Home Post 635-chapter-46


Unfortunately, after that, Carinne didn’t have a chance to see Archen again. She spent her free time meeting Iris occasionally. It had been a few days since then.

Finally, the day arrived when they were supposed to go to Duke Lucas’ mansion. Carinne changed into her outing clothes and sat in her room, waiting for the carriage to arrive. More precisely, she was waiting for the carriage that Iris and she would be riding in.


Carinne was choosing her words carefully, deciding what to say when she met Archen, but Marie opened the door and entered.
Her complexion didn’t look good.

“What’s the matter?”

Carinne asked, concerned.

“It’s… well…”

Marie hesitated, swallowing visibly as if struggling with something. Why would she act like this? Carinne listened intently and waited for Marie to speak.

“I think I need to go back to my hometown after today,” Marie said.


Carinne was taken aback, but then she realized that the person in front of her was Marie, and she felt relieved.


“My parents have been seriously injured, and I need to take care of them.”

“What happened to cause their injuries?”

“I’m not sure. I need to go and find out.”

Marie responded, sighing deeply. She didn’t expect something like this to happen. A sense of emptiness filled Carinne’s heart. She had grown closer to Marie without even realizing it, and now they had to part ways.

Nonetheless, if it involved Marie’s parents being sick, there was no other choice. She couldn’t be selfish.

She smiled wryly.

“I’m sorry…”

“What is there to be sorry about?”

To reassure Marie, she had to appear calm. Carinne shrugged her shoulders and pretended to be nonchalant.

“Don’t worry about it, and go see your parents. If you have time later, you can always come back. There will always be a place for you here, Marie.”

She meant it. Even if the mansion were overflowing with maids, there would always be a place for Marie.


Marie’s eyes reddened.

“I won’t forget you.”

“Neither will I.”

Carinne said sincerely and smiled gently.

Marie’s nose turned red, and she lowered her head. Then, wiping her tears with her sleeves, she spoke with a trembling voice.

“By the way, the carriage has arrived. Lady Iris from the Count Shunen’s family is waiting for you.”

Finally, she had arrived.

Carinne had to go out and see her. But at this moment, she realized that it could be her last moment with Marie. Her feet felt heavy. What should she say as a farewell? While pondering, she hugged Marie tightly. Marie, with her petite figure, fit perfectly in her arms.

Carinne patted her back and spoke softly.

“Don’t worry. We’ll be able to see each other again. I’ll be waiting.”

In the end, Marie burst into tears.

Huwaa, lady…!”

“Oh, don’t cry. Stop!”

She wished she had just said farewell without hugging her. Seeing Marie cry made it even harder for her to leave. Carinne hugged her once more and wiped her tears with a handkerchief.

After promising that they would see each other again, Carinne finally managed to leave to meet Iris.


Iris greeted Carinne with a wave of her hand, looking as happy as a puppy seeing its owner.

“It’s good to see you!”

She responded with a nod instead of words and got into the carriage with Iris.

“I’m so excited, are you? I wonder what we’ll have for dinner?”

Iris’s excitement seemed to be one notch higher than usual, probably because they were on their way to Duke Lucas’s mansion.

“By the way, why did the Duke invite me when it was you who solved the problem?”

It was a question with a predetermined answer, so to speak, but she didn’t mind. In fact, she found her excited state somewhat cute.

Carinne gave Iris a response that she would like.

“Well, maybe he became interested in you?”

“If that’s the case, I would be really, really happy!”

Iris clapped her hands in delight. Seeing Iris so thrilled, Carinne couldn’t help but make a helpless expression.

Duke Lucas should be interested in Iris.

That was when Iris suddenly remembered something and looked at Carinne.

“Carinne, how about today?”


“Doesn’t it seem like a perfect day to confess?”

Iris’ eyes sparkled as if she were the one who would confess.

Haha, I don’t know…”

Iris’ words were somewhat accurate.

Today, Carinne planned to directly confront Archen. If things went as Carinne expected, it would probably be a mutual confession. Whether it was positive or negative, he would react in some way, and then she would know how he felt about her.

“If it happens, you must let me know what happened.”

“Got it.”

“Yeah, and speaking of what happened yesterday…”

As Iris continued her chatter, time quickly passed by.

Finally, they arrived at the mansion of the First Duchy. Carinne secretly hoped that Archen would come out to greet them, but her expectations were dampened when she saw a servant with a face she didn’t recognize.

The servant politely greeted Carinne and Iris and then led them to the dining room. As always, Carinne couldn’t help but think that the Duke’s mansion was more like a maze than a home.

When Carinne and Iris reached the dining room, the Duke stood up from his chair.

“You’re here.”

Carinne was the first to survey the table. There were only three plates on the wide table.

“Is this it?”

“What do you mean?”

As he acted nonchalantly, Carinne asked again.

