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Just then, Eric called her.
Chloe quickly raised her head.

“A letter arrived yesterday.”


Chloe could not guess and asked back.
Eric brought over the letter and spoke.

“It is a letter from your mother.”

“…My mother.”

Chloe unconsciously bit down on her lip.

It had been a whole year since there was a letter from her mother.
The natural response would be of joy but not so for Chloe.

Her mother had always contacted her only when something bad happened.

What would it be again this time.

She felt her heart jump up to her throat as she took in a deep breath.
The letter was handed over to her.
She slowly scanned through the contents of the letter.

[I heard you are in the capital?]

As always, there were no greetings of formality or whatsoever.
Chloe read the next line.

[That’s great.
As a matter of fact, there was something I wanted to ask of your husband.
So I will visit you tomorrow.
Be properly prepared.]

Chloe’s eyes grew wide open.
The dispatchment date of the letter was just yesterday.
Which means that ‘tomorrow’ would actually refer to today!

“M, mother says that she will be coming.”

“I read that as well.”

“She says that she will arrive today,”

“That’s alright.
Let’s go get ready.”

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“She may have already arrived.”

“Then we can’t help but would have to seek her understanding.
Say that we were away and only just saw the letter.”

“I don’t think mother would understand.”

Chloe’s mother is, to put it nicely, the very embodiment of an aristocratic lady, and to put it badly, a woman different on the inside and out.

She always smiled gently but inside she held a knife between her lips, and she knew how to brandish it.

And it was only Chloe who knew the real side of her mother.
Therefore she started to feel a heavy pressure weighing down on her chest.
She pressed her hand to her forehead and let out a long sigh.

Her heart was palpitating quickly.
She felt borderline dizzy.
A cough was climbing up but with effort, she smoothed down her chest and stuffed it down.

“Does it worry you that much?”

Eric asked.

Naturally, as Eric has not the slightest idea of the person that is Chloe’s mother, he would not know why she would react in such a way.

Chloe did a double take as she realised she revealed too much of her emotions and swiftly shook her head.

It’s fine.”

“You say you are fine all the time.
When in fact you are not.”

Eric said as he questioningly looked at Chloe.

“We have Andrea so she would have received her without problem.
And there is Daniel who would provide a companion to converse with.”

That part was not at all what Chloe was worried about.
Her head was starting to ache over
the very fact that her mother was coming to begin with, and knowing very well what she was expectant of.

However, this could not be revealed to Eric.
Chloe attempted to pull up the corners of her lips as she nodded.

I won’t be worried.”

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Eric stared at Chloe with an uncertain expression on his face.
This time Chloe avoided his gaze.
She turned her eyes to a far off place outside the window and clasped her hands.

The weight on her mind could not be relieved.
It would probably last the whole day… no it would be like this until her mother would go back, to be exact.




Chloe bustled past Eric the moment they returned home.

Eric was quite surprised as he had never seen her like this before, but understood it to be that she was going to welcome the duchess.
He hastily assumed that she must be glad to meet her mother in a long time.

Of course Chloe was not at all glad.
She was merely afraid.

What will she say again, what words will she use to torment me again…….
She was anxious.
And when the gate opened, it was all as expected.

“I was hoping that since you are the maid of the marquess you would be alright, but no.
You are entirely useless.”

She was scolding Andrea.

“Look at you sitting there and calling yourself a maid when you do not even know how to set the proper temperature for tea.
You, why don’t you get educated from the beginning again?”

Andrea was in fact a very decent maid.
She was gentle and kind.
Chloe was very satisfied with that by itself.
But her mother found fault with the smallest thing and was losing her temper over it.

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.


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.”

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.

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……”


It was Chloe who cut off Eric’s words.

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