I thought I had it figured out, but the calming effect of the cuddles was less than I expected.
Leonel didn’t seem to be able to sleep at all. His half-closed eyes snapped open at the slightest sound. Thanks to his innate beauty, he looked more sexy than scary.
However, looking around, it seemed like I was the only one thinking that way.
Leonel’s aura was sharp, Levance looked like a zombie, and Lizzy was so nervous that she couldn’t breathe.
Thankfully, she didn’t make any mistakes, so the room was very quiet.
“Leonel, it’s the plan for recovering damages from the fire.”
I put the paper on the desk, but Leonel didn’t even glance at the plan. Instead, he gestured for me to come closer. There was a makeshift chair. As I sat down, his fingers ran through my hair.
Is he complimenting the plan? But Leonel hasn’t even read the title of the plan yet.
When I tilted my head, Leonel, still not taking his eyes off me, whispered.
Seeing him like this while working, it seemed like Leonel’s condition was quite serious. Today, I must make him leave on time and rest well!
As I made this resolution in my mind, Levance approached.
“Your Grace, I’ve created a new organization restructuring plan and identified the necessary additional personnel.”
Since Devondus, who was causing trouble, was gone, it seemed like they were thinking of hiring more people.
Yeah, it’s going to be difficult to manage with just this many people.
Before I came here, Leonel, who was on the verge of a nervous breakdown due to paranoia, had thought about appointing an administrator when receiving immigrants.
Of course, this meant that there would be a lot more work to do in the future, not just metaphorically but literally. I might collapse.
I looked at Levance and conveyed with my eyes.
‘Levance, it’s going to get tougher from now on. Be prepared!’
Of course, he didn’t understand and just tilted his head, then burst into laughter. I’ll have to explain later.
“Now that Devondus is gone, we should start organizing and bringing in relatives and associates.”
Leonel’s murmured words made Levance nod deeply.
“I’ll bring them in right away.”
It seems that Levance is going to have a harder time. As I sent sympathetic eyes to him, who had become haggard in just a few days, an unpleasant plan was heard.
“We’ll soon announce the recruitment for a new ranch keeper.”
“A ranch keeper?”
Could it be that Adelhardt asked to send Frer back? Leonel nodded as I looked at him.
The ranch keepers who came after Frer were all strange guys! Come to think of it, Frer was a spy too. It’s becoming a problem.
‘I need to persuade Frer and make him sit tight.’
I returned to my seat and worked, waiting for the end of the workday.
Glancing at the clock, as soon as it was time to leave, I got up from my desk. I spoke to Lizzy, the first person I saw.
“Lizzy, let’s go home.”
“But I still have work to do…”
“Let’s go home! Now!”
Lizzy hurriedly tidied up her desk as if being chased and stood up.
I turned my head abruptly. Levance had already packed up and was leaving.
“Thanks to you, Nelly, the quality of life has changed.”
Levance left at the speed of light, speaking like an exaggerated salesman. Empowered by swiftly handling these two, I confidently approached Leonel.
“Leonel, let’s go to sleep.”
He looked at me intently and slowly lifted the corners of his mouth. His smile that slowly emerged was quite strange.
“Not like that!”
Leonel playfully laughed and lowered his gaze again. Seeing that he was still in work mode, I forcibly tidied up his desk and led him to the room.
Whether he stayed up late last night or not, as soon as he lay on the bed, he hugged me and fell asleep.
Even after Leonel’s breathing became calm, I lay next to him for a while, then carefully twisted my body.
‘Now that Leonel is asleep, I need to go persuade Frer!’
Carefully, I lifted his arm to slip out and then gently placed it back down. Leonel was still breathing evenly.
Suddenly, a surge of affection overcame me, and I lightly kissed his cheek, sliding my leg down from the bed. As I tried to get up, my wrist was suddenly grabbed.
I knew it was Leonel, but it startled me. I calmed my pounding heart and turned around.
“Are you awake?”
“Where are you going?”
…His gaze seemed a bit strange.
“At this hour?”
“It’s not even seven yet.”
Leonel reached out his arm, pulling me into a hug around my waist. His breath, just above the tailbone, sent a pleasant shiver down my spine.
“Stay where my gaze can reach.”
This time, the shiver down my spine had a slightly different meaning. I untangled Leonel’s arm and turned around.
His pupils, looking up at me, were filled with a reddish glow. After silently observing the sharp triangular edge, I lightly tapped Leonel’s cheeks.
“Leonel, did you have a nightmare?”
