~ 1.8 ~

“What? Ah, that time…….”

Marquis Porekin frowned upon understanding Haven’s words.
It was due to remembering the time when Haven referred it to.

「”Answer me, Marquis! If this is my child, then where’s his mother? Where is my wife?」

「”She’s a lowly woman.
Your Highness doesn’t need to worry about her.
Please let go of your bad feelings.” 」

The Marquis still remembered it.
The moment when Haven woke up in the middle on their way back to the capital and got mad at him.
Those words were what he said to him.

It was not because he couldn’t understand the Grand Duke’s anger.
Upon opening his eyes, his memories disappeared, and a newborn baby whom they called his ‘daughter’ appeared in front of him.
Furthermore, Queen Seon and the people of Dorklen were together.
The Grand Duke must have felt he was fooled by them.

The Marquis, who briefly recalled the past, smiled bitterly and nodded.

“Of course, I remember.
I told you so, Your Highness.”

For a moment, guilt rose in the Marquis’s heart.
He was reminded of a commoner woman who shed tears as she was leaving her baby in her arms.
Healso vividly remembered the woman who was crying without being able to touch the Grand Duke, who lost his mind after drinking the tea the woman gave to him.

How dare a commoner woman like her to covet noble blood of Guinters? It was just sad that the Marquis couldn’t bear to get mad.

So, he tried to protect her in his own way.
It was dealt that way so that the people of the Queen and even the Queen herself can’t touch her.
It was already harsh to take the baby and the husband of a mere commoner woman, let alone kill her.
She had already lost the meaning of her life.

There’s no way to know if it was a good choice.

Life for her wouldn’t have been happy after leaving all of her loved ones.
No, perhaps with his decision of him, she could meet another man and start a new family.
That’s understandable since she is a commoner.

The Marquis suddenly buried the guilt of tapping into his heart again with such an excuse.

He doesn’t regret his choice.
For the Marquis, Guinters was more precious than his own life.

If it was to protect the blood of the royal family, he could have done more than that.
It would also be the case in the same.

The Marquis tried to settle down and persuade Haven again.
But at that moment, someone knocked on the door.
And before Haven’s permission was given, the door was opened, and a wily thin voice was heard.

“Oh, you’re early.”

The woman who came in with a smile on her face was none other than Queen Isabella.
After the Marquis stepped aside quickly, he was courteous toward her.
Isabella looked at him, lightly reciprocated, and turned her gaze back at Haven.

“You have come.”

Haven’s gaze at Isabella was cold.
No, it was not only cold, but there was a deep hatred in his eyes.

Isabella claimed that she feels sad about her husband’s death, but with the sort of her appearance, where is the sadness she was feeling?

Just because she was wearing a black dress doesn’t mean she was paying tribute to the dead.
If she does remember him with all her heart, even if she wears the usual clothes, it would have been obvious.

But Isabella’s case was the opposite.

Her dress was only black in color, but it was gorgeous.
It was not to commemorate the deceased king but to show off her beauty.
Even if he didn’t want to, he felt that way just seeing her.

“Well… by the way, Marquis Porekin was with you.
May I ask what you two were talking about?”

Isabella’s gaze moved again.
Then she asked with a smile, alternating between Warren and Hayburn.

However, it was not a question that was thrown out of curiosity.
She knows how much the Marquis is eager to marry her and Haven.
Perhaps he was urging Haven to marry her.
Therefore, she just wanted to join the conversation with the theme of ‘marriage’ because she thought it was good for her.

“It was a conversation that the queen didn’t need to know.
It wasn’t that important.”

But Haven flatly refused her words.
Isabella’s eyelids trembled momentarily.
But she managed to allay her anger, then smiled and went on again.

“Is there a law that tells us to have only important conversations between us? Rather, I prefer a light conversation.”

“Well, I don’t know if the ‘we’ that Your Majesty mentioned means me and Your Majesty, but… It’s a topic that I do not want to talk about here.”

“Ha, Haven keeps changing the subject.
I am getting more curious.
What is it? Hmm?”

Isabella asked repeatedly because she had mettle.
She thought she would be relieved to hear that Haven discussed ‘marriage’ with her.
The sight of Isabella made Haven’s eyes colder.

And the moment the Marquis, sensing it, tried to intervene between them with a puzzled expression, Haven opened his mouth again.

“It was a disgusting topic to talk about.”


