Completed ― My Fiancé Was Cheating on Me, so I Left a Letter and Disappeared

Completed ― My Fiancé Was Cheating on Me, so I Left a Letter and Disappeared

Chapter 1│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com

“Oh, Emilia… even if the cruelest of fates tears us apart, I will love you forever and ever…”

Marian stopped when she heard these lines, which sounded like something out of a romance novel.

—What the hell was that…

The words were so theatrical that for a moment she thought she had wandered into a theater.

Marian is the Countess of the Kingdom of Lalard.

She was in the middle of attending an evening party at the palace, but she was out in the garden taking a short break.

It was summer, but there was a cool breeze at night.

She let the wind blow and closed her eyes for a while.

However, it seems that she had run into some people who were meeting in the garden.

And judging from their self-drunk words, it seems to be a forbidden love affair.

—A forbidden love affair blazes with passion.

Her best friend, who loves romance novels, said so, as she recalls.

Marian, who was thinking about such a thing in a casual manner, stops dead in her tracks when she hears a name.

“Ah, Nick-sama. I, too, only think of you…”

Nick Deedaloid

Second son, Marquis Deedaloid, and Marian’s fiancée.

—Eh~, that embarrassing line, hm?… Nick?

Nick and Marian are close friends of each other’s fathers, and they have known each other since they were small children. It had been decided between their fathers that they would marry, and they had always insisted on it.

She could not complain about that, because that is how it is with noble marriages.

Rather than marrying a man whose face she did not know, it would be less difficult for her to marry Nick, whom she had known since she was a child.

But apparently, Nick was different.

She guessed that this was the reason why he had been saying that he was busy lately and had not tried to see Marian at all.

—Who is this Emilia again?

When Marian recognizes Nick, she feels that the woman’s voice sounds familiar, and she quietly moves closer to the direction of the voice.

The light from the palace is illuminating the garden.

In the light, there were a man and a woman.

One of them is definitely her fiancé, Nick.

blond hair and green eyes.

He is tall and good-looking and seems to be reasonably popular among the noble ladies.

And what he holds in his arms is a woman with brown hair.

—Ah, that’s Viscountess Piett’s Emilia, isn’t it?

Indeed, she looked familiar.

She had a reputation for being docile, reserved, and even more feminine.

However, she did not have a good reputation among the ladies, who said that she behaved differently in front of men and that she was cold to people of lower status, such as maids.

In other words, that’s the kind of person she is.

Nick hugs Emilia and confesses his love for her.

The fact that they are doing this in the garden of the royal palace, where a night party is being held, means that they have no intention of hiding it at all.

—I mean, this place looks like it’s in full view from the royal palace hall.

They are no longer trying to hide it; they are showing it for everyone to see.

Although it doesn’t seem that everyone in the hall will be able to see them, there will still be some who notice them, besides Marian.

—This may not be enough to call off the engagement…

Marian sighed silently so that neither of them would notice.

Normally, she would have immediately called off the engagement if she had caught him in the act of cheating so brazenly before the marriage.

But she can’t do that.

At first glance, this marriage between two fathers who are close friends does not seem to have much meaning.

But in fact, it is a complicated one, involving mutual interests.

The Marquis of Deedaloid, Nick’s family, has the higher title.

However, the Marquis of Deedaloid is not very financially sound and is in dire straits.

Even so, Nick’s sister, Rietta, is quite close to the second prince, Crate, and is said to be certain to be his fiancee.

Marquis Deedaloid would like to marry off his daughter to the royal family at any cost, but this would require a considerable amount of money.

To be chosen as a fiancée, she must regularly give gifts to the second prince’s mother (second queen/concubine) and hold tea parties to which other ladies are invited, so as to keep Rietta aloof.

She would need dresses for these occasions, and she would need to attend the soirées frequently when invited by the Second Prince, Crate.

So they need the help of Count Doretta, Marian’s father, for finance.

Count Doretta has a large port in his domain and also owns a mine where gems can be extracted.

Although his title was that of a count, he was no less wealthy than a duke.

When you have more wealth than others, the next thing you want is power.

Marian’s father wanted Marian to be the sister-in-law of the second prince’s soon-to-be fiance (Rietta).

For this purpose, Count Doretta seems to have given a large sum of money to the Marquise of Deedaloid.

Rather than squandering all of his efforts, he will still allow Nick to marry Marian, while turning a blind eye to a few affairs.

But even if they get married in such a state, Nick, who is in love with Emilia, will never love Marian.

—I think he would say something along the lines of “I’d rather marry for the sake of the house, but the only one I really love is you…” to make things even more exciting for both of them.

It is a strange thing that a mere flirtation or adultery somehow turns into tragic love or pure love in their (Nick and Emilia’s) minds.

Chapter 2│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com

“Ah, Nick-sama. Even if I can’t be with you, my love is yours forever.”

While Marian was thinking about this, they seemed to be having a good time, and now she heard Emilia’s voice.

—Could it be that they are really rehearsing for a play?

She couldn’t help but look around, thinking about such a thing, because Emilia was also speaking enthusiastically.

In a sense, they may be a perfect couple.

She suddenly hated everything when she thought about “it”.

Like Marian’s friend said, romance novels are in vogue among aristocratic ladies nowadays.

Most women would be crazy about a story about a doomed lover torn by a tragic fate.

In other words, there is a danger that their love will become a tragic love story, a beautiful story, and gossip, just like in romance novels.

—This is no laughing matter.

To make a beautiful story out of the act of whispering love to another woman when you’re engaged?

This has nothing to do with Marian seeing Nick as only a childhood friend or that it is a political marriage.

It is a moral issue.

Marian doesn’t want to marry such a person, and will become a villainess who has torn apart two people of destiny.

She wanted to avoid marrying Nick and let them know how stupid they were.

—What should I do to do that…

If she takes a hard-line approach, she’ll be made to look like a villainess.

After pondering for a while, she suddenly heard a voice calling her name.

“Marian?”

She looked up and saw her “bestfriend” Minerva standing there with her brother.

She could see the worried looks on their faces.

They had also both seen it.

“Ara, Mina-sama.”

Minerva is a duchess and the fiancée of the first prince, who is the crown prince of the land.

She’s a bit stern-looking but very pretty, and she and Marian have been best friends for a long time.

She also loves romance novels, and she knows that she reads many of them behind her back.

But she is not the kind of person who confuses reality with fiction, so she might be the best person to talk to.

“Just in time. I need to talk to you about something.”

“Oh, Marian, If you want to get back to those two, I’ll be happy to help.”

Minerva said, and squeezed both of Marian’s hands.

“If you want to physically eliminate them, I can recommend a good assassin. They will do whatever you want, as long as you pay them.”

The man who spoke these ominous words was Minerva’s brother, Leo, heir to the Duchy of Sazaria.

The Dukes of Sazaria are not to be made enemies with.

With this in mind, she answered in a low voice,

“For the time being, I am not thinking about it physically.”

Deciding to talk about this matter, Marian, along with Minerva and Leo, moved to a corner of the garden.

—○█○—

“I know it’s a little late for this, but I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to drag you into this.”

Minerva contorts her beautiful face in guilt as she apologizes.

“You’re my best friend, okay? It’s only natural that I help you.”

“Mina is right. It’s our turn to help you.

The beautiful, silver-haired, and blue-eyed siblings encourage Marian with these words.

“…Thank you very much.”

Even though she was calm, she was still a little shocked because she had not expected her fiancé’s betrayal.

Their kindness healed her wounded heart.

—○█○—

Marian first met Minerva when Minerva was still a prospective fiancée of Crown Prince Roland.

At first, the competition among the candidates for the crown prince’s fiancée was quite fierce.

Marian was relieved that she was not involved.

Because, among them, it was Minerva, who was said to be the most promising candidate, who was caught in the crossfire.

Of course, as the daughter of the Dukes of Sazaria, there was no way she could be publicly harassed.

So the other candidates harassed her in a more low-key way.

When Minerva was still attending the school for nobles, they just hid her things or threw them away.

If they were accused of harassment, they would only be reprimanded.

However, from Minerva’s point of view, what she cherishes is lost one after another.

Marian happened to pass by and saw Minerva depressed because an important novel book had fallen into a pond.

“…You can’t read that anymore…”

“This is the latest book that Onii-sama bought for me from a neighboring country.”

She felt sorry for her as Minerva hugged the soaked book, not caring that her uniform was wet.

“If it’s a book from a neighboring country, I have a lot of them too. I’ll look for the same book.”

Minerva’s face lit up when she said this.

“Really?! Thank you very much!”

Marian was not a big fan of romance novels, but her cousin loved them and often sent her books she had finished reading.

Minerva squealed with delight when she saw the large pile of unread books (books she hadn’t read yet).

“Can I borrow this one? And this one?”

“Yes, of course. I’d rather you take them all.”

It seemed that there was nothing a duchess couldn’t get her hands on, but her cousin, being a daughter of a large merchant family, was on another level when it came to the vierity of collections. She had already read all the “foreign” romance novels and had ordered books from all over the world, and she sent them to Marian one after another, saying that she was satisfied once she had read them.

And this is how she became friends with Minerva and also got acquainted with her brother, Leo (her crush).

Chapter 3│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com

“Anyway, have you both witnessed it?”

She asks, thinking they should have a strategy.

“Of course I did. I was about to throw my fan at them.

Minerva looks in the direction they came from.

“True,I thought I’d burn the whole garden down too.”

Unlike Minerva, Leo’s voice was serious.

It sounded like he was really going to do it, and that scared her a little.

“No, you’ll be arrested for treason, won’t you?”

Her sister reminds him that they are in the gardens of the royal palace .

“At first, I thought it was a rehearsal for a play, but it seems that both of them are serious. But everyone loves such scenes, don’t they?”

She asked Minerva, a lover of romance novels. She pondered for a while and then muttered,

“Yes, many people like tragic love stories or stories about lovers doomed to be torn apart by power. But that’s only allowed in novels, while in reality it’s just an affair.”

Minerva is a sensible person who said it so clearly.

“But I think there are a lot of people like that, and I don’t think my father would break off the engagement even if something like that happened, and I’m afraid they would make me the villainess if we got married…”

If they were to get married as is, it would make things even more exciting for both of them.

She didn’t want to be made the villain after being cheated on.

So, they had a strategy meeting to prevent that.

Minerva, who reads a lot of romance novels, might come up with a good idea.

“So you want to get the public on your side?”

She nodded her head in agreement with Minerva, who immediately understood what she wanted to say.

“Yes, It would be best if I could avoid marriage and make those two feel sorry for themselves.”

“…I see.”

Minerva, who had been thinking for a while, seemed to have come up with something and smiled.

“Marian, how about disappearing?”

“…disappearing?

“Yes, that’s right. There was a scene like that in a novel I read the other day. [The heroine finds out that the love of her beloved is not for her but for his close friend, so she disappears so that they can be happy together]. I was very moved by the heroine’s goodness.”

And the hero, realizing how deep the heroine’s love is and that he cannot be the only one who is happy, decides to leave his close friend.

And so, knowing that he was always saved by the heroine’s kindness, he sets out on a journey to find her.

“…I don’t want him to come looking for me, but I think that if something like that happens, I won’t be the villain, won’t I?”

If anything, this makes the hero and his close friends look even worse for betraying the heroine’s love.

“Unlike in the novel, if there is just a disappearance, the motive may not be clear and it may become important. It would be perfect if there was a letter left by the heroine, describing the circumstances of her disappearance.

“Onii-sama is right.”

Marian nodded to Leo’s words, but the question was where to put (give) the letter.

“But if I just put it in my room, my father might try to cover it up.”

“…I guess so… Then let’s say you sent it to me. I can then make your letter public that way.”

Her father could not deny Minerva’s words, daughter of the Dukes of Sazaria and the Crown Prince’s fiancée.

