Author: alyalia

“You can come with me if you want.”

 

“Pardon?”

 

“I was moved by Marchioness Radiasa’s heart thinking of Lillian to the point tears welled up in my eyes. I thought you might be worried about Lillian.”

 

“…I will decline.”

 

Though it wasn’t said with good intentions, Charelize didn’t expect the rejection to go together, so she frowned.

 

“Do you know that completely contradicts what you just said?”

 

“I just realized it while riding with Lillian in the carriage. Lillian is not my dead daughter.”

 

“…”

 

“And I’ve already done everything I could do for Lillian, so it’s okay. I didn’t want her to die in Astan, but she must pay for her crimes.”

 

Marchioness Radiasa, who rose from her seat, spoke in a calm voice. Her hand straightened her dress was calm, and she didn’t seem concerned about Lillian. Her lifeless eyes were indifferent. It was like someone who was forced to move on with their life.

 

“If this happens again in the future, I’ll stop doing all the business with Marquis Radiasa. I’ll tell the vassals the same, so I hope you take care of yourself. I’m only letting this slide once. It’s because the courtesy to my mother’s close friend.”

 

“I still have one more son, Your Highness. Don’t worry. To the children…”

 

Marchioness Radiasa, who was smiling and talking, suddenly shut her mouth. She seemed to unconsciously include Delphir in the word ‘children,’ which seemed to have touched her nerve.

 

“Delphir… Did you love him?”

 

“…”

 

“Is it true that you loved him, little Duchess?” asked Marchioness Radiasa, barely suppressing her feelings.

 

When she asked if Charelize loved Delphir, she grabbed Charelize’s ankle as she tried to turn around.

 

“If it was just a hollow relationship… there was no need to break off the engagement that could have benefitted Marsetta family.”

 

It was true. If she hadn’t loved Delphir, she wouldn’t have agreed to the engagement for the sake of the Marsetta family. She believed she could raise her family’s status through her sacrifice, so it was natural for her to do so.  

 

“I loved him so much. So I was disappointed and even more angry. But now that I see it, it wouldn’t have been a lifelong relationship even if he hadn’t betrayed me. I’m glad I didn’t become part of his family.”

 

“…Perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise for both of us.” Marchioness Radiasa, who answered with a bitter smile on her lips, returned.

 

The last thing Charelize heard about her news was that she divorced Marquis Radiasa and disappeared.

 

* * *

It was already the third day since Lillian had collapsed. Charelize received a report from the doctor that Lillian had just woken up.

 

“Did the poison she ate at that time remain? Why did she suddenly collapse?”

 

“That’s not the case… It seems that her genetic disease from the Luxen family has developed.”

 

Charelize asked the doctor as she signed the papers. The quill pen, which had been moving quickly, fell to the floor at his answer. Soon, the ink smeared.

 

“…Genetic disease?”

 

During the time she pretended not to know, there was a time when she secretly asked for medicine to cure Lillian’s illness. Hence, she knew about the Luxen family genetic disease.

 

The Luxen family’s genetic disease wasn’t life-threatening right away. Still, it sometimes made them collapse, and at some point, their fever rose, and their whole body became hot. Some of them even became blind from that disease.

 

“Is there no other medicine?”

 

“Yes, Your Highness… Since there is no well-known cure for the genetic disease, when the symptoms appear, the only way to treat them is to make them take painkillers.”

 

“I see.”

 

“I’m ashamed that I couldn’t help… I’m sorry.” The doctor broke into a cold sweat and said with an expression as if he would cry at any moment.

 

“Um, why am I neither in a good nor bad mood right now?”

 

“Little Duchess…?”

 

“No. You don’t have to worry about my nonsense. You can leave now.”

 

“Yes, Your Highness.”

 

The doctor, who was tilting his head, bowed his head. Judging that Charelize wasn’t in a good mood because he couldn’t treat Lillian, he quietly left.

 

Charelize, who was accidentally being misunderstood, dealt with many papers in front of her.

 

“Marquis Rokain… want me to support the business of Lilze Kingdom? Based on the results so far, I heard that they didn’t do very well.”

 

The contents were mostly a large number of complaints and pitiful remarks that made her sigh involuntarily.

 

“Since Queen Lilze’s mother’s home is the Ramirel Kingdom, and he used rude words towards Prince Kairea, who is the queen’s niece, it’s only natural that the queen’s influence led to not just failure but also losses. It’s a tricky situation as Marquis Rokain’s engagement with Lady Luwen, so it cannot be easily declined.”

 

Count Luwen, the main vassal of Duke Marsetta, was also involved as an investor in the business, so Charelize couldn’t just pass it by. After much contemplation, Charelize decided to allow the support, thinking of this as a wedding present to her future vassal.

 

“May I ask what you will do about Princess Lilian’s future?”

 

“Lillian’s future… I think it’s gonna be a long story. Let’s talk about it later. You must be tired, so you can leave now.’

 

“May Goddess Resina’s blessings reach you. Have a peaceful day. Thank you for your hard work.”

 

After completing the approval of the last report, which was handed down through Viscount Blanche, Charelize left her office.

 

“I see you, Master.”

 

“Great, I was actually looking for you.”

 

“Master? Do you have anything to say to me?”

 

“Yes. First… buy a lot of painkillers that will last for decades. I’ll take care of the cost of it.”

 

Charelize smiled slightly at the butler she encountered on her way to see Lillian.

 

“If it’s a painkiller… are you sick anywhere?”

 

“I’m not going to eat that.”

 

“Then… why…?”

 

“If Lillian goes to jail after her trial, she won’t be able to call a doctor every time like today, right?”

