The two got a little confused when they saw me.
What if they find out that I just did something like an argument with their master?
‘After all, both of them are Rupert’s subordinates.’
As I sat down on the chair, I asked with as natural expression as possible,
“How have you been?”
Hillis, who is relatively good-natured, answered first,
“We’ve been doing well. How about you, madam?”
“I’m on vacation, so I’m doing well. Sir Hillis, is your injury getting better?”
“Thank you for worrying about me. It’s completely healed.”
Hillis, who responded like that, glanced at Aren for a moment and exchanged glances.
I think I know why they did that.
“Are you wondering where Rupert is?”
Aren nodded his head cautiously.
“Did you two finish the conversation well?”
“Sorry, I was pissed off and told him to go back right away.”
“Anyway, he left the room after that, but I don’t know where he went…… Maybe he’s preparing to go back?”
As soon as they heard what I said, I thought both of them would say goodbye and get up from their seats.
Chasing after the master is the most loyal act of a knight.
However, the reaction between the two was unexpected.
Hillis muttered, “In the end, the master is not able to overcome his own temper……”
Aren looked at me worriedly.
“Are you okay, madam?”
I replied, “Oh, I’m okay. But aren’t you mad?”
“I kicked out the master you respect.”
Hillis replied, “Well, I respect his skills, but I don’t respect his temper.”
Confused, I muttered, “It was an unexpected reaction.”
Aren blinked and asked back, “Did you think we were following our master like fanatics?”
“Not to that extent, but I thought you would be offended because I kicked him out.”
Hillis smiled bitterly at me.
Instead, Aren said, “I respect my master, but I also like madam and young lady very much. So I hope you don’t think like that.”
I was surprised by the honest answer, and Hillis was bewildered.
“Hey, no, Sir Aren, I know you respect madam but choose your words carefully. Madam may have misunderstood……”
I laughed briefly.
“Don’t worry, I didn’t misunderstand at all.”
It’s a bit impressive. I saw Aren and said, “Thank you for saying that, sir.”
Aren nodded with a calm smile.
Seeing him like that, I remembered the dream I had before.
‘I don’t want to see Aren or the Raven Knights die.’
I have an opportunity to have a conversation just in time, so I need to understand the situation.
“……by the way, has the Ainel territory been peaceful lately? If you return, will both of you be immediately put to work on a new mission?”
Since I couldn’t ask directly, I purposely twisted my question.
‘If I know what kind of mission they would be assigned, I might know something.’
The answer came from Hillis.
“If you’re worried about the gargoyle coming out like last time, there’s no problem at all. And if you ask if we are going back to the territory right away……hmm, I’ll be here for a while since the master is here too.”
I asked curiously, “Rupert won’t go back? Why?”
Hillis laughed briefly.
“He is not the type of person who gives up easily once he has set a goal.”
“No way. When I told him to go back, he calmly backed away. He hates wasting time, so why not go straight to the Ainel estate?”
Hillis jokingly answered my question, “No, it was a strategic retreat. You mustn’t let your guard down because the master is better at tactics than he seems.”
“You can’t break his stubbornness so easily, right? He’s tenacious.”
I was stunned.
In the end, Hillis thought Rupert couldn’t go back so easily.
Maybe that’s why he didn’t go to find his master and instead spoke to me like this?
Did he know he won’t go back?
“……it can’t be.”
“For this time, Sir Hillis is probably right,” Aren suddenly intervened.
“But don’t worry. In terms of battle, madam has an advantageous position. You are the one in control in this relationship.”
I don’t even think he’s joking.
‘Really? Rupert, are you going to stay here for a while?’
……it gave me a headache at the thought that the situation had become a little more complicated.
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Perhaps because of that, I excitedly spoke without any consideration.
“Then persuade your master to go back. Both of you probably thought that I’m not worthy of being a marchioness, even if you didn’t hate me. So, with affection and loyalty, tell your master that there will be a better woman for him!”
