Just who in the world had the chance to attend their own funeral?
My body was really right in front of me right now.
My body, which would be adorned and displayed for 100 days for all to see.
Most of the royal family performed funerals that way, even for their spouses.
The sons and daughters of God.
I didn’t know whether it was to create an illusion to others or if it was just that the imperial family were proud as the chosen ones and couldn’t hold the same funerals as the other nobility.
I still remembered the funeral of Her Majesty, the Empress Lettina, who had died when I was just a child.
At that time, that person was also beautifully adorned.
Then, as she was surrounded by flowers and placed in a glass coffin, her funeral was then held for 100 days.
The scene that was both sorrowful and beautiful was still vividly fresh in my mind, however, the body that was enclosed in the coffin was now my own body.
As the glass coffin got closer, I unwittingly lowered the mesh that was attached to my hat down to the tip of my nose.
In the first place, my face was not known to many nobles, unless it was someone that I had already been close to before.
It was my husband, Novian, who after my debutante, had quickly rushed to get married.
Although it was nice to have Blair’s refreshingly healthy body, it wasn’t until this solemn and gigantic funeral that I started to realise and feel that this was my reality.
‘Is God playing a prank on me?’
However, this reality that seemed as if it was just a dream was not a situation one had to like.
This was God’s own prank.
It was also an extremely spiteful prank.
Amongst the people who sang hymns and prayed, I saw ‘me’ with my eyes closed in a glass coffin, surrounded by all kinds of flowers.
A pale corpse that was covered with beautiful things, with only her face exposed and eyes that were closed.
It was exactly like the funeral of Her Majesty, the late Empress Lettina.
‘I’m dead, I’m really dead. I’ve really died.’
The black dress and black hat that I was wearing. The black mesh in front of my face too.
However, at most, it wasn’t just those things that were pitch black, but my heart too.
It literally felt like my heart was burning black.
“By the laws of Ronta, the 100 day funeral procession will be held by the royal family and their spouses.”
“Glory be to God.”
“Glory be to the deceased.”
The people prayed whilst wishing for glory that would mean nothing to the dead.
I frantically searched for my husband with blurry eyes.
Novian was standing tall in front of the glass coffin, just staring blankly at it.
I instinctively tried to call out his name, my eyes meeting his when he suddenly raised his head.
His name no longer came out of my mouth.
He must have clearly seen the face of this ‘Blair’, but Novian immediately turned his eyes back to ‘me’ who was in the glass coffin.
‘I’m so stupid.’
What exactly did I want to confirm with him for me to call out his name?
Although I thought it could have just been the ignorant maid’s pathetic misunderstanding, I still couldn’t let go of that thin strand of doubt that remained in my heart.
When my eyes had met that cold gaze I had not even received once when I was in Adrienne’s body, my face turned white with fright.
Novian began to cry.
As it was the first time I had seen him express his emotions so clearly like that, I merely stared at him blankly from where I was, squeezed amongst the other noble ladies.
Until the priest’s long prayers had finished.
Until the other people had opened the eyes that they had tightly closed.
The nobles bowed their heads in condolence at Novian’s face which was full of sorrow.
I couldn’t help but stare, dumbfounded at the people behind him who came to my funeral.
It was difficult to estimate how many people had visited this grave before getting onto their carriage and riding off again.
‘Was I such an incredible person?’
As soon as I debuted into the social world, I caught the eye of Novian and had an early wedding, suffering from an illness the entire time, and whilst living in a mansion, died in vain as soon as I turned 22.
Most of the weeping people were all those who had no relation to me at all.
Perhaps amongst this many people, not even one person would truly grieve for my death.
What was even more funny was that because of this mistress’ body, which seemed to resemble my exact face and body shape, I couldn’t even believe it when I saw my original body in a glass coffin.
Although I thought I had already accepted my death as a reality, it still took me a long time to get used to it.
Novian was right in front of me. Right here, I was still alive and breathing.
For me, this was also a reality.
As long as someone would just call me Adrienne, not that corpse…
I could’ve even accepted it if someone had insisted that Novian and I were just the Grand Duke and Duchess, here to attend someone else’s funeral.
But there was still no one that called me Adrienne.
[ / / / ]
By the time the Prince and Princess of the Piretta Duchy arrived at the Trovica’s graveyard, half of the guests had already left a while ago. 1
The deceased Duchess’ older brother, Prince Gregory, immediately felt his legs lose their strength as he almost sank to the ground while his wife, Bianca, held onto him tightly.
However, she too, behind the black mesh in front of her, had a face that was soaked wet with tears.
“Rienne…! Ah—! Ah—!”
In the end, Gregory collapsed as soon as he had arrived in front of the glass coffin.
Bianca screamed lowly whilst also covering her mouth with a hand.
Pale, young and beautiful.
Tears couldn’t help but fill his eyes, threatening to burst as soon as the sad looking corpse entered his line of sight.
“You, you son of a bitch!”
“Honey! Heok…honey, stop it!”
“Save my little sister! Save my Rienne!”
“Honey! We of all people should know that he tried his best!”
Gregory Piretta, who was crying and weeping loudly, was as boisterous as the rumours said.
The remaining guests merely stayed silent, as if it wasn’t a big deal.
At least since it was a funeral, this sort of indecent behaviour could be forgiven.
Whether it be nobles or imperial families, in front of the dead, all kinds of people would laugh, cry, and make various reactions.
Novian Trovica, who was also known as the Emperor’s aide, already had a face soaked with tears, and as expected, the Grand Duchess’ older brother, Gregory, was also in the exact same position as him.
After a long and meaningless fight, Gregory finally embraced the Duke, who was still standing and weeping, swallowing his tears.
