•┈••✦ ❤ ✦••┈•


Inside the living room of Blanche’s mansion. As Iva was enjoying dessert with her parents, she put down her teacup and spoke.


“I’d like to go to the countryside.”


Taken aback by her sudden declaration, her parents’ eyes widened, exchanging a surprised glance, before breaking into a smile.


“Ah, our dear child has had a lot on her plate lately. You must need a break. When would you like to go? We can surely make some time, can’t we?”


“For our daughter and my wife, I can always make time. Tell us, Iva, when do you want to go?”


Their accommodating response only weighed heavier on Iva’s heart. After a moment of hesitation, she clarified.


“I don’t want to go with you both. I’d like to go alone.”


“You mean you want to travel on your own? My, how our girl has grown…”


“It’s not a trip. I actually want to move out. To live on my own.”




“W-What on Earth are you saying all of a sudden?”


They almost spat out their tea in shock. In fact, they did, a little.


As they pulled out handkerchiefs to wipe their mouths, the questioning continued, 


“Since when does a young lady want to live on her own? Even in the history of the Bergen Empire, this has never happened.”


“Father, I know that. That’s why I want to be the first.”


“So, are you saying you want to get married?”


“No, Mother. I have no intention of getting married.”


Although they were sitting face-to-face, their words seemed to hit a wall, nothing connecting.


“What exactly are you planning then?”


“I want to go to the countryside, not get married, have several boyfriends, and just spend money and live my life freely.”


“Oh my! What a wonderfully liberating life!”


“Darling, what are you saying?”


“Ah, I didn’t mean it like that. I misspoke.”


The mother stumbled over her words before catching herself.


“Is this because of the hardships you’ve faced recently? Was working at the palace too demanding?”


“It was challenging, but I just want some time alone. I think it’ll be good for everyone.”


“We always enjoyed having you around. Didn’t you feel the same?”


Hearing the evident disappointment in her father’s voice, Iva found it hard to reply.


Of course, she loved being with her family. Why would she want to leave the side of her parents who never blamed her, even when facing the executioner?


She knew the comforts and love she received as the cherished daughter of a count.


But that only made her more desperate to protect them.


The moment she heard that Claude mentioned he wanted to welcome her as the princess consort, she knew she had to flee. If she entered the palace where all the protagonists congregated, death would only be a matter of time.


“I do enjoy being with you both. But I also want some time to myself. It’s not something I’ve just casually decided on.”


“But you can’t just go to the countryside alone.”


“I’ll be safe. I’ll write letters every week and visit every two weeks.”


“Why not just get married and move with your husband?”


“I don’t want to get married.”


“No noblewoman acts like this. You of all people should know that.”


It was true that noblewomen couldn’t usually move around alone without being married. Iva hesitated for a moment before answering cautiously.


“… The representative from the Fenet delegation proposed that I emigrate.”


“What? Emigrate?”


“I did decline once, but if I write to them, they might reconsider.”


“You’re thinking of leaving this country?!”


Her father raised his voice in anger.


“Why even think of emigration when you have a perfectly good life here?”


“That’s how much I want to be away from here.”


“Emigration is out of the question, and so is the countryside!”


“Darling, calm down. Iva, let’s end this discussion for now. Go to your room.”


Iva stood up reluctantly but continued to speak.


“I know it’s a lot to take in hearing it for the first time, but it’s something I’ve thought about for a long time.”


“Iva, enough.”


“I didn’t ask for your permission.”


“Iva Blanche!”


“Even if you oppose, I’ll definitely go.”


For everyone’s sake. She murmured the last part to herself.


Her father, unable to hold back any longer, stood up abruptly.


“How can you say such a thing…! That’s it. Starting today, you’re grounded for a week! You’re not to set a foot outside the mansion!”


Iva was equally hurt by her father’s rare outburst.


It was the first time she’d been scolded since her possession, and she felt like crying. But she bit her lower lip and held back the tears. Giving a slight bow, she trudged back to her bedroom, feeling deflated.


“Right. Life as a villainess is like this. Acting against everyone’s wishes and doing things my own way, isn’t that what a villainess does? As long as everyone survives, I can get used to the hate.”


As soon as she flopped down on her bed, Jane knocked and entered.


“Miss. The Master seemed to raise his voice earlier. What happened?”


It was quite unusual for the famously doting Blanche family. Jane was quite taken aback.


“I got scolded. I’m also grounded.”


“Grounded? Why suddenly?”


“I told them I wanted to go to the countryside without getting married, maybe find some lovers.”


“Oh my…”


Jane had always found the young lady she served to be peculiar, but she hadn’t expected this level of eccentricity.


“Women shouldn’t be expected to get married just because they get older.”


“You seem pretty nonchalant for someone who’s just been grounded.”


“What you don’t know is that for a homebody like me, being grounded isn’t a punishment; it’s a treat.”


“A treat? Do you want some honey water?”


“No, I’m good. I’ll take this opportunity to rest at home without seeing anyone. I’m tired.”


Jane, who knew better than anyone how hectic Iva’s recent days had been, nodded sympathetically.


•┈••✦ ❤ ✦••┈•

error: Content is protected !!