Chapter 4

Chapter 4 (Shall We Marry?)

translated by iseuli

edited by: lili

Please do not take out the translations. I choose not to accept donations or profit for a reason. Thank you for your understanding.

The single reason he required a wife-in-name was because he had a love child (child born out of wedlock). It was common to find illegitimate children among nobles, but the Duke wanted this love child to succeed him.

Xenon was a lenient country toward illegitimate children. As long as the love child was registered into the family registry, no unfair rules could be counted against them. However, in order to register the child, both parents had to agree. According to Lucia’s memory, the Duke would not have another child with the wife-in-name. It had been unknown whether they could not make children or they had agreed not to have children, but it was most probably the latter.

“I have not planted any spies within Your Grace’s faction of people.”

To the Duke, her words were laughable. A spy? A mere 16th princess? If such a thing was true, the people in charge of security would need to pay with their lives first thing in the morning.

“Even if you had planted a spy, it doesn’t matter. You may continue.”

She was feeling uneasy because she believed he would press her for an explanation for all the wealth of information she had on him. However, his answers were surprisingly calm. Actually, he seemed amused at the moment. She looked at him with strange eyes; he was acting so differently than the last time she had seen him. He was surprisingly very patient and mild tempered. It was true that one could never judge a person’s character by meeting them only once. A small hope had sparked in her; maybe she would be able to get her message across to him.

“Ah… yes. Like I was saying… If you wish to let your child succeed you, Your Grace will have to marry.”

“Thus. Princess, are you implying I should marry you?”


He laughed under his breath.

“It’s not a secret I have a love child. It’s an easily accessible information that could be found with little effort. Unless you’re trying to keep that fact a secret?”

“No! I’m not trying to threaten Your Grace. I don’t dare to have such thoughts. As I have told you, I’m here to propose a contract. I want to show you the benefits you can obtain by marrying me.”

He blankly gazed at Lucia and opened his lips.

“What is it? The benefits will I gain by marrying you, Princess?”

His tone was dry and business-like.

“I have no relatives. There will be no need for Your Grace to concern yourself with these things. My status in the royal family is very low as the 16th princess, so you will not have to burden yourself with an expensive dowry. But since I am a princess, I think it will be more outwardly appealing than a no-name noble from somewhere. Although I assume Your Grace does not care about such small matters. I will never interfere with your private life. You can play to your heart’s content, no, you may live your life the same way you have been living all this time. If you wish, we may even set up a time for a divorce somewhere in the future.”

He was listening quietly, but his expression was strange.

“Oh, lastly. I will not become a hindrance to Your Grace’s child. You see, I am unable to get pregnant.”

He let out a long sigh. He had to keep his mouth shut tight because he was feeling very uncomfortable at the moment. At present, this expression was the most she had witnessed the Duke display.

“What in the world?”

His expression turned frosty once more.

“Princess, I wish I could go into that brain of yours to see what’s inside. Really… no, just get lost. Do you really believe these are benefits to me?”


“Let’s discuss this one by one. Princess, you will become the Duke of Taran’s wife. My power isn’t so weak to be easily suppressed by some mere nobles. There is a branch in the government that deals with direct families versus relatives related by marriage, so there is no need for me to stress myself over such things. It would be a different story if they decided to commit treason. Even if that was the case, it’s no hard matter settling such an event. As for dowry… I’ve told you already, but the Taran Dukedom is not poor. There’s no reason for us to cut corners for some dowry. Things like appealing to other nobles, I have no need to stress myself over it. In the Taran family tradition, we don’t believe in such things as divorce. If you wish to separate yourself from the Taran family, you will only be able to do it after death. No, you probably won’t be able to even after your death. Anyway, that is the case. As for my private matters…”

He furrowed his eyebrows like he was suffering a headache.

“I can generally guess with what meaning you’ve proposed such a thing. However, are you telling me after I marry I should continue to play around with this woman and that woman, stamping my reputation to the dirt?”


Lucia’s mind blanked out into pure white.

“B…but from what I heard last time…”

“I’m not married at the moment. Nobody cares what an unmarried man does with however many women.” His words were considerably reasonable.

“It was immature to think you’ve got a grasp on someone for such simple reasons.” Although he wasn’t trying to be sarcastic, his words sparked a chord of anger at Lucia’s heart.

