Home Post 1469-chapter-183


“Phew, I’m exhausted. Amber, I’m really tired!”

Lucian had ambitiously planned to visit all the places from my past in the shortest time possible.

I was able to fish at sea and catch seafood firsthand after a while. While Lucian being there made it less difficult, the packed schedule in a short amount of time was undeniably challenging.

“Shall I give you a massage?”


“First, soak in hot water, Madam. Then, I’ll massage you with aromatic oil.”

“Should I?”

I decided to relax while doing nothing—a rare occasion made possible by Lucian granting me a special holiday. It was funny that the reason for the holiday was to stay out of his sight.

“I wonder if they’ve reached the inspection site by now?”

Lucian had gone to personally inspect land for the newly settled villagers. Aides were struggling to find vacant land not far away to ensure they were not discriminated against.

Of course, the previous Duke had faced the most challenges.

“I wonder how the previous duke and duchess are doing?”

Leon’s territory was large. The villa from my childhood was in the same Leon territory, but it was not close to their current mansion. After the wedding, the previous Duke and Duchess moved to live there.

“If you’re curious, why not visit them? The previous Duke always adored the Madam. They would surely be delighted.”

“I know it might sound ungrateful, but I’m already aware of that.”

There was only one reason I was hesitating. I was waiting for Lucian to speak up first.

The previous duchess had changed, and so had the previous Duke. He showed relief when he found us that day, and his attention was not just towards me. The previous Duke also appreciated Lucian’s safety.

“There’s no hurry. Why rush off to the villa as if fleeing?”

“My thoughts are a bit different.”

“Oh? What are you thinking?”

Amber paused in her tasks, then stood in front of me. She looked quietly, and after a moment of contemplation, began to speak.

“I’ve been serving the Duchy for fifteen years now.”

“I’m well aware of that.”

“I’ve been watching over the Duchy even before Madam arrived.”

“Ah, that definitely earns my trust. Not that I didn’t trust you before.”

At my remark, Amber chuckled and continued.

“For a long time, the previous Duke and duchess couldn’t take care of the current Duke. But now, even if they regret and reflect on the past, they can’t turn back time.”


“Perhaps they wanted to ensure their son’s happiest moments were preserved? If that meant their absence, they were willing to accept it.”

“…I hadn’t thought of it that way. I just wished they could make up for what they hadn’t given Lucian.”

Amber snorted lightly at my words.

“Don’t wait for the Duke to bring it up. It’s rather Madam who’s among them.”

“…How come you’re so wise, Amber? And yet, you haven’t thought of marrying?”

“…Wisdom and marriage are different matters, Madam. Now, please go into the bathroom.”


Soaking in the hot water, I pondered.

“Wasn’t the place Lucian headed to not far from the villa?”

Should I follow him later? Show him the room I stayed in at the villa.

“Lucian’s been obsessing over my past recently; he’d probably like it, right?”

I rang the silver bell and called out.

“Amber! Get my travel bag ready!”

Amber quickly responded and answered from the bathroom door.

“Understood, madam.”

“And call Damien and Oscar too!”


Traveling with them would be faster than using a carriage.


* * *


“Duke, we plan to create new residential areas to the south and similarly sized ones to the east. This way, they’ll connect to the existing residential areas through roads, integrating well without feeling isolated.”

“Hmm, it would be good to build a square. Build a clock tower and place major facilities nearby. That might even encourage existing residents to move.”

“What a brilliant idea!”

“Do you know how many families are currently engaged in fishing?”

“…I’m not quite sure.”

“Then, let’s take this opportunity to find out.”

“Yes. May I ask why you’re looking into it?”

Lucian recalled recent events in the aide’s words. Rachel had cooked clams they caught together. The spicy yet delicious broth was unlike anything common in the empire, but perhaps it was all about adapting?

Establishing a foundation for the new settlers to work on seemed like a good idea.

“Have you ever tried dishes made with clams?”

“…Well, I’ve had fish steak, but I’ve never tried clam dishes.”

“What a shame, missing out on something so delicious.”

The aide, surprised by his unusual response, couldn’t help but ask.

“Which restaurant did you have it at?”

Lucian replied as if he had been waiting for the question.

“My wife made it herself.”

“Ah… The Duchess is also skilled in cooking!”

“Ray has always been talented. As a child, she often made nut cookies.”

“That’s remarkable!”

“There’s more she can do, but I suppose it’s enough that I know.”

“Of course.”

“So, I’m considering incorporating clam fishing. It might be nice to make it a specialty of Leon territory.”

“What about opening a restaurant with the duchess’s recipes? Perhaps somewhere with a view of the sea.”

“That’s a good idea.”

After discussing future plans with his aide, Lucian turned his horse around. He had chosen to ride directly here to fasten his visit. That was the reason he did not bring Rachel, as he had only planned to quickly finish and return.

So, when Rachel called his name, he was quite surprised.


Emerging from a steep hill, Rachel galloped on horseback, followed by Demian and Oscar.


“Oh, thank goodness. I was worried we might miss each other!”

Rachel smiled brightly and approached Lucian. Her skilled horse riding was indeed impressive.

“How did you get here?”

While Lucian was pleased to see her, he was also concerned.

“You see, how about we visit the villa today?”


Lucian was taken aback since he hadn’t planned on visiting the villa, especially knowing who was staying there.

“Luci, you said you were curious about my past. Then we should visit the most important place.”

Indeed, the villa held many traces of Rachel’s past.


Lucian seemed hesitant. The bitterness from the past has gone, but that made him feel even more uncomfortable. Or rather, it was awkward.

“We might not have sent a letter in advance, but staying one night should be fine, right?”

Understanding her eagerness, Lucian found Rachel incredibly lovely. He moved closer to his horse and pecked her cheek.

“You always think of me first.”

“Only realizing that now?”

Lucian chuckled and wrapped an arm around Rachel’s waist.


The next moment, he swiftly pulled her in front of him to bury his nose in her hair, inhaling her scent deeply.

“Ah! What are you doing?”

Rachel, who had rushed over and was sweating, protested, startled by his sudden closeness.

“So what? I’ve seen you in worse states…”

His low voice seemed to caress her ear, making her flush with warmth.

“Ah, really… Not outside.”

Rachel’s soft complaint only made Lucian hug her tighter.


“A bit.”

“Then, let’s go.”


Rachel was happy with his positive response but didn’t show it, hoping he would just accept it as natural.

“Master! Then, I’ll take care of your horse!”

Oscar quickly ran up to the horse and climbed aboard, while Damien followed, carrying the luggage. They arrived at the villa where the previous Duke and Duchess had been staying for no time. Even without prior contact, the staff recognized the current Duke’s face.

“Duke! To come without notice…”

The butler who managed the villa rushed out.

“Just a moment, please. I will immediately inform the previous Duke.”

“Of course.”

The butler hurried inside. The two got off their horse and straightened their tangled hair.

Not long after, the butler came, and the previous Duke emerged, his face unable to hide his surprise. Following him, the previous Duchess appeared on the staircase.


The previous Duchess called out her son’s name with joy.

Amber was indeed wise.

Her words were true. The previous ducal couple had stepped aside for their sake. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have looked so moved. Their faces filled with joy, gratitude, and a hint of apology.