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“By the way, Sir Ian, aren’t you busy?”
“What can I do if I’m busy? The wedding is just around the corner.”
“How does this pertain to the wedding?”
Don’t tell me that Elune church asked you to wield a wooden sword at a wedding!
It was still crossing the line, no matter how the power of God is enshrined in religion.
“There will be a ball.”
Ian answered, as if to ask for something.
Oh. I blinked blankly.
There was also a ball time at the welcome banquet on the day of the Saintess’ Appointment, but I missed it out because Ian was not present. It wouldn’t be possible if we missed it at the wedding ball, where we were the main characters.
“I was planning on hiring a dance instructor, but it seems that you don’t have the basic physical strength to dance.”
“It’s not like that…!”
“If you want to prove it’s not, then try this again.”
As I grabbed my sword and put myself back in position, I looked at him with eyes as if to prove that everything he said was wrong. Then his hand suddenly covered the back of my hand while still holding the sword.
Then he touched my foot with the tip of his shoe.
“Please stand a little closer. Yes. Like that.”
“…Are you ready?”
I wasn’t as strong as he was. It wouldn’t have gotten this far if Ian hadn’t been looking at it. I fixed my gaze on him, anxiously holding the sword in the same position as Ian. My body trembled under the strain of maintaining the perfect posture I was holding.
At that time, I heard that clearly. It was Ian’s laughter. I looked at Ian absurdly. Was I funny?
Don’t you feel sorry for me because I’m standing precariously as if I was about to fall? Do you find it funny?
“I didn’t laugh.”
Ian, the one who said that, was still smiling shamelessly.
‘You know how to laugh.’
Instead of him laughing at me, I felt like it was the first time I saw his real smile.
That refreshing smile purified my eyes… No.
He annoyed me even more because he laughed aloud.
“Then Sir Ian, please give me a demonstration.”
Ian unexpectedly accepted the wooden sword I handed him while holding back tears of laughter.
As soon as he raised the sword, the air around him seemed to change in an instant.
‘…Each angle is an art.’
Ian was overflowing with sharply forged restraints, whereas I was only holding a wooden sword for practice. If you draw his figure as is and release the title at random, such as ‘Handsome Swordsman Practicing,’ it seemed that it would sell like hot cakes.
Ian raised his arms and struck all the way down with his sword. At that precise moment, a whitish half-moon shot out of the sword.
When the half-moon light struck the doorknob lock, it shattered recklessly.
I took a step back in awe of the incredible sight.
Sword Energy? Did he just use sword energy or something like that?
Crazy. My mouth was wide open.
This is, after all, the world of a novel. This was a different kind of shock than the first time I saw magic.
“The lock is weak, put a new one on.” Ian said that while putting down his sword.
“Ye-Yes, Commander!” Annette exclaimed cheerfully.
Ian looked at the time and then at me.
“I don’t have a lot of time today. I’ll be back tomorrow, so please train with Dame Joan.”
“Uh… huh? Ah, yes.” I unknowingly nodded.
I still couldn’t believe what I just saw. Seeing the word “Sword Master” in a novel and actually seeing the sword fly were two entirely different things.
‘I should never mess with Ian in the future.’
And I made another resolution.
* * *
As he examined the stack of papers Lucian had handed him, Ian rubbed his temples.
After the Cardinal became sick, all of the Cardinal’s administrative responsibilities were transferred to Ian. There’s a lot going on, from the Cardinal’s work to the Holy Knights Commander’s work, as well as preparations for the upcoming wedding.
The situation was so critical that even ten bodies were not enough to finish all of the tasks.
When he heard his superior laughing, Lucian looked at Ian blankly. Did he just laugh?
A really bright smile hung from Ian’s lips.
Ian burst out laughing once more as he remembered the image of her taking a step back while making a flurry of noise. At first, he thought he’d only show his posture and he had no plans to break the lock.
But, why did he do such a childish thing?
‘Her reaction is funny.’
Irene Grace, his fake fiancée, had an unimaginable new reaction on several occasions. Maybe that was why, sometimes he feels like provoking her.
“It seems easy to understand, but it can be extremely confusing at times.”
It would have been better if she had been a woman he could read everything as clearly as the palm of his hand. But Irene wasn’t like that. Although she looked as transparent as a glass bottle, Irene didn’t completely reveal herself.