“Then, Your Grace, have you made a resolution that you will be faithful to only one woman after your marriage for the rest of your life?”

He could not answer for a moment. Of course that would not be the case. He would not make such a preposterous resolution. Wouldn’t it be fine to play around every now and then? However, he could not understand why he was trying to justify himself at the moment.

“That is not something you should concern yourself with, Princess.”

“Yes, of course not. But still, you don’t deny my words.”

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s the case or not. That’s not something a princess should concern herself with.”

“Of course it’s not. Did I ever complain about it?”

A silence suddenly fell upon the quarreling duo. Lucia took hold of her senses that had flown off very far away, and shut her mouth politely. She had said some pointless things. Lucia, who had been worked up just a while ago, turned sullen. If there was nothing he could gain from this marriage, then there would be no reason to settle this contract.

“Then… How about the problem concerning your child succeeding you? Is there no benefit that I’m unable to get pregnant?” Wasn’t it a grave problem that a woman couldn’t bear children? He fell into confusion at her tone; it seemed like she was asking which dress color looked better at a dress shop.

“It’s true that I wish this child to succeed me. It will become a slight pain if my wife were to bear a son, but…. I don’t owe you any explanations regarding this point. Anyway, there is nothing to be gained regarding this problem. Also, is there a way you can prove that you cannot bear a child?”


Even if she were to get a diagnosis from a doctor, they would not be able to give a 100 percent confirmation. If she were to get pregnant, that doctor would have given a false diagnosis and he would need to pay for it with his life.

“If you cannot prove it, then you cannot list it as one of the benefits.”


Lucia let out a heavy sigh. Everything she had prepared had been used up. Then in her dream, for what reason had he married that woman? There must have been a certain condition that they had agreed on. Could it be possible that the rumors of a contract marriage had all been a sham and they had both been madly in love with each other? Lucia, who had fallen into despair, suddenly thought of one thing and lifted her head.

“Then. How about this? I will not fall in love with Your Grace.”


“I will make sure to never love you. I keep my heart to myself.”

He suddenly burst out in roaring laughter. Lucia looked toward him with an empty gaze. It was the first time she had seen him laughing out loud. So he was a human being who could laugh like this as well. She thought how foolish she was to think that he would have never laughed before.

“From all the benefits, I like this one the most.”

How amusing. This woman was truly amusing.

“Fine. Let us consider that your merit. Then, Princess, you’re fine with me playing around with women, and it’s also alright to settle this marriage with a divorce. But Princess, what do you get out of this?”

“I’m fine… with just obtaining the title of the Duke’s wife.”

“I will not allow a life of luxury just because of that. Also, I will not allow you to use the Dukedom’s name in order to settle your petty personal power struggles.”

“I don’t wish for any such things. It’s just… I have already told you I am the 16th princess. His Majesty does not even know of my existence as he lives his life.”

He did not try to comfort her with words like ‘that’s not true’. Instead, a smile spread upon his lips.

“A princess must be prepared to be sold at a moment’s notice for the Kingdom’s sake. When a suitable dowry is offered, the kingdom will not bat an eye to sell me off to any place under the Heavens. It won’t matter how old he is or how many times he had married; it won’t matter how bad his reputation is. Your Grace, at least you are young and unmarried. Before the Kingdom sells me off… I wanted to sell myself. Then at least I would have chosen the position for myself. No matter what happens to me, I won’t feel victimized.”

Her eyes seemed like they were crying so sadly. He was not someone to easily empathize with others. He wouldn’t concern himself over others regardless of their situation. Her proposal didn’t have a plan or foundation of any sort; he didn’t have an ounce of trust in it. Even so, this was the first time since he was born that he had felt so amused.

“Then it’s time I have to leave. I’ve been under your care, I apologize for all my rudeness. Please forgive me.”

Lucia stood up and bowed her head. Once she lifted her head, her expression looked refreshed. She had done her best to fight against her own fate. Whether everything sailed smoothly was up to the heavens now. She had done all she could.

“I will think about it.”

Lucia’s eyes opened wide.

“I cannot give you my definite answer yet. As you’ve put it, Princess, this is a contract that can change a life.”


