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“The present has arrived.”
While Leonis was in the Oval Office, the Duke’s mansion hall was filled with the imposing gifts sent for Celia. Leonis worked hard because Celia didn’t like him slacking off.
He needed to finish his work quickly in order to spend more time with Celia.
Even so, he didn’t want to take things lightly. Nothing could be more annoying for Leonis, who has been a perfect Duke since he was a child. Leonis had to become a perfect Duke even more because of the curse.
Only then he could stand shoulder to shoulder with the capital’s aristocrats, proving his noble blood.
‘As long as I have Celia… It may not be necessary.’
He could feel the curse curling up inside him after he had sex with her, as if surprised by something. He hoped the curse would leave his body as soon as possible, but it didn’t work no matter how much times he had sex with Celia.
It was unfortunate, but it’s been great so far.
Even if a child born from Celia and his own blood inherits the curse, they will not be swayed by it. Or, fortunately, a child who did not inherit the curse may be born.
‘It would be great if we could solve this curse problem before we have children….’
But there has to be some imperial intervention. So Leonis kept a secret that his curse had been softened by his intimacy with Celia.
“How does my wife feel?”
Leonis asked about Celia’s reaction after she received the gift while pretending to be calm in front of her. Then his servant opened his mouth, as if he was waiting for the question.
“She seems to be very happy. She admired each item as she opened it one by one. As far as I know, she tried on the dress and put on a hairpin. ”
Leonis was pleased with it, even though he did not express it clearly. He had given them as a gift, but it was the first time he had anticipated the recipient’s reaction.
He couldn’t believe that Celia liked it.
He desperately wanted to throw away his trivial work and meet her right away.
“…There is not much left now, Duke.”
Leonis nodded and shifted his gaze to the papers. It was even harder to come back to work after seeing Celia for a moment.
Even though things didn’t work out, Leonis persevered. He’d be able to see Celia again soon.
✦ ✦ ✦
About half of the gifts and the clothes Leonis sent went into the dressing room, but the rest were packed. Since the Imperial Family invited her to attend the banquet, she must go up to the capital soon.
Duke Leonis had already packed all of his belongings.
Celia examined the newly arrived dresses and jewels, and directed them to be loaded onto the carriage.
The maids seemed to expect that they would be able to follow the ducal couple to the capital. Without a certain amount of wealth, it was difficult to even dream of traveling in this world. It would take all they had to go on a trip like this because they were employed by the noble family.
Celia had spent some time at the Duke’s residence and had decided who would accompany her.
Some of them were meticulous with their hair, others were skilled at reading people’s moods, and still others were skilled at pouring tea. Furthermore, some people have an easygoing and kind personality, and simply conversing with them makes people feel better.
Of course, Edna was not among them.
Whether it was her hobby to only approach men who already had a lover, Edna was being secretly ostracized from among the maids. However, Edna was favored by some of the male servants.
‘You can’t just go to the capital and create a problem…..’
Celia was considering finding her a job in one of the Cardian Duchy’s lower-rank noble families if possible. She had to provide her with a way to live as long as she didn’t commit a big sin.
Because the number of people who could go to the capital was limited. Celia stated that they would accompany her on the next trip.
It stemmed from the notion that the trip would be easier if she had a good relationship with Leonis, who is now unaffected by the curse. The maids didn’t seem to believe it much, but they did seem to expect the generous Duchess to buy something from the capital for them.
Leonis, who had rushed to finish the work after hearing about the gift, entered the dressing room. Celia had unpacked all of the gifts he had sent and greeted him with a cheerful smile.
She was happy with his gift, but she was even more pleased that Leonis had put so much effort into it.
Leonis’ face also fell apart when he saw Celia’s happiness. He tried hard to put a stern expression like the ‘Duke’s face’ he usually wears, but it was clear that he was satisfied.
All of the servants who had been assigned to carry the luggage looked happy. Edna was the only one who pouted her lips from afar.
“Thank you very much for all of this.”
Leonis grabbed Celia’s shoulder and kissed her on the forehead in response to her words. It was a pleasant atmosphere, but one of the servants approached cautiously.
“Madam. The letter has arrived.”
There was no one to send a letter to. The Marchioness, who had been heartbroken by Celia’s marriage, would be sick and lying in bed, and Marquis Montague would try to give Celia the cold shoulder because it was her marriage.
A brightly colored envelope caught her eye as the servant held out the tray. Lily Montague was written in fancy letters on the outside of the envelope.
