YCKTML Chapter 24
I followed Rupert downstairs with Richard. In the basement were several rooms that ran along a long hallway.
“What are these rooms?”
“It’s a dormitory for the knights. If you go down one floor from here, there’s a dungeon. Do you still use it?” Richard asked Rupert.
Rupert shook his head. “No, it’s not a busy house. I don’t have the authority to use that either.”
What did he mean he didn’t have the authority? I looked around and didn’t bother to ask. We’d arrived at the Armory.
The general arsenal of their knights was outside, but this was a warehouse of the rarer weapons.
Rupert took the bracelet from his sleeve and put it on the doorknob. His bracelet lit up, and the locked door opened.
I guess it’s the same mechanism as the library.
I unwittingly pushed the bracelet deeper into my sleeve to secure it. It wasn’t necessarily a secret, but Rupert could have another outburst if he found out that the Crown Prince gave it to me.
“Richard, why don’t you go up?” Rupert said in a warning tone to Richard before opening the door.
“Then take a look.”
I wanted Richard to be with me, but he nodded to Rupert, turned around, and walked away.
It seemed that this place was for the Duke’s family only.
When I turned on the lamp in the dark room, my eyes widened. I was ignorant of a weapon’s value, but many things in the room seemed expensive.
A sword with a colorful pattern engraved on the body, many gold-plated patterns, and an iron armor that seemed to exist only in the Middle Ages was in the corner.
While I was looking at the weapons in a daze, Rupert beckoned and called me, “Come here.”
He then started showing me different weapons. “This sword is enchanted with lightweight magic, so even small children can wield it with one hand.”
I grabbed the sword he handed me and swung it around. It was certainly light, but I didn’t know the basics of swordsmanship, so it seemed useless to me.
Next was the bow.
“It flies much farther than a normal bow. And it freezes the target the moment they get hit, so the enemy cannot escape.”
Ooh, it seemed quite useful. But like swordsmanship, I knew nothing about archery. So even though the weapons had magic stones, there was nothing I could use.
I was starting to feel depressed when I found a small, shiny ring. It was a hexagonal shape and a unique pattern with gems embedded in it.
Rupert looked hesitant but still explained. “Pushing the button here creates a barrier around you momentarily. It can negate any attack, including magic, but it doesn’t last long.”
“Oh, this looks good!”
As I took it with delight, Rupert stopped me. “Not that one.”
“That… Someone already owns that,” Rupert muttered without making eye contact with me. Was he talking about Chloe?
It was a shame, but there was nothing I could do about it. So I picked up a small dagger instead.
“It is a sword that spews poison. The moment it stings, it can put even a large ogre to sleep in one room. But you’re…”
“That’s fine, I’ll take this.”
Rupert looked at the dagger I was holding in one hand, then the ring in another, and said, “If you want it, I will lend it to you. But, instead, there are conditions.”
“What? What is the condition?”
“From now on, I will let you take charge of the bookkeeping of the Townhouse. You’re talented.”
I looked into his eyes, doubting his intentions. You didn’t let me do it when I wanted to, but now you’re letting me because of my talent?
“Why are you making such an offer all of a sudden? You’re not just talking about bookkeeping, are you?”
The inconsistencies in the books became more visible as I organized them. None of the calculations were correct.
“Didn’t you ask for financial authority last time?”
“…I don’t need it anymore.”
If I get the financial authority, I’d probably have to think about the excuses for those inconsistencies myself.
I couldn’t exactly say, ‘His lover did it!’, could I?
The lover’s work would soon be my responsibility. I didn’t even really need that ring.
“Come to think of it, why do I have to go through so much trouble? In a year, I would have nothing to do with this house.”
Now, it was unclear whether I could even finish that year.
Rupert gave me this answer the last time I asked for financial authority, so I thought my words made sense.
But, contrary to my expectations, he came closer to me with his piercing eyes gleaming.
A warning sound rang in my head. It reminded me of what happened in the carriage.
I took a step back as he approached.
“A year. Who’s to say it’s going to happen?”
“…What are you talking about?”
“I mean, I don’t know. Whether our marriage will last a year or more.”
I wanted to say that would violate the terms of the contract, but I couldn’t bring myself to say it because his hand was caressing my cheek.
“If you don’t like it, there’s nothing I can do. I won’t force you,” He murmured in a softer voice and went out first.
What just happened…?
But more than his actions or way of speaking, I was troubled by what he had said before.
Whether it would last a year or more.
As I rubbed the goosebumps on my arms, I waited until I couldn’t hear Rupert’s footsteps before going outside.
I put the dagger deep in my pocket. And I was reminded once again of my resolve to end this marriage as quickly as possible.
Richard once again asked me to see him at the duchy, and after a while, he left.
I wondered if I’d ever have the chance to visit the estate. Well, if we didn’t get divorced right away, maybe it’s time to go.
Chloe Verezian, Rupert’s lover, was still not in a position to participate in the hunt.
Sometimes, some nobles brought their lovers, but those lovers usually had to be high-ranking nobles or were other high-ranking nobles’ wives.
Of course, hunting competitions were also social events for nobles, so they were invited to a certain degree.
Four days before the hunting contest, news came that Chloe’s father, Baron Verezian, had died suddenly in the capital. Rupert sent Chloe to the carriage and followed after her.
It was unusual for a Ducal heir to attend the funeral of a baron of an opposing political force.
Do other nobles usually attend their lover’s father’s funeral? I couldn’t really ask anyone, so I didn’t know, but it’s true that Rupert hastily followed her.
The news that followed Baron Berezian’s death was that Chloe had become Count Andron’s adopted daughter.
Count Andron claimed to be neutral, but it turned out that he was one of the supporters of the second prince. I only knew that fact because I read the novel.
Fortunately, as Chloe finally belonged to the neutral faction, I remembered that the Duke’s heart softened. Of course, that wasn’t the deciding factor.
Rupert had informed the townhouse that he would go straight to the hunting ground. So you want me to go on my own?
The hunting grounds have not officially designated each other’s partners. But implicitly, everyone knew who was associated with whom.
If Rupert and Chloe appeared together, they might be associated with each other. And if he gave the points he earned at the hunt to Chloe, it would be too obvious.
Then I, his wife, who was also there, would be in a miserable condition. How complicated.
At this point, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought of Enoch.
I glanced at the drawer in the corner that contained his letters.
Come to think of it, I haven’t received any letters these days.
Have you changed your mind? No, you must be busy.
It’s funny to wait for something that I haven’t even replied to once. Even if you’ve changed your mind…
It couldn’t be helped. In the novel, Enoch was the second lead who loved Chloe, not Erin.
But if Enoch gave his heart to Chloe, would I be able to bear it? Just thinking about it made me jealous. But, moreover, it was not at all impossible.
This jealousy I was feeling reminded me of someone. “… I’m no different from Erin.”
Frustrated, I got up from my seat and went to the window. The sky was cloudy and dark; most likely, it was going to rain soon. In the novel, I read many people mentioning clear and sunny days, but now that I was living here, there were far more rainy days.
The bracelet on my wrist slightly shook. I borrowed Erin’s body and was reborn.
There must be a reason I came here. But I’ve been too busy trying to survive that I haven’t decided what to do in this world just yet.
In the meantime, if I let Enoch into my heart, I didn’t know what would happen. Did I want to be the Crown Princess?
I shook my head. Stop thinking about that. There’s nothing I could do about that right now anyway.
While I was lost in my thoughts, someone knocked on the door.
“Madam, it’s Jenny.”
Jenny entered the room with a white envelope and a leather garter belt that I had preordered.