It was hard to believe. It felt like a dream.

“I only agreed to think about it. I haven’t agreed to do it yet.”

“Ah… I understand.”

“Your expression looked like you were proud to accomplish something great, so I was just confirming your understanding.”

Lucia frowned slightly and pouted her lips. Was he teasing her? Anger started rising inside her chest out of nowhere. Other than his outer appearance, there wasn’t a single thing about him that she liked.

“Then, first…”

When he stood up and reached his hands toward her, Lucia stood dazed without any reaction. He grasped her chin with his big hand and mashed his lips against hers. Up until that point, Lucia had no idea what was going on. A hot piece of flesh invaded her lips and touched the deeper parts of her mouth. She tightly closed her eyes. Her hands were gripped into a tight fist to the point that they were shaking.

The sudden deep kiss didn’t last long. His tongue lightly grazed inside her mouth before he parted from her trembling lips. Upon seeing her flushed red face, he laughed.

“I was just confirming.”


“At least we should not feel any rejection toward physical contact as a married couple. Thankfully, that’s not the case for us.”

“Oh… I see…”

“Please wait a moment. I shall prepare a carriage to escort you back to the royal palace gates.”

He turned around and left, while Lucia plopped down onto the sofa. She massaged her burning cheeks with her hands. As a married couple, of course there would be times when such moments would be required. The physical contact from a moment ago was something so matter-of-factly. However, Lucia held both her hands into fists and began hitting herself.

“You idiot. You’re really a hopeless idiot.”

It really was unbelievable, but Lucia had thought nothing further than the word ‘marriage’. She really had no further thoughts on the status of a husband and wife. ‘Even married, he will have a lover of his own,’ she had assumed. She couldn’t see it any other way. She didn’t think that she would have to sleep on the same bed as him at all.

“… I won’t be able to get advice on this from anyone.”

She fumbled around thinking of her humiliating immature senselessness.


For a change, a problem had arisen that required some thinking for him.


He was currently 23. He was already at his optimal age for marriage. Even so, he didn’t have any thoughts of getting married. Aside from marriage, he already had more than enough problems to settle. He didn’t want to waste his time on such an annoying thing like a wife. In the first place, he didn’t want to deal with a wedding. He was never in short supply of women.

But if he wanted to let his son succeed him, he had to get married. The only people who could inherit his position were those, who were in his family registry. It didn’t matter whether the Duke would be separated by death or divorced, he had to get married to officially adopt his son into the family registry. According to Xenon’s law, single men were not allowed to adopt children or officially admit them into the family registry.

The brat was still young. Such a thing like a wedding was not urgent. But someday, he would need to go through it. He would need to find an understanding woman who would agree to let the brat register into the family. With that point in mind, the princess that had come searching for him was quite appealing.

“Freedom in my own private life, you say? That is a nice addition.”

He burst out laughing. He had shown the princess a cold reaction, but these factors were all very appealing. He had teased her with a kiss and he laughed once more thinking of her flushed face. She was indeed cute. It was a refreshing change of pace.

However, there were too many doubtful aspects. He had to confirm whether she was truly a princess. He had to figure out who the real mastermind was. What was her goal with this proposal? He had assumed everything she had said today was a lie.

He assumed the worst of situations when he felt any ounce of suspicion. It was his motto in life.

“Your Grace, this is Jerome.”

As soon as he replied, ‘come in,’ his faithful butler walked in.

“I’m at a loss for words, Your Grace. I will make sure an event like today’s will never happen again in the future.”

“It’s not your fault. Even so, you can’t hawk over Roy every second of your life.”

“I will do so from now on.”

Jerome never expected he would cause such a huge accident in the short amount of time he was gone. How could he leave His Grace alone with another person of mysterious background?! Jerome was cautious not to cause any trouble for His Grace, while carefully treading on thin ice in the capital. At the moment, it felt like someone had whacked him in the back of his head very hard; an uncontrollable amount of anger was rising inside his chest. Jerome gritted his teeth while flaring all his anger toward Roy.

“Order Fabian to report to me as soon as he arrives.”

“Yes, Your Grace.”

Hugo decided he would dig up everything he could about this princess.


