Kahneman ended up following Agatha, along with the maid, as they got out of the open door.
Agatha opened her mouth again as she walked along the red-carpeted hallway at a constant speed.


“You shouldn’t say that I asked you to be her escort, just pretend to be kind.
She’s someone awkward with people, so do take care of her.
Please talk to her first, she isn’t the one to start the conversation, and her answers are quite brief.
She may not look interested, so even if her answer is late, please wait a little—”


“Did I just get engaged to her by any chance?” 


“—And don’t stop talking.”


Kahneman’s expression looked like he was fed up with Agatha’s continuous demands.
He knew a bit more about Amber’s illegitimate child than other people because he’s a duke.
Not only does she live like she doesn’t exist, but she’s also utterly neglected by her family, and the servants loathe her — according to what he’s heard.


Yet Agatha’s attitude was far from that.
It seemed like she was treating her like a daughter she really cares about — no, it was a little more than that.


“I’m not going to ask her what happened—”


“—She wouldn’t answer me even if I ask her.”


In response to her, Kahneman gave up talking and shut his mouth.
Only the sound of their footsteps continued in the hallway where their silence descended, and then they finally stopped.
They stood in a hallway near the library, where Agatha looked at Kahneman and pointed her finger at the door.


“Beatrice will be in the library now.
I told her to go there and read a book, so she probably did.”


“Is she that obedient?”


“It’s a problem that she listens too often.
I believe you’ll do well.”


“Will I be greeting her alone?”


“Then, would you like me to get in between the two of you?”


Agatha lowered her hand and gently lifted the hem of her dress as a sign for him to greet Beatrice, she said not to waste time any longer.
With that, Kahneman sighed.


Should I pinch his nose right now? Agatha thought as she watched Kahneman’s clean face while he rubbed his temple with his outstretched fingers. 


“The only time parents should be together with you is when you plan to get married.
Are you thinking of proposing to my daughter?”


“I will do well on my own.”


Ever since he was a child, he’s always been someone who doesn’t get jokes.
Agatha moved back down the corridor, a small nod to the words falling like a knife.


All that remained were Kahneman Marquez and his attendant.
Kahneman thought for a moment without going straight into the study.
What should he do so that he can ask Lady Amber to be his partner naturally?


As Duchess Amber points out, her daughter must be a timid, quiet woman.
Fitchell, who appeared to be behind him, murmured the entire time as he stood there, agonizing.


“What are you so worried about?”


“How should I ask her to be my partner without being strange?”


“Do what you always do.”


“Like what?”


“Win her over with that face of yours.”


Kahneman realized that he had immediately opened the door to the library after that.


* * *


Beatrice was reading a book called ‘100 Ways to Deal with People’ at the largest table in the study. 


To put it bluntly, it was a kind of torture book.
It described in bizarre detail what a person’s muscles and bones looked like and the places where they were most painful.


She started reading it because it caught her eye, but it contained useful knowledge that can be used in her own way, so she was able to concentrate.
Beatrice has killed quite a few people, but there’s nothing technical about it.


Most of them just break and tear as they can, but it’s normal because I didn’t need tools in the first place.


Beatrice is a fast reader, so she read more than half of the book in less than an hour.
When she reached the two-hundredth page, she heard the door open.
She placed down the book for a moment and raised her head.


She immediately made eye contact with the person who came in.


Kahneman Marquez, The Duke of Marquez.
Beatrice narrowed her golden eyes.
She felt very strange seeing his face after a long time.
If you look at his face closely, his younger appearance and his old one, which was busy grimacing, naturally overlapped.


“I am Kahneman Marquez, milady.”


“I am Beatrice Amber, Duke Marquez.”


His navy blue eyes examined her carefully.
With an uninterested expression, Beatrice averted her eyes elsewhere.


Beatrice thought he had been sent by Agatha.
Before he arrived, she was blatantly asked if she wanted the Duke to be her partner, so it’s obvious that she doesn’t have to look.


However, she thought he would refuse.
Seeing that he came all the way here, he must have received something in exchange.


“I stopped by because I had a book to borrow, but I didn’t know that the lady would be here.”


Marquez told a natural lie and approached the table where she was seated.
His gaze went to the book’s title.
Has she read ‘100 Ways to Deal with People’ because she isn’t good at communicating?


Kahneman shifted his gaze to her face without showing any expression, ignoring the fact that he knew she wasn’t looking at him.


