Chapter 7

 

Watching the door close, I put on a light coat, and walked up to the desk to sit down.

 

Annie was quick-witted and sincere.

 

Her manners were quick and polite, a stark contrast to the maids.

 

As I was watching Annie, I thought of the maids, and I disliked them even more.

 

I sat at my desk and wondered if I had made the right choice by not kicking them out.

 

I pondered for a bit, then quickly shook my head.

 

The maids were nothing more than just a maid.

 

If a problem arises, I can just kick them out like I did earlier, and if i kick them out all at once, all sorts of words will come out, so I think it’s not too late to take my time and watch them before deciding.

 

It’ll be noisy as soon as I get back in the society again anyway, but there’s no need to create additional work.

 

Shortly after I sat down, Annie came back with a large basket full of envelopes. There were quite a lot of them piling up due to my long stay hiding in my room. So I started to read the letters and invitations.

 

I picked out a few things in it that I needed to be aware of and checked them.

 

I had no idea what was happening outside.

 

But I suppose it’s the same for others who don’t know what happened to me.

 

‘Princess Lillian fell from the second floor balcony of the Imperial Palace and was severely injured.’

 

I don’t know if it was rumored that I jumped on my own or not, but the fact that there was such an accident itself was a big issue. The nobles were very sensitive to news.

 

For them, exciting gossip was a very interesting topic. And even more so since the Imperial Family was also involved.

 

Since such an accident happened right after a dispute with the Crown Prince of all people, all kinds of false rumors must probably be circulating by now. 

 

This was not an easy case to get away with, so people were bound to want to know the truth about the incident. It only takes a moment for the mouth-to-mouth, insubstantial rumors to grow like balloons through the mouths of multiple people. 

 

I looked at the stack of letters and invitations.

 

‘Everyone seems to be interested in my news.’

 

It was obvious what they wanted.

 

To take me out of hiding and enjoy watching my broken self.

 

In the social world, most people have always hoped and enjoyed Roxana’s embarrassment as if it were some kind of fun.

 

I rummaged through the pile of letterhead with an unamused look on my face.

 

It was then that I found a letter that stood out. The letter’s envelope was engraved with elaborate patterns on its surface and sealed in the center with golden wax.

 

The writing engraved on the wax was very familiar.

 

It was jumbled in a pile of letters, and at first I didn’t notice that it was sent from the imperial family. It had been assumed that Roxana was neglected by the imperial family, but that wasn’t necessarily the case. I pulled it out from the middle of the stack.

 

‘How could a letter from the imperial family be treated like this…….’

 

The Duke’s prestige was indeed amazing.

 

I couldn’t help but marvel at it and took out a paper knife from my drawer.

 

I then roughly peeled off the beeswax and read the content inside.The letter was in the name of the imperial family, and it contained the formal consolation that the imperial family was concerned about Roxana and wished her a speedy recovery.

 

I read it with a disinterested look on my face, then put it in a drawer.

 

Then I quickly searched through the other letters.

 

While I was in the process of selecting letters in this manner, there were a few letters that stood out to me.

 

All of them had the same letter envelope, but instead of a title or family name, it had the sender’s name.

 

“Jeremy Kleis?”

 

I frowned as I checked the sender’s name written in extremely flowing script on the back of the letterhead.

 

Jeremy Kleis… the Crown Prince!

 

After I found out that the name on the envelope was the Crown Prince, I checked the back of all the envelopes of the same letter with it.

 

The envelope had his name on it, not the name of the imperial family.

 

The pattern of the seal also meant that it was a private letter, not an official document sent in the name of the royal family.

 

I organized the letters by date and opened and read the first one that came.

 

The first letter was transcribed with a question about Roxana’s safety, but the middle part of the letter oozed a sense of irritation that was impossible to hide.

 

The letter ended with, “Take care of your health.” The second letter had no particular content either.

 

As in the first letter, the first few lines asked about my condition, and then, in the middle of the letter, he talked about his memories of the past and suggested that we go to the festival together as soon as I was better. Finally, in his third letter, he asked me why I had not responded to his letter and expressed his wish to see me as soon as possible.

 

All three letters seemed to be sincere and heartfelt, unlike the more formal letters he usually sent from time to time.

 

Perhaps if Roxana had seen them instead of me, she would have been very pleased. 

 

A sneer bubbled up as I recalled the face of the Crown Prince, who had left his betrothed right in front of him and was proudly standing beside another woman.

 

“It’s disgusting.”

 

“Huh? What?”

 

Annie looked at me with a curious look when I said it to myself. I avoided it and replied in a disgruntled voice.

 

“It’s nothing.”

 

I put the pile of letters to one side.

 

I stood up from my chair and stretched out, arching my body backwards as best I could. Outside the large window, I could see butterflies fluttering lazily among the blooming flowers from the first floor garden.

 

On a large branch of the tree closest to the window, a bird had built a nest and was singing prettily in it.

