Home Post 1157-chapter-179


Even though I heard the Capital hadn’t returned to its original state, I felt indifferent. To be precise, I didn’t even feel a shred of sympathy for the imperial family. This was due to something I learned recently from the head of the Duchy’s knights.

It was a comment from the imperial knight’s commander, who had narrowly survived, describing the emperor as truly selfish.

One might think being selfish came with the position of being an emperor, though being selfish and being calculative were entirely different matters.

Being calculative, I believed, fitted the aspect for an Emperor. It was a necessary trait for someone in his position, acting in the interest of the Imperial Family or the Empire. However, the disappointment, even from the imperial knight’s commander, hinted at a bigger issue.

Reflecting on it, the previous Duke was truly remarkable.

According to what I heard from the Duchess, he had stayed behind in the Capital alone to search for us. During that time, he took the initiative to ensure the citizens’ safety with the guards when an earthquake struck. Excluding his past mistreatment of Lucian, he might have been a commendable person.

Of course, I wouldn’t admit it until Lucian forgave him.

Although Lucian’s attitude towards him has softened recently, the wounds received wouldn’t just vanish overnight. Similarly, even if my foster parents appeared, apologizing for their wrongdoings, I wouldn’t really have the thought of forgiving them.

Sometimes, it was better not to receive an apology at all, especially if it was merely to alleviate their own guilt.

In this aspect, the previous Duke and Duchess have been patiently waiting, thankfully not rushing Lucian into forgiveness or apologies.

Today, unusually, I woke up first, lying with his arm around me.

Such occasions were rare since he generally slept less. Whether it was because of his good physical ability or a habit of sleeping less, I wasn’t sure, though it wasn’t often I had the chance to openly admire his face.

Although I missed gazing into his brilliant jewel-like golden eyes, seeing him peacefully asleep was also a beautiful sight.

I felt like I was the only one who could witness him so vulnerably relaxed, and it pleased me greatly.

I carefully raised my hand and traced the sharp line of his nose without actually touching it as if sketching his contour in the air. Despite worrying he might wake up, I couldn’t stop following the outline of his face. Then, I noticed his slightly parted lips. I watched his rosy tongue and cautiously aimed to slip my fingertip between them.

However, before my finger could enter, his tongue reached out first and licked my finger.

“Oh, you’re awake?”

I thought he was still sleeping from his steady breathing. When did he wake up? I worried if he felt everything I did, causing my cheeks to heat up slightly.

Really, doing anything secretly around Lucian was no easy task. He always knows. Always.


With a husky voice, he slowly lifted his eyelids. His gaze appeared hazy, as if he had just woken up. His large hand snatched my waist and pulled me close.

Since we didn’t wear pajamas after suffering the whole last night, his firm skin pressed against my entire body. Resting my head on one of his arms, he lazily tilted his head towards me. We were so close that our breaths mingled, and I watched his eyelids flutter slowly.

His long and lush eyelashes moved like the wings of a black butterfly. Revealing and then concealing his glowing yellow eyes in a rhythmic pattern. A small black dot below one eye corner resembled the tail of a butterfly’s wing.

Watching him, who usually wakes up before me, was surprisingly satisfying. His hair was wildly tousled in every direction, and the stubble that darkened his jawline only added to his look. Normally, this should have seemed unkempt, but with Lucian, it only emphasized his raw masculinity.

In any case, I’d already been thoroughly smitten by him, so no matter what he did, he would always appear cool to me.

Lost in thought as I gazed at him, his lips curled into a relaxed smile. His frequent smiles these days were truly heart-stopping.

‘Ah, seriously, my heart might just burst.’

Kiss, kiss.

From a gentle peck starting from the tip of my nose to my lips, I naturally parted my lips slightly, welcoming the familiar taste of his rosy tongue first.


He hummed as if savoring something delicious, wrapping his arms tightly around my neck as I slightly tilted my head.

This morning was more perfect than any other.


* * *




We were out in the garden, enjoying tea as the sun began to set.

I heard from his aides that they were overjoyed that he finished his work early recently. And since I was still making sure to stay within his sight by occupying a corner of his office, finishing early worked out well for me, too.

