Translator: Latte Editor: Sasha
She opened the door.
Caville’s expression was surprisingly brighter than yesterday. He seemed cheerful.
Though on the contrary, Elody was still uncomfortable over the things that had happened between the two of them.
“I need to talk to you…”
“Alright. I have something I want to tell you as well.”
Elody nodded in response before proceeding to enter the room and sat on the couch.
Caville followed her from behind and stared at her with a gleam of light shimmering in his eyes.
“I shall take my leave now, madame.”
Marie was able to take a hint about the atmosphere between the two, therefore she scurried herself out to not interrupt them any further.
Now, the married couple and Ifrit were the only ones left in the room. Amongst the awkward silence, Elody just kept fiddling her fingers while Caville glared at Ifrit, gesturing him to leave through the window.
After a while, Elody finally mustered up her courage to speak and broke the silence.
“Caville… Why did you tell the guests to leave?”
“It’s about time I did that. I should’ve done it a long time ago.”
“But still, it’s way too sudden…”
“My wife, do you really want me to marry Princess Larissa?”
Elody didn’t know how she should respond to his question.
‘I mean… They ended up together in the novel. I never expected things to go like this…’
Of course, she could have just told the truth and said yes. But somehow… she couldn’t say a single word at that moment. The words just wouldn’t come out of her mouth!
First, the princess seemed to hold some sort of grudge or suspicion towards her, and now even her husband refused to accept his fate!
“I mean, you can if you want to…”
“What if I don’t?”
Elody stared at him with a puzzled expression, on the other hand, Caville’s eyes were full of certainty.
However, if Caville truly didn’t want to marry the princess… then she shouldn’t force the idea on him.
‘They’re destined to be together anyway… I don’t think it’s my place to intervene in their relationship.’
Elody was still confused, she didn’t know why Caville felt like this.
‘Could this have happened because I treated him differently than the original novel?’
But then again, she had never intervened in Caville’s meeting with Larissa either.
After growing up, Elody thought that Caville would naturally fall in Larissa, not with her!
He was like a duckling that had just hatched from its egg and the first thing it saw was its mother.
‘But that feeling isn’t love. He’s just obsessed with me because I was the first person to give him affection to…’
“I love you.”
Caville was surprisingly straightforward.
“I am in love with you.”
This time, he said with the most tender voice and held his hand on his chest.
Elody felt as if she had just been hit in the back of her head with a large iron hammer. She wasn’t able to think rationally.
She parted her lips and spoke, “Caville, you’re…”
“You think I’m mistaking my feelings for you as a brotherly love?”
Elody was speechless. He took the words right out of her mouth.
“There’s no one in this world that could make me feel the way I feel about you.”
Caville smiled at his own words.
‘Oh, my word…’
Elody had goosebumps all over her body. It felt as if there were butterflies in her stomach.
“Were you really thinking of getting a divorce? Where would you even go if that actually happened?”
“…I’ve tried searching for a place to reside in.”
“Is that why you’ve been talking to Sirka these past months?” Caville said as he recalled his memories.
“Ah, that’s right! I’ve looked into a few properties, and I found one that’s perfect for Your Grace to build another greenhouse!”
Caville pretended to dismiss his thoughts about Sirka’s words at that time, but in all honesty, he had been thinking about it nonstop ever since.
“Yes…” Elody replied with a nervous expression.
She thought she was ready for a divorce… but her husband clearly did not have any intentions of doing so.
“And after that? What were you planning on doing?” Caville said, creasing his eyebrows before continuing, “Were you thinking of searching for another man and getting married to him?”
“…W-well, I have never thought of that. But I guess it could happen…?”
Caville bit his lips.
“I have no intention of forcing my feelings onto you, but…”
“Don’t divorce me. Please just give me a chance…”
“I will do my best so that your feelings for me will change. Just wait because I will put in all of my efforts to make you mine. But… if even until then you still want a divorce, then I will have no choice but to accept.”
Caville looked sad when he said that.
Elody agreed to his terms as she knew that he wouldn’t back off anyway. Plus, she still thought of him as a child.
