In her stead, the Duke was the one who initiated the conversation.
“I heard that you are only sixteen but you are already advanced ahead to be a senior academy student this year.”
“I have a lot of outstanding friends among my classmates.
I think this is all thanks to those friends that….”
“Even if your classmate is outstanding, it doesn’t mean that everyone will turn out to be outstanding as well, so there is no need for you to be humble.”
The Duke nodded in agreement to Orion’s words.
While the two heaped praises upon me, Mother added a word while digging into the remaining salad on her plate and putting it on her mouth.
“I think she finds that to be fun.
It’s boring to solve complicated tasks and read texts.”
“It is because Mother has no interest in that way.”
It was obvious that her field of interest and mine were different.
If I found fun in reading texts and solving problems, she liked art systems such as music, etc.
She was knowledgeable in ancient arts and she frequently had discussions with conductors and composers.
‘Of course, after that she would fall in love again….’
And then would fight with them as if wanting to break a house before either making up or breaking up.
I quickly cleared out my thoughts before slowly beginning to enjoy the dishes.
All the dishes served were great, but as someone who was used to savoury dishes, it wasn’t to my taste.
On top of that, because the awkwardness in this room had worn my appetite down, I felt like I was chewing on sand grains.
“Looks like the taste doesn’t suit you.”
“I’m just a bit nervous.”
The Duke who looked like a serious and hard person was unexpectedly gentle.
He was a gentleman, but it seemed like he was unbound to the formality and regulation more than what I had thought.
The Duke smiled as he said, “There is no need to be nervous.”
Mother who was on his side added, “That’s right.
You don’t need to be nervous.
It’s not even your marriage.”
‘Even so, it’s normal to be nervous when you meet the Duke of the Empire, Mom.”
I laughed silently as I swallowed the food.
Because this was the first meeting, everyone was obviously behaving carefully.
It was only Mother who could savour the food and find satisfaction in it in this situation.
In the end, as I couldn’t loosen the tension until we stopped eating, I was still hungry even after the last dessert was served.
“I think today was enough for us to introduce ourselves.
There is no need to do too much all at once.
I will set up our next meeting.”
“It’s fine even if you don’t do that.” Actually, I hoped he wouldn’t do that.
My thoughts were complicated enough because my exam was around the corner, so it was better to finish all that needed to be said, while we were meeting here.
“Umm, I will try to discuss that with your mother.”
The Duke left the room at my words with a smile on his face and gave Orion a side glance.
“I was thinking of ordering Orion to escort you home so you could get close with each other, but,” the Duke gazed blankly at me as he gave a faint smile.
“It seems like you didn’t like that, so I think I should end this day here, right”
“I’m grateful for your consideration, Duke.”
I left my seat and came out, leaving my Mother and the Duke, who were going to have further conversations here.
I gave a tip to the server who guided me outside, and then slowly began to walk home, before I heard urgent sounds of steps from my back.
As I turned around, I could see Orion quickly coming closer.
Even though I was confused, I slightly bent my knee to him, as he had come chasing after me.
“If it’s about escorting me, it is fine.”
I saw the knights, who had also come running, while panting behind his back.
Orion shook his head as if he was frustrated.
“It’s not like that….”
As he once again became hesitant with his words, a sudden thought came to me, making me reach into my pocket.
So that’s why he couldn’t easily initiate the conversation.
Well, he must be embarrassed to talk about that first.