Limited Time, Kitchen Maid of the Fourth Knight Order ~I Got a Job Because I Don’t Want to Get Married~ – Chapter 157

𝐀 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐦 𝐢𝐬 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐠!

“What, what the━?!”

Desperately restraining myself from reacting like something out of a manga. A lady must not lose her composure after all.

“In case of any danger to Alice, Brother guided her to that room in the royal castle for a safe escape. That room is connected to the palace of sister-in-law. The only person Brother trusts unconditionally is my sister-in-law.”

“To think that I was under the care of the queen without knowing. . .”

The only response I could muster was that, still overwhelmed with surprise.

Each royal has their own palace, and only selected people can come and go. In the case of the queen’s palace, she decides on the people involved, furniture, and clothing as well.

The servants basically cannot leave the palace. That’s how strict a place it is.

The queen hid me in her palace and lent me national treasure-level jewelry.

Of course, I never spoke to her directly. The queen, whom I’ve only seen from afar at the national foundation day party, must be very kind.

“I am grateful for the queen’s thoughtfulness.”

“For some reason, sister-in-law is fond of Alice. Just accept her kindness graciously.”

“To accept the nobility’s favor so candidly. . .?”

It’s a feeling too alien for a lower noble to understand.

“Has Alice been well? . . .I can’t call her casually anymore because she’s famous, but let me do so for now.”

Sensing the pause in conversation, Rene, attuned to the nuances of the heart, softened the atmosphere for us.

“It’s fine to call me casually as before. I’ve always been training with Chris for the award ceremony.”

“I thought you’ve become more refined than when you were at the noble school. When we went to Edgardo’s territory, you didn’t move like a noble young lady, but you did well.”

“That was. . . to capture Maurice. . .”

I answered while averting my gaze.

Walking with a tiny stride, not swinging my arms, it was much more comfortable to walk without thinking about such things.

“The Kukura family has been elevated in rank. Our family is now a Count house, just like Alice’s! The Kukura family’s income source, the wheat tax, has also been reduced.”

“Congratulations! Rene-sama’s Onee-sama must be pleased with the achievements!”

“I haven’t met her yet, but she was really happy. She’s excited about creating a new festival in our territory. I’ll be joining the first knight order and won’t be able to return often, but I plan to return just for the festival day.”

“I’ll join you, along with Edgardo.”

Rolf, with his usual bright smile, threw an arm around Edgardo’s shoulder.

“The Valka and Kukura territories aren’t that far apart. I’m thinking of rushing over for the festival to liven up the place. It’ll be nice to see Rene’s face as well.”

“Hey, am I just an afterthought?”

“Of course not.”

“I’ll practice sword dancing with Rolf and liven up the festival with a performance.”

“Edgardo, wouldn’t it be better to do that in your own territory?”

Watching the three jest with each other, a nostalgic smile leaked out.

“Edgardo-sama and Rolf-sama are going to the second knight order, aren’t they? I’ll sneak in some treats.”

Hearing about the treats, Edgardo smiled like a blooming flower.

“Thank you. I learned that grandfather and father also like sweets, but I still resist eating them in public. . .”

“Why not take the plunge and try them at the award ceremony? If word gets out that you like cake, some shop might create one inspired by Edgardo-sama.”

 ㅤ

The commoners are tough, so they hold sales and offer souvenirs during award ceremonies. The royal family and the nobles usually just laugh it off and might buy something if it catches their interest.

“I will eat.”

A strong will resides in Edgardo’s eyes. Rolf, who had his arm around Edgardo’s shoulders, steps away and shrugs.

It was a serene gaze.

“We’ll manage. It’s been incredibly busy since coming to the castle, but when I think about what’s to come, this is just a prelude. Transforming the Second Knights’ Order, gaining experiences that foster my growth, and retaining that title as Edgardo takes over as the head of the family. It will surely go well.”

“Rolf-sama will always be by Edgardo-sama’s side, won’t he?”

Rolf just smiled in response. That was answer enough.

In the comfortable silence, it was now Arthur who spoke.

“We’ve been quite busy too, but Alice has been working hard as well. Despite having so much to do, being told to improve her complexion for the award ceremony really made me understand how a lady feels. The servants make such a fuss over a pimple.”

“Arthur-sama, a pimple?!”

Arthur, whose skin has been enviably flawless even in the harshest conditions, has never been seen with a blemish, let alone skin irritation!

Arthur blushed slightly and smiled shyly.

“I must have let my guard down. Compared to the journey thus far, an award ceremony is nothing.”

“. . .Yes, that’s right.”

Understanding Arthur’s consideration made me feel a bit more at ease.

Compared to everyone else, the time I’ve spent with them isn’t extensive. Yet, it’s heartwarming to be thought of as a comrade with whom they’ve fought together.

“The Dahlia family can’t be promoted further in rank even as Dukes, so the head of the family and king Coleesh have had extensive discussions. Being the next in line, I was dragged into it. Can’t even make a joke and being told to marry, it’s been quite the ordeal. For now, Prince Linus will be my partner.”

“That is an honor.”

Roa-sama, in a jesting manner, seemed to have relaxed a tension that had been stretched taut. There was now a sense of mental ease, not as tense as before, allowing for light-hearted banter.

“Is Wanko-sama at Emilia-sama’s place?”

“Yeah, he went off quite cheerfully.”

I can picture that situation so clearly.

As I felt amused by the thought, a sudden knock on the door echoed. Tension instantly surged.

Without a word, someone stood up, drawing a concealed dagger.

The voice from behind the thick door reached us, somewhat diminished.

“Linus! It’s me! Please open up!”

“. . .Sister-in-law?!”

“I’m here too!”

“Brother?!”

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