I Slept with the Villain Holding My Hand (Web Novel) - Chapter 17
* * *
The Crown Prince, who had gone out to the battlefield at a young age, returned to the capital.
He also achieved a great victory.
During this time, it was obvious what the prince wanted from the neutralist nobles.
Either to be on his side, or at least remain neutral without falling for the second prince faction.
Themis was a wise man and would seek the safety and interests of his family, before taking side.
However, Merria’s position was a little different.
She’s about to eat with people who she never wanted to meet even in a large banquet hall.
It was too harsh. Merria, who almost had a tragic lunch, shook her head and climbed back onto the horse.
When she arrived at the shopping street, Merria left her horse, and then she put on the robe.
She hadn’t decided where to go because she came out in a hurry, so she headed to the central square to waste time.
“Hah. What a pain this is.”
I complained with my mouth, but I felt at ease being here now.
She bought a couple of fruit candies for snacks and then headed to the park outside the shopping street.
There were benches and pavements all over the park along the spacious lawn.
Among them, Merria, sitting on a quiet bench, she raised her head to look up to the fullest and fixed her gaze staring in the clear sky.
The half-covered sun she was staring patiently was blinding.
A satisfying smile hung around her mouth.
I felt calm when I absorbed the phytoncide in the park.
(N: Phytoncides have antibacterial and antifungal qualities which help plants fight disease. When people breathe in these chemicals, our bodies respond by increasing the number and activity of a type of white blood cell called natural killer cells or NK. These cells kill tumor- and virus-infected cells in our bodies.)
Merria closed her eyes with her head down and savored the warm sunshine.
As the robe reclined in the breeze, a brilliant platinum blonde flowed down from it.
She enjoyed the state with a relaxed expression, like a sunbathing cat.
It was around the time I had been doing that for a long time.
Something crashed into my leg with a loud sound.
Surprised, Merria jumped up and looked down at her feet.
A sheaf of golden hair was rolling around on the green grass.
The little golden retriever rubbing glossy fur on the lawn looked very excited.
As I watched the dog make a panting sound, it felt like it was out of breath.
Merria, bent her knees, patted the puppy in the back while showing its belly.
‘Oh. It’s so cute!’
Merria likes animals, but she has never had a pet.
It was because she knew how heavy it was to be responsible for one’s life.
Instead, she loved animals, so if she accidentally encountered an animal, she would play with them a bit.
As I was enjoying playing with the dog, then I heard a low, soft voice from afar.
I heard the sound of someone’s footsteps rushing towards where I was.
As she raised her head, she was being kissed by the puppy, she noticed someone’s gaze.
Merria, who frowned her eyes looking at the sun shining behind a person, quickly blinked her eyes.
As she got used to the sunlight, she saw the man in front more clearly.
Under the wine-colored hair, transparent silver eyes gazed at her.
Although he was dressed in light clothes, he must have been a noble master, given the glossiness of the fabric.
Merria, a little embarrassed by the gaze still stuck on her, held the puppy in her arms.
Merria, who was trying to remember the retriever’s name, burst into a small laugh.
“Your name must be Dylan. It’s cute because it sounds like a person’s name.”
How cute! It’s a cute name.
The man, who was staring blankly at Merria’s smile, came to his senses and continued to talk.
“Oh, yes, it’s like a child, and it ran away on our first outing. I’ve caused trouble.”
“It’s okay. Be careful not to lose it.”
She replied, as if it wasn’t a big deal.
She put on the robe and continued to walk away.
Now she was going to stop by a bookstore to buy a book and then go for a piece of cake to eat.
I thought it would be a perfect time for Reukis to return.
The man stood there until the back of Merria became small like a dot.
His gaze did not fall until the servant approached him and talked to him.
“Deston, it’s time to go back to the mansion now.”
“What? Ah, yes…”
On the bench where she was sitting, there was a fruit candy that had not even been opened.
Deston stared at the spot for a while and then left.
* * *
The time when Merria rode her horse and ran away.
In his wagon, Reukis was holding both of his hands in black gloves and trying to release them again and again.