‘There should be a secret between couples,’
Ian tapped the table tuk tuk tuk, recalling Irene’s words.
All right. That’s right. He didn’t care about it.
The reason why she couldn’t reveal everything was because Ian himself was the same.
As long as the contract was not affected, it was none of his business what Irene was thinking with that palm-sized head.
Even though he knows it well, he is still intrigued by it. Maybe he doesn’t trust her as a contract partner just yet.
“Commander, it is reported that eleven people were killed and twenty others were seriously injured in Rycallion yesterday.”
“Is this the western fortress that is currently said to be infested with monsters?”
Ian asked, returning with a solemn expression, as if he’d had enough of laughing.
“Yes. The situation seems to be getting worse. The Holy Knights we dispatched are expected to arrive there within a week, but they may not be enough.”
Spring is usually the calm season for the monsters. He couldn’t have predicted that there would be so many monsters at this time that there would be daily casualties.
“Send a backup unit. It’s better to get rid of them right away.”
“Yes, I understand.”
Then Lucian bowed his head.
* * *
I sat down at my desk and tapped my notebook with a feather pen.
Annette and Dame Joan had agreed to give me some personal space.
With only one week until the wedding, I’ve been extremely busy these days. Choosing a dress and choosing accessories. Also, there are numerous hairstyles to choose from.
Fortunately, I was able to get some rest this morning.
‘Let’s make a timeline.’
First of all, I successfully completed the Saintess’s Appointment Ceremony. However, there was no time to congratulate myself on my accomplishment. If I was going to survive for a year, I needed to prepare for the following right away.
‘First of all, it’s half a year before the original story began.’
In the original story, Ian ascended to the throne about a year later, and my contract with him is set to expire around the same time. Meanwhile, I decided to write about what happened in the timeline gaps.
Because this is a time before the original story began, I don’t have any prior information. However, major events in the original story were frequently repeated from the perspective of the heroine.
‘For example, the geyser explosion on the western border.’
It was a huge occasion. There were no casualties because the area was uninhabited, but it was described as a massive natural disaster that altered the terrain.
‘And, again… Ah! Right. The largest salt mine was also discovered.’
The original heroine’s family, who ran a small business, went bankrupt as a result of that incident, so I remembered it well.
‘Hmm. By the way, was my memory this good?’
I tilted my head slightly. I’d been thinking about it for a while, but the contents of the original novel came to mind unexpectedly quickly.
It wasn’t that I had trouble remembering things, but it wasn’t difficult to recall the contents as if I were rereading a book. It felt like I was reverting to my high school brain, when I was at my brightest.
‘Is it something like a correction from another world?’
If I already have the power, I’d better have a genius mana skill or swordsmanship skill.
But then I sighed deeply, as if I was thinking in vain. It’s great to have nice memories, but I couldn’t focus on anything else. There was something I was concerned about.
‘Nine, why aren’t you showing up?’
It was not time to feel comfortable and say that no news was good news. They will never give up on me, number 76.
They will believe that I am faithfully carrying out their mission. And Ian would never give up on the day I was confirmed as a Saintess.
‘It’s time for them to show up.’
Just because they show up doesn’t mean I can do whatever I want right now. At the very least, there was enough time for me to figure out what kind of plot they were working on.
Suddenly, I heard a knock on the door as I was thinking about it.
“Lady Irene, the appointment time has come.”
“Oh, I’ll be right out!”
When I heard it was Annette’s voice, I ripped the notebook I was scribbling in and tossed it into the fireplace. I only opened the door after double-checking that the burning paper had instantly turned to ashes.
Today is Wednesday. In other words, today was a typical day for social gatherings at Cordelia’s salon.
When I arrived at the Bernadette mansion on time, I saw that many carriages had already arrived.
“You also came today, Lady Irene. I’ll guide you.”
Bernadette’s butler politely guided me. As I entered the salon, Cordelia and her guests greeted me warmly.
“Welcome, Lady Irene.”
When I met Cordelia, who greeted me gracefully, I almost giggled. Cordelia seemed to believe in the ‘lucky color.’
She was dressed wholly in pastel colors and looked like a spring fairy.
“Welcome! Lady Irene.”
“Saintess, it is an honor to meet you.”
Others greeted me with open arms. I greeted everyone and glanced around at the people. Then, I made eye contact with a man.
‘As expected, he is coming.’
He is Ray Monaghan, No. I greeted Rizello.