Chapter 14 - Staying Home
“She doesn’t have to know something like that to talk to me.”
Contrary to his indifferent tone, he was smiling. It was such a dazzling sight that Merilyn couldn’t help but blankly stare at his face again.
“Take good care of my daughter,” he commanded with a soft voice. His indifferent expression took over his face again as if he didn’t even smile in the first place.
* * *
Four days had passed since I secluded myself in my room. During that time, I finished reading all the books I borrowed from the library.
‘I need a new book now…’
Merilyn had gone out to do some errands, so Sella was in my room as her replacement. I glanced at her.
“Is there something that you need, Lady Floyen?” she asked.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t ask Sella to bring me books. Unlike Merilyn, who had received an education, Sella could only read basic words.
‘It would be better if I went to the library myself.’
I didn’t want Sella to feel bad if she knew the reason why I didn’t send her to the library, so I decided to send her elsewhere.
“Can you bring me some chocolate cookies and tea, Sella?”
“Yes, of course! I’ll be right back.”
When she left, I told another maid that I would be getting books from the library and ventured outside my room.
‘Ah, it’s quite a hassle to find the right book to read every time.’
I opened the door to the library while lost in thought and gasped when I saw who else was inside: my father!
“Oh, f-father! G-good morning!” I stuttered with astonishment.
Although I greeted him, I didn’t expect him to answer.
“It’s not morning but the afternoon,” he replied to my surprise.
Although he found fault with something I said, as expected, it wouldn’t do me any good to be hurt by his response.
“Yes, it is indeed. That was my mistake,” I agreed calmly, hoping that was the end of our conversation.
I walked towards the bookshelf.
“That’s… estate management theory,” he said.
My father was burning a hole at the book I was holding. His stony expression gave away his thoughts.
‘It seems like he’s asking me why I’m reading something like this.’
I hurriedly placed the book back on the shelf.
“Yes, I was simply curious about what kind of duties my father performs as a lord.”
His expression hardened at my excuses.
“Why were you curious about that?”
‘Oh, what if he thinks I’m getting greedy?’
I didn’t want him to misunderstand me, so I replied with a dry tone to avoid sounding materialistic or ambitious.
“I didn’t have any other intentions; I was just curious.”
Although I tried to avoid offending him, he frowned slightly. I gulped nervously and added, “I’m sorry for bothering you. I’ll be going now.”
I sneakily ended the conversation and tried to leave the library.
A cold voice called my name, so I turned back again. My father was staring at me with a stony face.
‘Does he have something to say to me?’
My head was starting to hurt as I tried to figure out my father’s intentions.
‘Allen advised me to relax my mind and body…’
Although I was afraid of falling ill again, I couldn’t ignore my father’s burdensome gaze.
‘I guess I can’t avoid it.’
I settled myself on the couch across from him. The soft, fluffy cushion relaxed my body, but I was still on the edge about what he had to say.
Although I forced myself to listen attentively to him, I doubted the words he asked next.
“Do you know the three elements that make up an estate?”
I didn’t expect him to quiz me, but I responded promptly without missing a beat.
“The land is the foundation of an estate, the lord establishes and protects order, and the people are responsible for the production of resources.”
“You have learned well.”
“Yes, since I have read the entire book.”
Thinking that this was all he had to say, I was about to ask him if I could go back to my room.
“Then, do you know this as well?”
However, my father’s pop quiz wasn’t over. He continued to ask me questions as if to check that I had read the book thoroughly.
‘When will this end?’
When I glanced at the time, I saw that it was already three o’clock, two hours after I had left my room. I usually had teatime around this hour.
‘Oh, those chocolate cookies I told Sella to bring…’
I was thinking about this when I heard a knock on the door.
“The guest has arrived, Master.”
My father stood up at the words of Derrick, our butler.
‘Is it finally over?’ I observed him with tentative relief.
‘Please, please leave me alone.’
However, my father continued to defy my expectations and walked in front of the bookshelf. I suppressed the urge to sigh.
“Master,” Derrick called again.
My father didn’t answer.
‘Why is he looking for a book instead of responding to him?’
Before curiosity continued to swallow me up, he walked towards me with two books that he had just picked out.
He handed them to me and left the library. I looked after his tall profile with trembling eyes, then checked the titles of the books he gave me. I could barely believe my eyes.
‘Why do you want an ordinary lady to read about military strategy and tactics, Father?’
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