Chapter 67

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She hurriedly mumbled, chewed, and swallowed the snack. Then, she could barely answer him.

“I’ll eat it later.”

“Then I will wait until you finish eating.”

“You don’t need to do that. I can eat after work.”

“Then I’ll wait for that too. If I don’t keep the snack time, I’ll be scolded by Ansgar later.”

Cedric sat next to Artizea, stroking the fox fur ornament.

“Is this the fur product you mentioned before?”

“Yes, is it okay?”

Artizea put it on her shoulder and showed it to him.

“It looks good, to be able to wear it like a gold decoration.”

“Yes, that’s a good idea.”

“It suits you.”

Artizea lost words to answer.

Cedric would casually say something like this.

It seemed that he didn’t know that Artizea’s heart trembled every time.

Artizea struggled to turn her head. And she beckoned to Aubrey, struggling to maintain a casual look.

Aubrey came out with the jewelry box, saw Cedric and stopped walking.

Artizea opened the lid of the box with her standing by her side.

“The fox’s eyes look good with sapphire.”

Artizea picked up two small sapphires of the same size.

“And for a rabbit, simple gemstones would be better, garnet and amber. Sophie, go get a pouch to hold this.”

Only then, realizing that Artizea was about to give him the jewel, Jaden struck his hand.

“It’s too much, Grand Duchess. I really can’t accept it.”

“Hold it for three days, then discuss it with your wife. Dispose of it on your own. It won’t be a burden to have such a thing at home because it is a gift.”

“Thank you. “

Jaden knelt down on one of his knees and bowed. And with a thrilled face, he also thanked Cedric.

Artizea said.

“Three fox furs and two more rabbit furs. Make the finest. I’ll send them all to a valuable person, so they must be of different forms. Don’t forget that this is the first product to be introduced.”

“Yes, I will do my best.”

“I will choose jewels that can be used as eyes or decorations and leave it to Margaret. Use it extravagantly.”

“Yes, I understand.”

“I wish I could see the results in a short time.”

“I’ve made it once, so I’ll be able to make the second faster. Thank you for trusting me.”

Jaden politely bowed.

Then he took the jewel bag from Sophie, put it in his arms, hugged the two dolls and went outside.

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“Are you done with your work today?”

Cedric asked, picking up the snack and holding it out. Artizea hesitated.

“Yes.”

Artizea carefully took the snack from Cedric’s hand.

She was conscious of chewing something in front of his eyes, so she was very careful. She was also bothered that there was a crackling sound in her mouth.

Cedric asked.

“Is the taste okay?”

“Yes. I’ve never known that fruit is so delicious.”

For the food situation, the diet consisted mainly of meat processed for storage.

This is where even grain is scarce. All vegetables were pickled and stored. Fruits were only jam or dried.

He was paying special attention to Artizea’s meals in the kitchen, but there were limits.

The scent of apples was precious.

“Eat more. I’ll be here until the plate is empty.”

“You don’t have to bring it yourself like this. Even if you order it to a maid, she’ll keep the snack time.”

“I’m bringing it myself because I want to come.”

Cedric revised it, as if he had forgotten what he said earlier that Ansgar would scold him if he didn’t uphold the snack time.

Then he picked up another snack and handed it to Artizea.

“If you keep doing this, I will get into a bad habit.”

“So it turns out that I didn’t announce my new year goals?”

“You didn’t say anything. What is it?”

“I’m making you spoiled.”

Artizea covered her mouth with her hand and laughed out loud. Because she truly thought it was a joke.

However, Cedric simply smiled deeply and looked at her. The laughter died down. Maybe he wasn’t kidding.

Her mouth could hardly be opened, even though she had decided on what to say.

Cedric called her name.

“Tia.”

Artizea unintentionally turned her eyes, and she again caught him in her gaze.

Cedric smiled lightly. His face was so close that his breath was mixed with Artizea’s.

Cedric lowered his head. Artizea closed her eyes unknowingly.

But his lips touched her cheek, not her lips.

Artizea exhaled a trembling breath to relieve her tension. She thought he was going to kiss her.

Cedric said in a soft voice, sweeping lightly under her eyes.

“I told you to pay attention to the heating, the Grand Hall is still cold. Dress warmly.”

“Yes….”

“See you later. “

Cedric stood up.

‘Why are you doing this to me?’

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Every time she looked at his face, she was eager to ask. The emotions were high.

But she doesn’t really want to know his feelings. She doesn’t even want the right answer.

She just wanted permission to stay a little longer like this.

She can’t do that, but she keeps getting happy.

She could not deny that she was attracted to Cedric.

How could she not be attracted? To such a sweet, strong and upright person.

She ended her life once. There was a time when she was sitting right below the emperor.

She saw and evaluated a lot of people. She disturbed the world as if churning the bottom of the river, confirming the dirtiness at the bottom of men.

