Chapter 26I Slept with the Villain Holding My Hand Chapter 26
Translated by Niks
* * *
As the meal was over, I heard heavy footsteps approaching the dining room.
Then, the door of the large dining room opened, and a giant man like a bear came inside.
The man with a profound face, swinging his dark blue cloak, turned straight ahead towards Karina, and smiled warmly.
Short brown hair, like Karina, and a high-pressure overbearing atmosphere peculiar to a ruler flowed in the room.
Nevertheless, his gray eyes overflowed with affection.
I could tell the moment I saw him.
It was Karina’s grandfather, Marquis of Bradley Delphi.
He was the head of the Treasury in the Palace, as well as the landlord of the Marquis, working on the Imperial budget.
Originally, he was old enough to hand over his post to his successor, but he couldn’t.
It was because Karina’s parents died in a carriage accident when she was young.
That’s why Karina seems to have matured earlier for her age.
She didn’t want to be blamed for her parents’ absence.
‘You must be on good terms with your grandfather.’
As soon as Bradley entered the dining room, Karina’s eyes began to shine a warm light.
It would be impossible to hate her grandfather who loved her on behalf of her deceased parents.
“Grandpa, have you eaten dinner already?”
“Yes, I did. Are you still in the middle of dinner?”
A rather soft voice came from a bear-like man.
At the same time, the eyes of Merria and Lilith, who were looking at them while sitting together, were shining sharply.
Karina smiled a little embarrassed by Bradley’s overprotection.
When Bradley looked at Karina with a lot of curiosity, Karina began to introduce them one by one.
“This is Mary, and Lilith. They are my friends.”
“Yes, you look like you’re having a lot of fun without this old man.”
Karina also slylyly replied to Bradley’s mischievous joke.
Unlike his hard-looking appearance, Marquis Bradley’s affectionate conversation with his granddaughter was quite an interesting sight.
Merria originally thought that he was always a woodstone person except for his granddaughter.
After the Marquis left, the three, who had finished their early dinner, headed to the parlor.
Merria sat down, looking forward to the Delphi family’s dessert, which she heard only in rumors.
Karina’s house, which frequently hosts tea parties, was famous for having Eriene’s disciple as a patissier.
Eriene’s teacher was too high to bring in.
Waiting for a while sitting in the parlor, her maid came in, pushing the cart.
On top of it, there were a lot of shiny fruit tarts and delicious cookies.
When all the desserts were placed on the table, Karina began to talk with the maid with a worried expression.
As she looked at her with a curious expression, Karina laughed.
“I was thinking about what kind of tea to serve. Could you tell me if there was anything you enjoy drinking?”
“Do you happen to have a coffee?”
In the Empire, it was common to drink black tea or fruit tea when enjoying refreshments.
Coffee was regarded as being consumed by people with unusual tastes or drinking when waking up in the morning.
Probably it wasn’t long after coming from the next continent, and it wasn’t popular because of the strange appearance of black water.
Among them, Merria was one the people who enjoyed drinking coffee.
It was also an option to eat more desserts because it’s more appealing when eaten with it.
When I told Karina to bring a coffee and tea that would go well with the desserts, she left the parlor with a maid.
After a while, two maids came back, pushing the cart around.
First, Karina’s cup was filled with coffee.
Karina couldn’t hide her slightly vague expression and stared at the glass filled with black water.
“If you don’t like it, you could drink tea instead. I don’t care about that.”
The noble manners should suit the taste of the guest. In her memory, which seemed to have been written in an inefficient entry, Merria first spoke to her.
Karina had not let any fault on her manners since she decided to become the Crown Princess, so she thought it would be for that reason.
But unexpectedly, Karina replied with her head tilted.
“I don’t hate it, but I don’t know what it tastes like. It’s so bitter.”
“Well, could you bring me some milk and sugar? A big glass and ice.”
Merria poured all of coffee and asked the maid, who was standing next to her, to do this and that.
The maid, who looked a little younger, quickly went to the kitchen.
Merria poured coffee and milk into a large glass one after the other.
“Ah, cafe latte?”
Lilith, who had drank coffee occasionally with Merria, quickly recognized Merria’s intentions.
Three cups of cafe latte were made in an instant when ice was added.
Karina with her eyes wide open glanced at the cafe latte in the glass.
