13. Day 1 (10)
Count Ruth, who lamented his daughter’s obituary, was carefully dragged back to his villa by his men.
“Lorona, ...aah, Lorona!”
As the count appeared overwhelmed by the death of his adorable daughter who perished at such a young age, his surroundings began to weep as well.
They comforted the count, saying words of sympathy for Lorona’s death.
Each time, the joy from those words filled the big hole in the count’s heart.
His feeling of loss from Lorona’s death was definitely immense. She had been a beautiful, cute, and impeccable daughter.
Ever since she was little, she had never been a hindrance to him. Whenever he brought her along, Lorona would be praised by those around her.
The count would be praised as well for being a, ‘wonderful father.’
After Lorona had grown, the count was also proud of her.
She managed her education well. She also managed the mansion well, despite his absence.
Moreover, his daughter didn’t pester him for money like Belverassa, his second wife.
“Count, I can’t imagine the depth of your sorrow…”
A youth approached the count with a solemn look.
The count’s villa was like a gathering place for those who were recognized for their talents during the war and for those who aspired to become knights.
Because large-scale military training was deemed as unnecessary by the public, his villa functioned as an acceptance port for those who couldn’t fight to their heart’s content.
However, they didn’t have a purpose or employment. As such, all they did was train and carry imaginary strategy meetings.
The count was proud of accepting the ghosts of war who had lost their homes—just like he himself. His villa was a valuable place.
Recently, young people ignorant of the war had joined.
They were fascinated by the count’s past, and they gathered to appeal with their passionate desire to fight in the same way.
The count was willing to accept their shining resolution. He preached that he’d make that place into one where they could remain.
The count vaguely stared at the face of the youth. He must had been one of those young men.
He was young but savvy, so the count was immediately able to recall his name.
“…If I remember correctly, you’re Kaiser.”
The young man named Kaiser arrived there a few months ago. He had seriously been participating in the training to become a knight.
“Lady Lorona was a wonderful young lady. Who would’ve thought that she’d die.”
“Were you acquainted with Lorona?”
“Yes, I greeted her once at an evening party. The moment I told her that I’m the subordinate of the count, she treated me very kindly.”
“Is that so…”
Then, the count stared at Kaiser’s face, wondering if that youth was an aristocrat.
He realized that he barely knew the youth.
His facial features seemed to be well-organized, but other than that, he had no distinctiveness to himself. He also had a particularly elusive atmosphere.
The count wondered if he recalled Kaiser due to his innate motor reflexes. To some extent, he would recall houses that excelled in military affairs.
He was convinced that Kaiser was a civilian, or perhaps a member of a family that didn’t have a particular position. …Then, it couldn’t be helped if he didn’t remember.
The count had almost abandoned his aristocratic affairs. As a result, he was ignorant of non-famous aristocrats.
The youth might be a young man of a well-known house, but the count immediately dismissed it.
“What are you going to do with the funeral?”
“Funeral, you say…”
“Yes, I understand how you feel. But if you keep yourself from mourning, Lady Lorona wouldn’t be remembered. The count may find this difficult, but I strongly suggest you return to the mansion early.”
The words frustrated the count.
He glared at Kaiser’s face and desperately resisted screaming profanities towards him.
—Are you telling me to arrange a troublesome funeral after having just lost my daughter?
When Lorona’s mother died, the kingdom was still torn, and the count was busy fighting.
Therefore, the funeral was carried out by the tutor, Belverassa, and his decree.
Back then, all the count needed to do was mourn.
Then, he slowly noticed—
—the war was over.
He was the head of the count family, and he bore all the responsibilities.
Sweat gushed out. He felt very unpleasant about needing to deal with the funeral arrangements, the miscellaneous affairs, and the engagement with the royal family from then on.
The more he realized how troublesome it all was, the more the sweet sadness he had been immersed in until a while ago was pushed out.
The count stood up slowly, saying that he couldn’t be upset.
He had to return to the mansion and talk to Belverassa.
She might be pleasing to the eyes but talking to a woman who didn’t know how to please a man was irritating.
“…Why did Lorona have to die at a time like this?”
With how things were, he wished that she’d have died after having already become the princess.
Then all the procedures would have been the responsibility of the royal family.
…Not to mention, if his daughter had died after she officially becoming the princess, the whole nation would have wept for him.
“I also feel sorry for Lady Lorona. The crown prince annulled their engagement, and then she died the very next day.”
The count stopped moving at Kaiser’s words.
He lifted his eyebrows. Towards those words that couldn’t be ignored, anger dyed his face.
“—Annulment!? I never heard of any of this—!!”
“Did you not know? Yesterday was the graduation ceremony of the royal academy. Didn’t the young lady participate as the representative of the current student body to see off the graduates? Didn’t you accompany her?”
“O, oh, right…”
…He recalled receiving an invitation from Lorona.
Only then did he remember that he didn’t particularly reply. After all, not only was it a hassle, as long as it was Lorona, she’d be fine even by herself.
The count frowned with some awkwardness and waited for Kaiser to continue.
“At the ceremony, His Highness Velbutte told Lorona that their engagement was to be annulled.”
“There’s no way—!? For what reason—!?”
“The reason was because she had bullied her own sister, Lumina. She was also denounced for having salacious deals with a merchant.”
The count staggered.
If that were true, then the count family was in massive trouble!
He never expected Lorona would grow into such a depraved woman while he was away from home!
When he met her in person, her attitude was that of an innocent and obedient daughter—was it all a charade!? The count was livid due to the fact that he had been deceived. It got to the point he was seeing red.
Above all, who’d grieve for such a villain!?
“I’m returning to the mansion!!”
With rough strides, the count attempted to return to the mansion.
However, at the same time, the surrounding area grew noisy.
“Count, a messenger has arrived from the mansion.”
“What? Who is it?”
“He called himself Shesam, a servant…”
The count tilted his head and thought a little. Then, he nodded deeply.
It was a youth of the clan who had served Count Ruth for a long time.
He replaced the former accountant a few years ago and had been in charge of the count’s holdings.
“…What does he want? I have to return to the mansion to deal with the matter regarding Lorona…”
“It seems that it’s about Lady Lorona. He seems to be in a hurry.”
The count started walking to the room where the servant was waiting. His expression was one as if he had just bitten into a bitter bug.
Kaiser just quietly stared at his back.
***T/N: Yep, now I’m hating the count, like so, SO, much. Ef this manchild dullard. Ofc he trusted the negative rumors about Lorona right away, the father of the year, amirite?
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