Viscount Lawrence squeezed his eyes shut at those words.
He understood that there was no longer any room for compromise.
It might have been possible if Roman had wanted them to continue with the marriage. However, he only wished for the breakup to proceed without any changes.
He suddenly got dizzy.
Arranged marriage was Lawrence’s last option.
Judging that he could not stop Barco by other means, he had to use his precious daughter for an arranged marriage.
As the head of the family, he was responsible for protecting his family.
He thought sacrificing his daughter and marrying her off to Dmitry’s Fool was better than the downfall of the entire family.
But now, the breakup was confirmed.
No matter how beautiful Flora is, there is no family that will go to war for a woman with flaws.
This was their only chance at gaining an ally through marriage.
Now, the crisis must be resolved only with the strength of the Lawrence family.
‘I need to soothe Baron Romero’s anger. If he holds hands with the Barcos as a means of revenge, our defense’s slim chances of success would be reduced to ashes.’
Being the head of the family, Baron Romero’s wrath was great.
If it was Baron Romero, who was displaying his hostility as if he was ready to rally his troops, it wouldn’t be too strange to see him unite with the Barcos and take them up on their offer instead.
If that happened, it would definitely mean the downfall of Lawrence.
If Barco and Dmitry, the strongest powers in the North-East region, united, there would be no way to withstand their attack.
The situation had gone from bad to worse.
In his heart, he wanted to tell his daughter it was okay.
Although the viscount was a father who always made good choices for his daughter, right now, he was no different from the family head of the Joel family, as, in the current situation, the future of the family was at stake.
As the family head of Joel had bowed his head to the teacher even though he was of aristocratic status, Viscount Lawrence bowed his head deeply to Baron Romero.
“…This situation is entirely Lawrence’s fault. Therefore, Lawrence will take responsibility for the breakup. And as an apology, for the time being, we will accept neither tolls nor taxes from the merchants of Dmitry who will visit Lawrence. Of course, such a thing would be meaningless to the owner of the iron mines, but please think of it as a sincere apology from the Lawrence family for their mistakes.”
“No, you don’t have to do that. Dmitry has no desire to profit from the breakup of my eldest son. Just let the public know that Flora Lawrence has broken up the marriage because of personal issues and end this matter. If you do that, I promise that Dmitry will never unite with the Barcos.”
“Thank you, Baron Dmitry. Thank you very much.”
Baron Romero’s reaction was kinder than he thought.
At that sincerity, Lawrence shook his head, yet his heart sank.
‘Marriage to Dmitry was perhaps the best option we could have chosen.’
Romero Dmitry is a father who truly loves his son.
Also, Dmitry’s eldest son is completely unlike the rumors about him.
How could I waste such an opportunity? I don’t know why people call him Dmitry’s Fool, but from my experience, he is an extraordinary man. He subjugated the Blood Fang by himself. He even boldly revealed his beliefs in front of me. He was so confident while facing a Viscount.
In particular, when he saw Roman making choices for his family even in the face of a breakup, he truly fell for him.
Roman is an imoogi.1
If his true worth is revealed to the world in the future, there is no doubt that Flora will be ridiculed for breaking up with him.
Right, that’s what a breakup is like. From this point onwards, Roman will now be an inseparable label in Flora’s life.
‘I wonder if my daughter would have liked Roman if she had known his true nature sooner. Had I known the true value of Roman myself even a little earlier, I would have prevented Flora from making hasty choices. This is my mistake as well.’
He swallowed his regret.
The breakup had already happened.
Viscount Lawrence repeatedly apologized, and only left when Baron Romero’s expression softened.
Now, only Roman and his father were left in the room.
Baron Romero’s gaze eventually turned to Roman.
Throughout the conversation, he couldn’t concentrate on the situation because of a single question in his mind.
“Son. What the hell happened during the past week?”
Roman looked back at him.
There was an issue that needed explanation.
During his time in closed-door seclusion, Roman managed to enter the human phase.
The human phase created a foundation for demonstrating the divine powers of the Heavenly Demon Martial Arts; however, it was not so great by Murim’s standards.
But in this world, it was a substantial change. The mana floating in nature was abundant, and Roman’s body had a deep level of waste, so just creating a foundation had a dramatic effect.
With this, the Heavenly Demon adjusted to Roman’s body completely.
The fact that his appearance changed due to metamorphosis was evidence that he had become a completely different person from before.
Roman said, “It seems I had a realization while practicing alone. I don’t remember exactly how, but it seems that now, there is a mana cycle going on inside my body.”
“…Did you just say a mana cycle?”
Baron Romero was surprised.
A mana cycle was a rare phenomenon that occurred among people who dealt with mana. If one managed to achieve it, mana would naturally circulate throughout the body and turn it into its optimal state. It was so incredible that only a few people could do it. Roman had thought it would be the best answer, but Baron Romero’s thoughts became more complicated due to that.
‘A mana cycle…’
Recently, Roman had shockingly changed fundamentally.
Baron Dmitry’s son, known as Dmitry’s Fool, suddenly announced the breakup of the marriage. After that, he started doing things the Baron wouldn’t have even imagined before, like subjugating the Blood Fang. In particular, he could not comprehend the victory over Chris, known as Dmitry’s prodigy, in the duel and the mana cycle he mentioned just now.
He felt like he didn’t know his son.
He had clearly seen him grow up and knew what sort of things his son liked doing.
But now, rather than calling him a genius, it’d be more appropriate to call Roman’s changes unfathomable.
‘Nevertheless, it’s clear that you are my son.’
