t once, perhaps realizing that the words he uttered had been too insensitive.

“In any case, that’s what I’m trying to say.
So please don’t go up there again, Madam.
You understand, yes?”

“Haven’t I told you to stop?”

Eric rebuked the captain again in a rather irritated voice.
The captain was practically scolding Chloe, who was someone who probably had never been scolded in her life.
Chloe might be feeling offended, too, so Eric stopped him, but…

“I see.
I apologize.”

But Chloe was fine with it.
Contrary to Eric’s thoughts, she even apologized.

Eric looked at Chloe, his eyes tinged with astonishment.

Of course, Chloe was also taken aback.
It was her first time she was being scolded by someone who wasn’t a family member.
But because it was for a sensible reason, Chloe accepted it.

“It won’t happen again.
No matter how good the sight is, I’ll just watch from inside.
That’s fine, right?”

“Oh, of course, of course, Madam.
I’m only saying this for your safety, so please don’t be too angry.”

“What do you mean by angry? It’s alright.
You were only concerned for my safety.”

Alfredo seemed to feel comforted by these words.
With a hand over his chest, he bowed towards her.

“Then, I’ll be leaving now.
I’ll ask the chef to bring out a good bottle of wine.”

“I would appreciate that.
Go ahead inside.”

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“Yes, Madam.”

After Alfredo left, Eric turned to Chloe, still baffled.

“Are you alright?”

“Huh?”

Eric added.

“I mean, are you alright after the captain spoke so presumptuously towards you?”

“What do you mean? I’m fine.”

Chloe waved her hand as she replied.

“He only pointed out my mistake.
There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be fine.”

“……”

Eric couldn’t say anything back.
Chloe seemed to be lost in thought now, but she couldn’t guess what he meant when he asked that, so she also remained silent.

Clatter, clatter. The only that could be heard between them was their silverware hitting against their plates.

Then, suddenly, Eric spoke.

“It’s shocking.”

“Pardon?”

Chloe asked back, not knowing what he’s talking about.
Eric continued speaking.

“I thought you’d have been a little more uppity.”

“Uppity?”

Chloe knitted her eyebrows together for a moment before she let out a peal of laughter at the unexpected word.
How could he continue to say such cute words while maintaining the same cold expression? She couldn’t help but chuckle.

“I don’t know what you think of me, but I do believe I’ve got a good personality.
Darling, I wouldn’t get angry or upset about something like this.”

“It seems so.
That must also be why you chose to ignore the nonsense that the servants up north had been saying.”

“You’re still holding onto that?”

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He was talking about the servants who said, ‘Isn’t it that your husband has a mistress?’ and were fired as a result.

As Chloe thought about that time, a wave of emotion passed through her face again, and it was the same look that Eric saw as ‘uppity’.

“You were at fault back then.
I’m the lady of the house and yet you fired them without my permission.”

Eric clenched one hand into a fist beneath the table.

As soon as those servants were mentioned, he could feel his anger rising.
The back of his neck gradually grew stiff.

However, he couldn’t show this anger to Chloe.
It’s obvious that whatever good atmosphere they had between them would disappear the moment he did, no matter how hard he’d try.
He accepted those words meekly.

“That’s one way to think of it.”

As Eric pressed down the urge to let out his anger, he continued speaking in a calm manner.

“But it was a good thing that I fired them.
You know that, too, don’t you?”

He looked straight into Chloe’s eyes.

“They deliberately ostracized you.”

Chloe’s pupils trembled.
She lowered her hands from the table and clasped them together on her lap.

“You knew?”

“I came to know about it.
That’s why I fired all the servants in the northern estate and hired new ones.
Even the butler.
He knew what was happening, and apart from that, he had been siphoning a considerable amount of assets.
All the newly hired employees know this.
So, the same thing is not going to happen when you return to the north.”

Eric let out a long-drawn sigh.

“Why didn’t you tell me? If you had, I would have solved it all right away.”

Chloe bit her bottom lip.
She wiped the cold sweat from her hands over her lap as she raised her head to meet his gaze, as if she’d made up her mind.

“I wanted to tell you.”

She spoke sincerely, from the bottom of her heart.

“But you did not have time to talk to me.”

“That—”

“You always said you were busy, and you brushed me aside…”

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