Killian Devonshire didn’t keep anyone who betrayed him alive, since he had come of age.
There were many cases.
A nanny, who had sold all of his information to the Queen the year he turned fourteen; a servant, who had attempted to assassinate him when he was studying abroad; a professor, who acted clean and pure, but behind the scenes tried to gain the backing of the duke.
All of them went missing, disappeared without a trace.
No one noticed.
This was because once a body decomposed and rose to the surface, it was difficult to tell its identity.
There were no exceptions there.
Of course this had to be the case, even for Rowena Philone.
I have to smash that hateful face, cut out the tongue that spoke of love, gouge out the eyes that looked at another man, another man who was not me.
And I will throw her cold body into the sea with no regrets.
So death was actually not a distant thought for Rowena Philone.
Ever since Killian Devonshire had welcomed Rowena Philone as his mistress, many had died because of her, more than she could count.
Poisoned to death, stabbed to death by an unidentified person, sometimes killed in a carriage accident, or crushed to death by a pillar in a fire accident.
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For this reason, throughout the past three years, Killian kept his surroundings in check like a hound’s eyes observing in the dark.
He knew that the moment he let his guard down, even a little, fangs as sharp as a viper would tear through his mistress.
Once he chose to let go of her hand, there would be nothing to stop the approaching danger.
Because the Queen would never miss an opportunity.
As Killian leaned his head against the bed, he stared silently at the woman lying next to him.
Her thin frame stood out in the dimming daylight.
Her blond hair, loose like golden threads, covered the top of the bed; her cheeks, red as summer peaches; her slender and soft shoulders and arms.
The more he looked at her, the more he found that there was no sign of a sex worker.
It was the face of a pure angel who knew nothing.
It was the face of the girl he had met for the first time; the girl whose face had turned red as she smiled shyly at him.
A large hand ran down her smooth cheek and swept over her neck.
Rowena Philone was different from all the people he had killed so far.
This woman belonged to him from head to toe.
She was entirely his possession.
He would rather kill her directly by strangling her now, than see her as a corpse when she is killed by someone else’s hands.
With a casual look on his face, Killian thought of Rowena, who was clinging to him.
At first he held her hand, baffled by the situation.
Of course, even if he asked, there would be no reply from her.
If he were to climb over her, he could hold her neck and use more pressure with both of his hands.
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He wondered if this woman would still look beautiful even when she desperately gasped for air.
The moment he lightly grabbed her neck with one hand, Killian was met with a pair of lively, greenish eyes.
She yawned lazily, making his hands pause.
Rowena called out to him.
“Am I dreaming…”
The next day, people seemed surprised by Rowena’s sudden announcement that she was quitting the factory.
“Even if it wasn’t, the atmosphere is unsettling because of Anna, but…”
“I’m so sorry.
I would normally stay until my replacement arrives, but I’ve got some urgent business to attend to.”
“It can’t be helped if that’s the case.”
The tongue-tied colleagues exchanged glances with each other.
Unconcerned, Rowena bowed her head like a sinner.
When she raised her head in silence, she saw a colorful bouquet of flowers.
“We’ve all prepared this together.
You’ve worked so hard all this time.”
Her colleagues smiled at the startled look in Rowena’s eyes and gave her the bouquet.
“It’s sad to see you leave so abruptly, but we’re still grateful that you’ve been able to fill in for us and taken the lead on the hard and nasty stuff.
I’m indebted to you for the past four years, too.”
A warm feeling spread inside her chest at the overflowing words of gratitude from each of them.
Rowena’s eyes turned red, and she hugged the bouquet.
“How did you know I was quitting…”
“I told them…”
Harriet made her way through the crowd of factory workers and placed her hand on Rowena’s shoulder as she made a confession in a whisper.
“I told him where you live.”
“What What do you mean…”
It was a confusing statement.
Harriet, smiling at Rowena, who had only her eyes wide open, said in an attempt to soothe her.
“Sorry…I didn’t listen to what you asked me to do.
But… Rebecca… No, Rowena.
I don’t know what happened in the past, but that person seemed to love you.”
This explains how he made his way into her house.
“I want you to live happily ever after, Rowena.
I will always pray for you.”
Hearing those heartfelt words, she barely managed to raise the corner of her mouth to reassure Harriet.
Still, her expression clouded before she could muster anything resembling a smile.
Indeed, it wasn’t that Harriet had any harmful intentions.
Still, regardless of the outcome, Rowena swallowed down a great number of words and said her goodbyes.
“No, thank you so much for everything.”
“Thank you, and I hope you live happily, Rowena; if there is anything I can do to help, be sure to let me know.”
Harriet squeezed her hand.
The sad, affectionate farewell ended, and Rowena turned around and started to walk away.
Harriet, who had been watching her back, was startled.
“Actually, I have one last… favor to ask.”