Chapter 24.
Let’s tell him properly.

Marie stood in front of the expressionless man and swallowed her saliva in anxiety.
When she heard she was summoned at the Aylesford Castle, she thought ‘the Miss must be looking for me’, but the person she faced when she rushed over was a cold-looking man exuding fierce momentum.

This must be Altair Aylesford.

Rumours spread that the lord of Aylesford, the husband of the young lady, who got a completely different evaluation due to the recent discovery of a magic stone mine in the estate, was an extremely ugly crippled man.
However, the lord whom she encountered in person, was an outstanding figure.
He was a handsome man, like a sculpted piece of art.
Though, he gave a slightly, no, extremely scary impression…

“Is it true that you’ve been with the Marquis of Vine for a long time?”

As Marie continued her thoughts while examining Altair’s face, a question was casually thrown at her.
Although taken aback by his indifferent monotonous voice, Marie kept her head down slightly, maintaining the calm and polite demeanor of a skilled servant.

“Yes, that’s right.
My mother worked for the Vine Marquis, so I also helped out from a young age.
I have served miss Nadia, who is now the baroness, for a long time.”

“Then you should know the circumstances of the marquis family well.”


“It’s a disqualification for a servant to spill the internal affairs of the family they worked for, but… there is something I really want to hear about.”

Marie couldn’t stand the intense gaze directed straight at her and took in a shaky breath.

“If I ask you about the Marquis of Vine, I want you to answer honestly.
You won’t be judged light-mouthed because of this, I promise you that.”

The greatest virtue of the servants was silence.
No master would entrust an important position to a servant who would go around talking about the family’s secret circumstances.

“Does the current Marquis really care about his niece?”

When asked by Altair, Marie took a deep breath in a different sense than before.
But she wasn’t sure if it was okay to tell him all about it here.
It was not because of the evaluation to be placed on her own reticence.
She had no idea how baron Aylesford would react when he heard the behind story of the Vine Marquis.
It was Nadia that Marie was worried about.

Would it help the young lady if I confessed the marquis’ nasty behavior?

The Vine was a great family, even comparable in prestige to a duchy.
Regardless of what was happening on the inside, Nadia was obviously a member of the marquis, and that could serve as her backing on the outside, but if it became known that Nadia was the outcast of her household…The way she’s perceived would be completely reversed.
And the man in front of Marie now would also change his behavior in one way or another.
Marie had just met the lord of Aylesford, it was difficult for her to fully trust him.

“…I’m sorry.”

After much thought, Marie deeply apologised.
She dared to refuse the lord’s order, so she thought that scolding would return, but unexpectedly, Altair just nodded calmly.

“You’re much more cautious than I thought.
You are tight-lipped.
It didn’t help me much, but that would be a great trait for a servant.
I’m going to entrust you with the role of the head maid.”

Far from being criticised, Marie raised her head in surprise when she heard that she was entrusted with the vital role of a head maid.

“The head maid…but I’m still young and inexperienced.”

“As you can see today, Aylesford is just getting into system, so there are a lot of areas where it is lacking.
I can entrust this heavy duty to an experienced middle-aged maid, but the baroness is too nice and gentle to control such a person.
You, on the other hand, can be swayed by her, so you’re the right one.”

Marie’s eyes lit up at Altair’s unexpected words, which seemed to have a good grasp of Nadia.
Through this conversation, she was able to read some of Altair’s feelings for the miss.

“It will take time to trust the new owner so for the time being, take good care of the baroness and help her not to overdo it.”

“…thank you.
I will do my best.”

When Marie greeted him politely, Altair waved his hand, telling her to leave.
Marie, who was slowly backing away at his command, stopped for a moment before opening the door.

“My lord.”

At her hesitant call, Altair turned to look at Marie.
Marie, who was unable to make a decision up until they met eyes, carefully opened her mouth as if she had finally made up her mind.

“If you are willing to invest time for the miss, no, the madame, I would like you to investigate the ring called ‘Cassandra’s Smile’.”

“The Cassandra ring?”

“This is all I can tell you as the head maid.”

“I shall do that.”

Though full of doubt, Altair gave a slight nod, and Marie bowed deeply once more.
Cassandra’s Ring.
What the heck was that? And he could find out what Nadia was like in the Marquis of Vine by looking into it? But Altair did not dwell on the matter for too long, for he was the type that put action ahead of planning.

…I’ll have Blan investigate it!

Maybe he wouldn’t have to wait too long to find the answer.


