8. A Malicious Invitation
“…So, about Gorman’s wedding.”
The night was over.
Perhaps embarrassed by his behavior the previous night, Alves spoke while refusing to make eye contact.
“I don’t think Lucia being invited is in itself a bad thing.”
“I think so, too.”
“But I can’t let you go alone. Gorman has an inferiority complex towards you, while Irena is Irena—a nasty girl.”
N-nasty…? Why would he say that?
Irena is just childish…
“—What do you mean by ‘an inferiority complex’?”
“Lucia is taller than Gorman, right?”
…Oh, that was true.
Was Gorman bothered by that after all?
Was that the reason he hated me?
By the way, when Gorman was still kind to me, I was a petite girl.
Gorman was of average height, while I grew into a tall girl.
…But was it necessary for him to despise me so? It wasn’t like I became that tall because I wanted it… If I could, I’d prefer to have a delicate, petite, frame.
I’m sorry that everyone in my family is tall!
“Hence why, Lucia can’t go by herself. I’ll go, too.”
“You’ll come along?! That’ll be encouraging!”
“Indeed! Let’s do our best!”
My brother and I were holding hands firmly.
Phil, who was staring at the invitation, tilted his head.
Phil awkwardly stared at us while we were still holding hands.
“…I’m sorry to say this, but… around the time Gorman’s wedding is being held, that’s when you’re busiest, isn’t it?”
“I don’t remember the exact date, but I think that’s around the time you need to work on tax reports, various negotiations, and so on…”
My brother silently stared at the invitation.
I got a notebook with our schedules written on it.
The two of us checked the date many times while awkwardly sneaking glances at each other.
My brother’s face was pale—and so was mine.
“…Why at such a time?!”
“Because that’s exactly what Gorman is aiming for, obviously. While Alves is preoccupied with work, Lucia will be a sitting duck to his harassment.”
“What a vile personality! No, if I were to say something about it, I’m sure I could delay it for about a day…!”
“…Even if you were able to do that, you’d be held contempt for it. She’d get devoured by those royal sparrows.”
“What are they—!? To invite Lucia in such a situation—! Right after he one-sidedly annulled their engagement, too—! How unforgiveable—!”
Alves seemed ready to commit murder.
Well, despite the fact that he’d be laidback at work, he was still a knight who was active on the front lines.
As of the moment, his expression was exactly that of a frontier knight.
However, it had come to that point.
Despite the fact that I had just been abandoned, I was invited to a wedding ceremony. Was I going to receive Gorman’s outright contempt and Irena’s fake sympathy lying down?
They’d probably ridicule at my clothing.
To me, my garments were acceptable. However, if I were to be compared to them, I would just a merciless sight.
I became depressed just thinking about it.
On noon of that day, when I was keeping the books for the tax collection report before the Midsummer Festival, I heard footsteps rushing.
When I raised my face, Yurana rushed into the open doorway.
Yurana, who usually helped with house chores, spoke after taking a breath.
“Lady, the son of the hill shepherd has come bearing news!”
“You mean that boy, Talon?”
“Yes, it seems that a carriage has arrived from the royal capital! However, I’m unfamiliar with the family insignia!”
“…Is Talon still there?”
“Yes—Talon! Milady is calling for you!”
There was a flutter of footsteps yet again, and a tanned boy emerged.
In the meantime, I took out a piece of paper bearing the insignias of families who had been in contact with the Ragulen family. I invited Talon to take a look.
“…What does the insignia look like? Can you recognize it from this list?”
“Um… oh, this is it!”
When I saw the family insignia shown by Talon, I held my breath for a moment.
However, I immediately smiled to Talon who seemed to be worried.
“…It seems to be my cousin. Thank you for always letting me know.”
“My dad always says that it’s one of the important jobs of us shepherds!”
“How dependable of you. Also, let me know if anything happens. Yurana, please give Talon some sweets. Then, I wonder if you can prepare hot water so that I can serve tea. I want to change my garments, please help me get ready.”
Yurana and Talon left the room.
I saw them off with a smile. Afterwards, I looked up the ceiling and exhaled deeply.
“…Why at such a time?!”
So that Phil can swoop in and smack Gorman’s ass with pure, 100%, unfiltered awesomeness, of course.
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