I want to be a good person.
Never mind the tea.
I heard rumours about you having teatime and just wondered what you all were talking about.”
“But you kicked out all the guests, my lord, so I guess this would be the end of teatime.”
“I didn’t mean to disrupt.”
Altair furrowed his eyebrows and rubbed his neck awkwardly.
Nadia did not say that to make him feel sorry, but somehow it had turned into her scolding the one who had even prepared a flower gift for her.
Nadia shook her head in a hurry and tugged on Altair’s sleeve slightly.
“Then, will you be my guest, Altair? Let’s have tea together.”
Altair did not refuse her touch and sat down in the empty seat.
The table was now cluttered with teacups and dishes as the knights left in a hurry at his appearance.
But with Marie’s skillful hand, it quickly became neat.
“Since the tea has gone cold, I will bring some warm tea again.”
After setting a new set of teacups and tableware in front of Altair, Marie gave Nadia a brief smile before backing out.
‘She is probably being considerate so that we can enjoy our time together…’
Nadia and Altair then fell into awkward silence as if both had no ability to continue the conversation comfortably.
So far, Nadia had been with the knights who were diligently continuing the conversation during awkward situations, but now, her hands had become sweaty from nervousness with her quiet husband in front of her.
‘I can’t stay like this.
I’ve been diligently practicing all this time! And the atmosphere has always been good, too!’
Nadia took a deep breath, reflecting on her determination to ‘be a wonderful lady’.
If I could talk with someone as tacuturn and cold as Altair, I think I might be able to lead the conversation skillfully with anyone.
“Have you finished all your work…?”
When asked carefully, Altair nodded slightly.
“I’ve finished my quota for today.”
“Did you prepare the flowers yourself?”
“I put Pavel through a bit of work.”
“Have you eaten?”
Though Nadia tried to bring up various topics, the conversation did not last long.
On the contrary, Altair’s answers seemed to be getting shorter and shorter…
A-as expected, he is a tough nut to crack.
This was a whole different level from dealing with the knights who had actively responded to any story of hers.
For now, identifying Altair’s preferences comes first.
No matter how sour a person was, they were bound to be interested once their favorite topic came up.
When taking about something the other one liked, they might come to favour their conversation partner as well!
O-of course it’s just a theory, but…let’s just ask about what Altair likes first.
As soon as she finished organising her thoughts, Altair, who had been silent thus far, opened his mouth first.
“At teatime… what do you usually talk about? Everyone seemed to be having fun until I came.”
“We were just talking about the festival.
He said it would be fun and asked me to come along.”
As she answered honestly, thinking it wasn’t a story worth hiding, Altair muttered Cain’s name in a low voice while his expression turned cold.
When Nadia tilted her head in confusion, Altair sighed and ran his hand through his hair distressedly.
“It isn’t fun, is it?”
“I mean, I am…I am not good at talking… The way I talk is stiff…”
When Nadia’s eyes widened at the unexpected confession, Altair’s ears went slightly red.
“I know it’s not aristocratic, but…”
“I’m not good at talking either!”
The art of speech was the basics for nobles.
Perhaps that’s why all the aristocrats in the capital spoke well.
Even if one wasn’t confident in speaking, no one had ever confessed so openly, since they didn’t want to be caught lacking basic skills.
For that, it was nice for Nadia to know that Altair had similar concerns as her.
“I didn’t know Altair would have similar trouble as me.
I don’t know why it’s so hard to talk.
I’m so nervous about what to say that I’m sweating.”
Nadia sighed deeply and then smiled at Altair, who was looking at her, looking slightly puzzled.
“But meeting someone with the same circumstance like this, and moreover, that ‘someone’ is my husband, it feels kinda nice!”
“Do you… like that I’m not talkative?”
If we have the same problem, we can rely on each other.”
While Nadia hastily nodded her head in agreement, she became worried about one thing.
“Oh dear, but won’t it be difficult for a couple to stand at a party side by side if both aren’t good at talking? I’ll have to attend a gathering soon.”
As I thought, that would be a bit problematic.
“Just in case, why don’t you practice, too? We’ll be each other’s practice partners!”
I held teatime because I wanted to practice leading the conversation well when dealing with other artistocrats…It didn’t really work out well, but….
But wouldn’t it be better than not doing anything at all?”
“Oh, so the tea time…”
Altair, who was still repeating after Nadia in confusion, blurred the end of his words.
His expression was indescribably subtle.
“If you don’t want to practice together…”
Altair quickly cut Nadia off as she shriveled her shoulders in apology for making a burdensome suggestion.
“Let’s do it.
I mean… Have tea time together every day.”
‘But until now, I’ve never held teatime everyday.’
Nonetheless, Nadia didn’t want to turn down the long-awaited offer.
As she nodded hurriedly, a faint smile appeared on Altair’s lips.
Nadia had only promised to have tea time with Altair every day, but she was suddenly in a good mood for some reason.
And she herself could not help but smile as well.
Seeing her smile, Altair opened his mouth.
“You don’t have to try too hard to do well.”
Did that mean he doesn’t have particular expectations?
When she tilted her head, finding it difficult to understand his intentions, Altair added an explanation.
“When dealing with other nobles., just do as per usual.
That alone is enough to win favour.
