After dropping Dorothea off at the Imperial Palace, Ethan headed to the mansion of Lampas owned by the Duke.
He felt like he was walking in a fog.
He unbuttoned his tailcoat shirt in frustration.
He doesn’t need a decent Ethan Bronte anymore.
In the end, this was inevitable.
When he first returned, he thought Dorothea would have no memory of the past.
Returning alone and Dorothea would know nothing, so this life will give him a chance.
He’ll have his place next to her.
But he realized when he met her in Cerritian, that there was Fried’s handkerchief at the top of her bed.
He will never have a chance in this lifetime.
He tried to approach her several times, but in the end, her gaze always turned to Theon Fried.
A boiling jealousy, but a feeling that must be thrown away.
‘Theon is myself…’
How could he possibly separate her away from Theon Fried when she said that?
‘It would be a lie if I said I didn’t even have any hope.’
He also thought that time might make her forget Theon and give him a chance.
That was the reason why he had just given the Spirit Stone to Dorothea.
‘I told Dorothea that I was late because I was waiting for a certain time… but actually, I didn’t want to give her.’
The day he gives her the Spirit Stone will be a day of farewell for him.
And now that the Spirit Stone has been handed over to her, everything he can do is over.
Before he knew it, he had reached the mansion owned by the Duke of Bronte.
He let out a deep sigh.
Inside will be the Bronte family and Jonathan.
They wouldn’t leave him alone after today.
Ethan paused outside the mansion for a while, choosing his emotions.
After taking a deep breath, he opened the door heavily and went inside, forgetting to re-button his shirt.
As soon as he entered, the Duke and Duchess of Bronte ran towards him.
“Ethan, did you and the princess do well today?”
They brought up Dorothea’s story before they even welcomed him.
Duke and Duchess Bronte were not debutants, so they didn’t come down to the ballroom of Debutant, but they also stay in Lampas to keep an eye on young politicians at today’s ball.
“How did you and the Princess get along, and did you talk much?”
“To be a partner with the princess, we are very proud of you!”
They put Ethan in front of the door and let out the excitement.
“I am a little tired.”
Ethan said softly in response to the pouring questions.
Seeing Ethan’s exhaustion, the Duke and Duchess quickly stepped away from him.
go on upstairs.”
The Duke and Duchess met his gaze and nodded.
Ethan left the two behind and went upstairs.
And when he went upstairs, he found Jonathan waiting in front of his room.
Ethan sighed as he fully unbuttoned his vest.
“Do you like it?”
Jonathan interrupted him as he approached the door.
“Get out of the way, brother.”
“You don’t call me the master anymore? You’ve grown a lot.”
“I told you to get out of my way.”
“Because you put the princess on your back and now you’re arrogant?”
Ethan closed his eyes for a moment and took a breath as Jonathan continued his tirade.
Perhaps Jonathan was also very upset.
Jonathan didn’t like that Ethan was going to debut or that he became a partner with the princess, especially when Dorothea had gotten so much attention today.
However, Ethan was too tired to argue with him.
“I understand why you are like this, but can we talk again tomorrow?”
“You, don’t be proud of what happened today, okay? Having a partner with the princess once doesn’t change your life.”
Jonathan warned, pushing him hard in the chest.
Finally, Ethan couldn’t resist and opened his mouth.
“Don’t be reckless because you’re Bronte.
If there is nothing else to offer, then you have to cherish it.”
“You have to take good care of yourself.
Be especially careful with ‘words’.”
To Jonathan, who had only a year left to die from a fall, Ethan gave a little warning.
“What did you just say to me?”
“Before I call our parents, get out of the way, brother.”
“It’s time to learn that if you hit me, the arrow will go back to you.”
Ethan didn’t move an eye, even with Jonathan’s raised hand.
Downstairs, there are the Duke and his wife.
Whether slapped or punched, Ethan was ready to call them right away.
Ethan stared at Jonathan quietly as he gritted his teeth and lowered his hand.
As Ethan waited quietly, he stepped out of the way.
Ethan left Jonathan who clenching his fists behind, and slowly entered the room.
With the help of a servant, he took off his cramped tailcoat and washed his tired body with warm water.
He tried to wash away these complicated worries together in the water.
‘Now, what should I do? I think this is the end of my life.’
‘I should have rushed to Dorothea.
I should have tried to hold her.’
But Ethan Bronte is a coward.
What if his coercive behavior makes Dorothea unhappy again?
What if he broke the woman who still loves Theon Fried?
What if he becomes Dorothea’s killer again?
Ethan buried his distorted face in his hands.
Even in two lives, he couldn’t win her heart.
Then, a familiar sensation woke him up.
He had never summoned a spirit, but somewhere he felt the spirit moving against his will.
It was a strange feeling from the spirit stone.
Ethan opened his distorted face and focused on Dorothea’s presence, which he could feel indirectly.
