Chapter 13

Chapter 13 The Ducal Couple (1)

Translated by: iseuli

edited by: lili

Raindrops pattered onto the window. Her heart felt at peace as she enjoyed the tea scent that filled the drawing room. She was enjoying her afternoon tea time. Rather than her personal drawing room on the second floor, she preferred the one on the first floor.

She was sitting in the spacious and quiet room all alone as if time had stopped.

‘Has it been…a month now…?’

A month had passed since their wedding. Of that month, three weeks had been spent living alone in Duke Taran’s castle located in Roam. She had not heard any sort of news of him ever since he had taken off on his own at the capital.

“Madam. Is there anything you’d like to eat for dinner today?”

“Anything is fine.”

Every day he’d ask the same question and she’d answer in the same way. Lucia had never eaten a meal more sumptuous and luxurious than the food served here.

Jerome watched Lucia eat crackers with gentle eyes. At first, he’d been worried that a princess was going to become the duke’s lady of the house. He had worried over how he’d serve such a fussy and capricious noblewoman; the hysteria she’d throw after being neglected by her husband; his head had been aching as he’d imagined the days ahead.

However, he’d long thrown away those worries during their travels here to Roam. Even the knights had praised that it was a first time they had met a noblewoman so easy to escort.

The duchess never even did the things that the mere mistresses of the duke had been trying to do. She didn’t unnecessarily go out of her way to oppress all the employees staffed under her to set up a hierarchy. She didn’t bother with petty power struggles with Jerome either. She let the people around her do their job, while she lived her own life. Not once did she raise her voice at another.

She was gentle-mannered and tender-hearted. Jerome truly felt happy from the bottom of his heart.


The sound of a heavy trumpet sounded. Lucia looked at Jerome with a startled heart. When she saw Jerome’s tense expression, it made her fear double. Jerome was usually very relaxed and calm, so seeing him like that caused her a lot of anxiety.

“His Grace has returned.”

Her heart started to race.

“Madam, there is no need for you to go out to greet his Grace.”

Lucia was about to get up from her seat, but she sat herself back down with an awkward movement.

“I’m not trying to convey any sort of message to you. I’m just taking precaution in case Madam gets scared.”


“I am unable to tell Madam in great detail, however the task His Grace had tackled was perilous. At times like these, His Grace becomes very sensitive. He always bathes before doing anything; it will be better for you to meet His Grace afterwards.”

Lucia nodded and saw the butler out. She didn’t know the exact reason he had to be away for so long or what kind of problems the north was facing. She was nosy with the small details of the castle, but she didn’t try to interfere into his business at all. She had only picked up bits of information when she occasionally happened to overhear some of the conversations between the knights guarding the castle.

“You can say they’re dead…”

The Lord Duke… forgive…”

She had been too far away to hear all of their conversations, but she could put together that the duke’s task had to do with killing others.

‘Could it be related to the borderland barbarians?’

Any person from Xenon knew that the North was always at war with the borderland barbarians. Everyone agreed that the reason the northern citizens lived in peace was because Duke Taran was keeping all the dangers at bay.

If the small-scale battles with the borderland barbarians escalated… It could be considered a type of war as well.

She thought something like a war wouldn’t affect her life at all. The war had ended not too long ago, but Xenon had only participated in it and the citizens had not experienced the aftereffects of it at all. At this moment, she realized that the North had always been in a state of war.

‘Why did I come to this place?’

Lucia’s husband, Duke Hugo Taran, was known as the wartime’s black lion. He’d killed countless people and was infamous for it.


Hugo took care of all the problems in his own stubborn way within a month. As for the problems pertaining to the many lawless lands that had sprung due to the shortage of administration employees, Hugo didn’t fuss about the problem.

He had originally planned to tour the North anyway. But in order for that to happen, it would take at least half a year. Rather than taking such a long trip, he decided to return home. He hadn’t taken a break regardless of whether it was raining or storming. He made a grand entrance in Roam with his clothes smelling of rotten water and dust covering his whole body.

“I’m happy to see that you’re in great health, Your Grace.”

The employees of the castle stood in a line, while Jerome politely greeted the Lord Duke. From just his appearance, it felt like the duke would cut down anyone who came near him. His bloodthirsty aura had not disappeared yet, and it felt as if one could still hear the screams of those he had killed.

‘No matter how many times I see him like this, I can’t get used to it.’

