I’m afraid I’ve put up a death flag.
The maids approached wrapping thick fur and scarf around me.
Starting from one layer, two layers, they finally let me go after putting five layers.
They held me as if I were a plastic bag of blood, that would burst open if not handled with care.
As if they felt my skin was a flimsy plastic.
In the bathroom, they put oil on me over and over again.
The maids treated me with care, like a fragile porcelain.
Thanks to this, my skin was shiny all day long.
Suren came over and placed a thick hat on my head.
“Suren, there is no need for this.”
“It’s because the young lady doesn’t know.
It’s cold in the north, so just wear it.
It’s made of a new material, but it’s very warm.
They say that you won’t freeze to death even in a blizzard… Of course, the young lady wouldn’t have to face something like that.”
Suren looked at me attentively.
I didn’t mean to say it like this…
It was all because of him.
I have been boldly putting up with this.
When I woke up, I went straight to him instead of going to the secretary’s office.
If there was a maid was watching, he would act even more pampering.
No matter how heavy your mouth is, rumors tend to spread quickly if you see it happening often.
The maids tried to pretend not to know, but their expressions were tinted with faint alarm.
I could feel that their attitude towards me was more polite and rigid than before.
And in fact…
I think I even felt a little bit of pleasure, a little bit of thrill, at the fact that I was the only one who could treat the Duke like this, even though it was planned.
But I didn’t cross the line.
It was just a little nagging, slightly nerve-wracking bullying.
Part of me wants to ask him to buy a mine and the capital’s shops in the business district.
But it was property I couldn’t take with me if I ran away.
I’m not interested in possessions that can be easily traced and disposed of.
And it’s harder for rich people to pay back with their bodies than spending money.
It was funny to see the Duke do everything I asked, giving a glimpse of his ‘I can’t even kill this’ expression.
For example, staying in bed after being bitten in the neck.
“I can’t walk because I got blood drawn.
Please lift and carry me.”
When he approached me with an expression of bewilderment, I even demanded him firmly.
“Don’t lift me like an animal, hug me properly.”
Saying that, I shamelessly stretched out my arms.
The Duke’s bed was soft as a velvet!
When I asked the maid, she said it was a luxurious duvet made with high-quality fur woven one by one.
After I was done rolling around for a while, I started talking to him, who was looking at the documents again from the side.
“Then, on the couch.”
“If it’s a couch, the one in you bedroom, isn’t it?”
“I’m not talking about myself.
The Duke should sleep on the couch.”
He replied, roughly scrawling his signature at the end of the document.
“What did they teach you at the Barony?”
In his words, there was little criticism on the mannerism of the Barons.
He must have thought that I would quit out of concern for my family’s honor, right?
I’m sorry, but I don’t care about the honor of the family that sold me as a sacrifice/ slave.
I made a humming sound as if I were thinking about it & rolled my eyes before answering.
I was wondering how is the hospitality in your estate?”
I replied and rolled on the bed.
Wow, I’ve done one lap but still can’t reach it.
I reached out and grabbed the pillow on the other side.
The soft-touch felt like petting a rabbit.
The Duke looked at me, who had no intention of getting up at all, then sighed and went to the study.
I was going to go back to the guest room when the dizziness went away.
But after some time, I gave in easily.
I really didn’t want to get up.
I sprawled out on the big bed, caressed the blanket, and fell asleep.
Sometimes I would burst into his office and lie down on the sofa.
Thanks to that, I naturally made friends with people who came to the office to do business.
The butler was an old man, over eighty years old, and he had been assisting the Duke’s family since he was a child.
He was upright and strict, but kind to women.
So when the maids made a mistake, they would go to him in advance and confess.
The person who stood out in the office was a knight, he was a commoner.
Like a commoner, he had no last name.
He wasn’t a sword master, but the sword he wielded showed a bit of glow.
His physique was really big.
He was 195 c.m tall, and even thick armor couldn’t hide his clear muscular outline.
He was also the only person who stayed by the Duke as his sword.
As he strode down the long hallway, he looked like a huge bear.
I met him in the hallway.
When I greeted him, he felt shy.
That was unbecoming of his huge body.
In particular, he was shocked when I addressed him as ‘Sir knight’.
You don’t have to talk so politely to me.>
I used to say it more often because it was so cute.
And the Duke’s secretary, Viter.
He was a sharp-looking young man.
He was the son of the late marquess’s family, he was an outlandish ideologue who fiercely considered manners and pedigree.
So, he hated seeing me stretched out in the Duke’s office and occasionally looked down at me as if he had saw a nasty bug.
When I put my foot on the armrest of the sofa, he flinched and was even shocked when I spilled snacks.
I knew about him.
Even before I considered him an useful card.
My friend had a thing for slender handsome characters, and Viter was her favorite, so she always carried a printed case.
In reality, he wasn’t really the skinny type.
Deon and Ethan were just too big compared to him.
His office was warm but boring.
As I became a secretary, my range of activities widened.
The blacksmith, dining room, and study were easily accessible without permission.
I was able to get into the grocery storeroom somehow on the pretext of keeping records, but all the untraceable gold, silver valuables and insulation stones were all in the large storage room next to the attic.
Only the Duke, butler, and the Duke’s wife were allowed to enter.
Access was possible, even if it wasn’t necessarily the Duchess.
Being a Duchess would be difficult to escape.
So I didn’t want to… being the second wife I might be able to get the key.
Yeah, I’m not in this mess because I’m impudent, it’s because he didn’t make me his wife!
