Chapter 1. The fiancé is back
I was confused. It felt like someone had hit my head hard from behind. This was something that I hadn’t even thought of in my dreams. I stared blankly at Philen and the woman in his arms.
As the distance got closer, I could clearly see a woman in Philen’s arms. Her platinum hair that shimmered under the rays of the sun was beautiful. Clear skin like white jade indicated that this woman wasn’t an ordinary one.
I couldn’t see her face well because there was still some distance between us. What broke my gaze away from her face was her protruding belly, in contrast with her skinny limbs. At first, I thought that it was because she was sitting, but considering her figure…
Don’t tell me she’s…
“The woman in Master’s arms, is she pregnant?” The maid next to me worded what I was thinking.
Other maids and servants were also wondering about the same.
“Why has Master brought a pregnant woman home?”
“No way… that woman, could it be the master’s child?…”
“All of you be quiet!”
They all shut their mouths at Misa’s indignant cry.
“That can’t be.” Misa said firmly to me, trembling with anxiety. “Master isn’t like that. There must be some misunderstanding.”
Sadly, my intuition, unlike Misa’s, convinced me that she was bearing Philen’s child. Otherwise, Philen wouldn’t hold her in his arms.
I laughed at this thought, and the situation, rubbing my temples with my fingers. If that woman really had Philen’s child, what should I do?
‘Do I have to grab her hair and use evil means like the other women? Or should I ignore her even if she is a noble lady? No, more than that. Do I have the right to do that? I’m not even Philen’s wife. I’m just his fiancée.’
People around me treated me as if I had already become the Duchess of Williot, but my last name was still Thebesa. Leila Thebesa, not Leila Williot.
I wondered if I had the right to say anything about the woman Philen had brought. I was his fiancée, so I could say something to some extent, but I wasn’t in a position to blame the woman like a lover. So, I didn’t know what to say to Philen. I couldn’t figure out what kind of face I should make while greeting him.
While I was shocked, and agonizing about the future, Philen had gotten off the horse and came this way. After six years, he had become a real man. His previously immature face had lost all the baby fat, showing off his sharp jawline.
However, the mischievous smile that drew on his lips was still there. He looked at me and the maids and servants standing behind me, grinning mischievously as before.
“You must have lost your tongue while I was away.”
The receiver of Philen’s gaze was me. He stroked his chin and said in a jovial way.
“Leila, you didn’t become dumb in 6 years, right?”
Only then, I came to my senses and replied in a feeble voice.
“It’s just a little shocking…”
Was he asking because he really didn’t know? Or was he testing me?
Or… maybe that woman didn’t have his child?
It might be the latter.
No, I was eagerly hoping for that, but thinking about it didn’t explain why Philen brought her here. That’s the only reason why he had her in his arms and carried her on his horse.
I looked sideways at the woman who was still riding on Philen’s horse. It wasn’t unusual when viewed from a distance, but the woman I saw up close was quite a beauty.
Those big blue eyes sparkled like jewels. The woman was wearing a plain linen dress, not a fancy one, but she looked prettier than me, who was dressed up in splendor.
Feeling a mysterious defeat at that fact, I clenched my hand tightly. I thought I didn’t want to see that woman anymore, but strangely, I couldn’t take my eyes away from her. She was such a gorgeous and beautiful woman.
If Philen had her as his lover, I could understand why he did it.
“Oh.” Philen, who suddenly looked back following my gaze, approached the woman with a small sigh. “You’ll get tired if you keep riding, so get down here.”
Philen dropped the woman off the horse with an extremely polite and affectionate touch. The woman was shyly in Philen’s arms, her cheeks turning red. Even after getting off the horse, Philen didn’t let her go. Rather, he hugged her shoulders more affectionately.
“How can the master…”
“You can’t do this to the young lady.”
The maids and servants were indignant at the unusual appearance of the two. Even Misa, who denied it just a moment ago, said, “He’s crazy.” She dared to spit harsh words toward her master.
Misa and the servants deserved to be scolded, but I didn’t say anything because I thought so too. Rather, I praised them for saying what I wanted to say.
