Translator: Latte Editor: Sasha
Elody stood there frozen and bit her lips.
Caville stared at her nervously as he hid his brimming anticipation.
All of a sudden, Elody slowly pulled down the blanket that covered his entire body.
At her unexpected behavior, Caville became puzzled.
Ifrit told him that she would slightly blush and laugh shyly around him when she saw his abs.
Elody was crying.
Caville was surprised when tears began to drip from her eyes.
He truly didn’t expect that kind of reaction from her.
Elody slowly raised her hands and touched the wounds on his right chest.
It was the knife scar he had gotten shortly after he had arrived on the battlefield.
Elody stared at Caville’s wounds.
His body was marred with gashes. There were so many scars that Elody could no longer count.
How painful it must have been, Elody felt like her heart was being crushed.
‘It must have been so painful…’
Elody sympathized with his suffering.
‘No… This isn’t what I wanted.’
He gazed out of the window, searching for Ifrit, with a vain expression.
“Wait a minute, wife!”
Elody touched Caville’s wounds.
Caville jolted as his face flushed red in an instant.
“Ah, did that hurt? I’m sorry, Caville.”
“Oh, no, wife. That’s not it. It’s just kinda… itchy. I guess…”
He felt strange.
Caville bit his lips and averted his gaze. It was difficult to look straight into his wife’s eyes.
Elody stared at Caville and asked, “Why didn’t you ask the priest to heal you?”
Her voice was filled with sorrow.
Truth to be told, Caville didn’t want to show his body to the priests. He didn’t want them to over dramatize his injuries. So he chose to stay quiet.
He didn’t care if his wife saw his body, but he would never show it to others.
“…It must have hurt a lot.”
“I’m okay, wife.”
Each time Caville got hurt, he forced himself to bear the pain.
Of course, it was painful. But as he got more and more wounds, the pain gradually lessened.
However, the wounds in his heart were much more difficult to mend as he had longed for his wife for a long time.
Caville pulled the blanket to cover his upper body.
“My wife, please stop crying.”
He couldn’t hug her, but he genuinely felt sorry for his wife.
“I’m sorry, where did you say it hurts? I’ll bring you medicine.”
“It doesn’t hurt anymore.”
“Actually, I was faking this whole time,” Caville said with a smile plastered on his face.
Ifrit’s strategy was a complete failure.
Caville pledged not to listen to that red fur ball anymore.
* * *
After a while, Ifrit came through the window and walked to Caville, sitting on the sofa.
“Hey, how did it go?” Ifrit asked.
Caville’s glare was like a beast waiting for his prey.
Suddenly, he captured Ifrit in his arms.
“What?! Why are you doing this?!”
Ifrit struggled to break free, but his grip was too strong.
“I won’t believe in you anymore!”
Ifrit’s intuition told him to run, but unfortunately, he was already caught, so he couldn’t escape.
“…Did it fail? Then it’s your fault, not mine.”
“I will never trust you again!”
“What? Why?! How could it possibly fail?! That makes zero sense!”
Ifrit could never believe that the power of abs didn’t work.
Caville finally gave up and put Ifrit down.
And so, Caville confessed everything to Ifrit.
“She was crying?”
‘Why was she crying…?’
Ifrit swallowed a lump in his throat. He wanted to ask more, but he was afraid of losing his life.
If he said something wrong or insulted his wife, Caville would not hesitate to cut off his tail!
In any case, his benefactor had a strange side to him.
Caville spoke in a dissatisfied voice, “I’m not going to listen to your advice anymore. My heart cannot bear the pain of seeing my wife’s tears.”
“…Well, whatever,” Ifrit responded, unempathetic.
“Is that all? Aren’t you going to comfort me? After making my wife cry?”
“Well, what do you want me to do? You won’t listen to me anyway, right?”
“…I don’t know.”
Caville’s shoulders slumped forward in disappointment.
Ifrit clicked his tongue.
However, Ifrit felt bad because he looked really sad.
Ifrit said bluntly, “Just… let it go. Live as you are now.”
“Because your wife seems to see you as a flower in full bloom… Just keep pretending to be weak…. Show off your charms. The day when she finally notices you will come someday.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I mean, keep pretending to be weak so that your wife will continue to take care of you. That would be more likely.”
Caville pledged not to trust Ifrit’s words a while ago, but his ears immediately perked up.
