Cupcake, cherry candy, honey, pudding.
Feeling somewhat nervous, Nadia called out to Altair, and he slightly frowned.
“Is the title still not settled?”
“But everyone calls you Lord…”
“You are not ‘everyone’.
You’re my wife.
Which wife calls her husband that way?”
However, no matter how much she searched her memory, she couldn’t find the part of which she did wrong.
“If there’s a name you want, I’ll call you that.”
“You said you would figure it out yourself though?”
“I did, but…no matter how much I think about it, I couldn’t.”
“If you think about how your parents were, the answer will come out easily.”
Her mother called her father ‘Marquis’ until the day she died, and other nobles in the capital also treated their partners with formality.
Having married couples who respected each other with courtesy was the utopia that the aristocrats of the capital thought of.
But the east side might be different.
Since she was in the middle of realising unexpected cultural differences after coming here, the matter of how to address her husband could also be different.
Ah! But when there was only the two in private…?
They(her parents) used to call each other by different names.
But would Altair want to be called ‘that’?
She couldn’t imagine it, so she reluctantly looked at Altair with a strange expression.
At that, he tilted his head and narrowed his eyes.
“Are you thinking about something strange?”
“You asked me to think about what my parents were like… do you really want that?”
“It is natural for a couple.
From now on, you can call me that too.”
“Real-, really? Do you really want me to call you that?”
“Why are you reacting like that with just a title?”
“Call me that.”
As Nadia mumbled without answering, Altair stared at her as if to signify her to call him ‘that’ right away.
Nadia thought it didn’t seem right, but she couldn’t stand Altair’s gaze.
“My-, my cupcake…”
“Cherry Candy… Honey… Pudding…”
As she folded her fingers one by one while listing the nicknames, Altair’s face grew more and more distorted.
“Shall I continue…?”
When she asked cautiously, Altair waved his hand and his face turned red.
“Did your parents really call each other that?”
“They were formal on official occasions, but they were comfortable calling each other like that in private.”
“What’s about that is comfortable…?”
Altair touched his forehead as if he had a hard time understanding it.
“My parents called each other by their first names.”
Of course, in her mind, she was constantly calling out Altair’s name, but the thought of saying it out loud sent chills down her spine.
It felt like confirming once again that the villain in the novel was a real person.
“Isn’t name better than ‘cupcake’? From now on, call me by name.”
“Try it now.”
“La-later, after some practice…”
“You need practice for this?”
He seemed to be implying ‘Call my name right now!’.
For that, Nadia shut her eyes tight and blurt out.
“….What’s with ‘sir Altair’? I’m not your superior.
Just Altair is enough.”
She repeated the name ‘Altair’ in her head several times to make sure she wouldn’t make a mistake.
It seemed like it would take a lot of simulation for her to call his name without feeling awkward.
After a long while of silence, Altair spoke to her with a somewhat hesitant expression.
“Won’t you allow it?”
Can I call you by your name?”
“That’s…that’s only fair, right?”
Now that it was mentioned, she was able to recall the fact that Altair had never called her name before.
Did he call me ‘you’ because he didn’t know if it would be okay for him to call my name?
Did the villain Altair really worry about that?
As Nadia stared at Altair with her eyes wide open with curiosity, he turned red and avoided her gaze.
“What are you looking at?”
His tone was still rough, but he didn’t feel as scary as before.
Looking at Altair’s red face gave her courage for some reason.
“Don’t you need practice, Altair?”
“Practise calling my name.”
“I’m good at it even if I don’t practise.”
“If that’s so, do it now then.”
Altair bit his lip tight as if he was at a loss for words.
A smile unknowingly crept upon Nadia’s lips at the proud thought of having made Altair speechless.
As she was caressing and touching the hem of her skirt, a low, cautious voice reached her ears.
It felt completely different when he called her this way, she somehow couldn’t keep her hands still, and nervously clutched onto the hem of her skirt.
Altair then reached out and gently tucked her hair behind her ear.
“You were wondering what kind of role of a wife I want you to be, right? You also said that you can do anything, is that still the case?”
I will do my best.”
“You dont even know what I want you to do, yet, you answer so bravely.”
Altair smiled and closed their distance.
When his seemingly cold but handsome face was right in front of her nose, Nadia’s heart, which had barely calmed down, started pounding again.
He is too close…
What’s more, Altair had taken off his top for medicine application, so Nadia basically had nowhere to turn her eyes to.
As Altair came closer, her eyes flitted here and there, not knowing what to do.
The moment she reflexively shut her eyes tightly from embarrassment, his firm arms pulled her into a hug as they leaned toward the bed.
When she opened her eyes again, wondering what was going on, Altair’s hard chest filled her field of vision.
She was so startled that she quickly closed her eyes again.
In the midst of darkness, only the sound of her heart’s wild beating filled her ears.
I’m lying on the bed with Altair hugging me!!!
She wanted to get out of this embarrassing position, but she thought it would hurt Altair’s wounds if she were to move recklessly, so the only option left was to lie quietly in his arms.
