Chapter 10


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“Lady Debussy.”

 

Ian opened his mouth, his brows furrowing gently.

 

“What in the world are you wearing?”

 

Ian said with a wry smile as he slowly looked over Filina’s appearance.

 

The outfit she was wearing was one that Filina had personally ordered from her maid of honor, but at first glance it looked more like a horse riding suit.

 

However, there were few parts that expressed the flexing of the body, and the clothes were maximized for practicality in activities.

 

The only thing that bothered Ian was the traces of mud all over her clothes and her messily tied up hair.

 

He had never seen a woman appear in such a terrible state to meet the Crown Prince before.

 

“I am afraid I look like this because His Highness did not inform me of his visit beforehand.” 

 

Filina recited with a serious face.

 

She could see Ian’s eyebrows furrowing, but Filina paid no heed and continued again.

 

“It’s usually polite to send notice in advance.”

 

After all, the meaning behind her words was Ian’s fault for visiting the Duke’s house without any word of warning. A faint smile appeared on his face as he listened intently to Filina’s words.

 

“I thought it was the prince’s privilege to be welcomed at any time without prior notice of a visit to any families.”

 

“The more things a person like His Highness has, the less privileges you must have. Only then will you be able to get one step closer to your people. We must not forget the fact that the moment privilege is taken for granted, it becomes an absurd right.”

 

Ian replied with a sour look.

 

“You are nagging me with sincerity, huh?”

 

Then he added to the conversation in a disgruntled voice.

 

“I understand. Next time I’ll make sure to send a notice beforehand.”

 

Filina’s brows contracted. Hidden meaning in his words were he would visit her again.

 

She desperately hoped that today would be his last visit.

 

Ian’s golden eyes united as he gazed at her tied up hair.

 

Ian walked slowly towards Filina.

 

She watched him quietly as he slowly approached her, and her brow furrowed when Ian went behind her.

 

Standing behind Filina, his long, slender fingers brushed her hair slightly.

 

Then, all at once, he untied the elastic band on Filina’s hair bun.

 

Her red hair, which had been in disarray, scattered brilliantly above her waist.

 

Various colors erupted from the light streaming through the window, beautifully mixed together.

 

“‘

What is it that you are doing now?!”

 

Filina tried to turn her head away with a bewildered expression .

 

Then Ian turned her face forward again with his large hands.

 

“Stay like that for a minute.”

 

His low voice penetrated into Filina’s ear.

 

The hands that had hotly cupped her cheeks went straight across the skin and grazed her ear. Reflexively, Julia trembled slightly.

 

Ian’s large hands gathered Filina’s hair together. Then he tied it with his firm hands.

 

Filina couldn’t help but laugh because she was dumbfounded by the situation.

 

The Crown Prince, who was served from head to toes, was now tying a woman’s hair.

 

It was amusing.

 

It seemed that Filina was not the only one who thought so, and she could see the employers who were watching them from afar glancing at them with embarrassed faces.

 

“It’s done.”

 

After the finishing announcement, Ian’s hand fell away from her hair. 

 

Filina touched the top of her head. Her hair was surprisingly neatly tied.

 

However, something kept getting caught in her fingers. It wasn’t just a simple rubber band.

 

She looked back at Ian for a moment, then quickly got to her feet.

 

Bringing out a small hand mirror from the table, Filina checked her appearance.

 

She could see a beautiful rose stuck on top of her neatly tied hair. It was the rose corsage that Filina lost in the imperial garden that day.

 

She asked Ian with a snicker.

 

“You didn’t come to my house to return this, did you?”

 

Such a romantic gesture was of no use to her.

 

Ian spoke after hearing Filina’s blunt voice.

 

“A mere excuse like that would not be enough for Lady Debussy.”

 

He approached her at a leisure pace. The closer Ian got, the more Filina felt suffocated.

 

“Well, what should I say to satisfy the princess?”

 

Ian’s large hand touched Filina’s cheek. The fingers that had been wrapped in hot heat gently touched her lower lip slightly.

 

“If you say I’m just here to meet you…….”

 

“…”

 

“Will these pretty lips smile?”

 

A heavy atmosphere descended.

 

The eyes that were staring into Filina’s eyes glowed.

 

Her reflection looked like a trapped rabbit facing a big tiger.

 

Filina felt like she was going to burst out laughing.

 

A rabbit……… A comparison of herself to a rabbit.

 

A weak animal like that didn’t fit her at all.

 

Filina’s steps slowly moved backwards.

 

Then Ian’s finger, which had been touching her lips, naturally dropped.

 

His hardened gaze moved directly with Filina.

 

“Your Highness has some strange tastes, doesn’t he?”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

She saw Ian’s face twitch and continued speaking.

 

“When I sent His Highness gifts and craved his affection, he didn’t give me a single reply and treated me coldly.” (*She is speaking for the original Filina. The original Filina loved Ian.)

 

“…”

 

“What is the reason for your sudden change of heart?”

 

Filina thought with a bored look on her face.

