For eight years, Senelia remained at Benelucia’s side.
Endlessly discovering traces of Lucalina wherever she looked.
So, she decided to give up on ever loving him.
She would never be Lucalina.
She could never be as special as Lucalina to Benelucia.
What Senelia had to do was survive.
Surviving was to not do or think about what should not be done.
Plants placed in a quiet room tended to become accustomed to the landscape of life in which they existed.
It will always be there, a part of the landscape.
One with the landscape.
Then you’ll wonder, is it still alive
Like a plant, had become accustomed to being an ornamental plant around the Duke.
Senelia was human.
And yet, she was treated as a plant quietly tended to by the Duke.
Stunning in its beauty, but easily replaced when something better comes along.
This is what she had to do.
A being who is considered to be solely his.
“I’m sorry to keep you waiting, my Lord.”
Senelia entered the drawing room and politely greeted Benelucia first.
It was as she always did.
Obedient and respectful.
So that Benelucia would never feel offended by her.
So she could get him use to her presence.
Senelia Daphnen for Benelucia Afron.
She had to make it as if she would always be there for him.
If asked if that was her true feelings, she couldn’t answer.
Why did you come here”
As soon as Senelia sat, Benelucia launched his first question.
As if she was stating a simple fact, she answered with a serenely.
“It’s my mansion.”
“That’s not what I’m talking about, is it”
Senelia thought for a moment.
Then how would you like me to answer
He displayed his new lover in front of the public, and yet he had the face to expect her to accept it and willing return to the Grand Duke’s residency.
But she couldn’t show her disdain outwardly.
There wasn’t much Senelia could say to Benelucia.
Once carefully piecing together an appropriate, less harmful option of a sentence, she replied reluctantly.
“I don’t know what your Lord is talking about.”
A sentence formed of words that sounded neutral.
No tone of disappointment.
Are you mad that I took someone else to the tea party”
Benelucia spoke with a rare trace of hesitation.
His eyes watched her closely.
“Is it possible” Senelia smirked, “Why should I be angry when Your Majesty only brought the woman you desired.”
The more she spoke, the more Senelia’s back straightened, and the firmer her gaze became.
Without hesitation, she immediately denied Benelucia’s words.
“Then why are you here and not my mansion!”
Benelucia exclaimed in frustration.
As if to appease his anger, Senelia gracefully poured a cup of tea for him.
Her reply was calm.
“I just thought that it was time.”
“I have to go back to my home now.”
“Today, when I saw His Majesty with the Young Lady, I had a thought.
The two of you seemed to get along very well.”
Her voice didn’t waver or hesitate.
It was as though she had attained enlightenment.
“So, I came to my home, because this is where I belonged in the first place.”
“…… Why is your place here”
Benelucia’s expression hardened visibly as he came to a conclusion.
There was no place for him in Senelia’s home.
The seat beside the Duke was originally thought of as Senelia’s place.
But she spoke as if she had never thought that the seat next to him was hers.
That’s Lucalina’s seat.
Even so, what Benelucia had needed all along was someone who played the role of Lucalina’s shadow.
She was just needed to become her shadow for the rest of her life.
“It has always been here.”
So Senelia was able to speak calmly, as if this behavior was quite normal.
And it was normal.
For Senelia, at least.
Because the Benelucia Afron was and has always been a tree she could never climb.
As if at a loss for words, the Duke’s voice blurted out.
Seriously, Senelia felt she had kept her word perfectly.
For all those days spent wasting away around him, warming his bed, entering his mansion.
She didn’t want a single thing from him.
To the end, she had maintained her position as that of an ordinary Viscount’s Young Lady.
There was no better proof than her reply.
“This would be a reasonable amount of consolation.”
Senelia lifted her hand, showcasing the ring adorning her slender finger.
It was an artifact that moved its user to a distant area in the event of a crisis.
It was futile, but that was the only thing she wanted to possess at the end of her time with him.
Even if one of her choices included Benelucia.
Benelucia just then realized that the only thing he had given her was that ring.
