Chapter 5 - Walking On Eggshells
I doubted having heard anything at all when an unfamiliar voice reached my ears.
‘Huh? My father responded to me.’
It had been a long time since I heard him speak. I was taken aback for a second before coming back to my senses. When I realized what he had just said, I gritted my teeth.
‘Mikhail, that bastard! He said he had to hurry back because of training. He lied to me!’
Upon realizing this, I became even more irked. I felt the urge to swear at Mikhail for how he had treated me but quickly controlled my emotions.
‘Calm down, Jubelian. He’s no longer in my life. Let’s be cool about this.’
Although this was my second life, the part-time experiences in my first life had taught me not to get worked up so quickly. I recalled a time I had to deal with an annoying customer and controlled my expression.
“You came home early today,” my father said.
‘Ah, now that I think about it…’
In the past, Jubelian used to come home late because she was busy following Mikhail. But since I had broken up with him today and come home straight away, I was back much earlier than usual.
‘Should I tell him the truth?’
Similar to the original story, my father seemed to hold Mikhail in high regard. He often made things convenient for him and treated him with relative kindness. Since I was useless as his only child, he may have been thinking about making Mikhail his successor.
I burst out laughing.
If I was anything like the past Jubelian, I wouldn’t have been able to tell him the truth. I would’ve been too afraid that he might hate me for making a mistake. However, I had learned something from Jubelian’s past; trying to be loved by my father was futile.
I stared at his blue eyes, which were similar to mine, and spit out. “We parted ways.”
Although I didn’t mention Mikhail’s name, he probably knew who I was referring to. The creases in his face proved this.
“Why?” It was a short question laden with discontent.
I understood why he asked me this. If Mikhail became his son-in-law, he wouldn’t have to worry about the succession issue. But now that we had broken up, I had ruined his plans. Even so, it was a two-person relationship that I had to take care of myself.
“I didn’t want to spend my life with someone who didn’t have feelings for me.”
As soon as I finished speaking, his face crumpled with horror. It seemed like he was astonished that I had broken up with a man of such talent just because of pride. His narrowed eyes seemed to reproach me. Although my heart tightened, it didn’t ache. I wasn’t a child who could become hurt by his words anymore.
“I simply want to get married to someone who will love me, Father. I want to be happy.”
Actually, I considered being single for the rest of my life but thought it would be better to hide my intentions. If I offended him even more, he might hand me a dagger-like he did in the original novel. I didn’t realize this before, but I knew now; constant indifference was better than cruel abandonment.
‘I’ll live quietly without bothering you, so please leave me alone like you always did.’
I would’ve cried at such a thought in the past, but now I didn’t feel sad at all. It was as if all of my emotions dried up. I stared at my father as he turned around without a response.
‘Does that mean that he doesn’t want to talk to his pathetic daughter anymore?’
He had ignored me plenty of times before, so I wasn’t offended. I stared at his retreating back and sighed in relief.
‘Ah, I’m going to go up to my room and rest.’
I felt very tired because a lot of things had happened today.
* * *
Jubelian’s maid, Merilyn, gulped nervously.
‘The reins that used to keep Lady Floyen occupied are gone now…’
She had been able to breathe these past few days because Jubelian had been in a good mood. But it was a different story now that she had broken up with Mikhail. The news was both sudden and unexpected.
‘I’m in trouble now.’
Jubelian, otherwise known as Lady Floyen, was a very beautiful woman. It was rewarding to help dress her in beautiful clothes and accessories, but her emotional ups and downs made Merilyn’s job very difficult. She would freely scream and curse when she felt upset. When she broke an expensive tea set or ripped her clothes in anger, all the maids would become extremely anxious. They were terrified that they might be treated like that one day.
Merilyn spoke carefully to avoid provoking Jubelian.
“I will help you change out of your clothes, Lady Floyen.”
Jubelian’s bright eyes, which shined like sapphires, looked at her indifferently. Merilyn gulped nervously.
‘Did I say something wrong?’
At that moment, a subtle smile appeared on Jubelian’s face. Merilyn’s gaze fixated on her smile, almost as if she was possessed.
‘She’s beautiful when she smiles.’
Merilyn was still blankly staring at the Jubelian’s face when she heard her speak.
“Why are you standing still, Merilyn? I thought you said you would help me change out of my clothes.”
Her lady’s smile was gone. Merilyn came to her senses, and realizing what she had done, turned pale with fear.
‘What do I do? I think I just got on her nerves!’
Perspiration formed around her neck and her insides turned cold. She couldn’t find the courage to lift her head.
At that moment, she heard a clear voice speak over her bowed head.
“Actually Merilyn, you don’t have to help me. Just prepare a bath for me please.”