“What? She’ll be back soon.”

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When the lord said he would find his wife himself, the butler quickly stopped him.

The lord had just returned home and now was saying he wouldn’t rest.

“Open the gates.”

Lukas got on his horse.
It was because he was worried when he remembered again what happened.
He didn’t know why he was so nervous.

“She shouldn’t have caused another incident…”

It was him who took his eyes off her for a moment and immediately something happened.
In fact, he wanted to send only the knights to suppress the conflict, but he couldn’t truly ignore it because the report mentioned the movements on the border were unusual.

“Don’t be angry.
She was frustrated that she was stuck in the castle.” Alan, who was following him, gave advice.
A competent butler who defies his master’s resolve no matter how much he knows the outcome was really like a fish out of water.

“Oh, are you no longer on my side?”

“No, I’m not taking any sides in particular.”

“It’s nice to see.
Keep doing it.”

It was fine.

The butler, who took a step toward incompetence and thus was rebuked by his lord, shut his mouth.

However.

“Well, the butler is right.
To be honest, she must have been very frustrated since she was locked inside the castle and couldn’t leave.
Why not give her some work to do? So she won’t feel bored.”

“Jade, why are you following me?” He looked at the red-haired knight who was in a better mood than the butler.
“You said you were tired.”

“I think I’m feeling reenergized because I just heard about something great.”

“Something great.”

“I mean, he was humiliated.”

Jade grinned as if to ask why his lord didn’t know the obvious thing that had occurred.

“Do you believe that? Do you actually believe my wife was able to beat Evan?”

“I believe it.
No, I want to believe it.
Please let it be true.”

This desperation was indescribable, and Jade even politely put his hands together.

They left the castles and stopped at the steel gates.
He wanted to go farther out, but she would’ve needed to pass through here to meet with the butler.
Inevitably, Lukas was content to stay at this point.

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Fortunately, the wait wasn’t long.

“Ah, I see a carriage over there.”

“You’re correct.”

“That’s too bad.
If she was even a little late, my lord would have rushed out.” Jade sarcastically added that he wanted to see such a scene, so it was a pity.

Lukas didn’t care.
His eyes were fixed on the carriage with the ducal crest, and he approached it calmly.
At that moment, he saw the coachman freeze on the spot.
Evan, who had poked his head out of the window for a second, did that as well.

“Huh.
Well, I don’t know if it’s just me, but wasn’t the knight commander’s face quite pale just now?”

“Yes, I think he’s seen his own ghost…”

Did Alan and Jade see it too? One of them whispered that they had a bad feeling about this.

“Excuse me, let me examine it for a second.”

After Lukas approached the carriage that stopped in front of him, he knocked on the door.

“I do recall saying you should stay in the castle and rest…”

He smiled as he heard a loud bang from inside.
Yes, they thought he was very busy.
They must be wondering why he was back already.
Lukas held back his laughter as much as he could and opened the door.
Something seemed to fall backward with a thud because it couldn’t handle the amount of force he used, but he ignored it.

“Did you enjoy your secret outing without listening to your husband?”

As soon as he opened the door, three people with their heads lowered appeared.
It was such a funny sight that he tried to start the interrogation slowly, all while holding back his laughter… Wait a minute.

“Hmm? Raise your head, Ella.”

Sensing something strange, he made the demand quickly.
But he could see her head refused to budge.
Instead, she was practically keeping her head down.

Lukas frowned.
“You should do as I say before I get angry.”

Her shoulders flinched noticeably at the slightly threatening remark.
In time, that stubbornly lowered head was slowly raised.
For a moment, his heart sank.

This was because of the dark red blood stains on her white sleeves.

That wasn’t all.

“What happened to your forehead?”

His eyes were fixed on the red scar about the size of two of his fingers.
Lukas’s expression darkened at once.

“This is…”

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“It looks horrible, but the wound isn’t that bad.
It stopped bleeding, so if I just apply medicine and rest well, it’ll get better once I take a bath.”

She must have been flustered because of how she was almost shouting, but it didn’t work.

“Evan, tell me what happened.”

“W-Well, that’s…”

“You better say it quickly.
My patience is running thin, more than you think it is.”

Lukas held her in his arms.
Then Evan, who was hiding in the corner, sighed and opened his mouth.

“The people found out who she was and threw small, hard things at her… Like a radish.”

To be exact, it was a solid stone, but Evan said it in his own way because it was obvious that he would get demoted if he spoke about it in such detail.

A small but hard object or something.

It didn’t work to appease his lord.

