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I heard the sound of Duke Cassiar holding back his laughter as he watched me admit my sharp defeat after checking Suu’s swordsmanship skills with my own eyes.
He put his hand over his mouth as a courtesy, but I could hear all of his laughter through it.
My face turned red just thinking about it.
I covered my face with one hand. But it was difficult to cover even the red ears.
Where the heck does Suu’s strength come from in this skinny body?
That was why it was said that people did not judge others solely on their appearance.
It felt as if the meaning of those words had been properly engraved into my bones this time.
“What a relief. I can’t believe Suu likes you.”
“Stop laughing at me. It’s embarrassing enough even if the Duke doesn’t laugh.”
I glanced back at Suu’s side and read his countenance.
This was obviously my fault.
I felt compelled to apologize.
“I’m sorry. Suu. It was because I’m too quick to judge you only based on your appearance. I’ll reflect on myself.”
My feelings could not be fully expressed, despite the fact that I apologized.
Suu must have been very upset, right?
I mustered up my courage to raise my eyes to Suu.
“It’s all right. It’s my fault for showing you my defenseless appearance.”
Suu seemed to think that showing himself asleep undermined my trust in him.
It might be better to think that.
“No. But please accept my apologies. I’ll be more careful in the future. Please take good care of me as my escort. Suu.”
At my words, Suu put down his sword and lowered his body to kiss the back of my hand.
Kissing the back of the hand is a formal act for knights to swear allegiance to their master.
Even though I knew it, experiencing it firsthand was strange.
Was it because Suu was so handsome?
If that was the case, it was understandable.
“Suu, that’s enough for the formality.”
I felt like a princess, but Duke Cassiar snubbed me.
“I’ll be following Madam from now on.”
Suu stood up and looked at my hand for a few moments before exiting through the same window through which he had entered.
“We’re on the second floor. Are you okay?”
I was surprised and hurriedly looked out the window.
But Suu was no longer in sight.
“He is alright. Suu is not an ordinary knight.”
It seemed that Duke Cassiar was already familiar with the scene.
Who is he if he isn’t an ordinary knight?
I had a lot of questions in my head, but instead of asking Duke Cassiar, I decided to ask Suu directly.
Suu was my escort, and from now on there would be more to see.
“Are you going back to the Marquis now?”
Duke Cassiar asked as he closed the window.
“Yes, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to return, even as a duchess, if I don’t go back right now.”
The face of my mother that had been forgotten for a moment came to mind.
I’d had a strict curfew since I was a child, so even if I went to a party, I couldn’t stay late and had to leave.
If I came back home late, I had to taste my mother’s hand.
“It’s funny. It’s frustrating for me as well that you can’t come to the Duke’s house, so I’ll get the carriage ready right away.”
What exactly do you mean by “funny”?
The Duke of Cassiar seemed to think what I said was a joke.
It wouldn’t be fun unless you’d experienced your mother’s spiciness at least once.
I remembered something I’d forgotten while thinking about how to make my mother’s hands taste better.
“Oh, I almost forgot. I had something to give you back.”
I returned to him a ribbon of the Duke of Cassiar that I had used to tie my hair.
I was good at tying my hair with a ribbon!
I was able to confidently tie ribbons prettier than anyone else after taking over gift wrapping at the cosmetics store.
I knotted the ribbon around the Duke of Cassiar’s shirt with finesse.
As expected, it’s perfect!
The ribbons were tied in the correct proportions and did not fray.
“What do you think? Do you like it?”
I was pleased with my skills and looked to the Duke of Cassiar for praise.
“It’s not bad.”
However, I received a mixed response from him.
Hey, this time I’ll let you go.
“Have you ever seen a more beautiful ribbon than this? It’s not bad because you’ve set a high bar.”
I was a fool if I thought Duke Cassiar would say anything good about me.
The Duke’s low voice whispered in my ear as I turned around.
“It’s the same thing as being good if you’re not bad.”
“Did you just say something, Duke?”
I immediately turned to the Duke of Cassiar, my ears pricked up.
“It’s not bad.”
“No, but what you said after that.”
I persisted, but he shrugged his shoulders and walked right past me.
You could just say it was good if it was good. Was it because the Duke is not good at expressing himself?
Come think about it, this was the first time the Duke had told me he liked what I did. Wasn’t that not bad?
I laughed silently, imitating the Duke’s words.
This time, being generous, I chose to understand the Duke of Cassiar.
As soon as I arrived at the Marquis’s mansion, I had to scream.
“Aww, it hurts!”
On my back, I could feel my mother’s spiciness.
“You haven’t even gotten married yet. Are you planning on staying out all night?”
My mother was furious when I went out for the first time.
“It was not like what mother was thinking. I just slept. Only sleep.”
I cried as I rubbed my tingly back.
