The Awkward Secret Meeting (2).
Huge thanks to evangelineruiqi for the kofi! (2/2)
“Nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen.”
Dooha counted the empty drinking glasses on the table.
This was why sweet alcohol was dangerous.
You don’t know how much you’ve drank because you can just keep on drinking.
“Shall we stop drinking?”
“…Are you giving up?”
I could drink more, but you and I both have work tomorrow.”
The two of them were a married couple, but they were not unemployed.
There was a mountain of things that had to be dealt with officially.
“I think we’ve run out of time.”
The owner, who had been waiting for them to leave, went to sleep and was nowhere to be seen.
Thanks to this, the store had long been a space for only Dooha and Leonhart.
Was it because of the fact that there were only the two of them in an unfamiliar place outside the castle?
Dooha brought up a story that she would not have normally told.
“I have a blood relative who doesn’t get along well with me, like you and your uncle.”
Leonhart was sitting like a stone statue with his arms crossed, but at her words, moved his gaze.
“His name is Nihir, and he’s my older brother, but we don’t get along very well.
It’s like we’re so anxious that we can’t kill each other.”
During the time when they were competing for the position of the chieftain, things got really bloody.
At least, Nihir might have regretted not being able to kill Dooha even now.
“My brother hates me, and I hate my brother, too.”
The two knew better than anyone that they hated each other the most in the world.
The fight, which seemed unlikely to end until one disappeared, eventually ended.
All due to Dooha choosing to leave Bashal on her own.
“Sometimes you have to get along with people you don’t like.
For the greater good.”
In order for Dooha to achieve her original goal, it made the most sense for her to remain in Bashal and fight Nihir until the very end.
However, it was impossible to keep the empty heir seat vacant until the battle between the two was decided.
Succession meant tribal power.
The tribe of the wind, which was weaker than the other tribes, had to establish a chief successor as soon as possible to solidify the foundation of the tribe.
Was the well-being of the tribe or the honor of oneself more important?
If Dooha had the option to choose between the two options again, she of course would choose the former.
“In the end, everything went well.
Our tribe has found stability, and furthermore, the Bashal Kingdom has gained a strong alliance through this marriage.”
There was no need for reconciliation.
However, for the sake of a good cause, she had to know how to bend, even to her enemies.
At least that’s what Dooha thought.
“I didn’t mean to preach to you earlier.
However, if you don’t set up a day for Sir Nate, you can get a lot of-“
Leonhart was staring at her with blank eyes.
Hatred, anger, and ‘regret’ were settled in those somewhat empty eyes.
“It’s different from your situation.”
“It’s not different.”
“No, it’s different.
Because I have no intention of gaining anything.”
Dooha felt his voice getting smaller and smaller, like a candle that was about to go out.
“…I just don’t want to lose anymore because of them.”
Leonhart’s head fell onto the table with a dull sound…
…At the same time as Dooha’s heart, as both fell together at that exact moment.
Surprised, Dooha cautiously called for Leonhart, but there was no answer.
She knocked on the table, but he looked unwilling to get up.
“No, how much did you say you could drink?”
‘If you’re this weak, how weak do you I am?’
Dooha got up from her seat and went to his side.
“Excuse me, my Duke.
Leonhart did not move at her call nor her waving hand.
Leonhart still didn’t move.
Even after how much effort she put into hitting his cheek.
“I’m going crazy.
What do you want me to do?”
Mumbling to herself in the language of Bashal, Dooha quickly looked around.
The owner was still nowhere to be seen and there were no customers.
She had no one to help her.
That meant that she had to carry this gigantic man by herself and carry him to their carriage.
“I can’t help it.”
Dooha sighed and shoved her arm under Leonhart’s armpit.
She was stronger than ordinary women.
It was only natural since she had been trained as a warrior in Bashal.
Nevertheless, it was hard to move the Duke alone.
Dooha struggled to walk with one of the Duke’s arms on her shoulder and her arm around his waist.
Thanks to this, she looked like a cicada carrying a big old tree, not a cicada on an old tree.
“Oh, that’s right.”
Dooha, who was trying to drag her husband, stopped walking.
Even though the store was within the territory of the Duke, eating without paying was still not right.
Dooha started rummaging through her husband’s pockets with her free arm.
