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Since Jean and Clarisse weren't married yet, they didn't have their first night together and booked separate rooms at the inn. Unfortunately, on the first day of the trip, there were only two rooms available for the nobility at the inn, so Clarisse stayed in a room by herself, but Jean and Sid had to share a room.
The look on Sid's face was priceless.
"You're expecting me to share a room with this big guy?"
Sid was relatively short for a man, but Jean was large and muscular. It would undoubtedly be too crowded for two men to be staying in the same room.
Mary got out of the carriage, exhausted from the first day, and was enjoying the sight of Sid's annoyance.
"You see, Mary, Sid-sama, although a bit annoying, is a smart person. I'm certain that the Margrave sees him as a valuable asset."
When Clarisse asked Mary what they had been talking about in the carriage as she finished her supper and prepared for bed, she responded dismissively.
"He seems to be quite obsessed with the Margrave, and I think he is fond of you, My lady, though I don't like him because he acts way too familiar with me."
Despite Mary's foul mouth, she doesn't actually have many likes or dislikes for people. In fact, it's rare that she dislikes someone this much; either she doesn't get along with them very well, or she gets along with them too well.
But no matter what she said, the image of herself being seriously scolded by Mary came to mind, so Clarisse wisely didn't touch on the topic any further.
The following day, after a quick breakfast at the inn, they started to move quickly. However, Mary seemed to have lost her patience and tried to sit next to the coachman, saying she was a servant.
Sid, on the other hand, stated quietly that he could not allow a woman to sit outside and that he would take her place, so she had no choice but to reluctantly give in. This left Mary, the servant, inside and Sid, the nobleman, sitting outside.
Clarisse watched in silence as Mary, who may not have shown it on her face but must have looked as if she had a demon inside, climbed into the carriage with Sid's help.
"I wonder if Sid-sama is fond of Mary."
Clarisse asked, growing more familiar with Jean thanks to the day they had spent together in the carriage yesterday. She felt that Jean's demeanor had become more relaxed and his tone of voice was a little more casual.
The trip to the royal capital was something that Clarisse would have preferred not to go on, but she was glad that it had brought her closer to him than before.
"I suppose so. Sid is a womanizer, but he hates women."
"What do you mean by that?"
"Well, I guess he likes a strong, firm woman like Mary."
"Oh, I see."
Mary is indeed strong and firm; even Clarisse cannot deny that, as she has always been helped by Mary's strength.
"Has Mary been your maid for a long time?"
There were some complicated reasons why Mary became a maid for Clarisse.
Clarisse pondered how to answer since it wasn't about her, but since Jean didn't seem to be breaking off his engagement to her, and since Mary would probably be meeting with Jean for a long time to come, she thought it would be better to let him know what was going on. Especially since she was going to visit her parents' house.
Clarisse had been mistreated by her family since she was born. She spent her days trying to figure out what they were thinking not only by their words but also by their facial expressions and actions.
Although Jean doesn't use straightforward words, his facial expressions and actions were enough for her to understand that he's very considerate and always thinking of her. She feels that he's really interested in her.
Above all, the way he treats her is almost the same as his attitude toward Sid and Marius, who are his allies and childhood friends; therefore, although it's hard to put into words.
Clarisse wants to believe him.
That he really wants to marry her.
"Mary's family was originally a barony, but after her father's scandalous downfall, the family split up, and Mary was taken in as a maid by my family. I was only eight years old, and she was twelve. We've been together ever since."
Jean's eyes widened.
"Oh my, Mary was a former baron's daughter?"
"I see; I thought she was more than just a servant, but to think she had that background."
The rank of baron itself is the lowest in aristocratic society, but aristocrats are still aristocrats. Somehow, Mary didn't feel like an ordinary servant, so it made sense to him that she was originally a baron's daughter.
Jean suddenly felt that Sid would be pleased with this information but decided to keep it quiet for Mary's sake.
As he had heard from Marius, Jean could not help but admire Clarisse's manner during the trip. She never showed any signs of displeasure or whine and was always cheerful and caring, not only to Jean but also to everyone else.
Typically, when people are severely fatigued, their true nature reveals itself. So, this is Clarisse's true nature. It was very attractive, and it was no wonder that Marius was instantly captivated by her.
Jean had originally trained as a knight and was blessed with a good physique, so he didn't feel that tired on a trip like this, but Clarisse had never even left the royal capital before coming to Jean's home.
After such a long trip, she might be physically tired, but how could she be so mentally calm and not even show a hint of tiredness?
Moreover, she always seemed to be satisfied with the food and the not-so-luxurious accommodations.
Jean was beginning to respect this thin and petite girl, who was almost ten years younger than him, for her strong mental strength.
It had been a long time since he had been to the royal capital, but it was definitely a city.
Sid was going to stay at his relative's house, so he went on his way, and Clarisse, Jean, and Mary were going to stay at Jean's aunt's house.
Marchioness Lotte Ainsworth, who was the sister of Jean's father, and just like Jean, she was a rather large and beautiful woman with a clear face, much like Jean. Her husband, Marquis Ainsworth, and their son were currently staying in their territory, not in the royal capital.
"Oh my god! Jean, to be engaged to such a beautiful girl! I couldn't be happier for you."
The Marchioness of Ainsworth gave her a sincere welcome.
"Nice to meet you, Marchioness Ainsworth; my name is Clarisse Farenheit."
"Soon to be Gutenburg."
Clarisse was a little surprised when Jean interrupted her from the side. It's almost as if he wants to get married as soon as possible.
Marchioness Ainsworth looked at her nephew with extreme amusement.
"Well, well, you shouldn't dwell on little things like that, Jean."
"No, I'm just stating a fact."
It's hard to tell, but it looks like Jean is acting spoiled in front of his aunt.
Clarisse thought that the relationship between Marchioness Ainsworth and Jean was good. Marchioness Ainsworth smiled at Clarisse as if to say, "This boy’s a real troublemaker."
"May I call you Clarisse?"
"Of course, Marchioness Ainsworth."
"Hehehe, Lotte is fine between us, Clarisse."
When Clarisse curtsied with the hem of her dress, Lotte giggled happily. Her laughter warms the heart of anyone who hears it, and Clarisse is able to understand why Jean was so fond of her. She, as well, liked Lotte very much.
"Aunt, tomorrow, as I informed you, I need you to help Clarisse get ready."
Jean nodded and turned to Clarisse.
"I want you to go with aunt to pick out a dress tomorrow for the visit to the Farenheit family."
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