πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️ Lucia Chapter 115 - 120 Full Chapters πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️

PHYSIENTS WILL ALWAYS OFFER BEST STORIES AND LIVE STREAMING ALL TIME


LUCIA
C116. Part 1
< — The Beginning and the End — >(3)


Lucia slowly got up from the bed, facing the morning sun. She had fallen asleep late in the afternoon as it was getting darker but when she opened her eyes, it was morning.


“Oh my goodness. Did I sleep that long?”


She didn’t wake up at any intervals and slept like a rock. She kept on feeling tired lately, but her body didn’t feel that refreshed. Rather than feeling sluggish due to the excessive sleep, her head felt light.


Lucia called her maid and asked her to bring water for washing her face.


“Has he left?”


“No. Master is in his office.”


Hugo came to the bedroom after hearing that his wife was awake. He arrived just when Lucia was about to change her clothes. Once the maid attending to Lucia discovered Hugo, she bowed her head and withdrew.


Hugo quickly approaching his wife, who was smiling at him, and hugged her. Lucia was taken aback by his sudden action and asked carefully.


“Did you hear…from the doctor?”


“I did.”


Hugo had been worried yesterday because he felt she was sleeping for too long. When he concernedly asked if it would be better for her to wake up and eat something, the doctor said:


[It’s okay for one day. Milady told me she felt tired these days, so it would be better to allow her to just sleep.]


While holding her sound asleep figure, Hugo could barely sleep all night. Her body had a slight fever, so it felt warm to the touch. Upon recalling the doctor’s statement that a mild fever was common early in pregnancy, Hugo tried to assuage his worries.


His mind was filled with all sorts of thoughts, so he ended up not getting a wink of sleep.


“Thanks. And…congratulations.”


“…What?”


“…”


Pfft. Lucia burst out laughing.


“Did the doctor tell you to say that?”


“…Mm.”


The doctor made a long-winded speech as if she was taking the chance to make up for the past times when she felt inadequate before the Duke. For Hugo, listening to the doctor’s prattle was very excruciating, so he momentarily considered changing to a male doctor.


The doctor talked to Hugo about the sensitive mood of an expectant mother and scared him with examples of patients with various and extreme symptoms of depression.


She emphasized that due to their severe changes in mood, pregnant women tended to be more sensitive and could be easily hurt by something minor. Thinking that his own manner of speaking wasn’t exactly sweet, Hugo was worried.


[The Madam is currently showing signs of anxiety. At times like this, the husband has to comfort the wife and show your sincerity in welcoming the child.]


He didn’t know what to say so he recited it exactly like the doctor had told him to. Lucia lifted her head and cupped his face in her hands.


“Your words have no sincerity.”


“…It’s not that there’s no sincerity, I just honestly don’t know what to do. I don’t hate it.”


“I know what you mean. I’m also like that. It doesn’t even feel real. And it may not be pregnancy.”


“The palace nurse definitely didn’t diagnose wrongly.”


Lucia looked into his eyes. It was hard to tell what he was thinking from the neutrality of his gaze. She didn’t know whether she should be happy that her husband’s reaction was much calmer than she expected or whether she should be worried.


She was glad that he didn’t react in worse ways, such as denying it, since her pregnancy should be impossible or refusing that he was the father of the child.




“It is our child.” (Lucia)


The look in his eyes turned to that of puzzlement.


“Of course.” (Hugo)


Hugo couldn’t understand the meaning behind her words. He could not guess that Lucia was concerned that her husband might be suspicious of her fidelity.


Hugo had not thought of that at all. He only thought that his wife was still thinking about when he said that he didn’t want a child.


“I’ve said this before, but if it is your child then I am fine with it. I might be a little out of it because it is unexpected, but I do not hate it. If you’re upset then I’m sorry.”


“No. I am not upset.”


Lucia was very happy. And she was thankful to him.


He did not want to have children for a long time. Even though he said that he was okay with it if it was her child, it was something he said when he assumed that her getting pregnant was impossible.


But now, it had come to the forefront and become reality. And even then, he still said that he would accept the child. It meant that it wasn’t just pretty words that he was saying at the time to comfort her.


Lucia felt the anxiety buried deep in her heart melt away. She began to think that everything would be okay. She had a feeling, no, confidence, that when the child was born, he would be a good father.


Hugo looked at his wife for a while as she grinned happily, then he lowered his head and kissed her. Lucia wrapped her arms around his neck and shared a long, deep kiss with him.


“There’s a part I can’t understand.” (Hugo)


“Me too.” (Lucia)


How did she become pregnant? Just as she expected, her husband was also wondering about this issue.


“You think so too, right?” (Hugo)


“Yes.” (Lucia)


“It was fine yesterday. Why is it forbidden as soon as we find out you’re pregnant?”


“…?”


“The doctor must be a quack. I have to ask the palace nurse that diagnosed your pregnancy.”


Lucia sensed that what he was saying, and what she was saying, were not in sync. And when she vaguely grasped what he was talking about, her face gradually stiffened.


“What does she mean we can’t do it for three months? Is this not a plan to kill me?”


“Are you crazy? You’re going to go where, and ask who what?”


Lucia shouted as her face reddened and she hit his chest. Hugo had a shameless expression on his face as if asking what he did wrong. Lucia pushed his chest and removed herself from his embrace.


“Just try it if you dare. You won’t get a feet inside this room.”


The knowledge that he had to give up on the pleasure of the night was a bombshell of its own, but there was no worse torture than not being able to even touch his wife. Hugo stretched his hand to her again, but his wife shocked him by shaking him off and avoiding his hand.


“You said you were thinking the same thing.” (Hugo)


“No! I was thinking about something different. They asked us to be careful because the child could get hurt, so is that so important to you?” (Lucia)


“Hurt? There’s no way my child is so weak.”


Lucia was done with his dignified bullshit sophistry. She coldly turned around.


“Go and work on what you were working on. I want to rest.”


“Sleep, again? You have to eat something.”


“I’ll eat something later.”


“Vivian.”


Hugo gazed at his wife, who was lying on the bed, not even responding, then he left the bedroom.


[…psychological state will be very uneasy, there will be extreme mood swings, irritation will increase…]


Hugo sighed when he recalled the contents of the lecture, ‘A Study on the Psychological State of a Pregnant Woman,’ that the doctor gave him.


His wife was with child. It was beginning to feel a little bit real. The doctor said that they needed more time to know for sure, but from Hugo’s standpoint, there was no doubt about it. Otherwise, there was no way his gentle, good-natured wife would change like that.

_________________

LUCIA
C116.Part 2
< — Finish and Start — > (3)


<You might want to go back to the chapter post. Hint: emoticon.>


Hugo woke as he waved his body beside him. Hugo woke up when he saw Lucia sitting.


“Why? Are you sick?”


“I can not sleep.”


“… … ”


Hugo thought, “I slept like that in the day so I will not sleep.”


Three weeks from the day when I was diagnosed as pregnant. Lucia was sleepy. I chose the chief and slept almost all day. I slept early in the evening, got up late in the morning, and slept a nap during the day. It was a life that I was asleep as if I was sleeping well all my life.


Hugo has only seen his wife ‘s face almost these days.


“What can I do?”


“I do not just go to sleep, I keep thinking I want to eat … … ”


“What do you want to eat? If you tell Jerome, he’ll be up soon. ”


“I told you I can not get it.”


Jerome can not save food. Hugo felt a little ominous.


“What?”


“Purple.”


“… … ”


Spring has just come. The weather outside was still windy. The fruit of the vine would not have grown well.


“Do not you get it?”


She was confident that she could find the world through all she wanted. However, there was no ability to produce unfruitful fruit. There is a temperate climate in the southern part of the country, but this is not the grape harvest season.


However, I could not say that I should not be able to say to my wife who looked at me with full expectation. He bluffed.


“… … I’ll find out. ”


“Wow.”


Hugo sweated as she grabbed her neck and held her arms around her in her arms.


‘It was big.’


* * *


Quize heard a message from the queen that the Duchess seemed to have been called. I have guessed that the Duchess would have had a child since she had no outside activities.


But almost every day, even though I face Taran Duke, I did not seem to have a good news for about a month. It is likely that he will be told that the child was born after birth.


Quize sneaked out first.


“I heard the news of being a father, a father.”


“It’s been a long time since I was a father.”


“I was told to see the second.”


“… … Yes.”


“With people. The good news is, go ahead and do it. Congratulations. Is the Duchess healthy? ”


“Yes. There is no big riding. ”


“Good luck. The queen had a lot of trouble because she could not eat properly when she had a princess. If the woman has a child, what about the Duchess? ”


“I do not suffer greatly.”


“The child looks like the Duchess and is mild. I wonder if a boy who resembles a ball will be born, or a resemblance to a gentleman. Jim was betting on his boss. Jim is a son. Jim believes in the ball. ”


Quize did not seem to have a gambling luck anyway. Looking at the chattering quiz, Hugo muttered into her, ‘I’m a girl.’


The child, who was born, thought he should resemble his wife. Or it will not be worth the trouble.


Hugo took over the pride of the king ‘s arms every time he lined up the princess’ s loveliness. What does the child’s gratitude have to do with me? My child is having trouble before birth.


Last month. It’s only a month. One month was a long time. There are still six to seven months before the child is born.


This would be like the darkness that stood on the narrow ridge of the back and forth below.


Lucia did not have severe morning sickness that refused food. Though it smells horrible, I usually eat very well.




Many times she was fortunate to have an example of a dry mother who had almost no water during her pregnancy.