Lily had already escaped the Empire, so how did she send a letter? Is it possible that she failed to escape and was apprehended again?
Celia became agitated and stepped away from Leonis, grabbing the letter. When she checked again, she found Lily’s obnoxious signature.
‘It’s not Lily’s signature.’
Lily was the illegitimate daughter of Marquis Montague. Even if she was an illegitimate child, she was a daughter of the Marquis, and because Celia stood behind her, Celia treated Lily as a member of the Marquis family, but she was conscious of the eyes around her.
That was why she couldn’t use this fancy font. She even had to fix her handwriting.
Only then did she feel that Lily did not resemble her shallow biological mother, as the tone of an illegitimate child did not follow.
Celia didn’t like Lily from the beginning either. No child would welcome the evidence that her father had betrayed her mother.
She tried to act as if she didn’t know at first, but she thought it was too much. Lily then clutched Celia as if she were clinging to her lifeline.
Celia only thought that a young child would do anything to survive, and refused to give her side. Caring for Lily was considered as betraying her mother.
Still, she couldn’t shake the hand that was desperately clinging to her. It was heartbreaking, and she sighed at his father’s indifference.
The adult was at fault, and she was resentful that the innocent child had been treated so harshly. Lily was the only person in the original who didn’t betray Celia until the very end.
Even her lover Fabian had betrayed her, her father Marquis Montague had abandoned her and her mother was also in her own sorrows and pretended not to know Celia, but only Lily thought of her even after her death.
The ending of the novel was ruinous, but Celia didn’t blame Lily for it. All she did was leave a painful scar on Leonis, the man responsible for Celia’s death.
It was difficult to see how Leonis killing the Imperial Family and committing suicide was Lily’s fault. Finally, the empire was destroyed by a crazy princess who was cursed.
‘Strange. Why did the letter come in Lily’s name?’
Celia found a smaller envelope inside the envelope when she opened it. Celia’s face hardened when she saw the pure white envelope.
The envelope smelled like Fabian’s favorite perfume. It was a perfume for women, but for that reason, it became a favorite perfume for Celia.
“Did your half sister send you a letter?”
Leonis didn’t tell Celia, but he knew that her half sister had run away. It seemed that Marquis Montague was grinding his teeth.
Because Lily was an illegitimate child, the Marquis didn’t care about her, but he needed her because he sent Celia to Duke Cardian.
Leonis knew all this but he hid it.
It was because he was afraid of pouring cold water into the situation when Celia was having a good time. He also assumed she wouldn’t get along with Celia because she was an illegitimate child who didn’t show up at the wedding.
“I know, she’s not this sweet….”
Lily could have written a letter if she had managed to run away and gained an unavoidable background with the Marquis Montague’s power. But it was not possible in such a short period of time.
It was obvious that this letter was not…..
“Do you want me to read it for you?”
Leonis was suspicious of Celia’s letter, so he inquired. Celia hesitated, but it was certain that this letter had been sent by Fabian.
Can I show this to Leonis?
He was obsessed with Lily in the novel and had many doubts. Celia thought Leonis’ behavior was inappropriate, but she wanted to trust him.
“All right. Duke, please read it.”
Celia’s strange expression persuaded Leonis that she was guessing who the sender was. It couldn’t possibly have come from Celia’s half-sister.
The servant quickly left the room as Leonis turned his gaze to the surroundings, leaving only one servant inside. Edna was intrigued and wanted to stay, but another maid grabbed her arm and pulled her out.
The servant reached out an envelope knife to Leonis after Edna had left the room. The servant then walked away, leaving a tray of envelope knives and letters on one side of the table.
Leonis ripped the envelope open with his hands. Celia was sitting on a nearby sofa, her face expressionless.
Leonis’ breathing was mingled with the sound of the letter unfolding. Leonis’s breath seemed to get rough for a moment as he read the letter.
[Even asking for your well-being would seem deceptive to you.
I know how much you hate me and how much you resent me. But Celia, the path you wished for didn’t have a future.
You know what the words of the lovers who ran away after refusing the Emperor’s orders were.
If you die with me, you might have said that death would be sweet… Celia, I didn’t want to make you die on the street.]
As he skimmed the letter with his eyes, Leonis’ face hardened coldly. He already knew that Celia was in love with her ex fiancée, Fabian.
How Fabian, who had been ordered by the Emperor, deceived Celia. He also knew that Celia suffered enough to choose death.
Leonis felt his face contorted with anger. Celia was reclining on the sofa near him, but he couldn’t control his expression.