The Price Of Breaking Up - Chapter 6
Translator and Editor: Lea and Aki
I waited for him to open his mouth. His expression told nothing except a cry for help.
Now that I’ve noticed the huge pile of documents on his desk, I can say that it might be because he wants my help with that.
Considering His Highness’s character and the current situation, he wouldn’t ask for such a favor, but there was nothing else I could think of at that moment. To be honest, it was very rare for him to ask me for something.
We had been in each other’s comfort zone since we were young, but the favors he asked of me were countable.
“No, I will pretend I didn’t hear what you’ve said just now.”
“Your Highness doesn’t expect much from me anyway.”
I waited patiently for his response, and surprisingly, I was the one who was dumbfounded.
He took the initiative as soon as he parted his lips to talk.
“You may leave now.”
His warm expression slowly, very slowly, began to turn cold.
I wasn’t so curious as to ask what it meant, so I just bowed my head slightly and walked out of the room.
Somehow, I could feel a sudden urge to cry.
The heavy office door closed behind me.
As I touched my wrist that he gripped earlier, I turned my head and looked at the tightly closed panels before heading towards the room I was staying in.
The feeling wasn’t satisfactory.
As I entered the room, a small shadow shone through the tightly closed window.
Curious, I approached the window and unlocked its latch. As soon as the window frames were opened, a black bird flew into the room.
“Come on in.”
The bird was pitch black. It could be considered as the perfect nocturnal bird, seeing how dark its eyes, feathers, and feet were. Father had brought it from a distant country and raised it to fly messages to me.
I patted the bird that flew into my hands, and then, my eyes landed on the letter tied to its feet.
“To send a letter like this……”
This bird could only locate my room alone in the Imperial Fortress from the Duchy. It could completely merge itself with the darkness of the night and was trained to fly to only my room.
That being the case, it would never fly here again after I left the Fortress.
“I wonder what you have to say.”
I carefully untied the letter.
I lit a small candle to check the contents of the white letter. Startled by the burning heat of the flame, the bird flapped its wings to fly around the room.
When I held the paper over the flame, the written ink appeared on the white parchment paper. It was a method used by the Duke for fear of someone else reading the message.
I calmly read my father’s letter, which was highly excluded from words I didn’t require.
It was very rare for him to send a message using this bird. However, each time he did, it contained important contents. So, I could not afford to only skim my eyes through it.
Miss Lurhtella, upon hearing the rumors from my side around lunch today, had said something interesting.
In my name and in the honor of the empire, she said she would never do anything to be discourteous to the people.
It was said by herself, not rumored.
My strategy seemed to not be as effective as I thought it would be.
She was not working behind the curtains. Rather, she was setting off a bomb in front of the people.
“That’d be troublesome.”
Not only did she put my name on the line, but also even risked the empire’s honor.
“Perhaps she has done it on purpose.”
To once again remind the people that she was the eternal child of prophecy, risking the empire’s honor as if she had already become the Empress.
While slowly reading the rest, my brows crumpled at the last sentence.
The contents of the letter got darker as it kept sitting over the flame.
“The choice is….. yours.”
That was the end of the letter.
I folded the paper in half.
What did the last sentence mean?
Father was one of the people who understood me best.
As I see it, it felt like he was asking if I wanted to come back after being beaten like this.
No, I could have taken it that way.
Was I going to be fooled like this?
I burned the parchment as I’ve always done and picked up a pen.
In order to prevent anyone from reading this letter, I took out the invisible ink sitting deep inside my drawer.
It was time to write with the sour smell of the solution buried in my nose again.
The flying bird toppled the container. In an instant, the liquid poured over my body. I let out a sigh.
I searched here and there to see if there was any of it left, but it came out to be the last one.
Eventually, I had to write it down with normal black ink.
I’ll be brief.
It was a short message asking for more information about the family of Marquis Lurhtella and more ink.
I tied the letter to the bird’s feet. As soon as my work was done, it flew out of the opened window and disappeared into the darkness.
It seemed it was already late at night.
