25. Crazy Affection
“—As expected, those ingrates made contact with Aries.”
I had Gilmer keep an eye on the countess. In my previous life, they used my name to try to assassinate Aries. As of the present, they seemed to have decided to use Aries.
Perhaps, they were thinking of assassinating me and making Aries the new duchess. Most probably because I was difficult to manipulate. However, to make Aries the new duchess, she’d have to be adopted, first. Therefore, the countess would probably try to coax me into signing the papers before having me killed.
The right to appoint the next duke resided with the current duke. As my father was nothing more than a provisional head, he didn’t have that right. Even more so because he wasn’t a direct descendant of the duke.
Previously, the reason why His Highness and Aries managed to usurp my house was because of my reluctance to assume control. Not to mention, I also lacked the ability to stand my ground.
However, regardless of what underhanded method they used, neither Aries nor Wagner fulfilled the requirements to succeed the duke family. I didn’t know what had happened after my death, but them escaping the downfall was unlikely.
“I shall tighten security around the duchess.”
“Actually, it’s fine.”
As Gilmer said, the security should probably be strengthened. Nevertheless, leaving some gaps would be better.
“Are you using your life as a bait?”
“Before the damage spreads, we should respond promptly. Otherwise, everyone will think there’s discord in our family considering that my aunt and uncle are aiming for my life.”
Although, there was no aristocratic family without any internal strife. Aristocrats were greedy and shallow creatures, after all.
“That doesn’t mean I can just allow it. Regardless of anything, you’re still a woman. Anything could happen.”
If they were to hire a bunch of thugs to attack me, even if my life was saved, the scars from the injuries would remain. In that case, not only would my prospects for marriage be greatly affected, I’d also be ridiculed for the rest of my life. Gilmer was probably concerned about that.
“I understand your concerns, Gilmer. Still, I want to focus on certainty.”
Gilmer, who I thought would never relent, acquiesced after a deep sigh. But he gave me one condition; I had to consult with His Highness Weiss. I was surprised by that.
I wanted to prevent rumors about my own relatives aiming for my life from spreading. It’d bring shame to our house. Due to that, I deemed it impossible to consult with His Highness Weiss who had nothing to do with the matter.
Not to mention, he was a prince. I couldn’t get the royal family involved. If anything were to happen to him, the Lark family would be held responsible. I’d be punished. Surely, Gilmer understood that?
For some reason, upon hearing my counterarguments, Gilmer smiled dryly.
“If you were to ask me, it’d be more dangerous if you keep silent.”
When I tilted my head, Gilmer turned to stare into a distance. His gaze was akin to that of an enlightened priest.
What happened between Gilmer and His Highness Weiss?
I was curious, but I deemed it better to not know.
Thus, after Gilmer had pushed me, I decided to consult with His Highness Weiss. I wrote a letter to the effect that I wanted him to make time to meet me. For some reason, His Highness Weiss flew to my house immediately.
Also, he appeared to be in a good mood.
Did something good happen?
“I’m truly happy to have received a letter from Sofia.”
He, he’s too close…
For some reason, instead of in front of me, His Highness Weiss sat right beside me. He had been playing with my hair for some time, now.
I wondered if it was one of his hobbies.
Still, why my hair, though?
“Moreover, you want to consult with me. To be relied on by you, it’s an honor.”
I glanced at the servants. They were pretending to not see anything. In fact, the moment after the tea had been prepared, everyone left the room all at once.
Thus, I was alone with His Highness Weiss. Well, that was just right. It’d be troublesome if the contents of our conversation were to be leaked. I almost thought of paying the servants to keep their silence.
Everyone sure is perceptive.
“Well, then, Sofia, I heard that some imbeciles are bothering you? Just say the word, and I’ll make them vanish.”
“I’ll make sure that you’ll be able to smile without care again.”
Despite the fact that I was laughing, I was actually scared. I saw an illusion where His Highness Weiss was exuding black mist.
His Highness Weiss moved his hand from my hair to my cheek. His cold hand came into contact with my face. It felt cold. I could feel my own temperature plunging.
“Sofia, speak to me.”
At first, I was nervous, but before I realized it, I had told him everything about the countess. After I had finished speaking, I felt that the temperature in the room had dropped sharply.
Of course, that couldn’t have happened. It probably was just my feelings.
“Ah, I see. Even in this world. Is that so? Oh my, so it’s true. Death can’t cure stupidity. Alright, how should I kill them this time?”
“Y, Your Highness Weiss?”
I felt that the black mist coming from His Highness Weiss had grown thicker as he kept mumbling.
“Y, y, y, y, Your Highness Weiss!!”
His Highness Weiss smiled, and in the next moment, he pulled me into an embrace.
Broad chest. A refreshing citrus scent.
My face was hot. I couldn’t let anyone see my face, now. It was definitely red.
“You don’t have to worry about anything. I’ll protect you. Those who try to harm you, who get in your way—I’ll eliminate them all.”
“Your Highness, Weiss…”
I looked up at His Highness Weiss. Along with his faint smile, I could see the glimpse of an abyss within his eyes. A deep, bottomless, abyss, where no light could reach. It seemed to even swallow His Highness Weiss.
“I love you, Sofia. I’ve loved you since forever.”
His Highness Weiss’ cold lips overlapped with mine. At first, they started gently, like a touch. However, the kiss gradually deepened, as if ensuring I wouldn’t be able to escape.
…Such a breathtaking kiss, I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. In the end, I clung to his clothes.
“Y, Your, Highness, Weiss…”
I found myself being pushed down on the sofa. His Highness Weiss, who was on top of me, wasn’t shedding any tears, but seemed ready to cry.
Why does he look so miserable?
His Highness Weiss’ outstretched hand grasped my cheek.
“I wish for everything that deprives me of you to be destroyed.”
“Why would you go this far?”
I didn’t have that much value.
“I love you, Sofia. My one and only. I won’t let anyone take you away again.”
It was like a plea.
I couldn’t refuse him, not when he sounded like he was going to break.
***T/N: Did they……………………………?
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