Hugo also agreed totally. If you do not eat properly, you will be hated by your wife who is struggling with symptoms of morning sickness.


But the world was not easy. Morning morning was light, but Lucia’s nerves were relatively sharp.


Still, it was not uncommon for others. The tone was cold and the irritation was only slightly increased. However, it seemed to have changed dramatically because it was a mere character and contrast. Especially the impact of Hugo who underwent change of wife was big.


* * *


Lucia was not among the people who came to meet Hugo who returned home today. Jerome gave his master the same answer yesterday.


“You sleep.”


“What about dinner?”


“You have not heard yet. It is sleeping daytime … … ”


I was worried that my wife ‘s sleep was getting too much. So Hugo recently asked her doctor if she was okay.


‘Sleeping and feeling fatigued easily is a typical symptom of early pregnancy. Although my wife is sleeping a lot, it is not something to worry about. If you are a lady, you are going through very early in pregnancy. ”


I can not agree with the fact that it is very safe, but I was relieved to answer the doctor ‘s answer. It means that you can not sleep to be treated.


When I sat down with my wife, I had a conversation. If you stay at home during the day, you will be able to see the state of being awake. Hugo’s busy schedule of going out in the morning and coming in the evening was not loose.


A few days ago, Hugo became more depressing. I was so relieved by the fact that I had to hold my wife in her arms every night, but she started to feel annoyed.


Now, by putting his hand into his pajamas (on his own standards), he touched a little and was not able to come near him at all.


Hugo could not know where to solve the absurdity and grievance. I asked my doctor again. Nowadays, the doctor was acting as a consultant for the duke.


‘At the beginning of pregnancy, there may be a reaction to the husband’s physical contact that is extremely reluctant. It may or may not improve in the middle of pregnancy. ‘


It was advice that was not helpful at all. Hugo thought his doctor should be a quack. I was embarrassed by my innocent doctor.


Hugo entered his wife ‘s bedroom. I approach the shape lying on the bed in the dimly lit bedroom and carefully sit on the bed.


Lucia, lying on his back, looked up and turned and turned to face him.


He stretched out his hand without knowing it, and he was puzzled and disgusted. Why can not I touch my girl as much as I can.


Who should blame for this irrational situation. Hugo’s gaze went down a little and headed to her boat, covered with futon.


An unseen unknown creature that grew up in her womb drove her to the greatest danger of her life. I knew that I should not make the mistake of taking out the words that blame my baby.


He thought too simply of the problem of having a child. I just thought that if a child grows up, it will end when she grows up.


The king who had undergone this process four times was admired.


Hugo gave up his courage and reached out his hand. She touched her cheeky cheek and swept her forehead and turned her hair. Lucia was nervous, and he was nervous for a moment. Then he breathed in as Lucia blinked.


“Hugh … … ? ”


Her reaction was gentle. Hugo breathed a sigh of relief. My wife ‘s psychological state was like a plateau, so I could not relax more than the battlefield.


He missed his wife a few months ago, who was always laughing at seeing himself. Lucia laughed at him and stretched out his arms. Hugo wanted to know what this is. As she smelled the soft and warm scent of her nose, she realized the truth that happiness comes from something really trivial.


“I saw my mother in a dream. You looked young, beautiful and happy. ”


“I hope you will come to your dream every day. Young, beautiful and happy. ”


Lucia laughed at the jokes, but Hugo was genuine.


“I have to eat dinner. Do you want me to prepare now? ”


“I do not have much appetite.”


“I ate a lot of lunch. Nothing to eat? If you think about anything, tell me. ”


“Your baby in the boat is sucking the nutrition of your body,” Hugo muttered to the inside, adding a radical expression to the words of his doctor.


“Well… … . I do. I think that would be my appetite. ”


Hugo was nervous. This time, I wanted to tell you the food you can get.


The last time I did not save Jeongpo Island. Looking at her for a few days, she had to feel her incompetence and incompetence.


“The night market was opened in the town where I was a child. Peter cooked grilled skewers was really good. ”


Hugo was relieved because it did not seem like it was impossible but it was impossible. Night market. Peter. Grilled skewers. I remembered the key words.


“All right.”


“Wow. Then we can do that for dinner. ”


“… … now?”


“If not now?”


Hugo swallowed a sigh. Immediately he called Jerome. Jerome took a couple of servants and visited the village where he had lived.


After a few hours, he took the grilled skewer and took him upstairs.


Lucia was making a linen outfit in the reception room and was delighted to see the dish her husband brought and made her happy. However, he said, “I have just had a few bites and I have been hungry.”


“When will cheongpoddo open?”


It’s a green one. Hugo seriously worried whether he would buy a farm.


Translator’s Corner


* Please make sure you are reading on Ruby Maybe translations.


*If you are, then thank you.

____________

LUCIA
C117.Part 1
< — The Beginning and the End — > (4)


Dean was back. It had been a month since Hugo gave him the order to capture Philip. He had gone to the village that Hugo had asked him to, but because it had been a little while since Philip left, he had to search around and that took time. Dean explained that fortunately, he found Philip somewhere not too far from the village and was able to bring him in.


“I took him to the safe house.”


“Good job.”


An old mansion, located at the outskirts of the capital, was currently being used as the Taran Information Division’s safe house. The old mansion gave off a time-worn, somber atmosphere and was surrounded by a considerably large courtyard, masking any possibility of knowing what was going on within the walls. There were only rumors that a cranky old man that did not go outside, was the owner of the mansion.


The entrance to the safe house used a secret passage that was a little distance away from the mansion so externally, only a few servants frequently visited to manage the place.


Hugo left for the safe house late at night in order to avoid being seen by others.


The inside of the seemingly old mansion was reinforced with soundproofing. Especially down in the basement, there was no chance of any noise or racket spreading outside.



The knights standing guard in front of the room, bowed their heads when Hugo appeared. Even after the heavy stone doors were completely opened, Hugo momentarily remained still.


“Do not follow me inside.”


Hugo was about enter the room then he stopped. He looked at Dean and extended a hand.


“Sword.”


Dean immediately removed the sword strapped to his waist and handed it to Hugo. As Hugo held the sword and walked in, the door quickly closed behind him.


The room he entered had stone walls on all sides and it was not very spacious. The soundproofing was so thorough that one couldn’t hear any sound from the inside once the door was closed.


There were two chairs in the middle of the room, facing each other. In one of them, sat Philip, with his hands tied behind his back and to the chair. And the chair, made of iron, was tightly bolted to the floor. Since thorough safety measures had been taken, the knights obediently obeyed when Hugo ordered that he would be going into the room alone.


Hugo sat down on the opposite chair. He stared at Philip, who had his head hanging low.


Philip’s complexion was haggard as he slowly lifted his head. He was not hurt anywhere but he had been loaded onto a carriage, unable to rest properly the entire time, and was at the limit of his physical strength. He had a lot of endurance, but age wasn’t something that could be deceived. Philip smiled faintly when he saw the cold red eyes facing him.


“It has been a long time.”


“Cut the crap.”


Even though Hugo’s response was cold, Philip didn’t care. Despite being in a situation where he was suddenly dragged away and bound up, Philip’s expression was no different from usual.


Hugo knew the old man was this type of person. He expected that even moments before his neck was cut off, the old man would still look calm. Today of all days, that expression of his was very annoying.


“I’m sure you know why you’re here, you bastard.”


“I will know when you tell me.”


Hugo pressed down his surging murderous urge to wrench off the old man’s neck this instant.


“You told me to come, didn’t you? Or are you saying that you blabbered all that meaninglessly?”


“No. However, there are many reasons for young master to come find me. Do you need treatment for the Madam? Or, has the Madam gotten pregnant?”




Seeing Hugo’s forehead twitch, Philip’s eyes grew bigger.


“…So she has gotten pregnant.”


Just as Philip expected, the heavens did not abandon him. Even though he had mixed the drug into the Duchess’ headache medicine, Philip was not sure of its success.


There were many variables. He could not guarantee that the Madam would take that headache medicine consistently, and because the drug’s efficacy was weakened, not only was the neutralization of mugwort slower, the probability of conception was extremely low. However, it succeeded, and she was pregnant in two years.


“Congratulations.”


Philip’s congratulatory words were not desirable at all. Hugo squeezed the sword in his hand and held in his desire to draw his sword without mercy.


“Like I thought, you did this. Blood, you said? When you looked down on me, you must have thrown away your desire to live.”


“Why are you so sure I lied? Maybe the Madam had a child with another ma…”


Feeling the cold blade under his neck, Philip shut his mouth. It only took an instant. Hugo stood up, drew his sword and pointed it at Philip’s throat. The tip of the sword was digging into Philip’s skin as if it would pierce through the moment Philip said a single word.


“Just one more bullshit out of you.”


Philip looked up at Hugo and nodded his head, marginally. A frosty expression, a gaze filled with bloodthirst and a subdued voice.


Philip realized that Hugo was extremely angry. He, who didn’t get nervous easily, had chills at his back. When the sword was withdrawn, he sucked in a breath.


“It was the vision of my family. I had no choice but to lie.”


“Even if I ask you now, I’m sure you won’t tell me.”


“Would you believe it if I told you?”


“I couldn’t care less about the vision. It will be buried along with you when you die anyways, old man.”


“You’re not someone that would bring me here because you were annoyed by a lie I said in the past.”


“Enough with the nonsense. I need to know what trick you pulled.”


Hugo could not stand the fact that there was a gap in the protection around his wife.


“It was the headache medicine.”


Philip obediently confessed. He didn’t plan on acting innocent anyways.


“Headache medicine.”


