79. Side story: Vincent
“Lord Vincent, you seem to be in a good mood today. Do you have good tidings?”
Upon being asked by his butler, Sebas, Vincent immediately put a hand to his cheek.
“Yes, your expression is different from usual, my Lord.”
“…I don’t think so.”
“This Sebas wouldn’t miss such a thing, my Lord.”
Confused, Vincent touched his cheek—he didn’t seem to be sick.
Ever since Vincent was born, Sebas had been his private butler.
Vincent was convinced that what he was feeling was something only Sebas would understand.
“…Well, I met an interesting woman”
“Maybe she’s the cause.”
Sebas withheld a smile.
Why is he smiling? Is he having fun?
Vincent was about to leave the city where the royal castle was located.
He was on the way back to his own territory.
The woman he had recalled… it was none other than Eliane.
At first, when Nigel had told him of his fiancée, Vincent thought it was some kind of joke.
Nigel hadn’t been interested in women since their school days.
When a woman with a beautiful appearance and a perfect family tried to approach Nigel, he didn’t even spare her a glance.
He might be distrustful of women…
Vincent paid close attention to that attitude of Nigel’s—even though he’s the future king…
Suddenly, a man like him found a fiancée.
She was a beautiful woman.
She seemed to be a brilliant healer and mentor. Furthermore, because of her, creating holy water became feasible.
He also heard that she had created a barrier to protect the entire kingdom. He didn’t know whether or not that was true, though.
Her skill as a healer was flawless.
But from what he heard, she wasn’t of an influential noble family.
Vincent had never heard such a story before. At first, he doubted his ears.
“Still, she’s his beloved. I considered figuring out what kind of woman she is… and she managed to exceed my expectations.”
Vincent spoke to Sebas whom didn’t reply.
At the same time, Vincent, whom had a long relationship with Sebas, knew that he was paying attention.
The moment Vincent entered the throne room, he saw a beautiful woman.
At that time, Vincent felt as if he was in a pinch.
Is she Nigel’s fiancée?
Apparently, his assumption was correct.
“I’ve heard of some countries falling into ruin after being deceived by venomous woman. I was wary to the kind of woman she was. I’m relieved. She’s different.”
Vincent was entrusted with a territory by the king.
As such, he was confident in his ability to discern people.
Despite that, Eliane seemed to be terrified of him.
Why was she doing nothing? In the first place, she was the prince’s fiancée. Her status was higher than his. Why was she afraid of him, a mere duke?
Such were his thoughts at that time.
Not only was she beautiful, her healing power was also exceptional.
It was merely Vincent’s guess, but she seemed to be pure-hearted.
She’d be perfect as Nigel’s fiancée.
…Despite that, she was also naïve.
“Some aristocrats and royal families will find a problem with the fact that she’s a mere commoner. I think that as long as she has the ability, her status won’t matter much, but… still, there will be some people who don’t like her.”
Was she aware of that?
He was half intrigued, and half concerned.
The next day, due to his worry, he went to see Eliane. With good intentions, Vincent decided to warn her.
“Are you worthy of being Nigel’s fiancée?”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean anything bad. I heard about you from Nigel. You seem to have worked as a healer until now. That means, you aren’t an aristocrat.”
Even if she and Nigel loved each other, the same couldn’t be said about others.
Once those who objected appeared, would she be able to deal with them?
That was what he was asking.
Nevertheless, she glared back at him. There was strong determination within her eyes.
He didn’t know why he was being gazed at with such hostility, but he had to admire her courage.
Even though she was being pressured by a man larger than herself, she remained unafraid.
Indeed. Vincent was impressed.
At that time, Vincent concluded that Eliane wasn’t a mere girl.
Even if there was a rift between her and Nigel, she’d never be scared and would confront it.
However, as a result of her strong gaze, Vincent’s playful side was tickled.
Vincent further entrapped her against the wall, eliminating all her escape, and inched even closer.
“W, won’t you move aside? Doing this to a woman isn’t very praiseworthy.”
Still, she didn’t waver.
Without realizing it, he said that a bad guy would eat her.
It was an embarrassing thing he dared not mention to anyone else.
He wanted to talk with Eliane a little more, but a man who appeared to be a vassal appeared. Their conversation ended there.
“But don’t forget this—what does it mean for a naïve girl like you to stand beside Nigel? Although the outcome might be different if everyone were to learn your true worth.”
After giving her that advice, Vincent left.
Of course she possessed the talent to be a healer and a pharmacist.
She kept proving to everyone that she was worthy to stand next to Nigel.
“Kukuku, who would’ve thought that due to misunderstanding my words, she’d end up taking the qualification exam… even if she didn’t do that, she’s already beyond amazing.”
“You have always been bad at talking, Lord Vincent. That’s why she misunderstood you. It’s the same as when you purged your aides long ago.”
Sebas was referring to that time he fired his aides who partook in illegal activities.
It seemed that they had used the territory’s budget to gamble.
His late father was a kind lord. Although Vincent had wondered what his father would have done in such a situation, there was no way for Vincent to let them go.
Vincent immediately pursued them, dismissed those whom had been deceiving him, and tried them under the law as criminals.
However, someone spread a rumor that he executed them all.
By the way, he didn’t.
After leaving behind their titles, they all found quiet lives in the countryside amidst the mountain. However, if they were motivated, Vincent was sure they’d start over and return to politic.
Although I don’t think they have that kind of courage.
“I’m curious as to why Vincent is called the ‘Duke of Ice’. Still, you should use your authority to improve your image a little more.”
“I’m not interested. Besides, I’m not good at that.”
At Sebas’ words, Vincent smiled.
I see, because I am referred to as the ‘Duke of Ice’, she misunderstood me.
At first, Vincent thought he had been given a misleading nickname, but didn’t deny it because he found it suited him.
“That amulet seems to have helped her a little. Well, I don’t think her impression of me has changed, though…”
“That’s not true.”
“Why is it so?”
“This Sebas has been taking care of you. That much, I already know.”
Sebas said such without changing his expression.
He was still an ambiguous man.
If such a woman were to be the future queen, the kingdom should be safe…
Vincent recalled his stay in the city, and concluded so.
“But I can’t let my guard down. Sebas, I’ll resume my duties as soon as I get home.”
“Why don’t you rest a little?”
“I don’t have time for that. The new dungeon looks well-handled thanks to the holy water, but there’s still a lot of problems in the territory.”
His was a troublesome territory that had to be protected from being invaded by other kingdoms.
Well, I’ve become the lord of such a territory…
But—it was rewarding.
Vincent quickly switched his mindset and thought of his territory.
***T/N: Will this add to the story, I wonder… Will we ever see him again, I wonder…
Please also consider donating to my ko-fi! It’ll greatly support me in action, no matter the amount!