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Was that the Duke Cassiar’s voice?
Duke Cassiar, weren’t you unable to make it today?
“No! You can’t. Don’t come in!”
I quickly wiped away my tears and shouted out the curtain.
I felt like the Duke was going to make fun of me if he found out I’d been crying alone!
When I showed him cutting apples with a sword, he laughed while holding his stomach.
That was something I didn’t want to happen again.
“Madame, has Riel changed her dress yet?”
Duke Cassiar asked the Madame after I was terrified and refused to let him inside the curtain.
Please say ‘not yet’ to him. Please, Madame.
“Lady has already changed her dress. I wish you happiness. Your wife is absolutely gorgeous. How beautiful your wife is! She looked like a priceless shiny jewel.”
As expected, my earnest cry did not reach Madame Tou.
“I guess my wife is embarrassed to show herself in a wedding dress.”
I heard the mischievous voice of the Duke of Cassiar.
He seemed to notice that I was trying to hide something from him.
“Madame, would you mind going outside for a while? I want to see my cute bride’s shy face alone.”
No. Do not go. Madame Tou. Everything he said I was like a cute bride is a liar, and in the end, he was desperate to make fun of me.
“I’ll leave for a moment if that’s what the Duke wants. Leave it to me and enjoy.”
Madame Tou’s happy smile, which had been fooled by the Duke of Cassiar, had subsided.
Then I heard the sound of her footsteps had faded away.
“Then excuse me.”
Duke Cassiar approached me and came to a halt in front of the dressing room and tried to pull the curtain open.
“Don’t be rude!”
I desperately held the curtain.
“You’re not interested in seeing how I look in the wedding dress anyway.”
Thoughts that had previously only existed in my head suddenly emerged.
This wasn’t the kind of marriage I was thinking of.
I wanted a romantic marriage proposal from someone who thought of and loved me more than anyone else, even if it wasn’t lavish, and I wanted to marry with love.
I didn’t mean to imply that I didn’t cry while selecting my own dress or before we were married.
I became depressed once more as I considered it.
I sat down and cried, not intending to stop Duke Cassiar.
Where did everything go wrong?
Would I have been able to live a normal life, enjoying small joys without becoming involved with the Duke of Cassiar if I hadn’t gone out to the downtown area that day?
The Duke entered when the hand holding the curtain slipped away.
Duke Cassiar, who approached me, seemed surprised by my tears.
Because that rock-solid poker face faded away in an instant.
In retrospect, it was this man who ruined my first wedding.
If only I had not met the Duke of Cassiar, there would have been no need to weep bitterly in a wedding dress.
The arrows of anger were naturally directed at Duke Cassiar.
“It’s all because of the Duke. I mean, I wanted to be the happiest bride in the world as much as anyone else. I wanted to marry a man who looked at me lovingly when I was wearing my wedding dress. Not with a man who abandons me in this manner, but with the man I love!”
Duke Cassiar lowered himself to me and sat down, having been watching me shed tears for a long time.
“I’m sorry. Because I’m not the man you’re looking for.”
For some reason, the Duke’s eyes seemed vague as he covered my cheeks with his hands and caressed my tears.
“I may not be the man you love, but in the name of Kissen Cassiar, who promised to marry you, I will perform my duties as your husband well. I’ll make sure you never cry again like you did today.”
To tell you the truth, I had no idea Duke Cassiar would console me.
Even though we had already agreed on something similar, I expected him to be cold-hearted and tell me not to be bothered by it.
The Duke of Cassiar was sincerely apologizing to me.
It was true that I’d been held captive by the Duke for a number of reasons, but the Duke and I have already agreed on everything.
So the Duke wasn’t obligated to accept my whims as they were, but he was surprisingly friendly.
Perhaps it was because of the Duke’s soothing words that the flood of my tears stopped.
I realized something today. He knew I didn’t want to be a lonely bride, even if I would be a fake duchess.
Even if it was just for formality, having a husband made you feel less lonely.
It was less lonely to have a husband, even if it was only formality.
We can be friends even in a relationship without love, right?
I wanted to be like that with Duke Cassiar.
We aren’t as close as lovers, but neither are we as far apart as strangers.
“Did you promise? I won’t be lonely. We can still be a good partner who helps each other even if we’re not lovers.”
“I swear. For you I will be a good partner.”
My disappointment was melted away by a promise.
The place was filled with embarrassment to the extent that my face was burning red.
“If you don’t keep your promise, I’ll find my true love and abandon you, so be ready.”
These were the words I spat out in an attempt to break the silence between Duke Cassiar and myself.
The Duke’s that had a gentle face before, cracked upon hearing those words.
Have I stepped on a landmine?
I thought he might be angry, but as I sat down, Duke Cassiar placed his hand on my shoulder.
