“So, you’re saying that collecting farming tools is a hobby of yours.
is there any reason for you to hide it”
Orion repeatedly glanced at the sickle.
Meanwhile, I was rather flustered because Orion had asked the question as though it were strange.
Well, he was someone who added my name to the family register rather than giving me a document to renounce my inheritance.
Indeed, he sometimes presented a demeanor that was different from my predictions, which led me to forget about his identity and position.
“Because my status now has changed.
I believe better etiquette would be required.”
“That reminds me.
You’ve started to learn etiquette, right”
It was proposed by the Head Maid.
The hunting competition was an event that was relatively outdoors, without too much of a requirement for formality.
However, it was different for me because it was where I would be formally introduced.
The imperial academy was a preliminary place of society that the young ladies and young masters of the aristocratic families had to pass through before formally making their debutante in high society.
Since I would get introduced in the hunting competition before my admission there, I needed to behave properly.
“I guess it’s true that you need to act with courtesy outside .
Although it’s troublesome.”
Orion slowly continued his words with a serious face.
“But there’s no need for you to stop yourself from doing what you want inside this mansion.”
“We can’t suppress ourselves and wear a facade even at home, right At least here, you should be yourself so you can breathe easily.”
I understood what he said but I was still hesitating.
A rumor was something that could travel miles upon miles in a fortnight.
This place was the Duke’s mansion where smoke emitted from chimneys that I had never once encountered.
Not only that, there were a lot of workers here.
When Sir Rune next to us noticed that I still looked hesitating, he spoke softly.
“Please look at Orion.
Although he doesn’t neglect his work as the young duke, do you think the way he behaves inside this mansion is the same as when under the observation of others”
As I saw the softness of his gaze, I realized it.
Come to think of it, the way Orion did his work while cooped up at home, or how he prepared dinner everyday, or how he went to the drill hall only after wandering around the halls and greeting me, or how .
Well, those things couldn’t be done if he cares about others’ observations.
Although, I wasn’t sure if his actions could be done proudly .
I understood what he was trying to say.
“All the workers in this mansion take pride in their work, and as a member of the Duchy, they are trained not to spread rumors.”
As I nodded slightly as if I got it, Orion stared at me with mixed feelings.
And then, he hesitated for a moment before muttering in a low voice.
“You’re saying that you’ll do your best as a young lady of the duchy.
On top of that, how you’re saying that you’re adjusting yourself sounded like .
His expression turned dark.
He stopped for a moment and rolled his tongue a few times as if he was looking for the proper word before he opened his mouth back.
“It sounded like you’re making an effort to pay off a debt of gratitude to me.”
Unexpectedly, it was me who was startled at his sharp guess.
In fact, I did owe him a debt of gratitude.
That was the biggest reason I did my best to be a good little sister for him.
“It upsets me.
When I blinked my eyes, he scratched his head then changed his words.
“No, just forget it.
I was just speaking randomly.”
“What I mean, you don’t need to be too restrained because of things like status or appearance— or at least not while inside this mansion.
Just relax and do what you want to do.”
After saying that, Orion turned his head the other way as if he was embarrassed.
Looking at how he hesitated for a while before saying he was upset, it seemed like speaking honestly was more hard than smoothly reciting practiced words.
It was true that I believed I had to pay off my debt, but I had no intention to upset him.
Knowing that he was a good person, I felt very sorry for him.
Then, I asked with a faint voice.
“In that case, is it fine if I plant some crops in a corner of the garden”
“I also wanted to do it in my previous home, but I gave up on the idea because I was about to go to the dormitory.”
If I went, then the crops would become the responsibility of someone else.
I didn’t want to entrust something I developed and liked to another person.
Therefore, because I planned to do it someday, I kept on collecting the farming tools.
“I just need a bit of space.”
You can use the whole garden.”
There are gardeners.”
On top of that, if I had to take care of that wide garden alone, all twelve waking hours wouldn’t be enough.
Orion smiled as he told me to not worry.
“All of that garden is yours.
You can use everything there!”
“Then I will die from overwork, taking care of that wide garden”
“Anyway, just do as you wish.”
This person was really strange.
He was happy if I asked for something, and he was heartbroken if I didn’t ask for anything.
Even when he rushed to the academy at the last hearing for my personal problem, he didn’t complain to me at all.
“My land is your land, and this building is also yours.”
Please don’t look for the land registry certificate.
Why are you looking for it
I, who was about to say thanks, felt that word return before I could speak.
He was always a step ahead.
Correction, two steps.
More than three steps ahead.