Lady To Queen - Chapter 118
Chapter 118 – [Side Story] Ch. 10 That Was His Way
“I met her.”
Wilter’s face turned to surprise when Rothesay recounted what happened that night. Wilter wondered what happened for his friend to come see him the morning after the National Founding banquet. Apparently, it was to bring this news.
“You met her?” Wilter asked in confirmation.
“Who was she?”
“Queen Patrizia’s twin sister,” Rothesay answered.
“The daughter of Marquis Grochester?”
“No, it’s just surprising that you could find her yesterday,” Wilter said in a dumbfounded voice. “That can’t have been easy. There are many young ladies with gold eyes and red hair in the capital.”
“Yes.” A grin spread on Rothesay’s face. “So I told her that we were destined.”
“Use nice words. Do you want me to snitch to the Countess?”
“You prick.” Wilter deftly changed the subject. “But it was really amazing. So… what did you do yesterday?”
Only then did Rothesay catch the implication of Wilter’s words, and he hit Wilter on the back, hard. Wilter let out a yelp, followed by a litany of swears. Despite Rothesay’s appearance, the man was surprisingly strong.
“It hurts!” Wilter yowled.
“Why don’t you blame your rudeness and vulgar words first?”
Wilter threw a withering glare at Rothesay. “Bad guy,” Wilter muttered. However, he continued. “So you’re saying that nothing happened?”
“We danced…Almost danced. But it didn’t happen,” Rothesay said glumly.
“Good gracious. Why?”
“Suddenly she went away. Like it was an emergency.”
Wilter’s eyebrows lifted incredulously. “Wait a second. Is that the end? You didn’t take a rain check?”
“She left without even having time to do so.” Rothesay’s expression was crestfallen. “Was I dumped?”
“Dumped? What did you do?”
“I told her that I was in love with her.”
“Crazy bastard,” Wilter replied with a disapproving shake of his head.
“Don’t say that too much, will you? It hurts my feelings,” Rothesay said with a grumble.
“You deserve it. Use your common sense. A guy that she met only twice confessed that he loved her! Who wouldn’t feel burdened?” Wilter barreled on, only speaking candidly. “You should start with something small! If you confess out of the blue, she won’t say she likes you too.”
Rothesay looked desperate. “Then, what should I do? I never thought of that. I’m in trouble.”
“What else? You have to create an opportunity again. Go find her now. Ask her why she didn’t dance with you and just left!”
“Then should we go together? Do you want to go with me? What if she falls madly in love with me?”
“Disgusting,” Rothesay said with an unpleasant expression.
“What did I do?”
As the two bickered, Rothesay contemplated whether he should really go. Wilter seemed to read his mind, and offered his advice.
“If you miss this opportunity, you’re going to regret it.”
Yes. I will really regret it.
Rothesay suddenly shot up from his seat and said that he had somewhere to go.
“Not getting married, my foot. A passing ant would even laugh at him,” Wilter said when Rothesay was gone.
Rothesay had come a long way thanks to Wilter…but he did not know what to do next. He paced nervously at the front gates of the marquis’ residence. If anyone saw him, they would probably report him for suspicious behavior.
He agonized for about half an hour—if Wilter saw him, he would certainly laugh at him for being stupid—then finally settled on decision, and gathered his courage to knock on the gate.
Knock knock knock.
A few moments later, someone showed up to open the door.
“Who are you?” a butler asked.
“Ummm…” Rothesay blinked stupidly. His words tripped over themselves on the way out. “I—I’m Rothesay Aile Le Bradington from House Bradington.”
“Yes, the son of Count Bradington.” The butler accepted his answer with a calm look. “But why are you here…? Did something happen to Count Bradington?”
“Ah, no. I’m not here on behalf of my parents…” Rothesay swallowed a gulp, and slowly finished his answer. “Umm…I’m here to meet Lady Petronilla.”
“The Young Lady?” Skepticism was clearly written on the butler’s face at the unexpected combination. Rothesay was nodded with a slightly reddened face, when someone’s voice came from inside.
“Mowett? What’s going on?”
“I believe we have a guest.”
The friendly voice belonged to the matriarch of the Grochester family. Rothesay stiffened when he realized he was going to face the final boss. This was unexpected. God, save him!
“Oh my, from this early morning? Who?” Marchioness Grochester inquired.
“Hmm, the son of Count Bradington.”
“Really?” she said in surprise. Rothesay was so nervous that he continuously kept swallowing his saliva.
“Why didn’t you take him inside?” the Marchioness said graciously. “Are you going to let the guest just stand there?”
Finally, the gate was opened, and only then Rothesay was able to see Marchioness Grochester face-to-face. Petronilla inherited her mother’s looks. The Countess was an impressive woman with the same red hair and golden eyes as Petronilla.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Marchioness Grochester. I’m Rothesay Aile Le Bradington from House of Bradington,” Rothesay said with his best bow.
“You’re the son of that wonderfully married count couple?”
“Haha, yes,” Rothesay said in embarrassment.
“Welcome. But why…”
“Ah…” Rothesay hesitated for a moment and answered bravely. “I’m here to meet Lady Petronilla.”
“Oh my, my elder daughter? Do you know Nil?”
