Special thanks to all patrons~
[Casual Supporter: Michelle, Matthew T, Riley R, George P, NorAsma H, first last, Mark S, Olivia G, Christiine G, Diego R, P4ntagon_, mjkj, Doug, SkVt]
[Original Mania Level 1: Sami, Ayesha, Lop]
[Original Mania Level 2: Asuran, Paco, Goddess_hera, Kathy V, DJay, MagicEagle, Venalitor]
[Original Mania Level 3: William C, blizgerg, Hans-Andre S, John D, Alice A, Katrion]
[Original Mania Level 5: Andrew M, sch]
[Double Degree Level 3: Browser]
[Library Mania Level 2: Christine V]
[Library Owner: Kiradien]
Happy reading and don’t hesitate to drop any comment to fuel my motivation~
PS: Don’t forget to take care of yourselves :3
With the days passing by beautifully, Ann was so focused on her learning and interaction with Faye that she didn’t really mind not seeing her husband-in-name for quite some time. Ah, it was such a pity she couldn’t make any advances to her husband, but well…
The thing was that Allen spent most of his time in his office before going home to avoid Ann at the same time. He was always ready to receive any report that Ann did something, though. So, after a few days of full peace, Allen started to feel that something was wrong.
“Report of the day,” Allen asked his butler, Bastien.
“Reporting. Nothing out of ordinary has happened today as well. Arlea-sama spent her time mostly with her personal maid, Faye, and by reading books in the library,” an elderly butler with a dignified aura bowed as he reported.
Allen raised his eyebrows, “More details.”
“Today, in the morning, Arlea-sama woke up later than usual, thus she decided to skip her breakfast like the other day. Faye spent the entire morning on her maid training and returned to practice it to Arlea-sama in the afternoon. Today, Arlea-sama’s lunch…she ate all of it and even said thanks for the good food to the servants. But the maids reporting that had terrified expressions on their faces…,” Bastien’s words were cut off before he could finish his explanation.
“Oh? Did she do that again?” Allen asked with a knowing look.
“Exactly, Allen-sama. She pretended to act very unladylike. Her table manner was that of a commoner’s. One of today’s meals was a full course of appetizer, main course, and desserts with the correct placement of utensils. Yet, she didn’t use the correct utensils in order.”
Allen put a hand on his forehead. How could she pretend to behave like this? Even if it was a pretense, it was something that deserved a round of applause.
Pretending to be someone of higher social standing and conduct would be easier to do than downgrading your behavior and pretending to be someone of lower social standing.
Just why would she go this far? What for?
Even until now, Allen couldn’t understand this.
“Okay. Any other thing?” Allen asked.
“For the details of her interaction with Faye, she…she treated Faye so patiently like a mother—no, an older sister would. They played houses, dolls, and she read her books…,” Bastien was sweating at this point as he couldn’t explain why Arlea did those things…
Allen furrowed his eyebrows further.
“Also, Allen-sama, it seems that Arlea-sama is capable of using magic. As for what magic she has, it’s currently unknown. But she demonstrated control over water magic, as she…”
“She what?” Allen started to think the horrendous things Arlea could do with magic in her hand—thankfully it was water magic which wasn’t really harmful. If it were other magic, then…
Speaking of which, she never used her magic power before, so Allen thought that she couldn’t use them at all.
Could it be that her magic was so weak? Is she one of the weak common four element holders?
Bastien’s words pulled Allen’s mind back to present time.
“She used her water magic to play with Faye…”
Those words weighed so much more than the report that Arlea using her magic to harm others or create a mess…
By this time, there were two people deep in their thoughts as they furrowed their brows deeply in Allen’s study room.
“I understand. It’s already late at night. Go now and continue monitoring her,” Allen instructed Bastien before he stood up as well.
Bastien bowed deeply before he excused himself.
But before Bastien could go out, Allen said, “Wait.”
Bastien turned around to ask his master, “Yes, Allen-sama?”
“Take note of her magic as well. Also, tomorrow I will be home earlier than usual. Prepare dinner for me as well.”
