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“Is the meal to your liking?”
Leonis, who was sitting next to her, asked.
Even though her condition had improved since yesterday, he was still holding a spoon for her. He could have ordered a maid to do it now that she had entered the Duke’s mansion, but Leonis was doing it instead.
It was obvious why. It’s possible he desired physical contact with her under the guise of serving her. Even though Celia noticed this, she didn’t feel bad about it.
“Yes, it’s delicious.”
The soup at the Duke’s residence was richer and savory than the broth soup at the barracks. The soup with crab meat and eggs suited Celia’s taste.
“That’s a relief.”
It was regrettable that her gastrointestinal function was weakened due to poison. If it wasn’t for that, she would have eaten meat with ease.
‘Oh… I want to eat meat.’
Although the crab meat was exquisite, she yearned for meat that she could chew, bite, and taste. She wasn’t implying that meat is better than seafood, but she did want to eat both seafood and meat.
‘Well, right now my priority is letting my body recover.’
Even though she was the daughter of a Marquis, she thought it would be ridiculous to be here, but there appeared to be no such danger since Leonis behaved well.
In the original story, Leonis nearly annihilated Marquis Montague, took Lily with him, and mistreated her. However, he was now ostensibly friendly. Marquis Montague must have been enraged at the end of the ceremony.
‘More than that…’
Celia glanced at Leonis and wondered whether they would share a room together for tomorrow or the day after, even if it was too much for her today.
People would think they’ve spent the night together, but they haven’t. Leonis wouldn’t rush into it because Celia’s physical condition needed to be taken care of as well.
‘The kiss was fine… But would ‘that’ be good?’
‘I’m married to the male lead of a romance fantasy novel. Even if I got divorced, I wanted to sleep together at least once.’
She was not being reckless but she wants something so she will soften him up. She wondered what she was afraid of…..
‘It’s a pity that I didn’t touch him properly when we took a bath together.’
Leonis touched every part of her with the pretense of washing her but it was unfair to her that she couldn’t do anything because even touching his butt terrified her. It’s a hard body to meet again!
Even though a person’s face and body aren’t everything…. I’m married at best, and I have a desire to do that too! Shouldn’t I be able to touch it!
Celia believed she had recovered a lot in just a day. On the day of the wedding, she only thought about going back and taking a rest, but she was also looking forward to sleeping with Leonis.
Leonis’s fingertips touched Celia’s cheek, as if she had been caught looking at him. When Celia smiled softly, Leonis laughed.
How many people have smiled at him like this?
He felt embarrassed and coughed in silence. Although it was barely a smidgeon, his face appeared to get red.
A servant stood outside the door, waiting to enter the room. Through the door crack, the face of a servant standing in front of the door could be seen. When Leonis recognized the face, his expression hardened. He moved his hand away from Celia’s cheek and gave the spoon to the maid.
‘What is it?’
As she looked at him, Leonis stroked Celia’s head.
“It’s not a big deal. I’m eating.”
He rose from his seat and went out of the room with his servant. Celia turned her head around as she watched the door closed.
“What’s going on?”
She was worried that something might happen in her seat while she was eating. The maids exchanged glances, as if they were aware of something.
“He… is the one who manages the dungeon.”
This was the answer they had carefully chosen to say. Actually, the servant’s job was to manage the monsters and people that had been procured, but they couldn’t say that.
The Duke was already rumored to torture and kill people every night.
He was a blood-loving murderer… They couldn’t say such a terrible thing to a new bride who just got married to the Duke and is in a good mood.
Don’t tell the Duchess about the Duke’s ‘things’.
When Celia heard the word dungeon, she got an idea. Today is the day, she realized.
There was a dungeon in the basement of the outer castle of Cardian Duchy. It was only natural. Asylus was as large as the capital city, and Duke Cardian is no different from the king here.
However, because of the curse, Leonis periodically procures demons and criminals. It would be nice if it could always be replaced by a monster, but catching a monster alive was difficult, as opposed simply killing it. Thus, Leonis’s hands were always stained with the blood of sinners.
Kidnapping, murder, robbery, arson, sex-related crimes…. This was the reason why the Cardian Duchy had stricter laws than other parts of the empire. If Asylus’s sinners weren’t enough, he’d take in those who had been sentenced to death in other provinces.
‘Well, it’s been a while since we had our wedding and spent the night, so it’s time for him to see the blood.’
Lily has the power to soften the curse, and Celia also has that power, but it doesn’t completely remove the curse. Furthermore, Celia’s physical condition has not recovered yet, so for the time being, he had to replace it by killing monsters or people.
Celia already knew it, but the terrible reality made her wonder if this was part of a novel.
The person she has to live with is a person who can only suppress madness when he has blood on his hands every day.
That fact suddenly frightened her.