Marian nodded in agreement.

“…Then I will write a letter and disappear.”

It would be more credible if she disappeared after witnessing her fiancé’s affair.

They need to discuss the contents of the letter later, but for now, they need to hide Marian.

“I need to hide somewhere where my father can’t find me.”

“Let’s go to my place. We still need to talk about the letter and the future.”

When asked if it was okay with the setting, she smiled and said, “Of course”

As suggested by her, Marian exchanged dresses with Minerva’s maid, and she was then taken in by the Dukes of Sazaria group.

The maid in Marian’s dress successfully disappears from the royal palace, leaving no witnesses.

Awebstories.com: They switch clothes. And in order to avoid suspicion about the number of people on the duke’s side of the party, they had the maid (in Marian’s clothes) escape the palace first.

“Will she be okay on her own?”

Walking alone outside the royal palace in a beautiful dress can be dangerous.

She’s worried about the maid who has taken her place, but Minerva assures her that she will be fine.

“She is also my bodyguard. So don’t worry.”

It seems that the maid who took her place is a maid who can fight.

She is relieved to know that she (the maid) can walk through the city safely.

She would have felt sorry for her and for Minerva if the maid who took her place had been in danger while wandering outside the palace.

Minerva comes back to the party with Leo. She seems to casually ask people if they have seen “Marian.”

Since she is the Crown Prince’s fiancée, she cannot leave early.

So Marian, along with the other maids, will wait for her return in the servants’ waiting room.

But she is not worried because she is accompanied by some maids who know what is going on.

When Marian changes into her maid’s uniform, she stands in front of the mirror and looks at herself calmly before going to the waiting room.

—I have to make sure I don’t meet anyone I know before I leave the royal palace.

black hair and green eyes.

Neither color is unusual, and she considers herself an “ordinary face”. Therefore, she thinks that if she puts on a maid’s uniform and acts inconspicuously, she will not be recognized unless you get very close to her.

—Yes, everything seems to be in order. I should think about the text of the letter I will leave behind.

Marian once again considers the setting.

It is a premise that he loves Nick and steps aside for their (Nick and Emily’s) happiness.

—I never thought of him that way. Then again, a novel is just a story, I guess. Because even if I really loved Nick, my love for him would be immediately dampened if I saw such a scene.

Marrying Marian In Nick’s mind, it was a “harsh fate.” It seems so.

Chapter 4│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com

While Marian was thinking about this, the hall where the party was being held became noisy.

Marian, dressed as a maid, quietly listens to the rumors in the servant’s waiting room.

It seems that Minerva, the Crown Prince’s fiancée, is “looking” for Count Doretta’s daughter.

They were gossiping about.

—It seems to be in order…

Hearing the subject of talking, she’s relieved that the plan seems to be going smoothly.

The story goes like…

When Marian was out in the garden, apparently, Marian overheard some of the ladies in the garden whispering that her fiancé, Nick, was in the arms of another woman. And Marian may have gone home in shock.

Minerva and Leo may have led them to think so.

Such a rumor seems to have spread quickly.

—Yes, the preemptive strike succeeded.

Once this happens, no matter how much Nick and Emilia appeal to their tragic love and claim that it is pure love, the fact remains that they have hurt Marian, the fiancée, at first.

Now all she has to do is manage to escape from the royal palace and be taken in by the Dukes.

Minerva then says she’s going home because she’s worried about Marian, and suddenly things get very hectic around here.

As for Marian’s father, he must be more concerned about the big fuss created than worried about his daughter’s safety.

But no matter how much money he makes, he is still only a count.

He cannot rebuke Minerva, the Crown Prince’s fiancée and the daughter of the Dukes of Sazaria.

Minerva seems to have been allowed to leave with the Crown Prince’s approval, while Leo remained behind.

As (disguised as) a maid, Marian was able to leave the palace with Minerva without anyone noticing that she had been there.

“Well, that’s a relief for now…”

Minerva smiled after getting into the duke’s carriage.

“They seemed to be in a hurry because the situation was not what they expected. They were mumbling that it wasn’t supposed to be like this, so I guess they had a plan.”

“A plan?”

“Yeah. If they want to make you the villain, they probably want you to get mad when you see them together, and then try to do something to her, and then Nick protects her, right?”

Minerva says that this is how it usually goes in romance novels.

“I guess so. Even if Nick doesn’t have romantic feelings for me, it’s still disloyal to be alone with another woman. I think I have a right to be angry.”

We mean no harm, but we do protest.

She thinks that’s her right as a fiancée, but she wonders if they see it differently.

Minerva nodded too.

“I absolutely agree. If Roland-sama had been with another woman, I would have protested too, and then I would have appealed to my father and brother.”

—That won’t happen.

Marian thought.

Crown Prince Roland is very sincere and cares for Minerva. He even gets upset when he is spoken to by other ladies.

“We will ask Onii-sama later what happened after that. And we’ll have to prepare the letter.”

“Right. But is it the premise that I loved Nick?”

“Yes, It’s more effective that way.”

Marian was taken to Minerva’s room when she arrived at the Dukes of Sazaria’s house.

While Minerva was changing from her ball gown to her loungewear, the maid made her a cup of tea, which she gratefully accepted.

Minerva’s room looks more like a study room than a ladies’ room.

It is surrounded on all sides by bookshelves filled to the brim with books.

—Those books are…

All of them are romance novels.

Minerva’s mother, the Duchess, died when she was very young, and her father, she was told, was so busy with his political duties that he rarely returned to the house. Her brother Leo, who lives with her, has a soft spot for Minerva, and the books seem to be piling up.

“Marian too needs to change her clothes.”

“No, I’m fine like this. It’s less conspicuous with a maid.”

Besides, the Dukes of Sazaria’s maids’ uniforms were quite pretty, and she liked them.

“Is that so? I hope so.”

Marian joins Minerva, who has changed her clothes, for tea.

“We’ll talk about the future when Onii-sama comes back. What I want you to keep in mind is this and that and…”

Minerva puts five or six books in front of Marian.

“T-This many?”

“Yes, of course, just the relevant parts. We need to know what kinds of letters will be effective.”

The sections specified by Minerva are read one after another. And with this help, she managed to write a letter.

“Yes, it’s perfect…”

Minerva smiles as she reads the letter again.

“Tomorrow there will be another party at the Royal Palace. It’s a social event for young people only, so I’m sure they’ll tolerate a few things. I’m going to take this to Nick. Let’s see what excuses they’ll come up with.”

“…May I also come?”

Marian asks if she could accompany her tomorrow as a maid.

It would be a nuisance, but she wanted to see how this engagement would end.

“…I suppose so, then I’ll have to ask you to disguise yourself a little.”

“Thank you very much. I’m sorry I’m being so unreasonable.”

“What are you talking about? Onii-sama and I will stand by you no matter what happens.”

“Thank you”

Marian, thanks again.

—These two were the only people I could trust to be on my side.

It seems that Leo didn’t return to the house until after midnight that day, so they couldn’t ask him what had happened before tomorrow.

Chapter 5: Nick Side│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com

Nick, the second son of the Marquess of Deedaloid, had a fiancée.

She is the daughter of Count Doretta and her name is Marian.

She is a rather beautiful woman with black hair and green eyes.

—Not that I have anything against her.

Marian has a younger brother, but the count is probably thinking of having him as his son-in-law to succeed him.

Taking over the Countess Doretta’s family, which is engaged in business in various fields, will be a difficult but rewarding task.

—I have no complaints about that either.

The only problem was that he had met the woman he truly loved.

She is the daughter of Viscount Piett, and her name is Emilia.

She is not as glamorous as Marian, but she is kind, gentle, and very comforting to be with.

Emilia, who is very kind, understands that Nick’s marriage is a political marriage and that this marriage is necessary for her sister Rietta to be chosen as the betrothed of the Second Prince, Crate.

“I love you, Nick-sama. But I understand that I must step aside for the sake of Nick-sama and Rietta-sama’s future…”

He can’t help but love her as she says this with tears in her eyes.

“Oh, Emilia, even if the cruelest fate tears us apart, I will love you forever.”

How happy he would be if he could be with her.

But he can’t leave everything behind and take her hand.

If he does that, he will make many people upset.

He hugs his beloved Emilia and says, over and over again, that he is sorry.

“Oh, Nick-sama. Even if I can’t be with you, my love is yours forever.”

She said the same thing to him.

—I don’t know when I will see her again.

—○█○—

For some reason, when they returned to the hall after hugging as much as they could, they felt eyes on them from all over. They didn’t look very friendly either.

—What happened?

As he was tilting his head with Emilia, he noticed that Minerva, the Crown Prince’s fiancée, seemed to be looking around for Marian.

—She’s the daughter of the Duke of Sazaria, and I think she’s close to Marian.

It’s probably a good thing for the future that the future queen is quite close to Marian, the future queen.

However, her brother, Leo, is said to be a rather ruthless man. He is the only one he has to watch out for.

While Nick was thinking about this, Minerva’s worried voice reached his ears.

“She went out to the garden by herself to get some fresh air. She hasn’t come back since. I wonder what happened…”

He was startled at the mention of the garden.

It was the place where he had just held Emilia in his arms, whispering his love to her.

Maybe she had seen them doing it.

The thought made his blood run cold.

“The garden? That reminds me, those two were in the gardens too…”

“What were they doing with someone they weren’t engaged to?”

“They couldn’t have been having a secret meeting at the royal palace, right?”

Emilia is pale as she hears the voices around her.

He reached out to support her, but Emilia shook his hand away.

She must have been worried about the rumors around her.

Even if this was one of the few places he could see her, it probably wasn’t a good idea to hug her in public.

Nick went to the garden alone to look for Marian, thinking of excuses.

But she never came back.

Chapter 6│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com

The next day, preparations were made for the party that was going to take place that night.

Just by putting on a brown wig and changing her makeup, she looked very different.

If he were to meet Nick at this moment, he might not recognize her as Marian.

Also, Minerva, the Crown Prince’s fiancée and the Duchess, has a number of maids. So it’s safer to mingle with them.

“Ah, I see you’re ready.”

While she was waiting for Minerva to get ready first, Leo walked by, dressed up in his glittering formal attire.

—As always, both siblings are dazzlingly good-looking.

Leo narrowed his eyes when he saw Marian dressed in a maid’s outfit.

“When you are dressed so simply, your beauty stands out even more. Some noblemen are fools, believing they can do whatever they want to the maids… You should be careful. “

“…Um?”

How was Nick yesterday?

Marian, who was going to ask him about it, but Leo’s unexpected words made her unsettled.

—Did he say I’m beautiful? Did I mishear? Or is that a social compliment?

When she was busy with such thoughts, Leo took something out of his pocket.

“You should wear this. If you get involved with a strange man, show this to him.”

With these words, he handed her a ring engraved with the coat of arms of the Dukes of Sazaria.

“It should work on anyone but the Crown Prince.”

“Well…”

She thought she should decline, but tonight’s party was a sort of social gathering for young nobles, and some of them were not so high ranking (country bumpkin) that they could not normally be invited to the party at the royal palace.

As Leo said, some of these people are very forceful with those of lower status.

It may be better to be thankful for the loan (ring) than to cause unnecessary commotion and become conspicuous.

“I’m sorry. Please let me borrow it.”

Leo smiled with satisfaction as she said this.

“Be careful on your way. If you need anything, please let me or Mina know right away.

“Thank you very much.”

After thanking him, Leo said, “See you at the venue,” and walked away.

—I thought it was because Mina-sama told him to.

Maybe Leo is also concerned about Marian and is working for her.

“I’m sorry for keeping you waiting. Marian.”

As she takes her eyes off Leo’s back, Minerva arrives, having just finished getting ready.

—Beautiful women get more powerful when they dress up.

