3.6 The Struggle of a Marquis’ Daughter
Looking back on my memories, I indeed had wanted them long ago. When I was 10-years-old or so, I wanted an aquarium of fish.
Of course, I had bought it long ago. After all, I’m Baldazar’s rich, spoiled, daughter. All of them were ridiculously priced.
I truly did whatever I wanted back then. I bought most of what I wanted without hesitation.
I nodded with a smirk and stared at Alfred.
He became wary.
“You, what are you…”
Beads of sweat appeared on Alfred’s face. He looked to be in a terrible shape.
His prince façade was being peeled off. His expression was wavering.
“Ah, uh, Lord Alfred, can I have a moment?”
Georges, who stood at Alfred’s side, raised his hand.
Alfred was silent, so Georges poked his head. Still no response. Georges started to speak without permission.
“Since Lady Juliana tends to be depressed these days, won’t she find delicacies to be refreshing? When it comes to various delicacies from other countries, even the Gessel family might found difficulty in procuring them… probably.”
No, it would be easy?
I glanced at Georges. Then, Georges posed as if he was praying to God towards me. Urged by the unexplained force, I unintentionally blurted.
“I, that’s right! I’m tired with ordinary gastronomy, so, delicacies might be interesting!”
“I, is that so? Really? Would you be happy with heaps?”
Even though I was an 18-years-old maiden? Heaps of delicacies? Did he honestly think I’d be happy with them?
I wanted to retort but was unable to.
After all, Alfred had showed his flawless smile. It seemed that he was smiling with all his might.
“Yes, you’re too skinny, after all… you should eat until you’re full.”
He was trying to fatten up a skinny maiden… I felt a little frustrated at that.
However, Alfred’s eyes were swimming. It was as if his spirit had passed away.
That’s right, it seems that he’s no longer in a tight financial situation…
I pondered that fact quietly.
Indeed, if the royal family’s circumstances improved, then there was no need for him to remain engaged with the daughter of the Gessel family…
Before the royal wallet situation completely recovered, I had to introduce him to Sasha as soon as possible!
Unlike the Gessel family, the Duke of Ruston and the Duke of Alridge, who were deeply involved in politics, must had noticed the hidden signs of economic change and felt that they had a chance to crush the Gessel family.
It’s starting. I have to do my best from now on. Sasha’s beauty will surely fetch a high price. Otherwise, I’llbe in trouble.
“Uh, if you have no other business, can I go home?”
“It took too long to read all those books, the sun has already set. I’m the daughter of a Marquis, so I have a curfew. It’s already past the agreed time.”
“Um, one last thing… I don’t think you should celebrate, yet. It’s okay to spend some money, but what about being satisfied with the feeling of accomplishment for now? At least until the next tea party. I want you to keep striving forward without being satisfied with the current situation.”
If, Alfred, a hard worker, became king, Ruderva would become safe. Sasha, who would become queen, could live with peace of mind. I was sure the people of the Gessel territory would be richer, and Kyle would be happy.
After seeing the happiness of Sasha and Kyle with my own eyes, I would be fine with a humble life. I was sure I wouldn’t have any time to feel lonely because I’d be caring for my parents for a long time.
While living desperately in the corner of the city, I might find my perfect someone.
Creating a family, making children, and enjoying a little happiness. Then, just before the end of my tiny life, I’d recall everything as if given a magic lantern.
That once upon time, a tyrannical marquis’ daughter did her best to change.
That she was once the fiancée of Prince Alfred Ruderva.
“Then, I shall take my leave.”
I expressed my greetings like a proper lady. Then, as I was about to leave Alfred, who was still stunned—
—for some reason, I couldn’t get enough strength into my legs and stumbled.
When I was about to fall, Alfred caught me. He peered into my ugly face.
Alfred’s voice echoed throughout my being. I felt the vibrations rushing from my back. It took me a while to realize that my heart was ringing.
Alfred’s rosy-colored cheeks, bushy eyelashes, and almond-shaped eyes… the strength of the will that dwelled within them, all of his refined features—
—from there onward, the only thing that could happen was a kiss. After all, we were that close.
I involuntarily swallowed my saliva and coughed—
“—W, won’t you release me?”
I was in a rush. I had to turn Sasha into my replacement. Let me go home so I could come up with a strategy.
“Why are you so thin…? Just now, you were about to fall…”
“Well, I just took the traditional and royal way of exercising while cutting down on calories…”
“…I’m sorry, but unless I’m told, I won’t be able to understand.”
“What do you want me to say?”
“…If you don’t tell me, then I won’t know why you’re crying.”
Am I crying?
That was just foolish.
But, when I touched my cheek, a cold drop wet my fingertips.
Alfred, who was embracing me, looked so upset, I felt sorry for him.
“It’s but a bodily function to remove poison from one’s body. It’s a physiological phenomenon—they are not tears.”
I said something like that intermittently. When I realized it, I suddenly felt stuffy. As I breathed shallowly with just my nose, Alfred’s large palm slowly stroked my head.
“…This is my first time ever seeing you cry, but it feels so difficult. If possible, I don’t want to ever see it again.”
Of course, it’s unsightly, after all.
Why am I crying?
Aren’t I prepared to make things right?
I wonder if I wasn’t prepared enough?
I have to resolve myself—stay strong, Juliane.
Soon, I rubbed my runny nose and exhaled a strong, short breath.
“—Alright! Excuse me! Pardon my intrusion!”
The banging sound of a door being opened occurred. I reflexively let out a yelp.
“Lord Alfred, I know you’re currently preoccupied, I understand. However, there’s a matter that I’d like you to resolve as soon as possible! In other words, if you don’t return to work now, you’ll be having a hard time tomorrow!”
With a smile that made me hear a shining sound effect, the white-haired chancellor beamed.
“Do you understand?”
As he smiled, he tapped Alfred’s shoulder.
Alfred’s arms weakened, so I hurriedly separated myself from him.
“…I haven’t ascended the throne, yet.”
Alfred murmured quietly.
“That’s right, I understand.”
Despite his smile, the chancellor exuded an aura akin to nasty garbage.
“However, it’s an unforeseen situation. It’d be to our disadvantage if we were to ignore it. Whether or not you’re the king, is there any difference? Alfred, this is your chance to plant your feet on the ground.”
The chancellor spread his thumb and index finger to explain the situation. There was still a gap about the size of a boiled egg between them.
“It’s such an unpleasant situation. Even recalling it make me feel like I’m about to suffer intestinal failure. I’ve managed to take care of it at the last minute, but I hope that I don’t have to do the same thing again.”
The chancellor smiled at Alfred.
Alfred’s eyes suddenly opened wide.
“I haven’t ascended the throne, yet.”
As he scoffed, Alfred ran his hand through his hair.
“It can’t be helped. I’ll go. Juliane, I will make it up to you next time.”
Alfred strode forward with all his might. The chancellor immediately bowed towards me.
“Lady Juliane, you will surely be compensated for this.”
“No, no, you don’t have to, don’t worry.”
I waved my head and hands all at once towards the chancellor who was older than my father.
***T/N: Ugh, it feels like they are on a different wavelength every time…
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