Home Post 963-chapter-6


Should I say it or not? It was just a nickname, so it should be fine, right…?

I mumbled, half-asleep.


To be precise, not a guard but the leader of the assassination guild I hired.



Even though he was unpredictable and inscrutable, he did protect me until the very end—still, no more. Next time we meet, I would tell him to stop with the assassination attempts on my sister…







As we neared home, I slowly came to my senses. Getting caught in this state would surely earn a few hits from my father. I managed to say while rubbing my eyes,

“Could you… stop by the back door, please? I need to sneak in through the dog hole.”

“…The dog hole?”

“Do you think I got permission from the Marquis to go out like this?”

“That makes sense, but… how do you plan to get a horse through a dog door?”

Oh, right, now that I think about it, I had Thunderoot with me. Looking back, Thunderoot was following Clippity-Clop rather pitifully.

“Um… could you possibly take care of Thunderoot for me? I’ll come to fetch him later.”

The man didn’t respond, so I took his silence as a positive sign.







Eventually, Clippity-Clop arrived near the back door of our house, the Bartolli family’s townhouse. The man dismounted from his horse first and then helped me down. While my foot still hurt from the injury earlier, I didn’t show it.

“Thank you for today, Lord Glentino.”

“Just go home and get some sleep.”

Always with that tone.

I smirked and waved casually. After all, I did receive his help.

Turning around, I headed towards the townhouse’s back door, searching through the bushes for the dog hole I hadn’t discovered until years later in my previous life. I wondered if he was still watching my mole-like appearance as he spoke from behind.

“You should rest tomorrow.”


Why was he still here?

“You’ll regret it if you don’t.”

“Yes. Safe travels~”

At that moment, I didn’t know.

He watched over me as I safely passed through the dog hole, tiptoed up the stairs, and reached my room, all to avoid getting caught by the Marquis.

…I was also unaware that I would soon see the contents of the man’s paper bag and learn that Owen of the Glentino family could indeed ride well without a saddle.


* * *


Even without the man’s advice, I couldn’t get out of bed the next day. Overexertion had left me bedridden with aches.

Because of this, I missed the letter that arrived first thing in the morning. Of course, it was from my sister Leonie.


[ To Sophia,

I’ve heard your sincerity loud and clear. You truly are a good sister to me, always leaving me with a lesson or two. This time’s lesson is 〈 Never trust an enemy’s words 〉, right?
Sister should remember the lesson you taught me last time.
〈 If wronged, return it twice as hard. 〉

Leonie ]


I also missed hearing about how one of the horses escaped from the stable during the night, leaving the stablekeeper very sad.

When I finally woke up the next day, I learned of my fiancé’s death.


* * *


Arnold of the Glentino. The duke’s second son, a man of average abilities, unremarkable appearance, and a hint of an inferiority complex.

And I, the firstborn of the noble Marquisate Bartolli and cousin to the empire’s first princess. Despite the fact that Arnold’s background seemed slightly lacking to be my fiancé, that deficiency wasn’t due to his family but stemmed from his personal qualities, which was why I happily accepted the engagement.

When was it again? Probably around the time it was almost certain my sister would have a favorable relationship with the crown prince.

I found it too tedious to enter the marriage market in high society, and I was equally uninterested in enduring my father’s nagging. So, I settled for a man who was neither lacking nor excessive as my fiancé and paid him no mind.

I was even aware of Arnold’s infidelities. I had been collecting evidence, ready to break off the engagement if he dared to act more arrogantly.

And now, Arnold had died last night in a secret getaway with his lover.

Ironically in a carriage accident, which was the same cause I had planned to fake for Leonie’s death just two nights ago.


Arnold had died before my return as well, and his cause of death was the same back then. However, it was much later than now. That was Leonie’s revenge for another of my assassination attempts. So, until then, I hadn’t really bothered, assuming he’d manage to keep himself alive somehow.

I knew why Arnold’s death was hastened.

‘…It’s because Leonie felt betrayed by me, differently than before.’

As I sat dully on my bed, something fluffy jumped onto my lap—my adorable fox, Popo.

