πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️ Lucia Chapter 111 - 115 Part 1 &2 Full Chapters πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️

PHYSIENTS WILL ALWAYS OFFER BEST STORIES AND LIVE STREAMING ALL TIME


LUCIA
C111 [part 1]
< — Peaceful day-to-day life — > (1)


The Queen gave birth to a baby girl. Hugo heard of the princess’ birth while he was with the King. When Kwiz heard that a princess was born, he was greatly delighted.


“Hahaha! A princess?”


It was not a fake mask; Kwiz was truly delighted. Hugo had heard the King say in passing, several times, that he wanted a baby girl. Hugo just let it pass since it wasn’t any of his concern but seeing Kwiz’s vivid delight made him feel strange. Kwiz already had three sons, so Hugo didn’t know why having one more child was making him so excited.


“Gong, isn’t it time to hear news from you too?”[1]


“…Not yet.”


“Think about it, a daughter that resembles the Duchess whom you treasure so much. Well, this King has to go see the Princess. A princess, huh. It’s a princess.”


The King cancelled the rest of his afternoon schedule, so Hugo was on the way home, earlier than usual. Inside of the carriage, Hugo gave a long sigh. News of the princess’ birth would soon reach his wife.


The sight of his wife being unable to take her gaze off the Queen protruding stomach still floated in his mind.


[If someone knowing your secret will bring you pain, you don’t need to tell anyone.]


Looking back on it, she showed unconditional understanding. She didn’t ask for the exact reason why Hugo didn’t want a child, she just accepted it.


[…But the secret could cause you pain.]


[If that happens, I’ll cling to you for answers.][2]


His wife lied. No matter how much pain his secret caused her, she was the type to swallow it down alone, and never cling to him for an answer.


‘I have to…tell her.’


When he got home, his wife was out. The tea party she said that she would be attending today was not yet over. After asking Jerome to notify him when his wife returned, he went into his office. Not long after, he heard that his wife had returned and went out to meet her.


“How come you’re here?”


Lucia was happy as if she had received an unexpected gift. She smiled brightly and nestled into his arms.


“Was the tea party fun?”


“It was a little enjoyable.”


Hugo wrapped an arm around her waist and they engaged in light banter as they went up to the second floor.


“Why are you back early today?”


Lucia entered the receiving room, following his lead, and sat down on the sofa.


“You will hear the news soon. A princess was born.”


“Oh my, that’s great. Princess Katherine mentioned quite a few times that she wanted the baby to be a girl.”


And every time, Lucia answered Katherine with, ‘it will be a beautiful princess.’ Katherine thought she was just saying it out of courtesy, but Lucia already knew that a princess would be born.


“His Majesty was also happy.”


Hugo grew quiet and the conversation went dead momentarily. Seeing him this way, Lucia could feel that there was something difficult for him to get out, and a worry emerged in her mind.


“Nothing happened to Damian, right?” (Lucia)


“…Why Damian, all of a sudden?” (Hugo)


“I think because we were talking about a newborn baby, my mind went to Damian.”


“The boy is fine. Nothing will happen to him.”


“It’s alright if he’s fine. Why do you get skittish when I bring Damian up?”


“What? Skittish?”


“You’re the child’s father, don’t try to fight a battle of nerves with your son.”[3]


“I’m not fighting a battle of nerves…Sigh. Yes, yes. I’m sorry that I’m small-minded.”




Lucia laughed, cupped his face with both hands and gave him a light peck on the lips.


“It’s fine even if you’re small-minded. I love you.”


“…Shouldn’t you tell me I’m not small-minded?”


“Actually, there’re sometimes when your small-mindedness…”


Lucia paused, sending him a strange gaze and seeing his sour face, she burst into laughter.


“…I think you’ve changed.”


“What?”


The more time passed, the more Hugo was drawn to her. For a while, he gazed at his wife as she tilted her head at him.


No matter how one looked at it, his wife was smaller and weaker than him. However, on the contrary, he was in the weaker position and the one playing to his wife’s mood. But the biggest problem was that, it didn’t feel bad at all.


Hugo brought his head forward and gave her a short kiss. Her eyes widened into circles and her eyes curved beautifully as she smiled. Her smiling visage was so pretty that he couldn’t help but kiss her a few more times.


Even as they talked about the newly born princess, his wife looked to be in a good mood. Her bright smile was the opposite of his worries and made his cheer up.


“Speaking of a baby.” (Hugo)


“The newborn princess?” (Lucia)


“No. Our baby.” (Hugo)


Lucia doubted her ears. She could not believe the expression, ‘our baby’ came from his mouth. Her heart thumped loudly. Lucia swallowed a nervous breath; her expression was glassy as if it would crack at the slightest touch.


“I told you a long time ago, that I have a secret I cannot tell anyone.” (Hugo)


“…Yes.” (Lucia)


“I still can’t tell you everything about it. But I think you should know some of it.”


And then Hugo went silent. It was Lucia’s first time seeing him finding it hard to say something. Lucia was about to say, ‘You don’t have to say it’. And at that moment, he opened his mouth and began to speak in solemn tone.


“I cannot give you a child. The Taran family is a cursed family.”


Translator’s Corner:


[1] As explained before, get/hear news is about pregnancy.


[2] I previously translated this as I’ll turn to you. In a way, they mean the same thing but this fits better, context wise.


[3] AKA, psychological warfare.

________________

LUCIA
C111 [part 2]
Lucia Chapter 111 [part 2]


< — Peaceful day-to-day life — > (1)


Edited by: ShadowDog


T/N: Conversations that take place in the past are italicized.


Hugo explained his family situation to Lucia by mixing in some proper truths with lies. Some parts were revealed, and some parts were hidden.


He revealed that his family couldn’t be continued without relations between close relatives, but he changed it to cousin instead of half-sister. He said that in order for an unrelated woman to bear a child, they would have to eat a special herb instead blood.


Lucia’s expression constantly changed as she listened to him and after sorting out her thoughts for a moment, she opened her mouth.


“You have to marry a female cousin to have a son. Otherwise, you have to take a special herb from the moment of purity. And the only person who knows what that special herb is, is the ducal physician, Sir. Philip.”


“I know it sounds crazy.”


“I don’t mean I don’t believe you. So then, Damian’s mother was your cousin.”


“…Basically.”


Lucia was very confused but after thinking about it, it made sense. Despite the fact that there were many women around him, he had no illegitimate children and she could also understand why he was so unconcerned about birth control from their first night.


‘Cousins…?’


Xenon’s law forbid the marriage of blood relatives within the second cousin. However, there were quite a lot of countries that allowed marriage of cousins; in particular, royal families were tolerant of marriages between close relatives. The fact that he showed strong aversion to the intermarriage of cousins was strange. He didn’t seem like the type to be so sensitive to moral discipline.


‘Is it closer than a cousin…like marriage within the immediate family?’


Lucia stopped thinking about it in depth. She didn’t want to start digging up things that he didn’t say.


“Then, there must be a woman who was designated to marry you.”


“She’s dead. And there is no such woman in the Taran family anymore. The only people left of the Taran bloodline are Damian and I. Even if there was such a woman, I wouldn’t marry to have a child. I thought my family bloodline would end with me. I told you. It is cursed. I wanted to end this cursed lineage.”


As Lucia dealt with her complicated feelings, her senses were jolted to attention. He was strongly disillusioned with his family as well as himself. He seemed like he was made of steel but in actuality, he was wounded inside. The ache in Lucia’s heart made her feel like she was going to cry.


“You are not a curse, Hugh. A child as lovely as Damian cannot be curse either. I am grateful for you being in this world. If you were not in this world, you wouldn’t have met me and I, you. So please, love yourself as much as I love you.”


Hugo placed his hands on the hands of his wife that were on his face and closed his eyes. Maybe he would not be able to love himself until the day he died. But at least, he wouldn’t curse the fact that he was alive. Just like she said, he was able to meet her because he was alive.


“So that’s why you said you don’t want a child.”


“It’s not because I don’t want a child with you.”


“Yes, I understand.”


Lucia replied, feeling numb.


“I would love to see your child if bearing one was possible.”


Lucia’s eyes took on a shine.


