t it Maximilian who let people misunderstand as he pleased, saying he didn’t want to step out and influence other people’s feelings or thoughts?

 

Devina strode up in front of Brielle and grabbed her hands. 

 

The hillbilly woman, with her long silver hair just hanging down, widened her eyes in surprise.

 

“Y, Your Highness…!”

“I apologize to the Duchess. I’ve been worried because I think you were surprised by what happened yesterday.”

 

For some reason, Devina was looking forward to it.

 

She wondered if Brielle’s face could show some of her ugly emotions right now. 

 

“No, it is not. Not at all.”

 

But Devina’s expectations were wrong.

 

Rather, Brielle has answered with a happy smile. 

 

‘No way, you’re saying you don’t care about yesterday?’

 

Devina answered with a calm face. 

 

“Since the Duchess has such a big heart, I can’t wait to meet Max more comfortably in the future.” 

 

She’ll be very angry, right? She thought.

 

“Of course!”

 

A cheerful answer returned. 

 

“If you don’t mind, please stay a little longer next time. There are many wonderful places in Sheridan that I would like to show you.”

 

There’s one more answer to that.

 

Devina wondered if Brielle was making fun of her.

 

But she couldn’t find the slightest bit of malice in her happy smile.

 

‘How could that be?’

 

Devina was Maximilian’s fiancee.

 

For a very long time too.

 

However, it was a bit unpleasant for her when Brielle acted as if she didn’t care about it at all.

 

“Next time… The Duchess is coming to the capital. I will give you a villa anytime.”

 

Devina tried to pretend to be calm.

 

“I will introduce you to a number of decent madams you can imitate. No matter who you are, if you spend a lot of time with them, you will learn something.”

 

It was also a criticism that Brielle wasn’t polite. 

 

But, as if Brielle didn’t bother about Devina’s intentions, she only answered lightly this time.

 

“Thank you for your consideration.”

 

“….” 

 

“But in the capital, I mainly have to stay by my sick mother… It might be a bit difficult to hang out on multiple days. I’m sorry, Your Highness.”

 

What is it?” 

 

Is she doing this even though she knows that Devina is picking a fight with her? 

 

Or does she really not know?

 

“But, I will definitely visit you at least once. Thanks for the invitation.”

 

“…I will go back.”

 

Devina turned around and climbed right into the carriage, urging the servant to leave.

 

She could see the Duke and Brielle bowing deeply to her through the window.

 

Somehow she felt unpleasant, even looking at the courtesy, so she closed the curtains and bit her lips.

 

* * *

 

When Devina’s carriage had completely moved away, Brielle looked back at Maximilian.

 

“At the end, Her Highness Queen seemed rather displeased… I didn’t say anything weird, did I?”

 

In fact, Brielle was half out of her mind when talking to Devina.

 

It was the first time she had met Maximilian since yesterday’s ‘incident’.

 

She didn’t even know what was coming out of her mouth because she cared about the heart of the man standing next to her.

 

Therefore, she just hoped that there would be no great mistake in the babbling. 

 

“You are not strange.”

 

“Then that’s a relief.” 

 

“It’s not a relief, but you returned what you received, so it’s okay.”

 

“Yes? What did I return to Her Highness?”

 

 “…Hmm, it’s nothing.” 

 

In response to the moderate story, Brielle tried to demand, saying, ‘Tell me in detail!’ 

 

But for a moment, he held Brielle’s hand and tilted his lips over the back of her hand, so she couldn’t say anything and froze on the spot. 

 

“Brielle Sheridan.” 

 

Hearing the emotion in his voice that had not changed at all from yesterday, Brielle hurriedly pulled out her hand and hid it behind her back.

 

“I, I…! I’m going to meet Clarisse again in the garden!”

 

Without being able to do anything about her burning face, Brielle hurriedly turned around.

 

However, she soon remembered something and returned to Maximilian again. 

 

After hesitating for a moment, she nodded and said it as if she had made a great decision.

 

“I, I, too, was getting carried away.”

 

“Yes?” 

 

“I mean, yesterday I was so surprised that I didn’t answer…. It’s because the Duke shouldn’t be nervous about things like me. Ah really!”

 

Brielle again poured out gibberish and buried her face in her hands.

 

She couldn’t even look at him properly.

 

“…I think I said something strange again.”

 

“You are not strange. You’re just giving back what you received. You are kind.”

 

Maximilian seemed to be enjoying it.

 

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