Kalix, sitting on the other side, hurriedly moved the documents with a nervous expression.
“Duke Themis Rackester’s older sister Natalie Rackester has two children and was married to Count Lawrence. The second child was Derek Lawrence. He was 12 years old…”
“All right. Good work.”
As soon as Reukis heard Derek’s age, his doubts were solved.
That night, when I saw her stroking my face or putting me in bed when she thought I was Derek, I thought that Derek was close to her like a lover.
The documents he saw said that Serinia Rackester was engaged to Miles Butler.
Derek’s name was mostly used for boys, so I wondered if it was wrong.
However, if he was a 12-year-old cousin like brother, it makes sense to treat him so friendly.
More and more I became convinced that Serinia was the woman.
Soon his carriage passed through the front gate of Rackester and slowly stopped.
When the coachman opened the door, the Duke and Duchess of Rackester were waiting.
Reukis walks in front of the two and politely greets them.
“Thank you for your invitation. The Duke and Duchess of Rackester.”
“It’s an honor to have you here.”
Themis also replied with a poignant attitude.
“I’m Deputy Kalix Grafian.”
Then, Kalix, who was standing next to him, greeted the Duke of Rackester.
“Yes, nice to meet you.”
“Please make yourself at home.”
When Reukis and Kalix greeted Themis lightly, Raven, standing next to them, smiled gracefully.
They headed straight to the dining.
All four of them knew it was a nominal meal, but for now they had a prepared lunch.
Hans’s carefully prepared pre-dinner soup that was placed in front of four people in turn.
As if he had something to say, Reukis’ eyes moved finely around.
Themis coughed a little when he saw it.
“Let’s talk slowly, and have dinner first.”
Since then, there have been occasional conversations, but the dinner has ended quietly.
After finishing the meal, Reukis and Kalix headed to the drawing room under the guidance of the butler.
After a while, When Themis arrived, Reukis glanced at Kalix.
Kalix went out and stood as if guarding the door of the parlor.
Reukis, who was looking outside, confirmed that there was no one except the butler and Kalix, and immediately brought up the main point.
“The reason I’m here was to meet the lady Rackester.”
Themis was confused, thinking that stories of political collusion would be the topic of his visit.
You came here because you wanted to meet my daughter?
It was completely unexpected.
Themis stared at Reukis’ face and didn’t answer.
Reukis, who was impatient because there was no answer in return, asked one more time.
“Is it possible?”
When he asked seriously, Themis changed his attitude
If he asked about my daughter, I would respond as the father of my two daughters, not as the Duke of Rackester.
“I have two daughters, but who do you want to meet?”
If it was not a conciliatory visit for the Crown Prince, it would be a visit for an engagement or marriage.
Serinia has a fiance, so I thought Merria’s name would come out of his mouth.
“I wanted to meet Lady Serinia.”
Reukis’s head tilted at Themis’ expression that looked somewhat embarrassed.
“Serinia Rackester, wasn’t she the Duke’s daughter?”
“No, yes, that’s right. But she already has a fiance.”
Reukis, who was trying to frown, realized that he had not given the full explanation to Themis, and relaxed his mind.
“It’s not that way.”
First of all, Reukis, who corrected the misunderstanding in a hurry, immediately spoke.
“It’s just that I have something to check and confirm from her.”
“…Okay, but I think it’s impossible today.”
“Was lady Serinia not feeling well?”
“That’s not it. Rather, it’s a problem because she’s full of energy. That’s why she left for Horben territory yesterday to get medicinal herbs herself.”
Horben was a province located near the capital, and it would take about two days by carriage.
It was unusual for a noble to go back and forth so far to get herbs and so on, but there was no lie in Themis’s expression.
Reukis immediately stood up from his seat.
“I’ve caused a lot of trouble. I’ll invite you next time.”
Like a hollow macaron, it was a heartless word.
“No, please let me know next time.”
Themis also responded moderately.
Reukis and Kalix hurried into the carriage and quickly passed the main gate of Rackester.
Themis’ expression as he stared at the leaving carriage darkened.