Chapter 30 – Split in Half (1)
“Yes. It seems like the donation was made by Empress Belice. It is quite a great amount.”
“Ha, Belice? Huh…”
Alexcent, momentarily lost deep in thought, spoke after a whole minute.
“What about the thing I asked you to look into, before?’
“Ah, Yes. I received a message from Kairan that all preparations are complete.”
“You told them to increase the scale, yes?”
“Yes. They reported back that all is going well with no hiccups so far.”
“I see. That’s good. Send a platinum invitation to Celeos too.”
“I will. But the question is, will he attend? I mean, now that he has no debt.”
“Precisely why he will.”
“Now that he has no debt, he will rush into it even more. That’s the nature of gambling.”
“Ah, I see.”
“Tomorrow, I must have an audience with the empress.”
“I will schedule it accordingly.”
As Gen left the office, Alexcent fell into a deep thought.
‘Belice…Why are you suddenly behaving this way?’
As soon as the sun was up, Alexcent quickly prepared to visit Belice at the Royal Palace. The moment he arrived, he asked for Belice almost frenetically. She finally emerged, both surprised and annoyed by her brother’s frenzied manner.
“What’s wrong? Why are you looking for me so early in the morning?”
She asked, glaring at Alec over the breakfast table as she drank her tea, but Alexcent simply acted indifferently.
“What do you mean, early? The sun is already high up in the sky.
“Only to you.”
“Well then, let’s just say it’s because I missed you.”
Belice half-laughed, mockingly. Her incredulity evident in the twist of her mouth as she set her teacup down on the table with a thud.
“I doubt it.”
“Well, I suppose it’s your will to believe it or not.”
“Save the tricks and charm for your fiancé Amethyst. So, what is it about?”
At the mention of the temple Belice tensed up slightly, but quickly trained her expression into a nonchalant one.
“I hear you made a donation.”
“Yes, I did.”
“What do you mean, why?”
“You would just donate such a large amount, out of the blue?”
Belice let out a sigh at the familiar admonitory tone of his voice. “I simply donated it so that they would bless your marriage.”
“Yes. It’s not such a big deal for a sister to donate to the temple wishing for the happiness and blessing of a newly married couple.”
“Is that really all there is to it?”
Alexcent studied Belice suspiciously and she utilized his pause to steer the conversation to a different subject.
“Then since we are on the topic, let me ask you a question. Why have you not sent out the invitations yet? A lot of people are feeling upset about it.”
As the topic moved on to the wedding invitations, Alexcent adopted a rather irascible demeanour.
“What is there to be upset about?”
Belice stared at him in amazement.
“Alexcent, you are the duke and head of the Skad household. Therefore, who do you think will dare to cross the gates of your mansion to your wedding without an invitation? Not only the Lohikin household, but the other noble families seem to be at a loss for what to do. I hope you understand that it is basic manners to send out the invites in a timely manner.”
“I don’t intend to send out the invites.”
“What? Are you…trying to omit the wedding to your marriage? You may be a workaholic but isn’t this too much?”
“I am going to have the full wedding. But we are only inviting direct families. If they really want to come, tell them to come for the after party. I won’t stop them.”
Belice seemed to be lost in thought before asking.
“Is this for Lady Lohikin….?”
As he denied it immediately, Belice smiled mischievously. “I think I’m right?”
“Uhuh, let’s say I’m wrong then. But that’s a relief.”
“Well, I thought I had forced you into marrying just any young lady…but it doesn’t seem to be the case.”
“I told you it’s not!”
“Well, I don’t know what you are denying this time.”
Alexcent frowned in confusion at Belice’s knowing smirk.
“Madam, may I request your time?”
“Yes. Of course. The only thing I have, is time on my hands.” Amethyst replied jocularly to Pon who had asked her politely.
“The renovation for your bedroom has been completed. Would you like to take a look?”
“Bedroom? I was under the impression that I would be staying here.”
“That is out of the question. The room you are currently using is a guest room for visiting nobles. We cannot have you stay in such a room.”
“Ah. I see.”
She had thought this room was fabulous. Feeling a bit nostalgic, but also excited, Amethyst swiftly made her way towards her new room.
She followed Pon right to the centre of the estate, where it overlooked the beautiful scenery of the garden in one glance. The centre of the centre. It felt like it represented the heart of the duke.
“This is the room that the two of you will be using. If there is anything not to your liking, or lacking, please let me know. We will fix it accordingly.”
‘Wait. Two of us?’ Amethyst stopped herself from gazing around the room and turned to look at Pon in surprise.
“What do you mean, the two of us?”
Wondering if he’d overstepped a boundary, Pon ventured, “Pardon? Well, when you become a married couple then it’s only right that you used one bedroom-”
He coughed and trailed off, unable to finish his sentence.
‘Being a married couple meant sharing one’s personal life. So, he must have meant that it was right to share a room. It came along with a reception area and bathroom, offices for the both of them, a dress room and an enormous bed large enough to fit four people.’
Amethyst who had been looking around cried out, in panic, “Let’s split it in half?”