Translator: Latte Editor: Sasha
Princess Larissa decided to tour the mansion with the intention of meeting Elody. She was a bit surprised when she heard about Count Defore’s investigation on the magic tool. It turns out, the communication device was not in poor condition and much less shattered.
Though the case was closed, Princess Larissa still doubted the duchess. Thus, she wanted to gather more information about her by striking up a conversation. However, as she was about to go to the laboratory, she accidentally crossed paths with the Duke of Cernoir.
“Your Grace!” Princess Larissa greeted him with a curtsy.
She was thrilled to have met him as this was the first time she had seen him ever since the welcoming banquet.
The duke was as dashing as ever. He was really attractive. His tall figure, sturdy physique, luscious red lips, and his mysterious gaze.
Princess Larissa was intrigued to know more about him. The duke was very charming, but there was a dangerous aura surrounding him as well, and sometimes… when she gazed into his eyes, she could see a feeling of sorrow deep inside his heart.
That was why, even if he were a bit cold to her, Larissa still wanted to get closer to him. She wanted to help mend his broken heart, even if it was just a bit.
Unfortunately for her…
“I almost forgot, Your Highness was residing here,” he said with an indifferent gaze.
Disregarding his previous comment, the princess spoke, “I… was on my way to meet the duchess.”
Caville was bedazzled. He wondered if she was the reason why Elody had been avoiding him these days.
‘When did they become close?’
He suddenly had a bad feeling.
“I am also on my way to meet my wife.”
That word made Larissa’s heart skip a beat.
She imagined what it would be like if the Duke of Cernoir had called her that instead.
“But why are you looking for my wife?”
“Oh! I wanted to ask her something,” she answered, smiling.
‘Was the relationship between the ducal couple always this good?’
Princess Larissa recalled the stories that Carolina had told her…
“Your Highness! I looked into it. The duchess and the duke sleep in separate rooms.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes! That means their relationship can’t be too well! This is an excellent opportunity for you, Your Highness! If at some point, you meet His Grace the Duke, you should ask him to teach you the ancient language!”
Hearing her words, Larissa was filled with hope. It seemed as though things would work out just fine. She thought that if she managed to expose the duchess’s corruption, the Duke of Cernoir would finally be able to escape from his unhappy marriage, forgetting the wounds and sorrows of his past.
“Your Grace, I have something I wanted to tell you… could you give me just a little bit of your time?”
“What is it?”
Caville decided to listen to her just in case it was about Elody. Besides, he had already planned to send the princess back so that he could spend his time alone with his wife.
He didn’t want anyone to interrupt his time with his wife tonight since it was finally time for him to have a heart to heart conversation with her.
* * *
Meanwhile, Elody had been staying inside the laboratory all day. However, she wasn’t conducting any research at all.
Ever since Princess Larissa had come to the mansion, Elody hadn’t been able to sleep a wink. She was seamlessly anxious about something she shouldn’t even have to worry about, and she didn’t know why.
The constant feeling of envy and guilt continued to torture her as her heart felt heavier and heavier by each passing day.
She knew she had to leave soon, but it was difficult to talk with Caville. Or rather, it was a bit uncomfortable for her to be near him…
Caville seemed very emotional after the Temple returned her letters, but… he didn’t even try to see her at all yesterday.
Because of that, it was unavoidable that Elody would feel disappointed.
Nonetheless, she had to learn to accept it. The time had finally come for her to leave since the princess was here. But somehow, she didn’t want to…
Elody’s feet did not seem to want to move even an inch out of this place, and seeing the princess hold such prejudice against herself made her desire to stay grow even bigger.
‘Why does she think of me like that? Why is she so suspicious of me?’
Maybe, just maybe…
The princess subconsciously knew that she was a villain. Someone that could potentially kill her!
But, the thing was that she had changed. She wasn’t the same person as that villainess from the book. Elody had already taken a different path from the storyline, yet, the princess still felt some sort of hostility towards her…
Since then, every day for her was like walking on thin ice. She had completely lost her appetite, and she didn’t even have the urge to sleep. Whenever she closed her eyes, she would remember the horrible future where she would have to leave the mansion and let Caville be happily in love with the princess.
It was a nightmare.
Thus, today, Elody decided to clear her thoughts in the lab and calm her anxiety, but… it was to no avail.
‘I should just go back to my room and rest…’
Before her depression worsened, she thought that the best solution was to discuss this with Caville and quickly get it over with.
Meaning… Elody was planning to leave as soon as possible.
* * *
On her way to the mansion, Elody noticed two familiar people conversing with each other. She soon stopped her tracks when their figures came to her line of sight.
‘That’s… Caville and the princess?’
The two were attractive individuals. So when Elody saw them together like that underneath the enchanting moonlight. She could not help but feel as if they were made for each other.
