Transmigrated Into A Tragic Romance Fantasy Chapter 37

Chapter 37 - A Bookworm’s Sincere Apology

༺ A Bookworm’s Sincere Apology  ༻

 

 

  May is the month when the snow begins to melt, and it is a busy month for everyone, from adults to children.

 

  However, the busiest of them all would surely be the Grand Duke of Winterfell, Logan.

 

  This year had been especially hectic due to the Grand Ducal Betrothal, as such, sleep became a luxury he couldn’t afford.

 

  Managing the vast Northern Regions and honoring the long-standing traditions of his lineage were tasks of equal weight, though the former often demanded more immediate attention.

 

  It was a duty that required his personal oversight.

 

  For the latter, he left most proceedings in Gelwood’s care, since the man had managed several successful Betrothals.

 

  Of course.

 

  “Your Grace.”

 

  Logan did not miss out on receiving regular reports, despite his tight schedule.

 

  “Please, have a seat.”

 

  As Logan settled into his chair, Gelwood sat diagonally to his left.

 

  The Unveiling Ceremony will occur tomorrow.

 

  Previously, such meetings weren’t that important. But this Betrothal was anything but usual, and this audience carried a unique significance and would be held in the Grand Duchy’s main plaza.

 

  This event also served as the Third Northern Duchess’s first appearance to all her subjects.

 

  Lumia Winterfell.

 

  The event was carefully prepared for his youngest daughter’s official debut.

 

  “How are the preparations going?”

 

  “Good, My Lord. We’ve already completed the preliminary arrangements.”

 

  “I see. I trust you will handle this perfectly.”

 

  “You flatter me, My Lord.”

 

  And that was the end of the report.

 

  Such was the confidence the Grand Duke had in his advisor.

 

  Then, after concluding his report, Gelwood brought up another matter, placing four papers on the table.

 

  “These are the files you had asked me to investigate.”

 

  Logan picked them up.

 

  “Certificates, I see.”

 

  “They are not submitted by the candidates themselves but officially issued by the Royal Academy. They cannot be falsified.”

 

  “So they all graduated top of their class. What about other personal details? Were they inaccessible as well?”

 

  “Yes. As you know, the academy’s regulations prevent the disclosure of student details to third parties, and in the case of the ‘Royal Academy’, no one except His Majesty the King has access.”

 

  “Hmm. So, essentially, we have no substantial information.”

 

  “My apologies.”

 

  The Grand Duke had already expected this.

 

  Within the kingdom, the Academy was the only place that did not discriminate based on social status, making it a sanctuary of sorts, and thus, inherently secretive.

 

  A place free from external pressures due to one’s birthright.

 

  The Academy was where everyone had equal access to education and learning, where no one, except for the King, could exert any influence.

 

  Logan leaned back on his chair.

 

  Since his daughter always remained tight-lipped about her Academy life, he intended to uncover the reason those four were selected as the finalists.

 

  Nonetheless, his search didn’t yield the desired results.

 

  While on the surface such a thing appeared to be a mere coincidence, the Grand Duke could feel something was amiss, but when questioned, Lumia had dismissed his worries saying, ‘I’d rather end up with those I already knew than with someone I have never met’.

 

  So, Logan had Gelwood do background checks on those four.

 

  His choice was only logical and expected for something as important as the Grand Ducal Betrothal.

 

  Moreover, knowing Lumia to be stubbornly persistent and resolute once she made up her mind, Logan reluctantly agreed.

 

  As a father, he couldn’t forget how his daughter withered away when he tried to contain her aspirations.

 

  But, the dubious reputations and personalities of the finalists were a separate matter.

 

  “What about the testimonies from her classmates?”

 

  “While some intersections between those four and The Duchess happened, no classmate could specify it.”

 

  “…Is that so?”

 

  “From the reports we collected, it seems like nothing particularly notable had happened. The Duchess was described as a cheerful and dedicated student. Always said to have an active participation in lectures.”

 

  Logan smiled as he heard about his daughter’s Academy days.

 

  Those reports comforted him since Lumia had always been rather melancholic when she was confined at the Palace, unable to venture into the outside world due to a curse.

 

  The Grand Duke violated some important laws of the Kingdom, committing identity fraud, just for her sake.

 

  Now that the curse had been lifted, he had petitioned the King and received a merciful absolution for his past deeds on behalf of his daughter.

