Thank you to raw provider: 🌻haebaragi_syk❄
“I have applied for an audience with the Empress at the Imperial Palace. I’d like to ask about her Majesty’s intentions because there seems to be some deeper meaning.”
“Oh… I see.”
According to Luke, Medea already knew that Seira was crossdressing as a man. She even became her sponsor so she could take the knight’s test even despite the fact she was a woman.…. [t1v: i stan women supporting women <3]
“If the Empress grants me permission…… will the Young Duke also turn a blind eye to this affair?”
“Her Majesty has a plan…… There’s no reason for me to object if your ladyship will not be in danger.”
Luke’s calm words complicated Seira’s heart. It sounded like he was worried for her sake and not rumors and scandals tarnishing the Empress or dukedom.
“The Young Duke takes great care of me.”
“Because I love you.”
Seira’s cheeks heated up at Luke, who spoke straightforwardly while holding her gaze.
Does this person have nothing to be ashamed of?!
“Th— those kinds of words…… How can you utter them so easily?”
“It’s not easy. Honestly, just sitting face to face with the lady makes me tremble.”
Luke avoided Seira’s astonished gaze.
Not knowing what to say, she turned my head. Except for the day he had proposed, she had never talked to Luke about them again. When she was alone with Luke, she secretly avoided him.
“The Young Duke… looks fine, though?”
“Would you like to check?”
Luke stood up, staring at her startled face. Seira avoided his eyes when he approached and sat next to her. What was he trying to do?
“Excuse me for a moment.”
His outstretched hand held Seira’s.
Even though Seira was embarrassed, she couldn’t bring herself to shake off Luke’s grip and just looked at him. Luke’s hand was big enough to completely cover her own, even though it was the same hand that held a sword.
Although she was always proud of her strong hands, when she realized her hands were rough and not as soft as many women’s, Seira tried to pull away.
‘Why do I feel like this? Hands…’
The only soft-handed people were the young children of nobility or scholars and clerics that did not deal with swords nor hard labour. Commoner hands that completed everyday tasks like laundry and working with wood were bound to be rough. So Seira had never felt awkward or ashamed of them before.
It was a hand that held a sword to protect and to fight off the demons in her territory. There is no reason to hide them. But a sneaking voice whispered her hands were insufficient and ugly—that Luke would expect a gentle lady’s soft hand to hold.
“…. Why are you acting strange?”
Luke asked, sensing something amiss as he clenched her palm trying to escape his. Seira’s cheeks were stained red with shame as he held them firmly.
“My hands are rough…….”
“I heard that you protected Baron Hestia with these hands,”
Luke said as if he had discerned the sentiment behind her words. The blue eyes that met Seira’s gaze were smiling, glowing sweetly.
“My lady’s palms are hard because she learned and mastered the sword. I love your toughness. I love your strength. This hand, which was able to protect blood and flesh should be proud, not ashamed…….” [t1v: swoooon~]
Luke’s words made Seira hesitate. Her shame halted for a moment as she wondered if she could trust all of his compliments.
“And, despite that, I think it’s endearing that you’re conscious of me so you want to hide your hands. Maybe there’s some room for me in your heart.”
Luke gently smiled while he spoke softly, his downcast eyes showing off his long eyelashes. Hit with the sight of him and his words Seira was dyed red upto her hairline. Unsettled and anxious, she tried to shake off his hand, but even if she handled the sword, it was difficult to loosen his grip.
“L-l-let go my lord!”
“Didn’t you say you’d check my anxiety, my ladyship?”
She had completely forgotten— she blamed all of his words and actions. Confused, Seira looked at Luke sitting next to her.
She had the daughter of the lord, the younger sister of the lord, but it was the first time she was a lady being courted.
“What… What are you going to do?….”
“If you put your hand on my chest, you will feel my heart pounding. It will prove my feelings for you….. Do you dislike it?”
Now, feeling the violent beating of his heart through his pulse, Seira glanced at Luke, astonished. His heart was beating so fast it made her dizzy …. But he still looked so calm……. His gaze was steady. It was Luke who confessed and proposed, but how did he do it? She felt it was too unfair.
“I don’t dislike it but…… Let go of my hand.”
When Seira hesitated to speak, Luke gently loosened his grip. She pulled her hand back and turned away from his gaze.
“I’ll feel the …… Y-Young Duke’s heart beat…….”
Seira glanced at Luke and placed her hand on his chest. She felt his hard chest over his clothes, her fever rose.
“Lady, it’s not the right, but the left.”
Hot! [t1v: as in her cheeks are scorching/burning hot]
Seira, who was so nervous she forgot where the heart was, was embarrassed and moved her palm from the right to the left of Luke’s chest. The movement made it seem like she was groping his chest, but she noticed it too late.
Seeing Seira turn to stone, Luke smiled shyly, his cheeks blushing.
“You don’t have to make that face. If it’s the lady, you can do anything to me.”
Didn’t I already tell you that it’s for you, my lady?
Smiling, Luke stared at her with a melting gaze. Seira stuttered, receiving his look, and jumped up.
“It seems all the essential business is done! I’ll get going!”
After that, she rushed out of his office. Luke realized that he had missed his chance and clicked his tongue.
“Did I tease you too much?”
[t1v: omggg i ship these two so hard]