Sebastian felt uneasy as he looked at Damon, who remained silent. Whenever his master was quiet like that, something was bound to happen. Although he had become quieter recently, he knew that human nature didn’t change easily.
Damon Raphael would never change… He was just pretending to be innocent for a moment.
“So, the medicine is there?”
“The rampage medicine.”
The master had been refusing the medicine sent from the imperial family for years. It was strange to suddenly inquire about the rampage medicine, not even a tranquilizers…
“It’s been a while since we’ve expressed our gratitude to the Imperial Family.”
Sebastian had no idea what kind of gratitude he was talking about.
His master was never the kind to explain everything. Nevertheless, it was inevitable to feel frustrated at times like this. It was difficult to navigate everything with just a keen sense of intuition. It had been about six years since he started serving him, but all that grew were layers of caution and discretion.
“Then, the medicine… Should I not throw it away?”
“Keep it safe. Don’t forget to express gratitude to the Emperor.”
He couldn’t figure out what was going on, though he understood that he shouldn’t ask what was happening here. Damon hated it when he prodded with questions.
And he knew that the expression of gratitude was not just a mere greeting. Working at Grand Duchy Raphael required a high level of wit and tact.
“Go back now.”
Sebastian smiled inside as he finally heard a dismissal and swiftly left. A ray of light came down to the desolate Grand Duchy.
Damon was quietly holding the box in the darkness.
It was an item he had not pretended to have seen for nearly three years. When his whole body felt like it was about to explode, he just needed something to make him survive. While it wasn’t perfect, it calmed him down for a while.
He had no intention of becoming an imperial dog like other Grand Dukes.
That was why he had refused the medicine sent by the palace for three years. The Emperor was not unaware that he had never taken the rampage medicine. Even without them, he was strong enough, and he had never intended to be the Emperor’s dog for the sake of stability.
He had only one reason to go to the battlefield.
It was because he had the justification to kill people with peace of mind. Without that, he wouldn’t have gone.
“You really have severe delusions until the end.”
The Emperor was under the delusion that he needed the medicine. He would probably think he was keeping Damon in check, and that was why the medicine was sent every time.
Until now, it didn’t matter, even if it was discovered that Damon didn’t take the medicine, but now the situation was different. For the time being, it was better to let him continue to have his delusions. It would help hide Elysia’s identity.
Even though he had stepped out for a moment, Damon couldn’t wipe the smile off his face as he looked at Elysia, who was fast asleep without knowing anything. Her face shining white under the moonlight was so beautiful that it almost made him kneel.
His wife was sleeping deeper than he had thought. Ah, and she had a restless sleeping habit. He chuckled at her actions of kicking the blanket and flailing her arms.
“Yes, I’m here.”
As soon as he lay down on the bed and she snuggled against his soft body, an indescribable satisfaction surged.
Perhaps she wouldn’t know.
Until just before falling asleep, she seemed to avoid even holding hands, but once she was asleep, she came to him.
It seemed like it was her habit to hug everything around her when she slept. Even if he weren’t there, she would hug the blanket, the pillow, everything. Fortunately, when he was there, she wouldn’t even look at other things.
If she had hugged something else even when he was there…
It was cute to see Elysia puckering her lips as if she was eating something in her dream. Unable to resist, he kissed her plump lips.
A hint of regret lingered as their lips barely touched before parting.
“It’s nice to see you sleep deeply, but it’s also regretful.”
Every time he saw Elysia falling into sleep in his arms, he felt a strange sensation. It was surprising how she felt at ease without knowing how dangerous the situation was. He didn’t want to lose it… this warmth in his embrace.
“I want to wake you up.”
Once again, Damon stole a secret kiss from his master, who was unaware.
* * *
It was a night when she had slept deeply after a long time. Stretching with the accumulating drowsiness, she felt a deep gaze from the side as she let out a big yawn.
It was natural to think that Damon wouldn’t be there. If he were there, she would never have acted like that. She felt like a fool as if she had made a mistake. Even though she didn’t look in the mirror, her expression right now must look very silly.
“I wanted to wake up with you today.”
