Chapter 20

< — The Ducal couple — > (8)

TN: Thank you for not complaining and letting me translate at my pace. It really helps XD. Part 2 should come tmrw or next. I’m a bit tied up for tmrw but we’ll see. Also, since I don’t really split in the middle, more like ‘oh this seems like a good place to stop’, my part 2’s will generally be pretty short. Finally, there’s a poll below, please do if you can.

The first tea party was pretty small. She had invited a total of eight people, mainly wives of the duke’s vassals and elderly noble women. She followed Jerome’s advice on whom to invite and the atmosphere of the party stayed amicable.

Lucia was a bit nervous at first but after she got to her seat, she realized there was no need to be nervous. The system here was a different one from the capital’s social system where you had to be ready at any time to fight tooth and nail in such gatherings. In the north and as the Duchess of Taran, she was already in a superior position.

They were all saying pleasantries and being harmonious so there was no needless consciousness of her mood. If Lucia had used her authority and hurt any of these old lady’s pride, no matter how much they laughed in front of her, the instant they were at her back, they would heap criticisms. Lucia kept her courtesy at a level where it was not too much but neither was it too little but this was Lucia’s first time being the host for a tea party.

In her dream, Count Matin pestered her excessively to socialize but he never supported her properly. After all, once you open a tea party once, you have to keep opening one. Throwing a tea party once and then deciding to quit was not something one could do. There was also the fact that throwing tea parties regularly cost a pretty good amount of money. Count Matin was a miser who would grasp money tightly and wouldn’t let go. On that subject, her body was pretty lenient on her considering what she ate and used.

Although Lucia’s experience as a host was lacking, for many years, she had attended countless parties in her dream. Even though it was mainly from having listened to someone else’s words and then hastily putting it into action, experience was experience.

All the noble women in attendance were experienced madams. The atmosphere of the party flowed well even if Lucia did not take the lead. Or rather, the elderly noble women were easier to handle than the young maidens. There was no need for the needless exchange of nerves, prominent amongst young female nobles and everyone here was in a relationship where they would be seeing each other’s faces for a long time so there was no need to hide what they wanted to or not wanted to say.

As she listened to the conversations of the madams, there were times where she’d join in the chat or even laugh. The ones who were surprised were the noblewomen. The young Duchess was now 18 years of age but she was not nervous in the slightest. The women here had daughters or even granddaughters of the same age as the Duchess, but compared to the Duchess, their children could only be described as immature.

‘Indeed, a princess.’

‘She’s full of elegance.’

‘To think she’d be so steady.’

Lucia was merely one of the common princesses in the palace but she was of the royal household. In the northern social circles, it was a big occasion for one to go to the capital and visit the royal palace and for the nobles, the status of a princess, even if it was just one, was an existence they had to look up to.

Compared to those her age, she was unusually calm and they had all accepted her with dignity and elegance. The older they were, the more satisfied they were with the young Duchess’ serene appearance. The young Duke of Taran was a very rash, coarse and hard to approach opponent so the relatively mild Duchess was very appealing to these noble madams.

“Soon, are you going to open up a grand ball? My granddaughter told me to definitely ask you.”

“No, there is no plan for that yet. I prefer this, just accompanying the madams to talk about trivial matters. A ball is too noisy and complex.” [Lucia]

“That is a very good point. If you open up a ball, the younger ones will be the ones coming over to play.”

“I agree. Drinking until dawn and then staggering around doesn’t look so good.”

The noble madams swiftly supported that. Memories of themselves playing around in their youth seemed to have simultaneously disappeared from their minds.

“Please excuse my rudeness.”

Jerome came into the terrace as their conversation was reaching its peak. A tea party was an event for women alone, even the people serving were to be women only so it was customary for men to not interfere.

“Is something the matter, steward?” [Lucia]

“I apologize for disrupting your Grace’s enjoyment. His Grace sent a present to celebrate your Grace’s first social event. May it be brought in?”

The expressions of the madams filled with excitement at once and they exchanged glances. With her face slightly red, Lucia gave her approval and maids filed in. They all held beautiful flowers in their bosom. It was a feast of beautiful red flowers; roses, tulips, chrysanthemums, geraniums…

It was indeed an assortment of red flowers. The maids began to put them in every corner of the terrace, they put some in vases, then they started to decorate all around the table. Very quickly, the interior of the terrace was filled with sweet floral scents. At the very least thousands of the flowers were fully bloomed.

