As Long As You Are Happy
is good to see you being so diligent.
But, my lady,”
Covering the text on the desk, Viscountess Alphington continued.
“As I mentioned earlier, you should not push yourself.
When it is time to sleep, you need to sleep.”
Irina hesitated momentarily.
“I want to do what I can.
Then, I can learn all these letters quickly.”
Although she found the official Imperial Language difficult.
Irina was the one overstaying her welcome.
And out of everything she was learning, Irina was the most used to speaking the Imperial language and was progressing in this subject the fastest.
“If I learn this quickly, it feels like it would become a little easier to learn the other subjects.”
Even at that moment, she could barely read a few words.
She had no choice but to depend on all of the viscountess’ teachings during her lessons.
Furthermore, she struggled whenever she revised after class.
“So, I just wanted to work a little harder.”
Looking touched, the Viscountess of Alphington stared at Irina.
“But I cannot allow you to continue.”
Irina could not put up a struggle as her books were taken away from her.
Irina’s shoulders dropped sullenly.
“Now, shall we head back? I shall escort you to your room, my lady.”
This meant that she would not let her out of her sight until she saw Irina laying on her bed for herself.
Helplessly, Irina nodded her head and left the duke’s study.
The duke’s study, which Irina had been borrowing for a while for her lessons, was situated in the library while Irina’s room was all the way in the eastern wing of the estate.
The viscountess and Irina walked slowly down the long hallway.
Sparsely placed lanterns and the moonlight streaming into the hallway lit their path.
“Excuse me, Madam Alphington.”
“Could I ask you one more question?”
What more words do you have difficulties pronouncing”
“No, this has nothing to do with our lessons.”
Hesitating for a while, Irina then spoke.
“What do you think happiness is, madam?”
Viscountess Alphington stopped in her tracks before staring at Irina.
Irina nodded under her questioning gaze as though to affirm that she had heard nothing wrong.
“That is a very… profound question.”
Hm, the viscountess tilted her head to the side.
Her pale golden hair, that looked as if it had been drained of colour, fluttered.
“Well… it is hard to pinpoint an exact answer.
In any case, I think everyone has their own interpretation of what happiness is.”
“Yes, shall I give you an example? I, personally, do not like sweet foods.
So, if someone were to give me something like candy, I wouldn’t be that pleased.”
Listening intently to Viscountess Alphington, Irina nodded.
“But, you like sweet things, don’t you, my lady?”
Hadn’t she almost gotten in trouble for ignoring the table manners she had been taught and trying to eat the sweet desserts first?
Irina nodded once again.
However, unlike before, her cheeks were now slightly flushed.
“So, if someone were to give you candy as a present, you would be pleased, my lady.
I believe happiness to be something similar.”
She understood what she meant.
But she was still confused.
“If that’s the case, madam.
Might I ask what was the moment you felt the happiest?”
“Of course you can.
I was the happiest when…”
Her words trailed off as though she was reminiscing before she smiled brightly.
“No matter how I think about it, it would probably be the moment I first met my husband and the moment I first saw my daughter.”
A pale flush coloured the viscountess’ cheeks.
“When I had been courting my husband, my heart was always set aflutter.
I believe that to be happiness as well.”
The viscountess adjusted the flowing shawl around her shoulders before continuing in whispers.
“And when I held my daughter in my arms for the first time, I felt an overwhelming amount of happiness.”
When she placed herself in the viscountess’ shoes, she thought she would feel the same,
Meeting the one you love and having a family with them.
It certainly seemed to be happiness.
Couldn’t she smile at the mere thought of it?
“Thank you, madam.
Your explanation helped.”
“Hoho, really? I was merely sharing my personal experiences.
But why are you asking, my lady?”
The duke told me that I could remain in this mansion till I was happy.
But I do not know when that will be.
I had been pondering about it for a long time but I could not arrive at an answer which is why I asked.
‘… I can’t just tell her that.’
“Ah, I was only curious.”
As if finding her answer lacking, the viscountess frowned.
However, she did not probe further.
As though she understood, she merely nodded.
“We have arrived.”
They had finally arrived in front of Irina’s room.
Viscountess Alphington helped her open the door to her room and watched over her as Irina laid in her bed.
“Good night, my lady.
You cannot be late for class tomorrow, understand?”
“Yes, good night to you too, madam.”
Nodding, the viscountess tried to shut the door behind her before turning her head towards Irina.
“Don’t study anymore today and just go to sleep.
The door clicked shut.
Irina pressed her eyes shut for a moment but as soon as the sound of her footsteps faded, she immediately got out of bed.
‘Has she left?’
Psst, she lit the candle next to her bed.
This time, she did not forget to carefully close the curtains to prevent light from seeping through the window.
‘I just need to work a little more to finish my agenda for today.’
Taking out another textbook which she had hidden in the drawers, Irina settled into a chair.
“So, this is Dobedoque… Hm, does it mean foolish?”
The sound of Irina flipping through the textbook filled the room illuminated by soft candlelight.
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