Chapter 6Secret Meeting at Night
Translated by WuXing
Edited by Wook
The moment Rena whispered, the moon revealed its presence among the clouds. A faint moonlight shone on the elegant face of a young man.
It was Lynn.
Rena’s sharp gaze softened, and Lynn released Rena’s wrist.
Rena pretended to be serious.
“I’ve forgotten to bring it.”
“The safety device.”
“You said, ‘If I get too close, stab me’.” Rena muttered as she gritted her teeth. She was shocked by Lynn’s stealthiness.
Lynn muttered to himself about his sore wrists.
“Seems that I don’t even need to do this.”
“What did you just say?”
Lynn decided to shut up as soon as Rena asked further.
Rena burst into laughter at his request, then spoke with a clearer voice.
“We’ve met sooner than expected.”
Though they both knew that they would meet at the palace, they didn’t expect to see each other so soon. Rena and Lynn were frankly pleased about it.
Rena looked at Lynn who was barely noticeable in the darkness.
“The atmosphere has changed a lot, hasn’t it?”
Rena commented about Lynn’s hair and clothing.
His appearance was different compared to a few days ago. His untidy hair was neatly combed and he wore an embroidered coat replacing his old cape. Additionally, she could see he was wearing a high-quality satin blouse under the coat.
The young man who was previously dressed like a tramp had reappeared as a nobleman. If not because of his voice, Rena could have easily mistaken him for someone else.
Lynn replied awkwardly while Rena was still pondering about his mysterious appearance.
“It’s because this is the palace.”
“But not everyone here dresses like that.”
Lynn turned around embarrassingly when Rena pointed out the discrepancy.
“Are you going out for a walk?”
“Yes. How about you, Lynn?”
Lynn replied hesitated, answering slowly.
Though the pleasant feeling overwhelmed him instantly, he felt troubled about what topic to bring up. He had a lot to say, but they are not easy to convey.
He was nervous for a moment and suddenly noticed Rena’s outfit.
‘She’s wearing sleepwear again.’
Lynn saw her in her sleepwear again today. He asked.
“Aren’t you cold?”
Rena blinked when suddenly asked and brushed her shoulder gently.
“A little bit.”
Rather than being cold, she had a fever from the poison, but she continues to pretend otherwise.
In one swoop, Lynn took off his coat and wrapped it around Rena’s shoulder, becoming a reason for them to continue walking together.
‘That’s so kind of him.’
Rena smiled secretly and straightened the hem of Lynn’s coat. She could feel the warmth of the coat surrounding her body. An unfamiliar smell lingers in the air.
Rena felt warm and quietly stole a glance at Lynn’s face.
He was very kind. He did not need any excuse when taking care of people.
Rena, who had drunk poison given to her maliciously, gained a lot of comfort through Lynn’s kindness. She did not need any sympathy, but she still felt very warm regardless.
Her heart lightened up as she walked.
“Did the meeting with your father go well?”
Rena smiled bitterly, feeling a bit disappointed that she had to be asked about her father when her mood just turned for the better.
“Is that a question? Or a confirmation?”
“I’ve heard that you’ve met.”
“Until which part?”
“I heard they stopped you at the entrance.”
“You’ve heard most of the story then.”
Except for the part about the poison.
“I’ve heard rumors that even horses have wings in the palace, it seems to be true.”
Lynn thought deeply about Rena’s sarcasm. He was curious about why Rena wanted to meet the Marquis in such a brash way, it did not seem as if she didn’t know the ways the Palace works.
So, what was it?
“Are you really Rena Ruber?”
“Are you really the Marquis’ daughter who passed away because of illness?”
“I did not die from the illness, but it is true that Masquis Ruber is my father.”
Lynn’s doubt deepens with her mischievous reply.
If what she said is true, then this whole situation had become a conundrum. Marquis Ruber made up the story about his daughter being dead and her daughter who suddenly appeared and visited him many years later. She even planned to visit him in the highly scrutinized palace, ahead of the Empire’s Commemoration Day.
‘It’s too risky.’
Marquis Ruber must have felt a lot of pressure from Rena’s appearance.
But it was the same for Rena.
Marquis Ruber was a key figure in the Northern territories. She could not have escaped untarnished as the culprit for instigating such a big scandal on him. No matter what kind of damage was dealt, throwing stones recklessly might cause you to get swept by an avalanche.
“Why do you want to meet with Marquis Ruber?”
“Mr. Lynn is very interested in me, but doesn’t talk about himself at all.”
