I Was Confessed to by the Person I Was Admiring – Chapter 22
Chapter 22: So that’s how it came to be!
When he opened the door to the study, I saw the back of a gentleman sitting at a writing desk, completely absorbed in writing. It was a somewhat difficult atmosphere to interrupt. However, Jeremiah didn’t hesitate to enter the room and call out to the gentleman.
“Dad, do you have a moment?”
The gentleman then raised his face and turned around.
He was an elderly gentleman who, with his neatly combed gray hair, must have been quite popular with women in his younger days. He resembled Jeremiah, but gave a more rigid impression.
He was dressed neatly, and when he noticed me, he stood up and looked me up and down from head to toe for a while before relaxing his demeanor.
“Oh, it’s fine. Ah, I see, it’s about her…”
Under his scrutinizing gaze, I involuntarily shrank back.
Jeremiah and Paula’s evaluation of me circulated in my mind. But for now, I decided to behave properly for Jeremiah’s sake and smiled, holding the hem of my skirt.
“Nice to meet you, I’m Lorraine Valcourt. I’m very happy to meet you.”
“Likewise. Do you know my name?”
“Yes, of course.”
As I nodded, Lord Castalde turned his gaze to Jeremiah.
“I’ve heard about Baroness Palmara, and she says you’re a good girl. She’s been pushing me to consider you, and since you’re not opposed to the idea, I was imagining a different woman, but yeah, I wouldn’t be against her… After all, you’ve learned your lesson about your mom, haven’t you?”
“No, it’s not like that… It’s just that it’s certain that she’s of a different race than my mother.”
Jeremiah said that and looked at me, smiling happily.
It was a mysterious conversation. I didn’t understand it, but there seemed to be something in common between the two of them. As I was wondering if it was okay to ask, Lord Castalde started talking.
“That’s wonderful! Let’s move forward with the conversation before this young lady escapes. I’ve already written the permission letter, but we have to talk to her father. It would be good to visit her mansion today or tomorrow.”
“I understand. Will you come with me?”
In response to Jeremiah’s question, I nodded reflexively. The conversation was progressing smoothly. I was confused if this was really okay, but Lord Castalde continued to speak with a distant look in his eyes.
“No, I’m really glad. I heard that you were really into it, so I was worried that she might be a glamorous woman. I failed with that before. Ah… no, I love my wife, but… still, her biggest flaw is her unusual spending habits.
I’ve told you many times, don’t make this kind of mistake, and don’t be blinded by the glamorous butterflies of high society, but I know they’re attractive.
Quiet and reliable, excellent women tend to be overlooked by men.
But you brought a wonderful, unassuming butterfly, and I’m happy about that.”
Oh no, here it comes.
I knew he was going to say something. It’s somewhat softer than what Paula or Jeremiah would say, but he’s definitely calling me plain. He’s praising me, but I can’t be happy because he’s pointing out my flaws.
What’s the right way to react when someone praises your flaws?
I don’t move, keeping a smile on my face. This mask has already become another face. Like a lifelong friend. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to survive in high society, where everything is about socializing.
“Lady Lorraine… please take care of my son.
Yes, it’s wonderful no matter how many times I see it. That dress that doesn’t have a trendy or luxurious feel. The face that doesn’t seem to have any makeup. The appearance that seems to say that trends and noble prestige have nothing to do with me. The old-fashioned necklace that seems to declare that the accessories inherited from ancestors are sufficient.
It’s as if she’s saying that she’s going down the path of frugality and thrift without being swayed by frivolous trends or noble prestige… She’s a wonderful person, isn’t she?”
“…T-Thank you for your kind words. I’m honored.”
I answered desperately, but my face twitched.
Even though I was being praised with all my might, I didn’t feel like I was being praised. I prayed that I wouldn’t be told something completely off the wall, but the gods were cruel. They really did come at me from left field.
Well, it’s true that I’ve been careful not to spend too much money while still being polite. After all, just being able to eat properly every day, having a home, and sleeping in a warm bed is quite luxurious.
That’s already a pretty extravagant thing.
I know about the poor living conditions of the neighboring farmers, and I live off the taxes they pay, so I don’t want to waste money. That’s all.
The Valcourt family’s territory is not very large, nor is it particularly wealthy. Since there is nothing special that can be harvested, income from farming inevitably becomes the main source. Therefore, we naturally became frugal.
It’s awkward to be praised for not doing anything special.
“You don’t have to push yourself.”
“No, it’s okay. At least, I appreciate the praise.”
I replied to Jeremiah, who spoke softly and considerately.
Well, it’s still less shocking than Paula, who was relentless. But still, I feel strangely cold when I think that I am seen as “plain” in most people’s eyes.
Even if you are born with a glamorous face, there are still many hardships. There are also hardships for those with plain faces. With a strangely mature feeling, I continued to smile.
“Anyway, I’m relieved. Now, let me give this to you… It will be valid as long as her father, Baron Valcourt, signs it.”
“Thank you very much. Then, I will head to the Valcourt family right away. Excuse me.”
Jeremiah said that and took my arm. I hurriedly bowed to Lord Castalde and was dragged out of the study by him.
“Well then, I’ll prepare the carriage. The weather is good, so we should be able to come back tomorrow.”
“W-Wait a minute!”
In the hallway just outside the study, I inadvertently stopped him.