Chapter 55 - Not The Plan
After he had left without another word last time, I had been feeling quite restless for not giving him travel expenses. It was like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders when he took the money. ‘I don’t have to worry about him being hungry for the time being,’ I thought with relief.
I disliked it when other people didn’t eat properly, so I was discomfited by the thought of him starving outside. Perhaps it was because I was often hungry in my past life, due to my impoverished circumstances. Or perhaps it was because I felt attached to this man, who had stayed in my room for a few days.
‘Well, I gave him a way to repay me so he won’t feel bad. It should be okay.’ Although I had told him to help me if I needed it, this was an empty request. As a noblewoman, there was no need for me to ask a commoner for help. I only said that because I didn’t want him to think I was patronizing him.
‘Now, I have to solve the root of my problem.’ Before I asked Geraldine to be my partner for the banquet, I needed to find a way to undo Radian’s damage. ‘How can I screw him over?’ I thought. The cufflinks I bought for my father were made of blue diamonds, a rare and precious gemstone, that were fashioned with a unique design, as nobles tended to avoid things that had the same design. It made sense that the rumors got out of control because I still held onto these expensive jewels.
‘I need to find evidence to defend myself…’ But despite my determination, I couldn’t think of anything and began to feel helpless. As a dull ache began to spread in my head, a thought suddenly occurred to me. ‘Oh, yes. I should do that!’ It wouldn’t hurt to try this idea, even if it didn’t work.
I called Merilyn over. “When my father comes back, tell him that I want to see him. I have something to give to him,” I said.
* * *
The sun had yet to set when Regis returned, thanks to his efficiency in dealing with matters. Dinner was usually after seven, so he still had some time to spare. ‘Fortunately, I’m not late.’ He was relieved to be able to catch dinner with his daughter.
Regis handed his coat to Derrick and ordered, “The men on the prospective marriage list are substandard. Redo it.”
Derrick sighed. ‘I chose from noble families ranked higher than marquis. If I have to leave more men out of the list, there won’t be many left…’
Although he was displeased, Derrick replied with a businesslike tone. “Yes, master. I will do my best.”
“If you can, please find candidates with nice personalities as well.”
In the aristocracy, finding someone with a good character was like finding a needle in a haystack. Although he felt helpless, Derrick nodded without betraying a hint of dissatisfaction. “I will do as directed,” he said.
“Let me know when it’s dinnertime.”
Derrick turned around, then stopped as if he just remembered something. “Oh, the lady says that she has something to give to you, master.”
“Give?” The duke turned towards him and widened his eyes with disbelief. “Alright. Tell her that we can have tea before dinner.”
“I will inform the lady.” When Derrick left, Regis glanced at the clock. It was now 4:30 pm. The usual time for tea was around 5:00 pm, so there were still 30 minutes until then.
‘I still have to wait for a while.’ He sighed softly, then stared at the paper on his desk. There were many names written below the heading, ‘Prospective Marriage Partners.’ Among them were foreign royals, high-ranking aristocrats, and distinguished men from high society. Except for a few names, most of them were crossed out. Regis fixated his gaze on an unmarked name, ‘Ronald Herman Crocus.’ He picked up his pen and scratched out his name before studying the list with a sigh.
‘There is no one here who meets all of my daughter’s conditions.’
“I’m not going to marry someone unless he has everything. I want the most wealthy, famous, and competent man there is,” she had said. Regis mulled over her words for a while, then spotted a circled name on the list. It was his only disciple and the imperial family’s only successor to the throne, Maximillian.
‘Now that I think about it, he’s the only guy who meets all of her requirements.’ He had originally intended to cross him out but had accidentally made it look like a mark of approval. Regis softly chuckled at this blunder for a while, then furrowed his eyebrows. ‘My daughter is more than what this crafty guy deserves.’
As he prepared to cross out his name, Derrick’s voice came from outside the door. “It’s time for tea with the lady, master.”
‘Ah, it’s already time.’ Regis ended up leaving his office without crossing out the name.
* * *
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