AIWTRO Chapter Seventeen

AIWTRO Chapter 17

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Did she really look like that?

Keira felt her face with one hand. She was worried that the ladies who left after talking about the weather, were actually put off by her attitude.

Arthur: “Not too long ago, I thought my lady was a very scary woman, but now I know it’s not like that at all.”

Arthur stared at the confused lady’s face. He thought she was a person with little expression, but looking closely, he was mistaken. He wasn’t a mind-reader, but he could somehow understand what she was thinking. 

He gave advice to the sullen girl.

Arthur: “Don’t worry. First impressions aren’t everything. The next important thing is how well the conversation flows.”

Keira: “Oh, is that so?”

Arthur: “Yes, so it’s good to find something you have in common. It’ll be easier to continue the conversation that way. Why don’t you go to a club or something like that? People with similar interests gather together to form a group.”

Keira: “My interests…”

Keira was worried. What she was been interested in so far has been receiving love and recognition from her father. 

‘But I’ve decided not to do that.’

Keira: “Fighting monsters… and protecting the empire?”

“…”

Ah, but that really didn’t matter now.

Keira tilted her head. 

Defending the kingdom would be left to His Grace and his fake daughter, so she didn’t need to concern herself with it from now on.

Meanwhile, Arthur felt as if he had met Tarzan.

Fighting monsters and protecting the empire?

If he told that to his peers, he would have the same effect as talking about armies and gladiators.

He said urgently, “I don’t think that’s appropriate. What about other interests?”

Keira: “Yes, come to think of it, I don’t think other ladies will be interested in that.”

Arthur was glad to hear that. He sighed in relief. 

Arthur: “What about plays or operas? The arts?”

“I studied the history of art and music, but I didn’t find it particularly interesting.”

“No, no, not just things you read in books. Have you not watched a play?”

“Well… It was more fun than reading it in books, but I only enjoyed a few performances…”

“Don’t you have a hobby you enjoy in your free time?”

Keira thought hard. She didn’t think she had any hobby or interest. 

If she didn’t have one, she can make one from now on.

Keira: “I don’t really enjoy plays and performances, but I can try. It can help make the conversation flow…”

“Hold on, my lady.” Arthur cut her off. “That’s not a hobby, is it?”

Keira: “Huh?”

Arthur: “You shouldn’t force yourself, my lady. How can it be a hobby if you don’t enjoy it but still do it to please others? Find something you’ll really enjoy.”

“…”

At his words, Keira paused.

Find something I’ll really enjoy…

It’s only a hobby when she could genuinely enjoy it.

If she forced herself to do something she didn’t enjoy just to get close to others, how was that different from when she did everything to please her father?

Keira: “Thank you.”

Arthur: “Pardon?”

‘If it weren’t for you, I would have lived like I used to.’

Keira: “Anyway, I’ll take your advice into consideration.”

Meet with ladies her age and talk about common interests.

Keira: “I think I’ve been keeping you for too long. See you next time.”

Arthur: “I’ll be on my way then, my lady.”

Arthur turned to leave, but suddenly looked back. 

The lady was moving slowly, as if in agony.


That evening, Rose brought three books into Keira’s room.

Keira, who was getting ready to go to bed, looked at her curiously.

“Did I ask you to do anything?”

“This morning, you told me to bring you a novel.”

Rose put the three books down on the bedside table.

“These are three books that describe a noble lady’s daily life. I chose the three I enjoyed the most, and maybe you might enjoy it, too.”

Keira picked up the book on top of the stack.

‘Lady Stella’s Exciting Summer Vacation’

She didn’t know what the novel was about, but since ‘Lady’ was included in the title, she figured it would have the information she was looking for.

“Please bring me a glass of water. I’m going to read it before I go to bed.”

“Oh, it’s not a good idea to start reading it before sleeping.” 

“Why?”

“You’ll be up all night wondering what happens next.”

“…?”

No matter how interesting a book was, it was still just a book. How interesting could this book be?

Of course, she didn’t follow Rose’s advice because she didn’t understand.

「It was purely thanks to my aunt who married a rich man that I, the daughter of an official, was able to go to the capital for summer vacation. On my 18th summer, I got on a carriage bound for the city.」

The beginning wasn’t very interesting because it was just about the protagonist adjusting to life at her aunt’s house. 

Sitting on a warm, fluffy bed and reading a book that was boring, it was expected for her to fall asleep.

‘Okay then.’

How could anyone stay up all night because she’s curious about what’s going to happen next?

She flipped through the pages to see how many pages were left, and noticed a phrase she couldn’t ignore.’The count’s hand slipped up the hem of my dress. We’re in a garden where anyone can come and go–’

 Keira gasped and accidentally threw the book in surprise.

“What–What is this–!”

Her face felt incredibly warm. 

That scene was in the garden, right? 

Growing up under a strict family, she could never have encountered novels with adult content.

She wanted to run to Rose right away and ask about what kind of book she recommended, but stopped herself.

She wondered how Stella, an innocent girl who came to the city to spend her summer vacation, was walking in the garden.

She took it back that the novel was boring. Suddenly, she was very, very curious about what was going to happen.

‘No. No matter how it is, I can’t read that.’

She knew she shouldn’t read it… but she wanted to. She really wanted to read it.

She hadn’t even read it properly and was just skimming through the pages, but it made her even more curious.

What should I do?

Even when she was hesitant to read it, her hand was already reaching out for the book over the blanket. Her fingertips were shaking.

She wasn’t supposed to reach things like that… but she wanted to anyway.  

She felt like she was possessed by the temptation of the devil.

“Hmm, hmm.”

In the end, Keira coughed and picked up the book she had thrown away.