HTLAW Chapter 27
I thought the people, despite hesitating, were moving one step closer.
Before I knew it, the thin road was filled with people.
“Miss Betty, please call for a carriage.
The coachman will wait near the designated spot.
“Ah, understood.” Betty stood up and vanished into the crowd.
I was looking at her back, but then I made eye contact with the people who were staring at me.
Looking at their colorful, shining eyes, somehow a familiar scene came to mind.
The procession that visited Havel to celebrate my wedding.
They too looked at me with fear… or glared at me with contempt every now and then when they saw me.
At that moment, I realized it.
This was the natural response in terms of how humans thought of witches.
“Don’t think that all humans are like the ones in the castle.”
What my husband said at the time started to make sense.
It really, really was a dangerous place outside the castle.
At least for me, a witch.
And the walls of Havel Castle, which I once thought of as a prison to lock me up, were to protect me.
“My lady! I’ve brought a carriage!” Betty, her hair a mess, shouted loudly.
I spotted a large, black carriage.
“Are you all right?” The frightened coachman quickly opened the door.
“I’m fine, but Miss Betty and Sir Cross—”
“You’re the one who we should be worried about! Hurry up and get in.”
Evan grabbed me and almost threw me into the carriage.
It was very rude to treat a lady as such, but it was inevitable because it was an emergency.
“Should I go straight to the castle?”
“Yes, please do.
Be quick about it.”
The coachman nodded at the knight’s words.
As soon as Betty got on, the door was slammed shut.
The carriage began to move and rattle.
For a moment, when I looked out the window, I saw the eyes of the crowd again.
“What a pity… It’s your first time out and we couldn’t even buy the snacks you wanted.”
Oh, I forgot about that.
I forgot about something very important because I was caught up in the moment.
We’ll do it at another time.”
“Excuse me? Wait, I can’t believe this.
Do you plan to go back at some point? You’re joking, right?”
What was he talking about? I nodded.
“I won’t give up just because I failed once.”
“Wipe the blood off your forehead before you say that.” Evan shouted, “Do you know how serious the situation is?”
Tch, of course I was caught off guard at the time, but it wasn’t a big wound.
“If you say that one more time, I’m going to make sure you shut up at least ten times.”
“Are you going to shut up?”
I quickly closed my mouth.
I thought it would be wise to retreat and plan for the next outing.
Yes, let’s do that.
“By the way, what do we do? My lord would be livid if…” Betty looked at my forehead and wept.
Fortunately, most of the pain had disappeared, but the wound seemed to be bigger than I expected because of all the blood.
“Don’t worry, I still have some medicine left.
If I take it and rest, it will disappear without leaving a scar.”
“Really? I’m so glad.”
The knight and Betty were visibly relieved.
He appeared as if the earth would split open at any minute.
He had even collapsed into his seat and leaned back.
Seeing this, I quickly smiled.
Everything would be fine, but it was a lie.
I was glad I didn’t tell him everything.
There was no need to keep a stock of medicine since people would always be asking for some.
Actually, I was glad there was never enough.
But it was true that they didn’t have to worry.
Evan experienced first-hand the concentrated mana in my body during our arm-wrestling match.
I still had a lot of it in my body.
Tomorrow morning, there wouldn’t be a scar.
Making such a fuss was unnecessary.
“Damn it.” His swear echoed in the carriage.
When I wondered what was going on, I saw Evan stick his head out the window.
When he turned back around, it looked like he had seen a ghost.
His face was even pale.
I wondered what was wrong with him, but then the carriage slowly came to a stop.
Huh? Did we arrive already? Evan dropped his head into his hands.
“I do recall saying you should stay in the castle and rest.”
“Did you enjoy your secret outing without listening to your husband?”
I was startled by someone’s familiar voice.
Half an hour ago.
“Where did she go?”
“W-Well, you see…”
Lukas frowned at the shaking butler’s words.
