I Won the Wager
“I shall be frank with you.
Lady Avril, I only known you from the rumors.
May I ask you to explain yourself”
Uhm… should I just tell him what “I” did at the masquerade ball
Unfortunately, Avril had never been to one before.
All she knew was that it was a place where people like Corinna indulged in vulgarity.
…Will I be able to deceive the crown prince with my bare minimum of knowledge
…She didn’t think so.
“Well, I played around too much and word reached Lord Dylan’s ears.
Apparently, he has a penchant for bad girls, hence the marriage proposal.”
“I heard similar things from Alexandra.
I never knew Dylan prefers bad girls.”
During the tea party, she especially told Alexandra that Dylan preferred “bad girls.”
Well, it seemed to have paid off.
“Despite his appearance, Dylan seems to like women in revealing dresses.
Not only that, he’s expressed interest in joining me on partaking in the night life.
Because of that, we’re getting along well.”
“Yes, after all, you did mention that he kept my letter.
Dylan, who likes villains, and I, who am a villain, make for a splendid combination.”
Confusion began to creep across Lawrence’s composed face.
Then, is it not too far-fetched to assume that a woman like you would also take a liking to me”
“—! Such a thing…! B-but, certainly…”
…I’m glad that the actual bad girl, Corinna, isn’t here.
Otherwise, the Count of Allingham family have ended up being erased from history.
“However, my fiancée doesn’t seem to think that way.
Even though she is supposed to be the opposing party, she adores you very much.”
Well, that ISN’T good…
Certainly, Alexandra desiring to get along well with the prime culprit of her ruined betrothal would be strange.
Before she knew it, Chris and Grace had dismissed themselves.
Only the sound of the pieces moving on the chessboard echoed in the room.
…The fact that I’m not Corinna, Lady Alexandra kept it a secret, but…
…I can’t do this anymore.
As expected, she couldn’t deceive him.
“Actually, I’m the one who’s checkmated in the truest sense of word.”
Upon seeing Lawrence’s wry smile, Avril regained her senses.
On the chessboard, only Lawrence’s king remained, about to be checkmated in one move.
“Eh, how did this happen!”
“Just like Alexandra said, I don’t need to hold back against you.”
After admitting his defeat, Lawrence handed the box with the wax seal to Avril.
Wait a minute…!
Is it alright for me to receive such a thing!
“Please wait…! Y-you see, I may have cheated…!”
“That isn’t a phrase a villainess who cheated would say—denied.”
…For some reason, Lawrence burst out laughing, leaving Avril confused.
B, but this seal is a very important object Lord Dylan entrusted to the crown prince…!
As I thought, I can’t accept it.
Avril tried to examine the chessboard again, while Lawrence asked with amusement.
“When Lady Avril was offered a marriage by Dylan, wasn’t there a rumor stating that the Duke of Lancester is a lustful old man What is your opinion regarding that”
“Well, it’s quite the moniker.”
Although, thanks to that old geezer, Dylan’s life ended up being ruined.”
Avril lowered her gaze at the unheard-of story regarding Dylan.
I, I don’t think this is the kind of story that I can just casually listen to…
“When I heard that he was getting engaged, I was truly surprised.
After all, Dylan had lost all hope towards building a family.
But then all of the sudden, he decided to get married.
When I saw the letter he slipped into his notebook, I thought that I should return this.”
“Then, you should return it to Lord Dylan—”
“You should be the one to do so.
After all, he probably won’t lend me an ear.”
…This isn’t something that I, who’s merely a contract marriage partner, can get involved with—
—Avril tried to refuse, but Lawrence refused to listen.
“Now then, shall we eat all the baked sweets here Alexandra and Dylan should’ve finished talking.”
Lawrence’s tone became bright and cheerful, and he called the maids by ringing the bell on the side of the table.
The liveliness of people returned to the quiet room.
Dylan’s voice could be heard from afar, and Avril’s shoulders drooped.
Regardless of the details, we’re in a contract marriage…