Author: alyalia

There was no one in the capital whom Luize could call as a friend. She followed Reiad to a few banquets, but no one had approached her since Luize had picked up the food at her first banquet. Reiad later informed her that the banquet wasn’t for eating, but it had already happened. Luize was surprised that so much delicious food was piled up, but no one was eating it.


It’s not that Luize didn’t try to make friends. But when Luize approached first, the crowd dispersed, and the woman who was alone smiled awkwardly and moved away.


Occasionally, someone would approach Luize and ask her maiden name. Luize was from a village in the corner of the countryside, closest to Perils, which is also called the Forest of Death.  Her last name was common, and she was a commoner, so she thought there was no way anyone in the capital would know about her.


“Your name is Luize. Now that Luize is part of Cloette’s family, I hope you’ll forget your previous last name. I don’t want people to ignore Luize. So, don’t reveal your previous last name to anyone.”


That was also Reiad’s request. It was also for her own good anyway, so she accepted his request.


She was okay with feeling a little lonely. Because she has Reiad, who shines like sunshine for her. He was forgetting their anniversary more often, but she thought it would be okay.


Another year has passed like that. It was dinner with his lover, who had started staying at the mansion as a guest. Reiad left, saying he had something to do.


“May I ask where Madam is from?” asked the lover, who had started staying at the mansion as a guest. She was the daughter of a new noble who had just entered the capital.


Luize was worried. She didn’t ask for her last name, but wouldn’t just reveal where she came from be putting Reiad in trouble? Again, it seemed that not saying anything would help establish Reiad’s reputation.


“It’s because I want to be friends.” The lover smiled sweetly. It was a face that didn’t show the slightest hint of bad intentions.


Luize’s complexion brightened. Although it wasn’t a very happy meeting, she was very lonely and was slowly growing tired of that loneliness. “I’m from Perils. To be exact, a small village adjacent to Perils.”


“Perils? Are you talking about the place called the Forest of Death?”




“Oh my god. May I ask your maiden name?”


“Ah, that’s…” Luize smiled awkwardly.


At that moment, Reiad returned.


“You two look like having fun. Did you two talk about anything interesting?”


“I asked where Madam is from.” His lover replied with a smile.


Reiad’s expression hardened for an instant. The next day, Reiad asked her not to reveal her last name or where she was from. That lover never visited the mansion again after that day. It was then that Luize realized that he was ashamed of her origins.


Besides that lover, Reiad had lovers who often spoke to Luize. Every time, Luize answered politely, but when it came to stories related to her origins, she consistently answered, ‘You wouldn’t know even if you heard about it.’


Luize was still lonely, so she was grateful to the people who talked to her. But as things became more frequent and the lovemaking between Reiad and his lovers became more and more bold, something in her heart grew cold.


Wife or Luize. Despite the obvious warmth, his voice calling her became more suffocating as he called more frequently.


* * *

“Is it too late to get a successor?”


“It was inevitable since the Count was out and about. If this continues and an illegitimate child is born, it will be a matter of time before the madam steps down.”


“What’s there to call her a madam? I heard that no one knows where she is from, but it turns out that she’s a commoner just like us, right?”


Gasp. What kind of nonsense are you saying?”


 As Luize passed through the garden, she unintentionally overheard the conversation of careless servants.


Child. Her relationship with Reiad might have been different if they had a child. Even if her relationship with him didn’t change, succession was an important issue in the noble family.


It was dinner with Reiad that night. Luize, who was excited to spend time alone with him for the first time after a long time, opened her mouth. “Reiad, isn’t it time for us to have a successor?”


“Luize, successor is not essential.”


“But if things continue like this, Cloette’s blood will be cut off.”


“There is no need to be bound by such outdated customs. I just hope we can fully enjoy this moment,” answered Reiad in a decisive tone. He was smiling softly as always, but she noticed that Reiad was feeling a little uncomfortable.


“It will be very difficult for Luize if you have a child. I want us to be happy like this.”


Does that mean Reiad is happy with this kind of life now? Luize clenched the hem of her skirt tightly without realizing it.


Reiad was right. All they have to do is be happy. But now she wondered if she was happy. Obviously, nothing had changed, but only her heart seemed to have changed, so she felt sorry for Reiad.