‘Ah, they look good together. But…’
However, it was strange.
Her feelings were strange.
The two looked like a perfect couple. Yet, there was this unstoppable ache deep inside her heart. Why did she feel this way? What was causing her to feel so much misery?
At that moment, Larissa smiled beautifully and tucked her hair behind her ear. She was so stunning that those who laid their eyes upon her would not hesitate to fall in love.
Her heart sank.
She finally knew what that feeling was…
It was envy.
Elody clenched her fists. She immediately ran back towards the mansion to hide her overwhelming emotions. She couldn’t stand watching them anymore.
A few days ago, she had also experienced the same feeling when she saw Larissa getting along quite nicely with the knights.
Elody knew well that the knights hated her, though she did not have the slightest clue about the reason.
Nevertheless, the young duchess just accepted it mindlessly, thinking that maybe, it was already her destiny.
On the other hand, the charming princess was loved by all, accepted by even those with the most stubborn perception of others.
Elody felt terrible.
In her heart crept a fit of jealousy that never slept. Her fears and insecurities kept consuming her and she didn’t know how to make it stop.
‘What if I become someone that’s just like the original villainess?’
She was afraid.
She was terrified of falling into the depths of the black abyss.
The thought was so terrifying that it started to suffocate her.
Though… unlike the novel. She had loved Caville as if he was her younger brother.
But, despite everything, she was nothing but a mere secondary character, and apparently, she had made no difference to the plot of the story.
Elody and Caville had been separated for seven years, and by the time Caville met Larissa. He must have fallen in love with her on the battlefield. She was well aware of that, so she thought that she would naturally come to accept it when the princess came.
But… she still felt uncomfortable. It was difficult to accept facts that had already been decided. And now, she was afraid of her own emotions. She didn’t know what she would do if those feelings actually caused her to become someone like the original villainess.
At the end of the dark path, she began to see her future; she would make a potion to hurt the princess. However, it meant that Caville would end up suffering more than the original male lead. He would have to kill Elody, someone who was just like a sister to him.
It would have been terribly painful to murder someone he considered family!
Elody didn’t want that.
She didn’t want to cause misery in his life.
He was her purpose in life in the first place. Everything she had done up till now was for him. She would never have the heart to make him suffer in pain.
After a while, Elody finally entered her chambers.
With trembling hands, she carefully checked the luggage she had previously packed. She couldn’t stay in the mansion feeling like this. If at one moment, she lost control of herself, she could ruin everyone’s lives.
Therefore, until she managed to calm her mind, she had to leave the castle.
Being devoured by her anguish, her fate was to become a villain eventually. And she didn’t want to die miserably at Caville’s hands, who had adored her all his life.
Thus, Elody walked out of her room with her luggage in hand, leaving a small note on the desk, reporting that she would be traveling for some time.
She didn’t know where to go since she didn’t even have any plans, but she couldn’t keep doing this anymore.
She had to leave.
* * *
“Your Grace, would you be so kind as to teach me the ancient language?” Larissa spoke, giving him a coy smile.
“Why does Your Highness need to do that?”
“I want to learn magic too… So that I could be of help inside this mansion. I feel uncomfortable staying here without doing anything helpful, so I was just wondering if—”
“I don’t know. I’m not good at teaching other people.”
At his cold response, Larissa’s expression grew sullen.
“It’s getting late. You should go back to your room. Should I ask a knight to escort you back?”
“No, that’s alright. It’s not that far. I can just walk back with my maid,” Princess Larissa spoke while waving her hands.
“But, if I may ask… Can Your Grace spare me some of your time tomorrow? I would really like it if we could have tea together.”
Caville stared at her with a serious look on his face.
At first, he believed that the idea of him getting married to the princess was nothing more than the emperor’s intention to gain more political power. He thought that the princess was simply a tool for him to use and did not share the same opinion of marrying him and whatnot.
But it turns out he was wrong.
Of course, during his time on the battlefield, the princess had shown a tiny bit of interest in him, but he thought that it was just that- curiosity.
However, now, it was clear that it wasn’t so.
Caville noticed something when he observed the princess. She would sometimes look awkward, demure, and coy, even going as far as attempting to hide that obvious blush on her face behind her fingers.
Truthfully, it was a similar expression that Caville had whenever he was near his wife. It was honestly a bit embarrassing for him when he saw the princess like that.
Perhaps that was why his wife did not feel comfortable with him.
‘What should I do?’
But first things first, Caville had to make things clear. He had no intention to marry her whatsoever, and he wanted her to know that as a fact.
“I’m going to make things clear…” Caville spoke with a frown on his face.
“I have zero intention of getting divorced.”
Seeing Larissa’s sunken expression, Caville continued his words with a cold tone.
“Even if I die. I will never divorce my wife.”