FMDF – Chapter 13

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The garden of Countess Erinnis.

The tea table where only the countess and I sat was filled with all kinds of luxurious snacks.

“Wow, I’m really enjoying this luxury thanks to Hestia.”

“What do you mean, thanks to me? It’s all because of the virtue that the countess has accumulated.”

With her experienced social skills, Erinnis did not miss a golden opportunity and entered Diana’s friends category at once. She was almost the only married adult noblewoman in the group.

These high-quality refreshments were all the same. They were a bribe offered to Erinnis by prominent figures in society to get connections to the crown princess.

But to be honest, it wasn’t enough for her last name. It’s not about the snacks, it’s about Erinnis’ influence.

She looked carefully at my expression, which didn’t smile broadly.

“But I don’t think it’s up to marchioness’ standards.”

“Oh, actually…”

I moistened my lips with tea and opened my mouth.

“I wanted the countess to be closer to the saintess than Madam Harmonia.”

“Aha….”

The countess smiled bitterly.

“The crown princess doesn’t open her heart easily with simple sweet talk. The gift didn’t work…”

“Hmm.”

“Madame Merope’s job was like that. I was a step behind Harmonia. It’s not like my pride has been hurt.”

“Hahaha….”

The incident in which Merope left the palace was shocking in society. She came all the way to Harmonia and asked me to persuade Diana.

But I met Helios instead of Diana. What if I didn’t want to meet Diana the way Harmonia wanted me to?

Erinnis shook her head.

“I think I’ll have to change direction. Marchioness, you can’t do this.”

I glanced at the snacks on the table.

“I know. You’ve already received a lot, so I’ll have to do something.”

“So, do you have any good ideas?”

Erinnis folded her eyes brightly and smiled. I smirked and shook my head gently.

“How could I be so sharp?”

“Oh, Marchioness Hestia. Don’t say anything you don’t know. The society is already admiring your brilliance.”

I know she’s buttering me up a little too much to get what she wants. But this is also a social skill.

As if I really couldn’t help it, I let out a sigh.

“Phew, since the countess has praised this humble woman so much…. I’ll just suggest the direction you should take. I still have to think more about the detailed picture.”

“Oh, of course!”

Erinnis’ face was visibly bright.

“Then… move the people around the crown princess, countess.”

“Oh, I didn’t think of that!”

“Hoo, hoo, I’m sure you’ll be very good at this.”

It would be better for the prestigious Erinnis to capture the aristocrats than me. I have the weakness that I come from a humble background.

There must be some young people who are frightened by Diana’s stout behavior. There must be some who can’t keep up with the frugality she pursues.

That’s where Erinnis has to work.

“The marchioness’ advice was very helpful. Thank you.”

And she understands everything without me explaining it. As expected, she’s useful.

