Chapter 1. The fiancé is back
Is that true?
I had my doubts, but it was worth a try.
“Then, shall we toast?”
I wondered if we should do that, but I bumped my glass because I thought it would be better to make it clear.
As soon as I drank it, I could immediately feel the bitter taste of alcohol. Still, the fruity scent was strong enough for me to drink it.
I wanted to drink it quickly and send Aldor away, but it was against the etiquette, so I had no choice but to drink it little by little.
“Oh, by the way, I heard an interesting rumor about the Lady.”
As the champagne was almost finished, Aldor suddenly brought up an unpleasant story.
I replied before he could tell exactly what the rumor was.
Aldor then chuckled.
“I haven’t said anything yet.”
“You’re talking about the rumor of me being the Emperor’s mistress, right?”
“Oh my, you’re quick to sense.”
Wasn’t it stupid to not know when everyone was talking about it?
“But, is it really not?”
“It’s really not.”
“Hmm, I see.”
Aldor looked at me with curious eyes. I ignored him and concentrated on drinking the champagne.
At last, the champagne was finished. I showed Aldor the empty champagne glass.
“I drank it all.”
Therefore, it was a tacit expression of intention for him to go away.
As if he wasn’t that slow-witted at all, Aldor looked disappointed and quietly retreated.
I was finally alone. I sighed heavily and leaned against the wall.
I already drank a whole glass of champagne, but I was still thirsty.
I handed the servant the empty glass, took a new one, and drank it all at once.
There’s no one around me, so there’s no need to be polite.
After drinking two or three more glasses, the drunkenness that had subsided while dancing rose again.
I felt a little shaky and my head felt dizzy. My body became hot and I felt tipsy.
Am I so weak in drinking?
I had never drunk this much alcohol before until now, so I never knew.
Now that I knew how much I could drink, I had to be careful next time.
More than that, I wanted to go back to my room and rest, but was that okay? The party wasn’t over yet, but there’s nothing more to do.
Let’s go back.
It’s better to do that than to hold on and then get drunk and make a fool of myself.
If I went straight out the front door, people would notice me, so I sneaked out through the back door. It was good because this way was close to the annex too.
When I came out, the slightly muggy wind blew with a salty smell.
In the distance, I could see the sparkling sea with stars.
It had a different charm than seeing it during the day. It also felt different from looking from my room.
With such a nice view, I couldn’t go back to my room. So, I stood there for a moment and watched the beautiful night sea.
As time passed, drunkenness grew more and more.
Every breath I took seemed to smell like alcohol.
I’m getting sleepy, so I really have to go now.
As I turned around, my legs lost strength and I staggered slightly.
In all likelihood, I was caught by a servant passing by.
“Are you okay?”
“No, I’m not.”
I answered honestly without holding on to my pride.
It’s better to be humiliated by one person than to be humiliated by more people for nothing.
The worst scenario was to be seen by Marquis Valdir and his remnants.
“I’m sorry, but could you help me to my room?”
Before that happened, I asked the servant for help because I wanted to return to my room quickly.
“Of course, Miss.”
The servant came and supported me.
I left my body immobile at will and headed to the annex.
On the way, as I was getting drunk, I fell asleep.
I can’t sleep here.
I tried to endure it somehow, but I couldn’t overcome the pouring sleepiness, so my memories were sparsely cut off.
While I was sleeping and waking up repeatedly, I felt a soft touch on my back.
It looked like I had finally returned to my room.
The corset that tightened my waist and the accessories I was wearing were uncomfortable to sleep on, but sleeping was my priority.
I said to the servant briefly and accepted the flood of sleep pouring onto me.
Hiltine’s routine was simple.
When Leila slept, he slept with her, when she ate, he ate with her, and wherever she went, he followed her.
But after Leila entered the Marquis of Hutton, it was often difficult to do so. That was when Marquis Hutton was near Leila.
As he was the commander-in-chief of the Navy, Marquis Hutton was not an easy one. Even with a little carelessness, he could read the signs.
In that regard, he seemed to be one step ahead of Philen.
Hiltine’s mission was to protect Leila secretly without being noticed by anyone. So Hiltine had to keep a certain distance whenever Marquis Hutton appeared.
It would make it a little difficult to protect Leila if something happened, but he couldn’t help it. Because it’s better than to be seen by Marquis Hutton.
That was why the Marquis of Hutton was like the Impregnable Fortress. Since no one here dared to go big enough to harm Leila here, it could have looked rather pathetic.
