Home Post 653-chapter-17


“Are you here now?”

Melvin, who had been waiting, spoke to the Duke. He glanced at the pocket watch he was carrying and hurriedly continued.

“We’ll need to move faster than usual to make our appointment on time. I’ve prepared the carriage, so let’s head this way.”

“Never mind that. Follow me.”

Edmund strode forward with long steps.

“Duke! Where are you going?”

As expected, there was no reply. Watching his superior’s retreating figure, Melvin wore a puzzled expression and quickly followed.

“Let’s go together, Duke!”

The two arrived in front of the stable. Edmund grabbed the reins of a well-groomed black horse.

“Have you been well, Max?”

Mounting the horse swiftly, he stroked Max’ mane. Melvin also hurried onto his horse.

“I prepared a carriage for your comfort, Your Grace, but are you choosing to ride again?”

“For a knight, a horse is better than a carriage. It’s uncomfortable and slow.”

“But Your Grace, as a high noble, you should be cautious. There are eyes watching and tongues wagging.”


Melvin grumbled continuously, and Edmund’s brow furrowed more and more.

“If you ride, Your Grace, your face will be exposed, and our movements will be…!”

Before Melvin could finish, Edmund interrupted.

“Were you always this talkative?”

“I’m only speaking for your well-being, Your Grace.”

“I guess this is how Chloen felt.”

“Why are you suddenly bringing up the lady? Was there an incident at dinner?”

“Who knows?”

Edmund seemed to remember something, his lips curling slightly.

‘Duke Edmund, were you always this talkative?’

The sight of her hesitating was quite amusing. It was an unimaginable expression for her, which made it all the more so.

‘I… I have to continue. I’ll improve…with practice.’

Her sudden blush and clumsy knife skills were so funny that he struggled to contain his desire to laugh.

But for some reason, he was making the best of this ridiculous situation.

‘Why am I so bothered by this?’

Edmund tilted his head, gripping the reins tightly. The image of Chloen struggling with a knife popped into his head.

“I need to adapt quickly to stop this foolishness.”

Muttering to himself, Edmund massaged his throbbing temples.

“Is there something wrong?”

“Just a slight headache.”

“If that’s the case, you should have said something earlier! I’ll have Doctor Mars come by tomorrow.”

“It’s fine, it’s nothing serious. Let’s get going.”

Unlike the dismissive Duke, Melvin’s eyes sparkled with intensity as he raised his voice.

“This is not something to be taken lightly! Remember Count Zertion, who recently passed away suddenly? He had nerve issues, too. You must get a check-up.”

Edmund nodded silently, seeing the logic in Melvin’s argument. A hint of relief appeared on Melvin’s face.

“Ah… I have a question.”

“I will answer as best as I can within my knowledge.”

Melvin hesitated before speaking.

“Do people generally dislike those who talk a lot?”

“Have I been talking too much, Your Grace? Is that why you dislike me?””

Melvin asked in a subdued tone, wondering what to ask this fool who knew nothing but work.

Having followed him even into battlefields since adulthood, Melvin realized only after asking that he couldn’t be more knowledgeable than himself.

“Enough, let’s go.”

Edmund shook his head and tightened the reins. The horse’s glossy tail fluttered in the air.

* * *

Days passed. Time flew and the unfamiliar environment gradually became more comfortable. However, one thing remained awkward – the relationship with her husband.

“Isn’t this too much? If it’s going to be like this, why did he agree to live with me? He’s being too much just because he’s handsome!”

She burst into her room, unable to contain her frustration any longer. The more she dwelled on it, the angrier she got.

Locking the door, she ground her teeth and undid her cumbersome jewelry. Throwing off her constricting corset, she finally felt some relief.

“What happened?”

Sasha approached, breaking the silence with her question.

“Is it that people have high standards, or is he just not interested? How can he be as unresponsive as a tombstone? Even a rock would be better than him!”

“What happened this time? You need to tell me. Did the Duke… not like it again?”

Sasha’s lips quivered as she asked, and her pretty face crumpled.

