The Discarded Bride’s RemarriageーThe Icy Margrave Swears His Loveー – Chapter 1

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏: 𝐒𝐮𝐝𝐝𝐞𝐧 𝐃𝐢𝐯𝐨𝐫𝐜𝐞 𝐀𝐧𝐧𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭

“I want a divorce, Chloe.”

At the breakfast table, I let out a deep sigh upon hearing these words casually thrown at me, realizing that this day had finally come. The tasteless baguette. The salad that tasted like sand. The only thing I was ever praised for by my husband was the way I brewed coffee, a skill I had worked hard to learn after marrying into the Strelitzi family. But this morning’s coffee tasted like muddy water.

ーーNo, I hadn’t been able to taste anything for a long time.

“Chloe? Are you listening?”

My husband Stephan hurried me, his gaze never leaving the newspaper, his tone impatient.

His hawk-like eyes, which would turn 39 this year, didn’t even glance at me when he brought up the divorce.

I looked down at the coffee I had brewed with a hollow feeling.

Reflected in it was the face of a plain 19-year-old woman, looking as if she was dead.

“. . .It’s been five years since we got married, hasn’t it?”

“Yes.”

My husband responded with a noncommittal grunt.

He probably didn’t even want to have this kind of conversation anymore.

“What do you think? You don’t mind getting a divorce, do you? I’ll provide for your living expenses for the time being, and if you want a house, I’ll buy you one.”

I quietly reflected on the past five years as a 19-year-old.

As a decorative wife, I kept the main house in order so that we could invite anyone at any time, obeyed my father-in-law and mother-in-law’s orders, took care of them, handled the household affairs, and continued to fulfill my duties as Countess Strelitzi.

And our relationship was what you would call a “white marriage.”

We never shared a bed, nor do I remember having a conversation while looking into each other’s eyes.

ーーI got married to have a place to live.

ーーHe got married to live with his mistress.

It was truly just a political marriage.

“I understand.”

I told him, looking straight at him.

“Please give me time to pack my things and write letters to my acquaintances. As usual, may I leave the procedures to our butler, Simon?”

“Hmm.”

In the end, he never looked me in the eye.

◇◇◇

The lord’s office. The writing desk had become almost exclusively mine. As I was preparing letters to send to various places, there was a knock at the door.

“Chloe-ojousama. Excuse me.”

“. . .Simon.”

At Simon’s call, who had continued to call me “Ojou-sama” after our marriage, I raised the corners of my mouth just a little.

Today, as always, Simon was dressed in a perfectly wrinkle-free butler’s uniform, and he bowed without a single misstep. This elderly gentleman, with his long white hair tied back and wearing silver-rimmed monocles, was a calm and reliable figure, like a father to me.

“I have prepared all the legal documents for the divorce proceedings. I have also received the master’s signature for the property division.”

“Thank you. Please send this letter to the royal capital at the end.”

I lined up the bundle of letters sealed with wax on the desk. Since it would be slow to leave it to the local post and there was no compensation for loss, I had decided to leave the procedures and important documents to Simon to take to the royal capital post office.

When Simon received the letters, he looked at me with a softened gaze. It was a gentle gaze, like a father’s.

“. . .You’ve worked hard, Ojou-sama.”

I also smiled at him, with the face of “Lady Chloe.”

“Thank you, Simon. Even when I lost my father and had no one to rely on, I was able to make it this far because you were there.”

Simon shook his head as if to say it was nothing.

“If I had more power, I could have protected you without causing you any trouble. . .”

“Simon. . .”

Behind his monocleーーSimon’s emerald eyes, which had aged considerably in just a few years, narrowed. The corners of his eyes were heavily shadowed with years of regret.

“The only way to create a place for you, Miss, was to marry into the Strelitzi family. Since then. . . I have vowed to serve you for the rest of my life and protect you, the beloved daughter of my late master.”

ーーMy brother Cerrado became a court magician, and I had no relatives to back me up. Indeed, for a 14-year-old me, marrying into the Count Strelitzi family was the best option.

Even now, at the age of 19, I think this was the only fate for me.

“Ojou-sama. . . you have overcome hardships safely and grown beautifully and splendidly.”

“I don’t know if I’m beautiful, but I’ve grown a bit.”

“I have a proposal for you, Miss, for the future.”


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