Jerome felt a sense of incompatibility whenever he saw his Lord Duke like that. Jerome had always remained in the castle and taken care of the business of their estate; he had never seen Duke Taran in action as a knight.

The duke within Jerome’s mind was a perfect being without a speck of flaw. The duke had always been an upright person all along. The duke never got mad nor yelled. He would execute his tasks at the appointed time every day. Thus, whenever Jerome saw the duke like this, he couldn’t help but become nervous.

“I’ve prepared the bath water in advance.”

A hot bath, and a relaxing cup of tea. That was all that was needed for his Lord Duke to return to normal.

“Has anything happened while I was gone?”

Jerome, who was sensible, was able to understand his master’s true question. His Lord Duke had never asked such a vague question to him upon his return before.

“There is nothing of importance. Her Grace is also at peace and healthy. I’ve informed Madam that there was no need to come out and greet you personally on your return.”

“You’ve done well.”

He turned his back.

“Gather for a meeting in an hour. Everyone must be present. There are no excuses.”

As he disappeared off to bathe, Jerome answered to his back figure, then glanced to the drawing room Lucia was waiting in. The meeting wouldn’t end in just a few hours. It would have been better if he could share a few words of greeting with her before the meeting.

‘The enemy troops aren’t at our front doors, and it wouldn’t hurt to push the meeting back a bit.’

As soon as the ducal couple’s informal wedding had been complete, she had been dragged to their territory and almost imprisoned in the castle. To make it worse, he had not sent a single letter of his well-being for the whole month. Anyone would criticize that crude behavior and treatment. But still, he had asked about the Madam’s well-being when he arrived, and that counted for something. Jerome had served the duke for many years and he understood that this signified something very big.

‘It seems I haven’t assumed things incorrectly.’

“This is the Taran’s Lady of the House. Give all your respects to her.”

Jerome had conjectured the duke’s few words as a warning.

“If you don’t know your own place, everyone will die.”

Jerome had no intentions to ignore the duke’s warnings. Whenever he got the chance, he made sure to educate the employees on that fact. Thankfully, Jerome guessed the duke’s meaning correctly. Jerome didn’t do his job just because it was his duty, but he felt honest respect for the Taran’s lady of the house.

‘Would Fabian be in the capital about now…?’

Although it was just a small conflict within a territory, all those people were the Emperor’s people. Too many people had died. Fabian was entrusted with the duty to inform the Emperor of the conflict and to negotiate how everything would be smoothed over. Fabian had sent a short message to Jerome before he’d left for the capital.

– That person thinks too lightly of a human’s life.

The short sentence was enough to relay Fabian’s anguish. Jerome could perfectly understand his feelings and felt a little apologetic. Different from Jerome, Fabian followed the duke to every battle as the adjutant general and had seen his Lord Duke take countless lives. It couldn’t be helped that there was a big gap between how the two of them viewed their Lord Duke; one had seen the killings in person, and the other had not.

Fabian agreed with the many others who called his Lord Duke a ‘tyrant’. On the surface, they berated the ones who spoke such careless remarks, but on the inside, they believed the same thing. If he didn’t suppress and exploit others, he wouldn’t be called a tyrant. He did as he pleased, and nobody could object to his actions; he was the very definition of a tyrant.

Jerome had witnessed it during the duke’s marriage. The marriage had been abrupt and without celebration, but even so, nobody had spoken a world of discontent. Everyone had looked to Jerome to try and understand the duke’s true intentions behind the marriage.

Jerome truly had no idea either. Fabian seemed to know some things, but Jerome hadn’t tried to dig deeper into it. The two of them were brothers and they kept their private and public lives separate.

‘It would be nice if this marriage has a bit of meaning to him…’

If the Lord Duke’s temper could die down even just a bit, they would have no other wishes.


The quiet echo of clattering utensils could be heard in the dining room. Lucia placed a small piece of steak into her mouth and enjoyed the tender premium meat.

The first time she had tried the steak, she had been so deeply moved that she had felt sad whenever she’d had to swallow each bite. She had eaten that dish only a few times, but any of the emotions she had first felt when she enjoyed it were nowhere to be found. Inside her head, she agreed it was the best dish, but she could not feel the same inside her heart. Her sense of taste was quite fickle.

Lucia sat on a table long enough to generously seat 20 adults. The duke had returned, but Lucia was left to enjoy her meals alone. Other than Lucia, the only people present were the maids and servants on standby next to her.