“It will be difficult for you to leave me if you don’t know what else to do.”
I would, indeed.
I hadn’t seen him talk like a villain in a long time, but now I did.
The words of the Duke of Cassiar that came out, which are typical lines of the novel’s villains, went in one ear and out the other as I sat crouching crying and stood up holding his hand.
Oh, it hurts.
However, I lost my balance and stumbled because my legs were numb, possibly due to the high heels I was wearing.
As I was about to fall, Duke Cassiar’s strong arms wrapped around my waist.
Because of him, I became a captive bird in the Duke’s arms.
When I first saw Duke Cassiar, the novel’s cold-hearted villain, I imagined cold blood flowing through his veins.
But now that I was in his arms, I understood.
The Duke was not a monster or a demon, but a normal person who welcomed me with open arms.
Duke Cassiar smiled and raised the corner of his mouth at an angle when he met my gaze.
“Because I’m not going to let you go.”
“Lady, you are so beautiful! The pure white dress goes so well with your silver hair! I feel as if I’m staring at a goddess.”
Lili clasped her hands in delight as she drew the curtains in the dressing room.
Lili, you really, I’m embarrassed.
“Thank you, Lili.”
Feeling better, I promised to myself that I would buy Lili’s favorite dessert later.
“But, lady, why are your eyes so red?”
Were my eyes still red?
The Duke of Cassiar appeared out of nowhere and bolted out from the dressing room.
‘Because I’m not going to let you go.’
He wouldn’t let me go, presumably because he needed the power I possessed.
Being held in the Duke’s arms in a room with just the two of us felt strange.
Hearing threatening words that sounded like a confession must have made him crazy.
“Lady, did you cry?”
Lili lowered her voice and asked me carefully.
She seemed worried that something bad had happened with the Duke of Cassiar.
Lili, who had grown up with me since my childhood, couldn’t help but notice my face right after I cried.
Suu, who was silently escorting, turned to the Duke of Cassiar after hearing Lili’s whisper.
“Suu, what is that line of sight that would make it seem to be pointing the finger at me?”
“Not a single thing.”
Suu’s eyes were clearly blaming Duke Cassiar, despite what he said.
Duke Cassiar, who would growl, was quietly looking into his eyes, as if admitting that he (Suu) had made a mistake.
“I’ve only tried one dress, but I’m tired and yawning already, that is why my eyes are red.”
I pretended to yawn in order to cover up Duke Cassiar’s mistake.
“How about all of these dresses? If you’re having trouble, I’ll have to find a dress for you to try on.”
Lili was troubled as she looked at the dresses hanging on the hangers.
As Lili was removing some of the dress, I grabbed her hand.
“Lili, even though I said it was hard. I didn’t say I’d give up. Today I’m going to wear all of the dresses that are hanging here.”
Duke Cassiar, whose gaze was drawn to the hanger, tried to sit down on the sofa before rising up.
I caught the Duke as he hurriedly tried to leave the Atelier.
“Duke, where are you going? You must see your cute and lovely bride in her dress.”
Duke Cassiar ended up stranded on the sofa as I smiled menacingly.
The show to choose my wedding dress began, with the Duke as the audience.
I repeated the performance for the Duke in the dress.
‘What do you think?’
‘It’s not bad.’
‘What about this?’
‘It’s not bad.’
The Duke’s answer was unanimous, ‘It’s not bad.’
It certainly was.
Isn’t this all totally ‘not bad’?
Could you say more diverse things when someone asks you a question, so please say anything except ‘it’s not bad’.
“Would you like to come over for a minute, Duke?”
I smiled softly because there were so many eyes watching.
Before he could even approach, I grabbed Duke Cassiar’s ribbon and pulled it towards me.
“Why are you doing this?”
The Duke seemed a little embarrassed by my reckless behavior, whose motto in my life was to behave straightforwardly.
“Are you asking me because you don’t know? Even if Duke’s reaction is not sincere, this is not enough! Have you forgotten what you said in the dressing room? You said you would fulfill your duties as my husband even if we were a contractual couple.”
That was the word that came to mind as I was looking at the Duke.
“My mother once told me. I should not believe what men say. I guess my mother is right. Should it be okay for you to say that I am beautiful even if I am not?”
I grunted and cast a sly glance at the Duke of Cassiar.
The Duke, who was silently watching my piercing gaze, opened his mouth.
“What do you mean she is wrong? She said something thoughtful.”
“It’s not your mother who is, but you are.”
“What kind of…”
As if embarrassed by me who didn’t understand what he was saying, Duke Cassiar opened his mouth a few times like a crucian carp and did not speak clearly.
“Beautiful. You are.”
He stared at me, his red cheeks stoking as if he had a fever.
“Even in my eyes.”