Home Post 1059-chapter-21


It was an ordinary day just like any other, peaceful and uneventful. After the commotion at the training grounds, everyone thought the Duchess would cause trouble, but she went about her day smoothly without any issues.

Even in her occasional meetings with the Duke, the Duchess only grumbled now and then but never crossed the line. Thinking she had been unnecessarily worried, Sasha went upstairs.

“Madam, it’s time for your meal.”

The room was unusually quiet upon arrival. Sasha peeked inside, feeling a wave of unease.

“Madam? Are you there?”

“Yes, I’m here.”

Relieved by the response, Sasha exhaled. Steady footsteps approached the door, and Sasha’s eyes widened at the sight.

“It’s just too hot today.”

Chloen hurriedly added, as if making an excuse. The dress, relying on a thin strap, revealed the Duchess’ fair skin extensively.

It was hard to tell if it was lingerie or casual wear.

“But, Madam… there are many eyes around. If you expose yourself like this, the servants won’t know where to look!”

Sasha said with a look of denial. Yes, this was typical of Lady Randolph. There was never a middle ground with the Duchess’ actions; it was always all or nothing.

‘This is not right, though!’

She acknowledged the stifling heat of summer but felt this was too much. Sensing her thoughts, the person of concern spoke calmly.

“So, you want me to die of heat in thick winter clothes? Let’s just be comfortable at home. I’m not going anywhere; I’m just going to eat.”

Sasha groaned in frustration and tightly closed her eyes. After a moment of contemplation, she made up her mind and went into the wardrobe.

“Then at least wear this over it. Please, for my sake.”

Looking like she might cry at any moment, Sasha picked up a coat.

“Please. Just please.”

Muttering repeatedly, Sasha draped a thin cardigan over her shoulders, meticulously buttoning it up to ensure not a glimpse was shown, just in case anyone saw.

“It’s really hot, though…”

Frustration made her brow furrow.

* * *

The large dining table was set for one. Edmund’s recent busy schedule made it difficult to even see each other, let alone share a meal.

“What’s the point of eating alone? The one I’m waiting for is nowhere to be seen.”

I pouted and aimlessly poked at my salad plate. Perhaps it was the heat, but I had no appetite.

In the meantime, Chef Rettin approached with a troubled face.

“Does the food not suit your taste? Is there anything you’re uncomfortable with? I’m worried because you’ve hardly been eating lately.”

“It’s probably the heat. Eating alone just doesn’t feel right. Is the Duke busy again today?”

I deliberately kept my tone distant. Choosing to refer to him as ‘the Duke’ instead of ‘Eddie’ or ‘Edmund’ was intentional.

‘Is he neglecting me? Well, I have my thoughts, too. Hmph.’

Rettin hesitated to answer, thrown off by the change in atmosphere.

‘I wonder where he is today… It’s hard to get anything done without seeing his face.’

The silence lingered, and Rettin’s damp gaze made me feel like I owed him an explanation.

“That’s enough.”

I picked up the salad fork with a bitter smile, as if resigning to my fate as a forsaken wife, and chewed on the greens, overwhelmed by a sense of defeat.

“Everyone, leave.”

The low voice that filled my ears made me slowly lift my head. After exactly 53 hours, which was two days and five hours later, I was finally facing my husband.

‘Damn, he looks good today.’

I wanted to ask where he had been all this time, how he could immerse himself in work and neglect his wife, but I held back.

“Are you back?”


The temperature seemed to change with his arrival. As Edmund took a seat across from me, I consciously lowered my gaze.

* * *

A long time had passed when Edmund cleared his throat, breaking the silence.

“You’re quite exposed. Even if it is summer…”

“I’ll be more mindful.”

Edmund felt a tightness in his chest at the changed response, even though he heard what he wanted. It irritated him.

‘It’s just the heat.’

He thought briefly and gulped down his water. Although the meal was splendid, the chunks of meat felt like tough rubber in his mouth.

