Hush Now, Saintess! - Chapter 10
After Graham’s subsequent explanation, the duke’s expression became serious.
On the surface level, it’s plausible for this to happen.
Normally, too, he would be given reports every other day to answer the question, ‘What has Roella done this time?’
‘Indeed, it’s been quiet these days.’
“To be honest, Your Grace, I didn’t believe it at first either. But…”
“There are too many witnesses for it to just be a false rumor.”
“There are witnesses?”
“Yes, sir, not just one or two. That’s why I myself had thought to look into it.”
The duke pondered for a moment.
He was still doubtful, but the story would be different since Graham himself was identifying the witnesses.
Head Butler Graham was one of the people that the duke trusted the most.
“Then, call that maid at once.”
After the order was given, the head butler nodded. The atmosphere had turned cold right then.
Noticing the subtle change, Graham soon left the office. There was a smile on his face.
* * *
Charlotte bowed her head deeply, stiff as a board where she stood.
This was the first time entering the duke’s office. Better yet, it was her first time meeting the duke personally, so it was only natural that she was shaking to the core.
It didn’t help that it felt like she was being stabbed inwardly.
‘No way, did His Grace find out what I did?’
Honestly, was there any other reason that he called her here today?
Right then, the duke spoke.
“There’s a rumor going around about how you’re supposedly blackmailing this household’s lady into giving you money and valuables.”
The exceedingly cold voice made Charlotte flinch.
Her heart pounded heavily.
‘How the hell did I get caught? No one should have known that I know the Lady’s weakness.’
Since everyone would fall into a hush every time Charlotte was around, she didn’t really know about the rumor that’s been going around the ducal residence these days.
So, Charlotte was very confused.
No matter how much she wracked her brain, she couldn’t find anything at all that could indicate when and how that secret had gotten leaked.
‘Did the Lady say anything?’
No. That’s impossible.
The ducal lady lowered her head in front of Charlotte every single day while trying to coax her into keeping that secret.
With her being that way, the ducal lady would never have said anything with her own mouth.
‘Yeah, I don’t think she’s the one who said anything. Then, someone else…’
When she reached that conclusion, she felt a little relieved.
She had no clue how the story leaked, but she had one leeway she could use as an escape.
‘The Lady will prove that I’m not guilty.’
No matter what other people said, there’s no way that their words would take precedence over the words of the very person who’s involved in this.
After Charlotte thought so, that’s the only time that she relaxed.
And so she raised her head vigorously and shouted with a voice so filled with her feelings of injustice.
“N-No, Your Grace. I am not sure where you heard that, but it’s not true. I feel wronged, sir.”
“Wronged, you say?”
“Yes, Your Grace! Please call Her Ladyship. She will prove my innocence.”
It was at that moment.
Without anyone asking permission to come in, the office door burst open.
Charlotte’s eyes sparkled as she confirmed who it was that came in.
It was Roella, panting heavily through the open door.
“Where are your manners, Roella!”
At the duke’s scolding, Roella replied with a pale face, her body shaking.
“I apologize, Father. I was in a hurry to come here because I heard that Charlotte had been summoned…”
Charlotte murmured emotionally as if she had met her saving grace.
“Fine. But be more prudent next time. Regardless, I just happened to have something to ask you as well, so it’s good that you’re here.”
“Something you want to ask me?”
“Yes. There is a rumor that there’s one fearless maid who’s been blackmailing and extorting you. Is that true?”
As he spoke, the duke’s tone gradually became ferocious.
Beneath his distorted brows, his deep blue eyes flashed dangerously.
Roella did not answer right away.
Her lips twitched as though she was utterly scared, and then—
She knelt on the ground.
No, rather, she dove into the ground on her knees.
As the situation had taken an unprecedented turn, a blanket of silence dropped heavily upon the office.
The first person who spoke next was Charlotte.
She gaped at the scene in front of her, wondering what exactly she was seeing right now.
‘Just now, it looked like she dropped… to her knees…’
Meanwhile, the duke—who was always ceaselessly composed—was baffled as well.
All his life until this day, he had seen many people kneel before him, but Roella was the first person who knelt with such a dramatic flare like that.
Besides that, it’s his first time seeing Roella kneeling in front of anyone, period.
The only one who wasn’t surprised to see this tremendous sight was Graham, who was standing quietly by the door, watching everything.
He had witnessed every moment that Roella had faced leading up to this culminating scene of her surrendering completely, dropping down—no, falling to her knees here.
As soon as he heard the bang, let alone being surprised, he was busy holding back his laughter.
On the other hand, the person who had manufactured this scene was grimly serious as she was bowed down.
“I beg for your forgiveness, Father! It’s all my fault!”
Her mournful voice rang out.
But unlike that voice, the eyes that were directed at the hard floor glinted secretly.
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