Chapter split into three(3) pages
A Sister’s Ambush
The day before we left the capital, I took Tanya with me to walk around on the streets.
As a matter of fact, we had no gaps in our schedule. But since we could only come around the capital so often, we still wanted to make time for a shopping trip.
Plus, I want to bring home some souvenirs for everyone who was still hanging around back home.
“What does everyone like?”
For Rehme and Moneda, I prepared the capital’s specialty sweets. The two of them were performing cerebral work, after all, so sugar was essential.
But for Sei and Merida, sweets would only make them think of work. So what should I choose then?
“Any gift picked by you will make everyone happy!”
I could only smile awkwardly in response to Tanya’s answer.
“That makes it the most troublesome. I rarely get the chance to give other people gifts, so I need to pick something useful to others…if it’s something they wanted already, that would be even better.”
As usual, I changed before leaving. Even though we’d already went through a few shops and picked a few backup gifts, I didn’t think most of what we were seeing were good gifts…
Just as I was worrying and strolling along the street.
Ah…that person’s silhouette looks familiar!
I didn’t expect it to be Dean. What’s more, there was a woman I didn’t know next to him.
Why was Dean here…and who was the woman by his side?
Questions like these took over my thoughts. I didn’t know why, but my chest felt suffocated.
Ah…no, no. Why he was here, who the woman was–none of these were things I could interfere in.
Right now he wasn’t in a contract with me. It was his freedom to be with who he wanted to.
Waving aside my doubts, I kept trying to convince myself. But somehow the uncomfortable feeling in my chest remained.
Just then, Dean noticed me as well. In that moment, his eyes went wide with surprise.
Seeing his reaction, my heart felt even heavier.
…maybe we should just go home soon. But turning around right here was so unnatural. Plus we hadn’t finished shopping for everyone!
“Milady, it’s been a while.”
“Dean, it has been a while. I didn’t expect to encounter you in the capital. Who is your companion?”
“Nice to meet you. My name is Letty. I’ve been meaning to thank you and those around you for looking after my older brother.”
Upon closer inspection, she did look a lot like Dean.
If you really had to name a difference, Dean’s eyes were deep green like jade, while Letty’s were bright like an expensive olivine stone!
“Yes. My family is rather overprotective of me, and they don’t allow me to leave home myself. Every time you helped Big Brother, I would be at home managing things on his behalf. I apologize for not being able to visit until now.”
Oh. In that case, I’ve probably become indebted to her indirectly.
Now then, I should also take the opportunity to express my gratefulness!
“You’re too polite. If it’s convenient for you, let’s go somewhere else to talk. I also want to hear how my brother works under you, milady,” Letty said with a smile as radiant as a flower.
“Milady, please don’t pay any heed to my sister’s requests. You’re such a busy person, no need to take time out to accompany my sister…”
“Hm, is there something that Brother doesn’t want me to hear?”
Strangely enough, Dean seemed quite frazzled when standing next to Letty. It was the first time I’d seen him like this.
“Hehe,” I couldn’t help but chuckle.
“I agree. It’s not convenient to talk at length here. Let’s find a place to sit down and talk.”
Just like that, we entered a restaurant. It was a restaurant that had a good relationships with the Armenia family, so they just gave us our own room.
If it were in a random cafe by the side of the road, I wouldn’t be able to introduce myself properly. That would render my disguise pointless.
“Hello, let me formally introduce myself. It’s a pleasure to meet you, my name is Iris Lana Armenia.”
“Nice to meet you. My name is Letty. Thank for you looking after my brother for so long.”
“That should be my line. For the longest time Dean has helped us out. Because of him coming over to help, you must have suffered through a lot of trouble. I’m truly sorry…”
“That’s an exaggeration…I like my work anyways. I also have a lot of respect for you, milady, so don’t talk of trouble!”
Why does it feel like Letty’s eyes are constantly sparkling!
