As soon as the duke’s words were over, the long-forgotten memories came to mind as if it was just yesterday.
– If you like it, why do you say to break it and make a vase?
– No, that will be fine. It’s the most beautiful way to see the branches blooming.
Only then did I remember the name of the flower.
‘….The Ellenwork Rose.’
The duke filled the coming-of-age ceremony with apricot rose, remembering that I had said it was beautiful without actually meaning it.
I gazed at him with astonished eyes, and groped back.
“You… still remember that?”
“The only thing I remembered was this flower.”
“As a father, I didn’t even know what you like…”
When I arrived at the duke’s mansion, I called him ‘Duke’ and drew a line.
Even so, he called himself ‘father’ and muttered with a bitter face.
‘I don’t like that flower.’
I couldn’t dare say that in front of him.
As I was staring blankly at him, I barely answered.
“…I didn’t know you sent it. I’m sorry.”
“It doesn’t matter who sent it. I just hope you enjoyed seeing them.”
Immediately erasing the bitter face, he smiled.
“The food is getting cold. Come on, eat.”
The meal, which had been paused, resumed with the duke’s light call.
When I pretended to eat food after him, I kept sniffing at the him.
His wrinkled face suddenly felt so strange.
I felt weird.
I always thought that he would protect the Eckarts in a dignified and noble manner.
‘How was the old duke?’
As I recalled his former appearance, the memory stretched out to the luncheon at the garden he and I had attended.
–But… If you can, please don’t leave the duchy.
At that time, I thought I would never come back here on my own again if I killed Leila.
It was the same five years ago, when I came to say goodbye.
– I also need time and opportunity to forgive the Duke, Father.
– I can’t forgive you.
I thought I’d never forgive you.
Penelope, and the wounds I received were too great to forgive.
But now, five years later….
‘Do I still hate the people in here?’
Actually, I’m not sure.
Looking at the duke with gray hair, still treating me the same as five years ago, my heart was pounding for the first time in a long time.
“You don’t have an appetite? Would you like to stop biting and eat dessert?”
Did he notice that I’m only nibbling and not eating properly?
The Duke suddenly asked me.
I hesitated for a moment, but them shook my head without hesitation.
It wasn’t even because of morning sickness, but somehow I didn’t feel like eating more.
Soon the food was removed and tea and refreshments and melon sherbet came up on the table.
Unlike before when I had no appetite, when I saw the light green color, I immediately drooled.
I dragged the melon sherbet and began to scoop it up.
Soon after, the bottom of the crystal bowl was exposed to the spoon, and it started to make a clicking sound.
“In the capital…”
The Duke coughed in vain and opened his mouth, as if he could not bear the silence anymore.
“Are you all back now?”
Only then did I come to my senses.
When I raised my head, the Duke was staring at me with a strangely pleased look.
“Should I ask for more?”
Crazy, where do you think you are? I also lost sight of Melon Sherbet. (?)
My face warmed with embarrassment, so I quickly answered the Duke’s question.
“Yes, I’m back completely.”
Then suddenly the duke’s face became blurred.
“As soon as you got back, you’re getting married….”
“Do you need to get it done so quickly?”
When asked in a concerned voice, I looked back at the duke with a little unfamiliar eyes.
Back then, from the declaration of marriage to marriage five years ago, the duke was informed of it all.
I haven’t had much thought about telling the Eckart people about me since I got married.
Therefore, my news to Eckarts were only what Callisto announced in the Emperor’s palace.
The last time I came to the duchy under the pretext of bringing things, it was purely an act of courtesy.
In the mean time, thanks to the Eckart’s full support and protection, I was able to wander around freely for five years despite my enormous status as the emperor’s fiancee.
If only the emperor’s dogma had done so, the resistance of his people would have been much greater than now. (?)
That’s why I came here to thank you…
‘So you haven’t cut all ties after all.’
After kicking out of the room saying ‘I can’t forgive you’, I was actually under the Eckart’s protection for five years.
Even if it’s not what I wanted.
I was shocked as if I had been hit in the back by this realization.
“Why do you have to marry that son of a… Oh no, I mean, why would you marry his majesty? Huh?”
This was the oil price that I grabbed to have a small luncheon with. (I’m not sure what this means so I just put it like that)
“Why don’t you just keep living like you’ve been? Study what you want to do, explore, research…”
“If you go all over the world, you might find a much better husband. Why are you so impatient with that crazy, no, that loser, no… Ugh that black bastard!” (As if a man better than Callisto exists)
His blue eyes were still full of worries about me.