It was also then. Cedric was the most straightforward and gorgeous man she knew.

Even when his eyes were covered in mud named Family, she could still see his light shine through.

She pulled him down to the bottom and saw nothing changed.

She dared not to describe him like jewels.

‘At that time… .’

At that time.

She just pretended not to know, because it was something she shouldn’t know.

She came back to the past, and it still was something that couldn’t and shouldn’t be.

So she tried to push her emotions deep into her stomach and ignore Cedric’s hand.

How dare she take the place next to Cedric?

She killed several people whom Cedric cherished. Lysia was also taken; Evron Grand Duchy was destroyed.

Just because time is turned back doesn’t mean that all the crime will disappear. At least it certainly remained in Artizea’s memory.

Even after more than half a year, she sometimes recalled Cedric, who bowed down in front of her.

Every time she did that, it was so painful that it was difficult to even breathe, as if her chest was pierced with a spear.

Artizea sometimes thought she would have been better to stay by Cedric’s side, where she would have been able to help him to work off that punishment.

She knows it’s a selfish idea. She knows that it is much better to minimize the victims.

But every time Cedric smiled with a friendly face, she felt so sore and painful in her heart that she couldn’t help but think so.

At that time, Cedric would not have smiled at her. Knowing everything, he wouldn’t have been kind.

She deserved it.

Even being by his side as a servant is a sinful thing, how dare she want more than that.

For Cedric as a monarch, it was fine. Because he has a vessel that can accommodate evil people like her.

Because he told her to make a plan.

But as a man, he is not his own.

It was also a sin for him to be greedy. She knew he deserved to be refused.

But when he smiled tenderly, her heart jumped.

When he held her hand, her body heated up. When he reached out his hand, she could not escape. She wanted to be held in his arms.

Her lips trembled, knowing the joy he touched.

She wanted to walk a little more, not in reality, but stepping on these sweet dreams.

The feeling left on the cheek was unlikely to disappear for a while.

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***

Aubrey stood far away with her jewelry box.

She was in tears.

It was like being an invisible person.

Artizea did not particularly ignore her, but she did not treat her close as a lady-in-waiting.

The maids who followed Artizea hated her blatantly.

The ladies of the stronghold were not the same as before.

If it were her old days, she was the most precious lady in the stronghold. There were rarely any women in the Grand Duchy, so naturally the daughters of the Jordyn’s received precious treatment.

But now everyone knelt to Artizea. Aubrey was behind the scenes. She was only seen as Artizea’s lady-in-waiting.

But the saddest thing was Cedric’s attitude.

‘How can you not even look at me like that?’

If he looks at her once, he’ll notice this unfair situation.

However, when Cedric was with Artizea, there was very little in him giving any attention to anything other than Artizea.

The gentle gaze, friendly gestures, and kind consideration sometimes seemed sweet.

Every time she saw it right in front of her eyes, Aubrey felt even more disastrous of her standing.

Artizea kept Aubrey close and never let her sit.

The subordinate cannot sit in the seat until the superior allows it. That is the court manner.

Artizea offered to teach her.

Aubrey had to stand by Artizea all day long. Even when the treasurer or the maid is sitting.

That said, she didn’t have anything to be proud of.

All that was left to Aubrey was a jewel box.

It was important. No lady entrusts a jewelry box to someone she doesn’t trust.

But Aubrey thought she was just like a foot on a jewelry box.

Artizea sometimes had her bring the jewelry box so that she could look at it and put it right next to her for an hour to pick.

She can’t believe she was being treated like this. She is the daughter of Count Jordyn, who can be called the first vassal of the Grand Duke, and she is the first lady-in-waiting.

Sophie came out of the bathroom to prepare clothes for the banquet. She saw Aubrey standing until then, and so she said cautiously.

“It’s hard, right? My madam called, and she told me I need to clean up the jewelry box. So, sit back and relax. Since the madam is a gentle person, Miss Aubrey just …..”

“Shut up! Do you sympathize with me when you’re the maid?”

“Aahh!”

Aubrey threw the jewelry box at her.

Sophie, who was beaten by the heavy gold box, fell to the floor. The jewels scattered on the floor and sparkled brilliantly.

Blood ran from one side of Sophie’s head.

Aubrey was startled. Because she didn’t intend to hurt Sophie.

But she soon clenched her lips.

It’s all because of Artizea. As such, it was not a problem for a maid brought from Artizea’s family.

Aubrey knew very well that this was Artizea trying to discourage her.

‘I wonder who will give in.’

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She was the daughter of the Jordyn family, and was the vassal of the Grand Duke Evron. She wasn’t a knight, but she was confident that she wasn’t the same as the weak capital ladies.

‘I’m not someone to be treated like this!’

Aubrey ran out.

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