Just then, I heard voices from the hallway, and Amy shouting ‘No!’ Perhaps there was some kind of disturbance outside. Reflexively, I reached through the slip in my dress and grabbed my dagger as I stared at the door. The door burst open and Alex stared at the Grand Duke and I. From behind him, a frustrated Amy was looking at me, embarrassed. I clicked my tongue.
“You should have used the skill I taught you when someone isn’t listening to you. It’s effective against those kinds of men.”
“Yes, I’ll use it next time,” Amy mumbled.
She glanced at Alex and closed the door. Only servants who have lived with their masters for so long could do that; Amy was just like family. Alex looked behind him as if he didn’t understand why he deserved such treatment.
“What did you teach Amy?” Alex turned to me and asked.
“A useful technique against men who don’t listen to her protests,” I answered.
“Every woman needs to know that technique.” The Grand Duke of Glouster added.
My brother then paced around the room with a conflicted look and suddenly pointed at me. “Why are you alone with the Grand Duke? Why was Amy outside too” Don’t you know it’s inappropriate? What if the servants spread rumours?” he said, finally getting back on topic.
“Ah… the servant’s rumours.”
I felt like telling Alex not to say anything anymore. I can’t give the Grand Duke ideas! I stared apprehensively at the Grand Duke, and just like my fears, his eyes were glinting as he looked at me.
He looked at my brother. “If you’re not going to leave, just sit down. It’s not polite to barge in someone’s private room,” he said.
Alex had an incredulous look on his face. “There’s no one home and if I tell this to father or mother…” He finally plopped down on an empty chair and rubbed his face with one hand.
Aaron’s rebellion put a big stress not only on mother and father but on Alex too. He had a huge sense of responsibility for his siblings. It had eased a bit when I stopped being just a fifteen-year-old (and after regaining memories about my past life) but it didn’t mean that his responsibility had fully disappeared. At the very least, he doesn’t have to worry about me falling in love and marrying the wrong guy after debuting.
As for my other brother, Alex paid visits to the royal palace just to see Aaron. He must have been trying to persuade him into coming home, but it was not working. If he was still reasonable, then he wouldn’t have thrown that knife at me in the first place; he would have come to his senses the moment he saw me in danger.
I don’t plan on wasting my time chasing mysteries. However, I do want to know the reason why Aaron turned out this way. Only then would I be able to act and relieve my family of that trouble.
“Is it because of Aaron? Did something happen again?” I asked.
Alex let out a sigh and massaged his temples as if it were aching. He spoke quietly, “He’s limping.”
My eyes widened. “Huh?”
“That fool’s limping. With that wounded leg. I asked him why he was limping, or if he had been hurt again, but he lost his temper and to think… tried to pull out a knife on me.”
I was just as dumbfounded as when I heard Penelope’s webnovel story. He spoke quickly and intensely as if he was trying to let out everything piled up inside him.
“Yes, a knife! He had kept a knife at his waist. Have you seen him carry a knife outside? I haven’t. But he tried to pull it out so naturally. It’s crazy!”
“A palace secretary carries a knife?”
At the palace they have no other choice but to be very strict about weaponry. Only soldiers with permission can possess weapons and anyone who’s caught carrying it without a permit would receive a huge punishment. Some nobles can possess weapons, but those with very high ranks can only have permitted ones and carry them visibly. Aaron doesn’t fall into any of those categories.
“Secretaries don’t go around carrying weapons, right?” Leon spoke quietly.
The Grand Duke. I corrected myself. Well, anyway, I can just call him whatever.
“Can he carry around weapons with just the Princess’ permission?”
At my question Leon frowned and fell into thought. And then he spoke slowly. “Not as a secretary, but he could carry weapons as the Princess’ Personal Bodyguard.”
My eyes widened. “But Aaron isn’t someone who could do that. A personal bodyguard…”
I looked at Alex as he stared at Leon with an unbelieving expression.