Lady To Queen - Chapter 119
Chapter 119 – [Side Story] Ch. 11 There Was Progress?
“Why haven’t I heard from her?” Rothesay worried in earnest as he sat on his bed one leisurely morning. She wouldn’t be waiting for him to reach out to her.
“Did I hear her correctly?” he wondered.
Even so, it had been so long without any form of contact with each other. Just how many days had it been? One, two, three… after spending a considerable amount of time counting the days, Rothesay decided that it was futile and stopped. Any more of this, and he was bound to become depressed.
“Could it be that she’s forgotten about me?” he murmured gloomily as he flopped down on the white bedsheets.
Several possibilities started running through his head. Perhaps she was so busy that it slipped her mind, or perhaps she found another man. When that thought crossed his mind, Rothesay sprang up from his lying position.
No, that couldn’t be it. She wasn’t the type of person to ignore others. He immediately dismissed these baseless worries from his mind. The most important thing when forming relationships with others was to have trust and faith in them! Keeping those words close to his heart, he decided to wait a little longer.
Just then, there was a knock at the door.
“Who is it?” he asked.
“It’s me, the butler, My Lord.”
The butler entered the room, and Rothesay saw that his face was slightly flushed.
“Did something happen?” Rothesay asked.
“Yes. Something did.” The butler’s voice sounded rather excited, and Rothesay’s suspicions only grew.
“I’m guessing something good happened?”
“Yes, sir,” the butler replied excitedly. “We have received a message from the Grochester family.”
“I see, the Grochester family… wait. What?”
Rothesay’s pupils blew open wide, and, seeing that, the butler chuckled and began to elaborate.
“Lady Grochester is currently on her way here, Young Master. You must get ready.”
So she hasn’t discarded me! Rothesay was overjoyed before realizing that now wasn’t the time to be loitering around and got up from bed. He needed to prepare as much as he could for his first date!
“It has been a while, sir.”
After perfectly preparing everything and waiting in the parlor room for ten minutes, Rothesay finally saw her enter the room. Perhaps it was because he hasn’t seen her in so long, but she looked even more beautiful than before.
“I thought I would go crazy from waiting, My Lady. Please, have a seat,” he offered, his heart fluttering.
Rothesay stood up from his chair and prepared the tea he was steeping. While preparing tea was usually considered a woman’s task in the Mavinous Kingdom, Count Bradington held the opinion that ‘a refined man should know how to brew tea’, and thus, taught the art to his son.
Rothesay offered a cup of tea to Petronilla, and she took a careful sip. In that instant, Rothesay, who never doubted his skills in brewing tea, suddenly felt a wave of anxiety. It’s properly brewed as usual, right…?
“Whoever brewed this tea has unparalleled skill.”
Ahh, thank goodness it’s a compliment. Her face brightened, further proving that she wasn’t lying.
“I don’t believe I’ve had such delicious tea before.”
As the praise continued, Rothesay’s heart began to feel full, and he was unable to hide his delight.
“Thank you for your kind words, Lady Petronilla. It’s been a while since I brewed tea, so I was a little worried. I’m so glad you enjoy it.”
“Yes, I personally brewed this tea. I’m truly glad that you find it to your liking.”
Petronilla looked taken aback upon hearing that he had brewed the tea himself. It was understandable, considering how uncommon it was for a man to be able to brew tea.
Wait, could it be that she doesn’t like men who can brew tea… right?
It was quite the pointless worry, but a man in love tended to turn foolish at even the most insignificant things.
“I… I didn’t expect that you would have brewed this tea. That is… I don’t believe I’ve met a man who knows how to brew tea.”
“Yes. Truth be told, I’m a bit of a rare case.” Rothesay gave a small smile of acknowledgment as he refilled Petronilla’s cup. He looked quite pleased.
“Hearing your compliments has delighted me. It’s quite the honor.”
“…that aside, I apologize for getting in contact so late. These days, I… I was really out of my mind. If you’re even slightly familiar with the matters of the palace, then you would know that recently…”
“Yes, I have heard. Though I try not to involve myself with politics and matters of the royal family, it can’t be denied that the Emperor taking in an official royal concubine is quite important.” Rothesay lowered his voice. “I am a little worried about Her Majesty.”
Petronilla’s expression turned downcast. “She acts like it’s nothing, but I’m sure that she received a large blow to her heart.” Her voice turned quiet. “I should have been queen in the first place…”
“It is nothing.”
Since Petronilla didn’t elaborate, Rothesay didn’t question her any further. However, he clearly heard her say that she ‘should have been queen in the first place’ instead of her younger sister.
That was something that he did not wish to think about. If things turned out the way Petronilla said, then he would still be laying on his bed alone right now. No, if Petronilla had been queen, he wouldn’t have been able to meet her in the first place.
“I understand. Considering the situation, of course you would have been busy. You already have quite the task looking after Her Majesty the Queen.”
“Thank you for understanding, sir. I’ve been having a hard time mentally and physically.”
“I’m sorry. Then we should have prolonged the date to a later time.”
“I didn’t think I could do that, as I’ve already prolonged it so much. That is why I came to see you today. A promise is still a promise…” She then spoke in a clearer voice than before. “I believe I must keep my promises. I shall meet you on the day that you decide next, sir.”
