It was a letter that didn’t say anything else and only said that there was a secret buried in the Grand Duchy. Even though the letter had no sender, she knew right away who wrote it.
She didn’t know what secret was buried, but the fact that it was an unpleasant letter hadn’t changed. Damon could have read it, yet he was sending a letter like this?
She was speechless at the Emperor’s surprisingly bold actions.
Of course, while she herself wanted to divorce Damon and leave him, she had no intention of playing along to the Emperor’s wishes.
“I need to burn it quickly.”
Although there was a high probability that Damon had already read the content, she was offended by the Emperor’s attitude of thinking of her as a fool who knew nothing.
Could it be that he thought she was so naive that she couldn’t even judge what was safe for herself? There was no way she would move as the Emperor told her to.
She already knew that the words were not really for her benefit. She could have fallen into an even worse trap. The Emperor wanted the continuation of the Grand Ducal family. They somehow want Damon to bear an heir but tell her not to have children?
“I feel bad…”
Elysia frowned as she burned her letter.
It was her first time receiving a letter that made her feel this bad. She didn’t know exactly what the Emperor wanted, but she knew it wouldn’t be good for her or Damon.
“They say couples look alike…”
The letter that appeared to be from the Empress did not have a separate sender. Thanks to this, Elysia’s expression showed no signs of softening. Even though she hadn’t opened it yet, it was a letter she didn’t really want to check.
[ I will invite you to a tea party a week after the festival period ends. It’s a private party, so don’t put too much pressure on it. I hope the Grand Duchess will attend. ]
The Empress was a little better. At least there was some level of acting.
On the other hand, the Emperor seemed to have no intention of hiding anything. Maybe Cassandra didn’t do it for consideration of Elysia, but for Damon, who would check the letters. At least, she wouldn’t want to show her true face in front of the man she liked.
She had only read the letters from the Emperor and Empress, but she felt exhausted. They really must be an exhausting couple. While she hadn’t even gone yet, she already felt like she didn’t want to attend the tea party. However, since she said she was going to the party, she had no choice but to attend.
Elysia became more and more anxious.
Her ultimate goal was to safely separate from Damon, but she didn’t know why she felt like she was moving away from that goal.
Just when she was getting tired of opening letters one by one from people whose faces she couldn’t remember, she saw a familiar name.
Elysia could not hide her surprise at the appearance of a completely unexpected person. She only attended the party once, but she felt like she was popular. Letters and gifts had been arriving even after the wedding, though they were incomparably more numerous than before.
Among them were letters that arrived from County Caitlin. Letters from the Count and Countess arrived separately, perhaps because they kept it a secret from each other.
“A letter came from Lady Armando?”
She was even more surprised because she had not heard from Sierra even during the wedding. It was because there was no point of contact between her and Lady Armando.
If she had to choose, the only point would be Damon. However, even that wasn’t a very good point of contact for her. Of course, like the Empress, Lady Armando didn’t openly reveal her feelings for him, but just in case.
“If I attend the imperial party, how many letters will pour in?”
Elysia couldn’t believe that this amount had been filtered out once. If she had just opened it without an inspection process, perhaps she could have wasted the whole day.
[ Everything I showed at the party was sincere. I heard that you are attending the Empress’ tea party. Can you spend some time with me that day? I would like to speak privately with the Grand Duchess. ]
Why were these people so anxious to bother her? Elysia actually didn’t want this position. Even though she wanted to escape, she was unable to escape.
* * *
So, she wasted most of the morning reading the letters. She got sick of letters that never ended, no matter how many times she opened them. If Estelle hadn’t arrived just in time, she would have gotten tired and collapsed first.
“Estelle, I’m sorry for calling you the day after the party.”
“It’s okay. I went back to the Marquis Castle right away, and I’m not that energetic.”
Elysia felt that Estelle’s attitude towards her had become strangely kinder since she had given a gift to Estelle. As expected, a gift filled with a heart’s sincerity worked.
“Will Estelle also attend Her Majesty’s tea party?”