“You said you didn’t like to have a child.” (Lucia)


“I still don’t like it. But your child is fine.” (Hugo)




“Do you…does that mean that, if I was with our child, you would have happily accepted it?”


“Gladly. And I mean it.”


“I believe you.”


The fact that he was ready to be a father even though it was impossible for a child to be born between the two of them greatly touched Lucia’s heart. He was a man that didn’t like children but he said he would like her child. She could feel his deep love for her.


“Thank you, Hugh. I understand you. I am fine. Ah…then that means Damian cannot have a child either. I hope it doesn’t hurt the kid.”


“…You’re thinking of the boy in the midst of this?”


“Of course. I am his mother, Hugh. You must tell Damian about this.”


“I’ll take care of it.”


Lucia felt drained of all her energy. Even though she thought she had given up, she was still unable to let of her tiny lingering attachment. She didn’t want to show him such a side of her. She tried to show him a bright smile.


But tears came to her eyes, due to a mixture of unavoidable sadness, and relief because everything was off her chest. Lucia tried to smile as she wiped away her tears. When she saw the immense pain in his eyes, her heart hurt as well.


“I’m sorry.” (Hugo)


“Why are you apologizing to me?” (Lucia)


Hugo felt his heart ache and he hugged her.


“And here I was, trying not to cry. I think I’m so awfully weak.” (Lucia)


“What are you talking about?” (Hugo)


Hugo sighed deeply.


“I have never seen any woman stronger than you.” (Hugo)


Hugo silently held onto Lucia for a while as she cried. There was no difference from the time when he was frustrated by his own powerlessness as he watched his brother die. For the first time in his life, Hugo thought he wanted to cry.


* * *


Peaceful days flowed by quickly.


Lucia went to a bakery downtown in the city with the noblewomen who were at the tea party. After hearing the fuss of one noblewoman about how fantastic the cake tasted in a newly opened bakery, they were all enchanted to go with her and Lucia also joined them.


For a few days now, she had been strangely craving something sweet. Lucia ate two pieces of cake at the bakery and packed a few more pieces. On the way back home, the small flakes of snow fluttered outside her carriage window.


‘It would be nice if it didn’t turn into a shower of snow…’


When the snow piled up, it was difficult for carriages to move and accidents were also more frequent. Knowing that Hugo was coming back late today, she grew worried. He had become more busy as the chief of the King’s new ambitiously formed central administrative structure. The days when he came back past midnight had dramatically increased. So Lucia often went to bed alone first.


She usually didn’t talk about her husband’s work outside, but a few days ago, she grumbled that she wanted him to quit. When Lucia said, ‘Quit’. I don’t have enough time to spend with you’, the look in his eyes told her that he wanted her to say more. Lucia smiled gently as she recalled the sight of him grumbling alone after she feigned ignorance.


There were only ten days left before the year came to an end. Lucia was planning to wrap up her social activities for the year with the charity party tomorrow. The rest of the year would be spent mellowing out at home and then she would start the next year with the New Year party.


‘Wow. The year is over already.’


Lucia looked back on the past year in the capital’s high society where little events kept happening constantly. The biggest event of the year was no doubt, the birth of Princess Selena.


The young princess was growing up beautifully, being showered with the love and concern of the royal couple and her three elder brothers.


And the next event, was Katherine’s marriage. Katherine accepted a suitor and got married within a few months. The marriage happened a year earlier than in the future Lucia had seen. Her marriage partner was a foreigner. He was an international business magnate that held titles in several countries as a Marquis of Xenon’s ally.


Kwiz allowed the marriage and conferred a title on the condition that he would stay in Xenon for 1/3 of a year. A few days before her marriage, Katherine told Lucia this:


“I was envious because you looked happy, Duchess. So, I wanted to get married. Do you think I can have a happy marriage like yours, Duchess?”


“Of course. You will be happy. I am cheering for you, Sister.” [1]


Katherine cast a surprised look at Lucia before beaming at her.


“Thank you, Vivian.”


Katherine married and left the country, following her husband. She had been living in her husband’s homeland and sent word that she would be coming back in the late spring next year.


The future that Lucia saw in her dream had changed a lot. Count Alvin, who would have become Katherine’s husband, married Sofia. Marquis Dekhan who would have married Sofia, remained single after his wife, the Marquess, passed away.


Lucia no longer dwelled on her memory in the dream. Sometimes, when things happened in sync with her memory or there was a discrepancy, she thought about it momentarily and laughed to herself. She also felt that the memories of her dream, which used to be very clear, had become increasingly blurry.


Upon returning home, Lucia retired to bed early. Maybe it was due to riding in the carriage for a long time, but she found herself extremely tired.


Translator’s Corner:


[1] She calls her ‘Unni’, hence why Katherine was surprised. Unni basically means ‘big sis’.

___________________

LUCIA
C112 [part 1]
Lucia Chapter 112 [part 1]


< — Peaceful day-to-day life — > (2)


“…vian!!”


Lucia’s eyes flashed open at the strong roar that shook her senses. She breathed heavily as air surged into her lungs as if her breathing was suddenly unblocked. Her eyes shook with urgency as they swept through her surroundings.


A strong force was on Lucia’s back, lifting her upper body and holding onto her shoulders. A large hand stroked her forehead that was soaked with cold sweat.


“…Hugh?”


He held her to his sturdy chest with his strong arms and gently patted her back as their heartbeats drummed against each other. Then he repeatedly whispered in her ear that it was okay.


It was only then that Lucia realized that she was trembling like she had gotten a cold. The dark bedroom and his embrace made her come to.


‘Ah. This is reality.’


The despair where she was falling down a bottomless floor was a dream. That was a dream and this was reality. Her trembling slowly settled down, and her sweat-soaked nightgown cooled, bringing down her temperature.


“Did you have a nightmare? I shook you a few times, but couldn’t wake you up.”


“…Yes. It was a scary dream.”


It was the first time that the dream of the future which she saw when she was twelve, came back again as a dream. It was a memory of the night when the Count Matin household was exterminated. The terribly long time she spent hiding alone in a dark secret space, holding her breath and trembling. She didn’t know why she suddenly had such a nightmare.


Her trembling had settled down to some extent but upon seeing how anxious and restless she was, like a rabbit that was caught in a trap and survived, Hugo had grave look in his eyes.


“Should I call a doctor?”


“No. I was just…a little…shocked.”


“Do I get you water?”


Lucia nodded her head but when Hugo tried to stand up, she was startled and clung tightly to him.


“Ah, no. I’m fine. Just…stay…like this…”


“…I won’t go, so relax. You have to change your clothes. If you stay like this, you’ll catch a cold. I’ll call the maid. Is that okay?”


“…Yes.”


Hugo pulled the rope to call the maid and asked her to get a few things he needed. He fed Lucia a cup of lukewarm water, wiped her sweaty body with a warm towel, and then changed her into a dry nightwear. His touch was unhurried, gentle and careful, like a parent looking after a little child.


Lucia was filled with happiness. If this moment was a dream, she didn’t want to wake up forever. Fortunately, this was reality, but the fact that it couldn’t last forever because it was reality, was sad.


With her body completely left up to him, Lucia followed along as he lay her body down on the bed. She rested her head on his shoulders and his arms around her waist and back were reassuring.


He gently kissed her forehead, eyes and lips before moving away. His hands, which were slowly sweeping up and down her back, gave her silent comfort. Gradually, she drifted off to sleep.


***


It wasn’t very often that she felt his temperature when she woke up in the morning. When Lucia opened her eyes, she gazed at his handsome side profile, mesmerized. She moved her body, tilted her head and kissed his chin. She smiled faintly when she saw him open his eyes. He returned the smile and tightened his arm wrapped around her waist, pulling her towards him then he kissed her lightly on the lips.


“Did you sleep well?”(Hugo)


“Yes, what of you? You were up at dawn because of me.”(Lucia)




“I slept well enough to make up for it. Why did you need me in the morning?”


“What…?”


“You said I should stay back in the morning.”


“Ah…that…”


Lucia thought she only said that to herself, but it must have slipped out of her mouth.


“I must have been sleep talking. You didn’t have to worry about it.”


“I also need to arrange for you to see the doctor.”


“See the doctor for what?”


“Last night, you didn’t sense me lying down at all, you were fast asleep. You were also restless and awake at dawn. Plus, I think your body temperature is hot.”