Lost in thoughts, Deon approved the document and passed it to Viter.
“Where is the hunting ground we decided this time?”
“The terrain in the west is rough, so we plan to go east.
I thought it would be comfortable to move with a small number of people, so we’ve selected a minimum.”
The Duke nodded.
After that, they had a long discussion about the area conquered by the first prince and the upper ranks colluding with him.
The conversation was full of unknown stories.
I got bored and decided to leave.
I had to check the dried beef jerky, to make sure it’s not spoiled.
I ate macarons as usual and brushed the crumbs off onto the Duke’s robe.
As I walked down the long corridor and rounded the second pillar, someone stopped me in the hallway.
When I turned around, there was Viter, with his dark brown hair.
He slowly approached and stood in front of me.
“Young lady, do you know? Most of the knights who work for ducal families are nobles.”
He sighed and smiled, raising the corners of his mouth.
A sneer stood at the corner of his raised mouth.
The way he spoke was calm, but his words gave me goosebumps.
“Even a low ranking maid of the Duke’s might have a career worthy of being treated as a head maid in other estates.
Besides, the Duke can bestow titles, so the butler here also has the title of Baron.”
Well, what do you want me to do?
I looked at him wonderingly, and his mouth twitched upwards.
“At the Duchy, even every passing dog has a breed.
It means that everyone here has a higher rank than the young lady.
There were also many nobles among the blood that came last time.
However, this is the first time for the Baron’s daughter.
So… We didn’t have any idea on how to treat you.
None of the guests of the Duke lived outside the capital.
We don’t know what the environment and manners are like there? I didn’t expect it to be so different.”
Oh, that’s right, you don’t like the fact that a lowly creature is running around the Duke’s house.
He wants a clear line, so he put Reoni in the basement to keep her quiet.
And now she’s back on the top floor, so he’s not happy about it.
“I was really surprised when I heard that you had asked for the wife’s seat.
Until now, no guests have made such a request.”
When he pronounced the word ‘wife’, his face contorted slightly in horror.
“When you enter the office, you have to knock and come in.
After eating something, you should wipe your mouth with a handkerchief.
If there were more, he was ready to teach me how to walk.
“Why don’t you refrain from visiting the Duke when you don’t have any business?
The Duke won’t be calling the young lady anymore.
Well… he hasn’t called you yet.”
After a long speech, he finally said what he wanted to say.
“I hope you don’t have to see each other outside work in future.”
I smiled at him.
I could feel that he was startled by my resolute demeanor.
“I don’t think I can.”
I really can’t.
Wherever the Duke goes, I will follow him.
I replied with a bright smile like an idiot.
“I’m also going to the hunting ground with the Duke.”
It was a real tantrum.
I couldn’t use a bow or spear in the cold winter, so it was not right for me to wander around the mountains.
Still, I will have to patrol the territory someday.
Taking this opportunity to memorize the escape route wasn’t a bad thing, either.
And I’ll have to check a lot of things I’ve been curious about.
How thick is the snow piled up if there aren’t servants to clean it, can you walk, can you survive the cold without that damn insulation stone…
The map I stole from the Duke’s office could also come in handy.
“I heard you were going hunting?”
Lying on the sofa, she stretched out her feet.
I could see him flipping through thick papers.
Perhaps it was because I had been by his side all the time, there was no resistance left.
“Please take me too.”
“I am not going to play.
I’m going to check if the trap I set is safe.”
“You know what? Exercise is essential to being healthy.
Being confined in such an unventilated space makes you weak.”
“Did I lock you up? Isn’t it the young lady’s foot that was glued all day in the office?”
Oh, then let me out of the estate.
He raised one eyebrow and looked tired.
He took off his glasses and squeezed his eyes shut.
He couldn’t even drink my blood, let alone sleep.
Because he stayed up all night looking at the documents that were overdue for several days.
He looked at me intently and strode towards me with his long legs.
He leaned over slightly and looked at me
Don’t tell me you can’t hold it in.
I looked up at him a little stiffly.
He called me with a sigh.
“I think you’re mistaken for being favored just because you’re warming my bed.”
He raised one hand and put it on my neck.
And caressed carefully as if touching a delicate animal.
As if at any moment he would bristle his nails and press them down.
“Sometimes I wonder what I should do with you.”
He bowed his head.
His face drew closer and cast a long shadow over me.
A cold, withered hand tugged at my chin.
“Do you know that I’m being lenient? You started acting confident without knowing the end of your one successful threat.”
In his low voice, there was a quiet warning.
“I only need your life and blood.
I can tie you up, raise you and take blood whenever needed.
No need to be gentle and placate.
So stop trying to get on my nerves.”
It was creepy.
I really felt like I’m going to be chained up and locked up in a room.
I saw spears, chains, and knives on display in one corner of the office.
The other day, I went closer to look at it out of curiosity, and all the objects I thought were for display were real.
Even if it is displayed for a long time, seeing the knife I realized that it is periodically maintained.
But I won’t be afraid.
If I back off like this, I won’t be able to follow him around the office, or anywhere he goes.
I won’t be able to get my hands on the key.
I would be back staying in the corner room, returning to being the blood packet Reoni.
I won’t back down like this.
You didn’t expect this, did you?
I’ll live for a long time, and I’ll keep nagging you.
And one day, I’ll surely get back at you.
“Do I just need to prepare shoes for the cold?”
“You, my words… ”
“Ha, yes,” he laughed.
He straightened his back.
“I get it.
I’ll prepare for it.”
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