Meanwhile Fervin, who had arrived at the dining room first, folded the documents in his hand and laid them aside.
He squinted his eyes at the food that didn’t come out, no matter how long he looked at the documents.
When he called the butler, Alfred, and asked what was going on, he was delivered some surprising news.
“Madam said that she would have dinner together with you. How about waiting a little longer?”
“What nonsense, why would someone who has never eaten with me…”
Before he could even find out what had happened, the dining room door was pushed wide open.
Irwen, who was dressed nicely in a fluttering red dress, came in with her long curly hair, ruffled in the air.
She lifted her head up to look at him as she sat down at the table, opposite to him with the guidance of a maid.
A pleasant and rich voice came out of her mouth.
“I wanted us to eat together. Is that alright with you?”
Instead of answering, Fervin just stared at her.
He was surprised and astounded, so stunned that it was as if someone had hit his head and given him a concussion.
She, who normally always had on thick makeup like a ghost, appeared in front of him with a bare face.
That bright smile that was on her milky white face, the one that seemed as if it was specifically meant for him, was so beautiful that it seemed to be engraved in his heart.
The bolt that had been firmly locked for the past four years wriggled wildly, as if it was trying to free itself.
‘I’m really going crazy.’
He turned his gaze away from Irwen’s face with difficulty and buried his face in both hands.
He rubbed his eyes, as if he was tired, and quickly organised his thoughts.
The sudden change of his wife, who had no interest in him, but rather only had hatred, could only be interpreted as this.
“Are you perhaps still sick? Doctor Doppari originally said that you were fine already but…”
Irwen had a confused expression on her face in reply to Fervin’s serious question.
“I’m not sick anymore. It went away as soon as I woke up.”
“Then why aren’t you acting like before? And why aren’t you wearing any makeup?”
“I feel like the heavy makeup was bad for my skin. Why, does it look weird?”
Her candid tone without a single hint of poison aimed at him, tickled him.
Fervin stared intently at Irwen.
It was the first time he had seen Irwen’s bare face after getting married.
Irwen’s face that was normally covered with thick makeup which was worse than not wearing makeup, was so beautiful that it put him in a daze.
Irwen tilted her head slightly, as if to ask why he was looking at her like that, but he couldn’t stop looking at his own wife.
‘Was this woman…was she always…so pretty?’
He hadn’t seen her in such a long time that now, he had almost forgot her lively face.
He had never seen her bare face after their horrible first night together.
However, he had heard the conversations of the maids who helped her get dressed.
“Madam is much prettier without makeup. I really don’t know why she bothers to do such ghost-like makeup.”
That’s right, he also wasn’t sure why she was always in such atrocious makeup.
She was much prettier when she wasn’t.
Eyebrows that drooped down slightly, curving like a crescent moon, and clear glass-like skin.
Not to mention those big eyes that were currently staring at him.
Fervin shook his head violently at Irwen’s face that was shimmering right in front of him.
As the ticklish feeling in his heart that he had sealed away for years already began to rise again, he vigilantly pushed it down.
No, he didn’t know what sort of scheme that villainess had come up with to torture him.
He decided that he would no longer be lead by the nose by Irwen and made up his mind.
Fervin coughed before spitting out in a cold voice.
“Yeah, it looks weird.”
“Don’t you think my bare face looks better than that sort of heavy makeup?”
“No, I’d rather your old style of makeup.”
He spoke in a firm voice, yet he could feel his face burning due to the lie he had just spit out.
His face grew redder when he heard Irwen mumble, “Your taste is quite unique…” as if she found him absurd.
His heart, which had been firmly locked away, started to beat again.
Fervin clenched his teeth and looked away from Irwen.
He thought about whether he should leave his seat, but then decided against it.
Although the Irwen who had suddenly changed made him flustered, she also at the same time evoked his curiosity.
For several days, it had been reported that Irwen had been kind to the servants rather than hurling verbal insults toward them.
It wasn’t just Irwen’s way of speaking that had changed.
When she had appeared at dinner today, she had done so without her previous makeup which was so thick it seemed as if she was wearing a mask.
Her attitude, which had always been aggressive, had become much more docile.
She had also stopped secretly sending specialty products back to her parents in the Verma Duchy.
Everything about his wife had changed.
Whether she was acting or truthfully repentant remained yet to be dug out by Fervin, but at the same time, he was afraid.
He was afraid that his sincerity would be betrayed by her again.
However, at the same time, he had a strong desire to stay with her and see it to the end.
‘Don’t you still get excited just from looking at her face? Can you really go all the way? Won’t you fall for her first?’
He heard the voice of his conscience that was sealed deep within him, provoking him.
Fervin tried to push it down as much as possible.
[ / / / ]
Dinner passed under a heavy atmosphere.
Although I wasn’t expecting a heartwarming or lively dinner, I still wasn’t expecting a dinner so silent it stifled my breathing.
Although Fervin did not avoid my sudden attendance, he was still eating with a stiff face.