“Popo, my fiancé who gave you to me as a gift is dead.”

Unaware of anything, Popo simply rubbed its face against me and acted cute. Then, someone knocked on the door.

“Lady Sophia, the Marquis is here.”


My body stiffened instantly.

I set Popo down, quickly straightened my attire, and threw on a light shawl before saying, “Come in.”


The door opened, and my father entered.

Those eyes… eyes that looked down on me with disdain, as if viewing something contemptible. In front of those eyes, I couldn’t hold my head up straight. I always shrink down, even though I’ve done nothing wrong. And this time, I actually had made a mistake, though my father was unaware.

The Marquis, with his sharp demeanor, glared at me.

“Spending all day in bed again yesterday, how pitiful.”

I was genuinely ill yesterday, and only now have I started to feel better.

“Don’t laze about. Hurry and show your face at the funeral.”

“Yes… Father.”

No, I’ve never lived lazily. I’ve undergone rigorous training to be an empress to death, eagerly learned whatever piqued my interest, and always lived a disciplined life. Despite this unjust accusation, I could only muster a weak response.

“Do I have to remind you of everything? Your sister Leonie has already visited this morning.”

Ah, that cunning one. She had already paid her respects after having killed him herself. It was probably more convenient to make a quick appearance when there were fewer people around. Besides, she likely wouldn’t want to run into me either.

My foot began to hurt. I hadn’t properly treated the injury from yesterday. I deliberately put more weight on my uninjured foot.

After I obeyed without protest, the Marquis glared at me a bit longer before leaving the room.

Only then did I collapse without energy.

‘It’s okay, at least I wasn’t hit today.’

When disciplining me, Father would precisely strike my cheeks a few times. He never lost his composure, and that made it worse. I wasn’t an animal that needed to be beaten to understand.


When I softly called Popo, my lovely white fox, who had been hiding under the bed, ran over to cuddle. Popo had once tried to protect me from a beating and ended up getting injured by Father after getting hit. Since then, Popo has shown its teeth and been afraid of all men.

‘…You, too, have chosen a poor master.’

After petting Popo for a while, I abruptly stood up and rang for the maids. Several of the dedicated maids came knocking on the door. Among them was Bessie, who had a look of pity, knowing the Marquis had visited.

Bessie asked, dropping the formalities.

“What can I do for you, Miss?”

“I need to attend my fiancé’s funeral. Please get me ready.”


* * *


The funeral took place in the spacious garden in front of Duchy Glentino’s townhouse. It was a funeral hosted by the empire’s sole Duchy. So it drew a significant number of nobles to mark their presence.

The garden bloomed vibrantly.

Scattered throughout the grassy expanse were white standing tables. It allowed the mourners to partake in light refreshments and converse easily. Women in black dresses and veiled hats and men in tailored black suits roamed about. It was a typical scene of an imperial funeral.

It seemed unusually solemn and grand for the funeral of a Duchy’s second son.

Soon, I discovered why.

This was a joint funeral for both Duke Glentino and his second son.

‘But, the Duke’s funeral was supposed to be held a month later…’

And at that time, Arnold was still alive.

Things had changed again.

Bessie, who accompanied me, looked concerned.

“Miss Sophia, are you sure you’re all right to walk? Your foot hasn’t healed yet.”

“It hurts.”


“But I need to show my face. You go ahead to the carriage, and I’ll follow soon.”


“If that’s the case, prepare some bandages in advance.”

After several prompts from me, Bessie hesitantly left. I then took the opportunity to look around my surroundings comfortably. Despite being engaged to Duchy Glentino’s second son, I had never been to this townhouse… because Arnold never invited me.

People recognized me. Some whispered, while others seemed to be timing their approach.

‘Did I come at a time when it’s too crowded?’

I retreated to the back of the garden to escape the gazes.

Although I had fled here, Duchy Glentino’s garden was impressive. The variety of flowers bloomed in harmony rather than chaos. I paused and crouched to admire a rose in the garden when I heard the sound of footsteps coming from somewhere.

Small, light… the footsteps of a child.