Refusing Your Ex-Husband's Obsession: A Guide - Chapter 120
Chapter 120 – A strangely eye-catching woman
Although he outwardly looked calm as he was watching Irene’s reactions, Ciel was actually breaking out in cold sweat.
Truly, Irene was the perfect example of an aristocrat. In the past, he could tell what she was feeling right away because she always showed her emotions in her expression, so he could tell even without any words between them.
Now, however, he had no choice but to feel uneasy because he couldn’t read her at all.
“I heard that there was a monster wave just recently here in the Closch territory. I commend you for your hard work.”
“Of course, Your Highness. We only did what we needed to do.”
At Arthur’s reply, Jace flashed a satisfied smile. Unlike the central nobles, it seemed like he didn’t have a black heart—central nobles who commended the work of countryside nobles at the borders were few and far between.
“You’re as reliable as I’ve heard, Baron Closch.”
Jace recalled what his father, the emperor, had said before. Although Espers were widely regarded throughout the empire, he personally thought that it’s only because they had been fortunate enough to receive God’s blessings. On the other hand, the road to becoming a sword master was a difficult one.
The emperor once told him of the history of the Closch lineage, starting from the mention of a sword master hailing from a countryside fief guarding the borders of the country.
In other words, this family could pride itself in its excellent integrity and its solid lineage in it being a historic family producing talented knights from generation to generation.
So, the emperor told the crown prince that he wanted to bring House Closch to the capital and make their presence known amidst the aristocracy. However, the emperor had to give up on this goal because the previous baron, Arthur’s predecessor, refused because he cherished the territory and his people too much.
“Your Highness, do you have to stay here?”
Jace smirked as he heard Ciel’s words. The duke had been looking quite restless and antsy since earlier.
“Duke, the Baron has invited me, so how can I refuse?”
“Your Highness must not know it very well, but if you suddenly come for a visit like this, it’s not a good thing. Besides, do you think they’d be able to swallow their food from how uncomfortable it would be in the dining hall?”
“You’re the one who must not know it well, Duke. The Baron isn’t as wicked as you. That’s why I was endlessly pleased when the Baron invited me over. Don’t you think we’ve gotten a little closer already?”
“What do you mean, wicked? Your Highness must have misunderstood.”
Jace wanted to hit Ciel on the shoulder for those snarky remarks. Really, how was it possible for a person to change so drastically? No matter how hard he thought about it, he just couldn’t understand.
Ciel was about to really lose his marbles here. The crown prince, an Esper, was going to stay in the Closch residence? He already had to keep Morgan in check, but even the crown prince had come into the mix as well.
Just the thought of yet another person getting in his way was so dreadfully, deathly unpleasant.
After the day that the sky poured so heavily of rain, that night that he was overcome with so much ecstasy that he was blinded by it, he decided to keep his distance from Irene for a while.
It was not because he had given up on her, but only because of what he heard that day.
[ I still can’t trust you. ]
The words had shaken his heart. And, hearing those words made him look back into the past.
Until then, he only thought that she might just be having a difficult time understanding the stark difference in his demeanors from the past and the present, so she couldn’t trust him. After all, she didn’t know the whole truth about what kind of situation he was in at that time.
He thought he had improved from the past, but with the realization that his assumption was wrong, he also became aware that, no, indeed, he had not changed a bit from before.
It was tantamount to just complaining about her not being able to understand his situation when he himself made no such attempts to tell her about it.
That’s what he had been doing until now. So, he needed time.
And, he also made up his mind and decided not to keep clinging to the past. Though he still thought that his wife of the past was ever so lovely, so too was she so beautiful and admirable and lovely as well in the present.
He needed to treat her like the person she was now—Irene. She was not the same person any longer.
After all, it was not only him who died back then, but also her. That’s the reason why they were both here together now in this new life.
“We have not been able to prepare much, but I would like for Your Highness to join us on a meal, if you would allow us your presence.”
At Helen’s words, Jace readily replied.
“I’m also at fault for visiting so suddenly, so there’s nothing for you to worry about. It would be a shame to turn down your invitation to dinner, Baroness. I would be much obliged to join you and your family.”
“Yes, then, please come this way.”
With Helen in the lead, everyone headed towards the dining hall. Ciel, inevitably, got distracted as he watched Irene walking in front of him.
How long has it been since I last saw you…
She was still so beautiful and lovely, to the point that her magnificent visage might just blind him.
Irene, walking ahead of his persistent gaze, slightly turned her head to the side. And the moment their eyes met, Ciel’s gaze upon her intensified further.
But, with eyes more indifferent than before, she ignored his look.
I thought we got a little closer though. But I guess not…
With his mood plummeting right away, Ciel entered the dining hall and sat down in the seat offered to him. As they all took their respective seats, the butler and the maids began to move busily to bring out their meals.
As Irene was sitting diagonally opposite him, Ciel couldn’t take his eyes off her at all—not even for a single second.
Jace was astonished to see Ciel like this. Ciel didn’t come back to the capital even when Jace himself said that they had to find the saintess when she disappeared, but apparently, there was a reason other than the monster wave.
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