TMD Chapter 57

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“Miss Mary, you’re putting too much pressure on your shoulders.”

Hestia said, tapping my shoulder as I closed one of my eyes and measured the distance of the target plate, I tried to relax my shoulders as much as possible, but it seems that the tension was not completely relieved.

I took several deep breaths, closed my eyes and relaxed. I tried to erase Cameron from my head as much as I could.

I could only feel the fresh wind. I opened one eye again and looked at the target.

“Now.”

As soon as I let go of the bowstring, the arrow flew and hit the target. 

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Of course, it’s stuck on the side not the center, but it’s stuck on the target board without Hestia’s help. As I was starting to feel proud of myself. 

Clap, clap!

I heard applause from behind me. When I turned around I saw the knights who were training, clapping behind me. 

“That’s great, Miss Mary!”

“You’re talented”

“We’ll have to train hard so we won’t fall behind.”

It was the first time the knights cheered and praised me. When I looked at Hestia with a proud expression, Hestia showed me her thumb. I smiled broadly at the feeling of being recognized.

“Then, let’s stop and go in.”

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“What?”

“You should go and eat.”

“But…… I think I’ve got the hang of it now.”

Hestia took the arrow out of my hand, completely unconcerned when I spoke with a curt look. I jammed my hands a few times with regret.

Hestia took my hand, looked at my palm, and sighed.

“You got a scratch on your hand, miss.”

“What?”

At Hestia’s words, I looked at my right hand. There is a slight but deep cut on the index finger, which is bleeding. I was so focused that I didn’t notice I was hurt. When I saw the wound, it started to hurt.

“I’ll stop by the clinic and get some ointment; you can go wash up first.”

Judging from Hestia’s expression, I thought if I didn’t go now, she wouldn’t let me hold a bow again. So I nodded and quickly headed for the castle. 

“Sister!”

“Rex!”

As if he was waiting in front of the gate until my training is over, Rex ran to me with a water bottle. Since I was thirsty, I took a bottle of water from Rex and gulped it down.

“Oh, it’s so refreshing!”

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“I asked Bonita to put herbs in the water.”

No wonder the water felt cooler than usual. I held the bottle of water and smiled at Rex. Rex, who was smiling at me, looked worried again.

“Are you okay?”

“Oh, I’m all right.”

“I think your hand is bleeding…….”

“Hestia said she’d bring some ointment.”

Rex only smiled brightly at my words. I asked carefully what I was curious about.

“Cameron is…”

As we entered the castle, I asked Rex carefully about Cameron’s whereabouts. Rex hesitated for a moment but spoke carefully, taking the bottle from my hand. Rex didn’t seem to want to talk about Cameron for too long.

“I heard he’s visiting Giefroy today. Just that.”

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My pride was hurt when I heard what Cameron was doing. Even though his opponent is a beginner, I thought he would still practice separately, but he’s just playing. I feel like I’m going to die because it’s a waste of time…….

Well, Cameron doesn’t have to practice. He’s been hunting a lot. I stretched out my hands and looked at them, then clenched my fists. I can’t lose by grit. I grew up running around in the mountains.

As I entered the castle, Bonita, who was in the hall, ran towards me. Then she grabbed my body and looked everywhere.

“Oh, Miss. You looked just like the first day you came here.”

Was I as dirty as the day I first came here from the orphanage……. Scratching the back of my head, Bonita looked at me and stroked my cheeks. 

“But you look cuter with your hair tied up that high.”

“Oh, this is Hestia’s…….”

She tied my hair saying that if I pull the bowstring, I might accidentally pull my hair together with it so I had to be careful.  It’s the first time I tied my hair this high in this world, but I didn’t feel anything strange because I often wore it like this before.

“You’re so cute, so please do it often from now on.”

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Rex also smiled at me as if he sympathized with Bonita. Even if I don’t do much, I get compliments like this.…. It feels good.

After Bonita told me to look forward to dinner tonight, I went to the bathroom. In the bathroom, Carol was already preparing for my bath. The bath had all kinds of herbs floating on the warm water.

