The Earl’s Bad Wife 19

Chapter 19 Questioned, can’t get away


My husband found out about His Highness’s visit.

It wasn’t a pleasant topic to speak or hear about so I thought it would be better to just not talk about it.

Where on earth did the information leak from? I had planned on telling Mother but I haven’t told her about it yet.

The butler? The maids? Or was it the gardener?

Every one of them were the servants I brought along from my family so they were all tight lipped. I doubt they’re the ones who spilled the beans.

And more importantly, how should I explain it to my husband? I’ll think of an excuse.

I’m sure even my husband would be shocked the person he’d served thought of him as having gone to the dogs.

「What on earth did His Highness come here for?」

Without warning, my husband asked the question that cut straight to the point.

Was it just my imagination or was his smile not reaching his eyes? It was a little scary so I averted my gaze hoping not to look at them as much as possible.

And so, I relayed to my husband a reason which I thought appropriate for His Highness’s visit.

「It seems he came to visit for a change」

「Without the head of the house at home?」

「……Y-yes」

As expected, my husband wasn’t easily deceived.

I had a strong feeling that would be the case, though.

「What had you talked about?」

「Nothing really, just a…. friendly idle chit-chat」

「His Highness doesn’t talk with women when I’m not there to mediate, but was it different with you, Hermina-sama?」

「Yes, His Highness was incredibly pushy――」

I clamped my lips shut right then. “What kind of lively tea party was it?”, he asks.

The usual sweet honey smile was plastered on his face when I glanced at him but it felt different from usual. You could say it felt intimidating or something.

「So it was really Hermina-sama who gave His Highness the gift, I see」

「Huh, what are you talking about, what gift?」

「The hand print evident on His Highness’s cheeks」

「Ah!」

I blew it! Don’t tell me he went straight back to work after that?!

It seems His Highness headed for work despite the hand print on his face.

So the servants hadn’t reported the visit, His Highness told my husband himself.

「Neither His Highness nor the commanding officer would tell me why things turned out like that」

“He only told me where he went”, he says.

「That’s… It’s not like he mentioned who attacked him」

「That’s true」

「Well, anyway. The one who’d slapped His Highness was me. That’s what happened, after all」

I confessed my sin and quickly stood up before I could see his reaction. I had attempted to leave the room. But my husband prevented it.

「We haven’t finished our conversation yet, Hermina-sama」

「I-I’m exhausted. I had been taking care of the guests, after all」

「Yes, thanks for the hard work」

「That’s why, I’ll――」

I tried to escape from this awkward situation by going with the flow, but I couldn’t move for some reason. It might be because I was pressured by my husband’s smile.

It struck me as strange.

When I glanced back at my husband, his smile was gone and he asked me a question with a serious look on his face.

「May I ask why you slapped His Highness?」

「That’s――because that man was being irritating」

This was my true feelings. It wasn’t a lie.

「May I ask what he did to irritate you?」

My husband asked the exact question I hadn’t wanted to be asked.

I didn’t want to lie, but I didn’t want to tell him why I slapped His Highness either.

Which was why, I scowled at my husband without reason.

「Does that mean you don’t want to tell me?」

「Should I require a reason to hate someone?」

After he heard curt response, my husband’s expression change into a troubled one.

He might be thinking I was even acting like a spoiled little girl.

I was fine even if he did think that.

「I was in a bad mood」

I thought it would be settled with that but I was wrong. My husband denied my assertion.

「No, Hermina-sama isn’t a person who’d throw a temper tantrum. If anyone, it would be His Highness. His Highness said something outrageous, didn’t he?」

….Was it something that he can accurately guess to this extent?

Yet again, I was amazed at how sharp my husband’s intuition was.

「If I assume His Highness picked a quarrel with someone, then it can only be about me. ――had he come here to say it was Hermina-sama’s fault because I resigned as his attendant, for instance?」

「You can be a detective」

「So I was right」

My husband let out a tremendous sigh.

I let out a similarly large sigh myself.

In the end, I couldn’t keep it a secret from my husband.

「But, you wouldn’t slap His Highness just because of what he said about you」

「Why do you think that?」

「Because that’s the kind of person you are, Hermina-sama」

I feel an indescribable feeling after hearing his unexpectedly high evaluation of me.

It was a restless feeling different from embarrassment or shame.

As I pondered over what it was, my husband bowed his head at me.

