I had no idea how I managed to leave the mansion and end up here. It was a wonder that I even remembered to bring the little box Lancellot gave me.
Siella entered the room with a forced smile. Lena greeted her with a surprised look, and next to her, Nina handed over Siella’s simple luggage in her hand.
“Are you alright? Your complexion doesn’t look really well….”
Lena said, concern evident in her voice as she carefully led Siella to the bed. As Siella walked over to the bed and sat down with a dazed expression, Nina put her hand on her forehead without warning.
She looked serious before saying, “You have a fever.”
“… Is that so?”
“Mm, her temperature’s very high.”
But I made a promise with Edwin that I would stay healthy, happy and not get sick. What should I do if I am already sick?
Siella swallowed a bitter laugh and gently shook her head. She had endured much worse pain in her life and had lived well with them.
Siella muttered in a low voice, unsure who she was talking to. She looked back at Lena then at Nina.
“By the way, I made you worried and came so late. Sorry for that.”
“But you’re not well. Your forehead is burning now….”
Hearing Nina muttering to herself, Siella smiled at her as if telling her that she was fine this time as well. Lena, who had been quietly watching this, spoke in a calm voice.
“Since our schedule to leave had been already pushed back, I think it’s best we leave after Siella’s fully recovered.”
“No, I’m really fine, so let’s go to Jenard right away.”
We’ve lost enough time as it is. Siella shook her head firmly. But Lena looked at her as if Siella would collapse at any moment, so she discouraged her from leaving right away.
“You can get really sick. You shouldn’t push yourself and take it slow….”
“I think I can only breathe if we leave this place.”
“Please.” Siella said in a pleading voice. “This place… is so suffocating.”
Lena couldn’t say anything more. But that didn’t mean that it was too risky for Siella to leave right away just as she wanted.
It was for this reason that Nina, who had been silent, spoke up.
“Let’s do what Siella says, Lena,” Nina said with an unusually serious expression on her face, “I also feel suffocated, and I don’t want to stay here any longer.”
“Let’s go to Jenard.”
After Nina agreed with Siella, there was nothing Lena could do.
“Alright, then. I’ve already put all our luggage into the carriage.”
Swallowing a sigh, Lena forced a smile and nodded.
Once inside the carriage, it was only in an instant and they were outside the Duchy. They passed through the checkpoint and it felt like nothing. It was only when the carriage was far away from the Duchy that Siella plucked up the courage to open the window.
A cold breeze streamed in and ruffled her hair. Looking out the window, the Duke’s mansion was so far away that it looked like a tiny toy castle. It was amazing to see a huge mansion that looked this small.
So I lived in a place that looked small. I’ve been living in such a small place and didn’t have the courage to venture outside.
“I should have left like this a long time ago….”
Neither Nina nor Lena could say anything in response to Siella’s muttering. In their eyes, Siella looked so exhausted. Her body was as skinny as a thin tree branch, and it seemed like it wouldn’t be able to withstand the long journey ahead. But they couldn’t bear to tell Siella to think twice before leaving, not when she had the most on her mind.
Siella couldn’t tear away her eyes from the view outside the window. She continued to stare out the window in silence, as if there was something interesting outside.
Even when their carriage finally came to a complete stop at the nearby Baron’s castle after a long day of traveling, she was aimlessly staring out of the window.
(T/N: Finally, she’s out. Now, I just need to know who’s the ML [quietly erased Eschert’s name from the character list])
[Dear Lord of Nocturm, Duke Eschert.
The days are slowly turning warmer. I have carefully read the reply you sent me last time, but I wrote a letter again in hopes that the Duke would reconsider it. No matter how much I think about it, there’s something I don’t understand.
I find it difficult to fathom your deliberations to cut off our connections. My request is simple and unreasonable, and I don’t see why you would refuse. As I have reiterated many times and you also know very well, the woman with whom you made a vow of marriage before God is a wicked person who has greatly hindered my grand plans.
I have heard of the woman who had taken up a place in the frozen heart of the Duke, who is as cold as the wind on the winter’s day, so I have no doubt that what I ask of you is for your own good. Wouldn’t this be a golden opportunity to remove that crude stone from your side and place a precious jewel in its place? I think you know better than anyone what I am talking about, having written to you many times before. You also know that I am a man who never forgets a favor; conversely, you also know that I am a man who never forgets a grudge. So I am asking you to please reconsider.
In the meantime, I will wait for a positive answer different from the previous ones I received before. With all the affection of the gentle spring that will soon be upon us,
Eschert slowly read the letter he had already read several times. After a moment, he stuffed the letter back into the envelope and slid it into the drawer. He sat there for a long time; his eyes tightly closed.
He remembered Siella’s words. The more he thought about the contents of the letter from Second Prince Cassius, the more Siella’s words became painful.
[“Organize the mansion, and get rid of your delusional notion that only people who follow you are here.”]
[“You should know very well that you cannot protect the person by your side without making any effort.”]
It was just as Siella said. The letter he received today made that even clearer.
This mansion had long been a hiding place for the eyes and ears of the Second Prince Cassius. Otherwise, it would be impossible for Cassius, living in the Imperial Palace at the distant capital, to be aware of Camellia’s existence as quickly as he did.
Cassius must have already heard of the continuous conflict between Eschert and Siella, hence he sent a letter once again at a time when their relationship was strained. There was no mistaking it. Eschert could see right through Cassius’ dark motives. That’s why Cassius’ constant requests of cooperation these days were just plain ridiculous.
Cassius had been wrong for a long time. Unlike Cassius who was looking for an opportunity, Eschert had no intention of killing Siella. Not only did he have no desire to do so, but….
Eschert shook himself out of his thoughts and stood up. A quick glance outside the window showed that it was already the middle of the night.
[“Maybe that’s why my waiting became all too familiar with you.”]
Siella’s voice, speaking in a tone of resignation, suddenly appeared in Eschert’s mind. And then he recalled what he had said in response as he turned his back.
[“Let’s call it a day for now and talk again later tonight.”]
Once again, I told her to talk about it in the evening. I clearly remembered saying that with my own mouth, but now… it was already the middle of the night. And it had been more than a week ago today that I had that conversation with Siella.
Eschert’s face hardened as he stared out at the pitch-black night sky outside the glass window. Eschert stood there in a daze, before he managed to pull himself together and hurried out of his office.
However, it wasn’t Siella that greeted him as he made his way to her bedroom. It was Patrick, the Head Butler, that told him Siella had left the mansion some time ago, alone and hadn’t returned since then.
Confused, Eschert stood blankly in front of Siella’s empty bedroom.
[“So let’s not run into each other even by chance.”]
Her words that day finally hit him now. He then heard a loud crash deep in his chest. It was the sound of something that had been broken for a long time, but was barely hanging on, and finally collapsed.
(T/N: They say, ‘Regrets are always at the end.’ Eschert deserved this (it’s not that I took pleasure at other people’s misfortune) because he didn’t cherish Siella enough for her to stay by his side. So let’s not do what Eschert did, or we will be left with lots of regrets in our life.)