Chapter 58

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Margaret didn’t know what to do.

As a vassal of the Grand Duke Evron, she ought to be pleased that the new Grand Duchess would only select her lady-in-waiting from within the Evron Grand Duchy.

This is because it means that she will not attract the forces of her own family or create a new one.

She also says she’s going to take her own daughter as her first lady-in-waiting. This is to show deep trust in Count Jordyn and strengthen their ties. It was also an honor.

If the successor was conceived in Artizea’s body, it was even more important.

A child born is bound to be intimate with the mother’s ladies-in-waiting, while they are under the mother’s care.

The nanny and the first tutor were also usually chosen among the ladies-in-waiting.

However, Margaret couldn’t lift her head.

“Aubrey… only appears grown up, but she is still an immature child. She has no manners, that I can’t possibly let her serve the Grand Duchess.”

Margaret knew Artizea’s eyes were slowly scanning her.

She would have been insecure even if Artizea hadn’t met Aubrey, but she had already seen Aubrey.

She also saw Aubrey blatantly antagonizing her. She would already know why, too.

In fact, Margaret thought Artizea would be angry. There was no excuse, so she would first apologize deeply and then scold Aubrey until she came to her senses.

But she said she would make Aubrey her lady-in-waiting with such an elegant attitude. Margaret got goosebumps.

Whether her act of conciliation was for the purpose of putting Aubrey under her hand, or to make sure she knows who is their superior.

Either way, it wasn’t something someone of Artizea’s age would think of.

Margaret admired the wiseness of her new mistress. Meanwhile, she was also afraid as the mother of her foolish daughter at the same age.

Artizea said slowly.

“We’re in the same castle anyway, and even if you hide her, will she be hidden?”

“It’s not like that…”

“If she doesn’t have an etiquette, then she should learn more etiquette. When I heard from His Grace that Count Jordyn was a trusted family, I wanted to invite the lady-in-waiting for the first time. It’s embarrassing that you cannot give your daughter..”

Margaret bowed her head deeply because she had nothing to say.

“That doesn’t mean that I doubt your loyalty to Evron.”

“No. Please take away those fearful words. Please don’t say that as you are the Grand Duchess of Evron.”

And she finally said.

“It is a great honor to hear that the Grand Duchess is going to take my foolish daughter. There will be many mistakes, so please guide us a lot.”

Artizea slowly nodded her head.

Contrary to Margaret’s thoughts, she wasn’t upset with Aubrey.

It was because she wanted to crack down on Aubrey in advance.

Artizea was the Marchioness of Rosan, and she held the empress’s hand instead of her mother’s at the wedding.

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Aubrey ran into Cedric’s arms without any sign of being conscious in front of her.

Until now, Cedric must have been so sweet. He originally is fond of children and regarded the people of the Grand Duchy as family members. He probably thought she was like his younger sister.

However, he is allowed to do so because his subordinates did not forget their loyalty.

If there is someone who doesn’t know up and down like Aubrey, it will surely be a problem someday. It is for the sake of the Evron Grand Duchy that the buds are cut in advance.

For the future when Lisia became the Grand Duchess.

‘Really?’

Such a question suddenly ran through the inside of her chest and stuck in her head.

‘Aren’t you angry? Really? It doesn’t matter emotionally?’

Artizea threw her gaze into the fireplace and quietly fell into her thoughts.

She casually put her hand on her chest. Her heart was heavy as if a stone was on it.

But Artizea did not check what was on her heart.

It was because she instinctively realized that she shouldn’t.

***

Cedric, who was picking her up at dinner time, appeared earlier than expected. Behind him was a servant pushing a trolley with food.

Alice, who opened the door carefully, was flustered. She didn’t think the visitor would be Cedric.

“The madam is sleeping.”

“Is that so?”

Cedric hesitated for a moment.

If he had been in the capital, he would have said he would come again and turn around. But Cedric didn’t this time.

They slept in the same cabin for more than a month. Besides, they were married externally, and it would be okay to not have gone that far.

Alice also informed him, but she didn’t stop him from entering.

Cedric stepped into the warm bedroom.

Artizea sat asleep in front of the fireplace.

He thought she had a good rest on the ship. However, she seems to have been tired, as Cedric said. As her soles and knees warmed, her drowsiness came.

It was said that the Evron Grand Duchy was cold, but this room was not. Rather, it was warmer than Artizea’s bedroom in the Rosan mansion.

This is thanks to the heated room. The fur skin was warm.

Cedric approached her and laid the plate down on the table. Because of the heat, Artizea’s cheeks were flushed nicely.

“…..”

Would it be better not to wake her up?

With that thought, Cedric approached Artizea’s side.