Since you are a nice person.”
“I’m a nice person?”
Nadia felt a strange sense of fullfilling as Altair’s resolute answer boosted her slightly dried up confidence.
She suddenly felt embarrassed for no reason, and her face slightly flushed.
“… still, I’ll keep trying.
I want to do well.
I don’t want people to look down on Aylesford because of my lacking.”
“Having someone look down on Aylesford, that’s not going to happen.”
“That… No one would look down on Altair but…”
Things are different for me.
Unlike Altair, I’m not as cool, not as dignified, not a good swordsman, and I’m…
As soon as her thoughts got complicated, Altair’s finger lightly tapped on her forehead.
Surprised, she looked back at Altair, rubbing her forehead.
In response, Altair narrowed his eyes with his chin rested on his hand.
“You are having useless thoughts again, aren’t you?
You were definitely in the middle of thinking something useless.”
“H-how do you know what I was thinking?”
You’re a good person.
That’s all you have to remember.”
When his calming voice reached her ears, her heart dropped a beat.
Even though she knew she was someone with a lot of shortcomings, she felt like she had become a good enough person at this moment.
And I want to live up to that expectation.
At least to Altair, she hoped she would remain that way for the future to come.
Nadia took the new resolution to heart and smelt the flowers that Altair had gifted her.
A sweet fragrance.
A pleasant day.
Time flew by quickly, and the gathering of the Eastern nobles was just around the corner.
As the lord and his wife would be away for a while, Aylesford Castle, which had always been quiet, was unusually busy.
There would be Nadia, Altair, four knights including Sir Cain, and Marie at the Eastern Aristocratic gathering.
A total of seven people were to attend.
“Have a safe trip, madame.”
Pavel, who would take care of Aylesford Castle while Altair was away, bowed deeply to Nadia.
I am just on the way to enjoy the hunting season though.
It was embarssing in many ways to be greeted like a person who was on a great mission.
I should say goodbye to Pavel, too.
“Please protect Aylesford while Altair and I are away.
Of course I know you’re a capable person and don’t really need to hear this, but…”
When she smiled awkwardly because she felt embarrassed, Pavel smiled ear to ear and slightly shook his head.
“I have heard you, and I’ll certainly pay careful attention, madame.”
“Then I’m counting on you.
Oh! And, while I am at the gathering, the glass I ordered will come.
Please check if there are any scratches.
As Nadia started with one simple thing, a series of things that she wanted to request began to form.
Until recently, she had had a lot on her mind since she had been repairing Aylesford Castle.
Seeing that what she had to say tended to go on, Pavel let out a small helpless sigh and shook his head.
“Madame, please put all those worries aside and enjoy the gathering.
I heard that hunting is a culture enjoyed in the capital, so you would also find it interesting.
Besides, my lord is very good at hunting.
I’m sure he’ll win first place.”
“I guess that must be the case.”
Since Altair even hunted down a dragon, it seemed that the aristocracy’s play of hunting small animals such as rabbits and foxes might be rather boring.
“When you return, the repairs of Aylesford Castle will have been completed to some extent.
We’ll be decorating it nicely, so please look forward to it.”
It might sound like empty words, but it’s coming from the competent Pavel, there should be no worry.
Full of trust, Nadia nodded at Pavel.
On the other hand, Altair, who was had been standing next to Nadia, looked up and down at the butler with a somewhat dissatisfied face.
“You don’t even greet me?”
Did you want to be greeted? Then have a safe trip, my lord.”
What shall I do with such insincere greetings?”
Altair snorted while waving his hands dismissively, and signaled to the knights who had decided to accompany him.
The knights then moved in perfect order and climbed up their horse.
Seeing that there was one horse left, Altair seemed to be thinking of riding it.
“You ride in the carriage.”
The prepared carriage boasted a luxurious exterior that was hard to find even in the capital.
Nadia couldn’t believe there was such a nice carriage in Aylesford!
“I bought it in a hurry since Madame was also going.
Luckily, it arrived just in time as my lord ordered it to be done quickly even though it should have taken more time.”
Nadia had no awareness whatsoever of such a thing.
When she turned to Altair, eyes widening, he briefly cleared his throat and opened the door of the carriage.
“Come on in.
It won’t be as uncomfortable as you think.”
Once Nadia’d climbed into the carriage with the help of Altair, she was amazed by the comfortable seats and the colourful interior design.
Even back in Marquis Vine’s territory, only my uncle could use this kind of carriage.
Nadia’s gaze shifted around, enjoying the luxury, and Marie sat down opposite from her.
Looking at the interior, Marie also seemed to admire the luxury of the carriage.
Let us depart.”
The carraige began to move smoothly at Altair’s orders.
As Nadia looked out of the window and back at Aylesford Castle, Pavel, Anna, and the knights waved them off from the entrance.
“Their greeting is not up to standard.
I’ll have to teach them about this part once we get back.”
Marie, who was also looking at the figures with her, pointed out, but she didn’t show any sign of unpleasantness .
Maybe it’s because it was a heartfelt greeting.
As Nadia was sent off by them, she realised she was finally heading towards the gathering.
It was her first time attending such a big event since her debutante.
I-I can do it, right?
Nadia’s heart was already pouding with tension.
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