Chapter 1. The fiancé is back
Sponsored chapter by Kuroneko_chan. Thank you 💖
Bragged? Who? Me?
“I would never do that.”
“You just did.”
Philen got up from his seat, rubbing his face.
“Let’s stop talking about useless things. I have a lot of work to do.”
Philen let out a small sigh.
“I’m busy with the Duke’s work, and I’m so busy that I can’t even catch my breath for a moment to do the Duchess’s work.”
Of course, you are. Because I was like that too.
After doing it for a long time, it became a little easier for me because I got the hang of it, but for Philen, it would be more difficult because it was his first time doing it.
“I haven’t returned to the estate yet, but I’m already like this. I don’t want to imagine what it would be like when I go back to the estate.”
Philen complained while looking at me. It was a look that wanted me to say something.
What do you want me to say?
After thinking for a while, I came up with a suitable word.
“It must be very difficult. I’ll support you, so do your best.”
Philen frowned at my answer. It didn’t seem to be the answer he wanted.
“Is that all you want to say?”
As I looked at him, telling him to tell me what he wanted, Philen waved his hand.
“Forget it. I’m leaving. I’m the only one who is tired of talking to a tactless woman like you.”
The words full of thorns irritated me.
However, if I kept arguing with him, it would be me who would lose in the end, so I turned around without saying anything.
After parting ways with Leila, Philen returned to his room and sat down at his desk with an annoyed sigh.
There was a pile of documents on the desk for him to look at.
Even though he was diligently looking at the documents until he fell asleep, there was no sign of it decreasing.
At least the duke’s work was worth it, but the problem was the duchess’s.
He started to get sick and tired of trying to take care of the things that a hostess had to do, such as taking care of the family’s affairs and the surrounding high-ranking nobles.
So he wanted to hand over the Duchess’s work to Leila.
He had said something before, so he couldn’t be the first to say it. That’s why he secretly brought it up.
If Leila said ‘I’ll help you’, he was going to pretend he didn’t win, but instead, she said that.
He knew she was tactless, but he didn’t know she would be this bad.
“What on earth are you good at?”
She was tactless, she wasn’t attractive, and she wasn’t noticeably pretty either.
Up until now, he thought she was doing a good job, but looking at the rainy season document, it was confirmed that she was not.
…well, other than that part, she didn’t seem to make any particular mistakes.
The fact that Leila was good at work was something that even aides acknowledged.
Every time she said something, it was always about taking the official test that didn’t even work.
“…that’s really annoying.”
Just thinking about Leila gave him a headache and made him frustrated.
Wanting to drink cool water, Philen asked the servant to bring it.
After a while, it was Cecily, not the servant, who brought water with ice on the tray.
Philen, who had been rummaging through the documents pointlessly, stood up as soon as he saw Cecily.
Then he quickly approached and took the tray Cecily was carrying.
“Your body is heavy and what if you fall? Why are you doing such chores?”
“This much is fine.”
“I’m not. From now on, never do this again.”
“Even after giving birth?”
Cecily smiled pleasantly at Philen’s answer.
Philen put the tray on the table first, then personally escorted Cecily to the sofa.
Cecily came, and there’s no way to just drink water, so Philen ordered the servant to bring some delicious cookies and sweet tea.
“Eat the cookies. I’ll finish what I have to do and then idle with you.”
“Are you very busy?”
“A little. I’ll be done soon, so wait a minute.”
Philen said so, but he still didn’t finish when Cecily finished her tea.
Cecily, tired from idling alone, came to Philen’s side.
“Can I help you?”
He heard what he wanted to hear from Leila from Cecily.
This situation made him laugh.
“It’s okay. It’s not something you can do because you’re not living in our estate, and you’re not a citizen of the Empire.”
“Is that so?”
He was just telling the truth, but when Cecily became depressed, Philen grabbed her by the waist and put her on his lap.
“Why are you so depressed?”
“I’m sad because you’re having a hard time and there’s nothing I can help.”
Philen smiled lightly and pinched Cecily’s cheek.
It would have been great if Leila looked half like Cecily.
The thought of her made him sigh again.
He was catching his breath for a while and talking with Cecily about this and that. Then the butler came with documents saying it was urgent.
Seriously, can’t you see me taking a break for a moment?
Philen swallowed his irritation and checked the document the butler had brought.
Cecily glanced through the documents on the desk in the meantime.
As Philen said, there was nothing she could do as she was a princess of a foreign country.
But if this…
Cecily smiled brightly, holding a piece of paper.
“I can help you with this!”
I originally didn’t have much luggage that I brought with me, and I didn’t have much luggage to bring as I was planning to return to the capital after the inspection.