With the unpleasant feeling lingering, he paid close attention to the small figure before him.

‘What’s changed?’

The woman who would usually nag him endlessly for being distant was unusually quiet today. He hadn’t even kept their agreement to talk for an hour a day, yet there were no complaints.

‘What is she planning now?’

His gaze intensified as he quietly observed Chloen’s movements.

Her hands seemed unusually small as they handled the cutlery. Clumsy, yet not lacking in manners, she managed the appropriate utensils for her food and occasionally wiped sauce from her lips.

Truly… her behavior was unusually normal. Edmund frowned and chewed on his lower lip, unsettled by the silence.

‘I just can’t get used to it.’

He was always neatly dressed, but today was an exception. His large hand loosened his tie as he averted his gaze.

He pondered whether to initiate conversation and what to say when the tightly closed lips slightly parted.

“Have you been very busy lately?”

“Yes. A bit.”

The conversation that had finally started was immediately dampened by his habit. Edmund scowled at his own foolish action and added.

“Why? Were you worried? In the future, let’s try to have meals together…”

“Then, I guess I’ll have to find a tutor as you mentioned before.”

Ignoring his suggestion to dine together, Chloen calmly responded. He felt unnecessarily upset, as if time had rewound to before their dispute.

“What do you mean? I thought I was going to teach you how to read.”

Edmund hid his bruised feelings and spoke grudgingly.

“You seemed busy. I didn’t want to bother you anymore… It’s inconvenient not knowing how to read. I’ll find someone suitable. I’ll study hard, so don’t worry about me.”

Edmund felt a prick of conscience at her words. To drive the point home, Chloen curled up and sighed heavily.

“And I have a request…”

As she hesitated to choose her words, her listless voice struck his ears again. Edmund’s gaze silently followed the sound.

“You know, the books children use to learn letters. Writing consonants and vowels, finding the right ones, things like that.”

With a deep sigh, Chloen hesitated to continue. Her voice grew softer, and Edmund leaned in to listen more closely.

“Just get me one of those. If you buy it without the servants’ knowledge, I won’t bother you and will study hard. I know it’s been hard on you because of me. You don’t have to worry anymore. From now on, I’ll take care of my own business.”

“Alright. We’ll do that.”

Edmund responded with a stern face as he saw Chloen’s forced smile.

“I need to learn how to stand on my own two feet. After all, I don’t know how long I’ll be here…”

As she spoke, his brow furrowed deeply. Then, he rose from his seat and picked up his coat that was laid beside him.

‘What? He’s leaving just like that?’

Chloen was surprised by his unexpected action.


She blinked her large eyes and watched his receding back. Soon, his low voice filled the room.

“Get up.”

“What? But I’m still eating…”

A strange sense of tension cut her words short. She glanced at Edmund’s back where a dark aura seemed to loom and to his clenched fists.

‘I’d probably pass out if I were hit by that.’

It was a ridiculous thought, but she wondered for a moment if this unpredictable man meant to harm her.

“There’s a place we need to go.”

His large hand gripped her thin wrist, pulling with such strength that she rose helplessly from her seat.

“Where… where to? Just tell me!”

Chloen’s voice shook involuntarily. Though her head told her otherwise, knowing Edmund from the novel made her worry.

“To the bookstore.”

Unlike her dazed state, Edmund articulated each word with force.

“You said you needed a book. Let’s go buy it.”

“Suddenly? But I just asked you to buy it secretly. Why do we have to go together?”

“Since it’s come up, we might as well get it over with.”

Despite her protests, Edmund seemed unyielding. Meanwhile, the footsteps of the servants could be heard as they began to gather. Through the large windows, diverse gazes could be felt.

“Melvin, have the carriage ready.”

“Your engagements for today are concluded. I’ve brought the necessary documents, so there’s no need to go out.”

Melvin approached and smiled knowingly, though his expression stiffened at the Duke’s firm response.