“Ah…” Aiden, who was staring blankly, let out a meek exclamation at my words.
‘Is there someone behind me’ I tilted my head and looked back.
At the same time, I could see Lexion walking over to this side while chatting with the Lord of the area.
‘Why did you flinch after seeing Zion’ Then our eyes met.
As he approached us, Aiden bowed and greeted him.
“Welcome, Your Grace.”
“Yeah.” While Lexion nodded lightly, the lord next to him spoke kindly to me.
“Ah, this is the Isol of that rumor.”
“Pardon What do you mean…”
As I feign ignorance, the lord laughed loudly.
“There is no need to hide it.
I got an official letter from the imperial family.”
“What does that…” Lexion seemed startled at his words.
Looking at his expression, it seemed that he knew now that an official letter had come from the imperial family.
‘No wonder they said they would let me go.’ I bit my lower lip at the word ‘imperial family’.
The imperial family was mean to the bone seeing how they struck us on the back.
The lord kept rambling.
“They even sent me a description of her appearance, so I recognized you right away.
Ho Ho Ho.”
“Keep your voice down,” Lexion whispered to the lord.
It was because he was talking too loudly in an open space.
Fortunately, the people around me didn’t seem to be interested in our chatting.
The lord nodded his head and he offered to shake my hand.
“It’s my first time meeting an Isol, so I acted like a fool.
Nice to meet you.”
Nice to meet you.”
As I grabbed his hand a little tremblingly, he added.
“Are you coming to the banquet”
“It’s a banquet that is held without distinction between nobles and commoners, so please feel comfortable.”
It sounded as if he was trying to be considerate of my status.
Since Lexion had already asked to go with him, I nodded meekly.
“Then I will see you again tomorrow, Duke.
I’ll hear the final answer to what I asked by then.”
“I won’t change my mind.”
“Is that so That is unfortunate.”
When Lexion responded harshly, the lord smiled widely and left.
“What did he ask for”
“To stay a little longer,” Lexion responded softly as he gently pulled the hair off my face and wrapped it over my ear.
Naturally, his sleeves went down and the black pearl bracelet on his wrist sparkled.
Then Aiden suddenly shouted.
“Aaah! I wondered where I saw it!” At Aiden’s sudden cry, Lexion’s eyes turned to him.
At that moment, Aiden quickly scanned the bracelet on my hand.
After a while, he shook his head and muttered.
“As expected… That’s how it happened.”
‘What happened’ I was about to ask him, puzzled, but Aiden said to Lexion with a meaningful smile.
“Your Grace’s overprotection is not good.
If one finds out later, they’ll think it’s because you don’t believe in them”
Lexion stiffened at his words.
I stared at the two without understanding.
After a while, Aiden greeted me with a very satisfied smile.
“Miss Tiarozetti, I will escort you again starting tomorrow, taking turns with Violet.”
“Oh, will you”
Lexion, who had been silent all along, called his name.
There was a bit of annoyance in his tone.
But Aiden didn’t care and asked with a bashful smile.
“Are you alright, Your Grace”
Lexion rubbed his forehead in response to the shameless reaction.
Aiden greeted politely as if he didn’t need to hear an answer.
“I’ll go wash up then.”
“…Yes, go.” Lexion sighed deeply and waved his hand.
Aiden nodded and disappeared.
‘There seems to be a lot of omission between the conversation’ I tilted my head, unable to grasp the context of their conversation.
After a moment, Lexion called me softly.
“I trust you.”
“Mmh” I let an exclamation out at Lexion’s sudden declaration.
‘What do you mean you trust me Zion is so erratic these days.’ I didn’t know what he was trying to say at all, but I was glad that he believed in me.
“Me too, I also believe in Zion.”
* * *
After that, Aiden became my escort again.
He said he had already consulted Violet and decided on the order.
And finally, the day of the banquet.
I changed into a dress suitable for the party.
Aiden followed me, but Daisy wasn’t feeling well, so she stayed at the hotel.
I barely stopped her from coming with me.
The banquet was held in the gardens of the expansive villa near the Habun River.
Most of the invited people were nobles and influential people who stayed in the estate.
One surprising thing was that there was a place prepared for commoners.
Of course, the seats were clearly separated.
I set my eyes on where the commoners stayed.
Most of the expensive food was in the aristocrats’ seats, but the commoners were enjoying it as if it was a feast.
