Refusing Your Ex-Husband's Obsession: A Guide - Chapter 7
Chapter 7 – I can meet her once again
In the Stern Empire, instead of during spring, coming-of-age ceremonies were usually held at the height of summer, at the time when the skies were the clearest. This was due to the empire’s name; Stern meant ‘star’ in the ancient language.
The coming-of-age ceremony was typically held at night, from twilight until past midnight. After all, the young men and women would become adults once the clock strikes midnight.
Besides that, true to the empire’s name, the coming-of-age ceremony would not be complete without the proclamation of the brightest and largest star of the night.
Coincidentally, the name ‘Irene’ was attributed to the largest star. It was the star that symbolized ‘peace’, and so the name ‘Irene’ was actually common in the empire, regardless of whether you’re of noble or common descent.
It’s also said that this star had the tributary meaning of commemorating the past empire.
Because I was born into nobility, I was taught basic history. However, since our family has always been struggling with the budget to manage our estate, we have always been unable to find a tutor.
In my case, David taught me what he learned on his own. I still had it better, since he had to teach himself.
I was a countryside noble, and I had never set foot on the capital before. To some extent, it’s true that I lived my life until now without knowing much about the world.
But to think… I didn’t even know that there were Espers in this empire as well. And I belatedly learned that many Espers and Guides also lived amidst society very many years ago.
At some point, however, the Guides began to disappear. On the other hand, the legacy of Espers had been dwindling as well, but they started emerging again recently.
And I had no choice but to know that now.
After riding together in a narrow carriage for three nonstop days, my family and I finally arrived at the capital. We had to open the windows a little because of the heat, and I couldn’t help but hear the bustling commotion from outside through those gaps as they talked about it.
Most of the inns in the capital were already fully booked because of their interest in the saintess.
After asking around here and there, my family had no choice but to settle for a shabby inn that we barely managed to get rooms at. It was a place that typically housed commoners, but we had no other choice.
We had to save money because all members of the family had come here together, and the narrow room that my mother and I shared was as warm and humid as the narrow carriage we had just escaped.
The trip was difficult and it continued to be uncomfortable, but the excitement I was feeling was even greater than all the negatives. And even if it’s because we just might have gotten used to it by now, I’m still so amazed by my family.
It was so crowded and we kept being in each other’s personal space, but I couldn’t believe that they consistently didn’t mind any of that.
As a wave of happiness washed over me, a smile naturally tugged up on my lips.
“My daughter, you don’t even have to say it. Judging by how much you’ve been smiling and laughing more than usual, you’re looking forward to it very much, right?”
“Yeah… I’m a little excited. What kind of person do you think the Saintess is going to be?”
A Guide from Korea. What kind of person was the female lead, who I’ve only ever read about in a novel?
Was she as good and altruistic as she was depicted in the novel?
I was looking forward to seeing the female bring happiness to the two people who would love her—the crown prince and the duke, who had the same name as my ex-husband.
Besides all that, I’m also looking forward to helping out with my family’s business.
We couldn’t get two wagons though, so we didn’t have any employees with us.
As my mother unpacked our bags and took out my dress, I walked closer to the window and opened it for a little while.
It’s fortunate that we arrived before lunch. I’ll at least be able to catch my breath before evening comes.
From this shabby inn on the outskirts of the capital, the imperial palace could be seen towering from a distance away. Compared to any other structure I’d seen before, the palace was exceptionally grander and more magnificent.
My calm heart seemed to beat a little faster with the anticipation that was slowly rising within me.
* * *
[ Ciel… ]
[ Goodbye, Honey… ]
No. Don’t go, please.
At night, during the period in which he was forced to be asleep, he was always haunted by auditory hallucinations.
No, not just auditory. He suffered from visual hallucinations as well.
He knew that these things had not happened yet, but these scenes were so clearly vivid. He would always wake up in cold sweat in the morning.
With such strong emotions arresting him, it was so intense that it wouldn’t be strange if even his eyes would flip over from them. And along with these emotions, his body would make him use his abilities regardless of his will.
Again, the curtains and tables around him were burned to a crisp in an instant, and the only traces of them left were their scattered ashes on the floor.
His blue eyes, hazy from his fitful slumber, became clear only after he had ascertained his surroundings. From his bed, he rose to his feet and walked towards the window.
He looked out to see the familiar yet unfamiliar landscape before him, and it was only then that he could breathe out a sigh of relief.
A knock could be heard from outside the door. It seemed that the butler noticed that his master had awoken.
“Your Grace, how do you feel?”
A young butler’s voice inquired after hearing his master coughing. Despite the memories still plaguing Ciel, with a hoarse voice, he allowed the butler to enter.
At his command, the butler quickly entered the room, bowing towards him.
“Shall I bring you a glass of cold tea, Your Grace?”
As this butler had been serving him for quite a while now, he knew well enough about his master’s habit after waking up. The first thing he’d usually do was to drink a glass of cold tea full of ice.
The butler was also well aware of how he should leave his master alone, too. It hadn’t been long since he started having this habit.
The butler quickly brought in what his master needed, then promptly disappeared from the room. Of course, he did not forget to sweep away the ashes in the meantime.
Once he was alone again, Ciel sat down by the bay windows. There was no one here who would have expected him to sit in such a lax position.
There, he drank the cold tea all at once without pausing in between to breathe. He ate the ice as well, his teeth crunching down on the cold blocks.
And it was only then that the blazing embers from within him—a little, only a little—started calming down.
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