1. The Long-Awaited Day
It was sudden.
“Flores, I wish to break my engagement with you.”
Condescending attitude. A triumphant expression.
Ricardo, my fiancé, spoke with all his heart.
I didn’t doubt that everything was already at his disposal.
After all, everyone already knew that he was the eldest son of the duke.
“…might I ask why?”
I asked with a quivering voice.
It was just last month when I signed the engagement documents—
He said that he’d make me happy, while also laughing with satisfaction.
“I will answer—come here, Lilia.”
He looked behind me and called another woman’s name with a gentle voice.
I was quite familiar with that name.
Looking back slowly, I saw my acquaintance, Lilia Brandt. She was about to approach us.
Due to the circumstances, her shoulders trembled.
Lilia’s beautiful countenance showed a modest smile as she went straight for Ricardo.
“Lilia, no way…”
Because of my words, Lilia suddenly spared me a glance. At that moment, she showed a triumphant smile full of superiority.
But it was just for a fleeting moment.
Seen from the side, her brilliant and ephemeral beauty remained unchanged.
“Let me introduce you to Lady Lilia—the daughter of Marquis Brandt.”
He spoke cheerfully to the aristocrats who had gathered that day, not me.
They were the ones who came today to celebrate my engagement with Ricardo.
“Lilia will become my wife. I’ve already decided this.”
Looking back at me, Ricardo grinned and said so.
His eyes were pitying me.
The surroundings grew noisy at once.
Well, it was natural.
Who could’ve predicted that the fiancée, who had been known in advance, would change on that very day.
No one dared raise an objection.
It was because the decision was made by none other than Ricardo Sterling, the duke’s son himself. His father was the only duke in the kingdom.
It was also because of my position.
Baron’s daughter, Flores Arklight.
My status was low, as the history of my family was brief. I was the eldest daughter of the Arklight family.
For me, who had no backing, to be engaged to be someone like him—it could be said to be a miracle.
It all started when Ricardo, who whimsically attended his father’s award ceremony, beheld me.
He overthrew the opposition around him to get engaged with me.
Yet, he switched to Marquis Lilia, a woman with stature far above that of a baron.
She was a lady who was much more suitable to stand beside him than a baroness.
Who dared to oppose her?
I had been chastised many times due to my status, but I never said anything back.
No matter what anyone said, I was able to endure it because I was looking forward to today.
Thinking that I was unable to bear it, Ricardo ridiculed me.
“You asked me for the answer yourself, so don’t cry. How tedious.”
As he spat such cold words, his previous sweet words felt like a lie.
“…I, no longer have to endure it?”
I asked with trembling lips.
Engagement was heavy.
Even more so when one had already signed the documents.
Documented contracts were of paramount importance in that kingdom—be it in marriage, or business.
The contract was a magic tool.
Once the contract was signed with an ink that had the contractor’s hair melted in it, a magical bond would occur.
It was impossible for anyone but the king to overturn it.
“It’s decided. I’ve officially been engaged with Lilia. Of course, only once I finish breaking off our engagement. Isn’t that right?”
Ricardo asked a notary officer dispatched from the kingdom. Being so confident probably meant that he had kept my hair somewhere.
Engagement and cancellation of engagement were established after signing the documents and being certified by a notary officer.
After looking at me with pity, the notary officer nodded.
Of course, I didn’t remember signing the engagement cancellation document.
Only the signature of the person would be accepted.
But Ricardo was a duke.
He knew that when he said ‘white’, black things also turned white.
If so, my engagement had certainly been abandoned. Meanwhile, Ricardo and Lilia’s engagement had become certain.
“Are you sad? Are you lamenting about it? As a baroness, shouldn’t you be glad that even for a fleeting moment, your dream came true?”
Ricardo was gaining momentum.
Lilia had also begun to butt in. “Isn’t it pitiful of her, Lord Ricardo?” But her voice was exuding laughter.
“…I’d be sad and frustrated if I were betrayed by someone I love, I’d even contemplate dying.”
When I said that, Ricardo’s grin deepened.
…I’m truly happy, I’m about to die.
“The problem is, I hate you.”
Ricardo uttered out with a dumb voice and a dumb expression as I grinned and raised my face.
***T/N: Yaaaay …another asshole, but this time a duke’s son.
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