“You’re welcome. I’m more grateful.”

~~~~

When I got home, Uross said, “Master is waiting, madam.”

“Oh, really?”

My favorite is waiting for me. Then I’ll leave it for later.

I checked first before I went.

“Do you have any idea what’s going on?”

“Well, a man came from the palace.”

“Ah…”

We looked at each other and nodded knowingly

.

If a palace man had been there, it must have been from Helios. If my hunch is right, the message would be to see each other.

When I met Helios, the first thing he asked was how Kaelus was doing. Moreover, his state of mind was very sharp.

Perhaps he missed his old friend who guessed what he was thinking just by looking at his eyes.

I headed straight to Kaelus’ room without stalling.

“Kaelus. It’s me.”

“Oh, come on in.”

I quickly opened the door to the voice from inside.

“Hess.”

I’m already dizzy from the title. What do you mean, “Hess” again?

The end of the pretty long silver hair, loosely tied together, flowed down in front of the shoulders. Because of my favorite, there was a complete war in my head. A beautiful, lovely war. 

 I gently cleared my throat – actually my heart – and asked.

“I heard someone came from the imperial palace. What’s the matter?”

Kaelus pointed at the envelope on the table with a blank face. A letter from the imperial palace with a golden seal on it laid there.

“I have been ordered by the crown prince. He’s asking me to meet him somewhere quietly.”

“A… meeting, quietly……?”

My head went blank for a moment. It’s an order? So it’s an order?

“Yes, it’s a public summons to the marquis as a crown prince. I can’t ever refuse.”

“Ha…!”

He didn’t even give him a choice to say no. Did you miss your friend that much, prince?

“I’m coming with you.”

“No, the crown prince asked for a solo meeting. Even if you follow me, you can’t go in anyway.”

“Oh…”

Wow. That’s so mean, Helios. I can’t believe you’re using your crown prince status like this. A foxy fellow, what a cowardly child.

I think he did this because he thought I would follow him if he called Kaelus. Damn. I’m gonna take back everything I felt sorry for. Helios, you clever man.

“You look angry.”

“…a little bit.”

I tried to repress my anger. Then he chuckled.

“Heli wants to see me somewhere other than the palace, so he must want to see me without Diana knowing.”

“….”

Yes, it’s a little comforting. It’s worth the effort to shake Helios.

Kaelus buried himself deep on the sofa.

“Let me hear from you first. That’s how we can get things right.”

“Yes….”

As expected, his personality is much calmer than mine.

After a long sigh, I summed up what I had said when I met Helios.

“I asked why the Emperor’s condition did not improve despite the power of her holiness, and I asked why Madame Merope left the palace.”

“Hmm.”

Purple eyes with slightly drooping eyes. It’s a habit that comes out when he’s lost in thought.

Soon his mouth opened.

“If you doubted Diana’s healing powers, Heli would have been quite sensitive.”

“Yes, I almost got kicked out.”

I affirmed myself weakly.

Kaelus asked in a perfectly businesslike tone.

“Do you have any idea why he wants to see me?”

My favorite is so rational that I had already calmed down my boiling emotions.

“Yes, it’s surprisingly simple. The crown prince is very mentally exhausted right now.”

“Whoa.”

This is why I’m angry with Helios. When Kaelus needs help, he doesn’t look back at all, but when he needs help, he finds Kaelus.

Kaelus even declared the end of their friendship because he didn’t like the treatment. But the order of the crown prince. There’s a limit to being brazen.

But even though I’m angry like this, my favorite is always calm.

“I don’t have much to say to Helios anyway. You don’t have to worry too much, either.”

“….”

Kaelus slowly rose to his feet.

“I’ll be loyal to the imperial family. as a peer of the empire.”

“… The crown prince is wary of me. He’ll think I’m hostile to the imperial family.”

When I said it anxiously, I got a sarcastic reply.

“Well, isn’t that true?”

“….”

Yeah, well, I don’t have to deny it. But let’s get this straight.

“I don’t hate the royal family of this country. But there’s a reason for the saint and her husband.”

“Well, that would be more accurate. I told them I had to apologize.”

Fortunately, Kaelus properly understood that I did not have treasonous thoughts. Funnily, I felt a little relieved. I almost became a traitor.

His voice continued.

“I won’t get in your way anyway. So don’t worry.”

“It’s not my plan that I’m worried about, it’s you.”

“Yes, including that.”

An infinitely cold way of speaking without any emotional agitation.

It sounds like he’s worried at best, but that’s actually the way Kaelus really is. The sweet second lead setting was not a blessing given to me. It belonged to Diana, the heroine.

This contradictory feeling that is both bitter and relieved. It is fortunate that he is gradually returning to my original favorite.

I feel like I’m doing my part in this world.

“… I see. Have a safe trip.”

He gradually straightened out his hardened face.

Kaelus looked at me in silence. He ducked his head slightly and deflected his gaze.

“Instead, I’ll be waiting around there until the solo meeting is over. With your doctor, just in case.”

“As you please.”

I turned back, with a faint smile.

~~~~

A few days later, the day came when he had to obey the order of the crown prince.

Kaelus, dressed in a suit for the first time in a long time, was still my favorite, even though he was thinner and thinner than before.

I watched him half excited and half worried. Then to me, Kaelus said indifferently.

“It’s not something I can avoid. It’s no use looking at me like that.”

“I know….”

Damn it. It makes me angry again. To make it impossible for Kaelus, who is still recovering, to say no. 

But regardless of how my stomach was boiling, Kaelus checked his clothes with a calm face.

“Okay, let’s go.”

As Kaelus and I reached the front door, the doctor who had been waiting in advance bowed lightly.

“I’ll go with Lady Hestia, Lord Kaelus.”

“Yes.”

Wearing a suit, long silver hair neatly brushed, and even. At least from the outside right now, he didn’t seem like a sick person.

I’m even worried that Helios might treat him carelessly because he looks fine.

Kaelus got into a marquis carriage. And his doctor and I followed in a small carriage for employees.