He had returned this afternoon, and while the late evening had descended, she had not seen his face once. As soon as he had finished his bath, he had gathered his subordinates in his study to hold a meeting. The meeting didn’t show any signs of ending soon, either.

It seemed the people inside had no thoughts of having dinner, because the maids kept working hard, bringing in tea and sandwiches into the study. She was originally going to wait and enjoy dinner together with him, but the butler had suggested it would be better to eat first, and she’d had no choice but to have a late dinner all by herself.

‘He’s a very busy man…’

She didn’t expect a lovey-dovey married life with him, however since they’d be living in the same house, she thought they could live peacefully while sharing a few words every now and then. It seemed even that was just a delusion of hers.

They lived in the same house, but their living spaces were completely separate. There would be no accidental meeting without one person intentionally seeking the other out.

‘It would have been nice if his family were still alive.’

Whether it was his mother or his brother, she could have worked to become friendlier with them while living out the rest of her days. She felt sad for the tragic death of his family. At the same time, she wished to meet his son, who was living alone in a boarding school.

Thankfully, she wasn’t one to easily fall in depression. She had a fairly independent personality. She accomplished her tasks and settled her own problems most of the time. But this dull lifestyle was becoming quite tedious.

All her life, she had kept herself busy. However, this place was too luxurious, to the point that there was nothing for her to do.

She had barely finished half her steak, but she didn’t have much of an appetite. It was such a waste, but eating more would only cause her to feel nauseous and sick.

‘Should I just finish the whole plate and suffer later?’

She contemplated for a bit, then put down her knife.

“Does it not suit your taste?”

“That’s not it. Please relay to the chef that the dish was great as usual. Today… I just feel a bit full. I think I ate too many crackers this afternoon.”

Lucia usually finished all her afternoon snacks and dinner as well. However, she had not eaten much of the crackers today at all. Even so, Jerome didn’t bother going out of his way to remind Lucia of that fact.

“Is it still raining?”

“Yes, it seems it will be pouring all night long.”

“I see.”

If it wasn’t raining, she could have taken a walk around the lackluster garden. It felt like the day was crawling by today.

“I’ll be heading up now.”

“Shall I bring some tea for you?”

“Please do. Ah, actually never mind. I’ll be in the study. I’ll have my tea at a later time.”

“Yes, madam.”

The one place Lucia loved in Roam was Hugo’s study. It had high black domed ceiling. The wall facing south had a giant window that let the sunshine light up the room until sundown. The other walls were covered with books all the way up to the ceiling. The walls had three levels of railing systems with the width of about a single person. One could travel across all the different levels of bookshelves through a set of stairs.

On the left, one could find another room, except it had no door. Inside, there was a sofa and a bed. Toward the right, there was another room which was tightly locked. According to Jerome, the room was filled with various Taran family heirlooms and only the duke was allowed to enter it. Even Jerome himself had never entered the room before.

It was the luxury study of everyone’s dreams.

The estate in the capital had a similarly designed study, and they always bought two copies of each book. One copy would stay in Roam, while the other would be carried off to the capital. Had she known there was a study in the capital estate, she would’ve visited the place. She had spent all her days in bed and had no idea a study existed at all.

“The book I was reading yesterday… Ah, found it.”

Lucia could not work up the courage to bring the books outside the room, so she always politely read inside. She was worried she would stain the pages of the books, so she didn’t even dare drink tea.

She hadn’t received permission to enter the study. The butler had said it would be alright, so she frequented the place, but she worried a bit in case Hugo would think otherwise.

She engrossed herself in reading while enjoying the smell of old paper. She was almost done with the book. 30 minutes later she turned the last page. Lucia stared at the word ‘end’ for a while, then slowly closed the book.

‘It was pretty good. The middle felt a little slow, but it had a tranquil feeling. I should read more of this author’s works.’

Lucia returned the book to its original place and scanned the bookshelf once again. The bookshelf was neatly organized, so it was easy to find the author’s other works. Among the many titles, a particular one caught her interest. There was one single problem – the book was very high up. Stretching her hand up, she could barely reach it. It seemed that if she tiptoed, she could get to the book.

‘Just a little bit more. A little bit…’

Lucia struggled with all her strength. It was so close yet so far. While she was putting all her effort into getting the book, a shadow appeared from behind her. A long arm smoothly wrapped around her waist and she could feel someone’s strong chest against her back. She could smell the scent of a particular person, and suddenly she felt dizzy. The other arm of the person easily reached for the book Lucia was struggling to get all along.

“This one?”

