Hush Now, Saintess! - Chapter 21
‘What I’m having right now is a company dinner—a company dinner with the CEO himself, and alone with him to boot.’
Wait. That’s a terrible thing to imagine.
Even so, I tried to hide my feelings behind the mask of a smile.
Feeling awkward? Smile. That’s your best bet.
“What a silly smile,” the duke commented.
Yep. Silly indeed.
I made an awkward excuse.
“Because it’s nice that we’re dining together now after so long.”
“You prefer that we dine together?”
The duke seemed to have no faith in my words at all.
I mean, I wouldn’t believe me either.
The two of us were on bad terms at the moment.
At times like this, however, one would not have a choice but to be brazen.
“Of course. Father, you were very busy when I was young, and when I grew up, my relationship with you has gotten a bit…”
“A bit, well, strained. But everything’s my fault.”
The duke did not answer.
Ah, I think I chose the wrong topic here. I could suddenly feel my throat closing up.
I think I soldiered through that well enough? But it’s weird.
‘Should I change the topic?’
I wracked my brain for a good conversation topic.
The kind of topic that might be able to raise some points and that could naturally keep the ball rolling…
Ah, I got it.
“Father, may I ask what I should do so that I can donate to the temple?”
“Yes, donate. I feel very ashamed of my past deeds, so I’d like to donate as an act of penitence. Actually, I feel embarrassed to say that I don’t know how to do it—who I should approach and how exactly I should go about it. Things like that.”
“…Are you sure? Your allowance has been reduced for the time being, but you still want to make a donation?”
Suspicion laced the duke’s eyes.
He seemed to be trying to gauge whether I’m being sincere or not.
“Is the amount important? And I already have enough. Jewelry, dresses, accessories. In a way, they are all by-products of my mistakes, so I’m thinking of disposing of them.”
“You’re going that far…?”
“I regret my actions to that extent, so it’s only natural that I go ‘that far’, right?”
Speaking with a bitter tone, I smiled faintly.
‘Will it work…?’
Fortunately, it did.
The duke was still looking at me suspiciously, but he nodded in the end.
“For the donations, you may ask the new theology tutor who should be here in a few days.”
“…New theology tutor?”
“Yes, it would be better for you to ask a priest rather than me. You asked just in time—the temple has decided to send in a new priest… tsk.”
After saying so, the duke ended his explanation with a click of his tongue.
Ah, wait. This atmosphere…
“I don’t have to explain repeatedly, do I?”
As expected, the atmosphere naturally led to a reprimanding session.
‘No matter where I take a step, I’d just somehow detonate a landmine.’
In other words, no matter what topic I try to bring up, I wouldn’t be able to avoid getting scolded.
Thus far, theology was being taught to Roella by some high-ranking priests from the temple.
This was the privilege of the saintess.
Usually, theology classes were taught at the temple itself and by an instructor or an intermediate priest.
However, since Roella had such a tremendous privilege, she casually went through so many tutors, changing them on a whim.
‘I don’t like his face.’
‘I don’t like his voice.’
‘The way he teaches is boring.’
‘Dunno. I just don’t like him.’
There were many different reasons.
At the same time, the tutor who had been teaching her until recently was the one who lasted the longest. However, in the end, the tutor himself took the initiative to resign from his position of his own volition.
Unphased, Roella didn’t have a problem letting him go. She just told him to do as he wished.
She didn’t care either way. She never paid attention in class, so it didn’t matter who taught her.
Originally, a new one should have come earlier, but it seemed like the replacement had been delayed because I was so out of my mind, acting like a crazy person until now.
“Don’t worry, Father. It won’t happen again. I’ll pay attention to class properly from now on.”
“Alright. Be sure to keep your word.”
I answered confidently, but there was no response.
It was only when I started eating that the duke spoke up again.
“Anyhow, I heard that Helena came for a visit earlier. And I’ve been hearing rumors about you these days.”
As I was in the middle of bringing a forkful of food into my mouth, I raised my head.
‘How’d you know about that?’
Well, of course, he’d find out about it somehow or another.
I answered with a nod.
“Yes, that’s right.”
“Ke-hum. One of the rumors pertains to… Young Duke Demos Killian as well, or so I hear.”
“Ah, that’s correct, too.”
“But you did not get angry?”
The sudden question made me blink.
‘Come to think of it, it’s gotta seem weird.’
The duke must also be aware of just how crazy Roella was about Demos.
Under normal circumstances, Roella should have at least planted a sufficient slap right across Helena’s cheek, but that didn’t happen. So, the duke must be wondering why it’s like that.
‘Seems like I’ll need to choose my words well here.’
If I take the wrong step again, I might set off yet another landmine.
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