YCKTML Chapter 9
There was a white sheet of paper in the envelope, but nothing was written on it.
I turned over the envelope, wondering if something was wrong, when something fall to the floor.
It looked like some business card.
“What is this?”
While looking at it, I vaguely recalled the following contents of the novel.
The day after Erin and Rupert get married, Chloe fainted and was carried by the Prince before returning to Rupert.
What happened after the two spent the night together… Just thinking about it made me realize how ridiculously wealthy the hero was.
“But he spent so little on me.”
Instead, he used his money on Madam Plada, the genius behind the latest fashion trends in the social world at the time.
I could remember it vaguely because it’s where the heroine had her Cinderella makeover moment that instantly turned her from a wallflower to the star of the social world.
I wondered why this business card came to me. Was it to promote its services to the future Duchess of Clifford?
Anyway, even if I thought about it now, I still wouldn’t know the answer. I gave up my thoughts about the two main characters and Madam Plada and concentrated on more important matters.
It was about how to live in this world as Erin.
Even now, I wanted to deny reality, but I realized that nothing would change even if I refused to believe my new truth.
My wedding with Rupert solved the urgent problem for now, and once we get divorced one year later, I’d be able to pay off the remaining debt.
Erin died in the original story. After kidnapping Chloe and threatening Rupert, she got divorced and eventually was sold to pay off her debt and died.
I would not be jealous of Chloe’s relationship with Rupert, so I wouldn’t want to kidnap her, and no matter how upset Rupert got, I wouldn’t threaten him either.
So things would be fine. Really… Would it be okay?
I shook the sinister images and deliberately thought about the future that would unfold.
What happened after Erin survived and got divorced safely.
“Haa, I don’t even know.”
Of course, since I read the novel, I knew what would happen, and there were a few things I could use. But I would need more knowledge about this world to tackle the problem effectively.
I originally majored in accounting, but I wondered how to use that to my advantage.
Even if I received alimony after divorce, it could only pay off the debt, but it did not guarantee my future.
Typical nobles would choose to marry again, but I had no desire to go through that again.
I looked around the library and sighed. Although it was a library, there were only a few books around, and they were more for decoration than anything substantial.
I rang the bell, and the maid nearby immediately ran inside. It was Jenny again. I knew very well that it was not a coincidence.
“Madam, did you call?”
“I did. Is there a place nearby where I can read books?”
“Read books…? Um, well. There were a lot of books in the Duke’s study, but now I think they have all moved to the estate, “Jenny stuttered and mumbled her thoughts as she answered the unexpected question.
It sounded like that books might be in Rupert’s study, but the process of getting his permission was cumbersome.
“Oh, I saw some stores selling books downtown.”
“Okay, is there anything else other than that? Like a library.”
“Ah, yes. I heard the Imperial library has a lot of books.”
“Imperial library… Isn’t it a place that only the Imperial family can enter?”
“No, I heard that high-ranking nobles could enter if they have a pass.”
“Then, I must prepare to go out.”
I walked into the dressing room I used yesterday and sighed. It didn’t look like there was much to choose from. I just randomly chose an outfit and hurriedly wore it.
It was enough that I could only tell that I was not a maid in this house.
“I heard that the wedding dress should be returned to Madam Plada.”
Madam Plada again? The wedding dress must have been a rental. That was fortunate; I don’t think I could afford such a thing in Erin’s shoes.
So Rupert didn’t even pay for this? I held back the anger boiling inside me. Yes, what did I expect?
“I’ll return it on my way back. Wrap it well and put it on the carriage.”
“Yes, I will, Madam,” she answered brightly and carefully handled the wedding dress. In the meantime, I went to the study and took out the business card back from the trash.
“Did she send the letter to ask for the wedding dress?”
It was curious that I was addressed as ‘Count Spilet,’ but I let it go.
If I’m dealing with the upper class, even if I’m the wife of a Duke’s heir, I could be still be rejected if I didn’t dress appropriately.
This business card might help then.
If I stop by at sunset, I probably won’t get the chance to meet them. Today, my only plan was to return the wedding dress.
