πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️ Lucia Chapter 73 - 75 Part 1 and 2 Full Chapters πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️

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LUCIA
C73 [part 1] - < — Duchess Vivian — > (4)

Chapter 73 [part 1] < — Duchess Vivian — > (4)

His wife handled it well but she had almost gotten humiliated at her first social stage. Because of her husband’s past woman.


‘Why didn’t she tell me?’


She had the right to blame him and get angry at him. However, she didn’t mention it on the day it happened and even until now, she hadn’t mentioned it. That was even scarier. It was impossible to know if her mind had already turned away from him and he was not even worth questioning. Hugo didn’t understand why the situation kept turning terrible.


Still, he thought that his effort these days had made her slightly more yielding. Her attitude toward him was intimate and she smiled more. Because her boisterous and incessantly joyful appearance was beautiful to see, his mood lately was elated, like he was stepping on clouds.


However, at the thought of her becoming an ice witch again, his mood immediately plummeted. He was struck with sense of shame and groaned.


‘It was really just a momentary greeting in the palace.’


Hugo felt wronged. He was always in the strong position. He had never actually felt the mortified feeling of the weak. Even as a child mercenary slave, he hid his resentment and sharpened his knife at the back, so he didn’t know what it meant to feel wronged and stifled inside. She was teaching him a variety of emotions.


‘I won’t even greet next time. I’ll just act like I don’t know anything.’


When he read the part where she reproachfully said, ‘I know what my husband’s handkerchief is,’ his chest felt prickly. He wondered if his wife had already known that he took the Damian’s handkerchief and just pretended not to know. It was an awkward thought but that sort of thing didn’t matter.


Hugo had thick skin. There was no problem if a father took a little bit of his son’s thing. The extent to which he could justify himself was very far-reaching.


What Hugo was worried about was whether or not she was disappointed in him. When he thought of their passionate nights these past few days, he was struck with hope.


She might not be angry. He hadn’t felt any particular sense of distance. Maybe she regarded the incident at the tea party as a trivial matter and forgot about it. But she was a cruel woman who kept her heart shut to him but allowed him to spend passionate nights with her.


Hugo’s melancholy gradually changed into anger. In this entire situation, there was definitely a ringleader. His anger towards them was ignited and gradually flared up.


‘Count Jordan. Count Alvin.’


Hugo tapped his fingers on the table.


What had these men done wrong? Such rational thoughts did not cross the current Hugo’s mind.


He was mulling over how to punish them. Right now, Hugo had no justification to the touch the Count of Jordan. So, he decided to put it aside for now. He would never forget it. It was simply recorded on his waiting list.


Hugo did not do things like intentionally making up an incident that never happened in order to punish another. In his own way, he found that sort of means cowardly.


However, once he found something that he could pick on, he bit down tenaciously. In the eyes of others, there was no difference between the two methods but Hugo didn’t care about what other people thought. To him, he only had to be unashamed to himself.


Moving onto the Count of Alvin, he was a more difficult target. Although Hugo could crush him if he made up his mind, the Count had sprinkled money all over the place. If he was attacked rashly, there were many people that would rise to his defense. Getting rid of those people in addition would make the issue too big and Kwiz would not really like it.


A good idea flashed into Hugo mind.


‘I can just move him far away.’


If he couldn’t get rid of it, he couldn’t just keep it out of his sight. Hugo heard that the Count of Alvin had tried to enter the tea distribution business several times but failed. He would use that as bait and open a channel in the capital for some business reason. When a person is no longer in one’s sight, interest in them would also goes away. Sofia would naturally be forgotten.


Among the high-end businesses unofficially owned by the Taran family, there was a huge high-end business that only circulated tea on a large scale. Because a majority of its customers were nobles from other countries, it was active in other countries.


Once the Count of Alvin took the bait, he would not only be away from the capital, he would be away from Xenon for a considerable amount of time. In this sense, Hugo would be giving the Count of Alvin a business opportunity. It was not a punishment but a reward.


Hugo didn’t really like this fact but this method was cleaner than making the issue bigger. It was a good thing that the Count of Alvin had excellent business ability so it would only benefit his high-end business.


When Hugo was done thinking about how to handle the issue, his busy brain began to think of what would happen next but he stopped himself. Just because he planned to deal with them didn’t mean that the past did not happen.


‘Should I ask her about it?’


If he asked, what would she say? If she said she didn’t care about his past women, it would make him feel sour in a way. If she said that she was unhappy and didn’t trust him anymore, that was even worse.


In the past, Hugo never had to hold in words that he wanted to say but recently, he had had to worry about his words and keep them to himself. It piled and piled up and he was about to have an pent-up disorder.


While he was caught between a rock and a hard place, a good while passed and soon, ten days had gone by since the tea party took place. In the meantime, Lucia had attended more tea parties. This time, they were really small scale tea parties with an attendance of about ten people.


* * *


Today, Lucia was in a good mood because she had gotten a letter from Damian. During their evening walk, she had chattered in length about what Damian had been up to in the Academy. Although Hugo was already informed of everything in separate report, he acted interested and listened to her, currying to her mood. It was all to grab this particular chance.


“Vivian. I heard a rumor.”


Hugo sat on the bed and carefully asked Lucia who was sitting in front of the mirror on the dresser. Rumors of the incident at the tea party was now widely known throughout the social circle. The fact that afterwards, the Countess of Alvin had locked herself up at home added to the credibility of the rumor. Hugo did not say that he had investigated and simply spoke as though he had heard it from the rumor.


“Mm. Yes. There was such a thing.”


Lucia replied like it was nothing. It was as if Hugo’s worry all this time was for naught.


“Why didn’t you tell me?”


“How can I tell you every trivial thing that happens in the social circle? It’s a women’s issue.”


“…Was it a trivial thing?”


He felt sour indeed.


“It was a trivial thing because I believed in you.”


Hugo’s sinking mood instantly revived.


“Since you know anyways, I will go ahead and ask. Can you tell me who your past women are?”


Hugo broke out in cold sweat.


“That…why?”


“Because I need to know who they are to take appropriate measures. I am not trying to find fault with you. Just as I said, it is necessary for me to know who they are.”


“…”


“Okay?”


“…Alright. I’ll tell Jerome.”


Hugo felt complicated. It wasn’t the worst outcome but it wasn’t a situation he was pleased with. She was so clean to the extent that it was heartless and her emotions did not leak out at all.


In the past, Hugo wished that women would be like her. However, his wife, whom he wished and pleaded would not be like that, was rigid without any gaps. He was the one who was pathetic and struggling to get a piece of his wife’s heart. No matter how much he climbed, he couldn’t see the end of the wall that surrounded her.


Hugo stood up and hugged Lucia from behind. He buried his head in her small shoulder.


“Vivian. I know nothing about this. I have never met that women in private.”


Believe me. Don’t be hurt by it. Don’t close your heart to me. Numerous entreaties swirled around in his head.


“I know. I trust you.”


A short word of trust. Hugo didn’t realize that a simple phrase would make him feel so relieved and reassured. The sense of relief instantly made his restless heart feel at ease. Would receiving trust from another person make his heart feel so complicated? No. It was because the trust was from his woman, not from any other person.


“…Really?” (Hugo)


“Of course. You promised me.”


“So…it isn’t that you didn’t tell me because you were angry but because you trusted me so you didn’t care?”


“Exactly.”


Hugo hugged her tighter, enjoying the feeling of her warmth in his arms. His heart warmed up. This feeling that sometimes felt hopeless and other times, somehow smarting but sweet. This feeling was happiness.


If he didn’t know about it then that was that but now, he couldn’t let go of this sweetness that he had already experienced. He was afraid that he would lose what he had gotten a hold of for the first time since his brother died.
________________
LUCIA
C73 [part 2] - < — Duchess Vivian — > (4)

Chapter 73 [part 2]< — Duchess Vivian — > (4)

TN: Make sure you’re reading at rubymaybetranslations.com


The day of the coronation ceremony was bright. Following tradition, the coronation ceremony proceeded according to a very solemn customary practice and its participants were strictly restricted in an enclosed area. When the morning coronation ceremony was over, there was a big party to be held for three consecutive days, today included.


For today in particular, which was the first day, a light celebration party would be held from noon till dusk then from dusk till dawn, an excitement-filled ball would be held. The other two days were scheduled to have only a ball in the evening.


It was the first party to be held by the new owner of the country so the scale was enormous and the number of participants was also enormous. The number of delegations and aristocrats that came from other countries was nothing to sneeze at. When compared to the victory party that was held last year, the scale was about the same but the nobles participating in today’s event were qualitatively superior.


The nobles that were absent at the victory party because they disliked the squandering atmosphere would all be present for at least today’s party.


From early in the morning, Lucia’s mind was in a mess as she made her preparations. She had gone to a few tea parties in the meantime but from the looks of it, her state of mind had been light because the setting was light as well.


However, today was the first official party since the previous king’s death and this event was going to be Lucia’s official social debut. She could not help but become nervous. Antoine, who was almost an exclusive designer now, punctually brought her assistants early in the morning and dressed Lucia from head to toe.


For today’s event, Antoine designed a brand new dress with her heart and soul. The image Antoine was going for today was elegance and sensuality.


“Perfection. Duchess is really beautiful day after day.”


The dress was a pink tinged, pearl-gray dress with exquisitely sewn vibrant pearly pink beads. The neckline was wide so the shoulders were slightly revealed and the collarbone was conspicuous. The sleeve was narrow so it clung to the arm and as it went down the sleeve, it had folds that gave it a flair.


The base of the dress itself was double layered with lace but about 1/3 of the upper arm was made up of only lace so the skin beneath the lace could be seen. Overall, it was still a modest style. But, the twist was at the back.


The back of the dress was cut to boldly reveal half of the back. The shoulder blades were exposed and the shallow valley of the spine was conspicuous. The unblemished white skin at the back gave off a peculiar feeling. The back waist of the dress was raised to emphasize the rich folds of the hem. The thin waist was brought to the fore, giving the body an overall curvy silhouette.


Antoine looked with satisfaction at the result she had made with her hands. She felt the impulse to raise her hand to her lips and laugh ‘ohohoho’, like a witch in a child’s fairy tale book. It was worthwhile to design for the Duchess in that the designs always turned out as one imagined. The Duchess was the perfect muse that stimulated Antoine’s creativity.


Lucia was also satisfied. Antoine’s skill was improving day by day. The fact that she could make it give off a different atmosphere every time without any awkwardness was amazing. The design was alluring but not overly flashy and its somewhat innocent side was charming.


“Would you like to take a little walk? Please check if there is any inconvenience.”


Lucia took a few steps around. The feeling of the soft fabric clinging to her upper body was nice. The gorgeous lace shook flutteringly every time she moved. The numerous small diamonds embedded in the lace twinkled and shined. It was an expensive dress made with enormous material costs. Antoine had received a blank check from the Duke of Taran for the production of the coronation dress. Her artistic soul exploded.


“There is no inconvenience. The dress is very comfortable and beautiful.”


“I am glad you like it. You bring out the beauty of my work perfectly. It really suits you.”


Antoine’s flattery was filled with sincerity and Lucia smiled faintly. Even Lucia could see that there was nothing bad to say about herself today.


“Milady. It looks like Master will be a little late.”


A maid quickly came in and reported.


“Mm. So? Madame. Would you like some refreshments? I didn’t feel good about just sending away a hard worker and opportunely, there is some time on our hands. If you aren’t busy.”


“I will gladly accept. Thank you for having me.”


After the Duchess left the tea party, there was a flood of orders to Antoine’s boutique. The commissions for ‘Antoine’s boutique’ were accepted but all direct commissions were rejected. There would not be enough time to focus only on the Duchess.


Even though the main designer was not taking charge, the orders were still overflowing. Antoine was laughing all the way to the bank. She had earned well before but now, it seemed to be pouring out a river of gold.


While Lucia and Antoine were enjoying their tea time and whiling away time, Hugo was just entering the mansion. As soon as the coronation ended, he came back to the mansion to escort her.


Hugo was slightly upset. Because he was held back by people, he arrived later than the time they had scheduled for pick up. The person who became King was someone else so why were there so many dregs trying to hang onto him?


“Milady is waiting inside.”


At Jerome’s report, Hugo immediately went into the receiving room. Hugo saw her sitting there and as he watched her rise from the couch, he forgot to speak. He paused for a moment and fixed his eyes on her. Very slowly, His eyes swept over her, from top to bottom, unhurriedly examining her.


Beautiful. No. It couldn’t be expressed with a single word. His critical gaze lightly brushed past Antoine. The woman didn’t have to do her best to this extent.


‘Damn it. This means I have to show this to other people.”


When he thought of other men seeing her, he was filled with so much regret. There was no one that didn’t know the preciousness of life to dare to come onto a woman that was accompanied by her husband but, he was worried about the future where she would occasionally have to go to a ball by herself.


When they were in the north, it was good. In those days, at least he didn’t have to worry about tiger-like bastards. If he could, he wanted to forget the party, quit everything, grab her and take her to the bedroom.


She is mine.


His intense possessive desire treacherously overflowed. He was afraid she would run away if she saw the darkness in his eyes so he hid it with a soft smile.


“You look beautiful.”


Lucia’s expression flushed slightly and she gave a sweet smile.


“You look amazing too.”


He was dressed in a black tuxedo and looked absolutely splendid. Compared to women who wore colorful dresses like a peacock, men usually wore similar black tuxedos but the look that was brought alive differed according to body shape.


With his tall stature, broad shoulders and nimble body, the simple black tuxedo had transformed into the most attractive clothing in the word. Knowing his firm and rich muscles that was hidden beneath the suit, Lucia felt his attire was much more risquΓ©.


Antoine watched the ducal couple with sparking eyes. The Duke couldn’t keep his eyes off his wife and his eyes were filled with tender affection. In the aristocratic world where marriage of convenience was rampant, it was hard to see a married couple that was filled with affection like this.


“Madame Antoine has worked hard.”


When the Duke of Taran’s gaze fell on her, Antoine bowed her waist.


“You’ve done a great job. Is there still more left to do?”


“No, Your Grace. Preparation is complete.”


Hugo escorted Lucia and climbed onto the carriage. Antoine and her assistants as well as the employees of the Ducal Household came out to see the ducal couple off. Each and every one of them were watching the ducal couple with joyful eyes. Meanwhile, Antoine was making new calculations in her head.


There is one concept that vanishes when it comes to a man that has fallen for a woman. It was precisely the financial sense.


Antoine firmly believed that the affection for the woman was in proportion to the money. In any case, the Duke of Taran seemed ready to spend any amount of money for his wife. Antoine’s eyes shone in determination to get all that money in her skirt.

__________________

LUCIA
C74 [part 1] - < — Meeting People — > (1)

Chapter 74 [part 1]< — Meeting People — > (1)

The three day ball that would start from the evening of today, was to be held in the spacious hall of the Outer palace but the celebration party was to be held in the Inner Palace.


Their carriage arrived at the Royal Palace and slowed down as they entered into the Inner Palace. In the Inner Palace, carriages were restricted from moving over a certain speed.


Because of the slow speed, there was almost no shaking inside of the carriage. Hugo straightened up, leaned towards her, pressed against the wall of the carriage and began to kiss her. Since a while ago, he had been holding back what he wanted to do so he was irked.


At the sudden deep kiss, Lucia’s face immediately flushed crimson. When their lips separated, she looked into his eyes and saw they were filled with excitement. She noticed the pink smears on his lips and her face grew hot.


“Your lips are stained with makeup.”


Hugo rubbed his lips with his hand to check and saw that it was smeared with pink lipstick.


“If you wipe it with your hand, it will spread.”


Lucia pulled her handkerchief out from her purse and wiped his lips.


“Mine is spread too, isn’t it?” (Lucia)


“I’ll clean it for you.” (Hugo)


Lucia held out her handkerchief to him. Hugo didn’t even consider taking it and just kissed her again. He wove his tongue into her mouth, kissing her deeply then he followed it with a few light kisses on her lips. He watched her face grow bright red then he whispered to her with amusement:


“Your lips are all clean. What of mine?”


Lucia finally realized his meaning of ‘cleaning’ and hit his shoulder. While glaring at his smiling face, she wiped off the little traces on his lips with her handkerchief.


“It was perfectly placed makeup…” (Lucia)


“You don’t need it. In the future, don’t put it on your lips.”


“…Why?”


“Just in case it stains you.”


“Then, don’t kiss me!”


“Why can’t I?”



When he sourly retorted, Lucia was speechless.


“The flower of makeup is the lipstick. It’s like the finishing touch.”


“Even without doing that, you’re pretty.”


He wanted to swallow her red and moist lips every time he saw them. He wanted to suck on her delicate lips, nibble them, and torment her soft tongue. He wanted to swallow her saliva and see her breathless with reddening eyes. Why did he have to hold it in? He had no intention of doing so nor did he want to.


Seeing his lips approaching again, Lucia blocked him with her hands. She looked at his unhappy expression and expressed her strong refusal.


“This is neither the time nor place. Please. We are on our way to an important event.”


Hugo obediently pulled back and leaned against the carriage. He didn’t know how an important event and a kiss were related but the fact that it was an important event was true. Not because it was the celebration of the King’s accession but because it was her debut stage.


The slowly moving carriage came to a stop. The door was opened from outside. Hugo rose and went out of the carriage first then he extended his hand back inside. Lucia took a deep breath then she rose as well. There was a fairly high gap between the carriage and the ground but there were simple stairs to ease that gap.


Lucia took his hand then carefully walked down the stairs and came down from the carriage.


“Are you nervous?”


“A little bit.”


Hugo kissed her fingertips.


“People with higher status than you can be counted on one hand. It is others that have to be nervous in front of you.”


“Okay.”


Lucia smiled sweetly at him. Hugo returned her smile then he shifted his gaze and began to walk forward. Lucia stepped forward as well, looking ahead.


As soon as they entered the hall, Lucia felt dozens and hundreds of gazes fly towards her and stay on her. Unconsciously, she squeezed his hand tighter. His big hand gave her support. She was not alone. He was by her side. Her small anxiety disappeared. After a few moments of silence, the crowd stirred and gradually grew louder.


Lucia followed his lead, walking straight ahead and not looking at anything around. As she swiftly walked by, nothing was able to enter her eyes. When he stopped, Lucia also stopped. When he bent his back and lowered his head, Lucia also followed and bent her waist.


“You may rise. I finally get to meet the famous Duchess.”


‘Ah…’


It was not until Lucia lifted her head that she realized who she was greeting. A man who was draped in formal attire and had a golden crown on his head.


He was the one who was enthroned today, the King of Xenon, Hesse the 9th. Lucia’s half-brother, Kwiz. Beside him was Beth who also doned the crown of the Queen.


“In private, you are this King’s sister. Isn’t that so?”


“I am beyond honored.” (Lucia)


The king who acted friendly and spoke to her was unfamiliar. Lucia’s half-brother in the dream had sent one documented order and married her off to the Count of Matin. Lucia had no grudge against the king. However, the not so innocent interest of the King was not welcome. The King’s point of interest was not in her as his sister but in her as the Duchess.


If this had been in the dream, Lucia would have probably been thrilled. After all, at this time in the dream, she was lonely and exhausted. However, in this lifetime, Lucia had a reliable husband at her side. She had no need to crave for her brother’s affection.


“You can call this King ‘elder brother’.”


“How could I dare. Please withdraw your exorbitant request, Your Majesty.” (Lucia)


Her attitude, as she slightly lowered her waist with a smile and replied, was not humility for form’s sake. It was a firm and roundabout rejection.


Kwiz gazed at Lucia and gave a fake laugh. This couple was equally hard to deal with. They say that she lived quietly and invisibly inside a detached palace?


Kwiz had observed countless groups of people and from what his sharp eyes could tell, she was not a foolish princess. Her eyes were filled with intelligence. It was very rare for Kwiz to meet someone that he wanted to sit down and have a talk with. His sister that he met for the first time today gave him that exact feeling.


‘And here I thought that dead old man only left behind a son.’ (Kwiz)


Even when Kwiz was praising Lucia, he did not forget to give himself a pat on the back.


Hugo had sharply raised his guard but ended up having to swallow his laughter at her shrewd response. She was pretty, kind, clever, confident. Hugo had an endless line of rhetoric to decorate his wife.


‘Oho.’


Kwiz looked at the Duke of Taran who was watching his wife with a melting gaze and felt a tingling at the back of his head. He wanted to share his astonishment with someone. His eyes slightly met the Queen’s and she gave him a meaningful smile then she averted her gaze. The Queen already knew! For some reason, he felt vexed.


“This is Gong’s order, isn’t it?” (Kwiz)


“What might you mean?” (Hugo)


“Isn’t that why my sister is so cold to this King on our first meeting?”


“I mean, one should have done one’s role as an older brother.”


Lucia was a little surprised as she watched the two of them exchange casual words. The relationship between him and the King was much more open than she thought.


Beth laughed as she watched the Duchess look at her husband with pride in her eyes. Her deliriously happy expression as she watched her husband was cute and adorable. Beth felt like she could see why the Duke of Taran fell for the Duchess.


Translator’s Corner:


This King: Kwiz does not refer to himself as ‘this king’. He uses an old fashioned title(짐) used by emperors in Goryeo and it refers to himself in third person therefore ‘this king’ is the closest thing to it.


Gong: (general description) A type of honorific. It is a title(곡) given to a noble personage in a high position. It is usually a term of respect/honorific for a Duke. In this novel, it seems to apply to Marquis as well.

_________________
LUCIA
C74 [part 2] - < — Meeting People — > (1)

Chapter 74 [part 2]< — Meeting People — > (1)

Men gathered with men and women gathered with women. No one carelessly approached where the King and the Duke of Taran were discussing serious matters with foreign delegations.


Lucia was together with the Queen and other high-ranking noblewomen. She stood beside the Queen and other people stood around them. Presently, Lucia was almost at the same level as the Queen.


Lucia happened to be the only attending wife among the wives of the Duke and Marquis(Gong) Families that belonged to the royal party. The Duke of Ramis’ Duchess had already passed away, Marchioness Philip was absent due to mourning her mother-in-law and Marchioness DeKhan was absent for health reasons.


‘Marchioness DeKhan will soon pass away.’ (Lucia)


In her dream, Sofia had married the bereaved Marquis of DeKhan. Lucia didn’t know who would become the wife of Marquis Dekhan in this lifetime.


As she appropriately replied to the women chattering around her, Lucia occasionally searched for her husband with her eyes.


‘My husband.’


That dashing man was her husband. Of all the people in the venue, he was by far the best. His imposing presence did not fade even when he was with the King. Even in her dream, his presence was obviously overwhelming.


As Lucia took continuous sips of her cocktail, her mood grew lighter. She couldn’t tell if it was because of tipsiness or because she was drunk on the atmosphere.


She laughed with the group at silly jokes, spoke at appropriate times and sometimes, glanced in his direction. The fun of peeking at him was quite interesting. A considerable amount of women kept glancing at him. She wanted to brag to them that he was her man.


On one hand, she was proud but on the other hand, she was annoyed. She wanted to say something childish like ‘don’t look at him, he’ll wear out’.


‘Ah. That woman has big breasts.’


The outfits of the capital’s noblewomen were definitely more daring than the northern’s noblewomen. A dress that openly revealed the cleavage was so common that people had become numb to it. It wasn’t even thought of as risque. One could often catch the sight of a beauty with thin waist and big breasts.


Lucia’s eyes kept going towards women’s chests. She acted like she wasn’t looking but she kept looking. All the women she saw in her dream had big breasts. And it was plain as day that Hugo liked busty women.


‘What do you have to eat to get it that big?’


Lucia wanted to ask. And she took a glance at her outfit. The dress itself was quite gorgeous, but the style was gentle. Even though the back was exposed, it couldn’t be seen from the front so it didn’t appear risque.


Lucia had no complaint about the dress. It suited her well. But she was a bit envious of the self-confident women who confidently showed off their body.


Lucia turned her head again and payed attention to the women’s conversation. Even if she wasn’t focused on them, she had to show that she was listening to a certain degree.


Hugo let the boring talks flow out through one ear and from time to time, he was monitoring her. As he watched her take in a few glasses of cocktail, he was worried that she would get drunk. And the moment she turned around, his face fell and his insides went up in flames.


‘What. Is. That.’


Her immaculate back was clearly visible. Because all this time, he had been watching her frin the front, he had been unable to look over the dress carefully. Who would have thought that the back would be like that? He was content with Antoine’s dresses because they were different from the usual dresses that revealed the cleavage. But he didn’t know that he would be stabbed in the back like this.


‘I’ll fire her.’


Hugo ground his teeth. The designer had to be changed. He had given her so much money but did that woman actually cut out the back to save on material cost?!


Steam rose from his head. He wanted to shout for all the men in the hall to fix their eyes to the floor. He barely managed to regain his composure and called over a servant.


“Get me a shawl. One that can cover a noble lady’s shoulders.”


Although it was an unexpected request, the servant obeyed and ran off to look for a shawl that would cover a noble lady’s shoulders, from who knows where.


‘Delicious.’


The cocktail was to Lucia’s taste. She picked up a new glass again.


“Oh my…”


The people around her suddenly exclaimed. Lucia began to turn her head and felt a soft shawl cover her shoulders. Then an arm reached out and took the glass of cocktail in her hand.


“I think you’ve drank enough, my wife.”


A little while ago, he was some distance away but at some point, he had gotten behind her. Lucia was taken aback and stared at him blankly. He took her empty hand and placed a glass of orange juice in it.


Lucia protested with her eyes. As if flaunting to her, he gulped down the cocktail he took from her in one swoop. As Lucia watched his moving Adam’s apple, the thought rose in her mind that she wanted to kiss him there and she was startled at her thought.


‘I must be drunk.’


Just like he said, she seemed to have really had too much to drink.


“This is…”


Lucia fiddled with the shawl. It was a blue shawl didn’t suit her pink dress at all.


“It seems cold so hold onto that.” (Hugo)


Today’s weather was closer to warm than cold. Lucia wanted to ask why but there were people around so she silently adjusted the shawl. Hugo stepped back to confirm that the half of her back was now covered and was pleased.


“Did you go looking for your wife because you couldn’t wait?”


Kwiz spoke cheerfully and approached them. Kwiz had been watching the Duke of Taran who couldn’t take his eyes off the Duchess. Even though Kwiz had witnessed it, he couldn’t believe it. A group of people came along, following Kwiz.


The women naturally went to their respective husbands and the group became a group of married couples. The people who wanted to be in this group stood around them, forming a wider circle.


The men lost interest in their current topic and the women who were engaging in small, nonsensical talk went quiet. The men began to discuss mostly about politics and foreign affairs. Lucia was not very interested in this kind of talk. They were talking about a distant country.


Lucia endured her boredom and glanced at him. He was not that involved in the conversation but somehow, when people wanted to hear his opinion and he opened his mouth, they all focused on him.


When someone in the group brought up a subject, there would be some debate on the subject. His wait-and-see manner had no intention of butting in, and the heat of the atmosphere only rose to the point where no deterrent was needed. Even so, it was quite dull to Lucia.


Maybe the alcohol was getting to her because she was getting a little hot. She wanted to take off the shawl so she tapped the back of his hand lightly. When his gaze moved to her, she gestured to take off the shawl. He frowned slightly and shook his head.


‘But it’s hot.’


Why couldn’t she take it off? She felt sullen but when she saw a busty woman pass by, her playfulness soared. She tapped the back of his hand again and signalled with her eyes that she wanted to say something.


He lowered himself and whispered in her ear.


“What?”


Lucia brought her head to his ear and whispered to him.


“You like busty beauties, right?”


Hugo took a good look at her then spoke in her ear again.


“What are you talking about all of a sudden?”


“Men are all like that.”


“Don’t listen to those women who say nonsense all the time.”


Hugo thought she had heard something strange from the noblewomen.


‘Get rid of that confidence that I’m not one of the women speaking nonsense.’ (1)


Lucia pursed her lips slightly. Even though she didn’t enjoy gossiping, it was secretly quite fun. As long as it wasn’t slandering another, it was an enjoyable pastime when there was nothing to talk about and time would pass by without notice. When a noblewoman with the gift of eloquence laid it on the crowd and the laughing and chatting began, a few hours could easily pass by.


“I heard that all the women you have been with are busty beauties.”


Lucia hadn’t really heard that. There was no one around her with a liver big enough to drive a wedge between them. She had gotten information about his past women from Jerome and among those women, there was no one in particular that bothered her. Most of them were women that couldn’t even come close to her as the Duchess.


Lucia did not care about his real past women. Rather, his future lovers that she saw in the dream was more vivid in her memory so she cared more about them. It might be because she was envious of the beauty and confidence of the women that accompanied the Duke of Taran. Even the Duchess she saw in her dream was not a beauty, but her breasts were big.


Lucia was slightly intoxicated so her mood was a bit higher than usual. She got a little annoyed and was able to do something bold like teasing him.


His red eyes shook intensely. Lucia was rather surprised and widened her eyes. He was flustered. The man who seemed like he would be calm even if the sky collapsed was shaken. Lucia found that amazing and interesting. She pulled on his arm making him lower his body then she whispered in his ear again.


“Don’t tell me it’s really true?”


The sight of him stunned made her chuckle a little. And she could see a variety of complicated emotions whirling around in his eyes. It seemed like he was angry but he was showing bewilderment and disbelief which was rare and precious.


‘Oh my goodness. How cute.’


The big man was adorable. He was showing this expression to her alone. Her heart was tickled and she couldn’t help but laugh.


Hugo’s eyes narrowed as he watched his fearless wife who dared to tease him. He lowered his head to her ear and gently bit her ear. She looked at him with surprise and her face gradually grew red-hot. Hugo was satisfied with her reaction and calmly lifted his head again.


‘T…T…This crazy–. He seriously…’


Lucia stared at his unconcerned shameless face with disbelief.


‘How could you do that here!’


Lucia turned away and swallowed her scream.


The people around had very strange expressions and alternated glances between the ducal couple. It was rare for the nobility who strove for expression control to reveal explicit emotions in a public venue. But they were all showing very excited expressions. Lucia did not think beforehand that her act of exchanging whispers with him would attract people’s attention. She had been slightly excited because of the alcohol.


Lucia was embarrassed and her face felt like it was on fire. She had to first escape from here. Lucia tried to get away quickly but his hand was faster as he caught her waist and pulled her in.


“Where are you going, my wife?”


He placed his lips close to her ears and spoke huskily. Lucia struggled to get out of his arms.


“It is rude to ask that of a lady. Please let me go.”


The corner of his lips raised in a smile.


‘No! Don’t do it!’


For some reason, Lucia felt a bad foreboding and cried out inwardly but his lips had already descended on her lips before pulled away. There were gasps from here and there, something could be heard falling to the ground and the sound of something cracking in succession could be heard. (2)


Lucia didn’t have the courage to look around and as soon as he loosened his hold on her waist, she rooted her eyes to the floor and ran away. Indeed, it was apparent to any who saw that she was running away.


Translator’s Corner:

I wanted to translate this as: “How are you confident that I’m not one of the women speaking nonsense?” but I felt like that was slightly pushing it. But this should help explain the sentence better if you didn’t understand it.
This is likely the sound of glass falling to the ground and breaking. I thought it was the sound of hearts cracking ???.

Belonged to the royal party: Royalists basically. These families support the crown aka Kwiz. These people have been mentioned briefly in Chapter 58[part 1].


Marchioness: This should be quite obvious but the wife of a Marquis is a Marchioness.


Title ranking so far: Duke > Marquis > Count > Baron. Therefore: Duchess > Marchioness > Countess > Baroness.


Risque: sexually suggestive, indecent…

__________________
LUCIA
C75 [part 1] - < — Meeting People — > (2)

Chapter 75 [part 1]< — Meeting People — > (2)

With the Duke of Taran as the center, the radius of people around him strangely fell silent like it was in a different world. Only the Duke who caused this situation was perfectly calm. Even his movement as he placed his empty glass on a passing servant’s tray and picked up a new glass was very natural. He was norm a brazen person. He didn’t know the meaning of shyness or embarrassment. The only time he cared about a person’s gaze and thoughts was when it came to his wife.


“…Your relationship with the Duchess seems good.”


Kwiz broke the silence. He couldn’t contain himself and opened his mouth. At first, it was intriguing but because he was just watching, they actually showed off their romance at his celebration party. His eyes were irritated.


“Newlyweds, aren’t they?” (Kwiz)


Everyone nodded their head then they felt a sense of incongruity. Hadn’t it been a year and a half since the ducal couple got married? It was a vague period to confidently call them newlyweds.


Kwiz then asked the question they all had in mind.


“How long is the newlywed period?”


“Until a baby is born.”


Oho, indeed. Those nodding their head realized one beat late that the definition of ‘newly-wed period’ was not important. The problem was that even if the he had married yesterday, the action they had just witnessed was done by none other than the Duke of Taran.


People’s gazes had already begun to be drawn to the ducal couple from when they were exchanging affectionate whispers. Even those that were debating grew silent and trained their eyes on them. Whatever the two of them were talking about, they were happy and didn’t seem to care who saw.


The warmth in the Duke’s eyes as he gazed at his wife was surprising, and his affectionate loving expression was simply jaw slacking.


“…Gong, you seem to have fallen in love.” (Kwiz)


As expected of His Majesty. Everyone inwardly clapped for Kwiz who boldly and bluntly said what they were unable to say.


Hugo looked at Kwiz expressionlessly. He had no intention of falling for the King’s eloquence and providing a clue for the rumors.


“I didn’t know that Your Majesty knew that word.”


When the Duke of Taran changed the subject, the surrounding people looked regretful. Especially the women. It was regrettable because they would have been able to make a topic that could be gossiped about for three days and nights. Although sometimes there were groundless rumors, there were no rumors that dropped from the cloud. There had to be at least one word of credibility for it to be ‘fleshed out’. All the rumors that hit the social circle were made that way.


“Hm? How does Gong see this King? This king is a romanticist.”


Many people broke out in merry laughter.


Hugo chuckled. The throne was a position gained by stepping on the blood and lives of many. The owner of that seat saying such a thing was a very humorous. Kwiz killed his brothers to keep his position. Even if they were his half-brothers, he had no hesitation in cutting down his flesh and blood. This decisiveness played a role in why Hugo chose to support Kwiz.


“Speaking of which, Gong. Consider telling us little of the inside story. I’m not the only one interested in Gong’s love story.”


It was a remark that could devalue the dignity of the King but that was Kwiz’s strange charm. Even when he moderately tossed authority to the side and joked around, he did not lose his dignity. He was good at walking on a tightrope without going over the edge. Which was likely why there were a lot of young nobles that supported Kwiz.


“No, thank you. One word will turn into a hundred words.” (Hugo)


“Gong doesn’t care about rumors, no?”


The memory of her asking if he liked busty beauties rose up in Hugo’s mind. All this while, he had been diligently collecting rumors in case a bad rumor rose up about her, or in case she heard a ridiculous rumor about him and misunderstood. But it would seem that just that wasn’t enough. He didn’t care about trashy rumors but he felt the need to crack down more aggressively.


* * *


Lucia fled to the break room. It hadn’t been long since the party started so there weren’t many people in the spacious break room.


“Bring me a glass of water.”


Lucia sent the attending maid by her side on an errand and took time to catch her breath. She covered her burning face with her hands.


‘I have to rest till the tipsiness subsides.’


She was not that drunk but without realizing it, her mood had gotten excited. And a mistake can happen when she was like this. But soon, Lucia’s expression darkened. Didn’t she already make a huge mistake? It was mistake in of itself to induce his mischievousness.


‘Even while knowing he doesn’t care about people’s gazes…’


She shouldn’t have given him a reason. No matter what she said, he didn’t change so she should have been careful.


Lucia drank the water that the maid brought back and when took off her shawl, cool air hit her shoulders and her back.


‘Don’t tell me…because of my back?’


Lucia toyed with the shawl and was lost in thought. She had been wondering why he suddenly gave her a shawl and didn’t want her to take it off but now, she felt like she knew the answer and couldn’t help but laugh.


‘Was he always such a conservative man?’


She had heard that there were men who disliked the exposure of his wife or lover, but she did not know that he was one of them. Seeing as he went through the trouble of getting a shawl, he seemed to really not like it. By the looks of it, Antoine would be incriminated.


‘Oh well. Since it’s come to this, I’ll use this chance to make a deal with Antoine.’


Antoine had sent a receipt with an enormous price after her first visit but the charge for this coronation dress was considerably cheaper. Lucia had gone through purchasing a dress at the time of the victory party so she knew that the price should have been several times higher than the current price. No matter how you looked at it, it was strange.


Lucia kept silent because a debut dress was absolutely necessary for her but she planned on finding out what was happening sooner or later.


“Duchess. I’m sorry to interrupt your rest. May I trouble you for a moment?”


The break room was an area that wasn’t restricted by decorum. Even if the Queen came in, the resting women did not have to rise and give their greetings. The goal was to allow quiet rest therefore even if one were to have a discussion, speaking loudly was rude.


Lucia was not tired so the disturbed rest didn’t really bother her. She looked at the woman who greeted her.


“Have a sit, Lady Alvin.”


“Ah, you remember me. I’m glad.”


Today, the Count of Alvin brought his unmarried younger sister as his partner instead of his wife, Sofia. Ever since that day, Sofia had secluded herself at home. Even if today was the coronation party, if Sofia had come out, Lucia would have taken it as a disregard of her warning. It was fortunate that Sofia wasn’t foolish to the extent of not understanding the meaning of her words.


“My brother wanted me to apologize to Duchess for my sister-in-law’s mistake. He sincerely requested for me to talk to you if he did not get the chance in person. She made a really big mistake. Please, I ask for your indulgence. I don’t dare to ask for your forgiveness. I only plead that you release your anger.”


“I have already forgotten about this matter. There is no need for Lady Alvin to apologize. I will accept Sir. Alvin’s apology.”


“Thank you very much for your generous words.”


Lady Alvin smiled bitterly. If the Duchess had really forgiven her, she would have said, ‘When you meet the Countess, tell her we should have a talk sometime’, in order to make a promise for the future and lift the order of confinement.


This forgiveness was perfunctory. It was a mistake to think that because the Duchess was young, if she was humored and gently appeased, she would quickly soften. Lady Alvin said her farewell and stood up.


Lucia indifferently watched as Lady Alvin went to a corner of the break room and began talking to some woman. She couldn’t hear what they were talking about so she lost interest and turned away. Lucia suddenly remembered something and turned to look at the woman again.


‘That woman…’


Dark brown hair, cat-like eyes, slightly upturned lips and a mole under the eye. The woman was matching the description that Norman gave her. She was similar to the noblewoman that went to find Norman in order to look into Lucia.


Lucia asked the maid to find out who the woman was. The maid came back soon with information gotten from the older handmaids. As usual, she(the maid) was a tactful child.


“She is called the Countess of Falcon.” (Maid)


“…Good work.”


Lucia had never seen Anita in her dream. She had heard rumors that the woman had unexpectedly married three times but the Countess of Falcon did not really show herself in the social circle. If she had not overheard his conversation with Sofia, she would not have known that the Countess of Falcon was his secret mistress.


‘Why did she investigate me secretly?’


It was not clear if the woman was aiming for her or was aiming to use her to get to him. It was possible that, like Sofia, it was done because of personal feelings but it was also possible that there was some underlying motive behind it.


If there was really a purpose, the woman would definitely approach her. If the woman approached her for whatsoever reason, Lucia planned on telling him.
________________

LUCIA
C75 [part 2]

< — Meeting People — > (2)


Anita’s gaze was cold as she watched the Duchess leave the break room. After going through a lot of heartache, Anita’s atmosphere had changed in the past year. As she lost weight, her cheeks grew hollow, her impression became stronger and her temperament hardened.


A large amount of funds was suddenly pulled out from her company without notice. She didn’t have time to find why and had run all over the place trying to settle it. Although she has managed to avoid bankruptcy, most of the shares in her company went into other people’s hands. The only thing left was a superficial shell. The attack of funds that tore down the foundation of her family business was only the beginning. The aide of the Duke of Taran came and gave a cruel finish.


[You did something you shouldn’t have done. If you don’t have the ability to handle investigating someone else, don’t do it. My lord was very offended. If this is done again in the future, be prepared to pay the price. This is just a very light warning(1). My lord has no forgiveness for those that ignore his warning.]


Fabian already didn’t like the Countess of Falcon and had contemptuously relayed his master’s warning. After Fabian left, Anita fainted out of humiliation and was ill for a few days. When Anita woke up, her eyes were filled with venom.


‘So you have been communicating with that female novelist.’


Anita thought that Princess Vivian found out about her through the female novelist. Then went on to tattle to the Duke of Taran.


The Duke was a man of great pride. Even if it was an affectionless marriage, he would be unhappy if someone went after his person. However, the punishment he gave her was too much. There was no reason for the Duke to go that far.


‘How badly did she speak of me?’


Princess Vivian must have gone above and beyond in her tales to the Duke and acted as if she was bullied or something. It was indeed the case of a frog getting killed by an accidentally thrown stone. Princess Vivian threw a stone without any aim and she was hit by that stone.


‘Do you think I will fall like this? Even if I die, I won’t die alone.’


Anita was born the youngest daughter of a fallen aristocrat and thanks to her appearance, she got married to a wealthy man. Within a few months of marriage, her husband died of a sudden cardiac arrest. Anita became rich in an instant. Since she had money, she also wanted to have status. She got a baron who had fallen for her to divorce and then married him. In just half a year, her second husband fell off a horse and died.


Her third husband was Count Falcon, whom she met while she was doing business. Anita was greedy for status and the Count needed money. They got married to fulfill each other’s needs. After a year of marriage, the count went to another country on tea business and died of a fever. Anita did not have any children with her dead husband, nor did he designate a successor to inherit his title. Unless she remarried, according to the law, she was the Countess until death. The youngest daughter of a fallen aristocrat had become a wealthy Countess.


It was not her fault that her husbands died. But people pointed fingers at Anita and said she was cursed. She fought against prejudice and lived clenching her teeth. She was harsh on others as much as she was harsh on herself. Even if people cursed and swore at her from behind, she closed her ears to it. It was because of such venomosity that she was able to get so far. She wanted to become famous in the high society with her wealth and status. But that didn’t go as she wished.


Rather than being famous, Anita was an outsider. The noblewomen were sticklers for class and hated Anita. They used the reason that she was inauspicious but the way Anita saw it, that was only an excuse and the truth was ugly jealousy.


Unlike the pretentious noblewomen who only knew how to gossip about others, Anita could converse with the men. She was able to discuss the economy and talk about business. She also looked attractive. As though showing off, Anita did not refuse the males that were tempted by her and if necessary, she sometimes did the tempting. She didn’t care if they were married or unmarried.


‘You think you are excluding me? I am the one excluding all of you.’


She sneered at the noblewomen and held her head upright. Her business was continuously successful and unlike other women, she didn’t have to cater to her husband every time she spent money. If she had to go to balls, she was adorned in very luxurious dresses and jewelries. The wealthier she got, the more the women in the high society could not ignore her. There were even some who clung to her, hoping to get crumbs. The world worked in funny ways. Anita took her few followers and played an active role in the social circles.


After doing it for a few years, she realized the high society was nothing special and lost interest. And after that, she did not participate in social activities unless it was absolutely necessary. She wasn’t interested in anything other than increasing her money. She was pouring more of her energy into expanding her business.


Then she met the Duke of Taran. For the first time ever, Anita felt a sense of fulfilment like she had gotten it all. Everything was perfect. It was a solid castle that she had built by giving it her all.


But the castle she had painstakingly built was torn down with one word from a woman who was lucky enough to be born a princess and lucky enough to become a Duchess. Anita had thought it was sturdy but seeing her castle collapse in an instant, she was overcome with shock. When she asked those that had sucked up to her for help, they all turned tail and ran. All the wealth and people suddenly seemed like an illusion.


‘I have to at least see what she looks like.’


Anita tried to get an invitation to the tea party that the Duchess was going to attend. She mobilized her contacts and connections. Count Jordan blew his horn claiming that he would come to her rescue but said something else with an awkward expression.


[Hmm. So I talked to my wife. Ahem. Things are a little…]


Even without listening to the end, it was obvious. They must have mocked that someone on the Countess of Falcon’s level could not get into the party. In the end, she failed to get an invitation and felt a sense of deprivation and misery. If her business was doing well, she would not have suffered such humiliation. At this thought, her resentment against the Duchess grew.


Anita stood far away and watched the ducal couple enter the celebration party venue. For a moment, her heart throbbed seeing the unchanging Duke of Taran and she watched as the Duchess receive people’s gazes with a sparkling dress and triumphant expression as if she had the entire world. Her stomach churned and she could not keep watching.


She evaded the crowd and went to the break room. In the break room, she met Lady Alvin. Lady Alvin was one of the contacts that Anita was steadily putting effort into. Thanks to her well-to-do brother, Lady Alvin was a young miss that had grown up without lacking anything. For Anita who was a seasoned merchant, scratching her itch and gently humoring her was child’s play.


Lady Alvin thought of Anita as a friend. Although her reputation in society wasn’t great, the Countess of Falcon was a rare woman with great business talents. Such a person stuck to her, humored her, gave her advice and with that advice, she made a gain on investments. Because of this gain, her brother praised her and rather than the Countess of Falcon pointing out her contribution, she praised her for being excellent and brilliant. She was a really nice person.


Even though Anita was having business difficulties, Lady Alvin talked with her more frequently. Lady Alvin comforted Anita by saying that it was her turn to help. But in fact, her sincerity was because her inferiority complex from when the Countess of Falcon was at the peak of her success had disappeared.


As the two women got closer, Lady Alvin occasionally talked about the situation at home. As of recent, she lamented and spoke about what happened between her sister-in-law and the Duchess.


‘She is not ordinary.’ (Anita)


Anita had to correct her thinking that made light of the Duchess and thought of her as a young princess that didn’t know the realities of life.


[Lady Alvin can try giving a sincere apology on their behalf. If things go well, Count Alvin will be pleased and reward Lady Alvin.]


Tempted by Anita’s enticement, Lady Alvin approached the Duchess and offered an apology. But she did not get the reply she wanted. Anita acted like she was comforting Lady Alvin but inwardly, she was collecting information about the Duchess.


‘She can’t be taken lightly. Her character is stronger than I thought.’


Anita abandoned her plan of approaching the Duchess. There would be an opportunity someday. There was a large difference in status between her and the Duchess but this difference was not absolute. Anita’s life was evidence of this.


‘The Duchess is a great beauty? The Duke has fallen in love? Bullshit!’


Anita did not believe the rumors. It was likely she wouldn’t believe it even if she saw it with her own eyes. She had reached a state where she only saw what she wanted to see and heard what she wanted to hear. The Anita who made calm judgements was no more.


Translator’s Corner:


1. Here, he’s referring to the pulling out of funds.


My lord: He doesn’t say ‘my lord’. He says ‘that person’. I put ‘my lord’ so you know who he’s talking about.

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