Chapter 35

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In order to prevent others from eavesdropping, Artizea only had her people around the parlor.

It was not that she didn’t believe in the people of the Grand Duke of Evron, but it was better to be careful. Even information spilled thoughtlessly could be dangerous.

On the other hand, there was no opportunity to look inside.

Artizea decided to discuss the matter with Ansgar today. At the very least, she had to install a sound collector and an eye hole with a lens.

That would be a later project anyway.

Artizea took a small breath and opened the door to the parlor.

“…..”

Lawrence sat cross-legged on the parlor sofa with his eyes closed.

Unlike Artizea, he emitted an aura that resembled Miraila’s.

His fascinating appearance was as sweet as a prince dreamed of by all girls and his cheeks were bright like a person who had been dancing somewhere all night long.

However, Artizea could see that he had struggled to contain his anger, which could burst at any moment and struggled to put a lid on it.

That’s why he closed his eyes as if he couldn’t hear it, even though he came in while showing off his popularity.

In the past, Artizea had evaluated Lawrence this way.

“Brother Lawrence isn’t a foolish person. He has a sense for politics and a sense of judgment. However, he inherited his arrogance from His Majesty, the Emperor, and from his mother who had an unpredictable temperament.”

Both of them easily trampled on his reason and often made him vicious.

Whatever great qualities he had, it was a serious problem that would be offset by his flaws.

A mad emperor or a selfish and greedy emperor. Measuring Lawrence and Roygar determines that. In the past, it was natural that Chancellor Lin did not choose and ultimately quit.

Nevertheless, Artizea thought that Lawrence would be able to overcome his shortcomings.

In other words, this was Artizea’s flaw. It was a judgment that was clouded by blood ties.

Eventually, Lawrence ceased to be completely in control of himself when no one was oppressing him.

But not at this point. He still had a control called the emperor.

So he won’t be able to pour out that anger on Artizea. Now that she was Cedric’s fiancée. Lawrence knows that politics is a delicate and complex affair.

Even though the emperor’s seat seemed to be of absolute power, he understood that it was a position placed on a balance of powers.

So no matter how dissatisfied he may be, he will behave with a soft voice at the presence of the Grand Duke of Evron.

It wasn’t only the emperor’s loyal subjects, but the emperor, himself, told Lawrence to bring Cedric in. Artizea knew it.

However, in a voice that seemed unaware of anything like that, Artizea cautiously called Lawrence.

“You are here, brother?”

Still, it is good to be considered a helpless girl.

Lawrence opened his eyes. Artizea bowed politely to him.

Instead of greeting each other, he still looked at Artizea’s face.

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There was a bruise on the eyebrows, and the scratches on her temple and chin had turned purple.

There was a hit mark on her wrist that was exposed from under one of her fluffy sleeves. There would be more scars in the parts that could not be easily seen.

Artizea did not turn her head, nor cover her wounds.

Lawrence finally sighed when he saw Artizea’s pale complexion.

“Sit down.”

“Yes.”

Artizea avoided the main seat and sat across from Lawrence.

“I heard that you haven’t been in the annex.”

“I went out to get some air.”

“Have you heard the news? Have you been home?”

“Yes. You’ve organized your belongings.”

“Yes, Grand Duke Evron said it would be better to stay at the residence before the wedding.”

“I see.”

It wouldn’t be right to start living together before marriage. Moreover, Artizea is still only 18 years old.

But Lawrence didn’t say a word about it.

Cedric couldn’t stand still when he saw a woman’s face like that. Well, much more against his fiancée.

This had already left Lawrence’s hands.

“How’s mother doing?”

“Listen, she’s down with hysteria.”

Artizea knew all the steps contained in that single sentence.

The mansion will be draped like an evacuation procession, and the maids will roam silently, terrified.

Miraila was now in bed, fluttering in depression.

Anger is a matter of using energy. She once burst into anger and beat Artizea, but then became exhausted and treated her tenderly the next day.

With a sad or sorry face, she acted like a person about to die.

「It’s because I can only rely on you.」

Saying so.

Lawrence asked as Artizea lowered her head.

“If you’re able to, come see her for a moment.”

“No. I don’t want to see my mother for the time being. I think this would be a good opportunity. I’m thinking taking this opportunity to sever ties with my mother.”

Lawrence asked back in amazement.

“Are you serious?”

“Yes.”

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“Tia. This is not something you should decide in haste. Didn’t you love your mother?”

