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What? What was with those creepy melodramatic eyes? Put that away.
I smiled kindly and squeezed my eyes tightly shut with all my might.
I spat out all the swear words I could think of while looking at the Duke of Cassiar’s face. But my parents were present, so I couldn’t say it.
They had no idea what the world’s most powerful villain would do in this mansion, but I didn’t want my plans to be twisted, so I’d just go with the flow.
“What brought the Duke all the way here?”
While I had my teeth clenched and forcibly raised my lips to smile, my mother secretly slapped me on the back.
Tears welled up as I felt the pain in my back bones.
It was still a mystery how those slender hands acquired enough strength to slap me so hard that it made me grip my back and stomp my feet.
“You really! I just lightly rubbed your back, but you’re exaggerating! You promised to marry the Duke, It’s not strange that the person who will become your husband comes to greet you! How can you plan a wedding without telling me anything?”
“What? Who’s promising what?”
I scowled at things I couldn’t fathom.
I was the type of person who avoided speaking with the Duke of Cassiar. But I promised to marry him?
I think I misheard it or my mom misunderstood something.
They might have thought I was his lover because the Duke of Cassiar, who was unmarried, showed up at the mansion unexpectedly.
“Mom, there’s a misunderstanding…”
“There’s nothing to hide, Riel. Because I’ve told Marquis and Marchioness, so they need not be worried.”
I was about to say that the Duke of Cassiar had come for a different reason, then he cut me off and approached me.
What exactly did you mean when you said there was nothing to hide?
The only thing we were trying to hide was you threatening me!
My mother, who had no idea what I was thinking, smiled more gracefully than ever.
“You don’t have to pack your things in advance. I’ll send someone on the day you enter the Duchy.”
The Duke of Cassiar swept his hand through the luggage I was carrying.
He seemed so kind to strangers, but he looked vicious to me. How long did you think I’d put up with this before giving up?
I didn’t know what the Duke meant when he mentioned marriage, but I couldn’t take it any longer!
Even though he was the world’s most powerful villainous duke, he should not announce marriage with haste! Do it with someone else if you want to get married!
It was when the Duke of Cassiar moved closer to my face and said something in hushed tones.
“Did you forget about it? Your life was on the line because of the oath you took.”
I quickly remembered the promise I had made to him when the Duke whispered it.
I agreed to grant one request if I didn’t keep my promise.
‘I’m going to bring her. I’m putting my life on the line here.’
I was even willing to put my life on the line.
When I came to my senses after being too stunned to speak, I was already sitting next to the Duke of Cassiar and facing my parents.
“Riel, I know you didn’t want to burden them with marriage, but it’s in your parents’ hearts to care for their beloved daughter’s marriage.”
I didn’t even want to get married. I was upset that I couldn’t tell my parents my true feelings.
This was the right decision, even if it was unfair. Even my innocent parents could be put in danger if I made a mistake with my words.
“Riel is a thoughtful person, like Marquis and Marchioness”
“Aww, Riel looks just like me when she does that.”
By the way, Duke of Cassiar, you’re quite good at roasting people, aren’t you?
I thought he wouldn’t be sociable because he didn’t have many people around him and had a cold and straightforward demeanor.
My mother seemed to have taken a liking to the Duke of Cassiar. I thought that was her happiest expression in a long time. But now this bastard has kidnapped her daughter.
My father, who had been clamoring but had remained silent, opened his mouth.
“I understand that the Duke wants to marry my daughter.”
Unlike my mother, my father had a sorrowful expression on his face.
“But there’s one thing I want to make sure of before I send my daughter away.”
“Please ask me anything you are comfortable with.”
“I understand that this is a sensitive issue for the Duke, but I can’t ignore it because it involves my daughter. It’s about the Duke’s madness.”
My father gathered the documents that appeared to have been proposed by the Duke of Cassiar. For a brief moment, the Duke’s gaze fell on the papers, becoming cold in an instant.
“The Duke’s marriage to my daughter is nothing but good fortune that has come to our family. If my daughter becomes a duchess, the business will expand and honor will naturally follow. Furthermore, Duke has stated that you will provide all possible help and assistance, so there is nothing else that can be done.”
Without hesitation, my father handed the documents back to the Duke of Cassiar.
“Riel’s safety takes precedence over the interests of the entire family. I cannot accept this marriage if it is dangerous for Riel to marry the Duke.”
My heart fluttered as I saw my father’s determination.
These people were my parents who raised me with love, even if this world was in a novel.
I swore. No matter what happens, I would make sure they didn’t get hurt because of me.
“I fully understand Marquis’s feelings. It’s understandable that you are worried because my madness can hurt your daughter. If the Marquis knows about my madness, you must also know that it comes from insomnia.”
“You’re right. I’ve recently learned that you don’t even take strong sleeping pills.”
“I can’t help it. I have no choice but to reveal it.”
With a darker expression, the Duke of Cassiar wrapped his arm around my wrist.
Are you attempting to take me away by force because conciliation has failed? This could endanger my parents!
As soon as I tried to stand up, thinking I had to stop it no matter what, the Duke of Cassiar grabbed my hand and placed it on his cheek.
