The Grand Duchy of Conler is now in the midst of winter.
The garden was covered in white snow that had recently fallen. On the first day of snow in the Grand Duchy, Mary and Rex ran outside together. The area was filled with children’s laughter. Although it was noisy, the residents of Conler seemed to enjoy it as though it were beautiful.
The atmosphere in Conler’s castle for a while was strangely tense. This is due to the gravity of Mary’s kidnapping. The identity of the mastermind is still unknown. But it’s most likely the same individual who abducted Mary when she was a baby. Even though the knights of Conler are elites, they had difficulty locating the culprit. Hestia Taylor raised the level of the knights’ training because she felt she had a responsibility as assistant captain. Nobody in the Knights questioned the decision.
The three brothers initially declared that they would stay at Conler’s castle rather than return to the academy, but they eventually changed their minds after Grand Duke Estin’s opposition.
Mary had minor accidents, such as trying to remove her paintings from the painting library or attempting to climb a large tree and being unable to come down; she also appeared depressed at times.
Before winter came, Mary visited the burnt forest. Despite everyone else’s opposition, she was determined to visit the location. It happened after the villagers relocated to the forest. When Mary last saw it, it was just a burned-out forest; now, however, people lived there.
Life in the forest reminded her of the Tana district. Carol assured her that she need not be concerned because Grand Duke Estin had employed numerous residents of the Tana district for this reclamation project. Many people are relieved to know that they will have a steady income for the foreseeable future, if not for the rest of their lives.
Of course, once the Padula coast reclamation is completed, they will relocate there. They will only spend a short while in the forest. Mary appeared to have an understanding of how those who had already lost their homes felt.
‘Where am I going to settle down?’
Since she dreamed of the beginning of the original tale in this forest, Mary has been thinking that. Estin is now more of a father to her than a Grand Duke, but even just recalling that dream makes the happiness she is currently experiencing feel like a debt.
A debt that must eventually be repaid.
She didn’t want to be greedy, so she didn’t think she should consider this place as a stop.
As a result, she was happy to see the first snowfall. Her concerns seemed to be warmly covered by snow. Rex, who was also concerned about Mary, appeared even more ecstatic as he observed Mary’s eyes glowing as she gazed at the snow.
No, not just the children, but the entire Grand Duchy is ecstatic about the first snowfall.
It was due to the impending celebration of Mary’s first birthday since moving to the Grand Duchy of Conler.
Flowers that don’t belong in winter have already started to arrive at Conler’s castle. Flowers that were out of season adorned the castle with splendor. These flowers were sadly sent by every family who was unable to attend the birthday celebration. The flowers that bloomed against providence were precious and expensive, but they were insufficient to celebrate the birthday of the Grand Duchy of Conler’s only little princess.
Logan assisted Rex in choosing Mary’s present. Carol was working very hard to prepare Mary’s birthday dessert.
Conler’s vassals were also anticipating the day when Conler’s only daughter would be revealed to the world for the first time.
The most enthusiastic of them all was Bonita. Conler’s winter felt exactly like a frozen winter for nine years after Mary was abducted. More so since Helena died missing Mary.
Finally, the dress they ordered from Gill’s dress shop a few months ago arrived. Mary resembled a snow fairy thanks to her thick, soft white fabric and gleaming dress.
Mary also felt better. She initially believed that birthdays were not a big deal. Her birthday was never a particularly enjoyable day, not even when she was Ha Sohee. It was due to the fact that her grandmother always sobs on her birthday because she misses her parents. Therefore, she had never received a birthday cake.
She now finds it almost impossible to believe that so many people are getting ready for her birthday. She believed that simply giving her a cake would be sufficient to cause her to cry. For the first time in her life, she was grateful to have been born into this world.
However, the three people present in Estin’s office—Estin, Lucas, and Hestia—were not pleased.
It was because news of Mary’s engagement to Demimore had arrived.
“Mary is being sought after by the imperial family.”
Hestia, in particular, was furious. They were extremely upset to learn about the engagement and even more so to learn that they were informed via letter. Additionally, Demimore Arstans will be present at Mary’s birthday party.
“Should we consider it at least fortunate that it is not the first prince?”
Lucas, meanwhile, cracked a joke. However, he did not appear to be in a good mood either.
“There’s no way they’ll give Conler the first prince.”
Estin had the vague impression that Demimore had little chance of being crowned. The Grand Duchy of Conler shouldn’t become the emperor’s family because they might either become the emperor’s support system or a means of keeping them in check. He felt sorry for the boy, who was the same age as Mary, but he couldn’t stop himself from becoming enraged.
Never once had he turned down the imperial family. Estin was bound. But this was the first time he wanted to throw everything away. Estin cast a cold gaze down at the emperor’s letter.
Astina gave Mary a teary-eyed look. Astina considered Mary to be a true friend, though some thought she was a fool. She had been with Mary for many years because they both came from the same orphanage, despite the fact that Mary hated her strangely from the moment she met her. Yes, she believed that if she worked hard, Mary would eventually reveal her true feelings toward her, despite how much she detested her.
But she made an attempt to kill her.
She despises her to that extent.
Simply because her (Mary) fiancé loves her (Astina).
She questioned where and how far things had gone wrong. She wanted to confront her about why she despised her, but all she could manage was to cower behind Demimore and sob.
With her eyes bloodshot, Mary was glaring at Astina who was standing behind Demimore. When Astina first saw Mary, she thought she was so lovely. How is it possible for her to resemble a doll? Black eyes and black hair. She thought it was like putting the night sky in her eyes and hair. It was a one-of-a-kind feature not only in Britina, but throughout the continent. However, it was allegedly the result of Conler’s curse.
“Hiding behind him again, pretending to be nice…….”
Demimore abruptly ended Mary’s speech in a cold voice before she had finished. Astina, who had never before heard Demimore’s icy voice, was startled and tightly grabbed Demimore’s sleeve. When Mary saw it, her mouth began to twist once more.
“Why is it that kid?”
“I love you first.”
“I love you more.”
Mary’s voice was wet with tears. She was trembling. Astina couldn’t bear to watch the scene, so she closed her eyes tightly. Is it okay to feel pity for the person who tried to hurt her?
What does love mean for Mary?
“Can you call it love?”
But Demimore said it wasn’t love.
“Then what is love?”
Mary asked what love was.
“Did you say you loved me without knowing that?”
“Why are you denying my love when you can’t even answer me?”
There was a strange tension between Mary and Demimore. The two glared at each other. It was Astina who unexpectedly broke the tension.
“Love is not forced, Mary.”
“What do you know?”
“Think about it. Has the mere presence of him or just the thought of him ever made you smile?”
“Why does your love have to cause another person pain? How strongly do you think a boat riding on top of someone else’s tears will sail? ”
She didn’t want to deny Mary’s love. She hoped that others would understand how hard it was for her to keep her love safe. But Astina was angry and bitter. Why should she be sacrificed for that love? She was repulsed by Mary’s improper behavior.
Astina’s breathing was the only sound in the hushed environment. Mary lowered her head. Astina received a pat on the shoulder from Demimore, who then spoke softly.
“Drag her away and leave.”
Nicor, the coldest location on the continent, is where Mary will probably be sent.
Carol’s voice roused her from sleep. She cried so much in her dream that her face was dripping with tears. She jumped to her feet and wiped her face clean of tears.