Chapter 51 - A Surprise Visit
I could only think of ominous possibilities. In one scenario, my father would call me pathetic and demand that I meet someone from the marriage list. ‘Ah, life is so difficult.’ I was beginning to feel sorry for myself, as well as thirsty, so I lifted my teacup to my lips.
“The tea is still hot,” my father said unexpectedly. I stopped myself and swallowed a dry laugh. It was as if he knew that I couldn’t drink hot beverages.
‘I don’t think he said that on purpose though.’ I still had trouble understanding my father’s intentions, so it didn’t hurt to be careful around him. I couldn’t afford to slip up with my life at risk. ‘Now I have the rumors and the marriage list to worry about… Ugh, why are things getting so complicated?’ I only had a week left until the banquet, so I didn’t have much time to find another partner.
‘I need to make a decision quickly but carefully.’ I stared at my steaming cup of tea and carefully sipped it to avoid burning my tongue.
* * *
Max had decided to visit the Floyen household, but his master’s sudden appearance forced him to stay at a distance. ‘He’s rarely at home…Why is he here today of all days.’ Max was displeased by this situation, but he unconsciously deviated his attention to the woman’s room.
‘Is she in there?’ He tried to sense her presence but felt nothing. ‘Where did she go?’ The woman was almost always in her room, so her absence filled Max with annoyance. ‘Is she in the library?’ He was in the midst of guessing where the woman was when his face suddenly fell.
‘Did she… go out to ask another man to be her partner?’ Max gritted his teeth with displeasure. He felt the same, strange feeling as he did back in the salon.
‘Whether she finds a partner or not has nothing to do with me.’ He tried to convince himself of this, but as he prepared to leave, he couldn’t take his eyes off a certain window on the third floor. It was as if a part of him was waiting for her to come back to her room.
* * *
“I’ll be going back to my room, Father.”
He nodded and said, “I will be heading out later today.”
My father frequently left home without a word, so I didn’t understand why he was suddenly reporting this to me. I tried to come up with an explanation for his behavior, but I didn’t dwell on it for long, thinking that it would be more beneficial to solve my own problems first.
“Ah, yes. Have a nice trip,” I said, preparing to stand up.
“There’s something I need to solve,” my father said.
‘Oh, I see. I didn’t ask though?’ I was tempted to say this, but as the inferior one in our relationship, I had no choice but to lead the conversation in the direction he wanted.
“What needs to be solved?” I forced out.
“I have to finish warning some people,” my father said with a nod.
Although I didn’t understand what he meant, I knew that the people who he was going to warn weren’t going to sleep well tonight. ‘I feel bad for you guys. I’m sorry.’
As I was sympathizing with them, my father looked at me and said, “I will be back before dinner.”
I didn’t care when he would come back, whether it was tomorrow or the next few days. Even so, I didn’t voice such thoughts in fear that I might incur his wrath and be forced to meet the men on the marriage list.
“I will wait for you,” I said insincerely.
“Alright.” My father stared at me for a while, then nodded. His sudden change of attitude was strange, but I could guess his intentions and wanted to laugh.
‘By telling me that he plans to warn some people… is he trying to make an example of them?’ My heart ached at this thought, but I managed to overcome the discomfort and left the drawing room. When I entered my room, Merilyn approached me.
“A letter from Count Arlo’s daughter has arrived, my lady.”
‘Hm, another letter.’ Rose frequently wrote to me these days, even though my last letter said that I would spare further words until her birthday banquet. It seemed like she was having a lot of fun with it. ‘I wonder what she wrote this time.’ I opened the letter with a sigh, then widened my eyes upon seeing that she had written about the rumors. ‘What’s this?’
Dear Lady Floyen,
How are you? Although this isn’t an important matter, I wanted to inform you about a ridiculous rumor I overheard. In short, it’s said that you have a lover who you gifted cufflinks made of blue diamonds.
As my head started to ache from reading this, I realized two things. First, I still had to give back my father’s pendant and cufflinks. And second, the cufflinks were the source of the rumors.
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