The temperature for tea! Since when did she care about that? She was merely venting her anger as always.
Chloe walked over taking quick and short paces and approached her.

“Mother.”

The Duchess turned her head only as Chloe called her.

“Why, you’re here.”

The Duchess received Chloe as usual.

“Though I may have sent the letter at the last minute, is that the cause for such treatment?”

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“We were out.”

“Even so, you must always pay attention to letters.
You are not doing anything right as the lady of the house.
Really, the same as the past, you are still dumb as ever.”

Chloe bit hard on her lower lip.
It is really you who still is as rude as always.
She wanted to snap but restrained herself.
Putting up with everything again.

“You are here, madam.”

Just then, Eric entered the house.
The duchess rejoiced and approached Eric.

“Lord Eric is as handsome as ever.
So, is everything going alright?”

“Things are according to plan, thanks to your concern.”

“What concern, I did nothing.”

The duchess faced Eric and laughed indulgently as if she had never acted so sharply.

It was something she always saw but it felt more sickening to look at today.
Though it may not be appropriate to have this sickening feeling towards her own mother, she could not help it.
Because she could guess the reason her mother had come.

“Please take a seat.
Andrea, prepare the tea.”

“Yes, My Lord.”

Andrea hurriedly left, her face still red with embarrassment.

Eric led the duchess to the table at the side of the central living room, and took a seat opposite her.
Chloe sat next to him.
Their hands slid down under the table and met.
Their hands, clasped, trembled.

“So, what brings you here.
It would not have been a forgiving ride due to the heavy snow.”

Eric said politely.
The Duchess gave an exaggerated laugh as she waved her fan.

“Well, Joseph did something again.”

Joseph.
It was her brother’s name.

Chloe felt her heart beating quickly the moment his name showed up.
Her palms felt clammy.
She took in a deep breath, trying her best to calm down.

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“By something, what does that mean?”

Eric asked lightly.
The Duchess immediately jumped at that and quickly answered.

“He said he is going to start a business.
Seems like he finally came around.
It is incredible that he is working hard to look after himself! Ah, you would not know.
How agonising I felt every day because of Joseph! I even prayed to sell my soul to the devil if only that child would come back to his senses! But will you expect it, he finally woke up and found himself something to do! Which is why I rushed over to you in a heartbeat.
Do you understand what I’m saying?”

Eric stared at the duchess.
There would be no way Eric did not know the meaning that her words entailed.
He turned his gaze from the duchess and looked at Chloe.

Chloe had her head lowered as she chewed on her lips.
It was expected that she showed such a response as she disliked pouring money into her family.

Eric was at a crossroads.
To respect Chloe’s position would mean that not giving the duchess the money would be the right thing.
Yet at the same time this act would be no different from disregarding the duchess.
And if he did not give the money it would be certain that the Rolphe family would crumble and go bankrupt.
Therefore Eric had to choose.

Would he respect Chloe’s position, or would he follow her mother’s and save the Family of Rolphe.

The answer was clear.

“If you could tell Daniel how much you need I will let him know to proceed as is.”

“My goodness, Lord Eric!”

The duchess grabbed Eric’s arm as she reacted in an overly exaggerated manner.

“Joseph will definitely repay this debt.
No, no.
That can’t be called a debt.
Is that not right? Since you took my one and only daughter.
Correct?”

Instead of answering, Eric laughed in a low voice.
He took the stance of not wanting to talk further but the duchess seemed not to have taken notice.
Or perhaps she may have, but merely was acting as if she had not.
Whatever it was, she opened her mouth again.

“By the way I heard a very strange rumour.”

She continued.

“A rumour about Lord Eric and Chloe going to divorce.
I thought it was rubbish gossip yet there seems to be quite a few who believe in it.
Then, is that true?”

Eric’s eyes crumpled in an unsightly manner.
He opened his lips.

“There’s no way……”

“Mother.”

It was Chloe who cut off Eric’s words.

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