「Thank you very much」

「F-for what?」

「For teaching His Highness some discipline」

「I-I didn’t really discipline him or anything……」

「No, you did, he became more behaved than usual」

Well, I suppose that’s good, though.

When I told him I couldn’t take any further questions than this, my husband gave me a sensible reply of “I understand”. If he doubts me then――。

「I’ll try asking His Highness what you talked about tomorrow」

「!?」

“It’s faster to ask His Highness”, he says.

「I feel bad for hounding you so I’ll stop」

「I hadn’t seen that coming」

「Seen what coming?」

「No, I just thought you’d be sticking up for His Highness」

「It’s because I wasn’t going to」

「Oh, never mind then」

This time, it looks like our conversation has ended.

Standing up, I said,「Then, good night」, and left the room.

After entertaining His Highness and my husband today, I felt awfully tired.

It looks like I’ll be able to sleep well tonight.

◇◇◇

My husband will be starting work at a new place from today onwards. Since he’ll be coming home late, he told me he rather I go to sleep before him.

「I’ll go to sleep before you even if you don’t tell me, though」

「Thank you very much」

My husband will keep smiling no matter what I said.

A man so calm you’d think he never once gotten shocked.

After seeing that husband of mine off, I decided to prepare for the tea party at noon.

When it was time and the guests had all gathered, we drank tea and started gossiping.

The topic was regarding the masquerade ball that I hear had been held several days ago.

「There’s another masquerade ball?」

「Yes, there’s usually one or so every half a month」

It seems like it’s set at a very fickle pace.

When asked whether I’ll go to the next one, I shook my head.

Everyone keeps saying it’s fun but I don’t think so.

「But, I was shocked over what happened to the young silver haired noble」

「Eh, did something happen to him?」

Don’t tell me my husband had attended without telling me? Even though he’d told me he won’t go anymore? Come to think of it, it’s like these overlap with days when he didn’t mention he’ll be working late.

My eyebrows furrowed naturally when I thought over this and it had me worried.

After I’d felt gloomier than I could ever imagine, I discovered it was just a misunderstanding.

The girls were sighing over the fact the young silver haired noble had no longer come to the ball.

….I ended up doubting my husband yet again.

Why was it like this? Why is it impossible for me to have full control of myself when it comes to him? I find it really hard to understand even though this is me we’re talking about.

I’ll ask Mother or my sisters for advice later on this matter.

I decided to pull myself together and join in on the discussion, but –.

「I’m sure the young silver haired noble found his soul mate」

「Eh?」

「Ah, I saw it. He was carrying a stylish blonde woman princess style」

「Eeehh, s-something like that happened~~?」

「……」

That day, I thought I’d dreamt the fact that he’d carried me in his arms.

I believed it was just a dream since I’d been drunk and hadn’t doubted it.

Who knew it was actually something that happened in reality!

I vaguely remember him saying something about a punishment so he might have done something embarrassing thing like that to me.

From the masquerade ball, His Highness Augusto’s visit, and my husband’s terrifying questioning, a lot of things had happened to me recently.

There was a lot of points I had to reflect about.

For the time being, hoping to making peace with His Highness, I decided go write a letter.

The Earl’s Bad Wife 18

Chapter 18 The bad wife who faces against the storm


After my firm refusal, the atmosphere here turned even more turbulent.

We glared at each other for a while.

Perhaps because he thought we were getting nowhere, His Highness Augusto began a preemptive attack.

「……Insolent woman. I don’t like your attitude」

「Replace “woman” with “man”, and I may as well return the same words back at you」

「What did you say!?」

I mean, I doubt butting in on someone else’s marriage is being mature.

「What you’re doing is just what a spoiled child would do」

「You’re wrong!I’m doing this for Erich!」

「Does my husband want this?」

If that was the case, then I’d need to discuss it with him.

But my husband has been bragging about his happy love life to His Highness so I would guess that maybe he’s enjoying being married to me in his own way.

Perhaps because he didn’t have any words to reply back to my objection, His Highness looked vexed.

I stood up, intent on having this unproductive time end.

「――I have to say that your request is absolutely out of the question」

I’d wanted to be hospitable to all the guests who visited this house but this gentleman wasn’t a man worth doing that for.

Which was why, I decided to have him go home as soon as possible.

「After I have a good talk with my husband, please come by and visit us again, okay? If he strongly desires to have a divorce, then I’ll even consider it」

I urged His Highness, who was sitting on the couch, to go home by gesturing at the exit with my hand.

