I Don't Need the Grand Duke's Regret - Chapter 19
Armilla nervously called out to Ricardo. She was worried that he would leave at any moment. With Armilla’s call, Ricardo spoke dryly in an annoyed tone.
“If you say you want to leave, then fine. I understand you.”
Standing up, Ricardo looked at Armilla with sharp eyes and added.
“I’m sorry if you thought I wanted you to leave. I don’t remember being mean to the person who saved me.”
“That’s not it. I …….”
Armilla’s eyes widened as he sounded like he misunderstood her intentions. Armilla hurriedly reached out and grabbed his jacket.
“I, I didn’t even dare to make that misunderstanding. I said this because I wanted to be of help to Your Grace. Anything, I want to do something.”
Armilla’s eyes shook at the dry question he asked back relentlessly. She didn’t even dare look at him and said, looking at her hand on his jacket.
“Your Grace said I was your lifesaver, but Your Grace, who brought me from the mountain, is my savior. I wanted a chance to repay the favor.”
Ricardo gently wrapped his large hand around her white hand that held his jacket. Armilla flinched for a moment, but he removed his delicate hand with an expressionless face.
“I don’t need it.”
With that simple, plain tone, Armilla squeezed her hands together. It was nothing short of saying he didn’t need her. Like frost had settled on her heart, her insides felt chilly.
As Armilla shut her mouth, Ricardo turned around. The conversation ended with that.
All Armilla could do was watch with a stunned face as Ricardo took his cloak with him.
Outside the window, a strong wind was still blowing.
* * *
The Princess’ funeral was held without delay. The employees of the Renato Mansion moved in perfect order to greet the mourners from outside.
“Employees should attend outside. This is the Master’s command to express his condolences to the Princess with all the courtesy.”
When the bell announcing the start of the funeral rang, Missus Catarina clapped her hands. With her stern voice, the employees stopped what they were doing and gathered all at once in front of the small temple built inside the mansion.
Armilla stood among the employees who quickly lined up as if they had their assigned spot.
The areas were divided into the main building, the west building, and the north building, and there was no place for her anywhere among the employees lined up.
“Get out of the way.”
A gray-haired maid, whom she encountered one day in the hallway, shoved the hesitant Armilla hard with her shoulder.
Because of that, Armilla was thrown out of the crowd of employees. There was no one who lifted her up when she fell to the floor. Pretending not to see her, they were just waiting with a calm face.
“Over there, what is it?”
Missus Catarina’s voice flew towards Armilla, who was trying to get up. The Missus slowly approached Armilla, who straightened her back.
“Why is Lady Armilla here?”
Missus Catarina asked the question in a strange tone that was polite but did not contain any meaning of respect.
When the Missus spoke to her, all the employees’ eyes were fixed on Armilla’s face. Armilla opened her mouth a little while receiving the stinging stare.
“I heard everyone should attend.”
“Yes, that’s right. However, this is the place for employees. Lady Armilla is not an employee.”
Missus Catarina gave a bitter look. She pointed to the door of the temple and said.
“Then go inside.”
Armilla crumpled her skirt. Even if the chief maid had offered her, she was hesitant to enter the temple.
There were guests there, including those with positions such as Nasir and Ezio. It was not a place for someone whose origins were unknown.
“No, I will be here…….”
As Armilla quarreled with the Missus, the employees began to murmur. Words like ‘lucky’ and ‘know your place’ were heard in the interspersed sounds.
Missus Catarina raised her voice briefly to shut the employees. Quieting the employees with a single breath, she threw a cold gaze at Armilla and returned to her place. Her attitude showed that she would not accept any further refutations.
Armilla had no choice but to open the heavy door of the temple where the pipe organ began to play.
As the door opened, bright light poured in and a tall man dressed in black came into her view among the white building.
It was Ricardo in his suit for the funeral.
Dressed in a black suit tailored to fit his muscular body, he looked like a work of art. The innumerable candles in the temple made his perfect face with masculine lines shine even more.
Being a head taller than the priest standing next to him, Ricardo caught Armilla’s gaze. Armilla stared blankly at him.
Ricardo’s neat eyebrows twitched as his fine hair was brushed back and his forehead was revealed. It seemed that he had seen Armilla coming in late. His gaze, as deep as the abyss, was fixed on her.
At that moment, Armilla felt the illusion that she was trapped inside his gaze.
Armilla used to feel helpless when her eyes met Ricardo’s. She felt like the most insignificant being in the world.
As Armilla stood firm by the door, a deep, resonant voice rose from between his moderately full lips. It was Ricardo’s voice.
Armilla, who had been standing there possessed, came to her senses and sat down at the very back of the temple.
When the head of the family gave the order, the priest nodded politely and cleared his throat.
“Let us begin the funeral of Princess Mirabel Etienette.”
Armilla, who had been listening to the priest’s declaration, winced her eyes.
The moment she heard that it was the Princess’s funeral, she felt strange.
A clear reluctance swept over Armilla, as if she was listening to something she was not supposed to hear. Ever since she heard that they were going to have a funeral, it had been a subtle sensation that she had been feeling.
At first, she thought it was because she was uncomfortable with the Princess’ existence. But when she came to the funeral hall, it didn’t seem like that.
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