 

“Ah…”

 

“Let’s call it a kind of consideration in preparation for that day,” said Charelize to reassure the startled butler.

 

“I will prepare as soon as possible.”

 

“Yes. Ah, how is Lillian’s condition now?”

 

“Her fever subsided quickly, and she continued to lie in bed. She refused to eat… only drank a few sips of water today.”

 

“A hunger strike won’t put her trial date on hold… Ah, the more I didn’t see her, the more stupid she got…”

 

The butler nodded unconsciously at Charelize’s words. The thought came to him implicitly, so he quickly managed his expression and stood awkwardly.

 

“I’ll go first.”

 

“…If you need anything, please call me, Master.”

 

Charelize headed to the guest room where Lillian was.

 

“Lady Lillian… put it down…”

 

“Can’t you get out of here right now? Call Chenia, come on!”

 

As she stepped inside, she heard Lillian shouting, accompanied by the sharp sound of a vase shattering.

 

“Hailey.”

 

“Your Highness…?”

 

Hailey tried to clean up the pieces that had fallen on the floor.

 

“Get out of here for a moment.”

 

“Yes, Your Highness.”

 

“From now on, do it quietly. Gather all the knights outside without leaving a single one out.”

 

Charelize passed the signet ring to Hailey’s hand as she was about to leave, whispering in a very low voice. Hailey, who nodded slightly quickly, went out.

 

Charelize huffed and turned to Lillian, who was still in a state of anger. “It’s not just feeling suffocating in your chest, but your fever is rising too, making it difficult to distinguish what’s right in front of you. Above all, you must be having a hard time to breath.”

 

“That’s… how…”

 

When she spoke about the Luxen family genetic disease symptoms, Lillian made a surprised expression.

 

“That’s what the doctor said. Your illness is not something that can be cured with treatment, Lillian. I was so worried about you that I told the butler to get some painkillers.”

 

“…What?”

 

“I order it in such a large quantity that it won’t be reduced even if you eat it as a meal replacement. If it runs out, I will always buy it again for you, so you don’t have to worry.”

 

“…”

 

“Ah, I can’t help it if the medicine is bitter. They won’t give you sweet candy in Helsen Prison.”

 

“Helsen Prison…? Why am I going there! I didn’t do anything wrong! There’s no such thing as that!” Lillian screamed with all her might. She then staggered as if she lost her energy.

 

“Oh my. Did you have a hard time in Astan?”

 

“…Crazy b*tch.” Lilian recited in a low voice.

 

“Crazy b*tch? Anyway, since there aren’t many days left until you see me face to face like this, I’ll let this slide.”

 

“I may not be his daughter or even related to him, but I undeniably have Marsetta’s blood. Helsen Prison? Don’t be ridiculous. Unless I commit a serious crime, there’s no reason for me to go there.”

 

“Lillian, you’re so stupid. You seem to know one thing but don’t know the other. I believe I told you that before.”

 

“What?”

 

“Whether you’re a princess or not, it’s enough for me to marry you to an old man’s second wife or even another kingdom. Why do you make me repeat what I said? I know you have a bad memory, but it looks pretty serious.”

 

“What’s so good about you? Why are you acting like you know everything? Why do you sound like you can do everything?” Lillian asked in a voice filled with anger. Her hand, which she gave strength, trembled.

 

“One thing is for sure, I’m not someone who will listen to such talk from you. Just because I’m indulging you doesn’t mean you can act out of line. Do you really think I came all the way up here to hear that kind of thing from someone like you?”

 

Charelize deliberately provoked Lillian, using words like ‘someone like you.’ emphasizing their different social positions and repeating such remarks to provoke her.

 

“Lillian, please, know your subject, got it? Don’t keep pushing boundaries. Just live quietly, as if you don’t even exist in the world. Do I really have to teach you every single thing?”

 

“…Die! Go die!”

 

Lillian, who grabbed a fragment of vase nearby, charged vigorously to Charelize. Charelize just kicked Lillian’s stomach with her foot, which was running, with a little force. Her kick must be quite strong as Lillian clutched her stomach and fell over, making incomprehensible sounds of pain.

 

“Uh… ah… ah…!”

 

Lillian continued to writhe and eventually let out a scream.

 

“Your Highness! Are you okay?”

 

One of the young knights waiting outside opened the door in amazement, thinking that something had happened.

 

“…First Knight Division has answered the call of the little Duchess.”

 

“Second Knight Division has gathered as well. Please give us an order. Whatever it may be, we will gladly follow it.”

 

“The Second Knights are also here. Please give me your orders. We’re willing to follow anything.”

 

A large number of knights came in to fill the room. They knelt down on one knee in unison.

 

Charelize held a sword in her hand, which had been hung as a decoration on the wall, and aimed it at Lillian. Although it was for decoration, the blade touched Lillian’s throat and easily wounded her.

 

Blood was dripping out. Despite the small amount, Lillian was stunned. If Charelize drew it a little deeper, it could have been fatal. That made Lillian turn pale.

 

“Lillian Ludisa von Marsetta, based on Article 2, Paragraph 2 of the Elioter Empire Law, you’re charged with an attempt to murder. In the past, according to the precedent of Lady Enz, who murdered Marquis Laren, a concubine of Princess Anette, she was immediately sent to Helsen Prison without trial. The final judgment on Lillian’s punishment will be determined through the trial later.”

 

“N… N-no! Save me! Save me! I-I was wrong… so, please!”

 

“Furthermore, by the authority of the next Duchess, Lillian Ludisa von Marsetta is permanently stripped of her title. She will never be reinstated as Marsetta, even in death.”

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