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The servants and maids in the mansion grasped the general situation because the Duke and Duchess did not come out of their bedroom. They had guessed it from the time the Duke personally escorted the Duchess inside the mansion.
‘I can’t believe he fell in love with a woman!’
There were rumors circulating that this might be the case since he took away someone else’s fiancée. However, when he took the fainted bride at the wedding ceremony and immediately tracked down the monsters right away, it was widely speculated that there was another reason.
But looking at it now, it did look like a husband who fell into the dream of his honeymoon!
It was the same with the Duke’s attitude towards his wife. He didn’t leave her side for a second, and he was always considerate of her, looking at her to see if she was uncomfortable and flirting with her.
As a result, the mansion’s servants and maids began to treat the Duchess with cautiousness. It was not because she was the hostess of Duke Cardian, but she was the one who is loved by the scary Duke.
Therefore, when the Duchess ordered them to prepare to go out, the servants moved swiftly.
Today was the day the Duke would make a visit to the Emperor. He should have gone with the Duchess because he had only recently married, but Leonis went alone.
He was worried about what the Emperor would say to Celia.
Celia did not take much of Leonis’ stance toward going to the Imperial Palace alone. She had her own plans.
“…I will go to the Marquis of Montague.”
No one thought it was strange because the Marquis of Montague was Celia’s family.
Marquis Montague seems to have been keen to track down his second daughter after she ran away from home. On the other hand, Marchioness Montague’s condition was unknown after the marriage of her eldest daughter.
It was rumored that she was shocked when she saw Duke Cardian take her daughter from the wedding hall.
‘It must be a feigned illness…But I have to check Marquis Montague’s secret library.’
The Marquis’ reading room was one of Celia’s favorite spaces.
However, she did not know about the location of the secret library in the original story. It was only in the middle of the original story that it was mentioned that Lily learned about it through information she had obtained.
After arriving at Duke Cardian’s mansion, Celia had her close maid meet Phoebe, Celia’s previous maid. From Phoebe, she had learned about Marquis Montague’s condition, as well as when he would arrive.
Phoebe calmly told the story when it became clear that she was the maid sent by Celia. She told her that the Marquis of Montague had been away more often in the past few days.
As Celia had suspected, the Marchioness’ illness was just fake. She was just lying in bed, having heard bad things about her from the ladies at social gatherings and tea parties.
She had been hysterical in bed for several days, and Phoebe said that she had been running around the mansion and bullying the servants.
‘Everyone misses you.’
Ramona Montague was always easily irritated, and it was Celia’s job to calm her down. Lily didn’t dare talk to her because she would often be slapped if she stepped up.
When the butler said the carriage was ready, Celia walked down the stairs. She had no intention to take too long. If she found the book she needed, she decided to bring it rather than read it there.
She was going to use the magic tools that Leonis gave to her!
‘A magic pocket. I got something convenient.’
As her father, Marquis Montague might suspect it, but he could not do anything about Celia. Because she was no longer Marquis Montague’s daughter but a Duchess.
Arthur Montague would keep it a secret because Celia’s flaws were also her father’s flaws. What was always important to him was honor rather than profit.
✦ ✦ ✦
As soon as she got into the carriage, the coachman fastened down the road. Marchioness Montague lived across the street from Duke Cardian’s mansion. It was at the end of the street, but it was tremendously far away because the street was lined with mansions belonging to high-ranking nobles.
They arrived at Marquis Montague’s mansion after such a long road, and the gatekeeper was perplexed at their arrival.
“From the Duke of Cardian…. I haven’t received any messages…”
Celia didn’t want to be kept waiting for long, so she peered out the carriage window.
“March, did you forget my face?”
“O-Oh my, lady! Then!”
March was surprised and opened the gate of Marquis’ mansion in a hurry.
There was no instruction to bring in the Duke of Cardian’s carriage, but he wondered who would stop the precious lady from returning back to her home.
Even though she was treated as a lady within the Marquis, Lily was still an illegitimate child who was not considered a real young lady. Lady Celia was the only one who was considered a young lady of Marquis Montague. Besides, that beautiful woman had become Duke Cardian’s hostess, and no servant or maid dared to ignore her.
The Duke’s carriage proudly stopped in front of the mansion in the Marquis’ front yard, where the fountain had been installed. The servants and maids rushed to line up as soon as they heard the news.
Everyone bowed their heads as the carriage door opened and Celia took the escort knight’s hand and got off from the carriage.
“Welcome, Lady Celia…” The servant said, swallowing his tears as if he were thrilled.
