Translator: Latte Editor: Sasha
“Why do you care?” Caville groaned as he turned his head.
With a heavy sigh, he began to ponder about his wife.
He got to spend time with her yesterday.
Every time Elody pulled out her hand from his grasp, Caville felt broken inside.
When that happened, he laughed so that it wouldn’t ruin the mood…
But in reality, he wanted to cry.
Caville couldn’t think of any other reason for Elody’s behavior.
He thought that it was because of the brute demeanor he had accidentally shown to his wife when he aimed his sword at those vassals.
‘I shouldn’t have done that…’
He was a swordmaster, so he didn’t think of it as anything serious. But it was different for his wife.
Caville deeply reflected on the notion that he was inconsiderate of his wife.
However, he couldn’t help but feel sad and upset about it.
Seeing Caville’s gloomy countenance, Ifrit spoke, “Why is your expression like that? Did you get rejected by your wife?”
Caville looked at Ifrit in amazement.
‘How did he know?’
“Wait, am I right?”
Caville’s face displayed his unhappiness as his lips thinned into a line.
Ifrit laughed at him, but then regained his composure.
“Ahem! I, Ifrit, the Great Spirit King, will take his precious time to listen to your concerns.”
“No, that’s a bit…”
Caville stopped his words.
Truthfully, he didn’t have anyone else to talk to.
Ifrit was the only one who could listen to his problems.
He didn’t like it, but in any case, Ifrit was someone who had been with him like a best friend throughout the entire war.
Caville hated him for laughing at his expense, but he decided to give him a chance.
“My wife… I think she’s still uncomfortable with me.”
“Of course, it’s only been a week since you came back after seven years.”
“…But I’m not uncomfortable with my wife.”
“Gosh, you seriously don’t know anything.”
Caville’s pride was hurt.
He didn’t want to hear that from Ifrit.
“So, do you want her to not be uncomfortable with you?” Ifrit said.
Caville pondered for a while.
“I… I want my wife to love me like she used to. I want her to think of me as cute!”
Caville wanted Elody to act lovey-dovey with him and pamper him, just like when they were children.
If that actually happened, there was nothing else left for him to desire.
Ifrit stared at Caville with a worried expression.
‘This guy is still not aware of his own heart.’
As expected, he should step up in this matter before it gets worse.
Ifrit decided to listen to Caville’s concerns whole-heartedly.
“So all you want is to be called cute?”
“…Yes, is there something wrong?” Caville asked, confused.
Ifrit clicked his tongue at his obliviousness.
“You… Have you seen how your wife acts around me?”
“I’m cute too.”
Caville widened his eyes in shock.
It was true.
Elody was very sweet to Ifrit since he was an adorable puppy. The little ball of red fur was so cute that she couldn’t resist hugging and patting his fur.
Caville became annoyed whenever he recalled the memory.
“Geez, husbands aren’t supposed to be cute.”
“You cannot look cute. Do you still think of yourself as a ten-year-old? You have to show her a different side of yourself. A different look!”
“What kind of look?”
Caville didn’t ignore Ifrit. Instead, he was a bit impatient to hear his response.
“You’re manly side, of course! Guys are supposed to be manly since they’re not cute anymore once they grow up. You do know that, right?”
Ifrit’s comment struck Caville hard. He simply couldn’t refute.
“And your wife seems to like all cute things. Do you want to be treated the same way?”
Caville buried his face in his palm. He was confused and flustered.
Looking at his somber countenance, Ifrit spoke in a tone that made him sound trustworthy.
“Okay, so what you want to pursue is your wife’s heart and attention. Am I correct?”
Caville raised his head and looked at Ifrit.
Now, his trust in Ifrit seemed to be growing.
He honestly felt terrible, but there was nothing wrong with Ifrit’s words.
He was no longer a child, and he wasn’t as small and cute as when he was young.
Moreover, he didn’t want to be treated the same way as other cute things.
He wanted his wife to treat him differently from others.
He wanted to feel… special.
Ifrit stared at Caville.
He knew everything about Caville now.
On the battlefield, Ifrit was the only person that Caville could confide in. They grew closer to each other because they had always spent time alone together unless they were in battle.
So Ifrit secretly regarded Caville as his brother.
‘He’s pretty nasty, but thanks to him, I regained my holy powers so…’
Of course, Caville wasn’t his benefactor. His benefactor was someone else.
In any case, he had the desire to take care of Caville like a younger brother.
