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“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…”
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.
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