Late into the night, Jerome greeted Fabian, who arrived in the Duke’s mansion. Fabian was the Duke of Taran’s personal aide. Fabian tried his best to avoid work outside his regular hours no matter how busy things got. If it wasn’t such an urgent business, he would not have made the trip there this late into the night.

“What happened?”

Fabian patted his brother’s, Jerome’s shoulder, whose face looked as stiff as a rock. They were twins born from the same mother on the same day, but they looked nothing alike, other than their midnight blue eyes. Those who find out were all shocked by the fact.

“It’s not such a serious case, so relax a bit. It’s just that His Grace has been greatly curious on this topic for a while now. Tomorrow is my day off, so I decided to drop by tonight. Is he still awake?”

“He’s not in.”

“What’s this? Did he leave for a night trip? Now that I’m here, everyone’s already gone. Of course that would be the case for me. There’s no helping it. Ah, please don’t tell His Grace that I’ve dropped by. Tomorrow is my day off, so I don’t want him to call me over.”

Fabian was an earnest subordinate, but he was always half a step short due to his laziness. Jerome clicked his tongue, but he didn’t rebut him as he had trust in Fabian. If his job was urgent, he would’ve made sure to finish it as soon as possible. Fabian turned around to leave but suddenly stopped.

“Where did he go?”

Jerome hesitated for a moment.

“Countess Falcon place.”

“Falcon… Falcon… Who was…what? He still goes to visit her?”

“Lower your voice. Everyone is sleeping.”

“That’s not the problem! What are you doing?”

“…What should I be doing? I don’t have any qualifications to care who he sleeps with.”

“Why shouldn’t you care? Three of her husbands died! She’s most definitely a cursed woman!”

“…Are you a kid? A curse? Is there such a thing?”

“How are things going with Baron Lawrence’s daughter?”

“I’ve already sent her the roses according to His Grace’s wishes.”

“Why didn’t you tell me anything? If I knew ahead of time…”

“What could you have done? Were you planning to let women into his bedroom? Don’t overstep your boundaries, you’ll lose your life. Do you know how many necks you have on you?”

“Ah, seriously.”

Fabian’s whole body shook with frustration as he furiously scratched his head.

“Why do you get so sensitive whenever you hear that woman’s name?”

“I already told you. That woman is a witch. There shouldn’t be such an unlucky woman sticking so close to His Grace. He has maintained a relationship with that woman for over a year already. He has never acted this way with any of his other women. There’s no mistake about it. His Grace has already fallen for her!”

“…I guarantee if you say such words in front of His Grace, you will lose your life.”

“I know! That’s why I’ve been quiet all this time!”

The direction of this guy’s loyalty had strayed off to a sour direction, Jerome thought. Although Jerome didn’t loathe the situation as much as Fabian, he didn’t feel very comfortable about that relationship, either. All of her husbands had died a year following their marriage due to unknown causes. They were perfectly healthy yet suddenly an accident would fall upon them. Thus, everyone in high society believed that she was cursed.

Also, the relationship between Countess Falcon and The Duke was different from the others. He would maintain sexual relations with Countess Falcon even while dating other women. He didn’t send her expensive gifts like he usually did. Even so, their ties remained strong. Now, it had been over a year.

Three months ago, he had broken up with Baron Lawrence’s daughter. So now, Countess Falcon was his sole bedside partner. If Fabian knew of this fact, he would be jumping around even more enraged than now, so Jerome kept it to himself.

“I’m going.”

“What are you going to do?”

Jerome took hold of Fabian. He had a bad feeling Fabian wouldn’t be quietly going home.

“I’m going to report my findings to the Duke.”

He wanted to force himself between the two no matter what. He received orders to do a background search on a princess a month ago. He didn’t understand why the Duke required such extensive research on this princess, but in any case, she was a girl. He planned to use his report to resist the witch.

The Duke hadn’t relayed any particular words to him while giving out the job, but he had asked about the progress two times already. It meant he was very interested in the report.

“You stay here. I’ll be back.”

“…You will go?”

“I will go and tell him that you have something important to report to him. If he is willing to return home, I will bring him here. If he wants to listen to it later, you go home quietly. How does that sound?”

“…Fine. Tell him it’s the report that he has pressed me about many times already.”

“I got it.”

