Author: Bunny Editor: Bunny

Chapter 23

 

Meanwhile, the carriage arrived at the Duke’s mansion. The mansion was quiet. The lights were all out too. 

 

‘Well, everyone must be sleeping.’

 

Rubiana was relieved and got off from the carriage. 

 

“Ugh.”

 

And she immediately regretted it. Her Head Maid was standing upright holding a lamp and waiting for Rubiana. 

 

“I didn’t tell you though. How did you know?”

 

Was it you? You were the one who contacted the Head Maid? She glared at the coachman with that look. The coachman rigorously shook his head to prove his innocence. 

 

“Don’t be suspicious of the wrong person. I’ve been waiting for you to come back after seeing you go out. By the way, I think you have a guest with you.” 

 

The Head Maid saved the coachman. Rubiana looked at the coachman with a totally unexpected look for a while, then forced herself to face the Head Maid. 

 

“Oh, there is. Well, give him a place to rest and take care of him, my hus….”

 

Rubiana paused talking. Louismond had his ears perked up. 

 

‘Husband? You were about to say husband just now, right?’ 

 

He looked at her with anticipation. 

 

“He’s a precious guest, so don’t neglect him.” 

 

Rubiana effortlessly changed her words. 

 

“….”

 

Louismond couldn’t hide his disappointment. The Head Maid immediately noticed the strange atmosphere between the two. 

 

“I see. Precious guest. Just a precious guest.” 

 

The Head Maid glanced at Louismond with a meaningful look in her eyes. 

 

There have been no guests in the mansion in the past. There were even no male guests. The only person who had ever visited the mansion was Cadric, Duke Feltharg. He came on his own even if he wasn’t invited to. He would come to go to the palace with Rubiana and stood outside the door until Rubiana was finished preparing. 

 

But a guest, a very handsome male guest, came to the mansion? Rubiana said he was just a guest, but it doesn’t seem that way in the Head Maid’s eyes. 

 

“Don’t look at me with those eyes. Not yet.” Rubiana said sternly.

 

“Ah, ‘not yet’ I see.”

 

The Head Maid wasn’t even listening to her.

 

“I should have spoken.”

 

Rubiana shook her head and strode inside the mansion, leaving the Head Maid and Louismond outside. She walked very fast. 

 

Only then did Louismond realize that she had walked in consideration with him when they left the house of Count Graham. 

 

“Sir, please follow me.”

 

The Head Maid took care of Louismond with no regard for her Master who entered the mansion in a rage. Louismond quickly realized that the Head Maid was the real power inside the mansion. 

 

“Thank you.”

 

He was polite and courteous. Because he should not show any fault in front of the mansion’s real power. 

 

“You’re kind.” The Head Maid smiled and said. 

 

Louismond gulped down his dry saliva when it occurred to him that hearing the words, ‘Not too bad,’ wasn’t just an illusion. 

 

∘₊──────₊∘

 

The Head Maid led him to a thoroughly cleaned guest room. They also prepared a bath even though it was already late. She asked for understanding saying that there weren’t enough people to attend to him. 

 

“I will prepare a servant to attend to you Sir Louismond as soon as possible.” The Head Maid bowed her head and apologized. 

 

At first glance, it sounded like Louismond would be staying here for a long time. To ease her worries, Louismond told her that there was no need as he wished to wash by himself, but she said that it wasn’t necessary as she would soon hire an attendant for him. She also signaled to him that she wished for him to stay here for a long time. 

 

“I will be in your care, Mrs Lehmann.” 

 

“That’s what I should say, Sir Louismond.”

 

The two looked at each other and smiled. As soon as Louismond arrived at the Duke’s mansion, she felt reassured that there was one more person on her side. 

 

After the Head Maid gave him clothes to change and left, Louismond took off his clothes and plunged into the hot water. 

 

“Ummm.”

 

He let out a pleasant groan. 

 

“I think I can live now.”

 

He rested his arms on the bathtub and drooped his chin. Louismond lazily scooped up the hot water with his hands while thinking of Rubiana. 

 

“… I ended up coming here anyway. I am worried about something.”  

 

According to his original plan, he was going to secretly visit Rubiana in the middle of the night and preach to her about the benefits of the contractual marriage showing her his cleverness of studying in the House of the Scholars. He will pretend to be insightful as he tells her a few things that will happen in the future. 

 

However, that didn’t happen as he was under some woman and he fled to the Duke Ashillean’s mansion to take refuge. But I am a man. He was embarrassed that he only showed his weak and fragile figure to the woman he is going to marry – not to anyone else, but to the Duke Ashillean, that his reasonableness couldn’t be helped. His thoughts were divided into two, and the fight was fierce. 

 

“Oh, I don’t know. What is it?” 

 

Louismond gave up on thinking deeper and just hid in the water – with a plop. 

 

‘Am I going to die like this? Then at least I won’t be beheaded.’ 

 

Pop, pop. Bubbles came out of his mouth. 

 

‘No, even if I die now and be buried in a grave, I may be brought back later again and be beheaded even as a corpse.’ 

 

I can’t breathe. Dying without breathing under the water, I cancel that. It wasn’t something people do. Pop, pop. 

 

‘Am I going to live my ninth life? Or do I have to lie as a corpse in my tomb until it is time for my eighth beheading?’  

 

Puha– He stuck out his head from the water, exhaling in a hurried manner. 

 

“How can I die without even being able to withstand this?” 