“But, you know…”

This gave me more time to notice unnecessary things, which was becoming annoying.

“Yes, Ray?”

Lucian answered by pulling me closer by the shoulder. This spot in the garden, though far from the mansion, was specially designed upon his request. The bench set up for us faced the sea, allowing us to enjoy the beautiful seascape even while having tea.

As I watched the slowly sinking red sun, I cautiously asked the subject.

“…Why do marriage proposals keep coming in? Did you secretly agree to accept them?”

He was all about making the proposal before, claiming we were virtually married, yet why didn’t he outright reject these incoming proposals and instead blatantly place them on the table as if to show off?

And in the office, right where my usual spot was, no less.

It made me suspicious.

Had he changed his mind and was now indirectly expressing it in a manner befitting a noble? I knew in my heart Lucian wouldn’t do such a thing, but my mind was becoming muddled regardless. If he was purposely placing those proposals in front of me, he was definitely asking for a confrontation.

As my gaze sharpened, instead of looking surprised, I caught the corners of his lips lifting slightly.

“What’s that about?”

I pinched the back of his hand in annoyance, suspecting he had deliberately placed those proposals there. Even though it must have been somewhat painful, Lucian’s eyes crinkled at me being pinched.

“Did you feel jealous?”

He asked in a voice that was too sweet for the conversation. He said, continuing without a pause.

“So, Ray.”

As he spoke, he wrapped his hand around mine, which was pinching his and held it tightly. Captured by his gaze as soon as our hands intertwined.

“You have to hold on tight. Like this…”

Though I thought I had made my opinion clear enough, it seemed he wanted a direct answer. As I reflected on it, I realized I hadn’t properly responded to his proposal. It turned out I was the one who had been expressing it in a noble way.

Thus, holding his hand in return, I parted my lips to speak.


“Yes, Ray?”

We sat side by side, turning to look directly into each other’s eyes. Our hands clasped tightly together, and then I continued.

“Will you marry me?”

At my words, Lucian’s lips parted slightly. Apparently he did not expect to receive a proposal in answer to his.

So, Lucian.

This was a given. The answer was already decided.

‘…So, you just need to respond.’

His almond-shaped eyes quickly reddened, and a slight moistness appeared in his gaze, which began to blush intensely. His golden eyes, filled with the reflection of the red sunset, swayed intensely towards me. His deep gaze softened into a crescent, and his lips slowly parted to reveal his neat teeth.

Unable to hide a childlike smile, he replied with a voice that trembled slightly.


His straightforward and refreshing answer caused me to lift the corners of my mouth in relief as well.

The sound of waves in the distance, combined with the fragrance of roses lingering around us, made for a perfect moment. The two of us stayed there, watching the reddening horizon until darkness fell. It was only after the yellow moon rose that we decided to leave.

I enjoyed the feeling of our hands tightly clasped together. As we started heading back to the mansion, as I was hungry, a rattling sound caught our attention.

“Why? Are you trying to clean up? We didn’t even bring a picnic basket.”

Usually, when we brought a picnic basket, we would pack the empty dishes back into it, but that wasn’t the case this time. The staff would have taken care of it anyway…

What was he doing?

Despite my question, he picked something up from the table and slipped it into his subspace pocket before we proceeded to walk away.

Even in the dim light, I could tell what he had taken.

“Did you collect something I used again?”

Remembering his collection from the Capital mansion that we hadn’t managed to bring along, Lucian’s expression momentarily twisted. It seemed the Duchess hadn’t managed to pack everything in his pocket space.

“How did you manage to collect all that…”

His voice almost sounded tearful, which made me unable to say anything more. Instead, I pulled on our joined hands and said.

“You have the real thing right here. Why keep collecting those scraps?”

Lucian burst into laughter at my words.

“So, Lucian, you better take good care of the real deal.”

“Got it, Ray… Haha!

I couldn’t understand what he found so funny. As we made our way back to the mansion, Lucian couldn’t stop his laughter, occasionally chuckling and shaking his shoulders.

‘Well… if you’re happy, I’m happy too.’