Chapter Nineteen: [Extra 3.5] The Struggle of Katrina Dunning (Part V)
“At that time, I also had various circumstances. It may sound like an excuse or that I’m trying to avoid responsibility, but it’s true. Of course, I’m also aware that it’s my own problem, and it doesn’t justify the fact that I trampled upon Lady Emmeline’s position and feelings. Hence, I thought that I had to be punished accordingly.”
To be able to live comfortably without facing any consequences, and to top it off, in a more comfortable environment than before—it was just unacceptable.
“Back then, I did a lot of horrendous things to her. Yet, there was no change in her expression whatsoever.”
Until the end, I couldn’t decide what kind of person Emmeline actually was, whether she was generous, dull, naïve, or foolish. I didn’t know anything at all. Albeit secretly, I thought that a naturally oblivious lady was the correct answer.
Or perhaps, like a perfectly polished crystal ball, or an insect that could mimic a dead leaf, Emmeline could indeed shut all her emotions.
If that were truly possible, then I’d be genuinely horrified of Emmeline.
Now that I thought about it, Emmeline had been educated as a queen for many years. On the other hand, I received a flash lady’s education. Not only was I inherently a commoner, but I could also barely understand the education of a lower-ranking aristocrat. Yet, I dared to insult Emmeline’s hard work.
…Still, I just couldn’t believe that Emmeline was putting up an act.
“Lady Emmeline is a lady with a pure personality and a strong heart.”
Ralph, who had been silent until then, spoke with deeply furrowed eyebrows.
“…Therefore, her heart won’t waver that easily.”
“Certainly, she’s a very positive person, isn’t she?”
“Haven’t you witnessed it yourself? No matter what kind of trouble you made her suffer through, she barely lifted an eyebrow.”
“Indeed. The highest level of lady education is truly amazing.”
“Neither His Highness nor Lady Emmeline has punished you.”
“Then, is it up to me to punish you?”
To have Ralph condemn me in place of Emmeline, it was such a selfish thing to ask. In fact, my motivation itself could be considered self-serving. Moreover, I also doubted that Emmeline would want to condemn me. The same could be said about Ralph, who I had just imposed such a role.
Regardless, I wanted to confess my sins. I desired to alleviate my guilt, lighten my heart, and unburden my shoulders.
I was being selfish until the end. This time, I merely involved Ralph.
To be clear, even our exchange was a farce.
“…I see. Unexpectedly, you’re a nutcase.”
“No, forgive me. I shouldn’t have spoken in such a way towards a lady.”
“Oh, no, it doesn’t matter. Perhaps, what you’ve spoken is the truth. After all, Lord Armitage stayed by Lady Emmeline’s side the entire time. As such, you must’ve witnessed how dangerous of a person I was or how I got some screws loose…”
“Ah, uh, it means that I’m crazy.”
“…Certainly, you say.”
…Although I was unqualified to say it, wasn’t it horrible of him?
Then, as I contemplated, Ralph’s gaze became softer.
…Oh no! His gentle expression has become strict again!
Still, both are beautiful!
To smile at such a time, do you want to kill me!? Is this my punishment, perhaps!? Thank you!
“People often said that about me.”
“Be it your manner of speaking or etiquette in general—they’re both unladylike.”
“But this is how I normally behave—”
“—First of all, it’s improper.”
“I’ll be careful.”
“Not to mention, something is odd about your attitude towards the opposite sex.”
“What? Is that so?”
Indeed, he had seen me embracing Uriel’s arm. Therefore, it’d be useless to deny that.
But why do I feel like he’s talking about this moment?
I made a mistake by calling his first name, but I still attached a honorific to it. Not to mention, upon hearing that skinship was only something prostitutes do, I did my best to change.
…Or so I thought, but does the issue still persist?
When I tilted my head in confusion, Ralph pointed out in disappointment.
“It’s that gaze of yours. While looking into the other party’s eyes as you talk is considered a basic courtesy, yours seem to be flirting with a man.”
Ehhh? What does he even mean?
Even though it was considered a basic courtesy, my gaze was flirtatious? But who was there for me to flirt with?
I couldn’t comprehend anything. As if he was fed up, Ralph let out a sigh.
It… It’s not like that…!
As long as you point it out, I can fix it…!
After all, aren’t I getting a little better…!?
Even if it’s just a slight development, I’d like you to acknowledge it…!
Feeling impatient, I suddenly skipped all the necessary procedures and blurted out my number one goal.
“Would you like to accompany me to the church?”
I did it again.
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