Chapter 1. The fiancé is back
“But I can only give you 30 minutes. I can’t give you more than that because I also have a schedule. As you can see, I was on my way to the Imperial Palace.”
“Okay. That’s enough.”
Philen smiled and held out his hand.
“Then shall we go in?”
Go in? Where?
“Are you thinking of going into my house?”
“Then? Wouldn’t it be better to talk in there?”
Who wants to let him into my house? I never even thought of that.
“Let’s talk here.”
Philen’s brows furrowed.
“Do you want to talk on the street?”
“I am comfortable with that.”
If we talked on the street, I could ask for help from those around me in case of an emergency.
And Philen wouldn’t be able to step forward recklessly because there were people around here.
“If you don’t want to, I’ll get going.”
When I turned around with the real intention of going, Philen hurriedly grabbed my arm.
“You’ve become very impatient since I saw you last.”
That’s because I don’t want to talk face to face with you.
Philen said after hesitating for a moment.
“…come to think of it, I think I’ve been too indifferent to you all this time. I’m sorry.”
Should I be glad that you realized it now?
“I’m truly reflecting on it. That’s why I’m saying this… can’t you come back to the estate?”
Seeing him come to me like this and say that even though he reproofed me like that yesterday, it seemed that he really wanted me to come back to the estate.
But what should I do, Philen?
“I’m sorry, Duke.”
I’ve already stopped caring about it completely.
“As I said at the party yesterday, I have no intention of going back to Williot estate.”
The dream of becoming the Duchess of Williot was put down when I left the Williot estate.
It would be a lie if I said that there’s no regret left, but the desire to not go back was bigger than that.
I didn’t want to be ignored by him anymore, and I didn’t want to live while having to read his thoughts.
At my answer, Philen’s face instantly turned red.
“I bend like this, and you build your pride until the very end, huh?”
I never build my pride though.
“What on earth should I do to make you come back? Tell me what you want. I’ll listen.”
“You don’t have to do anything.”
I replied calmly.
“No matter what you do, I have no intention of going back. So, please, fold your heart, Duke.”
Arguing with him like this was physically and mentally exhausting. I wanted to stop.
Once again, I sincerely hoped that I wouldn’t be involved with him in this matter again.
Then Philen’s expression collapsed. It was my first time seeing him like this.
“Considering how long we’ve been together, you easily abandon me, huh?”
Who abandoned who?
I was speechless for a moment because it was ridiculous and I was dumbfounded.
I wanted to point out how nonsense it was, but considering Philen’s status, I responded to him as calmly as I could.
“The Duke was the one who abandoned me first.”
Then Philen bit his lip hard.
Seeing him doesn’t deny it, it seems that he hasn’t sold his conscience completely.
“That’s why I said I’m sorry.”
His words and expressions didn’t match at all.
“I’m truly sorry for being indifferent to you or yelling at you. I’m sorry.”
“Thank you for saying sorry even now.”
“Is that your only answer?”
Nodding in that sense, Philen sighed heavily and covered his face with his bandaged hand.
There’s some blood on the white bandage.
It was fine yesterday, but maybe he got hurt in the meantime?
I was a little worried because it wasn’t that I didn’t have a heart as much as I hated him.
But there were no words coming out of my mouth. Because I didn’t want to give him hope for nothing.
Although it might seem a bit harsh, it was good for him and for me to cut it off firmly when we could do so.
“If you have nothing more to say, I’ll get going.”
I bowed my head to Philen and turned around.
Philen grabbed my arm.
His grip was stronger than I expected. I looked at the arm he was holding with a slight frown.
It was then that Philen threw my arm away and pulled out the sword he brought on his waist.
That shook me for a moment, but fortunately, I quickly regained my balance and didn’t fall unsightly.
Philen looked somewhere while holding his sword, and then clicked his tongue.
“…that’s why you’re not coming back.”
His golden eyes, full of murderous intent, stared at me.
When I met those eyes, I felt a chill as if I was standing in the middle of the road without wearing a coat on a cold winter day.
I wrapped my arms around and stepped back. My legs were shaking and I felt like I would collapse at any moment, but I tried my best to hold out.
There’s also a chill in his voice. His attitude was completely different from before.
