Ian, who had been watching Filina unconcernedly, spoke in a low voice.
“Anyway, there’s no way you’re going to lose once.”
He then pointed to the couch.
“How about sitting down first? I can’t look up at you forever.”
At Ian’s cold voice, Filina nodded and walked to the couch. As she sat down opposite him, he crossed his legs. Then, with his chin resting on his hand, he stared at her with an expressionless face.
For a while, there was just silence in the parlor. Filina, who had been patiently holding his gaze, eventually tried to speak first when Ian refused to open his mouth, no matter how much time passed.
That was when he asked in a low voice,
“Why do you want to join the Sword Academy?”
Filina seemed to have expected that question to be asked, and answered casually.
“Because I want to learn swordsmanship.”
“So why do you want to learn swordsmanship? Do you want to become a knight or something? Or is it because your guards are unreliable?”
Ian’s eyes narrowed, as if he was trying to get to her heart. Filina, who was quietly watching him, casually asked,
“Do I have to explain all this to Your Highness?”
Ian’s face hardened at her words. But Filina didn’t care.
Filina spoke again with a cold expression.
“No matter how much the Crown Prince asked, I think it is too much to interfere like this.”
At her words, Ian said in a low voice.
“In addition to the fact that the Academy of Swordsmanship has a formal agreement with the Imperial Palace, and with the full support of the Imperial Palace, it has been able to operate without difficulty, and there are already many Imperial Knights from the Academy, so there is no reason why I, the Crown Prince, cannot interfere.”
“So, Your Highness, do you intend to meet with all the candidates from the academy?”
Ian frowned at Filina’s very heavy voice.
“Why would I do that?”
“Your Highness said so. The Academy has an agreement with the Imperial Palace, so you can interfere.”
She raised her lips slightly and said.
“Then you should not just meet only me, but all of the 124 students who have just been admitted.”
Ian stared at her quietly, as if speechless for a moment. Then, he exhaled lightly and opened his mouth.
“I don’t know why you want to go to the Academy, but make sure you cancel your admission. It’s not a place for women to go.”
Filina replied with a calm face.
“It’s not up to you, Your Highness. It is my decision.”
Ian’s brow furrowed at her stubborn reply. He removed the hand on his chin and said in a low voice.
“I don’t know what the hell you’re thinking.”
Filina didn’t show any reaction. Ian, who was staring at her, sighed,
“I don’t understand your thoughts sometimes. Filina.”
His plaintive voice reminded Filina of the innocent times when she was a little girl and knew nothing.
When she was seven, she and her father, Gabriel, had to stop by the Imperial Palace to talk to the Crown Prince, who didn’t even want them there.
At first he looked sharp and wary of Filina, but it was not known when he started wandering around her.
Whenever Gabriel came to the Imperial Palace, he always left Filina alone with Ian in the large room, and every time he did, she would just read her book quietly with an expressionless face.
Ignoring Ian, who was constantly looking at her face from a distance away from him.
Then Gabriel forced her to tell Ian her name, and he came to know Filina’s name, and one day he started to hang around her.
According to the original, the situation between the two had to flow completely reversed, but she, who had already experienced four regressions, was not in a good mood to seek Ian’s affection with impunity.
Rather, when she looked at his face, she struggled to control her facial expression because of the resentment of her past life.
As he got older, the way they called each other naturally changed, but at times he would call her name affectionately, like someone who never forgot his childhood memories.
Of course, such feelings didn’t resonate with Filina in the slightest.
“I don’t understand, it’s not me that Your Highness needs to be most concerned about right now, it’s Miss Cecilia.”
At her words, Ian looked at Filina with a cold expression. She slowly continued with the words she hadn’t finished yet.
“It is a fact known not only to me, but to all the people that Your Highness has a partner to be engaged to. That is why you must refrain from going to and from the other Young ladies’ houses early in the morning. For those who love rumors, there should be no better topic than today.”
Ian, who had been silently listening to her words, quietly lowered his gaze and spit out the words as if he was chewing them.
“I know all about such things.”
His quiet voice brought a heavy atmosphere.
“I’m not strong enough right now, so I have to be careful about even one little action like this.”
Muttering to himself, he suddenly raised his golden eyes sharply and stared at Filina.
“But only if I become emperor and get more power.”
“I intend to have all the things I really want then.”
Ian’s eyes glowed. Apparently, it looked so maniacal that Filina couldn’t help but frown.
The person he should be talking to was not herself.
The scene where Ian, unable to control his desire to have the heroine, eventually imprisoned her was simultaneously resented and cheered by the readers who loved the novel.