Marian thought about it rather casually, but Minerva seemed to have spotted a ring in her hand.

“Marian, is that…?”

“Leo-sama lent it to me. He told me to use it in case I got tangled up with a strange man.”

“…Right. You’d better keep it. It’s going to be a little loud today.”

Minerva said this and then smiled “meaningfully”.

“Maybe, like in a novel, love is closer than you think.”

Together with Minerva, they boarded the ducal carriage and drove to the royal palace.

Her escort is supposed to be her fiancé, the Crown Prince, who is absent from tonight’s party for political reasons. So her brother, Leo, seems to be her escort.

“Is it alright if Leo-sama doesn’t escort his own fiancée?”

She asked casually, and Minerva sighed deeply, with a melancholy look on her face.

“Well, you see, my brother doesn’t have a fiancée yet…”

“Eh?! Is that true?”

She asked back in surprise.

Marian thought he had a fiancée.

Leo is the eldest son of a duke and will eventually inherit the dukedom of Sazaria.

“My father is also worried because I got engaged first. Even when we force him to choose, he refuses and disappears for some reason for several days each time.”

It’s clear that Leo is not one to be taken in stride, but there doesn’t seem to be anything the Duke of Sazaria can do about it, since he didn’t leave any evidence.

“I’m marrying into the royal family, and if my brother brings someone to marry him, whoever the woman is, my father will welcome her…”

The Duke of Sazaria seems to be going through a lot.

“Oh, by the way, the ring Onii-sama gave you…”

Minerva said, as if an idea had just occurred to her as the carriage was about to arrive at the royal palace.

“It’s better to put it on your finger from the beginning because it’s too late if there’s trouble coming. Besides, they’ll know right away once you take it out.”

“That’s right. I will do that.”

Minerva smiled with satisfaction as Marian put on the ring for protection.

“Come, let’s go… we will hunt the man who betrayed Marian.”

They meet Leo at the royal palace, and in his company, Minerva makes their way to the venue.

Marian sees them off and goes to the waiting room with the other maids.

She cannot see the inside of the hall directly, but she can hear them.

So she will be able to hear what is going on without having to face Nick.

Minerva will not make a move until after the first dance.

So Marian decides to relax in the maid’s waiting room.

As you might expect from all the young aristocrats, there was a sense of cheer in the place.

The same seemed to be true in the maid’s waiting room, with some exchanging information with maids from other families, while others seemed to have become friends after seeing each other several times and were chatting happily.

And as Leo had feared, some of the nobles attending the party had shown up in the maid’s waiting room and approached the maids.

The maids seem to be accustomed to it and are able to communicate well with them, but they still seem to be having a bit of trouble.

Minerva is about to make a move and show them the letter she wrote earlier, so she shouldn’t cause any problems.

As she sighs, thinking of this, and then, she is suddenly grabbed by the arm from behind.

“Kya…”

She exclaimed, surprised.

When she turned around, she saw a man, who must be a nobleman, holding her arm with a smirk on his face.

“Well, you’re pretty good for a maid, aren’t you? Should we play a bit?”

“…Please let me go…”

With that, she shakes off the man’s hand.

She didn’t think it would be as Leo said, but she had a trump card.

She did not recognize the man’s face.

She guessed he was not a man who attended parties at the royal palace very often.

The Minerva’s maids also warned her that only such a man would touch the maid or get entangled with the servant.

Apparently, it was true.

“What?!”

The man shouted when Marian, who he thought was a maid, shook his hand away.

But his eyes widened when he noticed a ring with the ducal coat of arms on her finger.

“Y-You can’t be serious…”

Marian is puzzled as she sees the man’s face turning pale.

She thought this was to prove that she was related to the Dukes of Sazaria.

—Does it mean something else?

A commotion spreads as the man, who had been acting like a big shot, suddenly turns blue and begins to shake.

But Marian was just as confused as they were.

“Um…”

“Hiii!!!”

She tried to ask him what was going on, and walked up to the man.

However, the man backed away as if frightened and ran away in a flash.

“…”

She looked at his back in disbelief.

As she turned around and was about to ask someone, she suddenly heard Minerva’s voice coming from the hall where the party was being held.

“Nick, I want to ask you something.”

Her dignified voice echoed through the hall.

It seems that the show has finally begun.

Marian listened to the voice from the waiting room.

Chapter 7: Minerva’s Side│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com

Minerva moved a little away from her brother Leo, who was escorting her, and approached Marian’s fiancé, Nick.

Nick was accompanied by the lady in question.

—Emilia, was it? She looks a bit different from yesterday.

She remembers her as a reserved, unassuming woman, like a flower blooming on the side of the road.

But now she had a look in her eyes as if she was somehow confident in herself, as if she was sure Nick was going to protect and love her.

—Is this her true nature?

If so, Nick would be easily deceived by such a woman and lose what’s most important.

She felt a little sorry for him on that point, but there was no way she would forgive him for hurting her bestfriend.

“I see you have another woman with you. What happened to Marian? It is bad manners to have another woman other than your fiancée with you.”

When she questioned him, Emilia’s gaze became frightened again.

Her voice is whispering “Nick-sama” and her hands are shaking as she grips his cuffs, which is quite impressive.

“Don’t blame Emilia. It’s entirely my fault.”

Sure enough, Nick immediately defends Emilia.

“No, It’s entirely my fault… I knew Nick-sama had a fiancée and I…”

“I’m not blaming you… And Marian was praying for your happiness.”

Both Nick and Emilia looked surprised when she told them this.

“M-Marian…”

“N-No way, that’s…”

“I’m not lying. She’s been missing since yesterday, and she left me this letter.”

She then thrust Marian’s letter in front of Nick’s eyes.

“Marian saw you two yesterday in the gardens of the royal palace, embracing and confessing your love for each other…”

He was having a secret meeting with a woman other than his fiancée at an evening party held in the royal palace.

Minerva continues, emphasizing this.

“But Marian did not blame you for being unfaithful and choosing to disappear. She… could have asked Marquise Deedaloid to dissolve the engagement and demand the payment of alimony, but she…”

She saw Nick’s face turn pale when he heard the words “dissolution of engagement” and “alimony”.

—Had he not considered this possibility at all?

His arm, which had been raised to protect Emilia next to him, was gradually lowered.

“Do you know why Marian did that? Because she loved you.”

—There’s no such fact at all, but it’s necessary to turn these two into villains.

“[I want Nick to be happy with the one he truly loves.]” Marian left a note saying so and disappeared. And you were laughing like that, not caring and knowing anything about your fiancée!”

Emotions flared, and she burst into tears.

Of course, it was an act, but it caused a commotion and spread throughout the hall. All the voices were directed at the two who were being unfaithful.

—The tables are now completely turned.

They are not lovers of fate torn by tragedy anymore, but foolish people who were hugging each other despite having a fiance.

And because of this, one of the women has disappeared. This is unforgivable.

—Marian, are you listening to this?

She glances in the direction of the maids’ waiting room.

“Mina, this is the royal palace. We mustn’t cause such a commotion.”

As planned, her brother Leo rebukes Minerva with these words.

“B-But Onii-sama… these two have caused Marian to…”

As soon as her brother comes forward, behind Nick, who has become discontent, Emilia’s face becomes tense and her face pales.

—I wonder what Onii-sama did behind the scenes…

Minerva often saw those who behaved so disrespectfully in front of her turn pale when her brother appeared on the scene.

But to Minerva and Marian, he is a kind and sweet brother.

“I know. I will never forgive those who made my precious sister cry.

When her brother smiled at that, Emilia finally spoke in a trembling voice.

“W-We can’t be the only ones happy. I’m really sorry to Marian-sama. I-I’ll be on my way. I-I will never approach Nick-sama again. P-Please forgive me.”

The trembling in her voice is not an act.

“E-Emilia?”

Nick calls her name, but Emilia has already turned and run away.

She was so quick that not only Minerva but also Nick had no choice but to watch her back.

“Wait, Emilia!”

Nick runs after her in a hurry.

Emilia was running fast, but Nick was also desperate. He finally grabs her arm at the entrance of the hall and pulls her close.

“Let go of me! Don’t drag me into this!”

Emilia shouted at Nick. It seems that she can no longer afford to play the role of a reserved and loving woman.

“You say you love me… You told me that your love is mine forever…”

“I didn’t say that. You’re mistaken.”

“W-What did you say…”

Nick, who had been desperate to get Emilia’s attention, now knows that he was fooled.

“W-Was that all a lie? Were you deceiving me?”

“Get your hands off me! You and I have nothing to do with each other anymore. Don’t ever talk to me again!”

“Y-You…”

Slap!

There was a loud slap, and Emilia was blown to the ground.

Apparently, Nick had raised his hand against her.

And at the royal party at that. No greater fuss can be made than this.

“Onii-sama…”

Minerva feigns upset and looks up at her brother with tear-filled eyes.

Leo looked at them with cold eyes, but smiled slightly at the sound of his sister’s voice.

“It’s all right. Let’s leave the rest to the guards.”

With that, he called for the guards, and they quickly pulled Nick and Emilia up and took them out of the hall. They were screaming something, but soon their voices became distant.

“…How about some rest, Mina? Can you walk?”

“Yes, Onii-sama..”

The quiet hall became noisy as Minerva exited, supported by Leo.

Those who were left behind were cursing Nick, who had been intimate with a woman other than his fiancée and had driven her into disappearance, and Emilia, who had gone to such lengths and then tried to quickly escape on her own.

This case will have a great impact on the engagement of Nick’s sister, Rietta. Perhaps it will be difficult to get engaged to the second prince any more.

How will Nick’s father and sister treat him now that he has ruined their longed-for marriage with the royal family?

Even for Emilia, it would be difficult to get a proper marriage proposal in the future if it turned out that she was seeing a man with a fiance in front of so many people.

Moreover, she tried to escape alone, claiming that it was not her fault.

The only thing that made Minerva feel sorry for Emilia was the violence Nick had done to her.

With this event, the only marriage prospects for Emilia were to become the second wife of a nobleman or to enter a monastery to repent.

—All of which she deserves…

Minerva smiled coldly as her brother led her down the hall.

Chapter 8│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com

All the commotion in the hall was heard in the waiting room where Marian was.

Events were going as planned until Minerva showed Nick Marian’s letter and told everyone else that their relationship was unfair.

However, it was not expected that Emilia would cut Nick off early and run away, nor that Nick would raise his hand to Emilia in anger.

It is a bit disconcerting that such passionate talk of love could fall apart so easily.

Moreover, they caused a commotion in the royal palace and were taken away by the guards whom Leo had called.

Because the situation has gotten so bad, it’s difficult to believe they won’t be held accountable in any way.

“Marian doesn’t have to worry about that. Those two totally deserved what they got.”

Marian got into the carriage for the return trip with Minerva, who left early, saying she was feeling ill.

Leo was going to do everything to explain the situation and report it to his superior (the Crown Prince).

—I think I’ll have to thank him properly later.

“It’s true that they had it coming, but…”

Marian breathes a sigh at Minerva’s words.

—I just don’t want to be the villain.

She can’t imagine marrying Nick, who embraces other women with impunity.

It was Marian who thought so, and talked to Minerva and Leo about it, but she didn’t think she would ruin Nick and Emilia’s futures as well.

“Yes, there are many romance novels about people who fall in love and elope (run away) with people they shouldn’t.”

Minerva says quietly to Marian, as if she knows what’s going on in her head, trying to ease the guilt she feels.

“For the most part, the main characters in these novels have run away from home or said a proper goodbye to their fiancés. But there is no one like Nick in these novels, trying to enjoy his love for Emilia and keep the engagement at the same time…”

Nick loses everything because he is greedy and tries to have it all.

Marian agrees.

Nick was certainly too greedy.

