Chapter 1. The fiancé is back
After accepting Kalian’s request, I wanted to look around the capital as Sarah wanted, but it was already too late.
Reluctantly, I called for a carriage and headed to the mansion.
“I’ll definitely take you to look around the capital next time.”
I said that because I was sorry I didn’t keep my promise, but Sarah shook her head.
“It’s okay. I’ve seen enough today.”
“You only saw Greenery street.”
“Come on, I saw a lot of things there. More than that, I have a question for you, My Lady.”
“Yeah, ask me.”
“The Lord I saw earlier, does he have a higher status than you, My Lady?”
Come to think of it, Sarah doesn’t know who he is yet.
“He’s the Emperor.”
There was nothing to hide, so I answered honestly.
At my words, Sarah, who was nodding her head saying ‘I see’, responded late and opened her mouth wide.
“Yes? The, the Emperor? He, he’s the Emperor!?”
“Wh, wh, wh, why the Emperor…”
Is this such a shocking fact to make her tremble like that?
“Calm down, Sarah.”
“How, how can I calm down! I saw the Slaughter Emperor right in front of my eyes!”
When I sternly called her name, Sarah shut her mouth and bowed her head.
“I’m sorry, My Lady. I was too surprised…”
“It’s okay. Watch your mouth next time. You could be accused of blasphemy for contempt of the Imperial family.”
“Yes, yes. I will keep that in mind.”
Sarah nodded with a tense look on her face. I patted her on the shoulder to make her relax.
The Slaughter Emperor.
What Sarah said lingered in my head.
It wasn’t that I didn’t know that the current emperor was called the Slaughter Emperor.
I had nothing to do with the emperor, so I just forgot about it for a while.
And I couldn’t think of Kalian because he was so much more pleasant and nice than I thought.
But it was all true. Kalian killed his father and his blood relatives and became emperor.
I understood his actions because he would have been killed if he hadn’t killed them.
He was accused of killing his younger half-brothers and the empresses who begged for their lives.
That was why he was called the Slaughter Emperor.
…he doesn’t look like that though, but I don’t know the truth.
I abruptly lifted the necklace that Kalian gave me.
The blue jewel on the platinum chain sparkled brilliantly.
The necklace’s ability was useless, but it was pretty enough to play a great role even as a simple accessory.
“It’s a pretty necklace.”
Sarah’s eyes glistened as she thought so too.
“Is the jewel a sapphire?”
“No. It’s a spirit stone.”
“Oh, my God, a spirit stone! As expected, because he is the Emperor, the standard of gifts is really different!”
Is that so? I’ve never really thought of it like that.
It was just burdensome to receive such an expensive gift. It kept bothering me that I couldn’t refuse because it was an Imperial order.
I must make it up to him next time.
Otherwise, I won’t feel comfortable.
I put the necklace back into the box with a firm resolve.
After a while, the carriage arrived at the mansion.
Leaving Sarah, who’s paying for the carriage, I went into the mansion first and stopped when I saw the boxes lined up on one side of the hall.
At first glance, there were more than 20 boxes.
Considering that the servants diligently moved, it meant that there were more than that.
“What’s all this?”
The butler, who checked the box and gave the servants various instructions, answered politely.
“It was purchased by the young lady.”
Cecily, you’re calling that woman ‘young lady’?
I understood that he couldn’t call her recklessly because she’s a woman who had Philen’s child, but I didn’t like the title ‘young lady’. Because she and I seemed to be treated the same way.
I felt terribly bad.
But it’s not wrong either. So if I pointed it out for no reason and it got into Philen’s ear, it would be a headache, that’s why I let it go.
It was also because I was more concerned about what was in front of me.
“Did she buy all these? Didn’t you buy the things that the Duke needed?”
Oh, my God. What did she need so much that she bought so many?
When I prepared to attend the Emperor’s coronation party, there were fewer boxes than this. And they were a share for both me and Philen.
However, Cecily bought so many things for herself.
I opened the big box nearest to me.
There was a pretty dress inside the box.
A dress with a tight waist design that wasn’t suitable for pregnant women.
Another large box also contained a dress that looked difficult for pregnant women to wear.
I understood she ordered dresses because she didn’t have clothes to wear, but why did she buy dresses that she couldn’t even wear now?
I frowned and opened the other boxes.
Small boxes contained shoes, bags, and hats.
Smaller boxes contained jewelry such as necklaces and rings. And the big jewels looked expensive even at a glance.
