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“Welcome, Duke. “
Leonis had clearly sent someone ahead of time to prepare. All of the servants of the Duke’s mansion stood in a line and bowed.
Leonis emerged from the carriage as the servant opened its door. While the Duke’s people stared at them, Leonis grabbed her hand and gently stepped down from the carriage.
No one dared to look at them directly. They just peeked at them with caution. His marriage to Celia Montague was forced, and she passed out shortly after the ceremony ended. Was that all? In the end, the Duke had to hunt and chase down the monsters.
They must have assumed Celia would be offended. They suspected she despised the Duke. But Celia’s possessed affection was necessary.
The Knights Templar were tasked in dealing with the monster’s invasion in the duchy, which has injured several people, but this time, the monster attack was under the control of a wizard.
That was why the damage was so great, and she assumed it was something that Leonis, the male lead, could handle.
It’s regrettable that the wedding turned out the way it did, but a person’s life was more important than a wedding.
‘It wouldn’t have been a happy wedding for Celia anyway.’
Honestly, she wanted the wedding to be over as soon as possible because she wasn’t feeling well. She didn’t know that Leonis would take her to the battlefield.
Whether it was because Celia wasn’t being picky or because she married Leonis, the Cardian knights were friendly to her.
Leonis himself was also treating Celia well.
Celia was pulled into Leonis’s arms as she took the final steps out of the carriage. Celia was taken aback and gave him a sidelong glance, but Leonis continued on his way to the mansion with an indifferent expression.
“Where is the priest?”
“We’ve brought him here. Shall I call the priest right away?”
Leonis seemed to be satisfied with the butler’s answer.
“Yes. Her body is frail. However, it appears to have gotten worse during the long carriage ride.”
The butler would have immediately recognized whose body was weak. Celia wondered if the Duke’s servants knew she had passed out at the wedding.
Although the wedding took place in the capital, it appeared that the Duke had relocated a large number of his servants in order to prepare for it.
The butler instructed one of the servants to summon a priest. Meanwhile, Leonis held Celia as he walked up to the second floor.
They got married, but they didn’t arrange their honeymoon. It was because Leonis compelled Celia to marry him, and the wedding was rushed.
As soon as the ceremony was finished, she was going to enter the Duke’s residence. The Duchess’s room was ready for anyone to enter at any time.
The servant, who followed, opened the door of the Duchess’s room. It was a splendid room with a wide window and plenty of sunlight.
Leonis strode across the room to the bed while holding Celia. Celia studied the four-poster bed draped in white lace curtains.
It was the first time she’d had such a spacious room with such a lavish bed. At least, that was the case in her previous life when she was living as Lee Da Jeong.
Leonis put Celia down in the middle of the bed and looked around. The priest dashed into the room, holding his breath, as the servant raced in.
“Duke, Duchess, congratulations on your marriage.”
Leonis nodded briefly at the words of the priest. As he stepped aside, the priest approached the bed where Celia was sitting.
He examined Celia’s complexion before taking her hand and examining her energy with divine power.
“You have received your treatment well. You seem a little tired… but if you get enough rest, you will recover quickly.”
“How long will it take for her to recover?”
When Leonis asked this question, the priest seemed to be embarrassed.
“If she gets enough nutrition, sleeps for more than eight hours, and exercises, such as occasional walks, she will be able to recover within three or four weeks.”
“Three or four weeks…”
Leonis was murmuring with a troubled face, and Celia was embarrassed for some reason. When he estimated that number, he seemed to understand what the priest was saying.
Leonis looked at the priest with a frown.
“Then can I replace exercise with something other than a walk? Like doing sex…”
Celia couldn’t help but scream since she was listening. When the Duke’s servant glanced at her in surprise, her face was flushed, and she stared at Leonis first.
Leonis smiled strangely, as if he had figured out the reason. Celia’s eyes were glaring at Leonis, but it was a face that didn’t seem to care.
However, since only the priest was near Leonis, he seemed to understand what the Duke was saying. He was looking at Celia and Leonis with an ambiguous expression.
“…The Duchess must have been surprised to see a bug. I think you should get some rest, so I’d better leave.”
“Are you talking about bugs?”
The butler looked around as if he did not understand, but Leonis was staring at Celia. Celia’s face became even more flushed as he smiled.
Anyway, since the Duke ordered it, the servants of the mansion hurried out of the room. Leonis kissed Celia’s forehead before leaving as well.
‘Aren’t you going to ask the priest about what happened before?’
Celia, who had been left alone in bed, was concerned, but she couldn’t even follow him.
Above all, she was exhausted. Even though she just slept in the carriage, she still felt so sleepy….
‘I don’t know, I’ll have to live and see.’
Celia pulled the soft blanket up to her neck and fell asleep…
✦ ✦ ✦
The priest shifted his eyes in embarrassment, but eventually provided the Duke the answer he was hoping for.
