Adele smiled bitterly as she looked at the rose garden across her.
Her rapidly beating heart slowed.
Yes, how could she forget? Since then, her mother-in-law had always urged the marriage between Irie and Noah. These two women had planned the engagement while he was away. Back when he had returned from the battlefield, Adele recalled that Noah didn’t even have much of a reaction when he learned of this matter.
Did he like Irie?
Irie, who was holding the iron bars, answered her question.
“This is all a lie! He can’t be married! He sent me flowers and jewels! He has only done this to me and no other!” Irie screamed and sat down in front of the gate. She burst into tears and then suddenly raised her head and glared at Adele.
“He must’ve had no choice other than to continue this marriage to keep that ridiculous law.”
It’s true that he married me because of the law, but—
“Or someone would have begged and forced him to!” she screeched.
Adele’s thoughts were thwarted by Irie’s sharp words, her hand immediately trembled. Lina, who was standing behind her, carefully grabbed her arm and pulled her away. She directly rebuked the woman that was wailing pathetically on the ground.
“Miss! You have gone over the line!” then she changed her tone to comfort her mistress, “Milady, please don’t take her words into heart. Let us leave now!”
Adele couldn’t say anything because she saw Irie’s venomous gaze. Fortunately, Philip rushed to her and blocked her sight. He sighed as he looked at Adele’s back that was walking into the garden with her maid in tow.
“Miss.” He started.
But obviously she wasn’t listening. She demanded fiercely, “Let me meet with Noah!”
Philip was exasperated and felt a headache coming his way, “Why are you still doing this? We have already sent you the letter for the cancellation of your marriage.”
“It wasn’t Noah’s handwriting! That letter is fake!”
Philip held his head and sure enough, it was already aching slightly.
It was a tradition for applicants to write papers by hand, especially for documentary and official purposes. But in this case, well, he wrote that damned letter because Noah didn’t even want to bother himself with it.
When Philip didn’t speak, Irie continued her rant, unable to accept the reality.
“There is no way this could have happened. I am special to Noah! He had never given flowers to any other women except me—”
“Are you saying that you had received flowers and jewels from him?” Philip decided to stop her ridiculous daydreams.
Those were also sent by Philip at Noah’s command. He often wondered why Noah would even deign to gift her with anything. Philip sighed and said to Irie who had her chin raised haughtily.
“Have you ever exchanged letters with him?”
“Has he ever personally written you a letter?”
“Have you even met him?”
He snorted, “Please go back, miss.” He then gestured to his subordinates. “Knights, take her away.”
At Philip’s command, the knights grabbed her by the arm. Irie was stunned speechless this time and they hurriedly took her away. After a while, silence befell the premises.
Adele kept quiet until she reached the castle and then Lina took off her wide-brimmed hat. She only spoke when the butler, James, came into the hall on the first floor.
“Milady, you have returned. Have you had your lunch?” he inquired politely.
Adele smiled at his thoughtful consideration, “No need to worry about that. Say, do you have time to spare at the moment?”
“Of course, milady.”
James, a butler with already streaks of visible graying hair, has served the Maktus family from generation to generation. He was always a gentleman, a man the same age as Adele’s parents, and he was also kind. Adele’s lips curved and she strolled into the living room.
“Come and have some tea with me.”
He bowed, “The Cellion tea came in today. The mix of roses and herbs smell really good.” As he was speaking, a tray of said tea has already made its way onto the table. It was very fragrant.
Adele tilted her teacup, savoring the scent. The butler sat in front of her and only smiled kindly. Adele couldn’t hide the uneasiness in the corner of her heart and spat out the words.
“James, is there a chance that you may know the reason why Noah wanted to marry me?”
He hesitated for a moment, then spoke. “Milady.”
She followed up with her words, “To be honest, I know you also have some things that you cannot fully understand.”
Adele shifted her eyes and held her hand in a fist. “Since you have served Noah since he was little, I was wondering whether you would know about this.”
“Milady, I do not know for sure but,” As Adele looked up, James wiped his sweaty forehead with a handkerchief, “the day Enon left, I heard him having a conversation with Noah.”
“Enon and Noah?”
“Yes. That is…” The butler proceeded to tell Adele of the contents of brothers’ conversation he heard that day. She was startled and put down her teacup.
“So that’s what happened.”
“Yes, milady. Enon even told Noah to take care of you, to take a walk and even eat with you.”
“So that’s why he…”
Adele felt stifled, she recalled the meal she had with him and the conversation she had today.
Yes, he did it because of Enon’s pleading. The marriage was done because he felt responsible. That’s why he couldn’t even marry his own fiancée.
She furiously reproached Enon and why he had to do such a thing. It was the first time she resented her dead husband. Adele covered her face with her hands in despair.
“Milady, are you alright?” the butler worriedly asked.
“I’m fine. Tell the servants there is no need to prepare for my lunch. I want to be by myself.”
James bowed and went out of the room. The maids also followed quickly thereafter. Adele, who was left alone, stared at the roses outside of the window.