Mommy Villainess Chapter 3
3 Catching Feelings And Fishes
FOR today's outfit, Tilly opted for a lavender off-the-shoulders long dress. She chose light clothing because she didn't plan to go out anyway. Plus, her Mana kept her body warmer than average humans. So even if it was autumn, she didn't feel cold.
According to her father, her late mother also possessed the type of Mana that kept her body warmer than normal.
[But Father said that Mother's Mana only served as a protection from cold.] Tilly thought to herself while enjoying a cup of tea in the rose garden. [It's a shame but that's also the case for me. In my first life, I thought I could be a Fire Wielder because of my warm Mana. But it turned out that my body was just resilient to cold.]
But she thought her strange warmth had something to do with her ability to give birth to Kiho's son. Her earlier memories of the past are kind of hazy now so she doesn't remember most of it. Maybe it was because it happened a long time ago. After all, she lived a second life before she went back in time.
[I was thirty years old when I was sentenced to death in my first life. Then, I was twenty eight when I died in my second one. Currently, I'm nineteen years old. If you add them all, I've been living for seventy-seven years now. Wow, I'm old.]
"You're here, Tilly."
Tilly stood up when her father arrived. She didn't see him this morning because he was summoned to the royal palace early. "Welcome back, Father," she said politely to the duke before she turned to the maids. "Prepare another cup of tea for my father."
"Yes, my lady," the three maids answered in unison.
A few moments later, her father has joined him in her afternoon tea. He looked distressed and that made her worry.
"Father, what's the matter?" Tilly asked worriedly, breaking the silence between them. "Did His Majesty summon you?"
The duke nodded gently before he responded to her. "Tilly, it seems like Captain Kiho's decision to marry you has wavered."
Okay, that made her stop sipping from her cup of tea.
[I don't remember Kiho hesitating to marry me in the past. He just went along with His Majesty's order like a loyal knight that he was.]
"Father, did Captain Kiho express his hesitation to His Majesty?" she asked curiously. "Did the captain say that he doesn't wish to be married to me anymore?"
"No, nothing like that happened," the duke denied while gently shaking his head. "But His Majesty said that a few days ago, Captain Kiho asked him if he really have to marry you. Specifically, the captain asked if it has to be you or if another dark-haired "will do.""
[Ah, that's so Kiho.]
Unfortunately, the captain wasn't the best at communication. Plus, Kiho didn't enjoy talking much and he had a bad habit of shortening his words in a way that could be easily misunderstood. As a result, he sounded rude most of the time.
[But that's not the main problem right now.]
Have Kiho already met Lucina Morganna? In her past life, Lady Morganna was the only other dark-haired woman that the captain met. "Does it mean he met another dark-haired woman, Father?" she asked nervously. "Is that's the reason why the captain is hesitating now?"
The duke paused for a while before he put down the tea cup on the table, then he looked at her straight in the eye with a worried look on his face. "My daughter, His Majesty suspects that Captain Kiho met a woman when he went to visit a port town last week."
She raised an eyebrow when realization dawned upon her.
[Father didn't send Captain Kiho to Atlanta that night. So the captain and I met by chance?]
"The emperor also thinks that the woman in question possesses dark hair just like you," the duke continued. "Apparently, the captain seemed smitten by the mysterious woman."
Her brain seemed to buffer for a moment.
So, Kiho met a dark-haired woman in a port town last week
[The captain was talking about me?]
She suddenly remembered the fateful night she met Kiho at the port.
After she asked him to marry her, the coachman who drove her carriage to Atlenta came to fetch her. She left the stunned captain without much ado. Well, she was drunk and sleepy so she wanted to go home then. Plus, he didn't say anything.
But Kiho looked like he wanted to stop her from leaving. Although in the end, he just stood there and watch her go.
[Did I leave a strong impression on the captain for him to waver?]
Wait, did he seriously fall for her just because she had a crab mallet like him?!
She couldn't help but laugh softly at that thought.
"Tilly, this isn't a laughing matter," the duke scolded her in a stern voice. "Well, your engagement hasn't been officially announced yet. But the nobles in the whole empire have already heard about the prophecy. If Captain Kiho decided to break off your engagement, our family will be a laughingstock. It will be especially bad for your reputation, my daughter."
Of course she knew what her father was talking about.
She was the daughter of a duke while Captain Kiho was just a commoner who went up the ranks thanks to his swordsmanship. If a man with a "lower status" turned down a higher noble like her, she would be deemed "undesirable."
"Don't worry, Father," Tilly reassured her father with a playful smile. Then, she sipped her tea before she continued. "It's my destiny to marry Captain Kiho and have his son."
[I'll do anything to meet you again, my precious Winter.]
"LADY Prescott, your ball gown is gorgeous!" Isabella said while admiring the glamorous blue ball gown with a beaded cloak. "The color is lovely."
Blue mockingbird was the symbol of House Prescott and thus, she often wears dresses with blue shades.
Anyway, light and form-fitting dresses were becoming more and more popular now than the ones with petticoats. Still, the ladies in this world were yet to ditch the corset. But thanks to the influence of the empire's "fashion icon," the clothes for women were starting to be more comfortable to wear and move in.
[And oh. The fashion icon I'm talking about is none other than Her Royal Highness Nia Moonchester the emperor's twin sister-slash-fiance. As far as I remember, the princess and I were good friends before I betrayed her in my previous life.]
The banquet that she was required to attend tomorrow night was for the emperor and the princess' month-long engagement party. It had been weeks since they officially announced their upcoming union but the parties to celebrate it were yet to stop.
But this coming banquet served another purpose.
[Tomorrow night, Kiho and I will be officially introduced to each other.]
Actually, she has already prepared the gift for her future fianc once they meet again. She thought of the perfect present after they met at Atlenta. As soon as she got back at the Royal Capital, she went to a master craftsman and asked him to make the stuff she needed.
But after hearing what her father said about Kiho's wavering feelings, she thought of another plan to surprise him.
"My lady, you already have a gorgeous evening gown so why are you still looking at the catalog?" Isabella asked in a confused tone.
The catalog that she was browsing came from Miss Antonia's tailor shop. It was the most popular shop in the Royal Capital and Miss Antonia only makes clothes for the upper class ladies. As the daughter of a duke, she was considered as a VIP client in the store.
"I want this one," Tilly said before marking the dress that caught her attention with the fountain pen in her hand.
It was an elegant ash blue floral-embroidered tulle lace long gown. Compared to the blue gown that Isabella admired a while ago, the ash blue dress that she just chose was simple. It was also the kind of gown that other high-ranking ladies will probably ignore for being "bland."
But she knew she can pull it off just fine.
"Isabella, bring this back to Miss Antonia," she said, then she handed the catalog to the maid. "Tell them to deliver the dress to our house before the day ends."
"I understand, my lady," Isabella said politely while taking the catalog from her. "May I know what the second dress is for?"
"For catching a fish," Tilly answered playfully. "A big, sexy fish at that."