Chapter 9: Those Pants Look Good
It was Delta who broke the silence.
“You don’t have to be so discouraged. You are still young, and there are many women.”
Hernan didn’t answer. He had no intention of changing his bride again.
“And I was greatly relieved that my son is not disabled. That’s it. Hehe.”
Delta let out a laugh with the intention of changing the gloomy atmosphere.
“My son is fine,” Delta nodded.
Rumors circulated that Hernan was gay or disabled because he didn’t care much about women.
Delta didn’t listen to the rumors, but Hernan’s eunuch rumor was somewhat suspicious.
Because his second son, who was like a single-minded person, wasn’t too interested in other people!
Even noble ladies and female servants didn’t like Hernan very much.
The reason was that although he was handsome, he had no expressions and his atmosphere was cold, making him difficult to approach.
It was a pity.
After a few meetings, you could see how innocent Hernan is.
Delta felt sorry for Hernan and pushed for a marriage of convenience. There would be no civil war for the time being, so it was the perfect time for marriage.
However, he never imagined that Hernan would like the princess so much.
Delta became curious about the princess who fell in love with Hernan.
“I guess I should invite the princess to the imperial palace. I’ll have to meet her in person.”
Hernan responded without hesitation.
“I like that. As you will see when you meet her, she is a really nice woman.”
After dinner, Izekiel followed Hernan.
Hernan wondered how long he should pretend not to know that Izekiel was following him.
Since they were not generally friendly brothers, he would have said “Don’t follow me” ferociously if it was a normal situation.
But Hernan happened to have something he wanted to ask Izekiel about.
‘What clothes should I wear when I meet Linzel? …… I have to dress up well to be called unique.’
Linzel’s reaction was good every time he copied Izekiel’s clothes. That’s why he wants to get some advice from Izekiel.
By the way, it was not easy to bring up the request for advice to Izekiel.
And that was because he never had a conversation with more than two words normally.
Hernan stopped walking and looked back.
Izekiel’s face crumpled as he looked at him. He seemed to have something to complain about.
“Izekiel, is there anything you want to say?”
Izekiel walked a couple more steps and narrowed his distance from Hernan.
“Hernan, this shirt you’re wearing. Isn’t it very familiar?”
The shirt Hernan was wearing was something Izekiel used to wear often.
It must have been probably bought at <Mont Blanc>, speculated Izekiel.
When Izekiel found that out, he was deliberately sarcastic. It was meant to touch Hernan’s pride.
“Of course it is. I chose what you liked to wear!”
Hernan immediately admitted that he had copied him.
Izekiel’s body staggered greatly.
‘Eh, you admit this right away?’
He wondered if he was the same guy who usually built up his pride.
“It’s embarrassing,” Izekiel admonished.
But it didn’t concern Hernan’s pride in the slightest that he brought Izekiel’s shirt. What mattered to him now was what to wear to the next meeting with Linzel.
Hernan stared at Izekiel.
To be precise, it was Izekiel’s clothes that Hernan’s sharp eyes were actually looking at.
A shirt that looked similar to what he was wearing, a blue jacket casually hanging over his shoulder.
Lastly, black pants that weren’t wide.
Not only did the trousers show the contours of the thighs, but thanks to the appropriate length, the well-proportioned Achilles tendons and ankle stood out.
‘Those pants look good.’
Hernan coveted Izekiel’s pants. It was a style of pants that Hernan didn’t have in his closet.
He usually wore only wide-legged trousers.
Hernan’s eyes flashed.
“If there’s nothing more to ask, I’ll go.”
Hernan moved on without listening to Izekiel’s answer.
‘Somehow I get chills!’ Izekiel thought as he looked at Hernan’s back as he walked away. He had a feeling that his clothes would be taken away again.
Izekiel was unfamiliar with the Hernan who coveted his clothes. And he was curious about the ‘she’ who changed Hernan.
By the way–
Who among the twin princesses of the Duke of Valencia fell in love with Hernan?
Come to think of it, he didn’t hear her name at the dinner table.
At that time, Izekiel remembered the daughter of the Duke of Valencia, who often greeted him.
That young girl… Was her name Linzel?
“Mi, Mini…… If I can’t get up after all……. bury me here!”
Linzel sat down in the hallway and bowed her head.
Mini, who was quietly following her master, lowered her posture hurriedly.
“Miss. No, no! You can get up.”
“I don’t want any more…… ! Cough, cough!”
Minnie wrapped her arms around Linzel’s shoulder and let out a whimper.
Linzel collapsed completely on the floor and caught her breath. After some time passed, the rapid breathing began to return to its normal trajectory.
After a few more minutes, she lifted her crumpled face back up.
“Phew. Mini. Thank you for sympathizing with my performance. I’m out of breath, but I’m feeling better now.”
The situation a while ago was that while Linzel was walking to the office at her father’s call, she ran out of breath and fell over.
Mini was sympathetic to her nonsensical acting.
