Cecilia opened her mouth slowly, her eyebrows wrinkled.
It was spring and summer, the season in between.
As evening came, a cold wind blew past her shoulders.
A brief silence passed.
Filina asked as she approached her.
“Miss Cecilia, why are you avoiding me? Perhaps I did something wrong?”
Cecilia lowered her head slightly and bit her lower lip.
The voice that answered that way was somewhat trembling.
Filina said with a frown.
“Then why did you avoid me?”
Cecilia was still speaking without making proper eye contact with Filina.
“I must have mistaken it alone like an idiot.”
Her green eyes fluttered wildly.
Cecilia’s delicate voice echoed over the quiet garden.
“So I…misunderstood that I became very close with Lady Filina… … … … .”
“What do you mean?”
Filina took one step closer to her and asked.
“Aren’t we friends? Or, am I also mistaken like Miss Cecilia?”
It was a bit strange to say that they mistakenly thought they were close.
Cecilia felt it too, so she looked at Filina with her round eyes.
“What’s so sad?” Filina asked, furrowing her eyebrows.
“You didn’t say anything to me.”
“What do you mean?”
When Filina asked with a puzzled face, Cecilia curled her lips for a moment.
Then, with a pitiful expression on her face, she spat it out.
“Why didn’t you tell me you were going to the swordsmanship academy?”
Filina wrinkled her face.
So the reason Cecelia looked so sad was because Filina didn’t tell her that she just went to the swordsmanship academy?
It was an absurd reason.
Filina asked with an incomprehensible face.
“Miss Cecilia, is that something to be sad about? I thought you had heard about it from His Highness…”
“That’s why I hate it even more! At least, I thought I was closer to Lady Filina than to His Highness.”
She muttered, full of anguish.
“I was so annoyed when I saw His Highness laughing so hard, saying, ‘Didn’t you know that Lady Filina went to the Sword Art Academy?’…!”
Hearing Cecilia’s words, Filina felt absurd.
Ian seemed to have teased Cecilia.
It just so happened that Filina was the one who was stuck in between.
Filina put her hand on her forehead and sighed.
“There is nothing to be upset about.
After receiving the notification of acceptance, I didn’t have time to tell everyone because I was so busy preparing.”
“…Then you told somebody but me?”
“His Highness often visits the military academy, so he only found out about it by chance.”
In fact, Laura and Enoch knew it first, but there was no need to add such a statement.
Cecilia nodded her head with a more relaxed expression, as if she was feeling better at Filina’s words.
She then looked at Filina with a firm face as if she still had something to point out.
“Then should I believe that you consider me closer than His Highness?”
Filina couldn’t understand Cecilia’s thoughts at all.
She didn’t know why she kept comparing Ian to herself.
In the first place, Filina never wanted to get close to Ian.
Oh, it was just annoying.
So she was able to answer Cecilia without a single lie.
But a voice was heard from behind before Filina could even answer her.
Cecilia turned her gaze to where the soft voice had come from, and her expression hardened.
I’ve known Filina for several years.”
Ian smiled slightly and looked down at Cecilia.
Then she spoke in a discontent voice to Filina.
“I didn’t tell you to bring friends.”
Apparently Ian thought she came here to keep the promise that had made.
It seemed that the first song of the ball had already ended.
Filina didn’t know what to do with her complicated mind.
According to the original story, the only people who had to stand in the rose garden were Ian and Cecilia.
This scene was a part of a little tension and romance that could make their relationship progress a little more.
But now, the topic of the two of them was only talking about Filina.
She was not necessary for the scenes they would create.
However, the two of them, who did not know this, were showing a strange war of nerves.
“Will you spare me your seat?”
Ian said, looking at Cecilia.
Then she asked, squinting her eyes.
“I’m sorry, but I was talking to Lady Filina first.”
“Originally, I had an appointment with her.”
“…but we still have a lot of stories to tell!”
Cecilia shouted, her eyes wide.
Both of her cheeks were red, perhaps from the light of the street lamp in the garden.
A light breeze blew past Cecilia’s hair.
There was a faint smell of alcohol from somewhere.
