I Sought Out the Tragedy’s Scheming Mastermind - Chapter 56
Translator and Editor: nieye
Eliana did not return.
She never returned to the room even after waiting for a long time.
It was well past curfew.
The night was already deep, and the grass in the garden was wet with early morning dew.
The moon disappeared and the sun rose again. It was morning.
Verkley, who didn’t sleep a wink, jumped up at the clattering door.
“Where have you been that you haven’t said a word? Did you not think I would worry?!”
Fin stared at Verkley with a startled expression.
After confirming it was not Eliana who came through the door, Verkley sat down once more.
It felt like he was losing strength in his legs.
Fin approached, asking, “Are you looking for Miss Eliana?”
“Yes, she did not return yesterday…”
“Oh? Didn’t you hear? Miss Eliana went back to the Mussieux Estate yesterday.”
When Verkley replied sharply, Fin hesitated to answer.
“Apparently, Count Mussieux has changed, and she wanted to trust him once again, so she said she’d go. I assumed she had informed Your Majesty.”
“Miss Eliana must have left without saying a word to Your Majesty because she was in a bad mood.”
Verkley’s face paled, stiffening.
He asked the question in a cold tone.
“Did Eliana truly say that?”
“O-Of course. I’m a bit confused myself… but I’m sure that’s what she said.”
Fin stammered when she felt Verkley’s atmosphere turning unusual.
Verkley dragged a hand across his face.
If Eliana was the real Eliana, he would’ve been fooled.
But Verkley already knew she was from another world.
Your father had a sudden change of heart, and now you’re returning?
What a ridiculous excuse.
A violent smile drew across Verkley’s mouth.
It wasn’t long before he started to laugh.
“I should have killed him.”
Fin’s eyes widened as big as saucers at Verkley’s brutal words.
Verkley leaped to his feet and gave a request.
“I’ll be back before the ceremony. I’ll go straight to the plaza, so inform them.”
Fin faltered back in surprise.
Verkley walked out of the room, leaving a trembling Fin behind.
Fin couldn’t stand Verkley’s energy and dropped to the floor.
“T-The color of his eyes…”
Fin couldn’t believe it.
“His Majesty’s eyes were bright red… H-How?”
And his aura was so different from usual.
As if something cold and dangerous had driven him off a cliff, a chilling emotion swirled throughout her body.
“Are you there…? Why is the door open?”
Then, Mary entered with a hand-embroidered outfit.
Seeing Fin on the floor, she ran with the stack of clothes in her hand.
“H-His Majesty’s eyes, red, s-scary…!”
Fin couldn’t stop backbiting him and spoke gibberish.
Mary froze at the word “eyes”.
Holding Fin’s shoulders, Mary thought of Verkley’s red eyes, and she was suddenly reminded of the past.
“Who have you told?” she asked.
“N-No one. I-I haven’t…”
As Fin shook her head along with her body, Mary delivered a firm order.
“Don’t tell anyone.”
“Act like this never happened.”
Fin nodded vigorously as she shed tears, studying Mary’s serious expression.
* * *
Jack Mussieux was an inconspicuous man.
As the second son of an unnamed baron, the entire family was only interested in the eldest brother.
His brother showed talent in various fields as if he were born to fulfill his destiny to raise a family.
Perhaps that’s why Jack would always be put to the test, where he had to overcome the wall that was his brother.
Jack didn’t know how to do much. One thing he was good at, though, was always being one step behind his older brother.
So it was always Jack’s job to feel defeated.
The sense of helplessness that Jack felt daily has been growing since his boyhood.
Until his wife appeared in front of him.
His wife was the only daughter of a count, and she grew up with the love of her family.
At that time, Count Mussieux was the head of a fairly wealthy family and owned an estate.
Although he was not very involved in politics, his family name was not to be ignored.
His wife was a senior graduate of the largest academy in the empire.
After her graduation, she did not return home and traveled from place to place to expand her knowledge as an intelligent woman.
But when she did return, Jack’s father and brother made a fuss.
Jack’s older brother dragged him to the Mussieux Estate just in time for her arrival.
“Jack, do you see that woman over there?”
“Don’t fool around and take a good look! She’s going to be my wife and your sister-in-law.”
“You should ask her if that’s going to happen first.”
“Needless to ask. I’ve already spoken with the count.”
