ords, it meant her brother visited to collect money again.

How much did he take this time? Ten thousand pounds? A hundred thousand? A million?

Chloe was sure that Eric gave it.

At this, her heart dropped and her hands trembled.

Then, she quickly lifted her gaze, only to see that Eric was walking up the stairs already.

“Madam! It’s dangerous, please don’t run!”

Chloe ran after Eric, who had already reached the second floor.

All the windows of the hallway on the second floor were wide open, and cold wind filled the air.
Her nose and ears quickly turned red and her eyes teared up because of the coldness.

The wind ruffled her silver hair, but because she was brought up with an aristocrat’s demeanor, her expression did not show this at all.
Like a warrior fighting against the wind, she showed a more tenacious spirit.

“Dar…”

Because she ran so suddenly, she was out of breath.
But Chloe quickly composed herself because her high self-esteem wouldn’t allow herself to show any signs of her illness in front of so many people.
She raised her chin higher.

“Darling.”

Chloe pulled on Eric’s cuffs.

“That’s enough.”

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Her hands were trembling.
She quickly retracted her hand, hoping he didn’t see it.

“I’ve told you several times.
You don’t have to give my family any more money.
It’s my brother’s fault anyway, so let him find his own solution.
Please?”

Before she could even finish what she was saying, Eric sighed deeply once more.

“If I do what you say, then I’ll be a heartless, commoner husband of a Duke’s daughter who has no money.”

Eric narrowed his eyes and raised a hand to push back his hair.

“Don’t worry about the money.
It’s not something you have to be involved in as a wife.”

Not something to be involved in… Wasn’t the household’s finances something that should be managed by the madam of the family?

How far was he going to isolate her? Chloe raised her head against the cold air.

“Then what should I do to have the right to be involved?”

Moisture filled Chloe’s blue eyes.

“I want to be of help to you, too.”

Eric looked down insensitively at Chloe.
As always, it was painfully clear how much he didn’t love her.

“There’s nothing you can do for me.”

The emotion that dominated his voice was boredom.
Eric was tired of their conversation now.

As soon as Chloe realized this, she laughed in vain.

“That’s right.
I… I’ve done nothing all my life, and now I’m going to die without having done anything.”

She only had two years left to live at most.

She lifted her gaze again to look at Eric squarely.
It was an earnest gaze, as if this was the last time.

“Darling.”

There was a hint of grief in her tone.

“I’m sick.”

She slowly opened her lips and put strength into every syllable she spoke.

“I’m really, really sick.”

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A gust of the cold winter air surged between them.
It was such a strong gust that the airships floating in the sky faltered.
Chloe was shaken by the wind, but Eric wasn’t.
Chloe was the only one affected.

“Can’t you come home more often? That’s all I wish for.”

Her heart ached more than her body.

As long as he’d be by her side, then she could endure all the pain that was plaguing her body.
As long as he was there, then this awful loneliness would go away.

So she wanted to see him more.

“Just because you’ll see me doesn’t mean you’ll get better.”

“…Darling.”

“I’ll bring a doctor from the capital and send him to you.
That would be enough.”

Chloe looked up.

Again, his eyes expressed nothing but lukewarm disinterest.

She suddenly felt heat on her cheeks.
What the hell was she hoping that this man would say.

She dropped her gaze, chewing herself up in indignation.

“Go in.
The wind is cold.”

Chloe stared blankly at Eric’s back as he left without another word.

She knew.
Of course she did.

This marriage was without any love from the very beginning.

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But no, it wasn’t that there was no love, it was only that one side had it and the other didn’t.

“…I should really… stop here now.”

Her empty voice was washed away by the cold winter wind.

——
tl/n:
I don’t usually leave notes to react to chapters but uuuuuuuugggghhhh this is so painful, I just can’t stand the husband!! But in any case, I’m looking forward to his (currently very punchable) face twist up in pain when he starts to regret everything (and I also want to see more of the novel’s setting because I’m excited this is a steampunk world~)

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