16. Incompatible Roads
“—I see, so that’s what happen to my father.”
A week after I had moved to His Highness Weiss’ residence, a legal officer informed me that my father had been arrested for embezzlement.
“Thus, Lord Adley Lark has been deprived of his status as duke. Henceforth, the title is thereby assumed by his daughter, Lady Sofia. Afterwards, as penalty, Lord Adle is to work unpaid for ten years to repay the amount he has embezzled. However, should Lady Sofia decide to repay his debt, his sentence could be reduced down to three years of unpaid work instead of ten.”
The legal officer probably suggested that under the assumption that as his daughter, I’d like to reduce my father’s burden.
I was sure that my former self would have agreed right on the spot.
After all, the former Sofia was forever good and forever stupid. Or at least until she was slaughtered and thrown away by everyone like a dirty rag.
“…I won’t assume his debt.”
“Is it alright to have Lord Adley work without pay for ten years?”
The legal officer was confused. He thought that as his daughter, I’d be swept away by my emotions and would accept the proposal. Rumors that I was a cold-blooded daughter might begin to spread.
But that was fine. If they were afraid of me, they wouldn’t dare approach me.
“The Duke of Lark is a proud family that should contribute more than anyone else to the kingdom. We should strive to become an example for the nobility, with the exception of the royal family. As a member of the duke family, it’s necessary to behave as such. Therefore, to lift my father’s sentence merely because he’s my parent—I’ll do no such thing.”
“I’m truly impressed. The Duke of Lark is in the safe hands.”
With that said, the officer left.
I stared at the departing carriage from the window of the room.
“Fare thee well, father.”
Previously, I had been oppressed by him.
I wasn’t allowed to show any discontent.
I wasn’t allowed to see anything.
Father wouldn’t forgive me for talking or even touching him.
Still, I wanted him to cherish me.
Because he was the only family I had left.
However, my father didn’t even mourn my mother’s death. On the contrary, he was pleased.
My father loathed the Duke of Lark family more than anyone else. At the same time, he was obsessed with his status more than anyone else. As such, he loathed the thought of ever relinquishing the title of duke to his own daughter.
The face of my father, who glared at me—I could still vividly recall it. I was sure that I’d remember that face for years and years to come.
“It’s alright to have a grudge, father.”
I’ll continue to resent you, too.
I’ll never forgive you for the rest of my life.
To him, it was a future that hadn’t occurred yet.
As for me, it was a past that had happened once.
Wouldn’t it be easier if I were to let go of my resentment? However, reality wasn’t so sweet. It wouldn’t disappear. No matter how much I wished for it. No matter how much I wanted to let go.
That hatred would continue to course within my veins. It was as if the grudge itself was possessing me.
The flames of hatred engulfed my whole being. Even if I were to be reduced to ashes, the resentment would remain.
“Why is that the only way?”
“Sofia, has the legal officer left?”
“…Your Highness Weiss. Indeed. My father has been forced into labor. Tomorrow, it has been decided that I’ll be succeeding the dukedom. Before that, I’ll be having an audience with His Majesty at the royal palace.”
“Then, may I escort you to the royal palace tomorrow?”
I didn’t have good memories of the royal palace.
After all, whenever I went there, it was to meet His Highness Wagner. Despite what happened behind closed doors, we had to pretend that everything was fine. Because of that, I had to attend tea parties with His Highness Wagner on a regular basis.
Usually, His Highness Wagner would be late. Sometimes, he even stood me up. Recently, he hadn’t show himself at all.
Still, even if the purpose was different, I didn’t want to meet him. I also couldn’t let him know that I had become the duke.
Hence, it’d be encouraging for someone like His Highness Weiss to come with me. But was it okay to indulge in his kindness despite the fact that I wasn’t his fiancée?
“Is it a, ‘no’?”
His Highness Weiss should resemble a venomous snake, but for some reason, he gave the impression of a dog wagging his tail.
“No, it’ll be very helpful. The reason behind my reluctance is because I don’t want to be a hinderance.”
“That’s not the case at all. If you care about me, please accept my offer. I want to stay beside you for as long as possible. As the punishment for Adley has been decided, I wonder if you’ll leave, soon?”
I had no reason to stay.
“If so, I want to remain with you a little longer.”
I could see that His Highness Weiss, who straightforwardly conveyed his feelings, was bright red.
Of course, I had no immunity against His Highness Weiss’ appeals towards the opposite sex.
His Highness Weiss laughed very happily when I consented.
***T/N: Now if we were to cut the ‘yandere’ part from him, he’d be perfect!
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