“Master, you are going to…!” Bastien immediately knew what Allen was thinking about. Allen-sama was going to see how Arlea-sama was with his own two eyes, and perhaps would try to pry her open!
This was a joyous news! He couldn’t guarantee if the other servants working under him would withstand this ‘silent face-off’ against their unreasonable ‘mistress-in-name’ anymore.
The scariest thing wasn’t facing a cruel mistress. It was facing the formerly cruel mistress who turned kind and weird all of a sudden, for they didn’t know what in the hell was going on, and if they would be attacked back by their cruel mistress again once they were caught off guard.
In the next day, Allen went off early in the morning as usual to his office. Aside from managing his territory and doing the usual administration work, he set off a bit of his time to see how the investigation on Arlea and Faye going.
“The investigation on Faye’s already completed, but as for Arlea-sama…,” one of his subordinates reported.
“Sum everything up for me, Gilles,” Allen said.
“There is no prior relation between Arlea-sama and Faye. Faye was an orphaned bird halfling who originated from a rural area near Klavenheim. Her family was all killed during a rebellion there, and she escaped from her adoptive family who abused her instead. After that, she lived in Klavenheim’s slums before meeting Arlea-sama by chance. No more information can be found, that’s everything on Faye,” Gilles finished reporting everything to Allen about Faye.
“Her biological family was killed by the rebel forces?” Allen raised his eyebrows.
“…,” Allen seemed to be immersed in his thoughts after listening to Gilles’ confirmation.
Gilles was sensible enough not to interrupt Allen’s thought and waited for Allen to signal him to continue. Sure enough, after a few moments, Allen raised his face and—despite not saying anything—Gilles understood that Allen was urging him to continue. So, Gilles opened his mouth again.
“Arlea Pristine Claritianta is 18 years old this year, the youngest child and the only daughter of Marquis Claritianta. She’s been raised as a pampered child where everything goes her way in the Claritianta household. She’s biased towards commoners and especially despises those with lower social status than her…”
Allen closed his eyes. He knew all this information. Their marriage was a political one and he had an objective as well by marrying her. If his guess was right, though, then it would mean the other party possessed a bigger objective than him and it was exactly his objective to uncover their ulterior motive. It wasn’t just climbing up the social ladder.
His memories went back to when they were first married which was also when they first met. On their first day of marriage, she demanded him to treat her well and put many requests. For the reasonable ones, he did them in order to please his now wife. At first, his distrust towards her wasn’t as big as it was now. But as time went on, he came to realize that Arlea wouldn’t want to yield to anyone, neither did she want to bow down even to him—her husband. He had to obey her at all cost. Even for unreasonable demands.
Starting from that, they started their cold relationship. Allen was curious about her so almighty behavior when she was just a marquis’ child.
Does she have a princess complex or something like that? Because she’s been treated like a princess in her family?
Then, this kind of thing was really hard to change. And yet…
“Yet, starting from 20 April 1022 AR, after she injured herself, her attitude completely changed…”
Allen’s mind wasn’t focused to Gilles’ words as Gilles only stated what he knew so far. The old Arlea was no more.
“…Up until now, we still couldn’t find out what triggered that change except for her head injury…Either she had been pretending all along or that she injured her head real bad that it caused her personality to change completely…”
Head injury? Personality change?
Allen began to wonder whether he needed to call on royal physician to see what was wrong with Arlea. Perhaps he would need to see Arlea again with a calm mind before he decides on that matter.
“Alright, continue with your other investigations I’ve tasked you to do,” Allen said before dismissing Gilles.
Gilles bowed politely to Allen before leaving his office room.
There was still time before dinner, so Allen decided to do more work in his office, such checking the documents and the reports from his subordinates. Finally, he thought that it was enough for the day and decided to go home to eat dinner with that vile woman Arlea and see if she was still able to act so well in front of him.
At this time, Allen would never have thought that he would really regret his decision to face Arlea tonight, as tonight…was bound to be the night he would never forget.
Don’t hesitate to drop any comment as they motivate me in writing more! Hope you’re enjoying the series so far ^^
Join my Discord server to mingle with other readers~