 

The world I could see was peaceful.

 

It seemed that I was the only one who was disturbed.

 

I stayed still for some time, and when my head was a little clearer, I looked at the unchecked pile of letters.

 

I sent Annie home and began the boring task of sorting through them.

 

Thus, for a while, I sat at my desk with a pensive mind and repeated the same thing.

 

It was a monotonous time, but when I felt a stiffness in my neck, I lifted my head to look at the clock and saw that time had flown by. I looked out the window and saw that the sun, which was high in the sky when I sat at my desk, had already begun to set, and before I knew it, the sky outside was tinged with sunset.

 

“Shall I get up now?”

 

I pulled my chair back to get up and a letter fell under my desk.

 

It seemed to have fallen out when I put the letters to one side earlier. As soon as I saw the golden wax on the clean white envelope, I felt anxious. I slowly leaned forward and stretched out my arm to pick up the letter that had fallen on the floor. Frowning as I saw the name on the back of the envelope, I broke the seal and read what was written inside.

 

[ I was worried when you didn’t wake up for a while, but I’m glad to hear that you’re feeling better. I’ll be coming to see you soon. There are some misunderstandings about what happened the other day……]

 

I clenched my fists.

 

My long fingernails dug sharply into my palms.

 

“Miss, are you okay?”

 

Annie asked worriedly, looking at my pale face.

 

“Um, when did this letter come?”

 

To my question, Annie took the letter and answered quickly.

 

“It came the day before yesterday. Is there something wrong with the letter?”

 

I bit my lip.

 

The letter was sent by the Crown Prince, a one-sided notice that he was visiting his fiancée because he was concerned about her health.

 

‘Where on earth did it leak from?’

 

I furrowed my eyebrows at my bitter heart.

 

I was going to choose one of the invitations that had come my way and reply that I would attend. The rumor about my appearance would spread then. But now, before I could reply, I had never left the room. So that means…

 

‘It means that it has leaked from inside.’

 

I glanced at Annie beside me.

 

She was just quietly holding her position, as usual. I had a nagging feeling in my head that something was wrong, but I decided to stop immediately. I didn’t want to doubt the innocent people, and my move wouldn’t change anything. As long as the Crown Prince had decided to come anyway, there was nothing I could do to stop him.

 

I tapped my fingers on the end of the desk in a haze.

 

Stephen wouldn’t be the one, but any servant in my room could have leaked the information about my recovery.

 

Annie wasn’t the only one who’s been in and out of my room.

 

Most of the people in the mansion probably knew that I had woken up, despite the rumors.

 

I knew I had to meet the Crown Prince one day as I was his fiancée. 

I couldn’t keep avoiding him just because of the inconvenience. But I didn’t expect it to be so urgent.

 

I thought we wouldn’t run into each other, at least not while I was cooped up in the mansion…

 

I bit my lip tightly.

 

The last thing I saw was the infantile stare of my enemy and the face of hatred towards me.

 

I stared at the letter for some time and soon picked it up and tried to tear it apart. But I couldn’t because the paper he used was strong and hard. When my eyes met Annie’s, she was staring at me with a surprised look on her face. As she hurriedly lowered her head again, I motioned for her to come over. Annie stood nervously in front of me.

 

I gave Annie the rest of the letters except for the last one.

 

“Take these and burn them.”

 

Annie’s eyes went wide as if they were about to pop out. She looked at the letters with a look of disbelief. I ordered her coldly.

 

“Now.”

 

***

 

In fact, this was not the first time the Crown Prince had sent me such a sweet letter.

 

He usually looked away from Roxana when he was by Claire’s side, and would finally visit her if he needed something.

 

And Roxana was always behind, waiting for him to look at her.

 

And on the days when he did turn around, she was greatly pleased, and even had vain hopes. 

 

However, the day after he got what he wanted, the Crown Prince would, without exception, turned away from her again.

 

The one corner of interest and affection that Roxana had hoped for was nothing sort of a bone that he sometimes threw at a dog guarding his house. 

 

Perhaps Roxana herself knew that she was being used. And yet, she couldn’t cut it off.

 

Perhaps she would have tried to forgive the Crown Prince this time, too, forgetting what had happened before. She would have forgiven the Crown Prince, who had defended his illicit lover in so many places, who had blamed and insulted his fiancée.

 

But I was not the real Roxana.

 

I wasn’t blind like her, and wasn’t the type to beg for love from anyone.

 

The Crown Prince, with the help of his fiancée, has managed to maintain his current position.

 

However, he cheated on his fiancée with another woman and treated her coldly.

 

He took advantage of Roxana’s true feelings and profited from it, then threw her away. Roxana believed that her marriage to the Crown Prince would change the situation.

 

But I thought differently.

 

Even if she married the Crown Prince and entered the Imperial Palace, Roxana’s future would never be bright.

 

In fact, wasn’t that when the real misfortune began?