“Well, I have a plan for a walk in the evening, so I guess I’ll have to get up now. Is there anything else you want to say?”






“Today is our wedding anniversary.”




“I just feel like you’re forgetting. It’s a day that comes around every year anyway. I’m okay. Go ahead to your appointment.” Luize quickly added as disappointment appeared on Reiad’s face.


He seemed to ponder for a moment, then called a servant over and whispered something.


“I’m sorry, Luize. I’ve been out of my mind these past few days.”


“No, it’s okay.”


“Let’s spend time together. Is there something you want to do?”


Luize nodded with a bright face.


That night, the two walked in the garden together for the first time in a long time and read a book in the study. It was like the date they went on several times, even in the early days of their marriage. Reiad was friendly as always.


“Sleep well, Luize. Happy wedding anniversary.”


“Reiad too.”


After Reiad kissed the back of Luize’s hand, he left her room.


Luize lay down on the bed and closed her eyes. Her eyelashes became moist little by little. Soon, teardrops fell from the corner of her eyes.


Reiad showed only a picture-perfect smile throughout their time together. But Luize knew. She knew he showed a different face when he was truly happy and joyful. For the first time today, Luize realized she would never see that face again, that look in his eyes.


The next day, servants came to Louise’s room with a bouquet of flowers. It was a gift Reiad sent in his name before he left the mansion. The flower withered in less than a week.


* * *

“Are you very lonely these days? Then, how about going outside the mansion for a walk or shopping?”


“Thank you. I’ll try that.”


A few days later, with a worried look on his face, Reiad suggested Luize go out, as she had been feeling down since their wedding anniversary.


Luize went out into the streets of the capital alone. At first, she just walked the streets, and she bought a flower pot on one of the few outings that followed. The flower withered less than a month after being brought into the mansion. Looking at the flower, which had eventually withered despite no matter how hard she tried, Luize felt that something in her heart was drying up like the withered flower.


Reiad was absent again today.


“Can you clean this up, please?” Luize had her servants throw away the wilted flower pot. Then, she was ready to go out right away.


After months of frequent outings, she memorized the capital’s roads. She already knew the way but walked aimlessly as if she had lost her way.


The sky was clear, but the wind was filled with thick moisture. People were buzzing. They exchanged excited stories about a famous person coming back to the capital tomorrow.


Luize was alone as always amidst the heightened atmosphere. The quiet, dead-like mansion was unbearable for her, so she left the mansion, but the streets were just as unbearable. The fact that there wasn’t a single soul connected with her in such a bustling street pushed her deeper into despair. Dark clouds gathered over her head.


Tuk, tuduk. Rain began to fall. Even though the rain soaked her body, she had no will to avoid it. Her body trembled. Only after feeling that her body temperature had dropped significantly did Luize look around with sunken eyes. She had to find a place to shelter from the rain.


Where she was now was the outskirts of the capital. The merchants had already brought their goods inside, and she was standing alone on the street without an umbrella.


Luize belatedly entered the alley to avoid the rain. She had gotten lost around here before and happened to find an old little shack. There were no signs of someone living there, so she thought avoiding the rain there for a while would be okay.


The longer she walked, the quieter the surroundings became. Finally, she saw the shack. Luize hurried in and stopped at the entrance. The rain was still pouring down on her. But she couldn’t believe her eyes.


“…Is there more left?” muttered the man leaning against the corner of the shack. His upper body, with the rain-soaked clothes, clung tightly, revealing the curves of his body. Perhaps it was originally a white shirt, but the top had been torn long and turned red, soaked in blood.


Luize swallowed her dry saliva. Even at first glance, the man looked in a dangerous situation. He lost too much blood.


Her eyes and red eyes met in the air. While Luize panicked, the man’s eyes closed first. His wet black hair flowed down as his head fell to the side. He was an exceptionally handsome man that was hard to forget once you met him.


Luize had seen this man a few times at a banquet. He wasn’t the kind of person you would meet in a place like this.


Grand Duke Edward von Lindeman. He’s the child of the dethroned empress and unfortunate prince who has been deprived of his imperial name after being stripped of his title as crown prince.


Luize approached him with a nervous look.

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