Chapter 9

***

 

Filina’s eyes, which had been neatly closed over her pale face, slowly opened.

 

Somehow she felt like she woke up after a long sleep.

 

She gazed blankly at the high ceiling, and then her gaze slowly shifted to the side.

 

“Miss, are you feeling better?”

 

Laura, who had been carefully wiping the sweat off of Filina’s forehead, asked with a worried look on her face. It was in Filina’s bedroom that she was lying. 

 

She had a burning thirst.

 

When Filina’s eyes went to the kettle on the table, Laura quickly poured a glass of water and offered it to her.

 

“You know how scared I was when you suddenly collapsed? My heart is still pounding.”

 

Filina slowly raised her body as she heard Laura’s voice and swallowed a few sips of water.

 

She felt like she was finally coming back to life.

 

A small sigh escaped her lips as she handed the glass back to Laura, and she opened her lips quietly.

 

“Still, I’m glad I didn’t have to show that in front of Cecilia. You and Enoch would have gone through a bit of trouble for me.”

 

“Miss, don’t you remember anything?”

 

Filina’s face reflected strangely at Laura’s sudden question.

 

“What do you mean? What else happened after I collapsed?”

 

Laura’s face broke into a strange smile at her words. The way her lips were vaguely raised made it look like she had a lot to say.

 

However, when Laura couldn’t open her mouth easily, Filina asked with a look of frustration.

 

“Don’t delay, say it quickly. Did Miss Cecilia see me fall?”

 

“No, Lady Haley doesn’t know anything.”

 

“Then what on earth is it that you say I don’t remember?”

 

Laura, who was staring at Filina in silence, opened her lips with a twinkle in her eye.

 

“When the young lady fainted and collapsed, a Young Lord, who happened to be visiting Count Haley, caught you.”

 

“A Young Lord….?”

 

Filina’s face twisted as she listened intently to Laura’s words.

 

There were only five high ranking families in the Albar Empire in total, including the Debussy family.

 

If he was someone who knew Count Haley….

 

Somehow, she had an ominous feeling.

 

“I’ve only heard rumors. This was the first time I’ve seen him in person.”

 

Laura cupped her cheeks and mumbled a look she still couldn’t forget.

 

“Miss, don’t be surprised to hear what I have to say.”

 

Staring into Filina’s eyes, Laura spoke slowly.

 

“It’s Lord Henry Argeny.”

 

Worried that if Filina didn’t catch on, Laura said his name excitedly.

 

“Lord Argeny wrapped her large hands around your waist. He leaned your head on his chest afraid you might get hurt. When I saw it, I felt like I was watching a scene from a fairy tale.”

 

‘I can’t believe I was saved by Henry Argeny, of all people……….’

 

It was the worst.

 

That was not in the calculation.

 

“Thanks to Lord Argeny, we were able to get you to the nearest clinic. It was a relief, otherwise we would have had a very difficult time finding a doctor.”

 

A small faint smile appeared on Filina’s lips.

 

Laura was exaggerating with a face full of illusion.

 

The Haley residence was located near the most crowded town.

 

Even though there was a city hall, a dress shop, and even a hospital in the middle, Laura brazenly said as if Filina knew nothing.

 

“I’ve never really seen such a beautiful appearance. His silver hair and purple eyes were mysterious….It must be the appearance of God.”

 

Filina frowned. Laura still seemed to have any intention to break free from her illusion.

 

Filina silently turned her face away and looked at the wine-colored comforter.

 

Laura didn’t know much about Henry Argeny, that’s why she was head over heels.

 

In the original story, how much effort did the writer put into describing his appearance?

 

If Ian Alvar, the male protagonist, was a cold, steely, immensely beautiful man, Henry Argeny was, as Laura said, like a God’s creation.

 

He must have been so unusual in appearance that the words “handsome” wasn’t enough to describe him.

 

At one time, Filina was also attracted by his face and approached Henry, only to experience a tragic death.

 

He would become the only Swordmaster in the Alvar Empire in time.

 

If she saw him kill people with such a pretty face, Laura would definitely not indulge in illusions like she did now.

 

Would the shock have been a little less if he had a scary and cold appearance?

 

Filina still could not forget the expressionless face of Henry Argeny when he first killed a man.

 

“Lady, you’ve been working so hard lately that you collapsed.”

 

Laura sighed heavily and continued.

 

“You don’t sleep well because of the nightmares and you only ate a little food. You even do physical training with that body, so of course you can’t stand it.”

 

She asked Filina with a hurt look on her face.

 

“Do you have to go to the sword academy? I’m really worried. Even if you’re lucky enough to pass the exam, I can’t imagine how you will be able to hold up there.”

 

Filina, who stared silently at Laura’s worried face, recited, stiffening her expression

 

“I don’t care if I can’t stand it.”

 

Her red eyes stared at Laura.

