“I was merely wondering what you think of Mrs. Bronson,” I clarified.
“My opinion of her?” Fortunately, mother looked at the drawing board, perhaps, erasing thoughts about Aaron. After drawing a few lines, she answered.
“I would say she might be a person who wouldn’t hurt to have as a friend,” she began, “A person who might be considerate of others, a good storyteller who uplifts the mood. Perhaps a person who does good things to others without expecting anything. She has never been through anything particularly difficult financially, but she’s the kind of person who can understand other people’s hardships because of motherhood.”
My eyes widened. “Because of how?” I asked.
“Ah… she had many miscarriages. Even after giving birth to a child, her life was still in danger. Maybe that’s why they don’t have any more children. Her husband thinks that the life of his wife is more important than having a successor; she met a good man who values his wife. When they got married, the current Duke of Ayble was opposed to it, but now he seems to be very satisfied with the money he receives from his son-in-law.”
Mother suddenly clicked her tongue and frowned. “Considering that person, I’m not very fond of Hugo Duplo either. If a father is like that, expectations for his son will inevitably decrease. Also, his second son is with the Princess.”
“I don’t think he is on good terms with brother. He is not the kind of person he would like,” I said with some uncertainty.
With my brother’s changes, it was difficult to gauge his actions. It was stated in Mayve’s letter that my brother and Ethan Duplo were living quietly with the princess between them. If they truly are not the Princess’s lovers, and don’t intend to be one, and are just her secretaries, it wouldn’t be strange if the two got along. It’s like being co-workers who serve the same boss.
“I wish we could all go back to our territory. Children don’t always end up like their parents’ wishes. I know, but…”
Mother looked at the drawing board, holding her brush in mid-air. She didn’t finish the sentence. Maybe it’s because she didn’t know what to say. I also didn’t have anything to say, so I kept my mouth shut.
Amy came and informed me to get ready. Hugo had accepted my escort request. I excused myself from the sunroom. As I left, mother was still staring at the drawing board.
That man always shows up unannounced. I was embroidering with Amy when the butler came and said, “The Grand Duke of Glouster is here to see you.”
I almost dropped my embroidery. What on earth is the man thinking? Why did he come to see me without informing me he was in Schway? Did his manners completely disappear, or did he think I’m easy? What an exasperating man. Perhaps he thinks that if he shows up, I would immediately stop everything and run to him.
“Tell him to come back next time. I’m busy,” I said, irritably. Amy’s eyes widened, but the experienced and competent butler simply bowed and disappeared. I laughed sardonically and started embroidering again.
“Oh, lady, is that okay? He is the Grand Duke – “ Amy started. I cut her off.
“I don’t want to accept anyone who visits me unannounced, whether it’s the Grand Duke or anyone else. If I become lenient even once or twice, they may get used to it.”
Amy shifted in her seat and slowly said, “But… didn’t you send him a message before, asking him to visit you as soon as possible when he comes to Schway?”
I remained silent, avoiding Amy’s gaze, devoting my attention to the embroidery. I had sent that letter a month ago. A month! He had never even contacted me whether he was dead or alive. Do I just have to accept him? Does he think I’m some kind of virtuous wife? There’s a limit to being brazen.
I’m not saying it’s particularly enjoyable to be courted by other men. Courtship was strange and taxing. When they send letters filled with nonsense and crudely veiled messages, even using the parchment for the fireplace feels like a waste… I would be happier if they wrote valuable information for me.