“Where the hell did you put your money?”
As she struggled to find money, all while being crushed by Leonhart’s weight, she slowly descended her hand.
“Is it in the pocket of your pants?”
She shoved her hands into the pockets of his pants near his waist.
‘Is it this?’
She was holding something heavy in her hand.
But she was too unfamiliar with the shape or texture for it to be money.
Then, a strong realization flashed through her mind.
Dooha lowered her gaze for a moment, then quietly pulled her hand out of the Duke’s pocket.
“It’s such a waste.”
She took off one of the earrings she was wearing and placed it on the table.
Dooha was in a hurry to help the duke and leave the tavern.
Her face under the hood was as red as a ripe apple.
“Are you awake?”
Contrary to Dooha’s concerns about what she would do if he hadn’t woken when they arrived at the castle, Leonhart had woken up in the carriage.
Although his eyes were rather dazed.
“I’m glad that you woke up just before we arrived.
Can you move? ”
“…Yes, I can move!”
Dooha wrinkled her brow at his childish tone.
‘Is he really okay? Is there anyone who behaves this weirdly because of alcohol?’
With an anxious expression on her face, she tapped on her husband’s shoulder.
“Then get off quickly.”
Leonhart nodded his head slightly before meekly getting out of the carriage.
It was then, when Dooha was about to follow him out right away,
A large hand protruded out in front of her.
Dooha looked back and forth between Leonhart’s outstretched hand and face.
He was acting as if he was her escort.
“…What’s going on all of a sudden?”
There was no reply from him, but Leonhart did not withdraw his hand and only stared at her.
His slightly dazed eyes and red cheeks were somehow appealing.
Dooha, who had been hesitating, had no choice but to finally grab his hand and get off of the carriage.
Perhaps it was because it was late at night, when the dawn moon was still in the sky, but not a single person was seen in the castle.
Dooha managed to enter the bedroom with the Duke following her blankly.
The moment the door closed, she let out a sigh of relief.
She was worried about what would have happened if the Duke lost consciousness again in the middle of their way back and fell asleep, but fortunately, they were able to reach the bedroom safely.
Dooha threw off her accessories from her body like shackles.
As she moved her arms behind her back to take off her dress, she realized there was something strange and slowly turned back.
“…What are you doing standing there?”
Leonhart stood silently in the middle of the room, looking at Dooha.
Contrasting his hazy eyes, his gaze was fixed on Dooha.
She slowly pulled her hand off the dress.
“You should change first then.”
This time, it was the Duke who did not move despite Dooha’s words.
She thought for a moment and came to the conclusion that it was because there were no attendants to prepare his clothes, and so she walked towards the door.
I will bring the servants…”
“No, you should change your clothes…”
He stretched out his arms in front of Dooha.
It was like he was asking her to take his clothes off.
“I beg your pardon? No.”
It was before Dooha, who was bewildered, was even able to respond.
The Duke asked her, looking at her with sad, teary eyes.
Despite his size, his actions were no different from those of a child.
She looked at him blankly.
Dooha couldn’t tell how to deal with this situation.
On the other hand, the Duke’s eyes, which had been loosened due to drunkenness, had even a touch of moisture in them.
Dooha realized once again how deadly an excessive beauty could be, and eventually, she reached out to him once again.
“…Give me your arm.”
She eventually had to attend to the Duke’s clothes on this moonlit night.
No matter how well Dooha grew up, she was also raised as a princess.
It was awkward because it was her first time changing someone else’s clothes.
Dooha took off the coat the Duke was wearing and finally unbuttoned his shirt buttons one by one.
She obviously thought she had no feelings for him, but when she found herself in this situation, her hands started to tremble.
On top of that, she could feel the uncomfortably hot gaze on the top of the head.
Dooha deliberately lowered her head and opened her mouth.
“You answered ‘yes, yes’ well before like an obedient child.”
Mumbling to herself as if she were grumbling, she hurriedly took off the Duke’s shirt.
It revealed his well-trained, sculpted body, but she deliberately tried to turn her gaze away from him.
“It’s done now.
Go to bed.”
“…I want to take this off, too.”
“There’s nothing more to take off…”
Dooha’s eyes became as big as pine cones when she saw the Duke pointing his hand to his pants.
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