“Madame, It’s a pleasure to greet you here.”

Nadia jumped up from her seat in astonishment at the appearance of an unexpected person.

“Ma-, Marie?”

She rubbed her eyes, wondering if it was an illusion, but the figure standing in front of her didn’t disappear.
No matter how she looked at it, it was Marie, who had neat short hair and a stern look.

“How did you get here, Marie?”

Marie’s name had been filled in first on the hiring list, but the process was still ongoing.
Thus, Nadia thought it would take a little longer to see her again.

“The lord called me first.
He told me to come and help you, madame.”


The consideration was unexpected.

“I told the butler about you Marie, that you were the one who served me back in the Vine Marquis.
Maybe that reached the lord, but to think he would call you first like this…”

As Nadia continued to talk emotionally, Marie sat her down again with a smile, as though she was used to it.

“It seems that the lord cares for you a lot.”

“You-, you think so?”

Even if it wasn’t so, Nadia’s prejudice was gradually fading while watching Altair by his side.
Altair in the novel was a scary villain, but in real life, he seemed to respect her as a wife.

Though I vowed not to get excited because it could be my own misunderstanding…

With Marie’s accurate evaluation eyes of people, she gained a little confidence.

“Actually, the lord is really nice to me.
Not too long ago, he bought me a lot of clothes, praised me for working hard, and also allowed me to do everything however I wanted, as in paying for the castle and finding servants.
Also… ”

As she began to brag, a happy smile appeared on Marie’s face, but as she continued, it faded for some reason.

“Uh… madame.”

As Marie cautiously interrupted her, Nadia stared at her, blinking blankly in confusion.
The maid then parted her lips, looking concerned.

“Has something like ‘that’ ever happen between you and the lord?”

“Something like that?”

Among what you’ve said, there was nothing about marital relationship…”

Nadia’s face heated up at the phrase ‘marital relationship’.
Albeit it was common for noble ladies to talk about marital relationships with their ladies-in-waiting and even get advice sometimes, she was embarrassed at the mention of it, as it was the first time such a thing had happened to her.
It was so hot that she could feel it, so it must have been obvious on the outside as well.
Still, Marie smiled as if she understood her, and knelt down in front of the sofa with a determined look in her eyes, meeting Nadia at eye level.

“For a smooth married life, the marital relationship is very important.
You also have to give birth to an heir.”

Marie was right.
Nadia had chosen marriage as a way to leave the Marquis, and she worried about that part the most, since she was well aware of the duties of a mistress.


When Nadia hesitated, unable to open her mouth, Marie grabbed her hands tightly.

“The exclusive lady-in-waiting is someone who shares worries with their master about those things, so please feel free to tell me, madame.
If there is anything I can help you with, I will try my best.”


“Are you using separate rooms?”

“No, it was like that at first, but now we are sleeping in the same bed.”

“It was like that at first…was the memory of the first night not so good?”

“It’s not that…rather, nothing happened because I passed out during the wedding.”


Marie’s eyes widened as if she had heard the unthinkable.

“Nothing happened?”

Perhaps it’s because the first night passed like that, but after that…”

“Nothing has been going on?!”

Marie, who was always calm, jumped up and asked.

“Has the lord not said anything about it?”


“I’ve just come to Aylesford, so I don’t know all about the circumstances behind it, but I do know that the lord is in a very urgent situation for an heir.
That’s why he was in a hurry to get married.”


As if Marie couldn’t understand at all, she tilted her head in agony.
The wheels in Nadia’s head also began to turn quickly as she struggled to find an answer.
Then, the incident of her confidently telling Altair about how she could be the desired wife role passed through her mind.

‘If you could just tell me, I will do my best at anything.
I know more than you think.
I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.’

‘If I don’t know, I’ll study.
I can read books or ask someone who knows about it well.’

Upon hearing that, Altair reacted strangely.
Nadia didn’t know the reason at the time, but if the real reason he got married was to get an heir…

In-insane! What on earth did I say I would do my best at again?!

 Her blushing face, which had barely subsided, turned red again.

“This makes no sense, madame, no matter how ignorant one is, no normal man can sleep peacefully in the same bed with such a pretty bride.”

“I don’t know much, but maybe he was being considerate…”

“If it’s really like that, you should let him know that you understand everything and that you are well prepared.”

“How do I tell him that?”

“There is a way.”

Marie smiled broadly, as if telling Nadia to trust her.
For some reason, an uneasy feeling crept up her throat.

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