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Thank you for the kofi love, Jonesa! (2/4) done~
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But no matter how shocking it may have been, she should not lose her composure.
It wasn’t her way to get influenced by the emotions in the heat of the moment and be irrational.
Look away and behave. After all, he was just falling in love with a dancing doll.
It could have been that his eyes were spellbound by the brief encounter. His amusement with a doll who was good at warming his bed, would not last long.
As she strengthened her mind, Freya turned back swiftly.
“Yes, I must have been very mistaken. I’m deeply ashamed of having insulted the Duchess.”
Looking at Freya’s swaying back, Izek suddenly recalled a day from about six years ago.
The year he attended the gladiatorial match at the age of 17, the moment he decided to participate for no particular reason, the moment he took the championship wreath for no particular reason, the moment he handed it to his sister without any particular reason, and the moment he nodded his head when Freya asked if he would give it to her if he won again next time, for no reason.
He thought something would change after winning the most prestigious competition on the continent.
However, even after winning the title of the youngest champion ever, his boredom remained the same.
The audience’s thunderous shouts and the pride in the faces of his father and his sister.
If he becomes the champion again this time…
“So you were here.””
Izek looked back at the cardinal, who placed his hand on his shoulder without hesitation.
The more he saw him, the more different he looked from Rudbeckia.
There was no law that stated siblings had to resemble each other, but here even the species themselves seemed to be of different flowers. He was not sure if it was just a southern thing…
“She went to get some fresh air. She’ll be back soon. Brother-in-law doesn’t seem to like this kind of event very much, right?”
“I don’t hate it, but I can’t enjoy it either.”
“That’s too bad. I was waiting to invite you to a southern banquet one day.”
“I’m curious what a southern banquet is like.”
“Do you think my sister will like it? Come and see it one day.”
Cesare, who smiled understandingly, tapped him lightly on the shoulder and took the lead toward the dinner table.
It was quite close, so Izek silently followed along.
Then something unexpected caught his eye.
In addition to various types of meat, a table full of northern-style seafood dishes, and giant turtle dishes containing turtle meat dishes showed off their splendid appearance.
He narrowed his eyes and beckoned to a nearby servant.
“Put them all away and serve them on another table.”
“Should I say it twice?”
On hearing his cold voice, the servant quickly bowed his head.
Even though it was a royal banquet, the opponent was Duke Omerta.
As he was the king’s favorite nephew, there would be no problem even if he followed his cranky complaints.
Cesare, who was watching with a very interested gaze, opened his mouth by picking up a glass of wine.
“I should thank you Brother-in-law.”
“I think you take good care of my sister with all your heart. I’m saying this because it looks like you’ve already noticed it.”
The tone added quietly was quite meaningful.
A mysterious way of speaking.
Izek unconsciously asked back.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I don’t know what to say. Should I mention that she’s a sick child?”
A bitter emotion flashed on his porcelain-like face.
As Izek stared hard, Cesare slowly continued to talk, spinning the glass with a hesitant look.
“Do you know that she wasn’t recognized by my father for a while when she was young?”
Izek roughly knew that Romagna was chaotic about Rudbeckia’s birth origins a long time ago.
However, the fact that the Pope himself denied the existence of his daughter was salty news.
A dark look appeared in the deep blue eyes staring at Izek’s piercing red eyes.
“You look surprised. That’s understandable, now she’s pretty and strong, but she wasn’t the same at the beginning. My sister couldn’t put her name on the family register until she turned four. And for a while, she was treated as a military member.”
“…I had no idea.”
“Of course you don’t know. This is something that only my family knows. The fact that I didn’t have much strength as a child at that time is still a heavenly sorrow.”
“What did you do when you were 13?”
Should he say he went crazy when he saw his mother’s body hanging in the backyard?
Izek did not answer.
Cesare also did not seem to have asked the question in hopes of an answer.
“At that time, my father was just an ambitious cardinal, and I, the eldest son, had to follow him and learn everything since then. And my sister grew up like an orphan in the Borgian Monastery.”
“Then one day, when I suddenly visited her, can you imagine what she was doing?”