Lucia thought he was making a mountain out of a molehill, but eventually, she couldn’t stop him from calling a doctor. The doctor meticulously asked about this and that, examined her, and then said that there was nothing wrong. Lucia gave her husband a side-eye as if saying ‘see what I mean’.


“The tiredness and craving for sweet things that you mentioned are common symptoms that women often have before their menstruation start. Will your period not be coming soon? Have you ever experienced such menstrual symptoms before?”


The doctor who was newly hired two months ago, did not know about Lucia’s amenorrhea yet. After sending the doctor out, Lucia wondered about the symptoms that she had never experienced before.


Now that she thought about it, after her menstruation started again in her dream, she seemed to have always kept sweet snacks around her house. Lucia had to postpone her thinking because her husband was coming onto her. After taking away the hand that kept trying to dig inside her chest area, Lucia asked him.


“Aren’t you busy?”


“Nope.”


“Well then, I would like to try playing around in bed.”[1]


“Hmm.”


When Hugo’s hand burrowed between her thighs, Lucia was startled and swatted away his hand.


“Not that! Lying in bed, drinking tea, having breakfast. I want to lazy around like that. With you.”


“Doesn’t sound bad. Let’s do one round first.”


“You won’t end at one! I want to drink tea! I want to have breakfast! In bed!”


When Lucia stubbornly refused, Hugo removed his hand that was persistently groping her body as a sign of surrender.


“All right. Ask them to bring the tea you want to drink so much.”


Lucia laughed contentedly and pulled the rope to call the maid. Hugo propped his chin and flatly looked at his wife who looked as excited as a child going on a picnic. He looked full of dissatisfaction as if his tasty candy had been taken away.


Hugo thought his wife was still like a innocent child.


Most aristocrat’s lifestyles involved gathering at feasts or meetings late at night, falling asleep at dawn and waking up late in the mornings. For them, it was a daily routine to take a simple leisurely breakfast in bed and drink tea. But that routine did not apply to the ducal couple of Taran.


Lucia’s social activities were mostly at daytime, in the afternoon, and she came home late at sunset. Hugo also returned home in the evening when he was not particularly busy. Hugo’s wakeup time was around dawn and Lucia was the type to wake up early in the morning.


Due to this, they had no chance to have a lazy breakfast, late in the morning. It was something everyone did daily, but Lucia never had the chance to, so she wanted to try it.


A mild tea fragrance filled the bedroom. Lucia took a sip of the tea and savored its fragrance as she watched the maids move around busily in preparation. She leaned on him comfortably, with a cushion on her back as she sipped the tea, and with her wishes fulfilled, she was in a very good mood.


“Will you be late today?”


“The same as usual. You?”


“The charity party I’m going to today is ending in the evening.”


“So you only have the charity party in your itinerary today?”


“I have one tea party before that.”


A simple picnic table with a simple breakfast was placed onto the bed. It was a typical breakfast with freshly squeezed honey, pancakes, and two cups of milk.


“The milk in the right cup was brought by the milk supplying merchant, he said that it is a new product with a new processing method. There is a difference in price, but more people are looking for it because it has more flavor than the previous one.”


Lucia picked up the right cup of milk. When she took a sip, her mouth was overwhelmed with flavor.


“Try some of this. It’s delicious.”


Hugo glanced at the cup of milk held out by Lucia then he lowered his head and licked her lips with his tongue while sucking on them. Then as if nothing had happened, he lifted his head and shrugged his shoulders.


“It tastes like milk.”(Hugo)


Lucia stared at him with her face blazing red, then she quickly looked around. The servants tactfully dodged her eyes and acted like they didn’t see anything.


It wasn’t that the servants of the ducal residence were acting like they weren’t surprised at their master couple’s generous display of affection, rather, they had truly reached the stage where they weren’t surprised anymore. Lucia couldn’t say anything because there were a lot of eyes around, so she tried to let it pass over with a casual attitude.


“What…do you think? Will it be better to change it?”


“Do what you want. You’re the only child who drinks milk in this house anyways.”


“…child?”


“Child.”


He replied amidst chuckles and she gave him a sidelong scowl, speechless. He was acting grumpy because of her refusal to do it earlier.


He called her a child? Was that something that someone who was repeatedly stroking her waist and thighs should say? In the eyes of others, the two of them only seemed to be sitting together snugly on the bed, but where others couldn’t see, his hand refused to stay still.


Lucia grabbed his hand which was groping under the blanket, took it off, then she looked at him and shrugged.


“You said I’m a child.”


Hugo’s eyes narrowed and he buried his head in her neck.


“Uwa!”


Hugo lightly suppressed her flailing figure and bit one side of her neck before sucking and licking it. It smarted but was also ticklish and tingling. Lucia shrunk her body with a groan but when he let her go, she came to her senses.


At some point, it was only the two of them left and all the servants had already disappeared quickly. Not only that, the servants that were quick on the uptake had put the picnic table at the bottom of the bed as if the two of them were about to having a good time.


Lucia’s face flushed bright red. Even with Lucia’s gaze condemning his atrocity, Hugo was satisfied to see the dark red mark left strongly on her neck.


“Why are you like this! Seriously!”


He impassively watched her fists pounding his chest then he effortlessly caught her wrists, lifted them up, swallowed her panting lips and pushed her down in one swift motion.


His wife struggled, refusing to give up and he licked her ears to tease her.


“Don’t do that!”(Lucia)


“No.”


Hugo was amused as she looked up to meet his eyes, looking like she was about to get angry. The playful atmosphere became heated in less than no time.


Translator’s Corner:


[1] The word she used can mean fooling around, playing around, wasting time, etc. Bad choice of words imo lol.


*Fluffffffffffffffffff.

________________

LUCIA
C112 [part 2]

< — Peaceful day-to-day life — > (2)


“Ah…Ng…”


The two combined bodies moved to an obscene rhythm. Her slender legs were wrapped around his firm waist and her body shook along with his movements as he moved his waist. Her nasal erotic cries went off and on continuously and his lips continued to greedily devour her entire body.


Sunlight, signaling the time of the day, shone inside the room, lighting up even the corners of the bedroom. Hugo was filled with satisfaction because with the morning light, he could see even the slightest fluctuation in her eyes.


The sensation of his penis buried inside her wet flesh was pleasure in of itself. He took a rough breath and squeezed himself into her. The feeling of her tender flesh clinging to him was thrilling. He rubbed against her roughly and thrust deep inside her.


Her faint seductive cry was mixed with sobs. He knew where her favorite spot was and when he hit that spot strongly, she cried out in pleasure.


Due to the intense sex in the morning, the morning time flew by. Lucia was already tired out from morning exercise and her whole body felt listless, making the day ahead looked gloomy. As the afterplay grew longer, Lucia secretly grew worried.


“No…more. I have to get ready and go out.”


He still didn’t undo their union and continued to plant kisses all over her body. Lucia pushed his chest with both hands and whined.


“Hugh.”


“I hear you.”


He kissed her as if giving a finishing touch and the feeling of him pulling out his member was so vivid that she flinched.


“I’ll pick you up in the evening.”


“It won’t be that late. The place is also not far from the mansion.”


He came down from the bed without replying and put on his robe.


Lucia looked at him and gave a little sigh. She sat up and picked up her nightgown that was sprawled at her feet. Two or three times a month, if she had an evening schedule, he would always come to pick her up.


It wasn’t that she didn’t like him coming to pick her up. It really wasn’t but….


His hand suddenly grabbed her chin and lifted her face up, catching Lucia by surprise.


“Why do you tell me not to come every time?” (Hugo)


The red eyes that met hers were cold.


“Last time, I definitely said I was going to pick you up, but I was a little late and you came home first. Is there something troublesome to you if I go?” (Hugo)


Lucia could see that he was clearly unhappy so she studied him carefully.


“…it’s because of the rumors.”(Lucia)


“Rumors?” (Hugo)


Lucia did not attend balls where she wasn’t accompanied by her husband, unless it was a special event that she had to attend. She usually didn’t go out to events other than social gatherings with simple refreshments, such as tea parties. If there was a rare evening gathering, her husband always came to pick her up.