In the eyes of Ifrit, Caville was an ignorantly naive and straightforward guy. Even after reaching adulthood, his innocent side still remained, especially when it came to gender issues.
And in this world, there was no one else that mattered to him more than his wife.
He was still not aware of his feelings… but it seemed like it would be better to let him realize that feeling first.
Ifrit spoke loudly with confidence, “You’re of age now. It’s perfect!”
“…And why is that?”
Once again, Caville stared at Ifrit suspiciously.
“Why? I’m telling you to show your wife your manly side! Are you still at the age to frown like when you were a kid? How long are you going to hide behind your wife’s skirt?”
“Your wife should be able to lean on you when she’s in trouble. So you have to show her how reliable you are!”
“…How?” Caville asked softly.
“Your abs,” Ifrit said, very confidently.
“Show your abs. A man’s dignity is his abs.”
Caville glanced at Ifrit, creasing his eyebrows.
“You’re not a shabby and weak child anymore. Therefore, you must show her that your body has become hard and strong. Do you understand?
‘I wasn’t shabby and weak… How annoying.’
Caville wanted to point out, but he calmly asked, “…What if my wife thinks it’s disgusting?”
“That’s impossible. I don’t like you, but… if I were to grade your looks, I would give it an A+.”
Caville looked at Ifrit with an unpleasant expression. He felt somewhat uncomfortable.
“Trust me. You won’t regret it.”
“Well, if you don’t want to do it, it’s your loss,” Ifrit snorted.
As he was about to leave, Caville stopped him and asked anxiously, “T-then! Will my wife like me?”
“…You just want her to like you?”
If he did well, his wife might even do more than just simply like him!
Ifrit cheered for Caville in his heart. He knew that he could do it.
Ifrit told Caville to show his abs. So he decided to try it.
With that in mind, Caville was finally ready for the main battle.
* * *
At that time, Elody was in the greenhouse with Anna.
Elody was planting a new type of seed. It was wheat, something that she had recently studied.
“Will it take a few months to see the effects, madame?” Anna asked.
“I suppose so.”
Since she had used fertilizers, the growth period should take less than the amount of time it usually did.
Unfortunately, it seemed that Elody might not finish her research here in time before she left.
“Madame. Are you tired or sick?”
Anna finally gathered the courage to ask.
“…Nothing. I was just curious if you were sick…”
“Not at all. I’m a person who doesn’t even catch a cold. Anna, you should eat red pills regularly too.”
‘How is she so good at lying…’
Anna bit her lips in regret.
However, it was true that Elody was not sick.
She was self-diagnosed with an incurable disease, but she didn’t feel pain at all. It was just a bit of a nuisance sometimes.
“…Madame, we will check the growth of the seeds together in a few months, right?” Anna said, holding back tears.
Elody hesitated for a moment and then nodded her head.
But because of that brief hesitation, Anna almost cried.
Lately, the servants had been anxious.
They became even more sensitive because they were afraid that the duchess would leave this world soon…
In their eyes, the madame was like a reed amongst a dangerous hurricane that didn’t know when to fall.
But in this case, they didn’t want the wind to sweep her away…
“I have to meet Caville now. He told me to see him soon…”
When Elody left, Anna’s tears slipped down from her cheeks, and as she wiped them away, the young maid followed her to the mansion.
* * *
From today onwards, Elody was planning to hand over her work to Caville.
She actually planned to leave as soon as Caville came home with the princess, but she was unexpectedly given a little more time.
Elody decided to leave after explaining the duty of a duke in as much detail as possible to Caville.
However, Caville wasn’t in the office.
When Elody asked a servant, they told her that he had gone to the bedroom just a little while ago.
Elody headed towards the bedroom, wondering if Caville had fallen asleep. She didn’t have much time, so she wanted to teach it to him quickly.
Elody carefully opened the door. She spent the last seven years alone in that bedroom, but it had now become Caville’s room.
She wanted him to stay in a room that he was familiar with, so she moved to another room instead.
It might seem trivial, but Elody wanted to be as considerate as possible.
However, when she opened the door, Caville was lying in bed with a towel on his forehead.
“Caville. Are you sick?”
Elody was startled and approached Caville.
“…I guess… I’m sick.”
Caville glanced at Elody.
According to Ifrit’s advice, he should strip off and stay naked. So, he was only covered with a blanket on his chest.
“You don’t seem to have a fever…” Elody said as she touched Caville’s forehead.
Suddenly, Caville’s naked torso came into her sight.