Author: rolypoly

“Of course I know, it’s a place where priests who have converted to religion live, right?”’

 

“Yeah, but what I’m saying is, are you aware of the fact that there are people who are preparing for the civil service exam while staying there?”

 

“Hmm…”

 

Clarisse recalled a very old memory.

 

“Uncle Quentin told me a few times.”

 

He told her many interesting stories, including one from his days studying at the monastery. 

 

He said that a monastery is a place to study from morning to evening, and is not a place to make friends or meet lovers.

 

After that, several times in the newspapers there were articles about couples who met at the monastery, but he refused to admit it.

 

For reference, he was still unmarried and his salary was constantly increasing in his position as the Duke’s assistant.

 

He said that there is no place to spend even if he saves money now, and that he made a big donation at the end of last year.

 

“You just thought of something else, right?”

 

Clarisse thought it would be good for Quentin to find a good relationship quickly, but she didn’t bother to reveal that fact to Valentine. 

 

Because he’s going to lose his temper again.

 

“I, I’m not!”

 

Even though she tried very hard to deny it, she couldn’t fool Valentine’s eyes. His eyes became sharper. 

 

“What do you mean by no? You can’t even lie…”

 

During the story, he grabbed Clarisse by the arm and pulled her toward him.

 

Clarisse stumbled towards Valentine, thinking, ‘Is this perhaps a new kind of bullying?’ But no, it wasn’t.

 

Soon a cart passed quickly to where she was standing.

 

“It’s dangerous… Why is it running this way? You didn’t bump into it?”

 

Still pulling Clarisse toward him, he glared at the small cart that was running quickly and dangerously.

 

“Ah…”

 

Clarisse took a deep breath for a moment in surprise and finally answered.

 

“Yes, I was just a little surprised. Thank you. I didn’t hit anything.”

 

“Really?”

 

Valentine looked at her again and gave her a soft smile.

 

“That’s a relief. The precious cart was saved from being destroyed.”

 

“What?”

 

Clarisse stared at his face.

 

So, the meaning of the phrase a little while ago, ‘Why are you running on this dangerous road?’ is—.

 

“No cart would be able to withstand a collision with a strong person like you. It would be troublesome if the cart broke down at the festival.” 

 

The word ‘strong’ was clearly a good compliment to Clarisse, but she didn’t know why she couldn’t take his words happily. 

 

“Anyway.”

 

He pretended not to notice Clarisse’s frown deepening and headed back to the third castle wall. 

 

“The monastery has great advantages that may appeal to you.”

 

“Are you trying to make fun of me again?”

 

“No, it isn’t. It really is a huge advantage! Don’t you trust me?”

 

No, I don’t trust you! 

 

Clarisse swallowed the answer that rose to her throat. 

 

Because it wasn’t sincere.

 

Although Valentine had a grumpy tone, he always took Clarisse’s side at critical moments.

 

“…Okay. What is it?”

 

“That means there is an evaluation test every month.”

 

“Yes?”

 

“You take the test with other test takers in a place similar to the real environment.”

 

“Ah.”

 

It was a great advantage that she didn’t have to think about very long. 

 

The age limit for taking the public official examination is 16. 

 

Clarisse has heard countless times about first-year exams that ‘you just have to get used to the atmosphere and succeed.’

 

However, Clarisse, who only had two chances, didn’t want to waste the precious opportunity for such a purpose. 

 

The examination at the monastery will certainly be of great help, although it is not real.

 

“It must be tempting, right?”

 

“Yes, that’s right.”

 

But Clarisse won’t have the chance to take advantage of that.

 

Because she shouldn’t leave the Duke’s territory. 

 

“Good, then prepare well until the day of admission.”

 

“That’s…” 

 

Clarisse looked at him blankly.

 

“Prince… No, Valentine means that you’re going to the monastery, right?” 

 

“Well, I can’t let you go to the monastery alone. According to the agreement with the monastery, armed people cannot enter the monastery building. I should go and keep an eye on you.”

 

“I didn’t say I was going to a monastery?”

 

“Don’t you want to experience the test?”

 

“That, I want to take the test!”

 

“Then you should go. Because you’re not the type of person to ever hold back on what you want to do.”

 

Clarisse couldn’t bear to deny it.

 

“But the cost… I need to get permission from His Highness, my guardian. And since I am a prisoner, I cannot leave my residence at will.”

 

Despite the excuses he worked so hard to find, Valentine only snorted.

 

“Did my brother ever save a penny on your education?”