How much did she spend?
Curious, I asked the butler for a receipt.
“I want to see the receipt.”
“Here it is.”
I read through the list of items on the receipt that the butler gave me.
17 dresses. 19 pairs of shoes… etc.
Different types of items and the quantity surprised me. But what surprised me even more was the total amount at the end of the receipt.
On the receipt, half-year operating expenses of the estate were written down.
No matter how many times I checked it, even rubbing my eyes, the amount didn’t change.
In just one day, so much money was spent to satisfy one’s personal greed.
The Duke of Williot wasn’t poor enough to stumble because of it, Still, it was ridiculous.
Most of the dresses in particular were dresses that Cecily couldn’t wear now.
As a former princess, there was no way she didn’t know that dresses in fashion couldn’t be worn even after a year. What on earth is she thinking?
I wanted to leave only a few and refund the rest, but I couldn’t.
It was absolutely impossible. Because all authority had been passed to Philen.
Even if I had the authority, I couldn’t change what Philen allowed her to do.
So even if it bothered me, I returned the receipt without saying anything.
The butler looked at me strangely for a moment, then politely retreated.
I was about to go back to my room when Sarah rushed to me.
Behind her were servants holding an armful of books.
“The books you bought from the bookstore have arrived. Shall we bring them to your room?”
As I was about to answer her, Philen appeared behind Sarah.
I swallowed what I was about to say and bowed my head lightly to Philen.
Sarah and the servants also bowed hastily to greet him.
Philen nodded slightly and looked at the books the servants were holding.
“What’s all this?”
“These books were bought by My Lady.”
Upon hearing Sarah’s report, Philen looked back at me as if it was ridiculous.
“Why did you buy so many books for nothing?”
The word ‘for nothing’ pierced my heart sharply.
I answered in a calm voice, controlling my slightly trembling heart.
“It’s not for nothing. They’re all books I need.”
“Books you need?”
Philen glanced through the book titles and frowned slightly.
“I don’t think you had to buy them. They’re all in the study.”
“They’re not in the study.”
“There’s no way. I’ve seen them all before. Especially…”
Philen picked up the book at the top.
“I’ve certainly seen Belboot’s tax theory in the study.”
That book is in the study?
“It can’t be.”
“You are so sure, huh?”
“Because I’m sure of it.”
When I answered without hesitation, Philen frowned.
He ordered the servant to bring the list of books that were kept in the study.
After a while, as he skimmed through the list of books brought by the servant, a deep wrinkle appeared on Philen’s forehead.
As expected, they weren’t there. It couldn’t have been. Because I went to buy them after checking several times.
However, he didn’t believe me and I was disgusted that it came out like this. I tried to ask him again if I was right or not, but I stopped.
It was because I didn’t want to cause any trouble by hurting his pride.
So I was just going to let it slide, but Philen picked on me.
“It must be nice to have a good memory.”
At first glance, it sounded like a compliment, but it wasn’t a compliment at all when I saw his expression.
What’s wrong with him?
Why are you so unhappy that I bought the books?
A sigh came out automatically, but I didn’t show it.
I looked at him calmly and bowed my head lightly.
“Thank you for the compliment.”
He twisted his lips as if he didn’t like it.
Philen asked me, waving the Belboot’s tax theory book he was holding.
“You’re not going back to get involved in the duke’s affairs again, are you, Lady Thebesa?”
Ah, is that how it is?
Only then did I burst out into a small laugh, realizing what Philen was worried about.
It was a bit ridiculous, but at the same time, it made sense.
Since I bought books like tax law and welfare, it was natural for him to misunderstand.
Hesitating might cause some unnecessary misunderstanding, so I answered clearly.
“No, I’m not.”
“Then why did you buy so many books like this all of a sudden?”
What should I do? Should I tell him the truth?
I thought about it for a while and decided to tell him the truth.
I thought that would clear up the misunderstanding. And I had to get permission to take the official test.
“It’s because of the official test.”
“Official test? The test that the Emperor said to hire an aide?”
“Yes. I intend to take the test.”
Philen laughed a little at my answer. It was clearly a ridicule.
“This test is said to be taken by many talented people who are also asked to take it by the Imperial Academy. Do you think you can pass?”
“I think it’s something you don’t know until you try it.”
“As I thought before, the Lady is full of useless confidence.”
Philen scratched his cheek as if he felt annoyed.
“It’s all baseless and useless confidence.”