Chapter 56 - Not The Plan
When I arrived in the living room, my father was already sitting down.
“Take a seat,” he said.
“Yes, Father.” I sat down in front of him and deliberately tried to seem friendly. “I’m delighted to be drinking tea with you.”
Although I felt the opposite of affectionate inside, I was flattering him for a reason. ‘I have to make him wear the cufflinks.’ Radian’s rumors gained credibility because the whereabouts of these cufflinks were unknown, so this misunderstanding could only be cleared up if my father wore them in public.
There was something else that was bothering me, however. “You’re at home more often these days, Father,” I said.
He nodded. “Because I promised,” he said vaguely. Although I didn’t know what he had promised or who he had promised to, his frequent presence at home would only make my life more difficult.
‘If he keeps acting like this, my plan will… Anyway, I have to persuade him to wear these first.’ If I could get my father to wear the cufflinks and visit a crowded place like the imperial palace, the rumors would end.
“I heard that there was an assassination attempt at the imperial palace. Is everyone okay?” I asked.
“You don’t need to concern yourself with those matters,” my father said coldly. I usually would have been offended by his tone and stopped talking, but I had an important goal to accomplish today.
“I’m just worried that if you stay at home for too long, the imperial palace won’t be as safe. You are the strongest swordsman in the empire after all. I understand if you are desperately needed there, Father.”
As I was busy flattering him, he suddenly said, “I plan to retire within this year.”
‘What? Retire?’ I was taken aback because he was still relatively young to even think about that. ‘If that’s the case, my plan won’t work…’ If he planned on living in seclusion after retiring, I could only convince him to go to social gatherings… ‘But I have never seen my father attend parties. In the novel, the duke didn’t even attend his daughter’s debutante.’ My idea was close to impossible.
Although I wanted to persuade him otherwise, he cut me off. “I have been thinking about it for a long time, so don’t try to convince me.” He seemed to be warning me to not interfere with his personal matters, so I backed down, worried that he wouldn’t bother wearing the cufflinks if I offended him any further.
“Alright. It’s good that you’ll be at home more often, but staying inside all the time can get boring. You should think about attending social gatherings to occasionally refresh yourself,” I said cheerfully, wearing a forced smile. Instead of answering my subtle invitation, he nodded slightly. It seemed like he wasn’t in a bad mood now, so I decided to use this opening to give him his pendant and cufflinks.
“This is the pendant you left in the library some time ago, Father.” I gave him the object, which he took impassively.
“I see that it was in your possession until now,” he said indifferently. I briefly wondered if he even knew that he had misplaced it, but that thought disappeared when I realized that his response was natural, given his dry personality.
‘He will probably receive the gift the same way.’ Without expecting much, I gave him the box that contained the cufflinks. “Here’s this, too.”
My father glared at the box and asked, “What… is this?” His voice held a little hesitation, which was unlike him.
“It’s a gift,” I said before he could comment any further, in case he thought it was something strange. “You can open it.”
He silently unwrapped the box and did as I said. When he saw the cufflinks, his eyes widened.
He stayed silent, so I assumed that he didn’t like my gift very much. ‘Well, it doesn’t matter because I had already expected this reaction.
“I was reminded of you when I went shopping recently. I bought this because I thought it would compliment you,” I added with a casual laugh, to which he nodded.
‘Well, I’m glad he accepted the gift. If he refused it, I would have to give it to Geraldine…’ Geraldine wasn’t just a vassal or the head of the Floyen knights; he was also my cousin from my mother’s side. Since the custom was to give cufflinks to both family members and lovers, he was the most suitable option besides my father, as it would prove that I had purchased it for platonic purposes. He was also needed to show up at Rose’s banquet as my partner. Doing so would imply that I still nursed a wounded heart and had no intention of dating other people at the moment.
In this scenario, my father wouldn’t be able to force me to meet someone on the marriage list. High society was unusually obsessed with appearances, so if people found out that my father arranged a blind date for his heartbroken daughter, he would be criticized. This plan was the best way to resolve the problem concerning the marriage list, as well as the rumors.
“About my partner…” I trailed off, but my father nodded at me to go on. “I know you are very busy, Father, but for the banquet tomorrow—”
I wanted to ask him if I could borrow Geraldine, his precious subordinate and nephew, but my father’s low voice cut me off. “Alright.”
‘Did you know what I was going to say, Father?’ Although I was confused, I decided not to question his decision in case he might change his mind. ‘Now that I have my father’s permission, I need to ask Geraldine to go to the banquet with me.’
Everything was working out as smoothly as I had planned. I picked up a madeleine and was about to take a bite when my father suddenly looked at me and said, “Since that’s your wish, I’ll accompany you to the banquet.”
I dropped the madeleine that was in my hand. ‘That wasn’t part of my plan, Father!’
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