Translator: Latte Editor: Sasha
Brien was sitting on a bench and chatting with Marie.
He was glad that Marie had brought up the topic of marriage first.
While chatting, Brien told Marie about something he had been thinking for a while.
It was about Caville.
“I am worried about the duke. The cold look reflected on his face gives me shudders. He is far too emotionless. I don’t think young people should be like that… When I was his age, it was the best time of my life. He should be at the age where he can act immature and experience love.”
“Ah, and have you heard the story of Princess Larissa of the Dayev Empire? She seems to be interested in the duke. The emperor was also thinking of pairing them up. It would be nice if she could melt the duke’s heart.”
Marie doubted her hearing.
“What? I beg your pardon?”
Brien was confused at her reaction.
“The duke is already married. What are you saying? He already has a wife!”
“I mean, they act like a brother and sister anyway. I know that the duchess has raised him since he was a child, but…”
“But the two of them are married!”
“I mean yes, but… doesn’t the duchess have a lover as well?”
Marie couldn’t believe the words that came out of his mouth.
Marriages between nobles were usually done out of convenience, so it wasn’t a surprise if they had a lover or two.
Before Brien left, Elody was already popular with knights. There were quite a lot of apprentices that liked her as well…
‘Did she really not meet anyone else?’
There was even a divorce system in the empire.
Brien predicted that if the two grew up, of course, they would divorce and live like siblings. This was because they had been married since childhood.
“Sir Vedos, I didn’t know you were so unfaithful.”
“The madame… the madame is!”
Marie began to cry.
“Ugh! The poor madame is…”
She sobbed into her hands, and the tears dripped between her fingers.
“Marie, I was wrong. So stop crying, yeah? Please.”
“Shut up! How dare you think that way about the madame?! I care about her more than you think!” She choked out her words in between sniffles from crying, “I feel like a fool! I don’t know why I’ve been waiting for you these past seven years! I will never marry you!” Marie shouted.
She looked around her surroundings, looking for a weapon. But when she couldn’t find anything, she stared at him with a hellishly mean glare on her face.
Her eyes were washed with tears of anger, but Brien was still confused, unable to comprehend what was making her so mad.
As Marie was unable to find a weapon, she instantly balled her hands into fists and struck it right to his face.
Her fist hit him with such force that blood pooled from his nose.
She was finally satisfied.
‘The madame is suffering from a deadly disease…’
Of course, she knew that the duke had also suffered on the battlefield.
However, the madame had raised the duke with so much love. She managed the estate alone while waiting faithfully for her husband to return.
The duchy had grown so much now, and it was all because of her.
Marie thought that the duke should take care of her until her death and that she deserved another life, even after she died.
Brien tried to follow Marie, but she had already disappeared.
Then, he ran into Elody and Caville.
And that was what happened…
“…I keep getting nosebleeds.”
Elody suspiciously looked at Brien as he laughed it off awkwardly.
“My wife, let us leave him alone and proceed on our stroll. I’m curious about the greenhouse.” Caville urged.
“Alright… Sir Vedos, keep up the good work. Ah, and you don’t have to return the handkerchief.”
“Thank you, madame.”
Elody glanced at Brien, then took Caville’s hand and headed for the greenhouse.
Caville turned his head and glared at Brien for a while longer.
Brien was shocked.
There was no softness in that gaze. It was a look that conveyed a bubbling hatred ever ready to erupt.
‘Was that really the duke?’ He thought.
He was not the Caville that Brien knew.
That person was cold, emotionless, and heartless.
The Caville he knew was different.
No matter how much he grumbled and complained by his side, he had never glared at him that way.
In all the time Caville had spent growing up on the battlefield, he didn’t bother befriending anyone.
He was always alone.
It might be because of Ifrit, who was always with him, but others blamed it on his cold personality.
But Brien didn’t want to distance himself from him.
‘And what? Leave him alone?’
He had been with him since he was a kid and watched him grow up.
‘Besides, why was he pretending to be so gentle in front of his wife?’
Brien was dumbfounded.
‘In the end, is his wife the only one he thinks he has?’
Brien recalled his memory of them hugging yesterday.
He thought the hug was nothing more than a brotherly hug. A hug he gave to his sister, whom he hadn’t seen for a long time…
‘Well, the hug was a bit tight.’
Brien scratched his head and looked down at the handkerchief Elody had handed to him.
A feeling of guilt came over him.
* * *
“Wow… it’s beautiful. It’s bigger now.”
Elody smiled proudly as he looked at the greenhouse in admiration.
Honestly, the greenhouse was one of the reasons why she didn’t want to leave the mansion after the divorce.
