Tolerance Without Forgiveness
Faced with those eyes brimming with hope, the Grand Duke avoided its gaze.
“I promised myself that if I couldn’t marry you, I would not marry anyone.”
Benelucia had loved Lucalina with all of his heart.
Not marrying anyone besides her was the best way he could showcase his feelings for her.
It was at a time when Benelucia had misunderstood that he loved Lucalina absolutely and for forever.
“But, if I do not give up on that love, you said that a war would break out against my brother”
“Ben, I am always with you.”
“If it had been in the past, then that certainly have been so.”
The Grand Duke smiled bitterly as he cut off Lucalina’s hopeful confession.
“Even if a war had broken out, I would have been so in love with you that I would pretend as though nothing else mattered.”
Lucalina’s eyes sank, she opened her mouth as her voice trembled.
“You mean… you do not love me enough to stand up to Cliff anymore”
She wanted to deny his meaning.
Her face flooded with desperation.
Sadly, Benelucia felt that he had to break Lucalina’s earnestness mercilessly.
“Yes, but it is not because of my brother, nor the war… I just don’t love you that much, Luna.”
[T/N: Honestly, felt savage translating his reply.
Even at that sinful moment spent with his first love, his thoughts had long ago wondered to someone else.
Ironically, it was the proof he needed to admit that he loved Senelia.
It was how he had come to the realization that he could now hold his head high and confess.
The truth, that now, he was in love with Senelia Daphnen.
If she had not broken up with him, he would have never had known.
I have made too many misunderstandings with her because of my obsession with my first love and my guilt.
The Grand Duke buried his face in his hands, leaving his first love shocked at his actions.
I miss Senelia so much right now.
He remembered the swearing he had received from one of his long-since past lovers.
Yes, I really… I really was such a being.
To Lucalina and Senelia.
“It can’t be.
The you at this time-”
Lucalina’s half-enthusiastic murmurs and Benelucia’s self-loathing cut off at the sudden knock.
The Grand Duke frowned as he glanced at the door, before he began chatting to Lucalina, he had already commanded his household to not disturb them.
So, who dares approach the Grand Duke’s private drawing room without hesitation
“Who is it”
Due to his disorganized mood, Benelucia demanded sharply.
It was a direct comparison to the tone the Grand Duke was known for.
However, the opponent did not hesitate as he revealed his unexpected identity.
“Grand Duke, this is Arante.
I have news to report about Young Lady Daphnen.”
Benelucia’s aide, Arante, didn’t approve of Senelia.
Still, his voice carried extreme seriousness.
Even with the Grand Duke’s ‘do not disturb’ order, he had to report to the duke immediately.
Thump, thump, thump.
Benelucia’s heart began to speed up.
It was ominous.
As though something that should not happen had now occurred.
With the sudden rise of Benelucia from his seat, Lucalina jumped up and grabbed his arm.
She instinctively didn’t like the existence of that ‘Senelia Daphnen’ who continued to interfere in their lives.
“I’m sorry, Luna.”
As though he was unaware of Lucalina’s feelings, the Grand Duke tugged her hand off him and pushed her away.
There was as urgency in him as he reached to open the door to listen to his lieutenant.
“What’s going on Tell me quickly.”
Benelucia’s gaze focused on his lieutenant.
Unknowingly, he started to gnaw on his lips in nervousness, realizing only when the fishy taste of blood flooded his mouth.
At the urging of his master, Arante tightly shut his eyes and answered heavily.
“Viscount Daphnen… It is said that he has died a little while ago in a carriage accident.”
Benelucia felt his heart sink.
Senelia will never forgive herself for this.
“Why, why so… What…”
His rare stuttering and bewilderedness left his eyes appear darkened.
“It seems that the carriage had deviated from the mountain road due to the aftermath of the heavy rain as he travelled to the capital.”
Arante’s explanation made him feel terrible.
Viscount Daphnen had only one reason as to why he would leave for the capital.
It meant that the situation was all the more terrifying.
Benelucia had appeared at a public ceremony with woman other than Senelia, and Senelia had later accompanied another Young Lord as a partner to a banquet.
It had symbolized a perfect separation between the two of them.
The Viscount of Daphnen would have been on his way to the capital, worried about his daughter.
The daughter who had passed her marriageable age after never parting with the Grand Duke, but now, had broken up completely.
In other words, had it not been for Benelucia and Senelia, there would have been no carriage accident as the Viscount would have not left for the capital in the first place.
Senelia’s father was originally a healthy man, if not for the accident, he would never have died so soon.
But he had died.
The Grand Duke’s hand trembled, his complexion paled.
“Sally… What are you doing now”
His throat tightened.
He was clear of the cause of the entire situation.
I… It was because I have held Sally to my side for too long, and in the end, I did nothing.
“The Lady Daphnen has taken a warp gate straight to the Daphnen residence.”
The lieutenant’s words proved just how frightened Senelia must have been.
She had never used the warp gate, even though he had permitted her use of it.
It must have been dusty as it laid without use.
And now, it was only after they had broken up that Senelia had finally used it.
“His Majesty the Grand Duke!”
The second the duke guessed Senelia’s condition, he could hardly stand it and ran out of the mansion.
The startled cry of Arante rang out behind him, unable to reach the duke’s ears.
Benelucia, who had forgotten to command his lieutenant, directly ran out of the mansion.
He immediately slapped the horse on its side and rode to the warp gate.
“Even if I ran out of this banquet hall right now and catch someone to marry… That person will not be the Grand Duke.”
Benelucia remembered the first time Senelia spoke thorny words to him.
It had been a long time since he had seen her being so emotional.
To him, her parents would react just as repulsed if they had been there.
Such parents… Senelia’s father.
He died because of the relationship his daughter had with Benelucia.
Just the thought of how horrible his existence would now become to Senelia was frightening for Benelucia.
“Activate the warp gate now.”
He jumped off his horse and marched to the gatekeeper, hastily giving out orders as he went.
The people waiting in the front could not see them, but everyone held their breath at the bloody momentum that dripped off the only Grand Duke of their country.
The wizards speedily did as commanded.
With the warp gate activated, Benelucia felt his vision blur.
It seemed as if that was the future for himself and Senelia.
She didn’t know what kind of spirit had come to the Daphnen’s estate.
Senelia ran to her home, ignoring the fact that she almost fell off her horse as it galloped at a speed she could not manage.
When she got off her horse, her face was visibly pale and bloodless and her legs trembled.
As a result, as soon as she entered the mansion she collapsed.
Amelia, a maid of the Daphnen’s household, came out at sound of the horse’s cry.
She hurriedly ran to her Young Lady and supported her.
“Father… Father, father…”
The Young Lady brokenly repeated the same word over and over again.
As if she too did not believe such an incident could occur, Amelia couldn’t continue.
Losing the strength in her legs, Senelia fell down.
Amelia had trouble supporting her.
Senelia sat on the dirty floor of the garden and wanted to burst into tears.
“Wake up, Senelia.”
And she would have cried, had it not been for the call of her mother.
Senelia listlessly lifted her head and watched her mother stand in the distance.
Her mother did not rush to her, nor help her up.
She just stared at her daughter.
Instantly, Senelia felt her tears freeze in the cold wind.
A cold rush wrapped around her heart, making it difficult to even breathe.
Her mother had always been strict.
But she nonetheless loved her daughter.
Alas, the eyes that looked back at the Young Lady appeared to have changed.
Her mother… She hated Senelia.