“Only the three of us are eating?”

“I invited the Princess and the lady. You know that from what I told you before.”

The Duke replied casually. It was as if he hadn’t noticed any problems with this dinner.

“That may be true, but… What about Ar—the Duke’s aide?”

She wanted to mention Archen’s name, but she quickly changed it to the aide because she remembered what happened last time. Carinne didn’t want to make a slip of the tongue and receive some snide remark from the Duke with his sharp tongue.

The Duke showed a slight expression of displeasure upon hearing her question.

“Do I have to take care of the aide’s meal as well?”

Ah. Carinne felt as if she had been hit on the head with a frying pan.

‘Stupid me, have I ever seen a noble and an aide eating together?’

As a fan of romance fantasy novels, Carinne had never once seen a scene where the Duke and his aide dined together. They might have a good relationship, but dining together?

Of course not.

But still, even so, when she went to meet Martha, she took Archen with her. They went through a lot together, so shouldn’t she invite him to the after-party?

…Duke Lucas was getting on her nerves. He was definitely a wicked employer.

Carinne sat down in any available seat.

Now that it had come to this, she thought they should finish the meal quickly. But strangely, it was quiet beside her. When she looked up, she saw Iris looking at her with a worried expression in her eyes.

‘Are you okay?’

Iris asked with her mouth shape. It was only when Carinne nodded to indicate that she was okay that Iris finally took her seat.

“Duke, thank you for the invitation.”

“…You’re welcome.”

Carinne spoke without looking at the Duke.

“When will the food come out?”

Seeing her impatience, the Duke’s mouth twitched slightly.

“Soon,” he replied.

Not long after the Duke’s response, servants holding food plates appeared one after another. The servants set a sumptuous feast on the table. The thick soup emitted a savory aroma, and the roasted chicken glistened with juices.

There were also unnamed succulent meats and appetizing dishes on the table. Fruits and salads were also included for dessert.

“This is delicious, Your Excellency!”

Iris said after taking a few spoonfuls of soup in front of her.

“Well, it does taste good.”

Carinne said a moment later.

She didn’t usually want to say nice things, but the words ‘it tastes good’ came out uncontrollably from her heart. Every dish tasted amazingly good. Regardless of anything else, she had to highly appreciate the Duke’s ability to choose his chefs.

The word ‘delicious’ made the Duke’s lips curl into a smile.

“I’m glad it suits your taste.”

The Duke said slowly as he sliced the steak and put it in his mouth. At the same time, with his crimson eyes, he subtly gestured towards Carinne.

‘Why is he suddenly acting so friendly?’

She pretended not to notice the Duke’s gaze while she scraped the soup into her mouth with her spoon.

How much time had passed?

While the Duke and Iris were still in the middle of their meal, Carinne had almost finished hers. She picked up a salad plate for dessert when she heard the Duke’s voice from beside her.

“I suppose you can tell me now. The relationship between the Commander and His Majesty, and what you know about the white oak. How did you find out?”

A thought immediately came to her mind.

‘He called me here to ask me this.’

After all, there was no reason for Duke Lucas to invite her to his mansion. And he even treated her to dinner. Since she had received the dinner, she had to answer, though she couldn’t be honest, so she had to beat around the bush.

What should she say?

While putting the cherry tomato in her mouth, Carinne thought hard, furrowing her brows.

“I read the meeting notes, so I knew. Sometimes, when I’m bored, I read the past meeting records in my father’s office. I found out about the white oak from reading them.”

“Duke Tricia have meeting records?”

The Duke’s surprised reaction was evident. He knew very well what Duke Tricia’s public image was like.


Carinne lied without blinking an eye.

Fortunately, the Duke seemed to believe her words. One hurdle cleared.

“Then what about the Commander and His Majesty?”


It seemed that the excuse of trade secrets wouldn’t work this time. She barely held back the urge to twist her hair and extended her words. A good idea flashed in her mind like a light bulb turning on.

“I also heard something. I heard from someone I trust that they have a special relationship.”

If she couldn’t handle it on her own, she could only pass it to someone else.

“I can’t tell you who it is. That person asked me to keep it a secret.”

Just in case, she set up a safety net. If she said this, he wouldn’t be able to ask any further, right?

“I see.”

Fortunately, the Duke accepted her explanation and nodded.


Carinne let out a breath she had been holding. And before she could hear any more questions, she quickly made her move.

“I’m sorry, but I’m not feeling well, so I’ll excuse myself first. Iris, see you later.”

She placed the napkin on the table and pulled her chair back.

“Enjoy the rest of your meal.”

Then, she glanced at Iris.


Carinne glanced at Duke Lucas and blinked again. Iris’ cheeks turned bright red as she understood the meaning of the gesture. Carinne left Iris behind and left the dining room. She had reminded her of the opportunity, and now the rest was up to Iris.