Chapter 65 - Unforeseen Aftermath
When the music resumed at the count’s orders, the icy atmosphere of the banquet hall slowly melted away. Some nobles began to quietly whisper among themselves.
“The count is obligated to act amicably towards the Floyen family because the young lady gave his daughter a great gift, right?”
“You’re right. Even if it weren’t for the gift, it seems like the duke truly cares for his daughter… It would be good for both families to have friendly relations.”
As the general sentiment turned towards Jubelian’s favor, Rose looked at her father proudly. Now that she thought about it, she was able to exchange letters with Lady Floyen in the first place because of the support from her father, Count Arlo.
“Thank you, Father.”
Count Arlo laughed softly at his daughter’s quiet voice of thanks. “It seems like you’ve made a good friend.”
Rose gazed at her father affectionately for a while, then smiled as she recalled Duke Floyen leaving with Jubelian in his arms. ‘I’m relieved that the lady has a good relationship with her father as well.’
* * *
Although I felt much better after leaving the banquet hall, I was still uncomfortable that my father was holding me in his arms. My breaths only relaxed when I saw our household’s carriage in the distance. ‘When we board it, this discomfort will be over.’ But after we entered the carriage and my father placed me down, I continued to feel tense because he decided to sit right next to me.
“You might pass out like last time, so I’ll stay next to you on our way back home.”
Unable to go against his wishes, I forced a smile.
* * *
Mikhail squeezed his fists as he recalled how Jubelian left the banquet hall. ‘She’s not feeling well? Does that mean she wasn’t faking her illness?’
Jubelian had always able to follow him wherever he went. Even when he walked quickly, she never fell behind and managed to match his pace. He thought she was a naturally healthy person for this reason, but now that he thought about it, she wouldn’t show herself for days after following him around. She would also have difficulty breathing as she pushed herself to keep up. When Mikhail realized this, his heart strangely began to ache.
* * *
Because he had suddenly become angry on the terrace, I wondered if my father was going to ask me about what I was doing with his disciple. However, he only left a request before leaving my room. “Refrain from going out these next few days. Allen told me that you should rest,” he had said.
Due to my father’s orders to take care of myself, I was bound to my bed again. ‘Why on earth is he acting like this?’ He used to treat me like I didn’t exist, but now he was acting so differently. Not only did these changes make me feel uncomfortable around him, but they also made it difficult for me to understand him. ‘What’s the point of being nice to me?’ I wondered.
To my surprise, I realized the answer quickly. ‘Well, I guess there are benefits to treating me like this. He must make sure I’m healthy enough to marry the crown prince, right?’ When I recalled the crown prince from the original novel, I sighed. ‘It would be unreasonable to try to appease a cruel and inhumane person like him…’
I thought that breaking up with Mikhail would derail me from the path to death, but if I had known that I would encounter a bear while trying to avoid a fox, I would’ve found a different solution. ‘Well, the past is the past. I can’t do anything about it now.’
I clenched my fists. Although I needed to obey my father for the sake of my bright future, I didn’t want to end my life by getting married to the crown prince. ‘Watch me. This will never go the way you want.’
Act 6. Shouldn’t You Answer Before You Go?
Max looked at his hands for a while then clenched his fists.
‘Why do I keep… thinking about her?’ The more he tried to forget about her, the more she kept coming to mind. He savored the warmth he felt when his hand entangled with her small, slender fingers, as well as the peculiar sensation he felt when he wrapped his arm around her waist. Max tried to shake these thoughts off by distracting himself, but Jubelian’s image continued to pervade his mind. His heart had tingled when she smiled and stroked his hair. When her red lips smiled, it had been difficult to bear another minute of wondering how they would feel. He had felt like he was floating in a dream.
However, that dream had vanished the moment his master appeared, filling Max with resentment. ‘It’s obvious that he’s been confining her until now.’ Although Max knew that his master was Jubelian’s father, he couldn’t help but feel angry when he interrupted them. It didn’t help when his master told him to not visit his residence anymore in a threatening tone.
Nevertheless, Max reined in his anger because… the duke was Jubelian’s father before he was his master. He tried to understand him from this perspective, but he could only remember the helplessness he felt as his master carried Jubelian further away in his arms. As he recalled what had happened at the banquet, Max gritted his teeth. ‘He’s abusing his powers by intruding on his daughter.’
Fresia sighed as she watched Max fuming by himself. ‘He’s become even more strange after returning from the banquet.’ She couldn’t help but be worried for her lord, who was behaving incomprehensibly when the long-prepared rebellion was underway.
When her lord suddenly called her, she raised her head. Max possessed a serious expression as he stared at her. ‘What does he want to say if he’s looking at me like that?’
No matter how strange he had become, Maximillian always used any means necessary to achieve his purpose. Knowing better than to let her guard down in front of this inherently cold-hearted man, Fresia nervously waited for Maximillian to speak. Before long, his lips parted.
“Send an invitation in your name, Fresia.”
“Huh? To whom?”
When the name fell from her lord’s lips as she had expected, Fresia became deep in thought. “It will be difficult to invite Lady Floyen,” she said matter-of-factly.
Max frowned in response. “Why will it be difficult?” he asked.
Fresia smiled awkwardly. “Well… Lady Floyen has become quite famous, so she’ll be very busy.”
* * *
You are required to login first