“I don’t attend every time, but this time, I plan to attend with Your Grace.”
“Is that so.”
Actually, it was strange that the tea party itself was made up of only the ladies-in-waiting. In any case, the Empress had to be fair to everyone on the surface. It was better to invite neutral people rather than people from the Sierra side.
“Her Majesty’s tea party is usually attended by all noble ladies.”
“Not just for high-ranking nobles?”
Estelle smiled awkwardly at the question.
Elysia had never heard of Angelina attending the Empress’ tea party. If it were the Countess, she would have boasted for days and days if such a thing had happened. That meant that only high-ranking nobles in the capital could attend.
To begin with, the Countess was from a lowly noble family who was not properly included in the social circle. Only because she had so much money that she became the Countess. The title wasn’t hers from the beginning.
“I would be grateful if Estelle would attend with me.”
“How was the party yesterday?”
“It was fine.”
Estelle didn’t know anything about what happened yesterday. Since it wasn’t something she needed to talk about, Elysia chose to hide it.
“Have you made contact with Edward?”
“Ah… That’s why I’m telling you in advance…”
Estelle’s expression suddenly darkened, causing Elysia to be anxious. Her heart raced as she wondered if something had happened to Edward.
“That is… I sent someone to the Logan Empire, but Your Grace’s brother was not there.”
“…Yes? How could that be?”
She was so surprised that she dropped the teacup. She only looked at Estelle with a blank face, not even realizing that she had broken the teacup.
“That’s, that’s ridiculous… He’s definitely in the Logan Empire…”
When she thought about it, she hadn’t received a reply to the letter.
“Ah… I’m sorry…I mean…”
“Madam! Are you okay? Are you hurt anywhere?”
The teacup must have grazed her wrist as it fell, and blood began to flow from around her wrist.
It was blood.
It had been a very long time since she had seen her shed blood in person. It was almost like the first time, except that when she was very young, the Countess beat her and made her bleed.
“Oh my god, there’s blood…!”
Even though she thought she was used to it by now, it seemed she wasn’t.
When she smelled the blood, Elysia began to feel faint. At the same time, her heart was pounding hard, and she couldn’t breathe properly. Her breath was suffocating, as though someone had blocked the air.
As she was embroidering, she thought she was getting used to the blood she was shedding. Nonetheless, as expected, she had no immunity to blood being shed without warning like this. Elysia took deep breaths, struggling to survive, but it felt like no oxygen was reaching her lungs.
She couldn’t hear any sounds around her as her ears were filled with only buzzing sounds. Memories of that day were emerging before her eyes. She was bleeding to death. She was begging to be saved, and the vivid texture and scent of that day.
“Ah… Save me… haah, please.”
At that time, the man began to appear overlaid on the image of her lying bleeding.
She wanted to live like him. Although he was a man who she did not know the name, last name or anything else, he was different from her. He was a person who lived proudly, unlike her, who was dying helplessly.
A familiar black color appeared through her blurring vision. Even before she could see it properly, she recognized it by its scent.
It was Damon.
Her anxiety, which seemed like she couldn’t breathe just a moment ago, disappeared in an instant. Ironically, she felt safe in the arms of the most dangerous man. She couldn’t understand herself, yet she felt safe in the hands of the one who would take her life.
“It’s over now. Do not worry.”
She didn’t know what ended, but all she could do was nod her head as he whispered in her ear. Even though the tears made her unable to see clearly, Elysia desperately clung to Damon as if her lifeline was in him.
“Everyone go back. I hope the Marchioness will keep quiet about what happened today.”
If Damon hadn’t shown up at the right time, she might have passed out soon. No, it would have been like that because she had always been like that.
“Elysia, are you okay now?”
Slowly, her rough breathing returned, and her vision, which had been blurry and blank, became increasingly clearer.
Yes, she felt peaceful in his arms.
“Did you do that?”
If Edward wasn’t in the Logan Empire, Damon was the only one who could do something like that.
“Edward. Damon, did you do that?”