He wanted to marry Marian while enjoying his love with Emilia.

If Marian had not seen them in the garden, Nick would still be Marian’s fiancée with an innocent look on his face.

—Besides, I didn’t think he would raise his hand so easily.

It is true that Emilia betrayed Nick and tried to escape.

When he asked her if her love was only for him, and she told him he was wrong, he was rightly angry.

But she didn’t think he was the kind of person who would hurt a weak woman.

It remains to be seen how the two who made a scene at the palace will be punished, but Nick’s punishment will be much harsher than Emilia’s.

On the other hand, Emilia’s future will surely be greatly affected as she has been exposed as a woman who touches someone else’s fiancé in front of so many people.

—In that context, perhaps they had it coming.

Convinced, Marian nodded her head in agreement.

—That is all we have done. We can only hope now that they understand.

After returning to the duke’s house, Minerva and Marian discuss the future.

The plan has worked, but Marian is supposed to be missing, so she can’t go home easily.

“If I do that, my father will punish me for the reason of the disturbance. And I am sure that he will soon find another fiancée anyway.”

The daughter is nothing more than a political tool for the father. Then it might be better to run away like this.

Such a thought comes to her mind.

“I’m curious to see what Nick and the others will do, and I think it’s best if you stay here for a while.”

In fact, she also wondered what would happen to Nick and Emilia. Minerva said the same thing, so she will stay with the Dukes for a while.

“It will be late at night when Onii-sama will be home anyway, so let’s take a rest today.”

“Oh, come to think of it…”

Marian recalls and looks at the ring that was still on her finger.

“I got tangled up with a nobleman in the waiting room. But when I showed him this, he suddenly turned blue and ran away.”

She has mixed feelings, remembering how frightened he was when she called out to him.

“…Isn’t this proof that you are related to the Dukes of Sazaria?”

“Yes, it should be…”

Minerva says and nods her head in agreement with Marian.

“Onii-sama doesn’t have a very good reputation. Maybe he got scared and ran away from fear.”

It seems that, rather than a bad reputation, he is said to be ruthless and unforgiving to those who defy him. Marian used to think so too, but he has been very kind and helpful in this matter and is concerned about Marian.

“But if it works so well, it’s convenient, so you should put it in. It’s not that expensive—just a “ring” with the ducal coat of arms.”

“Yes, that’s true. I’ll borrow it a little longer.”

—Since I’m going to be a maid for a while, it’s reassuring to know that I have a way to protect myself.

It was already late in the night, and Marian went back to her rented guest room to rest. Tomorrow, Leo would explain to them what had happened.

She changed into pajamas and laid down on the bed.

She held out her hand and looked at the ring on her finger.

—Was the man really only frightened by the name of the Duke of Sazaria? Seeing the man who had been so domineering and then turned pale in an instant, it seems as if there was more to it than that.

But she doesn’t think Minerva or Leo would deceive her because they’ve both been so accommodating.

—Yes, I’m thinking too much, aren’t I?

With that in mind, she closed her eyes again.

Maybe it was because she was a little tense and tired after today’s events and immediately fell asleep.

Chapter 9: Minerva’s side│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com

Near dawn, it seemed that her brother Leo had finally returned home.

Minerva, who had been napping, woke up after hearing the maid’s report. Still in her nightgown, she goes to her brother’s room.

He has just returned to the house, and his clothes are a bit disheveled. Minerva sees this and raises her eyebrows uncomfortably.

“Onii-sama? Don’t tell me you’ve been with another woman while Marian was there?”

“…Nick got violent. He even jumped at me.”

“That’s… Then it’s over. “

Rioting in a royal palace is a felony.

And to even attempt to assault her brother, the heir to the Dukedom of Sazaria… even the second prince can’t protect him anymore.

Their father, the Duke of Sazaria, is so busy with his political duties that he rarely returns to the house, but he is not without interest in them.

In fact, he is a loving father.

If he knew that his son had been hurt, he would hold Nick accountable to the hilt.

The second prince, Crate, was planning to make Nick’s sister, Rietta, his fiancée, but that will probably be off the table as well.

“It doesn’t matter, Onii-sama.”

But Minerva didn’t wait for her brother to come home to hear how Nick was doing.

“Don’t you know that Marian didn’t understand the meaning of the crest ring at all?”

“!”

Her brother, who might have been thinking about it, rose with a surprised expression on his face, very depressed by Minerva’s words.

“That can’t be…”

“But what Marian asked me [Isn’t this proof that you are related to the Dukes of Sazaria?]”

“And what did you say?”

“I said, [it should be.]”

“…”

—Only with my best friend Marian does Onii-sama, who is said not to show mercy to anyone who opposes him, get so upset.

Her brother, who is so terribly smart about other things, could do nothing about Marian except destroy his own engagement story.

Eventually, Marian would be engaged to someone again. It was only natural for a lady her age to do so.

But if her brother, the legitimate son of the Duke, had asked for Marian’s hand, it would have been the Count’s boon. No matter how many promises he had made to the Marquis of Deedaloid, he would always have given preference to the one who would benefit him the most.

Minerva was dumbfounded by her brother, who remained motionless.

Marian had accepted the engagement of his childhood friend (Nick), so she thought her brother’s wishes would no longer come true.

Nick’s unexpected betrayal gives her brother a chance. She wants her brother to do his best this time, but all he can do is give her a ring with a coat of arms on it.

The fact that it is a token of courtship does not go down well with Marian (she has no clue).

“Brother, don’t miss your chance this time. You won’t get another chance like this again.”

Leo nodded, with a thoughtful look on his face.

She had come to warn him, fearing that he would take a different direction, but she still felt quite uneasy.

—I wonder if I should talk to Master Roland about this…

Minerva sighed deeply as she thought of the face of her fiancé, the crown prince.

Chapter 10:Emilia’s Side│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com

—It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Emilia, the daughter of the Viscountess of Piett, closed her eyes, covering her ears as if to reject the voices around her.

This seems to be one of the guest rooms in the palace, but there are guards in front of the room, keeping an eye on Emilia.

From the next room, she hears Nick yelling at her, and she shudders.

The cheek where Nick had hit her was sore and tender. It must be swollen and red.

—How did this happen? All I wanted was to be a mistress and have a comfortable life…

—○█○—

Emilia’s family of birth, the Viscounts Piett, was a small estate and not a very wealthy noble family.

She had two older brothers and an older sister.

Except for the eldest brother (heir), all the others had to learn how to survive on their own.

Her second brother had joined the Order at an early age.

Because her second brother was a nobleman from a viscount family, he was not a knight who fought in real battles, but he was admitted to the knighthood, which was responsible for the security of the royal city.

She hasn’t seen her second brother, who left home and entered the Knights’ dormitory in recent years.

His sister, who is two years older than her, got married a year ago to a legitimate son of a baronet whom she met at a party held at the royal palace .

The barons over there aren’t very well off either, and life seems as hard as ever.

Still, her sister was content that she had found a place to live.

Now that she is the wife of a legitimate son, she is now a baroness.

—Being a baroness is insignificant. And a poor aristocrat as destitute as my family.

Her sister was happy, but Emilia was not happy with her sister’s choice.

—I’d rather have a higher-ranking, less impoverished aristocrat anyway. But being the wife of a high nobleman is not easy, so a mistress would be fine.

Rich, with a decent rank.

And someone with a decent fiancée.

While searching for these conditions, she met Nick, the second son of the Marquis of Deedaloid.

Nick’s family is a marquis, but not a very wealthy one.

—If that were all, I would not have approached him.

However, the father of his fiancée, Marian, is the Count of Doretta, who owns a large harbor and a mine where precious stones can be mined in his territory.

He is a count, but he seems to have as much property as the duke.

—Nick’s fiancée, Marian, has a younger brother, but Nick, who has the higher title, will probably inherit Count Doretta.

He and Marian are engaged for political reasons, and Nick said that they do not have any affection for each other.

Emilia thought that if she became the mistress of Nick, the heir to the House of Doretta, she could live happily and without problems in the future.

So Emilia played the role of a quiet and reserved woman to get his attention.

But still, her words of love were passionate.

And she made it clear that she did not want to marry him, as she was aiming to be a mistress.

Everything was going to be fine, until…

She did not expect that Marian, Nick’s fiancée, would love him so much that she would disappear.

She was aware that Marian had been watching when she and Nick hugged in the garden.

She is the daughter of the Count of Doretta.

Emilia has always envied Marian, who is much richer and more beautiful than she is.

She certainly felt pleasure in stealing her fiancée.

No matter how rich or beautiful she was, it is Emilia that her fiance is in love with.

With this in mind, she whispered her love to Nick in a deliberate and flamboyant way.

To Nick, who still held Emilia in his arms even though he was engaged.

But she just disappeared.

—I never thought this would happen…

She played the role of a tragic heroine, much like in her favorite romance novels.

She thought that Marian was a villainess who was jealous of Nick’s love for her, and she was going to be hard on her.

But when the Crown Prince’s fiancée, who is close to Marian, shows up and encloses her letter to Nick, the roles are reversed.

Marian was the tragic love’s heroine, and Emilia was the villain who stood in her way.

—That doesn’t make sense. I wanted to be a heroine…

She was also noticed by Leo, Minerva’s brother. He is said to be a ruthless and terrifying man, and will stop at nothing to eliminate his enemies.

And up close, Leo’s eyes were cold, sharp, and icy.

She remembered that she felt a shiver down her spine, as if she had been exposed to freezing water.

He is the man you should never get involved with.

Now it’s better to give up being Nick’s mistress and withdraw quickly.

So she tried to run away, but Nick got angry and slapped her, and the guards took them away for causing a commotion in the palace .

—I don’t think they will let me back without any charges.

Nick, who is in the next room, still seems to be on a rampage.

She hears someone’s urgent cry, “Leo-sama!” and realizes that “someone” whom you should never have ever messed with has arrived.

Emilia puts her hand on her cheek where Nick has hit her.

The blow hurt so much that she felt faint, but the whole audience must have seen that Emilia had been slapped.

She’s thinking about blaming Nick for the whole thing and saying he threatened her.

Then maybe she could get out of this situation.

Emilia has no love for Nick in the first place. She just wanted to use him.

The sound of footsteps approaching.

They may be trying to question Emilia this time.

Emilia sits in the corner of the room, playing the role of a frightened and weak lady.

This time she should not fail or else.

Chapter 11│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com

When she woke up, it was almost noon.

Although she was tired, she was surprised that she had overslept. She hurried to get up and get ready.

If she had been a real maid, she would have been fired immediately.

“Ara, Marian, you’re awake.”

Minerva, who seems to have been enjoying an elegant tea time in the garden of the duke’s house, smiles when she sees Marian rushing to her.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t expect to fall asleep like that.”

“It’s all right. I’d rather you think of your stay here as a vacation and take it easy.”

Minerva said to her, but she felt uncomfortable as a houseguest.

“Onii-sama should be awake by now, so let’s talk to him about what has happened since then.”

“Yes, definitely.”

Marian also wanted to know what happened to Nick and Emilia when the guards took them away.

“Then let’s go to Onii-sama’s room.”

Minerva said, and stood up.

“Eh? his room?”

Marian follows, but is taken aback by what she says.

Whenever she met him (Leo), it was always in the reception room with the maid or a servant present.

Marian had never been in a room with people of the opposite sex, not even Nick’s room, even when he was her fiancé, so she was pretty nervous.

“It’s all right. He should be awake now.”

“T-That’s not what I meant…”

They reached the room in a hurry.

Knock, Knock

“Onii-sama?”

“Is it Mina? Come in.”

Minerva knocked on the door, and Leo’s voice came from inside.

The fact that he didn’t leave it to the maid to open the door showed how well they got along.

“I brought Marian with me. Tell us about yesterday.”

“… Marian?”