Lynn asked anxiously, and Rena replied with a weary smile.
Rena really liked this young man’s kindness but he was also getting excessively involved.
Additionally, Rena was uncomfortable with this topic. She decided to stop it.
She hinted at her intention but received an unexpected answer in return.
“I’m part of the Eastern territories.”
Rena was at a loss for words. He continued to explain.
“I didn’t tell you earlier because you are Marquis Ruber’s daughter.”
Rena’s eyes were smiling after listening to his unexpected explanations. However, Lynn did not notice it and continued to talk.
“I thought you will feel uncomfortable if you know that I’m from the East. Though it is meaningless to say it now, I didn’t know who you were back then.”
Everyone in the Empire knew that the Eastern territories and the Northern territories were bitter enemies. That was why Lynn was unable to proclaim himself to Rena who claimed to be the daughter of Marquis Ruber of the North.
In the event she had nowhere to go, things would get even worse for her if words got out she had met with her father’s enemies.
Rena was unsettled by Lynn’s confession.
She had originally dismissed Lynn’s reluctance to introduce himself properly as just being rude. But he had done so in consideration of her.
“Lynn, you’re too…”
Rena murmured unconsciously, and she laughed unable to hold herself back. She must tell him now.
“I want to exist!”
“That was why I went to meet my father.”
Finally, Rena surrendered and answered Lynn’s previous question.
“Lynn, didn’t you say it a while ago? The Marquis’ daughter who passed away from illness? My existence is wiped out from the world. It is even strange for me to be alive when I should be dead.”
Rena said, looking down at her hands. Her five fingers moved according to her will. Though it was a small action, through it, Rena could confirm that she was alive.
At the same time, she laughed at herself for needing to ascertain her own existence.
“So I want to let my father take some responsibilities?”
“He must return what he took away from me.”
Rena smiled gently.
“However, I have not even met him yet. How am I going to hold him accountable?”
Lynn felt despondent with her solemn declaration and asked carefully.
“Do you want it back?”
“The altar you found. If you have it, you may have a chance to meet Ruber.”
“You’re going to give me back what I had already given you?”
Rena smiled and asked. Lynn nodded.
Her smile widened as she realized that he was sincere.
“Thank you for the offer, but it is alright. I hope that my father will welcome me and not because of anything else.”
Lynn looked at the pale moonlight shining on her face as she replied in determination.
It was really bizarre how compassionate people were soft and strong people were cold, but this lady was both compassionate and strong. Though it shouldn’t be said from just two encounters, it was enough to make him think so.
Lynn unconsciously muttered.
“You’re very strong.”
“Lynn is pretty.”
Lynn groaned at her counterattack.
Rena grinned at him mischievously.
Eventually, Lynn coughed and turned around.
“If the Marquis rejects you. Please come to the East.”
”Should I go?”
“I will take care of you.”
“Mr. Lynn. You were alone that time when you were looking for the altar, so I thought you’re a commoner. But from what I have learned today, you must be someone with a much higher status.”
Rena said while smiling mischievously at Lynn’s suggestion.
“Should I address you as Duke the next time we meet?”
Rena stopped walking and asked Lynn who stopped as well.
She was not sure prior to this, but she was certain now.
When she met Lynn a few days ago, she had thought of him as a servant for the Imperial family. That was, perhaps he was a knight ordered to retrieve the altar.
But from what she observed today, it was not.
His top-quality clothes, his attitude belittling the Marquis, and the way he presented himself as if he represented the East.
Rena had also heard about the young Duke from the East. Lynn sighed as Rena saw through his identity. Though he had not hidden his identity deliberately, he didn’t expect her to find out so soon.
“It is how I should be in front of the people.”
In front of the people?
Rena thought this is a peculiar piece of information and continued to say.
“I have a question.”
“What is it?”
Rena called Lynn’s name on purpose.
Lynn looked at her dumbstruck. Rena decided to continue calling him Lynn.
“Lynn, why did you go alone? When you were looking for the altar.”
“That’s because it is the stealthiest and fastest way to do it.”
It was also the surest and safest way and necessary at that time.
Lynn had had many reasons but he would only say two of them and hid the rest.
However, Rena noticed why he did it and smiled gleefully.
“The knights from the East must have a hard time serving such an active Duke.”
“It’s not that hard. Don’t worry.”
Rena playfully teased Lynn and he laughed while denying it.
He was sincere. The Master of the Eastern territories admired this skillful, calm, refined and charming young lady. That’s why he could joke with her casually. However, Rena refused his offer without thinking twice.
