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Everyone is friendlier nowadays.
Originally, people in the North were said to be difficult to get close to because they were blunt and didn’t open their hearts to outsiders easily. But all of a sudden, people living in Erelle were being noticeably friendly to me. Not only Emma, who guarded me the closest, but also the butler and the servants of the mansion who didn’t even spare me a glance began to show respect. Every time I passed by them, they would smile in a friendly way and bow their heads.
It was all thanks to Harry’s flame. Upon learning that I had distributed the fire directly to the orphanage where Emma took me the previous night, the Baron later lifted the ban and distributed ambers throughout the village. However, it was thoroughly monitored so that the ambers could not be taken outside the territory. The scope of surveillance has increased from the mansion to the entire estate. Thanks to this, the work of the knights guarding the outskirts of the territory has doubled.
‘I have no idea why he’s monitoring so much.’
Since the fire that burns Black Ironwood is strategically important, I could only guess that it was intended to be used only within Erelle.
Thanks to the spread of fire in the territory, I was receiving an unintended kindness from everyone. When I remembered the conversation with the butler, which had no progress at all, my head burn with embarrassment.
-I don’t know how long it’s been since I saw smoke rising from the fireplace. It’s all thanks to the Lady who saved Erelle from the extreme cold.
-Butler, I didn’t make the fire to save Erelle. It’s just that I was cold.
-Yes. I’ve heard it several times already. The lady shouldn’t worry too much. I know how the Lady feels.
-….No, you don’t know anything at all.
What is the Lady saying! I know it very well. Is that any ordinary fire that can burn Black Ironwood? It’s a fire that I can never understand with my petty mind and can only feel the warmth.
-No, you’re not petty, I’m petty. All I care about is myself. I’m telling you!
-Oh my god. The Lady is so humble until the end. This is why the fire was ignited by the Lady’s prayer. The Lady is so kind.
The butler said so with a faint smile filled with gratitude.
No… It’s not like that, so don’t smile like that…….
Similar conversations continued several times, but it was not easy to change the thoughts of the butler, who already had a firm faith that I saved Erelle by making fire. After numerous attempts, I eventually raised my hands. As a result, through the butler’s mouth, ‘the Lady loves Erelle deeply’ that I didn’t even know spread throughout the estate.
‘Thanks to this, everyone has become kind to me and it’s much more comfortable than when I first arrived here.’
A strange misunderstanding was created, but does it matter? Anyway, it was a misunderstanding that would naturally disappear when they saw me being a villainess again. I didn’t have the energy to correct this misunderstanding because I was too lazy to explain how the story of my notoriety spread in the society.
‘I did my best by telling the butler many times that I didn’t intend to save Erelle.’
Later, when the misunderstanding is revealed, if you shake my neck asking why I didn’t say it right then, I can confidently tell you. I told you it wasn’t what I intended.
‘So let’s just eat something delicious for now.’
Truth to be told, the North was not an area where gourmet was very developed. What’s the point of having a balanced diet, better texture and colour on the food which will be eaten in the end? It was the perception of ordinary northerners that ordinance food is enough as long as they could fill their stomachs.
‘How frustrated I was when I first came to Erelle and saw the table filled with rugged dishes.’
However, I had a positive thought that it would taste good, unlike what it looked like. But it tasted worse than it looked. I forced it into my mouth because I was hungry, but I ate little by little so that I wouldn’t die because the taste was too bad.
I lost weight because I started skipping meals. The dress I brought to Erelle became a little loose. The chef didn’t pay much attention to this situation before even though he knew it. Because no one wanted to work for the Lady who has a picky taste and was thrown into their own territory because of the circumstances.
But the chef became extremely kind to me after handing out the embers, and worked hard to cater to the taste of the Lady from the capital, where the gourmet developed. The result was the table full of colourful dishes before my eyes.
I looked at the table with emotion. A pleasant scent wafted from the dishes that were full of colour and taste. Freshly baked bread with glossy turkey roast, salad with fresh vegetables and warm mushroom soup. It was the same food that I ate in the capital.
But the plate was already bottoming out before I could even touch it. It was because Harry was inhaling the food like a ghost who died starving.
“Harry, can’t you just wait for me to pick the spoon?”
“You were just staring blankly. Do you know how exhausting it is to keep the dog form? Transforming is hard because it’s not my specialty.”
Harry grumbled as he ripped off a drumstick from the roasted turkey. I only chewed it a couple of times, but before I knew it, only turkey bones were left. My mouth was wide open at the unbelievable scene. Harry’s eating speed and quantity were obviously out of people’s capacity.
“You don’t even eat the food that the maids give to you.”
“Who wants to eat dog food? Think of my dignity as a demon, will you?”
“I understand that, but you eat too much!”
I don’t know how much an average adult male eats, but I could see for sure that Harry’s appetite was unbelievably huge. If this much amount of food is how he normally eats, then the food in the world would have already dried up.
There was no way that such a glutton would be satisfied with just stealing my meal. Whenever Harry got hungry, he would sneak into the kitchen and eat his heart’s content. Thanks to this, stories about ghosts stealing food have spread in the kitchen these days.
‘No, why does he covet my meal when he’s stealing food anyway?’
Because Harry ate with me, I couldn’t even be served by a maid during the meal. Everyone would faint if they saw a dog turning into a person and cutting steak, so they were ordered to eat alone with all the other maids out.
