༺ Interlude (5) ༻
Ferzen, who had finally arrived at the Academy for the investigation meeting, decided to make a stop at a certain shop on the street that caught his eye.
“Do you have something to do in this place, My Lord?” one of the knights asked.
“It wasn’t planned, but I do.”
He opened the carriage door and got off, with the three knights following him.
Lizzy Poliana Claudia.
That girl would also be attending the investigation today.
But the chances of running into her were slim unless he actively sought her out.
She would do her best to avoid him.
For that reason, Ferzen had initially planned to leave it as it was and not go out of his way to find her.
‘A good child deserves a prize.’
It was certain that the academy would bestow some kind of reward upon her.
But Ferzen couldn’t consider that as his own prize for her. So, he slowly stepped into the shoe store in front of him.
As he turned towards the splendid display of women’s shoes, rather than men’s, Ferzen could see what was currently trending in the social world.
And among the countless shoes, one, in particular, caught his eye.
“This one…” he murmured, the corner of his mouth slowly curling up.
Trends in the aristocratic and social world were short-lived.
Even if they persisted for a long time, it wouldn’t be more than a year.
Things that fell out of fashion like that were considered outdated and treated with contempt. But ironically, after a long period of time, they often became classics and regained their spot in the limelight.
“I will place an order.”
“Thank you! Would you like to take your purchases with you, or should we ship them?”
“Please ship them.”
Without even acknowledging the clerk who approached him, Ferzen crouched down and picked up a pair of shoes that evoked memories of the past.
“The size is 210mm. And… give me some pen and paper. I’ll also write the shipping address.”
“I understand. You can write the letter and information on this side.”
The clerk presented him with a set of small ink and feather pens by the window.
Sitting there, Ferzen meticulously wrote a word for the lamb, then handed it to the clerk along with some money before returning to the carriage.
He had no intention of putting more pressure on Lizzy, whose convictions had already been shattered. Unless she had something else in mind…
She had referred to herself as a bad kid, so it was only right for him, as her professor, to guide her onto the right path.
* * * * *
Princess Elizabeth grimaced as she looked at Lizzy.
Although her attitude towards the investigation was sincere, it was evident that Lizzy was hiding something.
Especially with that restless look, that hinted at a desire to leave this place as quickly as possible.
That was why Princess Elizabeth decided to read her thoughts through some questions.
However, apart from a single thought, she couldn’t discern anything else.
「I want to leave…… I want to leave……」
It was just a desperate cry.
Princess Elizabeth was well aware of the history between the Claudia and Brutein families.
Even if the Bruteins tried to conceal it, it would have been highly unusual for the Imperial Family not to be aware of the situation.
Therefore, it was difficult to believe that Lizzy, as a member of the Claudia family, willingly entered the illusion barrier to save Ferzen.
In fact, Roer was able to join the Imperial Knight Order despite barely meeting the standards because the Imperial Family wanted to closely monitor the Claudia family’s anger towards the Brutein.
“Thank you for taking part in the investigation with a sincere attitude…… It’s fine for you to leave now.”
As the headmistress, Princess Elizabeth, gave her the long-awaited permission, Lizzy ducked down and turned the wheelchair around.
She then quickly headed to the parking lot of the main building to avoid meeting Ferzen, who might arrive anytime.
Even though she moved as fast as possible in order to avoid crossing paths with him, for some reason, Lizzy seemed to feel his gaze.
But she never turned her head back.
After all, if by any chance, her eyes met with his, which were looking down at her……
Chills seeped deep into her bones just by imagining it.
At the same time, the touches she had experienced in her dreams seemed to come back.
Ferzen’s large hands groped her immobile body.
A hideous object penetrated the slit between her folded legs and brutally violated it……
Pain seemed to rise in her womanhood.
Although she knew it was nothing but a product of her hallucinating, Lizzy still desperately commanded her corpse to push the wheelchair, feeling sick and nauseous in her stomach.
After arriving in front of her carriage, drenched in cold sweat, she struggled to get inside and sat down.
For the next three months, starting from today…
She wouldn’t have to see his face for a while.
Moreover, she wouldn’t have to hear his voice.
With that thought, Lizzy felt the tension that had been gripping her whole body slowly ease up.
She could no longer feel Ferzen’s large hands groping her body.
The pain she felt around her folds also disappeared.
After returning to her mansion located within the capital, Lizzy took a breather in her room and called for her maids.
However, one of the maids who responded to her call did not come empty-handed. She was holding a beautifully packaged box.
“Young miss, a present has arrived for you.”
Today was not her birthday. Who could have sent her a present? And for what reason?
Could it be from someone who highly regarded the Claudia family and was trying to gain favor?
Normally, she would have been happy about it, but currently, she had given up and was desperate to hide……
She painfully realized that the revival of her family through arranged marriages did not hold any special significance. She didn’t even know what to say to her eldest brother, Roer, who had asked to be kept in the loop regarding the details of the investigation.
“If you’re not going to open it, shall we keep it for now, young miss?”
“No… I’ll open it.”
She was determined to find out who had sent the package just as the students were about to return to their own territories for vacation.
She didn’t want to delay her response by thinking about it for too long. Carefully, she opened the package, her hands trembling with anticipation.
As she lifted the top of the box, she noticed a small letter resting on top of the item wrapped in white paper. Lizzy picked the letter first, examining its surface.
However, the sender’s name was not written on it.