His face, eyes, and voice that called him father were still that of his son.
Due to those things, Baron Romero buried the doubts.
He didn’t know what changed Roman; however, for Baron Romero, only the fact that Roman was his eldest son was important.
Baron Romero said calmly, “As you go forward, be sure to keep this one fact in mind, my son. I am your father. As your father, no matter what difficulties you face, I will stand by your side and face them with you. And I am also the person who will eagerly await and celebrate your development. So, never forget that your name is Roman Dmitry. I, Romero Dmitry, will always support you to achieve your goals and become a better person.”
Hearing his father’s words, Roman felt something unfamiliar stir inside him.
This was something unfamiliar to the person known as Baek Joong-hyuk.
The father he remembered was cruel and cold-hearted to the point that he wouldn’t hesitate to drive his sons to their death.
However, the father in front of him was completely different from his original father.
Is this what fatherly love is?
“Thank you very much, father.”
When he left the office, Roman encountered a familiar situation. Flora was waiting outside for him, just like when she had visited Dmitry for the first time.
Back then, Flora had said, “Are you crazy?” with a bewildered face. But now, she bowed her head with a different look.
“…I’m extremely sorry. It is I, who judged you hastily, and made decisions on important family matters on my own.”
Flora was bowing in front of him.
Due to the previous circumstances, she couldn’t even look straight at Roman.
“There is no need for an apology.”
Nevertheless, Roman’s reaction was cold.
It wasn’t something like that.
Roman truly felt that an apology was not necessary.
‘Everything that happened was just consequential, and Flora’s choice was not wrong.’
If it hadn’t been Baek Joong-hyuk, who now possessed Roman’s body, Roman truly would have been a man worthy of being called Dmitry’s Fool. He already knew the past Roman’s will was so weak that he would commit suicide if he were even a little cornered.
Attaching themselves to Dmitry through marriage would’ve immediately solved the problem for the Lawrences; however, as a woman, it would be hard to spend the rest of your life with someone like the past Roman.
Because of that, he understood Flora.
Moreover, there was no reason to express his anger towards a woman who had decided to take responsibility for her mistakes.
However, as Flora didn’t know what Roman was thinking, she interpreted his reaction differently.
“I fully understand why you are angry. You can’t help but be angry. Even though it was an arranged marriage where the feelings of the partners were not important, I unilaterally broke the engagement. Still, I just wanted to tell you one thing before I went away. There was a special reason I decided to break the engagement.”
Roman didn’t show any particular reaction. He just stood still.
To Roman’s staring gaze, Flora spoke in a low voice.
“Honestly, now I think it was just a rumor. It’s not a rumor that suits someone who subjugated the Blood Fang by himself and didn’t lose his morals. Still, I’m telling you because I think you need to know. The source of the rumors was a social gathering led by nobles in the North-East area. When rumors spread that I was going to marry Dmitry’s Fool, the nobles I knew told me that Roman Dmitry was a drug addict. Moreover, he used the kind of drugs that would make him lose his senses slowly. Hearing things like drug addiction, I couldn’t forget what they told me.”
It was the first time Roman had heard that.
Still, he remained quiet.
Roman was neither flustered nor did he show any particular reaction to Flora’s words.
Eventually, Roman said, “It doesn’t matter that you notified me of the breakup for some reason, Flora. You did not want to marry me, so the only choice was to break up.”
When they met for the first time, and even now, Roman did not allow Flora to get closer to him.
“So don’t get involved in my life anymore.”
Roman spoke coldly and moved forward.
That was the end of it.
A woman like Flora had no right to be inside Roman’s fence.2
On his way back to his room, Roman was lost in thought.
Flora and Viscount Lawrence.
Although he had sorted out the troublesome relationships with them, before returning to Lawrence, Flora had said something he could never ignore.
’…A drug addict.’
His eyebrows twitched.
Doing drugs was an issue that could not be overlooked in Roman’s life. Even when he was living as Baek Joong-hyuk, Roman killed all Demonic Cult members who did drugs.
They did not simply plunge their own lives into the abyss of evil but polluted everything around them like a disease.
How did Roman get into such a dangerous thing?
This meant that Roman’s suicide, which was the beginning of a new life, had to be interpreted as having a slightly different reason from now on.
‘Roman may not have committed suicide simply to avoid enlistment. In fact, there were a lot of puzzling parts from the beginning. He himself would have known that he could solve the military enlistment problem with the arranged marriage to the Lawrence family, but he took the extreme step too early. This means there were other reasons for his suicide.’
Roman suddenly laughed.
Roman had recently undergone a metamorphosis.
So, no matter what Flora said, he knew that Roman’s body had no bad energy that could be from an addiction to drugs. Of course, he did have impure energy, but the Heavenly Demon presumed it was due to suicide. It was wiped out recently when he underwent metamorphosis anyway.
Nevertheless, this meant the rumors that Flora had told him were evidence of slander.
There is something people misunderstand.
Just like when Roman put Hans inside his fence, he acted the same in his previous life, and people said he might be a holy warlord when they saw the Heavenly Demon ruling over people.
That, of course, was a huge misinterpretation.
If they saw his behavior from the eyes of his enemies, Roman always trampled on them and condemned even the smallest things.
He was far from fair to them.
The survival of the fittest; that was the way of the world he once lived in.
In that world, it was natural to press down on others from the top, and the fear engraved in their bones became the basis for the subjugation of the Murim.
“I need to check the facts.”
He rang the bell immediately.
I should ask him.
“Did you call for me, young master?”
The first person in this world to be inside his fence, Hans, carefully opened the door.
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