Lucia was startled by the low voice that rang above her head. His low but smooth voice was breathtaking. Lucia reflexively escaped from his embrace as fast as she could. She could identify the person from scent and voice so fast that it surprised her.

‘I must have… been waiting. For this man.’

She ate and spent her days in Roam very well. It was to the point that she praised herself for her fast adaptability. Thus, she had assumed she didn’t have him in her mind. She didn’t think she missed or yearned for him at all.

But the moment Lucia saw him, her heart was singing. It was as if her heart was surging with overwhelming emotions and thumping so loudly that she worried whether he was able to hear it beating.


She received the book and took a step back. She acted as if she got burned, causing him to look at Lucia with displeasure. He had only wrapped his hand around her waist. It felt like he could still feel her soft body, so he tightly gripped his hand into a fist.

‘Is the meeting over? Maybe they are taking a short break. Should I be asking if he had a safe trip? How do I start this conversation…?’

Dozens of thoughts swam around in circles in her mind. In the end, she could not work up the courage to say anything.

“I’m sorry for greeting you so late after my return.”

When he started the conversation, Lucia felt the suffocating feeling lift from her body.

“That’s to be expected with the amount of work you have. Is the meeting… over?”

“For today it is.”

“The cas-castle is stunning. It’s so gigantic it took me more than a day to tour the whole place.”

“When you’ve lived here a while, you will realize you frequent only a few rooms necessary for daily life.”

“Ah… yes. I’m sure it’s so.”

“I heard you had trouble finishing your dinner.”

“I ate a lot. Though… of course I won’t have a huge appetite every single day of my life.”

“Today, you didn’t have much of an appetite?”

“Huh? Ah… not really…”

“Was it not delicious?”

“The chef’s skills are top-notch.”

“Is anyone being disagreeable with you?”

“Everyone is really really friendly. Everyone.”

He had asked in a slow tone, but Lucia answered with a scary fast speed. By chance, if the meal really tasted a little off or if someone happened to be unfriendly, it felt like this wasn’t the right time to become a blabbermouth. In any case, the meals were top quality and everyone in Roam was friendly.

He inched closer slowly. Lucia hesitated while taking small steps back, but soon her back hit the bookshelf behind her. He drew close to her, resting one hand on the bookshelf and trapping her from moving, as his other hand gently combed through her hair.

Her heart started thumping so wildly it hurt. The moment they had shared a month ago vividly played in her mind. His overwhelming strength and his heavy body that repeatedly entered hers; as well as the sharp pain that had caused her to break out in cold sweat. She felt like she had turned into an obscene woman, making her flustered.

“Look at me.”

Lucia carefully lifted her head, returning her attention from the intriguing floor and surroundings back to Hugo. She had to look up quite a bit to meet his gaze; he towered over her.

“Are you uncomfortable when you’re with me?”

“…I’m not uncomfortable, just a little flustered.”


“I… still feel awkward, but it doesn’t seem to be the case for Your Grace. It has been an entire month since I’ve last seen you…”

“Are you nagging me for returning a month later?”

“How can I…?”

The end of his lips stretched into a smile. His mysterious appearance caused Lucia’s heart to thump. His long finger lightly raised her chin up. He slightly bowed to meet her eyes up close. When his lips touched hers, Lucia’s heart felt like it was being squeezed tight to the point it would malfunction, so she closed her eyes.

He lightly bit her lower lip, the shock making her lips slightly open. He quickly took the opportunity to venture his own tongue into her mouth. His warm flesh smoothly brushed against her gums and tickled the roof of her mouth. The sensation of their tangling tongues made her body hum.

He supported the back of Lucia’s head with his hand and deepened their kiss. The sound of their lips and saliva smacking grew louder, making Lucia’s face flushed. Her hands, that had been wandering, had unknowingly wrapped around his neck somehow. Upon this, he firmly wrapped his arm around her hips and hugged her close against him.

After a long while, he parted his mouth from hers. Lucia took heavy gasps as if she had gone for a run. She wasn’t sure whether her body was exhausted or she was mentally drunk from the atmosphere till it made her breathless.

Half her senses were already gone off to somewhere, but when he bit onto her neck, her senses returned like a slap. When she collected herself again, one of his leg was in between hers, while their bodies were flush against each other. His arms were also firmly wrapped around her hips.

She had dropped the book long ago, letting it flop onto the floor. His scarlet eyes were a hair’s breadth away and seemed calm like usual, but at the same time, Lucia could see something burning behind them.

