was not in vain.

The day she entered the palace gardens, dressed in a sumptuous gown provided by the palace, she walked carefully, fearful of damaging the expensive garment in the slightest.

The silver-haired duke took Erin’s hand and kissed the back of it politely.

“I am honored to have such a beautiful and graceful young lady as my wife.”

Erin was greatly delighted.
The Duke was even more sweet and kind than she had imagined.

He gently inquired about her family’s well-being and struck up a conversation.

After a few meetings, Erin naturally fell in love with her fiancé, the Duke.

“I think I could live happily ever after with someone like him.”

People clamored that it was a fairy tale.

A story with a happy ending where a girl from a broken family works hard to overcome poverty and marries a prince.

[Read only on Salmonlatte.com]

Erin herself felt that way.

‘But reality wasn’t a fairy tale.’

The dreamlike happiness ended on the wedding day.
The day she walked down the aisle with high hopes and dreams.
The kind and affectionate Duke, changed his personality as soon as he entered the newlyweds’ bedroom.

“As you may have known, this marriage is only a formality.
I have no intention of spending any time with you as husband and wife.”

On the first night of their honeymoon, The Duke, her new husband, said that in a voice so cold it could have frozen a lake, and walked out.
Leaving Erin lying absent-mindedly on the bed.

It wasn’t until after her marriage that Erin learned the truth.
Her husband, the Duke, had a lover from the lower nobility that he had kept hidden ever since he was a teenager.

Rumors had spread among the high nobility that the Duke had sworn to make her his empress.

The Emperor, who was worried about this rumor, had taken Erin from a prestigious Marquis family that was on the verge of bankruptcy, and forced the Duke to marry her.

But by the time she realized all of that, she was already a duchess and was left alone in her empty honeymoon bedroom.

“…….”


Erin after recalling old memories put down the papers and looked up.
In front of her was Raymond, who hadn’t changed much from that night.
He was still staring at her with his cold, impassive gaze.

Raymond sighed in disbelief.

“Ha.
I thought you were a quiet and sensible woman when we first got married.”

“…….”

Erin blinked without answering.

‘Can he even in his wildest dreams imagine the lengths I’ve gone through in order to become a decent, sensible wife?’

Nine years of being a duchess by the side of a cold and indifferent husband, and all she got in return was scorn and indifference.

And she was accused of having an affair with a childhood friend.

The man who hadn’t listened to any of her innocent pleas over the past few months, ran a hand through his hair in annoyance.

“I can only put up with this marriage for so long.
No matter how much you cry to the Emperor, I can’t put up with it anymore.”

“Yes.
I see.
Do I sign here?”

“So even if you pretend to be pitiful like last time, this time I’ll never… What?”

The Duke paused at the unexpected words.

Regardless of his reaction, Erin nonchalantly took the pen and scribbled her name on the paper. Erin von Lievensberg.

This is the last day she’ll ever sign this name.

The thought flashed through her mind as she gripped the pen.

She used to think the world would fall apart if she lost this name.

‘Because it was all I had.’

She thought that this position was the only thing left in her life, and so she wanted to grab it, no matter what.

But when she scribbled the last letter and released the pen, the only emotion she felt was a cool sense of release.

Erin waved the divorce papers with a nonchalant expression.

“I’ve signed it, can I go now?”

“…….”

“By the way, if you’re going to marry your lover right away, you’ll have to renovate the palace, you told me it was mine to do with as I pleased anyways, and I sold off everything I could find.”


“You sold everything…?”

The Duke asked incredulously.

“Yes.
I figured that when she moved in, she’d throw out the furniture and everything, so I sold it in advance this morning.”

It was a grave sin to sell imperial property without permission, but this was a different story.

On the day of the wedding.
To be precise, On the first night, the duke in front of her had clearly stated that,

“I don’t care about what happens here, do whatever you want.”

And he really didn’t care.
He didn’t even come to Erin’s room after that.

Erin managed the palace and ran the household on her own.
She scrimped to save every penny.
She was afraid that others would accuse her of being too extravagant.

She’d worked so hard and hadn’t been paid for it, so she decided to sell everything she used, and keep the money.
It’s all hers anyway.

The Duke looked shocked, but Erin was proud.

“Why should you be surprised? You told me to do as I pleased, and I did as I was told.”

Erin said to the Duke, who stood up and looked at her in surprise.

“I see.
Since it’s a two-way affair, we don’t have to talk about alimony, but you’re still giving me back my dowry, right?”

“… What are you going to do with that small amount of money?”

It was the first time her husband, who hadn’t cared what she did for the past nine years, had asked her a question.

‘A small amount of money.’

It was all Erin had, and it was the last of House Briscia’s wealth.

On the table were small cream cheese muffins and blueberry tarts, which was served as a formality.
They smelled sweetly of sweet cream and glistening fruit.

Erin didn’t discover the tiny desserts until later.
Snow-white whipped cream that seemed to melt on the first bite.
Crumbly tarts filled with fragrant nectar and cream cheese.

She wondered how she hadn’t seen them before.
She couldn’t take her eyes off the dessert plate.

This was Erin’s long-cherished dream.

The old dream that she had buried deep inside her heart after spending her nine years of futility here.
She had just lost everything, but she still had one last thing left.

Erin smiled confidently for the first time in nine years.

“I’m going to open a dessert cafe.”

Now it’s time to make that dream come true.

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