12.2 A Brilliant Legacy
Otherwise, it’d be unnatural for him to be that angry at Aries simply because she refused to give her surname. It was as if he were aware of Aries’ true nature even though Aries behaved like a goody two shoes.
Although while, I was also certain that His Highness Weiss was mostly just putting on a performance, a part of him was definitely angry.
I didn’t know the reason.
“Someday, she’ll be my daughter because she will be adopted.”
“You do not have the authority to decide such a thing. In fact, isn’t it against the law of the kingdom? What are you stipulating? If that is the case, I’ll have to consider that as suspicion of blasphemy or national treason.”
“Going against the kingdom’s law… I did no such thing…”
For my father to humble himself before His Highness Weiss, it was a truly pathetic sight.
That had always been the case. He was humble to those above him. He’d be bullish to those he judged inferior. He’d plainly see them as mere tools. I wondered why I was afraid of such a man. Or why I wanted to be loved by such a man. My desire for his love was foolish.
“So, are you going to force Sofia to adopt her?”
“‘Force’ is a strong word. After all, the two are on good terms. Sofia feels sorry for Aries’ loss. Soon, she’ll welcome her as her stepsister. Isn’t that true, Sofia?”
Even though he tried to force me to sign the papers through abuse.
On good terms? Are you serious?
Why should I be sorry for the person who tried to get rid of me just because she was orphaned?
Is this some kind of joke?
Back then, I was too naïve. I let myself be ridiculed and tormented. If I wanted to survive, I’d have to cut them off. Especially if the person despised me and wanted to overthrow me.
Did my father forget?
That woman had already stolen my fiancé. Although, to be precise, she was merely picking up what I had thrown into the trash.
Garbage like Wagner would suit a shallow woman like Aries.
“Well, isn’t that just asking for too much?”
“What did you say?”
As wrinkles formed between her eyebrows, Aries pleaded for sympathy to my angry father.
“As I thought, my older sister hates me after all!”
I was postive that it was because she was related to my father.
“Now, that’s not true, Aries. Just because I didn’t welcome you to the duke house, that doesn’t mean that I hate you? Otherwise, why would I let you stay in my home, take care of your food, clothing, and shelter? Did you conclude that I hate you merely because I didn’t give you the Lark surname?”
Aren’t tears a woman’s weapon?
Did Aries think she was the only one who could use it?
Two could play at that game.
I was also a woman, after all.
I showed a bitter look.
“A means to grant you the Lark surname—is that all I am to you?”
“It’s alright, you can be honest with me. I mean, when my father bought you those new dresses and jewelry, it wasn’t like I had ever complained, right? Look, I’m putting up with my last year’s dresses and also my mother’s dresses just so you can afford new ones.”
“There’s no need for you to worry. You’re right. It’s as my father said—you’re a pitiful child who has lost her parents, after all.”
Aries’ expression twisted from anger.
To be seriously pitied, it must had brought her a tremendous amount of humiliation.
When I glanced around, the servants were murmuring secretly.
“Why is the baron’s daughter getting all the special treatment? Even if she’s considered her cousin, it’s just too much…”
“Lady Aries asking the lord for new dresses and jewelry… I’ve witnessed it several times, before. Instead of forcing Lady Sofia to put up with it, she should’ve the declined the gifts altogether.”
“…Not to mention, she still owes the duke family some money. Hey, isn’t that going to affect our salary?”
The servants were also human. Human beings cared about what would profit themselves. Also, the gossip spread by the servants of the house couldn’t be taken lightly. After all, that could have a massive impact on the house.
“But I’m sorry, the surname Lark isn’t something I can just bestow you. The Lark family already has me as a successor. If I were to adopt you, it could lead to unnecessary conflict. Moreover, you’re in debt.”
“It’s okay, it’s not an amount you can’t return if you work hard.”
“W, work hard?! Older sister, what terrible things are you saying!?”
“Terrible? What’s so terrible about what I said?”
Excuse me, you don’t have to look at me as if I am the Devil.
“As you aren’t the successor, you’ll have to find employment somewhere outside the house. Well, unless you marry someone, that is. The same goes for people with higher titles than you. You don’t truly think that the servants working at my house are commoners, right?”
Due to the piercing gazes of the servants, Aries receded.
I guess I could be blamed for being such a villain. The servants who worked for the duke’s family were from the aristocratic families. The senior servant had to come from at least a count family. Depending on the effort, someone from a baron or viscount family could perhaps rise to the level of a senior servant. Still, it was unlikely. After all, in some cases, senior servants of the duke family had to deal with royalty and guests from other countries.
For someone of a lower stature, entertain such guests would be difficult because of the gap of education in etiquette and manners. Depending on one’s title, the depth of education did differ.
“But, I’m the fiancée of His Highness Wagner.”
“Yet, he isn’t the one who owes money to my house. It’s you. If so, His Highness Wagner doesn’t have anything to do with this. When will you understand that? If you can’t pay, give up your property.”
Of course, her property would also include her title. To give it up would mean returning the title to His Majesty. Aries would be reduced to a commoner. At the same time, by doing so, she wouldn’t have to pay her enormous debt. The reason was because she would no longer be affiliated with the baron family.
When my father tried to strike me, His Highness Weiss twisted his arm.
“Duke, Sofia is a dear friend of mine. If any harm were to befall her, I won’t forgive you.”
Aries rushed to my father who was thrown to the floor.
“Sofia, why don’t you stay in my house for a while? I don’t want you to be in the same place as this barbarian.”
“It’s okay, only until the investigation is concluded.” Weiss asked me.
It was only a few days, anyway. It could also be considered great news. That way, I could pass some days without stress.
“Then, it’s decided.”
Is this one of the benefits His Highness Weiss spoke of?
***T/N: Finally! I can not put up the trigger warning for DV anymore! Good job purinsu!
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