It was already morning by the time I arrived at the Eckart mansion with Eclise.
The butler and Emily came running to me as soon as they spotted me.
“Lady Penelope. Just where……!”
“Where did you go in the middle of the night!”
Emily shouted and asked when the butler couldn’t continue with his words.
From their reaction, I realized that secretly bring Eclise in was impossible.
“……Does father know, too?”
“Of course! Everything was a mess! The young masters both went out with the knights in attempt to find you while a slaver came by in the middle of the night!”
I slapped my forehead at Emily’s words.
That slaver bastard who suspected my identity came to get paid as soon as the sun rose. Before I even did.
And to think that Derrick and Rennald would go and do all that…
‘Shoot…… I shouldn’t have brought those two with me.’
Emily didn’t waste a single second as she pushed me in through the gates.
“Quickly go in, lady. Hurry!”
“Lady. Who is that?”
The butler blocked Eclise who was following me into the mansion.
“He’s going to be my personalized bodyguard from now on. Show him to a room, and prepare it so that he can rest there.”
“L, lady! That’s……!”
Butler freaked out, scanning Eclise from head to toe.
“You can’t do that, lady! How can we allow someone we don’t know the identity of into the mans……!”
“Butler. Only a few days passed from that day but it looks like you already started to take my words as a joke again.”
I was very tired, therefore, very sensitive.
I wanted to throw myself on the bed right away, but there were mountains of things I had to deal with beforehand. I didn’t have the time to argue with the servants here.
“I ask you to prepare it well so that it’s comfortable to Eclise.”
The butler bowed, having no other choice.
After ‘I ask you-‘ was a threat. But thankfully, it ended before I had to threaten him.
It was when I stepped into the entrance.
Rennald, who was pacing back and forth, was the first to notice me.
The duke who was sitting abruptly got up from his chair at Rennald’s shouting.
I unwillingly took a few steps back at the duke’s sharp gaze.
The duke seemed like he was going to shout at me like Rennald did, but held it back. Instead,
“…… Come to my office, now.”
A huge sigh escaped my lips as I watched the duke leave.
‘Hahhh. How should I beg for forgiveness this time.’
All this, just so I could get Eclise.
I turned to face Eclise in resentment, but that resentment melted in me as soon as I read what was above his head.
I had to contain myself. He was the only hope I had with me.
Meanwhile, Rennald spotted Eclise standing behind me as he muttered in detest.
“What’s that beggar doing here?”
“Follow the butler, Eclise.”
I hurried and commanded, scared that this would turn into a fuss.
“Follow the butler, my foot! This is the Eckart mansion!”
Rennald made a face that looked as if he had a lot to say right now.
But he didn’t continue, probably because he knew that I had to get to the duke’s office right away.
The same went for Eclise. He opened his mouth, seeming as if he wanted to say something, but didn’t.
“Hurry up. Be a good boy.”
I ignored that he wanted to say something. I didn’t have time for that right now.
I handed the mask I held in my hand over to Emily, then followed after the duke who left a little while ago.
Click, a cold and sharp voice pierced my ears as soon as I stepped into the office.
I politely stood in front of him. The duke was sitting, his back facing the desk.
“Start explaining everything from the very beginning to the end.”
The duke’s heavy tone of voice was as cold as ice.
I couldn’t see his face from here, so I became less confident if I can get away with this successfully.
I didn’t care if my fame dropped from it as long as it didn’t affect the interests of the two brothers.
Thinking hard for a while, I decided to try the method I’ve used up until now.
“……I apologize for going outside without even telling you, father.”
“Those are the words I hear the most from you these days.”
It worked for the first and the second time, but not for the third.
I was lost for words.
“You always apologized like this but it seems like you didn’t really look back to it. What do you think.”
I bit my lower lip and said the words that the duke always wanted from Penelope.
“I swear I didn’t do anything to bring disgrace to this family, father.”
“I didn’t stay up all night, waiting for you just to hear those kinds of words!”
Thud! The duke slammed his fist on the table as soon as I finished my words.
I gasped in the air in surprise.
He was always ignorant towards Penelope, so this was the first time ever seeing the duke get angry like this. I got scared at this unexpected reaction.
‘What am I supposed to do!’
My mind went blank.
I already expect that just apologizing wouldn’t work this time.