“….”

Due to the complicated screening process, I naturally became silent.

The doctor tried to reassure me with a relaxed tone.

“If the marquis’ wife is around, he’ll be fine.”

“But he’s alone with the crown prince.”

“But there won’t be an emergency. In the event of an accident, his highness will call us immediately.”

“Whoo….”

The doctor is right. Helios just wants to see Kaelus not because he’s trying to hurt him.

If Kaelus had a seizure, Helios would be more surprised.

“So just relax for now, marchioness.”

“…”

I know. Why am I so restless?

~~~~

The place Helios designated was a quiet mansion in the capital. A secret place that appeared in the original novel.

When he showed Diana this place, Helios and Diana began to ride the hidden route in earnest. Damn it, of all places.

Without knowing my feelings, the doctor looked around with small admiration.

“Oh, this is…”

My voice answering him was very stiff.

“It’s the crown prince’s secret villa. The crown princess is familiar with this place, and I doubt it’s okay to meet Kaelus here.”

“Is there anything you don’t know?”

“There’s nothing.”

While we were talking, Kaelus was getting out of the carriage and walking into the mansion.

My doctor and I also came down.

“Hmm…”

There seems to be no one around, but there must be shadow guards hiding throughout the garden.

  After passing through the front door, a man appeared who seemed to be the caretaker of the mansion.

  “You two wait here.”

  I had no choice but to stop.

The caretaker poured us a fragrant tea. I asked him as I watched the tea dripping up.

“But isn’t this villa a place that the crown princess knows about?”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“Does she know he’s meeting the marquis today?”

“Not that I know of. His majesty the crown prince has visited this place very secretly.”

“But it’s such a familiar place that the purpose is overshadowed.”

“The only people who approached this place were his highness and you, according to the escort report. As long as we remain silent, her highness will not know.”

“Oh, that’s a lot of confidence.”

The housekeeper bowed politely again at my displeased tone.

“I understand your concern. But the only person who can enter this place without the order of the crown prince is his majesty.”

“Do you know that the imperial palace is already in the clutches of the holy princess?”

I shot back deliberately. Then his expression became quite heavy.

“I’ll be careful with my words.”

“That should be the case.”

Even if he says it with a smile, it will not work. The more serious and important the ‘request’ is, the more difficult it is to do.

Now that I’ve spoken, at least Diana’s words in this villa will be much weaker. I don’t know the use of saying anything to this caretaker right now, but it’ll all come in handy someday.

Anyway, wherever I go, I have to be diligent to catch them all at once.*

*TN: get them on her side

~~~~

“….”

“…”

A silent drawing room. Time has long gone by.

The conversation is taking longer than expected. Is Kaelus all right?

Perhaps the doctor thought the same thing, he spoke carefully.

“It’s taking a little while.”

“That’s true….”

“But maybe it’s a good sign. Marchioness, that means he’s recovered.”

“I suppose so…?”

I sighed quietly. Yeah, let’s just take it positively.

Then.

“!”

“!”

The doctor and I looked up almost at the same time.

I could hear the footsteps of several people who were mumbling. Helios soon appeared. And then Kaelus.

I stood up immediately and bowed politely.

“…….”

Helios glanced at me in courtesy and went out of the mansion without saying a word. His air was cold, but now there was no time to care.

I turned straight to Kaelus.

“Kael…!”

“….”

A frightening look and a pallid complexion.

The doctor approached him quickly even if I didn’t signal. Then he touched his hand and gave him a prescribed sedative.

“It will help you relax. Go ahead and start drinking, marquis.”

“….”

Kaelus’ hand trembled slightly as he took the medicine bottle.

The doctor spoke to me reassuringly.

“It’s because he’s suddenly relaxed. It’s not a seizure, so don’t worry, Lady Hestia,”

“Yes….”

Nevertheless, my expression didn’t go away easily.

Finally, Kaelus opened his mouth.

“Let’s go back.”

“Yes, Kaelus.”

I put my hand on his hand.