Hugo repeated for emphasis then he forced a laugh. He had to find out exactly what happened, once he got back. His first goal for capturing Philip was achieved.


“Tell me why you wanted to see me.”


Philip stared blankly at Hugo.


“Why are you so curious about what I have to say?”


“Don’t get any ideas. You won’t be able to leave this room alive.”


“Kill me. What regrets does an old man like me have? I’ve lived long enough. But you will not kill me. Afterall, there is something you want to know from me.”


When he saw Hugo’s red eyes waver, Philip sighed.


‘How can this be.’


He had thought the probability was extremely low. When the Duke showed an unusual reaction to the Duchess in Roam, Philip had a sliver of suspicious, but he believed it wasn’t possible. And he hoped it was not the case.


A man in the high position of the lord of the North and the Taran family, should not do something like holding a woman in his heart and creating a weakness for himself.


Philip had come to realize the truth from his long years alive; that things in the world did not always go as planned. A man’s plan was inferior to the order of the great world. He learnt that it was best for him to use all of his efforts to cling to the opportunity before him right now, rather than planning.


And that is why Philip clung to the Duchess’ pregnancy. At the time, it was the only opportunity. It was not because he had a grand plan afterwards, but because there had to be a child first before he could plan for the future.
____________

LUCIA
C117.Part 2
< — The Beginning and the End — > (4)


If the Duchess were to get pregnant, the Duke would suspect that there was a high chance of an affair.


The Duke did not believe in people. He knew that he could not have a child without special methods, so he would be unable to believe that the Duchess was bearing his child.


With this, the ducal couple’s relationship would become estranged, and the Duchess, who was suspected of infidelity, would neglect her child.


And at this point, he could look for an opportunity. That was Philip’s vague outline of a plan.


However, there was a very slim possibility. It was a possibility that Philip did not want to happen, but just in case, the Duke truly gave his heart to the Duchess and trusted her, Philip left a word behind with the Duke.


The reason Philip was even offering his medical services at the northern border was because he thought that it was only a matter of time before the Duke came to subjugate barbarians.


Even when he was suddenly captured by the Duke’s knight, loaded onto a carriage and dragged somewhere, Philip thought there was no way.


Philip always wished for the Duke to let go of his vain anger towards his family and truly accept his position as the lord of the north. However, he could never accept the Duke becoming soft because he had fallen for a woman.


‘That cannot happen.’


Philip’s family and Philip himself had made sacrifices for the prosperity of the Taran family! The Duke was betraying the blood and tears of many people.


“Let this old man take a guess at what you want to know.” (Philip)


Philip quickly drew a plan in his head. It was not a plan that he thought up just now. Philip always made a variety of plans, assuming numerous situations. And whenever he was faced with a situation, he fleshed out his plan according to the circumstances.


“A bride gives birth to a son that continues the bloodline but there is no record of the mother of the bride in the Taran family secret room. You only pay attention to the existence of the half-sisters; you are normally not interested in what happens to the women that gives birth to them.”(Philip)


Philip watched Hugo’s red eyes flare up as if they were on fire and licked his dry lips. Then he gave a modest thin smile, no different from usual, and said:


“‘Will the Madam be okay after giving birth to the little miss?’. Did you not call me because you wanted to know that?” (Philip)


Hugo wanted to chop off the insidious old man’s head this instant.


‘What a sly old man.’


He was so wrapped up in his obsession and wouldn’t hesitate to lie for his own purposes. Hugo ground his teeth, deeply regretting his laughable act of charity in sparring Philip’s life. When he was cleaning up the other bastards, he should have gotten rid off the old man as well.


It was better to kill him now, at least, and shut his mouth forever before his tongue started wagging. That was the conclusion Hugo calmly discerned. If Philip’s tricks had concerned his own well-being, Hugo would have sneered and gone ahead with it without any hesitation. However. Hugo could not gamble with her life.


Just like Philip said, Hugo was suspicious about whether his wife would be okay after giving birth to a child. An ordinary woman could not bear a Taran family child unless her body was prepared in a certain way. It was not a normal pregnancy.


Taran’s unusual bloodline always made Hugo have questions about his identity. Hugo always couldn’t shake off the question, ‘am I really human?’. What’s worse was that he couldn’t be sure if his weak wife would be okay after raising a non-human-like life inside of her and giving birth to it.




The only person that could answer Hugo’s question was Philip. So Hugo tried to sound Philip out but Philip discovered Hugo’s intention instead.


From the moment Hugo asked his knights to get Philip, his intentions were already read. If Hugo was not worried about his wife, he would not be concerned about what Philip meant by those words and there would be no need for him to call Philip and ask him what he meant.


Seeing that the Duke was just staring at him and not swinging the sword in his hand, Philip confirmed that the Duchess had become the weakness of the Duke.


Philip felt a strange sense of loss. It was despair brought about by witnessing the tragedy of a perfect existence becoming humanized.


‘The young master is perfect. Why are you trying to scratch that perfection?’


The Duke was the best masterpiece made from the Taran lineage, the only nobility descent of the ancient era. The birth of the twins and the eventual death of one of them were processes that contributed to the making of the current Duke. It was a noble sacrifice. That was how Philip thought of it.


Unlike the others of Taran blood, the late Hugo was weak and feeble-minded. And the young master Damian who inherited that blood was imperfect.


If young master Damian was combined with the daughter of young master Hugh, a perfect descendant would be born yet again and the Taran lineage would continue.


Philip painted such a future in his head. If his health held up, he could live long enough to see it, and even if he died without seeing it, it didn’t matter. Philip was merely doing everything he could do right now in the situation given to him.


Philip felt regretful that he couldn’t take part in the Duke’s choice to abandon his perfection and chose a woman. No matter what he said, the Duke would close his ears to it.


Things in the world were like the front and back of a coin. Good things usually came after the bad things had arrived. The Duke’s change was a bad thing, but that was how he got hold of an opportunity.


“The Madam may, or may not, be fine.” (Philip)


“This bastard seriously.”


Hugo clenched his teeth. The raging anger in his heart cried out for him to slay the bastard on the spot. His hand gripping the sword shook slightly.


But he could not. It was fine even if he got caught up in Philip’s shallow tricks. As long as she was safe, he could put up with it.


“Even if I were to tell you something, would you believe it?”


“…So?”


“So I have to offer a token of trust first. The Madam will experience an unbearable abdominal pain around when her stomach begins to swell.”


Philip’s medication mixed with headache medicine was an incomplete drug, born in the process of going to the final state. Therefore, there were side effects.


¬¬ According to the records, the pregnant women suffered from severe abdominal pain every time the uterus expanded as the fetus grew. It said the pain was torturous enough to make them hold their stomachs, roll around and cry in agony.


It was not a complication caused by the pregnant woman or something going wrong with the fetus. It was only that during the term of pregnancy, the pregnant woman would feel intense pain every time the child grew bigger. However, Philip did not reveal such details.


“I will give you a prescription. When the Madam feels pain in her stomach, give her medicine according to the prescription and her abdominal pain will settle.”


Philip’s ancestors discovered the drug that relieved the side effects experienced by pregnant women, through further research. The drug Philip was using today was made after much trials and error.


“How do I trust that you didn’t pull anything with the drug?”


“If you don’t believe me, don’t use it.”


Hugo gave a fake laugh. This was not the Philip that Hugo had previously known. This Philip was confronting Hugo without any hesitation or regard for his safety.


Hugo felt strained, as if his stomach was flipped upside down. He wondered what the old bastard believed in to be acting this way. Was the old man so confident that he would be entangled in his tricks? Is that why he was taking him so lightly?


It had taken almost ten years before Hugo saw Philip again after forcing him out. In that meantime, Hugo became Duke, swept through the battlefield, distinguished himself in war and faced cunning politicians.


He was not the person he was when the late, previous Duke took his brother’s life as collateral and seizing him by the neck, restricting his movement.


Hugo calmed his anger. He raised his evaluation of the old bastard by a few steps. He didn’t see him as ‘nothing but a doctor’ but as a seasoned politician whom he was making a fierce deal with. He recreated the feeling he had when he faced the Duke of Ramis in order to save Roy.


His head was cool but on the outside, he displayed an appropriate amount of anger. He seemed like he was being completely drawn in by Philip’s words.


“If she has abdominal pain like you say. What is the reason?”


“Just as you have guessed.”


“Guessed? Are you claiming to know what I’m thinking?”


“You always called it a monster. Then isn’t the Madam raising a monster in her stomach?”


Hugo swung the sword in his hand and struck Philip’s head.


Philip’s scream could be heard at the same time as a dull sound. Due to the sudden blow to his head, Philip’s surrounding was spinning causing him to drop his head and close his eyes. Something flowed from his forehead, dropping onto his knee. Philip watched the dripping red blood sank into his clothes.


“I want to pull out that sickening tongue of yours one day.” (Hugo)


As he listened to the voice overflowing with blood thirst, Philip wrinkled his forehead because of the throbbing pain and lifted his head. Philip stared at the piercing red eyes that looked like they would tear him to death at any time.


Philip knew of the Duke’s violent and cruel personality. He confirmed once again that his life was being spared in front of the Duke despite the Duke’s anger. The Duchess was the absolute weakness of the Duke.


Outwardly, Hugo seemed to be suppressing his raging anger, but in actuality, he was analyzing Philip’s words.


The word ‘monster’ referred to Hugo himself and the Taran family and every time Hugo said that word, Philip hated it. However, Philip himself said that word and provoked Hugo.


‘He’s trying to make me angry and gain the initiative in the conversation.’


