From the day Dimitri set up a separate desk for Rowaine on one side of the office, every second was a battle against patience for Hael.
It was because of the ruthless boss, who was being heedless.
‘He doesn’t focus on his work at all.’
As he had been working hard on the report, he glanced at Dimitri with a strange feeling and wept.
The reason was because his master was staring intently at the Madam as she was learning her job from Baron Seville Placen, whom Dimitri had assigned as her aide.
Hael then saw him knock something on the desk and drop it to the floor for the third time today alone.
The closed ink bottle rolled with a sound onto the floor.
When Rowaine and Baron Placen both looked up at the sound, Dimitri mumbled, “My mistake, it slipped,” with a brazen face as he shrugged his shoulders before turning towards Hael.
“What are you standing still for Continue working.”
With his straightforward heart, Hael wanted to verify what his master had said to him.
Speechless, he could not even say anything because it was actually Dimitri, not him, who had been neglecting the work.
Not long after, Dimitri smirked as he glanced at Rowaine, who resumed her job again.
His hand was also slithering towards another target on the desk.
However, at that moment, she rose up from her seat and said, “Shall we get here”
Raising his head sharply, he then asked.
“Where are you going”
“Cadis… No, I’m going to check out what the hostages are doing.
I’ll be back.”
Dimitri, who had been staring at Rowaine’s back as she greeted him brightly, turned his head with a quick glance and stared at Hael.
He asked, tensed at the fearsome gaze.
“Wh-what’s wrong, Your Excellency”
“Did you even contact the Imperial Palace”
“I contacted them the same day you caught the hounds.”
“Then, why hasn’t the Emperor sent anyone yet”
…How would he know He was not the Emperor.
“Perhaps, they need time…”
“What’s their concern Threaten them to act quickly before I kill all the hostages, hang their heads behind the carriages, and display them in front of the capital city gates.”
At his master’s words, Hael counted the dates for a moment.
‘Shall I take a vacation’
ﾟ･ : * ✧ * :･ ﾟ
It was a little over a week after the hounds were taken hostage that the carriage sent from the Palace came to Blois.
I was looking out the window for a long time when I heard from the butler that the Emperor’s messenger had come to the drawing room.
It had been cloudy since the day before, and the wind was severe.
The metasequoia trees that grew tall in the distance were swaying as if they were dancing.
“Let’s go, Rowaine.”
“It’s kind of unsettling weather.”
Eventually, I got up and left the office with Dimitri.
Due to the overcast weather, we had a chattering conversation as we went down the stairs through the dark corridor as though it was at night.
The damp air just before the rain was flowing faintly in the hallway.
“Are you afraid of storms”
I nodded my head frankly and added.
“The loud sound of the wind makes me nervous.”
“I’ll have to tell the employees to make sure that under the bed is clean.”
Dimitri joked with a slight chuckle in his throat, perhaps thinking that one day I would crawl under the bed if I had nightmares on a thundering day.
Although the joke was funny, the uncomfortable feeling did not go away at all.
But somehow, when I reached the drawing room, my anxiety deepened.
I opened the door with a hesitant hand and entered the drawing room.
At that moment, I realized that my uneasy premonition was not just the weather.
Count Herman Heres greeted me with a smile.
He was sitting in the middle of a sofa with his elbows on the backrest.
When I entered the drawing room, he turned his upper body halfway as if seducing as he put his face on his hand that was on the backrest before greeting me.
Dimitri, who was standing behind me, noticed him and clicked his tongue.
“It’s either he doesn’t want to negotiate or because he doesn’t have a trustworthy subordinate.”
There was no doubt that he was talking about the Emperor.
Even thuogh he seemed to have said that with sarcastic intent, the answer was right.
Herman did not seem to have any intention of negotiating in the slightest.
Herman waved the papers to us with a bright smile on his gorgeous face.
“Do you know what this is, Duke of Blois”
Dimitri lightly ignored his light-hearted attitude as if it was hurting his pride to answer.
Seeing that, Herman smiled and continued cheerfully, like he was not embarrassed.
