Translator: Latte Editor: Sasha
While the knights were quarreling with each other, Elody and Caville were wandering around the market.
“It’s changed! Wonderfully!”
Just as his wife had told him, the market had improved a lot. Caville couldn’t stop himself from feeling an endless stream of respect towards her.
“That’s one of Rhondia’s branches, Sirka’s merchant guild. It’s huge, right? He’s been staying here in the duchy nowadays…”
Caville wasn’t curious about anything related to Sirka, but he nodded hard in response. He wanted to show how immersed he could be when conversing with his wife.
And so, Elody went into the merchant guild with Caville. She needed to receive a couple of documents from Sirka.
However, he was not there.
According to his secretary, Sirka went to the capital to investigate the fake red pills.
‘I thought it was already taken care of, is it not going well?’
Elody was worried for some reason.
She thought that the next time she met Sirka, she would have to ask him in detail.
“Come on, Caville.”
A wide variety of shops lined the nearby streets. The two came across a stall which showcased an array of accessories.
“Wife, look at this. I think it will look good on you.” Caville said as he grabbed a rose-shaped hairpin.
Elody accepted it and pinned it on her hair.
“Do I look good?”
Caville paused for a moment.
There was a strange, unexplainable feeling in his heart.
It made his heartbeat elevate, and his face felt hot.
He almost hugged his wife! Unconsciously even!
“Or will this suit me, Caville?”
What Elody chose was a rabbit-shaped hairpin.
She thought she would look pretty cute if she pinned her bangs with this.
Seeing Elody’s rabbit-shaped hairpin, Caville laughed. He was happy to see her show interest in something.
Hence, Caville decided to buy all the rabbit-shaped hairpin sold at the stall.
Elody wanted to nag him for his excessive spending but decided to let Caville do whatever he wanted as they hadn’t gone out together like this in a long while.
The two went around the market a little more while eating ice cream.
“Caville, you’ve gotten lost here before, do you remember?”
“Yes, I remember.”
That was a traumatic experience for him. It was the first time he had ever been separated from Elody.
Even after all this time, Caville still felt suffocated whenever he recalled the fear he felt that day.
His body was huge, but his mind didn’t change much.
“Oh, and I haven’t told you this, but…”
“You know, the orphanage you lived in? When you were a kid? I went there and punished them for you.”
Caville stared at her while blinking his eyes. He had never imagined that she would do that for him.
“I promised you when I was young, remember? They’re still blatantly repeating the same thing. So I asked Baroness Vendos for her permission to use the barony’s dungeon…”
Caville carefully held Elody’s fingertips without uttering a single word.
Caville couldn’t figure out what to say.
He couldn’t breathe properly because he was strangely overwhelmed with countless emotions.
As the younger Elody had said, the adults who harassed Caville were nothing to her.
And thanks to Elody’s continuous affection, all of his scars were now healed.
But those memories that Caville had long forgotten had instead become an indelible wound to Elody.
Caville was both grateful and sorry to her.
A surge of unknown emotions filled his heart as a tear slipped down his cheeks.
“…You don’t have to say it. I understand everything.”
Elody could see various emotions in Caville’s eyes.
She wanted to hug him and caress his cheeks like when she was younger, but…
For some reason, her hand wouldn’t go there.
So instead, Elody patted Caville’s broad back.
Caville’s escort, Ren, was watching the two of them and smiled proudly.
The two didn’t seem to have changed much since seven years ago.
If there was one, it was probably the fact that the duke has become very tall, and his wife felt awkward about it.
‘This is great.’
It was nice to see the lord, who looked so cold and lonely throughout the war, expressing various emotions.
Vice commander Brien and Solar said that he looked scary and strange, but Ren could definitely feel it.
The duke had found stability.
“Your Graces. It is time to return to the mansion,” Ren said as he interrupted the warm moment and atmosphere the two were in, earning himself a scathing glare from Caville.
“Let’s go back, Caville.”
As if he had never glared at Ren, Caville smiled and held Elody’s hand.
The two then headed for their carriage and returned to the mansion.
Then, in a moment, Elody paused and pulled out her hand from Caville’s.
“Oh, no. It’s just… my hand feels uncomfortable…”
While they were touring around the market today, Elody had tried to pull out her hand from his grasp every once in a while.
Caville was confused. He wondered if his wife was still rejecting him.
But that wasn’t the reason.
Elody couldn’t hide her worries whenever she felt the numbness in her fingertips.
She didn’t want Caville to know.
All day long, the senses of her fingertips kept disappearing as it hardened like stone.
The problem was that she had not been able to drink the herbal tea with dried stalks frequently.
The herbal tea was supposed to be consumed daily, while the medicinal leaf tea, the one she made from the ‘Herb of Salvation’, was drunk once a month.
For the next few years, she would have to keep doing this procedure steadily in order to cure her disease completely.