“Or are you jealous? Don’t worry. Leonel is much more affectionate, handsome, and wealthy than Frer.”
Still, there was no sign of relief. After a moment of contemplation, I added another word.
“And the one I love is Leonel.”
He smiled faintly and closed his eyes. However, instead of letting me go, he pulled my waist, laying me down on the bed. His firm body enveloped me.
“Then stay by the side of the one you love.”
It seemed like he had no intention of letting me go today.
Well, I’ll deal with it later!
* * *
Having fallen asleep in Leonel’s embrace, I woke up early, perhaps due to the crack of dawn.
I glanced around as the space beside the bed was empty. Leonel was already up, going through documents.
“Did you sleep well?”
Approaching from behind and wrapping my arms around him, he turned his head and kissed my forearm.
“Thanks to you.”
I smiled and sat down next to him. After rummaging through the papers stacked in front of Leonel, we had breakfast together. There was still some time before heading to work.
As I contemplated what to do, I suddenly remembered Frer, whom I hadn’t met yesterday. Since I wanted to spend the evening with Leonel, I decided to meet Frer in the morning.
As I stood up, Leonel looked up. The look in his eyes seemed to question where I was going so early in the morning.
“I’m going to see Frer.”
After glancing at the clock for a moment, Leonel nodded. It seems the fuss he made yesterday was just a simple bout of sleepiness.
After a brief exchange, I returned to my room and prepared to leave. Walking through the garden, I met Leonel.
After a warm greeting, Guadang naturally went towards Leonel. Leonel stopped me from getting off and held the reins.
“Are you leaving now?”
“Yeah. How about you, Leonel?”
“Then, shall we walk together until you reach your destination?”
With a smiling face, Leonel nodded. He and I walked side by side through the garden towards the castle gate.
‘Perhaps he wants to see me off while taking a stroll.’
As soon as I thought that, he walked with me to the castle gate. I thought he might escort me a bit farther, but before I knew it, we were entering the pasture together.
“Does Leonel have business with Frer too?”
“No. I just want to be with you.”
It seemed he had a different intention than just sending me off willingly.
‘To want to be together, how cute!’
As soon as the ranch keeper’s cabin came into view, Guadang stopped walking. Leonel spread his arms towards me.
Hanging onto his neck, I planted a kiss on his cheek and set my feet on the ground. Unlike the maids, Frer didn’t seem uncomfortable with Leonel, so we held hands and headed towards the cabin.
Seeing Guadang running towards his friends, Leonel knocked on the cabin door.
He doesn’t even ask who it is anymore. I guess that means he’s gotten used to the territory!
Feeling confident that persuasion would be easier than expected, I confidently swung the door open.
Frer stopped what he was doing and, with a blank expression, looked at Leonel and then at me alternately.
In front of him, a large trunk lay wide open on the floor.
“Frer, packing up?”
“Oh, yes. It’s more convenient to pack in advance when you’re leaving.”
Thinking of leaving already. How heartless!
I shoved the still-empty trunk under the bed and pulled him to sit on a chair.
“No, can’t go!”
“I can. I’m going.”
“You can’t go. The ranch keepers who come after Frer leaves are all dangerous people.”
Frer scratched the back of his head, blinking his eyes.
“Nelly, do you happen to do prophecies?”
…Oops. I only told Leonel that I had returned from the dead to the past.
Glancing at Leonel, who had silently sat next to me, he spoke.
“Is it about Roman?”
Frer habitually exclaimed and then made a contemplative expression, looking uncertain.
Seizing the opportunity, I listed the advantages of working as a ranch keeper.
“I’ll talk to the prince.”
“Are you going to the capital?”
Is he not planning to come back after going there?
Watching closely with narrowed eyes, Leonel, after gauging the time by looking out the window, got up.
“I’ll send a letter ahead.”
“I want to send one too.”
“…To that extent?”
Frer asked with a blank expression.
“I told you I was going to work you until you were weathered and nothing but bones!”
“You must be determined…”
“Anyway, please take care in the future!”
I patted his back and went over to Leonel.
Frer shook hands with me and nodded respectfully to Leonel. Leonel watched Frer for a while, then opened the door and went outside.
I found Guadang, took the reins, and with one hand, I made a fist-bump gesture towards Leonel.
Returning to the castle, the butler approached.
“Your Grace, some of the relatives have arrived.”
Relatives living near the Altwood Estate could arrive in about three hours by horse. They probably received the letter and set out early this morning.
“Come with me.”