Chapter 4

***

 

Even when she found out that her husband had another woman, and her old lover came back, her daily life did not change, or more accurately, it had to.

 

The social scene was not so different from the wild when it came to elegance and beauty.

 

If she left any room for mischief, people would pounce on her like hungry hyenas and tear through everything she had.

 

Just like they did a very long time ago.

 

“Ha ……”

 

The more this happened, the more she knew that she had to get along with Bake.

 

The more the Marquis and Marchioness of Clayton showed how close they were, the more the rumors would die down.

 

Rivianna let out a ragged breath and dropped her head helplessly.

 

Her hair was hanging down like an iron cage, blocking her vision.

 

She knew this better than anyone.

 

Apart from what people saw from the outside, her routine was shaky.

 

When she noticed the beautiful face of the maid who combed her hair, she couldn’t leave her to run errands anymore, and the moment she saw the maid and Bake exchanging stories, she wondered again and again if she should fire her.

 

When it came down to it, her husband wasn’t the least bit different from his normal self.

 

She slowly lifted the ring from the vanity table .

 

The wedding ring that she had worn every day since she married Bake had faded, unable to withstand the years.

 

“Decide, Lady Clayton. Many things will change with your decision.”

 

She covered the ring with her hand, not looking at it any longer. The firm feeling of it clasping her palm was enough to bring back memories of that day.

 

She slowly opened her hand and put the ring on her ring finger.

 

She couldn’t just lose everything, helplessly, like before.

 

This time again, she had something to protect.

 

***

 

Rivianna stood still with her arms crossed, looking up at the wall as one place caught her eyes.

 

The walls were lined with portraits of the previous Marquis of Clayton, but there was no portrait of her father.

 

The portrait of Bake, with his stern expression, simply occupied the place where her father should have been originally.

 

“Kevin.”

 

“Yes, ma’am.”

 

“When is Bake coming?

 

“He said he’s having a business dinner with Count Natrett.”

 

“I see. Then I’ll have to eat by myself today.”

 

She kept her eyes on the portrait as she answered.

 

Her father’s face was now a blur, not even his portrait remained.

 

“Shall I prepare a meal for you?”

 

“No, that won’t be necessary. I had a prior engagement, too.”

 

“A prior engagement? May I ask where you are going?”

 

“The Clayton Hotel.” (Riv)

 

“…”

 

“What’s the matter? Is there a problem?” (Riv)

 

“…No, I’ll have a carriage ready in a moment.” (Kevin)

 

Kevin hurriedly bowed and left the room.

 

She watched the old butler’s back as he moved away and her lips twisted up into a smile.

 

***

 

“Ma’am, is that you?!”

 

“Did you see a ghost or something? Why are you so surprised?”

 

“Because you came without any notice, and I was worried that there might be a big problem.”

 

The watchman chuckled awkwardly, rubbing his hands together.

 

“I have an appointment for dinner.”

 

Rivianna slowly made her way through the interior of the hotel lobby.

 

The lobby was gorgeous and neat, befitting the name of the best hotel in the capital.

 

Glancing around, she didn’t see anything that bothered her.

 

“Are there any other problems with the business?”

 

“His Excellency has been watching it closely, and there are no problems.”

 

“I’ve heard that he doesn’t pay much attention to the hotel because of his other business.”

 

“Come to think of it, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen His Excellency. How are you? If you have time, please tell him to visit later.”

 

“All right, I will.”

 

Rivianna turned around, smiling nonchalantly.

 

But her hand, grasping her fan, was full of strength.

 

She knew it, but after checking it, she felt disgusted.

 

Bake’s lies were more cunning than she thought.

 

“You are here.”

 

She walked into the room and saw a familiar face.

 

She finally relaxed her hands.

 

“Cheshire, Rose.”

 

“I’ve missed you, sister!”

 

Rivianna hugged Rose, who jumped into her arms, and smiled at Rose, who was standing behind Rose.

 

“I hope you’ve both been well.”

 

“Of course. Wouldn’t you be surprised to find out what I’ve done this time? This time, I mean.”

 

“I found what sister asked for.”

 

“Cheshire, you! I’m telling you…”

 

“I’ve been listening to all of your chatter, but the main point is that I can’t even go on for the rest of my life.”

 

Cheshire grabbed Rose by the collar, pulling her away from Rivianna, and quickly held out the envelope to her.

 

“It’s what you asked for.”

 

“Thank you.”

 

“No need to say thanks. I’ll do anything for you, sister, so feel free to tell me anything. We’re on the same side.”

 

Cheshire chuckled and held out the envelope again.

 

Rivianna just raised her head instead of accepting the envelope.

 

“Actually, I have more requests.”

 

“I told you. I’ll do anything sister asks.”

 

“…”

 

“Is it difficult to say?”

 

Rivianna stared at Cheshire, whose head tilted.

 

She thought he was just a child, but he looked like a pretty decent man when he put his hair neatly over his forehead.

 

She struggled for a moment, then slowly opened her mouth.

 

She didn’t want to ask for such a favor, but there was no one she could trust.

 

“I need you to find someone.”

 

“A person?”

 

“I think Bake has a mistress.”

 

As soon as the words were finished, silence filled the room.

 

She raised her lips to look as nonchalant as possible.

