We left the capital shortly after and went about our lives as usual in the territory. We still haven’t received any news regarding the duke’s actions.
Aside from that, I have a lot of work to handle as a lord. The villagers have moved into the new village and they have started to cultivate the fields while I continue to support them. I was thinking about helping them out but Patrick and the villagers stopped me.
They were determined to take care of everything themselves. And it definitely wasn’t because of the disastrous consequences that would happen if they left it to me.
Now in my office, I’m dutifully writing my name and signature on envelopes.
Not knowing what they were used for, I turned to Damon who was pushing a stack of envelopes at me.
“Hey, what are these envelopes for?”
“It’s for… have you told him?”
Damon glanced at Patrick, who was sitting in the corner examining some paperwork.
Ohh, I get it. It was the written invitation for Patrick’s Level 99 celebratory party. There were names like the Frontier Count and His Majesty’s, so I wondered what was going on.
The celebration is going to be a surprise, kept under wraps until the last minute. He mustn’t find out about it.
Shaking my head, I continued the conversation, pretending it was nothing.
“Oh, the invitation. How about the letter inside?”
“I will take care of that for you. This is not a formal letter but merely an announcement that the event will be held around winter. I only need your name and signature.”
Although it’s more than six months away, the invitees are busy people and need to be notified in advance. But writing invitations for everyone is a hassle. The incoming letters were making me depressed.
Damon reported on the party preparations as he recalled.
“The dress will be ready soon. You will need a fitting appointment to see if there’s any adjustment needed.”
“The white one?”
“The white one, yes.”
Is it necessary for me to wear a white dress? I know it’s a celebration party but I can’t bring myself to do it.
While I’m preparing for this huge party, what if he doesn’t level up in time? Even if this party also celebrates my reaching level 99, it would be embarrassing for him.
Not wanting that to happen, I finished writing my name on the last envelope and stood up briskly.
“Damon, please take care of the rest.”
“Patrick, let’s go to the dungeon!”
“Why all of a sudden?”
I simply told him to meet me at the entrance in five minutes and ran out of the office. If I asked him this way, he would have no choice but get along with me.
Please forgive me but it’s for your own good.
◆ ◆ ◆
I watched Patrick fight from the sidelines around the dark dungeon’s lower level, one of the famous landmarks in Dolknes territory.
Patrick dealt with each and every monster that appeared with precision.
“This is unusual for you. I thought you believed that dungeons dive meant to run solo?”
“It’s okay for once in a while and I’m not getting in the way.”
“You know, it’d be a lot easier if you joined the fight?”
“Wouldn’t it be less efficient to do that? I already said I wouldn’t do anything that gets in your way.”
This dungeon is not good in terms of efficiency. Since the monsters that spawn in this dungeon are mostly dark, they are incompatible with Patrick’s wind and earth magic.
However inefficient it may be, the dungeon is still useful because of its proximity.
There are other efficiency techniques for dungeon diving. For example, how many attacks should be enough to defeat a monster, but that’s pointless for me. Soon, Patrick won’t need them either.
Patrick uses his sword as his main weapon and magic as support and I follow him one step behind as we walk through the dungeon.
Huh? Is this one of the requirements for a Yamato Nadeshiko, to walk one step behind a man?
It flashed as I dodged the monster’s charge that came from behind and redirected it toward Patrick. I think that just exudes a sense of gracefulness.
I got his back and let him enjoy the EXP. Man, isn’t that perfect?
After defeating the monster I redirected to him, Patrick says, slightly winded.
“Wouldn’t it have been better if you had defeated that one?”
“I’m very refined and graceful.”
For some reason, he didn’t get it, but I’m going to keep trying to be admirable. After all, I’m a Yamato Nadeshiko!
Later, when the monsters were just about completely cleared and it was time to wrap things up, I called Patrick.
“Why don’t we wrap things up? I’ll fight on our way back.”
“Before we return, I want to give you this.”
He sheathed his sword and took out a small black box from his pocket. Huh… isn’t that the one I saw the last time we had a drink?
Inside the box was a ring—a silver ring with a clear gemstone.
But why the ring? As I wondered, he took my left hand and put a ring on it. Wow, it’s beautiful.
“Yumiela, let’s get married.”
What do you mean?
“Let’s go home.”
That was all he said and moved on. I tried to process the situation by looking alternately at his back and my ring finger.
Wait, did he just propose to me?
For some reason, tears welled up in my eyes as I rushed after him and bumped into his back.
Patrick let out a groan but stayed on his feet, pressing my tear-stained face against his back. The words I said were muffled.
“Hey, was that a marriage proposal?”
“Yeah, someone advised me that it would be a good idea to propose when we go about our day suddenly.”
“Why, why this moment?! Something more romantic would have been nice!”
“You would have definitely ruined the mood.”
Hmm, he has a point. As much as I wanted to argue, I found myself half agreeing with it.
Various thoughts raced through my brain. What if he asked in a more proper place properly?
“Are we still getting married?”
There’s only one answer to that question.
I should probably stop crying now. I decided after blowing my nose loudly on his back.
There was a rest area right after leaving the dungeon. It was built many years ago when I was a regular visitor here.
We were sitting side by side on a log that we tried to make into a bench but ended up just scraping the surface.
I admired the ring on my finger as we sat in silence.
Suddenly, I’m curious about this ring.
“Is this what you called a wedding ring?”
“It’s an engagement ring. Wedding rings are the ones we will exchange at the wedding.”
There are two kinds of rings. Is this a custom unique to this world? Hmm? Maybe this existed in the previous world? I’m not sure.
The jewel on the ring is clearer than a glass bead. If you don’t look closely at it, you can’t even tell it’s there. I knew it. These are diamonds.
“This is diamond, right?”
“It’s different. You said you didn’t want a diamond, so I rushed out and got you something else.”
“Did I say that?”
Patrick sighed, he can’t help but laugh. He stroked my head gently. Instead of running away, I rested my head on his shoulder.
I felt terrible for being so selfish. I believe I was just making a careless remark and he knew it. But Patrick was willing to indulge my wishes.
I could hear his heart beating with my right ear while listening to him talking with my left.
“This is a special magic stone that can store magic. Do you remember that shady merchant? The one who tried to sell you monsters summoning flute? I bought it from him.”
Ah, I remember that merchant. How could I forget someone who triggered my disgraceful behavior?
If I can fill the ring with magic, it would mean that I can use it to cast a spell in an emergency. That’s really…
“While I can’t imagine a situation where you would run out of magic, this isn’t entirely impractical. I hope you like it.”
“Thank you, Patrick!”
This ring was too good to be true and I couldn’t help but embrace him. If anything, Patrick looks a little embarrassed when I pulled him to my side.
“I’ll try to store my magic inside the jewel.”
I pulled away from him and poured my magic into the jewel. Little by little, carefully, so as not to break it.
When the jewel absorbed my magic, it began to emit an ominous black glow. The ring looks like a cursed item that could destroy the world.
We were immensely surprised when we looked at the spark of chaos that seemed to awaken human desire. What the hell am I doing with this kind of power?
“Do you think you should put some of your magic into this, too? You know, it’s your gift.”
“Maybe you’re right.”
When he added his wind magic, the jewel turned into a green glow like emeralds. It’s gorgeous, just like his eyes.
Okay, the jewel turned out to be lovely.
I said yes when he asked me to marry him. Although I have no idea when the wedding will happen, I need to start preparing for it. The invitations need to be sent out as well.