The Presumed Villainess Is Being Married Off to the Ugliest Man in the Country – Chapter 23

Chapter 23

As I gently stroked my tear-stained fist and Callan’s jaw, which was struck with a calm expression, Lilyria suddenly tilted her head.

“By the way, did Gladiolus-sama get fired from being a royal knight?”

When asked, Callan shook his head in a flustered manner.

“No, I didn’t get fired. Well, it’s true that I’m no longer a royal knight, but I’m still serving as a knight of the kingdom. I just requested a transfer to this area for a change of duty location. I will be responsible for border defense in the future.”

“Oh, I see.”

Lilyria nodded indifferently, despite asking the question herself, showing no interest.

Hmm, well, that may be true, but it doesn’t seem like a situation to be so indifferent about. . .

“But Callan, you’ve deviated from your promising career path. If you had continued as a royal knight, you would have been secure. Being sent from the capital to a rural area is basically a demotion, right? Moreover, since the Santorina family has a strong influence in this area, the work of a kingdom knight is not just simple surveillance and regular reporting to the country. It’s not an insignificant position. To willingly choose that. . Well, I suppose it shows how deep your love for Lilyria is.”

“Well, that’s scary. . .”

Upon hearing my remark, Lilyria muttered briefly and quietly moved behind me.

In an instant, Callan slumped down, and his deep wine-red hair, which is usually much higher than my eye level, seemed somewhat dejected.

“Well, Lilyria, it’s true that it’s a bit scary, but after all, he followed you here, so shouldn’t you be a little moved or something?”

“Is Emmanuella-sama a supporter of ped*philes?”

Lilyria glared at me with a cold gaze as I tried to defend Callan, then quietly distanced herself. It felt like she was breaking not only his spirit but also mine.

“N-No, ped*phile? Callan is the same age as me, and he’s younger than Lilyria! Well, I mean, you do look completely like a child and adult together, and the difference in physique is extreme, but. . .”

Upon hearing my somewhat excuse-like words, Lilyria let out a heavy, long sigh and spoke calmly.

“Emmanuella-sama, the opposite sex that approaches me is a kind of pervert who finds any girl lovable as long as she looks like a little girl, regardless of beauty. In fact, it’s even more likely that they are extreme perverts who want to do terrible things to creatures that look like innocent girls precisely because they are ugly and older.

Callan, who was described as a possible extreme pervert, paled and shook his head.

“N-No, that’s not it! I just, I like Lilyria-san’s personality and way of life! Since I come from a family of knights, I easily empathize with someone in a servant-like position. So, I was impressed and admired Lilyria-san’s loyalty to Miss Emmanuella. . .”

Just as he said that, he awkwardly averted his gaze and continued in a subdued tone.

“Well, um, this, um, girlish appearance actually has a mature personality, or rather, a sense of resignation, strength of character, and it’s attractive in that way. But I’m not interested in anyone else who looks like a little girl or a girl! I like Lilyria-san because she’s Lilyria-san!”

In response to Callan’s passionate declaration with a bright red face, Lilyria returned a cold smile.

“You can say anything with words. Let me make it clear, I am a living human being. I have emotions, and I age over time. This girlish appearance can’t be maintained for many years. I need to eat and excrete, and I can never become someone’s obedient doll.

“I know. I find your hidden passion, which can be relentlessly devoted to Miss Emmanuella, incredibly attractive. Because you’re not a doll, you are beautiful. And although it’s not something to be proud of, our kind, humans and knights, are a barbaric race that is completely indifferent to appearances. Even as we age, your charm will not be shaken in the slightest.”

Upon Callan firmly stating it again, Lilyria’s words got stuck in her throat.

Well, it’s not something to boast about, but it’s true that they are indifferent to appearances.

In the Gladiolus family and among the knights, there is a culture of valuing practicality and having short hair. They also have a mysterious culture of praising each other’s muscles.

So, in reality, Callan and his family probably wouldn’t care about Lilyria’s appearance.

In fact, Callan’s father once said that if someone as talented as her were to marry his son, he would be delighted.

This is because Lilyria has been training quite hard to be able to protect me when the time comes.

The reason Callan and I became acquainted and why we know each other is because Lilyria was studying under Callan’s father, who is the captain of the knights and known as the strongest in the kingdom.