He couldn’t see it, but he could sense that Dorothea was calling to the spirits.
‘Did she get in safely and show off the power of the spirits to the people of the palace?’
‘My heart, which had just collapsed, is beating violently, signaling that I am alive.’
He persistently pursued the strange sensation of her presence.
‘Does Dorothea feel me?’
Somehow Ethan felt like he was spying on Dorothea, but he was so excited that he couldn’t pretend not to know.
But not long after, Dorothea’s senses suddenly disappeared.
He reached for a sense that he wouldn’t be able to catch.
Dorothea disappeared like a mirage.
He bit his lip.
But the fact that his power was connected to Dorothea gave excited to live on.
* * *
“Your Majesty, the Duke of Bronte has arrived.”
“Come on in.”
Carnan got up and walked towards the living room sofa.
Soon the door opened and the Duke and Duchess of Bronte and their two sons entered.
Carnan’s attention was drawn to one of the four.
Robert, the aide, also swallowed dry saliva, unable to take his eyes off the man standing behind him.
A beautiful young man whose presence alone brightens the room.
‘A closer look reveals that the rumors are true…’
Carnan immediately recognized that he was Ethan Bronte, who had become Dorothea’s debut partner.
On the day of the debutante even when Carnan was sitting upstairs in a high seat and only looked at him from afar, he looked handsome.
Leading Dorothea with his long hands and dancing skillfully, he stood out even in a ballroom full of people.
But when Carnan looked up close, the aura he had seen from afar was nothing.
‘I wondered how great his face would be so famous that even the emperor’s ears could hear it.’
But it wasn’t just Ethan’s beauty that attracted him.
‘How can a person who is not yet 20 years old give off such an aura?’
Despite his lowly origin, Ethan seemed calm and relaxed, without showing any dismay in front of the emperor, but not arrogant or condescending either.
‘He is not an ordinary person…’
‘Was this guy Dorothea’s partner?’
‘There was no way he was approaching Dorothea with a pure heart.’
Carnan looked at Ethan.
“Greetings, Your Majesty.
This is our eldest son, Jonathan Bronte, who graduated from Episteme this time.”
It wasn’t until the Duke of Bronte introduced Jonathan that he pushed forward, and Carnan and Robert looked away from Ethan.
“Greetings, Your Majesty.”
Jonathan showed courtesy to Karnan with a flushed and tense face.
Carnan looked at him and thought.
‘After all, it’s normal for the average person to be nervous like Jonathan and barely use the manners learned in the etiquette class.’
“You’ll be a reliable owner of Bronte.”
Carnan was greeted with the usual compliments.
After Jonathan’s greetings were finished, the Duke of Bronte winked at Ethan.
Then Ethan politely stepped forward.
With only a few steps, Carnan could see that Ethan’s gait was quite a ‘learned walk’.
‘Did he even receive strict etiquette training to hide his flaws?’
“And this is Bronte’s second son, Ethan Bronte.”
When the Duke introduced Ethan, Ethan greeted him as if he was the norm in an etiquette textbook.
“It is an honor to be invited to such a precious place, Your Majesty.”
Carnan looked at Ethan with a more stern look than when he saw Jonathan.
Greetings and attitudes that are more classy than Jonathan, even without going to Episteme.
At first glance, his demeanor was as good as his appearance.
“Did you make your debut with Dorothea as her partner?”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“How do you know Dorothea?”
“When the princess was staying in Cerritian, we got close and met often.”
“We don’t see each other regularly, but I think we saw each other about four times a month.”
Carnan’s brow wrinkled slightly.
‘four times a month? Doesn’t that mean they met almost once a week?’
He glanced at the Duke of Bronte.
To bring a son from a bad background close to Dorothea.
In a way, the Duke’s investment was a success.
“Then, are you close with Dorothea?”
“How dare I say that we are close.
It was only that the Princess was generous with her time.
I also just wanted to give a little bit of joy to the princess who lives alone.”
Ethan answered in a calm and believable voice.
“Give a joy…? It sounds like Dorothea liked being with you.”
“Because she needs a friend from time to time.”
Despite Carnan’s pressure, Ethan responded politely.
Carnan frowned at Ethan’s reaction.
As far as he knows, Ethan Bronte spent most of his childhood in the Duke’s house.
Even after appearing in the social world, he never left the Cerritian.
This is the first time he had come to Lampas and the first time he had visited the Imperial Palace and the Emperor.
Usually, such people, regardless of age, tend to tremble and get nervous.
Being careful as if stepping on thin ice, afraid of making a mistake, watching his every move, they even struggled to pass the tea through their throat.
However, Ethan answered his questions comfortably and kindly, as if he were talking with a friend, without showing any signs of fear or nervousness.
He is like an old noble who has rotted for decades in society.
Of course, because Ethan was younger than them, there was a humble and fresh atmosphere.
‘I need to be careful.’ Carnan thought.
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