Chapter 94

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Mel was still in the knight’s outfit with an epaulet. However, Fiona and Hayley were dressed in plain clothes made of undyed cotton, and their hair was tied with a headscarf.

Unlike Mel, who maintains her position as a Knight, these two were now officially complete commoners. Strictly speaking, she was lower than Sophie, who works in the castle.

“Don’t kneel.”

Artizea shook her hand. She then sat down and offered three people a seat.

“Let’s sit down.”

“How could we.”

“You hope you could.”

The three people exchanged glances with each other.

There was no way to know what caused Artizea to call the sisters.

The sisters did not blame Artizea. It’s not like they didn’t know what Aubrey had done.

On the contrary, the third daughter, Hayley, whose age difference from Aubrey was small, expressed her hatred towards Aubrey, saying that there will be something to come.

[How many times did I tell you not to pamper her around like that? I’ve told you since I was a kid that she’s the one who kept thinking beyond her place.]

Mel couldn’t say anything to Hayley, who was so angry.

However, even so, there was sadness and suffering. She was anxious too.

She did not have any other thoughts, as a knight of Evron.

However, Fiona, who is inherently timid, had become sensitive. Aubrey’s fault is wrong, but apart from that, she also had her own husband and children. She couldn’t harbor a feeling of resentment.

Hayley was a bit sharper in reason than the rest. It was easy to guess that the reason Artizea invited them was because of the anxiety of Evron’s stronghold.

‘She’s not going to ask for responsibility, right?’

Aubrey was already dead, and Jordyn was punished. What else can they do with the impact left behind?

In addition to their rights, their obligations disappeared. The sin ended by being punished.

Mel, who is responsible for the Count’s clan as the family’s eldest daughter, may be a little different, but for Fiona and Hayley, they had nothing to inherit.

“I don’t know if you’ve heard the news, but in a few days I’ll leave this place and return to the capital.”

“Yes.”

Mel replied as a representative.

“I know that it is possible that it will increase the anxiety of the people. Probably, it is not desirable to the Dames. At this time, when the Grand Duke himself guards the fortress of Thold Gate, the Grand Duchess uses the land route in winter to leave the Grand Duchy and returning to the capital would seem as if I was afraid of the conflict and abandon the people to run away.”

“We wouldn’t dare think about it that way.”

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Mel was very serious. Artizea shook her head.

“I know that everyone’s mind is not the same. There are rumors that I was trying to run away with the South Sea people. It’s worth misunderstanding because I’m leaving in the midst of that.”

Artizea said bitterly

“I’m sorry.”

The rumors were no different from what Aubrey’s in the end. So all three of the sisters bowed their heads.

“I’m not blaming the Dames. That’s what the situation is.”

“Your Grace.”

“I don’t have the desire to be the honorable Grand Duchess. I may never come back to this estate again, but there shouldn’t be any resentment reaching the Grand Duchy or breaking the Grand Duchy’s unity.”

Even Lysia was surprised by this.

“So Dame Mel.”

“Yes. “

Mel responded politely. She couldn’t guess at all what Artizea was talking about.

“Wouldn’t you like to be my lady-in-waiting?”

Mel opened her eyes wide. Artizea smiled without knowing it. This is because Mel’s face looked more like Cedric than Aaron or Margaret.

“I’m not going to bother you talking about Aubrey. I know that she’s been guilty of a crime, but it’s a personal deviant behavior. More to say, it will only hurt the hearts of the Dames.”

“Your Grace….”

“The punishment imposed on the Jordyn family was decided by the Grand Duke himself, so I can’t turn it over here. Besides, Margaret took responsibility and resigned, so I can’t call it back. I think it’s the right choice, Dame Mel.”

Fiona and Hayley took a breath.

“As my lady-in-waiting, I would like you to take the role of overseeing the Grand Duchy on my behalf.”

That way, she can virtually reinstate the Jordyn family without touching Cedric’s punishment.

Of course, the title cannot be returned immediately. The same is true of the men that were handed down to Aaron and Margaret.

However, if it was the lady-in-waiting of the Grand Duchess, the position was never lower than the count. The people of the Grand Duchy would consider this to be the return of Jordyn County.

Any vassals and people who sympathize with the Jordyn family will be delighted.

“But.”

Mel stuttered a little.

“I am the blood relative of a great sinner.”

“Dame has washed the shame of the family and proved your loyalty. You are good at military affairs, know the situation of the Grand Duchy, and are trusted with confidence by myself and others, so there is no one but you. This does not hurt the people and honor the Jordyn family. It will be an opportunity to regain the trust of the vassals as well as to restore it.”

Mel lowered her head.

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“That’s more than I can say. If it is the management of the stronghold, the Grand Duke has already left it to Viscount Agate.”

