The Foxy Bear
Dooha came down to the dining hall with a more confident gait than anyone else.
Following her from behind was Layla, who had eyes that looked somewhat uneasy about something.
Upon arriving at the dining hall, Dooha was greeted by the Duke and dozens of attendants.
The Duke looked at her and hardened his face, remaining in his seat.
“…What is this now?”
“Are you asking because you don’t know?” As soon as Dooha saw herself, she smiled slightly at the Duke’s confused face.
“I don’t know, so I asked.
Can you sit down for now?” At her words, Leonhart’s face turned harsh.
But she didn’t care at all.
She sat down at the empty seat where tableware had been prepared.
She was wearing the sheer nightgown she wore for their first night.
“It’s my first time trying imperial food, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Leonhart was momentarily at a loss for words due to her brazen attitude.
It was the same for the servants standing around.
Since the Duchess was sitting in revealing clothes, they could not even dare to raise their heads, let alone serve.
“Is there still food available?”
“I sent new clothes and a maid to attend to you.
What is this?”
“New clothes? A maid?”
Dooha tilted her head, confused if she had heard the duke’s words wrong.
“I never received anything like that.”
She motioned for Layla, who was standing in front of the dining room entrance, to come closer.
“Instead, I got something like this.”
The Duke frowned as soon as he saw Layla’s ragged dress.
He ordered the maids to bring her new clothes.
However, he did not confirm which clothes they were.
In the first place, what kind of nobleman would check every single outfit his wife were to wear?
He thought that the maids would take care of it—but he never dreamed that such a thing would happen.
“And the maid who you said was going to be serving me never came to greet me.
Wouldn’t the errand runner who gave me that dress know?”
At Dooha’s words, the duke’s brow furrowed deeper.
“Besides, the Duke told me not to lose my dignity as a Duchess, so I didn’t wear it because I thought I would lose my dignity if I did.
Did I do something wrong?”
“Or, do you call clothes that are worse than rags ‘new clothes’? If so, I’ll be happy to wear it.”
She did not openly criticize the duke specifically but dared to mention the dukedom as a whole.
Normally, when dealing with a leader who led a group, it was much more effective to point out the group they led, not the leader themselves.
In particular, the more pride and responsibility for the group they had, the better it worked.
Dooha smiled with a blank expression on her face and looked at the duke sitting in front of her.
Leonhart stared at Dooha for a long time without saying a word, before finally getting up.
He walked over to Dooha, who was sitting across from him at the long dining table, and took off the coat he was wearing and wrapped it around her.
Dooha looked at the man standing in front of her and blinked her big eyes.
‘I didn’t expect this.’
Unlike his proper and noble behavior, Leonhart’s face showed an unpleasant look.
He said in a cold voice to the servant who was standing next to him.
“Who is the maid who brought her clothes today?”
“Well, that was Emily, the maid in the main building…”
“You know I didn’t ask for her name.”
At Leonhart’s bloody tone, the servant knelt down on the spot and fell flat on her face.
“I have sinned, I’m sorry my Duke! I will catch her right away and punish her…”
“If she doesn’t know how to arrange clothes, there’s no need for her to stay here.
Get her out of this castle right now.”
“Yes, yes! I will!”
The servant, who received the duke’s order, ran out in a hurry.
“You didn’t say a word last night, so I thought you were a foolish bear.”
At that time, a small, low voice that only she could hear came whispering above her.
“It was a fox pretending to be a bear.
Dooha lifted her head and looked at the duke.
There was an infinitely hostile look on his bloody handsome face.
I like bears more than foxes.
They are stronger.”
She smiled brightly at the duke, “And I’m not a fox pretending to be a bear, I’m a fox-like bear.”
Dooha got up from her seat, putting on the coat that Leonhard had covered her with.
As if the duke’s coat were originally hers in the first place.
“After hearing that one of the maids was to be kicked out, I felt bad and lost my appetite.
I’ll go up to my room and rest.”
She spoke loudly to the attendants around her, making sure they heard, and then bowed to the duke.
She displayed perfect imperial etiquette that they didn’t know she even learned.
“Layla, let’s go.”
“Yes, Princess, no Madame.”
Dooha left the dining room without any hesitation with Layla, who was waiting in front of the door.
She left without seeing the subtle interest in the duke’s face standing behind her.
“Oh, she’s such a flirt!”
Upon returning to Dooha’s room, Layla jumped around her place excitedly.
“The maid this morning.
From what I’ve heard, she’s a young maid who has had a crush on the duke for a long time!”
“Yeah! I think the maid had been flirting with the duke before we came here.
But the duke didn’t pay attention to her, and when she heard that he was getting married to a princess, she went crazy!”
“She was quite a pitiful woman.”
After all, she had chosen the wrong opponent, and now she was forever separated from the duke she had loved so much.
“She didn’t even know who the princess was! Good for her, heh!”
“Layla, you have to use kind words.”
At Dooha’s words, Layla puffed up her cheeks with a depressed look on her face.
“Well, who cares? It’s just the two of us, the princess and me.
Did my way of speaking impact the princess’ image? …I’m sorry about that.”
I only talk like this when I am alone with the princess, not when there are other people! Dealing with clever maids is so annoying!”
“I don’t think you’ve done much of that.”
“Ah, but princess-!”
Dooha burst into laughter at Laila’s cute grunt.
“Yeah, you have a lot of troubles.
We’re in an empire that even I didn’t want to come to, so I’m sorry that you had to come here because of me.”
What she had just said was sincere.
Layla remembered how she was persecuted in the Empire just because she was of Bashal’s blood.
“Yeah, that’s why I said I was going to follow.
My decision is not something the princess should be sorry for.”
At Dooha’s sincere words, Layla turned around, blushing in embarrassment.
Just then, a knock was heard from the door.
“Madam, the Duke has sent me.
May I come in?”
With her permission, four of her maids entered.
“My name is Sylvia, the head maid.
The Duke has sent you dresses that will suit the Duchess, and I am here to help you put them on.”
Sylvia, who introduced herself as the chief of the maids, nodded at the maids standing behind Dooha.
The maids then held out the dresses they were holding in their hands.
The dresses, which cost more than twenty gold, were all high-end items decorated with gorgeous silks, embroidery, and jewels.
Emily said that there were no dresses prepared, but now she couldn’t believe that she would be wearing such high-end dresses.
Both of these events occurred in less than an hour.
‘Should I thank the Duke?’
“I’m glad that the Duke is taking so much care of my dignity.
He must have really disliked the clothes the maid gave me in the morning.”
“…I apologize for this morning.
It’s my fault for not managing the lower maids better.”
“The matter has already been sorted out by the Duke, so I don’t really care.”
At Dooha’s words, the maid’s face hardened slightly.
Usually, if you apologize, they’ll say that it’s okay or that it’s not your fault, but the Duchess in front of her simply said she didn’t care.
When seeing that the chief maid felt perplexed, Dooha smiled at her and said, “This is the dress the Duke sent for me, so I’ll wear it.
I love this dress.”
At Dooha’s words, the maids moved in unison to change her clothes.
Meanwhile, the chief maid picked up the duke’s robe she had taken off.
“Just a minute.”
“Leave those clothes alone.”
“Ah, but the duke told me to bring these clothes back…”
“The borrower returns the borrowed item.”
Dooha smiled resolutely as she looked at the chief maid.
“The person who borrowed it will have to come and return it.
Isn’t that right?”
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