My mother gave me a worried look.
“I’m not going to interfere with your freedom. But if you call me in advance, we won’t have to worry. What would we be worried about if Duke Cassiar hadn’t contacted us?”
It was a story I had never heard before.
“Yes. He sent a messenger to tell us not to be worried because you had fallen asleep.”
I must have been out of your mind because you were sick. When did you contact the Marquis?
I suddenly remembered what Fanny said.
The Duke of Cassiar was a person who was infinitely sensitive to the people who mattered to him.
Wait, then why am I being scolded? I didn’t have anything to worry about.
“Then why did I get hit? You’ve been contacted.”
“Would you have called if the Duke hadn’t called? It is obvious.”
It was unfair, but it was true when I heard it, so there was nothing else to say.
You are so cheap.
Every mother in the world must be able to read minds.
Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to speak as if I was thinking about how I’d act.
Lili dashed into the mansion as I was pouting my mouth at the resentment.
“Lady, you have a gift from the Duke of Cassiar.”
Duke Cassiar didn’t tell me anything.
What exactly is this gift?
“Oh my, what is all this?”
When my mother and I went outside, we found a pile of golden carriages, jewelry, and furniture sent by the Duke of Cassiar.
The Duke flaunted his wealth.
At the very least, if you were sending a gift, shouldn’t it fit inside the mansion?
Even if all of these items could be stuffed into the mansion, people would have to live there.
“I’ve been asked by Duke Cassiar Kissen to deliver this letter to the Marquis and Marchioness.”
Following me, my father took the letter and opened it.
“Rather than me, you should read this.”
My father handed the Duke’s letter to my mother while laughing out loud.
“What is written on it?”
I crept up behind my mother and peeped inside the letter.
[Dear Marquis and Marchioness. I apologize for causing you concern by not being able to return your precious daughter on time, even before the ceremony. I realize that these gifts will not bring comfort to the hearts of the marquis and marchioness, but there is no other way to express my feelings, so I sent them all at once. However, I would like to ask you one thing. Don’t be too harsh with Riel. I’ll gladly be scolded in place of Riel the next time I visit the Marquis. Please accept my heartfelt sincere apologies.]
“Riel, you’ve found a great husband.”
My mother seemed to be deeply touched by Duke Cassiar’s letter.
To be honest, I had no idea the Duke would look after me so well, but it wasn’t just a pleasant feeling.
The Duke of Cassiar was not my real husband.
Everything, including the letters, was eventually a ruse to reassure parents.
That was something I already knew everything about, and it was great that the Duke moved it around so I didn’t have to worry about my parents.
Why do I feel so lonely?
“By the way, Riel.”
“How the hell did you tell the Duke about this, and now you’re telling him about me so I don’t scold you?”
Something wasn’t right.
My mother’s piercing gaze on me.
I was about to squeeze the hem of my dress in my hands and run because I felt threatened.
“That’s…… I’ll go in first because I’m a little tired. Good night! Mother!”
The chase between me and my mother had been causing havoc at the Marquis’ mansion for quite some time.
The Duke of Cassiar was deafeningly quiet after Riel had left.
Kissen stopped loosening the ribbon to change his clothes when he returned to his room after working late as usual.
Kissen looked through the mirror and looked at the ribbon Riel had tied.
“This is very delicate.”
‘Her hand was warm when she tied my ribbon.’
Kissen remembered Riel’s hand rubbing against his neck.
It was the first time in a long time that he felt warmth.
Kissen, who smiled a little as he remembered Riel, who was always making a racket just by being there, reached out with a bottle of sleeping medication.
He didn’t pick up the bottle this time, though.
What Riel said flooded his mind for a brief moment.
‘No sleeping medication until I come. If I return to the marquis’ mansion and survive, I will return to the Duke’s mansion the next day. Until then, try to fall asleep naturally.’
Riel also left a message advising him to drink chamomile tea if he couldn’t sleep.
‘What am I doing reliving all of this?’
Kissen reached out to his ribbon, having defined the reason Riel came to mind in his own way.
Kissen, who had changed into a robe, eventually held the ribbon that Riel had tied in his hand.
‘Why the hell did I have to suffer so much because I was so concerned about this?’ He asked himself , just as Riel had tied it up at the start.
Kissen sighed as he looked back at himself, who had struggled to remove the ribbon from his neck without messing up its shape.
‘There must be something right with her.’
Kissen closed his eyes slowly as he recalled the Duke’s tumultuous day of work after a long time.
‘I heard chamomile tea helps you sleep. I’ll ask Fanny if you can’t get to sleep.’
Kissen pretended to be fooled and decided to practice sleeping alone, as Riel had instructed.
However, it was not possible.
Kissen closed his eyes at his last thought.
In his hand, he held the ribbon tied by Riel.