Count Larscel tore up our marriage certificate in anger.
However, the names that were engraved on our fingers were not erased.
“Its no use, Count.
Even if you do that, the oath wont be revoked until the same two people sign the same oath with the same spell again.”
The Duke of Blois said this to Count Larscel teasingly.
Come to think of it, the Countess signature was also engraved on the ring finger of the Counts left hand as well.
“His Majesty the Emperor is interested in Rowaine! I was set to become a government official! When His Majesty the Emperor finds out about this, he will not let the Duke go unscathed!”
The Duke faced Count Larscel with a calm expression.
“But, did you ask the Emperor exactly what hed do to me, Count”
“Well, of course, even if I havent asked…!”
“There is nothing unnatural about a man and a woman being in love.
I didnt know I was going to marry Miss Rowaine so suddenly, so why not ask the Emperor first and then threaten me”
“The Emperor and you are not the same person, so talking as if you are the Emperor is quite presumptuous.”
It was a warning that it wasnt a good idea to speak on behalf of the Emperor and wield His Majestys authority, regardless of his opposition to his daughters marriage as a father.
At that, Duke of Blois turned away from Count Larscel and reached out his hand to me with a sly face.
“Lets go home, Wife.”
As he addressed me respectfully, I smiled when it was clear that he would accept the conditions I had previously stated.
Soon, the Dukes armed knights made their way, and Count Larscel had no choice but to sit down before the knights and watch the Duke of Blois leave his estate.
* * *
I climbed into the Dukes carriage carrying Rowaines gold sack that I had meticulously stashed away all night long.
Among the crowd, Nigel, who was standing there staring at the carriage, caught my eye.
I left the mansion and told the Duke I wanted to take a man, so he had to take care of the rest himself.
As the carriage departed, the desperate Count Larscel appeared as he peered out a window.
“Is it okay to just leave like this”
The Duke of Blois looked at me with his apathetic face, his chin propped on one hand.
“Did you think that coming to Blois in Renée Larscels place would be a smooth process”
“Perhaps you thought Id deal with the aftermath.”
Well he wasnt wrong, so I could only smile awkwardly.
He snorted as he saw my reaction.
“Ill take care of it as you wish, so dont worry.
Id rather do that than see your face in that condition.”
I touched my still swollen face.
He watched me as I did this, maybe wondering what I was doing.
Growing conscious of his pointed gaze, I removed my hand from my bandaged cheek.
“Itll be easy.”
Looking at my face from this angle and that, he muttered to himself as he crossed his arms.
“Seems like the perfume wasnt a trick.”
Talk of the perfume came out again.
I was nervous that he would torment me again with his assumptions, though he kept his mouth shut as if he was just talking to himself.
With his eyes closed, his very expression showed that he was extremely relaxed.
* * *
‘I feel great.
The scent that Rowaine exuded tickled the tip of Dmitris nose, and it was strangely comforting.
He watched with his own eyes as she massaged her own cheeks.
When he confirmed that she wasnt deceiving him through a perfume, he was no longer bothered by this soothing scent.
‘It seems that Count Larscel doesnt know her abilities.
Judging by how she was acting, it didnt seem like she was showing off her powers.
Otherwise, would Count Larsel sell his daughter off to the Emperor as just his mistress when she had such powers
A smile formed on his lips.
It seemed like he was having a very nice dream.
‘Could the curse be broken
He narrowed her eyes and gazed at Rowaine, who was looking out the window.
Then, his smile deepened.
It would be really nice if the curse could be lifted.
But, what if it wouldnt Still, it wont be as bad as before… because shes by his side now.
‘Divorce after three years
She knows how to dream big.
She may have freely jumped into his arms, but it wouldnt be so easy when she decides to run away.
With her chin rested on the window sill, her eyes turned to him as she hummed.
Then, when Rowaine met his eyes as she smiled absently, she awkwardly flitted her gaze out the window again.
She pretended to be smart, but shes still naive.
Look at her walking on her own two feet into the tigers den.
His pupils dilated significantly.
It was the eyes of a cat or a beast focusing on its prey.
* * *
When the wagon arrived at the Blois estate, Dimitri parted ways with Rowaine and headed for his office.
He walked slowly towards the back of a chair and picked up a crystal glass that was displayed on the bookshelf.
Seeing Dimitri pick it up, Hyles expression stiffened with tension.
It was because he knew very well what the glass was used for.
“Hyle, go run some errands.”
Saying so with an emotionless face, Dimitri pulled out a small dagger from his coat pocket, and suddenly cut his palm.