Elysia quickly hid her face under the blanket.
Surely, waking up and seeing her would not be a pretty sight. He was always perfect, even during these moments. Who would believe that face as one that had just woken up? Probably no one.
“Weren’t you busy?”
It was their first morning together after getting married. Until now, whenever she woke up, he had been gone for a long time. While she thought it was inevitable because he was busy, she felt a slight disappointment.
This situation was embarrassing, but her heart felt excited, knowing that Damon was there.
…What? This strange feeling?
“Elysia? What are you doing?”
She was now speaking with her head buried in the blanket. It was a situation that might seem strange to anyone who saw it.
“Is something wrong?”
Was the problem that her face wasn’t looking its best? How was it that he could wake up and still be perfect? It was so unfair. Living with a man who was more beautiful than any woman was more exhausting than she had thought. Such situations seemed to happen all too frequently.
“No, it’s nothing… but could you please leave now?”
Although she hadn’t seen her face yet, there would undoubtedly be eye gunk all over. If it were just eye gunk, it would be fortunate. Her face would likely be puffy, and her hair disheveled… In any case, she was a perfectly ordinary human being. She couldn’t maintain a perfect appearance even after waking up like Damon Raphael could.
“Also… please call the maids.”
Until now, she hadn’t cared about these things at all. And why would she? She was alone, so why would she care about how she looked when she woke up?
“Oh… I understand.”
No matter how clueless Damon was in these matters, it seemed he had noticed something off about her reaction.
Only after the sound of the door closing did Elysia manage to lift her head.
She couldn’t understand why he had to do something that made her so uncomfortable. It was good that she wasn’t alone when she woke up, though that wasn’t the issue. It was his flawless appearance that made everything around him pale in comparison.
“…There will be no wife like me elsewhere.”
People should be moderately good-looking. He had such a selfish appearance.
“But… isn’t Damon busy?”
“His Grace? Um, we’re not sure.”
Julia, Rachel, and Chloe weren’t much help either. Damon probably didn’t even know their names. He was that indifferent to others.
Surprised by Damon extending his hand to her as if he had been waiting for her to come out, she didn’t expect him to be waiting at the door. She thought he had gone somewhere, of course…
“You didn’t leave?”
“I want to go downstairs with you. The chef has prepared something special today.”
“Special? Is it some kind of special day today?”
Could it be some kind of anniversary that she didn’t know about?
“No, it’s not.”
Despite the fact that his kind demeanor was becoming more familiar, she couldn’t understand why it still felt so unfamiliar. Was it because she knew Damon wasn’t the kind of person to be like this?
“I heard Sebastian is planning a party.”
“Oh… I forgot to tell Damon about it first.”
“It’s the wife’s business. You don’t need to discuss it with me in the future either.”
It had been a long time since they had breakfast together. Whether the chef had prepared something special or not, the food on the table was everything that was prepared with much effort. The problem was that it was too heavy for breakfast.
“Can I know….where Brother Edward is right now?”
She was still concerned about Edward, who had abruptly left the day before. Could he have gone back to the County? If that were the case, it would be better to stay at the Grand Duchy… Of course, she would need Damon’s permission.
“No way….He hasn’t returned to the County, right?”
“Ah….you mean brother.”
Was it a mistake? The moment she brought up Edward, his brow furrowed briefly, almost too quickly for her to notice.
“As far as I know, he didn’t go back to the County.”
“I’m not sure about that either.”
Clearly, it wasn’t a mistake.
Seeing Damon was not quite displeased to discuss the topic, Elysia kept quiet. She didn’t have the strength to push a topic that he seemed to dislike so much.
“He’s probably coming today.”
Was Edward coming today? She was surprised to hear that he would be coming so soon. Based on his actions yesterday, it didn’t seem like he would come back anytime soon.
“He seems unable to hold back. I received a message saying he would come today.”
Unable to hold back what?
“Did the Countess… reach out?”
“No, it’s not that.”
She couldn’t fathom what Edward couldn’t hold back that would make him come.
Then suddenly, Damon posed a question.
“If your brother suggested you run away, would you run away with him, Elysia?”