“Maybe you ask this because you think I am the same person of the past who didn’t have much going on for him,” he said with a smile. “But I guess that was in the past. I had been quite… active for a while especially when traveling in and out of the palace.”
Does he mean at the time when the late King was still alive? The King died three years ago. He must have been twenty-one at that time.
“Well, noble wives from the capital,” he said. “I am not proud of those things but it was just done for fun. They didn’t have any reason to come back to me if they didn’t enjoy it. Most of them had already given birth to respective heirs and were irritated at their cheating husbands. So, we indulged in it temporarily. Afterwards, we would pretend to not know each other.”
He certainly had lived a more… active life than I had. I had lived as this noble young lady without any adventure in my life until now.
“But once I started making sense of my memories from the past and knew you were there somewhere, I never did it with anyone else again. You are the only one for me now.” He directed a smile at me. “I will only study ways to please you from now on. We can have a go at it if you want,” he teased. “Well, not right now. I am in no state to… exert myself but anytime you want. I will show you my skills.”
I felt a blush traitorously creep on my face and scowled. “I will tell Alex that,” I said. “He will chase after you with a sword!”
“I don’t doubt that,” he said with a smile. “You are capable of chasing me with a knife yourself if I put you in a bad mood.”
“Hm,” I said. “Maybe I will use something from my brothers’ armory. I should utilize the resources at my disposal.”
He chuckled. Archer returned with a kettle and tea cups on a tray, he was surprised to see his master in such a good mood. He poured the steaming water in a teacup and handed it to the Grand Duke.
“Please drink it slowly, My Lord,” said Archer. “I have also asked for hot water to be brought here for your bath.”
“I can just go to the bathroom.”
“In this state?” asked Archer. “No, My Lord. You are in no state to move from here. I have asked them to have the water brought here. So, they might think it is for the Lady. Everything has been taken care of.”
I don’t usually wake servants at dawn to have water brought up for my bath but it’s not really my house. Anyway, I was asking him something and he completely changed the topic to wild things without me noticing.
“What is the princess’ problem with you?” I asked again. “Can you answer that without changing the topic this time?”
“It’s because I am Leon.”
“I am not interested in whether you are Leon or lion. Why does she hate you?”
“Her Highness thinks the lord will start a rebellion against the royal family,” said Archer. I was so surprised when he spoke. He had been so silent that I had almost forgotten he was here.
The Grand Duke looked at him and shook his head gesturing for him to stop. Archer frowned. “I apologize, My Lord. But I think it’s time that someone knew about this. I think the Lady will understand how absurd the idea is.”
Really? Rebellion? He didn’t really look power-hungry to me. Even in the past, he was so humble and always asked for jobs with fewer subordinates to deal with because he didn’t want to manage so many people.
“Did she see that in her bizarre delusions?” I asked.
Archer opened his mouth slightly in surprise at my words. The Grand Duke sipped his salty drink.
“Shouldn’t we do something to stop her from spreading these lies about her ‘foresight’?” I said. “Everyone was gossiping about that in the party as well. Some were of the opinion that she came up with this claim to secure her place as an heir.”
“It can’t be confirmed,” said the Grand Duke. “The ability is vague. We don’t know for sure if she has it or if she doesn’t.”
I raised my eyebrows at him. He let out a small sigh.
“The power of foresight is not very clear and noticeable,” he explained. “I have already said this. It often leads to madness. When you constantly see visions, it sometimes invades your sense of reality. You get confused about what is a prediction and what is real. Sometimes, your prediction might be wrong because you interpret it in a different way. That was why people with the gift of foresight weren’t allowed to sit on the throne and rule directly. It does more harm than good. It’s better for the king to be clear headed and instead take advice from those with foresight.”
That sounded logical enough. If someone with foresight ruled a kingdom, then it was possible that they might become corrupt. They might abuse the power because of the gift thinking the future might not change at all.
“So does that mean she might have seen you in one of her delusions and thought you might start a rebellion?” I said. “But she shouldn’t act so rashly. She should observe you first and find some proof before acting out. I mean, as a leader, how can you just attack someone on whim without any kind of proof?”
“My lady,” said Archer, ‘You talk from the perspective of someone who can think logically.”
The Grand Duke covered his face in his hands as though he was frustrated but he couldn’t really hide his smile.
Ah, right. Logic is not one of her strong suits.
There was a knock on the door. Archer quietly took the teacup from the Grand Duke’s hand and gestured to the both of us towards the bed. When the Grand Duke got under the covers, Archer started lowering the curtains around the bed. It was still dawn and the sun wasn’t bright. So nothing could be seen beyond the curtains.