When Marian appeared from behind Minerva, Leo, who seemed to be relaxing on the sofa, stood up in a panic.

“I’m sorry for being dressed like this…”

He was dressed in his loungewear and his hair was still down.

Marian, who had never spent intimate time with either her father or her brother, had never seen a man dressed like that, and although she should not be ashamed of it, her cheeks flushed.

“N-No. I’m sorry to barge in like this.”

It was all she could say back, with averted eyes.

“No, that’s all right. Mina brought you here, didn’t she?”

His voice was calm, which you rarely hear from him, and it made her heart pound a little.

It sounded like a different person from the usual Leo, and she felt a little nervous.

Minerva then asked the maid to bring her some tea and sat down across from Leo.

“Marian, sit here, too. So, Onii-sama. What has happened since then?”

At her prompting, she hurried to take a seat next to Minerva.

“Nick seemed shocked that his lover had rejected him so much. I was going to take him to the reception room to talk to him, but he got so excited and stormed out that I had to put him in the dungeon to calm him down.”

“Nick is…”

He resisted the knights and even injured Leo, who accompanied them.

If he went that far, it’s no wonder he was thrown into the dungeon.

—I don’t think he’ll get away with just house arrest…

It would be a big problem if he defied the knights guarding the palace and tried to harm Leo, the son of the Duke of Sazaria.

“U-Um, were you hurt?”

Leo’s eyes widened in surprise, and he smiled slightly.

“Nothing to worry about.”

Leo was also present during Emilia’s interrogation, but she was too scared to speak.

When the knight who was looking into her asked her about it, she wept and said that Nick had beaten her many times before and that she was too scared to disobey him.

“…That can’t be true.”

Hearing this, Marian can’t help but laugh.

After such a passionate embrace, no one would believe her if she told them she had been threatened.

“If you only witnessed the scene where she was beaten up by Nick, you might believe it.”

(Awebstories.com: Remember that Marian was in the maid’s waiting room when that scene happened?)

Minerva expressed her displeasure.

“Indeed, some of the knights who investigated the case felt sympathy for her. Some even insisted that she should be treated as a victim.”

“That doesn’t make sense. Rather, I think she set her sights on Nick first.”

“Yes, I’m sure of it.”

Leo nodded at Minerva’s assertion and then turned his attention to Marian.

“Of course, we rejected such a ridiculous claim.”

A female knight who looked for signs of violence on her and found none.

Emilia claimed that it was not violent enough to leave a scar, but her testimony was different from the previous one, so it seemed to be a lie.

Relieved by these words, Marian dropped her hands, which were clenched.

“Thank you very much…”

Emilia was trying to get through the situation with her acting ability to fool the knights.

She’s glad that Leo was present.

“Many people saw them embracing and whispering their love in the royal garden. They can’t get away with it, and I won’t allow it.”

Minerva also told her that she would prepare witnesses when it came to the crunch.

Even if she wanted to abandon Nick now and escape on her own, it wouldn’t work.

“After the interrogation, Emilia was taken back to her family’s viscounty. She was ordered to stay there until her punishment was decided.”

Violating the order would only make the charges more serious, and the Viscounts would want to avoid any further publicity. Once the sentence is confirmed, the viscountess may be sent to a convent.

Nick, on the other hand, is likely to be kept in a dungeon for the time being. After the riots and violence he caused in the palace, he is unlikely to be released so easily.

It seems that Crate, the second prince, is trying to free Nick from the dungeon at the behest of his sister, Rietta.

Leo was aware of all these moves.

“Will the Prince continue to get involved with the Marquis of Deedaloid, or will they cut Nick down the middle? Either way, it’s going to be noisy. Maybe it’s safer for Marian to stay in this house for a while.”

“…Yes.”

Marian nodded her head, surprised that things had turned out to be bigger than she had imagined.

If she goes home now and confronts her father…

—He would only use me as a pawn to increase his power.

It was better to stay with Minerva, whom she trusted.

The conversation continues…

Chapter 12: Leo’s Side│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com

Leo, the legitimate son of the Duke of Sazaria, went to the royal palace after his sister and Marian returned to their rooms and changed into formal attire.

He had to report to Roland, his sister’s fiancée and the Crown Prince, about what had happened yesterday.

When he arrived at the palace, the Crown Prince’s knight escort took him to his office.

Roland was reading the report, but immediately looked up when he noticed Leo’s arrival.

He has golden hair and strong-willed green eyes.

He has a soft atmosphere, much like the queen known for her beauty, but the sharpness of his eyes is quite different from the delicate queen.

He is the fiancé of his sister Minerva, but the Crown Prince and Leo have known each other since childhood.

Her sister, the Crown Princess, is tasked with supporting the Crown Prince externally, while his job is to eliminate his enemies behind the scenes.

He always thought so.

“I heard there was quite a ruckus.”

At Roland’s insistence, Leo told him about last night.

Nick’s secret meeting with his lover was seen by his fiancee.

And that his fiancée had left a note and disappeared.

“The fiancée was my sister’s best friend. She had left a letter for my sister, and she had passed it on to the man.

“I see. So there was such a quarrel.”

Roland nodded and mumbled something about the Marquise of Deedaloid.

“I remember that the first candidate for Crate’s fiancée was the daughter of one of the marquises.”

“Yes, it was “almost” a done deal.”

Roland muses, then mutters to himself.

“…Crate made a move.”

Crate, the second prince of the Kingdom of Lalard, is a half-brother to Roland.

His (Crates’) mother was a concubine, but he came from a ducal family in this country and was more favored by some nobles than the queen from another country.

The crown prince is confirmed to be Roland, but the forces that are trying to carry Crate are not yet ready to give up. So both Roland and Leo were paying a lot of attention to Crate.

Roland frowned when Leo told him that Crate was making a move when Rietta pleaded with him.

“He went to all the trouble to get involved in this mess. That’s good for us, but it’s rather stupid. “

Crate still hasn’t given up on making Rietta his fiancée.

“The Marquise of Deedaloid is a former loyalist. The fact that his daughter was chosen to be His Highness Crate’s fiancée must be the consensus of the faction of the secondary queen. I don’t think the other side will give up so easily.”

If the Crate’s faction moves forcefully, this could be an opportunity to wipe out their forces.

The second queen faction and the royal family, which have taken note of the rich lands and financial resources of the Counts of Doretta, have so far managed to avoid any connection.

Marian herself seems to have not noticed, but there were many men who wanted to be her fiance.

Minerva’s wit may have delayed the decision of Marian’s fiancee.

For the sake of the Crown Prince, Leo should have made an effort for Marian before she became engaged to Nick.

Still, he could not bear to use her for political purposes, and nothing had been done until now.

When she got engaged to Nick, he gave up thinking that it was all over, but now Marian is in his Duchy.

—This time I will get her by any means necessary.

He had made up his mind.

“I feel sorry for Mina’s best friend. I hope she’s okay.”

“Mina is also looking for her. If she finds her, the Duke’s family will take her into custody.

This may be the first time he has reported something false to Roland, his Lord.

—I don’t want to tell anyone where Marian is right now.

It goes so far that he plans to hide Marian behind the Duke’s house forever.

—I’m beginning to think it’s okay.

“Okay, so Let me know when you do.”

“Yes, sir.”

He says yes and leaves the Crown Prince’s office.

His next stop is Nick, who is being held prisoner in the dungeon.

If he cares for Marian, Leo has no intention of breaking the marriage.

But in reality, he kept a mistress before they were married, causing Marian grief.

—It’s very unforgivable.

Nick needs to be severely punished.

Chapter 13: Nick’s Side│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com

The place where Nick is imprisoned is the royal palace’s dungeon.

Even though it was called a dungeon, it was not a very bad environment.

The lamps give him a good view of his surroundings, and he doesn’t feel cold.

The cobblestone floor was a little cold, but he could ask for a rug and pillows.

But Nick sat on the floor without trying to contact anyone and wondered how he had gotten into this situation.

—Marian… Emilia…

Two women come to mind.

A promising future with one’s beautiful fiancee, Marian

In addition, there was Emilia, a lovely lover who loved her wholeheartedly.

Of course, Nick wanted to marry Marian.

and Emillia.

He had vowed to take good care of her (Emillia), even if it would make her sad, and he had also promised never to leave her in financial straits.

Emilia was also considerate of his situation and said that she had nothing against his marriage as long as she could stay by his side.

—But why? How could this have happened?

His first stumble may have been that he had embraced Emilia in the royal palace.

And then, unfortunately, Marian was there.

Until he read the letter, he had never thought that Marian, who was like a childhood friend, really loved him.

It was impossible not to be happy to be loved by a beautiful woman.

—If Marian really loved me, she would not have disappeared and simply allowed Emilia’s presence. Emilia is a modest and kind woman. She poses no threat to Marian’s position and has no desire to live with us. All she had to do was allow me to visit her a few days a month.

—Yes, Emilia is kind. I am sure she was afraid that I would be in a bad position, and that’s why she acted the way she did.

—Yes, she told everyone that she was going to back out of the apology. She must have said that to protect me.

But she said she never loved him.

—I was upset when she told me that I was mistaken, but I could understand her attitude at that time.

He yelled at her that she had deceived him. And then he raised his hand and “accidentally” hit her.

“I have to apologize to Emilia. She did it for my own good.”

As he stood up and said this, a mocking voice sounded from the entrance of the dungeon.

“… You are a foolish person. You still don’t realize you’ve been used.”

“Who the hell are you! You dare to call me a fool?!”

Nick thought the guards were mocking him and said so aloud.

But it was Leo, the heir to the Dukes of Sazaria, who appeared.

His silver hair shone in the light of the dungeon like moonlight.

“…Ah.”

Nick turned pale at the sight of him.

Nick was then taken to a room in the royal palace for interrogation.

He was treated like a criminal, and at the entrance of the room were two knights with swords.

He thinks it’s an exaggeration of a little quarrel with his lover.

But he regretted his mistake of causing a commotion in the palace .

Now that it has come to this, the only option is to be interrogated as quietly as possible. Then he will be released soon.

In the first place, it is impossible to be put in a dungeon for something like that.

—I’ll have to protest and demand an apology from the knights later.

Nick thought about it, but the fact that Leo was silent in front of him made him wary.

As heir to the Duchy of Sazaria, he is a close associate of Crown Prince Roland, who will become the Crown Prince’s brother-in-law after his sister’s marriage.

They say he’s a ruthless and scary man, but sitting here in silence like this, Nick doesn’t find him all that scary. In fact, he seems like a gentleman.

Just when he thought the rumors about him might be over-exaggerated.

Then, Leo looks at Nick and smiles.

It was a fierce smile that sent shivers down his spine.

“Let’s get started.”

When he said so, he gave instructions to a knight waiting around him.

The knight then seated Nick near the wall.

“W-What the hell are you…”

—I’m going to be killed!

As he screams in fear, the knight orders him to be quiet.

“…D-Don’t.”

He was about to protest when I heard a woman’s voice from the other side of the wall.

“…That’s why he’s been threatening me all these years.”

A familiar, beautiful voice.

It was, without a doubt, the voice of his beloved Emilia.

—Emilia? Is she being interrogated too?

From what he had heard, she was interrogated that night and sent home, but she was called back to the royal palace and questioned again.

“Who is he?”

The voice of an old man said.

Apparently, it’s not a young man who’s interrogating Emilia. Relieved, he listens to her voice.

“Of course, it’s Nick-sama. I have been threatened by him! And not only with words… (sniff) He was also very violent. Many people saw him beat me that day, didn’t they?”

—Emilia? What are you…

He couldn’t believe these were her words.

He stood up, but the knight held him down. His face was against the wall, and he could hear her voice more and more clearly.

“I don’t love him. I was forced to say it. I only did what he told me to do because I was scared… And I’m so sorry for what I did to Marian-sama.”