Despite being a petite woman, Lilyria stands out among the many disciples of Callan’s father, thanks to her exceptional skills. This is due to her extraordinary passion and determination, born out of her loyalty towards me, which led her to train relentlessly as part of a group.

I often heard that he fell in love while watching her train by my side when we met at the academy.

“Or rather, why does it feel like there was actually a pervert who wanted to surround Lilyria-san like a doll?”

When Callan suddenly asked, Lilyria nodded with a bitter expression.

“Well, um. Although it’s not something to be proud of, I was forced into three arranged meetings by my estranged family. And all of the suitors were like that. Well, since they were like that, I didn’t hesitate to punch them and come back.”

“Alright, I’ll go and cut down those perverts.”

As Callan said that and completely focused his gaze, gripping his sword, Lilyria let out a sigh of exasperation.

“Where do you plan on going without even knowing who your opponent is?”

As he was about to walk away, Lilyria gently asked him from behind.

“. . .Tell me.”

Callan pleaded with a pathetic voice as he turned back, and Lilyria chuckled.

“If I were to tell you now, it would be clear instigation of murder.”

“Ah, I can’t turn Lilyria-san into a criminal. I guess I have no choice. I’ll give up on getting the information from you.”

Nodding with a bitter expression, he briefly made eye contact with me.

Well, I suppose it means that I should investigate without needing to ask Lilyria.

And maybe it’s an eye contact that implies I, as her employer, should cooperate with the investigation. Probably.

Seeing me and Callan nodding in agreement, Lilyria let out another exasperated sigh.

“Emmanuella-sama, Gladiolus-sama, I am here without any trouble, so isn’t that enough? As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t hesitate to strike them, you know? If I’m provoked carelessly, there’s even a possibility that I’ll be judged by the law. . .”

“Yeah, if it’s Lilyria-san’s full strength, it would be half-dead. . .”

At Callan’s muttered words, a sense of crisis arose.

“Eh, you didn’t actually kill anyone, right. . .?”

Lilyria, who was gently asked by me, tilted her head with a beautiful smile.

Yeah, let’s not ask that again.

Satisfied with my closed mouth and polite smile, Lilyria returned to her serious expression and calmly stated.

“My parents seem to have learned their lesson or perhaps they realized that I had fallen behind as a noble lady. They haven’t sent me a letter since two years ago. . .When I went to negotiate with them to let me be more relaxed, I said, ‘Otou-sama and Okaa-sama still have beautifully artificial hair, don’t they?’ It seemed to remind them that we weren’t really family, so maybe that’s why.”

Ah, so Viscount and Viscountess, who became gray-haired or bald because of my curse, were actually wearing wigs. And they got angry when it was pointed out.

In this world, there is a theory that hair color is a blessing from the gods, so disguising one’s hair color is heavily frowned upon and ridiculed.

There are even extremists who claim that wigs and dyeing hair are blasphemy against the gods.

That’s why Lilyria’s parents, who feared being exposed wearing a wig, distanced themselves from high society and withdrew their control on her as soon as she noticed it. They couldn’t afford to be exposed.

“. . .So, I guess I don’t have a role to play, huh? But if you can handle everything perfectly on your own. . .”

“You’re saying I lack cuteness, right?”

Lilyria interjected with a cynical smile at Callan’s mutter, but he firmly shook his head.

“No, I think you’re too cool. It seems like the day I’ll be recognized by Lilyria-san is far off. . .”

“I-I see.”

Callan seemed lost in thought, unaware of what was happening, but Lilyria’s ears turned slightly red, and she showed an unusual sign of agitation in her voice.

Lilyria has a weakness for compliments like being cool or reliable because of her big sister nature.

. . .Why aren’t these two together?

Yes, in the first place, it would have been better if these two were together.

If they were lovey-dovey lovers, there wouldn’t have been any strange misunderstandings.

“Hey, Lilyria, now that the misunderstanding about ped*philia has been cleared up, why don’t you try to acknowledge Callan a little bit. . .?”

I softly asked with hope, and Lilyria’s expression changed to that of someone who had bitten into a bitter bug, while Callan raised his face with eyes full of expectation.

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