all these days.”

“I did ask Andrea, as a matter of fact, and she said there was no problem.
She merely said that she seemed to be very tired.”

“Is that so?”

Even so, her mother was here, and yet she had not shown her face for three whole days.
Was there not a problem with that…?

Furthermore, the Duchess did not look for Chloe as well.
She seemed not to have any interest in her daughter’s whereabouts and only hung out with the other noblewomen in the capital.

If that was the case, it was a big problem.
For it was very clear that the reason of their dispute was money, which meant that it was obvious that she did not wish for and was reacting strongly against her mother taking Eric’s money.

In reality, Eric was all right with it.

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The amount he was giving to the Duke of Rolphe out of his pocket was to him the same level as a drop in the ocean.
Nevertheless, Chloe was of the judgement that he was poor, and that he was wringing money out from nothing.

He had to admit that he disliked this notion awfully, although there was no sign of this misunderstanding being cleared up because she was one who was proud and obstinate and did not, could not have the idea itself that her judgment may be in fact wrong.

Whatever it was, Eric decided that he had to step in and mediate the situation if that was the reason Chloe and the Duchess had gotten into an argument.

This was naturally the role of a husband.
In addition, he had to carry out his resolution to play the part of a husband properly.

“Is the Duchess still here?”

“She is enjoying her tea time, at her leisure.”

Daniel spoke, with a sarcastic tone in his voice, but Eric ignored it.

“Then, show her to the parlor… No, no.
I will go.”

Eric was actually not at all excited about having to face the Duchess.

It was not because the Duchess talked about money whenever they met.
It was because she had that underlying disdainful attitude towards him.
Whether it was her actual intention or not-it probably was-she always looked down on him.

She would spit out phrases like ‘the likes of,’ ‘of all people’ so easily.
‘The likes of a marquess, of all people.’ She had said this before as well.

Eric was of course not at all bothered as he had heard this from many people other than the Duchess, yet the fact that she was Chloe’s mother made it extremely disagreeable with him.

It felt as if Chloe was belittling him herself whenever he heard the Duchess looking down on him.

It was a sort of inferiority complex, refractive anger that he had been having for a long time.
That was why he redirected his anger towards Chloe, as she was an easier target, and he could never blow up against the Duchess.

Regardless, Eric did not consider to that extent regarding the manner of how he expressed his emotions.

He merely dimly assumed that he was angry because Chloe was always in his way.

 

 

* * *

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“Oh, dear.
What brings you here, Marquess?”

The Duchess, who was leisurely drinking tea, greeted Eric.

Eric laughed softly for an answer.

At the same time, he glanced at the table and saw a teacup that he had not seen before.
A teacup from the Royal Amberwood brand.
The price of a single teacup was worth a month of salary of an average commoner.

Seeing that, he laughed even more in a low voice.

She had bought a teacup the first thing when she arrived here.
It properly revealed the vanity and impudence of the duchess.

“Nothing much, though I wanted to talk to you, Madam, after a long time.”

“Really?”

The Duchess lifted up her eyebrows at those words.

“Then, you should have sent a maid to let me know before you came here.
It goes against etiquette for you to barge in here like this.
Still, since I am a very understanding person, as you know, I can forgive your rudeness with a smile.
Well, take a seat.
Have some tea.
Today’s tea is rosemary.
It is very good to relax the mind and body.”

Eric wavered a moment as he heard the underlying hint of disdain again, but he eventually put on a smile like normal and sat down as the duchess had said.
He, as always, let go of the Duchess’ truly rude attitude like so.

“I will send Daniel and contact you next time onwards.
To give an excuse, I had thought that you would let it slide as we are in the same house and because we have been family for a long time.
I judged that you would have that much of a tolerance, madam.”

“Of course!”

The Duchess answered.

“I am a very generous person.
Yes, no doubt.
I am not saying that I was offended by your actions.
I am just giving advice, for I am worried you might act the same way to people other than myself.”

“I will take in your valuable advice.”

Eric leaned his body forward after answering.
Now that the cursory greetings were gotten over with, it was time for him to reveal the real reason he had come to find the Duchess.

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