“Did I hear it right?”
“Looking at your reaction, I think you heard it right.”
When Estin returned, he laughed out loud, dumbfounded, at the report he received from Lucas. Smiling is natural, but it’s probably the first time Estin laughed so loudly in his life. Lucas laughed along because he understood his feeling, they could only laugh about it. The two looked at each other and laughed as if they were amazed after such a long time.
Soon after, Estin gave orders with a straight face.
“Bring Mary, now.”
I was dragged into the Oval Office of Estin, leaving my soul in the room. Yesterday, I slept preparing for today, but I didn’t expect to be dragged after washing my face as soon as I woke up. Grand Duke Estin, who had been signing papers for a long time, said as soon as he saw me.
I knew it. I closed my eyes and shook my head from side to side. The expression on Grand Duke Estin;s face changed slightly. The change in his expression scared me for a moment.
“If you can’t tell him, I’ll tell him on your behalf?”
“……I don’t want to.”
“Conler is Conler. Our honor will not collapse just because you did not go hunting, I have built it that way.”
Grand Duke Estin seemed to think I was being so stubborn because I was worried about the honor of the Conler family. That was definitely one of the reasons, but……. I have the same thought as the Grand Duke. No matter how informal it is, Their honor won’t collapse just because of me.
“I don’t want to run away.”
“This is my honor.”
The problem was Mary, not Conler.
I know Grand Duke Estin could fix it.
He’ll just say it’s a children’s fight and laugh it off. But this was a matter of my pride regardless of whether it was an adult or a child or a family.
Estin sighed as if she understood what I meant. Estin, who was sitting down, rose up and came to me. Then he kneeled down in front of me and said, making eye contact with me.
“Who on earth do you take after?”
“I take after my dad.”
I answered without thinking. I was surprised and covered my mouth. Who would I take after? Of course, my dad. I was thinking that way, but I didn’t know it would come out of my mouth without filtering. Estin’s black pupils shook slightly.
“I mean… Maybe I’m stubborn like the Grand Duke.”
“That’s what Lucas said…….”
Lucas, I’m sorry for pulling you in.
But Lucas once told me that I must be so stubborn because I take after my father. But even though I tried hard to fix it, Estin was just staring at me without saying a word.
Estin stood up, went back to his seat and pulled the rope.
“Did you call me?”
Maybe he was nearby, but Lucas ran right away. Did you call Lucas to scold him for calling you stubborn?
But Estin asked Lucas in a low voice.
“I believe the Knights are in training right now.”
“Let Hestia take care of Mary.”
“If she wants to go hunting, she needs to know how to shoot an arrow.”
“……Are you sure you’re going to let her go?”
When asked by Lucas, Estin just shrugged his shoulders. I was bewildered when Estin gave me permission. You won’t take it back, right?
“Hestia will teach her well.”
“Still, my lord…….”
“Go and tell Hestia.”
At the apparent order, Lucas went out with a brooding look. I was a little sorry to see Lucas like that, but…… There’s nothing I can do.
“Follow him and train with Hestia.”
Grand Duke Estin sat down and began to reread the documents he was reading earlier. Then he looked at me with a puzzled expression when he noticed I was hesitating to go out. I opened my mouth carefully and said the thing I wanted to say the most.
“What did you do wrong?”
“That’s the fault of that cheap guy. He made a bet that favors him.”
I was surprised because I didn’t know he would take my side like this. I thought he’d speak a little more harshly to me, but he’s cursing Cameron so openly.
“It’s good that you did not run away.”
“But hunting is still too dangerous for you.”
You mean, you’re worried about me?
When I looked at him with a little surprised expression, Grand Duke Estin unknowingly raised his lips. It was a smile that was very delicate but felt friendly.
“But whose daughter are you?”
“I’m sure you’ll do well.”
It was such a sweet voice that I thought it was really the voice of “dad.”
When I was told that Hestia was waiting for me at the training ground, I changed into my most comfortable clothes. While changing clothes with Carol’s help, I smiled and patted her shoulder saying it was okay because she looked like she would burst into tears. Carol nodded as if she knew how I felt.
It was my first time coming to the training ground in the annex. It seemed to be twice the size of most school grounds. My heart was pounding because of the things that happened, so I want to go training at once. And the deputy head of the knights herself will train me!
In one corner of the training ground, Hestia was waiting for me with her hands on her waist. Hestia waved as I approached. Next to him was Lucas, who looked really unhappy with the situation.
What the… Why is he here?
“Miss, I heard about it.”
“Betting with the prince and hunting. You’re making a great social debut.”
Is this also a social debut? Hestia’s words made me cringe and scratch my cheek.
“We’re going to make her social debut even more spectacular, so don’t say that, Hestia.”
“No, Lucas. Did you lose your ability to joke overnight?”
Hestia said in a voice full of surprise. But Lucas didn’t let go of his stern look. I was also unfamiliar with Lucas doing that, so I didn’t bother to add anything.
Hestia, who was looking at Lucas and me alternately, handed me a small bow.
“It’s a bow I used to use when I was young. A new one would be good, but you’ll grow up in no time.”
The gold-painted bow was very beautiful. You’re giving me this! I received the bow with a twinkle in my eye. I liked it and was happy, but I was worried about Lucas, who was expressionless, so I received it with as little reaction as possible. Who knew Lucas would be the final boss…….
“Actually, I received it when I was young, too”
“Wow! Can you give it to me?”
“Do you know who gave this to me?”
I tilted my head at the sudden mystery. When Hestia told me to look at the bow, I took the bow from Hestia and examined it slowly. And I was a little surprised by the name on the bow.
I felt strange. Helena, I’ve never seen her before. A woman who lost me and died of guilt. My mother, who died less than a year after giving birth to me.
I remembered the only time in the original story when the wicked Mary was weakened. It was when Astina’s stepmother, Marchioness Borneau, gave her a motherly nag. She ran away in a hurry. Seeing such a scene, Mary naturally missed her mother.
I fiddled with my chest. Maybe it’s a combination of Ha Sohee and Mary’s longing for their mother.
“There’s your name next to it.”
“Little Hestia wants to tell Mary that she’ll do well . There’s a little magic in it, so it’ll help you better when you hunt.”
“……Thank you very much.”
I can’t believe I found a trace of my mother in such an unexpected place. I fiddled with Helena’s name carefully. It’s amazing. Mary, look at this. Now you’re touching the bow that your mom used.
Perhaps he knew how I felt, Lucas sat down and began carefully wiping away his tears. Seeing his worried face, I wanted to laugh, but I did not .
“Madam Helena was an archer.”
I see. There were words that crossed my mind. Like Gilbert, Estin also said. “Whose daughter are you?” I thought they said that because I, Mary Conler is the daughter of Grand Duke Estin.
But they said that because I’m Helena’s daughter. The mother, who I only know as a friendly person with red hair, began to take shape.
“She was incredible. Every time she shot an arrow, it was perfect. The way her red hair fluttered in the wind was really beautiful and cool.”
“Who do you think I learned archery from when I received this bow?”
Hestia patted my head and said brightly.
“So, Helena-nim is buried in my archery. I will teach that to Miss Mary.”