Taming The Lady - Chapter 3
Now that I had obtained the necessary permission, I started off. As I ran towards the drill ground, all kinds of odd reactions and interesting looks fell upon me. The knights stood rigid in discipline when they saw me coming and all their gazes were directed towards me.
My arrival at the drill ground stirred up a whirlpool of tension.
I could sympathize with almost all of the emotions the knights were experiencing.
From the knights’ point of view, they did not know what crazy things Her Ladyship would do once she appeared at the drill ground after a long period.
They all stayed silent without making a slight movement……
‘Let them do whatever they want. It’s all fine with me. I just need to achieve my goal.’
I walked in, holding my head high. I confidently approached only one knight in particular.
The knight who had always been loyal and who had his lips sealed tight whenever needed. He appeared briefly in the novel as the most loyal retainer of the Lacia family.
‘Sir Lerde, the Knight of the Wind. Now, how do I convince him to join hands with me?’
“Sir Lerde, can you lean down a little bit?”
Even when he did so, Sir Lerde was taller than me. I reluctantly stood on my toes. Then, I whispered quietly into his ear so that no one could hear us.
“Sir Lerde, just beware that the evil residing inside me might wake up if you don’t agree to my request”.
And then I smiled with all the cuteness I could muster. Sir Lerde’s expression directed at me turned stiff instantly.
‘Am I smiling that awkward and weird smile again?’ I touched my lips and found out that I was correct.
‘Dang it. Please don’t do that again, my lips!’
“………are you saying that you want to visit the capitol?”
“And you want to do so by sneaking out.”
“That’s not possible.”
“It hasn’t been long since you woke up from a coma, so you cannot possibly go out in this state, My Lady. And, sneaking out is even more impossible.
Sir Lerde seemed to be a stronger opposition than I expected.
If I asked him to find a high mountain from the beginning, it might have aroused his suspicions. So I had decided to go for a tour of the capital and see if I had a chance to find the mountain, but I was rejected at once.
When I invited him to my room he refused straight away, so I begged him to at least come to the drawing-room for a cup of tea, but he still refused.
I managed to drag him to the garden but as we stood in the garden, all I could hear from him was the repeated “That’s not possible” and it really started to get on my nerves. Damn it!
“If you don’t agree with what I am saying, I am going to come to the drill ground every day and stab the knights with my sword.”
‘To hell with it! I don’t know anymore.’ I smirked and let out my weird smile.
The effect was instant. Sir Lerde who suddenly had a pale blue complexion, believed my word and ate it up quickly.
‘In this case, being the villain is most convenient.’
Sir Lerde finally gave in under the condition that we would not hide our venture from my family and I was forced to pretend to agree with that. After that, I hurriedly ran to the Duke’s office.
“Daddy, I want to go out for a sightseeing. Please allow me to! Please?”
After a handful of cute acts from me, permission was easily granted and, by the time I went outside, a luxurious carriage surrounded by gold frames already stood waiting in front of the family estate. Sir Lerde and several other knights escorted me.
I sat in the carriage and traveled around the capital of Zadia, learning about the basic structure of the place.
The place was more beautiful in reality compared to my daydreams.
‘Could it be that I might just meet Raon on the street?’
That was a fruitless hope and no such miracle was going to happen.
There were too many useless escorts with me and it seemed to be kind of a hopeless plan to find the high mountain like that. But I was not going to give up either.
A few days later, I went to the drill ground to find Sir Lerde again.
Perhaps, because of the knights’ fear about me, this time Sir Lerde graciously came out to the garden on his own.
He listened intently to what I had to say and soon started talking.
“So you are asking me to help you find a high mountain in Zadia?”
“But you don’t want me to go and find it alone, you also want to tag along. And on top of that, it just has to be the two of us.”
“That’s not possible.”
“What? Why not?”
“You are still recovering and it is impossible for you to go out without a carriage, My Lady. Besides, it’s even more dangerous for me to be the only escort.”
Of course, Sir Lerde was only saying absolutely correct things. But I was not to give in.
“If you don’t listen to me, the knights’ stomachs may not be safe though.”
I smiled my weirdest smile as I pretended to stab something with both hands. The effect was superb. Sir Lerde’s face darkened instantly and just like the last time, he firmly believed every threatening word I had said.
“That cannot ever happen.”
“Neither can I give in?”
“May I……ask why you want to find that place?”
Sir Lerde stared at me with a serious expression on his face. I also stared back at him without losing out.
“…I have someone I must find no matter what. But you are the only one whom I can ask for help.”
“Don’t ask me the reason though. I am asking you this because I have no one I can trust but you.”
In the novel, he was the only knight who stayed by the side of his master even when his family fell from grace.
“You are the only one Sir Lerde, believe me”.
Desperate, I clenched my two fists tightly and Raon’s face came to my mind.
“But, rather than leaving it entirely to you, I want to find it together. I think it will be more meaningful if I find that person myself. But if you still don’t agree with that, I’ll give up the idea of going with you and just request you to find it for me……..”
“………I need time to think it over.”
“Alright. You can do that.”
After those words, Sir Lerde gave a light salutation towards me and disappeared quietly.
It was exactly two days later when Sir Lerde appeared before me again.
“I will take you to the high mountain.” Sir Lerde said before quickly disappearing again.
As it had not been long since my recovery, I got permission to go out for a walk to get my body moving and active.
The Duke also granted all my requests to go out without using a carriage and with the minimum escort.