 

“…No, there wasn’t.”

 

No, to be honest, she was invested to the point where she thought it seemed excessive.

 

In addition to exams, if Clarisse showed interest, he would send her a short-term tutor to help her learn various musical instruments, astronomy, foreign languages, herbalism, etc.

 

“A, anyway. I don’t know yet. I also need the Duke’s permission, so it will take a long time before I make a decision.”

 

“I don’t know.”

 

Valentine answered flatly. 

 

He seemed to be confident that Clarisse would go to the monastery to study.

 

But not everything in the world could be solved that easily. 

 

Although it is said that Clarice has managed to live a cultured life thanks to the king’s support, she is a prisoner to the very core. 

 

The Duke of Sheridan has a duty to watch her, and he will not want to send her to a monastery beyond his sight.

 

* * *

 

It was for the sake of his wife, Brielle, and her mother, Mrs. Woods, that Maximilian came to the capital in time for the autumn festival of Heiden. 

 

Mrs. Woods’ condition had greatly improved, and she was now living alone in Heiden’s residential area. 

 

Several times Brielle invited her to Sheridan, saying she wanted to live with her, but Mrs. Woods always refused. 

 

With the answer that it is comfortable to live in the capital.

 

Maximilian knew that Brielle was always concerned about her mother, so he would come to the capital to spend time with Mrs. Woods on common ‘family’ days, such as the Autumn Festival.

 

“Duke, have you thought about what I said last time?”

 

Mrs. Woods still treated Maximilian as if she were serving her master, even when she sat down as the Duke’s mother-in-law.

 

Even if he refused, she said she couldn’t help it because it was a habit she had developed for a long time. 

 

But in Maximilian’s opinion, she… It seemed like she had other thoughts.

 

“It’s about finding Brielle’s biological parents.”


“Ah, mother! That’s fine.”

 

Mrs. Woods shook her head slowly, despite Brielle’s hateful remarks.

 

“You have to find it. You must find it. How much they will want to see you grow up so well.”

 

“…There’s no way.”

 

Brielle had no memory of anything before meeting her mother, and she never regretted it. 

 

Clearly, parents must have abandoned their kids because they couldn’t handle it. 

 

If she looks at the newspaper right now, aren’t there articles about irresponsible parents who do this kind of thing at least once a month? 

 

“You have no idea how pretty your pajamas were. You knew how to speak beautifully. I am sure you are no ordinary child.” 

 

“They probably didn’t need me anyway, so they threw me away.” 

 

“You can’t say something like that without knowing the circumstances, Brielle!”

 

“I’m not interested in their situation. Anyway, my mother is the only one here.”

 

Brielle sat down next to Mrs. Woods and rested her head against her, crossing her arms around her.

 

“Oh my, Duke.”

 

Mrs. Woods looked longingly at the Duke who sat opposite her, unable to bear to push her beloved daughter away.

 

“Duke, please don’t pretend not to notice this old woman’s request. It is my lifelong wish.”

 

“Mrs. Woods, you probably know…”

 

He glanced at Brielle, who had not left Mrs. Woods’ side.

 

She was behaving more childishly than usual.

 

“My wife’s will should be the first priority in that matter. If I start hastily, she could end up hurting herself.

 

“That will never happen. Please trust this old woman.”

 

Mrs. Woods was adamant.

 

“Even before she met me, Brielle was clearly a child who received a lot of love from her parents. There’s no way it wouldn’t be the case. If you saw Brielle at that time, the Duke would have thought so, too.”

 

The Duke looked back at Brielle again.

 

When their eyes met, she shook her head. She really doesn’t want to.

 

“Mother, there’s no way to find it anyway. You can’t put an ad in a newspaper or magazine saying, ‘Looking for the Duchess’ real parents.’”

 

“Ten years ago, there was a time when the relationship between the royal family and the wizards was not bad. If it was a family with a lot of money to spare, there is a possibility that they would have entrusted their parents’ blood to the Wizards to search.”

 

Using magic, they were able to prove family relationships based on information mixed in blood.

 

When wealthy people lost their children due to misfortune, they entrusted their blood to a group of wizards to search for it.

 

“Really? Maybe you can find it there!”

 

“But it’s been ten years, Mother. If I were the daughter of such a great family, the wizards would have already come. They are all-rounders.”

 

“No, but at least try to find out. Hmm?”

 

“Nothing will come out anyway. It’s just a waste of effort.”

 

“Let’s do it. Please, my baby. It’s my lifelong request.” 

 

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