He had only reached adulthood recently, and at that age, people tend to get confused about their obsession with love. Or at least, that was what Elody thought.
She found it hard to believe his words.
‘We parted when we were young, he had just barely returned, and now he says his feelings are those of a man. As time passes Caville will know… that his feelings aren’t real.’
At her response, Caville’s lips curved upwards. Elody said that she would wait until his efforts reach its end. Though… Caville actually lied. He had no intention of giving up even if she did not love him back.
However, if she really wanted it… He might have to fulfill her wish even if it hurt him.
Still! Even if they were divorced, it didn’t mean that he would have to disappear from her life. Caville promised to always be with her throughout his entire life. No matter what.
Elody considered Caville’s confession to be nothing but a sudden impulse, but the same couldn’t be said for what Elody was about to say.
“Caville, I think that the Temple is trying to aim for the power of your spirit.”
Caville blinked, feigning ignorance.
He was already well aware of that fact, though he decided to ignore it because he couldn’t do anything anyway…
“I accidentally heard the priests’ conversations last night.”
The word “last night” made Caville squint his eyes. However, Elody continued on, “I wanted to tell you this before I left… the priests were talking about you. They said that High Priest Amos had brought a magic tool that could potentially kill you…”
Elody wanted to protect Caville at all costs, she wasn’t going to let the Temple hurt him.
Ever since she met him, he had become her most important person.
“So I want to know how strong you actually are.”
She had simply asked how strong he was as a swordmaster. However, Caville felt that he had come to an opportunity to apply those tips that Ifrit had given to him.
“You have to make it so that your wife can see you as someone she can depend on! A strong and reliable figure!”
He thought that this was what he was talking about, so after a short pause, he spoke confidently, “I can protect you! You’ll be surprised to see how strong I’ve become!”
The answer he gave was very similar to that of an elementary school student, so Elody resisted the urge to laugh.
No matter how he looked, Caville was still as cute as a child.
When he started talking about how strong he was, Elody couldn’t resist smiling at his enthusiastic explanations.
‘So I guess I should stop preparing for the divorce.’
At the moment, her priority was to protect Caville from the Temple and the Imperial family.
To do that, she had to increase the power of the duchy first.
* * *
Ever since the guests had left, the servants’ felt as if a weight had just been lifted off their shoulders.
“Hey, you know… The princess’s personal maid came to me yesterday. She shamelessly asked me if the duke and duchess were sleeping in separate rooms.”
“What? How did she know?”
“She must have eavesdropped on one of the servants’ conversations!”
“Are you serious? And why does she care if they use separated rooms?”
“She must have been spying for the princess!”
Tessie and Emily were resentful about everything that had happened thanks to the guests.
“But, why do they use separated rooms?” Sylvia asked.
“Are you an idiot?! The madame is sick! Do you think she would want to let her husband see her in such a state?”
“Ah, you’re right!”
Tears accumulated in Sylvia’s eyes and Tessie sighed as she looked at her in exasperation.
“Our poor madame, I hope she recovers soon… What kind of disease is it?”
“I don’t know either. But people who vomit blood always end up dying… Ahh!”
“Oh my Lord!”
The maids yelled in surprise at the sudden appearance of an unfamiliar knight.
“Wha… why are you here, Sir?” Emily said to the man.
The man who suddenly appeared was Heinz. Then, he spoke, “…The madame’s illness is called the Siren’s Tears.“
“Siren’s Tears?” Tessie asked while blinking in surprise.
After all, the knight in front of them was a mercenary who was known to have a huge hatred towards Elody.
“How does Sir Heinz know about madame’s illness?”
“It’s a disease that makes you vomit blood and die painfully. It cannot be cured with any medication or even divine magic.”
Tessie, Emily, and Sylvia stared at Heinz in shock.
Not minding their painful expressions, Heinz just walked away with a gloomier look.
And that late afternoon…
Heinz suddenly went to Elody’s lab. As soon as she saw his face, she tried to ask him what was going on.
However, before she could ask him, Heinz already approached her without hesitation and knelt to the ground so loudly that the sound rang throughout the whole room.