—Why?

His body trembles.

He thought she was saying that to protect Nick.

—I thought…

But what she said was clearly to protect herself. She’s trying to blame everything on Nick to protect herself.

He wanted to yell out loudly that she was lying, but he was too indignant (angry) to speak out.

Suddenly, he heard a mocking voice behind him.

“Hehe… It looks like she was one step ahead of you.”

Leo was laughing at Nick.

“…Damn you!”

Enraged, Nick pulled the sword from the knight holding it and swung it as hard as he could.

“Don’t you dare mock me!”

If he wields a sword in the royal palace, he can no longer be suspended.

He could have been sentenced to death for treason.

But Nick couldn’t even think of that at the time.

Chapter 14│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com

Marian heard Minerva’s story and stood up, pale.

“No way! Leo-sama is…”

“Calm down. It’s alright. It’s nothing serious.”

Minerva took Marian’s hand in hers to calm her down and slowly sat her down.

“But…”

The hand Minerva is holding is shaking ever so slightly.

She told her that Leo, who had participated in Nick’s interrogation at the palace, had been slashed by him.

Nick had not only raised his hand against Emilia in the palace, but had also taken a knight’s sword during the interrogation and injured a member of the Duke’s family.

Nick is therefore no longer in the dungeon of the palace, but in a prison for felons in the royal city.

She was only mildly shocked to learn that his fiancée had gone off the deep end, but she couldn’t calm down when she heard that Leo was wounded.

He and Minerva were the only ones who were always on Marian’s side.

That’s why Marian was very protective of both of them.

“Don’t say it out loud, but it’s all Onii-sama’s plan.”

Maybe because Marian was so upset, Minerva gently told her the truth.

“…A plan?”

“Yes, They had him listen to Emilia’s interrogation in the next room to deliberately upset Nick.”

in the next room, not knowing that Nick was listening. Emilia accuses Nick of being to blame for everything and threatening her.

“But I guess Onii-sama didn’t expect Nick to pull the sword and run amok.”

Having been pressured during the initial interrogation, he probably expected Nick to lash out a little.

But when Nick learned of the betrayal of the woman he loved, he lost his temper and went on a rampage.

He slashed the sword at a knight and at Leo, who had angered him.

“The other knights were there, so Onii-sama wouldn’t get hurt too much. So don’t worry about it.”

” …But.”

She felt guilty, thinking that this might have happened because she had relied on him.

“If you’re so worried, visit Onii-sama later. I heard that Roland-sama told him to stay at the house for a while to recuperate.”

“Y-Yes, of course.”

Marian nodded immediately.

Immediately after, Minerva went to the royal palace for her queen’s education.

Marian, who was left behind, decided to go visit Leo immediately.

She asks the maid if she can visit him in his room, and after receiving a reply, she goes to his room, accompanied by the maid.

Both are dressed in maid uniforms, so she giggles and thinks she looks like a co-worker going to work.

She’s slowly getting used to her outfit. If she goes back to her former look, she might find the dress a bit tight.

—My former, huh…

She knows she can’t stay here forever.

But she didn’t want to go back to that house or see her father again.

She would only be forced to get married again to a house that suits her father’s needs.

While she was thinking like that, she arrived at Leo’s room.

The maid knocked on the door to announce Marian’s arrival, and Leo’s voice came from inside to ask her to come in.

“This is Marian.”

She announced her name and stepped into the room.

The maid who had been escorting her followed her. As expected, she could not be alone with a man who was not part of her family.

Leo sat comfortably on a couch in the middle of the room.

From the looks of it, there were no obvious injuries.

When he sees Marian, he immediately stands up.

—I’m glad…

As far as she can see, there is no problem with his movements.

Minerva had said he was fine, but Marian was finally relieved to see that Leo was really safe.

“I’m sorry to have bothered you…”

Leo smiles gently after she tells him she’s coming to see him.

“The knights covered for me. I only grazed my arm a little.”

Leo rolled up his arm and saw that it was bandaged.

But there is no blood and the area is not very big.

“Um, Nick-sama, I’m sorry.”

Leo looks a little dissatisfied when she apologizes like that.

“It’s not your place to apologize.”

“But I haven’t broken off my engagement yet so…”

There was no way her father would call off the engagement just because of Nick’s infidelity.

That’s why Marian faked her disappearance by writing a fake letter.

That is why Marian is still his (Nick’s) fiancée.

—Besides, my father might not give up on Nick so easily, even after all this…

If it is an unsolvable problem, Her father would give him up and find another fiancé for Marian.

That’s what she thought at first, too.

But Nick has the second prince, Crate, and his faction behind him.

Crown Prince Roland has always had an abundance of talented men in his ranks, and there is no room for Marian’s father there.

So, if her father wanted to be close to power, he had no choice but to go to a place like the Second Prince, where talent was in high demand.

—Nick was an important person in my father’s plan. I do not think he would give him up so easily.

Chapter 15│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com

—But to be honest, what my father is doing does not make much sense.

Marian believes that the position of Crown Prince Roland is secure, and it is unlikely that the second prince, Crate, will succeed to the throne unless something bad happens to the Crown Prince.

However, the second prince’s group, which includes Nick’s father, the Marquis of Deedaloid, seems to be trying very hard to put him on the throne.

Unlike his father, who is willing to accept anyone as long as they are powerful, this difference in temperature will be a disadvantage for her father.

Her father, a country aristocrat with wealth but far from power, would be a tool for them.

—My engagement would not be good for the family either, I am sure.

They will be forced to finance them, but will get nothing out of it.

Marianne comes to this realization after leaving her house.

She just followed her father’s lead and got engaged to Nick.

She had no doubt about marrying him.

But when she left home and joined the Dukes of Sazaria on the side of Crown Prince Roland, she learned many things.

—First of all, my father is an opportunist in both camps.

He has a daughter engaged to Nick, the second son of the Marquis of Deedaloid, a faction of the Second Prince of Crate.

But Marian is very close to Minerva, the fiancée of the enemy Crown Prince Roland.

By simply leaving it at that, Crate’s faction would suspect that her father is really on their side.

For her father, he might have thought that the more connections he had with the powerful, the better, but the factions of the powerful are not so easy to deal with.

—My engagement is the link between my father and the other side. I almost fulfilled this role without knowing anything about it, as I know now.

Nick’s sister is the first candidate for the engagement of the second prince, Crate. If this marriage is consummated, Marian will be the sister-in-law of Crate’s wife.

—It’s probably a good thing I was able to distance myself beforehand.

It started off with a light heart.

—I don’t want to be a villainess in their love story. I just wanted to punish them a little. I wanted to remind them that they are acting like it’s a tragic love, but in reality, it’s just an affair with real consequences.

She realizes that her engagement to Nick isn’t good for her personally or for the house.

—I don’t know what to do…

Even though she’s in front of Leo, she can’t help but think about it with a gloomy look on her face.

What she has to think about now is what to do from now on.

If she remains missing, it means that her engagement to Nick will continue.

She had no choice but to hide until her father broke the engagement with Nick or Nick decided to marry someone else.

—And I didn’t know that Nick could get violent so easily…

It was terrifying to hit Emilia to the point that her cheeks were swollen, but he also hurt Leo with a sword. If he had reacted too slowly, he might have lost his life.

—If I married such a person without knowing anything, what would happen in the future?

For that, she would even like to thank Emilia.

It made her realize that there were a lot of problems with her engagement to Nick.

In conclusion, she doesn’t want to go home for now. And the Dukes of Sazaria are the safest place where her father and the Crate’s faction, can’t touch her at all.

“I am sorry. I know I’m causing you trouble, but could you please let me leave here for a little while longer?”

She asked Leo, even though she knew it was a presumptuous request, but he immediately agreed.

“Of course, In fact, Mina will not let you leave her side until the problem is solved. You can stay as long as you feel comfortable.”

“…Thank you very much.”

Both Minerva and Leo treated her like a friend, even though she had potentially sided with the second prince faction. She was sincerely grateful for that.

Not wanting to stay too long, Marian left Leo’s room and returned to the living room she had been assigned.

Minerva would not be back for a while.

She must think long and hard about what she’s going to do from now on.

Chapter 16│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com

“So, I’ve been thinking a lot about it.”

Marian spoke slowly in front of Minerva and Leo about what she had been thinking about for the past few days.

Both Minerva and Leo agreed that it was better not to go home now.

Leo was against the continuation of Marian’s engagement because of his political views, and Minerva because Nick was a violent man.

Marian himself was in agreement with both opinions.

It would not be good for her house to take the side of the second prince, Crate.

And even Marian, a childhood friend, had no idea that Nick was such a violent person. If she had married like that, she might have gotten into trouble.

But considering that the engagement is still going on despite Marian’s disappearance, she guesses it is not so easy to break it off.

“I don’t think they would have continued the engagement if they couldn’t find me for a long time. But I can’t spend that much time…”

If she disappeared for a few years, her father might actually say goodbye to the idea that she would never come back.

But she can’t stay with the duke’s family for that long because Minerva will soon be married into the royal family.

“I was wondering if it would be better if I were to die…”

“Marian? What are you talking about?! For such a reason…”

Minerva cried out in surprise, but Leo remained calm.

“You’re going to fake your death?”

“… Yes. If it turns out that the missing daughter is dead, it will be impossible to continue the engagement.”

“But if we fake Marian’s death, you won’t be able to return home anymore.”

“I don’t care about that. My mother will be sad, but my father and brother, they…”

Her father will mourn the loss of his political pawns, but that’s all. Her brother, who’s identical to his father, may regret the loss of connections for his future.

Neither of them will mourn Marian’s death as a relative.

“But Nick’s chances of getting off with just a restraining order are slim. Maybe they’ll cut him off. Then your engagement to Nick will be called off. Why don’t you wait and see?”

Leo said, but Marian shook her head.

“With Nick, maybe. But if I go back, they’ll probably try to get me engaged to someone else.”

They’ll just pick another fiancée from Crate’s camp. Nothing will change.

“That’s why I want to die once.”

“If that’s what you want, I can arrange it. But it will probably be difficult to fake your death completely.”

As Leo says, the countess’s death would cause a certain stir.

The marriage was of particular importance to the Crate faction.

Not only would they have access to a lot of money, but her father would also be completely on Crate’s side in this marriage.

If they found out that Marian was dead, they would do a lot of research to see if it was a lie.

Until Marian is truly dead, it is impossible to prepare a perfect corpse.

Therefore, [the body of a person who seems to be a daughter of a noble family was found].

Given the circumstances, one can only speculate that it is “probably” the body of the missing countess.

“Therefore, we can leave some possibilities open.”

But that means, as Leo says, there’s still a possibility that Marian will be able to return home.

Minerva looked worried, but finally approved, hoping that there was still a little chance for Marian to return.

—○█○—

About ten days passed.

Rumors circulated in social circles that Marian, Count Doretta’s missing daughter, had been found dead.

Betrayed by her fiancé and despairing of her life, the fragile young woman seems to have thrown herself into the lake.

The tragic death of the young and beautiful daughter brought tears to many people’s eyes.

And Nick and Emilia, who were responsible, came under public scrutiny.

Before, Immediately after Nick’s imprisonment, it was suggested that he should not be punished so severely for a lovers’ quarrel, even if it took place in the royal palace.

It seems that such voices were raised mainly from the camp of the second prince, Crate.

He drew his sword in a moment of passion, not with the intent of killing.

Leo was only lightly wounded.

However, it would be too bad for the publicity if the fiancée committed suicide.

So they gave up on Nick, and his sister Rietta is innocent.

They began to claim that Nick alone was to blame.

Emilia’s claim that Nick had threatened her was thrown out because her story changed every time she was questioned and was too unreliable, the judge said.