It was cold, but warm.

~~~~

We came separately when we came, but we all got in a big carriage when we went back.

Kaelus kept his eyes closed the whole time in the carriage. I couldn’t ask about Helios with the doctor there, so I just looked out the window.

So quietly, I came back home.

“I need to take a rest.”

Fortunately, Kaelus himself admitted that he needed a break.

“Yes. Don’t mind the outside and take a good rest.”

I answered this without hesitation.

Honestly, I’m dying to know what he talked about with Helios. But more importantly, was the condition of Kaelus. Just because I can’t hear it right away doesn’t mean anything happened.

I have to wait.

“Ha….”

I came back to the room quietly.

I asked the lady-in-waiting to make a strong coffee. Soon the room was filled with the savory aroma of coffee.

I took a sip without sugar. It was bitter enough that my face frowned automatically. My mind went blank as well.

“…”

Certainly, Kaelus has recovered.

Think about the first time he had a solo meeting with Helios after the suicide attempt. A storm that turned the whole house upside down. He broke the terrace window and even saw blood.

How calm today is compared to then. Although he went to rest as soon as he got home from mental fatigue, he didn’t have any seizures.

It was an encouraging enough phenomenon.

“Whoo….”

The flow of thoughts led to the appearance of two people coming out of the villa.

Helios and Kaelus never laughed. Perhaps the conversation between the two did not go well.

In fact, there was nothing to talk about between the two of them. I’m sure Helios was whining about how hard it was.

In fact, Kaelus is not in a state of ease enough to accept the complaints. It’s too much to take care of himself, so he can’t listen to his old friend’s complaints.

I don’t know what Helios wanted and called Kaelus by issuing an “order” for, but the conclusion was that it didn’t go his way anyway.

Good job. My favorite.

~~~~

A few hours later, I sat down at the dinner table with Kaelus.

“How do you feel?”

I asked cautiously, and his eyes glanced at me.

“I’m feeling better after a nap.”

“That’s a relief. I was worried because you looked so stiff earlier.”

Kaelus replied with a grave face.

“You must be curious about what happened to Helios.”

I thought about how to answer it, but eventually, I nodded frankly.

“…Yes.”

Kaelus opened his mouth with a wry smile.

“As you say, Heli looked pretty exhausted. First of all, he apologized for calling me by order.”

“…….”

Why did he do something that needed apologizing for? I swallowed something that popped out of my stomach.

Instead, asked.

“What’s his business?”

He glanced at me while he was serving soup. But soon he continued to eat again.

“I heard there’s no one around him to trust.”

“Ha….”

Expectedly.

When he said was ridiculous, I laughed.

“So I answered. ‘If you don’t believe you, I don’t have to be an aide.’”

That’s true. What’s the point of having someone you can’t trust next to you?

“And whether you believe it or not is also a matter of choice, I said. Trusting someone is actually a determined decision.”

“Aha….”

Real phenomena can be interpreted according to the viewer. Therefore, whether to trust or not trust is a decision based on each interpretation and judgment.

Therefore, there is no ‘no’ belief in the world. It’s just what you chose to believe in.

I asked Kaelus with some cynicism.

“Will the crown prince choose to trust me? When I saw his attitude, I felt like he had already decided not to believe me.”

“Well, but it’s not easy to give up your foresight.”

After answering me, he added after a pause.

“…Helios is always like that.”

“…”

My mouth is bitter.

Helios is rofan, Kaelus. Perfect spec, getting whatever he wants.

He wanted to hold Diana in his arms and at the same time keep his friendship with Kaelus. At least that’s how the original novel ended. A perfect happy ending where nothing is lost.

Was there a case where the protagonist in rofan gave up something else for something precious? Even if it develops like that, authors should be prepared for angry comments and falling views.

From the beginning, the novel was designed so that the main character would take over everything.

“I was blatantly at odds with the saintess. That’s why the crown prince doesn’t trust me.”

The reason why Helios is so confused. Because he’s greedy for both Diana and I.

If he chooses to believe in Diana, he must abandon my prophecies. On the contrary, if he decides to trust me, he has to doubt Diana.

The novel is over. Now, every time you choose something, you’ll lose something else.

The natural course of the world.

Helios will have to pay for the choice he has not paid so far. Whether he’s forced to miss it or give it up on his own.

“If Heli fires you, will there be a disruption in what you’re trying to do?”

Kaelus asked in a very dry tone.

I smiled lightly.

“No, it doesn’t matter at all.”

It’s rather welcome. I can use the future I know entirely for Kaelus.

“Wow. Is that so?”

Kaelus nodded with a blank face. Then I concentrated on the meal again.

I turned my eyes to the plate, too.

“…….”

Hmm. Think about it. Helios.

Because you’re the only one who pays for the choice.


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