HCM – 68

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‘Come to think of it, I didn’t ask about the hood.’

Rudd thought as he walked lightly through the hallway. Strictly speaking, it wasn’t that he didn’t think to ask, it was that he felt he couldn’t ask.

Even his expressionless face showed his displeasure at them.

‘Duke Tintalion seemed to be offended by us.’

Rudd couldn’t even protest against it. They denied it in front of the Duchess, but they were Jeremy’s colleagues. He was only intertwined in a few incidents, but as they went through life and death together, they were colleagues.

Surely the Duke was one of the strongest people on the continent, just meeting his cold gaze made his hamstrings tingle. He did not dare to ask for the hood to be removed.

‘There must be a reason… … . The reason why I didn’t mention it because it might have nothing to do with the curse, or the reason for the hood may disappear when the curse disappears.’

He was in the form of a gigantic beast until the Duchess brought him back, it was said. He did not know exactly what kind of beast he was, but he thought that the courage of the Duchess, who had chased it all the way to the forest and brought the Duke back, was incredible.

Even though she seemed like an ordinary person who never mastered the sword or was learned in magic.

‘Duke Tintalion is a lucky man.’

Rudd thought so and stroked his chin. He quietly glanced at Kion, who was following him.

Marianne was silent even at the meeting with the duke she had been looking forward to so much. She barely opened her mouth when they said hello.

‘I don’t know what you’re thinking.’

He was the one that thought Marianne was hopeless from the beginning. The other comrades didn’t seem to notice, but the woman he loved was sensitive to rank and wealth.

If Rudd was ambitious and focused on success, the most he could raise was a high-ranking priest in the Great Shrine. The very most would be a high priest. But there were only five High Priests in the church he was in.

It was a small number, but it was not an impossible position given the qualities and divine power he possessed.

However, this was not enough to fill Marianne’s heart. It was the same for Ian, who had the highest title among her companions.

He wondered if she was aiming for the imperial family, but when they met the two princes in the capital, she didn’t seem to be very interested.

‘I never thought that what you wanted was the position of the duchess… … .’

As far as he knew, there was almost no contact between Marianne and Duke Tintalion, so that’s why it never occurred to Rudd.

When it came to appearances and abilities, neither Ian nor the paladin Kion and Trevor were lacking.

Of course, Duke Tintalion was a little better in terms of appearance and ability.

He did not judge nor denounce a woman’s desire to elevate her status through marriage. It was only natural since society had developed that way, and in many ways it was the only chance and opportunity afforded to women.

Now Marianne had accomplished much and earned acclaim and earned the title of a viscount, but beyond that would be difficult. Even if she was a man, unless it was a hereditary title, it was difficult to rise more than a viscount.

Rather, if Marianne could make her mark on the battlefield, she might be able to become a count, but she is neither a swordsman nor a wizard.

‘The duke seemed deeply in love with his wife.’

Even if it was him, he would too. Few would risk waiting for and finding a duke that disappeared as a beast. Moreover, wasn’t she the daughter of the Duke of Atreille?

She didn’t have to risk herself, just send someone to her parents’ house to help her. She could have sent knights of the Duke of Atreille to search the forest.

They, of course, may have killed the duke who had turned into a beast using the curse as an excuse.

In front of the main building, the horses they rode were prepared. Like those who have traveled for a long time, they skillfully mounted horses.

Since the party was an uninvited guest at the duke’s residence, they could not wait inside and were waiting for them outside.

“Miss Marianne.”

Kion, who got on the horse first, urged her. Marianne, lost in her own thoughts, gave her a slow nod and started her horse. She led the way, followed by Kion and Rudd.

“Finally, they are leaving.”

Watching them walk away, one of the servants looked relieved. She had heard of the great group, but had no idea that among them was the sorcerer.

Most of the people at the duke’s residence suspected that they would have caused trouble if the madam hadn’t taken action preemptively.

As some of the servants took turns eavesdropping over the wall at the lady’s command, they found out first the adventurers were with Jeremy.

Although they did not seem to be involved in the curse, it is true that they were colleagues with Jeremy.

“You can’t judge a book by its cover!”

Spitting on the floor, the servants turned around.

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