As the hymns continued to resound softly, the prayers of the elderly women grew louder.
“Lord God—. Please bring glory to the dead!”
In unison, they all let their black mesh veils drop down in front of their eyes as they all started praying for the Grand Duchess Adrienne, whose face they had never even seen before.
Soon, guests and condolence wreaths sent by the imperial family had arrived.
They placed the splendid flowers in front of the coffin of the deceased and proceeded to engrave the Lord’s cross.
One way or another, the Grand Duchess was still a grand duchess.
Other than that, although the funeral was nothing special, Adrienne, who was amongst the elderly women, was struggling to control her weeping.
Tears were already dripping down her face due to Novian’s sobbing, so when Gregory and Bianca also joined him in weeping, she couldn’t bear it any longer.
[ / / / ]
She had died in early winter.
A few days had passed since her death and now the night wind was sharp enough to cut flesh.
The air in the graveyard felt colder than any other place.
The people disappeared one by one, as Novian was gone all night in order to supervise the people moving the glass coffin which contained my body, the Grand Duchess.
But he would come any time now.
He was a person who once assigned with a task, would take responsibility for it until it was finished. Therefore, there was no way he could go back to his dukedom without checking the barely finished cleanup of my grave.
My stupidly confident face was already numb. My cheek also hurt, as if someone had scratched it.
My face, which had been wet from crying had long been frozen by the night wind.
‘Come quickly, Noah…’
I moved far away from my shining white grave stone.
Although no one could easily spot me, I was still in a position where I could clearly see the entrance of the graveyard.
It seemed as if the guard who was guarding the entrance of the cemetery, was ready to kick me out at any time, so I stood, hiding behind the well-pruned bushes in the garden.
In an empty cemetery, with only the company of the person who was guarding the entrance, I continued to wait for my husband like that.
I wonder how long I waited for.
As I kneaded my hands which had already become white due to the cold and continued to get colder, like a miracle, the violent sound of galloping horse hooves suddenly cut through the heavy silence.
I stood up immediately with a frozen body and poked my face out of the bush.
The cemetery guard saluted someone in a disciplined manner.
The person, who wasn’t even sitting up straight on their horse, jumped down and entered the cemetery, his figure casting a large shadow, as if he was a giant phantom from hell.
Is it Noah?
My expectations, which had risen, gradually faded away.
The man, who looked like a military commander, was large enough to be overwhelming, even from this distance as he got closer and closer to the gas lamp illuminating the area around the tombstone.
It wasn’t Novian,
It wasn’t his calm gait, but a gait that looked violent and urgent.
The stranger, who had driven their horses wildly enough to break the silence, stood motionlessly in front of the tombstone in silence.
It was a silence that hung heavier than when I was alone.
As the clouds covering the moon drifted away, light spilled onto the back of the man.
I wasn’t in the mood to admire anything, but his blonde hair that shone violently in the night pricked my eyes.
At first glance, his hair looked silver.
Who could it be?
Although he was not shivering in the cold like me, the man stood there for a long time, staring blankly at the tombstone that was missing a corpse, as if he was also frozen.
Even though I could only see his back profile, the feeling of despair seemed to flow down his broad back.
And then he stumbled.
Unconsciously, I immediately stretched out a hand, as if to stop him.
The man, who had a strong physique and was so tall that I would have to look up at him if I got closer, immediately slumped to the bare ground on his knees and managed to sit upright.
I felt the blood rush through my body quickly as I watched carefully.
The man, who had been tracing the tombstone that didn’t have anything but my name engraved on it, sat down as if he was delirious, his shoulders instantly beginning to shake.
Was he crying or laughing?
‘Or was it both?’
As time went by, the man whose shoulders had shook strangely, looked more and more like someone who was angry.
His hair shone like stars as his body shook.
I approached him little by little, as if I was bewitched.
Aside from Novian and my family, no one else had shown any emotion in front of this useless tombstone.
‘Who are you?’
I wanted to ask him.
In the dead of night, whilst there was no one around, urging his horse so urgently, his shoulders trembling…
Walking toward him as if I was bewitched, I stopped abruptly in the middle.
‘What are you going to do if I walk closer?’
This person was someone who knew ‘me’.
If he didn’t know me, he couldn’t have possibly been so sad.
But how was I possibly meant to explain my current situation?
Rather than a sudden surge of curiosity, I was afraid of how other people would react to the current me if they happened to see me, my heart leaping in fright.
I took a step back naturally onto the path I had taken to come in.
And it was when the sound of the sobbing man’s breathing suddenly stopped and cut off, his low voice that pierced the silence making my footsteps stop once again.
 소공작: the heir to a duchy/the son of a duke. the only english equivalent i could for this was a ‘hereditary duke’ but even that i feel couldn’t properly convey the meaning so i’m sticking to ‘prince’ or ‘princess’ for the heirs as it was a commonly used title for the duke’s children as well.
AHHHHH WE MEET ANOTHER GUY AND HE’S NOT TRASH I AM CELEBRATING doesn’t he just look immaculate mmmmhm
like just reading this chapter you can just tell how much he loved her AHHHHH RIDING TO HER TOMBSTONE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT SLDKFJSDF what an unexpectedly romantic gesture that none of us will ever get to experience SDFLKJSDF adrienne’s probably the only one that can attend her own funeral HALDSKFJFDS
also props to adrienne’s older brother for saying what everyone wanted to say here ROUND OF FOCKING APPLAUSE FOR THE PRINCE OF PIRETTA YOU SAID WHAT ALL OF US WERE THINKING
anyone else wanna beat novian when they read that he was crying YOU FAKE ASS BITCH
ne ways, that’s all from me for now, until next week hehhee ! ♡♡