Author: lipzoldyck

 

The morning of leaving for Mözen dawned. A knight approached Hildegard, who was tying up her hair, and told her.

 

[We’re leaving soon. Duke Valentine will accompany you to the border.]

 

[Kaidel will?]

 

The words that came out without her knowledge were full of disappointment.

 

Hildegard, who felt so, pursed her lips. She felt bad because she secretly wanted Dwight to go with her.

 

[Is there a problem?]

 

[No. I’ll come down when I’m ready.]

 

The knight bowed his head and closed the door.

 

‘I thought he’d come to greet me.’

 

She couldn’t even see the bridge of Dwayne’s nose. Hildegard couldn’t understand how sad she was, to the point of tears.

 

A familiar figure entered the field of view of Hildegard, who was loitering by the window.

 

It was Dwight. He was smiling and greeting the knights.

 

When Hildegard saw that, a warm feeling welled up inside her. Without even thinking about it she burst out the door and ran down the spiral staircase.

 

[Ah!]

 

[You must be careful.]

 

Then someone suddenly appeared in front of her. When Hildegard stumbled slightly, hitting her forehead against his hard chest, he held her arms.

 

[Dwight…?]

 

[I was on my way to greet you. Are you leaving now?]

 

Dwight smiled slightly and looked down at her. He looked as friendly as usual.

 

At that moment, tears burst out of Hildegard’s eyes.

 

[Princess…?]

 

Dwight’s eyes widened in embarrassment. He quickly searched his pockets for a handkerchief, yet it wasn’t there today.

 

Hildegard, who was staring at Dwight, suddenly asked a question.

 

[Dwight, did you like me?]

 

Dwight’s hand movements slowed as he rummaged through his empty pockets. He looked up and met Hildegard’s eyes.

 

[Even just a little bit…]

 

[Yes, I liked you.]

 

Dwight answered without a moment’s hesitation. It was a calm and low voice.

 

Thick tears fell from Hildegard’s big, pretty eyes.

 

[Did you hear it that day? The conversation between Kaidel and I.]

 

Dwight’s eyes widened slightly.

 

[I apologize. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop…]

 

[Sorry.]

 

Hildegard gave an apology. Dwight’s eyes darted from side to side. His expression became subtle.

 

[I’m so sorry, Dwight.]

 

Hildegard lowered her head and continued her words.

 

[What Izmel said is correct. I’m really a mess, and just like the rumors say, I’m a self-willed and selfish brat.]

 

[Your Highness the Princess.]

 

Dwight called out to her, his voice more subdued than usual. She slowly raised her head.

 

His straight gaze turned to her. He calmly took a breath and opened his mouth.

 

[I liked you because you were braver and warmer than the rumors.]

 

Hildegard bit her lip at the calm confession. Her chest was pounding.

 

[But as rumored, I also liked you because you were so selfish. So I forgive you.]

 

Dwight smiled softly at her.

 

The cute and slightly foolish youngest aide of the Crown Prince. That was Hildegard’s first impression of Dwight. A good, innocent, fresh-faced boy.

 

Yet at this moment, the man standing in front of her looked like a large tree. He was much stronger and more mature than her.

 

Hildegard parted her slightly trembling lips.

 

[Can you forgive me one more time?]

 

[What is…]

 

Dwight’s words couldn’t continue. Hildegard, on her heel, cupped Dwight’s cheek with both her hands and pressed her lips to his.

 

After a short kiss, her lips slowly moved away. At a distance where the tips of their noses were almost touching, Hildegard smiled brightly with her wet face.

 

[…Goodbye, Dewey.]

 

*** 

 

[I think I will be visiting Mözen sometime next month. To meet His Majesty the King in person and discuss the remaining matters…]

 

Kaidel’s words stopped. Hildegard didn’t seem to be listening to him at all.

 

It wasn’t usual for her to just stare out the carriage window. Kaidel put down the papers and crossed his arms.

 

‘Did she cry?’

 

Kaidel frowned when he saw that Hildegard’s eyes were slightly red. Normally she would have just returned his gaze, yet she found it difficult to turn away this time.

 

First, the two people had been facing each other in the carriage for several hours.

 

Second, as hard as it is to believe, she was Eleanor’s friend.

 

Third, it seemed like the reason she was depressed was because of something he had asked her to do a few weeks ago.

 

[Did you bid goodbye to Dwight Everett?]

 

Hildegard nodded, not taking her eyes off the window. Kaidel asked.

 

[Are you okay?]

 

[Why wouldn’t I be?]

 

Hildegard answered abruptly. The end of her voice cracked harshly.

 

Kaidel, feeling uncomfortable, offered her an apology.

 

[Maybe I crossed the line at that time. I apologize.]

 

[That’s right, you did.]

 

Hildegard turned her head towards Kaidel. It was her calm face.

 

[Still, it wasn’t wrong. I know you did it because you were thinking of Eleanor. Because you’re a nicer person than you look.]

 

Than he looks?

 

Kaidel made an uncomfortable expression.

 

[But thanks to you, I’ve made up my mind. Whom I should support.]

 

[Yes?]

 

Hildegard laughed.

 

[I mean Eleanor. Honestly, I liked Idrian the most. He seems to have a good personality, and he seems to be best friends with Eleanor.]

 

Idrian?

 

[Do you mean Adrian?]

 

[Ah, that’s right. Adrian. I get confused every time.]

 

Hildegard let out a small laugh. The face that had been dark the whole time became quite bright.