‘“Thank you for the offer, but I think it’s going to be hard for me to accept it.”
“There’s still something I need to do. Lynn, how about you come with me? If it is pretty Lynn, you’re always welcome to come anytime.”
Lynn’s expression changed subtly after listening to Rena’s counteroffer.
He looked at Rena, wondering if she was serious about it. However, she just looked at him nonchalantly, her bluntness eventually caused Lynn to burst into laughter.
Lynn muttered, disappointed. And he laughed.
Though he had never mentioned this to anyone before, but to him, the name “Lignan Aetherner” was a burden he could not escape from.
It was the reason why he could not easily reveal his identity to Rena who had met him as “Lynn”. He feared that his alias as Lynn would perish under the burden that was the Aetherner’s name.
However, contrary to his belief, Rena took his title lightly and even treated him like an equal.
‘Though I know she’s very generous…’
But he didn’t expect her to be this much.
He felt as if he was caught off guard. But this is not a bad situation. Rather than that, he was pleased.
“I will think about it.”
Lynn replied happily. The lady nodded her head with a smile on her face, and it made the young man cherish her even more.
Their casual stroll around the palace ground turned out to be longer than expected.
However, they were not aware of it at all.
When it was time for them to part, Lynn asked before saying goodbye.
“When can we meet again?”
“Is there anything you need to meet me for?”
Rena replied mischievously causing Lynn to smile awkwardly. She said it as a joke.
Rena looked at Lynn who was reluctant to leave and changed the topic.
“In front of other people, it’s Lady. But when we’re alone together, please call me by my name – Rena.”
Instead of replying to her, Lynn turned around toward the lakeside.
“I often come out to get some fresh air at night.”
“That… That’s all…”
Lynn spoke while looking away. Rena bit her lower lips trying to understand what he meant.
“What a coincidence.”
Rena held back on laughing and pretended to talk like Lynn.
“I also like to take a stroll at night.”
The sun shone brightly in the sky at the break of dawn.
The butler of House Ruber sat by the window like a withered tree rotting in the early morning.
“The deed should be done by now.”.
The butler lamented all night, unable to close his eyes. It was a long night. Too long in fact as he could not rest, dreading the bad news he wished would not arrive.
His heart was filled with anxiety, but fortunately, it was an uneventful night. The lady might have passed away late at night after suffering a critical medical condition. There was no news about her condition throughout the night or whether she survived.
It seemed that she had died quietly as planned.
‘I have to move slowly…’
The butler looked at his watch and moved his sore body.
It was time to clean up the mess. Her death would be impossible to cover this up quietly as it happened in the palace. The incident where the lady attempted to contact Marquis Ruber as well. Everyone would suspect Marquis Ruber’s involvement after this incident.
Though it was impossible to stop their suspicion, it was better to stop the matter here than let the situation worsen.
The butler washed and dressed himself up more than ever before. It was time for him to leave the room.
He ran into the knight in the hallway. As a knight of the Northern territories, he greeted the Marquis’ butler politely with respect and spoke in a troubled voice.
“Pardon me for speaking out this early in the morning. A lady named Rena Ruber had approached me.”
“Who do you say?”
The butler’s face went pale. But the knight was not aware of it and continued reporting.
“She hoped to deliver a letter to Marquis Ruber, citing that she had waited for a whole night.”
The knight revealed an ivory white envelope, cleanly folded. There was nothing special on it.
The butler did not bother to talk and snatched the letter away. He quickly opened the letter.
It contained Rena Ruber’s sincere greetings.
To my dear father,
How do you fare, Father? As the situation does not permit me from meeting you, I am writing this letter to greet you.
Were you surprised when I came to visit unannounced yesterday? Please forgive me as my heart yearns to see you.
It has been six years since I last saw you, Father.
You must be curious why I appear again after such a long time.
I am very curious.
About what made you do that to me.
If you can tell me the reason, I can explain to you as well.
What I am going to do for you, and what I can do now.
Looking forward to our next meeting,
The author’s words:
Rena couldn’t endure 😀
Lynn please take care of me instead! ///
On a more serious note, I sincerely hope you guys will be with us until the end of this story, I just caught up to the latest update yesterday, and man, it broke me. ;_;
Ah also, I will be changing “the fallen” to “the dead” again, sorry for the, uh, inconvenience. I just realized after catching up yesterday that “the dead” will fit better in most of their wordplays to make it poetic.
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