Because of this, there was a ridiculous misunderstanding going around that I was a glutton. I could never forget the expressions of the maids who were surprised to see the cleanly empty plates, saying, ‘Didn’t we serve 5 times the amount?’
‘They were definitely looking as if they were looking at a monster.’
“You just want me to watch you eat?”
“You won’t be able to eat so much food food anyway. It’s not good throwing away food.”
“Then eat when I’m done eating.”
“It would be lonely to eat alone.”
“Don’t pretend to be sad in front of me. You just want to eat Harry.”
“Ugh, it doesn’t work on you.”
Harry grumbled and put down the dishes. He took my napkin as if it was his and put his hand on my shoulder.
“It’s all because I’m frustrated. I can’t relieve my frustration, so I am trying to solve it with food.”
Harry pouted his lips, fiddling with my long hair hanging down my shoulders.
“Do you want me to relieve my frustration to my heart’s content?”
The subtle touch of asking for something made me feel very absurd.
“You do whatever you want, what do you mean frustrated? What kind of urge is building up now?”
Basically, Harry lived his way. He had a loose mouth, and said what he wanted to say, did what he wanted to do to be satisfied. Are all demons like this? Until I didn’t say ‘It’s a wish’, I couldn’t control him at all.
‘I feel like I’m raising a rebellious dog that doesn’t listen to me.’
There was a reason for Harry being so obedient at my wish because his soul was bound by the contract. It was comforting to have a leash in my hand to control him at the last moment.
“You don’t know? I want to see blood! The urge to kill is the demon’s basic need. It’s similar to humans eating.”
“It’s similar to eating? Then do you die if you endure it for a long time?”
I asked back in surprise. I was the one who summoned him, so I would feel guilty if he died because he couldn’t satisfy his basic needs.
Harry shook his head with a slightly subdued look, perhaps because his heart was relieved a little by my surprised face.
“It’s not to the point of dying, but it’s very painful. And very stressful too.”
“Oh, then why do you keep whining? As long as you don’t die, it’s okay.”
“As long as I don’t die, that’s all you care about? How do you feel if you eat something tasteless? I feel the same too. If I don’t see blood, I feel like I’m not living.”
Harry’s comparison touched my mood at once.
‘When I lived on tasteless food, I also felt like living was so boring and everything was annoying. That’s right.’
“But you can’t kill people. It’s a crime.”
“Because you said that, I’m trying to figure out a way to relieve my urge in a different way. I’m so sad that I can’t kill anyone. What would you do if someone stopped you from eating?”
“But can’t you relive your urge other than eating? The chef also complained that food is being stolen frequently, and I became a monstrous glutton who emptied five times the average serving by myself.”
“It’s one of the ways to relieve my frustration. However, it’s not like there’s no other way at all…….”
Harry looked me up and down with his arms crossed. He blurred the end of the sentence, looking at me for a long time.
“It’s kind of hard with a sand like you.”
“What is hard with me? I can do everything. Even if it’s a little hard, it’s better than being misunderstood as a glutton for eating a lot.”
It was so embarrassing to see the faces of the shocked maids every time they cleaned up the table.
“So tell me. What method can we use to satisfy Harry’s frustration?”
When I looked up at Harry with the willingness to do anything, for some reason, his face flushed.
“Oh, that’s enough. As expected, you can’t. Well, I’ll just have a roast turkey.”
“Why? What’s the other way? Let’s just do that.”
When I pulled Harry’s clothes, he shook my hand in surprise as if he had touched a flame.
“Well, why do you care? Never mind. I can’t do this with you. I don’t want to.”
“What is that?”
“You don’t have to know. You are a sand who isn’t even eighteen yet!”
“You seem very proud being a grandfather over 2,000 years old. All you can do is move on by making excuses for your age at critical moment.”
“I’m not a grandpa!”
At the same time as Harry’s cry came Emma’s voice calling me from outside was heard.
“My Lady, this is Emma.”
It was up to the maids who were lower status than Emma to clean the table.
‘She doesn’t come here to clean up the table.’
I calmed Harry, who was still stomping his feet, and called Emma inside with a curious mind. Harry had already turned into a dog when he felt Emma’s presence.
“Come on in. What happened?”
Emma, who entered with a deep greeting, looked a little troubled.
“We have a guest looking for My Lady.”
Evaria was the daughter of the Duke, so she was known by various people. There were several people who followed her like loyal fans.
“There is no one who is supposed to come here to meet me. I didn’t know anything about it.”
“Yes. The guest said he came secretly because he thought it would be troublesome if it’s known to the outside world.”
“Secretly? Who’s here again?”
“That’s……it’s the Crown Prince.”
The Crown Prince. What a surprise.
‘Was there an incident in which the Crown Prince visited Evaria, who was staying at Erelle?’
There was no need to trace the faint memory. Because the novel was narrated from Catherine’s perspective, Evaria appeared only as an obstacle to her happiness. Naturally, the story of the villainess who played her role and was driven to the northern estate Erelle was never described.
‘I hope he didn’t come to cause trouble.’
I even dissolved my engagement with him on purpose to avoid the trouble. What else did he want for coming here in Erelle secretly even after the marriage engagement was broken?
“Where did you take him?”
“I invited the Crown Prince to the drawing room. The Prince emphasized that the visit is a secret, and told me to be careful so that no one gets the wind of it.”
What purpose could he have for being so secretive? I stood up from my seat with a sigh.
“Okay. Please lead the way.”