Unfortunately, it was truly that man.
Carinne, unable to hide her displeasure, leaned against the railing and slowly descended the stairs.
She wanted to descend the stairs forever and never reach her destination.
“Marie, please light up the fire in the fireplace.
I’d like a blanket and four cups of tea as well.”
“Yes, Young Lady.”
When she arrived on the first floor, Carinne ordered Marie.
Whether she liked it or not, they were considered guests who came to the mansion.
As princesses have the dignity to uphold, she couldn’t greet the guests sloppily.
Hearing the order, Marie moved at lightning speed.
As the fireplace lit up, warmth spread in all directions.
Then, a tray containing teacups and kettle was placed on the table in the drawing room.
In addition, on the armrest of the sofa, blankets were piled up.
While Iris followed her down to the first floor, meanwhile, Carinne stood next to her, unable to do anything.
It was because the Duke was staring at her before turning around.
He frowned as if he was displeased and stood by the door as though he was wondering whether he should go out or not.
Apart from that, his condition was no different from Iris’s.
Except for his head and top, his pants were wet and dripping with water on the floor.
It was safe to say that he looked like a drowning mouse.
“Oh, it’s a blanket.
Thank you, Carinne.”
Iris sat down on the sofa, picked up a blanket next to her, and then began to wipe off the moisture from her clothes.
While she was doing that, Carinne took a blanket and wrapped it around Iris’ shoulder.
At that time, Iris turned her head as if she had suddenly realized something.
She shouted in an innocent voice to Duke Lucas, who was pacing the doorway.
“Are you not going to sit down, Duke Lucas? Are you going somewhere?”
There was no way he had a place to go.
The Duke, who was looking out the window and biting his lips, eventually moved reluctantly to sit on the sofa.
His expression seemed as if he had eaten something bad.
He must’ve thought that Iris told him to come inside because of Carinne.
Carinne, in response to the Duke’s expression, mimicked his expression.
If the Duke was alone, she would’ve chased him away at once and said goodbye… but he wasn’t alone now.
‘…Wait, where’s Archen?’
Marie said earlier that the Duke’s aide had definitely come with him.
As soon as she finished thinking, the door burst open, and he came in.
“You’re late,” murmured the Duke in a languid voice full of courtesy.
“I’ve been trying to tie the horse.”
She hates rainy days.”
“Ah, that’s why it was that way.
I had a hard time calming it down.”
The Duke and Archen exchange words briefly.
Even though she didn’t know the details, based on what Iris said earlier, Archen seemed to be late because he tied up the horse they rode.
Archen, like Iris and the Duke, was wet from head to toe.
His hair was especially wet, so it seemed like he had just come out of the bath.
Hmm, the Duke and Iris’ hair was dry?
Although she was curious, she couldn’t even ask why he was the only one who was so wet.
If she asked the nice Iris, she would hear an answer though Carinne decided to remain silent because she didn’t want the Duke and Archen to misunderstand anything.
Instead of asking useless questions, she picked up a blanket and handed it to Archen.
Seeing raindrops dripping down his hair, she felt sorry just looking at him.
Come here and sit down.”
“Why are you here, Princess…”
At that moment, Carinne saw Archen’s emotional expression for the first time.
She had seen a few expressions of ridicule from him, but it was more of a blank expression.
‘Hold on, so this is a rare moment of surprise…?’
She handed the blanket to him with that silly thought.
“I’m Iris’ friend.”
At those words, the expression of surprise disappeared shortly after.
He picked up the blanket with a calm face and approached the Duke.
“Are we going to stay here?”
There was a hint of disapproval in Archen’s voice.
“It can’t be helped.
We have no choice but to wait until the rain subsides.”
The Duke replied.
…He said it couldn’t be helped?
Who had the say in this? She could just kick him out with her landlord’s authority.
Still, even though she wanted to kick the duke out, Carinne changed her mind.
Sadly, the Duke was tied up with two of her precious people.
She didn’t care whether the Duke got wet or not, but she couldn’t drive Archen and Iris out into the rain.
When the two men finished talking, the atmosphere subsided to the point of gloom.
Everyone noticed it except for one person.
It was Iris, who kept trying to chat with excitement.
Carinne didn’t know whether it was because she was with Duke Lucas or because she was with her, or maybe both.
“Oh, I love the warmth of the fireplace.
Carinne, you sit down too.”
“No, it’s all right.
I’ll be inside.”
She actually wanted to sit down and look at Archen’s face since the opportunity to meet him was rare.
Nonetheless, it wasn’t just the two of them since Duke Lucas and Iris were also there.
Since the four of them were not in a relationship where they could play board games with a friendly smile, it would be better to leave before the atmosphere became more awkward.
As she patted Iris’ shoulder and then tried to turn toward the stairs, but Iris’ sad voice, which she heard afterwards, seemed to grab her ankle.
“…I’m here because I miss you, but you’re not?”
When Carinne saw her face, she was surprised.
‘What should I do with her…’
“That’s not it…”
“Then, what are you doing? Come here and sit down quickly.”
When Iris pulled on her sleeve, she was eventually forced to sit down on the sofa.