“Old man. Just as you say, the cursed Taran bloodlines are monsters. Do you think I have any attachment towards a child with the family’s cursed blood that isn’t even born yet?”


Seeing the Duke behaving as though all he had to do was get rid of the child, Philip made an expression like he expected it.


“I’m sure that’s what you believe. But it would be better for you not to. If you don’t want to lose the Madam, I mean.”


“Bullshit.”


“The Taran blood has very strong vitality. They have a strong instinct to protect themselves from the moment they are in the womb. Trying to abort with drugs would only hurt the mother instead. What I am saying is a fact. I can’t do anything if you don’t believe me, but can you take such a risk when you don’t know if the Madam might be in danger?”


“…”


He couldn’t. He couldn’t take the risk. It felt dreary as if the support beneath his feet disappeared.


Hugo once again reevaluated his relationship with Philip. It was not equal. Currently, Hugo was completely in the weaker position. Hugo had no information at all while Philip knew everything.


This was the first time since his brother’s death that he was making a deal in such an overwhelmingly disadvantageous position.


‘I need information.’


The records Philip had in his hands had to have been passed down in his family for generations. But how were they passed down? When Hugo had just become Duke, he searched everywhere but could not find it.


The child was gradually growing, and the day of delivery was drawing nearer, so the time he had was limited. He couldn’t figure out where he could find the records.


Hugo stood up. If he were to continue taking with Philip, all he would be doing was revealing all the cards he had in his hands.


As he turned around, there was a grim look in his eyes. His knuckles turned white as he clenched his sword tighter. He wanted to draw his sword right now and blow off the old man’s head. If Philip had called out to stop Hugo from behind, he might have done so.


Upon receiving the signal, those outside opened the stone door. Hugo walked out of the door, unable to get his seething anger under control, and stood there for a while as if frozen.


The knights held their breaths at the sight of their master’s threatening countenance.


“Dean.”


“Yes, my lord.”


“Go in. Get the prescription the old man is talking about and bring it to me. Keep a thorough eye on him. Do not let anyone but me get into contact with that bastard.”


As he listened to his knights reply, Hugo climbed up the stairs that led above ground. It was as though masses of iron were tied to his ankle; every step was terribly heavy. He breathed heavily, suppressing the urge to scream like crazy.


Anger towards something vague soared within him. It was anger towards his fate, and at the heavens looking down at him and mocking him.

_____________

LUCIA
C118.Part 1
< — The Beginning and the End — > (5)


When Hugo returned to the mansion, it was already late into the night. He sat absentmindedly in his office for a while. He urged his brain to think but it refused to work properly. He didn’t know where he should start from.


‘The headache medicine. Yes…find out what happened with the headache medicine and then…’


After that was blank. His head was as empty as a blank sheet of paper. Nothing came up. He felt terribly helpless, like an abyss was slowly eaten away at him from his feet.


It was fear. His heart thumped with anxiety, growing louder by the minute and he felt suffocated. Even if he were about to die by having his limbs bound, stomach smashed, and heart ripped out, he would not be this scared.


Just thinking about the possibility of losing her filled Hugo with indescribable horror.


Hugo left his office at daybreak. He went into his wife’s bedroom, and stood idly by the bed, watching his wife who was sound asleep. He lifted the blanket, climbed onto the bed and pulled her into his chest. Her body was slightly hot due to her mild fever.


The happiness and despair filled his heart. He could not live if he lost her. He felt like his heart would explode and kill him.


[I have never said this, have I? Thank you for marrying me.]


“…Not at all. You fell into a terrible swamp.”


She went through all sorts of trouble to get a child that everyone else has, and the child she got with difficulty, became the main culprit eating away her life.


The only reason she had to go through things other people didn’t was because she was married to him.


She should not have come to see him that day. If they had lived without knowing each other…if that had happened, then she likely wouldn’t be facing such danger.


But if he had not met her, he would have lived with a frozen heart, watching a grey scenery for the rest of his life.[1]


‘I can’t let go.’


Even if he went back to the past right now, he had no confidence in being able to let her go. It was ugly selfishness.


“I love you.”


Hugo whispered in her ear and closed his tingling eyes. Heat rushed to his eyes and something hot flowed from his eyes. His chest felt like it was tightening, and his throat hurt like it was seizing up.


As he shed tears for the first time, Hugo recalled the description of the word, ‘cry’. It was a complex, intricate feeling that couldn’t be expressed with something as dry as ‘One cannot suppress their feelings and tears fall’.


* * *


Hugo spent the entire night wide-awake. He was thinking things over nonstop all night. The darkness withdrew, and the daybreak sun gradually brightened up the bedroom as he came to a conclusion after a long stretch of thought.


Lucia opened her eyes slightly earlier than usual this morning. She smiled, feeling the warmth against her back and the strong arms wrapped around her.


She shifted in her position and turned around to face him. When she met his gaze, she flashed a sweet smile and buried herself in his arms. His big hand found its way to her head and the feeling of his fingers combing through her hair was nice.


“Vivian. I think I have to go to the north.”


Lucia lifted her head in surprise. His eyes had a subdued feeling of gravity in them.


“It won’t take long. I’ll come back soon.”


“…Okay. It seems like an urgent matter.”


“I’m sorry I can’t be with you at a time like this.”


“It’s okay. There’s still a long way to go before the child arrives. You’ll be back before then, won’t you?”




Seeing his wife trying to shrug it off like everything was fine, Hugo hugged her and squeezed tightly. His wife who always said that things were okay and smiled prettily had not changed.


Although he was taken aback by her complaints and annoyance, on the other hand, he was happy about it. It meant that she relied on him that much.


Hugo thought that he needed to thoroughly dig through the family secret room in Roam again. It was his only hope. He had to find even the slightest clue there. Still holding her in his arms, Hugo’s eyes shone with resolve.


* * *


While her husband was away, Lucia tried to keep her mind and body in the best condition possible for the baby, at all times. And occasionally, she imagined various things, trying to solve the mystery of how she got pregnant.


“Milady. When did you start taking the headache medicine you were prescribed?”


“Why do you ask that?”


“There is something I need to look into.”


Lucia had a strange feeling.


“What is it that you need to look into?”


When Lucia kept inquiring, Jerome hesitated then said:


“Master ordered the investigation.”


‘The headache medicine…it’s related.’


Lucia sensed that her pregnancy and the headache medicine were related. Because the effect of her recent headache medicine was so good, Lucia knew exactly when she started taking it and clearly remembered who gave it to her.


‘The medicine Anna gave me…?”


Lucia was shocked to think that there was a problem with the headache medicine. She had faith in the doctor, Anna on a fundamental level. She believed that there was no way Anna would mix something into the medicine deliberately. So, she decided to call Anna and ask her personally.
____________

LUCIA
C118.Part 2
< — The Beginning and the End — >(5)


It was her first time meeting Anna since Anna stopped working for her. Lucia had received the headache medicine from Anna, but in the meantime, she had asked her maid to only give her that drug.


Anna was visibly pleased to see the Duchess whom she had not met in a long time. Lucia had a wry smile, knowing fully well that she had not called Anna here with good intentions. And she immediately went straight to business.


“We are suspicious that a special medication, targeted at me, was mixed into the drug for headache that you gave to me, Anna, and we are looking into it. Personally, I do not think you are involved, Anna. So I want you to honestly tell me everything, without hiding a single thing.”


Anna’s face went deathly pale with horror. She stumbled over her reply in complete disbelief.


“The-The prescription for the headache medicine…I got it from the Duke’s doctor at Roam, Sir. Philip. But Milady, he’s not someone like that.”


Philip. Lucia felt strange hearing that name.


‘We keep getting oddly involved with one another.’


In her dream, he was someone she was grateful to because he gave her the prescription for her treatment and in reality, he was the person whom her husband’s late twin brother owed his life to.


However, because her husband appeared uneasy with Philip, Lucia couldn’t feel any goodwill that Philip might be a good person.


“Anna. I am pregnant right now.”


“My word! Congratulations.”


“Thank you. As you know, I was infertile. But unbeknownst to me, I was treated, and I believe the source is the headache medicine.”


Anna’s expression gradually stiffened gravely.


“The fact that it resulted in my pregnancy does not matter. I have been taking a medication without me being aware of it. If it was a poison that was killing me slowly, what would become of it? Do you understand why I am taking this seriously?”


Anna heaved a sigh as if she had remembered something.


“I…I was used.”


“Is there something you can think of?”


“Sir Philip was…obsessed with Milady’s pregnancy. I didn’t think much of it at the time but when I think about it now, it was excessive.”


“I see. If I remember correctly, Sir. Philip tried to meet me through you. Now, I am curious why Sir. Philip tried to do that. Tell me everything, from beginning to end. Don’t leave out what you talked about with him too.”


Anna looked back, recalling her memories from her first meeting with Philip. And as she spoke, going into the details one by one, she realized Philip’s intentions. Anna came to the end of her story with her eyes heavily reddened as she reeled from the immense shock.


“This is my fault. I…I was so foolish.”


The headache drug was not only taken by the Duchess. A countless number of patients had taken Anna’s headache medicine. All this while, she had sold a drug despite not knowing how it would affect a patient’s body. She was so absorbed in the profit from selling that she had forgotten her duty as a doctor and she was completely disillusioned with herself.


Anna apologized several times before leaving with a haggard expression. After Anna left, Lucia began to solve the mystery based on the information she had gained.


The cure that Lucia knew had a unique scent. However, she couldn’t detect such a scent on the headache medicine. Philip was someone who had the treatment method within his family’s vision. He would have been able to change the drug’s formulation as much as he wanted.




