Taming The Lady - Chapter 2
After possessing this body, I realized that the situation was a bit different from my imaginations but it was fairly easy to get used to it quickly.In the novel, the Lacia family was neither fleshed out properly nor was it well-known.
At the center of the family, there was the father of Estina, Duke Benesis, and her mother, Duchess Serendi. Both of them were fairly gentle and kind-hearted. It made me wonder how the two of them could have had such a daughter.
‘What if she was really picked up from under a bridge……….?’
And, of course, as expected, Estina was the family’s walking time-bomb. Irrespective of their age or gender, whenever someone working or living in the Duke’s estate ran into her……….
The person would scream and get shocked like anything, with their eyes filled with fear and faces distorting. They could not even run away but stood there stiff and rigid, so I did not know what exactly I should do with them.
Just because now it was me in Estina’s body, nothing else had really changed. Damn it!
Of course, they quickly came to their senses, stood still, and corrected their manners.
Nevertheless, the fear that they felt in the first place was something that could not be hidden.
I decided to ignore it and just let them feel whatever they wanted. But it was not exactly comfortable.
“…Hey, miss maid.”
“Excuse me, mister butler.”
“Umm, mister knight………?”
Whenever I called them to ask for help, they froze for a moment and moved in slow motion like some broken machine. The fear was evident on their faces.
Exactly how notorious was Estina that even the knights at the drill ground were trembling with fear?
Estina’s notoriety was so great that she even made her nanny run away.
Was it even possible to change people’s perceptions in that kind of situation? The task seemed nearly impossible as the walls were too high.
However, the reason for my hopeless situation was another subject altogether. Basically, I was not ambitious and I was not even a strategist. My head always started to hurt whenever I thought too much of a problem, and on top of that, my head was already full of Raon only.
I just accepted their greetings properly and did not harass them.
Even though that was all to it, the sudden change in my personality began to create rumors and gossip started to make rounds.
But I decided not to pay any attention to it. Rather, Estina’s parents were overjoyed with the fact that her cute side was finally coming out. They even shed tears of joy on some occasions.
Finally, the long-awaited day arrived!
The sun had risen.
Early in the morning, I ran to Duke Benesis who loved his daughter so much that he would even sacrifice his life for her.
For the sake of achieving my goals, I smiled the brightest smile ever and clung to him showing him all the cuteness I had.
After getting permission, I dressed up to my heart’s content and went out to receive the Count in person.
The moment I saw the boy with fine silver hair a shiver ran through my body.
‘Oh my gosh! To think that I am meeting Raon in his childhood days while I am still alive!’
My favorite character.
I spoke to Raon with a fluttering and trembling heart but………
Raon greeted me silently with a disgusted face. I had expected that. He got attacked by Estina on countless occasions which made him too wary of her.
“You brat! Her Ladyship greeted you. What is with your reaction? I am sorry, My Lady. My son doesn’t have any manners………”
My eyes fired up.
‘Look here, Count! Did you just hit the head of our most noble Raon with that crappy hand of yours?’
‘Isn’t that too much even for a bastard like you?’
But I knew that saying that wasn’t going to solve anything. Still, I couldn’t help feeling that he should have been glad that I was not putting him in a psychiatric ward that instant.
I had no choice but to take a different approach.
I deliberately fell forward and leaned against the Duke’s body. Shocked, the Duke screamed with a pale face.
“What’s wrong! Estina! You still haven’t recovered fully!
“D-daddy……… the Count is……scaring me……….”
“Ohh! My sweet daughter! He shocked you! Count! I ask you to refrain from such behavior in front of Her Ladyship.”
Before the Duke’s fierce gaze, the Count lowered his head and looked embarrassed. Beside him, Raon was looking at me with a suspicious expression.
Naturally, it didn’t make any sense to him that a girl who used to torture him for fun was acting like that out of nowhere.
‘Either way, let’s be the crazy girl in this place!’
I awkwardly stretched out my arms. As soon as I tried to shake Raon’s hand, he stepped back slightly. I got a bit embarrassed but I was not someone to be swayed easily. I quickly lowered my ignored hand and spoke.
“Let’s go to my room and play together, Raon!”
The crucial point of my acting was to be bright and cheerful and just put the right amount of force in my voice so that I would look a bit dumb, yet harmless. Using my pretty face as a weapon, I flashed a devastating smile at him.
After seeing my bright smile without any trace of shadow, Raon’s complexion changed.
‘What? Is something stuck on my face?’
Confused, I touched my face. ‘Uhh…why is my lip lifting up on only one side? Isn’t this just a plain, weird smile?’
Raon was clearly avoiding my gaze.
‘Damn it! Why did I have to smile like that?’
Whatever Raon quietly followed me into my room without a word. He seemed to have resigned to the fact that he had no power to reject my request. As he stood there lifeless, I grabbed his wrist.
‘To think that I got to hold my favorite character’s hands while I am still alive!’
I momentarily had some goosebumps but as soon as I came to my senses, I led Raon to the bed.
“Come over here and sit down, Raon.”
‘But why isn’t he even blinking once…?’
We must be the same age but perhaps, it was because of his training in swordsmanship that his wrists were really strong and lean.
“Come on and sit down already. Please?”
Raon took a deep breath.
“…are you really asking me to sit down right now?”
He spoke as I was still holding on to his wrist.
‘But is he really only twelve years old? Why does his voice sound so good? It’s driving me crazy!’
“Uh-huh. Come and sit here.”
I spoke a bit forcefully to contain my ecstasy but he seemed to have mistaken it as a command.