 

The fact that she had to ask such a favor was horrifying, but now was not the time to worry about her pride.

 

“Should I kill him? Just tell me! He’s going to die right now.”

 

“Calm down. Sister is still talking.”

 

Cheshire blocked Rose, who was about to pounce on him.

 

Still unsure of what more to say, Cheshire was silent for a moment.

 

Rivianna pretended to be ignorant of Cheshire’s clenched, bloodshot fists and continued speaking.

 

“I have no intention of divorcing him.”

 

“…”

 

“But, I’m thinking about making it big.”

 

Rivianna grabbed the envelope in Cheshire’s hand and checked the contents.

 

Then she scoffed briefly.

 

Again, there was not much difference.

 

She stopped reading and put the document back into the envelope.

 

She noticed right away just by looking at the document Cheshire had given her.

 

For the past month, Bake has been lying to her consistently.

 

And she noticed it again when she saw the document this time.

 

It was quite a long time ago that Bake started lying to her. However, even though she knew the disgusting fact clearly, her decision did not change. Mariel needed a father.

 

“Please find Bake’s woman as secretly as possible.”

 

“Secretly…..”

 

Rose couldn’t connect the words and hastily covered her mouth.

 

Rivianna smiled.

 

“Do you want me to tell you when I find the woman? Or should I just take care of her?”

 

“…”

 

Rivianna paused for a moment at the question.

 

She was actually curious about the woman.

 

How beautiful she was, how good she was, and how much she loved her husband.

 

When she thought about the woman, whose name and face she didn’t know, all sorts of questions popped into her head.

 

But at the same time, she didn’t want to know.

 

She felt as if the moment she faced the woman, she would remember her face for the rest of her life.

 

She closed my eyes for a moment, and then quickly added, 

 

“Just deal with it. It’s so that I won’t have to worry about it any more.”

 

She deliberately pretended not to know that her voice was trembling as she spoke.

 

***

 

“I can’t believe you suddenly get rid of all your servants. Is there some kind of change in your mind?”

 

“They’re all old now. I think it would be better to help them live comfortably rather than making them work so hard.”

 

Rivianna stared at the servants as they walked away.

 

Most of the owners of the mansion have been around since the days when her father was the owner. They knew each other better than anyone else because they had been together for a long time.

 

But it was a difficult time.

 

She touched her earrings and lowered her eyes.

 

Even though the woman’s identity was elusive, it was not without its suspicions.

 

The woman’s earrings were found inside the mansion, and Bake smelled of soap that was used only inside the mansion.

 

There was a big probability that the woman’s true identity was someone who had access to the mansion.

 

How could the servants not be aware of the skit that was going on in the mansion for more than a day or two?

 

They simply kept silent and tuned out.

 

Her fingertips ached from being pierced by the earring, but I she continued to watch the people leave.

 

She knew that this was not the end of the story.

 

It had been ten years since Bake had become the Marquis of Clayton.

 

In a way, it was only natural that he would be in control of the entire Clayton family. There was a high probability that all of Bake’s good friends, and then those who were her father’s people for a time, would stand by his side and ignore her.

 

That fact made her mouth dry.

 

“You must be lonely. It must feel weird to send away the people who have been with you for a long time.”

 

“It’s okay. You’re here instead, aren’t you?”

 

Still, not all of them had turned their backs.

 

Some of them stayed behind.

 

Rivianna smiled at Margaret.

 

The friend who had been with her the moment everyone turned their backs was still with her.

 

“I hope I can be a comfort to you. That’s all I can do for you.”

 

“That’s all? How much more power would that be for me?”

 

“I’m sure you’ve used your strength more than I have.”

 

Margaret chuckled awkwardly and twitched her fingers.

 

Margaret was suspected as a prime suspect in the murder of her husband, Viscount Fisher.

 

But for Rivianna, Margaret was a great woman who couldn’t even kill an insect.

 

“It’s a false accusation. The charges will be cleared soon.” (Riv)

 

“…You think so?” (Margaret)

 

“Of course. No matter what anyone says, I know that you are innocent.” (Riv)

 

“Thank you. And I’m sorry.” (Margaret)

 

Margaret reached out.

 

Her fingers trembled finely as she touched Rivianna.

 

“Between friends, I’m sorry. When I was in pain, you were there for me too, and I’m only returning the favor.” (Riv)

 

“…”

 

“It’s okay, just calm down and have a cup of tea. A good tea came in, I’m sure you’ll like it.” (Riv)

 

Rivianna left her seat to get the tea.

 

She could ask the servant to do it, but personally she preferred to infuse it herself.

 

“No. You don’t have to make tea. I can’t drink it anyway.” (Margaret)

 

“You can’t drink? Why?” (Riv)

 

“That’s…” 

 

“You still feel sick? Should I call a doctor?”(Riv)

 

Rivianna frowned and stopped. 

 

Before she knew it, the corners of Margaret’s eyes had turned red.

 

She seemed to be embarrassed and crying at the same time. 

 

“I’m pregnant.” (Margaret)

 

“What?” (Riv)

 

Rivianna couldn’t talk anymore and swallowed her breath.

 

She slowly moved her head as if possessed.

 

She looked at Margaret, who had her hands wrapped around her stomach as if protecting it.

Notes

N/A

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