Diana sat in front of the dressing table and sighed for a long time.
It’s been a long day.
She was so nervous not to ruin the tea party that her fatigue came flooding in.
Diana looked at herself in the mirror with red eyes.
It was the first time that my self-esteem collapsed like today. Hestia attacked Diana as if she had been waiting for the day to come. At a time when the objective status of Kaelus’ spouse alone is burdensome.
It was regrettable that she could not arrange her seat at another table due to her status as a marquis’ wife.
When she thought of Hestia’s black eyes, tears welled up again.
Her heart always felt tight when she was facing her. It was better when she had Heli.
But on this day, when she was being bitten by Hestia in front of people, he was not there.
The court ladies removed Diana’s accessories and undressed her dress with measured hand gestures. Diana stayed still like a doll.
“Let’s go to the bathroom, your highness.”
Diana walked slowly, her lips clenched.
The royal couple’s dinner table.
Helios looked across at his wife, who was nibbling on food.
“Diana, you did a great job today.”
He forced her to smile once, and then she was expressionless again. Diana’s depression was painting the surrounding air.
Helios sighed heavily.
“Would you tell me in detail? What Hestia said at the party earlier.”
Diana paused her hand.
A heavy silence enveloped them.
Seeing her companion, who responded without hesitation, Diana finally plucked up courage and took off her lips.
“I feel like my heart is falling apart. I can’t get my act together.”
Helios sensed that Diana’s condition was unusual.
At the same time, resentment against Hestia flared up. How dare you, to my dear wife!
Diana’s eyes filled with tears before she knew it.
“Heli, am I really wrong?”
“Was morality, which I believe in, a complete illusion? Am I not supposed to blame Kaelus?”
Helios could not immediately respond.
The morality that Diana adheres to remains unquestionable. But if you ask him about criticizing Kaelus.
He couldn’t bear to say ‘You didn’t do anything wrong’.
Diana’s gaze fell down.
“The marchioness told me a story. It happened in that street. A woman murdered a young boy, who turned out to be the criminal who raped her daughter.”
“Then she asked me. Is she really an immoral person…?”
A heavy silence fell again.
Helios finally realized. How Hestia attacked Diana.
It’s very clever, isn’t it? How could you shake the faith that Diana had kept firmly with a few words?
It is not difficult to guess why Hestia did so. None other than Kaelus, who she naturally says she loves.
“You’ve never thought about this before. But why are you so shaken by Hestia’s words today?”
Diana was not quick to answer his question. In fact, she didn’t even know. Why are you so intimidated by Hestia?
“I don’t know. It’s just, the marquis’ wife makes my heart race.”
Likewise, Helios felt heavy in his chest as if a lump of stone was in it. The direct cause was definitely Hestia, but there was also an indirect cause.
A friend who wandered in despair alone while he and Diana dreamed of a happy future. Kaelus, who encountered Helios at the palace, did not give him a glance and passed with Hestia’s hand.
Helios lost a friend who spent most of his life with him.
His mouth opened rather impulsively.
“Diana, should I apologize to Kael?”
Diana glanced up at Helios.
Apologize to Kaelus? Wouldn’t that be admitting that her accusation was wrong?
In fact, she wanted Helios to tell her firmly that she wasn’t wrong.
In an instant, disappointment flooded in.
She wanted him to tell her that Hestia’s accusations were groundless. She wanted him to nail down that the justice and morality that Diana believed in was absolute.
“You can’t do that.”
Diana flatly refused.
Then Helios spoke earnestly to her.
“You and I, we have to throw away the burden in our hearts. Kael is suffering greatly because of us. We owe him a debt, Diana.”
“It’s not his fault that I’m in pain. It’s because of Marchioness Hestia!”
An almost shouting voice.
Helios was lost in thought.
“Diana, she did it for you. You considered him a friend, too. Why are you so cold?”
“I’m a human being who believes in morality and justice before I’m a friend of Kael. What he did wrong was wrong. If you forgive him for being our friend once, and compromise one by one like that, how can justice stand right in the world?”
“Can’t you just understand him? As a result, we all got a lot of help from Kael. If he hadn’t brought down the Duke Orcus, you and I wouldn’t be so happy right now…!”
“Who forced him to help like that? Kael could have chosen the right way! If he didn’t make the Duchess die, there would have been other ways!”
I’m right. I’m not wrong. Diana reiterated her argument.
Tears rolled down her cheeks before she knew it.
“… So, Kael is… Why did you do that?…. Why do you have to abandon him?…!”
Instead of persuading her more, Helios quietly shut up.
Why was Diana so stubborn? Even though it’s a lifelong belief, she knows it’s faulty, too.
In the face of a crisis in which she had to deny her life itself, Diana instinctively threw a hard armor around her.
No matter what he says now, her heart will not open.
Helios sat alone in his study after eating.
Straight Diana. His precious love, who never forgets the righteousness of man.
Diana served as a solid pillar for Helios, who had lived in various struggles and wars, to hold him.
But now it wasn’t just pleasure.
“Hestia, is it….”
He still didn’t know her real purpose. Just for sure, she hates them very much.
The reason for pushing Diana at the tea party was also elegantly wrapped in Kaelus’ honor, but in fact, it must have been because of something more.
To be honest, he was angry with Hestia. On the other hand, however, he acknowledged her argument. Kaelus’ cruelty was not an easy matter to judge by moral standards.
So he tried to persuade Diana. Although he failed to look good.
Helios himself was like this, so what would other nobles do? Perhaps most were persuaded by Hestia’s arguments.
A bitter monologue popped out.
“No, what? ‘I love him?’ Did you know that such a sly woman could love?”
Hestia’s words were very annoying.
The black woman, who doesn’t seem to know what love is, loves not anyone else, but Kaelus? Hasn’t he already been badly burned by love!
Helios called in a sudden surge of displeasure.
“Zenon, bring the brandy.”
The faithful servant who was called rushed to fetch the drink. Then, as the owner usually enjoys, he put it in cold ice water and handed it over.
As soon as the glass was put into his mouth and the alcohol was spilled, the cold drink went down his neck. Only then did the fire that had been rising from the inside calm down a little.
Helios asked quietly.
“Zenon, how was Diana’s party today?”
“That is, Your Highness. It didn’t sound very pleasant.”
A careful answer. Helios raised one eyebrow.
“Tell me the details.”
Zenon bowed his head apologetically and spoke about the concept of the tea party and the reaction of the aristocracy. While listening, Helios’ expression gradually subsided.
When Diana was preparing for the party, I knew there was a conflict with Madame Merope, the maid of honor. Still, I didn’t think Merope would pull out completely, but unexpectedly, the goal with Diana seemed to have deepened.
He should have looked more carefully. Helios regretted it belatedly.
An involuntary question.
“What did the marchioness say?”
Even after mentioning it, he was slightly dumbfounded. Of all things, Hestia. Why would he care about her reaction?
Zenon answered faithfully again this time.
“She was impressed by the fact that they prepared nostalgic refreshments. And she asked the Crown Princess about Madame Merope’s future.”
Helios seemed to stand on tiptoe. Isn’t that an incredible experience for a woman who has just entered the aristocratic society?
You have to pull yourself together.
Instinctively felt a danger signal.
You can’t trust Hestia. You shouldn’t keep her close.
But her ability, her foresight, confused Helios. If he couldn’t trust her, what’s the point of having her around?
He hated himself for not being able to make a decision at once.
Helios drank a glass of wine roughly in his hand.