As the duke examined the small, rectangular box for a moment, he paused instantly as he was reaching for it.
He was still frozen, but his gaze moved over to me.
“Yes, a gift.”
Well actually, it’s more of a bribe.
I was determined to ask him to sell off my jewelry today, so I hastily went out with Jane yesterday to buy something for him.
While looking for the right timing to give it, I would pretend to give this to him purely as a gift.
But when I got here today, I threw away the thought of giving him the bribe because he was in such a pissy mood.
“It’s nothing special, but I saw that the fountain pen you were using a few days ago got broken.”
“That’s why you bought this? You remember that?”
“Yes. I’m sure that you must have several other fountain pens, but I still wanted to buy you a new one.”
Without saying a word, the duke opened the box and took out the pen.
It was a fountain pen with an eagle print on its blue paint.
Staring at it silently, the duke quietly spoke.
“…It’s a hawk. This is the bird that represents our family.”
What? Isn’t that an eagle?
I mean, I thought it’s an eagle.
I felt my eyes trembling minutely, but I answered calmly anyway.
“Uuuof course. As soon as I saw it, I thought of you.”
“…This girl, really. Goodness.”
The duke answered curtly and stuffed the fountain pen into his inner suit pocket.
At the end of our conversation, I said my goodbyes and left the room.
It was time to get ready for class.
A hum spontaneously burst through.
My request was resolved safely, and today was the last day I’d be in charge of keeping the sacred relic.
‘Having to keep an important thing is just a burden.’
So, of course I’d feel refreshed today.
I began to prepare for class busily with a happy smile.
I hope that my teacher comes soon.
* * *
Well, it was only a few minutes ago that I thought about that, but…
‘Teacher, why are you here?’
I began to feel a bit resentful towards Victor.
The reason was simple.
It’s because he brought another guest with him during our theology class.
The identity of this person was none other than…
“Hoho, it’s been a while since we last saw each other, Saintess. How have you been?”
…an old man who radiates a divine light as if it’s a halo of benevolence.
It was the high priest.
It’s the first time I’m meeting him since I came to possess Roella’s body.
I could kind of pull out a faint recollection of him from this body’s memories, but…
‘It’s too faint. Besides, he looks a little older than before.’
It was a face that Roella had seen some years ago, so the memory was dim.
The meetings between them were so few and far in between that I wondered if it was right for a saintess to be like this.
Still, I needed to brazenly say hello.
“I’ve been doing well thanks to your circumspection. How have you been?”
Since the last time we met was so long ago that the memories of it had gone blurry, wouldn’t this be my chance to reset my first impression?
There’s nothing like a good ole polite greeting to make a nice first impression.
“Of course, Your Ladyship. How can this old man not be well when I’ve been very happy these days. It’s all thanks to you, too. Isn’t that right, Victor?”
“That’s right. Thanks to Your Ladyship, His Holiness couldn’t wipe off the smile on his face. When I was about to leave for your residence for our class today and to retrieve the sacred relic…”
“I know it’s not considered polite to pay a visit without any notice, but I truly wanted to see you today, Your Ladyship.”
Just as he said, his visit today was nothing short of a surprise.
Thanks to that, of course the entire ducal household was swept into a commotion.
‘Even if the High Priest says there’s no need to fret over his visit, of course it’s still a shock.’
The high priest insisted, but it’s not easy.
Wasn’t this no different from the CEO suddenly attending a company dinner while saying, ‘Don’t mind me, go ahead and have fun.’
However, was there a single subordinate out there who could ever respond with, ‘Apologies, but your presence bothers me a lot’?
I just smiled because I was at a complete loss.
At that moment, my eyes met with my teacher’s, and he sighed silently.
‘I’m sorry, Your Ladyship.’
For a moment there, I felt his sympathy.
* * *
After a while—
As they exchanged a few more brief pleasantries, they immediately got to the matter at hand.
The sacred relic was the main focus today.
In the first place, compared to the theology class today, it was much more important to hand over the sacred relic back to the temple’s custody.
“Here. This is the sacred relic.”
Roella placed a jewelry box containing the sacred relic on the table.
Then, as she pressed the button on the case, the lid opened and the sacred relic was revealed.
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