Home Post 1127-chapter-8



I kept silent.

The man’s invitation to ‘come see him’ sparked peculiar imaginations in my mind. But then again, considering I had to return Thunderoot and give back the trench coat, I had to meet this man at least once more. There was no point in getting my hopes up.

I swallowed what I wanted to say and simply nodded.

“Yes, I understand. I’ll make good use of the ointment, too.”

“Make sure you do.”


I opened my mouth bewilderedly at him. However, before he closed the carriage door, he hesitated and then tossed something else at me.

“…Found this on the way. Make good use of this as well.”

It was a pair of indoor slippers—white and fluffy—they were soft and adorable. I must have shown a pleased expression unintentionally because, after seeing my face, the man gave a slight teasing smile and then closed the carriage door.


I felt slightly teased, but it wasn’t unpleasant.


Bessie looked at me with shining eyes.

“Let’s head out.”

I calmed myself and spoke.

“We’ll talk when we get home.”


* * *


Kyaak! Miss, what in the world? When did you become so close with the eldest son of Duchy Glentino?!”

When I returned to the mansion and to my room, Bessie was all abuzz. It was understandable. After all, that man was indeed more handsome than Arnold could ever hope to be.


“I don’t know.”

I simply responded while petting Popo’s back because I truly didn’t know. Yet, I couldn’t help but feel excited about tomorrow.


“Why exactly did he say he wanted to see me tomorrow?!”


My sudden outburst seemed to have gotten Bessie, who was used to such reactions from me, to look at me.

No, but seriously, why did he?

After clearing my throat and thinking rationally, I realized there was no reason for that man to want to see me separately.

Of course, the night before wasn’t our first meeting.

Our first meeting was likely years ago, at my engagement ceremony with Arnold. But at that time, I had greeted hundreds of people. And since I had no particular intention to be overly familiar with my fiance’s family, I had just exchanged formal greetings.

Therefore, the formal conversation in the wilderness was our first real interaction.

We both already knew each other’s faces, and for some reason, there was an odd sense of familiarity between us, as if we were long-time acquaintances, which led us to bicker all the way from the wilderness to the townhouse without even formally introducing ourselves.

Because of that, the items we needed to exchange, such as the trench coat or Thunderoot, were indeed minor.

It could easily have been handled by sending servants with any excuse. Therefore, the only plausible reason for that man to invite me to meet the day after his brother’s funeral.

‘He must have realized Arnold’s death was because of me!’

If that was the case, the family might demand compensation!


It made too much sense!

The more I thought about it, the more likely it seemed. Arnold would have undoubtedly been aware of the ferocious sibling rivalry between Leonie and me. If so, he might have shared tales of our rivalry with his family members.

Then, it wasn’t far-fetched to suspect Arnold’s sudden death.

Given that the Glentino family was the empire’s only Duchy, they could have utilized their extensive resources and intelligence network to uncover the truth behind Arnold’s death!

‘Ah. Leonie, you mad girl… How could you just kill off the son of the Empire’s only Duchy like that!’

Certainly, it wasn’t my place to say, considering my own ambitions once aimed at becoming the future crown princess.

My youngest sibling, Eloise, once commented.

[ “Sister seems smart, but sometimes your thoughts jump in the strangest directions!” ]

And I, completely forgetting Eloise’s insightful critique, spent the night tossing and turning. I wondered how much compensation Owen would demand.

I wondered whether I’d end up working as a maid for the Duchy and even mused that the maid uniforms at the Glentino household weren’t too bad. If I happened to bump into a maid tomorrow, I resolved to ask about the pay rate subtly.


* * *


“Happy birthday, miss!”

That was Bessie waking me up.

Right, I turned twenty-one today.

Sitting up in bed half-asleep, I responded,

“Thank you, Bessie.”

“There are already lots of gifts sent for you, Miss. When would you like to open them?”

Hmm… When would be a good time? Since I have to go to Duchy Glentino, maybe it would be best to get everything done first and then take my time opening them later.

I sat on the edge of the bed and responded.

“Let’s just leave them be for now.”

“All right, miss!”

My dedicated maids brought in washing water with roses floating in it. They were all part of the “Lyra Faction,” essentially my supporters. As my face reflected in the water, I saw a complexion, hair, and eyes that would have been unimaginable in the past—radiant skin, robust hair, and eyes that sparkled clearly.

Ah, back to being twenty-one again.

