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Ilvis cleared his throat to change the awkward atmosphere. "For now, please allow me to call you Amalia."

"Having Ilvis-sama call me by my name feels… a little strange."

"You'll get used to it soon enough." 

Perhaps because I had only been called by my fiancé up until now, hearing my name in Ilvis's dignified baritone made it sound particularly special. I wondered if the rumors of his misogny were true, though his current appearance didn't support that idea. 

"Now that we're both a bit more relaxed," Ilvis said, "shall we get down to business?"

"Huh? Ilvis-sama was nervous too?" 

"Well, I thought it might be better to have a talk before we were questioned by your parents."

Ignoring the issue at hand, I remarked, "Well, that's refreshing. You're really good at playing it cool. But you're right, we should discuss this."

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"Isn't that so? That's why I came here so early... I forgot that there was a possibility of you getting a hangover, though."

Saying so, Ilvis lowered his eyebrows, looking apologetic. ...Perhaps he would be misunderstood by women for doing things like this?

"It's my own fault for drinking too much. And Ilvis-sama, you properly sent me home. I have no complaints, only gratitude.

"If anything, I wish you could just stop pushing your ideas on me. That would be great. Do you think you can get your way with just your looks? Your thinking might not be completely wrong, but I don't like it."

Ilvis chuckled and said, "It makes me feel better to hear you say that."

"What's your plan then?" I asked him. "You may be able to silence my parents temporarily with your status as a duke, but I don't think they will believe that we love each other without any evidence."

"That's true," Ilvis replied. "So, let's go on a lot of dates."

"Stop dumbing yourself down like that!" I exclaimed. Because of the serious look on his face, I had unintentionally nodded.

"I think simple solutions are often the most effective," he countered. "Think about it. Even if we claim to love each other, would your parents believe us if we've barely met?"

"They wouldn't," I admitted, "but if we go on too many dates, rumors will spread, and it'll be a big deal!"

Yesterday I thought he was half-joking. After all, I never expected him to do this much for a woman he had just met.

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Ilvis seemed to think otherwise. "Actually, it would be more convenient if things got a little out of hand. I didn't think you were so slow on the uptake, Amalia."

"Why are you exasperated with me now…?"

"Listen," he said, "I'll handle the complicated stuff. You just focus on getting along with me."


"For now, please try to deceive your parents no matter what they ask. I was planning to tell you more details, but it's okay now. First, let's get along well."

Just when I thought that the distance had been shortened again, he grabbed my hand as if not to let me go. Then, without even having time to be surprised, I yelled at him so quickly that he let out a big sigh.

As for me, I was completely taken aback.

"Oh... I beg your pardon."

After talking for a while and calming down, Ilvis seemed to realize that we were very close to each other. He quickly moved away from me, but the air between us was a little awkward.

"I was going to go out with you right after this, but I decided not to. You seem to be hiding it, but you don't look well."

"Was it that obvious?"

"No, I just noticed it earlier... I'm sorry for suddenly approaching you like that. I must have made you feel uncomfortable."

Now that he mentioned it, I was only surprised and didn't really feel uncomfortable. Do handsome guys always have an advantage even in situations like this?

"No, I didn't feel uncomfortable at all. But it's true that I'm not feeling well, as Ilvis-sama has said."

My nausea had subsided considering, but my headache showed no signs of abating. If I went out in this condition, not only would I not be able to enjoy anything, but I would probably cause trouble for Ilvis.

"I see! I understand. I will visit you again tomorrow, so I will take my leave now."

"Okay. But please let me see you off."

Even though he had been refused an outing, Ilvis seemed a little happy.

Well, I didn't really mind since it was better than parting in that awkward atmosphere, so I didn't pay much attention to it.

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