✦ ✦ ✦
“…. A carriage that was supposed to arrive from Randall was attacked.”
Leonis raised his eyebrow at the news he heard from his servant. Randall was a small town a little far from the Duchy of Cardian. The carriage was carrying eight prisoners for Leonis.
The black-painted chariot without windows would have been easily recognized. The wagon was never robbed since commoners knew it was for transporting prisoners.
“Is it a monster?”
“I believe it was a ruse to get some prisoners to escape.”
The reason for this was that some of the hard-procured prisoners had died. The knights and officers, as well as two of the chained prisoners, were all killed. A heinous prisoner has escaped from the Duchy, which could harm nearby residents.
“…..Since it entered the Duchy, it is under the jurisdiction of Cardian. There is no need for them to be captured, so deliver them to be decapitated as soon as they are found.”
The servant bowed his head in confirmation to the orders.
The servant who had been listening said to the Duke, “What about procuring prisoners? We’ve taken the rest of the prisoners to the dungeon, but it’s not enough.”
There were sixteen prisoners in the dungeon. To compensate for the lack of numbers, the Duke sometimes went straight to the forest and killed monsters. But he couldn’t do that everyday, so he would get prisoners instead.
“For now… I’ll have to look in another city.”
Leonis said so with a complex face. Before the wedding, he thought he could completely suppress the madness just by marrying Celia, but he needed to be prepared just in case.
If he even harms an innocent person in front of Celia because of his miscalculation…. His relationship with Celia could be ruined forever. It was something he didn’t want. It was also terrible for Leonis to be overconfident in Celia’s power and then kill someone in the Duke’s residence.
He never wanted to repeat his father’s mistake.
Last night, he chased down the monsters and cut several of their heads off. It seemed that slaughtering the queen ant would ease his curse, but he was covered in body fluids and the madness arose.
So… Before that time, he thought it would be necessary to kill and suppress the curse. To be by Celia’s side.
Leonis was distressed when he recalled Celia’s smiling face directed at him during lunch. He’d been doing it since he was young, so getting his hands dirty with the blood of prisoners was nothing new to him.
But now he was afraid to touch Celia with his hand. Even if he was cursed, a shadow was cast over his heart.
Feeling like falling into the abyss, Leonis hurried his steps. If it was something that had to be dealt with anyway, it was better to do it quickly.
✦ ✦ ✦
That night, Celia naturally thought Leonis would come to her room and sleep with her, but he didn’t come until late at night. When she asked the maid, she said the Duke had not returned to his room yet.
‘Are you busy with work?’
It was Leonis who had been with Celia in the barracks. She knew he would use the same room, because he would need her to ease the curse. However, Leonis did not enter the Duchess’ room that night or the next day. He didn’t even show up during lunch.
Celia figured she’d better rest for the time being, so she didn’t pay much attention to Leonis’s absence.
However, it was a day or two later, and after five days of not seeing Leonis’s face, she began to feel uneasy. There is nothing else and there is still a curse!
‘I thought I’d be the replacement for him killing people until we had sex, but…’
It was also unnerving to be faced by Leonis, who had murdered someone. She was fully aware that this was the Middle Ages, and it was difficult for the lord to avoid having a drop of blood on their hands, but reading it in a book was not the same.
‘You’re not avoiding me, are you?’
Although Duke Cardian’s residence was large enough to be comparable to the Imperial Palace, the movement of the Duke and Duchess could overlap because they were in the same building.
Regardless, it was strange that they hadn’t encountered each other in five days. Celia didn’t spend all of her time in her room; she went out for a walk!
‘Where is the man who asked the priest if he could have sex and made me feel embarrassed?’
If he had a conscience, he would have let her rest the day she arrived at the Duke’s residence. The next day, and the day after that, she thought the same thing.
But after five days of sleeping separately, she wondered whether she could leave it alone.
‘Are you going to visit me? Is there anything in particular that makes you feel uncomfortable at the moment?’
Celia likes Leonis’s face and figure, she also wants to sleep with him, but she hasn’t gone as far as to like him. Now that she is married, she just thought about keeping the marriage.
In the original story, Lily and Leonis were married and he became obsessed with her as soon as he took her to the Duke’s residence. Celia thought it would be the same even if the situation wasn’t like that.
Until the curse is lifted.
‘Well… is this more advantageous for me?’
Still, Celia was treated well by the Duchess’ employees. Yesterday, the butler even explained the budget set aside for the Duchess.
Whether they will live together or not, the curse must be lifted. For that, it was necessary to have a relationship with Leonis in the meantime.
‘Let’s go out first. I need a contraceptive ring!’
When she pulled the string, a maid came into the room without a sound.
“Did you call me, madam?”
“I have to go out. Get me a carriage.”