Today too, because of Marquis Hutton, Hiltine was unable to protect Leila as usual and sat on the roof of the mansion. But that didn’t mean that he was just playing.
“…it’s like that.”
It’s just in time for daily reporting. Using the magic messenger bird, he reported what had happened today to Kalian.
As soon as Hiltine finished, Kalian asked.
[…so, you’re saying that Marquis Hutton’s second son is after Leila?]
“I don’t know if he is after her, but I’m sure he is interested in her. Because he had come to escort her twice.”
[It means he hit on her twice.]
For some reason, there’s a hint of murderous intent in Kalian’s voice.
It’s common for a noble lord to ask for an escort to a lady, but why is he reacting like this?
Hiltine didn’t understand, but he didn’t question it deeply as he thought that he certainly had a reason.
[If that guy tries to do strange things to Leila, make him can’t do his role as a man.]
“What kind of strange things?”
[Everything that Leila hates.]
Now that he said it, it felt like something was wrong, so Kalian corrected it right away.
[I should correct it. Touching Leila’s body without her permission.]
Everyone who touched Leila without her permission is suspicious.
Hiltine entered Kalian’s command precisely in his head.
[Is Leila still at the party?]
Hiltine kept watching the entrance to the main building while reporting to Kalian and he didn’t see Leila come out.
[The party is quite long huh?]
Is it? It’s only been an hour though.
[It will be difficult because of Marquis Hutton, but keep your eyes on Leila as much as possible.]
The conversation ended there.
Hiltine put the magic messenger bird in his pocket and jumped off the roof. He was going to make sure Leila was safe.
Using the darkness as a cover to avoid people’s eyes, Hiltine slowly approached the window of the main hall and looked inside.
He could see people laughing and chatting, enjoying the party with the frantic music. But no matter how much he looked around, he couldn’t see Leila.
It was the same no matter how many times he confirmed it.
Did she go to the toilet? Or the lounge?
If not that, did she go back to the annex without me seeing her?
It hadn’t been a few minutes since he was told to keep his eyes on Leila by Kalian, but he had already lost sight of her.
He became anxious. Hiltine moved quickly to find Leila.
As I was sleeping for a while, someone grabbed my arm.
Who is it? Is it Eria?
Does she know that I was back and come to help me change?
Anyway, it’s good. Because the dress is uncomfortable.
I said to Eria, half-asleep.
“Just take off my dress and the corset. Ah, and the accessories…”
Since you don’t have to take anything else off…
I couldn’t speak properly because I was sleepy and drunk.
I was mumbling as if talking to myself, and the other person laughed a little.
…this laugh isn’t Eria’s though?
Come to think of it, the hand holding my arm was also larger than that of Eria.
Someone other than Eria?
I got goosebumps from my toes.
As if being poured cold water, I woke up and was not sleepy anymore.
“LET GO, LET ME GO!”
I shouted sharply and shook off the hand that was holding my arm.
I tried to get up right away, but my drunken body didn’t move as I wanted.
All I could do was pull my body back a little.
I turned my head to see who it was, but my surroundings were dark. What I could only see was a blurry silhouette.
When I focused only on the silhouette, it was definitely not a woman.
“Who, who are you?”
I curled up and stared at the person who was looking at me silently.
“Who are you to come into my room at this late hour?”
“This is not the Lady’s room.”
As my eyes gradually adapted to the darkness, I could see him.
A greasy look and a mean smile.
It really was Aldor.
“Why are you here… No, more than that, this isn’t my room?”
“Yes. This is my room.”
I hurriedly looked around. It was still dark, so I couldn’t see well, but I could tell that this wasn’t my room.
Everything was different, the furniture arrangement and the bed I was lying on.
Why am I here?
I certainly asked the servant to take me to my room.
It was strange and absurd, but it must be the same for Aldor. So, rather than making excuses, I apologized first.
“The servant who should be taking me to my room seemed to have misunderstood something. I’m really sorry.”
“Well, you shouldn’t be sorry.”
The corner of his lips was slightly raised, and it was terrifying. His eyes flashing in the dark looked dangerous.
I felt like I had to run away, so I pulled myself back a little more.
As a result, I fell down the bed.
I felt a sharp pain on my bottom that hit the floor, but thanks to it, it made me a little sober. I was able to move more freely than before.
“Then I’ll get…”
As I was about to leave, Aldor approached me and pulled my arm.