 

“I am not going there to do particularly well. I may not be able to bear it, and I may come back. But I don’t want to rule out all possibilities when I haven’t even started yet.”

 

“…… young lady.”

 

“On the other hand, if I play my cards right, I can probably break the limits my father mentioned in this regard.”

 

Filina tilted her head and looked at Laura.

 

“Wouldn’t you like to see it? Wouldn’t you like to see women like us, who aren’t much to look at, running around wielding our blades so well?”

 

***

 

There was a shadow that cut through the still air and moved quickly.

 

Confidently, she ran with sandbags around her ankles without a break. Her red hair fluttered in disorder.

 

Soon after, her legs stopped in place after completing the number of rounds she had aimed for.

 

After a few moments of ragged breathing, Filina asked Enoch.

 

“How many seconds did you get?”

 

Enoch held out a white towel and a water bottle, and checked his pocket watch.

 

“290 seconds…”

 

Still out of breath, Filina’s brow furrowed.

 

“….Darn it.”

 

290 seconds was indeed fast for a woman to run a 1,000 meter race. However, compared to the standard of the exam, it was still not a passing number. 

 

One of the practical exams at the Swordsmanship Academy consisted of a total of five physical fitness tests. The problem was that the passing standards were all geared towards men, so the barriers were too high for her to take the test.

 

“Let’s start over.”

 

Filina took a breath, gulped down the water, and was about to turn her body, Enoch blocked her from doing so.

 

“I think you’re overdoing it.”

 

Filina gasped in frustration.

 

“The Academy exam is just around the corner. I don’t want to waste any minutes or even a second.”

 

“No matter how urgent it is, running like this in rapid succession is definitely not the right way to go.”

 

“What do you mean? When you practice, it’s rather counterproductive to take too many breaks. You have to keep doing it right away, even if it’s a bit overwhelming.”

 

Filina spat out in a determined voice and tried to run again, but Enoch stood in front of her once more.

 

Filina looked at him with a frustrated expression.

 

“What’s wrong with you? If you’re going to keep interrupting the practice, go back to the mansion. I can do it by myself.”

 

Enoch bowed his head and grabbed Filina by the wrist.

 

“I’m afraid you’ll collapse again.”

 

A minute tremor could be seen in Enoch’s eyes.

 

“It hasn’t been that long since you collapsed, and you’re already pushing yourself so hard.”

 

“…Enoch.”

 

“I don’t understand why Lady Filina is so insensitive to her own body.”

 

She could see the frown on his face. She was distracted by practice, and Enoch’s face, which now faced her properly, was full of dark shadows for some time.

 

Unbeknownst to herself, she seemed to have caused Enoch to worry as well, following in Laura’s footsteps.

 

Staring at Enoch, Filina decided that she could no longer be stubborn. Filina in the original story was just a simple villain to make the main character shine………. Who was he to make that face for?

 

His worries were too much for her.

 

“Lady Filina.”

 

At that moment, one of the maidservants ran to her from a distance. It was none other than Laura.

 

“You must return to the mansion quickly!”

 

She stomped her feet making a fuss.

 

When Filina frowned and asked what’s going on, Laura, who breathed in for a moment, said with an excited face.

 

“His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince, has just arrived to see Lady Filina!”

 

Filina’s face sank heavily at her words. Enoch turned and stared at her.

 

“My Lady! Hurry up and go!”

 

At Laura’s impatient urging, Filina had no choice but to go back.

 

The sudden appearance of an uninvited guest did not make her very happy. No matter who he was, it was quite rude for him to visit so suddenly without any notice.

 

 

And wasn’t he the male lead?

 

Filina couldn’t figure out why on earth Ian had come to see her.

 

He should go see Cecilia instead.

 

Filina found it annoying. She didn’t want to deal with him.

 

“I think you need to change your clothes first, don’t you?”

 

When Laura saw what Filina was wearing, she asked her with a modest look on her face.

 

She was in the middle of a practice session, not in the dresses that the noble ladies liked to wear. She was wearing a training suit with dust everywhere.

 

Her red hair, which was pulled up into one bun, was a mess with stray hairs sticking out of order.

 

Taking a cursory look at her appearance, Filina said nonchalantly.

 

“We can’t keep the Prince waiting.”

 

Laura couldn’t understand her.

 

Normally, the young Ladies would dress up to the max to meet the Crown Prince to show him how beautiful they were..

 

So Laura couldn’t believe her Young Lady was going to meet the Crown Prince in a dirty man suit.

 

It meant that she didn’t have the slightest intention to look good for him.

 

“Your Highness.”

 

Walking without hesitation to the reception room, Filina greeted Ian, who was standing with his back to her.

 

The Crown Prince, who was looking at the family portrait of the Debussy family hanging on the wall, slowly turned. His golden eyes gazed at Filina.

 

Notes

N/A

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