“Is it written inside…?” she wondered.
With that thought, she carefully opened the letter with one hand, while using her other hand to lift the white wrapping paper from the gift.
Scanning the contents of the letter with her distinct violet eyes, Lizzy read the neatly written words that revealed the personality of the sender…
「 To keep you from going astray, I prepared something that you can use as a reminder. 」
Only a single sentence was written on the paper.
But as soon as Lizzy read the letter, she couldn’t help but let go of it, allowing it to fall from her trembling hands.
In front of her, a box containing colorful shoes caught her attention.
It was something that she couldn’t forget.
It was something that she wished she could forget.
Those were the shoes she wore when she danced with Ferzen eight years ago.
“I said… Get out—!”
Despite Lizzy’s voice growing louder, her hands trembled as she desperately clung to the armrests of her wheelchair.
After exchanging glances, her two maids hesitated for a moment before carefully exiting the room.
As the door slammed shut and Lizzy was left alone, she flung her wheelchair backward, causing the box on her lap to fall to the floor.
The shoes scattered across the floor, no longer contained by the box.
For some reason, her current position reminded her of her past self, lying on the ground, crying.
It was as if she could hear her own cries from that day.
Lizzy forced herself into a fetal position, covering her ears in an attempt to block out the sound.
If she had the choice, she would run away and hug the ghost of her past…
「That child, what kind of child is she? 」
At that moment, she could hear the wolf, no, the monster’s voice, whispering in her ear.
For sure, he’s not anywhere near her.
So, how could his touch, as if he was caressing her neck and down to her collarbone, be so vivid?
In the end, even though Ferzen wasn’t there, she still answered him.
Lizzy opened her mouth.
“A-a bad…… child……”
Then, as if praising her behavior, Ferzen’s hand, which had been groping around her collarbone, gradually withdrew and faded.
In the end, Lizzy was able to realize this once again.
The Claudia family was not struggling to drive Ferzen to the edge of the cliff.
They were simply clinging to the cliff, hoping that their miserable efforts would manage to topple the mountain.
Dropping her head down, Lizzy realized how high the cliff was, and she placed the palm of her hand over her eyes.
At the same time, a trickle of urine stained her underwear.
Ferzen Von Schweig Louerg.
In front of him, she was nothing but a powerless kid, just like always.
* * * * *
As Laura strolled down the hallway, she tightly squeezed the white rabbit doll in her grasp. The innocent toy bore the weight of her pent-up frustration and resentment.
Yuriel’s invitation to have a tea party seemed innocent enough on the surface, but Laura knew she had no choice but to accept.
She carried the doll with her, hoping to draw Yuriel’s attention and perhaps mitigate the repulsion she felt towards becoming Ferzen’s concubine in the future.
As she opened the door to the mansion, Laura was greeted by a heavy atmosphere that seemed to suffocate her. Euphemia and Yuriel sat silently, sipping tea, and gazing out the terrace.
The tension in the room eased as they acknowledged Laura’s presence.
With a familiarity that stemmed from their deeper connection, Laura naturally took a seat beside Yuriel.
She kept her hands placed on top of the rabbit doll, exerting an unconscious force that crushed its fragile form.
“As the young miss of the Rosenbergs, you must be knowledgeable about trinkets and jewelry.”
“T-to some extent.”
“Then, would you like to take a look at these?”
Yuriel rolled up her sleeves, revealing a pair of bracelets gifted to her by Ferzen.
At that moment, Euphemia’s eyes twitched, a fleeting flicker of envy passing through her gaze.
“Can you tell me about these bracelets?”
Yuriel didn’t believe that the accessories purchased and owned by Ferzen, a descendant of Brutein, were merely ordinary accessories. She thought that Laura, being the daughter of Rosenberg, might have some knowledge about them.
Upon taking a closer look at the bracelet, Laura recalled the information without any difficulty.
The bracelet was called the Sea of Eternity, and its design resembled the reflection of the eternal sky in the vast ocean.
“What about… the price?”
Yuriel kept her eyes on the necklace worn by Euphemia as she posed an additional question.
“I… I don’t know…”
It wasn’t uncommon for jewelry to have a fixed price, but there were also cases where the price was unknown, as it might have been won at an auction. Therefore, only Ferzen, who had presented the trinket to Yuriel, would know its value.
Feeling a sense of regret, Yuriel delicately touched the bracelet given to her by Ferzen.
“Well, then… may I know about this necklace?”
Laura stared at Euphemia in disbelief as she addressed her in such a formal manner, which was uncharacteristic for someone married to a descendant of Brutein. Nevertheless, Laura examined the necklace.
The centerpiece of the necklace was an emerald, but the value of the gemstones used to make it shine was beyond imagination.
It was likely one of the pieces auctioned by a group of renowned craftsmen, each showcasing their ability to transform an ordinary woman into a beauty.
Only Ferzen, the winner of the auction, would know the price of the necklace.
Euphemia fondly traced her fingers over the necklace, mirroring Yuriel’s earlier actions.
Throughout the day, both women pondered the same thing.
Later, when Ferzen embraced them, they would try to find the courage to ask him about it.
TL note: Cat fight x2
HOW TF I HAVE 54 HOURS IN BALDUR’S GATE 3 AND I STIL NOT EVEN CLOSE TO FINISHING IT!!!!!!!
THIS GAME IS RUINING MY LIFE.
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