After confirming that my fever had lowered, I was finally left alone.
Sitting on the bed and looking at the calendar, I was lost in thought.


‘It’s five days before Lilika’s birthday banquet.’

It was the past, a year before I died.
I don’t know how I went back in time, but I couldn’t miss the opportunity.
I will do what I want to do.

‘Since I’m sick, he’ll come to visit me sometime in the afternoon.
That’s courtesy.’

Marcel Vieira.
My first love, and my fiancé at the moment.
He broke off our engagement unilaterally before, but I couldn’t experience the same humiliation again.

In my previous life, I wore a dress that didn’t fit the dress code, and I became the ugly older sister who wanted to stand out from her younger sister.
Of course, I can avoid it by wearing a normal dress.

 

‘But it’s such a waste to end it like that.
I think I can turn this in my favor.’

As expected from the main character of the novel, Lilika wore a light pink dress by herself to her birthday banquet.

I was thinking about it for a while, and came up with a good strategy.
Just as I was organizing my thoughts, Sir Vieira arrived.

“I heard you were sick.
How are you feeling?”

He spoke bluntly.
It was formal.

In the past, when I saw him come visit me even though he might not be good at speaking, I still thought he was worried about me.
Didn’t he always come to the duke’s mansion without making me travel a long way whenever we had to meet?

‘I didn’t know it was so that he could see Lilika just one more time.’

Even if he was someone who would become a count in the future, Sir Vieira was slightly inferior in comparison with the Primrose family.
Even so, the reason there was an offer of marriage was because I liked him very much.

Maybe it was because we only got engaged in the first place because I begged my father desperately, but Sir Vieira was apathetic towards me.
It was good though.


I followed him around to every ball and every meeting he attended.
So, I discovered it faster than anyone else.
Sir Vieira pulling a handkerchief out of his bosom.

“I’ve never seen Sir Vieira using an embroidered handkerchief before!”
“Since it has the crest of the Primrose family, it must have been given by Lady Yuria.”

I didn’t give it to him.

I heard what people were saying, but I didn’t try to deny it.
Rather, it would be more correct to say I didn’t know what to do.

‘When I said I would give him a handkerchief, he said it was a burden and refused…’

In this case, Sir Vieira couldn’t even say that he had used anything other than a handkerchief given to him by his fiancée.

‘But the handkerchief with the family’s embroidery is only given between lovers?’

I was rather suspicious of my memory, wondering if I had really given Sir Vieira a handkerchief.

“I am soliciting to break off the engagement with the Young Lady.”

And it was only after he unilaterally requested to break off our engagement that I learned that it was a handkerchief given to him by my sister.

“Thank you for your concern, Sir Vieira.”

I didn’t adorn my words, unlike usual.
Trying to look good to him was useless.
Seeing me acting calmer than usual, Sir Vieira surprisingly opened his mouth first.

“… You must have been very sick.
You seem quieter than usual today.”

I never knew what to do in front of him before.
Because I loved him so much.
Because I wanted to look good to him.
Unlike me, who could not disobey my father, seeing him confront his own father made me admire him.

But now, instead of being jealous of someone, I decided that I wanted to be that kind of person.

“A little.”
“Your complexion is pale…”
“I’m fine.”

In the past, even if I didn’t look well, I applied lead powder zealously and wore a dress with a corset.


Of course, I knew that the powder made of lead and the corset that suffocated me were unhealthy.
No matter how hard each day was, I had to endure it and collapsed only after letting this man go.

But there’s no need for that now.

“… I see.”

Well, the other person only said words out of courtesy too.
Sir Vieira kept his mouth shut without asking any more questions.
His goal was Lilika anyway, not me.

“I have something to say to you, Sir Vieira.”

So, I had to end the questions of regards.
I rushed to the point.

“I know you really like Lilika.”
“… How do you know that?”

As if he had heard something unexpected, his eyes widened, and he could not finish his words.
He wasn’t feigning innocence.
He really thought I didn’t know.

“Did you think I wouldn’t notice as you pulled out the handkerchief so openly? I’m not that stupid.”

Just until a moment ago, he was pretending to be worried about me.
His expression changed in an instant, and he spoke as if growling.

“If you are angry, be angry with me.
If you touch Lady Lilika, then…”

He had a threatening look on his face.
It would be a tremendous amount of pressure for a noble lady who had never learned swordsmanship or magic.

