Chapter 1. The fiancé is back
Well, no matter how big the mansion was, it didn’t make any sense if we lived together and never bumped into each other. Like now, there was a great chance that I would bump into her while passing by.
Blaming my foolish self for forgetting that fact, I looked at the woman standing in front of me.
The sunlight that came through the window shattered brilliantly over the soft platinum hair. Like the visible crescent moon, her pretty curved eyes were attractive. She was wearing a dress with no special decorations, although we already matched her dress. She was only wearing a necklace with a blue jewel as her accessory. And yet, she was gorgeous.
I didn’t want to be side by side with her because I already knew why Philen fell for her.
I unintentionally looked at the woman’s belly. It was two times bigger than when I first saw it.
How many months has it been?
I’ve never seen anyone pregnant, so I couldn’t tell.
That woman felt my gaze and smiled lightly, touching her belly.
“You can touch it.”
I couldn’t do that unless I was out of my mind.
When I refused right away, that woman, Cecily, looked sad.
“Oh, I haven’t introduced myself yet.” Cecily smiled lightly. She grabbed the hem of her skirt and bowed lightly.
Every time she moved, the blue jewel on her necklace shook unusually.
What did you say? Heliode?
Wasn’t it the royal castle of the Mullis Kingdom that the Empire conquered some time ago? If that woman’s words were true, it meant that she’s a princess of the Mullis Kingdom. No, since the Mullis Kingdom was gone, ‘she was a Princess’ was the correct expression.
Anyway, the fact that she was an uncomfortable person to laugh and chat with hadn’t changed. I just wanted to ignore her and turn around, but it was hard to ignore her when she introduced herself with a smile.
I couldn’t help it. I introduced myself, swallowing annoyance inside. “…Leila Thebesa.” In short.
Then Cecily looked at me with her eyes wide, as if panicked. It was a face hoping for me to do something more.
What does she want? Don’t tell me, she wants me to ask her about the condition of her and her child lightly?
If that was the case, it was a vain expectation. I had no intention of doing that. I didn’t want her and her child to go wrong, but I didn’t want them to be healthy either. It would be an accurate expression that I wasn’t interested in at all.
I already introduced myself, so I could go now, right? Cecily seemed to have more to say, but I didn’t. I didn’t even intend to listen to her. I was about to go, but Cecily called me again.
That said, if Cecily was an ordinary foreign royal, calling me Lady Thebesa didn’t matter. However, she was a member of the royal family of the fallen kingdom. Was it right for her to call me Lady Thebesa?
Usually, when a kingdom was destroyed, the royalties or nobles fell to commoners or lower status. So, it was wrong for Cecily, who was also a Princess, to call me Lady Thebesa.
It was right to politely call me ‘young lady’. But there were exceptions to everything. For example, the kingdom was destroyed, but the emperor recognized the royal family’s legitimacy. Or when the mother was from another kingdom and inherited the mother’s status.
When I saw Cecily’s confident attitude, I couldn’t rule out the case, so I was worried for a while.
It was the most obvious and quickest to ask in person, but it was not easy because it was a sensitive matter.
“Does the princess of the fallen kingdom need to be treated like a princess?”
It was Sarah who spoke on my behalf. While I was taken aback by Sarah’s daring words, I felt a cool feeling because of the sudden relief.
On the other hand, Cecily made a small impression. She didn’t seem to like what Sarah said. Looking at her reaction, she seemed to be an exception. Yeah, that’s why you confidently called me Lady Thebesa.
It was right to apologize quickly because she couldn’t take back the words she had already said.
“My maid made a mistake because she was ignorant of this side. I’ll go back and scold her, so please pass it generously just once. Umm…”
Her kingdom was destroyed to be called Princess Heliode, and she was not a noblewoman of the Empire to be called Lady Heliode. She wasn’t a noblewoman from another country, and I couldn’t just call her name like I treated a maid.
As I was thinking about what to call her, I found an appropriate compromise.
Cecily kept making an impression that my apology didn’t make her feel better. But I didn’t want to apologize anymore. Instead of saying something more, I turned around.
I could feel Cecily’s persistent gaze from behind, but I didn’t look back. Because I didn’t want to talk to her anymore.
There was nothing to talk about, so I ignored Cecily and headed to my room. I walked quickly because I was afraid Cecily would catch me, and I was a little out of breath.
