‘I’m really looking forward to it. Our married life.’
‘I do believe we may become a truly harmonious couple.’
If a man knew that a woman was afraid of him, this wasn’t something that he’d say to her.
So, what kind of ‘feelings’ had he seen on her?
Grace could only stare blankly at Lucas, completely blindsided.
Then, as Lucas maintained eye contact with Grace, he smiled softly.
Grace was so surprised by this that she turned away without realizing it.
At that moment, she was so confused. Her heart was pounding so heavily, and she didn’t know whether that’s because she was frightened of him, or perhaps because of a different emotion.
The atmosphere turned strange.
“…Haa, I don’t know what in the world just happened.”
She was here to say that she would like to call off the marriage, but the other side was saying the exact opposite.
What kind of unexpected and awkward situation was this.
‘Wait a minute, then… Had I not been invited today because I had struck a nerve last time?’
A light bulb popped up in her head. She started piecing everything together.
‘What do I do. I’ve been completely presumptuous!’
Feeling lightheaded, Grace brought a hand to her forehead.
He’s already fully anticipating a married life with me, so how in the world am I going to break it to him that I want to call it all off?
Besides that, it’s not just any other man, but Duke Lucas Blacke himself…!
She was intending to tell him about the matter at dinner today, but her mind was a mess right now.
“Goodness, why exactly is he being this way.”
Grace let out a breathy sigh, then she turned towards the wide view of the red setting sun.
Strangely enough, her ears likewise turned red.
Somehow, she had a slight hunch that things would not go her way.
* * *
Jaime muttered to himself as he looked at Lucas’ black tuxedo, appalled by the sight.
“A tailcoat. Don’t tell me, you’re being serious, Your Excellency…?”
Jaime looked as though he really couldn’t believe it, and at this, Lucas put on a grim expression.
Lucas glanced down at his tuxedo, then frowned at Jaime.
Lucas asked even though he looked totally confident in his choice, and in turn, Jaime could only look at the other man with complete bafflement.
You’re serious? Our dear Master, for a normal dinner, are you actually, truly, seriously going there in a t-tailcoat?
Jaime was utterly silent, but everything he wanted to say was absolutely showing on his face right now. Seeing this, Lucas’ expression became even more grim.
“Ah, this is just…”
Because its back resembled a swallow’s tail, this suit jacket was called a tailcoat.
Fashionable gentlemen seem to prefer this style, but…
Lucas Blacke could not be considered a fashionable man.
And, really, who in the world would wear something like this for dinner? That kind of thing’s usually reserved for a year-end ball or an opera!
“You look like you have something you want to say, Jaime?”
As Jaime had quite the disrespectful attitude right now, Lucas crossed his arms, he looked Jaime dead in the eye.
It was a belligerent look that was saying, ‘What. If there’s something you want to say, then try me.’
Jaime did not hold back at all. He even went on the speak in a cheerful manner.
“Your Excellency, I’ve told you this before. Your body. It’s a God-given body that looks like God himself had sculpted it. The eminence of your physique—did I not praise it one hundred times over?”
“And so! Such an eminent physique should not be all covered up by a cumbersome and superficial tailcoat! It’s a no—a big NO!”
Jaime protested vigorously, bringing his forearms up over his chest in an X.
“Your Excellency shines just by wearing a dress shirt and pants. Just that is already the best as it is, and maybe with a tie, too—with a look like that, you might even get pardoned for slapping our Kingdom’s Prince right across the cheek! But this! This…! This swallow’s tail on your behind, never mind!”
Jaime grabbed one swallow tail with a thumb and a forefinger, shaking it like so as if he was in total disgust of it.
“But this is what’s in vogue these days.”
…Was what someone else said.
The tailor, that is.
What. Why. Why.
Rather grumpily, Lucas muttered to himself.
Am I not allowed to wear something trendy?
“Oh, why must an esteemed individual such as yourself dress according to the trends? Your Excellency’s face is the kind of face that doesn’t need to jump on the bandwagon. Why don’t you know that? If you’re so blind to that fact, c’mere. Just give me your face, why don’t you.”
“Take it from me if you can.”
“Damn it. Do you think I don’t want to! While I’m at it, let me take your height and shoulders, too.”
Jaime grumbled his way into Lucas’ walk-in closet.
Then, when he went out again, he brought with him a clean white shirt, a dark gray vest and a pair of similarly dark gray pants.
“If we just get you a fabulous necktie as the focal point, then it’ll be perfect.”
Lucas looked disapprovingly at the clothes that Jaime had chosen for him.
“That’s too normal.”
“It’s fine. Your looks are what’s not normal at all!”
‘Is that even a compliment?’
Lucas side-eyed Jaime for a moment, then he turned to the butler.
“What do you think, Gabby?”
“Whatever you wear, Milord, you’ll always be blinding.”
Gabriel replied so quickly that you’d think it was automatic.
Still holding onto his doubts, Lucas asked again, one eyebrow raised.
“Tell me the truth, Mister Butler.”
“I don’t believe that the tail of a swallow suits a black horse.”
Gabriel answered without any hesitation.
At this, Jaime raised both eyebrows as if to say, ‘Told you so!’
