Chapter 18: The Lady and The Knight
How warm and soft it is. How sweet it is.
Still, I felt a sharp pain as if it was stabbing the back of my neck with a needle.
I forced myself to turn around. I saw a dark purple uniform.
Was he this tall? The view that had reached his shoulder when she was Estelle now rested on his chest.
She slowly lifted her head and looked up to see a face with a friendly smile.
The person who spoke friendly with his purple eyes folded in half was Estelle’s friend in the old days and the enemy who killed Estelle herself.
As soon as she met him, she thought she would swear and curse. But she remained silent.
There were too many words in my heart, but every word I wanted to say with all my might that nothing came out of my mouth.
Lucifella opened her eyes wide and saw this familiar yet unfamiliar figure.
The face that always smiled softly was here. At the same time, Lucifella thought it was strange. Khalid, who always smiled in front of Estelle, but was everything is a lie?
“Young Lady, what’s wrong?”
Eozif’s voice was heard, but Lucifella couldn’t say anything. Just seeing that smile made her feel as if she had returned to the past.
Nothing was wrong, he didn’t kill Estelle, just like Estelle was alive and away just for unavoidable reasons.
It feels as if we met after a long separation.
“You seem unwell, Young Lady.”
Khalid’s face turned anxiously. At that moment, Lucifella came to her senses.
When he acted pretentiously, he had a habit of turning his head slightly to look down to avoid the other person’s gaze, and then looking straight again. In that short moment, it was to calculate how to behave.
And it was the same with Khalid today. Now his face is a calculated tenderness. He really doesn’t care about her.
Her lips parted like a fool and a voice came out. Her fingertips trembled. He frowned slightly. It was the look on his face when he looked down on people.
“I, I mean….”
What should I say? I hate you, I want to kill you?
No, it’s not. She had to say she was Estelle first. It was only possible for Estelle to burst out hate and hatred for him.
But now that she herself is confused, how can she call herself Estelle?
However, Lucifella was disgusted with his nonchalant face. Wouldn’t he die if she stab him in the neck now? Unfortunately, however, she had no weapon in her hand.
“It looks like you are not feeling well. Here, take my hand. I’ll help you back to your carriage.”
Khalid approached with a rather polite face and reached for Lucifella.
Then, someone put their hand on her shoulder behind Lucifella’s back.
“I’ll do it.”
It was a familiar voice. Lucifella lifted her head and looked behind her, and saw a man she knew well standing there. He was Lucifella’s fiancé, Duke of Heint.
“I don’t think you’re feeling very well, so wouldn’t it be better to get on the carriage after this much conversation?”
Lucifella looked at his hand on her shoulder. When she made eye contact with him, she saw his displeased face.
Strangely enough, Lucifella’s spirit returned. Though her thoughts flooded, her thoughts stopped because of some fact she had just realized.
“Duke Heint, are you here to see your fiancée?
Khalid spoke to Zed with a friendly look. Khalid’s expression remained unchanged despite the blatant disgust Zed showed.
“Well, as you can see.”
“Duke of Heint.”
A bright voice was heard. Eozif spoke with a bright expression.
“We meet at a place like this.”
“Greetings, Young Highness.”
Contrary to that welcome, Zed was polite to Eozif, speaking too harshly. Eozif’s face changed to a sad expression.
“I didn’t know my fiancée would be meeting His Highness without without my knowledge in a place like this.”
“I was worried about Young Lady, so I went out to see her off.”
“Is that so? I didn’t know that the His Highness and Young Lady were that close.”
Zed laughed bitterly. Khalid’s gaze swept over Eozif and Zed.
“It’s not that, but I’m worried because she had a seizure in front of me. You’re not jealous, are you? Or you are?”
Looking at Eozif’s glistening face, Zed wanted to swear in front of his face, but he also said with a friendly smile.
“Am I not allowed to be jealous?”
Eozif jumped up and gave a strange exclamation at the brazen Zed’s words.
“Your Highness, I am a very jealous man.”
Of course, it wasn’t really that Zed was jealous of Eozif or anything. It was well-known to both Eozif and Zed.
It was Zed’s warning that he would not stand still if he did something useless. Recognizing it, Eozif smiled in a cold sweat.
Lucifella looked to the side at the voice calling him. It was Zed, not Khalid, who was next to her. It was the complete opposite of what it was before.
