The Presumed Villainess Is Being Married Off to the Ugliest Man in the Country – Chapter 27

Chapter 27

On a summer afternoon, a week had passed since Knight Callan Gladiolus arrived at Margrave Santorina’s territory.

In a separate mansion near the border, which was rumored to have been used as a frontline base during wartime but now primarily served as a base for demon beast extermination due to the good relations with neighboring countries, Rudy was there.

By his side was an elderly butler who had followed him from the main residence.

“. . .So, why is Rudy-sama sneaking around and avoiding Oku-sama like that?”

After finishing the necessary tasks, the elderly butler interjected with an exasperated expression. Rudy stiffened his expression and averted his gaze.

“It’s not like I’m running away. It’s just that the demon beasts in this area have become more active lately. It’s likely that those pursued by the guardian dragon of the capital, who has regained its power, have gathered within its hard-to-reach range. So, we’ve moved our base here to exterminate them and assess the situation. . .”

“While that trend is true, it shouldn’t be a situation where you have to personally deal with it yet.”

Interrupting Rudy’s explanation, the elderly butler expressed his disbelief, causing Rudy to become even more awkward and fall silent.

Letting out a sigh, the elderly butler, who had lowered his head in front of his downcast master, asked.

“Really, is it just jealousy? You don’t want to see Oku-sama and that knight together? But I’ve repeatedly told you that the knight is not Oku-sama’s lover. He is engaged to Oku-sama’s maid, Lilyria-san.”

“Yeah, it was written in the letter from Emmanuella as well. I no longer doubt that. Besides, Emmanuella is not someone I have the right to monopolize. Even if he really was her lover, I knew from the beginning that I have no right to be jealous of it.”

The elderly butler, who looked at Rudy suspiciously after he calmly admitted it, continued to press him with a stern voice.

“If that’s the case, what is your dissatisfaction? Poor Oku-sama, rejected by Rudy-sama, is completely depressed and locked herself in her room without meeting anyone, not even Gladiolus-sama.”

“. . .I understand that it was a misunderstanding. However, at that moment when I saw them standing side by side and saw their casual manner of calling each other ‘Emma’. . .I couldn’t help but feel that they were a good match, that she deserved someone like him. “

After a moment of silence, the elderly butler looked at Rudy with a meaningful gaze.

“I am aware that there are many individuals with equal or greater status and wealth than I have. However, even in this country, there are numerous outstanding individuals who, if it were her, would captivate regardless of appearance.”

With a glance, Rudy silenced the elderly butler who seemed about to offer a rebuttal, and continued with a somber expression.

“Emmanuella may say that looks don’t matter, but considering public opinion and the future of our descendants, it’s undeniable that good looks are important. Isn’t that a fact? Having someone like me by her side can only be a disadvantage. What she deserves, what can make her happy, is someone who excels in appearance and everything else. . .”

“Please refrain from making judgments about Emmanuella-sama’s happiness.”

In an instant, Lilyria interjected while forcefully opening the door with a bang.

Behind her, Callan followed, looking flustered.

The elderly butler, met with Rudy’s gaze demanding an explanation for the presence of an unexpected person, calmly spoke.

“There was an offer to apologize for causing a misunderstanding, so I brought them along. While Rudy-sama strictly ordered that Emmanuella-sama should never enter this dangerous place, there was no specific mention about these two individuals.”

“I would also like to apologize for eavesdropping.”

Following Lilyria, who spoke in a calm voice that showed no sign of remorse and deeply bowed her head, Callan also bowed.

“I apologize. Everything was thoughtless. I just wanted to go to Lilyria-san before she could escape, but it turned out that I went to the Lady’s presence before greeting the Lord. . .”

“Oh, no, there’s no need to apologize. I wasn’t particularly avoiding people. And seeing the two of you standing together now, I can tell that you understand each other’s feelings.”

Upon Rudy’s words, Lilyria and Callan raised their faces, exchanging glances.

“Or rather, even if Gladiolus were actually her lover. . .”

“Please stop, that’s impossible.”

Interrupting Rudy’s words, Callan said in a genuinely disgusted voice, causing Rudy to furrow his brows in discomfort.

“Is that an insult to Emmanuella? There’s no reason for her to be disliked when he can be seen as the lover of someone as beautiful, kind, and charming as her.”

“You’re such a troublesome person. . Oh, no, it’s nothing. It’s not about beauty or ugliness, but being a married woman’s lover is generally a dishonorable position. Besides, I’m only interested in Lilyria-san.”

“Callan has really bad taste.”

“That’s disappointing. Not only me, but the entire Gladiolus family should appreciate Lilyria-san more than a delicate lady whose chin can’t even be shaken with a full-force punch. And as I witnessed the effort you put in to reach this point, I fell for you.”

