AIWTRO Chapter Twenty-Three

AIWTRO Chapter 23


Keira knew that the man in front of her didn’t care about her. He didn’t care about what she did as long as it didn’t affect their family.

So, if he reacted negatively on something she’s about to do, it wasn’t because he was worried about his daughter, but the reputation of the family.

Ludwig: “If you start accepting invitations now, many may interpret it as something else.”

As expected, Keira was right.

After the first Grand Duke declared that he would remain neutral in politics, the Parvis family had never been involved in it.

If Keira, who had rarely participated in social activities, decided to start now, many brows would be raised. And many would suspect that the lady’s sudden change was under the orders of the Grand Duke.

Ludwig: “I hate getting involved in struggles between noble families. You can do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t affect our family’s name.”

Keira: “Yes, I will keep that in mind.”

Ludwig: “What will you do when people wonder if your attendance is more than just simply attending?”

So, he was worried about how she would maintain the family’s neutrality. Ludwig was that kind of person. A man who was strictly for his family and his duties.

Still, it wasn’t a baseless concern.

Keira had no plans of ending it at just one banquet or party, and had thought long and hard on what to say when people become suspicious.

Keira: “There’s one good excuse.”

Keira answered, raising an index finger.

Keira: “I’m of marriageable age, and I’m trying to find a husband?”

A heavy silence fell.

Ludwig jolted in surprise, a reaction rarely seen from the Grand Duke.

No, Ludwig wasn’t the only one surprised. The butler, the maids passing by, everyone in the area were struck silent.

Keira looked around the room, suddenly anxious at their reaction.

There are many nobles who have chosen to stay single and unmarried their whole lives, but about 40% of the aristocratic population have gotten married and started families.

So, it shouldn’t have been too shocking for Keira to make such a declaration.

Ludwig: “…What?”

Keira: “No, well, it doesn’t mean I’m really getting married…”

Feeling awkward for no reason, she scratched her cheek.

Keira: “That’s why it’s an excuse. An excuse. Getting married…”

‘…I have no plan to do it’ died in her throat when she suddenly remembered the romance novel she recently read.

Men. Relationships. Marriage.

She suddenly blushed.

“Anyway, if anyone questions my intentions, that’s the excuse. It’s common to participate in social gatherings when looking for a marriage partner, right?”

Her cheeks were still flushed when she said so.

‘A-am I mistaken? My lady–?’

‘Out of all people, Lady Keira?!’

Such thoughts filled the heads of everyone who heard Keira.

After a moment of stunned silence, Ludwig was the first to come back to his senses.

Ludwig: “Why are you suddenly interested in going to parties? And why would you use that as an excuse?”

Keira wondered that, too. She hasn’t been interested in doing things she wasn’t supposed to do, so why now?

Why now?

“I’m curious, too. I thought you wouldn’t care about what I did as long as it doesn’t hurt the family name?”

Ludwig’s mouth snapped shut when Keira answered.

After a long silence, he opened his mouth as if forced.

Ludwig: “…Okay. We’ll talk about this again when your excuse doesn’t work.”

Keira: “Yes.”

Keira left her seat in a hurry in fear of making the situation more awkward.

Keira: “Then, I’ll be on my way.”

She purposefully sped up her pace when she felt an intense gaze on the back of her head.

As soon as Keira disappeared, the people left in the room began whispering among themselves.

“My lady, does she really think of getting married?”

“She said it was just an excuse.”

“But I’ve never seen her make that face before…”

“A-actually, me, too.”

They pictured the ice cold lady, a woman icy enough to wonder if blue blood ran through her veins. Seeing her flushed cheeks definitely shocked them.

“So, the family will be taking in a son-in-law[1] soon?”

“I-is it worth celebrating?”

“Who knows.”

Ludwig, who had sharp hearing, heard everything the maids said.

Why on earth was he upset? Was it because she obviously drew a line, telling him not to worry about her business? If not, for what reason?

Robert, who had noticed the Duke’s dark mood, carefully spoke.

Robert: “…Your Grace, what shall we do? Milady was invited–”

Ludwig: “Bring it. Letters aren’t prohibited.”

Robert: “Yes.”

Keira was a sincere child. She did not neglect her duties or cause trouble.

If she had decided to interact with other people, there would be a good reason.

He wanted to believe so, but…

‘She said she wanted to take a break from Knight duties, and she seemed to be in a slump.’

The atmosphere around her has changed. He couldn’t pinpoint it, but something has changed.

Did puberty come late?

He shook his head at the absurdity of it. Whatever the reason for the change, as the head of the Parvis family, he was responsible for managing the family affairs.

Especially when it came to correspondence with other families. The Parvis family must remain neutral no matter what.

Ludwig: “Robert.”

Robert: “Yes, Your Grace.”

Ludwig: “Report everything to me. What events she attends, who she meets, and what she is doing.”

It was his duty, and he would never neglect his duties.

Early in the morning, a stack of invitations arrived on her desk. It was a little wrinkled but still clean.

Keira checked every invitation she received.

There was a purpose for going outside the house…

‘A place where I can meet my grandfather naturally would be good.’

It was almost impossible to avoid the eyes of the Grand Duke in the Parvis mansion, so she had to meet her grandfather outside.

The Parvis mansion was located outside the capital. It would be better to attend a banquet closer to the Edinburgh property. That way, it wouldn’t seem unnatural for them to meet.

‘I’d rather go to a banquet held by Marchioness Francais.’

The talkative Marchioness Francais would definitely open her mouth when she sees that member of the Parvis Family has accepted their invitation. It was more likely that the news would fall into her grandfather’s ears.

In her last letter to her grandfather, she mentioned that she would like to meet at a ball hosted by another family.

A shrewd man wouldn’t ignore what she said.

‘I’m sure Father knows I sent a letter to my mother’s family. It would be dangerous to send one again.’

The Grand Duke didn’t want his children to interact with their grandparents. Since it was the duty of the Parvis family to remain neutral, he didn’t want to seem as if he’s favoring a certain family.

Keira thanked Marchioness Francais for inviting her to the ball.

 [1] They used the term ‘데릴사위를’ (de-ril sa-wee) which is a marriage custom where a son-in-law becomes a member of one´s wife´s family; marry into the family of his wife.