e of Esbaden had a personality that believed in evidence and circumstances rather than in people.

Even if she was the duchess, the duke couldn’t do anything unless she could bring him evidence that Pauline was trying to kill her. 

“The Duke will need to have proof if he wants to question the Young Lady, but he doesn’t have any, right? As such, we obviously wouldn’t get caught.”

Anyways, the evidence of manipulating the boat had naturally disappeared due to the monster’s rampage. 

In addition, all of the minions that knew about the monster seeds within the ducal castle had already been either killed or muzzled. 

“So don’t worry, stretch out your feet and rest well.
I should get going now too.
It’s almost time for my husband to return.”

Countess Jive folded her fan with a smack and rose from her seat.

“One moment, please.”

“What’s the matter, Young Lady?”

Pauline, who had been biting on her nails for a long time, looked at the countess with an anxious and earnest gaze, and asked. 

“That drug, when can I get more of it?”

“Oh, that ‘nutritional supplement’?”

Countess Jive gave a faint smile when Pauline nodded urgently.

“Have you already ran out? Well, that drug has good efficacy in various ways.”

The drug, which was referred to by the two with the slang ‘nutritional supplement’, was none other than ‘Devil’s Nap’.

The Devil’s Nap, which was traded at an astronomical price amongst the Empire’s young aristocrats recently, was still an illegally traded product.

If it was discovered by the Imperial Family, not only could it result in confiscation of property, but also the death penalty in extreme cases.

“You’ll have to wait a little.
It has become so popular these days that it’s hard to obtain.”

“Then please send it to me as soon as it’s available.
I can’t calm down without it.”

“Alright, alright.”

Countess Jive waved her hand soothingly at Pauline.

“Even if it’s effective, don’t just drink anywhere.
You’ll get in trouble if you’re discovered by someone else.”

At her words, Pauline’s expression stiffened for a moment, but it soon returned to normal.

“I can take care of that much myself.”

“You’re harsh.”

Countess Jive started moving while waving her gloved hands.

“Then I’ll send someone later.”

As she walked out of the door, her mouth was curled up in a happy smile.

* * * 


When one of the Duke of Esbaden’s lieutenants, Claude, found Dooha by the lakeside, he stared at her in surprise.  

She was wearing a long cloak that didn’t go well with the mild weather.

‘Isn’t it hot?’

“I greet the Duchess.”

He looked sideways at Layla and the head maid, who were standing behind Dooha, and asked. 

“What brings you here?”

“I heard that the knights were purging during such warm weather, so I came.”

At the news that the duke had the workers drain all the water out of the artificial lake before lunch so that the knights could purge the scene, she rushed to the scene. 

With the face of a gracious lady of the house, she gestured towards Layla. 

“I heard that you’ve skipped lunch to work, so I brought some snacks.
Please have some of this at least before continuing.”


Claude frowned and turned his head towards the prickly gazes he could feel aimed at his back.  

The armour-clad knights that were searching the bottom of the lake in the scorching spring sunlight gave him eager looks.

“…Thank you for your kindness.”

Claude accepted her goodwill with a grim look on his face.

“Rest for ten minutes! Afterwards, continue working!”


At his command, the knights rushed over to the maids with snack filled baskets.

“Thank you very much, Duchess!”

One by one, the knights bent at the waist in Dooha’s direction and entered the makeshift tent near the lake with a snack in hand. 

As she looked at their appearances, Dooha gave a pleased smile. 

“Are you feeling alright?”

Then Claude asked after her.

Dooha thought that he’d usually disapproved of her, and looked at him with surprise. 

“To think that Sir Claude is worried about me, I’m touched.”

“As a subordinate, it’s only natural to worry about the safety of the wife of my only Lord.”

“Thanks to you, I’m fine.”

In fact, the reason she was completely fine was all thanks to the Duke of Esbaden, who had nursed her all night, but she didn’t need to mention that.

“Anyways, is the purging proceeding smoothly?”

“Yes, as it’s something we’re familiar with.”

“Something you’re familiar with?”

“After the monster subjugation has finished, it’s also our job as the Esbaden family’s knights to purge the scene.”

For generations, the Esbaden ducal family was responsible for subjugating the monsters that appear at the border.

“That’s why the people here are used to such matters.”

Dooha listened to his words quietly and looked at the lake, where the water had been drained and the bottom visible, before opening her mouth again.

“Sir Claude, it’s currently breaktime, so wouldn’t it be better for you to rest for a moment?”

“What? Ah, I…”

Before allowing Claude to finish responding, Dooha jutted her chin at Layla. 

Then, after making a look of disgust, Layla grabbed Claude’s arm like she had given up immediately.

“Follow me.”


“Stop asking back again stupidly.
That’s why you were fooled by my acting.”


Layla grabbed the bewildered Claude by the arm and entered the tent. 

As Dooha watched their appearance, a corner of her lips curled upwards. 

“Now that all of the disrupters have left, let’s get started.”

At her words, an anxious look appeared in the head maid’s eyes. 

“Madam, do you really have to do this?”

As the head maid looked at the bottom of the wide lake, the corners of her mouth contorted like she was dizzy. 

“Are you actually going to find an empty medicine bottle in such a wide mire? Isn’t this no different from looking for a needle in the desert?”

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