It was revealed that she had been secretly seeing Nick not only that night, but on other occasions as well, and her relatives could no longer protect her.

She was eventually sent to a convent far from the capital.

This narrative had a great impact on romance novels popular in the kingdom, and stories in which adultery and infidelity were treated as tragic love disappeared altogether, while tales of pure love, in which childhood friends were betrothed and married, or maids and women of low status were loved by those of high status, became mainstream.

Chapter 17│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com

—I didn’t think it would have this much of an impact.

Marian had to laugh when she saw the large number of romance novels that had just arrived in Minerva’s room.

Despite the public attention, the Counts of Doretta do not seem to be doing anything so far.

She felt a little empty, but Marian also lived a peaceful life in the residence of the Dukes of Sazaria.

—Maybe they are both the same.

It’s sad, but she realizes that the only person who will really be sad to see Marian gone, other than Minerva and Leo, is her mother.

Her father used his wealth to lend money to various nobles, which made it impossible for her to have close friends.

When she was a child, a lady she thought was her best friend was actually the daughter of a nobleman who owed her father money. The daughter was only ordered by her nobleman father, who thought that if she befriended Marian, her father would favor them a little.

The truth is that she hates Marian.

—I feel a little sad when I remember that she said that to me.

She believes it is enough for the rest of her life as long as she has Minerva and Leo.

—The question is, what will I do after this? I have to think about it seriously.

It is not impossible to go back home.

As Leo said at the time, the mere discovery of such a body does not confirm Marian’s death.

Nick is being held as a sinner, and the people on Prince Crate’s side are trying to cut him off.

Even if Marian comes back, her father will not want to continue the engagement with Nick.

But as long as the relationship between her father and the Crate faction remains the same, he will just choose another fiancée for her.

She can stay with the Duke for a while and take advantage of Leo and Minerva’s goodwill, but Minerva, in the not too distant future will marry into the royal family as Crown Princess.

Leo, the heir to the dukedom, will eventually marry a suitable wife.

If that happens, she will not be able to stay with them forever.

She has to do something, but she doesn’t have a good idea.

At the moment, she had no choice but to spend her time with Minerva, disguised as a maid.

At first she was only Minerva’s maid, but she will try to do other jobs as well.

“Marian doesn’t have to do that.”

Minerva disagrees, but she can’t afford to be complacent (spoiled).

Since Nick and Emilia will no longer be attending the evening party, neither will she.

“I have to give this ring back to Leo-sama.”

Minerva looks at the ring she has been wearing for a long time and looks at Marian as if she wants to say something.

“What’s wrong?”

“No… I can’t say anything because it’s not my place to say anything. But I want you to keep it for a while longer.”

She wondered why Minerva would say something like that, but she didn’t think it would do anything against her.

“Yes, I understand.”

She nodded, and she smiled in relief.

That’s how she spent her time.

One day, Marian was summoned by Leo and went to his room.

It was so sudden that she headed alone, but Leo’s room had his servant, who made sure they were not alone.

Leo nodded to Marian’s greeting and began with a touch of difficulty.

“… Count Doretta has been arrested.”

“M-My father?!”

She raised her voice in surprise.

“How did he…”

“It’s smuggling. The Marquis of Deedaloid and the second prince were also involved in this case.”

It seems that her father illegally exported precious metals and gems to other countries and shared the profits with the Marquis of Deedaloid and the second Prince.

As soon as this was found out, her father was arrested. The Marquis of Deedaloid and the second prince were also punished as accomplices.

“…”

Marian was speechless.

His father was a greedy man, but he was also prudent.

She had never thought he had done such a bold thing.

Chapter 18│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com

Moreover, it involved Nick’s father, Marquis Deedaloid, and Prince Crate.

Now that Marian and Nick’s engagement has become difficult, they have probably tried to use her father for their own benefit instead of bringing him into their camp.

Perhaps their plan was that if their misdeeds were exposed, only her father would be caught.

It must have been a miracle that the authorities had managed to discover not only the Marquis of Deedaloid, but also the Second Prince.

Marian looked at Leo in front of her.

He was a close associate of the Crown Prince. He must be involved in this case.

If her father was the main person who smuggled state-banned goods, he could lose his title and land.

Whatever happens, it is none of Marian’s business since she is supposed to be dead.

Still, she had no choice but to blame her father for the crime, but she was worried about her mother.

“W-What will happen to my house?”

She asked in a slightly trembling voice, her hands clasped tightly together.

Leo looked at Marian with concern, but he told her the details.

“First of all, the Counts of Doretta, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be destroyed.”

“…I-Is that true?”

She didn’t believe that the house that committed the crime of smuggling would be forgiven easily.

But Leo nods in response to Marian’s question, which exclaims in surprise.

“Yes, The main culprit is said to be Count Doretta, but it is said that His Highness Crate and the Marquis of Deedaloid may have instigated him. It was said that he could not have refused if he had been forced to do so by the royal family and the high-ranking marquises.”

“I see…”

She guesses her father was taken advantage of by the two of them.

“But unfortunately, your brother was also very involved in smuggling. He won’t be able to take over the title anymore.”

“No way, Armand?”

Marian bit her lip as she called out her younger brother’s name.

He had always been like his father, but she never thought he would one day be involved in the smuggling business, let alone blame her father.

“Then…”

“The Counts of Doretta will be succeeded by your uncle.”

“My uncle?”

Her father’s brother, unable to take the title, married the daughter of a wealthy merchant and moved out of the house.

The merchant family he married into has grown even bigger since then, so he must have some business sense. Also, unlike her father, her uncle has a very warm personality that many people look up to.

She’s sure that her uncle will lead the Counts of Doretta in the right direction.

“Your mother will be taken care of by the new Count and Countess Doretta.”

” …Thank God.”

She is relieved that she will continue to live in the house.

—My uncle’s wife is a commoner, but a modest and kind woman. I am sure that she will not treat my mother badly either.

But the whole family has been torn apart.

Now that this has happened, she hopes her father and brother will pay for their crimes.

“And the marquis of Deedaloid. It was not destroyed, but it seems that the crimes of the head and his son, Nick, made it difficult for the household to survive. His daughter Rietta will have no choice but to succeed him and take a son-in-law.”

Rietta was almost engaged to the second prince, Crate, but since Crate is also a sinner, she can no longer marry him.

Although the house was not destroyed, who would take the trouble to take over a house where the head of the family and his heir had committed crimes?

Even if there were, it would be an older nobleman who had his own agenda.

Besides, unlike the counts of Doretta, the marquises of Deedaloid were in financial straits.

Marian remembered Rietta, who was almost going to be her sister-in-law.

She always looked down on Marian for thinking she was marrying into royalty. She was even used as her maid.

Although she was like that, she felt a little sorry for her.

As for the second prince, Crate, although he is a prince, he seems to be punished quite severely for violations of the country’s laws.

After being stripped of his royal status, he is reportedly being held in a remote prison.

That alone seems pretty harsh, but he was originally going to be sentenced to death for treason, but was commuted thanks to the desperate pleas of his mother, the second queen.

Chapter 19│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com

“Now you have no one left to torment you. I am sure that the current Count Family will welcome you with open arms.”

“Leo laughs softly.”

“Now, I can…”

As he says, if her uncle and his wife accepted her mother, they might also accept Marian, who had gone missing.

They would probably not force Marian to get married.

She doesn’t think her uncle has the same ambition as my father.

—But isn’t that too convenient? No matter how much my father was being used, isn’t it unnatural that the count’s family involved in smuggling was not destroyed? And why were the Marquise of Deedaloid and Prince Crate, who were probably working very carefully, captured at the same time as my father?

The more she thinks about it, the more she can’t help but think that it reflects somebody’s strong will.

—Who is it?

Marian stares calmly at Leo in front of her.

—Could it be?

Nick, who was unfaithful but still wanted to marry Marian with a casual look on his face, was unexpectedly convicted of a crime for drawing his sword and wounding someone in the royal palace, and is still in a prison where criminals are locked up.

Emilia, who was trying to seduce Nick into being his mistress, was placed in a disciplined convent and probably won’t be able to get out of it for much longer.

Her father, who wanted to use Marian as a pawn in a political marriage, and her brother, who shared his father’s views, have been disgraced for their crimes.

They will never return to being nobles.

The Marquis of Deedaloid and the Second Prince, who was trying to use Marian’s father as a pawn, have also lost their positions.

Nick’s sister, Rietta, who looked down on Marian, has had her engagement to Crate called off and has to marry a son-in-law to keep the household afloat.

All that is left is a frail but kind mother, a kind aunt and uncle, and Minerva and Leo, who have always been there for her.

“…Thank you very much. But I don’t know if I can go back like this…”

“The former countess is very depressed because her husband and son are guilty, and her daughter is dead. It would be a great relief to know that her daughter is alive.”

“My mother?”

Marian bites her lip.

She was worried about her mother, who had been left alone.

However, if Marian, the criminal’s daughter, returned, she could cause problems for her uncle. She thought so, too, but her uncle and his wife are suspicious of Marian’s death and are actively looking for her.

Marian’s mother, uncle, and aunt will continue to search for her, unsure whether she is alive or not, but will not give up hope.

Leo says that it is better to go back soon.

[Marian was staying in a convent when she was found and protected by Minerva, who never gave up looking for her.]

Leo said he was going to make the plot that way.

“Yes, I might be able to help my uncle that way.”

—I don’t think I can marry properly anymore because I have become the daughter of a criminal and my engagement has been broken off. I hope I can help my uncle and at the same time take care of my weak mother when I get home.

“On that note, Minerva will soon be married into the royal family and become the crown princess. She said she would like to take you with her when she does.”

“M-Me?”

She exclaims in surprise.

Minerva will become a princess and, eventually, a queen.

The maids who serve her are chosen from the children of high-ranking nobles, unlike the maids who work in the royal palace. It is a great honor to be a lady-in-waiting to the queen.

For Marian, who has no hope of a decent marriage, this is the best possible treatment.

“I wonder if I’m the right choice…”

“Of course you are. If you stay with Mina, I can be at ease.”

Leo said so and smiled softly.

So Marian was able to return home after being taken into care by Minerva.

Her mother, who had been sick in bed, cried and rejoiced that Marian was safe.

She hugged her mother and apologized for the trouble she had caused.

In order to protect the family, her father decided to commit suicide so that he could not be exploited by Prince Crate’s faction, but this had no effect and ended up only tormenting her mother.

Awebstories.com: (LOL)

So, at the very least, she tried to act cheerful to reassure her mother that she had sorted out her feelings and was fine now.

Chapter 20│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com

Her mother was very worried about Marian’s future.

Her uncle and his wife were very kind to her, but after what her father had done, Marian was afraid that she could not live on the estate forever.

When she learned that her mother was begging her uncle to find her a new fiancé, she quickly withdrew her request.

“I intend to go to the royal palace as Lady Minerva’s lady-in-waiting. So I have no intention of marrying.”

” … Are you still not over Nick?”

Her mother asks her this, and she shakes her head in denial.

“No, I’ve already forgotten about him. I can’t believe he was like that…”

Marian has been completely awakened when Minerva tells her what Nick has done. She denied, once and for all, that she had feelings for Nick.

“I know it’s difficult for me to get married. Minerva-sama knows it and wants me with her, so I decided to serve her for the rest of my life.”

“Yes, it is a great honor to serve Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess, but…”

Marian’s being the daughter of a criminal is a rather unfortunate circumstance.

But a mother who wants her daughter to be happy as a normal woman cannot accept this.

Even so, she has no choice but to agree.

Her father sided with the second prince.

But his faction has already collapsed.

Those who used to be in his faction may be treated coldly from now on.

However, the fact that Marian is under the protection of Minerva, the wife of the crown prince, shows that the current countesses are not hostile to the crown prince.