“There will be a little bit of sweat… but if it’s exercising, it’ll be fine. Now, if it’s sleeping, about two or three times…”
Two, three times…
It was unsatisfactory, but he thought it was better than not doing it at all. It’s not as if Celia’s health can’t be fully recovered.
Leonis walked back to the Duchess’s chamber after speaking with the priest who had been watching. Celia was already sleeping after only a few minutes.
‘You look well.’
It seemed that way for someone who was forced to marry a man she didn’t want. Her pale complexion at the wedding hall was due to poison, but it was surprising that it had remained that way since she opened her eyes.
There was also the fact that she was not afraid of Leonis, who approached her immediately after the battle with the queen was over.
‘Did you change your mind when you came back to life?’
She had already given up her lingering affection for her ex-fiancé, whom she had trusted, after he betrayed her. It was not unusual for a person who came back from death to change her mind.
She might have changed her mind after meeting him at the wedding.
‘That’s a good thing for me.’
He doubted that Celia’s appearance was a deception.
Leonis forced her to marry him after forcibly separating her from the man she liked. For Celia, he was a man to be hated.
Leonis pushed her to marry him only for his own benefit, because he didn’t think of Celia’s position.
But even that was unavoidable.
It was not common to procure monsters or people to be killed on a daily basis. If he violates it even for a day, he risks killing everyone around him, so he is not in a position to consider the situation of others.
In the beginning, he did not take the relationship between Celia and Fabian seriously. Rather than love, he thought their engagement relationship was remarkably well-matched.
He never thought that Celia would digest poison to commit suicide. Once Celia was married to him, he planned to entice her in some way.
It would be a shame to be in second place since he owned the title of Duke Cardian and he possessed more wealth than the emperor in power so he believed it was possible.
‘I didn’t, but…’
It was fortunate that Celia did not die from the poison she drank at that time. If she died and couldn’t come to the wedding, and if he and his men went out to hunt the monsters…. Something terrible would have happened.
‘At the moment, I’m grateful for her presence and I have no choice but to please her as much as I can.’
Even if her current attitude is all a play.
✦ ✦ ✦
“You mean that monster ended up taking the bride back?”
Michael put down the telegram as if it were offensive. The monster that was sent to Asylus was the work of the wizard he owned. Michael did not want Leonis to marry Celia and have children with her because the curse of blood had to return to the Imperial Family.
‘A cheeky Cardian.’
The Duke of Cardian was a family established by the younger brother of the former emperor. To be precise, it was one of the many ‘gifts’ that he received in exchange for the ‘curse of blood.’
As a result, Cardian had power equivalent to the Imperial family and even more wealth than the Imperial family.
How dare he! The Duke was never supposed to have power and wealth beyond the Imperial Family. If he had more, Micheal would have to take it away, trample it, and suppress it.
However, the current emperor was afraid that the curse of blood would come upon him.
That was the reason why he was displeased with Leonis, who was nothing more than his cousin’s nephew, but it would eventually rule in his favor.
The curse of blood would return back to them.
If Leonis died without having a child, the chances would be high. Michael wanted that to happen as well. Although he was the first prince, he was the child of the empress’s secret affair with another man.
‘I should be thankful for my mother’s prudence.’
Grace, the Empress, always chooses a lover who shares the Emperor’s hair and eye color. She always used contraceptive rings during intercourse, just in case.
The ‘if’ actually happened. Grace cried as soon as she realized and sent an assassin to her beloved lover.
Since only him and his mother knew he was the child of an affair, perhaps his father died without knowing who had sent the assassin. So Michael was free from the ‘curse of blood’ that descended on the Imperial Family.
Although the emperor had many concubines, he only had four children. Among them were three princes. The emperor did not declare any of them as crown prince.
The emperor thought the three princes’ powers were arrogant.
If any of them had the support of Cardian, they might have become crown prince, but that did not happen.
Leonis, Duke Cardian, only stepped back from the battle for the throne with his eyes indifferent to power.
The only thing that had piqued his interest recently was Celia, Marquis Montague’s daughter. The Marquis was on the side of the second prince.
He didn’t know what Leonis intended for Celia, but he had to prevent the union between the Cardian and the Montague family.
Although he could not prevent the marriage, he set a trap to instigate Leonis’s madness. He heard the Duke took Celia Montague all the way to the battlefield, so Celia must hate Leonis by now.
‘The best thing would have been for Leonis to kill Lady Montague… It’s a shame.’
If that had been the case, Marquis Montague would have gone wild. Even if the second prince overlooked it, other high-ranking aristocrats who backed the second prince would have been dissatisfied.
Even if he did not, at the very least, he could have divided the nobles who supported the second prince.
But this wasn’t his only chance, and he has yet figured out why Leonis had asked for Celia Montague.
It is known that Leonis fell in love with Celia at first sight, but not many believed that nonsense. Because he was none other than Leonis Cardian, the murderer.
If Leonis was actually in love with Celia, that was interesting in its own way. To hold the breath of a maniac killer, he needs at least a leash.