‘It will be okay…’
Elody didn’t think of it as a big deal. The day when she had to drink, the medicinal leaf tea was approaching anyways.
* * *
The next day…
Like yesterday, the weather was sunny.
Elody had stopped by the greenhouse with Marie since morning and was now returning to the mansion.
Suddenly, she ran into Therion.
“Sir Therion?! What’s wrong?” Elody asked, wide-eyed at the bruises on his face.
Marie also looked at him with a stunned expression.
He had a busted lip as if someone had punched him.
Therion shrugged, scratching the back of his head and lowered his head.
Elody looked at him with an anxious expression.
“Is there enough medicine left in the barracks? Do you want me to have a servant send it to you?”
“N-no, that’s alright. There’s plenty of medicine left. Thank you for worrying though, madame.”
Therion let out a shy smile after hearing her kind words.
“How did you get hurt?”
However, it was difficult for him to answer that question.
“D-during training, I guess…”
Elody thought that the knights were doing hand-to-hand combat training.
‘Otherwise, why would they have a fight?’
Though, it wasn’t any of her business anyway…
“That must have hurt a lot. Make sure you treat the wound well,” Elody said, smiling.
As she was about to leave, Therion called out to her.
Elody turned around.
“…Uh, nevermind. I apologize.”
Therion quickly bowed his head and ran straight to the knight’s headquarters.
He wanted to ask if her generous actions were solely given to him. He also wanted to ask why she was so kind. But he couldn’t… because it was a presumptuous question.
“Hmm… Madame, Sir Therion is suspicious, right?” Marie, who was standing next to Elody the whole time, asked while poking her at the waist.
“What? Ah! That’s right. Now that I think about it, Lord Vedos also had a nosebleed… Is there something wrong with the knights?”
‘I was the one who did that.’
Marie turned her body around, playing dumb.
Then, Elody grabbed hold of her arm.
“Oh, well. Let’s just take a walk in the garden.”
“Yes. I’d like that, madame.”
Elody headed to the garden and brought out another topic.
“Have you spoken about your marriage to Sir Vedos?”
Marie decided to answer honestly.
“…Yes. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I don’t think I can marry him anymore.”
“Why? Did you guys fight?”
Marie replied, hesitantly at Elody’s grievance.
“It’s just… he’s too old, just like madame said. I’d like to meet a young husband. Like you, madame!”
Elody laughed at her jokes.
“How sweet… though, I’m very sorry about you and Sir Vedos. I guess it can’t be helped. Shall we search for potential marriage candidates? How about we start from the pages?”
At age 7-13, a boy could be considered as a page. He would be sent off to a lord’s castle and be a servant to the lord as he learned the code of chivalry and practiced fighting skills.
If she got a page to be her boyfriend, they would be 19 years apart!
“What? They’re young just like you asked… Plus, they should be around ten years old, it’s perfect!”
Elody definitely succeeded in cracking Marie up.
They continued to stroll the garden arm in arm whilst exchanging jokes with each other.
Meanwhile, there were people who had been quietly observing the two ladies…
‘Ah, I’m so jealous…’
The person who was looking at them from the first-floor window was Sylvia, a maid who was very fond of Elody.
Sylvia was the maid who first noticed Elody’s incurable disease and informed it to the servants.
‘I want to walk with her arm in arm too…’
Sylvia’s dream was to walk with her, arms folded, just like what she did with Marie. She genuinely wanted Elody to treat her like a real sister…
Of course, if Sylvia asked her for a walk, the affectionate duchess would undoubtedly say yes.
Unfortunately, Sylvia had trouble speaking properly. The poor maid kept trembling whenever the duchess was in front of her, and it caused her to jumble up her words.
In another place…
‘I envy her…’
Unexpectedly, Olivia was also watching Elody and Marie from the second floor of the mansion.
‘I want to link arms with the madame too…’
Olivia also had a desire to have a sister-like relationship with the duchess.
However, since she had already received a lot from her, she decided not to be greedy. Still, she couldn’t help but feel envious of Marie.
‘I shall protect her…’
If necessary, Olivia was even ready to stain her hands with blood once again.
Olivia’s eyes shone with joy.
Alas, the last observer…
It was Caville.
Caville had been staring at Elody and Marie gloomily through the third-floor window.
‘I want to cross arms with my wife too… ‘
Caville was sad.
At first, he thought that she hated him, but that was definitely not it.
‘Then, does she like me?’
He wasn’t sure about that, too.
Sometimes, she seemed to like him the way she used to, but at other times, she looked uncomfortable with him.
Caville was in great trouble.
He needed someone’s advice.
But he couldn’t ask idiots like Brien, Ren, Solar, or Heinz.
The only person he could talk to was his wife.
However, he couldn’t ask for advice from his wife when the topic was concerning her!
As Caville breathed out a huge sigh, a savior came to his rescue.
“What are you worrying about?”
It was none other than the Spirit King of Fire.
The almighty Ifrit!