Either way, Azela had no regrets because she thought he would come out like this.
It was difficult for her to get a divorce because of the ‘mistress’ unless it was an agreement between the two sides.
If that had been possible, all of the nobles’ wives would have sued their husband for alimony.

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This was just for Azela to show herself to Daniel.

‘I have no regrets with you anymore.’

“You have changed, Daniel.”

Azela stared at him with a disgusted gaze and murmured a little.

“What?”

“In the past, you weren’t the kind of person who touched others recklessly.”

There was no one to help her as she fell.
Azela, who stood up on her own, swept her dusty dress and uttered in a sullen tone.

Daniel furrowed his eyebrows at her words.
His wrinkled face looked as if he was angry or trying to hold back his tears.

“…Nothing has changed.”

Still holding his breath, he spoke in a calm but cold tone.

“It’s just that I had a hard time matching you by my side.
I just wanted to have you by my side, whom everyone looks up to, so I was just trying so hard.”

“….”

“But now, the need is gone.
I have Sylvia to look after me, and I love her, too.”

His voice was calm and cold, though every word he spat out sounded like a desperate cry to her.
It was the first time he had treated her this way.
Even though she pretended to be calm on the outside, in reality, Azela thought her heart was going to explode and break.

She was Countess Todd, the Madam of this mansion.
She wondered if it was okay for her husband, Daniel, to treat her like this.

However, when she saw Irene’s final appearance rising like water, Azela clenched her fists so as not to collapse.

“Azela, when I’m with you, I…”

Daniel raised his hand to his forehead and wrinkled his face with a confused look.
Sylvia, who was next to him, wrapped her arms around Daniel’s shoulder and comforted him.

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“It wasn’t the first time I wanted to die of suffocation.
I had to tighten my neck with my own hands thousands of times to match your witty sense of justice.
You always didn’t need my help and treated me like a petty bug.
Everyone around you said it.
I’m the one who gets in your way.”

There was nothing wrong with what he said.

When she said she was going to marry Daniel, everyone was unanimous in objection.
He was a man with nothing to see, so everyone around her who cared for Azela looked down on him.

At Daniel’s words, she looked at him with a blank expression.
Had they been broken since they thought they’d be okay…? At that time, seeing Daniel who smiled, saying, ‘It’s okay,’ she wondered if he was really okay.

…Did she do something wrong?

“Sylvia is different.
She always needs me, and without me, she can’t sleep at night.
Not like you, Azela.”

Daniel tightened the corners of his eyes and gazed at Azela with a face full of anger.

It was true that she could feel that his own relationship with her had gone awry from the moment Sylvia came in.
However, when she heard his story, she realized.

Azela and Daniel… It was wrong from the beginning.

At that thought, Azela’s heart seemed to be pounding.
She no longer had any affection or regret for him, but she felt badly at the thought that maybe she was the one who had created this relationship.

“I’m saying this now, Azela.”

“….”

“I have never loved you for a moment.”

Daniel regained his composure and looked at her with a calm gaze.

Now, Azela’s heart, which she thought would never be hurt again, plummeted again.
She felt that all her life with him had been denied.

“From the beginning to this moment, I have never once loved you.”

He spoke again to Azela as if pounding a strong wedge.
Then, he grabbed Sylvia’s wrist and left Azela, leaving the dining room first.

She believed that they had a fiery love, and thought that she was the main character who overcame hardship and adversity and got a happy ending.
Though at this moment, all of them were shattered to pieces.

Azela staggered in her blurry gaze, clutching the corner of the table tightly.
If she hadn’t, it felt like she was going to fall.

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“Ma, madam.”

“…It’s okay, everyone go away.”

All the servants, who were not sure what to do with her orders, left the dining room.

Azela didn’t cry.
She just felt like she was about to cry and grabbed the table tightly.

 

***

 

“It’s better than I thought.”

“…Yes.”

“Did you check it yourself? It’s so good that I don’t even need to touch it anymore.”

“…Yes.”

Looking at the papers Azela handed him, Zagnac smiled quite contentedly.
He didn’t expect much when she came to find him resting in his newly purchased outskirts mansion, saying that she had completed the site selection.

Perhaps, it was because he thought that she might come by saying that she had chosen a strange site under the pressure of Count Todd.

However, unlike that, the documents that Azela brought were about land in a downtown area with a lot of floating population, and the land usage fee was relatively cheap.
Zagnac smiled as he remembered Azela from the night before, who was whining about not having ‘eyes to see,’

However, for some reason, she didn’t look happy.

Zagnac, staring intently at her, threw the papers on the desk and tilted his head towards her.

“Are you depressed because things seem to be doing better than you think?”

“….”

Azela didn’t laugh, even in his joking voice.

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Standing expressionless in front of him with her hands clasped politely, she was like a well-decorated doll.
Azela’s empty eyes were looking at him, but they didn’t contain him.

When he saw that, Zagnac wrinkled his brow as he stopped joking.

“What’s the matter?”

“….”

Azela did not answer his question.

Noticing that, he raised his sitting body and walked in front of her before placing his hand gently on her shoulder.

“….”

Azela lifted her head as his hand touched her shoulder and gazed at Zagnac.

He didn’t know it from afar, but when he saw her up close, her lower lip was a mess.
How much did she bite it and how many times did she bite it… There were scars all over her lip and there was blood all over the bruises.

“Is it related to Count Todd?”

Zagnac asked in a low voice.
His eyes, which were always playful and full of smiles, were also calming down.

Count Todd, Azela seemed to have regained her senses to the name.
Even though he only called that name, her slender body trembled.
Come to think of it, there seemed to be a red scar near the nape of her neck that wasn’t there before.

Even though she didn’t answer, her reaction was telling him instead of an answer.

“Did Count Todd recommend you to use a different land than this?”

At his question, Azela shook her head while holding back her tears.

“No.
He said that I should choose a site from Count Todd’s side.
Of course, I refused.”

“Then, you did a good job, but why are you like this?”

Trying to swallow her cry, she habitually bit her lower lip hard again.
Drops of blood formed immediately on her swollen lips.
Seeing that, Zagnac lifted his finger and touched her lower lip very slightly, preventing her from biting it.

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“…Do you trust my choice?”

Azela asked in a weak voice.

In response to her absurd question, he tilted his head to one side.

Azela lowered her gaze and shrugged her shoulders as she continued her words, “Maybe, my choice itself was wrong.
It looks good, but it might actually be a big problem.
It was a choice I thought was okay… But, it wasn’t.”

There were words that were completely incomprehensible, though he did not ask her.
Azela said no more.

Zagnac, who had gently touched her lower lip with his finger, turned his body toward his desk with a light footstep.
Without Azela talking, he slammed his stamp on the papers she brought.
At that, she hurriedly turned to him with an astonished expression.

“Wa, wait.”

“Too late.
I have already stamped my approval.”

“Are, are you crazy? I’m new to business.
After you properly review—”

Zagnac put the stamped papers back into her hands, who was shrugging her shoulders slightly.

“I left it with you, and you brought me the paperwork, so I just approved it.”

“Za, Zagnac.”

“Wrong.”

At her call, he raised his index finger and firmly waved it from side to side just like last night.

“Now it’s ‘Duke Ferial.’”

“….”

“There must be a reason why you chose that place.
I just believe it.”

“…What are you going to do if that choice itself is wrong?”

Azela murmured softly as she dropped her head with an unconfident face.
Even spitting such excuses out of her mouth seemed to hurt her self-esteem.

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