She was a young woman who had married as if she had been kidnapped by Duke Cardian, a so-called murderer. He rashly assumed that because she had married such a maniac, she would not be able to go out freely.
Fortunately, the lady looked safe. Although she was somewhat emaciated, her skin was radiant and he couldn’t find any bruises of abuse in her clothes or the dignity of her attitude.
“Where is my mother?”
“Madam is in the bedroom. I had reported that the lady had arrived but she became dizzy and took medicine…. She has fallen asleep.”
The butler answered awkwardly.
Celia seemed to already be aware of this. Ramona always pretended to be dizzy when she didn’t want to see Celia.
“If she took the medicine and fell asleep, she’ll be awake before dinner. Meanwhile, I’ll be spending some time in the reading room, so please inform me through Phoebe when my mother wakes up.”
“I understand, young lady.”
The butler was relieved, as he had been worried that the young lady would walk away.
Celia, who was accompanied by the maid that she had brought from Duke Cardian’s mansion, climbed the stairs of the Marquis mansion that she had been familiar with.
Although she married into another family, she was still the daughter of the owner of this house. Furthermore, Marquis Montague had no other children, and the successor of the Marquis would most likely be Celia’s second child.
The employees were being careful on their own.
Even if Marquis Montague’s second daughter returned, she would only be sold as a political pawn, and Lily’s children had a slim chance of succeeding him. Unless the Marquis Montague had given birth to a son outside!
One of the maids sighed as she looked at Celia’s back. She wished for that day to arrive as soon as possible. The current madam’s hysteria was almost unbearable to witness.
✦ ✦ ✦
There was a living room in front of the reading room. It meant that people should not read books while smelling food in the reading room. She wondered what would be bad with the scent of fragrant tea, sweet snacks, and cake, but Marquis Montague was strict about it.
On second thought, she could see that it was because there was a secret library hidden in the reading room. The purpose was to prevent the collection hidden in it from smelling like cake.
Celia let her maid and escort knight take rest in the living room while she went inside the reading room alone.
Since there was only one entrance to go in and out, the maid and escort were not worried about the Duchess.
‘The secret library….Did they mention that it was behind the bookshelf where there was no light?’
Every window had two layers of curtains. Usually, a thin lace curtain blocked direct sunlight, allowing subtle light to seep into the reading room. Celia walked in and smelled the old books in the reading room. She once thought it was strange that her father, who hardly reads here, would come and go in the middle of the night.
‘Even though my father’s collection is in his study room.’
It was evident that the ancient book he had obtained through a secret way was hidden in this secret library.
Celia found a place while walking between the bookshelf. It was located deep in front of a shadowy bookshelf.
Standing in front of the gray-white bookshelf, Celia identified the title of the book on the bookshelf.
The initials of the first Montague were R.M., and among the titles of the books on this bookshelf, there were only three books with such initials.
Celia pulled out the three books according to what she had read in the original story, then the bookshelf next to them moved. Round and round, a bookshelf turned around and created an entrance to the inside.
Celia quickly took out the magic light from the magic pocket and walked into the darkness.
✦ ✦ ✦
The narrow hallways were less than five steps long. While passing through that hallway, a library with bookshelves lining all of the walls appeared.
Because it was a secret library, Celia was expecting something like a big library, but she was disappointed.
Since it was a hidden space within the mansion, there had to be some size restrictions. Still, the secret library was smaller than the warehouse or the Marquis’ mansion’s attic; she wondered if there were any books she needed here.
There were books on the shelves, but there were also a lot of books stacked on the floor or in boxes in the library. Celia looked over each book and checked the title.
‘A book about curses….’
She should know exactly the title of the book that Lily was reading, but the novel didn’t mention it in detail. Celia suddenly realized that many of the books on the bookshelf were about temples.
This continent served various gods. Although it is a principle to treat other religions without discrimination, the continent was once ruled by three denominations.
There was the god of heaven, the goddess of earth and the god of war.
However, they were not mentioned in the book. There didn’t appear to be anything about the goddess who married the Montague family’s founder.
Celia glanced around and noticed that there was a book about the god of the world, which had never been mentioned.
It was a strange thing. The Empire served many gods, but it was rare to recognize eight gods as gods, and to pay tribute to the gods under them.
Some gods were considered as evil spirits, and books related to them were labeled as forbidden books.
However, this was not a big problem for those who collected ancient books. They only received a protest from the temple and paid a fine.
‘Why is this book here? Was it the hobby of the previous Marquis?’
She looked at the third bookshelf after passing through the first two. There were books about beasts and humans who worshiped gods.