‘Ah, can’t I just kick this guy once with a hind leg…’
Lucas grumbled inwardly, however he accepted the clothes that Jaime handed over.
The butler came forward to help him take off the tailcoat, while Jaime went on to choose the duke’s tie for the day.
“Hmm, this looks good. It matches perfectly with Lady Grace’s eye color.”
Jaime cleverly chose a tie that was very similar to Grace’s eye color.
‘I had this?’
Lucas took the tie from Jaime in slight admiration.
He was the highest of nobles, but he preferred to put on his ties by himself.
In many ways, he felt uncomfortable whenever other people would step into his personal space.
After deftly putting on his tie, Lucas turned around to look at his reflection.
He looked much better than he was expecting.
“Well, not bad, I guess.”
Lucas put one hand in a pocket and looked at himself more in the mirror.
As he was thinking about whether he should put some cufflinks on, a maid knocked on the door.
“Your Excellency, I bring the flowers you’ve ordered to fetch from the Rosen Garden.”
There in the arms of the maid who opened the door was a large bouquet of flowers—all carefully hand-picked by Lucas earlier in the morning.
As soon as Lucas saw the bouquet, Lucas’ expressionless face became occupied by a bright smile.
And, on his cheek appeared a dimple, which otherwise remained unseen if he wasn’t smiling.
The maid blushed in an instant and her heart began to pound for no reason.
With two trembling hands, she set down the bouquet and hurriedly stepped back.
“Ah. Very weird.”
Looking at the door that the maid closed just now, Jaime muttered under his breath, at a loss.
“Handsome, but kinda menacing? It’s weird, seriously.”
“…You asked for this face just a while ago.”
“Oh! Of course, if you give it to me, I’ll be sure to use it well.”
Lucas reached forward one large hand and messed up Jaime’s hair.
At the roguish act, Jaime also dropped the prim attitude and tried to rebel to the best that he could, but it was all useless.
In the end, Lucas bullied Jaime until his well-styled hair was completely disheveled and was now pointing in the opposite direction. Satisfied, Lucas chuckled and stepped back.
Looking at the bouquet of flowers while whistling quietly, Lucas looked obviously excited.
‘What’s gotten you in such a good mood?’
Jaime stared at this unfamiliar appearance of his employer, which he was seeing for the first time. On the other hand though, Jaime thought that it’s such a good thing to see.
Duke Lucas Blacke—who’s handsome but somehow simultaneously scary, and who’s got a boat-load of money but doesn’t know how to spend it—has spring finally come to you?
Not only that, but he’s on his way to getting hitched, too.
It was a truly positive situation.
That’s true, but…
Jaime suddenly spoke up worriedly.
“By the way, Your Excellency, do you think it’ll be alright? I’m a little concerned for Lady Grace.”
“Uh, Your Excellency and Lady Grace are a bit far off in terms of physique, right? She looks so frail compared to you.”
With that said, Jaime seriously examined his boss up and down, then down and up.
The duke was nearly 190 centimeters tall, with heavy-set shoulders and strong thighs.
No matter how much you’d look at them side by side, the small and lovely Lady Grace looked so small compared to Lucas, and you’d think that she might get crushed to death by him at once.
However, Lucas reacted furiously—his thoughts had taken a different direction from Jaime’s.
“Weak, you say. Jaime, you clearly didn’t see that look in her eyes. She was a bit shy and surprised, but her eyes were filled with such tenacity.”
‘…Um, was it like that? But what kind of look would seem tenacious anyway?’
Jaime asked back with a slightly puzzled face.
“No, I mean, a strong mind and a strong body are two different things, aren’t they?”
“So it seems that you don’t know that a healthy mind leads to a healthy body.”
“…Huh? Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around? And that sounds like an Eastern proverb or something…”
“Isn’t it the same truth, whether you live here or there? The mind and the body are intrinsically connected anyway.”
You want to live a life where you just hear what you want to hear and think what you want to think. I see. Okay.
‘He’s just… making everyone who doesn’t have a betrothed miserable.’
Jaime, who had no time to date because all his time went to being an aide to Lucas, couldn’t help but feel frustrated for a moment, to the point that these words popped out of his lips.
“I’m saying this because I’m really worried—I’m worried if Her Ladyship will be able to handle you.”
“What about me can’t she handle?”
When Lucas asked innocently back again, Jaime just widened his eyes.
How could he not know when it’s his business?
Without explaining anything, Jaime just looked pointedly at Lucas, then at the household’s coat of arms behind Lucas.
“Never mind. I shouldn’t have said anything.”
“What the? Why aren’t you explaining?”
Lucas frowned, completely clueless.
If you take a close look at this guy, you’d realize that he’s also actually very tactless.
As Lucas continued to ask because he really didn’t know, Jaime’s eyes were filled with amazement.
Meanwhile, the butler standing behind Lucas was smiling as if he knew exactly what Jaime was talking about.
“Your Excellency, um, don’t you have that personal secret of yours? So what I’m saying is, don’t you have many aspects that are different from others…? Ugh, no, never mind. I shouldn’t have said anything at all.”
Aspects that are different from others…
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