Chapter 1. The fiancé is back
Again, Philen didn’t say anything.
There was no way he could say anything because it was all true and it was the words he spat out.
Then, time passed in vain while he was silent.
At a time like this, it would be nice to look at at least one more document, but as soon as the thought occurred to me, I smiled.
What are you thinking like a fool in this situation?
It all happened when I was with Philen.
I thought it would be better to go now, so when I was going to walk past him, Philen spoke again.
“…you thought I would back off, didn’t you?
Philen’s golden eyes gleamed in a flash.
“You think if you protest that you won’t do the job anymore, I’m going to hesitate and say sorry, right?”
“I never thought of that, and I have no intention of protesting.”
“Is this not a protest?”
“Yeah. I’m just trying to be aware of my position and act as you said.”
Philen’s jaw tightened.
His deep wrinkled eyebrows looked very displeased with the situation.
“Is this how it’s supposed to turn out?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
I shrugged lightly as if I didn’t really know anything.
“Then, it seems like we’re done talking. Can I leave now? I am tired.”
Philen didn’t answer, but I took it as a positive affirmation and left the room.
When I went back to my room, it had already been cleaned. The sofa and carpet that were asked to be replaced were also replaced with new ones.
Sarah, who was working on the finishing touches, found me and smiled brightly.
“I was just about to go report to you, but you came first.”
The smile on Sarah’s face disappeared at my indifferent answer.
“My Lady, what happened?”
“Do I look like something has happened?”
“Yes. You don’t look well.”
Is that so?
I checked my face in the mirror.
It was an ordinary face, no different from usual. It didn’t look bad or weird at all.
“Oh, by the way, while you were away, I got a letter from the West.”
Sarah approached me and gave me the letter she had taken beforehand.
“I think it was a letter from the aides…”
I raised my hand to cover Sarah’s mouth.
“From now on, all letters from the aides should be delivered to the Duke.”
“Yes? But, it says it’s a letter related to work.”
“That’s why. Now, the Duke of Williot’s work will be done by the Duke. So bring it to him.”
Then, I handed over all the documents I brought with me to Sarah.
“And bring all of this to the Duke.”
“By any chance… Did something happen between My Lady and the Master?”
The quick-witted maid was convenient and uncomfortable.
I waved my hand to tell her that she should just leave, replacing my answer in silence. And Sarah went out quietly.
Left alone, I threw myself down on the bed without changing my clothes.
I had a headache.
I felt rather heavy even though I had unloaded my burden.
I was anxious too.
I covered my eyes with my arms and muttered.
“It’s okay, Leila. You did well.”
After all, the duke’s job would be passed on to Philen when he returned to the estate after the banquet was over.
It was a little upsetting to let go of the Duchess’s job, but… I had no regrets.
Even if the same situation was repeated over and over again, I would have made the same choice.
So there’s no need to be anxious.
Everything would be okay.
I had been comforting myself for a while, but it’s all in vain.
Back in the room, Philen dumped the seals and documents he had brought on his desk.
If Leila bent a little and apologized, he would accept it as if nothing had happened.
However, instead of apologizing, she replied back as if she was great, and then he too became angry and said something harsh.
But Philen didn’t think he was wrong. Because Leila was the one who started everything first.
If she treated Cecily a little warmly. No, if she had lowered her pride when he came, he wouldn’t have said it that far.
He knew well what Leila had been through, that’s why he tried to put up with it even if she was being rude. But, she became more arrogant.
How dare you say that to me.
“I have to get a proper apology this time.”
He was determined not to let it pass.
A knock was heard.
It was the butler of the mansion.
In the butler’s arms, there was an armful of documents.
“Young Lady Thebesa asked me to bring it to you.”
Does this woman really want to do it?
Philen held back his annoyance and shook his head.
The butler, who noticed that he wasn’t feeling very well, asked cautiously.
“What should we do?”
“What do you mean what should we do? It’s my job, so I have to do it. Leave it on the desk.”
The butler put the documents down on the desk and quietly left.
Philen glared at the quickly increased documents as if they were Leila.
“You think I couldn’t handle it?”
Although he had never officially worked as a duke, he was still the successor.