 

Maybe the person the original Filina was craving affection from suddenly wasn’t interested in her, so she became interested in him instead.

 

If that was the person’s preference, it was believable enough.

 

Cecilia in the original story didn’t blush easily when she saw him either. Seeing her like that, Ian started to show a little more interest in her.

 

“It’s Lady Debussy who says the strangest things.”

 

Ian spat out in a low voice as he stared at her.

 

“Can you really say that the gifts you sent to the Imperial Palace were personally prepared by Lady Debussy herself?”

 

“…What do you mean?”

 

Filina looked at him with a wrinkle between her brows.

 

Ian, who was looking at her, quickly closed the distance that Filina had created.

 

Filina tried to step back with a startled expression, but before she could, his large hands wrapped smoothly around her waist. Without a moment’s pause, their bodies came together.

 

Ian turned his head and whispered in her ear.

 

“I know you didn’t send it, Filina.”

 

She pushed Ian away with a rough gesture.

 

Filina covered her ears and glared sharply at him.

 

She could feel his expressionless gaze staring at her.

 

Ian’s lips…touched her ears.

 

***

 

“You still haven’t found him?”

 

Filina put down the book she was reading and looked at Laura.

 

“As you know there are very few guilds left in the Alvar Empire. There are only three that I have struggled to find. But there were no people either and they were all dead.”

 

“Did you also find out who the leader was?”

 

Laura said with a sigh.

 

“Of course I checked. But there was no one named Leon.”

 

“…Is that so?”

 

Filina leaned back in her chair.

 

She didn’t expect them to be found easily in the first place.

 

They lived in different places all the time.

 

“Who are you looking for so badly?”

 

Laura asked, but Filina didn’t say anything. Laura didn’t need to know much.

 

 ‘I don’t think I’ll be involved with him on that level again.

 

I just want to see Leon smile once more, that’s all.’

 

The last thing she saw of him was so tragic.

 

She still couldn’t forget how he ran towards her and met his death.

 

She just wanted to see his sunny, smiling face from afar, because she wouldn’t come near him anymore. It was the Leon she knew best.

 

“Filina!”

 

Someone opened her bedroom door without knocking.

 

It was Amy, with hair the same color as Filina’s. (*Amy- the mother)

 

“Is it true that the Crown Prince came to see you?”

 

Amy asked hastily as she entered the room.

 

Filina let out a small sigh and opened her mouth.

 

“Mother, please knock before you enter my room.”

 

“I’m the Duke’s wife, why do I even have to knock?”

 

“If Mother says so, what will the people below see and learn? If you want to maintain the dignity of the duke’s family, you must at least have such basic manners.”

 

“What does etiquette matter now? Tell me what you exchanged with the Crown Prince. From what I’ve heard, the atmosphere was very good.”

 

Amy looked at Filina with expectant eyes.

 

Obviously Amy heard about it from the servants who were at the scene. Filina touched her forehead, feeling a sudden rush of exhaustion somehow.

 

“Just tell me…..”

 

Amy took a few more steps toward Filina, then stopped abruptly.

 

She gazed blankly at Filina’s appearance.

 

Filina was still in her dirt-covered workout clothes.

 

Amy gave her a very incredulous look and asked.

 

“………you didn’t come to see His Highness in these strange clothes, did you?”

 

Filina’s firm eyes stared at her in silence.

 

Amy shook her head and whimpered.

 

“Please tell me that’s not true. Please don’t be so disrespectful, Filina.”

 

Filina, who was quietly staring at her, said nonchalantly.

 

“Don’t worry, Mother. Surprisingly, the Crown Prince seemed to love this simple look.”

 

“That’s outrageous!”

 

Amy was about to yell, but stopped talking. It was because she remembered what the servants had told her.

 

How they had blushed and fussed over it. The atmosphere was still lingering.

 

It was clear that there was a strange current of air between the Crown Prince and Filina that they had never seen before.

 

“…Is it true?”

 

Filina answered her question with a bright smile.

 

“Of course it is.”

 

Despite the briskness in her voice, her expression quickly sank.

 

As soon as Ian saw her, he complained about her appearance.

 

He must have been bewildered to see her so unadorned, with dust and dirt covered all over her body. In fact, it was the Crown Prince who looked absolutely splendid in his neatly dressed uniform. He seemed to have taken a lot of care in coming.

 

However, she had no particular reason to look good for the Crown Prince. There was no time for that.

 

It only made her more uncomfortable the longer she spent with him.

 

In her previous life, she was framed and sentenced to death, even though she was not involved in any of the abduction plays that the mastermind had committed.

 

It was the first death she had ever faced. That was why she was more scared and terrified.

 

“Your Highness, I did not help with Cecilia’s abduction! Please solve my false accusations!”

 

What did Ian say when he saw her crying so sadly at that moment?

 

“… Why should I do that?”

 

His chilling voice called up dry emotions.

 

She could still remember the scornful look on his face, as if her words were not worth listening to or watching in the slightest.

 

It gave her goosebumps. Filina could never forget that cold face.

 

Notes

N/A

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