“Miss, go in quickly.”

It was so refreshing. It felt like my tensed shoulder and calf muscles were slowly loosening.

“What do you think? I went to Giefroy to run errands and bought these.”

“I love it!”

“I bought herbs to help you relax as much as possible!”

Carol said delightedly. Although it was not a rough exercise, the bath felt good after sweating a lot. I unconsciously hummed. Carol was gently wiping my body when suddenly I heard a knock.

“Who is it?”

Carol carefully opened the door, spoke with someone for a moment, and came with something in her hand. Carol’s hand held a round barrel.

“Hestia brought it.”

It was Hestia.

I guess she stopped by with the ointment that she got from the clinic earlier. Carol silently washed my hair. 

“Your hand…….”

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Carol quickly wiped the water off my body with a soft cloth and carefully applied the ointment to the wound on my hand. When the ointment touched the wound, I reflexively closed my hand at the tingling sensation so Carol stopped applying the ointment.

“Does it hurt?”

“No, not a lot, just a little bit …….”

I felt bad from Carol’s wet voice. She was clearly blaming it all on herself. I held Carol’s hand with my other hand that doesn’t have the ointment. She looked up at me.

“Don’t worry.”

“But this little hand…….”

“It’s so much fun to shoot arrows! It’s normal to get hurt like this. It’s alright.”

It wasn’t completely a lie. I had a lot of fun today. Honestly, I lost track of time. If Hestia didn’t remind me of dinner time, I would still be shooting arrows.

Carol didn’t cry as if she remembered the time I asked her to cheer me on and touched my hand once again.

“You’ll be good at everything.”

“Thank you.”

“You’ve done a good job with Jackson before.” 

“I’ll do that to Cameron, too!”

“You mustn’t do that, Miss. Promise me.”

“Just kidding….”

“When you say it, it doesn’t sound like a joke…….”

Even though I said it was a joke, Carol asked me not to hurt the First Prince until I changed my clothes and went to the dining room. Actually, it was really a joke, but I didn’t think she would dissuade me this much. 

Entering the dining room, Gilbert, Rex, and Cameron were already seated. Before I sat down, I glared at Cameron for a moment and sat down.

I thought everyone had gathered, but the meal hadn’t started yet. I got a little bored and stretched out my hands on the table. Why is the meal so late today? I want to eat quickly and get out of this heavy atmosphere.

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“Here comes the Grand Duke.”

Alberto came in, so I thought the meal would finally begin, but I stiffened up at his completely unexpected remark. When I turned my eyes to see if others knew, the other three looked quite confused too. Does Grand Duke Estin eat? I haven’t seen him eating in the dining room so it made me wonder. 

In particular, Cameron’s expression was very impressive. I can feel his nervousness all the way here. Are you nervous? If you’re going to be like that, why did you come to Conler Castle? I wanted to stick out my tongue at the look on his face, but I held it in.

It was only when Grand Duke Estin sat down that the appetizer came out. The appetizer was a smoked salmon salad. The meal was very still. All I could hear was the clattering of dishes. The meal time was usually quiet, but today it was quiet as if the world was calm.

Today’s main dish was seafood with tomato sauce. Bonita said to look forward to it, only really delicious foods came out. Recently, Grand Duke Estin stopped by Padula coast and brought a lot of seafood, there was a lot of seafood that I haven’t seen before. 

I like seafood more than meat. So fortunately, I was able to focus only on the plate without worrying about the surroundings, perhaps because I exercised hard after a long time. Even if it’s the worst dinner ever, I can eat deliciously.

Let’s get it done and go back to the room.

“Does the food suit your taste?”

“……Yes.”

“That’s good.”

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I was thinking like that, but Grand Duke Estin spoke to Cameron. Cameron replied with a slight hesitation. The silence from earlier was better. This little conversation was just more breathtaking. I put the shrimp in my mouth and thought again. Let’s get it done and go back to the room. No, can I go?

Grand Duke Estin hasn’t finished yet. Can I get up first?

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Sienna

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