“I met her yesterday,” Rothesay explained.
“Ahah, I see.” Marchioness Grochester’s eyes glimmered as if she extracted all the information she needed on that small sentence alone, and a smile broadened on her face. “Follow me. Nil is on the second floor. Let’s go.”
As they went up the stairs, Marchioness Grochester suddenly started questioning Rothesay again. “Why are you looking for Nil?”
Rothesay was flustered by her question, but he told her the truth. “My meeting with Lady Petronilla yesterday was so memorable.”
“In what way?”
“She was incredibly beautiful.”
“Yes. After meeting you today, it’s certain that she resembles you.”
“Oh my, this kind of compliment is too obvious,” the Marchioness preened.
“I just hope you will think well of it.”
They finally reached the front of Petronilla’s room. Just as Rothesay was seriously considering bolting from the place, the door opened and someone appeared.
“Sir…Sir Bradington?” Petronilla said in slight surprise.
When he heard her voice, he realized that all the time he had hesitated about was meaningless. In fact, he blamed himself for not being brave earlier. He greeted her with a natural smile.
“It’s been a while, My Lady.”
No, it was not a long time. We just met last night.
Rothesay stared at Petronilla as his heart fluttered hopefully in his chest. Petronilla turned to Marchioness Grochester questioningly, but her mother simply smiled.
“This good sir said that his meeting with you last night was very memorable. That’s why he came to see you.”
“Mother, but I…”
“If you are uncomfortable, then I will leave, My Lady,” Rothesay said quickly. However, Marchioness Grochester left to leave the two of them alone, and Petronilla turned to Rothesay with a puzzled look on her face. Petronilla asked him.
“What brings you all the way here…? I am a little busy. Please state your business.”
“Ah yes, you are a lady-in-waiting for the Queen. It slipped my mind.”
Rothesay smiled and handed something to Petronilla. It was a bouquet of flowers. He had bought it on impulse while he was on the way to meet her.
“I was taking a stroll and came across some flowers that reminded me of you…”
He did not take a stroll, but it was true that he spied flowers that reminded him of her when he passed a flower shop. He didn’t think much about it when he bought the bouquet of flowers, a purchase that he normally didn’t make.
“Thank you, good sir, but why would you give me—”
“Didn’t I already tell you, my lady?” he replied with a charming smile. Everything he did was out of sincerity. “I said that I would do everything for the person I love.” And that was his way. “I did my best in my own way, so I hope you will be able to accept it.”
“Is this not to your liking?”
“No, it’s not that… Thank you, sir.”
“It’s not like that… Thank you, Lord.”
His face brightened at her positive reaction. Seeing that, Petronilla burst into a fit of giggles, and Rothesay found the courage to ask the question he was nervous about.
“Why did you leave first yesterday?” he asked.
“I was distracted by yesterday’s incident, and I forgot. I apologize for making you wait.”
“No, I understand. Even I would have forgotten, considering the circumstances. You did well.”
“Then, by any chance…” Rothesay suddenly found himself shy, but Petronilla encouraged him to continue.
Rothesay was emboldened. He couldn’t leave any room for regret. “Since we could not dance yesterday… If it’s alright with you, would you go on a date with me?”
It’s done! I did it!
Rothesay did not even try to calm his pounding heart as he waited for her answer. But there was a problem. Petronilla’s expression was dark. Would she reject him? That was the last thing he wanted to think about, but the terror kept nagging his mind. All the various negative outcomes flew through his mind, when she gave him an unexpected answer.
At her one word, Rothesay’s face, which had been dead, suddenly came back to life. O Lord, thank you! I will work harder in the future.
“Really?” he asked.
“I will not say it twice.” Petronilla added a condition. “However, I must return home before the sun sets.”
“Of course, My Lady. I’m not a promiscuous person.”
It would be different if it was Wilter, Rothesay added in his mind.
“What time will be good for you, My Lady? If you are free now, I would be more than happy to go this inst—”
“Ah, I apologize, but I cannot right now…” she said with a slight frown. “I will send a messenger to Count Bradington’s estate. How does that sound?”
“Wonderful,” Rothesay beamed, signaling that any time was alright with him. The important thing was that they would go on a date. Maybe not today, but sooner or later.
At that time, Rothesay’s eyes caught the sight of Petronilla giving a low chuckle. Rothesay could not miss it.
“Oh? You just laughed,” he pointed out with a child-like glee.
“Isn’t that so?”
“…Is it that of big concern?”
“Yes, it’s very important,” he said in his sweet, baritone voice. “That was the first time you laughed while looking at me.”
How magnificent was that? She laughed around him! Rothesay did not bother to hide his excitement and prepared to leave.
“Are you already leaving?” Petronilla asked.
“I believe you said that you were busy. I do not wish to take more of your precious time, My Lady.”
With those words, Rothesay got on one knee in front of Petronilla. While she was being too busy dazedly staring at him, he kissed the back of her right hand. The was never…a kiss with an ulterior motive. It was meant as a courtesy.
“Then I shall come see you tomorrow, my lady,” he said smoothly.
This was the first time he had such an expectation of the future. He couldn’t stop himself from smiling.