A familiar scent brushed past her nose.
As Asralda wandered in her dream, she caught the scent.
Did Marquis Kyle visit? The maids must have placed the flowers he handed over in the room again.
The mild air that could be smelled when the sun sets was mixed in the meantime. Faintly, the laughter of the maids outside could be heard.
Asralda opened her sleepy eyes.
At this time, she usually read books, so she wondered why she was lying in bed until sunset.
She looked up at the ceiling, which turned crimson with the sunset that flowed in through the window, and then sat up. At that moment, an enormous pain rushed to her chest.
Asralda, who held her chest, finally realized that a tight bandage was wrapped around her chest. She belatedly looked around the room.
The events of last night rushed in like a storm, making it scary to realize that this was her room in Aiden’s ducal palace. Suddenly, Asralda discovered her reflection in the oval full-length mirror in the corner of the room and was surprised.
The green indoor dress she often wore when she was alive, a golden wig that looked like real hair….
She stared stupidly at her face reflected in the mirror and then suddenly went down under the bed as if possessed by something.
It was so much like back then that it could be said to have gone back in time.
She wondered if everything was just a dream, but that couldn’t be true. If that were the case, she wouldn’t have felt any pain in her chest.
Asralda slowly pulled the end of her hair. Swish, the golden wig on her head fell weakly to the ground.
Real hair cut short into a bob cut was revealed in the mirror.
At that moment, Marinda’s words echoed in her head.
‘You’ll be tied up at the ducal palace as before. Quietly, like a bird in a cage.’
At the same time, Asralda’s face looking at herself changed coldly.
Like a bird in a cage.
Now, the reflection in the mirror was exactly what it used to be.
‘Is there any reason you can’t be my decoration?’
Asralda laughed like a madman. She looked at her ridiculous appearance in the mirror for a while and then touched her green dress.
Familiar color, familiar texture…
Her touch gradually became stronger. Asralda clenched her dress until her fingertips turned white.
It seemed like he was serious.
‘Otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to do such a disgusting thing.’
She stared at her appearance, which was neither male nor female, and then suddenly took off her dress.
Then, as if she didn’t care if the door was open or locked, she headed straight for the window.
She saw gardeners finishing their work in the garden and maids chattering and laughing. It was a scenery that could be seen occasionally when the sun sets.
Asralda looked down at the scenery with a dry expression, then climbed up to the windowsill without hesitation.
“Who was attacked by a pack of beasts?”
Today, Marinda was forced to eat breakfast from the palace again. All day long, she was annoyed by gossip and trivial political stories, and she frowned deeply at the report of the messenger, whose face was pale.
“Three knights, including Deputy Iyers. When they found him, his body was already half gone…”
Marinda came into the room and took off her coat, then burst out laughing.
“So there are people who believe that?”
“Everyone thinks it’s strange. But since there is no evidence or witness, they just cover it up.”
Marinda shook her hand as if annoyed, then went straight to the point.
“Then what about the ring? Did you retrieve the ring?”
The messenger hesitated to answer.
“It was not found in the body of Deputy Iyers. After the operation was over, we searched the area thoroughly, but we couldn’t find anything. I think he was unable to retrieve it.”
In conclusion, there was no harvest at all.
Marinda had taken a big gamble by risking her life to bring all that information to Asralda in the Duke’s castle. It was a big gamble for Marinda too.
Marinda handed her coat to Ophelia nervously and sat on the sofa, grumbling.
“I gave him the exact location where she fell off the carriage. Couldn’t he do that one thing properly?”
“I heard that Duke Aiden had excluded Deputy Iyers from this search before leaving the castle. I think he was planning to go after us from the beginning.”
“From the beginning?”
Marinda’s expression became strange at those words. She crossed her arms and thought hard about something before asking.
“What about that trainee knight?”
“Well… Actually, that’s the biggest mystery. He was imprisoned by the Duke instead of being sent back to the Knights.”
At the same time, Marinda’s ominous face suddenly brightened up like a clear sky. She clapped her hands and laughed out loud.
“That’s good news I’ve been waiting for.”
Fortunately, it seemed that there was some harvest after all. It would have been better if they could have finished everything at once.
Ophelia asked curiously at her reaction.
“Did everything go well?”
“Halfway? Why, were you worried that something might have gone wrong because of you?”
“Yes. I was afraid I might have caused trouble.”
Marinda smiled at her and reached out her hand.
“Come here, Ophelia.”
Ophelia approached with her head tilted, and Marinda hugged her tightly. Marinda spoke sincerely.
“You’re the only person in this world I trust.”
“Do you think I would be disappointed or angry with someone like you?”
Then she patted her shoulder for a while and said,
“I told you, there are plenty of opportunities. Don’t worry. It’s just a failure for now, but in the long run, it’s almost the same as success.”
Aiden couldn’t do anything to Asralda. He was always like that. So, this time, he would probably keep her locked up in the Duke’s castle without telling the truth.
And Asralda couldn’t stand Aiden, who always tried to control her. Then a crack would appear between the two.
In fact, whenever Marinda saw a crack between them, she easily achieved what she wanted.
Now the key was in Asralda’s hands. And Asralda was no different from me holding it.
At least I gained about a gram of credit from this incident.
All that was left was to manipulate Asralda to my liking.
“That woman is nothing more than a flower in a greenhouse that can’t do anything without Aiden, even if she remembers the past.”
So there was nothing to worry about.
That was what Marinda thought at the time.
Aiden ordered his knights to guard in front of Asralda’s room like a fortress.
And he stayed in the Duke’s castle until Asralda woke up.
He spent the whole day sitting in his office, staring blankly out the window, ignoring his work.
Asralda was still out of touch until evening. According to the knights, there was no sign of movement.
When a maid brought food to Asralda’s room, Aiden nervously accepted it and went up to her room instead.
As soon as he opened the door, he saw that the bed was empty for some reason.
As he hurried into the room, a figure clinging to the window caught his attention.
“Why are you here just now? Aiden.”
Asralda was sitting on the windowsill with her back turned. Her white legs were stretched out over the window.
Looking out at the night scenery, she turned her head slightly and stared at Aiden.
“I’ve been waiting for a while.”
There was a strange atmosphere that was different from usual. Aiden, who was looking at her with a plate in his hand, soon placed the food on the bed.
Then he slowly approached her and held out his hand.
Asralda turned her body and stood up, holding onto the window frame. It was precarious, as if her body would disappear into the black night scenery outside the window at any moment. She opened her lips meaningfully.
“I was planning to live a new life away from you, but now that feeling is gone.”
Asralda spoke while staring at Aiden’s face, which was gradually hardening.
“I have a proposal, Aiden. If you promise to accept my proposal, I will stay by your side from now on, no matter to be decoration or anything you want. Promise me.”
At the same time, his steps towards Asralda stopped.
“Does that mean…you’ll do what I want?”
Asralda shook her head.
“It means I’ll make you a living hell.”
“I hope you can feel what it’s like to live in hell, Aiden.”