“I ask you one last time. Are you really not coming back?”
I forced out a voice that didn’t come out well and answered.
Then Philen clicked his tongue and got on the horse.
And he went away without looking back.
What? Is it over?
Afraid that Philen might come back, I stared intently at the direction he disappeared, but he didn’t come back.
Now that I was relieved, I breathed heavily and wiped my chest.
“It’s… really over, right?”
Because he said one last time.
I was a little worried because Philen was the type of person who could change his words like flipping a palm, but I didn’t think he would cling to me again after I did him this much.
Because he was a man with higher pride than anyone else.
So, it was safe to say that this was the end of my relationship with Philen.
It was a pleasure, but on the other hand, I was depressed because this also completely ended my relationship with the Duke of Williot.
The former Duke and Duchess Williot, who loved me so much.
My thanks to the servants of the duke family and the territory people who followed me well, who was his fiancée.
And also the duke’s aides who helped me a lot while grunting…
Except for Philen, I couldn’t cut off the longing for everyone in the Williot estate at once.
Even so, I had no intention of turning back or stopping.
Because it was the path I chose.
I was going to keep moving forward.
A murderous intent that he felt the moment he grabbed Leila’s arm.
In the past, Philen had faced the same murderous intent.
The Emperor’s Shadow, Hiltine.
The fact that that guy was attached to Leila meant that the emperor had attached him to protect her.
As expected, she had become his mistress.
It was a fact he already knew, but it felt quite bad to have it confirmed again.
But that was all. As Philen said, he decided not to give Leila another chance anymore.
This was the last time he held out his hand from this side, let alone if she clung to his leg, crying out loudly first.
If that happened, he would cruelly shake off her hand.
As he recalled that, he somehow felt his heart throbbing.
His mood also subsided.
All of this was because of Leila.
He felt bad because a count’s daughter dared to spit her words and went against his will.
Now that he had never seen her again, he would never feel this way again, right?
When Philen returned to the mansion, the butler rushed to Philen, almost falling.
The fact that the butler, who regarded face as important, rushed like that meant that a very urgent problem had arisen.
Did Leila come back?
Or did the emperor do something weird again?
“What’s going on?”
Philen got off his horse and asked the butler, a little nervous.
The butler, standing in front of Philen, shouted.
“I, I just got an urgent message from the estate…!”
Ah, it’s not about Leila.
Philen was finally relieved.
“Yo, Young Lady Cecily is said to have started to go into labor.”
As soon as he was relieved, the butler brought up surprising news.
There’s still time until the due date, but she’s in labor already?
The first thing he was worried about was that something wrong happened to the child.
Philen frowned and got back on the horse.
“I’m going back to the estate right now.”
As soon as I entered the Imperial Palace, I could feel the eyes of many people.
People stopped what they were doing and looked at me. I also saw them whispering openly.
I expected them to look at me in a bad way, but it’s worse than I thought.
I sighed inside, but pretended to be fine on the outside and entered the archives room.
When a position was succeeded or someone received a new title, all records were recorded and kept in the archives.
I visited the archives to see if there had been any precedents in the past when women were granted titles.
I didn’t remember if that ever happened, but it was just in case.
I wish there was. That way, it wouldn’t be strange for me to be granted the baron title.
I took a big tour of the archives.
As the history of the empire spanned over a thousand years, the amount of recorded data was enormous.
The vast amount of data made my mouth wide open just by looking at it.
I could look at the records from about 100 years ago, right?
At least I knew for sure that there had never been such precedents before that.
I took the data from the bookshelf and brought it to a table on one side of the library.
Then, sitting on the sofa, I looked at it little by little, going back in time from 100 years ago.
However, there’s no record anywhere that a woman was granted a title.
In the past, there’s a female doctor who made a big contribution to the war with her outstanding medicine, but she only received a reward and didn’t receive a title.
The same was true when there’s no male successor in a family. The title was not passed on to the daughter, but to the man who married the daughter.
Just because they’re women.
The law didn’t forbid women to have titles, but it was implicitly forbidden.
If I was granted the baron title, then I’d be the first to break the custom.
The word ‘first’ felt too heavy.
I put the data I was looking at on my lap and sighed deeply.
“…is it really okay?”