The Presumed Villainess Is Being Married Off to the Ugliest Man in the Country – Chapter 24

Chapter 24

“If it’s an order to acknowledge and marry him, I will gladly comply.”

“Eh?! Th-that’s not it!”

As Lilyria said such outrageous things with a seemingly reluctant expression while claiming to be happy about it, I vigorously shook my head.

“It’s not about orders, I was just giving advice. Besides, even if it were an order, marriage is a serious matter. If you don’t want it, you should refuse, right?!”

Despite my desperate approach towards Lilyria, she tilted her head with a puzzled expression.

“Isn’t it generally the master’s decision when it comes to a maid’s marriage? Besides, my life belongs to Emmanuella-sama. Since you have the power to decide whether I live or die, I should follow your intentions even in how I live until death.”

“In that case, I request that you decide for yourself how to live, whether to live or die. Why is it that Lilyria, who usually doesn’t show any respect towards me, occasionally imposes something so heavy. . .”

As I let out a sigh, Lilyria chuckled.

“I always respect you to the utmost. I’m just the type to show respect through actions.”

Well, it’s true that while Lilyria may be harsh with her words, she is kind and sweet to me in various ways. . .

“Yes, Miss Emmanuella, you are highly cherished. In fact, Lilyria-san is quite harsh towards everyone else. Neither I nor my father were even informed about Lilyria-san’s plans to move to this land.”

Callan expressed his lament with a touch of sorrow, causing me to widen my eyes.

This is beyond neglect. . .!

“I did send a letter to my master on the morning of our departure. The reason I didn’t go to greet you in advance was because I was under house arrest until the day before departure.”

Despite being looked at with disbelief by me, Lilyria calmly said so. But wait.

“The house arrest was my punishment, it had nothing to do with Lilyria!”

I shouted without thinking, but Lilyria, still wearing her composed expression, simply responded.

“It’s only natural that you can’t frolic around while your master is under house arrest.”

“When I went to see her right after graduating from the academy, she said something similar, and since then, she has refused to meet or even exchange letters with me. Well, I thought it was only natural considering Lilyria-san’s loyalty, so I backed down once. . .”

Callan let out a sigh and continued.

“After your house arrest was lifted, she moved without telling me anything, and honestly, I thought my heart would break. It’s one thing to refuse, but to add to that, being ignored is harsh. So, I somehow managed to encourage myself and it took nearly three months, including the time it took for the reassignment to be approved. . .”

As Callan muttered, he had a distant look in his eyes, as if he was thinking about all the hardships he had endured.

“Th-thank you, Callan. Well, it’s amazing that you didn’t give up.”

As I unintentionally praised him, Callan, still with a distant look, weakly smiled.

“Because until now, everyone, including you, has been uniformly rejected. I simply thought that besides Miss Emmanuella, everyone, including you, didn’t matter. I particularly don’t dislike you.”

“Well, it’s more or less the same.”

Lilyria nodded, and Callan let out a sigh of relief. Even being considered ‘doesn’t matter’ brings relief. . .

“However, let me correct you. It’s precisely because I find you special and adorable that I have been pushing you away.”

As Lilyria calmly continued her words, Callan gasped and stiffened.

“Eh. . .A-Adorable?”

For Callan, who had a rather stern appearance and was known for being cool at the academy, the unfamiliar term ‘adorable’ seemed out of place, causing him to tilt his head. Lilyria then softly smiled, as if she truly found him cute beyond measure.

“Yes, Gladiolus-sama is like a foolish dog, but he’s incredibly cute. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen him since childhood, but to me, you look very cute. Your foolishly straightforward nature, well, it’s truly foolish and foolish and foolish, but that’s why you’re so adorable.”

I wonder if she’s praising him. . .

As I watched from the side, I couldn’t help but feel a bit uneasy, but Lilyria, who said those words, had a beautiful smile throughout, and Callan, who was being spoken to, had a bright red face and a wandering gaze, so maybe she did praise him.

Come to think of it, Lilyria likes dogs.

Callan, who gave up his position as a royal guard to come here, is undoubtedly a fool.