Due to that, there were rumors slowly going around about the couple. To be more precise, there were rumors aimed at the Duke of Taran. They whispered that the Duke of Taran had delusional jealousy, so he had almost confined the Duchess to their home.


The person rumored about was usually the last to find out so Lucia only heard it for the first time when someone indirectly said it as a joke. She couldn’t believe her ears and was completely speechless.


Delusional jealousy?! Confinement?! What sort of ridiculous statement is that?!


Lucia was the type to avoid crowdy venues and events. Which is why she didn’t really go to balls, and sometimes when she was late, her husband came to pick her up because he was worried.




“I don’t know how you can bluntly say that it’s someone else’s business.”


Looking at Lucia who was trembling from anger, Hugo had an expression that said it wasn’t a big deal.


‘Confinement, huh.’


He really wanted to if he could. If Lucia could read his mind now, she would be shocked. But Hugo did not make the foolish mistake of revealing his pitch-black thoughts.


Hugo’s nerves were on edge due to containing all the men that were leering at his wife. The fact that she was married and her husband had a formidable reputation, did not hinder them from approaching her.


It was not for an enormous purpose, such as a conspiracy to deal with the Duke. It was just that exchanging romantic love letters or having light public dates prevailed in the country. Such things did not count as an affair.


Lucia didn’t know any of this, but Hugo had intercepted quite a few attempts to give her flowers or letters. If he had his way, he wanted to pick off all the bastards pestering her, one by one, and crush them. But doing such a thing would truly get him branded as a nut case with delusional jealousy in the high society.


His wife was blooming like a flower in full bloom every day. At first glance, she seemed innocent, then sometimes, like a mature woman, and other times, like a pure girl. It was only natural that eyes were drawn to her, seeing as she was adorned in the finest dresses and jewelry and exuded charm.


Hugo held her neck and kissed her intensely. He took his lips off hers and seeing her misty eyes, he barely managed to suppress his surging desire.


“You’re taking your maid, right?”


“I always take my maid with me.”


“Two people.”


“Yes. I know. Two people.”


After the incident at the founding party, Lucia always went around with two maids.


“Don’t separate from your guard.”


“I got it.”


“I may be a little late. I’ll be waiting for you. Don’t talk to some other guy.”


“Oh geez, the nagging.”


Lucia burst into laughter.

__________________

LUCIA
C113 [part 1]
Chapter 113 [part 1]

< — Peaceful day-to-day life — > (3)


Simply acting like she knew the noblewomen when she talked to them was not an easy task.


“Duchess, have you been well?”


“Countess, it has been a while.”


Countess Glenn has been at her parent’s home, away from the capital, for a while due to her mother’s illness. The Countess’ return was either because her mother’s illness had gotten better, or because it had gotten worse, and the latter case was more likely.


As expected, when Lucia asked, the Countess replied with a dull smile. Lucia comforted the Countess. And after they were done greeting each other, the Countess introduced the young lady that was standing next to her.


“This is my distant relative from my hometown.” (Countess)


As soon as Lucia heard the introduction of Sonia, daughter of Baron Park, her expression stiffened.


‘She’s that woman.’


The woman who was her husband’s wife in her future dream. Lucia vividly remembered the Duchess who went around the social activities with an aloof expression on her face. Lucia did not know that she would meet the woman this soon, so her mind was not prepared at all.


“It is an honor to meet you, Duchess.”


She was a young lady with a cute, cheerful smile and curly hair. Sonia smiled shyly, different from how Lucia remembered. Her attitude revealed her inexperience in socializing as her eyes wandered everywhere, fascinated by the luxurious party. It was a huge contrast to the figure that swept through parties and events in Lucia’s dream.


Lucia felt like her body had gone stone cold from her fingertips. She had not felt this dreadful when she encountered the Count of Matin. It was in a different future, but it was still a woman whom her husband had personally chosen and married.


There was no way of ever knowing how the relationship between her husband and the Duchess was in her dream. It could have been a simple contract marriage like the rumors claimed, or perhaps they were a closer couple than that.


It was a future that would never come to pass in reality. Even though Lucia knew that, she had a terrible bitter taste in her mouth.


In the carriage that was taking her home, along with her husband who came to pick her up, Lucia’s mood continued to be low.


“Did something happen?”


Lucia merely shook her head. She was mad at him for no reason. She felt like if she opened her mouth, she would get irritated at him. There was a part of her that knew that she was in a very strange state. She felt that she would feel better when she got some sleep.


“I’m tired. I will go to bed early.”


Hugo left his wife alone for the time being when he saw that she was acting different from usual. He thought to himself that if she continued to be this ‘spiky’ when she woke up, he would thoroughly dig into why she was like that.


* * *


The surroundings were dark when Lucia opened her eyes. The tears refused to stop flowing and her whole body trembled. He had coldly turned around in front of her and left.


It was a dream, but when she recalled that scene, it felt like a sharp awl was stabbed into her heart and she couldn’t breathe. She fumblingly crawled down the bed.


‘I have to…I have to see him. Where is he?’


Lucia opened the bedroom door noisily and ran, with only the thought of seeing him on her mind. It felt like someone was calling her but she couldn’t hear it properly.


As soon as she opened his office door and rushed in, she found him sitting behind his desk, facing the side. When she saw him turn around with a surprised look on his face, she lost strength in her legs and sank to the floor.




Only then did the breathlessness from running settle down as air flooded into her chest. She pushed against the floor with both hands, her chest heaving up and down as she fought for breath. A large hand caught her by the shoulders and lifted her up.


“What’s the matter?”


He approached her in the blink of an eye and his familiar smell gave her relief and a sense of anxiety. Tears suddenly rushed to Lucia’s eyes. Hugo’s red eyes gazing upon her were greatly shaken. He pulled Lucia into a strong embrace.


“What’s wrong, hm?”


It was a soft, soothing voice. Lucia buried her face deep in his chest and her shoulders heaved up and down. Hugo felt her body shaking in his embrace and his complexion stiffened.


“Call the doctor!”


Hugo yelled when he saw the servants standing around not knowing what to do and his irritation soared. Upon not seeing Jerome, he looked for him with his eyes then he remembered that Jerome was momentarily away because he had an issue to deal with. Lucia, who was in his arms, furiously shook her head back and forth. Hugo held her tighter in his arms before speaking.


“I shouldn’t call the doctor?”


She nodded without replying. Hugo sighed then he discovered her bare feet and frowned. Even the nightwear she was wearing wasn’t very thick.


He gestured for the people gathered around them to leave. Then he hugged her tightly and scooped her up. He sat down on the sofa with her in his arms, covered her with a blanket and gently stroked her hair as she still had her head buried in his chest.


A firm hand was pressed against her back and patting her gently. Feeling the comfortable pressure on her back, Lucia’s senses that were half-gone slowly returned. But she just couldn’t stop the tears that were flowing again.


Hugo continued to plant kisses on Lucia’s eyes and cheeks that were wet with tears. Lucia felt like her chest was in more pain and curled her body. The tears continued to flow. Remnant images of the dream were still in her head and tormenting her.


Don’t leave me! Ah, it really hurts![1]


Lucia grasped at her chest with a scream that didn’t leave her mouth.


“What exactly is going on? You have to tell me or I won’t know, Vivian. Don’t cry. Tell me what’s wrong.”


Hugo’s low voice was smeared with worry. After crying continuously with her head buried in his chest, Lucia got exhausted and fell asleep.


Hugo carried his wife to her bedroom and tried to lay her down but he didn’t want to remove her hands, which were clutching tightly to his clothes as if she was uneasy.


He instructed the servants to bring his documents up to the bedroom, then he leaned his wife against his chest with one arm, and looked at documents with his other arm.


Translator’s Corner:


[1] Literal translation is: [Ah, I really feel like I’ll die]. Which in the context basically represents agony so I went with pain but I’m not sure if this is the best translation here. If you got something better, shoot your shot.

___________________

LUCIA
C113 [part 2]

< — Peaceful day-to-day life — > (3)


Her body, which was lazily leaning on him, stirred slightly. Lucia slowly opened her eyes and blinked a few times as if she was still half asleep. Even though Lucia was aware that her head wasn’t on the bed but on his chest, her mind was moving very slow.


