Chapter 1. The fiancé is back
At his ridiculous remark, I questioned my ears and looked at Philen.
“I’m proud of her for saying she’d help me first.”
As if he couldn’t read my gaze, he spat out nonsense.
“If it was an ordinary woman, she would have refused, but Cecily is a princess. She knows this kind of thing so well, so she was willing to do it.”
I can’t believe you willingly agreed. With whose permission?
Lost in words, I smiled and put my hand on my head.
Philen looked at me strangely.
Are you really asking because you don’t know? Or are you doing this to turn my heart upside down?
I’m sure it’s the former from experience.
Not knowing was not a sin, but it was a sin enough.
My heart was full of bruises after being hit by the stone he threw unintentionally.
“In Mullis Kingdom, there may be no social problems if the mistress prepares for the wedding.”
I struggled to swallow the anger and irritation that filled me up. I chewed and spat out one word at a time.
“But it’s the Cardin Empire. Ha, if everyone else found out that the mistress did the wedding arrangements, wouldn’t they laugh at us? I’d rather do it.”
When I returned what he had said, Philen frowned.
“Do you really have to say that?”
“Why? Did I say something wrong?”
It seemed like Philen wanted to say something, but he shut his mouth as if he had nothing to say.
The deeply wrinkled brows showed that he wasn’t in a good mood.
At other times, I would have looked into his eyes and treated him appropriately, but I didn’t want to do that this time.
I would have tilted my head if you said the name of a distant relative I didn’t know, but Cecily…
It was so ridiculous that I couldn’t even laugh.
“If you’re going to leave it to her, I would rather leave it to Countess Thebesa.”
As I showed signs of dislike towards Cecily, Philen’s brows became narrower.
“You still don’t care at all.”
“If you don’t care about me, why should I care about her?”
When I replied without losing, Philen turned his head, clicking his tongue.
There was an awkward silence inside the carriage.
Philen, who was looking out the window with his mouth shut, sighed deeply and opened the window connected to the driver’s seat.
“Stop the carriage.”
Five carriages, including the luggage carriage, stopped altogether at Philen’s words.
As soon as the carriage stopped, Philen got off the carriage without saying goodbye.
Beyond the thin carriage door, I could hear his footsteps moving away.
I didn’t wonder where he was going. Because he’s probably going to the carriage where Cecily was.
I was worried if I had to keep riding in the same carriage with him. That’s why when he got off, I was glad.
Then, I was a little worried about the aftermath because he looked angry, but what could I do?
The water had already been spilled.
So, I thought I should read a book without paying any attention, but I could hardly concentrate.
The carriage door slammed shut.
Cecily stared at Philen, who was sitting opposite her, with a heavy frown on his face.
Judging from the look on his face, it looked like he had a big fight with Leila.
Of course, they are.
If she listened to those words and stayed still, she’s a saint, not a person.
She sent him because she knew this would happen.
Cecily smiled with satisfaction inwardly but looked worriedly at Philen on the outside.
“I guess it didn’t go well.”
“…well, that’s right.”
Philen sighed deeply and opened his arms to Cecily.
It means coming to him and acting cute to make him feel better.
Cecily hurriedly fell into his arms and squeezed his wrinkled brows.
“Don’t be so angry, Phil.”
“I want to too, but the thought of Leila makes me annoyed.”
“What did she say?”
Instead of answering, Philen buried his face in her shoulder.
It means he didn’t want to tell me.
Even without asking, she could guess how Leila would have reacted.
Cecily leaned her head on his shoulder without further questioning, as she was sure it would only make Philen feel worse if she asked.
Liking Cecily’s behavior, Philen smiled softly and gently stroked her hair.
“As I’ve thought before, I wish Leila was as tactful as you are.”
Now let’s put some wedges in slowly.
There’s talk about marriage. If I delay it, I’ll miss the timing for the rest of my life.
Cecily looked into Philen’s eyes and spoke carefully.
“I don’t think she’s tactless, but maybe she thinks that she doesn’t have the need to be tactful about you, Phil.”
Philen’s brows narrowed at once.
Cecily didn’t miss the opportunity when Philen responded and continued.
“You have to be tactful when you work and isn’t she good at her job? Then she’s not tactless.”
“Maybe she’s ignoring Phil…”
It was intentional, but as if it was a mistake, Cecily covered her mouth with her hands, not knowing what to do.
“I, I’m sorry. Forget what I just said. This is just my opinion.”