After a brief silence, the Duke of Cassiar’s body fell back.
“Duke! What’s wrong with you? Please wake up!”
My father jumped out of his seat, startled, and took a close look at the Duke who had collapsed.
I think I had seen this scene before. Did you fall asleep again?
When I saw him lying down, it seemed that my assumptions were correct.
“Father, please take a step back for a moment. I’m sure I’ll be able to figure it out.”
I stood with my back to my parents, covering the Duke of Cassiar’s upper body.
Again, he was dead to the world.
“How can you sleep here? Duke, you have to wake up.”
I’d have to show you a spicy taste to wake you up if you weren’t going to.
I tried to wake the Duke of Cassiar up with a soft voice. How peaceful it was that sounded like a lullaby.
With one hand, I pretended to try to wake him up softly while blocking my parents’ view so they didn’t notice, and with the other, I slapped his cheek mercilessly. When the Duke of Cassiar was slapped by my hand, he awoke with his eyes wide open.
“Ah, I think I fell asleep right away because I was up all night last night. I’m embarrassed.”
The Duke’s cheeks were burning red on both sides as he sat in formality again.
He didn’t seem to notice the pain in his cheek, perhaps because he had just woken up.
I wished he would have awoken a few minutes later. Two more slaps.
It made me feel guilty, but it also made me feel relieved from my frustration.
“I don’t take strong sleeping pills, because Riel can put me to sleep with just the touch of her hand. With this, I realized once more that Riel is my fated love, whom I will never miss. Although I have flaws, can you trust me this once?”
I couldn’t believe the Duke of Cassiar was acting when he looked at my father with a gleam in his eyes.
Why were you so good at talking?
His eyes and acting like… He was such a rascal, right?
“Oh my, is it like a fateful love in a novel?”
My mother was moved by the Duke of Cassiar’s words, and was in a melancholy mood. It was true that this was in the novel. A novel in which everyone was ruined.
This was a difficult situation. Even my father was about to fall for it at this rate.
“Would you like to go out for a little while to wake up, Duke? There’s something else I’d like to talk about.”
I interrupted the flow of conversation and stood up before my father could give him an answer.
“Excuse me for a moment.”
The Duke of Cassiar expressed regret for not being able to get a response from my father, but he nevertheless followed me.
“Marrying me without discussing it? What the hell are you doing right now?”
I took a look around and let out the rage that had been building up inside of me.
“Hasn’t this been decided? You will grant me one request if you do not keep your promise.”
“There was no mention of marriage! Who decides and informs on important events such as marriage on their own?”
“Then, are you willing to put your life on the line?”
The Duke of Cassiar’s gaze became icy.
If I said I’d pay with my life, he looked like he’d cut my throat right away.
This fucking mouth! Why would I risk my life?
Whatever he did, it was like I was on an express train to the afterlife.
“All I have to do is let the Duke fall asleep. We don’t know each other, and you don’t have to murder someone, but do we really need to get married?”
I was not very good at this, and I’d always been straightforward about my feelings for the Duke of Cassiar.
He still needed my power, but did he really want to kill me?
“This isn’t the first time you’ve known that I was so anxious to kill you.”
“I’m glad you’ve figured it out now. So let’s pretend we’re not married. I’ll make sure to explain everything to my parents.”
I pretended to be unconcerned about what he did to me, claiming that I didn’t want to marry him even if I died soon.
“Do whatever you want. Acting nice is irritating to me as well, and when rumors circulate that an unmarried noble young lady enters the bedroom of an unmarried man, she must be the one who loses the most.”
It was infuriating, but it was exactly what Duke Cassiar had predicted.
It was obvious that if rumors spread that an unmarried noblewoman, a young lady, would visit the Duke’s residence, it would harm not only me but also the marquis’ reputation later.
It was possible that the rumors about me would have an impact on the company.
Furthermore, the Duke’s condition for the Marquis was a one-of-a-kind support that had never been seen before in the marriages of other nobles.
It was a loveless marriage that nobles who valued their family’s honor would have welcomed.
“Wouldn’t it be better to gain more than to lose? If not, is there any particular reason why you can’t get married?”
The Duke of Cassiar posed a serious question to me.
True, his words tempted me for a while, but my thoughts remained unchanged.
What was the point of having good conditions? Once you were out of control, I was done! There was no need to go to the underworld for money or fame!
Marriage to the Duke should be avoided in any case.
“There is a reason for this. I’m a misogamist. I don’t plan on marrying until I’m dead.”
It starts today, you punk.
“Since I was born.”
I was adamant about my refusal to marry the Duke of Cassiar. When I told him I was a misogamist, I thought he was taken aback. He, on the other hand, smiled even wider.
“That’s all right. It would weigh on my heart if you had been thinking about getting married because I was blocking your way. There’s no need to be concerned about being a misogamist. So, are there any more issues?”
The Duke of Cassiar shook his hand, as if the weight of his heart had been lifted.
That wasn’t the reaction I was hoping for.
I was irritated by his laidback response, but it didn’t satisfy my desire for a normal, happy future.
I yelled at the Duke of Cassiar’s poker face, who remained motionless.
“You are not my cup of tea! Duke.”