One day, I found a romance novel at the end of the study, and I got lost in it until late at night.
It was a typical romance novel, but it was fun because it was so familiar.
[Sarina, do you remember what I gave you when I confessed to you before? It was under the magnolia tree.]
[Yeah, I remember, the keepsake.]
Keepsake? What was the keepsake?
Before reading the next part, I wanted to find the underline part, but since the novel was over 1,000 pages long, I couldn’t find where the keepsake appeared.
My eyes kept closing.
Deon, who had been working until dawn, saw me rubbing my eyes and said,
“Go to the bedroom and rest your eyes.”
It’s an important matter…”
“I don’t know what it is, but I’ll take care of it.
Go get some sleep.”
“No, it’s okay.
I have to…”
I tried desperately to keep my eyes open, but my eyelids kept drooping.
In the end, I couldn’t fight the sleep any longer and closed the book.
Then she stumbled over to Deon’s desk.
“Your Highness, I’m so sleepy, I don’t know how many pages I want to read again.
Please find a scene where the main character confesses and put it in a bookmark.”
I left the office like that, not knowing what I had said in a dream.
And late at night, Deon read a romance novel instead of documents and had to hear a voice from Viter who came to get approval.
“I don’t know why the young lady is asking for the position of wife.”
Viter was holding a romance novel with several bookmarks inserted in the middle.
He said, putting the romance novel down in front of my teacup.
“You’re already more intimidating than the Duke.
You have absolute power, young lady.”
His eyes were wide open.
“How many times did the protagonist confess? If they’ve done it about four times unless they’re fools, wouldn’t everyone understand? Isn’t it worth understanding unless he’s an idiot? He wrote a novel every day.
It’s a waste of paper.”
He went on and on about his contempt for the aristocracy’s manners and customs, and the pitifulness of those who interfered with the Lord’s affairs.
Normally, I would have been irritated and listened reluctantly, but I sat quietly and listened to his story of nagging.
Seeing his relieved expression at the end of his words, I felt almost sorry for him.
He was soon to take over the payment of the Duke’s overdue paperwork.
I picked up a wooden stick early in the morning.
It was to test the hiking stick that I made by investing as much as four hours the previous day.
While carving it, a thorn got stuck in my palm.
It was stuck quite deeply, so I spent two hours crying and removing the thorn.
I carefully got up and opened the door.
I was trying to sneak out, lifting my heels and walking quietly, but then I heard a voice from behind.
“Miss Leoni… is that you?”
Suren, who was sleeping in the opposite room, got up and showed signs of recognition.
The door to the servant’s room was open.
“Young lady… Where are you going this late at night?”
Suren asked, rubbing her eyes.
She looked half-asleep and confused, unable to fully open one of her eyes.
Hastily, I hid the stick behind my back.
“Just keep sleeping, Suren.
I’m going to the bathroom.”
Suren, who had been staring at me, asked loudly,
“Yes? Why are you carrying a clipped twig to the bathroom?”
As she looked back and forth between my outfit and the stick in my hand, her eyes gradually became clear.
I had a bad feeling.
She spoke in a cold, icy voice.
“Young Lady… is it today?”
“What, what do you mean?”
“The day of the escape!”
Be quiet, Suren.
That’s not it.”
I hurriedly covered her mouth.
She jerked her head and moved away.
“No way! Wearing thick clothes and carrying a branch in the early morning? That’s not it!”
“I’m telling you it’s not it!”
Actually, it wasn’t entirely wrong to say that it was not an escape, but rather preparing the items for the escape.
“If it’s really not it, take me with you too!”
She kept pushing it away, but Suren followed me, rubbing her sleepy eyes with the clothes she had put on the chair.
We reached the entrance of the mountain.
Taking a deep breath, I put down all the branches I had cut so far.
I swung the carefully trimmed piece of wood next to the tree to make sure there were no thorns left.
After hitting the tree a few times, the top part of the stick I had worked so hard to make broke off with a snap.
The half-broken stick collapsed weakly.
“Miss Leonie, let’s stop and go back.
When will you try again? It’s a waste of time.”
“If you’re not going to help, be quiet, Suren.
Lower your voice, too.
Do you want to get caught?”
“It seems useless, so it is.
The rest will be the same.
The trees in the north are weak because they don’t get proper sunlight.
They’re almost all like that.”
Suren murmured softly from behind.
Ignoring her words, I discarded the broken branch and moved on to another tree, striking it with the piece I had in my hand.
This tree also broke easily and became useless.
After more than ten days of carving, the wood had become useless in just five minutes.
I looked down at the remaining pile of wood.
There was no way to make anything useful with these branches.
To make something sturdy, I would need to find a thick, sturdy tree and carve it down.
But that would take too much time, and how would I even bend the wood?
I can’t be heard.
At this point, it’s not picking up trees, it’s logging.
“Suren, it seems like a failure.
I think I will have to cut down the tree again.”
But after a long time, I could not hear anything behind my back.
“You can’t get away with that.”
I was startled by the sudden voice.
Surely no one was around?
As I turned around, I saw Deon standing with his arms crossed, looking paler than even Suren’s white hair.
Suren, who was standing a few steps away from Deon, lowered her head.
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