We're in a Contract Marriage, But I've Imprinted - Chapter 44
After finishing my makeup, I checked in the mirror and smiled happily. I couldn’t do it as skillfully as Nicola, but I was satisfied with the bright aura on my pale face.
I checked the jewelry in the dressing room, and chose the amethyst pin that Nicola gave me and pinned it to the side of my ponytail.
After checking in front of the full-length mirror, I headed to the main building.
The seasons were changing from spring to early summer, so the wind was cool, but the sun stung a little more.
The moment I regretted not bringing the parasol that Nicola gave me, I saw the back door of the main building. I didn’t want to go back, so I started moving again.
After standing in front of the back door and breathing for a while, I entered the main building.
I was nervous and hesitated, then stepped in. After passing through a short hallway, I saw a staircase and a wide lobby caught my eye.
Unlike before, I noticed that the employees were passing by quickly. Just as I was about to call them, someone came into the lobby.
“Stop minding me, Brother. Just pay attention to your fiancée. Why are you daftly following me?”
“Shush, I have an appointment today too.”
“I can be alone with Ian if Brother would just go.”
Alex laughed at Monica’s words.
“To be precise, you were included in my appointment with him. And I’m not the only one coming today.”
“…Then? Who else is coming?”
“Pedro, who is much busier than we are. So, how could I break my promise with a lie?
“…Is Brother Pedro coming too?”
“Yes. He made time for this appointment, so how could I not come? It’s been a long time since I’ve seen him, I should at least look at his face this time.”
“Well, I can’t say anything. If Brother Pedro is coming too…”
I unintentionally listened in on the conversation between the two. As soon as Monica’s eyes met mine, my body stiffened with tension.
She stopped talking and glared at me. Then Alex’s gaze followed it.
“Tsk, you still haven’t fixed the habit of coming to the main building in an arrogant way. When you’re an illegitimate child.”
As soon as Alex saw me, he cursed at me and strode forward, acting no different from Monica.
I was so surprised that I took a step back without realizing it. In the county, the one I feared more than Monica was Alex.
Consistently, he had despised me ever since our childhood.
If Monica was gracefully harassing me behind closed doors, Alex openly harassed me so blatantly in front of everyone.
“Ha, you’re even wearing makeup…”
Alex, who quickly reached right in front of me, scrutinized me up and down with an expression that was no different from the past.
“Do you think Ian will give you the slightest glance just because you put this on? If you have a head, use it to think. How can the Duke’s heir get you, an illegitimate child, as his wife?”
“If you’re stupid, you should be aware, but you don’t even have a conscience. How can you possibly look beautiful when you behave in such a way?”
I couldn’t get my head around the pouring of abuse. I was trembling without being able to say anything. Then he whispered close to me.
“Wearing makeup, huh. What’s the difference between you and a whore now?”
* * *
Melissa wanted to refute the insulting words, but she couldn’t even open her mouth to the violence that had been a routine since her childhood. Frightened that her hand might fly off, Melissa hesitated and backed away little by little.
“What? You won’t answer me?”
Alex didn’t just look at Melissa. After grabbing Melissa’s wrist roughly, he raised his other hand. Because he couldn’t forget the humiliation that his younger sister suffered because of this illegitimate child.
But he couldn’t lay a hand on her like he did before.
His hand, blocked by an intangible energy, remained stuck in the air and did not budge.
The voice of a friend he hadn’t heard in a long time reached Alex as he shouted, unable to hide his flustered face.
“You’re still the same.”
Pedro, who entered the mansion, stared at Alex and then lightly waved. Then, the once-frozen hand fell off.
“Hey, you scared me. Are you using magic for trivial things like this? Wow, a mage is surely different?
“You haven’t changed at all.”
“Never mind me, it’s this thing that has to change. Or disappear.”
Alex answered while looking at Pedro, but the content was nothing short of dismissing Melissa.
“If she disappears, you won’t look for her?”
Alex’s chest swelled greatly at Pedro’s cold words. He, too, was a nobleman, so he had no difficulty in hiding his true feelings, but this was an exception to his family and close friends.
“It’s been a while since I met a close friend. You’re being a little rough? Maybe I misunderstood? Or, is this a mage’s joke?”
“Once it’s in the eye, it’s always in the eye. Even if it disappears, unless you shake it off, it will be an annoyance forever. Am I wrong?”
“…I didn’t take the time out to listen to your nagging right after we met. Why are you meddling in our family affairs?”
As the voice grew louder and louder, Monica slipped aside. Pedro tilted his head at Alex.
“How is this a family affair? Isn’t that omega a member of the Ducal household now?”
Pedro’s words rendered Alex speechless for a moment.
“Since you tried to slap the person belonging to the Ducal household, shouldn’t you rather thank me? If it weren’t for me, you might not have a face to show Ian.”
“Do you think Ian would care about an illegitimate girl like this?”
As Alex shouted, Pedro shrugged his shoulders in disinterest and came over to Melissa.
He stopped a step away from the frightened Melissa and examined her carefully.
“Are you alright?”¹
When he asked in a sweet voice, she hesitated for a moment. Anyone that Alex and Monica knew must be nobles, so she had to be careful of the kindness that nobles showed.
Because usually, nobles would suddenly turn cold.
“You look very surprised. Where do you stay?”
“…It’s, it’s okay. I can go back alone.”
“I think you’re barely standing… Your hands are still shaking.”
Melissa looked down at her own hands as Pedro said.
She hadn’t been conscious of it all this time, but her hands were shaking. Embarrassed, she quickly hid her hands behind her back.
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