16. The Second Puzzlement (Dylan’s POV)
The night of the day Avril was discovered carrying a bucket of hot water.
Dylan was listening to Chris’ report in the study.
“Lady Avril isn’t evil, is she?”
“Does Chris think so, as well?”
“Yes, the same goes for everyone.”
A delicate atmosphere flowed between the two. No matter what, both Dylan and Chris knew that Avril was behaving strangely.
Getting back to the topic, Dylan asked Chris.
“How was Lady Avril in the city?”
“Well, rather than acting like a villainess, she turned bright red the moment she saw a skimpy dress. When she saw jewelry without price tags, she turned blue. Had I not given her some advice, she’d have probably returned home without buying anything. Upon discovering that the necklace she bought was the most expensive one in the store, she from deep blue to pale white.”
“Incidentally, as for the most expensive necklace, she picked it by chance. Despite all of them being jewels with high value, she somehow chanced upon that one. I wonder if she has tremendous luck.”
“…What is this? The more I hear, the more it doesn’t make sense.”
Facing a stunned Dylan, Chris continued.
“Lady Avril herself seems to be trying to act like a villainess, but her acting is—no, that’d be uncouth of me. I mean to say that her true nature seems to be very polite and mild-mannered. After we had returned from the city, she politely thanked me for accompanying her with an innocent smile. Occasionally, her words contradict her supposedly evil personality, to which she immediately corrects them.”
In truth, Dylan felt that Chris’ report aligned with the discomfort he felt at their initial meeting. That day, he even saw her showing concern for a maid.
All of the employees who worked for the Duke of Lancester were inherently diligent and loyal. That might be why Avril who was regarded as a ‘villainess’ was despised as an unwanted presence in the house.
Despite their contractual marriage, Dylan intended to protect Avril for three years. Hence, he went to see her.
…She, isn’t she better than expected? In fact, by a vast margin. No, what on earth am I thinking? I should stop with this line of thought…
After contemplating a little, Dylan spoke.
“…I saw her carrying a bucket of hot water for a bath.”
“Here is the most confusing part. When I confronted her about the treatment she is receiving from the servants, she changed the topic, as if to shield them. At the same time, her words and actions after that were extremely calculative. Afterwards, she wished for me to make some arrangements instead of sending money to her parents’ house.”
“To claim greed motivated her appeal… would be counterproductive.”
Unable to comprehend the meaning behind Chris’ smile, Dylan sighed.
“Indeed. By taking advantage of Count Allingham’s weaknesses, I applied for the engagement. However, Lady Avril appears to understand well the financial situation of her parents’ house. Still, why would she do that?”
“If so, then Lady Avril would be suitable for the role of duchess.”
Implicitly, Chris was suggesting that it didn’t have to be a contract marriage. But Dylan remained unfazed.
“Even so, she was terribly pleased with the contract marriage, making it impossible for me to pull back.”
“I see. She aspires to be a villainess, but if anything, she’s an innocent princess.”
“I am in agreement.”
Dylan and Chris nodded to each other. After a short while, they both tilted their heads with clouded expressions.
“But then… why would she pretend to be an evil woman?”
***T/N: For Komedies!!!! X’D
Please also consider donating to my ko-fi! It’ll greatly support me in action, no matter the amount!