“Oh my, oh my goodness.”

“I never thought the Duke would be such a romantic person.”

No matter how old they got, women loved flowers. The madams tossed away their etiquette and cheered happily. Now that they had grown older, the fluttering heart for love that they had in their younger days had waned but upon witnessing this unexpected romance, their passion was rekindled. Having received this unexpected gift, Lucia’s heart also beat faster.

“You say His Grace sent this gift…did he have any words for me?”

The experienced steward did not panic at her question.

“He hoped that you’d take kindly to the theme for today’s present.”

Lucia’s eyes widened slightly then she gave the steward a soft smile.

“You’ve done well, Steward. I would like to give his Grace my thanks personally.”

Continuously, till the tea party ended, the noble women mentioned how envious they were of her. Surrounded by them and their words, Lucia’s face reddened till it looked like one of the flower petals. Lucia gave each one of them a bundle of flowers to take with them as they made to leave.

Even then, there were still many flowers remaining. The noble madams returned to their homes, extremely satisfied with the beautiful present that was neither overbearing nor lacking.

“You’ve worked hard, your Grace. Looking at the bright expression on the faces of the noble madams, it seems that they all enjoyed the tea party.”

“I also enjoyed myself and you too have worked hard, Jerome. But, I have something to ask.”

In that instant, Jerome’s shoulders stiffened. These days, her Grace rarely went on the offensive.

“…Yes, your Grace.”

“The flower present. His Grace did not order it, right?”


Jerome frantically exclaimed despite himself and asked her a question. As Jerome slowly turned pale from astonishment, Lucia couldn’t help but chuckle.

“At first, I had thought it was a gift from him. I would have been deceived if you hadn’t said anything after that. ‘He hopes that you’d take kindly to today’s theme’. That person is not the delicate type. How could you not know him better than I do?”

If Jerome had said that his Grace had no words for her, she would have thought that the gift was something Hugo had sent.

“Ah…that…Your Grace. W-well,’s…”

Lucia warmly comforted Jerome who was stuttering pitifully.

“It’s okay. Thank you for the present. Jerome.”

“Your Grace! It’s not like that. His Grace really wanted to send a gift but he did not know what to send. That’s why I sent flowers…”


“Yes. It’s the truth. Please trust me, your Grace.”

Lucia examined Jerome whose complexion was pale and stiff with doubtful eyes then gave a low hum. His expression looked so pitiful she decided to drop the topic here.

“I understand.”

“Your Grace, it truly is.”

“I said I understand. I will give my thanks to his Grace.”

In a different way, Jerome was now difficult to deal with. If she were to give her thanks personally to the duke and something went wrong…but at this point, she couldn’t say no. Even if he meant well, undeniably it was an act to deceive her.

“I shall be sitting here for a little while longer. The flowers smell very nice.”

“Yes, your Grace. Shall I bring you some tea?”

“I’ve already drank a lot of tea. There’s no need to.”

Jerome withdrew and Lucia sat for a while in the quiet terrace, enjoying the scent of the flowers.

Translator’s Corner.

* What do you guys like better? Butler or Steward? Let me know in this poll: .

Or you can comment. Either way is fine.

< — Ducal couple — > (8)

TN: So I tried using butler & steward. Doesn’t seem like it was jarring to me so I might go with that. That said, most of y’all seemed to like stewards like I do. Great minds think alike (jk). (〜 ̄▽ ̄)〜

During the timeframe of the tea party, Hugo was having a meeting. Hugo held regular meetings with his vassals, knights and local lords. From their point of view, holding a meeting once a month was good enough to know the state of things but all of Hugo’s other meetings were held at least once a week and then met frequently to hold meetings.

His style of meeting aimed to provide solutions to the issues that are raised during the meeting. So, when he enters a meeting, people were only able to come out after it was over and with faces full of exhaustion. There were many cases where the meeting had started in the morning and lasted till evening.

Today’s meeting took a long time too and was only done sometime after the tea party had ended. Thankfully, the time for dinner had not yet passed. The current time was a bit too early to have dinner but it was also a time without any particular purpose so Hugo asked Jerome about Lucia’s whereabouts.

“Her grace is on the terrace.”

‘Ah. The tea party.’

