“I must get the Dukedom this time. You know that, right?”
He has been especially relaxed in front of Monica, but today he was so friendly that it was incomparable to before. Even those who were watching blushed.
“I know! But…”
“It’s just that my heir comes first.”
Monica’s shoulder, which was greatly shaken by his blunt, kinder voice than usual, gradually came down.
“But why her! That makes no sense! She’s a beta!”
He straightened his back as if he had seen something pitiful and said.
“There are other omegas! There are even better omegas than that lesser thing!”
“…Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any.”
In the end, Monica burst into tears like a child. He was being affectionate but he was going against her will.
I looked up at the two of them, clutching the soil in my palm. I didn’t know exactly what the relationship between the two was. They weren’t officially engaged after all.
It wasn’t just about my marriage with Marquis Pittman, but I wasn’t going to marry that man either.
They were noble and elegant, but I had to look up to them, sprawling on the dirty dirt ground.
The exposed position now is the discrimination I have to endure in the future.
It reminded me of what Mother had whispered.
‘Omegas are not people, Mel.’
‘Then what are they?’
I asked, and Mother replied,
‘Just objects. Objects to look for if they’re needed. Common objects that are thrown away when no longer needed.’
Then Mother muttered,
’But Mel. Why don’t people know? The fact that those objects are actually real people with feelings.’
Thanks to Mother, I could realize where an omega’s position was.
I finally found out that the choker, which I thought was suffocating and constricting, actually made me live a more humane life.
But Mother was no longer by my side and there was only dust in my surroundings. I closed my eyes while staring at the two in a daze.
When I closed my eyes, Mother’s face came upon my vision. Then I felt a little bit better.
Just three years.
If I endure for three years, I can live like a human again.
Until then, I am an emotionless object.
I made a promise while pretending not to know the hot water that seeped under my eyelids.
I will never love that man.
* * *
I entered the Duchy while covered in dust.
I don’t know what he said to Brother, but Monica was the only one who watched me when I left the County.
Ian covered his nose and mouth with a handkerchief and closed his eyes the whole time we rode together.
Monica’s appearance that I had seen earlier had all evaporated like steam and was as still as water that had cooled down.
When the carriage stopped, he hurried out. In the County, he escorted me out, but this time it wasn’t like that.
It was because the butler of the Duchy, who had already been waiting for me, escorted me instead.
“Henry, please guide her so that she can get some rest first.”
“Yes, I understand.”
After talking to the butler, he looked at me and said briefly.
“Let’s sign the contract tomorrow. You can stay where you are guided from now on.”
He disappeared into the main building, and I walked along the side path, guided by the butler.
As expected, it seems that I will be staying here in a separate building. Of course, staying in the main building was only for direct descendants.
At most, why would he bring a contract marriage partner for a limited time into the main building?
My heart ached knowing that my situation would not change. It took a considerable amount of time just to walk to the Duchy’s annex, which was more spacious than the County.
Perhaps he was really trying to put me in a place where people couldn’t see me, so I went in endlessly.
“This is it.”
The butler was still politely guiding me, but he had a completely different attitude than what he had shown in front of Ian.
His tone was polite, but there was contempt in his eyes.
“I’ll tell you once, so remember it properly. If you come all the way along this side path, you’ll find the main building. When the Young Master calls, you just have to follow this path and come to the main building. And the maid will bring you meals when the time comes. Anything else you need, tell the maid directly.”
The butler, who finished speaking quickly, went back the same way. I went into the annex while taking a deep breath.
I looked around the old and narrower place than the County’s annex. It smelled old, but it was clean.
Indeed, the County’s annex was, no doubt, built by Father for Mother.
I was so tired that I laid down when I found a bed. I didn’t know what kind of life I would live in the future, but I pictured the future after it was over in my head.
Then, I felt a little bit better.
* * *
Contrary to concerns, my life was comfortable for a few days after I came to the Duchy. It was more comfortable because I didn’t have to hear Monica’s sudden call to get me into trouble, or Jessie’s nagging whenever she came to the annex.
And I went to the main building once. To his office to sign the contract.
Although he was the Lord who had not yet succeeded to the dukedom, I had heard that he handled all the duties of a Duke.
This was something Monica had said to Jessie, and I remembered it because Jessie often talked about it just to show off her closeness to Monica.
His office, which I went to, was neat.
Papers were stacked high on both sides of the desk, but the place sparkled bright enough that not a speck of dust could be seen, as if to show his mysophobia.
A neat contract was handed over to me. The terms of the contract were also very concise.
It was exactly what I had heard from him, and I was surprised to find that the compensation was more generous than I had expected.
Oh, there was one unusual clause written.
“‘Do not imprint’… “
Because Mother and I were omegas, I knew the basics of alphas and omegas.
Most of my common sense was what Mother taught me.
However, Mother never once explained about imprinting. What was it?
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