 

‘He looks at Lilika like she’s so vulnerable, but he doesn’t even treat me like a civilian, let alone a lady.’

Despite his bitter attitude, I shook my head calmly.
No matter how frightening he looked right now, won’t he just act like before, grabbing me and handing me to my father?

“No, what I wanted to say is that I support your love.”
“What are you scheming?”

Sir Vieira looked at me as if he was judging me.
I had been chasing him stubbornly in the meantime, demanding love from him, and acting sensitive against Lilika, so he wouldn’t trust me easily.
It was natural.

I intentionally showed him an uncharacteristic forlorn smile.


“Actually, I was very sick this time.
My fever went up so much that I was wandering between life and death.”

As I lifted my arm and lightly swept over my hair, my loose sleeves flowed with good timing, causing my skinny wrists to be visible.
I was so emaciated that it couldn’t be said I was slim.

“Yes, you were.”

It was only after his sharp energy subsided that his voice became a little docile.
Did he forget in the meantime that he had come to pay a sick visit and ask if I was okay?
No, he was not that stupid.
Lilika was more important than me being sick.

“I thought about it in my remote consciousness.
Ah, I’ve lived while knowing nothing but myself… I haven’t looked at the people around me.”

It was pathetic of me to notice it only after being shoved in the mud.
Why have I been so defenseless?
Clearly, I had the advantage of being the duchess’ legitimate daughter.

“I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t have feelings for you.
But would you believe me if I told you that I want to wish you and Lilika happiness?”

I smiled softly like a spring flower.

The duchess had always taught me to be elegant, but watching Lilika, I realized that sometimes it was better to pretend to be weak.

“…”

Sir Vieira and I stared at each other for a long time.
It was the first time he and I had met and faced each other like this.
After some time passed, he opened his mouth with a low voice.

“I didn’t expect to hear that from Lady Yuria.”

For the first time, he called me by my name.
Despite being his fiancée, I was always Lady Primrose to him.
He was always like that, even though it was likely to be unclear because I had a sister, Lilika.

That’s right, wasn’t Sir Vieira lowering his guard in front of me for the first time because I was wearing a mask and pretending to be docile?

“However, Lady Yuria, breaking off our engagement isn’t an easy task.”

That difficult thing; in my previous life, he used my reputation as a foothold to take care of it.
Because of that, my reputation became covered in mud.

“Sir Vieira, I’m not asking you to break off our engagement at all.
It is quite common for engagement partners to change within a family.”


Engagement to Lilika.
Hearing that, Vieira’s eyes shone, but they soon faded.
It was something he hadn’t even hoped for.
His engagement with me had barely taken place because I had used all sorts of pestering, but there was no way that he could ask the duke to change his partner.

“So, I have something in mind.
You know it’s Lilika’s birthday banquet in a few days, right?”
“Yes, but what does that have to do with getting engaged…”

No matter what I do, Sir Vieira is supposed to ask me to break off our engagement.
He didn’t love me from the beginning, so it was a natural thing.
If it has to happen anyway, I’ll try to make the most of it.

“Let’s make the relationship between you and Lilika a fixed fact.”

I smiled gently.
Speaking as if I had him in consideration until the end.

“First of all, you can’t come to Lilika’s birthday banquet at the same time as everyone else.
The protagonist is always late, right?”

He nodded like he was possessed every time I spoke.
He looked like he had no idea what the consequences of his actions would be.

“If it’s for Lady Lilika… I can do anything.”

Sir Vieira had a determined face.
But at the same time, it was the funniest thing I had ever seen.
He was immersed in what I was saying, even going as far as to write it down, but then was embarrassed and hesitated.

“I’m sorry.
I didn’t know Lady Yuria was this kind of person until now, and thought that to Lady Lilika, you were just… I’m sorry.
Forget what I said.”
“It’s alright.”

What was he going to say? That I was someone who was jealous of Lilika? That I was the older sister who was bothering her?
No matter what negative words came out, they were all correct.
He was a good judge of character.

‘Even though he was being vigilant, he let it go the moment I said he could get engaged to Lilika.’

Looking at that stupid face, I felt pathetic just thinking about why I was hanging on to that man.

“And… You’re going to give Lilika a surprise.
A gift to prove your love for her.”

 

Looking at the young man’s eyes, filled with expectation, I continued, relaxed.

“That gift is…”

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