Plus, we were only meeting for the first time. Suddenly bringing up respect like that–I didn’t know what she was talking about!
“Within a few years of your reign over Duke Armenia’s territory, you’ve managed to expand your land’s economic development immensely. What’s more, many have even moved over because of its liveability. You’re a woman, yet you are active at the front line of politics and economics. As a woman, I feel happy and proud to hear your accomplishments!”
It’s like she saw through my thoughts and provided me with an explanation!
Even though she’s an adorable child, she really is Dean’s sister!
“Thank you…you also seem to work for Dean. What kind of help do you provide him?”
“I generally organize information that has been collected, and engage in relevant communications based on the information…but most of the communication parts really goes to my brother. I provide background support and occasionally help out.”
“Background work? Organizing information and preparing for negotiations are all jobs that need patience. Although I’m a substitute leader, that’s also my main job. I think it’s not so different from what you do.”
“You shouldn’t say that…in your situation, milady, you have to make decisions that you’re responsible for after reviewing all of the information. So it’s completely different from my job. But hearing you say this, I’m happy as well.” From that point on, I enjoyed talking with Letty…at least I think I do…
“Uh…does Miss Iris often experience this as well?”
“Yes, quite a bit. After hours of sifting through documents, I’ll have a headache at the end of it.”
“Exactly…especially at night. It’s very difficult to get up in the morning!”
Somehow, our conversation turned into concerns about health and how to relieve stress.
It didn’t seem like something that we in our teens should be talking about.
We should be talking about something like our romantic troubles, or which dessert place was the best. Something that was more suited to girls our age.
But it did seem like Letty had been working hard the whole time. Her concerns in this area were completely relatable to us. Without realizing it, we had become obsessed with the topic.
Right now Dean had been abandoned on the side. It was just me and Letty talking.
Suddenly, Letty’s smiling face fell. Her attitude turned serious as she suddenly changed the topic.
“Lady Iris, as someone in a supporting role, I have something to ask you…you’re obviously shouldering a workload that’s two or three times what most people have. Just like my brother has me, shouldn’t you also find someone to share your burden?”
“My current workload has already lessened quite a bit…there are some reliable people in the merchants’ guild, and my work in the territory has the servants at home and your brother to help me.”
“Ah…has Brother managed to help you?”
“Of course. Your brother is very detail-oriented, and can always attend to the split ends and other details very well…and he hasn’t made a mistake in his work yet. If Dean wasn’t here, I don’t know where I would be now.”
Yep. Dean was my important right hand man!
Although I couldn’t really explain it clearly…but, if it were Sei, Tanya, Rehme, or Sebastian, no matter how perfectly they could complete my orders, they still wouldn’t understand the point of my words.
After all, they weren’t able to stand in my shoes, so I couldn’t ask them to be observant on every issue.
But Dean somehow wasn’t tied by that. He was always able to give me suitable opinions.
Whether it was something I came up with on a whim or after deep though, Dean could always give me suitable suggestions on how to realize them most effectively.
In the end, it was always a better result than I could come up with alone, even after thinking long and hard.
Dean really was my right hand man…or perhaps someone like my partner.
“Hm, is that so…Brother really is quite attentive to details. And because of that, my work becomes much easier than it might be.”
Letty’s answer made me smile.
“Heh, that’s true.”
“Letty, I feel like this isn’t something we should discuss in front of others.”
Dean piped up for the first time.
“Uh, Brother, I don’t know when I’ll be able to meet Lady Iris next. So I’m saying all I want to say now.”
“…Speaking of that, Letty, you don’t seem to leave home much.”
“Yes, my family is too protective of me. But Brother keeps running around for work. If I’m gone from home as well, then a lot of work won’t be able to proceed and everyone else will suffer a lot of trouble on my behalf.”
“Hm. Then Letty, are you usually in the capital?”
“I think I’ll be coming here again. Then we’ll see each other then!”