“U-Uh, Lukas…”

“Quiet.
I’m very upset at the moment.”

He gave a warning and tightened his grip, and she, who was squirming like she wanted to run, stopped.

As he hurried along, his blue eyes flashed coldly.

“Close the gates.
No matter what.”

“Excuse me?”

“For the time being, we will prevent people from entering the duchy.
Ensure everything is locked.”

“…Understood.” The butler, whose anxiety was increasing by the second, sighed and nodded.

Meanwhile, Ella, who was being carried in Lukas’s arms, looked at the butler with worried eyes.

Alan smiled awkwardly.

“Hold on, is it okay just to close the gates like that? What about the rest of the empire? The people that want to come in?”

“This isn’t the time for you to worry, my lady.” The butler, who had regained his ability to speak, shook his head.
“I think my lord is very angry.”

Angry because of whom?

***

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Oh, was it going to be like this again? I let out a deep sigh.
Obviously, in the beginning, he carried me like a princess, but before I knew it, I was carried on his shoulder like a bag filled with stuff.

In that state, every servant I encountered every now and then, since my husband was walking around the castle, were in a hurry.

But it didn’t last long.

“Oh, my lady, you’re here… Ah, my lady! My lady!”

“Your forehead! Your forehead!”

“Our lady’s dazzling appearance is…!”

Huh, you’re all that surprised? I understand.
All kinds of questions were asked about how it happened, what happened exactly.
I wanted to answer their questions one by one, but it was impossible.
It was because my husband, who was very angry, was three steps past them when I tried to say something.

We arrived at the office in no time.

“Now, then…”

I was put into a chair near the desk, and he reached out to push away my bangs.
The eyes that looked at my exposed wound were sharp.
Then he grimaced.

“Do you want me to explain what happened?”

He grabbed my shoulders.
It looked like he wouldn’t let go even if I didn’t say anything.

“What did you go into town for?”

“Let’s just say I was out to gather information.
Since my husband is a human, I was curious to see how they live…”

“Why were you standing in line at the front of the bakery?”

Oh, he already knew.
Great.

I quickly shot a look at Evan.
Evan shook his head and acted like he was innocent.

Then…!

As I thought, I saw Betty with her eyes fixed on the ground.
She was the culprit!

“The cookies… Mr.
Alan brought me the other day was delicious, and I heard there was a bakery outside the castle… I really wanted to go there.”

My escape was like I was running away, and in the end, I couldn’t achieve my original goal, but I was definitely motivated by snacks.

I snuck a glance at him, then immediately lowered my head like I was a sinner confessing.
I saw him shake his head in bewilderment.

Well, what did he think I left the castle for?

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“You could have told the maids.”

At my husband’s words, Evan settled down on one side of the room and nodded.
Come to think of it, he also said the same thing.

“I didn’t want them to do it.”

“All right, then tell me next time.
I’ll buy some as I return to the castle.”

“No, that’s not the problem at all.” I shook my head quickly.
I meant that I wanted to do this alone.

Yet he accepted it as not wanting to add more work for the maids and said to use him as an errand boy.

“If the people’s precious lord looks like a fool, you’ll be insulted.”

I was already trying to read his mind, but it seemed he didn’t want to hear more.
There was something else too.

“It’s better than you getting hurt.”

“…”

I was speechless for a moment.
Suddenly, I remembered the time when I was almost strangled by the count the other day.
Lukas told me that I had a serious neck injury.

“I just don’t want you to get hurt.”

“Please, don’t get hurt.”

It was a similar situation to then, but something was different with the current circumstances.
He only seemed angry, but now he actually was upset.

“What did I say? I told you not to go outside.
What if something worse happened?”

Ah, he still was very much furious.

He raised his voice.
“What are we going to do about this?”

Lukas tapped the area around the wound that was on my forehead.
It was annoying to feel a throbbing pain when he touched it.
If I was going to get injured, I’d rather just be injured.
It was more annoying to be unsure whether or not I would be hurt.
I was frowning because of that.

“Why do you keep getting hurt?”

“…”

His slightly saddened voice made me stiffen without realizing it.
Now I feel like I made a huge mistake.
I couldn’t say a word and looked at him blankly.
He sighed and ran his hand through his hair like he was holding back his emotions.

“I think I’ve said this many times, but not everyone in the world is as kind as the people in Havel Castle.”

“Yes, I had the opportunity to realize that.” I nodded.

Frowning, he raised his voice again.
“If you noticed that before you get hurt, then isn’t that better? Why do you have to hurt yourself in order to realize that?”

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