Hillis laughed at my self-deprecating talk. I’m serious, so don’t laugh.
“Well, the hard-headed aide Ordin would think so…… But my opinion is a little different. Even a saintess would lose her temper if she was next to my master. In that case, wouldn’t it be more suitable for someone who had a bad personality and then got better after reflecting on it? After all, the master doesn’t hate madam now.”
Aren once again expressed his affirmation in silence at his fellow’s words.
After that, he opened his mouth with a very serious tone, just like his personality.
“Madam, because you have an advantageous position, all you have to do is to play tricks on the enemy.”
“……as a knight, you both should protect your master if he is at a disadvantage in battle. Are you just thinking of instigating a fight?”
“I am a knight who lives in romance and dies in romance, so I am unconditionally on your side in love fights,” Hillis answered, sipping the tea.
His good personality even feels cheeky.
“So, please make sure to give the master a lot of trouble. I’ll cheer for you.”
‘Wow, Rupert, look at these loyal subordinates of yours!’
Anyway, in conclusion, I was told that I had to prepare for the second battle against Rupert.
……I have no idea what attitude he’ll turn out to be.
Hillis and Aren’s words were correct.
Rupert did not go back to the mansion. He even stayed at the villa.
‘Really, what the hell, why!’
Why did the person who hated me suddenly insist on taking me?
‘Do you really like me?’
No, it wouldn’t be that deep of an emotion. However, it seems he has developed a possessiveness towards me and Leah as if we were his.
Of course, the situation has not changed much since Rupert’s curse will not be lifted with a light obsession-level emotion.
I need a way to clearly articulate the current situation.
Shall I decide by flipping a coin? If the front side comes up, I will go back to the mansion, and if the backside comes up, I and Leah will stay here……
‘No, no. It’s better to play a game with a high probability of winning.’
It’s a cowardly thought, but I didn’t have enough time to compete fairly with my handsome husband.
‘Where is a better place for me than Rupert?’
After thinking for a while, I came up with a plausible trick.
“No matter how much I think about it, it’s only there……”
However, it was difficult to prepare on my own right now, so I visited the Ernst mansion for help.
The purpose was to meet Mrs. Rizé.
Mrs. Rizé welcomed me as always.
“Is it better to call you Marchioness Ainel from now on?”
“I wish you could keep calling me by my first name.”
Even when she knows who I am now, Mrs. Rizé did not show any particular change of attitude. I was very grateful for that.
“I wanted to ask if the problem with your husband was resolved…… Just by looking at your expression……
“Not at all.”
With that in mind, I glanced at her.
What do you think when you see me as the wife of the marquis of the neighboring country who has a bad relationship with your son?
She smiled slightly at my expression.
“The Marquis Ainel and I have never met in person. But it seems he and my son really don’t get along well.”
I asked carefully, “……do you have any personal grudges against Rupert?”
Mrs. Rizé is a very personable woman, so I am worried that she may have accumulated a grudge against Rupert.
“No, I don’t. Rather, I personally appreciate his skills.”
Mrs. Rizé laughed briefly.
“I often think it would be nice if my son’s thoughts and Marquis Ainel’s skills were mixed into one.”
That’s exactly what I thought last time.
“I really agree with that.”
Fortunately, she didn’t seem to particularly dislike Rupert.
I decided to talk with confidence.
“……Mrs. Rizé, is the offer to speak to you if I need help in return for saving you in the past still valid?”
“Oh my,” she laughed.
She seems to think that the situation is going to be fun.
“Of course. Life’s debt is not going to go away so easily. Looks like you need something? I’m guessing it has to do with the sudden appearance of your husband.”
Her guess couldn’t have been more precise than this. I simply gave a brief description of the current situation.
Except for important things like the original story and Rupert’s curse of course.
Well, it was not difficult to explain that it can be expressed as a conflict between a couple.
“……but I don’t think either my husband or I will give up so easily. We can’t just drag on in this situation, so we need a way to make a clear decision.”
What I need is simple.