At least that’s what Marian can do for her uncle and his wife, for whom she has caused so much trouble.

Her mother and uncle exchanged a few words with her and were concerned, but then her aunt noticed Marian’s hand and said,

“I’ve been wondering if… what about that ring?”

“Eh?”

Marian looked at her aunt’s gaze and looked at her finger.

There was the ring that Leo had left with her, still on her finger.

Minerva had suggested she keep it, and she had left it on her finger.

She would have to return it once she started working at the royal palace.

“It was given to me by Leo-sama. He asked me to keep it on me for my own protection…”

“What?!”

“…But that’s!”

Marian’s answer made her mother and aunt shout at the same time, and her uncle stood up in surprise.

“T-That means…”

Marian was also surprised by the reaction and looked at her mother, aunt, and uncle’s faces alternately.

“How did this happen?”

Marian was confused when her uncle asked, in a suddenly calm voice.

She had no choice but to tell him.

In truth, she wore it when she came to the royal palace as a maid to see Nick ruined. But there was no way she could tell her uncle that.

“I see… did Marian know what it meant to receive a ring with a coat of arms?”

“N-No. I was just told it was for security, so I just…”

Minerva said the same thing.

Then her mother said, with an irresistible air of joy.

“Oh Marian… a ring with a coat of arms is a sign of courtship. You have been proposed to by the next head of the Dukes of Sazaria!”

“Eh?”

Marian was speechless with surprise at her mother’s words.

—Leo-sama is asking me to marry him? But that’s impossible.

She thought so, but it’s true that Leo gave her this ring directly.

Marian could only stare at her mother and aunt, who were delighted, and at her uncle, who was deep in thought.

Chapter 21│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com

“Hehehe, Yes, I know what the ring means.”

The next day, Marian, who was restless no matter what she did, paid Minerva a visit.

Minerva was happy to see Marian, even though she didn’t have an appointment.

When she heard Marian’s story, she laughed, and Marian looked annoyed.

It seems that Minerva knew the meaning of the ring from the very beginning.

“You knew?”

“Yes, of course. I was rather surprised that Marian did not know.”

“…Because I was only engaged to Nick from the beginning.”

It was never going to happen that someone else would propose to her.

“But I guess Onii-sama didn’t think Marian didn’t know what that meant.”

“…I don’t really know.”

At the mention of Leo’s name, she gets flustered.

If Minerva was right, Leo gave the ring with the ducal coat of arms to Marian on purpose, thinking that Marian knew the meaning of the ring.

That day of the party

The nobleman who got involved with Marian was so frightened that he ran away, believing that she was in a relationship with Leo because of the ring she had received.

“I couldn’t say anything else unless Onii-sama wanted me to, so I kept quiet. I’m sorry, Marian, but neither my brother nor I will force you to do anything. If you don’t like it, you can just give it back.”

“But…”

Marian told Minerva that her mother and aunt were so excited that they didn’t believe Marian when she told them it was a misunderstanding, which made Minerva laugh.

“Onii-sama probably saw it coming and let you keep the ring on your finger. I want to support Onii-sama, but I also care about Marian. If you want to run away from Onii-sama, I will help you.”

“Mina-sama, I…”

—I need more time to think.

That was what Marian meant to say.

When she hesitated, Minerva smiled.

“I understand. Leave it to me. You can take your time and think about it. It’s a lifelong commitment, after all. “

Marian stayed with the Duke for the next few days under the pretext of being Minerva’s Lady-in-Waiting.

Perhaps because he wanted to give her time to think, Leo seemed to refuse to see her when she asked for an audience, but Minerva told her not to worry.

“It’s Onii-sama’s fault for ignoring Marian’s feelings and taking matters into his own hands.”

If he loved Marian, he should have told her instead of going behind her back.

But Minerva also did not forget to defend Leo, saying that her brother, who often works behind the scenes for Crown Prince Roland, may not be able to express his love for Marian openly.

To hide and avoid one’s true feelings.

It is the only way to survive in the aristocratic society of this country.

“Onii-sama was protecting Prince Roland and me by wearing the mask of a cold-blooded man. And Marian, too.”

As expected, it was also thanks to Leo’s efforts that the Countess’s household was not destroyed and that the Marquis of Deedaloid and Prince Crate, who had used Marian’s father, were traced back to him (Leo).

“Really, Leo-sama, did that for me?”

Marian, who had received the ring, still couldn’t believe it.

“Onii-sama has always loved Marian. Even after you got engaged, he couldn’t forget her. Maybe that’s why he thought he would take a risk this time.”

Marian listened quietly to Minerva’s words.

She wondered why he hadn’t said anything when she found out what the ring meant. If Leo had told her directly, she wouldn’t have been so confused.

But for Leo, the Crown Prince’s confidant, his beloved was like a weakness he had exposed. There are many who resent him for working behind the scenes for the Crown Prince.

But in the present situation, those around him might think that he took pity on the situation of his sister Marian’s best friend and made her his wife.

—Yes, that’s fine if that’s the pretended reason.

“But I really wanted him to tell me the truth personally.”

Chapter 22│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com

When she said this, Minerva looked at Marian with a slightly surprised expression on her face.

—Did I say something strange?

“What Marian didn’t like was that Onii-sama didn’t say anything? You don’t mind marrying Onii-sama, do you?”

She asked her to confirm it.

“It’s…”

But she was at a loss to answer.

Still, Minerva has given her time to think it over.

—I think I have to face my heart firmly and without running away.

Both Minerva and Leo are more important friends to Marian than her “family” (Father and Brother).

Leo suffered wounds for her.

When the crimes of his father and brother were revealed, he also took out Nick’s father and Prince Crate, who were behind the crimes. And yet he did everything he could to keep the Counts family alive.

When she learned of these things, she thought deeply about the feelings that resided within her.

“… It’s not that I don’t like him. I was very happy when I realized he was doing it for my sake.”

—That’s why I didn’t like the fact that he just gave me the ring without saying anything.

“Yes, there is still a possibility that you and I could become sisters-in-law. I will let Onii-sama know. If he really wants Marian, he should not use tricks and do his best to seduce her. “

Minerva giggles and says something outrageous, causing Marian to panic.

“What are you talking about? I can’t let you do that to Leo-sama.”

“Fufu, Why not? It’s not strange to beg for love from someone you love. I want you both to be happy, without any guilt or hesitation.”

Even if they successfully married, as he (Leo) intended, some resentment would certainly remain.

Marian may regret not choosing her own life and following her brother’s example.

What if Leo dares not tell Marian about his love to protect her?

Minerva says she doesn’t think they can be happy together if negative thoughts are still lingering.

“Thank you. For all your consideration, I’ll do my best to convey my feelings to Leo-sama.”

“Yes, I want Marian to be not only my lady-in-waiting but also my sister-in-law.”

She smiles at her and hugs her tightly.

Marian then decides to return to the Countess’s house, where her mother is waiting.

Her mother was eager to hear what had happened with Leo, but she told her that she had only kept the ring and not that she had been asked to marry him.

Her mother seemed pretty disappointed, but that’s the truth, so there was nothing she could do.

However, the very next day, flowers arrived from Leo addressed to Marian.

Every day, there was always a card with words of concern for Marian written in his handwriting.

Marian’s mother, who had been depressed, quickly got better and kept telling Marian to write thank-you letters.

Leo must be very busy right now with the cleanup of Prince Crate’s case. We should not bother him any longer.

Marian thought so and tried to write that she did not need any more flowers, but was scolded by her mother.

“At such times, you just have to write a letter that cares for him. Do not say anything with which you can reject his goodwill.”

Her mother then recommended that she read romance novels and told her to do some research.

Apparently, her mother is also a fan of romance novels.

But when she tried to read some of them, she found that her feelings were very different than if she had left a letter for Nick.

Words that she could not understand at the time entered her heart.

—It seems like I’m really in love with Leo-sama…

As soon as she thought that, she felt as if something had woken up.

Chapter 23│Read translated stories and daily updates at: Awebstories.com

Flowers eventually turn into accessories and jewelry.

She thought about returning them back to Leo, since she couldn’t afford to get such expensive things, but she couldn’t give them back so easily when she thought about Leo picking them out for her.

On the other hand, she isn’t sure because her feelings have gotten stronger since she learned about them.

When asked how long she has been in love with him, she finds it difficult to give a clear answer.

First of all, Marian’s first love was Leo. It was a kind of childhood longing, and as she grew up, she came to realize that she and Leo were not meant for each other, so naturally she gave up the idea.

But now Leo, with whom Nick claimed they weren’t compatible and her father told her it was impossible, wants Marian so badly.

When she thinks about it, her heart is filled with something warm.

Leo has always been there for Marian.

She had never thought of him as cruel, as people say.

Rather, he is a kind and loving person.

But she doesn’t feel they are equal.

Leo is the heir to the duke’s family, and she is the daughter of the count who committed the crime.

Even so, if Leo wills it, her heart is inspired to overcome all difficulties.

—As expected, I can’t be like the main character in a love story.

She never understands her own feelings, but she doesn’t want him to protect her. She wants to be his partner. Until death separates them

—Love, as in romance novels, may still exist.

She has always had feelings for Leo for a long time. She never thought that such a thing could happen in reality.

That day, Marian wrote a letter to Leo.

[I know you are busy, but please come and see me once.]

The same day, she received a reply saying that he would come to see her tomorrow morning.

She was worried if it was so sudden, but Marian wanted to see him.

When she announced that Leo was coming to visit tomorrow morning, the house suddenly became very busy.

Since then, her mother has been by Marian’s side, advising her on the choice of clothes and accessories.

Her mother, who was very depressed because of her father and brother, seems to have regained her strength lately.

And the next morning,

Marian, who had prepared herself early, was waiting for his visit in the living room.

Leo would first greet his uncle and then get his permission to see Marian as her guardian.

Her uncle has been very nervous since yesterday.

He had been living as a commoner until recently, but now he was suddenly the head of a noble family and had to deal with Leo, the heir to the dukedom.

Soon after, a chambermaid announces Leo’s arrival.

Marian gets up from the sofa and greets him.

Leo enters the room and immediately looks at Marian with narrowed eyes.

Today, she wears the jewelry he gave her.

Leo is happy and compliments her on her beauty.

“I’m sorry to bother you while you’re busy.”

After apologizing, she presents the ring that she has been keeping for Leo.

“I’ll give you back the ring I’ve kept for you.”

Leo took it and turned to Marian once more.

“…to reassure your mother… The current Counts of Doretta need a link to the Duke of Sazaria, and I will find an excuse until I have you… That’s what I planned.”

The words are spoken softly.

Undoubtedly, these are his true feelings.

“But when Mina told me, I woke up. I should have said the most important words to Marian, even if she had rejected me.”

Leo then offers Marian the ring she has just returned with.

“Marian, I love you. Will you be my wife?”

I love you.

Marian’s cheeks blush slightly as he finally utters these words, and she nods.

“…Yes.”

Leo held his breath and then hugged Marian tightly.

“Thank you. You gave me this ring back to give me a second chance, didn’t you?”

Marian nodded softly.

It was Minerva who verified that the ring with the coat of arms was a sign of courtship.

Marian found it funny that someone so adept at intrigue had done so little more than give her the ring without an explanation.

There will be many difficulties ahead.

Marian also doesn’t think she will be easily accepted as Leo’s wife.

But if she can spend all her time with Minerva and Leo, it will be enough for her to be happy.

—I have only one thing to say.

“Don’t ever cheat on me. If you do, I’ll write you a letter and disappear.”

When she said that, Leo’s eyes widened in surprise, then he smiled kindly.

“Oh. I’ll never do that. You’ll always be the only one for me.”

He then takes her in his arms.

She closes her eyes and thinks that she is much happier than in a romance novel with a happy ending.

~End~


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