“You must not be feeling well.”
But she didn’t answer.
“You don’t even have the energy to answer?”
Although the voice and attitude were quite soft, Lucifella remained silent. Khalid, who saw the conversation, narrowed his eyes and said.
“It’s a little surprising. I didn’t know that someone who was always dealing women with indifference would be this affectionate.”
Zed’s face frowned when he noticed the sarcasm. He dis on purpose. It was because if you insulted Lucifella, you insulted Zed even more.
People always thought that Zed was unilaterally arguing with Khalid, but the reality was a little different. Khalid didn’t like Zed as much as Zed hated Khalid.
He has always scratched Zed’s insides with his smiling face. If the Emperor hadn’t brought this human from Ersha, Zed would have cut that head off himself.
“I didn’t know it was going to be a matter of public opinion about how I treat my fiancée.”
“No, I think it’s a little bit special.”
When Zed sneered at the question, Khalid spoke to Lucifella instead of answering Zed’s words.
“Heint is a really kind-hearted man. Don’t you think so, Young Lady?”
Then all the eyes of the three men turned to Lucifella. Lucifella kept her eyes down and her mouth shut. She looked unstable at a glance.
Eozif watched her with interest. If Lucifella had another seizure here, only Zed’s face would be ruined.
It was the first time for Khalid to attack Zed so aggressively as Eozif, so he was very happy with this situation ahead.
Khalid said with a sad expression on his face.
“Oh, I didn’t think that Young Lady was not feeling well. It must be hard to answer, right? It’s such a shame. I wanted to talk to you, but with Young Lady’s physical condition….. I don’t think it’s a good situation.”
At that time, the corners of Lucifella’s closed lips slightly went up and opened.
“Thank you in advance for helping me at the Imperial Palace last time.”
Eozif’s eyes lit up. It was because Lucifella’s expression, which seemed somewhat unstable, changed.
“I also thank you for giving such a good evaluation of my fiancé.”
Lucifella placed her own hand over Zed’s hand that rested on her shoulder. Zed’s hand flinched from that warm touch. His eyes lingered on Lucifella’s small white hand for a long time.
Khalid’s eyes slightly widened when Lucifella, who opened her lips for the first time, said something surprisingly normal.
“It’s just that my fiancé is not lacking in the way he treats his fiancée, was that so surprising that it seem that the Duke had such a kind-hearted man?”
Her voice was clear, and she was as gentle as a lady. Zed was also baffled by her unexpected appearance. It was completely different from how she always acted as if there was no tomorrow.
‘Is this why you were able to hide yourself?’
The current figure was that of a typical lady. Zed felt a strange feeling at the gap with the figure he knew.
“The kindness was just a little surprising. It’s a different look from the past of Duke of Heint. Young Lady must have a unique beauty that attracts people.”
Lucifella twisted her lips at him, she said.
“It’s the past….. You sound as if you’ve known my fiancé for a long time. Have you known each other for a long time?”
Lucifella had no intention of passing this one-sided mockery of Khalid now. It was against her pride.
The answer came from behind Lucifella’s back, not from Khalid. Looking back slightly, Zed looked displeased.
“Neither am I. I was a knight in the Kingdom of Ersha. You wouldn’t know, though. No, you may not be interested.”
Doesn’t know. As if laughing at Lucifella. There was a rumor going around that she was crazy, as expected, this guy must have known it. Lucifella bit her lip in shame.
“It’s not that I don’t know. But I was just a little curious. He who was a knight of the Kingdom of Ersha continues the title of your lost country as it is. Wouldn’t it be possible that you were close to people like Sir Heint when you were in Ersha?”
Khalid’s relaxed face hardened slightly at the words. Lucifella had pointed to Khalid’s relationship with Jansgar since he was in Ersha.
Realizing that Khalid was in a bad mood, Lucifella again made all kinds of accusations that seemed to come out of her mouth immediately.
“Although I became a knight of Jansgar, I had no acquaintance with these people before the war.”
At Khalid’s answer, Lucifella laughed. How can you believe that. This is the word of a man who turned his back on the country and cut off his superior’s head. Khalid’s face was cold.
Disgusting. Why is he offended now?
It was Khalid who cut off her head. But why do you make that face? Although the country may have been lost, Khalid has lost nothing as a result. Still, he is displeased with such ridicule.
