I’ve Been Invited to an Outing, but Our Distance is Close
By Antoinette Vanessa September 5, 2022
Two months had passed since Avril came into the residence of the Duke of Lancester.
The separate house where Avril lived—the palace—had a strange atmosphere as usual.
Grace, who was helping her get dressed, asked Avril with a brush in hand.
“Lady Avril, what kind of hairstyle would you like today”
“Then, please put my hair in an updo and put in as many hair accessories as you can.”
“…That won’t be suitable for today’s outing, which was arranged by the lord.
Let’s put your hair in a half-up and tie it with a ribbon.”
…Although she had specifically asked for Corinna’s favorite hairstyle, it didn’t work.
Recently, Avril didn’t have to dress her self.
On the contrary, in the morning, Grace would quietly come to wake her and open the curtains.
As Avril stared blankly at the working maid while rubbing her sleepy eyes, plain hot water would be ready on the side table.
The first time that happened, Avril stared between the hot water and Grace.
After she had glanced at Grace for about 5 times, the maid blushed before saying.
“I’ll help you get dressed.”
Of course, Avril refused.
However, when Grace smiled and said, “What a very thoughtful villainess.” She just couldn’t refuse any further.
Even though they had only been together for a short time, Grace seemed to grasped her profound weakness.
By the way, Avril didn’t know what Carol, who should be in that position, spent her days doing.
However, she heard that Carol was surprisingly hard at work in the main house.
It was a mutually beneficial relationship.
“Hey, does Grace know where we’ll be going today”
“Yes, of course.
The lord has asked for me to dress Lady Avril properly.”
“…It’s not an evening party, is it”
“No, it isn’t.”
At Dylan’s invitation, she’d be going out later that evening.
The other day, a tailor visited the house of Duke Lancester to that purpose and tailored a perfect dress for Avril.
When asked what kind of dress she’d like for a night out, Avril firmly declared. “One so bold and revealing, like that of a villain!” However, when faced with the actual designs and alternatives, she went pale.
Not only were the shoulders exposed, the skirt also had a deep slit.
Just when she was about to lose her mind, a normal, sleeveless, long dress was recommended to her.
The tailor said that it was a design her husband would also like.
Thus, Avril softly cried out, “It can’t be helped, then…” She was relieved from the bottom of her heart.
She didn’t understand why Chris was desperately trying to hold back his laughter.
Thanks to the help of Grace, I look like a proper duchess!
When Avril was about to get into the carriage while rehearsing all the actions of a villainess in her mind, Dylan informed her of their unexpected destination.
“We’re going to a salon concert today.”
“Oh, you mean one held at a nobleman’s mansion where a musician is invited Uhm…”
While it’s not a night party, it’s still a gorgeous place, nonetheless.”
They ended up visiting a castle on the outskirts of the royal capital.
Sure enough, when Avril arrived, she couldn’t control her inner voice.
“It’s wonderful…! I heard that this castle was built around 630 years ago.
Apparently, the lord of the castle at the time was of royal blood and had a deep knowledge of the arts! No matter where you look here, traces to the culture of that time can be found…!”
“You’re deeply knowledgeable.”
The place she had seen in book had excited her.
Nevertheless, Corinna wouldn’t know any of that.
She hastily corrected herself.
“Uuuh, I’ve been here for a masquerade ball! As such, I know some tidbits…”
“…Avril, I’ve been wanting to ask you for a while, but what was it you do at masquerade balls”
“Well, if you’d rather not speak about it, it’s alright.”
Dylan was holding back his laughter for some reason.
Thinking that she was being ridiculed, the villainous Avril said high-handedly.
“Lord Dylan, it’s rude to impose on me like that.”
“Then, will you answer my question when we get along a little better”
—What does that mean
What a friendly manner of speaking, it was as if he was looking forward to spending more than three years with her.
Avril gently tilted her head.
At that time, Dylan offered his arm.
“Then, Lord Dylan, please excuse me.”
She softly wrapped her hand around his elbow.
Then, Dylan started to walk slowly.
He was being considerate to Avril, who wanted to look around.
“…Do you know why I didn’t tell where we were going today”
“Be-because I might dress inappropriately”
“No, because I want to see how happy you’d be with the surprise.
It’s just as I imagined.”
Dylan, who was escorting Avril, seemed terribly pleased for some reason.
Their surroundings seemed to have noticed the gentle gaze and the sweet voice of the beautiful duke who seemed cold at first glance.
Lord Dylan looks like someone who’ll stand out just by being in this place.
If this is how he plans to escort the villainess with the vilest reputation, there’s no way he wouldn’t be popular…
Her only regret was that she was a villainess with the same hair and eye color as Corinna.
No, to Avril, that was a benefit, but secretly…
“…Lord Dylan, is it alright for you to go on an outing with me”
“What’s so strange about going on an outing with my future wife”
Avril could’ve replied that she was his contractual wife, and not his real wife.
But when she saw Dylan’s beautiful profile, she found herself unable to say anything.
Whether or not he knew that he was the center of the attention, Dylan stopped at the entrance of the most crowded hall before leaning closer to Avril’s ear.
“Avril, you’re astoundingly beautiful and intelligent—more than anyone here, or even any work of art in this old castle.”
Avril went agape, an action unbefitting of a villainess.
…Lord Dylan, even in the social scene, you amazingly lived up to your role as a proper fiancé! How amazing…!
Everyone except Avril knew that Dylan wasn’t merely playing a role.