There was one problem in Count Clemence’s house: his eldest daughter, Molitia Clemence. The count even lamented the huge amount of money he’d spent because she was always sick in bed.
If there was a way for her to get better, his attitude towards her might have improved, but unfortunately, Molitia had a weak body, and her frequent illnesses had gradually exhausted her parents’ love.
She had spent more time in her bed than out of it, and stayed in bed sick while other noble children made their debuts in society. The longer she was sick, the fewer people visited, and the more time she spent alone. As an almost-unknown figure, many rumors spread about her.
Whenever he saw her pale face, the count couldn’t say a good word to Molitia, and he branded her with insults, such as ‘cursed child’. This led to the count suffering from more gossip, and increased his dislike of her even more. The count, who didn’t want to see Molitia’s blank, white face, confined her to her room.
For Molitia, family warmth was beyond reach, and she was completely isolated; if she heard the noise of her family outside, she made sure that she even ate her meals in her room. Her parents’ neglect led to her cold treatment by other family members; although she was the daughter of the count, she was no better than dust.
Everyone was reluctant to interact with Molitia. Everyone was thinking, ‘Who knows when she’s going to die?’ Molitia agreed with those sentiments because her sickness felt like death to her. But now, breaking countless expectations of her early death, she was old enough for marriage.
Yet the surrounding response was still cold; although she was the daughter of an esteemed count, no one had asked to marry her. There was no need to guess the reason. Count Clemence, looking angry, called Molitia to him.
“You worthless thing!” his voice rang through the house.
A child who had been useless since birth still couldn’t help him now. His first child had to make a good marriage for the rest of his children to marry well, but Molitia had no chance of achieving it.
“How could I have a child like you!” the count shouted. His sharp gaze pierced Molitia, and her unusually white face turned even whiter.
“Why should our family suffer years of this kind of humiliation?”
Molitia’s head sank further because of the relentless scolding of her father, ‘the prestigious Count Clemence’ – that was what they called the count in social circles.
He sought to consolidate his position in politics. Although his position was still unstable, there was a way to fill the gap: with a political marriage. A marriage bond between two families was like establishing a contract; it provided an opportunity to strengthen their relationship and build up their interests.
Philius Clemence, the current count, had done the same. He had married his wife for his family’s benefit. His relationship with his wife was not neglected, but it was also a business relationship. Philius’s views did not differ from those of his parents. Marry, have children and then marry them into excellent families. For the count, a child was just an extension of the contract.
He roughly banged his fist on the desk.
“What’s wrong with my family? How could no one ask for your hand in marriage!”
Molitia was also upset; she didn’t even ask him not to marry her off.
The count looked helplessly at his useless child: a bloodless figure with thick lips. He couldn’t see any charm in her.
“I’m glad one proposal came,” he said.
At the count’s words, Molitia lifted her head. A proposal. She closed her eyes, thinking that it could be her only way out of this house.
“A letter has come from the Duke of Linerio proposing marriage,” said the count.
“The Duke of Linerio. . .” murmured Molitia.
The moment she heard the name, Molitia’s face fell. The light that she thought she’d found died out in a single moment. She looked at the count, shaking her head in denial.
“I must have heard it wrong – you don’t mean the Duke of Linerio, do you?” asked Molitia.
“Yes, I do,” said Count Clemence.
T/N: The release schedule should be around 2 chapters a week and the chapters are split upon publication. Happy reading!