I steadied my heart. In the face of such a miracle, everything else seemed trivial, even if it meant facing breakfast alone with my father.

Today, at least, being my birthday, Father might restrain himself.

And if not, I could always retreat to my room and take out my frustrations on my pillows. And if Owen Glentino demanded an exorbitant amount of compensation for the death of his brother, I could always feign ignorance and demand proof until the very end.

I brushed my hand over the aquamarine necklace that was gracefully sparkling around my neck, which Leonie had given to me.

Today, I would only have positive thoughts!

Let’s go, let’s go!


* * *


To hell with this d*mned world. May it all perish. This world was filled with evil, and until God sent a great flood to sweep away humanity’s foolish repetitiveness, nothing would change.

Breakfast was an absolute nightmare. As soon as I returned to my room, I threw up everything I had eaten.


Bessie was pacing anxiously beside me.

“Shall I get you some water?”

“Yes, please.”

Where did it all go wrong?

I retraced my steps in my mind.

This morning, Father initially said nothing while we ate in the dining room. But then, he began with this remark.

[ “Your fiance died yesterday, and yet you eat so well.” ]

I continued eating silently. It was just a provocation, after all. By that logic, shouldn’t the people from Duchy Glentino starve themselves?

The Marquis simply disliked everything I did, from start to finish. As I ignored him, and only after the butler interjected, “Master, today is Miss Sophia’s birthday,” did the Marquis finally close his mouth.

But then, my necklace became the issue.

[ “Wearing a gift from another man the day after your fiance’s death? Your loyalty to a man who could have been your master is no better than a prostitute’s.” ]

I instantly lost my appetite and put down my fork and knife. How could he say such a thing to his own daughter? Masters and prostitutes—it was utterly repulsive.

As I was unable to stay silent on this, I finally spoke up.

[ “It’s not from another man, it was a gift from Leonie.” ]

[ “What?” ]

However, my words only ignited a furious red across the Marquis’s face.
[ “Already wheedling gifts out of your sister, who’s to be the future Crown Princess? What did you blackmail her with?” ]

Huh, really, the absurdity.

Leonie and I were known for our poor relationship in front of Father. Here he was, concocting bizarre theories about me extorting gifts from Leonie. If it had ended there, I might have managed to endure. And even considered the meal not entirely unpleasant. But it didn’t stop there.

The tipping moment was the dessert: peaches.

I had an allergy and couldn’t eat peaches, which, incidentally, happened to be Leonie’s favorite fruit. However, mentioning that fact seemed like it would only add to my misery, so I pretended to eat and hastily retreated to my room.

I hadn’t even touched the peach, yet I felt as nauseous as if I were having an allergic reaction.

“Here’s your water.”

Bessie brought me some warm water.

“Thank you, Bessie.”

I took it, silently thinking to myself.

…I wouldn’t cry. I wouldn’t waste tears over a father who wasn’t worth them.

Bessie, watching me quietly, suddenly burst into tears.

“Miss, why have you become so composed? It’s heartbreaking.”


“You used to vent your frustrations so freely…”

Ah, I see.

At this age, before I returned, I would have been visibly upset by such treatment from Father and taken out my frustrations on the servants, especially when feeling inferior to Leonie. However, this time, it was different. I had a path forward.

Wiping my mouth, I stood up and told Bessie.

“Prepare me to go out.”

“What? Now?”

“Yes, it’s better to face it sooner rather than later.”

I was determined to head straight to Duchy Glentino.

If I was going to feel this disgusted, I might as well go out shamelessly. Let’s see him demand a hefty compensation. I could already hear myself telling him without a shadow of a doubt that the head of the Marquisate Bartolli wouldn’t spend a penny on me.


* * *


“Your complexion seems off.”

That was the first thing the man said upon seeing me.

Here I was, in the drawing room of Duchy Glentino. The man greeted me while looking slightly haggard in the same clothes as yesterday. It was possibly from a sleepless night, yet he was still remarkably handsome.

Still, that did nothing to stop my anger. My face isn’t some fish left out in the midsummer sun to spoil!

“Aren’t you taught it’s rude to make such remarks directly to someone’s face?”

“But it is true that you look unwell.”

No need to stress that fact!

Before I could snap at him again, the man quickly changed the subject.

“Have you had breakfast?”

“Of course, what time do you think it is…?”

“I haven’t. I was too nervous.”

What? Did he just say he was nervous? With that calm face?

Thinking I might have misheard, Owen added calmly.

“So, please, bear with me.”