“That’s a wild guess, but regardless of whether it’s true or not, I didn’t bother explaining because it’s a situation that benefits Erin.”
Aiden also knows about the rumor, so if it becomes a problem, he would have taken care of it.
However, neither Erin nor Aiden tried to clarify any misunderstandings.
The girls were exchanging conversations filled with admiration and envy towards Erin for a while, but then they shifted the topic to the recent whereabouts of the nobles in the capital.
Even though it seemed like nothing significant, Erin knew that a lot of information naturally came out in their conversation, so she also paid attention to what they were saying.
Lady Heron, the Countess, exclaimed, ‘Oh, have you heard the news? The Viscount Charte’s daughter has been found.’
‘There have been so many false alarms before so that I wouldn’t get too excited about it,’ someone replied.
‘No, this time it’s real. I heard they found her somewhere in the west and went to meet her in person.’
‘Come to think of it, the Viscount and his wife are not at the party today,’ someone else chimed in.
Only then did the girls start to look around.
Erin also scanned the ballroom but didn’t see the Viscount or his wife anywhere.
‘They promised to come back with their daughter this time,’ Lady Heron continued.
‘After not giving up for more than ten years… It seems like a real miracle.’
‘Truly… Such a miraculous event in the world!’ Losing the Viscount Chart’s daughter was a famous incident that all nobles in the empire knew about.
The girls continued to talk about the possibility of her returning with her father.
However, their conversation was mixed with admiration for the miracle and the low likelihood of it happening.
Erin couldn’t concentrate on the conversation ever since the topic of the Viscount Charte’s daughter came up.
Her mind went blank.
‘What is this about?’ It’s still clearly six months before Julia Charte is supposed to return…
But according to what she heard, it seemed like the Viscount Charte was indeed bringing her back this time.
Has her return time been moved up? It’s really coming now.
She felt a sense of reality. Her blood ran cold. Time was running out for her.”
While riding in a carriage returning to the estate, Erin was lost in thought.
The story of Count Chart, which she had heard during a conversation with noble ladies, kept swirling around in her head.
Erin was constantly counting the days, knowing that the events in the original story would begin when she turned 20.
She was already thinking about the timing of her exit from the story.
At first, she had thought of leaving cleanly a year earlier… but soon she had second thoughts.
A year was a long time, and did she really need to leave so soon? Maybe she could wait a little longer and then divorce him.
She compromised with herself to take things slowly and see how the situation developed.
Time passed honestly and steadily, and before she knew it, six months had already gone by.
She had put off the decision so many times during that half-year.
Yet she had thought that she still had plenty of time left… But it turned out she didn’t.
The gears of fate began to turn, pulling the timing of Julia Charte’s appearance forward.
Count Chart would return in about two weeks, a month at most.
Erin had to divorce Aiden before then.
For the past ten years, she had been determined to do something before the heroine, Julia Charte, entered the capital.
More precisely, she wanted to resolve the situation before Julia met Aiden.
She didn’t want to see them fall in love with each other.
She chewed on the inside of her cheek.
The thought of seeing them fall for each other made her feel sick.
She knew that if she ever saw them together, she would become obsessed with Aiden, just like in the original story.
As soon as she saw him, the thought of divorcing and stepping back vanished, and she was willing to do anything to possess him.
Without even realizing it, Erin’s feelings had deepened.
And the real problem was what came next.
Erin was already different from the original work.
She wasn’t the Erin who was nothing but a nobleman’s daughter.
Over the past 10 years, Erin had gained many things.
Even if Aiden’s heart changed, he could never take away what she had.
While helping Aiden’s business, she became the wealthiest person in the empire.
She had accumulated a lot of cash assets, as not many people with noble titles had assets they could use immediately.
For Erin, cash assets were a source of power.
Moreover, she was already at the center of high society.
Initially, she had the glow of Aiden and the nobleman’s family, but now she had only the achievements she had built up.
That alone was enough for Erin to make a difference from the original, even if she had an obsession.
Instead of ruining herself by acting out, she could harass Julia and Aiden properly.
She already had the power to do so.
But… ‘I can’t torment Aiden… That’s ridiculous.’
She didn’t want to torment him because of her obsession.
She had raised Aiden herself.
She had worked hard to raise him well.
Aiden had even grown better than Erin expected.
She didn’t want to make a mistake that would ruin everything now.
In the end, there was only one way.
‘We have to hurry and get a divorce.’
Erin had to tell Aiden to divorce her as soon as possible.
When she came to that thought, Erin unconsciously had a troubled look on her face.
At that moment, Aiden gently called Erin’s name and put his chin on her shoulder.
Just by turning her head slightly to look at Aiden, their distance had become so close that their breaths touched.
It was a close situation that made them aware of each other, but it was a commonplace situation for them.
Whenever Aiden approached Erin, he naturally came closer.
“What happened at the party? You look upset.” Aiden asked, worried.
Erin awkwardly raised the corners of her mouth, but it was futile in Aiden’s eyes.
“Did someone dare to do something rude?” His voice sounded dangerously angry.
Aiden was so sensitive to Erin’s subtle emotional changes…
And I realized once again the reason why I have been delaying the divorce until now.
In her unwavering gaze and actions that only look at her and not elsewhere, Erin’s determination has crumbled relentlessly.
At the age of 10, under the pretext of being a friend-like couple, Erin and Aidan shared more than just a friendship.
Aidan had gradually crossed the line, and Erin had become overwhelmed without regaining her senses.
They held hands, hugged each other, and even kissed, and sometimes slept in the same bed.
Of course, there was no deep behavior as a real couple involved in it.
However, Erin knew too well that this was not something friends do.
Even friends can hug each other, but Aiden did not embrace Erin like that.
It was clear to anyone that Erin and Aiden’s relationship looked like lovers.
Until now, they had barely drawn the line between being just friends, but there was no guarantee that it would last forever.
Perhaps, with the same feelings now, it could have been Erin, not Aiden, who would cross that line first.
That was why it was dangerous.
They couldn’t cross it now.
They had to draw a bold line to make it clear.
“But… it’s a promise this time.” Just for today.
I have to keep my promise.
Erin smiled brightly at Aiden, compromising with herself for the last time.
When the two of them slept together, Erin would go to Aiden’s room.
While Erin was on her way to his room, the employees would always give her meaningful smiles.
They even said simple greetings like “Have a good night,” but it was packed with a lot of meaning.
Their intentions were clear.
Today was no different from usual, but for some reason, Erin was more aware of the employees’ reactions.
It felt like they were cheering for something, and her cheeks burned for no reason.
She would have normally shrugged it off, but she couldn’t do that today.
That’s why Erin hesitated a bit before the door, but then she thought it was strange to be so conscious and opened the door and walked in confidently.
“You came?” Aiden greeted Erin as he sat up in bed.