Can't Come Back - Chapter 44
* * *
Night had descended. Cain immediately sought out Dean after learning that he had returned to the mansion.
“What exactly is it, Cain?”
“Don’t you know why I came?”
Cain was gazing at him with a fierce gaze.
“How dare my younger sibling…!”
Dean had always detested Cain’s gaze of this type. It lacked any semblance of respect for him, his older sibling, and a duke and was excessively arrogant.
Nevertheless, each time he met Cain’s gaze, Dean would inadvertently tense up. This fact enraged him even more. However, this would soon be over. Cain would shortly have to depart for the Marundis.
“…I intended to inform you. Since it’s time for you to wed, I’ve been searching for a partner on your behalf.”
“Do you believe it’s appropriate for me, the involved party, to find out later? You have no right to interfere with my marriage, even if you are my sibling.”
“Everything is for you, Cain. I am currently in negotiations with the Marundi family.”
Cain’s countenance hardened in response to Dean’s brash behavior.
“Without the consent of the individual involved? I have no intention of marrying the daughter of the Marundis.”
“Then, whom do you intend to marry?”
“I have no interest in marriage at the moment.”
“Cain, how long do you believe you can remain without a title in the Hildayden ducal family? All noble males who do not inherit a title are expected to marry or become knights and abandon their families. If you marry a member of the Marundi family, you could become her consort and Count Marundi. This is the finest solution. Why don’t you realize that everything is for you?”
There was technically nothing incorrect with what Dean said. No matter how much of a duke he was, it was inappropriate for him to arbitrarily determine the marriage of his younger brother.
Cain felt he required a more definitive method of refusal. If not, Dean was certain to pursue this union.
‘I can’t stand it any longer. Even if he is my sibling…’
He exhaled once before opening his mouth. Cain’s voice sank.
“…Have you forgotten?”
“…Wha, what are you talking about?”
Dean glanced at Cain with a tense expression, startled by the abrupt change in his attitude.
“Who do you think owns the land in the 30th district that you’re investing in now?”
“…What?! Are you trying to kill me?”
Dean exclaimed in astonishment. The land in the 30th district on the fringes of the capital was not originally desirable. Recent construction of a new road nearby transformed the 30th district into a desirable location at the entrance to the imperial capital.
In addition, on the initiative of Crown Prince Hakarton, a trading post was to be constructed in the thirty-first district. As the duke of the Hildayden family, the land’s owner, Dean was significantly invested in this endeavor and anticipated a substantial profit. If this land is transferred to the Marundis, Dean would appear to be doing them a favor.
“If I marry the young lady of the Marundi family, that land would also become the property of the Marundis.”
Although the land technically belonged to the Hildayden Ducal family, the former Duke and Duchess of Hildayden had left it to Cain in their will. Cain was the true proprietor of the land.
The former Duke and Duchess of Hildayden, who intended to leave more property to their eldest son Dean, did not give Cain a great deal of property. The majority of the excellent things went to Dean, and at the time, Cain was only given mediocre land in District 30. In particular, because the couple perished in a sudden accident, Cain’s property, such as his land, was modest. This was due to the fact that Dean, who became duke, did not transfer any of the family’s property to Cain.
Nonetheless, District 30, which was once unremarkable, has now flourished tremendously. Due to Dean’s continued good fortune, it has been appraised at a much higher price than his other properties. How distressed Dean must have been upon seeing this!
Nonetheless, he had to invest. It was obvious that the price would increase further after the trading post was constructed.
“What, what did you say!”
“Because you’re my brother, I gave you a lot of authority, but if I marry into Marundi’s family, I’ll have to support Marundi’s power as my future father-in-law.”
In addition, Cain granted Dean greater authority than other nobles, and he had reaped numerous benefits. And now he’s giving the Marundi family the land he’s most concerned about. Dean considered it to be foolishness. He shouted at Cain as his face turned red from excitement.
“This property is owned by the House of Hildayden! The transfer of Hildayden’s inherited land to the House of Marundi is absurd!”
“I am the legitimate owner of the property. If I become the Count of Marundi, then District 30 will belong to Marundi. I have no intention of relinquishing ownership of this property. If this is the case, I assume the Marundi family’s involvement in the trading post operation will be significantly greater than Hildayden’s.”