“I said this previously, but it doesn’t matter what day or time we meet, my lady, so long as I can spend any amount of time with you.”
“Then, hmm, when would be a good time…?”
At her words, Rothesay unknowingly let her nickname slip past his lips.
“It’s alright, Nilla. Please do as you wish.”
When Rothesay saw the sheer look of surprise on Petronilla’s face, he realized what exactly he had done and mentally yelled at himself. You’re crazy, Ro! How could you call her by a nickname when you haven’t even formed a proper relationship with her?! He wanted nothing more than to crawl into a hole and hide. To think that he’d make such a rude blunder after everything was going so well! He hastily apologized to Petronilla.
“Ah… I apologize if I offended you… I suppose it’s rather early for nicknames… right?”
“Er… yes, it does feel too soon… Will you consider calling me that farther down the road, sir?”
Huh? Rothesay’s eyes grew wide. So she’s not okay with me calling her by her nickname right now, but she’ll be fine later on? In other words, it was not a complete rejection. Realizing this, Rothesay’s face brightened before happily accepting the suggestion.
“It would be an honor, my lady.”
“That’s taking it rather far… Then, tomorrow… please come to the Grochester estate. I will be waiting.”
I will be waiting
With those words, Rothesay’s face flushed a bright red. He gave a small nod, and Petronilla, after debating on what to do, eventually rose from her seat.
“Erm… I’ll be taking my leave now.”
“Ah, yes, yes.”
“Then…I will see you tomorrow.”
Their exchange felt so embarrassing. After seeing Petronilla off and coming back inside, Rothesay’s face was fully scarlet.
The butler looked at Rothesay in mild surprise. “The Countess told me that you had no intentions on marrying.”
Rothesay truly wanted to grab his past self by the sides and shake himself silly for saying such a thing. If he had known from the start that a woman such as her was walking on the face of this earth, he would never have said something so foolish.
“…So it’s true,” Wilter said in a disbelieving tone. “You had your first date?”
“Yes.” Rothesay’s expression turned to displeasure. “Why is it that you can’t believe me?”
“I mean… of course I’d be surprised. I really didn’t think it would turn out like—gah!” Wilter’s words were interrupted as he fell to the floor with a shout. “R-Ro… you bastard.”
“How could you say that to your one and only friend, Wlt. You’re truly wicked.”
“P-Please, just don’t use brute force. Though you look soft-hearted, your strength is monstrous.”
“I didn’t even hit you that hard. What an overreaction.”
It’s not an overreaction! Wilter shouted indignantly on the inside before straightening out his posture.
“So, are you making any progress?”
“Ugh, you’re the worst,” Rothesay groaned.
“Hey, this is important!”
“We made some progress emotionally.”
“Really?” Wilter asked, intrigued. “How so?”
“We decided to see each other.”
“Oooh!?” Wilter looked shocked, as if this was quite the unexpected news. “Really?”
“Wow… Ro, you’re pretty amazing. I didn’t take you for a casanov—augh!”
“Watch it,” Rothesay warned.
“Aah, seriously! Am I a child? I’m far past the age of receiving discipline! I wonder if Lady Grochester knows of this side of you.”
“Do you think she’s on the same level as you? Anyway…that’s what happened.”
“Ooh, well congrats. Looks like things are going well for you. Nothing special happened?”
“Hm…” He recalled what Petronilla said yesterday, and he quietly replied. “What does it mean if you’re afraid of falling in love, Wilt?”
“What are you talking about all of a sudden?”
“It’s as I said. She said that she used to believe in fate when something big happened. She thought that the person she loved was her destined other half, but in truth, that wasn’t the case.”
“Are you talking about Lady Petronilla?”
“She said that?”
“Hm… isn’t that something you said when you’ve been betrayed by the person you love? She loved someone, but if she was betrayed by them, then even I would be scared of falling in love again.”
“Has Lady Petronilla truly gone through something like that?”
“I wouldn’t know. But if what you say is true, then it seems so,” Wilter concluded.
If that’s the case, then everything would make sense. If she’s already been hurt before by love, then it wouldn’t be strange for her to lock away her heart.
But even if that’s the case, Nil, you are a woman who can love and be loved. And I couldn’t bear to see you love someone else other than me.
That afternoon, Rothesay returned to the Bradington estate only to find someone waiting for him.
“You are from the Grochester estate?” Rothesay asked the young servant girl there, and she nodded her head.
“Yes. The Young Lady has sent me here.”
There was only one person from the Grochester estate that would be called ‘Young Lady.’
“Has something happened with Lady Grochester?” Rothesay asked.
“Oh… the Young Lady sent me here to ask about your condition, sir. She was worried whether you had caught a cold after being in the rain for so long yesterday.”
“I’m fine.” Rothesay’s tone then turned serious. “But seeing as she was worried about that, I assume that Lady Petronilla is not fine herself. Is that right?”
“She has caught a cold. It isn’t serious, but…”
His eyes furrowed in concern. No doubt it was because she was caught by the rain yesterday. After a moment of fidgeting, he then addressed the servant girl.
“Would you mind relaying a message to the Grochester estate?”
“I’m sorry? What message…?”
“Ask them whether it would be alright for me to visit later.”
Rothesay felt troubled upon hearing that Petronilla had fallen ill, believing that it was his fault.
“I’ll be counting on you,” he said earnestly, his expression grave.