Suddenly, the ceiling spun. He had hoisted her up onto his arms and was briskly walking off to somewhere. He walked into the adjacent room connected to the study and laid her onto the bed. She watched him climb on top of her in a daze and belatedly realized what his true intentions were. He was going to embrace her. Right now, right here.

“Wait… wait!”

In that short moment, he had already stripped Lucia’s breasts naked. When she felt the cold air on her skin, she realized an even more terrifying fact.

‘I don’t like pain!’

She was scared. Lucia quickly crossed her arms and covered her breasts.

“Let… let’s wash first.”

Lucia blurted out a random excuse, but when she thought deeper on it, it should sound very agreeable.

“I’ve already had a bath.”

“I mean me. Me!”

“I don’t care about that.”

“I care! Your Grace… Hugh. Please…”

In the morning, she had washed only her face. It was raining and the weather was so dreary that her body felt tired as well. She was scared, but putting her fear aside, she didn’t want to roll around in bed in such a dreary state.

His eyebrows lifted as he obediently moved away from her. He even assisted her up by holding her hand. Lucia re-fastened her clothes as fast as she could and escaped out of the study as fast as a flying arrow. She’d had her neck bitten by a wolf and had barely made her escape. Hugo watched her running away like a rabbit and let out a forced laugh.

He had barely managed to restrain his surging lust. He thought of her tear-filled pumpkin colored eyes and the desires he’d managed to hold back flared up again.

Anyway, she had nowhere to escape to. She could only attempt things within Roam. She was his wife after all.


Hugo liked the word for some reason. He was even happier with the fact that this word – ‘wife’ – was attached to her.

Hugo ran his hand through his hair. He did it unconsciously whenever things didn’t go his way.

He felt chaotic. He wanted to embrace her. He wanted to thrust himself deeply into her tight body. Whenever he remembered the hot and moist feeling of being inside her, his lower half got painfully rigid. He was lusting for her. That was an undeniable fact. However, he didn’t understand the clear reason behind it.

She wasn’t a stunning beauty. She wasn’t an expert in bed either. On their first night, she had been trembling from nerves, and because of the pain, she had struggled through the whole process. Whenever he touched her body, she would flinch like something bad was going to happen. He couldn’t satisfy his desires to his heart’s content, either.

Even so, her body felt mind-numbingly good. The pressure and heat of her insides came to him in waves, and the euphoria was enough to make him lose his mind. When he saw her try to follow his actions, it had snapped his last bit of sanity.

He never let his bedtime activities affect his regular life. No matter how hot and passionate the sex, once he stepped out of bed, he was able to erase it all from his mind. But after that night, she kept appearing inside his mind and bothering him endlessly.

Her gasping moans, how she would grasp his shoulders tighter whenever he thrusted in, her tight insides, and her tear-filled eyes. His lower half throbbed whenever he looked at the teeth marks she had left on his arm.

If Hugo were to compare the satisfaction level of sex and killing, the two gave him equal amounts of pleasure. His blood thirsted for the blood of others. He couldn’t go around killing people all year round, so in his free time, he had turned to quell his body’s heat by embracing women. Therefore, when he was out killing, he didn’t need a woman’s body to satisfy himself.

This time, however, was different. Every night, he couldn’t stop the floating images of her in his mind, and his lower half throbbed like crazy. Even so, he didn’t wish to quench his sexual frustration by venting out on a random female. That was why he had canceled his tour around the northern territory and had returned home instead. The entire month, his body had felt like it was on fire.

He had to confirm whether her body was really that sweet. Maybe he was just regretting that their moment had passed too quickly. If it was the latter, all he needed to do was take care of that regret. If it was the former, it would become a huge problem for him.

No matter how much he yearned for a female’s body, his heart had never been shaken up to that degree. He didn’t like the fact that he could be shaken up by anything at all.

He got up from the bed and entered the study once more. He picked up the fallen book and went to put it back in the shelf, but paused and instead placed it on top of a table. It seemed like she wanted to read it; she would probably look for it again.

‘She is… in the study room.’

Jerome had answered in a hesitant manner. It was strictly forbidden for anyone to enter the study without permission. The study was designed as a place that could be cut off from the outside world; it was his only private space within the whole castle. From time to time, he needed a place where he could just breathe while being alone. He didn’t spend that much time in the study, but if he ever decided to go there, it meant he didn’t want to be bothered unless it was a very urgent matter.