“The Grand Duke left it to Viscount Agate because he thought I would be here. He told him to assist me because I didn’t know anything about military affairs.”

However, to control not only the stronghold, but also through the entire Grand Duchy, military capability alone cannot be sufficient.

“Dame knows the history of the Grand Duchy and has been assisting next to Aaron and Margaret for a long time. In the future, as Countess Jordyn, you are going to stand right under His Grace the Grand Duke, and as a knight, you will be able to cope with military issues. There is no one more suitable than Dame Mel.”

Artizea’s will has been fully conveyed. Fiona and Hayley looked nervous and looked at Mel.

“Would it be difficult?”

Artizea asked again.

In many ways, there was no better solution than this.

But Artizea herself is Aubrey’s enemy. If Mel couldn’t take it emotionally, she couldn’t help it.

“No.”

Mel replied with a hoarse voice.

“A Jordyn’s daughter has committed a sin against the Grand Duchess, and Jordyn’s daughter will repay it. Even if you offered for me to serve just as your lady-in-waiting, I would be willing to devote my life to it. But I’m glad you offered me honor.”

“Thank you.”

Artizea said quietly. She meant it. If Mel doesn’t accept the offer, she’s leaving an element of anxiety on the Grand Duchy.

She spoke to Fiona this time.

“I hope that you will help Dame Mel to take care of the Grand Duchy together. The reason I called the three together is because this is not a suggestion to the individual Dame Mel, but rather because it is a story that I wanted the entire Jordyn family to return. I hope you understand my true feelings….”

And Artizea finally looked at Hayley and said separately.

“Dame is single.”

“Yes. “

“If your heart permits, I wish you would follow me to the capital as my lady-in-waiting.”

Hayley’s face instantly blushed with excitement and then turned white again.

“The Jordyn family has lost its title. It is within the Grand Duchy that Mel was the lady-in-waiting, and in order to take the place, she needs the status. But in the capital, someone like me to be recognized as your lady-in-waiting. I think it is difficult.”

“Hayley, don’t say that. If you put it like that, I’m from…”

Lysia intervened.

Artizea beckoned her not to say any more. It was because she didn’t like getting the story complicated or cumbersome in that way.

“Lysia’s problem, Dame Mel’s problem, after all, are within the Grand Duchy far away from the capital. It’s not because the Grand Duchy is downplayed, but what’s important in the end is how many of Evron’s vassals go with me as my lady-in-waiting.”

“Do you mean that it is possible to create trust by force while showing to the outside how strong the Grand Duchy and Your Grace are?”

Hayley asked provocatively.

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Artizea looked at her with a slightly surprised face. It was because Hayley identified the former, but also understood the latter and had pinpointed all of her own intentions.

To create trust by force. That’s right. In short, taking Hayley as her lady-in-waiting included checks and hostages against the Jordyn family.

Artizea smiled.

“Now that you say so, that makes me really want to take the Dame.”

Hayley politely bowed her head.

“I will follow you.”

“Hayley!”

Surprised Fiona raised her voice. It also has a different meaning to follow to the capital.

Whether Hayley meant to be loyal to Artizea or to follow her as a hostage, it was inconceivable for Fiona.

Hayley ignored Fiona.

“Because trust between people doesn’t just arise. And I know how important the people who will be next to you in the future are. Thank you for giving Jordyn the opportunity to earn trust even after the betrayal.”

“A capable and tactful person is always welcome. Like the Dame’s words, there was a desire to forcibly build trust with Jordyn, but more than that, I am interested in the Dame.”

Hayley stood up and knelt on one knee in front of Artizea.

***

Artizea lastly met with Margaret.

Margaret was terribly haggard, but she politely greeted Artizea.

“I have nothing more to say, because I even brought up a foolish child and caused Your Grace to go through a terrible thing that Your Grace should not suffer. I will not be able to pay back with my life. I am sorry.”

It was their first time meeting since that day.

Margaret said so, dripping her tears to her knees. Artzea raised her by grabbing her hand.

“I’m sorry.”

She couldn’t say more, but Margaret washed Artizea’s hands with tears, as if that was enough.

All the people who heard the Dames’ news were delighted.

Cedric’s punishment was in effect and she was still deprived of her title for three years. However, she did not believe that Mel, who became the Grand Duchess’ lady-in-waiting, would not inherit the County.

As a result, the punishment was diluted and the Jordyn family was forgiven. In the Grand Duchy, it was believed that Jordyn’s long loyalty had been rewarded.

Some people still felt anxious.

But Artizea knew that once she had left, most would soon forget what had happened. Because that is human nature.

If you create a familiar situation where people can feel safe, people will settle down. And it is not surprising for the people here that Mel succeeds Aaron and Margaret.

Three days later, Artizea finished her preparations and left Evron’s stronghold. A winter wind blew throughout her long return.

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