Her touch was all over the greenhouse.
Of course, it cost a lot of money… But the main reason was because of all the memories she had with Caville.
Elody slipped her hand off his hold.
Caville’s gaze went to Elody’s hand that had escaped his grasp.
“I’ll be your tour guide. First, this is for researching and planting new seeds. It’s still a long time before we can harvest them.”
Excited, Elody began to explain what each section was.
“And this is a place where only rare herbs in the mountains are grown. The temperature and climate are controlled by magic.”
“What is this?”
Caville asked, pointing at something he thought was strange.
The area Caville pointed to was where the Salvation Herbs were planted. Elody was visibly embarrassed.
“Can we eat those?”
“Ah, no! Not yet… It’s a medicinal herb that’s still being studied.”
‘Come to think of it. It’s almost time for my daily dose of medicine…’
She was annoyed by the thought of her vomiting blood.
Every time she vomited blood, her symptoms were relieved, but vomiting still felt uncomfortable.
And the most annoying part was washing her handkerchief.
‘I can’t ask the maids…’
“Oh! Caville, come over here!” Elody beckoned.
The place where she took Caville was a large ginseng field. Red ginseng ingredients that made it possible for her to earn a lot of money!
“Do you remember the red pills that I sent? This is the ingredient.”
“What do you mean?”
“The red pills that I sent you. Have you not tried it?”
“What’s a red pill?”
Elody and Caville looked at each other with puzzled looks.
“The medicine I sent with my letters…”
Caville’s expression hardened at Elody’s words.
“…There was no letter. Apart from this, I have never received any of my wife’s letters…” Caville said, pulling out the old paper from inside his arms. It was a letter from Elody when the two broke up.
“You held on to this?”
The letter was wrinkled and worn. He had read it so many times that the words had faded.
Caville thought of it as his most precious treasure.
‘Did he held it close to him all this time?’
Elody turned her head away. Afraid her tears were going to betray her.
“More than that… You’ve never received any of my letters? Is that why there was no reply?”
“I thought it was because of the war, so it was difficult to reply due to security issues…”
Caville was silent.
He thought his wife had forgotten him and didn’t send a letter because she didn’t want him to come back.
“I’m sorry, my wife.”
He felt guilty.
Caville apologized to Elody, who was worried about crumpling her eyebrows.
“I thought my wife… didn’t send me a letter because she forgot me.”
Caville took one step closer.
He lifted Elody’s hand and kissed the back of it.
“…Oh, uh. That’s alright,” Elody replied awkwardly and pulled out her hand.
Then she took a step back.
The distance was too close, and the back of the hand where Caville’s lips had touched was tingling.
He kissed it so tenderly that she could never get used to it.
‘Why is he so active in skinship?’
Elody had never spoken with any man at such a close distance.
She decided that Caville was treating her like an older sister.
‘Does he do the same things to the princess?’
What were they like in the original… Elody tried to remember it from the novel, but her memory was faint.
And while Elody was thinking about needless things.
Caville was also deep in thought.
He was sorry, thankful, and angry that he had misunderstood.
Who the hell stole his letters?
Suddenly, an answer came to his mind.
‘The Temple of Thysser… I’ll just kill them all.’
The temple had monopolized the distribution of letters, newsletters, and military supplies throughout the continent. So the culprit was none other than them! Only fools wouldn’t be able to figure this out.
On the battlefield, all documents, including letters, were not allowed to go outside. It was the same for the items that came in.
They strictly monitored and controlled documents, as well as objects and information.
But they were flexible enough to tell when the news arrived by saying, “The newsletter is here.”
There were several times where he asked for the newsletter from the priest, but every time, the priest replied that nothing had arrived.
The estates in the vicinity of the capital were able to come directly to them and find out more information about the news.
However, the Duchy of Cernoir was far away from the capital.
Elody said with a serious face, “It looks like someone intended to intercept it. I heard from the servant. He said he definitely gave the items to the priest… Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get into much detail.”
Caville looked down at his empty hand. The warmth of Elody’s hand had disappeared without a trace.
‘It was like that yesterday, too.’
Caville recalled yesterday when he touched Elody’s arm, but she pulled back.
Elody’s surprised face was a great shock to Caville. His heart was hurt.
And a little while ago, she pulled her hand out of his grasp.
Caville was thankful and sorry for her, but he was more sorrowful and angry.
He didn’t care whether the temple stole his letters or not. As long as she waited for him and wanted him to come home, nothing really mattered more.
So, what was the reason for this heartache?
‘My wife said she was waiting for me. So why does she keep avoiding me? Why?’
“Do you hate touching me?”