‘He heard from Anna that I knew about the drug’s unique scent and took the precaution to get rid of it. Why did he go to that extent? Plus, even if he treated my infertility, it’s not like we could have a child just because my infertility got cured. My husband cannot have a child normally. He said that the woman has to prepare her body with a special herb.’


There was no way Philip wouldn’t have known that.


‘Mugwort!’


An idea suddenly flashed into her mind.


The Philip, whom she met in the dream, was very knowledge about mugwort’s effects whereas other people had no idea, and he had a cure which he called his family’s vision. The question was, why did Philip’s family discovered the cure for such an uncommon illness and leave it as their family’s vision?


‘Since I took mugwort when I was a child, I made my body into something that is infertile but not infertile. It is an unreal coincidence, but if this condition was really the condition for having his child…’


[Sir. Philip said that for the treatment to be effective, Milady must have been pure before your bridal night. It is strange when I think about it now. Why did I believe such words back then?]


‘So Philip checked if I met the conditions.’


Lucia felt a chill run down her spine. Philip’s thoroughness made her very uncomfortable.


‘I have to tell him.’


And there was something she wanted to ask him because she just couldn’t figure out the answer.


* * *


Hugo, who went to the north, returned after three weeks. Hugo went straight to his office, followed by Jerome who had come out to greet him.


“Is my wife sleeping?”


“The Madam went to her bedroom early in the evening. I did not inform her that Your Grace would be returning.”


“You did well. What happened to the prescription I gave you?”


Before Hugo left for Roam, he handed over the prescription that Philip gave him to Jerome. He told him that if Duchess began to suffer from sudden abdominal pain and the doctor couldn’t find the cause but the pain persisted to an intolerable degree, she should be given medicine as the prescription states.


He hoped that what Philip said would not happen.


“Like Your Grace said, the Madam suffered from severe abdominal pain. After she took the prescribed medicine Your Grace gave me, it settled down quickly.”


Hugo’s hopes were shattered. He was greatly disappointed.


“In addition, I found out the components of the Madam’s headache medicine that Your Grace spoke of. I also found out how the Madam’s former doctor obtained that prescription. They are all included in my report.”


Hugo picked up Jerome’s report which was on top of his table and flipped through it. He once again realized Philip’s craftiness in approaching Anna and lamented to himself. His mistake of not recognizing someone like this was painful.


“However, the Madam showed interest in the investigation of the headache medicine.”


“What do you mean by interest?”


“The Madam called her former doctor and met her personally.”


Hugo furrowed his brow. This was unexpected.


“And?”


“She had a pretty long conversation with the former doctor. I was not told what they had talked about.”


Hugo didn’t have any idea what she would have talked to her former doctor about. He sorted out a few urgent documents and headed up to the second floor with a heavy heart.


He had turned his family’s secret room upside down for nearly ten days but couldn’t find anything.


In his family’s genealogical record, there were only records of the Dukes from generation to generation and the Duchesses who bore the successors. There was no information about the mothers of the Duchesses or the Duchess’ parental homes. In the part about their lineage, Philip’s family was mentioned many times, but there was no reference to what method.


As Hugo opened the door to the bedroom, readying to enter, he paused.


The bedroom was lit up moderately with candles and Lucia, who was lying on the bed, lifted her head and exclaimed in delight.


“Hugh! When did you come back?”


“I’ll come to you. Don’t get up.”


Hugo stopped her since she looked like she was going to jump down from the bed. He quickly reached the bed and climbed up on his knees. She had her arms stretched out to him and he wrapped his arms around her, squeezing her tight.


“You came back, and no one came to tell me.”


“They probably thought you were sleeping.”


“Hugh, do you know what happened a little while ago?”


Lucia took Hugo’s hand and placed it on her stomach. Hugo was momentarily startled. In the span of a few weeks, her stomach had grown significantly.


“The baby sent me a signal that it’s doing well in there. It was just a little while ago. I was just lying down, and I heard a sound like water drops. At first, I didn’t know what it was. I thought it was just something like my stomach rumbling when I’m hungry. But after a moment, I heard it again, twice and suddenly, I got goosebumps and my heart started to race. And so I just knew. The baby is talking to me.”


Lucia poured out a string of words without stopping for breath. Hugo could clearly see that she was overwhelmed with emotion and he was moved too. Hugo looked at his hand which was still on her stomach.


“…inside here…?”


“Yea. Wait a little.”


The two of them waited with bated breath for a while but there was no movement from inside Lucia’s abdomen.


Lucia wanted him to feel the overwhelming emotions she had felt. She inwardly urged the baby to move a few times, but it was still.


“It definitely moved a few minutes ago.”


Hugo gently kissed his wife, who looked disappointed.


“Have you been well?”


“Yes. What of you? Did your trip go well?”


“Roughly. I heard your stomach hurt a lot?”


“It was fine soon after I took medication. I was more worried that something would go wrong with the baby.”


“…I see.”


Even if Philip didn’t tell him that the mother would be endangered if he tried to get rid of the baby, Hugo already didn’t plan on doing anything to the child. He had no intention of watching his wife wallow in despair over the loss of her child.


Philip won. When Hugo came back to the capital without finding anything in the secret room, he thought that as long as she could be safe, he would do whatever it takes, even if it meant playing into Philip’s hands.


“Hugh. There is something I wanted to verify when you came back. The headache medicine.”


“What about the headache medicine?”


“The reason I was able to get pregnant was because of the headache medicine, right?”


“…”


His wife was an interesting woman. Sometimes, she was naΓ―ve and innocent but at other times, she was very sharp.


Lucia told him about her entire conversation with Anna. Hugo listened attentively, not missing even the trivial parts of what she was saying.


This was high quality information that wasn’t present in Jerome’s report. He was able to get a clear idea of how Philip cleverly maneuvered through the gaps in Anna’s heart, using her trust in him.


Hugo ground his teeth at Philip, who had hundreds of snakes crawling in his stomach.


‘Mugwort, huh? Is that related?’


Hugo felt like he was grasping onto something. It seemed like there would be a way to use this information.


“But Hugh. What I can’t understand the most is why Sir. Philip did this.”


It was Lucia’s biggest question and dilemma. She didn’t know why Philip went to the extent of playing so many tricks so that she could get pregnant. It was too much to see it as mere loyalty. Not only was the method less than decent, she could feel an unpleasant obsession.
________________

LUCIA
C119.Part 1
< — The Beginning and the End — > (5)


“You already have a successor. Did Sir. Philip say that he was dissatisfied because Damian is unqualified to succeed the family? But even that doesn’t match up. I cannot have a son. There’s no way Sir. Philip doesn’t know that.”


Hugo could not conceal his bafflement. Lucia realized that she had thrown out a sharp question. He usually gave her the honest answer to whatever she asked. But this time, no matter how long she waited, he did not open his mouth.


She did not want to ask him questions that made it difficult for him. If it was something he couldn’t tell her, she didn’t intend to interrogate further.


Lucia might have retreated if this was before she was with a child. However, the strong feelings she got from the baby’s movement had not yet subsided. She felt wonder towards the life growing up within her and blossoming maternal love began to grow in her heart.


She couldn’t let issues related to her baby just pass by. Even though she felt that the core of the secret he wanted to hide was related to this issue, she had no choice but to be stubborn.


“You promised me, Hugh. You said you would think again about telling me your secret if I implored you.”


Her steady amber eyes were lit with stubbornness as she looked straight at him. Hugo let out a troubled sigh.


“If you just can’t tell me even after thinking about it again, I will follow your will. I just want to know if the reason you can’t tell me is because you’re worried about revealing your secret.”


“…it’s not something good to hear. For you. And for the child too.”


“I am fine. Our baby will be fine too. You boasted that there was no way your child was weak, didn’t you?”


Hugo gave a brief chuckle, mixed with a sigh.


“I can’t win against you.”


Hugo revealed all of the secrets that he knew to her. He told her everything, his family’s secret, the truth regarding the incestuous marriages, even Philip’s lies.


The only thing he excluded was the fact that his identity was the abandoned ‘Hue’. That fact was still a dragon’s reverse scale that he didn’t dare to touch.


“So Sir. Philip cannot escape from his nonsensical delusion.”


Lucia simply stated how she felt. Unlike what he was concerned about, she accepted his surprising story calmly.


“Hugh. Damian is my son. And he will be an older brother to our newborn child. I want to raise my two children as close brother and sister. I do not want to pass the Taran family’s secret to the children.”


“I am of the same thought.”


“Does this thing still worry you? Is that why you couldn’t tell me?”


“I didn’t tell you because…it was so disgusting.”


Seeing her husband go quiet again, Lucia sighed.


“…did you think I might look at you differently…?”


“…”


His lack of response was like an answer. Lucia wonder what she should do with this timid black lion.(1) She felt like crying because she felt sorry and he seemed so loveable. She raised herself up, wrapped her arms tightly around his neck and buried her face in his check.


Lucia wished love could be seen with the naked eyes. She wanted to open her heart and show him how much she loved him. How could she explain to him that even if he was hiding a dreadful secret, her love for him would not change?


“Actually, Hugh, I have a secret I have not been able to tell you too. Would you like to hear my story?”




Lucia opened the doors to the secret that she had been trying to bury her entire life. She began the story from the morning she woke up when she was 12 years old.


“…And like that, that terrible marriage life finally came to an end.”


Lucia stopped talking for a moment and glanced at him to check his expression.


“Why did you stop? Continue.”


“…you look very scary.”


His expression was dripping with murderous intent. His red eyes were so brightly sharp that for the first time, Lucia felt he was a little scary.