“More and more in memory of His Majesty the deceased.”

After adding the words, Haven rose from his seat.
Then, turning away, he took his eyes off Isabella who was looking at him, and looked at the marquis.
It was a cold look with a clear warning meaning.

The moment the Marquis shivered unconsciously, Haven turned and went out of the room.

“Your Majesty.”

As soon as he left the room, the escort in the hallway, Pedwin, approached him.
And after that, some of the servants bowed their heads, looking at Haven’s order.
He gave orders to the servants in a cold voice.

“Let them all out before I come back, and clean up the room.”

The mere fact that he breathed in the same place as them for a while made him sick.
In addition, after Her Majesty came in, the smell of the perfume she sprayed was even worse.
After ordering his servants, he moved to get out of the official residence.
Pedwin quickly followed his footsteps.

It was pitiful.

Haven’s face was distorted as he was going down the stairs.
His dead brother, His Majesty’s death.

No one really remembers him.

No one mourns his death.

Although such a grand memorial service is held every year, no one really misses him.

Haven recalled his brother, who was both tough and friendly.
Unlike him, who was free-spirited, he was perfect enough to be called a natural monarch.

Who knew that he would die so suddenly?

‘Was… it really an accidental death?’

Haven raised questions that had been buried for a long time.
They said he fell off a horse and died.
But he didn’t believe it at all.
His brother was more excellent at riding horse, than anyone else.

Of course, there may be a rebuttal that one may make a mistake because he is a person.
Haven did not turn a blind eye to that either.
Rather, in order to find out the cause of his death, he went alone to the royal hunting ground where the accident took place and even examined the surroundings.

As a result, what he found out was not an ‘accident’.
Giddy footsteps.
Stressed grass.
Those people couldn’t say something clearly, but on the contrary, they said one thing.

It was that he fell off the horse while riding and died.

Then for what on earth?

He was confused.
He felt like he was standing in front of something he shouldn’t touch.
Thereby, after the state funeral was held and everyone was mourning, he didn’t have a choice but to leave as soon as possible…

‘……But where did I go to?’

Haven stopped halfway up the stairs and clutched at the railing.
He had a terrible headache, like a sharp spear blade coming in.
He stumbled and leaned over himself.

“Your Highness? What’s wrong with you?”

Pedwin, a loyal escort, hurriedly asked, supporting him.
But Haven could not answer Pedwin’s question.

His head became cloudy.
And something came out of it blurry.

It was a memory of that day.
Memories of the day he woke up after losing his consciousness.

He was riding in a carriage.
It was a carriage from the border to the capital.
And in the carriage was his daughter, Flita, who was a baby.

“Your Highness?”

“… That woman.”

Where is she? Haven tried to ask a question casually, but hurriedly shut up.
What does he mean ‘her’? Who the hell was he talking about? He suppressed a laugh as he pressed his hand against his throbbing side temple.

Perhaps he was asking himself the woman who gave birth to Flitta.
It was a funny thing.

Why is he suddenly looking for the existence of a woman who has never come to mind before?

He swept his face down with his hand holding the railing and took a deep breath.
The headache gradually subsided and he came to his senses.
At the same time, he heard Pedwin calling him in a worried voice.

“Grand Duke…..”

“You don’t have to call me that, Pedwin.
I am not deaf.”

Haven straightened his back again and replied in a calm tone.
His expression was even calm as if nothing had happened.
But Pedwin continued as if he was not relieved.

“I don’t think you’re feeling well, Your Highness.
I’m going to call the doctor right now..….”

“Don’t do something that wrong.”

He raised his hand to stop Pedwin.
He was accompanied by his doctor at the memorial service just in case, but it was entirely in case Flitta was sick.
He could ignore his headache nevertheless.

“But… Your Highness….”

“Don’t make a fuss, Pedwin.
This isn’t the Grand Duke’s house.
There are many eyes and ears to witness you.”

After preparing his clothes, Haveen went down the stairs again and said as if to warn Pedwin.
Then, Pedwin was afraid after realizing his mistake, and closed his mouth,s quietly followed after him.

“Not the eyes you see, not the ears you hear.”

Haven murmured to himself again what he had just said.
Somehow he got tired.
A bitter smile flashed around his mouth and soon disappeared.

It was just then.

The maid’s scream was heard outside the official residence.

“Ah! Princess!”

At the same time, Haven quickly went down the stairs and soon ran out of the residence.

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