After sending the bird away, my attention came back to my bleeding leg. The wound was not deep, but it seemed to have been cut by a long piece of glass.
“I don’t think it’ll leave a scar.”
I called a maid to treat the wound. I discarded my blood stained skirt and looked down at the long cut over my pale white skin.
I watched as the maid wrapped a bandage around my leg. Momentarily, she asked cautiously.
I responded without realizing it.
As a matter of fact, I’ve never responded to them like this. Because I was engaged to the Crown Prince. Nevertheless, people used to call me the Crown Princess because everyone was convinced that the position was mine.
“You have received a lot of wounds. I think it’d be better to call for a divine…..”
“No, it’s fine.”
“It is fine.”
The wound wasn’t serious enough to bring a divine physician in the middle of the night, and now was not the time to make a scene.
I looked down at the maid in front of me whilst reflecting on the contents of the letter my father had sent earlier. This was the first time I’d seen a maid kneeling at my feet to treat my wounds.
Considering the change in the oracle and handmaidens in charge of me, this was definitely a first.
Leaning against the chair, I opened my mouth while looking at her dumbfounded face with my red eyes.
I made a decision.
“What is your name?”
“Your name. I thank you for coming to see me even though you wanted to rest at night. May I know your name?”
Her face turned pale as I asked out of nowhere.
I smiled at her, who looked very nervous. As gently as possible, I tilted up the corners of my lips and bent my eyes halfway.
Surprised, she answered awkwardly.
“O-Of course, it had to be done. My name is Azelle Portube.”
The Crown Prince’s second advisor was the heir to the Viscount Portube.
I wasn’t surprised to see a face resembling him.
“Are you related to Lord Rufel?”
She didn’t know what to say.
“You’ve met my brother? He’s my own brother.”
She answered with a face that reminded me of the future Viscount due to her nervousness.
The younger sister to the Crown Prince’s advisor.
I tiled my head.
Rufel Portube dealt with the documents with His Highness that I wasn’t allowed to see. He wasn’t that particular, he was obedient, and he had a soft side.
“I have. Come to think of it, I’m going for a walk around lunchtime tomorrow. So why don’t you join me?”
The maid’s hardened expression began to unravel. And soon after, as a result of my kindness, her face brightened up.
The Duchy was situated far across from the Capital.
My father and mother were at the Duke’s estate, while my brother had been away for three years because he volunteered to serve in the war.
“So I’ll have to do it by myself.”
I came to a concise conclusion.
I wasn’t a child in need of help anymore.
The daughter of Marquis, who laughed at me in a fight, was able to take care of herself.
I recalled Miss Lurhtella.
If she had stayed still, I could’ve put everything in her hands in a simple and calm manner.
Miss Lurhtella, as a child of the oracle, was not guilty.
That’s what I thought until she talked like a sore thumb.
I got out of my seat and brushed my long hair with the help of the maid. As I stroked my nape, I opened the window.
It was raining today.
I never liked the rain, but today was different. Should I say I was welcoming it?
I reached out of the window to feel the water dripping on my palm. It didn’t feel like a passing shower. Rather, it seemed like it would rain for days.
“As you may have already heard, Princess, the situation at the mountains is severe. It would be better to postpone the schedule.”
Shaking off the drops of water off my hand, my eyes widened as if I knew nothing about what the butler said.
“You mean a landslide?”
“Considering that there is only one way from the Capital to the Duchy, the road has been blocked by a landslide.”
“Besides, the rainfall is heavy…… I think it would be better if you stayed here for a while.”
The butler muttered.
I peeked to see the open door over the shoulders of the butler, who stood with his head down.
Through the gap in the door, I could see the maids I called standing still and wondering if they should come in.
I closed the window to diminish the volume of raindrops pattering outside. I asked in a worried tone.
“I’ll be fine. But what about the esteemed daughter of Marquis Lurhtella?”
“I beg your pardon?”
“I was worried about her. This is her place now, isn’t it? I wish I had found a place for myself.”
The old warden wouldn’t admit it, but I knew he was treating me like a daughter.
That was the reason I said so. In times like this, it’s important to use a person’s mind.