Nine cases out of ten, he would decide to return home. If the Duke decided to listen to the report later, he would put some serious thought into the current situation. But those odds were slim. As Fabian stated, they had maintained a relationship for a long time. Before the Countess, there were no other cases like hers. But just for this small reason, he didn’t believe the Duke loved her in any way.

The Duke was a cold and heartless person. There had to be a reason why the Duke went to find the Countess, but that reason would not be an emotional one. That was why Jerome didn’t worry for the Duke like Fabian did.


On top of a wide bed, a man was slightly sitting up with a big cushion to his back, while he was reading some documents. On top of the man, a nude woman held his wide chest while she moved her hips.

“Ha…eung…ah… How is it?”

She seductively moaned while moving her hips and taking in his hard penis, but the man’s face, who was looking over some documents, remained unchanged.


“Un…yes. You’re…too much. It took me…two months…to make it…”

Anita scowled at the man’s calm assessment, but he had not said it was ‘trash’, so it could be considered a compliment. Anita’s head jerked back as she continued to move her hips up and down. Whenever his hard length dug into her deepest parts, she let out a sharp yelp.

“How…is it?”

“It’s useful.”

“I’m…talking about that.”

He threw the documents to the floor and laughed. He squeezed her buttocks with his huge hands making her insides squeeze his length.

“This is useful too.”

“Yes…ah…. You’re…too stingy with your scores. Don’t…think that I never judge you either…”

“How is my score?”

“You’re…useful. Too.”


He smirked and took hold of her hips as he got up. The woman laid on the bed while he rode on top of her. He began thrusting his hips into her with great strength. As their flesh smashed together, loud slapping sounds filled the room while the woman screamed.

“Huuk! Aah! Aak!!”

The smooth female body clung onto him. He didn’t let the screaming female rest as he continued to thrust nonstop. He didn’t stop until the woman said she felt like dying. It was always the female who would raise the white flag to concede her loss.

The smouldering air remained hot around the whole bedroom. Anita giggled, snuggling into his wide chest with a satisfied smile.

She could feel the battle scars under those firm muscles of his. His appearance was hypnotizing; his experienced kisses and fondling technique made her burn with heat. He could easily last the whole night with his insanely strong endurance. There wasn’t a single flaw about him. She had met many men, but he stood out from the rest.

At first, she had been charmed by his background. He was the ruler of the North, the Duke of Taran. When would she ever get the chance to sleep with such a man? She had thought that way at first, but his identity was no longer important now. She was rather very frustrated by his high status in society.

Anita already knew he had ended his relationship with Sofia. When she bumped into Sofia at the Victory Ball, Sofia had glared at her like she was her mortal enemy, and she guessed the situation. Anita felt no enmity toward Sofia. Ironically, she felt pity that Sofia had turned into one of his past females. Anita anticipated that maybe Sofia would be able to gain his heart. Anita’s mind was split in two – she wished that he would fall in love with another female, but at the same time, she didn’t want it to happen.

The Duke of Taran wasn’t a famous playboy among high society. Unexpectedly, people did not know of his harem of females. He almost never maintained a relationship with those holding power. Sofia had been a rare case, where they had met through friends.

Sofia was a well-known woman, but she did not hold much power. The Baron of Lawrence did not have a strong family background, either. In other words, she was someone he could play around with and throw away whenever he wanted. Anita understood he always calculated to this extent.

Those, who had shared a sexual relationship with the Duke, never ended up in a happy marriage. Anita could understand the reason now. He was very good at sex. He could send a woman to heaven many times over on the same night. After having a taste of it once, no other man would be able to satisfy them.

Most would approach him being charmed by his power and high status, but as time passed, they would all fall for the man as a whole. Thus, women would continue to cling and obsess over him. In the end though, they would all be trashed.

He was like an icy cold fire. He may give a woman his body, but he would not give her even a little shard of his heart. When had it started? In the beginning, Anita had intended to enjoy the bodily pleasures, by the time she realized, she had already given him her heart. But as soon as she revealed her heart, he would throw her away like all the other women before her.

Therefore, Anita never revealed her own heart. She behaved like she needed him for material needs; it would remain as a give and take relationship. She never asked when she could see him again. She never contacted him first. That was how she could last over a year.

“You’ll sign a contract with me, right?”