Red blood dripped down in a long line.
He went through the motions and filled the glass.
When the cup was filled to some extent with the warm red liquid, he pushed it over to Hyle.
“As long as my blood is in your body, youll be able to control my demons for a while.”
Theerrand meant he had to drink it.
Hyle shut his eyes tightly as if bitter medicine was in front of him.
The disgusting smell of blood caused a sense of repulsion, but he couldnt rebel against the Duke.
What should I do”
Dimitri thought about it for a while before he spoke again, as if he just came up with a good idea.
“Whose wrist are you talking about”
He recalled Rowaines swollen cheeks.
How dare he touch someone who belonged to him.
“If possible, it would be better if he stays in that condition for quite a while.”
That way, for a while, he wouldnt be able to work with the Emperor while scheming to get Rowaine back.
Humans were predisposed to focus on recovering their health, leaving everything behind when they are sick.
“Send over a doctor from our side to make his rate of recovery slower.”
It would be disrespectful for the Emperor to urge for his daughter when the father was on a sickbed.
If they dragged out the time, wouldnt the old man who constantly chased young women eventually give up and turn his gaze away to find a new woman
As Hyle let the blood trickle down his throat, Shedim, the demon who took the form of a serpent, squirmed out from Dimitris shadow and slithered into Hyles.
* * *
As soon as I arrived at Blois, I immediately reunited Renée and Nigel.
It was nice to meet them together again, and I gave them the gold pieces of Rowaine that I treasured very much.
It was the last consideration I could give to Renée, who was my accomplice.
“Run away, Renée.
Dont let Father catch you.”
“If it werent for you… This would really be something I could never have imagined.
Thank you, Rowaine.”
Renée hesitated a little before getting into the carriage that the butler had called, and then she grasped my hand tightly.
“I must have misunderstood you all this time.
It would have been nice if we had talked more before.
I wont forget you.
If theres anything I can help you with in the future, contact me.
Ill write to you.”
I had no idea how Renée had viewed Rowaine, but it probably wasnt a misunderstanding.
Because the real Rowaine treated Renée as an invisible person.
I just smiled awkwardly and sent off Renée.
Hoping she wouldnt be fooled and continue to be naive as she will meet more people in her life in the future.
‘Looks like everythings settled now.
Even though the urgent fires had been put out, I was relieved, yet uneasy.
Until now, I was busy adjusting to the situation, making plans, and moving to further those plans.
There had been no time for me to think about my new life.
As the Duke of Blois didnt say much, I went back to the room at the detached building to which I had been assigned before, mulling over my thoughts.
‘New life… What should I do now
Strangely, I didnt know why, but while I kept thinking about my future life, I also thought about my past life.
Memories of my life came to mind one by one—the painful memories, the dreams I wanted to reach, the things I wanted to have, the things I liked but couldnt do anymore.
Then, I suddenly realized that I had very little regrets from my previous life.
‘I cant eat tteokbokki anymore.
After my mother passed away, and after the cats that were my only attachments to that life disappeared from my reach as well, there wasnt much left in my life as Seo Eun-soo.
I wasnt hungry, but feeling strangely empty.
Because of this, I didnt head straight to my room and just wandered around the rear garden under the moonlight for now.
If I stayed in the room now, I would feel stuffy.
As I walked under the moonlit garden, the anxiety of this new, unfamiliar world subsided.
I crossed my arms and hugged myself, rubbing my shoulders with both hands and patting myself like a butterfly flapping its wings.
‘You worked hard to survive throughout your last life.
It wasnt a very happy life, but Im proud that you didnt give up.
I was encouraging the me of the past.
‘You woke up in this new world where everything was scary and unfamiliar, though you behaved really well.
You could have sat down and done nothing to change your fate in the novel, but you acted wisely and calmly.
There may have been a better method to go about it, but you did your best and Im happy with the outcome.
Well done, me.
And complimenting the me of today.
‘Im not sure how youll continue living here in the future, but Im sure youll be able to handle it.
Lets not worry too far.
Im looking forward to a few months from today, or even a few days from now.
Lets go step by step and try to live normally.
Its the same everywhere people live.
Theres no need to be afraid.
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Cheering on my future self.
After comforting myself like that, I felt much better.
My heart was moved and it also gave me some courage.
There was nothing to fear under any circumstances because Ill always support myself.
I let out a light sigh and looked back at the path I had come to get to this place.
At that moment, something rustling could be heard from somewhere.