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As I was about to get up to see off Ilvis, I was hit with a mild case of vertigo.

"I beg your pardon for this. Lady, please take my hand."

My feet wouldn't support me, so I sat down, holding my temple. Was he offering his hand to help me up?

"Thank you, but what was it? That line."

"Oh, didn't you like it? I thought women were fond of this kind of thing."

"I guess it depends on the situation and the person."

"Do you like it?"

"It depends on the situation and the person. By the way, that one was a no."

"That's harsh."

Ilvis shrugged his shoulders and didn't seem disappointed at all. Since there was no reason to refuse, I decided to accept his kindness.

Come to think of it, I had never held hands with my fiancé except when he escorted me to a party.

I had been continuing this childish relationship even at this age because I didn't want to trouble my weak-willed fiancé.

It had been since childhood that I had had such a relaxed exchange with someone of the opposite sex, but I never imagined two days ago that it would be with someone I had just met and not my fiancé.

"I never thought a day would come when I would be escorted by a guest in my own mansion."

"That's because Amalia wasn't blessed with a good person. If a charming woman like you were the one in question, any decent man wouldn't be able to leave you alone."

"...Are you saying that my fiancé is not decent?"

"I'm sorry, did it sound like that?"

"How audacious. You're being very blunt."

As the two of us calmly conversed and headed toward the entrance, my mother, who had apparently been waiting, came into view. I was worried she might have overheard our conversation, but if she had, she wouldn't have been as calm as this, and there was no way my calm façade would give it away.

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"Mother, Ilvis-sama is leaving."

"I apologize for causing a disturbance when Amalia is not feeling well."

Thanks to my deliberate rephrasing, she quickly noticed that our way of addressing each other had changed. My mother, who frowned easily, understood this plainly and spoke rudely to Ilvis.

"Well, thank you for your concern. But Amalia is the kind of person who is good at taking care of herself, so you didn't have to hold back?"

I could feel the strength in Ilvis' hand as he pulled me towards him.

"I cannot allow such rudeness to the important young lady of the Earl's family. Even you, madam, if I were to do something wrong, would intend to distance Amalia, wouldn't you?"

If we were to make a mistake in any way, my mother would immediately use it as an excuse to distance me from Ilvis, while ostensibly blaming me.

Ilvis seemed to understand this as well, and while wearing an archaic smile, his eyes were not laughing.

Under the pressure of his smile, my mother came to her senses and quickly made amends.

"The Count would be delighted to have such concern for Amalia. Thank you."

"Hahaha. So that's how it is. Then, I will come visit again tomorrow. Is that okay?"

"Eh, yes! Of course!"

If Ilvis were to press her further, my mother, who had let slip a mistake, could not deny it.

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Ilvis was satisfied with her quick response and easily released my mother, showing a gentle smile that was quite different from before.

"I'll come at a slightly later time tomorrow, so please rest well tonight."

"I understand. Thank you for your concern."

Ilvis seemed to want to say something to me, who had returned to my stiff demeanor, but unfortunately, I couldn't back down.

If I made a mistake here, not only would my mother criticize me, but I was also afraid of what would come next if I made her any grumpier.

I'll do my best to act more like a lover from tomorrow, but for today, I'd like to be excused.

"Goodness, only you can control me like this. Well, it's the first day, and I guess I can say the results are good."

Ilvis had been staring at me for a while, but when he realized that I had no intention of giving in, he gave up, albeit reluctantly.

"Thank you for seeing me off. I'll take my leave now."

Whether it was good or bad timing, just as Ilvis was about to leave, a terrible, high-pitched voice came from the entrance, blocking his way.

"A splendid carriage has stopped in front of our house, and who should it be but the Duke of Lambert!"

It was my sister who had returned.

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