Lexion, who went to the banquet ahead of me, tried to find the lord but he was nowhere to be seen.
I quietly sat down and watched the people.
Then Aiden asked cautiously.
“By the way, are you feeling well after… that”
“Still, you shouldn’t use your power like that.
I heard that Isol’s power is limited.”
But the damn book kept testing that limit.
I couldn’t help but stare at the book floating in the air.
The book had been active since the morning and had been following me through the whole day.
Although, it was invisible to anyone else.
So, of course, I was the only one who could see it.
Whenever I looked at it, I felt that this place was not real.
I am just a traveler who stays for a while, and I cannot belong to this place.
When that clear distinction shackled me, I felt a little lonely.
I hated the look of the book, it was as if it was watching me, so I did it without realizing it.
“What kind of bug is this”
There was no bug.
I just wanted to hit a book.
I waved through the air using it as an excuse.
The book immediately groaned in response.
You must cherish the book.
“A bug I can’t see it.” Belatedly, Aiden looked around and talked.
I shrugged casually.
“Oh, I think it flew away.”
“It’s quite something.
There are bugs all over.”
“I know, right.
Did they smell the food”
While I was speaking leisurely, someone approached me.
He was quite chubby.
Looking up at him with a puzzled face, the servant standing next to him said:
“He is the young master, owner of this estate.”
“Ah, forgive me for being rude.
I’m Tiarozetti Sparrow.”
With the introduction from the servant, I quickly got up and greeted him politely.
When he heard my name, he spoke with a puzzled face.
“Sparrow Is that how you do it”
“What do you mean”
“You are an Isol, right”
The man murmured with an insidious smile.
I couldn’t know if he was being tactless or was trying to ask me for something while pretending not to know.
“The young Lord seems to have misunderstood this.
She is a member of the Sparrow family.”
Aiden tactfully intervened.
When Aiden standing next to me intervened, the man showed displeasure, but his expression softened quickly.
“As such a noble person has come, I hope the food will suit your taste.”
“It’s so elegantly decorated, how can it not taste good I will eat well.”
Contrary to what you said, you left a lot of food on your plate.
It seems that our chefs were not in a position to satisfy the taste of an Isol.”
I stared at him absurdly as he spoke as if looking for a quarrel.
The food on the plate was not yet eaten, but it was not intended to be left behind either.
He sounded as if asking why a woman who wasn’t worthy enough sat in the VIP seat and not the outsider’s seat.
No matter how unique it was, the Isol tribe was a minority.
Who would think that a woman who is not even treated as a citizen of the Empire will enjoy luxury with the duke on her back
“What are you–!”
Aiden tried to protest as if noticing the meaning.
But the man’s remarks went even further than that.
“I have heard that you have healed a woman’s legs.”
At his words, Aiden’s and I’s eyes widened at the same time.
He was speechless.
I replied calmly.
“I never did such things.”
“Is that so” The young lord replied with a grin.
From the look on his face, he didn’t seem to believe it at all.
‘Did John not keep a secret Or is he deliberately trying to frame me’ The little lord left with his mind wandering.
After glancing at the man’s back for a while, Aiden spoke in a very displeased tone.
“My Lady, why do you stay still in front of such a rude attitude”
I am used to this kind of treatment.”
Aiden hardened his face as I shrugged and smiled resignedly.
“Don’t ever take it for granted.
Miss is not someone to be ignored.” His voice grew louder than before as if he had been through something similar.
“But it is true.
Because I am not a member of the Empire.”
When I answered pitifully, Aiden said as if upset.
“As long as the Lady is protected by the Duke of Sparrow, being rude to you is like being rude to the Duke.”
“Besides, my body is for you.
If the Lady had asked for a duel, I would have picked up the sword right away.”
He seemed very angry.
I looked away from him, wiggling my lips.
It was nice to know that someone was angry in my stead for what I had been through.
A few minutes later, I made a light joke to refresh the atmosphere.
“It seems that the young lord has never even held a sword properly, can Aiden, a swordmaster, apply for a duel against ordinary people”
“Ah, that’s true.”
Recognizing my intentions, Aiden relaxed his expression and swept the back of his head.
The joke seemed to soften the uncomfortable feelings a little.
Actually, I was offended by the man’s attitude so I said to Aiden.
I will trust Aiden from now on, and the next time someone is rude to me, I will throw a glove right away.”
[tl/n: throwing a glove was a way to ask for a duel]