Although because of that, Sir Lerde’s responsibility got added on and weighed heavier……
It was best for me to pretend not to know any of that.
It had already been five days since Sir Lerde and I started wandering around the high mountains of Zadia every dawn. There were about nine high mountains scattered over all of Zadia and we have already crossed seven out of them.
The end of the line was gradually inching closer.
Perhaps, because of my waking up early every morning and going hiking, my legs had started shaking and I was slowly losing feeling in them.
‘I guess I should really start exercising properly’.
“It looks like we’ve reached the top of this one again….”
In fact, this was a mountain that was not even on the map. It was high, but compared to the other mountains, it felt really awkward and ambiguous and it was difficult to even call it a proper mountain.
Still, I came up just in case something unexpected appeared. But as usual……..
“I think this one’s wrong again…….”
“Please wait, My Lady.”
Just when I turned around, Sir Lerde looked at me with a tense expression and placed a finger on his lips.
“There is someone over there.”
Sir Lerde looked intently towards a certain place as he said that.
“I think the other party noticed us as well.”
Then he quietly moved his hand towards his sword’s handle with a combat-ready face.
It happened at that moment.
A single white ray of light sprinted towards Sir Lerde just as he was about to pull out his sword.
The sound of two swords clashing was vividly heard.
“Who are you?”
A terribly cold but very familiar voice reached my ears.
A beautiful silver-haired boy with the face of a brave warrior had suddenly appeared out of nowhere.
His face soon turned sour after seeing me standing behind Sir Lerde.
The boy withdrew his sword. Sir Lerde also followed after him and put his sword away.
You indeed reap what you sowed. I worked hard to find him and I reaped plenty. There was no way I could control my facial expression at that time.
I felt thrilled, exhilarated, and happy- all at once as if I was dreaming a soft and sweet dream.
‘Raon, to see you again like this……….’
Raon and I looked at each other without speaking a word. I was beaming with sunshine right then but he looked as gloomy as a rainy day.
‘Did you know? How much I missed you even in such a short period……’
‘I really missed you a lot……’
‘Here I am with my heart beating so fast that it feels like it will fly out of my chest …….’
‘But it looks like you still hate me and nothing has changed.’
“I-isn’t this a nice coincidence? I was just in the middle of hiking! Were you practicing your sword here?”
No matter how they looked at it, anybody could see straight through my lie. What kind of a crazy lady would come that far to hike? It did not make any sense.
Raon’s facial expression got colder and colder with every minute.
“Oh! Umm……you must be preparing to enter the academy, right?”
Hearing that, Raon turned away with a smirk that reached his ear, then he looked back straight with a scary face that showed no emotion and said:
“Can I dare to ask a question?”
“Huh? Ah……Uh-huh! Okay! Anything!”
“I am curious as to why the lady who treated me less than a toy has come this far to find me.”
“Show your respect! How dare you say that to Her Ladyship!”
As Sir Lerde tried to pull out his sword, I stretched out my arm to stop him.
“Sir Lerde, I am fine. Raon is a friend. He is the son of the Count and he is trustworthy.”
At the word ‘friend’, Raon smirked again as if the word itself was a joke.
Estina had been tormenting Raon since childhood.
She ordered her servants to beat him, constantly tripped him with her feet and……….
To openly ridicule and laugh at him was one of the basic things she did and it did not end there only. She made him eat strange things and even made him drink poison once.
Just like those, Estina’s methods for bullying him were unusually creative and villainous. So, to Raon, I was a villain and he hated the very sight of me.
I already knew everything.
Now I could feel Raon’s simmering anger underneath his silent exterior even more than when I read about it in the novel.
Still, I smiled. And a really bright one at that.
“I won’t tell the Count. If I do that, you will be in trouble. I am being serious, so why don’t you make a deal with me instead?”
“Let me practice my sword here too.”
And, I smiled again; a smile that was soaked in sunshine.
‘How do I appear to you, Raon? Maybe as the devil incarnate? Still, I’ll do whatever it takes to stay beside you, Raon.’
‘I’ll for sure get closer to you! Because I like you too much!’
Currently, Raon was continuously swinging his sword towards the wooden pole.
As I watched him doing so, I could feel my body tremble; to the extent that I felt like a newborn chick.
Light movements fluttered like petals falling from a flower. Silver hair tangled with sweat. Who knew a boy’s sweaty face could be that beautiful?
‘And what am I to do when that boy is my favorite character?’
‘Please everyone, let’s just all give him a standing ovation. Bravo, my boy!’
Anyway, Raon was still very indifferent towards me. I was sure he could feel my warm gaze on him but he still would not even look at me once.
Nevertheless, Raon looked very lovely to me.
I raised my head and directed my attention towards the sound that came from close by.
“Yes, Sir Lerde! W-why did you call me?” I answered with an innocent face. Sir Lerde looked worn out as he said:
“…it’s time for your practice again.”
‘Has it been five minutes already? How did that happen?’
I wiped my forehead and got up from the stone on which I was sitting. Sir Lerde was looking at me like I was such a weird thing but I decided to ignore it.
Sir Lerde soon handed me a long stick.
“So, how many swings this time?”
“Let’s do two hundred.”
Sir Lerde has been trying to kill me since the first day of my sword practice.
I clenched the stick tightly, deciding in my mind that I would not let Raon see my weak side.
After taking a deep breath, I started swinging the stick without stopping. And I had to struggle to suppress the pain in my already numb arm.
‘I guess I am going to have a whole lot of muscle pain tomorrow. Dang it!’
To Be Continued.