Chapter 01: Breaking Off the Engagement Swiftly
“I will never ever marry that monstrous duke!! That’s right! Big sister, if it’s you, you’ll be a good match for him! In return, I will take my big sister’s fiancé as mine! Nador-sama too, you’d rather have me rather than my sister, right?”
“Of course, my little angel…. In the first place, I agreed to get engaged to a daughter from a Count family just so I could meet someone like you, a lady among ladies…. My beautiful Sistana. And you, since when did you even think someone like me would actually want to be engaged with someone like you? You, who couldn’t even use magic and nothing but a seedy-looking servant girl? You’re being far too conceited!”
The second son of a Viscount family, who was supposed to be my fiancé, Nador-sama…. He was cuddling close with a blonde girl who was smiling triumphantly.
Even though our engagement was on paper only, I still couldn’t believe my ear when I heard those remarks coming out of his mouth. Apparently he had long been interested in my younger sister who was very friendly, adorable and had a talent for magic.
Judging from his usual distant and cold attitude toward me, I already knew he wasn’t interested in me but still, I didn’t expect he’d blatantly reject me like this. I should’ve been accustomed to those poisonous words but as I thought, being scorned publicly right in front of my parents and the servants still made my heart ache.
“My? Isn’t it great? It’s a proposal from a high-ranking Duke family! Congratulations, big sister!”
On the very day I received a marriage proposal from the renowned Duke Lönnrot family, my fiancé, Nador Loqipace-sama, readily called off our engagement.
And so it happened, suddenly I was engaged to Duke Lönnrot. Speaking of the Duke Lönnrot family, they were a Grand Duke family with blood relations to the royal family. Furthermore, the head of the family was still young. He was still in his early twenties. On top of that, he was said to have the best magic talent in his whole generation. He commanded the team that went on and subjugated the demon king, making him known as 『The Patriotic Great Mage』.
Essentially, to say the least, this was not the kind of family who would send a marriage proposal to a Count house whose finances were always in the red and on the decline of their fortunes.
However… The head of Duke Lönnrot family also had a『complicated』 rumour going on about him. His nickname was… The Cursed Duke.
Although he had subjugated the demon king as part of the hero’s party, in that fierce battle with the demon king, he had received a 『curse』. Rumour had it that…. His appearance was changed into that of a strange, repulsive monster. Because of that, every family had rejected any marriage proposal coming from the Duke’s house and now it seemed that my very Count family, who was pretty low in the term of rank, had finally received our turn.
Moreover, Duke Lönnrot was known to be extremely strict and fastidious. He was a man with bad rumours circling around him all the time. It was said he had kicked out all of his wife candidates and even killed some.
“Oh my! The bride’s family don’t even need to provide any betrothal money?!”
My stepmother, who was in the middle of reading the letter that had just been delivered, had a glimmer in her eyes.
“Furthermore, we could form a connection with a Duke house through this marriage…”
We could rebuild our tight financial situation.
She didn’t say the last part out loud but her deepened smile made it obvious enough.
“My dear, turning down such an excellent marriage proposal is simply preposterous! It is a matter of course for Miltia, the eldest daughter of our family, to marry someone from a high-ranking Duke family! We still have Sistana in our family after all. Nador-dono is looking so eager to get engaged with my adorable Sistana so there shouldn’t be any problem, right?”
My stepmother asserted as she drew nearer to my father. There was no way my father would dismiss my stepmother’s suggestion.
“You’re right, Bavalein.”
Just as I thought. My own mother died of an illness before I was even old enough to remember her. In the spring when I was three years old, my current stepmother came to our house as someone who was to be my father’s second wife. She also brought Sistana, my stepsister, along with her.
At first, she was a kind stepmother in her own way. However, before I turned five, my real father passed away in an accident. And so, my stepmother immediately welcomed my new stepfather into the family. He was very timid and always followed whatever she said…. Since then, my life has taken a 180 degree turn.
“Ah… Miltia, you must prepare to leave for Duchy Lönnrot at once.”
“Don’t you dare make any blunder! Don’t you dare make any blunder! You’re a dolt and dunce after all! Everything you do is simply preposterous!”
“……… Yes, stepfather, stepmother.”