Until that scene, Ian sometimes was unable to conceal his emotions, and sometimes let them flow, and now his lines were part of them.
Therefore, it should have been Cecilia, not Filina, who should have received that line. Not only that.
It wasn’t a line that should have been uttered in a situation where Cecilia and Ian’s relationship hadn’t progressed at all, as it was now.
Filina felt an unknown anxiety in the story that was tangled up.
Filina, who returned home after seeing Ian off to the carriage, was immediately caught and questioned by Amy.
“Were you being nice to His Highness?”
“Yes, I did my best.”
Filina lied flatly and told her not to get her hopes up.
“His Highness will definitely hold an engagement ceremony with Lady Hayley. I know for sure today that there’s no room for me to come between them.”
The story had a happy ending for the two main characters anyway. No matter how wrong the story would be. However, the fact would remain unchanged.
When Amy heard Filina’s words, she frowned and replied curtly.
“I don’t know what His Highness saw in Lady Haley that made him fall in love with her. I don’t understand it at all.”
Then Amy looked Filina up and down and said.
“No matter how much I look at it, I think you have the better face.”
What made Ian choose Cecilia was her ability to see the future, but people believed it was simply because he saw her and fell in love at first sight.
According to the original story, it was Ian Alvar, himself, who started such rumors. He sometimes used rumors to cover up his own image.
“More than that, when did you apply for the Academy? Did you really pass?”
Filina nodded in response to Amy’s question.
“Yes, I did. I have confirmed that my name is on the list of successful applicants.”
Amy slapped Filina on the arm at her words.
“What the hell did you do that for? What are you going to do when your father finds out!”
Filina replied with a very pleased expression on her face.
“Don’t worry, father agreed to it.”
Amy asked back with a look of disbelief on her face.
“He gave you permission?”
Filina said with a low voice.
“He didn’t just give me permission. He even brought me potions that helped me to do well in the exam.”
When Amy looked at Filina with rounded eyes, she replied with a light shrug.
“So you don’t have to be wary of father.”
“No….is that true? Why would Gabriel ………?”
Amy stared at Filina with a look of incomprehension. Holding her gaze quietly, Filina looked somewhere else.
“Well, maybe there was a reason why father had to give me permission.”
At the end of Filina’s gaze, Ariel slowly made her way down the stairs.
The pure white dress that blended perfectly with her cream-colored hair matched Ariel’s pure and clean image very well.
Amy was still looking at Filina with a suspicious look on her face. A face that still couldn’t believe the fact that Gabriel had helped her get into the academy.
Ariel, who was watching them from afar, paused there for a moment and quietly turned her gaze to face Filina, who was staring coldly at her.
The figure that had always flinched when Filina looked at her, the face that stared into Filina’s hostile eyes everywhere she went, was the only expressionless one.
Somehow, quiet air descended the large hall.
Ariel’s eyes moved sideways to stare at Amy, who was talking to Filina.
Her feet moved slowly, as if she was trying to get down the stairs.
Ariel’s tiny feet appeared under her long white dress. There was something strange about the way she stopped in that state.
For a moment, Ariel’s eyes, which had been on Amy, seemed to look at Filina again.
And then she raised her lips strangely.
Her body tumbled straight down the stairs.
Ariel’s scream rang out in the large mansion. Amy, who was startled and turned around, saw Ariel lying at the bottom of the stairs and rushed over to her.
“Oh my god! Ariel! What happened?”
Amy shouted and called the servants to take Ariel to her bedroom.
At that moment, Bruno, who had just returned home after an outing, looked around the chaotic hall for a moment and found Ariel, who collapsed under the stairs.
Bruno rushed over to her and hurriedly picked up Ariel. He then began to make his way madly into the bedroom with Amy leading the way.
Ariel’s creamy hair fluttered in the air as Bruno carried her on his back.
Before long, Filina was the only one standing in the wide hall. The servants and attendants who had been coming and going noisily had somehow left their seats to attend to Ariel.
Filina, who had stood there for some time, soon wandered off to her room.
A twisted smile crossed her lips.
She remembered the look in Ariel’s eyes as she quietly faced her and her gaze before falling down the stairs. She had already done this many times in Filina’s past lives, and her act was still going on.
Her (Ariel) struggle to turn all the attention of the family to her was just a child’s craving for love.
That was the reason why Amy showed more interest in Ariel, a stepdaughter, than in her own daughter, Filina.
Because whenever the family members tried to pay even the slightest attention to Filina, Ariel would do whatever it takes to turn their gaze to her.
She (Aeriel) used her innocent face as a weapon.