But he only glared at me without moving an inch.

I tried asking if he wanted to sample the food cooked by our house’s prided chef, but no response.

「If you wish to wait for my husband’s return, then please feel free to do so. I have other business to attend to so please excuse me」

When I tried to exit from the room, thinking that I can’t put up with him any longer, I discovered that His Highness followed after me and was drawing closer.

It looked as if he was going to grab my arm, so I avoided it by turning around.

His Highness was looking at me with an intense expression filled with indignation.

「……Yes?」

「This is your last warning. Let Erich go free!」

「My」

The way he says it makes it sound like I’m the bad guy. There’s a limit even to rudeness!

But coincidentally enough, I had experienced that emotion myself.

「――Your Highness, you’re lonely after my husband got married, aren’t you?」

「What are you talking about!?」

There was a time when I, myself, couldn’t bless my sisters’ marriage from the bottom of my heart.

I even had memories of selfishly pleaded with my brother-in-laws not to take my sisters away.

It’s incredibly painful when a person, who stayed by your side up till now, marries and goes away.

It’s as if my husband went far away so His Highness was probably keenly feeling the loneliness day after day.

「As time goes by, you’ll be able to accept it」

「You’re wrong! That won’t be the case. The root of all evil lies with you」

–this guy’s hopeless.

Even though I went to the trouble of taking His Highness’s feelings into consideration, sympathizing with him, and trying to meet him halfway, he rejected it with all his might.

No matter how much I talk, my words probably won’t reach him.

「I can’t stand seeing Erich going to the dogs, that’s why you need to back off――」

Pak! A dry sound reverberated across the room so as to block his words.

I’d slapped His Highness in the cheek with all my might as he spouted that rash remark.

His Highness was holding his cheeks with his eyes wide open as if he couldn’t believe what just happened.

It made quite a nice smacking sound so I ended up smiling.

I’m not supposed to act violent, but a great deal of words he said were equally as rude. So, I got my revenge.

「Y-you ruffian!」

「I have to say the same of you!」

This man really doesn’t understand a thing.

My husband’s tenacity, his attitude in trying to protect His Highness’s honor, his devotion. He’d taken all of my husband’s effort like it was only a matter of fact.

He probably had no idea just how much trouble my husband had been having behind the scenes or how affected my husband was by the bad rumours that had nothing to do with him.

「Your Highness doesn’t understand a single thing about my husband」

「You’re wrong! I’m the one who understands him the best!」

「That’s called being arrogant」

After hearing my words, his expression turned even more cloudy.

I’ve said everything I wanted to say, so I thought I’d get slapped too but His Highness hands simply clenched tightly at his sides as they shook.

So as to not agitate the hostile prince, I spoke in as much a gentle voice as I could.

「The reason my husband has stopped meddling in work is because he recognized that His Highness has grown up」

「Eh?」

「He’s not someone who overlooks mistakes, is he?」

「That’s… true. But why doesn’t he just say so?」

「I imagine it isn’t something that’s said out loud」

「!」

Perhaps it was a shocking revelation to His Highness, because he looked stunned.

He kept blinking and acted like he was thinking of who knows what.

After that, he began murmuring in a barely audible voice.

「……Erich had been a really strict guy」

It seems my husband, who was in charge of His Highness’s education since childhood, was an unexpectedly merciless teacher.

Although my husband constantly had a smile on his face, I hear he’d been strict with His Highness without pulling any punches.

It sounds like that sort of attitude from my husband was what His Highness was well-accustomed to.

「If he did recognize that I matured, I would’ve liked for him to say so. That guy has never praised me once……」

I thought my husband was a man as sweet as honey, but it doesn’t seem to be the case outside of here. I’m all the more surprised.

「Your Highness, allow me to just say one thing. Words that passed your ears aren’t the only things that are true. All the knowledge you’ve attained isn’t the only thing that’s right. What matters is that you think carefully before you act. You shouldn’t act when you’re being emotional. And if you don’t understand something, seek advice」

I realized this after I got married.

That it was very dangerous to act with your own sense of “justice”.

Not only was the rumour about my husband was utter nonsense, I only now became self-aware that my views were different from the norm.

His Highness seems to have changed his attitude from before and had slumped his shoulders.

When our eyes met, he started to speak in a whisper.

「Would… Erich still offer to teach me?」

「Of course he will. I’m sure he’ll help point you to the right path」

His Highness spoke “I understand” in a faint tone, and then properly apologized to me with a “I’m sorry”.