Her head was blank, so she lifted her gaze and saw him reading a document. He turned his head and met her gaze. His red eyes were tinged with warmth and he kissed Lucia’s lips.


“…I had a strange dream.”


“What was the dream about?”


“I ran to your office and…”


Lucia’s expression gradually stiffened as she talked. Her running to his office was not a dream. Hugo gave a sigh and put down his documents.


“Before you dreamt of running to my office, did you have a worse dream? What kind of dream was it?”


His gently appeasing tone and voice alleviated the suffocating tension in Lucia’s heart.


“…You…”


“Me?”


“…You cheated.”


“…”


After saying that, Lucia felt something suddenly surge in her chest.


“You left me. You went to that woman.”


Her voice trembled, and tears welled in her eyes. Her vision blurred and when she blinked her eyes, tears slid down her cheeks.


“Vivian.”


He licked the trail of her flowing tears and pecked the corner of her eyes. Hugo lay her down on the bed and climbed over her. He leaned his weight on his elbow and looked closely into her eyes.


“I love you.” (Hugo)


Lucia experienced a small miracle in which his short phrase instantly pacified her whimsically fluctuating mood.


“Me too…I love you.” (Lucia)


“Did I make a mistake that would make you think such a thing?”


“…The woman in the dream had a big bust.”


Hugo quietly gazed at his wife whose mutterings was more like her grumbling, then he sighed deeply. If only he could know who exactly told her that he liked busty women; he wanted to grind them to dust.


His liking of a woman’s bustiness was not because he had a special preference, it simply meant that he liked breasts because he was a man. Never had another woman come into his eyes nor had he ever looked at their chest.


“I like your breasts.”


Her face reddened at his soft whisper and got even redder when his hand wove into her nightwear and squeezed her breasts.


“It’s soft, silky and when I touch it a little like this…it stiffens.”


He kneaded the mounds of her breast and gently twisted her nipple between his fingers.


“And when I lick it, it’s sensitive enough that it trembles.”


While holding her breast in a slight grip, revealing them, Hugo circled around her nipple with his tongue then he bit hard on the tip. She flinched in response and cried out.


“I really do love your breasts.”


His knee came in between Lucia’s legs and his thigh found its way to her private place. Her round eyes were looking at him and her face was dyed redder than ever.


“Honestly, I like this place more.”


Hugo caught her squirming wrists with one hand and held them up while his other hand went inside her underwear and rubbed the area between her legs.


Her insides had started to get wet with a moist, sticky liquid and allowed his fingers easy entry.


“It’s already so wet. I think I’m the one who should be worried. Because your body is so erotic.”


It was embarrassing and shameful. Even though she was annoyed by his taunting words, it sent chills up her spine. His hand holding her wrists had disappeared at some point but it throbbed as if she was still being held down, so she couldn’t move.




Her nightwear was rolled up and her underwear was peeled off. His two hands spread her thighs open and she felt him staring at the space between.


“Ah!”


Something hot touched her lower abdomen. His lips kissed her petite entrance and sucked on it. The tip of his tongue burrowed inside. Lucia’s waist sprang up of its own accord.


“Ah! Ang…”


His lips moved harder as he sucked the liquid flowing from her body while his tongue slipped in and out of her. Lucia’s vision momentarily flickered and her body quivered at the feeling of climax.


He lifted his head and wiped his glossy lips with his hand then he smiled at her. Lucia just couldn’t open her eyes to look at him. Her face felt like it was on fire and her heart was pounding so loud that she felt like it could be heard.


Hugo lifted his body and lowered his trousers. His erection sprang free, already standing firm. He held his pulsating member and brought it to her small folds then he pushed his waist forward in one single thrust.


“Hk…”


Lucia’s body throbbed intensely. She couldn’t breathe because he was too big and the sensation of him filling her to the brim was too much for her.


A sigh mixed with a moan escaped from Hugo’s mouth. Even though he was just staying still, he felt like he was going to cum. His wife really had a ridiculous dream. She dreamt that he left this body and fooled around? Nothing could replace this hot, narrow, melting insides of hers.


Hugo began to move his waist and slowly and gradually increased his speed. There were a few things that he needed to deal with urgently, but they had already flown out of his head long ago.


As he felt the stimulation from her insides squirming and squeezing him and listened to her faint moans and erotic cries, blood rushed to his lower abdomen and he felt giddy.


Her hot inner walls were like they were wrapping around his heart. He was engulfed by the feeling of satisfaction beyond physical pleasure.


Lucia was moaning in his arms and had no recollection of things at some point as if she had blanked out.


When she regained her senses, he was embracing her sideways from behind, holding the back of her neck and kissing her. His member which was filling her up from behind, was tender and moving slowly.


He moved subtly, rubbing inside her while her body felt languid and a small moan escaped her lips. His arm that was wrapped around her waist squeezed tighter, and his fingers gripped her breast harder.


“Have you calmed down a little?” (Hugo)


He bit her ear and sucked her earlobe. His lazy but subdued voice sounded very seductive. His hand persistently squeezed and kneaded her chest. Lucia recalled the grumbling she did earlier and nodded with a heated face.


“You know, I feel wronged that I was blamed for what I did in your dream. Is that really how you usually see me?” (Hugo)


“No. I was…being strangely unreasonable. I’m sorry.” (Lucia)


After coming around a little, Lucia was very embarrassed by her actions.


She had been ridiculously unreasonable. There was no need for her to be so sensitive after seeing that woman at the charity party. There was also no reason for her to be angry at him. Hadn’t she already seen many people’s relationships change from how she saw them in the dream? His wife now, was her, not that woman.


“Are you alright? You seem to keep having bad dreams.” (Hugo)


“I know, right?”


When Lucia thought about it, her irritation seemed to have also dramatically increased in the span of a few days. Yesterday, she raised her voice at the maid over a small issue. Lucia thought of herself as someone who wasn’t whimsical but this kind of sharp changes in mood were rather unsettling. Because it was an issue with her mood and not that she felt sick somewhere, Lucia didn’t know whether it should be viewed as something was wrong with her body or not.


“Aa…”


Lucia moaned faintly at the stimulation from him weakly rubbing against her inner walls. With her butt pressed against his thighs, he moved his waist smoothly, without pulling out, as if churning her insides.


The stimulation wasn’t fierce enough to be thrilling but it was a sinking feeling like her body had fallen into a swamp.


“I can’t believe you don’t trust me. I’m quite shocked.” (Hugo)


“…I was wrong.” (Lucia)


“No. I didn’t put enough effort.” (Hugo)


Hugo lay her down on her stomach, climbed over her and pressed down on her body.


“I will try harder from now on. Until you trust me.”


Realizing the meaning of his so-called effort, Lucia quickly cried out.


“I trust you. I said I trust you!”


She was tormented by him for a while and only after she proclaimed her love and trust for him dozens of times, was she released from complete exhaustion.


Translator’s Corner:


[Word of the day] areola: the area around the nipple. (I swear I didn’t know this before)
________________


LUCIA
C114 [part 1]
< — The Beginning and the End — > (1)


Lucia was walking through an unknown forest. The forest was dense with towering trees, but the surrounding wasn’t dark at all. She treaded barefoot and the soft moss touching the bottom of feet was ticklish.


She walked through the forest like she was bewitched. With every step she took, the dense thicket and branches moved aside, as if making way for her. But she wasn’t amazed or fascinated by this. She just kept moving forward.


‘Ah…’


Lucia exclaimed, seeing the open space in front of her. It was a space in the shape of a small circle, like a cozy nest. Shallow vegetation that barely passed her ankles was spread out like a carpet. And in the middle of it all was a single tree, standing under the bright sunlight. It shone with a sacred radiance as if it were the only tree in the world.


Lucia approached the tree. Upon drawing nearer, she saw an unfamiliar red fruit, hanging appetizingly from the tree. She couldn’t take her eyes away from it because it was so beautiful. She wanted to pluck it and put it in her pocket but couldn’t because it looked too precious.


She circled around the tree for a moment then she stretched out her hand to the exceptionally red and beautiful smooth fruit. She took hold of it and pulled. The moment the fruit left the tree and was completely in her hands, bright light suddenly burst out from the fruit.[1]


~


Lucia’s eyes flashed open. The view around her was her familiar bedroom, with the morning light seeping in.


‘A dream…?’


