Chapter 3: I think I’m out of it for now…
The man who introduced himself as Lucas Hugh Montefeltra was very pleasant, but there was something off about him.
He obviously popped the question first, but the way he asked for Lila’s name and the way his lips curled into an arc but didn’t reach his eyes was suspicious.
Lila smoothed out her expression and lifted the hem of her skirt gracefully in greeting.
Of course, the dress she wore today was not exactly aesthetically pleasing.
“I am Lila L.
Este, my lord.”
His voice was tinged with regret as if he had just remembered her.
Lila lowered her eyes with a fake smile.
‘He must have a nasty personality.’
The intuition she developed while working as a makeup artist was telling her strongly.
This man is not a good person.
Lila waited silently for his answer, lost in thought.
She had wondered all the way here why a great nobleman like Montefeltra would propose to her, a mere baroness.
However, since the duke, the person involved in her marriage did not know her, she wondered how it was.
If this marriage proposal falls through, she plans to settle down here in the north instead of returning to Baron Este.
She had seen the north on her way here and it was more beautiful than she thought.
It wasn’t a bad way to leave the Empire.
The northern capital was not far from the border of the Empire.
If that happened, today would be the last time she would see the man of her dreams.
Purely for the sake of pleasing the eye, Lila rolled her eyes and began to study the Duke.
As a makeup artist, she had a different aesthetic than an average person.
The Duke’s face was small and very well-proportioned for his great height.
His skin color was so white that he looked like a white porcelain doll.
It was smooth.
His mint-colored eyes were like freshly sprouted spring buds, and his hair, softly flowing in the sunlight, glistened like sweet chocolate.
As he smiled politely at her, only his right cheek was dimpled, and his eyes looked darker because he only had a single eyelid.
The dark tear spots below the right eye attracted particular attention because they were sensual.
It wasn’t as harmonious as the standards of beauty pursued by the Empire, but it certainly was an attractive look for her.
Yes, even with the freckles that covered his entire face.
Lila’s ideal man had been the same since she was Yoon Seol.
She preferred men who were handsome but had a unique charm to them, rather than the typical handsome man.
Maybe it’s their extra teeth, their piercing, or the monolid.
Regardless, Lila studied the man’s face as if it were her last chance to see it as if it were perfectly centered in her unique aesthetic.
Lucas was shocked to see the woman in front of him.
If you asked him if he was surprised because she was ugly, he would say yes.
Because she was so different from what he remembered.
‘Surely when she was younger… she was cute and pretty.’
The moment his mint-colored eyes met her cobalt ones, Lucas pushed the sudden thought aside and turned to Lila.
“I’m sure they said they were sending a carriage…”
It was a nuanced way of saying he didn’t know.
Lila felt a rush of embarrassment color the nape of her neck.
She didn’t know what to say.
Surely Louie knew.
He must have known, and yet he’d thrown her out like this.
A sense of belated humiliation washed over her.
She knew she’d made a fool of herself, that she’d been a deliberate ass to everyone around her.
If you asked her why she was so mean to people, she’d say it was because she was being cautious.
It was just because of vigilance.
She thought that by being a mean girl in the house, she would be able to completely deviate from her original path.
So she always remained indebted to Louie, as well as to the baron’s servants, and when they were rude to her, she consoled herself with the thought that it was because of something she had done.
That’s what happened…
It must have been her idea.
Louie and the baron’s servants must not have thought of her as family.
Otherwise, they would have considered in advance how the Duke and his servants would treat her, whom he would be meeting for the first time in his life.
Glancing down at Lila, who was unable to look up from her embarrassment, Lucas spoke again.
“For now… I would suggest that you take a break.”
Lila dismounted, her hair still in a tangle from her habit of walking around the capital, and she wanted to find a rat hole and hide.
She felt like she was going to be embarrassed in front of the barons, capital nobles, and other dukes she’d grown accustomed to.
She had no idea what to do next.
Listening to Lucas, whose words were polite but dripping with a strange coldness, she feared that she might be sent away immediately, not even for a year’s preliminary cohabitation.
Perhaps sensing her embarrassment, the Duke’s tone softened ever so slightly.
“The Montefeltras welcome the prospective Duchess, and so will I, of course.
You have traveled a long way, and I wish you a restful night.”
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