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Chapter 3

  • Everdale was one of the three ducal houses in the empire of Avesta along with Valentine and Felian and had a long, prestigious history of producing extraordinary heirs of both sexes. Young master Karl and Leon were the brothers of Princess Layla and Marianna being older than them. One of them was a military general while another the scholar that looked after the internal affairs of the empire.
  • But what use did Layla had? She did not possessed any qualities of an heir.
  • It was a misfortunate incident that the duchess caught a disease and died an year after giving birth to the twin sisters thus both Layla and Marianna were precious for Everdale but since Marianna was always kept at home, the males showered her with special care while they believed Layla capable enough to carry the weight of an heir herself.
  • It was just that she was too fragile and kind that it was almost foolish...she was a daughter that could not be shown in public.
  • Duke Everdale hated such weak willed women. It reminded him too much of his dead duchess that he had married out of a political alliance and since she was unable to survive in the highly ferocious household she succumbed to a disease and died after childbirth. Layla was a mirroring image of the duchess.
  • Since the news of an upcoming war had spread far and wide, Karl and Leon had returned to the duchy to discuss the matters of millitary with Damien Everdale.
  • But even before they could reach home, the news of Layla rejecting the alliance solely without a sense of responsibility reached their ears. Currently the duke had called everyone except Marianna to the greenhouse for having tea or rather in reality to convince his daughter to prepare to sacrifice her own personal interest for the nation.
  • Escorted by her personal maid the girl arrived and glanced at the three people sitting at the table, now what was lacking was only their younger sister at that table and her away from them to make it look truly a complete and true picture.
  • She took a seat silently and did not greet her brothers who just arrived or rather ask how was their time outside the duchy, it was fruitless either ways since they never bothered answering in past, so this time she would also not pretend to be their sister. Watching the eerie calmness Karl cleared his throat. "I heard that you rejected the plea of Duke Valentine for even a meeting."
  • "Do you want me to accept it?" Before Karl could answer Leon interrupted as his anger flared with the female's nonchalance and monotonous answers like their words were meaningless to her.
  • "Do not forget, we are house Everdale and you are this empire's noblest lady after the imperial princess, how can you so selfish to only take care of yourself and enjoy the privileges of a lady and refuse to carry out the duties!
  • Have you ever had seen poverty a single day in your life because if you were there at the fronts with commoners then you would have realized their pain." Leon was younger than Karl and thus more spontaneous thus his outburst was always hurtful to Layla in the previous life where she remembered that after most of their interactions she wished to either run away or cried herself to sleep.
  • But honestly this time she simply did not said a word for she reminisced the days when she drank only water and slept without any food for a week,she had seen poverty and one of that kind which was merciless and brutal. When she was in the monastery trying to hide her identity she usually pretended to be a beggar and usually had cold freezing water to bath and the same water to use for drinking, sometimes there were someone who took pity and got her a loaf of bread while other times she barely survived.
  • "Layla"
  • "Layla" Her stupor was broken by the calls of Damien who sighed before speaking.
  • Marianna is a child who cannot carry out the duties of a fiancée of the Duke, she is not trained and I have informed Duke Valentine of the same and asked him for his opinion...he promised to not harm the honor of Everdale." There was a little smile on the plump lips before it turned to a sweet little laughter, just that it was not a happy one making Damien surprised.
  • "I see." Layla whispered
  • Just as she thought, her father never disappointed her, he was just as heartless as her brothers. Truth to be told- she never hated Marianna, but the father and sons were unbearable to her. One day she will throw them away just like they did to her.
  • "Although I understand that you dislike Duke Valentine yet an engagement on only papers is not a difficult task, you can stay here-"
  • "I will meet the Duke today and discuss about it." She did not had in her to hear him anymore, it disgusted her so much so that her face contorted despite managing her expressions.
  • It would have been better if she had expressed her rage but those calm irises like a dead lake when set upon Damien, it made him speechless. Layla drank her tea gracefully as the stumped men watched her uncomfortably and pretended to be happy with her decision.
  • Such were the great family she possessed who made their alliances based on trading a woman and forcing her despite her wishes. Sometimes she had felt happy that her mother died otherwise her life would not be much better than her who starved outside.
  • "Then I need to see Marianna, if we are done talking." She gave a smile after setting down her cup and bowed to the people present before departing.
  • "But I wanted to talk about your birthday..." Leon muttered under his breath as he watched her leaving.
  • 'Gold, riches, gems and honor- dear sun god Narairis, the one who gave me another chance to live my life please give my father and brothers all of those, since they believe that their gold got me happiness give them all of it and let them experience such misery and pain that they realize what it is to have it all and then nothing in reality.
  • Let this be a curse of a devastated soul.'