“Do you…think it’s too ridiculous so you’re unhappy?”


“It’s not that!”


Hugo breathed raggedly and swept up his hair in a rough manner.


Count Matin. He shouldn’t have killed that bastard so easily. It was beyond vexing. He gnashed his teeth, filled with indignation. To hear that she had lived as the wife of such trash and went through all sorts of hardship was so gut-wrenching.


Furthermore, when he thought about the King’s shameless mug, he was suddenly very irritated. The King was the chief instigator. Kwiz sold off his sister.


No. The biggest problem was the innocent woman before him.


“My wife, why are you like this, really? Why can’t you be filled with spite?”


“…Huh?”


“You had to go through all that. But. You only ask me to take measures so that that bastard can’t marry the princess?”


If he had known this, he would have given the bastard all the pain possible in the world and killed him in the most miserable way! The fact that the bastard was already dead infuriated him.


“…Hugh. Thank you for listening to me seriously. This isn’t something that happened in reality so…”


“If you remember it then it is no different from experiencing it. It is not just a simple dream to you, is it? It is an experience you lived through.”


“…Yes. Yes but…”


“If I knew then that bastard—!”


“He is already dead. What can one do to the dead?”


She thought that Count Matin had died in an accident and the fact the he couldn’t truthfully tell her that he had taken action and gotten rid of him, frustrated him even more.


“If you’re getting so worked up, I’ll stop the story here.”


Hugo breathed in a few times to calm himself down. He had to hear more. Although her story was unrealistic, he did not think it was absurd.


It strangely made things make sense. Whether it was her composure which was unsuitable for her age, or her shrewd ability to cope which was unlike a princess who had been locked up in the palace since childhood. Sometimes he had questions regarding her but just buried them, however, all those questions were being answers.


In addition, Hugo knew quite a lot about magical tools, thanks to his family’s secret room. Like his wife said, the pendant was very likely a magical tool, and such a bizarre ability was very possible for a magical tool.


The reason why most currently widely known magical tools were seen as nothing more than a toy, was because the humans in the present age did not have the ability to recognize magical tools with more functions than a toy.


“Continue, I will just listen.”


Lucia swallowed her laughter as she gazed at her husband who looked like he would explode if someone touched him. She was thankful for him for listening to her seriously and not assuming she was speaking nonsense. Rather, she was more concerned because he seemed too seriously immersed in her story.


Translator’s Corner:


1. If I recall correctly, black lion is the symbol of the Taran family. Please correct me if I’m wrong.


T/N: One last time, the hangul for:


[Hugo] is [휴고]


[Hugh] is [휴]


[Hue] is [히우]


The [Hugh] Lucia calls, is like a short form of Hugo. [Hue] is Hugo’s birth name. [Hugo] is his brother’s birth name. His brother died, he took his brother’s place as well as his brother’s name. Fin.

______________________

LUCIA
C119. Part 2
< — The Beginning and the End — > (5)


Lucia began her story again. When she reached the part of the story where she started getting acquainted with a knight as she was running her workshop, his expression looked considerably sour.


As she talked about how she was swindled and lost all her money, Lucia secretly glanced at his expression and found that it was surprisingly okay. She was relieved that he understood that her story wasn’t something that happened in reality.


However, inwardly, Hugo was thinking about something different.


‘So there’s a guy left for me to vent on.’


There was a bastard who could take Count Matin’s share of the crushing. Hugo thought to himself that he had to coax her into telling him who the man was.


When she finished her lengthy story, Lucia sucked in a deep breath and closed her eyes for a while. She used to think of her dream as something that she could never tell anyone. For the first time, she spoke of something that had only been lodged in her mind, and as she did so, she was yet again able to look back on it as another lifetime.


Lucia smiled bashfully at her husband, who was staring at her.


“You aren’t thinking, ‘this woman is crazy’, right?”


Hugo felt stunned, but he couldn’t explain why, so he silently hugged her. He didn’t speak words of comfort about the exhausting life she experienced. Rather, he was the one being comforted.


He was saved by her, unlike himself in her dream. His other self who was unable to find her, would have spent his lifetime with a dried out heart.


“Hugh, I have lived a life where I was thrown around left and right. I am not a princess who grew up prettily in the palace. Do I seem different to you now?”


“You know that’s impossible.”


“It’s the same for me too. No matter what secret you have. You are you.”


Hugo gave a shallow laugh, still hugging her. What in the world was he afraid of? The darkness that had restricted him for so many years, dispersed with a light wave from her hand.


The slender woman in his arms had a heart so steady that it surprised him. He hadn’t understood it when people said that a woman’s will was sometimes stronger than a man’s. But now he did.


“The problem is, Damian.”


“Damian?”


“When that child grows up and finds a woman he loves, he won’t be able to have a child in a normal way. But since I know the method, it should turn out fine somehow. Hugh, I told you that my illness was cured because I met a wandering doctor, right? That doctor was actually Sir. Philip.”


“…What?”


Lucia gave a description of the Philip she had met in her dream.


“I haven’t met Philip personally in reality, but is the doctor I met indeed Sir. Philip?”


“…I think it is.”


“You know, I’ve thought about it and I think the mugwort herb is the key to the continuation of the Taran family lineage.”


“…You are…right.”


Hugo muttered vacantly. The prescription she received in her dreams must have been the vision that was passed down in Philip’s family, from generation to generation. That vision was the only solution. He had to obtain it.


‘Where in the world did they hide it?’


A record that has been around for such a long time would be quite large. To hide it, they would need to put it in a place that was inconspicuous but with a considerable amount of space.


Hugo remembered an old memory. In the days when he was acting like a doll, following the instructions of the late former Duke, he met his brother once a month in order to confirm his brother’s safety.




He rode all day in a carriage without windows, arrived at a vast plain with nothing around, and then the carriage carrying his brother arrived. When he asked his brother where he was staying, his brother replied:


[I don’t know either. It is a very small village, but I can’t move around freely because there’s someone watching me. I am always given drugs to sleep before I get on the carriage to see you. Going off by how often I woke up in the middle to eat, the carriage must have been moving for a few days.]


The small village that his brother talked about was in a very remote location, and he thought that it was something like a safe house. Maybe the hideout of Philip’s family was there, and the records might be there as well.


When he became the Duke, he spent quite some time trying to find the hideout, but he failed. The search range of ‘a few days’ was too wide.


‘She said the old man went to a secret location and brought the cure back in a week.’


Anna’s testimony was an important clue. Philip must have gone to the hideout to make the cure. With how cautious Philip was, he would not have taken a carriage. He would have walked with care not to be followed, and if the time he took to make the drug was removed, it took the old man approximately three days to walk there. With this knowledge, the range had narrowed down significantly and it wasn’t too vast to comb through to find that village.


The measurement of a ‘a few days’ taken from the carriage’s traveling time had been deceptive.


‘It must be an enclosed village. The entrance to the village will be hidden.’


He had to send an order to the north, giving specific search directions immediately. But despite having narrowed down the range, he couldn’t guarantee when it could be found.


A thought suddenly flashed through his head. It was like a fog that was before him suddenly got cleared.


Hugo abruptly got up, startling his wife whose eyes got round, and seeing that sight, Hugo thought she couldn’t look more pretty. He grabbed her face and planted kisses all over.


“My wife. You said you remember the cure, right? Tell it to me.”


“Yea, sure.”


Lucia replied, looking puzzled.


“Thank you. That is enough.”


Hugo left his dazed wife behind and went out of the bedroom quickly.


Lucia couldn’t understand his last words or strange actions, but she could tell that for some reason, he was very excited and it made her giggle. Lucia laid down on the bed and placed both hands on her stomach. She wanted to feel the baby’s movement that she felt earlier, again.


“Baby. Move. It’s your mom.”


Lucia continued to speak slowly. After a good while, she felt a vibration like her water was moving, as if the baby was answering her. Lucia burst into cheery laughter.
_____________

LUCIA
C120. Part 1

< — The Beginning and the End — > (6)


A few days later, Hugo went to the safe house and into the underground secret chamber where Philip was confined. Before Hugo went into the room, his knights had already tied Philip to the chair like previously.


Hugo stared at Philip and slowly sat down on the opposite chair. Philip looked like he had aged drastically in the span of a month. He had only been fed enough to satisfy his hunger and hadn’t seen the sun in a long time. Hugo’s gaze was only filled with ferociousness as he looked at the haggard old man.


“Seeing as I haven’t seen you in a long time, you must have gone to the North.”


Hugo’s eyebrow twitched.


“And I’m sure you couldn’t find anything.”


The Duke’s only response was to silently stare at him, but Philip was convinced that he had seized a chance at victory.


Philip had absolutely no intention of doing anything to harm the precious little miss that would be born soon, but the Duke would not believe Philip. Although he would not believe Philip, the Duke was in a disadvantageous position. He would not refuse proposal that concerned the Duchess’ safety.


“You want something.”


“I will make medicine that will guarantee the safety of the Duchess and the little miss.”


“I have no intention of letting you see even a strand of my wife’s hair.”


“Do as you wish. You can also give her the drug I make yourself.”


Philip smiled with ease, looking at the Duke’s eyes which were filled with distrust. He hadn’t forgotten the proverb that a cornered mouse would bite the cat.


The Duke’s cruel and ferocious nature could burst open at any time. If he was driven to a dead end, it was possible for him to kill Philip without thinking of the aftermath because he couldn’t endure the humiliation of being controlled by Philip.


It was necessary for Philip to set up conditions that could sufficiently accommodate the Duke.


“I will not approach the Madam, nor will I approach your daughter. I will follow your intention to raise the little miss and young master Damian as siblings.”


