Home Post 1298-chapter-24


‘What am I even doing?’

A whirlwind of thoughts raced through Edmund’s mind. Clutching her tender wrist at this moment, he couldn’t grasp his own actions.

Yet, the fear of losing Chloen and irreparably damaging their relationship gnawed at him. His black gloves, worn out of habit, had become drenched with sweat.

‘If things go sour now, all the patience with which I’ve endured will have been in vain. I can’t let that happen.’

With that thought, Edmund convinced himself. The touch of their skin made him tingle, and anxiety made it hard to breathe, but he couldn’t let go.

“I was mistaken! It seems I’ve misunderstood you once again.”

Edmund finally spoke after much contemplation. His eyes, closed as if in repentance, added to the sincerity of his words.

“I owe you an apology for the training ground incident, too.”

At his admission, Chloen halted. Then, slowly, the petite figure turned around.

“What did you say?”

Clearly surprised, Chloen blinked her large eyes in astonishment.

Edmund continued, “I’m truly grateful for your intervention. Saying you were a hindrance was a mistake.”


“But when it comes to the affairs of the knight’s order, it’s only right that I handle it, especially if it involves other orders. That’s why I was so sensitive. You, more than anyone, wished for the disbandment of the order… I doubted your intentions.”

As if confessing, Edmund openly shared unasked-for details. Chloen’s lips curved up slightly for a moment, but it went unnoticed by the naïve wolf.

“I know there’s no excuse for my behavior. I’m sorry for speaking out of turn and unintentionally hurting you.”

Edmund detailed his story. His voice was as calm as ever, but he felt alien to himself.

He sighed deeply, locking eyes with Chloen. Her large, lavender eyes seemed to swirl with emotion.

“I understand, but I hope you can give me time to adjust. Sudden touches still feel overwhelming.”

As he said this, Edmund released her wrist and adjusted his glove, his lips pursing slightly with nervousness.

“So, what if we move forward slowly, bit by bit?”


Chloen’s response prompted Edmund to discreetly check her reaction. It seemed she was not entirely pleased.

Silence lingered. Despite the passage of time, Chloen’s expression remained unreadable, fueling his impatience.

“We might need some time to adjust, but maybe holding hands or a light hug could be okay…!”

He hesitated before attempting to make a decisive statement.

At that moment, Chloen’s slender arms wrapped tightly around Edmund’s waist. She nuzzled her face against him, whining as if she had been waiting for this moment.

“I thought you really hated me. We’re married, yet you wouldn’t even let me touch you, constantly scolding me. Do you know how miserable that made me?”

Feeling her warmth, Edmund’s pupils dilated in shock. His arms stiffened mid-air.

“I was so sad, fearing you might cast me out, especially in this hot weather with nowhere to go…”

“Was that what upset you?”

Edmund chuckled softly, feeling a sense of relief as they seemed to return to normal.

“Of course not! Missing you is what’s truly sad.”

Chloen insisted, her eyes brimming with strength as she nearly jumped for joy, her eyes reddening with emotion.

“Going forward, I’ll try to manage better. I may not remember how I used to treat you, but I’ve realized that’s no excuse. I’ll approach you gently, not too hastily.”

“I’ll do my best, too.”

Hearing her commitment was reassuring. Then Edmund, with a smirk, nodded in agreement.

‘What’s that?’

Far down the shadowy corridor, he must have imagined the dozens of glinting eyes watching them. Edmund squinted, trying to discern the truth in the darkness.

Whatever had sparkled vanished in an instant, casting a strange premonition over him. His face set hard as his eyes flared with a low, menacing glow, then turned tenderly toward Chloen in his embrace.

“Ahaha, it’s a bit chilly out here. We really should head inside.”

Feeling his gaze, Chloen smiled awkwardly and stepped away. Meanwhile, Edmund’s expression grew more severe.

“Weren’t you just complaining about the heat?”

“Umm… the night air is still cool. Anyway, I enjoyed our time today. I’m glad we could talk… You must be tired. You should rest.”

Chloen smiled broadly as she stepped back. To the casual observer, nothing was amiss, but Edmund noticed the unease in her eyes and the slight tremble of her lips.

* * *

Despite another sweltering morning, the mansion buzzed with a rare, cheerful atmosphere.

Word had spread like wildfire about how the duke and duchess, who were often at odds, went out together.

“Did you see them yesterday? Standing side by side, they literally radiated.”

“It wasn’t just any outing. Right in the hallway at the entrance, the duke… he just grabbed the duchess by the waist!”

“Oh, tell me more, quickly!”

“It’s exactly as it sounds. They were caught in a tender moment. I was hiding and watching, and my heart nearly burst.”

Timo blushed and shook with excitement.

“The duke did that? In front of everyone?!”

At the question, Sasha chimed in:

“That’s our lady for you; she’s a real strategist. She mentioned changing her tactics because she was determined to reconcile with the duke.”

“And then?”

“Well, what do you think? I was really worried about what our lady might do next. I was on edge, but peeking at them secretly… my heart was on fire. I had no idea the duke could be so bold.”

“Really? Tell me more. Was he just shy before? Oh, what a surprise~”

Egged on by her peers, Sasha animatedly reenacted the scene, their laughter filling the room.

But they were unaware of the duke, who had been silently observing from beyond the closed window for minutes.

“Were you there yesterday, too?”

Edmund asked Melvin, his gaze narrowed as a palpable aura swirled behind him.

“Ah… yes.”

With Melvin’s answer, a sigh escaped Edmund. He massaged his temples.

“Still, you two seemed quite close.”

Melvin added awkwardly, attempting to lighten the mood.

“And that’s supposed to be comforting?”

Edmund growled softly, his frustration evident. He just knew that the whole mansion would buzz with rumors by midday. The thought sent his blood racing.

“That’s why affectionate displays should only be between you two. I thought the duke would know better.”

Melvin scratched his face, seemingly oblivious to the complex feelings at play. Edmund’s brow furrowed at the cryptic statement.

“What do you mean, ‘know’?”

Suddenly, Chloen’s hasty departure came to mind. Her anxious lavender eyes clearly hinted at something.

“Well… the lady knew we were there, right? She even gestured for us to be quiet. Did you really not know?”

“That’s impossible. It was a deliberate act to avoid the servants’ suspicions. What do you take me for?”

Edmund quickly retorted, hiding his confusion. His fists clenched, trembling slightly.

He had thought her strategy was being straightforward and didn’t anticipate any tricks.

‘She said she was changing her strategy.’

The maid’s comment about Chloen’s strategy echoed in his mind. He had been elegantly ensnared by Chloen’s covert trap.

Though he was confident in his strategic abilities, he was caught off guard. A bitter laugh escaped Edmund; strangely, he wasn’t angry.

“Of course, I should have known. I nearly fell for it! It seems we really need to move up our plans. Now that the lady is so amicable…”

Melvin’s voice droned on, but Edmund barely heard a word.

It was her complete victory.