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.