Filina’s face changed strangely as she looked at Cecilia.
‘Maybe she drank the champagne in the banquet hall.’
Was she drunk from the drink?
“You are outrageous these days.”
Cecilia shuddered at Ian’s cool voice.
Without realizing it, her footsteps as she sprinted backwards were slightly out of alignment.
Filina spoke with helplessness.
“Miss Cecilia, I think we should talk later.”
At Filina’s words, Cecilia wept over her face as she was wounded.
Then her cheeks, which were burning red, became even more evident.
Filina seemed to have a headache for some reason.
“I’m on vacation starting tomorrow, so I’ll invite Miss Cecilia to my mansion.
Let’s talk again then.”
Finally, Cecilia reluctantly nodded her head.
She turned around with slow footsteps.
Cecilia’s escort knight followed closely behind her.
Looking at her back, Filina felt confused.
In fact, she should have been the one to disappear from this scene now, not Cecilia.
She had no idea how the story was going.
She heard Ian’s voice.
Filina turned her back and faced Ian.
His beautiful blonde hair shone brilliantly.
The pupils looking down on Filina were heavy.
“…I didn’t really come here to meet Your Highness,” she said, avoiding his gaze.
She was afraid Ian might have wrong expectations.
“It doesn’t matter.”
Ian exhaled softly and carefully grabbed Filina’s wrist.
Then they started walking together along the promenade where beautiful roses were in full bloom.
Filina stared at the joined hands.
The quietly sunken night sky in the rose-scented space created a romantic background.
If it were someone else, would she have been thrilled by the romantic atmosphere?
If the person walking with Ian wasn’t herself, but Cecilia… … would she fall in love with him?
Filina, who was walking helplessly holding Ian’s hand, stopped walking.Then, Ian, who was walking ahead, also stopped his steps.
He turned his head and looked at Filina.
Looking at Ian, she asked with a small smile.
“…Why did you ask to see me here separately?”
Ian let out a small sigh.
Then he pulled something out of his pocket and held it in front of Filina.
“Actually, I wanted to give it to you on a bench inside the garden.”
“When I’m with you……the picture I want doesn’t come out well.
He furrowed his eyebrows and gently covered his face with one of his hands.
“I don’t know if it’s because I am nervous without realizing it….”
The tip of his ears that could be seen through the large hand was red.
Filina lowered her gaze and looked at the indigo box he held out.
A box decorated with a yellow ribbon revealing a luxurious texture just by looking at it.
She asked again, raising her head and looking into his eyes.
“What is this?”
At Filina’s question, Ian lowered the hand that had covered his face and carefully opened the box.
Then a beautiful necklace with a red rose was revealed.
Ian looked at her with a friendly smile.
“I thought it would suit you well, so I prepared it.”
“I hope I like you… … … … … “
He took the necklace out of the box and took a step forward in front of Filina.
With a slow motion of his hands, Ian swept Filina’s voluminous hair to one side.
He was going to put the necklace on her.
But Filina retreated and stopped his hands.
Ian’s face hardened coldly.
The cold wind made her skin tingle.
Filina looked up at him with an expressionless face and murmured.
“I can’t receive that necklace.”
Ian looked at her fiercely.
“…Why can’t you receive it?”
“Your Highness should know better.”
He looked down for a moment at Filina’s words and spoke in a dry voice.
“Because I have a fiancée? But you know marriage in the imperial court is just a formality.”
“…So now, Your Highness is saying that you are going to meet me secretly from behind, with Miss Cecilia as your wife?”
Ian opened his mouth with a heavy expression.
Filina rolled her eyes, unable to understand him.
Then, Ian took a deep breath with a hesitant face, and then he uttered in a calm voice.
“…if I become emperor.”
His golden iris shone alluringly.
“I’m going to divorce Cecilia and take you as Empress.”
Ian looked straight at her.
His firm expression was radiating a determined light as if he had made a great decision.
Filina’s face, staring at Ian, gradually turned into astonishment.
Now, what did Ian just say?
Divorce Cecilia and who will be empress?
Filina sighed with a confused face.
It was time to take a moment to understand the situation.
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