“I love her,” Artizea said with a groan.

Of all the words she’s exchanged with Lawrence so far, that was the only sentence she said with sincerity.

“That doesn’t mean I want to dedicate my whole life to her. I want to be happy with Cedric. This kind of luck may not come to me ever again, so I want to do my best. Even if I couldn’t make it as an honorable Grand Duchess, I want to be recognized as Cedric’s wife.”

“Tia.”

“But I can’t be like that in the name of Miraila’s daughter. Whatever I do, I’ll only be condemned by the world. You know that right?”

What Cedric saw was a big deal, but Artizea did not.

It wasn’t the first time it happened, and it wasn’t going to be much worse than the other times.

However, Artizea’s determination seemed firm.

Lawrence didn’t even know she had that kind of will.

Artizea dropped her head.

“And I don’t want to be this miserable in front of Cedric again.”

“Yes, if that’s what you want.”

Lawrence nodded effortlessly.

After all, the rights of the Marquisate of Rosan belonged to Artizea.

If she marries, she will also inherit the title. It’s not a matter for Lawrence to argue about here.

Unlike Miraila from the start, Lawrence didn’t have any regrets about the Marquis of Rosan’s estate.

“Yes.”

“Then what would you do with the mansion? I have a few mansions, but I think it will take some time for me to organize them and move.”

“I’m going to leave the mansion to my mother. I’m going to give you the maintenance of the mansion and a pension that’s not less than what you’ve been spending so far. You and mother can continue to remain there.”

“Yes. Okay. It’s a little early, but congratulations on your wedding. I wish you had informed me of your engagement in advance.”

Lawrence only said then.

Artizea felt bitter in her heart, but smiled without showing it.

“If things didn’t go fast like this, you would have made an engagement announcement when I returned from the annex.”

“…. yes. I suppose so.”

Lawrence was then caught up in some strange intuition.

Did anything happen?

Was Artizea a kid like this?

He felt uncomfortable. As soon as he returned to the Marquisate of Rosan, he remembered how Bill had complained.

[Even before then, Miss Tia was a little weird. It’s not just because your mother hurt her face. She must have devised a scheme.]

Lawrence didn’t think Artizea knew how to do that.

In the first place, Bill isn’t a credible guy. He was only good at catering up to Miraila, so he just let it go.

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However, it was true that everything was going on at a fast pace, as if the situation had just been lying in wait to unfold.

This was also the case when Artizea decided to change the employees before this even happened.

Thanks to this, the fortune and ownership was already being transferred.

With the emperor’s approval, it would be finished. It couldn’t be done if she didn’t prepare in advance.

‘Tia did… ?’

The Artizea Lawrence knew has always been helpless and intimidated.

He knew she wasn’t a bad kid. And that she always looked around and yearned for affection.

Artizea in front of him now looked like that. Her words were careful, and her attitude was the same as before. The face with the traces of being beaten was haggard.

As if she was determined to be strong, she was clasping the two hands on her knees so tightly that her knuckles turned white.

It was a lot from her point of view to say that she would cut off her relationship with Miraila with such determination.

Nevertheless, she looked pale and cold.

The pupils under the lowered eyelids were deep like the deep sea. It seemed that blue blood was spinning in the veins under her thin skin.

He knew such a person. Sitting in the shade of the conference room and touching the map with a dry hand….

“What are you going to do, brother?”

Artizea spoke as if to cut off that thought.

Lawrence was very nervous. The looming image had already disappeared.

“Me?”

“Yes.”

Artizea raised the curtain that had been down until then. And she said again.

“How long will you be tied to mother?”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Probably no one will be able to say this, but this is a testimony that I can give because I am my mother’s real daughter and my brother’s real sister.”

Artizea chose the words on purpose. Instead of advice, she called it a testimony.

“There’s no one else who needs to cut off their ties with my mother more than my brother.”

“What do you mean?”

“My mother is certainly receiving the favor of His Majesty, the Emperor, but it is not a favor that my brother needs. Because you are His Majesty’s son even without his favor for mother.”

“So?”

“What you need to become a crown prince is not your Majesty’s favor, but a legitimate right.”

Lawrence’s complexion changed a little.

He always felt disgusted to hear that he was born as an illegitimate child.

Artizea spoke once more before he got angry.

“The only one who can give that to brother is Her Majesty, the Empress. The only way for a person outside of marriage to be recognized for the right to inherit is to be adopted by the spouse.”

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From her words, Artizea raised her head.

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