Chapter 75 - My Secret Escort
Act 7. I Will Protect You
“I’m sorry? D-did I by any chance… offend you, my lady?” Baron Gordon stuttered as if he was taken aback. But rather than sympathy, I felt anger rise inside me. ‘He’s harsh towards the powerless but has the audacity to act pitifully in front of me.’
Baron Gordon reminded me of my superiors in my past life, who frequently abused their authority. People like them only acted servile towards the powerful but freely raised their voices towards the weak. Although I wanted to berate him to my heart’s content, I was aware that we were in the middle of Arcade Street, where many nobles milled around. I was bound to become the subject of more rumors if I blindly supported my father’s disciple, who seemed like a commoner. ‘There’s no way around this but to put on a little act.’
I pointed at my father’s disciple and straightened my expression. “Weren’t you just mistreating my man?” As soon as I finished speaking, my father’s disciple widened his eyes. He was probably taken aback, which was understandable. ‘I’m trying to save you, so keep your mouth shut. Okay?’ I tried to hint at him with my intense gaze. Although my question was directed towards the baron, an unexpected group of people replied.
“What? What do you mean by that, my lady?”
“What do you mean by ‘my man’?”
I became startled by their unusually gloomy voices. ‘Yikes, I forgot about the knights behind me!’ It was a habit of mine to ignore the escort knights, who made me feel uncomfortable while I was shopping, so I accidentally forgot that they were following me.
I turned around. “He’s a secret escort my father privately assigned to me,” I calmly said. “He’s a very skilled mercenary.”
“I was never told anything about this, my lady,” Geraldine said stubbornly.
‘He seriously lacks the ability to adapt to these kinds of situations.” I sighed and decided to explain the circumstances to them later, resorting to lying for the time being. “I asked my father to keep it a secret from the escort knights because I thought it would displease you all.”
“I’m talking to someone right now, so I’ll tell you the details later.”
Geraldine bowed with a sigh. “Yes, my lady.” When he stepped back, I glared at Baron Gordon.
“Now, do you really think I’m going to let you go after messing with my escort, Baron Gordon?”
The baron winced in response, then protested as if his pride was on the line. “What do you mean by ‘messing with him’?! That man made me fall, then spoke to me informally! My question is, how are you going to compensate me for the damage done here?”
In an aristocratic society, a subordinate’s mistake was only held accountable by their master if the conflict got out of hand. It was more common for both parties to let the issue slide so as to not offend each other. ‘Now that he knows it’s hopeless for us to have friendly relations, he’s trying to squeeze some money out of me at the very least.’ As expected of a self-made noble with common origins, he was servile but not the slightest bit agreeable, as indicated by how fast he had changed his attitude.
‘I really dislike this person,’ I thought and sighed. At first glance, I could tell that the baron had initiated the argument and unjustly demanded an apology. It was impossible for my father’s disciple, with his fierce personality, to degrade himself before someone who picked a fight with him. Even if he had been in the wrong, I doubted he would have apologized to the baron. ‘It can’t be helped. In a situation like this…’
“My escort grew up in the countryside, so he isn’t accustomed to social norms. Nevertheless, it’s my fault that I didn’t teach him any manners, so I will take full responsibility as his lady,” I said softly, giving a death stare at the baron. He met my gaze in response, bearing a bright expression.
‘He’s probably excited about how much I will compensate him, isn’t he? But as they say, ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.’’ In this type of situation, it was common for the master to punish their subordinate or compensate the other party. But since I neither intended to discipline my father’s disciple nor waste my precious money, I suggested a method that would resolve this problem peacefully and frugally.
“Why don’t we call it even if you speak informally to me as my escort did to you, Lord Gordon?” I asked. The baron’s smile immediately disappeared from his face.
* * *
‘Speak informally to her?’ After digesting the lady’s words, the baron shivered and realized something. ‘I’ve made a faulty judgment.’ He was certain that the nobles he was acquainted with had babbled about the lady’s lack of manners, as well as her dreadful and arrogant personality.
“Go ahead and speak informally to me,” the woman said with a haughty tone, staring at him with an angry and intimidating gaze. No matter how much he observed her, she was not a little child but a fiend that would threaten his life the moment he left his guard down.
‘This vile wench. She has the nerves to say that because she knows I’m not able to speak informally to her.’ The baron had become a nobleman by being shrewd, so he knew that if he spoke informally to the lady for the sake of his pride, he would be punished for mutiny. This crime was serious enough to take away his hard-earned, insignificant status.
The baron hurriedly bowed. “I have caused a great inconvenience to the lady. Please be generous and forgive me.”
Even though he apologized, the lady shook her head with disapproval. “I don’t think you should seek forgiveness from me, but from my escort,” she said coldly.
The baron gritted his teeth, livid by the prospect of bowing down to a commoner. Even so, he immediately lowered his head, knowing that he would enrage the lady if he didn’t apologize. “I’m sorry about what happened. It seems like I’ve misunderstood you,” he forced out. Sensing the insincerity of his words, Max stared down at him instead of responding.
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