I tried to initiate conversations with him several times, but each time, Fervin simply looked at me instead of answering, and often avoided my gaze, as if he didn’t want to see me.
How was I supposed to have a conversation with someone who was avoiding me?
We just quietly cut our steaks.
Amidst the silent atmosphere that seemed to weigh down on my entire body, I wasn’t even sure whether the meat was going into my mouth or my nose.
However, Fervin, who sat across from me, was extremely pleasing to the eye, that was what I had ascertained while watching him.
The movement of him cutting steak was elegant, so much so that all he needed to do was sit there, and it would be a masterpiece of art.
He was dazzlingly beautiful.
Looking back on the novel, everyone praised the appearance of Duke Shivelom, who was the Emperor’s younger brother, but in the end, none of them could compare to Duke Carlisle’s beauty.
Before Fervin got married, he was by far the Empire’s most outstanding bachelor, and even after his marriage, was still voted as the best man.
Even as a married man, there were many noblewomen who were waiting for him at social gatherings, and it was exactly for the following reason.
Everyone had foreseen that he would divorce the Duchess after their five year contract was up, and then afterwards, Fervin would return to the social world as a bachelor.
As a reader who knew the backstory, I was also only aiming for that moment.
I couldn’t break an agreement between two countries, so for now, I would spend the rest of the remaining year and live quietly, then peacefully accept the divorce in order to stay alive.
But first, I had to at least attempt to live peacefully with my husband if I wanted to spend the rest of the year without any problems.
My plan had already gotten off on the wrong foot from the beginning.
I glanced at him while pondering whether or not to give him a piece of steak.
Would feeding him a piece of steak make his mood get any better?
No, it wouldn’t, after all, weren’t we a couple that had a different kind of relationship compared to other couples?
I glanced at him who was reading the document next to him.
He stuck out his fork, as if to pierce the steak, then did it again.
He stuck out his fork several more times in order to reach the food.
I looked up when my head tingled from his gaze, seeing Fervin staring at me with a strange look.
He was observing me without even knowing that his brilliant platinum hair had fallen down onto his forehead, and when our eyes met, he coughed in embarrassment.
His pale green eyes trembled slightly as he turned his head away.
He spoke to me in a voice that sounded like a wounded beast.
“I’m asking you honestly. Just what the hell are you up to?”
“I’m trying to get along with you now.”
“Irwen. It’s already been four years since I’ve been with you. You think I don’t know all about your shallow tricks?”
“A trick? I’m just trying to do my duty that I wasn’t able to do before and cleanly cut off our loose ends after spending the rest of the year peacefully.”
“Duty…duty you say…”
Fervin rubbed his chin languidly.
He seemed to be thinking carefully about something before spitting out in a muffled, low voice.
“Then, are you going to carry out that duty now?”
He pursed his lips and hesitated for a moment.
You’re the one who’s speaking, so why are you making such a flustered expression?
“Our duty to have a child. After all, the elders in the house have been insisting for years already.”
“A child…you say?”
I tried to hide my embarrassment.
What are you talking about, you’re talking about our duty to bear children?
Of course, the most effective way for Princess Irwen who was from a defeated country to preserve her name would be to give birth to the Duke’s child, the heir to the Carlisle Duchy in order to solidify her position.
But I had no intention of doing that.
Because I couldn’t bear to sleep with someone I didn’t love.
So I had planned to quietly complete the rest of our marriage and divorce as planned, but what? Our duty to bear children?
This was not the Fervin I knew.
In the original story, Irwen and Fervin had both tacitly agreed not to have children.
He let out a dry laugh the moment I clenched my fists under the table.
“Actually, what could I have expected from the woman who said she didn’t want to taint her blood with the blood of the invaders on our first night?”
“Forget I said anything.”
Fervin got up.
As I tried to follow him and get up too, he waved his hand as he looked at me.
“Don’t mind me, continue your meal.”
“I already stopped eating in the middle since I felt uncomfortable.”
“Just act like you usually do, Irwen. Don’t act like this and do what you’ve never done before.”
Fervin approached me from the front.
It seemed as if I couldn’t overcome my own temper, but when I looked into his eyes, I was embarrassed again.
I was angry, but now I was stammering again.
Why are you doing this?
He growled in a deep voice to me, whose mind was still in chaos.
“Don’t show up in front of me again. Don’t shake my heart.”
He hurriedly turned around and left.
The plate of food, which was not even half eaten, was still steaming.
I sat down and thought as I ate the chicken.
You seem to hate me quite a bit, don’t you?
What the hell did Irwen do to you before to become such an object of hatred?
“Madam, don’t worry too much. The master must have also clearly felt the changes in madam’s appearance.”
Mrs Tilly, who brought me a clean towel, spoke as if she was comforting me.
After I woke up, she had supported me with her warm words and trustworthy demeanour, so I complained to her in a coquettish voice.
“Of course, I know what he’s been through so far is too much. But still, shouldn’t he at least give me a chance? I’ve already put in this much effort, but in the end, all he did was just get angry.”
