I did some image training before leaving my bedroom.
Don’t make the mistake of unconsciously doing radial guiding while an Esper is in front of you.
During the early days, when I had newly manifested as a Guide, I often made the mistake of radially guiding Espers without realizing it.
To sum it up, ‘radial guiding’ was the act of uncontrolled guiding, leaking out beyond the Guide’s will. A similar phenomenon could be found in Espers, who also tended to lose control over their abilities when they had just manifested as well.
Habitually using the same grip as they did while they were still living ordinary lives, new Espers would often break things because they couldn’t yet control their newfound strength.
So, broken items or broken doorknobs here and there at the Center was a common sight back then.
As such, while Guides were also not yet accustomed to guiding, they tended to do radial guiding, and their abilities would unknowingly spill out from them whenever they’d see an Esper.
This was due to their two forces gravitating towards each other. Of course, this was common only for newly manifested Guides.
I had already been his dedicated guide for such a long time in my previous life, so I’d become very good at controlling my power.
And while it’s true that experience over a long period helped me achieve this, rather than that, this was the result of my efforts in giving more accurate guiding rather than spilling out my power haphazardly to an S-Class Esper.
I soon went downstairs and headed towards the dining hall. When I entered, I saw that Dad, Ciel and Aiden were already seated.
When Ciel noticed my presence, he got up from his seat.
At the same time, Dad got up and walked towards me.
“This is my daughter, Your Grace and Young Duke.”
Even Aiden stood up and bowed slightly to me with courtesy.
Was this something that a duke and a young duke would normally do?
It felt quite strange for me, but nevertheless, I held the hem of my skirt and curtsied back with an elegant posture.
“Good afternoon. I apologize for not being able to greet you properly earlier. I am Irene de Closch. Your Grace the Duke, and Young Duke, it is an honor to meet you.”
“No, I would like to apologize for our sudden visit. Still, thank you as well for giving us such a warm welcome.”
His voice, slightly husky and a deep baritone, sounded younger compared to how it was in my memories. Even so, it was the same.
“It’s nice to meet you. I am Aiden de Leopardt.”
At the clear voice that followed, I turned my head and looked at Aiden. He was holding out his hand towards me. It’s not for the sake of shaking hands.
Although I had learned aristocratic etiquette in this world, I blanked out. I never really get the chance to socialize with young noblemen and noble ladies here in the countryside.
Hesitating for a moment, I soon offered my gloved right hand.
But as I was confused, I was expecting that Aiden would shake it—yet he did not. He gently lifted my hand up and politely left a slight peck on its back.
The only men in my life until now were Dad and Brother, and I had never interacted with other noblemen before this. It completely forgot about this common courtesy that a man would extend to a woman.
Dazed and at a loss, I could only stare blankly at him for a moment.
I averted my gaze the moment I felt my cheeks heating up. However, in the meantime, Ciel approached me.
“Move aside. It’s my turn.”
As he whispered this to his younger brother, my hand was taken away from Aiden’s grasp.
My heart shrank due to the tension I felt.
I never expected that I’d be in contact with an Esper here.
At the very least, it’s fortunate that I was wearing a glove on my hand, so our bare skin wouldn’t touch.
Even so… The exceedingly warm touch of his lips could be felt through the flimsy fabric of the glove. It was so sudden that I couldn’t help but be startled.
My eyes then turned to look at his face. As I saw his gently fluttering long lashes, it struck me.
That this man was truly the same man who had been my ex-husband.
The moment I saw the mole in a spot that Ciel didn’t know about, my fingertips quivered unconsciously.
As he slowly drew away from me, my gaze followed after him, concentrating on the faint mole above the lashes—there, on his left eyelid.
Dad beckoned me to a seat he pulled out next to him, and it was only then that I was able to breathe out a sigh of relief… Albeit barely even managing to erase my puzzled expression.
If Dad had called me even one second later, I don’t think I’d have been able to hide my agitation.
Of course, it was strange in itself that I was being so nervous despite knowing that he didn’t know who I was.
If I hadn’t done any image training before I came downstairs—for guiding control, which I was usually very confident about—I might have collapsed all at once.
After Mom and Brother arrived, Uncle Hans began to serve our meal. We didn’t usually eat it a lot, but steak was served, and it was cooked deliciously and presented on the plate in such an aesthetically pleasing way.
Dad took out a bottle of wine that our estate produces, and he led the conversation as cheerfully as he usually did.
“Young Duke, the time is ripe for you to be interested in the outside world now. When I was young, I pretended to be a mercenary and went off on a journey and went to many other fiefdoms.”
“You sound so heroic, Baron. You even did the work of a mercenary.”
Although his reply was just tantamount to small talk, he seemed to be giving enough courtesy to this mansion’s household head. Observing Aiden for a moment as I cut my steak, I realized that he was quite different from my original impression of him.
Steak was something that I couldn’t eat often even in my previous life. I cut a piece for myself carefully—conscious that my movements might be awkward—and brought it to my mouth.
It must be that Uncle Hans’ specialty wasn’t stew.
It must be meat.
How was it possible for such meat to be so soft, to the point that it was melting in my mouth?
As my eyes twinkled, I focused entirely on the steak in front of me. My mood shifted right then, and it seemed like all the nervousness I had been feeling before had just disappeared at once.
Dad, Brother and Ciel all talked about monsters. In the end, it seemed like this was the only common topic they could talk about.
My ears continued to listen, but my eyes couldn’t stop admiring the steak.
So, I didn’t notice.
That Aiden was staring blatantly at me with a very strange look in his eyes.
And I also didn’t notice that, from time to time, Ciel was looking alternately between me and Aiden, as if he was checking something.
But I couldn’t help it. Uncle Hans’ steak was so much more delicious than I could have expected, and the only thing that was on my mind was that I wanted to eat it again.
So immersed as I was at my scrumptious meal, it came to a point that I even forgot that my ex-husband was in the same room as me.
t/n: our girl Irene has her priorities straight xD
food >>>>>> ex-husband
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