 

[Anyway, I’ll bet on you. We weren’t close, but anyway, we had some level at the Academy…]

 

Kaidel blinked his eyes. There was confusion in his mind as to what to answer.

 

[Should I thank you?]

 

Hildegard asked, crossing her legs.

 

[Are you thankful?]

 

Kaidel shrugged his shoulders.

 

[Not really.]

 

[Then just don’t say anything. Because that’s your biggest advantage. Don’t say empty words.]

 

No, is it, as expected, the face.

 

Kaidel raised his eyebrows at what Hildegard muttered. He felt that it would have been better to leave her depressed and quiet.

 

Hildegard continued what she said.

 

[Of course it’s a waste of Eleanor… Of the three, you’re the most reliable. Even though you’re boring and arrogant, you don’t do anything foolish.]

 

The corner of Kaidel’s lips twitched slightly. Although he knew it was childish, it felt oddly good.

 

Hmm.

 

Hildegard tilted her head to the side, looking at Kaidel.

 

[Why do you see me that way?]

 

[I’m worried.]

 

[About what.]

 

[I don’t know if I can tell you this or not.]

 

Hildegard’s eyes narrowed.

 

[I feel like I can’t, but if you think about it, there is a crack.]

 

She reflected on what Eleanor had said.

 

[She told me not to tell Izmel, but she didn’t tell me not to tell you…]

 

[Do you mean Eleanor?]

 

Kaidel’s eyes widened slightly. He demanded confidently.

 

[Didn’t you bet on me? Please tell me.]

 

[Ha, so you also have a bit of a shameless side?]

 

Hildegard crossed her arms and snorted. However, no matter how much she thought about it, she couldn’t think of anyone who could solve this situation as neatly as Kaidel.

 

She asked as if she was wondering.

 

[Do you know Princess Izent well?]

 

[I can say that I know it in my own way. Always in public…]

 

Hildegard shook her head and cut him off.

 

[I mean, do you know her personally?]

 

[I don’t.]

 

Kaidel answered immediately. Hildegard asked as if to confirm it one more time.

 

[Really?]

 

Kaidel questioned, narrowing his eyes.

 

[Do I need to know her?]

 

[No, you’re doing well. Keep doing so.]

 

Hildegard said, waving her hand. Kaidel tilted his head.

 

[But why are you asking that?]

 

Hildegard, having made up her mind, told Kaidel about Eleanor’s situation. Kaidel’s face gradually hardened.

 

Hildegard asked, making eye contact with Kaidel.

 

[Do you think you know why I told you?]

 

[Yes.]

 

[Right. You’re a smart guy, so I believe you will do well.]

 

Kaidel nodded once. A moment of silence came again in the carriage.

 

Hildegard, who was looking out the window, suddenly asked.

 

[Are you thankful this time?]

 

[Yes, thank you.]

 

Kaidel immediately held his head. Hildegard looked at him and raised the corner of her lips.

 

[Then, please watch closely. I mean…]

 

Eleanor, and Dwight too.

 

Hildegard couldn’t finish the sentence and pursed her lips. It was as if there was a thorn stuck in her throat and it was difficult for her to get the words out.

 

But Kaidel knew what she meant. He slowly nodded.

 

[I will keep an eye on both of them. I promise.]

 

***

 

“Are you serious?”

 

“Yes, that’s right.”

 

Kaidel, who was sitting across from Claude in the Broden Merchant office, briefly nodded his head.

 

“What should I tell you…”

 

Claude stroked his chin with a puzzled expression on his face. The investment proposed by the Duke Valentine family was incomparable to that of the Duke Izent family.

 

“There is one condition.”

 

“What is that.”

 

When all that was left to do was prepare all the documents and sign them, Kaidel, who had been sitting silently nodding his head the whole time, opened his mouth. Claude, overwhelmed by the energy radiating from him, gulped.

 

“I don’t want the public to know that the Duke Valentine family invested in the Broden Merchant.”

 

“It’s not that difficult, but…”

 

“More than anything, I hope Eleanor doesn’t know.”

 

Claude narrowed his eyes at the unexpected words.

 

“Please.”

 

Kaidel came out of the room and ran into Adrian, who was leaning against the hallway wall.

 

“Why did you decide to invest so suddenly?”

 

“Isn’t the reason for investing at a merchant clear? It’s to make a profit.”

 

Kaidel answered as he walked indifferently. Adrian naturally walked behind him.

 

“I think the reason is a little different in this case.”

 

Adrian asked.

 

“Is it because of Ellen?”

 

“Right.”

 

Kaidel didn’t hold back any longer and admitted it.

 

“Did you hear from Ellen?”

 

I don’t think Eleanor would have told such a story.

 

Sure enough, Kaidel shook his head.

 

“No.”

 

“Are you going to tell Ellen?”

 

Kaidel’s steps stopped at Adrian’s words. Kaidel, who was lost in thought for a moment, turned to him and asked.

 

“Young Marquis, what would you do?”

 

“Yes?”

 

“I didn’t want to make it known. Because I used my heart. But I’m worried that it might be cheating on Eleanor.”

 

One side of Adrian’s mouth rose at an angle.

 

“If it were me, I wouldn’t have asked my enemy that question.”

 

A strange tension arose between the two people who made eye contact.

 

“I will keep my mouth shut, so you can decide as you wish. Ellen will understand.”

 

Kaidel nodded his head briefly as if he understood.

 

“Right, sure.”

 

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