“Whether you will follow or not, is not something for you to decide. I can only hear that you are so deluded, you cannot even grasp your own position.”


The Duke spoke bitingly but his voice had audibly softened. The corner of Philip’s lips curved in a thin smile. He began to make a deal with the Duke.


“It is not exactly necessary for young master Damian’s bride to be born from the Madam.”


“Are you saying another woman should bear my child?”


Philip was silent as if admitting to it.


‘The old man has a clever head on his shoulders.’


Hugo thought to himself that if the old man had advanced in the business world, he might have made a name for himself as a business tycoon.


His opponent was tense about what enormous demand he might make for the safety of both his pregnant wife and baby, but he caught his opponent off guard by proposing something seemingly minor in comparison to that, relieving the burden on his opponent’s mind. It was an excellent way to make a deal.


However, Philip made the most fundamental mistake of not knowing his opponent well. A proposal to sleep with another woman under the pretext of doing it for his wife and soon-to-be-born child, was not a proposal accommodating or acceptable for Hugo.


Hugo had absolutely no intention of breaking his promise to be a faithful husband and above all, he still loathed his blood. His soon-to-be born child was only special because it was from his wife.




The mere thought of a woman other than his wife, bearing his blood, was nauseating. When he thought of a situation where he had to hold a strange woman to propagate his species, the biggest problem was that it was physically impossible.


‘I don’t think it will stand.’


Hugo folded his arms and fell into thought as he lowered his gaze to his lower abdomen. He wondered how Philip would look if he told him that he couldn’t meet his demands due to physical issues.


It was a frivolous thought that didn’t match the seriousness of the situation. Nothing had been solved, but he strangely felt at ease. It was a good feeling as if everything would turn out well.


Since the time Hugo captured Philip, he ordered a search into Philip’s residence in Roam and Philip’s residence at the northern border, and was still searching for Philip’s hideout.


As expected, nothing was found in Philip’s residence and the effort to find Philip’s hideout was indefinite, like trying to find a needle in a desert.


However, a few days ago, Hugo got a few clues that narrowed the scope and was able to give concrete instructions. By now, the order must have already been delivered. He did not expect to find the hideout easily. He could find it within a few months or it could take even longer than that.


He couldn’t wait indefinitely until he found Philip’s hideout. If he didn’t go to meet Philip for a long time, he didn’t know what schemes might form in the old man’s head. Hugo judged that now was the best time to catch the old bastard off guard.


The current Hugo was no longer in a unilaterally disadvantageous position. He had obtained sole but powerful information that was Philip’s prescription.


Having this information, Hugo had more time to take a back seat and look at the situation from afar. He realized that his biggest mistake was getting enticed by Philip’s deliberate words.


Philip’s remark about his wife being in danger when she gave birth, had a loophole.


It was impossible for Philip not to know that with Hugo’s personality, if the child had killed its mother on its way out, he would have sent the child after its mother. If it failed, the precious miss of Taran bloodline dies.


With the old man’s craziness about the Taran bloodline, he didn’t seem like one to gamble.


‘This old bastard lies every time he opens his mouth.’


Hugo decided to make a decisive move. Philip watched the Duke’s eyes cool down and judged that the Duke was willing to make a deal with him calmly.


“I cannot understand your proposal.”


Hugo tried to find out a little more about Philip’s plans.


“What might you mean?”


“Is it so easy to get a child? What if there are no issues until the child is born? If my wife gives birth safely, you’re dead.”


Philip didn’t even blink despite the murderous intent that filled that last sentence.


“The Madam will have to keep taking my medicine until a bride for young master Damian is born. Why? Because until then, the medicine I give, will be less effective.”


Philip had no intention of harming the Duchess’ life for the yet to be born little miss, but he planned to alternate between a drug that deprived the Duchess’ energy and one that restored it.


If she was confined to bed and recovered her energy after taking Philip’s medicine, the Duke would have no choice but to listen to Philip to get the drug.


“Let’s assume the child is born as you intended. What about after that? Do you think I will let you and the child live?”


“For that issue, you simply have to make a promise to assure my safety.”


“Promise?”


Hugo broke out in a sneer.


“Do you believe I will keep that promise?”


Was this bastard that naΓ―ve? Hugo felt amused like he was watching a scene from a comedy skit.


“I want to believe but unfortunately, this is a world where trust can be found lacking. Does young master think that the heads of the Taran family were obediently convinced that something as crucial as continuing that Taran family line was in our family’s hands?”


For many generations, every single head of the Taran family wished to know how to continue their bloodline after they came out of the secret room.


The ancestors of Philip’s family held onto their secrets very tightly so they did not bring danger upon themselves. They released most of the facts that the Taran heads were curious about, according to demands.


In exchange for the head of the Taran family satisfying the curiosity, he had to promise not to tell anyone nor leave any record. Of course, it was not just a verbal promise. There was a way to make promises compulsory.
______________

LUCIA
C120. Part 2


< — The Beginning and the End — > (6)


“There is a treasure passed down in our family for generations. It is a magical tool that binds its contractor.” (Philip)


“Interesting. And how did you plan on getting that magical tool? You can’t get a foot out of here.”(Hugo)


“I’ve kept it in a safe place for safekeeping, but you can ask someone to bring it. No one else can use it anyways. It is an exclusive contract, so one of the contracting parties must be one of our family members.”


Hugo lost interest in the unique magical tool. Philip was the only one remaining out of his family. The old man was basically saying that once he dies, the magical tool becomes garbage.


According to his investigations, Philip did not get married again after his wife and son died, and he was continually alone after his father died. Now that he thought about it, it was strange that the old man had no descendants to inherit his will, even though he was so obsessed.


‘Well, this bastard’s private situation is none of my concern.’


He decided that he must kill the old bastard. Philip’s family would come to an end with Philip’s death.


“What of the woman? Not any woman can have my child, no?”


“That is prepared.”


“It is prepared?”


When Philip mentioned holding another woman, Hugo anticipated this, but to really hear Philip say that there was a woman, made him speechless. How much had the old man pulled wool over his eyes, scheming and deceiving him?


“So you mean you did such a thing arbitrarily, without my permission.”


“It is a mission our family has done for generations. It is not something done after getting permission.”


“And if the woman you prepared can’t get pregnant?”


“There is a readied replacement.”


“It’s not just one or two women prepared, huh. You’ve set up a training camp.”


Hugo burst into uncontrollable laughter.


“There’s a limit to treating someone like a stud.”


Hugo mumbled, irritatedly. He thought to himself that the heads of the Taran family who accepted such treatment were crazy bastards.


“Let’s summarize this. In exchange for you giving my wife medication, I will share a bed with a woman you’ve prepared and have a child. You’ll raise the child and I’ll sign a contract, promising not to touch you. So what about after that? Do you think Damian will move the way you want?”


“I do not know much of the distant future. I simply do what I can do right now.”


“You don’t look at the future.”


Hugo got an important clue. He seemed to have found the reason for Philip’s confidence. When Philip was speaking about his wife not being safe after giving birth, his attitude wasn’t confidence based on the truth but recklessness like a tiger moth running into a bonfire.


“Old man. I understand what you want. When should I make a decision?”


“She has to take the medicine at least a month before she is due, for strengthening of the body.”


“So the more my wife’s stomach grows, the more restless I will be. You know how to strike cleverly, old man. Is this also a method passed down in your family for generations?”


“…”


Philip’s expression slightly stiffened. It wasn’t that the Duke’s provoking tone was bothering him. Philip was rather confident that he was in an advantageous position. If the Duke couldn’t abandon the Duchess, he had no choice but to be drawn into his proposal.




However, that belief began to crack a little. No matter how he looked at it, the Duke’s attitude wasn’t that of someone with an unfavorable contract ahead. He couldn’t shake off the strange feeling of incongruity.


‘What might have gone wrong?’


He might have crossed the line that bordered the Duke’s pride. If the Duke valued his pride more than the Duchess and refused to make a deal with Philip regardless of the Duchess’ safety, then the plan was a failure. The Duchess would be fine even if she gave birth to the baby when she reached full term. If the Duke discovered Philip’s lies, Philip was as good as dead.


‘No. Even if affection is briefly passionate and nothing but lust, it is not yet time for the fire to go out.’


When one’s momentum was suppressed, that was the end of it. Once you lost your footing, it became a situation where you were standing at a crossroads, plunging down an endless depth.


“I am going to need to definite answer. Will my wife die after giving birth if she does not take the medicine you give me?”


“For the Madam’s safety…”


“Answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’.”


“…That is correct.”


“What is ‘correct’?”


“The Madam will not live long.”


Philip tried to keep a calm expression as he faced the red eyes staring at him as if it could see right through him. When the Duke’s lips slowly curved and he began to laugh, Philip felt chills on his back.


“You know, the reason I came to see your bastardous face today is because I was curious what bullshit you would spout. You do not disappoint.”


The moment Philip’s expression distorted, Hugo sensed that it was his victory. And he was confident of it.


“What do you think I found in the north?”


“…”


“Mugwort, it’s called. Such an interesting thing. To think such a common weed was the secret to continuing the Taran bloodline.”[1]


Philip’s expression was unchanged. But his mind was furiously spinning. The Duke was bluffing. Philip had already anticipated this much. He had no intention of being trapped.


‘He got clued to the mugwort through Anna and is making a vain guess.’


Philip gave a relaxed smile like usual and said.


“I do not know what you’re talking about. I am aware of the Madam’s absence of menstruation symptom due to intake of mugwort. That’s why I said I would give her treatment.”


Hugo chuckled and began listing off the names of herbs, one by one. These were the contents of the prescription that Lucia had received from Philip in her dream.


The smile on Philip’s composed face began to stiffen. It was the complete mugwort prescription that was never to be revealed to the head of the Taran family. Indeed, it was the vision that was passed down only to the descendants of Philip’s family for generations. He couldn’t be sure without reading his family’s secret notebook.


“I found your hideout, you bastard.”


Philip’s face completely collapsed. His distorted expression had turned black and his face was twitching. Hugo made his last verification, catching Philip off guard before he could put his brain to work properly.


“I looked through the records quite thoroughly, but I didn’t see anything about something going wrong after giving birth.”


Hugo watched Philip carefully. If it was true that his wife would die after giving birth, then Philip would immediately realize that Hugo was lying. Seeing Philip’s dark complexion remaining unchanged, Hugo breathed a long, silent sigh.


It was a lie. His wife was safe. Once he put down his fear of possibly losing her, a strong desire to kill Philip surged within him.


“I will let you experience pain that will make you wish for a peaceful death.”


He would never let him die peacefully. Hugo gazed at Philip with a piercing look in his eyes and spoke drearily.


“After Damian, no boy with black hair and red eyes will be born again.”


Philip who had been looking spiritless, lifted his head abruptly. Hugo was pleased to see Philip’s eyes full of despair.


“This is the end of this cursed blood.”


Philip’s face, which always had a relaxed look and a polite smile, was hideously twisted. He glared at Hugo through eyes filled with resentment, anger and despair then he began wailing with strange sounds.


Hugo looked at the convulsing sight of the bastard whom he wouldn’t see again after today, then he turned around and left the room.


“Monitor him thoroughly, just in case he isn’t willing.”


One of the knights replied in affirmative and went into the room. As the stone doors closed, the racket coming from inside stopped. Hugo planned to leave Philip alone for the time being, for safety’s sake. It was only until his wife gave birth safely and the search party had found Philip’s hideout.


The fear that he would receive pain worse than death, despair that his family’s secrets were all revealed and destroyed or Hugo’s last words declaring the end of the Taran line.


‘What would torment that bastard the most, among these three?’


Hugo’s steps were light as he climbed up the stairs. He felt like he could breathe now. This feeling was like he had finally escaped the shadow of the Taran family that had been suppressing him.


Translator’s Corner:


[1] It is way too late to change [mugwort] to [ssamyupsuk] now but the ‘mugwort’ in this story is completely made up. When I first started translating, I used mugwort which was the closest thing to an english name I could find but I should’ve made up something. We’ve already come so far calling it mugwort so I never changed it but yea.


Q: Is bastardous a word?

_____________


LUCIA
C120. Part 3
< — The Beginning and the End — > (6)


Lucia smiled cheerily, holding a pair of finished pink socks in one hand. The small sized item could barely fit a few of her fingers but it was lovely.


These days, Lucia had been having a lot of fun making little items for the baby that was coming. She had made a couple of bibs and handkerchiefs, and today, she began knitting a pair of socks in the morning and just finished.


“Oh gosh.”


Lucia looked at her stomach in surprise at the sudden movement from inside. She couldn’t remember when the light wiggles changed to strong kicking movements.


“Sweety, I’m making socks for you to wear. But you see, your mother isn’t very experienced, so it took me almost half a day to make a pair.”


“Will the baby even understand you?”


Lucia flashed a bright smile at her husband, who was approaching her. She didn’t know when he came back. It had been quite a long time since she saw him in the afternoon.


Her husband was very busy lately. In addition to his usual schedule of going out in the morning and returning in the evening, when he was at home, people went in and out of his office until late at night.


Even when they were together, he looked like his mind had flown elsewhere. A few days ago, a carriage full of books and documents arrived and for several days, he was locked up in his office without going out.


“Of course, she understands. Are you done with what you were busy with?”


Lucia thought he looked somewhat lighthearted as he nodded his head.


Around two weeks ago, Hugo received a report that Philip’s hideout had been found and a few days ago, he received all the extensive records from the hideout. Over the course of a few days, he went through the records and found the records of the women that had given birth to the Taran females.


All the women had given birth safely. And when the child was weaned off milk, they were disposed off for secrecy purposes.


Hugo wasn’t even surprised since that was definitely something they would do. With the simple confirmation that his wife would be safe even after giving birth, he felt like a load was lifted off his shoulders. He suddenly missed his wife so much that he immediately left his office and went to the second floor.


Hugo sat next to her, picked up the small knitted socks from her knees and turned it left and right.


“It’s this small?”


“I don’t know either, I can’t see the baby yet but I heard even this size is big. But they say the baby will grow into it quickly. Ah. It just moved. Come on, hurry.”


Lucia quickly grabbed his hand and placed it on her stomach. She waited but there was nothing.


“I think she hates me.”


Hugo had still not felt the baby moving. He wondered how the baby’s movement felt but whenever he brought his hand to feel it, the baby who was just moving would become quiet.


Lucia felt bad for her husband who was disappointed every time, but she also thought it was cute and comforted him.


“There’s no way she does. You’re her father. I think she’s just quite shy.”


“It’s good to be very cautious. I have to teach her well when she’s born. I’m worried she will be too bold like you.”


“What did I do?”


“You came to see me, all by yourself. Don’t do something like that.”


“Then I wouldn’t have married you, you know? Another me might be seeing me in a dream right now. Would you like her to follow your advice?”


Seeing him pondering it, Lucia burst out laughing.


A small exclamation escaped both of their mouths as movement was felt from Lucia’s stomach and they both looked at each other. After that, it moved a few more times in a row. It was as if it was saying that the movement a little while ago was not mistaken.




“The baby is saying hi to you.”


Hugo blankly stared at his hand which was resting on Lucia’s bulging stomach. He realized that a life was really growing inside there. As he watched her stomach grow more and more, he merely thought it was fascinating. Feeling the movement personally was strange for reasons he couldn’t explain. Somewhere in his chest tightened at the feeling.


When he was on edge due to the issues surrounding his wife, he blamed the child at the bottom of his heart. After such dregs disappeared, he felt sorry for even blaming the baby who had done nothing wrong and he felt grateful that the child was growing well.


He lowered his head and kissed her. He smiled, seeing her flushed face, then he supported her back with his hand and followed with a deep kiss.


He swallowed her soft lips and traced every corner of her small mouth. Their tongues intertwined, and they were both absorbed in the heated kiss.


Hugo continued the intense kiss until she needed to breath, then he planted light kisses on her lips like a finishing touch.


“Let’s do it.”


His eyes were filled with lust. Lucia’s face burned red.


“Let me do it. I endured for three months and a half.”


He expected her to be startled or shocked, but she just avoided his gaze slightly. Hugo had been determined to use all means possible, whether it was persuading or pleading, but now, he didn’t know whether her reaction was a good one or not. Hugo decided to interpret it as he liked, abandoning his principle of assuming the worst when in doubt.


She was giving permission. He promptly hugged her before she changed her mind. He put her down on the bed and began to undress.


“Is it okay?”


He climbed over her laying figure on the bed, being careful not to touch her belly, then he lowered his head and kissed her. He didn’t want a situation where she was unwilling but didn’t refuse. Hugo wanted to make love with her. He didn’t want to resolve his desire one-sidedly.


Lucia’s face reddened as she looked in his eyes filled with a mixture of sincerity and longing.


“…Do you really want to do it?”


“I’m at my limit. I don’t know how many nights I’ve spent sleepless. You sleep very well by my side though.”


Lucia pursed her lips slightly. There were times when she woke up at dawn and when she looked at him, he was sleeping quite well.


“Do you not want to? At all? I already asked the doctor. She said we just have to be careful. Since she said it’s fine if I don’t enter too deeply, I asked if we can do a few positions…”


Lucia slapped his arm with her face as red as an apple then she yelled.


“Argh, you’re too much, seriously! Did you really ask that?”


“It’s your doctor. Why not?”


Lucia glowered at his shameless face then she hesitated for a moment before confessing.


“…My body changes as my child grows…I thought you might not be attracted…”


“…Did you have another strange dream?”


“No. I didn’t. It’s just…it’s been a long time since…three months passed.”


Lucia thought that once the three months the doctor asked them to be careful about passed, he would immediately pounce on her. However, when the third month came, a day passed, a few days went by, but he showed no sign of doing anything of the sort, so she felt sad and her confidence faded.


“I know I haven’t been very attentive lately. I’m sorry.” (Hugo)


He had been getting frequent reports on the search for Philip’s hideout and when he received the records, his mind was entirely focused on digging through them. Only after he was convinced she was safe, did he want to see her and hug her.


“I know you’re busy. I understand. Just…I gain weight as my belly increases…”


Hugo looked at his wife’s hesitant figure then he burst out laughing.


“Here I thought I was the only one pining after it, but you wanted to do it too. You should have said so.” (Hugo)


“…you’ll only tease me.” (Lucia)


Hugo chuckled and kissed her lovely reddened lips.


“I love you. No matter what you look like.” (Hugo)


Lucia smiled bashfully and wrapped her arms around his neck. Hugo put his hands around her back too and hugged her tightly.


“I like hugging you and just being like this.” (Lucia)


Hugo moved away from the embrace and asked with a stiff expression.


“Don’t tell me you changed your mind?” (Hugo)


Lucia couldn’t suppress her laughter when she saw the overly serious look on his face so she spoke coyly.


“Even if we don’t do it…”


“Argh, seriously.”


He held Lucia’s chin as she cackled, then he covered her lips with his own.
_________________
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