When he’d heard that she was in the study, he hadn’t felt irritated. Rather, he had personally carried her to the bed in order to seduce her. Something he would have never imagined before getting married.

But to be precise, accepting a marriage proposal like that wasn’t his style. From that point on, things had continued to tangle in weird directions. He couldn’t decide whether he was happy or irritated, making him feel confused.

Someone knocked on the door.

“Your Grace, it’s Jerome,” Jerome politely spoke.

“Come in.”

As soon as Jerome entered, he checked His Lord Duke’s expression. He had witnessed the madam run out of the study and into her bedroom. Jerome had mentioned to her that the maids had already readied the bath for her. He noticed the madam’s face was stiff and made speculations about the situation.

Jerome had been keeping track of the madam’s every action. He wasn’t trying to surveil her; he simply wished to care for her in the best way he could provide. It didn’t seem like the madam had grown completely comfortable of the place, so he was going to keep caring for her that way for a while longer. His rank was only the head butler and he didn’t want to overstep his boundaries.

Jerome didn’t usually go out of his way to eat more than he could chew; he didn’t throw his body around wastefully for the sake of loyalty, either. He always did his job the best he could, but he never increased that effort to over 100 percent. Even so, the reason for his sudden drastic change in behavior was because he was very satisfied with the current lady of the house. He had a bloodhound’s instinct – she would not break the peace of the duke’s life.

Ever since Duke Taran took in a wife, the once dreary castle seemed to be bursting with new-found energy, and it made Jerome happy. They had hired a lot of new maids for the madam’s sake, which contributed a lot.

The castle, that was once filled with only men, was now lively with many young women. The rigid and scary faces of the subordinates had softened dramatically. Jerome had already caught many of the servants dating, but he was turning a blind eye to it.

“Your Grace. It was me who said it would be alright for Madam to enter the study. If I had overstepped my boundaries…”

“What is your opinion of the duchess as the lady of the house?”

The duke didn’t pay any mind to his apology and instead threw a random question. Even so, Jerome did not become bewildered. The duke wasn’t such a kind person as to spell out every single detail to the opposite party.

“I dare not judge Her Grace, however, everyone loves the Madam.”


The duke chuckled as if conveying, ‘Isn’t that only your opinion?’

Jerome had started confessing his faults even though he wasn’t being interrogated in the first place. He was worried whether his own mistake might carry over anger to her. It had also been Jerome to catch the Duke as soon as the meeting was over and reveal that the Madam’s appetite had not been well the whole day.

When the duke heard the news, he had felt a little worried and apologetic toward her. Thus, he had decided to push the last minute details of the meeting for later and had gone to the study to meet her.

Jerome’s competence as a butler derived from his style of nipping problems in the bud with accuracy. Thus, he felt weird. Jerome understood that a woman didn’t earn the duke’s affection just by being his lover. Rather, the duke caused never ending pain for all the noble ladies he had made ties with.

All of the duke’s exes hated Jerome without exception. One particular woman had thrown juice in Jerome’s face. Many women slandered Jerome to Hugo’s ears. Of course, the party that would be cut off was not Jerome, but the woman.


“She has more than enough dignity to fulfil a Duchess’ duties. She doesn’t abuse her subordinates. She has a clear line of what she expects and disapproves of, but she never makes trouble over nothing. But on the other hand, she doesn’t become unnecessarily friendly with the maids. There are no chances for maids to become full of themselves over favoritism.”

“Is that so…?”

That had been unexpected. It felt like she wouldn’t be able to express anything other than a warm kind heart. She was so young, yet she had such skill controlling people beneath her. If that was not the case, Jerome would not be praising her to this degree.

“What is she doing now?”

At this rate, Jerome would start singing an anthem dedicated to Her Grace. So he quickly put a stop to his words.

“She is bathing.”

Hugo’s lips curved up, very satisfied. Hugo’s reaction had been instant, different from the sluggish fake front he usually displayed toward others.

“Madam has requested for tea to be brought up to her room. I shall bring tea for the both of you.”

Jerome suggested for the both of them to share a cup of tea while enjoying a peaceful evening. But he had not accurately guessed the Lord Duke’s true intentions this time. The thing the Lord Duke wished for was not tea.

“Don’t bring it up.”

Jerome’s lips stiffened.

“Don’t bother us.”

Jerome’s stiff expression softened and bowed.

“Don’t come in to wake us up in the morning, either.”

“I will heed to your commands.”

(end of chapter)

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