Home Post 1144-chapter-22


I was caught off guard. I had braced myself for some reaction, but this was almost an automatic response.

‘What’s going on here?’

As the environment changed, I quietly scanned the surroundings. All I had done was follow Edmund’s simple instructions to come along.

“Head to Richard’s.”

Upon the duke’s order, the large carriage moved swiftly, and we arrived at a grand mansion located in the heart of the city.

“This place seems too fancy for a bookstore…”

I hesitated before speaking up tentatively. Unlike me, who was on high alert, Edmund chuckled briefly and stepped forward.

My gaze wavered uneasily as I followed him. My throat felt parched for some reason, as if I had entered a luxury store without planning to.

Upon opening the door, a splendid plaster statue seemed to guard the entrance like a sheriff. The room sparkled with multicolored jewels everywhere, and large chandeliers, reminiscent of those in five-star hotels, adorned the ceiling.

‘Anyone can tell it’s not a bookstore!’

The majestic façade made me feel somewhat intimidated. Unlike Edmund, who led the way, I was worried about who might come out upon hearing us.

“Um, Edmund? I think we might have entered the wrong place… Should we leave quickly?”

I called out to Edmund in a lowered voice. Despite my efforts, I heard a noise from the opposite side.

“My goodness! Who do we have here? How did Duke Randolph manage to come all this way… And isn’t that Lady Randolph with him? Did the two of you come together…? No, rather, greetings from Richard Avenue, Duke and Duchess.”

“Do you have anything else to do besides buying clothes at a clothing store?”

Despite the polite greeting, Edmund’s voice was unenthusiastically flat.

“Hahaha. Lord Avenue, it’s been a while.”

Though I didn’t recognize him, I acted appropriately. Noticing my intent, Edmund snorted quietly.

“It’s an honor to meet you, Duchess Randolph.”

“Yes, Lord Avenue.”

How much time had passed? The stooped posture of the old gentleman caught my attention. Despite my forward-thinking American mindset, my Korean heritage made me uncomfortable with someone of my father’s age bowing to me.

“We’ve exchanged greetings, so you can straighten up now.”

“No, my lady, please come inside.”

His politeness seemed unnecessary. Awkwardly smiling, I followed Edmund, and in the meantime, Richard responded with a purely commercial voice.

“It’s the first time you’ve both come together; I was quite surprised. Please forgive my rudeness.”

“I’d like to buy some summer clothes that would suit my wife.”

“No problem at all! We’ve just received a bunch of new arrivals. Considering the unusually hot summer, we’ve taken special care.”

Richard opened the door with a bright smile, revealing hundreds of outfits neatly arranged inside.

‘Wow… it’s like its own department store.’

I was speechless at the astonishing sight, and then Edmund’s voice brought me back to reality.

“I’ll buy everything here.”

The classic saying ‘I’ll buy everything from here to there,’ that I thought I’d only see in dramas happened.

“Duke Randolph’s generosity knows no bounds! I’ll prepare some drinks while you browse.”

The excited Richard clapped his hands joyously and disappeared. A quick glance at the clothing suggested that it might cost several years of my salary. Edmund’s expression even showed a pride I hadn’t seen before.

‘Even for a wealthy person, this is a bit much!’

Unlike the triumphant Edmund, my expression twisted as if I had bitten into a rotten apple.

“Why not just buy the whole place? That might be cheaper.”

“Consider this compensation for my past negligence. I should have kept my promise.”

Edmund touched his chin thoughtfully and responded calmly to my grumbling.

“I just need a book or something. Our house is already full of clothes, so why buy more?”

“Do you not like the design? Or is it not to your taste?”

“No, it’s not that. Even if you have a lot of money, spending it like water will blow a hole in the budget. I really wonder why someone who should know better would do this.”

At my continued nagging, Edmund chuckled. The irony of the duchess, who was known for her extravagance, worrying about money. It brought an involuntary smirk to his face.

“Why are you laughing? There’s nothing funny about what I said.”

“Well, it’s just surprising to see you like this.”

“You’re the one being funny here. If we’re going to buy something, let’s just pick out a few necessary items. To think a duke would have no sense of economy!”