It was a vivid enough dream that she felt like it was right in front of her eyes. Lucia was captivated by an inexplicably strange feeling on the morning of New Year’s Day that for a while, she just lay down on the bed with her eyes open.


* * *


“…ady. Milady.”


Lucia opened her eyes. Her maid was standing next to the bed. She willed her heavy-lidded eyes open and asked the maid for the time. It was late in the morning, with only two hours left till noon.


These days, she overslept practically every day. Today, it was three hours past her usual wake-up time. She had a lunch scheduled with the Queen today, so yesterday, she had asked her maid to wake her up if she slept in.


“Shall I bring water for you to wash your face?”


“Mm, sure.”


After the maid turned around and left, Lucia stretched while yawning widely.


‘Why am I so tired?’


She usually woke up early even if maid didn’t wake her up but nowadays when she opened eyes, it was always late in the morning and despite that, she didn’t feel like she had slept well. In addition, she had been taking naps for several days in a stretch. The number of times she was sleeping had increased too much so she couldn’t think of it as just spring fever due to the changes in season. Moreover, she was not the type to be sensitive to seasons.


Lucia was about to get up from the bed but then she froze, grabbed her stomach and leaned over. She was riddled with sharp stabs of pain in her lower belly as it tightened heavily. The pain quickly disappeared after a while, but Lucia’s expression was not good as she straightened up.


Her stomach ached in this manner for the last few days and she had no clue why. The pain didn’t last very long but it kept bothering her.


‘I should call the doctor once I come back from the palace.’


She didn’t have much time to prepare to go to the palace because she woke up late, so calling the doctor was pushed to the afternoon. She didn’t think it was really necessary to call the doctor since she wasn’t particularly ill, but her husband was very sensitive to her health. If she ignored the symptoms and it grew into something serious, the doctor would lose their job.




‘But Anna was a good person.’


After letting go of Anna, Lucia got to experience several doctors and found that not only was Anna capable skill-wise, but she was different from the others in that she was actively trying to treat her patient. The doctors that were brought in afterwards, whether it was in their diagnosing or prescribing medicine, it was obvious that they were trying to play it safe. With these doctors, Lucia maintained a formal, employer-employee relationship, nothing more, nothing less.


While Lucia was changing her clothes after washing up, the maid waiting on her said to her.


“Milady. Before Master left in the morning, he asked for the doctor to be called to take a look at you.”


Lucia recalled what he had said to her last night and chuckled.


[I think you’ve had a slight fever for a few days now. Get looked at tomorrow. You might be coming down with a cold.]


“I’ll get looked at as soon as I come back from the palace, tell the doctor that.”(Lucia)


“Yes, Milady.” (Maid)


Translator’s Corner:


[1] I’m sure many of you are like ‘wth’ for the first part. Although I am not Korean, I’m pretty sure the dream was a ‘tae-mong’ aka a conception dream. They usually involve fruits.

________________

LUCIA
C114 [part 2]
Chapter 114 [part 2]

< — The Beginning and the End — > (1)


Beth warmly welcomed Lucia into the Queen’s Palace. They briefly greeted each other then Lucia asked about Princess Selena, the new princess.


Princess Selena was to be turning one year old in a couple of days. It was widely known that the King would be holding a huge party in celebration of her first birthday.


Unlike the moderate display of affection he showed to his sons, the King coddled his only daughter. Everybody knew how much he cherished his daughter.


“The princess is already getting into trouble, unlike a girl, it makes me worried.”


“You’re worrying too much. I heard that when they are a child, they have to cause a little trouble to grow up healthy. I was quite the tomboy when I was a child.”


“Oh my, you, Duchess? It doesn’t seem like that at all. But I feel slightly relieved after hearing what you said, Duchess.”


The dishes were placed on the table one by one. Braised rabbit liver in wine was served as an appetizer.


Lucia put a piece of the meat in her mouth, chewed, and her back broke out in cold sweat. The aroma of wine and rabbit liver mixed with the distinct smell of blood made her stomach churn.


Even though it was not a dish that she would usually enjoy eating, it wasn’t something that she couldn’t eat. She forced herself to eat a bite and rinsed her mouth with juice.


The sweet juice that she usually liked felt too sweet to her. She wanted to drink something sourer. She thought to herself that when she got home she would have a glass of lemon juice. Upon recalling the sour lemon flavor, her appetite returned.


She took a spoonful of the soup that was served after and knit her brows. The smell of onions, unique to onion soup, was nauseating. It had been several days since she ate onion soup because she had asked her servants not to serve it to her as of late.


It wasn’t to extent that she couldn’t force herself to eat but Lucia could only manage to take three to four more scoops before she placed down her spoon. She picked up the juice, gulping it down to wash away the onion taste in her mouth.


The main course was steak covered with truffles. It seemed that the Queen had paid a lot of attention to the dishes since fine cuisine that Lucia didn’t normally eat were served.


Even without putting it in her mouth, the unique smell of the truffles made her feel sick to her stomach.


Lucia endured and ate the steak while drinking juice again. Her hand was busy from start to finish, hurriedly filling up her empty glass of juice. After drinking three glasses of juice, Lucia drank water.


Beth, who was watching Lucia carefully, asked a handmaid to bring some soft bread. Lucia looked at Beth as the maid brought the white bread to her side.


She expressed her thanks to Beth, who was smiling, then she took the bread and bit into it. Thankfully enough, she was able to eat it without any irritation.


After the meal, simple snacks and tea were brought in. It wasn’t flower tea which had a strong smell, but a delicate and crispy tea made by boiling the roasted grains.


Lucia took a sip of the tea and felt her stomach calming down.


“I enjoy drinking this tea when my stomach feels uncomfortable. I don’t know if it suits Duchess’ tastes as well.”


“It is very delicious.”


Lucia hesitated for a moment then she asked.


“May I know how to make this tea?”


Beth laughed.


“Of course. I will tell you how to make it and bring some prepared ones for you to take back home with you. That said, it seems Duchess has good news.”


“Pardon?”




“In the early stage of pregnancy, the smell of food you usually have no problem eating aren’t the most pleasant. I suffered a lot because my symptoms were more on the unusual side. I survived on only bread and tea for a while.”


When she saw Lucia staring at her in a expression that said she didn’t understand, Beth exclaimed in surprised.


“Oh my goodness, you don’t seem to know yet. Well, it makes sense. Duchess is young, and it is your first child, so you might not know.”


Lucia finally understood what the Queen was talking about. And at the same time, she felt perplexed.


“No. That’s not possible.”


“Did the doctor say you’re not pregnant?”


“No but…”


“Then since we’re on this topic, shall I call a palace nurse?[1] It is not easy to diagnose pregnancy in the early stages. The palace nurse that was in charge of me until Selena was born is very skilled in the medical arts. She studied mysterious medicines in other countries and has a long history of experience with pregnant mothers. She checked the pulse on my wrist and discovered my pregnancy.”


Lucia didn’t stop the Queen from calling the palace nurse. She knew it shouldn’t be possible, but she couldn’t throw away the strange anticipation in her heart. She kept thinking that the condition of her body was strange. It didn’t hurt, nor did she feel ill, but it was obvious to her that something had changed overall.


The palace nurse who arrived upon summon from the Queen was quite advanced in age. The nurse politely asked for permission before taking Lucia’s wrist and pressing her fingers against Lucia’s pulse for a while.


“I cannot speak with confidence as Duchess is not someone that I usually treat. A woman’s pulse changes after she gets pregnant so if I had checked the Duchess’ pulse before and after, I could be fully sure, however, I can only say that in this current state, there is a high chance that Duchess is pregnant.”


The palace nurse asked Lucia several things about her symptoms. When Lucia was asked about her last menstrual period, she evasively answered that it was roughly last month. She couldn’t tell a palace nurse that wasn’t her doctor, about her infertility. After hearing about the other additional symptoms that appeared on Lucia’s body, the palace nurse nodded her head.


“These are typical early symptoms of pregnancy. There are some whose pregnancy symptoms appear after about two months and there are some who are sensitive, and it may appear at the beginning for them. If you are careful with your body for a while and your next period does not come, I think it is safe to say that you are pregnant.”


“Congratulations, Duchess. Duke Taran will be very pleased.”


