Translator: Skye Editor: herkawaiidramas
* * *
Max turned his head, his face looking stiff.
‘Why isn’t she coming?’
He eagerly stared at the tightly closed doors, holding slight hope that Juvellian would open and walk through them. However, there was no sign of the woman’s presence.
Max furrowed his brows at the confused voice that called for him.
‘Why am I…’
Despite his multiple attempts to move his body, he remained in place. He couldn’t ignore the thought that the woman might go looking for him if he disappeared without a word.
“Wait outside for a moment,” he ordered to his subordinate, who gave him a strange look in return before silently leaving the room. When his presence disappeared from the room completely, Max gave a deep sigh.
‘I can’t believe I’m doing something like this….’
He walked over to the woman’s desk, grabbed a piece of paper and a pen, and began to write something down. His face uncharacteristically loosened into a softened expression.
‘This should be enough.’
* * *
When I returned to my room I noticed that it was awfully silent.
‘Mm, he must be hiding.’
Admiring his initiative, I walked over to the closet where I assumed my father’s apprentice would be hiding.
‘I hope he’s not annoyed because I took so long….Huh?’
I opened the closet door like usual, but instead of seeing a man glaring at me in discontent like I had expected, all I saw were clothes — there was no grumpy man in sight.
‘Is he hiding somewhere else?’
Thinking so, I started searching for him in my dressing room but he was nowhere to be found.
‘Where did he go? I have a lot of things to think about as it is….’
I moved to put down the letter I was holding, walking over to my desk. There, I noticed a note of some kind in the center.
‘Hm? What’s this?’
Picking it up, I frowned as I scrutinized the paper.
‘Oh, this is terrible handwriting. A cat could write better than this.’
I squinted my eyes, trying to decipher what was written.
<Don’t look for me even if I’m not here. I’ll visit again when the time comes.>
I unconsciously let out a sigh and mumbled, “I never told you to come again though…”
I walked over to the sofa he had been occupying till now. Laying on my side, I noticed that it hadn’t yet lost his body heat — it was warm and comfortable.
‘I’ve finally reclaimed my spot.’
I felt like I had finally gotten my peace and quiet back.
‘What does he mean by ‘visit again when the time comes’?’
I was a bit bothered by the message he left, but the thought passed as quickly as it came.
‘Well, he would come to see my father so those were most likely just empty words. He doesn’t have any business with me anyway.’
I sported a slight frown when I felt a sudden headache.
‘Haaa, I’m….so tired.’
I was worried about how to avoid the disaster that suddenly appeared and threatened my future.
‘What am I going to do?’
My mind was full of concerns, but the fatigue that took over my whole body was much stronger. I decided to stop fighting and let my eyes close on their own.
* * *
As Max departed from the mansion at a rapid pace, he became sensitive to his surroundings as his whole body regained the tension that he had lost the past few days.
‘It’s back to normal.’
Max stopped in his tracks.
‘Would she have read the letter by now?’
He turned to look back at the mansion. Only when the white marble building came into view did Max realize what he was doing and scowled.
It was certainly out of character for him to leave a letter.
‘Why did I do that?’
Since childhood, carelessness had always been associated with death, so Max found himself always living on the edge. Yet, for some strange reason, the tension in his body had unwittingly loosened — he felt relaxed — while staying in Juvellian’s room the past couple of days.
‘If no one came to find me, I might’ve stayed there without a second thought.’
It was an incomprehensible change in how he usually felt — it was as if he were under some kind of magic spell. He contemplated over what could’ve caused the change but soon brushed it aside.
‘Let’s just go back for now. There are other matters I need to resolve first.’
Kicking the ground again with his long legs, Max moved briskly towards his destination.
* * *
IV. Your Partner Is Who?
‘Huh, why is it so bright?’
I was surprised when I glanced at the clock. I had only meant to rest for a little while but I never thought that I’d fall into a deep sleep. My father’s apprentice relied on me for meals so I was confused he didn’t wake me up.
‘He must’ve been hungry so why didn’t he wake me….Oh.’
To think I would automatically look for someone who had already left–habits were quite scary.
‘But if he left this abruptly without a word, does it mean he found a place to stay?’
I had some money for travel expenses set aside for him that I had planned on giving him when he was ready to leave. I didn’t think he’d leave so suddenly without saying anything.
‘Still, he should’ve at least said goodbye.’
I sighed at the sudden feeling of disappointment, but then let out a bitter laugh.
‘No, we’re just strangers.’ Although I tried to think about it in that way, it would be a lie to say that I didn’t feel a little empty. I let out another sigh as I tried to pull myself together.
‘First, I need to take care of the more important problem.’
I ended up staying up all night brainstorming ideas, but couldn’t think of any effective solutions.
‘Ah, I have no idea what to do…’
In a state of great anxiety, I was letting out sighs of defeat when I heard the voice of my maid.
“Milady, it’s Marilyn.”
I got up from my bed and walked over to open the door, “Good morning.”