[Since it is her Grace’s first event, what do you think of sending a congratulatory gift?]

‘Damn,’ He lamented a little. He’d wanted to send a present but then forgot about it.

Yesterday, his mind was focused on something else, and today, he’d been in a meeting since morning and hadn’t had time to think of anything else. Well, at least today still wasn’t over. Even if it was a little late, as long as it was given today, there probably won’t be any problem.

“Is she still having a tea party at this time?”

“No, Your Grace. It’s been a while since it ended. Her Grace is just passing her time on the terrace. And…since you did not give any orders on a gift for her Grace, I used my judgement and sent flowers and decorated the terrace.”

“Hmm? Okay, you did well.”

As expected, his steward was very capable.

“You said she was on the terrace, right?”

Looking at the back of his master, Jerome couldn’t bear to tell him that her Grace was currently suspicious of whether his Grace had truly sent the gift of flowers. This incident was undeniably Jerome’s fault. It was the first time in his life as a butler to hide his mistake from his master.

Ignoring Jerome who was busy drowning in his sense of shame, Hugo took light steps towards the terrace. As the day drew to a close, the red glow of the sun was cast on the terrace and the moment Hugo reached the terrace, he stopped walking.

Lucia was sitting down with her eyes closed, supporting her chin with her hand on the table. It was as though terrace was enveloped in a blanket of silence, it was not a heavy silence but a serene and calm one.

‘What is she thinking of?’

He didn’t want to disrupt her contemplation but he was also curious as to what she was thinking about and was tempted to immediately bring her back to reality. Looking at her peaceful face, his heart couldn’t help but grow calmer. She looked so comfortable and at ease that it took his breath away.

Hugo slowly closed his eyes then reopened it. Sometimes, when he looked at her, he felt strange. He felt as though there was something pressing down on his chest and his eyes couldn’t quite make out what was in front of him, like something unknown was gnawing at him from the inside.

It was not a pleasant feeling but this feeling did not make him unpleased or uncomfortable. In his life which had always been clear and precise, she was a puzzle piece that he’d been unable to find a place for.

Suddenly, her eyes flew open. When she discovered his presence, she gave a smile as radiant as sunshine. Hugo momentarily furrowed his brow. He felt as though his heart was being pricked with a needle, and felt a twinge of pain. These days, he kept having abnormal symptoms in his body. So far, he’d never fallen ill and as for wounds, his body recovered remarkably fast so he never needed doctor and had lived without one.

‘…Do I need to ask them to call in that old man?’

What was he thinking? Philip’s face was one face he didn’t wish to see even in his dreams. Lucia quickly got up and ran towards him. The very enjoyable tea party, the fragrant scent of the flowers and the sad but beautiful glow made by the slowly setting sun, all of it had slowly elevated her mood. She had been enjoying the quiet peace on the terrace and just when that happy feeling had reached its peak, he arrived.

Lucia expressed her currently bubbling emotions by running into his arms.


As she had suddenly ran into him, he was stunned for a moment. He held her waist firmly with his arms as she rubbed her head on his chest and relaxed into his arms. He responded by embracing her soft bosom to his body then he lowered his head and kissed the top of her head. She was doing cute things she’d never done before. If this was what she had learned at the tea party today then he didn’t mind opening one every day.

He smiled tenderly, lightly grabbed her chin and gave her a soft kiss.

“Was the tea party fun?”

“Yes, thank you for the present.”

His gaze immediately took notice of the terrace which was covered in flowers. It would seem that the gift that Jerome had sent on his behalf had made her very happy, and with that, he was satisfied.

‘Just why do women love flowers? They can’t even eat it.’ He couldn’t understand it but in the first place, he could never understand the existences called women anyways. His sight moved towards the bright and blossoming red flowers that seemed eager to show off their beauty, and his gaze landed on the rose flowers.

His eyes slightly stiffened.

[Please send me a rose flower.]

Suddenly, the words she had said came to mind. He then felt an ominous foreboding.

‘When did she say that?’

In his extraordinary memory which could remember everything from the day he could walk, an error seemed to have occurred. As his heart grew restless and desperate, his memory became more disordered. He struggled to remember the memory of something that had happened just a few months ago.

‘Right. The contract…the condition she gave me the day we made a contract.’

[If you believe that I am unable to control my heart, please send me a rose flower].

‘This… Damn it.’

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