It was no longer indifferent to me, and it was not the eyes of someone who rejected me.
When called by a different title than ‘The Duke’, the face of the Duke, who answered immediately, became as bright as snow in the spring.
The affectionate look and expression of looking at his real daughter.
So, I couldn’t let this pass on just like everyone else.
The misery of knowing what happened to a member of the family, just like everyone else, maybe even later than others.
Is it necessary to make it feel like that?
Is this really revenge?
But I never saw it in such contemplation.
The color of duke’s face gradually went white.
“Just n-now… What did you say….”
With his mouth wide open, the duke, who was soaking like a guppy, made a choking sound.
“Did you… Did say you were pregnant?”
“Yeah, it just so happens to be…”
“P, preg, pregnancy?”
“Pregnancy! I, I can’t believe this, pregnancy…!!”
The Duke repeated his words with his eyes wide enough to roll out.
I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t make more eye contact and lowered my head.
And soon, I was determined to prepare for the upheaval he would make.
It was then. kkiiik!
The duke, who hadn’t said anything for a while, rose violently pushing his chair.
And looked for the butler in a hurry.
The butler burst into the dining hall at the owner’s roar.
“Ha, have you called, Duke!”
The Duke shouted straight at the called butler.
“Bring the sword! Collect all the knights!”
A sudden order left the butler’s face blank.
I also looked at the duke with astonished eyes because I couldn’t understand what he was saying.
The duke shouted loudly with his bloody neck.
“I’ll lead the soldiers to the Imperial Palace right away. I’m gonna go hit him in the neck! How dare he, towards my daughter…! Ugh!”
The duke, who was furious, suddenly grabbed the back of his neck and fell to the side.
The butler and I shouted for him at the same time.
Fortunately, the staggering duke did not fall on the floor, but was assisted by the butler and seated on the chair again.
“Pregnancy, pregnancy. You’re pregnant. Pregnancy…”
I could see how shocked he was when I saw him suffering in pain, muttering ‘pregnancy’ in public as if he were possessed.
The duke’s reaction was no different from that of the other parents, who found out their finely-raised child had violated the speed limit.
I didn’t think much when I committed the crime, but I felt solemn when I saw the duke’s tired face. (Well, you couldn’t possibly think of anything else at the moment *lenny face*)
“….Are you all right, father?”
I asked anxiously, shaking his arm slightly.
Then the duke, who was suffering with a grave face as if he were about to die, took my hand.
“Penelope, baby. Is that what he did?”
“I don’t want you to marry him. He’s a fucking asshole… You…!”
“You’ve done such a nasty thing to my golden daughter you son of a bitch…!”
It was then that the duke, who couldn’t speak, started to cry with tears in his eyes.
I just opened my mouth.
Of course, I thought the Duke would be angry if he knew, but I never expected him to cry like this.
That nasty thing… I couldn’t say that I was drunk and did it first.
At the same time that I felt sorry for the Duke, I also felt guilty towards Callisto, who had become a ‘pitiful bastard’.
“I shouldn’t have put him on the throne, uh… Butler, butler… The military…”
The Duke could hardly keep his head up in tears and kept saying nonsense.
It was at the moment. The butler, who was assisting the Duke, suddenly looked after me with a determined look.
“Do not worry, lady. Until the Duke and the young master return from external training, I will take military command on behalf of the Duke.”
“What? What the hell is that supposed to mean…”
“The Eckart’s mansion is designed to serve as a fortress in case of an emergency. There’s enough food, so if you go to the defense system, you’ll be free for a month. And as soon as the lads return, we will advance to the palace.”
“Stop! No! It’s not like that!”
At the butler’s serious voice I shook my head wildly and exclaimed.
“I hit him first because he was so handsome!”
The Duke, butler, and all the servants who were listening to us, looked back at me with a stunned look.
A cold silence came upon as if someone had poured ice on the garden.
I could feel my face exploding.
In the end, I managed to stop the duke’s treason and return to the palace only after soothing the duke by saying that I would come often with my child.
That’s how my confession of pregnancy ended.
Two months later, the national wedding of the emperor and empress took place in a rich late fall.
People praised it as the biggest wedding ever.
And in early spring, when the new buds started to grow again,
Like an angel to me, no.
A dragon-like baby came.