“Pleased to meet you for the first time. Though it’s for a short period, my name is Bell, and I will be serving you, Miss Iva.”
“Hello. I’m counting on you, Bell.”
“Thank you. I am at your service. Did you sleep well? Was the bedroom not too hot?”
“Hot? I was a bit cold, actually.”
“Cold, you say?”
“Oh, no. I’m fine now.”
If the capital, where Iva and Ray’s houses was located, embraced spring, then Grace was enveloped in summer.
The temperature was high and muggy. While rain was scarce, a moderate humidity rendered it a suitable place for convalescence.
However, feeling cold? Even Iva thought her statement made no sense, so she lightly brushed it off.
“I saw a few clothes that you brought, Miss Iva, but they seem a bit too warm for the weather here.”
“Oh, it’s my first time in Grace, so I didn’t know what kind of clothes to prepare.”
“Therefore, we have some clothes that the mistress has never worn that are suitable for the weather; shall I bring them to you? If they are uncomfortable, I can buy others.”
“I’m not uncomfortable. But is it alright for me, a newcomer, to wear them?”
“The Master has given his permission.”
Even though she had never met them, simply because the youngest son brought her, the precious clothes of a cherished hostess were offered to her.
Grateful for the warm and kind hospitality, Iva desired to wear them in thanks.
“If everyone is being so considerate, I’d love to wear them.”
“I’ll prepare them immediately.”
The dress Iva donned with Bell’s assistance was somewhat different from what she wore in the capital.
It was predominantly white to fend off the sun’s heat, yet layered with a thin garment to prevent translucency.
Also, it was of chiffon material, cut to a length reaching her knees to avoid impeding any active movement.
While she was accustomed to various lengths of dresses and skirts in the modern world, this length was unfamiliar since her reincarnation.
Moreover, subtle, shimmering pearls were incorporated, and embroidery resembling yellow flowers adorned the ends of the short sleeves and hem of the skirt, bestowing a tranquil yet vibrant aura.
Her necklace and an ankle bracelet gave a subtle flair to her attire.
“This dress suits you as well as your own clothes would, Miss Iva.”
“Thank you, Bell.”
While she always dressed glamorously in the capital, this was her first time in such comfy attire. But was there anything that didn’t suit this body?
Iva was pleased with her uniquely different beauty.
Despite the shorter clothing making her feel colder, she shrugged it off as her mood.
“Shall we go for a meal, then?”
With Bell guiding her, she stepped outside the bedroom.
There, in the corridor, leaning against the wall, was Ray, similarly dressed in lighter clothing, waiting for her.
“Good morning, Miss Iva. That dress is…”
“How could I not? My mother bought it intending to wear it on a trip once she recovered.”
“I wore it because the clothes I brought were too hot. If it’s uncomfortable for you…”
“It’s alright. I’m sure if Mother saw you, she would have loved it.”
Just by looking at the dress, Ray seemed to drown in old memories. Yet, it wasn’t just sorrow in his eyes but nostalgia and remembrance too.
“You’ve also switched to more comfortable clothing, Mr. Ray. You were in uniform yesterday.”
Ray, wearing a casual navy-blue short-sleeve blouse and beige cotton pants, was a first. It was unlike him, always opting for a more sculpted look.
“I’m wearing something comfortable to move around in here. Do you prefer seeing me in a uniform?”
“Both suit you. After all, the face completes the fashion, doesn’t it?”
“Ahem, thank you.”
He reddened slightly at the always-unsettling praise of his looks.
“You also look refreshingly beautiful today, Miss Iva.”
Amidst their warm exchange, they turned their heads, feeling a potent gaze from the side.
Bell was watching them with the eyes of an avid viewer of a hot youth drama. The short kiss from last night came to mind, and they both blushed simultaneously.
“Ah, ahem. Let’s have our meal first. Please, follow me.”
Maybe it’s because the town is quiet, but the people here are all like Leo, Iva thought, hastily following Ray, avoiding Bell’s gaze.
“Are the duke and Leo already having their meal?”
“No. My father and brother don’t have breakfast.”
“My brother digests slowly in the morning. Even if he eats a little, he vomits or feels unwell. So, my father exercises with him since he doesn’t eat.”
“Oh, but is it okay for me to have breakfast?”
“Of course. You are our guest, Miss Iva.”
Upon reaching the dining room, two sets of tableware were already prepared.
“It will be good for you to eat heartily, especially since you’ll meet my brother’s subordinates soon.”
“Do you know Leo’s subordinates too, Ray?”
“Yes, I meet them whenever I visit Grace.”
If they were subordinates that Ray knew of, they would likely be some incredibly rugged men.
How could she get friendly with them to extract information? If they weren’t married, should she play matchmaker? What should she say to those who were?
As Iva sat down, wearing a serious expression, Ray took the seat opposite her.
“What kind of people are your subordinates? Are they very scary?”
“Hmm… Rather than scary,”
“They seem quite like Miss Iva.”
“Like me? In what way?”
Iva asked, her eyes filled with puzzled curiosity. A slight chuckle escaped Ray at the mere thought of her with them.
“They’re unpredictable, much like you.”
“Is that a compliment?”
“Absolutely. Miss Iva doesn’t have a single bad quality about her.”
Wow, wow, when did he become so good at sweet-talking?
Iva, secretly pleased with his words, filled her belly heartily while contemplating fifty ways to make friendly conversation and befriend his subordinates.