As I got into the carriage, an unfamiliar and rough-looking knight named Peter escorted me. I was afraid to refuse, but I didn’t know what this world was like, so I left it.
“Madam, we’ve arrived.”
After I got off the carriage, I couldn’t even step into the entrance.
The Imperial Library was connected to the Imperial Palace, but they had different entrances. For a moment, I wondered if I had come to the wrong gate.
Ladies in beautiful and colorful dresses and gentlemen dressed to the nines were standing by the gate, mingling and laughing.
Weren’t libraries supposed to be quiet?
Looking at them more objectively, I could understand why they were there.
It was a symbol of privilege to have the ability to read and write in this era. Even in the noble society, more than half were illiterate.
Coming to the library meant you could read. These people showed off their abilities, and at the same time, they used the Imperial Library as a social hub.
If one was lucky, they could get acquainted with the royal family, so it was natural that the place was crowded with visitors.
What about Erin? Now that I’m married to Rupert, I could probably enter. The issue right now was my attire.
And it didn’t seem appropriate to enter simply by revealing one’s status at the entrance. ‘Social’ hubs required someone to guide and introduce people.
With that, I decided to go to the bookstore in the city instead. After purchasing the necessary books, I could go to Madam Plada.
If I went to Madam Plada first, I might bump into Rupert and Choe, so it would be best to go there last.
I was about to turn around, but a man by the library entrance glanced at me and walked my way.
“Count Spilet, no, you must be Madam Clifford now. What brings you to the Imperial Library?”
I secretly observed him, trying to place a name on the face.
Black hair and green eyes like Enoch, but unlike him, he had a more angular face framed with a beard.
I immediately curtsied and greeted him, “I greet His Highness, the Prince.”
The man was the Second Prince, Breiman Rikephoros. A minor character in the novel, he was the half-brother of Crown Prince Enoch.
He was related to the Vereziens, the heroine’s family. Although born before Enoch, he was a child of the Emperor’s concubine, not the Empress.
Back then, the old Emperor had no children, so he took Breiman and legalized his status as a prince. But when the Empress belatedly gave birth to Enoch, he appointed Enoch as the heir apparent.
At first, there was no controversy. Ultimately, the Imperial family chose the successor by only one criterion.
Anyway, he was also the decisive reason why the love between a Clifford and a Verezian faced many obstacles.
“You’ve come this far, but you didn’t go in.” He smiled at me, but his stare had a lewd glint to it.
I shivered involuntarily and pursed my lips. “I forgot something, so I’m going to look downtown first.”
“I see. If so, maybe we can ride a carriage together.”
His sudden offer flustered me.
There were a lot of eyes and ears here. If he rode in my carriage, rumors would definitely spread.
This world, of course, was surprisingly open to romantic entanglements. In this era of frequent political marriages, marriage and love were two different things. There was a house where couples ate breakfast with their respective mistresses.
I mean, look at Rupert. Didn’t he bring his own mistress to their home?
Having married Erin, he probably thought he could finally date Chloe more openly. That made me wonder whether the current Duke opposed a relationship between the two or just marriage.
Regardless of society’s opinion on infidelity, a scandal with Prince Breiman wouldn’t benefit me.
The novel described Prince Breiman as a fierce and wild character. I might be biased, but I didn’t want to get involved with such a person.
I pretended to think for a while before refusing. “My carriage is too shabby to carry Your Highness. It would be better for you to use the Imperial carriage.”
“That’s a shame; I thought it was a chance to get acquainted. You might regret it.”
What the hell is this, Prince Breiman threatening the future Duchess of Clifford in broad daylight. When I gave him a blank look, the Prince coughed and backed away.
“It was just a joke, Madam. No need to get angry. Then, have a safe journey.”
The Prince’s gaze, with his head down slightly, was directed to a spot behind me. Looking back, there was Peter the escort. It looked like the two of them had eye contact, didn’t they?
Peter opened the door to the carriage. He seemed unwilling to assist me up the carriage, and while the Prince reached out his hand, I entered on my own.
I regretted it a little after glancing at the Prince’s expression. I should have just accepted his help.
Nevertheless, the carriage started and moved towards downtown.