Sitting down, she saw the face of the Duke right in front of her, so Carinne quickly moved to the next seat.
The thing she feared really happened.
In this room, there was the stiff Duke, Archen, an innocent lady who knows nothing, and herself.
At this rate, it was obvious that the three people, except Iris, would be unhappy… and the two of them already seemed unhappy.
“Come and sit down too, sir aide!”
Cried Iris again in an innocent voice, as if their misfortune was not enough.
‘Somebody stop her…!’
Archen also seemed to have noticed the unusual atmosphere.
He stood as far away as he could from the sofa in the drawing room, and as soon as he heard Iris’ offer, he expressed his firm refusal.
“No, you’re not fine.
You worked the hardest.
Take off your coat.
Thanks to you, my hair was safe.”
Iris refuted quickly.
Aha, that was why Iris and the Duke’s heads weren’t wet.
Come to think of it, unlike Iris and the Duke, who were wearing outerwear, Archen was merely dressed in a shirt.
Carinne nodded casually, then realized one thing and was appalled.
So Archen came through the rain without an outerwear?! Besides, he did not sit near the fireplace like the Duke of Lucas, nor did he shake off the water and warm himself up in a blanket like Iris.
So instead, he just stood there with a blanket.
Someone might think she put poison on the blanket.
“What if you catch a cold?”
It was true that she was crazy about sickly beauty, but it was only when their body was ‘slightly’ weak with frequent light illness, had pale face and a somewhat depressing atmosphere.
Carinne also had a conscience, so she didn’t want her favorite character to be seriously ill and lie down.
‘It would be nice if he could change his clothes.’
But, how could she do that?
Even at this moment, raindrops dripped from the hem of Archen’s shirt.
The raindrops, which had not yet been absorbed, were falling on the carpet where he stood.
Looking at it, she came up with a good idea.
While it may seem a little weird, if he could change his clothes, this was a worthy sacrifice.
Thinking so, Carinne got up from her seat and made a fuss.
“Oh, my God!”
She pointed to a pool of shallow puddles where Archen stood.
“The carpet is all wet!”
“It’s been like this for a while.”
“Really? I’ve just realized it.
This carpet is my favorite!”
“Is that so? Let’s take care of it now, then.”
As Archen unfolded the blanket he was holding without hesitation and placed it on the puddle, the blanket did its duty by absorbing the raindrops at a rapid pace.
“No, it’s not like that…”
When she shook her hand in bewilderment, Archen sighed a little.
He had a slight frown on his face and asked, “Then what is it?”
She did it with resolution, but when he glared, she couldn’t help but feel hurt.
“I’ll give you new clothes, so go and change.
Even if you cover it with a blanket, it’ll get wet, so to solve the root cause, you have to change your clothes.”
Archen’s eyebrows rose up at her words as his lips were slightly parted.
‘Well, that was the first time.
Let’s count it as a rare expression as well.’
Carinne stored another expression of him in a film on her head.
“Carinne, I’ve got water on the carpet too, is it okay? Should I change as well?”
“Iris, you’re only a little bit wet, so it’s okay.
The Duke was so close to the fireplace he’s all dry.”
Unexpectedly, Iris stepped in, so Carinne roughly made an excuse.
It was because if Iris changed into new clothes, she had to give the Duke one, too.
Still, he was quiet, so she peeked at what he was doing.
The Duke was still wet, let alone dried up, even though he was close to the fireplace.
Maybe because he was wet, he looked a little attractive.
She became guilty.
Was she too petty? Should she just tell all three of them to change?
‘Hmm, that would be nice.’
Carinne looked around the drawing room and said to everyone.
“Maybe all of you should change? It’s cold, so do it.”
As soon as she said that, the Duke got up.
He frowned as if he were completely sick of her.
“I can’t stand it.
Archen, let’s go.”
The Duke glared at Carinne as if he had seen nothing to see and scrunched his brows.
“Did I do something…”
Although it was true that she acted a little strange, it wasn’t that bad.
How could he live in this world with that kind of personality?
While Carinne grumbled inward, the Duke took a big step toward the front door.
At that very moment…
They could see a tree being struck by lightning and split in half through the window.
A stream of smoke rose from the tree and was subdued in the rain.
The strong wind swirled in a scary way and it tore through the branches, making the leaves fall down while several leaves that had not been swept away by the wind clung to the window and fluttered.
At the same time, the strong wind also beat the window vigorously, creating a loud noise.
Carinne sat in a comfortable position with her elbows on the armrest of the sofa, appreciating the duke’s backside.
She couldn’t see his face though it was obvious what expression he would be wearing.
‘Ah, it’s funny.’
As she thought so, Carinne opened her mouth nonchalantly with her chin resting on her hand.
“I don’t care.
If you’re going to go, goodbye.”
At that, the Duke slowly glanced back.
His red eyes were blazing with anger as he had nowhere to go.
Still, she raised her brows nonchalantly and stared back at his blazing eyes.
She also didn’t forget to pull the corners of her mouth slightly and smiled.
“Or you can do as I say… You all know that I’m the owner of this house, right?”
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