“If you drink it like this, you would feel the bitter and savory taste better. You could drink it sweetly with sugar, or drink it with milk in hot coffee instead of cold.”
“Well, it’s delicious…”
Karina, who sipped carefully, held the glass tightly in her hands and shook her head.
Merria, who drank a cool cafe latte, cut the walnut pie into bite-sized pieces and put it in her mouth.
Today was also a satisfying tea time for a successful coffee business.
* * *
A week has passed since Merria and Reukis became lovers.
On the first few days they didn’t even meet.
Reukis wrote a letter saying that he would take the time to meet her, but she refused because she was busy.
For the time being, it was to silence rumors about Reukis’ courtship.
And today was the first day that the two met as lovers.
I decided to meet Reukis, who was going to the Rackester Mansion, in front of the clock tower at the entrance of the shopping street.
As she got out of her carriage, Reukis, who had already been waiting for her, called her.
Reukis, who was more dressed up than last time, was dazzling.
Merria whistled inside at his distant appearance.
“Did you wait long?”
“Not at all. I just came here in time.”
It was a pretty natural greeting for the second meeting.
“There were quite a lot of people here, wasn’t it?”
Of course, there were always many people in the shopping streets of the capital, but today there were especially a lot of people.
As if it were a festival.
Reukis recalled the conversations of the merchants he had heard while he was waiting, and told Merria.
“A small festival was held because it was the anniversary of the shopping street.”
It was a real festival. Merria nodded her head with an expressionless face.
When I looked closely, every store’s appearance was more generously decorated with flowers and ribbons.
“Have you eaten?”
Reukis, who was walking beside her, asked.
Merria shook her head naturally.
“I haven’t eaten yet. What about Reukis?”
Reukis’ lips, hardened by the smooth flow of conversation, soon his lips were loosened.
Last night’s special training with Milo seemed to be working.
He answered immediately to achieve what he wanted.
“I haven’t either.”
“Then, let’s eat first.”
The list of restaurants that Milo had notified in advance flashed through Reukis’ head.
‘I’ve already made a reservation for a place to eat, so it’s good to have a light lunch for now.’
He walked along the shortest route to the nearest and most affordable restaurant.
Meanwhile, Merria looked around and then glanced up at him with a sudden thought.
Reukis was staring ahead with a stupid look.
‘Is it your first time going to a place like this?’
Merria thought that Reukis was reflecting on the list of restaurants she would go with.
Oh, come to think of it, he locked himself away from society since childhood.
And now that he just came back from war. Reukis’ childhood and this current shopping district must have changed a lot.
Instead of going to social gatherings, she often went to the streets and was familiar with the scenery, and then Merria, who was familiar with this place, nodded her head with a convincing face.
Then she said while pulling his sleeve.
Reukis turned his gaze to the front and looked at Merria.
I’m quite experienced and familiar with this place, so I should lead the way. I asked him with an expression of assurance.
“Shall we grab something to eat here?”
Reukis’ rich eyelashes quickly fluttered.
‘If the other person suggests something, you have to be infinitely affirmative. A caring lover is a 100-point lover.’
(N: Milo wanted to say that to score a 100% he had to agree to all that Merria wanted.)
Recalling one of Milo’s tips, Reukis threw away the list of restaurants out of his head.
Then he nodded happily.
“Then, let’s start with clothes.”
Merria chose to camouflage into commoner clothes to facilitate Reukis’ experience with the common people.
The clothes I’m wearing now were expensive and tailored.
If I wear this kind of thing, people’s eyes would stick to us.
Reukis was led by Merria’s hand into a nearby dressing shop.
It was a place often used by laid-back commoners such as upper states and brokers.
“I’d like to buy two dark robes and a suit to wear, for this man and me to wear.”
Greeting the staff who approached, she alternately pointed to her and Reukis.
An employee who had worked in the shopping street’s dressing shop for a long time recognized the intentions of the two.
‘Bring something simple to wear that isn’t too cheap, but good to wear for a day. I meant that.’
The staff brought two different dark blue robes and clothes.
First, he handed the small-sized robe to Merria, and the rest to Reukis.
“Let’s meet after we change clothes. If you need someone, let him know.”
Reukis nodded awkwardly at the treatment of Merria as if telling him to ask someone for help if he couldn’t change his clothes alone.
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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog