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Eric decided that he had to get Chloe out of the room.
He felt that it was right to reconcile both persons to each other as gently as possible.

“I will try to speak to Chloe.”

“Yes! But you won’t get much out of it! Chloe was always like that as a child!”

Eventually, Eric left the room after saying again that he would try his best to talk to her.
Seeing the Duchess was still huffing in anger, he decided that she was much more short-tempered than he initially thought.

Therefore, he did not believe in everything that she had said.

Chloe was a liar? Ridiculous!

Inwardly, there was some sort of defiance against the Duchess as well.
However, because he was human, something called distrust sprouted up in his heart from whatever he had heard, and it was not something that could be easily rooted out.

 

 

* * *

 

 

Eric knocked on Chloe’s door.

“Can I enter?”

Not long after, he received the answer that he could.
Eric slowly opened the door.

Chloe was standing near the window with her back to the door, and it appeared that she was looking out the window while sipping tea.
As he sat down opposite the seat that he assumed she had taken, she did not turn her head even then.

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So, he began speaking while staring at her back.

“I met the Duchess just now.”

Chloe’s shoulders jerked a little.

From her response, it seemed that they did indeed have a quarrel.
Nevertheless, how could she leave her mother alone for days because of something as trifle as a quarrel!

At that moment he thought that Chloe was not quite a tolerant nor a very understanding person.
If it was Eric, — who did not even know either of his mother or father — that is, if his parents were to be there, he would never have acted like such.

He himself did not realise that his inferiority complex regarding his birth was being expressed as anger towards Chloe.

…Which was why he could speak to Chloe like so—

“She is your mother, who had given birth to you.”

Eric put more force into his words as he spoke.

“I think that she should not be walked all over.”

“…Walked all over?”

Only then did Chloe turn her head halfway.
Her slightly swollen face came into view, and Eric presumed that it was due to fatigue.

He nodded his head.

“I heard things about you that were not so great.
It seems as if the Duchess was that angry because she is not one to usually say things like that to me…”

“Mother said bad things about me?”

She became utterly speechless.
To speak ill in front of her was not enough, she had to go and spit out slander to her husband as well!

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Chloe bit her lips and thought that her mother really was not in her right mind.
She could guess to a certain extent what her mother might have said.
Since whatever her mother would say to herself never changed and was of similar context.

“She must have said that I was a liar, and that I am a hypocrite.
That is how my mother views me all the time.”

Eric confirmed her words by staying silent.
Chloe pressed her hands to her forehead and wrapped her still throbbing cheek.

He opened his mouth again.

“Have you not done so at least once?”

Chloe furrowed her brows.

“What does that mean…?”

“I mean, if you have never lied to the Duchess at least once.
I don’t see how the Duchess can get so furious to this extent otherwise.”

“Are you saying that you believe in what my mother said to you?”

She shouted as she cut him off.

“If that is the case, then I am very disappointed in you! How could you denounce me by merely trusting whatever she said? I have never once lied to you, and never practiced hypocrisy as well! This remark is disregarding all the truths that I have shown you all along!”

Eric was taken aback as he did not expect Chloe to lose her temper this much.

At the same time, he, too, became angry.
It was because of the aforementioned absence of his parents, with the conviction that he would never have acted as such towards his own parents if he were in that position—the jealousy towards Chloe for having parents and still rebelling against them.

Consequently, he could not understand Chloe at all.

“I do not know what sort of argument you had with the Duchess.
But for her to say that to me, and seeing your reaction, I think that you do have some responsibility in this.
Is it not because you treated the Duchess in this manner that she acted roughly towards you as well?”

“How, how can you say that? When you know nothing!

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