Today, her frame was beautifully decorated, but everything that adorned her body came from the Viscount.
Things given to her by them for her birthday.
The magic carriage that the Duke had sent for her use had returned the Duke’s residency immediately.
If it had not, then the Grand Duke would not have followed her to the townhouse so late.
This was a problem for Benelucia.
The carriage returned alone.
“Thank you so much, my Lord.”
However, it seemed that it was not a problem at all for Senelia.
She was now saying goodbye to their relationship with the ring as her consolation money.
“Are you going to just take this and leave my mansion”
Benelucia asked her in surprise.
He was never a stingy man when it came to his lovers.
Of course, the gifts belonged to the women, and when they parted, they would be separately apologized to and compensated for the length of time they were together.
However, Senelia only took a single artifact ring out of all the gifts Benelucia had given her during the past 7 years.
“It’s a reasonable reward for these six years,” Senelia replied graciously.
Her reply left the man before her speechless.
It was eight years ago when she begun to hang around him.
Seven years since the two of them spent together in bed.
But six years.
Six years after Benelucia agreed to be lovers.
Teleportation is a high-level magic and of course, artifact rings with such enchantments were expensive.
Moreover, the ring was not just a one-time use.
It was made of the highest quality mana stones.
So it could be considered as a long-term item.
But Benelucia did not measure the ‘value’ of his gifts.
So, if it was simply as repayment for the six years, then the ring could really be a ‘reasonable amount of consolation.’
If he had paid Senelia a reward according to his previous flame, then that ring would suffice.
It would truly be a sword-accurate calculation.
So Senelia really did choose a reasonable amount of consolation money.
I didn’t choose to take anything with me, that will only result in me looking as if I have regrets.
And true to what she said, she didn’t pretend to ask for more to satisfy any greed or remaining regrets.
There had never been such a clean farewell.
“… I have never looked back on a person I broke up with.”
The Duke spoke without thought.
Was that so
Like a skillful senator, Senelia cut all relations to with him smoothly and without any prior notice.
Though she couldn’t help wanting to have the last word.
“Yes, I know.”
Senelia nodded her head and added calmly.
“You won’t have to worry about me being a bother to Your Majesty.
I will do as you have asked of me from the moment I first met His Majesty.”
I’m worried that I’ll bother you.
For a moment, he felt a sinking feeling in his chest and wanted to desperately ask, did you ever bother with me
Senelia had never bothered her lover in these eight years.
Even when she was around him, or when he agreed to allow her into his bed.
She had never done more.
That was all.
She had no intention of mending the breakup.
“Is it for this moment today that you had never brought my gifts to the townhouse”
The young lady’s face showed a rare, involuntary expression of surprise.
She always tried to remain familiar with the Duke and show how much she ‘loves’ him.
So her expressions where always controlled, never letting on to her inner most thoughts and feelings.
So it was surprising that the Duke knew about it.
A smiling face always so obedient.
As her face showed her honest thoughts, Benelucia’s lips twisted.
You’re surprised that I know what you were thinking.
He felt dirty when he realized how little expectations Senelia had of him.
“I’m sorry if I offended you.”
As soon as Senelia spoke, Benelucia’s face distorted.
As always, there were no self-explanations, she just gave words tailored to his needs.
The young lady’s manner suddenly changed.
Became a mess as if she was worried that she might have upset him.
“There are too many beautiful things in your mansion Your Grace, so I didn’t bring them with me because I didn’t think they would fit here.”
Those words sounded like a story to Benelucia’s ears. What she most likely means is that there was nothing that captured her heart enough to want to bring with her.
He really did believe that his interpretation had some truth to it.
As Senelia had said, if it was so beautiful, why did she not get greedy
The Grand Duke suddenly stood.
I thought that talking with Senelia wouldn’t make me feel more like a beggar.
Benelucia, who had strode out of the drawing room, quickly turned back to her.
His mouth opened to speak.
“Goodbye, my Lord.”
Senelia, who’d followed him to the door, beat him to it and politely bowed her knees.
That was the end of it.
It was farewell.