The Male Lead Is Obsessed With Proposing to Me - Chapter 25
- Love without forgiveness
As Benelucia tilted Senelia’s body in his arms, his shadow encased her in its darkness.
“It was a simple yes or no answer, Sally. Why do you keep dodging the question with roundabout replies.”
With Benelucia’s broad shoulders taking up space, all Senelia could see was her ex-lover and nothing else. He had imprisoned her in his arms, forcing her to answer him.
Her teeth softly latched onto her lower lip, the more the Grand Duke pressured her, the more reluctant she was to speak.
Aside from racking her brain for a plot to capture his heart and survive his brother’s wrath, Senelia battled with her irritability.
She truly did not want Benelucia’s love, it had been a long time since she decided to stop yearning for it.
Thinking about him longing for her to love him confused her. It made her insides upset.
He whispered to her as his thumb lightly pressed her lower lip. Benelucia then gently rubbed her bitten lip.
Realizing her subconscious movements made Senelia want to laugh self-deprecatingly at herself. She was over the subtle reminders of how Benelucia’s touch felt familiar to her.
She ruthlessly knocked Benelucia’s hand off, she instinctively wanted to add distance between them.
“I have already answered you, Your Majesty.”
The silence that would have followed was broken by the sound of her stomach as it crumbled.
Of course, Senelia hated most when she was embarrassed or shaken in front of the Grand Duke, so she determined her best course of action was to escape.
Resolutely she pushed her chest away from him when, surprisingly, Benelucia moved backwards from the force. He no longer imprisoned her.
Not one to miss out on opportunities, as soon as she was free from his embrace, Senelia spoke quickly.
“It looks like I have to leave Your Majesty so that I can prepare for my father’s funeral with my mother. Please excuse me. An attendant will guide Your Majesty the Grand Duke to where you will be residing.”
The Grand Duke had traveled all the way from the capital to the Daphnen’s estate and he was already welcomed into the mansion.
It’s not like we can force him to leave as soon as he arrives. Unfortunately, the law would not look upon that favorably.
“Sally, the conversation is not over yet…”
It was clear to her that Benelucia had no intention of letting her leave the room, but with her next words, he would have no choice but to back down.
“Your Majesty, it may have slipped your notice but do recall that my father’s funeral hasn’t been conducted yet, so, I do not have any more time to spend with you.”
After saying her piece, she herself was left dumbfounded. Not much time had passed since the death of her father, and here she was preoccupied with chatting to her ex.
Senelia hated the fact that she was still swayed by the likes of the Grand Duke.
She roughly opened the door and left.
The sound of the door slamming shut behind her was deafening.
“That took longer than expected.”
By the time Senelia returned to the previous room, the Viscountess was waiting for her.
Unintentionally, Senelia began to tremble, she was instinctively afraid of what her mother would say to her.
I want to cry.
That was how parents intimidate their children.
Even if the furious parent stood there doing nothing, the more the child glanced at them, the more frightened the child would become. The unpleasant scolding wouldn’t have begun, but the child was already terrified.
“Don’t make a fuss, Sally. You have returned to our territory permanently this time, yes?”
The Viscountess asked a valid question, Senelia was the only child of her parents, thus, she was the only successor to Viscount Daphnen.
Her parents, herself, and everyone within their residency had assumed that Senelia would become the next Viscount Daphnen.
And with the successor chosen, there was no need to have to educate others. Meaning that there was no one else who could take charge of the Daphnen estate other than Senelia.
Realistically, even if her marriage had been delayed for this long, as the successor, her successor ceremony would have already taken place.
Unfortunately, Senelia’s romantic life had been a waste of time.
She had spent all those years as Benelucia’s lover and missed the perfect age for marriage. His Highness, Cliff de Helios, had also noticed her family’s attempts at marriage during the years and made sure that they were unable to make any connections with those high-ranking aristocrats.
Senelia’s parents had put up with wasted years for a long time.
Her tongue slurred as she spoke, she had been distracted when she had arrived, so she had overlooked a very important fact.
There was no scenario in which the emperor would allow his dog to remain in the Daphnen manor. Cliff would specifically want his dog within reach.
The reason for her limited visits to the Viscount estate was not due to her distancing herself from her family. Rather, it was because the person she had to pay attention to, was the emperor.
Cliff de Helios had removed her rights to travel back and forth between the Daphnen estate and the capital. So, allowing her to now permanently reside in the estate? Just the thought of it was impossible, the emperor would never approve.