“No, you’re right.”
Philen’s eyes narrowed coldly. He leaned against the backrest with a small smile.
“I have to get my control back. I need to make her know exactly who I am.”
“I think you better do that, too.”
Cecily, who moved to the seat next to Philen, smiled kindly and held his hand.
“How dare she, a Count Lady, ignore you, the Duke. That would never happen in our kingdom.”
Since then, Philen didn’t look for me.
I didn’t look for him either.
I ran into him at least once during each break, but there was no conversation.
We passed each other quietly, treating each other as strangers.
There was no conversation between us until we arrived at the mansion.
“Welcome back, Master. My Lady.”
Butlers and servants came out to the front door to greet us.
After greeting them with a light nod, Philen took Cecily alone and went into the mansion.
The butlers and the servants looked at me, who was left alone.
There was pity in their eyes as they looked at me.
There’s nothing good about staying here, so I went into the mansion with a calm look on my face.
As soon as I entered the mansion, Baron Wizard rushed to me with an armful of documents in his arms.
“My Lady, do you have a moment?”
“I do, but what’s going on?”
“I have something to discuss with you about the rainy season.”
“If that’s the case, it’s out of my hands. Please talk to the Duke.”
“Of course I will, but before that, I would like to ask you for your opinion…”
Before the baron could finish his words, Philen suddenly appeared from the east corridor.
Baron Wizard swallowed what he was going to say and bowed his head to greet him.
“Now, what were you going to say to Lady Thebesa?”
It was a cold voice. Even the gaze that looked at Baron Wizard was cold.
“I have a question about the rainy season, so….”
“Why are you asking that to Lady Thebesa, not me? Ah, don’t tell me.”
Philen twisted his lips and continued.
“Are you ignoring me, too?”
Is it my illusion that Philen looked at me for a moment?
“How is that possible!”
Baron Wizard jumped and denied Philen’s words.
“How dare I ignore the Duke!”
“Of course not!”
A very scary light flashed in Philen’s eyes.
“Explain why you’re asking that to Lady Thebesa, not me!”
“Don’t stutter, speak properly!”
Philen grilled Baron Wizard as if he was going to eat him right away.
The baron, suppressed by his force, was unable to speak properly and trembled. His face turned as pale as a blank sheet of paper.
“Stop it, Duke.”
It was only then that Philen looked back at me when I stepped up.
Dissatisfaction was buried in his gaze towards me.
What on earth are you so dissatisfied with?
“Baron Wizard was just trying to ask for my advice.”
“Baron Wizard, who has worked for the duke for over 30 years, seeks advice from a Lady, who has only worked for a few years. Interesting.”
[T*/C: Probably better choice than asking you who only just works… for a couple of weeks? Well, he’s mad anyway. :|]
Unlike his mouth that burst into laughter, his eyes were cold.
I didn’t know why, but Philen didn’t seem very happy that Baron Wizard sought advice from me.
I didn’t think he needed to think about the baron ignoring him.
“I’ll take this opportunity to make it clear.”
Philen’s gaze turned to Baron Wizard again.
The baron didn’t dare to look Philen in the eye, so he lowered his gaze for a long time.
“Never again discuss or disclose to Lady Thebesa about the affairs of the duke or the territory.”
The word ‘never again’ was significant.
Does that mean he can’t discuss it with me even after I become the Duchess? Or… does he not want me to become the Duchess?
We talked about marriage just a few days ago, but as it turned out badly, I wasn’t quite sure that I could get married to him safely.
On the contrary, seeing his words and actions now made me more anxious.
The word ‘breakup’ seemed to flash in front of my eyes.
“If this happens again, you’ll have to take off your aide title.”
Philen left with one last warning.
“Are you okay, My Lady?”
Baron Wizard spoke carefully. His face was full of worry and concern.
None of it was okay, but I didn’t want to make it obvious.
“But your complexion is not very good.”
Is that so?
I swept my cheek down awkwardly.
“I must have been a little tired from the carriage trip. Don’t worry.”
“I’m really okay. Ah, I must be tired.”
I created the opportunity to part with him as naturally as possible.
I wondered what Baron Wizard wanted to ask me, but I couldn’t ask what it was when Philen had said that.
The baron didn’t seem to want to talk either.
“Then, see you next time, Baron.”
“Yes. Have a nice day, My Lady.”
Can I really have a good day?
I headed to my room with unnecessary questions at the formal greeting.