“Don’t be agitated, the master has already noticed the changes in madam’s personality.”
Mrs Tilly nodded in response to my question.
“He’s just tired of the several years of waiting and patience he’s gone through so it’s hard for him to accept this as the truth.”
[ / / / ]
The next day.
I had tea with Mrs Tilly in the garden which was full of flowers.
“I wish I had spent my time like this earlier, Mrs Tilly.”
“I just wanted to thank you since you take care of me so well, even when you’re busy.”
“Not at all, in fact, I should be more grateful. You were the one who even nursed me when I was sick, taught me about a lot of things, and supported me even when I couldn’t remember everything. Seriously, thank you so much.”
I faced Mrs Tilly whilst enjoying my favourite hot chocolate.
Mrs Tilly smiled meaningfully, her eyes full of the years of wisdom she had lived through.
She had not even touched the luxurious early grey tea that was in front of her.
Although she seemed somewhat wary of me, her gaze toward me was still filled with curiosity.
She was a friendly-looking middle aged woman with gray hair that was sparsely scattered throughout.
She was the second generation of her family to serve the former Duchess, and continued to serve as a housekeeper in the Carlisle Dukedom.
She had come here when she was young, and was now a gentle woman with traces of the years she had experienced etched onto her face.
After having tea time and asking about this and that, the subject flowed on to the cultural festival which would be held next week.
“Ah, you mean the cultural festival that the Marchioness Celestine is holding next week. Wasn’t it originally my turn to hold it?”
“Yes, it was, but madam refused it every year, so the Marchioness Celestine took over instead. It will probably be the same again this year.”
The cultural festival was a kind of party that was organised by the aristocratic wives to show off how cultured they were.
Although it is said that it is a place of cultural exchange that gets rotated around to different people within a certain period of time, it was actually more so about who spent the most money in order show off the best performance.
Many nobles, who seemed to be overflowing with money, invited the best actors or singers to hold a grand feast in their mansion.
However, the performance that was more precious than a performance decorated by the best artists, was a performance that was decorated by the noble ladies themselves.
Although the noble ladies were usually quiet, they would still personally step out on stage and get together with other noble guests while helping their husband’s social standing rise.
Dance, drama, or singing were skills they had all been honing since they young, but fortunately, it was a field in which I was confident in.
No doubt many people would attend if the Duchess Carlisle, who had been inactive from social activities, would personally grace the stage.
I decided to take this opportunity to change my image.
From a princess of a foreign country who was reputed to be an evil woman to an intelligent woman who had already adapted to this place.
I looked directly at Mrs Tilly and declared.
“I’m going to host this cultural festival.”
“I’m going to sing, so first, find the best band to accompany me.”
As a former idol trainee and aspiring singer, I had to show off my skills and show a perfect performance.
Mrs Tilly looked at me in disbelief and bravely opened her mouth.
“Surely we don’t also need to sing the chorus, right madam? If by any chance the key is too uncomfortable to sing, it might be better if we hired several people.”
“But I can still do it on my own. Would you like to hear it?”
In front of Mrs Tilly, who nodded, I tensed my stomach and sang.
I could see servants eavesdropping from the open windows throughout the mansion.
There was even the sound of a window opening on the second floor.
I had only sang a short verse, but Mrs Tilly’s face was full of joy.
“My word, you did really well! Have you perhaps been hiding your talent this whole time?”
“I mean, well…anyways, it was fine, right?”
“It’s not just fine, it was outstanding, madam! It would have been nice if the master could have listened to this with us as well. I can still call him from the study right now…”
“No, it would be better if he heard it on the day of the cultural festival, not now.”
I immediately got up and grabbed Mrs Tilly, who was about to enter the mansion.
I had no intention of singing a song in front of my prickly husband.
He wouldn’t even like it.
The moment I looked at the second floor of the mansion to no avail whilst drinking my tea.
Some sort of large body that was hidden behind the curtain.
The dazzling platinum hair that seemed to have flashed past.
ok but surely she doesn’t think it’s that easy for her to earn his trust ???? like, let’s be fair girlie, you’ve acted like an asshole for four years, and just with a few days, you expect him to act nice ??? bestie that’s like four years of betrayal and waiting the past irwen has put him through give mans a break !!!!!
in this case tho i do sympathise with fervin bc imagine the woman you literally LOVE HIS MF FIRST LOVE has been hating him, verbally abusing him, and has probably pulled one of these i’m going to pretend to love you but backstab you, for FOUR MF YEARS LIKE AHHHH also that one comment she made abt not wanting to mix blood with the invaders like OUCH that must’ve hurt him so bad but i’m looking forward to seeing how their relationship develops!
PLUS SOME MORE EXCITING NEWS! I’VE CREATED A DISCORD SERVER! idk how many of u guys there are but in case any of u guys wanted to be notified on chapter releases, you asked and i delivered hehehe click the link here, it’ll expire after 7 days bc im still scared of translation hunters SDLFKJDFS
n e ways, that’s all 4 now, join the discord server 4 updates && see u all next week ! ♡♡