“Good morning, milady. Ah….”
Marilyn looked surprised as she tried to say hello, and even stammered when she continued, “M-Milady, your complexion doesn’t look too good. Are you feeling alright?”
‘Hm? My complexion?’
I was confused for a moment but then recalled the fact that I had stayed up all night.
‘Oh, right…I didn’t get any sleep so I probably have severe dark circles.’
Not wanting my maid to worry needlessly, I spoke with a smile. “Yes, I’m fine.”
Honestly I was disturbed about the matchmaking, but I made an effort to look unperturbed so that Marilyn wouldn’t find any irregularities in my behavior.
‘Speaking of which, when is father going to return? I hope it won’t be any time soon…’
It’d be a big problem if my father returned before I’m able to prepare some kind of solution. Just imagining it made me shiver as I spoke, “Hey, Marilyn. Was there any word about when Father would be returning?”
Marilyn flinched at my question and bowed her head deeply, “I don’t think he’ll be returning for at least another two days, milady.”
I felt a wave of relief wash over me.
‘Good, let’s not be hasty. There’s still some time.’
I allowed myself to relax a little, assured that I had some more time left.
* * *
These days the servants were extremely concerned over Juvellian’s sudden change in behavior — living in seclusion in her room.
‘The lady has become strange.’
Although Juvellian had always been someone who mainly stayed in her room, she still went about her business actively around the house. Yet, in these past few days, she had refused to come out of her room and prohibited the servants from coming near it. This behavior was definitely out of the ordinary.
The butler, who had been deep in worry, sighed.
‘Yes…she’s been like this ever since His Grace left for his training.’
It was already the fifth day since Duke Floyen had been away from the mansion, and his expected return was only getting further delayed.
All the servants of the mansion were walking on eggshells around Juvellian and talked carefully amongst themselves, worried that she may return to her old self.
‘His Grace needs to hurry and return…’
The butler let out another sigh when Mrs Ferris, the head housekeeper, came to find him.
“Derrick, is His Grace still expected to return in two days?”
“Yes, that’s right. But why do you ask…?”
“The truth is, Lady Juvellian’s personal maid told me that she was being strange today,” Mrs. Ferris sighed.
“The lady was being strange? What do you mean…”
Mrs. Ferris looked at Derrick, whose eyes were shaking, and spoke, “She said that the lady’s face was reduced to skin and bones when she asked her about the Duke’s expected return.”
The butler had no choice but to be alarmed. Wasn’t this similar to that day back then?
<Derrick, why isn’t Father coming?>
His heart still ached whenever he recalled the image of a younger Juvellian with tearful purplish-blue eyes.
‘He* shouldn’t have done that back then.’ 
Feeling regret for the past, Derrick let out a deep sigh before responding. “I’ll inform His Grace immediately.”
Mrs. Ferris nodded her head, letting out a sigh of her own. “Yes, please do.”
* * *
As a breeze came in through a gap in the open windows, Marilyn stared at the figure of her master who was sighing while reading on the sofa. Juvellian’s face had lost most of its radiance, but it couldn’t completely wash away her beauty.
‘My lady, are you like that because you miss the Duke?’
The sight of her weary master was so pitiful that Marilyn spoke as carefully as she could.
“Milady, the weather is quite nice today.”
“It seems so.”
But her dull reply caused Marilyn to look at her with even more pity.
‘That’s right, this is the first time I’ve seen her look so lifeless.”
Marilyn had grown fond of Juvellian who had become much more friendlier recently. But seeing her look so weak and worn out, Marilyn felt suffocated with worry.
‘I want to help her in some way.’
She knew that it may have been a presumptuous thought and that Juvellian may even get angry, but Marilyn couldn’t sit still just watching her master sitting there so listless.
“How do you feel about going on a walk, milady? I’m sure you’ll feel better when you take a stroll under the warm sunlight.”
At Marilyn’s suggestion, Juvellian turned to stare at her maid. It was a tranquil stare but it still made Marilyn nervous.
‘Oh no, what should I do if she gets angry?’
Although she had spoken with courage just a moment ago, Marilyn was still afraid that Juvellian would get angry — her master was someone with a rather fickle personality after all. She remained in that anxious state as Juvellian’s red lips finally parted and broke the silence.
Marilyn was left dumbfounded at Juvellian’s remark, agreeing to go out on a walk in the garden without any complaint.
‘Huh? She agreed so easily..’
Then, Juvellian spoke again. “I think it’s because I’ve only been staying indoors, but I feel quite stuffy.”
At the words that came out weakly, Marilyn suddenly recalled the image of a younger Juvellian.
<I hate being home. My father isn’t even here…I’m all alone.>
T/N:  그때, 그러지 말았어야 했어 — the korean wording is ambiguous, it’s unclear if the butler is referring to something he himself did or if it was her father but guess we’ll find out later (:
thanks to hazelnothazelnut for this chapter’s raws!
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