“I don't know….
Nadia finally looked up.
Just when she thought she could rest for a moment, Nadia looked at Lee Lee Jiho's face coldly.
What's wrong with him?
Then, she answered without hiding her embarrassment.
“What do you mean by marrying you? We both know who made the call.”
“I heard clearly from the Duke.
“Did you hate the idea of marrying me so much that you feel disgusted? Because I'm a stranger? Because you don't know where I was from?”
His voice was getting louder.
Some people glanced at their side as if they sensed an unusual tension.
There was nothing good about attracting attention.
Nadia replied in a calm voice to calm him down.
“I don't think Sir Jiho is a low-born.
“If you are going to say such empty words, you should at least manage your expression first.
“I am just tired.
“You don't even want to smile in front of me.”
Nadia's expression was distorted.
She tried to soothe the situation well, but she didn't feel good because he showed such a reaction.
'You were the one who betrayed me first.'
The memory of dying unfairly in the cold basement was vivid as if it were only yesterday.
How dared he to bring up betrayal.
As much as Callaine and her father hated her, Nadia was also resentful toward this man.
If he wanted to bring up such a topic, more or less, she deserved to bring it up too.
Sighing annoyedly, Nadia replied.
”You weren't really pleased with the idea of marrying me either.”
“When did I say that?”
“You want to get a noble blood wife to grant yourself identity, but you don't really want me because it means that you will be wedded to an illegitimate daughter.
He neither denied nor affirmed.
Nadia knew it.
Nadia, who had been waiting for his answer for a while, made a short sigh.
This made it clear that what I heard from Carrein just before I died was not a lie.
What did she expect?
Although Nadia and Lee Jiho were engaged at the order of their father, she did try to keep her vow as a lifetime companion.
If he hadn't betrayed her first, she wouldn't have returned to the past or been struggling like this.
So Nadia didn't feel guilty.
To her, Lee Jiho was on the same level as Callaine and was an enemy whom she had to break down.
“We are not ideal spouses for each other.”
“So, let's go our own way now.
Just in time, the music ended, and Nadia stepped away from him.
Lee Jiho's hand, which seemed to have tried to hold her back, grabbed the air instead.
“I'm leaving the capital within a week.
“I hope you're doing well.”
Nadia said her goodbye formally with her knees slightly bent.
On the other hand, Lee Jiho just stood still without even thinking of returning her greeting.
Nadia thought that he was offended that he got rejected and somewhat in a state of shock.
It was none of her business anyway.
But when Nadia turned her body coldly,
There was a voice calling her from behind, but Nadia didn't look back.
It was better not to have petty sympathy for a man who had already betrayed her once.
Her steps toward a deserted place gradually accelerated.
'I thought I could rest a little because I was tired of putting on a pretense in front of my father's loyal followers, but now I felt more tired than before I danced.
The garden of the Balazit mansion was huge, and Nadia, who had lived there all her life, knew well where to avoid people's gaze.
A small pond past the rose garden.
It was a place she had been using as a hideout since she was young.
'As expected, there's no one here.'
It was the smallest of the many ponds in the garden, and since it was located in the most corner, it wasn't adequately managed.
Nadia heard that it seemed that the deceased Duchess tried to fill the abandoned pond.
Although she died of illness without being able to do it.
Nadia sighed and settled on the lawn.
Sitting on the grass and looking at the calm water made her feel relieved.
Nadia could feel the presence of someone who was about to interfere with her rest.
“….Oh, it was you.”
It was none other than Callaine that appeared among the rose bushes.
Nadia was surprised because she thought Lee Jiho was chasing her, but she was glad it wasn't him.
However, instead of being relieved, her expression crumpled reflexively.
'Maybe a more tiring situation will occur.'
Because there was no way that Callaine would respect her half-sister's break time.
And look at that expression.
Did she think Nadia couldn't see through her intention to come all the way here with that look of malice and grudges on her face?
“What's going on?”
Sure enough, Callaine began to spit out abusive language without taking a moment to catch her breath.
“I'm here to tell you not to humiliate the Balazit family.
“Are you even….
A sour look like she wasn't interested in what Callaine had to say.
Callaine's face heated up when she realized that she had been completely ignored.
“This…! Don't be arrogant just because you received your father's petty attention!”
So she did have a problem with that.
It seemed that Callaine had been quite shocked that their father sided with Nadia that day.
But why did she choose to come to Nadia and argue about it with her? Nadia had a hard time holding back her laughter, looking at the level of her half-sister's childishness.
“It's a mistake to think that father recognized you as a daughter.
“A chess piece… That's right.
Callaine's expression was distorted as if she had been severely insulted by what Nadia had just said.
Her lips and cheeks were twitching.
“Why do you think it doesn't make sense?”
“I-I am the daughter of the Duchess! My maternal family is a historic Count family! How can an unknown stranger become my husband?!”
Nadia smiled instead of answering.
'Actually, you know that too.
What a foolish, poor thing.
It would be easier if Callaine let go of her lingering feelings about their father as soon as possible, like Nadia did.
She couldn't be a beloved daughter forever.
Recognizing the sympathy in the way Nadia looked at her, Callaine was as furious as a fire.
What made Nadia dare to look at her with such a sympathetic gaze?
When one was extremely furious, their mind would go blank.
The various colors on Callaine's face, such as blue, red, and white, were worth seeing.
Then, there was an object that came into Nadia's sight.
The necklace on the neck of her half-sister.
It was one of the few heirlooms left by Nadia's mother.
Recognizing her gaze, Callaine asked while looking at her suspiciously.
“What are you looking at?”
“Don't ignore me! Father will soon lose interest in you.”
Callaine, who was very angry, soon realized that her half-sister's eyes were precisely on her neck.
'Why are you looking at my neck?'
When she fumbled her neck, the feeling of the cold accessory caught her attention.
What hung on her neck was a colorful sapphire necklace.
And it was an heirloom left by the mother of her half-sister, whom she hated to death.
It was obvious why her sister looked at this necklace almost like she wanted it.
This was her weakness.
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