I received a letter saying that he would arrive at the townhouse soon, but I didn’t know it was today. I quickly got out of bed for their early visit.
With Lily’s help, I quickly fixed my hair and clothes. Diart, who was leaning against the wall watching me prepare, had an unhappy expression.
“You don’t have to go through the trouble of greeting them. Just lie down.”
This was already the fourth time he said this. I ignored him and left the room. Diart, who followed me, naturally offered his arm as an escort.
‘Let’s stay calm.’
I had been waiting for Duke Feischer to visit as soon as possible, but now that I was about to meet him, I was nervous. I wasn’t on good terms with my family in my past life. Therefore, I felt afraid of meeting Duke Feischer.
‘He won’t raise his hand on me, will he?’
Even if divorce was not a flaw, it couldn’t be overlooked by nobles who valued honor. Even among them, the Feischers were from a family of founding fathers, and it was said that they wouldn’t even look at anything that wasn’t honorable. Of course, Roeni had already tarnished that reputation in more ways than one.
The calm voice made me look up, and Diart was looking down at me with a scrutinizing gaze.
“You have a stiff expression.”
Why don’t you turn back now? He raised his eyebrows as he said that. After saying that, he immediately looked like he was about to turn back.
Diart seemed to be uncomfortable with me meeting Duke Feischer. It seemed like he was inclined to immediately obtain and submit the divorce papers. When I glanced at him, his lips curved slightly in disapproval.
As I finally emerged at the entrance of the mansion, the servants lined up to welcome the guests and bowed their heads. After acknowledging their greetings, I watched the approaching carriage from a distance.
‘Don’t be nervous, Roeni Wheaton.’
I took a deep breath inwardly and slowly stopped in the carriage, waiting for Duke Feischer to get off. Finally, the door opened and a long leg appeared first. And the person who showed up was a handsome man with purple hair that looked just like mine on his pure white skin. Despite his cool appearance, he didn’t look like he was in his 40s at all.
His purple eyes which I could see in my reflection on the mirror from time to time stared at me. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Even though it was clearly the first time we met today, I felt something rising around my chest.
“Please move aside.”
Don’t I have to get off too? A low voice interrupted. As I turned my gaze, I met the gaze of the man who looked just like Diart coming out of the carriage. With silver hair glistening in the sunlight and deep golden eyes, if it weren’t for the playful gaze, he looked just like Diart several years later. He was undoubtedly Grand Duke Wheaton.
“Long time no see.”
Grand Duke Wheaton smiled as he stepped out of the carriage. His gaze flicked between me and Diart, then downward. I’d forgotten that I’d been leaning on Diart’s arm until then, and I pulled my hand away like it was on fire. I felt his gaze on the top of my head.
“Looks like you’ve been doing well all this time.”
His surprised look disappeared immediately, replaced with a playful smile. Duke Wheaton put his hand on Duke Feischer’s back, who was standing awkwardly.
“You must be hungry after riding the carriage for so long, let’s have dinner.”
The dinner went by in a more relaxed atmosphere than expected. Duke Wheaton was a cheerful conversationalist to the point where it was hard to believe he was Diart’s father. While he constantly poured out stories about his experiences during his travels, Duke Feischer, who had probably experienced them all with him, just quietly sipped his wine glass.
Duke Wheaton’s attitude towards me was also quite friendly. Thanks to that, I could let go of my guard and not worry about criticism from either side.
“I plan to attend the imperial hunting competition while in the capital.”
Duke Wheaton said as we drank tea in the reception room after dinner.
“I haven’t participated in it for over ten years since retiring from the palace, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to see and spend some time with His Majesty again along with Duke Feischer.”
Duke Feischer silently tilted his teacup. Even though his name had been mentioned, he remained indifferent. If it weren’t for his appearance, I would have thought this was Diart’s father.
“So, you want a divorce?”
I knew this day would come eventually. Duke Wheaton opened his mouth after putting down his teacup. Why was he suddenly talking about divorce when we were discussing the hunting competition? The topic bounced around like a rugby ball out of nowhere, and I almost burned my tongue with the hot tea I was drinking.
“I allow it. We need to quickly take care of what needs to be done and prepare for the hunt.”
“No, I won’t divorce.”
Diart cut him off decisively. His good-natured smile caught me off guard, but seeing Duke Wheaton handling his son’s divorce made me realize it. That blood truly is indeed thicker than water.
“Is that so? It seems like Roeni has a different opinion.”
Duke Wheaton’s gaze turned to me.
I couldn’t answer and hesitated, but Diart grabbed my hand. Feeling the intense energy that I could never get used to, I raised my head and saw a stern look on his face, urging me to say that I wouldn’t divorce.
“It seems like it’s just Diart’s one-sided opinion.”
Duke Wheaton laughed as though he found it interesting.
“Hmm. A common saying suddenly came to mind. Do it well while you can, don’t regret it. That’s the truth. It’s a famous saying.”
Diart turned his head and glared at Duke Wheaton. His gaze was as cold as my father’s, but Duke Wheaton seemed unaffected, leisurely sipping his teacup and adding.
“As expected, there are things you can only see after living a long life.”
Until then, Duke Feischer sat silently without saying a word, but now he set down his teacup.
“Everyone, please leave us for a moment.”
It was a dignified voice. Duke Wheaton, who was clearly teasing his son, stood up when he saw him. The Duke nodded as if telling Diart to stand up, but he remained motionless.
“Please speak where you are.”
We need to give the father and daughter, who haven’t seen each other in a long time, some time to catch their breaths.”
Duke Wheaton gestured to leave. Diart, who had been resisting with an uncomfortable face, could do nothing but pat my shoulder as if to say he couldn’t help it and then left the room.
While it was uncontrollable, the mood maker Duke Wheaton left, and the reception room was filled with heavy silence. I kept sipping my tea as I only paid attention to the geometric pattern on the table and endured the uncomfortable atmosphere.
“I was surprised.”
I heard a low voice after a long time I looked up, pretending to be unaffected with an expressionless face, but Duke Feischer seemed just as uncomfortable as I was in this situation.
“I was surprised when I received the letter.”
He blurted out.
“I thought you would be doing well, but…”
Duke Feischer narrowed his eyes and swallowed the rest of his words. His face showed a surge of unfairness and resentment. I couldn’t help but feel how irresponsible those words seemed. It seemed like an excuse to avoid responsibility after leaving me alone for so long.
The rumor that Duke Feischer had no interest in his daughter was one of the reasons why Roeni was mocked in society. Caught between an indifferent father and a neglectful husband, Roeni felt increasingly isolated and pitied as she struggled with people.
With a stern expression, Duke Faisher, who had been silent, turned his gaze toward me. He seemed to want to say more but pursed his lips. Then he took out an envelope from his pocket and handed it to me.
I looked down at the small envelope he had placed on the table.
“What is this?”
He held the envelope and unfolded its contents. It was a divorce approval document. The family crest was perfectly stamped on it. I was surprised that he had prepared and brought the approval document in advance.
“Your room is still the same.”
Duke Feischer spoke slowly.
“Why don’t you come home?”