“Don’t stay still and say something!!”
She approached him, who screamed in anger.
“No matter what I say, you will have no choice but to come to me again. Conrad, I had told you, responsibilities and rights are scary. Always keep that in mind.”
His screams buzzed in her ears. <i>It’s okay.</i> Nothing changed. Nothing would change in the future. Because it was supposed to be like that. That was the future that awaited her.
* * *
As Elysia predicted, Conrad was seized by his father within a few days and sat in the Hellens’ drawing-room. He wasn’t down on his knees, but seeing the duke’s face that he wanted to strike him down on the floor at any moment made her very happy.
“Countess, you have been greatly disrespected. I taught him well and he’s also reflecting on himself, so this will never happen again.”
Macaulay Hellen, who was sitting next to Elysia, smiled mercifully. But there was no warmth in the words that followed her. Elysia had already told her mother what her plans were and what he had done.
“Of course he should. I don’t want my daughter to be unhappy. If they can’t get married like this even now, I’m going to take all the losses. Of course, that should be avoided as much as possible.”
She was an innate businesswoman, thus she would never face any losses, but she took the initiative.
“Don’t worry! It would never happen! As Madam knows, isn’t my child very innocent? It’s just- if there’s something new, he approaches out of curiosity. Isn’t he a kid who even played with dirt in this mansion? This time, it was just curiosity too.”
The Duke tried with all his heart and soul to articulate his excuses, but madam Hellen only nodded leisurely, savoring her tea.
“Curiosity is good. It’s a must for growing children. However, since Young Master Rayden is an adult, he didn’t get curious but rather, got distracted. I would be very unhappy to think of having a husband like that.”
Sweat dripped down Duke Rayden’s forehead. He swept his forehead several times with a handkerchief.
“He will never do that in the future. How about this? If my child causes this to happen again, we will transfer 30% of our largest port income.”
This was what aristocratic promises and good faith were like. Calculating and promising things to lose and gain.
“Then I’d be a little relieved. I must believe in the Duke who is not sparing his energy in educating his child.”
The duke was elated by Madam Hellen’s words.
“Then, should we let the children release their accumulated emotions, and shall we have tea time? It’s been a long time. Let’s catch up as in-laws.”
At Madam Hellen’s willingness to let things slide this time, the duke couldn’t control his loose face, and the countess nodded.
“That’s a good suggestion. Elysia, the roses in the garden are blooming beautifully. Show them to young master Rayden.”
To say that roses were blooming in the garden even if it wasn’t the season when roses were not in bloom was a sign of wealth. After hearing her mother’s words, Elysia got up from her seat and Conrad followed after her with a dreadful expression.
“Elysia, let’s talk.”
In the middle of her garden, Conrad held her.
“It sounds like a long story, let’s sit down. I have always told you that it isn’t gentlemanly to keep a lady standing for a long time.”
As if he was at loss at Elysia’s answer, Conrad let out a long sigh and sat at the table under the shade of the tree. Elysia walked after him.
“What are you standing there? Sit down, Elysia. We have a lot to talk about.”
As Elysia blinked at the chairs arranged on the table, a maid approached her to pull it out. But Elysia quietly raised her hand to refuse and opened her mouth to Conrad.
“You have to do it, Conrad.”
As Conrad stood up and nervously pulled out her chair, Elysia tidied up the hem of her dress and sat gracefully.
“Melanie, bring me some refreshments.”
After naturally ordering around her, Conrad finally opened his mouth.
“You must feel good, don’t you? You’re the type of person who can do whatever you want.”
Despite Conrad’s sarcastic sarcasm, Elysia maintained her unwavering smile.
“You really did what I wanted to? You must know what I can achieve if I make up my mind. Conrad, I’ve only given you a minimal warning. It was you who did wrong.”
Conrad, who knew her temper well, vomited his anger as he ruffled his hair nervously.
“How can you let me go? What should I do? Don’t you hate me? If it were me, I would break this marriage because of the betrayal and wouldn’t want to see you ever again. If you get married like this, will you be happy? Perhaps, do you think of me as a man? Is that why? Even so, I will never see you as a woman in my life.”
Elysia had a slightly sad expression on her face.
“Conrad, is your memory worse than when you were young? Or are you pretending? I’m not looking for happiness in you. And marriage for nobility is not about happiness. I told you, between you and me, there are countless goods and…”
“Yeah, promise! Promise! I know. So, the duke of the Empire had to rush and lay on his face at the Count’s young lady’s words. Are you happy now? Why are you like this? I knew you didn’t have feelings before, but I didn’t know it was this much. Don’t you think that the more you do this, the more I’ll run away?”
Conrad burst out in anger, but Elysia was infinitely calm. As if they were in a different space, everything, from their expressions to the color of their faces, was different.
“I should have told you. You’ll have to take responsibility. No matter how much you run away, this is what it is. Conrad, if you really wanted to escape, you should have turned your back on your family. But you don’t have the courage to do that. Yeah, how does it feel to see your revered father bowing his head and trembling to a Count’s Young Lady? You kept your mouth shut because you must have felt something. You will learn a lot from this incident. It’s a good lesson. You probably haven’t felt a sense of responsibility in your life.”
Elysia’s answer was completely rational, excluding emotions enough to cool the boiling anger. It was true, and there was no way to deny it, but Conrad’s eyes widened.
“Yeah, I got it. I understand what you mean. But you know, Elysia, there are things in the world that can break even such a great promise. You will know when you feel love too. I will take responsibility in my own way. I’m not going to evade the contract as a shield like you. I will do my best to protect my woman. So don’t expect me to be like in the past. Because today is the last time I met you as a friend.”
Although his words were cold-hearted to the extent that the years they spent together became insignificant, Elysia didn’t budge. As if tired of her until the end, Conrad kicked his seat and got up.
“You are such a sickening woman. You have been like shackles to me since birth.”
Each and every word he spat out as if vomiting a curse, stuck in Elysia’s ear. Many words swirled in her mouth. But she didn’t dare to let them out. The more emotional the words, the easier it was to make mistakes. She knew that if she did someone wrong, she wouldn’t be able to hold confidence later. Seeing him not even responding to her until the end, Conrad kicked a chair and walked away. A chair they had built together when they were ten years old.
“Milady, oh my. Did the young master leave first?”
She was staring blankly at the chair that had fallen, and before she knew it, Melanie came with tea and looked at the complexion of her master. Although she was abandoned, Elysia’s expression was the same as usual. Except for her trembling fingers hidden under her table.
“Yes, he had urgent business. Will you pour me some tea? The sunlight is especially nice today.”
Any educated person does not recklessly express their anger just because they feel bad. Elysia drank her tea in peace, reflecting on her learnings.
Summer was over and autumn was around the corner.
Can I hit Conrad?
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