These past few days, Chloen had put extra effort into her appearance to win Edmund’s favor. She had even awakened at dawn just to prepare for a simple lunch.

But what was the response?

‘Aren’t you cold? Why are you always so desperate to show off your body?’

His gaze and tone were dismissive, devoid of interest. He hadn’t even looked at her since their first encounter.

Throughout the meal, Edmund clearly showed his discomfort, scratching his dry throat. The blunt reaction left her feeling embarrassed.

“Can’t he see? I tried so hard to look pretty!”

Frowning deeply, she examined the fabric strewn on the floor.

‘Where do you even find those clothes? You have such a peculiar taste.’

The lavender dress matched her eyes and, revealing her shoulders, highlighted her petite frame. The tight fit accentuated her curves, and it was undoubtedly flattering.

“I know, I know. You looked so beautiful. We even joked that you were like a goddess among us. Haha.”

Sasha tried to lift her spirits with a forced smile.

“Any normal man would be captivated by such an outfit. It’s unbelievable.”

“The Duke is not a normal man.”

Even those comforting words failed to improve her mood. It might be a matter of taste, but still…

Shouldn’t there at least be some physical contact?

‘He definitely said no closer than a meter.’

Tormented by Edmund’s unyielding aloofness, her frustration was at its breaking point.

It was like a mirage of happiness. Just gazing at the incredibly handsome man but never getting closer was a cruel fate she couldn’t get used to.

“Could he… really prefer men?”

This desperate thought flashed through her mind, fearing some forgotten BL (Boys’ Love) plot twist.

But she couldn’t just resign herself to being neglected. She pondered how to win Edmund’s favor.

She quickly dismissed the thought with a wave of her hands, realizing her musings had slipped out loud.

“Madam! Please don’t speak nonsense! The Duke liking men, men… that’s absurd.”

Sasha, flustered, scanned the room and continued.

“Even if the Duke is extraordinary, that’s unlikely.”

“How desperate must I be to even think such things? It’s just so confusing.”

“I think a different approach is needed.”

“A different approach?”

Her eyes sparkled as she looked expectantly at Sasha, who knew the place better. Sasha’s confident demeanor suggested she had a convincing solution.

Swallowing her nervousness, she waited for the suggestion.

“How about the training ground? Have you considered visiting there?”

“The training ground…?”

Chloen was puzzled by the unexpected suggestion. What could she possibly do at the place for martial arts training?

“From what I see, the Duke doesn’t seem too concerned with appearances. In fact, the more you dress up, the more he seems put off.”

“I agree.”

She nodded, reflecting on how Edmund’s expression darkened as her dress became more extravagant each day.

‘Is he worried about money? That I’m being extravagant?’ She pondered, as Sasha continued.

“So, go to the training ground to build rapport. The Duke visits there daily. If timed well, it won’t seem awkward or out of place.”

“But what if he asks why I’m there?”

“Just say you’re interested in learning some basic martial arts. Nowadays, many noblewomen do. And if you express interest, would the Duke delegate your training to someone else? He’ll likely teach you himself.”

Her lips curled up in a sly smile. Edmund, true to his title of Swordmaster, was a fitness fanatic. Sasha made sense – he spent half his days at the training ground.

‘Why didn’t I think of this sooner! The training ground is the perfect place to get close under the guise of learning!’

“Sasha, you’re truly an excellent maid.”

“Oh, Madam. It’s just my duty. Helping ensure a happy marriage for you both is part of my job.”

Sasha replied modestly, smiling shyly. Meanwhile, she headed to her wardrobe to pick out comfortable clothes, pondering her next move.

“Where are you going? Why change clothes all of a sudden?”

“Ah, I have a place to be. Get ready, Sasha. You’re leading the way.”

“Where to, all of a sudden?”

Sasha asked, eyes wide with surprise.

“Where else? To the training ground!”

She lived by the saying “strike while the iron is hot.” For her, a proactive Korean, the concept of waiting was a luxury.