He felt that everything would be different this time.
The next day, Caville approached his wife with a new strategy.
As Ifrit said, this time, he pretended to be sick.
The result was a jackpot!
Elody took care of Caville without leaving him just like he was young.
But Caville felt that something was missing.
The more he pretended to act weak, the more Elody didn’t see him as a man.
What that feeling meant, Caville hadn’t been able to comprehend.
Now Caville was not aware of his own mind.
He was just a young husband who wanted his wife’s attention.
And while nursing Caville, Elody…
‘Caville is still a baby.’
Became less conscious of him.
‘I guess my parenting duty is not over yet,’ she thought.
* * *
Caville’s outstanding performance ended in one day. It was because Elody gave him a medicine that could immediately cure a common fever.
The next day, Caville began taking over Elody’s work.
The duty of a duke was more complicated than he expected.
It was easier to wield a sword and to fight enemies in war.
“This is tough… I’m sorry for letting you struggle alone, wife.”
Caville’s affectionate words made Elody feel that her effort over all these years wasn’t in vain.
She stroked Caville’s head and spoke, “You’ve had it harder than me, Caville. You’re a hero now. I’m sure everyone is proud of you.”
Caville smiled proudly.
Two days ago, their relationship went back to normal after Caville showed off his wounds and pretended to be sick.
His wife became more comfortable around him.
Though, he had never thought that Elody’s kindness was the same as a parent’s love for their children.
Still, Caville liked his affectionate wife.
* * *
Late afternoon the next day…
After giving Caville a bunch of work, Elody spent the whole day alone doing research in the greenhouse and the lab.
The maids were also prevented from entering because she needed to focus on research. Unfortunately, this caused the maids to experience a few anxious moments as they loitered around the greenhouse to wait for the madame to come out.
“Madame… But, if you’re alone. What if something happens…?”
“I don’t think anything will happen… I’m just doing some research in the greenhouse, and I really need to study quietly by myself this time. So you may go back to the mansion and rest. Alright?”
Disappointed, Anna returned to the mansion.
After she left, Elody looked outside a few more times in case someone was still there. Her study was a safe and secluded place. However, there was another reason as to why she was extra careful this time. It was because today was the day for her to drink the medicine from the Salvation Herb.
Elody pulled out a barrel from the storage that was filled with dried red leaves.
Then, she boiled water and added the dried tea leaves.
The tea had a unique and robust scent.
It was a bit bitter, but she was now used to it as she had grown fond of the taste.
Elody lifted the teacup and took a drink of her tea.
The thicker the tea was, the faster she coughed out blood. It was better to do it immediately after drinking her tea than to wait until a few days later and get caught off guard.
And today, Elody brewed her tea darker than usual.
She wanted to cure her disease as quickly as possible and return to the mansion without causing any suspicion.
After drinking the tea, she carefully set the glass back on the table and had her handkerchief ready.
However, no matter how long she waited, her fit of coughs did not appear.
And as time passed by, her anxiety began to grow.
“I hope it doesn’t take too long…” Elody spoke to herself while trembling with anxiety.
Fortunately, the side effects came after a while.
She felt a burning sensation inside her throat…
Someone’s voice was heard from outside the lab.
“Madame, I’m coming in! Anna told me to bring in snacks…”
It was Sylvia.
Elody jumped up from her chair, looked around, and ran to the greenhouse.
‘I have to hide!’
After a while, Sylvia opened the door and looked inside the empty lab.
‘Is she in the greenhouse?’
Elody trembled with anxiety when she heard Sylvia opening the door and entering the lab.
There was nowhere to hide in the greenhouse. Beyond that thin door was the lab where Sylvia was.
Then, her cough began to come out.
Elody stopped coughing and covered her mouth with a handkerchief. The white handkerchief was gradually stained with red-crimson blood.
“Madame! Are you in the greenhouse?”
Elody immediately headed for the back door of the greenhouse. It was dangerous to go outside, but she had no other choice.
‘The back door!’
Beyond the back door was an empty backyard that only had one large tree. No one usually went there.
Elody quickly opened the door and rushed outside.
Then she ran to the back of the tree and started coughing.
She was seized with a violent cough as she had been holding it back for some time. Her eyes stung with tears.
It was painful.
But… she didn’t even dream that someone would be sitting behind that tree.