“Sir, I hate being treated like a fool.”
“Khalid, I hate being treated like a fool.”
Lucifella deliberately put her habitual words into her mouth. Khalid’s eyes widened slightly. At that, Lucifella felt a twisted exhilaration.
“I don’t know how many people I’ve treated as fools and I don’t want to know, but I’m not a fool. I hope you don’t believe in rumors and think I’m a fool.”
There was a silence between them at Lucifella’s words. Eozif was still sticking to the bystander’s attitude, and Zed seemed lost in thought in their argument.
Khalid was looking at Lucifella as if searching, and Lucifella forced the corners of her lips to smile and was biting the tender flesh of her lips inside.
“It seems my goodwill was misunderstood. Young Lady, I hope you don’t misunderstand.”
Lucifella frowned and turned her head at the words. Then, as soon as she remembered, she looked at Eozif and said,
“I’ll take my leave, Your Highness.”
“I wanted to talk more, but it’s a pity. I hope to see you in the near future.”
“I will never forget the grace you have bestowed upon me.”
Lucifella said with strength in her eyes without even smiling. Eozif felt an unknown chill.
With that voice, Zed’s hand, which Lucifella held, slipped down.
Only then did Lucifella realize that Zed was behind her. Zed stood behind her and then reached out politely next to her.
Lucifella, who was hesitant about what to do, smiled and held his hand so that they did not look unnatural. As if it had been a friendly engagement before.
Zed’s strong hand held hers. The warmth seemed to calm her treacherous fluttering emotions.
Oddly enough, Zed didn’t do anything special, but Lucifella felt that way.
Lucifella turned around and looked at Khalid. She could feel Khalid’s gaze reaching here.
Lucifella thought about facing his face, but soon closed her eyes, turned around, and stepped to the carriage. Zed walked along at her pace.
“Are you really here to see me off?”
As she walked towards the carriage, Lucifella asked. Zed nodded his head at her.
“Because I am your fiancé. You’re leaving for a long way, so I think I need to see you off to fit the situation.”
Lucifella shrugged. Maybe because prestige is important to the aristocracy, she didn’t want to care much. In fact, her nerves were on edge toward Khalid behind her back.
When Lucifella uttered a dull word, Zed stopped and looked at Lucifella’s face.
Lucifella also walked three more steps, then stopped and looked back when she realized he had not followed.
Zed’s expression was subtle. She asked, frowning at the dubious expression.
“What can I do for you?”
Zed’s eyes widened slightly at the words and soon crumpled badly. He burst out laughing as if he was disappointed and said with a stiffened expression.
Something very important seemed to have happened with Zed, but Lucifella didn’t think that far. Because she was busy wrapping up the complicated emotions that boiled in her.
As Lucifella’s steps accelerated, Zed’s steps also accelerated.
Before getting on the carriage, Zed reached out his hand. Lucifella looked at it softly, then reached his hand and climbed into the carriage.
She owes it to Zed today anyway. Coming just before she went on a rampage, she got a chance to think.
By standing in front of Khalid, Lucifella was able to realize that she was now engaged to Zedekiah Heint.
This was really sincere. But at the words that came out of Lucifella’s mouth, Zed looked sour. It was as if he couldn’t believe she was grateful.
“In many ways.”
Zed thought about something for a long time, Zed seemed to have understood something in the end, and sighed.
“It’s not polite to me, but Young Lady must have her own thing.”
Lucifella, who had been devoting her thoughts to Khalid, suddenly stopped thinking.
Why is this person suddenly saying normal things? Besides, what’s with that expression? Zed was looking at Lucifella with a complicated expression.
“I wish you could make up your mind at the estate.”
Lucifella looked puzzled. It was as if he knew that she was worried about Khalid and herself. Besides, is this person as sweet as someone who will die tomorrow?
“I don’t know when I’ll see you again, but act properly. I’ll do my duty as a fiancé too.”
But that just made Lucifella’s face crumple. An unpleasant feeling was spreading. She wondered why he was so sweet.
“What do you mean by that?”
Zed answered Lucifella’s question.
“I meant not to act recklessly like ‘then.’”
I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.
Lucifella got into the carriage. Then the last time she looked back, Zed was looking at Lucifella. At that short moment, she thought she couldn’t understand Zed.