 

  “I see. When that girl returned from the Academy she was radiant. This entire palace became brighter because of her.”

 

  When his daughter returned from her quest for knowledge, her complexion had been bright and radiant.

 

  The letters he received from her during her Academy days were also filled with joyful writing, and upon her return, Lumia herself said that she didn’t regret her choices.

 

  Thus, the Grand Duke had no reason to doubt his daughter.

 

  Perhaps his suspicions about the finalists harboring some unsettling secrets were merely baseless worries.

 

  Perhaps the concern that his daughter would defy her family’s greatest tradition and disrupt the festival was nothing but excessive anxiety.

 

  Indeed,

 

  She wouldn’t lie to her father.

 

  She wouldn’t destroy the hopes of her father who had always believed and supported her.

 

  “Why don’t you question them yourself, My Lord?”

  

  Logan frowned at Gelwood’s question.

 

  “What sort of nonsense are you spouting, Advisor? Have you forgotten that private meetings between the candidates and the family head are strictly forbidden until the end of the Contest? I won’t allow any more violations of our sacred tradition.”

 

  “I apologize, Your Grace…It’s just that you appear to be very frustrated…”

 

  “The Grand Ducal Betrothal is also a festival for the people. Our reign and lineage have continued without a hitch because we honor our traditions and duties…And it shan’t change this time as well.”

 

  “This Advisor has forgotten his place, please forgive me.”

 

  Gelwood bowed his head,

 

  And as Logan’s anger cooled down, he leaned forward, curious.

 

  As a father, the betrothal of his youngest daughter was as significant as any matter in the Land of Bitter Cold.

 

  Therefore,

 

  As her father, and as the Grand Duke, his interest was piqued, and he intended to abuse certain privileges reserved to him.

 

  Such as,

 

  Trying to guess his daughter’s final decision.

 

  “Oh, and has Lumia shown an interest in anyone as of now?”

 

  But,

 

  The answer that he received, only piqued his curiosity further.

 

  “…Hmm? Isn’t this Elden boy the withdrawer?”

 

**

 

  Glance.

 

  Swipe.

 

  Glance.

 

  Swipe.

 

  With every turn of the page, Ariel would look towards the Library’s entrance.

 

  This had already become a habit of hers during the reading sessions.

 

  Sometimes, she would get completely absorbed in her reading, and would only look up after several pages had been turned.

 

  Then, as she continued to read in Elden’s absence, she would feel a slight pang of disappointment.

 

  Today was no different.

 

  She woke up early and headed towards the library, reading books while waiting for her reading buddy.

 

  But today, she was eager for his presence, because she had prepared a [ Gift ] for him.

 

  It was a gift of apples1Gift of knowledge.

 

  Since Elden himself had said it,

 

  He withdrew by his own choice.

 

  When she heard it, Ariel had been happy at first, content in having her reading buddy for a while longer. Then, as she walked towards the Library, she had been bit with a pang of remorse.

 

  …Wait.

 

  Since Elden had no desire to win in the first place, then didn’t she burden him with her foolish words?

 

  She had pushed him towards the goal of being the Grand Duke’s son-in-law after witnessing his happiness as he told her about his dream of making a Culinary Journey.

 

  Ariel had foolishly rushed to support what she believed was the best for him, despite knowing the true meaning behind his withdrawal.

 

  As she realized this, Ariel felt sorry for Elden.

 

  The truth behind his withdrawal, his dreamed Culinary Journey.

 

  Despite hearing him talk about it, she put her beliefs above his own, providing support that ended up becoming a burden.

 

  Of course, Elden didn’t seem to mind it, but Ariel believed her actions warranted some sort of criticism.

 

  It was as if she had heard Elden’s dreams in one ear, and let it slip out the other.

 

  Indeed,

 

  That’s exactly what happened.

 

  Controlled by the desire to help a cherished character from her favorite novel, she had inadvertently disregarded Elden’s dreams.

 

  Ugh…I’m such an idiot…What was I thinking…?

 

  Bam!

 

  When she arrived at the Library that day, Ariel smacked herself and began inquiring the Librarians for something.

 

  She wanted to apologize to Elden.

 

  She wanted to convey her support for his dreams.

 

  Thus.

 

  Ariel ventured towards the fourth sub-level of the Library. 

