There was a moment of silence.
Fortunately or unfortunately, Aslan and Rosalyn did not continue their previous conversation.
“Is there anything uncomfortable?”
“What do you mean uncomfortable! I’m so happy that I wonder if I’m even allowed to do this.
I will always be grateful for your hospitality.”
Aslan took care of Rosalyn affectionately, and Rosalyn treated him with her characteristic lively manner.
“I’m glad to hear that.
But if you need anything later, you can always tell me.”
“Thank you very much, Aslan.”
This concluded the conversation between the two.
I heard the distant footsteps.
The heavy and relaxed steps belonged to Aslan, and the light steps belonged to Rosalyn.
The sound of the two kind of footsteps could no longer be heard.
Since the people I was eavesdroping on left, there was nothing more I needed to hear.
But even until the two of them left in different directions, I stood there as if I was rooted.
Aslan’s words echoed in my mind.
[Yes, I didn’t marry my wife because I loved her.]
Yes it’s true.
[I just made a contract with her out of necessity.]
Our marriage was part of a contract in order to meet each other’s needs.
So, even if Aslan speaks in such a formal way, there is no reason for me to be hurt.
[I didn’t expect it to last this long either….It’s annoying.]
I didn’t know you hated me enough to say this.
‘I thought we were getting along pretty well, but it was my own misunderstanding.’
Was I holding him back?
As I endured the deep emotions that came up, I suddenly remembered the contents of the ‘original’ that I had read in my previous life.
Aslan’s confession was shocking.
“There is no ‘love’ between us that is known to the public.
On the contrary, it would be the other way around…….”
Aslan’s fine eyebrows frowned.
He explained it in a tone that seemed horrible to imagine.
“I married Helena, not because I loved her, but because she knew my weakness and threatened me.”
To Rosalyn, who stuttered in surprise, Aslan nodded his head in affirmation.
“For a reason, we’ve kept it a secret until now, but I don’t want to cause any misunderstandings.”
Aslan calmly explained.
However, in contrast to his blunt voice, there were complicated emotions floating around in his wrinkled eyes.
Confused, Rosalyn didn’t even notice his delicate inner side.
She was too busy keeping her mouth wide open .
The Duke and Duchess of Tordell, who are famous for being a married couple of the century, had such a secret.
No one will believe it.
Their grand wedding was still widely talked about years later.
Even the commoners in faraway provinces who had never met the Duchess of Tordell would chat about the secret of the couple’s marriage and how great it was, like a fairytale.
Just as it is natural for the sun to rise in the east and set in the west, the Duke and Duchess of Tordell loved each other terribly.
This was the established theory.
Until just now Rosalyn also had believed in rumors that everyone thought were true.
‘But it was all fake.’
Rosalyn recounted her memory step by step.
She met Aslan, was saved by him, and what has happened since she came to this mansion.
Their first meeting was when she almost got hit by Aslan’s carriage while running away from the terrible marriage that she wanted to die from.
Aslan didn’t get angry over her sudden outburst.
Instead, he took her to his villa and treated her.
As they talked, they realized that they knew each other as children.
Aslan also learned about Rosalyn’s current situation.
Aslan said to her, who had spent the day well staying at Aslan’s villa, but was anxious because there was no place to go from that day on.
[Come with me to the capital]]
Aslan offered to sponsor her until she could find a good marriage.
Aslan made a suggestion when Rosalyn felt burdened of being taken care by him, saying she could not cause so much trouble.
[My wife is very lonely because she has no friends with whom she can speak openly to, so Ms.
Rosalyn, please be her companion.]
Only then did Rosalyn accept his offer.
He was helping her because he needed a friend for his beloved wife ,so there was no need to worry that anyone would be misunderstood and his reputation would suffer because of her.
And if she works hard as a talkative companion, she’ll pay for her own meal, so she won’t feel sorry to get his help.
Rosalyn thought at the time.
‘You came all the way to here instead of your work because you needed a companion for your wife.
I envy them because they are a good couple.’
But when I actually stayed in the Tordell mansion, the relationship between the duke and his wife was very different from what I thought.
The Duchess was as elegant and beautiful as I imagined.
Very well suited to Aslan, a handsome man.
However, the couple’s relationship was somehow awkward.
Rosalyn thought it was because she was an outsider, so they weren’t being intimate on purpose.
‘I didn’t know there was such a thing.
That his wife took his weakness and threatened him? I feel so sorry for the Duke.’
Relieving her surprise, Rosalyn continued to think.
‘I want to comfort the Duke.
If I hug him in a warm embrace, maybe he will feel a little more at ease… … .’
Rosalyn’s hazy eyes opened wide.
How can she think of such a strange thing herself? She couldn’t believe it.
At that time, Aslan asked, as if he had noticed her insidious intent.
“Are you okay, Miss Rosalyn?”
Rosalyn tried to answer him as she struggled, pretending to be okay.
No matter how much she found out about his secrets, he was still a married man, even though he had made a ‘contract under threat’ with his wife.
Although the duchess was only a nominal wife, he was a man with a family.
So, it was right for Rosalyn herself to stop being delusional and be careful about her words and actions.
“Your face is red.
I am worried that you may have caught a cold.”
But no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t help it that her face was dyed rosy in front of Aslan.
“…… Are there any inconveniences in your stay?”
“Oh, no! I, I really like it.
I’m happy that I can stay here.”
Rosalyn stuttered and expressed her candid feelings.
She was really happy.
Being able to be sweet with Aslan, being in the same room as him, having these conversations.
…… Even if he doesn’t know her heart and feelings.
“Then I’m happy, but if you ever need anything, please let me know.”
The sentences of the novel came to my mind clearly as if I had just read it.
‘Why did I forget?’
I contrasted the content of the original in my memory with the situation I had just seen.
Not all lines are the same, but they are similar enough to be in the scene.
‘You must have told her the details of how you got married before I eavesdroped.’
I listened to their conversation halfway , so I didn’t know what Aslan and Rosalyn were talking about before.
But I could guess.
Perhaps it was a story from the original.
‘If so, today is the day.’
The appearance of the two people I had just glimpsed at was one of the most important turning point of the novel.
In the original story, Rosalyn had a crush on Aslan since their first meeting, but after she found out that he was married, she deliberately tried to kill her feelings for him.
However, each time she received Aslan’s tender care , her feelings for him only grew stronger.
Faithful Rosalyn deceived herself thinking her feelings were of thank-you and respect for her patron.
Everyone fell for her lies even herself.
Aslan and Rosalyn gradually got closer, but no matter how much time they spent together, the two did not cross the line.
She kept hiding her growing love, and it was the first time she had seen such a narrow emotional line explode.
The moment Rosalyn, who had denied her feelings all along, saw her true feelings for him the first time.
Rosalyn was delighted to see Aslan confessing a secret to her that he had never told anyone.
She was the only one whom he told the truth about his marriage, so she could love Aslan instead of giving up.
When the social taboos that had blocked her so far disappeared, the latch of her mind was released.
That’s when Rosalyn first realized her love for Aslan.
‘When I read it in the novel, it was a very exciting and fun scene.’
When it unfolded in front of me, it was not fun at all.
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