“If you do not succeed, Sally, then the Viscount title will be passed on to someone who has not been properly prepared for the caring and maintenance of our territory.”
Viscount Daphnen had many relatives but not even one of them were equipped with matters pertaining to the Viscount estate.
As such, it had never occurred to the Viscount and his wife that they could hand down the estate to anyone other than their daughter.
Although the estate covered a small plot of land, it did not lack its own charming characteristics. The successor had to be someone who understood the territory’s good points and made them shine as well as understand the bad points and work to improve those. They would also need to have an in-depth knowledge of the territory, which they would obtain after years of learning.
Senelia’s parents had long since taken care of the training period, and above all else, they taught their daughter as much as they could about their territory and its people.
I must take over right away, but there is no way I would give away my years of training and learning to someone else.
The estate desperately needed a Viscount to lead it now that her father had passed on. Her father had intended to take on the title.
Senelia had never known about it. Her parents had always indulged in her that it never occurred to her that she was meant to take up their position.
“Sally, so far we have given you time for your self-indulgence, but you are now required to take over the Viscount name and marry.”
Their daughter’s marriage could have been settled as a personal and family affair if her father had still been around. Now, with his death, the matter of her marriage concerned the territory and its people, everything had changed.
The young lady knew that this was her mother’s last request, she needed her daughter to step up and take her place, the Viscountess would not back down.
Senelia felt short of breath, her choice had already been fixed from the very beginning.
“Your father’s death in the carriage was an accident, but now it is your turn to make a choice. Do you want to follow His Majesty back to the capital?”
The Viscountess was troubled, ever since the Grand Duke appeared at their estate, she had been on edge. Her greatest worry was that her daughter may once again fail to live up to her parents’ expectations.
If Senelia followed the Grand Duke, the Viscountess would be left with no choice. She did not know how she would be able to handle the disappointment.
But, thinking about it realistically, the Viscountess would be left with only one path. Firming her resolution, the Viscountess ignored her brief hesitation.
“I do not think that I could love the daughter who would abandon the Viscount estate, our home, whom your father and I loved.”
The Viscountess had given her daughter her ultimatum.
After announcing her ultimatum, Senelia’s mother left her room, allowing Senelia to ponder over her options.
Once the Viscountess had left, a maid entered the room.
“My Lady, please have some of this.”
Having returned to the estate suddenly, Senelia had not eaten that day and the maid must have noticed that.
“…Did you prepare this?”
Senelia paused once she removed the lid covering the dish.
It contained porridge, not a soup.
The maid trailed off into silence. Senelia glanced at the maid, frowning slightly.
“Do you know what this is?”
There was no one in that world who knew of porridge.
It was the food that Benelucia had found out about after Senelia had impulsively made it at the Grand Duke’s residence. She had been on the verge of a mental breakdown at the time, and the pressure from Cliff had made her desperately want to escape to her previous life.
Her eyes narrowed as they focused on the maid. As her master stared her down, the maid hurriedly fell to her knees.
“I was wrong, my Lady. I was-His Majesty the Grand Duke had requested to hand the meal to the Lady.”
She was intimidated, she didn’t know what the dish was either, so she was worried that she had made a mistake and brought the Lady something unknown.
But a single maid did not have the power to oppose an order given by a Grand Duke, Senelia understood and sighed. With a gesture, she commanded the maid to leave.
“Never mind, get out.”
When the door closed, Senelia sat calmly and stared blankly at the bowl of porridge.
Benelucia knew almost nothing about her or her past, but he was quick to notice the little things here and there.
For example, the temperature of the porridge was lukewarm, this too was most likely due to his remarks before it was sent to her.
It was a logical guess for Senelia.
The food at the Grand Duke’s mansion was always served lukewarm.
There were many nobles who would refuse to eat food that was not freshly prepared, so Senelia became immediately aware of the fact that Benelucia was being considerate of her. She had always been unable to eat steaming hot food.
Her stomach was in a mess and instantly, tears fell from her eyes.
It was unfortunate that at that moment in time, Senelia had a moment of honesty. She finally came to a realization.
Time and time again, she would wonder why the actions of the Grand Duke towards her messed with her insides.
In a moment of true honesty, Senelia knew it was due to her love for Benelucia. A love that had begun to grow ever since their first meeting.
“It’s not even funny. Do I have to confess the words I’ve kept buried all this time?”
Whispers reeking of resentment slipped from her lips.