As he lowered his head, Cesare’s eyes flashed wildly.
His figure that looked like the misery of the day was still vivid and made Izek blinked slowly.
A scar engraved on a skinny body lingered in his mind.
“…it seems to be beyond my imagination.”
“It’s better not to imagine. The monks were cruel.”
“… … .”
“Don’t ask me how I handled them. Anyway, I took Ruby to my mother’s house that day. And I persuaded my father to take over her education….. It took a long time for her to know how to smile while looking into someone else’s eyes.”
There was a gentle ripple in his red eyes. A commotion.
Izek was agitated. He had no choice but to be so.
Because it was the truth. Even if it was only a fraction of the truth, it was painful.
Cesare now drank the strong wine in one gulp and smiled stiffly at his frozen brother-in-law.
“I thought she had been doing so well for a while that she might have completely forgotten what happened when she was young. But it was just an illusion.”
“Three years ago, she was seriously sick. She suffered from it for 15 days, but what she did as soon as she barely woke up was hide in the closet.”
“Only God knows what memory came to her mind while she was sick. Isn’t that cruel? She’s still quite a lot better now, but I’m worried that there’s still some aftereffects left. It’s a good thing that my brother-in-law is a good man, and they’ve formed a true relationship. Our holy father may not be pleased, but I am.”
* * *
I got away from my seat on the excuse of the bathroom and headed to the nearest balcony.
I should calm down while getting some air.
Perhaps because I was so nervous while dancing, I felt nauseous.
Crap, I should’ve just closed my eyes and stepped on him once.
I bumped into someone again.
The ones who were having a friendly conversation on a quiet balcony were none other than Alfonso and a cardinal with brown hair.
The two men smiled softly at me, hesitating.
“It was a great dance, my lady.”
“Lady Rudbeckia. It’s an honour to see you again.”
“Nice to meet you, uh……”
“I’m Cardinal Rocroa.”
Cardinal Rocroa, who introduced himself with a smile, looked quite young.
Of course, he wasn’t as young as Cesare, who was only 26, but at the best, he looked to be in his 30s.
In addition, he seemed to resemble Alfonso. Relatives?
“Are you here to get some fresh air?”
“I think I interrupted your conversation.”
“No, I was just saying hello to my uncle.”
As expected, they were related. That’s true, otherwise Alfonso would not be affectionately attached to a cardinal of Romagna.
Suddenly, an idea came and passed by.
Alfonso was a member of the Allied Forces in the original work, and at that time, several traitors in the Vatican stole the Holy Grail and handed it over to the Allied Forces.
It was crucial because our family collapsed helplessly after the Holy Grail was stolen.
Was Cardinal Rocroa one of the traitors?
It would be nice to know exactly who the informant was, but ironically, it seemed that the specific identity has not been described.
Or was it just that I didn’t remember?
“Oh my, his uncle?”
“Yes, unfortunately, I have a poor nephew who can’t work well.”
At the moment, I was a little surprised to see if he was being sarcastic, but the Cardinal smiled brightly, and Alfonso, who sighed, looked as if he were cheerful too.
“I’m going crazy. How long are you going to keep this up for?”
“Why? Are you embarrassed? I’m glad you are. It was a shame of the Vishelier family to miss such an angel.”
“I have nothing to say.”
It was my father and brother who forced me to do that.
Nevertheless, I was grateful for the attitude of the two who calmly exchanged jokes as if they didn’t care.
“Then Lady Rudbeckia, I’ll pray your husband wins the championship.”
“Don’t be fooled. My uncle’s prayers are sinful. It’s amazing that he hasn’t been removed so far.”
After seeing the two returning to the banquet hall with a smile, I sat on a small bench next to a beautifully decorated flower bed and took a moment to catch my breath.
Suddenly, I remembered the court banquet I attended when I just came here.
Compared to that time, this was different.
If it weren’t for Cesare, I would have enjoyed this with ease.
Anyway, I had to behave properly.
I had to find out what he’s up to by trying to please him as much as possible.
He was so unpredictable that even if I made a slight mistake, the tower I’d built up so far could collapse at once.
It’s so hard to survive.
“… My Lady!”