I’m surprised to think you’re picking apart His Majesty.
The Duke gets what Count Larscel painstakingly tried to seize for free.
Are you resourceful Oh, was it Rowaine’s intelligence”
Dimitri smiled with a sharp look in his eyes.
He spoke slowly.
“It certainly wouldn’t be free.
That would be the price of finding and returning lost dogs.”
“Didn’t you kidnap the dogs on their walk”
“I guess you call it a walk when dogs without leashes were threatening an innocent person”
Herman shrugged his shoulders.
“I came on an errand for His Majesty, but I have no intention of fighting the Duke.
I have no intention of bargaining with someone else’s love affairs.”
As he leaned back on the sofa with a languid face as if nothing was bothering him, he continued, “It may mean that His Majesty did not expect any achievements or expectations from sending me.”
His mischievous gaze was then directed at me.
“After reaching the right assortment, I’ll take the hounds and leave.
So, what about a glass of wine with friends”
Then, he smiled beautifully.
Having read the relationship between Rowaine and Herman in the novel before, I felt like he knew very well that with his attitude, she would never reject him.
Certainly, Rowaine, who loved him, would not have rejected him.
‘Even though Rowaine is a villain, seeing Herman’s behavior like that makes me feel sorry for her.’
It was clear from his attitude that he would have always played with her in such a playful and light manner while he knew her heart, though he had no intention of accepting it.
I smiled softly at him but spoke firmly.
“I wonder what kind of relationship I, who abandoned the past and started a new life, have to share with the people of the past, Count Heres Since we didn’t get together for fun, it’s better to go back to achieving the purpose of coming back.”
His purple eyes twinkled with interest as he smiled and stared at me as though he had heard a funny joke.
Though soon, after he could not find any sign of a joke on my face, he seemed a little embarrassed.
“What’s wrong with you, Rowaine”
His voice flattered as he asked, but I shrugged my shoulders and answered calmly.
“Tell His Majesty this… With a very happy marriage, the past is fading day by day and the memories are overwritten with precious memories.
Therefore, Your Majesty, please stop and forget about the past, and be happy.”
“And Count Heres, please be courteous to me from now on.
Now, I’m no longer a girl from Count Larscel but rather the Duchess of Blois.”
Only then did Herman seem to believe that I was really determined to settle for life here, not to put on a show.
Numbers of questions appeared in his eyes.
However, since Dimitri was here, he bit his mouth as if he could not ask.
The next moment, Dimitri called the butler.
“Bring the hounds and prepare to see Count Heres off.”
Herman, who had maintained a playful attitude while fluttering through the papers on the transfer of ownership of the diamond mine, handed me the letter with a slightly serious attitude.
“I meant to give it to you when we were alone.
It’s a letter from His Majesty the Emperor.
Please read it, Duchess.”
Seeing that Dimitri and I leaned our heads closer to each other and were about to open the envelope, Herman stopped us.
“Still, it’s a letter from an ex-lover.
Reading it together is a bit… the Duchess should take a look first.”
After a quick glance through the letter, I quickly understood why he had separated Dimitri.
‘…Oh, my God.’
The letter, which began with a dazzling modifier of all kinds of love and longing, gradually filled with anger, then became cold before it was sealed with fury and ended with longing again.
In summary, ‘I could not understand why you are avoiding me even though I am trying so hard and looking for you.
I will give you this diamond mine.
When you come back to me, I will give you bigger things.’
It was a letter that felt more like obsession and madness rather than love.
‘He must think he’s showing his love this way.’
For some reason, it was strange that he sent the useless Herman without sending an aide or others with him.
Nonetheless, when I read the letter, I seemed to understand why.
‘…He wasn’t trying to negotiate or anything like Dimitri’s guess.
He was trying to take an emotional approach.’
Still, as I hit the wall without falling for his friendly attitude, Herman had no choice but to do so.
With that thought, I snorted and folded the letter finely before handing it back to Herman.
“I’ll pretend I haven’t seen this, Count Heres.”