Jack pretended not to be interested, but he stole a glance at the woman entering the estate.
She had a soft body that would seem to break with a simple snap.
Her face was obscured by a hat, but you could guess that she was a beautiful woman just by looking at her slender jawline and full lips.
Jack felt it was wrong to peek at the woman, so he tried to retreat.
But before he could, the wind blew her hat away, making it land in front of Jack.
His brother didn’t want to get caught sneaking around, so he booked it, leaving Jack to deal with all the embarrassment in the end.
“Would you mind getting that for me?”
And that’s how they met.
Jack considered himself very lucky to have his brother run away that day.
Had he been the one to pick up her hat and return it, his older brother might’ve turned out to be her husband.
She had many dreams.
She hated the life of being oppressed by her patriarchal father, so she went up to the capital and dreamed of going above and beyond from an early age.
She was different from Jack, who always gave up without even trying.
“Jack, I’m going to be a matriarch. So I’ve come back.”
Declaring she’d become the head of her family in a confident voice, she was very assured and awe-inspiring.
Jack would’ve loved to have such a wife.
She knew of Jack’s shadow very well. And Jack thought he knew her ideals in return.
She saw it as a problem that the system centered everything around the firstborn son, and Jack agreed to some extent.
Because he himself was not the eldest son.
“We’ve always believed that if we study hard, we shall succeed.”
“Isn’t that usually the case?”
“Do you honestly believe that?”
She turned her head and looked at Jack.
Jack didn’t know what to say, so he rubbed the back of his head.
She said, “Each person has a strong and weak spot. Therefore, the key to success is to sharpen and polish those strong suits rather than frustrate yourself by focusing on the weaker ones.”
“That’s a comforting perspective.”
“Jack, now you must focus on yourself. Not being in your brother’s shadow. I’m sure there’s something strong inside you somewhere.”
She affirmed that by sharpening your stronger points, your weaker ones will become invisible.
Jack felt that everything she said was true.
However, her weakness could not be hidden no matter how strong she was.
She often collapsed.
Her white milky skin turned pale too often. Her frail body prevented her from achieving her dream.
Her father urged her to marry to maintain the family line.
Of course, her fiancé would be Jack’s brother.
There was no way Jack, the insignificant second son, could have prevented the marriage.
So the wedding between his brother and his wife would proceed smoothly.
In the meantime, she gradually lost her smile, and on the contrary, his brother smiled more often.
During that time, Jack felt uneasy and anxious.
If his brother got married to her like this, he’d become unreachable, and Jack would be unable to escape from his shadow in the end.
Jack wanted to lower his brother’s status a bit.
So he pulled something on his brother’s carriage.
At the same time, Jack rationalized that he was purely acting for her sake.
Considering she was displeased with the engagement anyway.
He only hoped his brother would get hurt.
He hoped it would give him a flaw, like a limp in his leg.
But his older brother died.
One of the wheels of the carriage broke off, leading it to fall off a cliff.
The baron made Jack her husband.
Jack, who was always overshadowed by his brother, now had everything.
Fortunately, no one suspected Jack of the accident, and he grew more triumphant.
Even though his older brother was gone, it felt like he’d become the center of the world.
But there was just one thing that didn’t go as planned.
His beloved wife.
“Jack, have you realized that you’ve become just like your brother?”
His wife always said that.
Jack hated it the most.
How could she compare him to such an arrogant and awful man? He thought her love had changed.
In time, she reached a point where Jack knew she was concerned about losing her role as the family head as a result of her condition worsening.
The count had great confidence in Jack.
Since his wife was weak, he even appointed Jack as the next successor.
For a moment, Jack thought of her dream, but then he realized he could do better than her sick body.
So, time passed, and it was finally time for Jack to receive his title as Count Mussieux.
But his wife was pregnant.
The news of her pregnancy—which shouldn’t have been possible because she was so weak—put the brakes on Jack’s smooth path to success.
The count began to reiterate his words.
Jack grew impatient. If things stayed this way, he knew he’d lose his position to his own child.
In the end, Jack decided to leave it to chance once again.
Soooo, it’s been a while, huh I’m so sorry for the lack of updates and no communication whatsoever. I’ve been busy with school and all that. And my mental health… let’s just say I’m somewhere better now. For the next few months, updates will be slow as I try to figure out my life. But please know this novel isn’t going anywhere! I hope you’ve all been well. <3