As he had been educated as a successor from the moment he began to walk, he knew very well what to do.
He knew there’s a difference between theory and practice, but it wouldn’t be as difficult as a war to deal with just scraps of paper, right?
Thinking that it was a piece of cake, and the only thing lacking was the help from the aides, Philen picked up the document arrogantly and began to read it.
But soon his confident face slowly collapsed.
Philen squinted his eyes and read through the document several times, but he couldn’t understand what it was about.
All he understood was that the rainy season was approaching and that the river bank had to be repaired just in case.
How the process worked, how much it cost, how much risk there was, and how long it had to be done was written down, but he didn’t understand any of it.
And what he didn’t understand the most was the amount.
Only to prepare for the rainy season, a month’s worth of the estate’s operating expenses went into it.
“Why does it cost so much money?”
Don’t tell me, did we spend this much money every rainy season?
If so, someone must have stolen it from the middle.
Otherwise, it wouldn’t have been possible to spend this much money every time.
And there’s no way Leila was the one who stole the money.
Is there a culprit among the aides or middlemen?
Or the culprit could be the wizard who was called in case of an emergency.
We need to go back to the estate to check who the culprit is.
“You pretended to be smart, but it turns out you were stupid.”
It was funny that Leila didn’t figure it out after doing it for years and he discovered what she didn’t figure out at once.
After solving everything without her knowledge, I will surprise her.
Then she won’t be as proud as she is now.
She won’t be able to ignore me.
Just thinking about Leila’s embarrassment made him laugh with joy.
As he remembered, the rainy season in the Tephra territory he ruled was three weeks from now.
It was written in the document too.
It meant that they had to finish preparing before then.
I have to send this document ahead of time.
That way, all preparations could be completed before the rainy season began.
He had to revise the amount before sending the document, but he had no idea how much he should revise it.
If there were aides, he would discuss it with them, but inevitably there was none.
Then what should he do?
“…should I discuss it with Leila?”
At the sudden thought, Philen shook his head.
What a crazy idea.
Why would I talk with her who didn’t even know there was something wrong?
Moreover, I didn’t want to talk to her now.
It wasn’t just now. I wouldn’t say a word until she bent and apologized.
Then Philen, who was contemplating what to do, decided to find precedents.
If he looked at the precedents of the previous Duke of Williot’s work, he might be able to solve this by himself.
“Bring the key to the study.”
It was when Philen, who had been given the key to the study by the butler, was about to go to the study with the document.
Cecily was here.
She hugged Philen from behind.
“What are you doing?”
“I’ve been looking at the document.”
“Then you won’t be able to stay with me.”
Cecily said with a gloomy look.
“I wanted Phil to stay by my side but because of Lady Thebesa’s work…”
How could he say no when she spoke in such a sad tone?
Philen put the document he was looking at on the desk, then turned to look at her.
“I’ll stay with you.”
“Really? But don’t you have to work?”
“I can work on it later.”
At Philen’s answer, Cecily threw herself into Philen’s arms as if she was very happy.
Then she glanced at the document that Philen had put down.
Preparing for the rainy season, risks, and…
“You’re barely gaining weight even though you’re pregnant.”
Cecily’s gaze that was scanning the document turned to Philen.
Philen lightly pinched Cecily’s pale cheek.
“You’re so skinny. Who would think you’re pregnant?”
“No. I gained a lot of weight.”
“You haven’t gained weight anywhere other than your belly. Well, this was originally big.”
Philen’s hand gently passed through her chest.
Cecily’s face flushed brightly at the touch with bad intention and patted him on the chest.
“Phil, you idiot.”
“You’ll be the only one who can call me an idiot.”
Philen smiled and hugged Cecily affectionately.
Cecily snuggled into Philen’s arms and glanced again at the document that Philen had put down.
The word wizard, to be exact.
Cecily’s eyes trembled slightly.
Cecily bit her lip nervously, then looked up at Philen.
“Phil, I have a favor to ask.”
“What is it?”
“Promise me that you’ll listen first.”
When Philen didn’t answer yet, Cecily quickly added.
“It’s about our child.”
“If that’s the case, I’ll listen.”
Only then did Cecily smile brightly and say what she wanted.