As I stepped into my room with a quick breath, Misa was tidying up my desk and looked at me with perplexed eyes.
“My lady, who has been chasing you?”
I sat on the sofa without answering.
Noticing that I wasn’t feeling very well, Misa asked Sarah. “What happened out there?”
“Sarah.” I shut her mouth by calling Sarah’s name.
Misa noticed that it was a bad thing, so she didn’t ask further.
I leaned over the sofa and closed my eyes gently.
Misa looked at me and carefully called me. “Um, my lady.”
Calling me even though she knew that I was in a bad mood meant that there was something so important. “Tell me.”
“A little while ago, a letter from Countess Thebesa arrived.”
Count Thebesa was my biological father, but not Countess Thebesa. She was just a mother in the family register.
Countess Thebesa took me as her daughter to cover up her husband’s mistakes, but that’s all. She thoroughly ignored me and condemned me. If she was in a bad mood or had something wrong, she often threw her hands around. It was disgusting for her to pretend to be a good mother outside.
The biggest reason I wanted to get out of the house somehow was Countess Thebesa. The second reason was her son and my stepbrother, Andant Thebesa.
When I still closed my eyes, I remembered that day clearly.
“Leila, are you a good girl?”
A disgustingly thick smell of alcohol and his sparkling eyes. And…
What am I doing? There’s nothing good for me to think about the bad past.
I shook my head lightly and shook my thoughts away. “Did you say you got a letter from the Countess? Bring it to me.”
After Misa brought me the letter, she and Sarah went far away. They were considerate so that I could read the letter comfortably.
I tore the envelope with a knife and took out the letter inside and read it.
On the letterhead, there were useless greetings and a long line of rhetoric, but the point was one.
She will visit the Duke of Williot tomorrow.
The reason for the visit was not stated. It was written that she was coming because she wanted to see me after a long time, but this was a new red lie that she wrote because she was conscious of other people’s eyes. She said she wanted to see me? It was more convincing to say that the sun would rise in the west tomorrow.
What should I do?
I didn’t really want to meet her, but there was no good reason to tell her not to come. I wondered why she was coming. I looked at Misa, thinking whether or not to meet her for a while.
“Misa, the Countess is visiting the mansion tomorrow.”
“Oh my God, the Countess? I’ll have to prepare in advance.”
“You don’t have to.”
“No. The Countess is coming. I have to prepare carefully.” Misa went outside, saying that she had to prepare it quickly.
After sending Sarah out, I was dealing with tasks that I hadn’t done yet. But not long after, a maid came to me urgently and told me the unexpected news.
“What did you just say?”
“It is said that the woman suddenly collapsed!”
That woman suddenly collapsed. The woman she was talking about was Cecily. She looked fine a while ago, but now she’s collapsed.
I didn’t like it, but it bothered me. It’s probably because she had Philen’s child.
“What about the doctor?”
“He just arrived and heard that he was examining her. Even the Duke was very surprised and immediately ran away.”
If Philen went, I wouldn’t have to go. I too didn’t want to go.
I was working on what I was doing without worrying, but the door quickly opened without knocking.
It was Philen. He stared at me with a terrifying face and said, “What did you say to Cecily?”
As expected, I was right. I let out a deep sigh, half resigned. “I didn’t say anything.”
“Don’t lie.” Philen denied my words like a knife. “If you didn’t say anything, why did Cecily collapse after meeting you?”
“Is she so? She was shocked and collapsed?”
“No. Cecily hadn’t woken up yet. The doctor said it was because of a psychological shock. And Cecily’s maids testified that you met Cecily today.”
“So? What did the maids say about what I told her?”
Philen didn’t answer me, and yet he ran like fire and pissed at me. It was so absurd that I couldn’t even laugh. I was speechless.
“If the child in Cecily’s belly goes wrong, I won’t let it go.”
A spark splattered in Philen’s eyes that was looking at me.
“So be careful in the future, Leila. Or you don’t know how it’ll turn out.” Pilen threatened with a wistful face, then went out.
I realized it only after hearing Philen’s threats. Philen’s heart for Cecily was deeper than I thought.
I was stupid, reassured that the Duchess position would never be taken away by Cecily. The fact that the end of this engagement might be a break-up, not a marriage.
Translate by RainofSnow