The Secret Behind the Contract Marriage
What should we talk about”
Even though Avril tried to respond with a smile, she couldn’t think of any worthwhile topic to converse about with the crown prince.
Seemingly having understood the situation, Grace served many baked goods with the cake stand.
That might have been the maid’s way of telling them they could simply enjoy the dessert as they waited.
Regardless, it wasn’t like she could just stuff her cheeks.
…If it were Corinna, I wonder what she’d say.
For reference, she tried to imagine what her role model of a villain stepsister would do.
…She’d definitely try to make a move on him.
…But that was just preposterous.
After all, she was Corinna’s stand-in.
It’d be like messing with Alexandra’s—the renowned prodigal woman’s—fiancé twice. Surely, the Count of Allingham family would end up having to pay more than just their present debt.
In fact, it wouldn’t even be strange if Avril ended up needing to cover it using her alimony.
Without a doubt, the land and mansion she pledged as collateral would disappear.
…No, even if she willingly handed them over, that might still not be enough.
“I didn’t mean to come off as intimidating…”
At Lawrence’s words, Avril suddenly returned to her senses.
Apparently, her bad habit of speaking of her thoughts struck again.
“Pardon me, my thoughts drifted for a moment.” Avril rushed to bow her head.
“…Your Highness Lawrence, Lady Avril, how about a board game to accompany the conversation”
Chris, who stood behind her, assisted with an amused tone.
“That’s a wonderful idea.
Then, could I trouble you to prepare one”
A few minutes later, Avril stared at a chessboard, considering her strategy.
…I know the rules of chess, and I’ve played it with all my fellow servants.
…The question is how to act as a villain while at it.
Up until that point, Avril had smiled gracefully and hosted her future husband’s guest like a proper duchess.
Nevertheless, she was up against the crown prince, a man with a tremendous influence over the social circle.
What if a troublesome rumor such as, ‘Avril, the villainess, is surprisingly a decent lady!’ were to spread If after that, Dylan decided to void the contract, ‘Let’s stop before you’re treated like damaged goods.’ What then
…R-right, there’s something called gambling on board games at masquerades.
“Then, I shall wager these.”
Avril pointed to the baked goods that were recently served by the maid.
It’d be safe to assume that the sweets were made in the palace of Duke Lancester.
Therefore, as a provisional lord of the house, she should be able to use them as her ante just fine.
…Although, Chris started wheezing in the background for some reason.
After blinking several times, Lawrence proceeded to touch his beautiful obsidian hair and asked calmly.
“…Is this how Lady Avril usually plays board games”
“Yes, without gambling, it’s no fun.”
Well, I suppose I’ll wager this.”
The crown prince of the kingdom responded to the notion of gambling surprisingly well.
Undaunted by Avril’s suggestion, Lawrence took out a small box and opened it.
At the unexpected object inside, Avril tilted her head.
“Is this… a wax seal of some kind Or a seal, perhaps”
This is the wax seal that was once used by the madam of the Duke of Lancester.
If you manage to defeat me, I shall give you this.”
Why would he do such a thing
As the name suggested, letters sealed with the madam’s wax seal were equal to the will of the house.
However, considering the contract, for Dylan to entrust such a thing to Avril was unlikely.
Surely, Lord Dylan entrusted this to His Highness Lawrence, right Putting aside the reason why he’s here today… Is it okay to stake that
Despite Avril’s confusion, Lawrence nonchalantly continued.
“Dylan and I are old acquaintances.
Then, let’s get started.
I shall concede the first move to you.”
…Maybe, this is somehow related to the contract marriage
Amidst her puzzlement, Avril lifted a pawn.