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Returning to reality, Shada was only sure of her survival from certain death.
Perhaps if the Count had neglected her presence or had passed her over to the Princess–she would have been beaten until her bones stuck out and thrown out in the cold weather. Eventually, she would be subjected to more horrors and killed.
Shada gulped when she recalled how many of her colleagues became paralyzed upon earning the witch-like Princess’s anger.
Undoubtedly, the Count was her benefactor and savior.
If it weren’t for him, no matter how far she ran, she would have been caught in the end.
How could a weak woman survive and escape from that bloody royal palace?
Shady, torned inside, spoke in a whisper.
“Tell me, Miss Shada.”
Courage arose when he replied in a smooth tone that reminded one of dark chocolate.
Maybe, he’s a really good nobleman. It’s said he was a hero, and he might be a wonderful person with a rare and sincere sense of chivalry. Maybe he just felt sorry for the maid about to be murdered by his vicious fiancee.
Shada put all her heart in her best 90-degree angle bow, expressing her gratefulness through the best courtesy she could offer.
“Thank you for saving me, Count.”
“… … .”
Within her limited view, she saw his impeccable shoe.
With the strings neatly trimmed and tied in flawless knots, the mansion’s servants and maids must be excellent employees who do meticulous work. Or maybe the butler is very competent.
Of course, Shada didn’t even entertain the idea of the Count tying his shoelaces on his own.
She swallowed and chewed the flesh inside her mouth.
Polite, impeccably neat…….
“I will definitely pay back your grace. If you let me do the housework, I will do my best—better than anyone else… … .”
Shada, who was firmly determined, was distracted by the brief laughter.
What, what is it? Her big pink eyes reflect her confusion; she brought her hand to her mouth and peeked up at the Count.
He was smiling, and then at Shada’s surprised-rabbit-like expression, his beaming expression grew wider.
“You sound like a first-time soldier before going to the battlefield. What are you trying to fight?”
Shada became dumb with honey, and as his words sunk in, she worked hard to keep her face from turning red.
He treated her oath like a diverting jest.
Even if the Count didn’t intend to laugh at Shada, in that careless attitude— Shady realized again that he was a nobleman.
Shada knew that many people missed the Republican era of 50 years ago before the monarchy was restored. Still, Shada was of a generation who had never enjoyed a period where the division between royal, noble, and commoner broke down, where the masses had talked about freedom and equality.
But Shada couldn’t help but be hyper-aware of the vast difference between nobility and commoner.
Aristocrats could effortlessly control you and make you unhappy.
Fear, at her immense powerlessness, made her feel hollow and weightless.
When Shada didn’t respond, the Count stopped laughing and looked at her. His eyes, directed at Shada, were as beautiful and sharp as emeralds.
“Oh no, don’t be scared. I like you.”
“Yes. Speaking of which……..”
The Count stood up, and Shada held her breath.
Not only was he beautiful, but he was surprisingly tall and came close to her within a few steps.
As he confidently walked with his hand in his pocket, he looked down at the woman who had become ice again.
Long fingers held her frilly apron straight.
“Didn’t you say you didn’t even know why I brought you?”
“Yes, I did.”
Shady absentmindedly responded, distracted by his elongated index finger rubbing her ribbon.
“By the way…” The Count came suddenly near her as if he was bowing his head to smell flowers. The man who put his lips near her red ear and spoke softly.
“Do your best to figure out that puzzle and devote your body and soul to fulfill your duties.”
Her hair stood edge, hyper-aware, and sensitive to his breathing.
Sensing an unfamiliar and sensitive atmosphere, Shada became nervous and full of anticipation—of what she wasn’t sure—but she felt as if she was being hypnotized and on the verge of stumbling.
The Count, looking down at the woman who swallowed her drool, suddenly laughed. The delicate atmosphere that lingered between them was immediately shattered.
“It’s the first day and you’re tired. Go and take a break, Miss Shada.”
Shada blinked her pink eyes.
The Count came back into focus looking proper again, smiled neatly. Shouldn’t you see the place where you’re going to sleep?
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