 

  The same place where Elden’s head butler had been arrested for venturing unauthorized.

 

  “Hmm, it should be here…But where…?”

 

  The Librarian who accompanied her quickly claimed to be busy with his official duties as he fled.

 

  Leaving Ariel alone in the dim sub-level.

 

  Occasionally, the eerie sounds of rats squeaking about could be heard, but Ariel fought her fears as she persevered, rummaging through the piles of books.

 

  “Cough! Cough! Cough!”

 

  This place was a legitimate tomb of books.

 

  The mold made her nose sting, and the accumulated dust tickled her sinuses, causing unending coughing.

 

  Since the only source of light was a torch fixed on the wall, Ariel’s eyes grew weary from searching, and she would occasionally yell, frightened by the dancing shadows.

 

  Even then, she didn’t give up.

 

  “Ahhh—! Found it—!!!”

 

  After a long while, her perseverance was rewarded.

 

  The young bookworm leaped around the sub-level unable to contain her joy.

 

  As she left the sub-level, Ariel quickly found the librarian who had guided her and immediately rented the book.

 

  “……That was a remarkable find, My Lady. If it weren’t for you, I doubt this book would have even seen the light of day, because of your efforts I shall authorize an indefinite loan.”

 

  “Ohh~ Thank You!”

 

  After wasting a whole day searching for the book, Ariel returned to her lodgings and met with her confused handmaiden.

 

  “What?”

 

  “……My Lady…Did you perhaps…Roll around a construction site instead of spending time in the Library?”

 

  Ariel’s appearance, caked in dust from her dress all the way to her hair, left the poor maid in shock.

 

  Nevertheless,

 

  After acquiring such a hard-won gift, Ariel eagerly awaited the next morning, when she would gift the book to Elden.

 

  He should be here at any minute now~

 

  Then as she saw Elden enter the Library, Ariel welcomed him with a bright smile.

 

  “Ah! Elden! You came!”

 

  “Indeed. Were you waiting for me?”

 

  “No~? Why would I~?”

 

  Ariel masterfully changed the subject.

 

  And her hands quickly moved behind her back, trying to hide her gift.

 

  “On my way here I stopped by the culinary section.”

 

  “Huh?! Why?”

 

  “Well, I was wondering if they had a book about monster cuisine or some sort of guide to edible monsters.”

 

  “………!!”

 

  Ariel could hardly contain her excitement at Elden’s words.

 

  “…Is there something wrong, Ariel?”

 

  “Tehehehe~ Actually~ I’ve got a gift for you…!”

 

  “You do? Why?”

 

  “Ah…Well…I just felt like giving you something…?”

 

  “Well, what is it then?”

 

  Elden sat in front of her without displaying much expectations for her gift.

 

  Then, she showed him the title of the book.

 

  [ National Guide For Monster Cuisine ].

 

  “Ta-da! With this, you’ll be all set for your Culinary Journey!”

 

  Elden’s face broke into a wide smile as he received the book.

 

  “…This is exactly what I was looking for…I searched the entire section and couldn’t find anything related to this…How did you even manage to find it?”

 

  His question made Ariel recall the mold, dust, and gloomy atmosphere of the tomb she scavenged. But instead of telling Elden, she simply smiled.

 

  “Ah, the librarian helped me find it! And guess what? He even gave me an indefinite loan! So, do you like it?”

 

  It was an answer born from the desire to prioritize the joy of her dear reading companion over any recognition for the effort it took to find the gift.

 

  “I loved it, Ariel. Thank you, I’ll use it well.”

 

  Sheesh-!

 

  Ariel sighed blissfully, feeling as if she had lifted a weight off her own heart.

 

 

Footnotes:

  • 1
    Gift of knowledge
Transmigrated Into A Tragic Romance Fantasy

Transmigrated Into A Tragic Romance Fantasy

Score 9.95
Status: Ongoing Released: 2024 Native Language: Korean
I was curious about what a female-oriented tragic romantic fantasy was like, so I skimmed through only the free chapters. And then… “…Ha.” I found myself transmigrated into one of the main male characters, destined for tears of regret, exhaustion, and obsession. So, the first thing that had to be done was… "I, Elden Raphelion, hereby declare my withdrawal from the competition for the betrothal of the Third Northern Duchess." To escape this tragedy.

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