Anita ran a merchant group. From time to time, he would tip her off and she would have fun investing here and there. Now, her merchant group had grown to a bigger scale and she had drawn up a contract, so he could become one of the investors. She behaved as if she needed him for her merchant group. In reality, she did have thoughts of profiting through him.

“I will review it.”

“What is this? I revealed all the core secrets of my merchant group! Must I offer more good will than this?” Anita slid her hands down his chest and rubbed his hips. She smoothly moved her hands toward his center and took hold of it.

“Aren’t I the one showing good will?”

“Oh my. How could you be so confident?”

Due to Anita stimulating him, his manhood began to stiffen once more. She brought herself to his chest and sucked his nipples. She licked around the nipples as she massaged his hard length.

“Can you insert it back there?”

When he raised his body, Anita hurriedly raised her butt. His hand pressed against her back as he drove deeply into her.

“Haa…. Ung…”

He entered and pulled out vigorously, while she licked her own lips imagining what was to come. Right then, someone knocked on the bedroom door.

“Madam, I have an urgent message for you.”

The voice from behind the door trembled. Anita gritted her teeth. Who dared to interrupt her precious time together with him? She had to whip her and chase her out first thing in the morning.

“I’ve informed you not to interrupt our time! Be gone!”

“The guest is looking for His Grace. He has requested an audience for some urgent business.”

A guest of the Duke? Anita looked at him with shocked eyes. She hoped he would reject this person, but after a brief moment of thought, he slid out of her. Anita yelped shortly from the momentary stimulation.


Anita hid her disappointment and looked outside.

“Show him in.”

A moment later, a man opened the door and entered. The woman was dressed in a see-through gown, her chest in plain view as she lay in bed. Behind her, the Duke sat with his chest exposed. Jerome observed all this with a bored expression without blinking an eye, then bowed his head.

“Your Grace, I apologize for interrupting your time off.”

“What is it?”

“Fabian is waiting for you in the mansion with the report that Your Grace has requested. I am here to ask Your Grace’s opinion on the job you have inquired after many times before.”

“I understand. I’ll leave, so wait for me.”

Jerome left and Hugo got up from bed, while Anita’s face paled.


“Where are my clothes?”

Her heart felt like it was being torn. She wanted to hold him back. She wanted to ask him to stay. Would the sky fall if he listened to the report tomorrow? He did not hesitate to return to work one bit. But she could not hold him back. If she clung onto him, he would push her away. Then, he would never come here again. He had frequented her home many times and her heart had unknowingly grown confident.

She wanted this man. She wanted this man so bad. Although it was her own wishful thinking, it felt like all her blood was drying up inside her.

“Are you still leaving when our bodies are aroused to this state?”

She smothered her large breasts onto him. His eyes did not shake upon her coquettishly seductive technique. He wore a light smile and lightly kissed her lips.

“Order them to bring me my clothes.”

Anita pouted her red lips. Still, she ordered her maids to bring his clothes, that had been neatly stored away. Anita personally assisted him while he dressed. She purposely touched him in certain places while fondling others.

“That’s enough.”

Upon his words, Anita recoiled in fright. He was looking down at her with such icy cold eyes. Usually, when Anita seduced other men that way, they would hastily undress and throw themselves on her. How could he cool down his body so fast? It seemed like his passion from before was a lie. Anita bit her lips with a bitter heart. She didn’t want the man to leave her life forever.

“You’re all done.”

Anita took two steps back and appreciated his appearance with a happy heart. His tall stature and proportionate body were accentuated by his clothes. Anita loved his body equally to his face. Just watching him made her feel delighted.

“I won’t be home for the next 10 days.”

Anita said with a conceited tone. If one were to try and tie such a man down, he would escape faster. Sometimes, one had to put some distance like this. Her response was a petty revenge for the man who left her with a cold shoulder. But she quickly regretted her petty behavior. He laughed quietly like he could see right through her.

Anita followed him out to her bedroom door. She never followed him out of her estate. When he came to visit her, she never met him by the door. It might have just been an action to protect her own pride.

After a while of standing in the darkness, Anita slowly made her way out to her balcony. His carriage was already a distance away. Even after the carriage had long disappeared, she stood motionlessly gazing in the distance.


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