If Linzel had to decide on the title of the play, would it be something like <Life of a Time-Limited Woman>?
She raised her body that had been lying on the ground.
“Now let’s start again.”
Mini replied brightly as if she had never been sad. She was a cute and funny child.
Linzel walked slowly down the hallway, so that she wouldn’t run out of breath this time.
Doing that reminded her of Hernan.
He lifted her up at once when her legs were weak. He walked down the hallway holding her in his arms.
If Hernan had been by her side right now, wouldn’t he have lifted her up in a flash?
And then she would say, ‘Let’s go to heaven together!’
Then he would answer like, ‘I totally agree!’
It was a happy imagination.
‘What is Hernan doing now?’
Hernan, who had been visiting for two days, had not visited the duke’s residence today for some reason.
They had only met for two days, and Linzel felt his absence greatly. She also felt a sense of loss of unknown origin.
‘Are you busy today?’
Even if he came late to visit, she would welcome him with open arms.
She wasn’t out of breath until she reached her destination. She guessed it was because she turned her attention to something other than the grueling physical demand of walking.
Linzel told the maid who was guarding her father’s office to notify him that she had arrived.
“Duke, Miss Linzel is here.”
Her father’s voice rang from the inside.
“Tell her to come in.”
She went into the office.
Her father, who was sitting on the sofa, beckoned her to sit across from him.
As soon as she sat down, she asked her question.
“Father, why did you call me?”
Linzel’s father was perplexed and silent for a while. He also wiggled his hand on his thigh, which didn’t make her feel very good.
Before long, his lips opened.
“The imperial palace invited you.”
“The imperial palace? Why?” Linzel asked back.
What was the reason that she got an invite from the palace? It was clear that it had something to do with Hernan.
Could it be that Hernan told his parents about her?
If so, what would he have said?
She hoped he didn’t tell them that she was a woman who touched his face…….
She thought he probably said that she was a weak and sickly young lady.
That’s all Hernan knew about her, really.
“Aren’t you supposed to have an arranged marriage with Prince Hernan? I guess that’s why they invited you to dinner.”
She knew it. It was as she expected.
“I see. When are we having that meal?”
Her father made an even more troubled face.
“Is it today?”
“Linzel. Do you know the saying that you can catch people?”
“I guess I got it right this time.”
Her father nodded.
“Yes, and you’re the only one invited to dinner tonight.”
“I tried to slow things down, but…… it seems that the Imperial Palace wants you and His Highness to get married soon!”
“Why did my father try to slow down my marriage?”
Her father began to answer with a serious face.
“Linzel. As I said before, I cannot say that there is no political reason for your marriage. But if you don’t want that marriage, I will try to prevent it from happening.”
He was a father who loved his twin daughters very much. Looking into his sincere eyes, it felt like he was her real father.
“Didn’t I tell you? I couldn’t help with this marriage….”
“Yes, you did.”
“Actually, it was because the emperor’s name had fallen.”
Even Linzel’s father, a duke, couldn’t resist the emperor.
It really was as she expected.
At that time, the part that was narrated in the original novel flashed into her mind.
Letty asked her father to cancel the arranged marriage, and the father tried to make his daughter’s wish come true…
In the end, they had no choice but to proceed with the marriage due to the pressure from the imperial palace.
It was certain that the Duke of Valencia was the duke in name and reality.
However, its prestige was inferior to that of the other dukes within the empire, the Duke of Seville and the Duke of Cadiz.
The reason was related to ‘bloodline’, because among the three dukes, only the Duke of Valencia did not inherit the ‘blood of the first emperor’.
So, despite being a duke, he was uniquely unable to resist the pressure of the imperial palace.
The reason why the Duke of Valencia claimed to be the imperial faction early on and supported the second prince was also related to that.
On the other hand, the families that inherited the ‘blood of the first emperor’ were usually aristocrats, and often opposed the imperial palace or rebelled against the imperial throne.
In fact, when the aristocratic side was a little stronger, the authority of the imperial family had fallen, and a civil war had broken out.
“Don’t worry, Father,” Linzel said to comfort the duke.
“As I said before, I fell in love with Hernan at first sight, and I also liked Hernan when I actually met him.”
There were a number of things that Linzel liked. He seemed indifferent, but had a kind side and a handsome face.
She didn’t want to spend her whole life with Hernan, but she thought it would be okay to live together for a few years.
As she thought before, she was going to ask him for a divorce when her goal (approaching the imperial palace) and Hernan’s goal (becoming the crown prince, plus the emperor) were achieved.
She wanted to marry someone she loved to the point of risking her life for him. That was her dream.
And Hernan would have no regrets about the arranged marriage that took place without love.
Linzel’s father asked back in disbelief.
“You already like him so much?”
Her father suddenly made a face that was lost in thought.
He pondered about something, and then responded.
“Ahh. That’s what it was.”
Duke Valencia gave off an air of knowing what Linzel was thinking even though she hadn’t said anything.