I only brought a few books.
I took two of them with the intention of reading them on the way to the estate. As I headed to the carriage, Philen was standing in front of it.
“Why are you here?”
Philen’s eyebrows rose slightly at my question.
“Can’t I be here?”
“I didn’t mean it that way, but I was asking because you weren’t in the carriage when we were about to leave.”
“I’m going to get on now. So get on, too, My Lady.”
Philen said as he opened the carriage door with his own hands.
It was an unfamiliar kindness. I awkwardly got on the carriage.
As soon as I sat down, I got up again when Philen got on the carriage.
Why are you here instead of in the same carriage as Cecily?
I looked at him strangely.
Philen sat down and said.
“I have something to tell you, sit down, My Lady.”
Ah, I see.
I understood and sat back.
Soon the carriage began to rattle.
I thought he would just say something and get off, but I was wrong.
I felt stuffy sitting face to face with him and the thought about going all the way to the estate.
Furthermore, it was even more uncomfortable because Philen didn’t say anything and just stared at me.
Am I supposed to start the conversation?
As I was about to open my mouth, Philen spoke with a serious look on his face.
“I said I would do it, so I tried to be responsible as much as I could be.”
I swallowed what I was about to say and listened to Philen.
“But there are many other things to do, and it’s difficult to do this by myself. I’m ashamed of myself.”
It was long, but the point was one.
You’re asking for help.
I was a little disgusted. He was saying rude things, and then asking for help, but what can I do?
Liked or not, he was my fiancé.
I didn’t want to argue about this for nothing, so I decided to accept it.
“What’s going on?”
Is it about the estate’s matter? Or if not, is it about the Duke’s work?
“It’s about preparing for our wedding.”
As I was trying to guess which it was, I opened my eyes wide, surprised by what Philen said.
Preparing for the wedding? I was embarrassed.
As I stayed still with my eyes wide open, Philen tilted his head.
“Why do you look like that? Do you not want to marry me?”
Of course, I should say no, but for a moment, the words didn’t come out as if there was a thorn in my throat.
As I paused without answering, Philen looked at me suspiciously.
“That can’t be.”
I hurriedly opened my mouth because it would be troublesome if Philen misunderstood.
There was still an uncomfortable feeling somewhere in my heart, but I ignored it.
“I was just a little bewildered because it was so sudden.”
“Sudden? I already told you at the party that I’m going to marry you.”
He certainly said that, but at the time, I thought it was just a silly act. Because Philen’s actions after that were far from being those of the person who wanted to marry.
So I forgot about it, and I didn’t think he would bring it up first.
“I think it’s better to do it before winter comes, so the date is October, and the location is at Williot estate.”
He even thought of the date and time.
It was a talent to surprise people with every word he said.
My heart pounded in surprise at Philen’s words several times.
“What do you think?”
October was a little tight, but I gladly accepted it.
It was because I wanted to quickly become the Duchess of Williot and find stability, even if I was uncomfortable with Philen.
I couldn’t keep being such an anxious fiancée.
…that will give me a reason to refute what Philen is saying.
“Then as soon as I get back to the estate, I’ll have to order the dress and the tailcoat. I’ll send out invitations too.”
…why are you laughing?
Staring at him for his inexplicable behavior, Philen said with a smile.
“Leila, you’re the bride. And you’re going to prepare the wedding yourself? People will laugh at you if they find out.”
I nodded in agreement with Philen.
It was customary for the closest relatives to prepare wedding arrangements when the parents were not present.
The wedding parties rarely did the preparation themselves.
“Then who are you going to ask? You’re not going to ask Countess Thebesa, are you?”
If she was conscious of her surroundings and showing off, she would be happy to do it, but I didn’t like it.
I thought it’s better to prepare with my own hands and got ridiculed by the people around me.
When I asked carefully, Philen smiled lightly.
“I’m not that tactless.”
…is that so?
Well, he knew that Countess Thebesa and I were not on good terms. Also that she was my stepmother.
Anyway, who else if it’s not Countess Thebesa?
“Are you going to ask Mrs. Holls then?”
Countess Holls. She was the wife of Philen’s cousin.
Even though they were cousins, they weren’t close, and there was hardly any visitation.
After being engaged to Philen for 10 years and living in the duke’s residence, the number of face-to-face encounters was so small that I could count on one hand.
Among his close relatives, she was the only one who could help prepare for the wedding.
So I asked, and Philen shook his head.
Who else if it’s not Mrs. Holls?
As I was looking back at my memories to see if there were any distant relatives who could help, I stopped at the sudden name.
“Cecily’s going to help.”