Seeing him like that, I realized why he was charmed by Keira von Plovak.

She was very nice person and would only say things that were pleasing to the ear if she ends up speaking.

But, I believe everything Keira von Plovak said was sincere and had been the sole saving grace for His Highness.

Once our conversation ended, His Highness returned home.

After seeing him off at the entrance, I sighed deeply thinking how he’d been a tough guest.

My husband returned home when night fell.

It seems today was his last day of serving His Highness, Augusto.

「I was surprised when I was granted thanks for all my services till now by His Highness」

「I see, how wonderful」

It seems like my words had somewhat of an effect on His Highness.

I feel relieved knowing that our intense exchange of words during the day had not gone to waste.

Can I take it that things are settled with this?

Suddenly, I noticed that my husband was watching me with a smile, so I asked, “what is it?”. Thereupon, he asked for his reward.

I completely forgot about the kiss on the cheek. What a blunder!

「I’ve been doing my best up till now looking forward to this」

「I keep telling you, it isn’t something worth anticipating over that much, you know」

「No, no, that’s not true. My heart was about to burst in anticipation」

「……」

It seems he’ll keep raising his expectations if I continued to ignore it so I decided to just get the kiss over with.

I stood from the couch facing opposite him and then sat beside him.

「Please go right ahead」 , my husband said, closing his eyes.

Why was he closing his eyes for? I have trouble understanding.

‘Oh well’, I decided and said my words of gratitude.

「Thanks for all your working hard up till now」

It must have been really tough to serve that eccentric prince.

But he didn’t give up midway nor spoke of his dissatisfaction or hardship, he saw it through till the end. That was the sort of man my husband was.

「You were quite remarkable. You’re my pride」

After I said this, I gave a peck on the cheek.

I immediately withdrew my lips, stood up, and returned to my original position.

Once I sat back across from him, I locked eyes with my husband who’d opened his eyes.

「――Thank you very much, Hermina-sama. I’m incredibly happy」

My husband beamed at me with the sweetest honey smile I’ve seen on his face to date.

Being that delighted over a single kiss is an exaggeration.

I wanted to leave the room from embarrassment, but I was stopped when my husband told me he had something more to say.

「What is it?」

With a broad smile and a tone of voice as if he was asking what the weather tomorrow would be like, my husband asked me:

「――His Highness came to the house today, didn’t he?」

That was something I tried to cover up by keeping the servants quiet.

Audiobook Retailers

Audiobooks are my current obsession.

I have to admit with work, chores and exercise getting in the way of my reading time, it just seems inevitable that I’ll try it out. After all, libraries are now loaning audiobooks. And with the help of the Overdrive app, it’s pretty easy to download the audiobooks and return it before or once the loan period ends.

What can I say about audiobooks that I haven’t covered in an earlier article?

It’s convenient. I don’t need to think about saving actual space in my cramped room. I can listen to my favorite author’s stories (and in the case of some authors, their narration) while on the go which saves on time. Time I spend laying down or sitting down while turning the page of a physical book can be turned into time I can use to clean up, work, jog and travel while listening to a story.

Now I know that not a lot of people like audiobooks and don’t consider it reading. But personally, audiobooks have good and professional narrators whose interpretation of character nuances and voices actually make things more interesting in my opinion. In some cases, the narrators publishers get are also actors you see on tv or the movies, which makes it even more fun in my opinion.

Honestly, 21st century libraries are the best. They managed to find a way to lend audiobooks and ebooks. Unfortunately, the my local library doesn’t have enough audiobook titles to fill my obsession.

Hence, why I have turned to audiobook retailers. So if you are an audiobook enthusiast, here are some retailers I would recommend. They are by no means perfect but I’ve tried their services and each have their good points!

Continue reading “Audiobook Retailers”

Not Just For Kids

Why are Disney/Pixar movies so popular? At first glance, these movies are geared for kids and yet these movies earn a lot of money?

A lot of you would say that of course it’s because the parents would be forced to buy tickets not just for the kids but also for themselves. You can’t leave kids alone in the cinema.

But notice the trend of the past decades. If you take a look at the audience, it’s not just kids and parents watching. You see a lot of grown ups on the seats too. And I’m not just talking about teenagers. I’m talking about people in their twenties or thirties watching with friends (of the same age)!

Continue reading “Not Just For Kids”