Dean’s rage reached a boiling point, but he could no longer speak. Because if that actually occurred, he would lose all the money and time he had invested.
Cain left a message for Dean and turned away when he was unable to rebut.
“Therefore, I’ll disregard our conversation about marriage and depart, brother.”
Cain’s figure disappeared from Dean’s view as the door shut.
“That damn guy!!!”
Unable to control his fury, Dean threw everything on the floor.
“That arrogant brat!!!”
As he threw items around, his room rapidly descended into chaos. Dean’s respiration was labored. Hands were trembling.
‘Because District 30 is his territory! If only it weren’t so!’
Dean had no choice but to retain Cain in the mansion for the time being, even if he wanted to expel Cain from the mansion immediately. He resented the circumstances surrounding the trading post’s presence on Cain’s land.
However, there was one item he was unaware of. The location of District 30 was advantageous, but Harkarton initiated the trading post initiative with the knowledge that the land was Cain’s.
As he returned to his chamber, Cain had complicated thoughts. Although he had reached this conclusion for the time being, Dean was correct when he stated that he could not remain at the mansion indefinitely. That was the empire’s custom.
Furthermore, even if he overcomes this issue, he will face similar problems again as long as he remains unmarried. In all likelihood, he could not continue with Berlia in the Notium Empire. He may one day be forced to marry a woman he doesn’t even adore.
Cain let out a deep exhale. Was there no alternative to abandoning everything and fleeing with Berlia?
* * *
It was an ungodly hour of the morning. Berlia arose earlier than normal.
“I wish I could sleep more, but I cannot.”
Cain visited Berlia’s room last night and discussed what transpired with Dean. This issue appeared to be resolved for the time being, but there was no assurance that similar incidents would not occur in the future.
Given this, she could not help but be concerned. If something goes awry, she might be unable to meet Cain. Berlia had difficulty resting due to anxiety last night.
She felt exhausted because she had not fallen into a deep slumber, and it appeared difficult for her to fall asleep once more. Berlia would routinely pull the string next to her bed to summon Betty when she realized she needed to get up.
As she pulled the string at that instant, she felt a sharp pain in the palm of her hand.
Berlia swiftly inspected her palm. Blood was pouring from multiple locations. It was not limited to a few locations. Her entire hand was progressively turning red as blood oozed from the wound.
“What on earth…”
She promptly examined the string next to her bed. The string, which was faintly stained with her blood, contained finely ground glass.
“Who did this?”
Betty, who had just entered her room, raced towards Berlia with a shocked expression on her face. Upon noticing the fresh blood on Berlia’s hand, she removed a handkerchief from her apron and attempted to clean it away.
“Are, are you okay? We should first clean up the blood…”
“Be patient, Betty. I believe we must first extract the glass from my hand.”
Then, Betty observed the tiny shards of glass embedded in Beria’s palm. The finely crushed particles had wounded her deeply, and it was evident that it had been excruciating. Betty’s expression became deformed.
“I’ll, I’ll call the doctor.”
Betty left the room quickly to summon the doctor.
Why did this occur? Who… Oh my head!
Berlia’s vision progressively blurred as she observed Betty’s retreating form.
‘So, so disoriented….’
It was much more severe than simple sleep deprivation. She felt utterly feeble. Berlia found it taxing to remain seated on the bed.
Berlia landed on the bed with a thud as her vision began to fade. Shortly after her return, Betty observed her prostrate and screaming.
“Du… Duchess! Please, regain your sanity! Madame!”
Betty attempted to move Berlia, but she was immobile.
“Madame has fainted!”
Betty yelled towards the outside. As soon as they heard her voice, the servants of the mansion began to gather one by one.
“What has happened, Betty?”
“Madame has fainted!”
“When is the doctor coming!”
“Let the Duke know immediately!”
The area surrounding her room was filled with the frantic voices of servants. Cain, who had been alert since the early hours of the morning, observed that something had occurred in the vicinity of Berlia’s room.
Did something occur with Berlia?
He had a negative impression about this. He ran directly to her room. Cain then observed Berlia’s collapse before him.