“Did I interrupt your private time?”




“Then can I sit down for a while?”


“Go ahead.”


Kahneman sat across from her and leaned his back on the chair.
Beatrice pushed the book she had placed next to her a little further away.


Kahneman presumed that she was ashamed of the title of the book.
It’s because he thought they were simply indifferent if a person acted docile and avoided eye contact.


Beatrice Amber wasn’t the perfect woman in Kahneman’s imagination.
Duchess Amber has warm, sandy hair, her eldest son Calex resembled his father with silver hair, and her second, Felix, has hazy blonde hair.


A woman with raven black hair that’s reserved but not timid.
She’s acting uninterested in him, merely responding to the question as if she doesn’t care.


“Come to think of it, I heard you’re going to make your debut this year.”


Kahneman, who contemplated on how to bring up his proposal, eventually decided to face the challenge with his attendant’s advice.
He tried to display a natural smile.


“Somehow it was a year late, but that’s it.”


“I don’t particularly enjoy debut parties, but because milady is making her debut at this one, I should at least show my face.”


As Kahneman’s fingers lightly tapped on the table.
Beatrice’s gaze, which was wandering somewhere else, reached him.
Looking at the golden eyes he encountered, Kahneman realized that he thought wrong again.


“I don’t have a partner yet.
Does milady have one?”


He thought she only felt awkward around people, that’s why she couldn’t maintain eye contact — but that wasn’t the case.
She looked dead in his eyes.
It’s not that she doesn’t care, it’s that she’s genuinely not interested herself.


Where did the timid and awkward daughter the Duchess said go? Of course, she wasn’t anywhere else, but right in front of him.


A person who is good with people wouldn’t do anything that does not pay attention to them just because they are not interested, especially among the nobility.


“I don’t have a partner yet.
Lord Billander has asked me to, but I have not accepted it.”


“You didn’t accept his offer?”


She didn’t refuse, she didn’t accept the offer since it was something unexpected to her.
When she was asked again, Beatrice just shook her head, to imply that she wanted to accept but couldn’t.


“It’s a story that is over before it has even started because there was no time for me to even respond.
My mother said that it must have been only out of courtesy.
If he was sincere about it, then he would’ve gotten my response immediately, so she said I mustn’t worry about it.”


Kahneman seemed to understand why Agatha had said that to Beatrice.


Gallot Billander, the next Count Billander, has a bold personality and a handsome face.
And since he could lead and invest in his family, he had a good reputation only among the nobles — yet he’s believed to be helping the current count with his awful hobby.


Even if it had been done strategically, it wouldn’t be an acceptable status in the Duke family.
Someone who has an overprotective nature like Agatha wouldn’t appreciate that.


“Then Lady Amber, can you be my partner?”


“If you really are Duke Marquez, you would have many options besides me.”


“That’s right, but Duke Amber and I have been friends since we were young.”


Of course, they’ve been close friends since they were seventeen.


“I hadn’t seen the Duchess in a long time, and she expressed disappointment that there were less exchanges between us.”


She offered him the necklace with regret and proposed a deal.


“I was reflecting.”


And now, he’s doing this because he received it.


“When I heard that milady hasn’t found a partner yet, I decided that I’ll try and ask her one of these days.
So, you could say I’m very happy to meet you like this.”


Beatrice smiled at Kahneman Marquez, worried. What should you do if a man with a familiar face acts unfamiliar to you? 


She formed the smile she copied from Floria Billander.
She felt a little clumsy, but unlike back then, she had a bright smile that was undoubtedly imitated.


There is only one reason why she reacted the same as then.
Whether it was genuine or not, the other person said they were happy.
Isn’t it the most basic human rule to respond to people who express happiness with empathy?


Beatrice lowered the corners of her lips and closed her eyes for a while before opening them to look at him. Was he really that slow? He was a little different from her own memory, and that made her raise a question in her head.


I felt like he was a different person when I was talking to him.
He was someone who always acted like a sharpened knife, it was funny.
It’s like seeing someone you haven’t seen in a long time.
Of course.


“I see.
Thank you for asking me.”


If people were to know the real truth, their eyes and voices would melt away like midday snow.
He’s pretending to be modest now that he’s decided to get along with her family, but he was a man who’s always been at odds with her in the past when he didn’t hide his true nature.

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