Upon hearing Beth’s congratulations, Lucia barely managed to keep her expression under control. She was more confused than joyful. Something that definitely shouldn’t happen, happened.


Lucia considered the possibility that the outstandingly skilled palace nurse misdiagnosed. But the situation fit way too perfectly. When you looked at the several changes in Lucia’s body as pregnancy symptoms, there was no room for doubt.


Lucia continued to mull it over, even in the carriage heading home. Then suddenly, she recalled the dream she had had over a month ago. Even after she woke up, she felt strange and unlike other dreams which she forgot soon after waking up, the dream of that day was vivid and clear, as if she could still see it now.


Once she got home, she called the doctor and explain her infertility symptoms. She talked about everything, from the changes in her body recently to her body condition and the diagnosis she received from the palace nurse. The doctor tilted her head for a while in thought.[2]


“Milady’s symptoms appear to be typical symptoms of pregnancy. If even a palace nurse diagnoses it as such, it must be certain.”


“But as I said, I do not menstruate. Doesn’t that naturally mean infertility?”


“I cannot conclude that you are infertile because you do not menstruate. Milady experienced your first menstrual period, and a herb intake resulted in a strange anomaly. The human body had the tendency to treat itself. Perhaps Milady was treated on your own.”


In Lucia’s dream, Philip diagnosed her as infertile. But she couldn’t completely rule out the possibility that like the doctor said, her body might have treated itself. After all, in the dream, she never tried to have a child. Additionally, events in the dream didn’t always coincide perfectly with reality.


“Congratulations, Milady.”


The doctor thought it was rather strange that there were no children between the ducal couple. She hadn’t worked in the ducal household for very long but according to the servants, the relationship between the two was not just good, they was so passionate like newlyweds, that there was not a day where the two did not spend a night in the bedroom together. The servants chuckled amongst themselves that their master’s bedroom was cold even in the summer.


“Do you…really think that I am with a child?” (Lucia)


The doctor understood the Madam’s confused reaction. Expectant mothers usually felt more anxiety than joy at the beginning of their pregnancy; their changes in mood were severe and there were many cases of depression. A pregnant woman needed as much mental care as she did physical care.


Their husband had to help more than anyone else so that the expectant mother’s depression could be overcome more easily. The doctor thought to herself that she had to meet with the Duke separately and tell him about the precautions he had to take for the Madam.


“I am almost certain of it.” (Doctor)


“Does ‘almost’ mean that there is a possibility I am not pregnant?” (Lucia)


“Your situation is uncommon, Milady. Pregnancy is usually determined with menstruation. When strange symptoms like these appear on your body with its menstruation-less state, it can seen as pregnancy.” (Doctor)


Pregnancy was a common phenomenon but giving a certain diagnosis was quite difficult. Even if pregnancy symptoms appeared at the same time the menstruation stopped, and one’s stomach started to get bigger, there was a condition called phantom pregnancy. The doctor didn’t say anything about imaginary pregnancy in order not to aggravate the Madam’s anxiety.


“Please set your mind at ease first. It would be best to refrain from outdoor activities in the early stages and get plenty of sleep to avoid fatigue. And there is something you must be most careful about, Milady. You have to refrain from bedroom relations.”


Lucia came out of her daze upon hearing this and her face turned red.


“At least, definitely not now. Until we are certain that the child is growing up healthily, in other words, until your stomach starts to grow bigger, stimulation is forbidden.”


The doctor withdrew, and Lucia lay on the bed, disturbed by all sorts of thoughts. She thought of all the strange symptoms in her body and retraced them, one by one.


‘Now that I think about it, I have not had any headaches lately. Has it been a month? No. A month and a half? I don’t remember taking any headache medication for almost two months.’


She looked straight at the ceiling from her position on the bed and gently covered her lower belly with her hands. She didn’t feel anything. There was no evidence that could be seen with the bare eyes. But when she thought that there was a life growing inside of her, she felt like she was floating.


She didn’t know whether it was a good thing or bad since it was not for certain. Despite being unable to throw away her doubts since pregnancy should be impossible for her, the hopes of ‘maybe…’ were getting bigger. At this rate, if she was told that this was not pregnancy, she might not be able to recover from the shock.


‘Even if we say that my infertility was cured by my body on its own like the doctor said, according to what my husband said, I cannot get pregnant.’


She had explained the symptoms of her amenorrhea to the doctor, but she couldn’t talk about her husband’s secret, that is, the Taran lineage’s unusual constitution.


Her husband was no different from sterile. Lucia wasn’t a woman of the Taran bloodline that could get pregnant nor did she meet the conditions of being a normal, non-Taran woman that took a special herb from the moment of purity to prepare her body.


Her husband was convinced that he could not give her a child.


[Then it won’t be my child][3]


When Lucia recalled what he had said a long time ago when they were in the north, her heart sank with a thud. If he were to say the same thing again after hearing of her pregnancy, she wouldn’t just feel sad, it would be very painful. If he doubted her fidelity, she didn’t think she could bear it because she would hate him so much.


It was not yet certain if she was pregnant. Lucia wondered if she should tell him, or if she should keep her mouth shut for the time being since she didn’t know yet. One train of thought led to another and the worrying led to fear. Lucia lay on the bed, tossing and turning for a while then she fell asleep.


Translator’s Corner:


[1] The word used here, is not the word for doctor nor is it the word for imperial doctor. It directly translates to medical practitioner. I also assume it is a she. The author never states the palace nurse’s gender.


[2] I assume it is a ‘she’ here as well and henceforth. Unless I should just use ‘they’ for the ones with vague genders. My assumption is based on the time period, I doubt the King would let a male in the Queen’s quarters, just as I doubt Hugo would let a male into Lucia’s bedroom. Except Jerome, I suppose?


[3] Excerpt from Lucia Chapter 27 [part 2]:


______________

LUCIA
C115.1
Chapter 115 [part 1] < — The Beginning and the End — > (2)

Hugo returned home early today and was greeted by Jerome who came out to meet him. When he heard from Jerome that Lucia took a nap and was still sleeping, he frowned.


“Is she not ill? I am sure I asked for the doctor to see her today.”


“The doctor is asking to see you about the Madam.”


Hugo immediately went to see the doctor, not bothering to change his clothes first. The doctor was nervous. Unlike the Madam whom she could face with relative comfort, the Duke made her feel nervous every time they met. She didn’t know how many times she had felt awed by the fact that these two really different people were married.


“I believe the Madam is pregnant.”


Lucia’s worry about whether to tell her husband or not was useless. She had completely forgot to tell the doctor not to inform her husband yet.


Since the doctor began working, she had been reporting the Madam’s treatment results to the Duke every single time and thought nothing different of it this time as well.


Hugo was momentarily silent as he listened to Jerome, who was beside him and said, ‘this is a matter for congratulations’, after hearing the good news.


“…What? Pregnant? You mean a child?”


“It is not fully certain, but the Madam’s symptoms are showing typical evidence of pregnancy.”


The doctor continued to explain that Lucia had gotten diagnosed by a palace nurse at the Royal Palace today, and that her strange symptoms lately were in sync with signs of pregnancy, so the Madam’s pregnancy was pretty certain. And Hugo remained silent, listening to the doctor list off things about an expectant mother’s psychological state and precautions to take.


“What is the chance that it is not pregnancy?”


The doctor carefully watched the Duke whose reaction was quite different from normal people upon hearing the news that he would become a father. She had heard that when a couple’s relationship was too good, there were husbands who didn’t look favorably upon the existence of a child, so she thought that maybe that was the case here.


”There is a condition that occurs very rarely, it’s called phantom pregnancy. It occurs when a woman desperately wants a child; in this situation, they experience symptoms that are almost similar to that of pregnancy. But like I said, it is very rare. The Madam is not usually saddened or impatient for a child, so I do not think it is applicable here.”


Hugo’s expression didn’t change at all on the outside, but he was actually very flustered. His head was blank as if he had been slammed into out of nowhere and he had no time to think any deeper.


After revealing his family’s secret to his wife, his wife had never brought up a child thereafter. So Hugo had pushed it to the other side of his mind as an unimportant issue.


“When can we know for certain that there is a child?”


“The most definitive time period would be about 5 months in, since there is fetal movement around then. I believe the Madam has been pregnant for two months at most.”


Hugo frowned slightly. According to the doctor, there was another three months till they could know for sure. That was too long.


“I already informed the Madam about the cautions she needs to take, but you have to be especially careful about bedroom relations. Therefore, bedroom relations are forbidden for the next three months until she reaches a definitive stable period.”


“What?!”


Hugo frantically shouted at the doctor.


* * *


When in doubt, assume the worst. It was a principle Hugo kept to whenever he was trying to make a judgement. Saying that he assumed the pregnancy as the worst would be a misunderstanding but basing his thoughts on the premise that the pregnancy was certain, he began to ponder about how a phenomenon that should not occur at all, was possible. He went through everything, one by one.




‘My wife said her condition meant she could not have a child.’


His wife said that she could not have a child due to having no menstruation, so she was infertile. And at the same time, she said that she knew the cure so she could treat it at any time.


The question of whether his wife was cured was a secondary issue; in any case, he revamped his premise and based it on his wife being a normal woman that could bear a child. Whether she could bear a child or not, was not the important thing here.


The heart of the problem was Hugo himself, a bizarre lineage of the Taran bloodline.


‘You have to consume blood…’


Hugo drummed his fingers on the table and chewed over the words that Philip said a long time ago. At that time, he did not have a hint of doubt in his mind about Philip’s words. Back then, his hatred and disgust for his family had reached an extreme, so he thought that the revolting method of ingesting blood that Philip spoke about matched perfectly.


Despite being thorough in everything else, the reason why Hugo didn’t re-consider whether Philip really told the truth was because he did not want to even think about it.


‘Blood, huh? It even sounds fucking ridiculous.’


Thinking rationally, Hugo analyzed what Philip said back then and the situation at that time.


Philip held his ground, claiming that he couldn’t talk about his family’s vision then he unexpectedly confessed obediently. Now that Hugo thought about it, it was unlikely that Philip would so easily reveal the secret that wasn’t even in the Taran family secret room, and had been protected and passed down in his family for generations.


Philip was a strong-willed old man. It was more like him to offer his neck than truthfully reveal his family’s secret.


‘So he lied to me. That’s what this is.’


There was a cold smile on Hugo’s lips.


‘The nerve.’

_______________

Chapter 115 [part 2] < — The Beginning and the End — > (2)

Hugo was angry and at the same time, he was in disbelief. A forced laugh spilled from his lips. This was a result of his arrogant thinking that a mere doctor wouldn’t lie to him and deceive him. If Hugo had judged Philip to have the slight chance of becoming a threat, he would have already killed him.


Even though Philips’s family had the only ‘vision’ that continued the Taran bloodline, they were a family of doctors for generations and only had one perfunctory title. Due to being partners with the Taran family for so long, Philip’s family was rather isolated.[1]


Philip had no family and his relationships with people were very shallow. Who knew how many secrets the man had, for he didn’t even have an assistant. Due to these factors, Hugo took him lightly as nothing but a doctor.


Keeping Philip alive was a punishment for Hugo himself. Philip was a medium to maximize his guilt towards his late brother and his disgust for himself.


There was also the issue of owing his late brother’s life to Philip, so with a grand talk of mercy that he wouldn’t take Philip’s life personally, he left him alone.


‘The old man never knew fear.’


He pretended to be obedient but said everything he wanted to say. And so whenever Hugo met Philip, he always felt like filth. The mere fact that Hugo suppressed all that and endured it, showed that he showed no end of generosity to Philip.


‘Why did he lie?’


Hugo threatened Philip that if he didn’t tell the truth, he would let him rot in jail. Philip making up a lie to avoid that situation was something plausible for anyone to do.


Looking at it emotionally, it was unscrupulous conduct, but on the logical side, Hugo judged that it was possible. No one would know anyways if Philip lied about a secret that no one else knew the truth to, and the only person who could prove it was Hugo, but because Hugo was immensely averted to it, there was no way of knowing if Philip had told a lie.


‘Even if I accept that his lying in that situation is plausible, why did he mention blood, of all things?’


Hugo was on the verge of losing his mind when he captured Philip and dragged him away. His family, everything, nothing was as they seemed, and he was consumed by extreme anger. So when Philip said blood had to be consumed, he believed it like that and while his disgust with the blood flowing within him was magnified, correspondingly, his anger towards his family was pushed down.


So, if Philip had analyzed Hugo’s mental state at the time and purposefully told a calculating lie…


‘He has to be called cunning and smart.’


Hugo used to only think of him as an annoying old man who talked about the family bloodline every time he opened his mouth. Hugo revised his assessment of Philip.


‘He could be a more dangerous bastard than I thought.’


Hugo was well aware that his personality wasn’t one to easily relax his vigilance towards people. But in the end, he relaxed his guard with Philip. It meant that Philip was careful in everything in order not to trigger the boundaries of Hugo’s vigilance.


‘What is the ‘vision’? Even if I catch him and ask him again, I don’t think the old man will obediently tell me but…that said, I don’t care about the vision. The question is, how could she get pregnant? What design did the old man have in this…’


[The day you look for me will come.][2]


Hugo, who was resting his chin on his hand, suddenly lifted his head. The words left by the old man which he had dismissed as nonsense, came around to him with new meaning.




‘When we stayed in Roam…’


Hugo remembered Philip attempting to approach his wife by enticing his wife’s doctor with a cure. When he thought about it, it was strange. If Philip’s purpose was purely to treat a patient, it was enough for him to tell Hugo.


Even though Hugo hated the very sight of Philip, he would definitely not have ignored the implications behind Philip asking to treat his wife as a patient. However, at the time, Philip acted as if he must avoid Hugo’s eyes.


‘The treatment might have been an excuse. The old man wanted to meet Vivian. Why?’


He didn’t know what Philip’s family’s vision was, other than the fact that it continued the Taran family lineage but considering that Philip had the time to try something with his wife, something didn’t add up. Still, the attempt failed. His wife did not meet Philip.


But Philip was a persistent old man. More than anything, Hugo acknowledged the old man’s tireless obsession with the Taran bloodline. It was enough reason for him to suspect that Philip didn’t give up and continued to pull tricks.


‘Is it food?’


On a second thought, it would be hard for Philip to pull anything regarding the food. The food ingredients were thoroughly supervised by Jerome and there was no way Jerome wouldn’t know if something suspicious was added inside.


The only possibility was that Jerome was in leagues with Philip. But that possibility was excluded.


Hugo was skeptical about people but once he trusted them, he didn’t doubt them until there was confirmed evidence of their betrayal. Actually, rather than saying he trusted people, it was more accurate to say he trusted in the way they handled things that were entrusted to them.


Jerome was meticulous and thorough. Hugo trusted how Jerome handled his work.


‘Assuming the old man pulled something, then he predicted its success. He thought my wife would get pregnant.’


[The day you look for me will come.]


‘Why did he say that to me?’


If it was Philip’s wish that his wife bore a child, his purpose could be achieved even if he kept his mouth shut. Rather, saying that was more like Philip confessing that he had done something to his wife.


‘Was he trying to do something to the baby when it’s born?’


There would be no instance of Philip’s bullshit about Damian’s bride being realized, even if the child was born. That was something Philip should also know.


Philip’s agenda was not the baby. His wife’s surroundings were under impenetrable security. Philip almost lost his life when he snooped around the ducal residence and Hugo heard about it. The old man wasn’t someone who would attempt such a reckless thing.


A thought suddenly flashed through his mind.


‘He’s asking to meet, isn’t he?’


Hugo smiled icily.


‘It sounds like he’s calling me.’


Hugo broke out laughing, in spite of himself. It was a laugh filled with thick murderous intent.


“Okay, old man. Let me hear what drivel you’re on about.”


Hugo called Dean.


“Do you remember the village we used as a base while subjugating barbarians before we hurried back to the capital?”


“Yes, my lord.”


“There was a ducal doctor who was staying in the village at the time. Philip. Remember him?”


“Yes, I know who it is.”


“I don’t know if he’s still in that village but if he isn’t, search the entire vicinity and drag him here. Bring the old man here at the fastest speed possible, regardless of his circumstances. You only need to spare his life.”


Upon receiving his orders, Dean immediately left for the north.

_______________

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