I clicked my tongue as I headed toward the clothes racks, unable to hide the smile creeping over my face. Feeling somewhat pampered only made it worse.

* * *

My fingers delicately sifted through the items, intending to choose just a couple. But before I knew it, the dresses I had picked out piled up into a mound.

Then, my hand stopped abruptly.

‘I’ve found it, my love…!’

Among the dresses I had chosen, one particularly caught my eye. Its bright color and breezy design were perfect for the hot weather.

“This is it. The perfect outfit for summer.”

I murmured to myself, smiling contentedly when something heavy suddenly landed on my slender shoulders.

Feeling the soft texture…


I turned around with wide eyes to see Edmund holding several thick coats in various colors.

‘Is he trying to cook me alive?’

Bringing fur coats in the sweltering weather was nonsensical unless he intended to block each of my pores with sweat.

“What’s all this…?”

Just looking at them made me sweat. The items he brought next were no different.

“I thought the clothes you picked out weren’t serving their purpose.”

“In the middle of summer. Fur coats are a bit much, don’t you think?”

He hesitated for a moment at my protest before replying, wiping his expression clean.

“If you had dressed more appropriately, I wouldn’t have to do this. The servants are having a hard time because there’s nowhere to rest their eyes due to your free-spirited outfits.”

“That’s because I feel the heat more than others. And I wore a coat today!”

“That coat, if it can be called that, leaves nothing to the imagination. If you’re truly the duchess, you should maintain your dignity.”

He rebuked me lowly and then straightened his tie before resuming his calm demeanor as if nothing had happened and sat down on the sofa.

“Ugh, seriously.”

Edmund’s oblivious remarks frustrated me. My goal was to initially tempt this stoic man, but my intentions evolved over time.

Wearing thin clothes was my strategy to cope with the heat in this place, where fans, air conditioning, and even a piece of ice were considered luxuries.

“Duke and Duchess~ Your delightful tea is ready.”

Oblivious to the tension, Richard chimed in with the tea set. Despite his cheerful voice, there was no response.

“Did something happen while I was away…?”

Finally sensing the changed atmosphere, Richard asked with wide-eyed innocence, but Edmund merely shrugged without a word. Watching him, I felt a defiant urge.

“Lord Avenue, give me all these coats, every single one.”

I smiled brightly, hiding my irritation behind the smile and causing Richard’s bald head to slowly back away.

“Coats in this upcoming heat? Wouldn’t you prefer something lighter, my lady? This summer is expected to be particularly hot…”

“No. Just do as I say. This summer, a duchess must maintain her dignity.”

* * *

The carriage ride home was noticeably colder compared to when they left. Though Edmund wasn’t sure of the exact reason, the tension had been palpable since they left the boutique.

Glancing at Chloen, his face clouded over. She seemed angry, probably because she didn’t get what she wanted.

“Let’s go to the bookstore now.”

He pondered for a moment before replying in his usual tone. He intended to see it through to the end.

“No, let’s go home. I’m feeling tired.”

Her response was cold, contrary to his wishes. Chloen had missed once again his point, causing Edmund’s frustration to visibly deepen.

‘What’s the problem?’

Despite his efforts to show kindness, Chloen remained pointedly distant.

Maintaining a proper distance as they did at dinner wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t particularly pleasant, either.

‘Could it be that her memory has returned?’

Edmund furrowed his brows, reflecting on the recent events. He brought her to her favorite boutique to cheer her up, expecting her to be overjoyed.

Instead, she criticized his efforts and scolded him for lacking financial sense.

Not only that, but he also provided her with outerwear, concerned that her exposed skin might invite unwelcome thoughts or tarnish Chloen’s reputation.

He even offered profound advice to uphold the dignity expected of nobility. He had fulfilled his role as a husband, yet her behavior remained inexplicably aloof.

‘Or is she finding fault in order to seek a divorce?’

The sudden thought made Edmund narrow his eyes at Chloen, who, sensing the scrutiny, snorted softly and closed her eyes.

“Ah~ I just want to get home and rest.”

Chloen’s petulant remark further grated on Edmund, who was already frustrated by her seemingly detached demeanor.

‘We can’t just go back like this.’

Fueled by stubborn pride, Edmund called out firmly to the coachman.

“Turn the carriage around.”