But isn’t it strange that I am still being held like this?
As she slowly opened her eyes and raised her head, she met Altair’s eyes, who had been looking at her for some time.
This time, she couldn’t even close her eyes and just froze on the spot.
Seeing that, Altair’s mouth formed smirk as though he found it amusing, and then slowly swept his big hand across her back as if to comfort a frightened child.
Im not going to do anything.
Today,… I just want to share the warmth.
I’m tired of dealing with the annoying stuff.”
As if it wasn’t a lie, Altair slowly closed his eyes after those words.
As she listened to his regular breathing, Nadia’s heart, which had been pounding with bashfulness, began to calm down little by little.
She couldn’t escape anyway, hence, she gave up and slowly closed her eyes too.
As her vision was blocked, her sense of smell became more sensitive, and a familiar scent came to her nose.
This must be Altair’s.
It was not specifically fragrant but earthy and gave her a cozy sensation, like he had been bathing in the sunlight.
Somehow, her heart felt at ease, and sleepiness washed over her.
When Altair cleaned up the goblin habitat around the Manastone Mine and development began in earnest, people from all over places flocked to their estate upon hearing the rumours.
Most of the visitors were merchants who wanted to win the distribution of the manastone mine.
Everyone had their eyes on it since they could make a considerable profit just by distributing the precious magic stones.
Thanks to this, the Aylesford estate was enveloped in a tumultuous atmosphere that had never existed before.
It was the mistress’ job to welcome and treat guests, so even the timid Nadia couldn’t avoid it.
The problem was that there was an extreme shortage of workers at Aylesford Castle.
Up until now, they had managed to get back to work with three servants, but if the Aylesford estate developed, there would be as many visitors as there was now, so it was impossible to handle the amount of work with just three.
Even if it’s not for that, three is just too small of a number!
The repair of the castle, which was postponed due to lack of funds, must be carried out step by step.
Because from now on money will flood in!
Aylesford’s manastone reserves were enormous.
It was said that the reserves would not be exhausted even after thousands of years of excavation.
In addition, it was revealed that the manastones mined as a test were much higher in purity than normal ones.
It was said that since it was a high-efficiency manastone, it could be distributed at a higher price.
Thanks to this, Altair was busy meeting with merchants everyday to coordinate delivery conditions.
Seeing the merchants leaving exhausted with crupled faces, Altair seemed to be a formidable negotiator.
Well, I sure can’t imagine Altair losing money from being manipulated by the merchants’ words anyway.
Nadia was not worried one bit.
So let’s work hard and do what I have to do!
Coincidentally, there were many merchants staying in Aylesford, so it was a good chance to buy materials for the castle’s repair.
Were she to deal with those who were exhausted from negotiating with Altair, she would be able to buy things at a good price without much effort.
It’s so reassuring to have the villain as an ally!
When she read the novel, she only saw Altair from the enemy’s point of view, so she didn’t know of these advantages at all.
Starting from today, will you call the merchants who return after negotiating with the lord for me? There are a lot of things I need to buy, so I think I’ll have to meet them diligently.”
“Yes, of course! That’s how it should be done after all!”
Anna smiled as if she was excited just at the thought of it, and before long, she approached Nadia.
“Are you going to buy a dress too?”
“Because the meeting of the eastern nobility will take place soon! You need to have the right dress and jewelry to avoid looking ridiculous.”
“I see…so there’s that, too.”
Nadia had completely forgotten about the meeting that Altair had asked her to come, focusing only on the manastone mine issue.
Since they will be hunting, I guess I’ll be wearing riding clothes instead of flashy dresses…
Rather, what’s concerning was that there was a strictly big difference in the standards of simple clothes.
A dress could fool the eyes with its splendor, but it was difficult for riding clothes.
She would have to pay attention to even the smallest details of decorations to avoid the ridiculous appearance.
Not to mention men’s clothes are especially tricky.
There weren’t many elements to be used for decoration, so it had to rely mainly on the fabrics and cuts.
But Altair’s clothes…
She could never say it was great.
But at least, the completion of fashion was appearance, and Altair’s great physique and face complemented the outfit.
“For that matter, I think we should call the tailor, not the merchants.
Who is the most famous in the East?”
“I can think of a few famous places, but… the price is…”
“Anna, price doesn’t matter anymore.
It doesn’t matter how much it costs, we have to save the lord’s honour and reputation.”
At Nadia’s rare firm words, Anna smiled broadly with her eyes twinkled.
“Yes! That’s right! Things are different now!”
But just in case, I’ll ask the lord for permission before calling the tailor.
He might hate me for spending money recklessly.”
“Huh? That can’t be true.”
Anna shrugged her shoulders and carefully helped Nadia up from the sofa.
“But I think he will enjoy seeing the Madame, so I’ll guide you there right away! The morning schedule is all over, so he should be resting right now!”
Now? Me? In person?
I meant to tell Anna to ask him for me instead!
But Anna was already moving excitedly, and Nadia couldn’t bear to call out to her because of her timidity.
“You have something to tell me?”
She came to face Altair unexpectedly.
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