The servant left the trolley and went out silently. Alice followed and carefully closed the door.

Cedric pulled the chair and sat next to Artizea, looking at her sleeping face for a while.

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But it would be right to wake her up too. Sleep was important, but a meal was also important.

She barely gained weight after working hard for several months.

Cedric quietly reached out his hand. It’s good if she wakes up, and it’s okay if she doesn’t wake up. He thought about it and tried to cover her cheek slightly.

“Ah.”

Artizea opened her eyes in amazement at the image of his palms almost touching her down on the cheek.

Cedric, who couldn’t even touch it, awkwardly lowered his hand.

He openly clenched and opened his fist a few times. It would be an excuse to try to touch her because he was curious if her cheeks were warm.

While she couldn’t speak, Artizea blinked her eyes a few times and she said “Ah,” again. It was an unknown face when Cedric tried to touch her cheek.

“I thought I was dreaming.”

“Am I in your dream?”

“… I do not know.”

A bitter smile formed on Artizea’s lips.

“Was it a bad dream?”

“No.”

Artizea replied briefly. It wasn’t a dream, so the word bad dream was inappropriate.

Rather, the way he was looking at her so tenderly now seemed like a vain dream.

Artizea tried to get up. But after sleeping a little, then standing up after a little sleep, she felt heavier as if she had extra legs and arms.

“You should rest more.”

“Isn’t it dinner time?”

“You were tired, so I didn’t think it was necessary to go down to the dining hall, so I brought the food here instead.”

“But to greet the vassals …….”

“I decided to skip it today. We’re going to have a proper banquet the day after tomorrow. Is that okay?”

“Of course. “

Artizea sighed briefly and buried herself in the armchair. If she can take another day off, she was grateful.

Cedric stood up. He pushed the trolley and came by the armchair.

He opened the soup warmer lid and transferred the soup to a bowl.

“It smells delicious.”

Until then, Artizea, who had been sitting blankly against the armchair, woke up.

“Don’t get up, I’ll give it to you.”

“Oh, I have to. ……”

Cedric was one step faster. He already took the soup bowl and spoon it up before her body was raised.

“Sit in a warm seat and eat.”

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“…… Thank you. “

Artizea awkwardly thanked him.

Cedric skipped the soup on his own and piled meat and mushrooms on a plate like a mountain. Then he poured melted cheese on it and put bread in a small space.

Cedric sat down again when he returned with the plate. Artizea inadvertently opened her eyes wide. Isn’t it too much?

Cedric raised a fork with a calm face. And he asked plainly.

“Is the room okay?”

“Yes, it’s warm. The bathroom was also very warm.”

“I was worried that the rooms hadn’t been used for long, but I’m glad.”

“Is this the room that Lord Cedric’s mother used?”

Artizea asked carefully.

“Since this is the room used by the Grand Duchess for generations. Since the joining with the Empire, the Grand Duchess have rarely been northerners, so we must pay a lot of attention. If the Grand Duchess that came from a political marriage got sick in the cold, the problem can spread greatly.”

“That’s also true.”

Artizea ate a spoon of hot soup.

The soup, which was boiled with a thick bone broth, was different from what was usually eaten in the capital. Her stomach quickly became hot.

“Is there anything wrong with the Grand Duchy so far? Three years is not a short time…”

“Because we haven’t received any reports in the meantime. And Evron Grand Duchy is not an area where there is much change, as long as there’s no war with Karam.”

“I see. The last war was five years ago. Lord Cedric was praised as a hero.”

Cedric’s face turned red.

“It’s a vain praise.”

“You rebuilt the Western Army, which was almost destroyed, and stopped the monster wave. You proved that it was not vain.”

Artizea smiled. However, Cedric looked serious.

“It’s not because I did well, but because there was the Knights of Evron by my side.”

And he sighed.

“The population seldom increases, and in Winter, most of the trade stopped… and the industry fell behind. Even if it wasn’t a big battle, there were many small disputes at the Thold Gate. Everything we do in this land is to be prepared for war.”

Cedric shook his head.

“So it’s natural to be able to fight.”

The Empire praised Evron by calling it Evron of the North.

Grand Duke Evron officially held the rank after the emperor and empress.

Except for the emperor, only Grand Duke Evron was able to take the knights and lead the knights. The sovereignty of the province was also fully guaranteed.

Grand Duke Evron had the authority to collect taxes, convene troops, and draft supplies. Some of these powers were applied beyond the scope of the Grand Duke.

But Cedric didn’t think it was power or honor.

All of that power was given to defend Karam. And too many sacrifices were made as a defense from Karam.

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It is not an honor to make such a sacrifice. There was no need for power that forced sacrifices.

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