When he gave up that position, he probably shattered any chance of a marriage meeting with the high-ranking noble ladies, and yet he came straight to Lilyria without hesitation, giving off a foolish dog-like feeling.

Finally, Callan clenched his fist as if firming his resolve, stared at Lilyria with expectant eyes, took a deep breath, and then opened his trembling lips.

“. . .L-Lilyria-san, um, I, I graduated from the academy. I’ve already resigned from the royal guard, but I’ve been recognized as a knight of the country. I can’t do anything about being younger than you, but, um, can you acknowledge that I’m no longer the ‘child who clings to their parents’ as you mentioned before. . .?”

“Yes. You’ve become splendid.”

“S-So, um, me and you. . .”

“You are charming. That’s why it would be a waste for someone like me, who is not blessed with a wealthy family or a prestigious background, and who has only Emmanuella-sama as an absolute, to make you unhappy. I firmly decline.”

As Lilyria cut off everyone’s words with a smile, Callan choked on his words.

“Besides, as I mentioned earlier, I want to follow Emmanuella-sama’s wishes even when it comes to choosing a marriage partner. I can only think of acting in her best interest. I never intended to choose my own marriage partner.”

Noting something that had been bothering me since earlier, I gently asked, even though it might not be appropriate to interrupt a proposal scene.

“Well, Lilyria, then you don’t dislike or hate Callan, do you? On the contrary, maybe. . .you actually like him?”

At my confident words, Callan looked bewildered, and Lilyria opened her mouth with an expression as if she had bitten a bitter bug.

“. . .Do you think there’s a woman in this world who can’t love someone whispering love to her?”

“There might be some occasionally, right? At least I have no interest at all. But for now, Lilyria, you like him, right?”

As I asked again, Lilyria reluctantly nodded.

“Well, if it’s a choice between liking or disliking, then. . .maybe I like him.”

With a snap, Callan, who was frozen in shock from the overwhelming joy, was left alone for now, and I pressed Lilyria further.

“You said earlier that you would obey my orders, right? If it’s a marriage that benefits me, will you accept it?”

“Of course. If it is necessary for Emmanuella-sama’s happiness, I don’t mind being turned into a perverted plaything for a ped*phile.”

“Why do I have to give such a cruel order? Well, whatever. I order you, Lilyria. Marry the person you love and be as happy as possible. Show my Danna-sama that even with a pale complexion, you can be loved this much, that you can be happy, that it’s okay to be happy!”

“. . .Ah. . ., Ahh. . .?”

To Lilyria, who still seemed to have trouble digesting it, I ordered once again.

“Now, be true to your feelings! Show Rudy what happens when you’re true to yourself!”

“I see. . .?”

Tilting her head, Lilyria seemed to still be pondering the meaning of my order. For now, I turned to Callan.

“Gladiolus, I’m sorry for hitting you earlier! It doesn’t matter about appearances, I’m glad you’re here, someone who loves Lilyria regardless. Earlier, Lilyria said she didn’t want to make you unhappy, but isn’t your happiness marrying some random black-haired Ojou-san in the capital?”

“No! I came to this place because I can’t consider that as happiness! I can’t love anyone other than Lilyria-san!”

In response to Callan’s immediate and strong rebuttal, I give him a beaming smile.

“That’s right, that’s right! No matter how good their looks or conditions are, you can’t be happy marrying someone you don’t love! So, Lilyria, I have hopes that by accepting someone who shares the same thoughts as me, it will become an opportunity for the timid Danna-sama to gather courage.”

“So my acceptance of Gladiolus-sama will be beneficial to Emmanuella-sama. . .”

To Lilyria, who responds with a single statement, I nod with a smile.

“If you truly want to be of help to me, then set aside any reservations or negative emotions, be honest with your feelings, and face Callan, won’t you?”

“. . .Understood, I will.”

After Lilyria finally nods, I pat her shoulder and turn towards the mansion.

“Well then, Lilyria, Callan, I don’t want to disturb you any further, so I’ll return to the mansion and look for Danna-sama. Then, I plan to introduce Callan to Danna-sama. . .”

At the stage of introduction, whether Callan remains a suitor for Lilyria or if they have become engaged as a couple.

Expressing my hope for the latter, I leave the scene.

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