 

He swept his wet hair clinging to his face. Phew, he let out a sigh. A large mirror hanging on the wall suddenly caught his eyes – wet face and wet body, he was even languidly leaning on the bathtub. He looked really good-looking and awesome. 

 

He stared at himself blankly. 

 

“… !”

 

He remembered why he had decided to come here today – reproductive ability! 

 

“That’s it!” 

 

This wasn’t the time to be hung like this. 

 

Louismond washed himself thoroughly and left the bathroom. His wet body trembled in the cold, but he couldn’t feel the cold. He pondered for a moment in front of the clothes the Head Maid left behind. Loose silk shirts and trousers, enough to replace a pajama. A thick gown. An idea flashed in his mind for a moment. 

 

“Ack.”

 

As soon as he thought about it, he screamed in shame and embarrassment. 

 

“Certainly, that might be the way to go.” 

 

He couldn’t bear to turn a blind eye on that thought. 

 

‘This is the only way to live.’ 

 

Louismond hardened his heart and reached out. He skipped the shirt and pants and grabbed the gown. His hand slightly trembled. 

 

‘… Come on now, let’s not pretend to be innocent. You haven’t forgotten how you survived in the first life, right? This is nothing… compared to that.’  

 

His black eyes quivered. The humiliation and misery hidden in those eyes quickly subsided. 

 

“Let’s go. I can do it. I… can do it.”

 

Louismond opened the door and peeked outside with his head. Fortunately, no one was there. 

 

[“Ah, though you didn’t ask, I will just tell you. The room at the end of this hallway is where the Duke is staying.”

 

He clearly remembered the valuable information the Head Maid gave before leaving the room. 

 

‘I have a good memory at times like this. Why did I get such a score on every test?’ 

 

Louismond ran down the dark hallway, recalling his old scars from the House of the Scholars. Trudge, trudge. His fluffy slippers walked over the thick rug. It was a light yet heavy step. This was a humiliation and obsession for his survival. 

 

∘₊──────₊∘

 

At that time, Rubiana was sitting on the bed while sipping her wine. Drinking was a habit she had developed while she was in the North. 

 

The North was a cold place. It got really cold sometimes so she doesn’t want to say it was just cold. Wearing about 20 layers of fur clothing is only reasonable, but she wouldn’t be able to move properly wearing 20 layers of fur when beasts attacked from time to time. She wore only enough to keep her from freezing while fighting, so she naturally started drinking. Alcohol is the best way to warm up. 

 

Rubiana recalled the subordinates she left in the North while she was drinking quality alcohol on a warm and fluffy bed in the capital. 

 

“I’m sure they’re all having a hard time.”

 

It’s still going to be terribly cold there, and their alcohol must be of low quality without filtering the residues. She felt good thinking about her subordinates rolling on the cold snow, fighting against the beasts, and drinking low quality alcohol. She forgot about Louismond’s very existence. 

 

Knock, knock. The sound of knocking interrupted this small but certain happiness. Wiggle. Rubiana’s eyes wriggled. She checked her sword on her bedside like a habit. The probability that an assassin would come rushing to her to kill her or shoot a poisoned dart was close to zero. I’m sure it was just the Head Maid or a maid coming in to clean an empty glass. 

 

‘This is not the North.’

 

Thinking so, she brought the sword within a reach. 

 

“Come in.”

 

As soon as she spoke, the well-oiled door silently opened and she heard the sound of the slippers. Tap, tap, tap. When the visitor revealed his face, the dark bedroom lit up. 

 

Wet, silvery hair. His skin is smooth and shiny as expected. His long and slender body is wrapped in silk… no, to say that he is thin, his shoulders are wide and his chest looks strong. His silver hair and black eyes that shine softly in the candlelight. A stunning beauty appeared before her eyes. 

 

‘Why is he here?’

 

Rubiana looked at him, lost for a moment, then came to her senses and shook her head. 

 

‘Did he take the wrong direction?’ 

 

He must have come out alone for a while but couldn’t find his room so he came here by chance. This is a great opportunity if this is the case. 

 

‘I couldn’t even properly guide the way to my guest.’  

 

A chance to scold the Head Maid. 

 

Rubiana grinned and spoke to Louismond at the thought of scolding the maid tomorrow as soon as the sun rose. 

 

“Why are you… no, are you alright?”

 

She didn’t ask him why he was here. She instead reached out to the robe she placed on the table beside the bed and handed him another layer of clothing. 

 

‘Is this right?’ 

 

After sizing him up for a while with her eyes, she was going to hand this with a feeling that she didn’t know what to do with him. 

 

“W, wait a minute.”

 

“…?”

 

Louismond’s voice was too serious. His expression was as stiff as his voice. It wasn’t a situation where he was embarrassed or shy that he took the wrong direction. It was like he was determined with something. 

 

‘Assassination? Me?’ 

 

Rubiana grabbed her sword at the bedside when she felt something strange. 

 

‘I thought he was as pathetic as a rabbit or a squirrel, but he was actually a great assassin good enough to fool me?’ 

 

It was unbelievable, but his body moved before her. However, instead of rushing to her with a dagger he had hidden somewhere, Louismond took off his robe. 

 

“…?”

 

Rubiana’s hand slipped in surprise at the naked feast in front of her. Clatter. 

 

“Today, I’m here to do what I was originally supposed to do.” 

 

“… What?”

 

What is it, boy? It’s strange; scary. 

 

 

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