“. . .I guess his brain is made of muscles. In other words, it’s not about Emmanuella-sama’s charm, but his sense of aesthetics is weird.”

“I don’t think that’s the case. . .Well, anyway, I just want to say that I find it unpleasant to be thought of as someone’s lover other than my fiancé.”

While occasionally being interrupted by Lilyria, Callan appealed to Rudy.

Rudy softened his expression and nodded.

“Ah, no, I’m the one who should apologize. Even if it’s a hypothetical situation, I said something quite rude. . .You two are truly in love, aren’t you.”

Rudy looked at Lilyria and Callan with eyes that seemed to see something dazzling, as they had an incredibly harmonious exchange.

Lilyria, seemingly uncomfortable with that gaze, slightly blushed and opened her lips, which Emma described as ‘small and cherry-colored, but only harsh words come out when she speaks.’

“Because this person is a pervert with a twisted sense of ped*philia, it seems that he finds only me adorable and has no interest in anyone else. He even gave up his position as a Royal Guard to chase after me.”

“W-Wait, it’s not ped*philia. . .!. . .Or, is it? Actually, because I think you are incredibly charming. . .No, but I have no interest in anyone other than Lilyria-san or anyone who looks like a young girl. . .”

While muttering such things and getting lost in thought, Callan was ignored as Lilyria continued.

“For him, being with me brings him more happiness than his brilliant achievements as a royal knight in the capital, or his connections with beautiful Ojou-sans that come with it. That’s why he has pursued me this far. Not Emmanuella-sama or anyone else, but me.”

“Yes, my happiness lies in being with Lilyria-san.”

“Think about that a little more, you ped*phile.”

Interrupting, Callan cut in with an excessively cold gaze and sharp words, perhaps to hide her embarrassment. After clearing her throat with a cough, Lilyria turned to Rudy.

“. . .I apologize. What I wanted to say is that Emmanuella-sama feels the same way. She has no interest in conventional happiness. If she had any interest, she could have obtained any kind of happiness by using the Duke family’s power, even by threatening the king or using you as a fake spouse. 

“That’s why I’m here, so as not to interfere with her. . .”

“That kind of materialistic and easily understandable happiness that the world talks about, it’s meaningless if you don’t have a heart that can perceive it as happiness. At least Emmanuella-sama doesn’t desire such things. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have been so devastated by your absence, and we wouldn’t have taken action like this.”

Interrupting Rudy’s negative words, Lilyria asserted so.

Callan and the old butler, who directly witnessed and heard everything, nodded with serious expressions, as if agreeing with her.

Facing Rudy, who began to ponder, Lilyria calmly repeated her words.

“As you know, Emmanuella-sama possesses both beauty and magical power, and she has received a noble education. She has no flaws in her lineage, personality, or any other aspect. Moreover, as a beloved child of the royal family and the goddess, she feels indebted to you. Any kind of happiness can be obtained if desired. There is no need for her to come all the way to the borderlands to marry. However, that person has chosen you and desires you. Being with you is Emmanuella-sama’s happiness.”

Unable to come up with a rebuttal, Rudy fell silent, but the old butler smiled gently at him, harboring hope amidst his hesitation, and spoke.

“To be honest, I haven’t been particularly fond of the temple since Oku-sama’s incident, but still, I think it’s not bad to respect that love above all else and value emotional happiness. The heart is something that belongs to oneself. No matter what others say, it cannot be changed. How about finally believing in Oku-sama’s love? Because no matter what happens, Oku-sama’s wish will come true, and Rudy-sama would also be content, wouldn’t you?”

“Saying ‘no matter what happens’ implies that you, Butler-san, don’t really believe it, do you? Well, I can’t say that I myself don’t think that determination might waver as we face the criticism of society. . .”

In response to Lilyria’s words as someone with pale complexion and considered ugly, Callan pursed his lips in dissatisfaction, but Lilyria smiled at him and continued.

“But even if Callan were to change his mind someday, it wouldn’t change the happiness I feel right now. Just receiving memories alone is more than enough for people like us. Margrave-sama, instead of hesitating, it would be better for you to accept it head-on and fully savor the happiness you have right now.”

“I have pledged eternal love. . .no, considering the duties of a knight, I can’t deny the possibility of an early demise. . .in any case, it would be a waste to run away from the current happiness, so I also think it’s better to face it directly and enjoy it to the fullest.”

In response to Callan’s words directed at Rudy in the latter half, Rudy finally showed a smile as if he had let go of something and nodded once.

“. . .Ah, yes. . .please tell Emmanuella that I will leave here by tomorrow.”

Upon hearing Rudy’s finally positive words, the old butler, Lilyria, and Callan nodded with a sense of relief.

However, the task of delivering this message to Emmanuella remained impossible for anyone, forever.

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