Raon came and sat down quietly on the edge of the bed. I also went and sat down beside him with some distance between us. Raon looked away without a single glance at my face.
Whatever, I had decided to walk the lonely road. I hung my shoulders low, bowed my head, and started acting.
“Umm, Raon…you were a bit surprised earlier, right?”
“You must have been surprised that I changed a lot out of nowhere.”
‘You know what? Let’s just cry!’
‘Gosh……..the tears are not coming out! Don’t I have any artificial tears in store? Dang it! This won’t do. Let’s just go with a trembling, low voice!’
“You knew that I fell off a horse, right? Well, I had a lot of dreams during the time I remained unconscious.”
“I am sorry for all the harsh treatment I gave you all this time… It won’t happen again in the future. Of course, I know you will have a hard time forgiving me……”
My acting was perfect right down to my trembling fingers.
However, Raon, to whom my acting was directed, did not show any response. I took a peek at him, but Raon’s eyes were still looking off somewhere else.
“Umm…can’t you look at me just once…”
“Lady Estina, is that all you have to say? If so, I’ll be heading off.”
Raon cut off my words and got up without even looking at me once. His voice was as cold as ice, but even so…I could not give up yet.
“W-wait a second!”
Without giving in, I hung on Raon’s arm with a desperate look.
“What are you doing?”
“P-please wait! It won’t take long. Can’t you look at my face just once?”
It was absurd. Even I would admit that my ramblings were not making any sense.
Raon looked back at the arm I was holding on to. Then he looked right at my face with an annoyed expression.
Blue eyes that shone like sapphire.
As I looked into the eyes that were sucking me in, I tried to pull back and suppress my incoming outburst.
I told myself to keep smiling and I smiled softly while looking at him.
‘Don’t you dare give that awkward smile from earlier!’ I kept chanting in my head.
“Raon, I will never hurt you. I will never bring you any pain again.”
“What are you doing?”
“I am showing you an expression of reconciliation…?”
Grimacing at me, Raon shook off the arm I was holding on to and immediately left the room.
‘He did not fall for it.’
After all, every time Estina and Raon met, she tortured him almost to death, so it would be quite strange if they just reconciled then and there.
If I ran and held on to him then, he would just hate me even more, and if I went to find him, he would just find me more disgusting. But did that mean I would have to wait two years to meet him again at the academy exam?
‘No way! I cannot wait for that long!’
So I began banging my head and pulling my hair to try and remember what exactly happened in the novel.
‘The faculty that Raon was trying to get in by giving the exam must definitely be the sword department, right?’
My thoughts went only that far, so I clenched my fists and tried to remember everything.
‘What did Raon do before that?’
‘That’s right! That way, I can legally stalk him!’
“M-my Lady! Is everything fine?!”
A maid with a familiar face, who was busy with her laundry, ran to me quickly.
Perhaps, it was because she was the first maid I met when I arrived in this world, the girl seemed to be less afraid of me than the others.
At least, she did not have that fearful look when she was standing before me. Thanks to that, I was able to be pretty straightforward in front of her.
I grabbed my head with both hands and shook my brain as if to make it work properly.
“I don’t know anymore!”
“I said I don’t know anymore!”
“Wh-what do you mean by that, My Lady?”
I could not even remember the place where Raon used to practice his sword!
The storyline was exactly like this:
[When Raon was seven years old, he used to go up a solitary high mountain every day and practice his sword there under the guidance of his teacher.
It was a very secretive place and he continued to practice till the day he entered the academy.]
As per the novel’s storyline, Raon would enter the academy at the age of fourteen and he was still twelve years old right then, so he must be practicing his sword there every day. In the story, it just said ‘a high mountain’, which made the searching range too unreasonably wide.
‘Ack! There goes my stalking plan!’
I messed up my hair in anger and opened up the map of the empire once again.
There were five countries on that continent. The empire I lived in was the most powerful among them and it was called the Zermen Empire. The capital, Zadia, was located at the center of the empire.
Zadia was the place where Raon and I lived.
Since he went there every morning, it could not be too far, so it must be a mountain in Zadia. A high mountain in Zadia, an uninhabited high mountain.
After beating my head further to no avail, I decided to ask the maid for help.
“Do you perhaps know any high mountains?”
“I am talking about a mountain high enough to go for sword practices.”
“Oh…well, I don’t have too much knowledge about that but shouldn’t the knights at the drill ground know more?”
After realizing that, I opened up my eyes wide.
“Maid! No. What’s your name?”
“What? My name is Betty……….”
I ran out of the room after thanking Betty.
Betty stood there with an expressionless face as I ran past her.
I came to realize that I had been thinking wrong all this time. Previously, I thought there must be a strong explainable reason for Estina’s bad personality, but that was not the case at all.
She did not have any gimmicks or sad stories. She was just a plain old villain through and through.
She was pretty. She had a nice figure; a rich family; good parents. She had everything anyone would ever want, but she still behaved in that way. The only conclusion that could be reached from that was that Estina was just evil in nature. Nothing but a rotten apple.
I went to the office of the Duke who never stopped trusting and loving his daughter.
“Daddy, I want to go to the drill ground. Please allow me! Please?”
I attacked him with all the cuteness I had and begged him to let me go to the drill ground. But I did not expect the Duke’s reply to be so spectacular.
“You can go but you can’t threaten the knights with the sword-like last time, okay?”
The Duke was showing his white teeth and was even talking with a kind smile.
‘Estina being Estina, isn’t the Duke also kind of insane?’
Did Estina become what she was because her parents let her do just anything she wanted? This was why early education was so important………..