He narrowed his eyes at Alan.
For a very competent butler, he didn’t answer immediately for some reason.
It was an ominous sign.
But also expected.
“…She’s in town.”
Why was his guess never wrong? Lukas swallowed a sigh.
Thinking that she would be alone in the castle, he rushed home, saying his wife was tired and anxious.
It was no exaggeration to say he set a record for stopping a conflict in the shortest amount of time.
Even though he rushed back without taking a break, it wasn’t the wife he imagined who’d greet him but a panicked butler.
Lukas couldn’t help but be upset.
So today, even if he punished her, she should be sweetly punished.
All sorts of thoughts began to creep into his head.
“…She did not go out alone, did she?” He was worried for another reason and asked a squire who was also a witness.
The squire shook his head.
“No, Sir Cross went with her.”
“That’s good.” But such relief didn’t last long.
Evan, and no one else, was one of his most trusted knights.
So, it was a problem.
“He’s not the kind of person to do such a thing.”
Lukas was sure of it.
His wife wasn’t someone Evan Cross would obey.
“Tell me the details.”
The squires, who kept their heads down without question, glanced at the other knights.
An immeasurable amount of time passed.
“…My lady made sure Sir Cross was utterly defeated.”
At least, that was what it looked like in their eyes.
Once again, the squires’ faces paled as they recalled what happened.
“How could our leader lose?”
“Please scold him, my lord!”
“You must have misunderstood the situation.” Of course, Lukas wouldn’t believe it.
After all, the Order of Phyllia which ran home with him without breaking a sweat, was made up of skilled knights.
“What are you saying? Who played who at the time?”
“Wasn’t it the other way around? It’s time for our lord to decide.”
“You weren’t there.”
They, who looked like they were going to die a while ago, added to the story with eyes sparkling.
“It’s true! I watched what happened from beginning to end!”
“Yes, we saw our knight commander get lifted up and thrown across the room…”
The squires shut their mouths in response to their aloof lord, but it didn’t seem to placate him at all.
It was important to notice the body language of their lord.
The young squires should take this opportunity to learn something.
“In any case, what did Evan do to provoke her?”
Yet that wasn’t what actually happened.
It was useless to keep the squires calm as they cried out.
“All of a sudden, my lady started to argue with him!”
“That is possible.” Lukas nodded.
He knew best that the two didn’t get along.
The knights, who had a glimmer of hope at the duke’s nod, hurriedly continued to talk.
“Yes, so she suggested they bet on an arm-wrestling match.”
“Did he accept?”
“What? Oh, yes.
As the proud knight commander of the Phyllia Knights, he didn’t back down from the witch’s challenge.”
“What a damn fool.”
Huh? That wasn’t right.
The knights trembled as they heard their lord curse.
While they thought the witch had done a terrible thing to their knight commander, their lord saw how gullible the knight commander was.
“So, my wife won?”
“Yes, she humiliated the knight commander.”
“Maybe he’ll be spared… Ah, I mean, what kind of person does he think he is?”
“For a cold-blooded man, he’s the embodiment of chivalry.” When Jade responded, the other knights nodded.
In any case.
“He got beat up and lost.”
“It’s not quite as impressive as it looks,” Lukas murmured quietly.
The strength of a witch was being overestimated.
In fact, the squires who watched the game were told that witches were so weak they would collapse when touched.
“Have you seen such a wicked witch before? I can’t believe she acts so nice in front of our lord!”
“My lord didn’t see it!”
“It was something else entirely!”
The squires continued to chatter, saying Lukas should be merciful.
Alas, they were all rejected.
Lukas didn’t believe them in the first place.
No, he wished what they were saying was true.
He would like for their nonsense to be the truth.
Suddenly, it occurred to him that she might be hurt.
Already she was almost strangled to death, poisoned, so on and so on.
Lukas’s mood got worse.
“It seems I have to leave the castle for now.”
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