Common Sense of a Duke’s Daughter 194
And then I had Tanya make preparations as I headed back to the royal capital.
As I needed to prioritize mobility, I took the smallest amount of personnel with me that was possible.
While on the road, I reminisced about that excommunication event so long ago.
Back then, I think that it was Dean who helped me.
…Well, not just back then. Many times over.
But Dean wasn’t with me now.
I wonder if he is alright, amidst this chaos…
I had tried to avoid these thoughts, but now they came up within me.
There was no way for me to know that he was safe.
That made me worry even more…my heart felt the pain.
However, reality had invaded me, pushing such emotions deep down inside and preventing me from dwelling on them.
But sometimes it would rise up again, showing its face. And it is those times, when I feel like I’m being crushed by anxiety, that I squeeze tight this pocket watch.
…If I could, I would go out now and search for him.
But I cannot. There is no way that I can do that.
The only thing that I could do…was to wait for him.
If I did move, I would never forgive myself.
As if to shrug off the anxiety, I clutched the watch tightly.
When we arrived in the royal capital, the change that came over it made me gasp.
Had the royal capital always been so dreary…?
Ryle and Dida looked around cautiously.
They must have sensed a stronger danger here than on the road, because they suddenly seemed much more nervous.
We continued in this state for quite some time, until we reached the mansion.
I sighed with relief upon seeing the familiar faces and then headed straight to my father.
“Father, it’s been a while. I am so pleased to see you doing better than when I last saw you.”
“…It’s good to see you, Iris. I am doing much better, thanks to Mellice…”
He said with a smile. But he looked weak.
His frame was visibly thinner than before.
And he looked like he could barely sit upright.
The only saving grace was that some color had returned to his face.
“I haven’t seen you in a while as well, mother.”
“Yes. …You seem to be working hard.”
“Well, I would not go that far…”
I was a little embarrassed by her kind words.
“…Iris. I heard all about it.”
But I immediately switched gears when my father continued.
“I am terribly sorry, father. I know well that I have been causing nothing but trouble for the family…”
“What are you saying? …I have never regretted making you the acting lord. And even if you weren’t standing there on the top, the Armenia house would have still been a threat to Marquis Maelia. Regardless of what shape it took, there would have been some attempt to drive you out.”
“Yes, dear Iris. Please don’t speak as if you are not worthy of existing. You are very important, not just to us, but to the people living here.”
“You should do what you think must be done. We…all of us, believe in your decision.”
“Thank you so much.”
My eyes felt hot.
Really, how did they know…they knew the precise words that I had wanted to hear.
“When I see you act, I can’t help but hate myself for not being able to act with you.”
Father muttered apologetically. I shook my head.
“It is fine, father. Your words are more than enough for me.”
My heart was filled with something warm after talking with father and mother.
Believe in yourself, without doubts…they said.
Oh, how encouraging it was.
“Father, please rest and get well soon. I too will go and retire for a moment. Please excuse me.”
And so I went to my room.
Just then, Tanya entered.
“…Excuse me, my lady.”
“Moneda cooperated as well, so the investigation was already finished. Additionally, not only the doctor, but also the people of Duke Anderson’s house cooperated.”
“I see. Then I can be somewhat relieved, even if something does happen. So, Tanya. Were you able to get in touch with this man called Milo?”
She nodded silently to my question.
“Then was he called by Queen Ellia…?”
“I am not certain, but he did say this. ‘She is not one to miss the critical moment.’”
Her words gave me a certain calm that spread through my chest…just like when Dean was next to me.
“I’m imagining things…”
I slowly bring a hand to my chest. The pocket watch was hanging underneath my clothes as usual.
“Is something wrong, my lady?”
“No, it’s nothing. I myself will move in regards to the person that will be negotiated with…and Tanya. I will leave the sending of the other letters to you.”
“Yes, my lady. I promise to bring you the best results.”
“I see. …Thank you, Tanya.”