Chapter 39: Ailsa Again
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When I saw Princess Ailsa, I felt my heartbeat returning to normal. Those red eyes that seemed intimidating now looked harmless. I was so worried that the person who came was related to Kasa that Ailsa looked like a savior in my eyes.
Standing next to Ailsa were two dislikable guards. One of them was Saven, the man who took my big silver coins, while the other was an elf. I hadn't met the elf before, but I already disliked them.
I instinctively disliked elves in this life. While I always disliked the long ears elves have, I now realized that my dislike for elves came from a reason other than appearance. Maybe it was just a quirk my body has this life.
Nonetheless, seeing Ailsa made me unconsciously smile and let out a sigh of relief. Her all-red appearance was an interesting sight to behold. I wondered if she has anything that isn't red in color.
Misjudging my smile to be happiness, Duke Pendle looked at Ailsa and me and started speaking.
"You're happier than I thought you would be after you saw her Rorik. It seems I misjudged your relation."
Ailsa smiled back in return.
"Of course, Rorik and I are well acquainted."
I rather say that we weren't, but it would probably result in more trouble than it's worth, so I decided to play along. I wasn't worried about mimicking noble mannerisms because of all the books I've read.
"Yes, it is truly an honor to see you again Princess."
"Oh there's no need for formalities, you can call me Ailsa."
"Then I will oblige Ailsa."
We laughed and continued our conversation. As the conversation progressed, I began to think about other matters. Since there was nothing of substance in our conversation, I wasn't worried about missing anything.
Instead, I thought about both Ailsa and Duke Pendle.
The first impression Ailsa left on me was hotheaded and immature. She saw me and threw me at a prison almost immediately. Her behavior right now made me wonder if she had a twin sister. I was curious about the reason for her behavioral change. Did she mature, was she always two-faced, or did she simply act this way when she talked with nobles older than her? The answer was probably a combination of the three.
Speaking of two-faced, Duke Pendle didn't fail to surprise me either. The way he treated me made it seem like we had a harmonious relationship. I almost believed his conversation with Ailsa reflected his true feelings regarding me. I couldn't help but applaud internally at his performance. I was frightened by the level of acting he displayed.
After some time, Duke Pendle got up.
"It was a pleasure talking to you again princess. However, I shall not intrude on your long-awaited reunion any longer. Please give your father my regards."
"Of course Duke."
I wondered what Duke Pendle was thinking when he left the room. No matter how I think about it, leaving me with her seems like a bad idea, even if we are in Pendle territory. His actions were always an enigma to me.
When Duke Pendle left, Ailsa looked at me in silence. Her red eyes regained their intimidation.
I was rather surprised that she visited, but I knew why she visited me out of all people.
She either wanted to check if I've visited a prison again or already knows I've visited a prison. Her visit was surprising because it hasn't been that long since she last visited me. I expected her to find out I visited the prison at some point, however, I thought I would've been long gone before she had the chance to visit.
As I kept my silence, the pressure in the room began increasing.
I had to correct my thoughts. Judging by the pressure, she already knows that I've visited a prison again. I wondered how she was going to respond. Would she repeat her actions from the past, or surprise me with something new?
When Ailsa realized I wasn't going to start a conversation, she began talking.
"It's been a while hasn't it Rorik." She put her arms on the chair of the couch and spoke with a voice of authority.
'As expected of someone who came from royalty.' I thought to myself. Since she was taking the tone of royalty with me, I decided to try and impersonate the tone and speech of a noble.
"Yes it has princess, you haven't aged a day since I've seen you. I hope you've remained in good health since then."
Ailsa smiled, "Thank you for the compliment, you've grown more mature yourself. Our last meeting certainly was some time ago. I have remained in good health since then. I assume you've been healthy yourself?"
"Thank you for the compliment, your highness, I will never forget it. I have indeed been in good health since our last conversation, your perception is extraordinary."
"I'm pleased to hear that, as the oldest son of Duke Pendle left in the mansion, your actions and health reflect the status of the Pendle family."
"... Thank you for your consideration princess."
I prepared to counter Ailsa once she brought up wanting to 'correct' me because I kept visiting prisons, but Ailsa said something unexpected.
"It has been a long time since I've been in the Pendle territory, would you do me a favor and accompany me?"
The moment she said this, I knew what her plan was. 'She wanted me to leave the Pendle mansion before she did something. ' At the same time, I wondered my original judgment on Ailsa was completely wrong. I thought she was hotheaded and acted on instinct, I even tried to provoke her by calling her 'her highness' or 'princess' but she remained calm. Nonetheless, despite my confusion, I knew I should try my best to reject her request.
"Your highness, I would love to guide you around the Pendle territory. Unfortunately, as a result of my condition, I do not have enough experiences around the town to give you a satisfying experience. Furthermore, I have prior engagements that I must attend. May I suggest my younger brother F-"
"Your experiences are more than satisfactory for my purposes. Furthermore, are your prior engagements more important than my request Rorik Pendle?"
The moment she said that I knew I was stuck. I couldn't say that reading books was more important than the royal family.
"I meant no such thing princess, when shall we depart?"
'Time to bite the bullet' I thought to myself as I followed Ailsa to her carriage.