No matter how much I and Philen were engaged without love, that kind of behavior shouldn’t be shown in front of me, his fiancée. He deserved to be criticized. I wanted to do that, and I wanted to grab him by the collar and ask him what he was doing right now.
Who is that woman? I wanted to shout if she had his baby, but strangely, my lips were trembling. I kept my mouth shut like a honey-eating mute, and only glared at him with eyes full of anger.
[T/N: Honey-eating mute = an expression refers to a person who normally speaks with no problem, but has chosen not to speak in certain situations.]
As if he didn’t feel my gaze, Philen called Misa who was standing behind me with a calm face.
Misa politely approached Philen, as if she wasn’t unhappy.
He called Misa, but the Misa he called to, was the woman in his arms, not Misa.
“You must be tired of the long journey, so go back to your room and rest and take care of yourself.”
“I like the sunny room.”
When the woman asked in a fake voice, Philen pondered for a moment and then looked at Misa. “Misa, take her to the room at the end of the east corridor on the second floor.”
Hearing those words, Misa’s eyes widened. Other maids and servants were surprised and opened their mouths.
The room at the end of the east corridor. It was the room used by the Duchess of Williot for generations. Even I, who was playing the role of the Duchess, couldn’t use it, and even if the Emperor wanted to use it, it was a place that shouldn’t be given. I was sure there’s no stupid emperor who wanted to use that kind of place. However, it wasn’t unreasonable for everyone to be shocked when they heard that the room would be given to an unknown woman.
Likewise, as I was staring at Philen in surprise, I soon realized that he was ignorant of this side and called him. “Philen, that room is the duchess’ room.”
Hearing my words, Philen turned to me. His eyes were full of questions.
It was as if he didn’t know. The uncomfortable feelings grew in me.
“The Duchess’ room is not for anyone. It can only be used by the Duchess.”
“But my father used it.”
“Because he’s the Duke.”
“And you used it too.”
“It couldn’t be helped because I had to work.”
Even if I wanted to work in my room, the ledger of this house was in the duchess’ room at the time, and it was strictly forbidden to bring it outside. So it was unavoidable, and the Duke and his wife understood.
“And I only worked there. I didn’t sleep there.”
The Duchess said it was okay to use it, but it wasn’t polite, so I slept in my room unconditionally.
“So you can’t put her in the Duchess’ room.”
“But that room is well lit.”
“There are other rooms with good lighting.”
“It’s not as good as that room.”
At my replies, Philen sighed and argued with dissatisfaction.
“I didn’t know I would hear this nagging. I’m going to use a room that no one else would use anyway.”
“It’s not nagging, but the rules of the mansion…”
“It’s the owner of the mansion who sets the rules for the mansion.” Philen cut me off as if he didn’t want to hear anymore, then glanced at me with a high-pressure, authoritative look. “And now I am the owner of the mansion.”
“If you’re smart, you know what I mean?”
I don’t know how. He meant that he would bring that woman into the Duchess’ room no matter what. Even if I wanted to object, there was no justification for it. As he said, it was the owner of the mansion who set the rules for the mansion.
How could I stop the owner when he said he’d do it? Even if I were the real Duchess, I wouldn’t be able to stop him.
As I remained silent, Philen, who took it positively, ordered Misa. “Misa, take her to the room at the end of the east corridor. And assign a maid so that there is no discomfort in staying.”
At other times, she would have insisted that this was against reason, but Misa accepted it instantly. Misa glanced at me and took the woman into the mansion.
You really put her in the Duchess’ room, huh?
It was so ridiculous that a laugh came out. I bit my lips to straighten my distorted face. Because of that, my lips, which I had been painted beautifully, were ruined mercilessly.
Philen looked at me and asked. “Are you angry?”
His voice wasn’t different from usual, with no sign of sorry at all. Philen didn’t know what he had done wrong.
Well, I didn’t even know why I shouldn’t let other people into the Duchess’ room. What would happen if i got angry with such a person? Only my lips were going to burst.
“…no.” Instead of getting angry, I shook my head.
The maids and servants let out a small sigh, and Philen nodded as if it were natural.
“Yes. You can’t be upset about this.”