this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!
I was so startled that I ended up dropping the documents.
The neatly arranged documents scattered onto the floor.
My senses, which I had barely managed to keep a hold of ever since entering this place, seemed to become even more scattered as my mind went blank.
My bewildered heart started to pound even more.
He squinted at me.
“I’m asking why you came into my room, Irwen. Since you’ve never once been like this before.”
“The thing is…”
I hurriedly picked up the documents and laid them out on the table.
Although it wasn’t much different from the messy state I had originally found it in, I still retreated quickly.
Every time Fervin leaned his head toward me, the scent of his body brushed against the tip of my nose.
He looked like he had just finished bathing.
A white towel, which was barely hanging from his waist, was all that he was wearing.
His bare white skin exuded a refreshing scent.
When he swept back the hair that covered his forehead, the water droplets that had formed on his wide chest trickled down.
Seeing the bare skin of a healthy man a little over 180 centimeters made me feel like I was feverish to death.
I covered my eyes with my hands and stepped back.
Glancing around the table, he came one step closer to me.
He swept up the paper lying on the table with his hand.
“Did you organise this knowing what it was?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t even look at it.”
“Right, that’s not what’s important. What’s important is that you’ve intruded into my personal space, and that you’re by my side at a time like this.”
Fervin licked his lips and came closer.
As he exhaled slowly, I could see his chest going up and down.
The water, which hadn’t yet dried, flowed down his milky-white immaculate body.
I hurriedly averted my gaze from the provocative sight that stimulated my eyes.
“Don’t misunderstand my intentions. Apparently from generation to generation, the wives of the Carlisle family would have a tradition of picking out their husband’s cufflinks in the morning, so I’m only here to fulfil my duty as your wife.”
Upon hearing the words that Mrs. Tilly had said, Fervin muttered, giving me a serious look.
“Isn’t it strange? Why would there be such a tradition in the Carlisle family, to pick out the husband’s cufflinks in the morning? In fact, isn’t it enough just to leave something like this to a servant?”
“If you know the reason, then tell me.”
“You really want me to tell you?”
He stooped lower, bowing his head toward me dangerously.
“Because men are usually the most energetic in the morning.”
When I frowned at that absurd remark, he kindly elaborated.
“Since this is a household whose descendants are few and precious from generation to generation, they had to work hard to have a successor. Since a couple could do something with the excuse of coming to pick out cufflinks in the morning…”
It was then when I realised what he meant as my face reddened.
Opposite me was Fervin, who had a subtle expression on his face that seemed as if he was holding back his laughter.
I guess it was amusing to him when I didn’t know what to do?
It was unfair for me to be the only one that was suffering.
So I walked up to him and patted his shoulder.
“Then, should we also try our best to do it properly this time?”
In fact, I actually wanted to grab him by the collar, but because he didn’t have any clothes on, I had no choice but to lightly brush against his bare skin.
At my touch, he suddenly grabbed my hand.
His eyes shook violently, as if he was really flustered.
“If you’re just saying that lightly, then stop.”
“We’re a married couple, so who cares?”
As I wiggled the fingers clenched in his hand, his cheeks exploded with a flare of red.
He was the one to first hold my hand, and also the one who kissed my lips lightly first.
It always seemed like it was me who lost every time, so a feeling of euphoria filled my heart when I saw the bewildered figure of Fervin in front of me.
But it was then.
As I was drunk on my feeling of triumph, I felt my body become weightless, then in the blink of an eye, felt my back against a soft bed.
The moment the weight of a muscular man was added to the bed as it sank.
Although I blinked, only a feast of bare skin unfolded in front of my eyes.
Broad shoulders, hollow collarbones, and a large torso that was moving up and down.
I blinked quickly in confusion.
Why was I in Fervin’s arms?
Why was my face buried in his chest as I listened to the violent beating of his heart?
At the same time, my heart was pounding away too.
Then, Fervin lifted his body slightly from me.
Sweeping his wet, ruffled hair over his forehead, he placed my hand onto his chest.
“You were the one that said you’d do it properly, so you start first.”
“You were the one that brought it up first.”
I tried to get out of Fervin’s embarace, but he locked me tight in his arms.
Fervin looked directly at me and didn’t let me go.
I spoke as gently as I could.
“I was joking.”
“Haa, how is this a joke?”
“Aren’t you old enough to know it’s a joke?”
“Acting like this isn’t a joke, it’s a provocation. And I’m fully willing to respond to your game.”
Why was his gaze as he gently stroked my hair so sweet?
Why did he seem to be sincere instead of being cheeky at my teasing?
His languid voice tickled my ear as his Adam’s apple in front of me bobbed up and down.
“Go on, Irwen. I’m fine. I’ll accept anything you want.”
Water, which hadn’t yet dried, rolled down his neck, trickled down to his collarbone, then flowed down his chest.
I threw my arms and legs in a fluster, as I was making a fuss since I felt a drop of water drip onto the clothes I was wearing.
“Dry yourself off first!”
The taut tension was broken.
Only then did Fervin slowly lift his body from me.
I got out of bed quickly, as if a spring had been released.
Fervin got up from the bed and wiped the water from his whole body with a large towel.
The back profile of him, who had turned away from me, seemed to have turned red for some reason.
pls do not share this anywhere or the transmigration gods will transport u into boku no pico !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:
“He’s later than usual. It’s already half past seven…”
As Alfred, who was still hanging around in the hallway on the second floor, was about to step forward, Mrs. Tilly tugged on the hem of his clothes.
Her strength was so strong that it seemed as if the fabric would tear, so Alfred hurriedly turned his head toward her.
“Ma’am, why are you being like this?!”
“Don’t even think about knocking. Don’t even think about calling Master, and even moreso, don’t even think about looking at the time!”
But he’s taking twice as long as usual to prepare, Ma’am. We need to check to see if something has happened…”
“You tactless punk. Since Madam is in Master’s room, doesn’t that answer all your questions?”
“It’s because she hasn’t come out yet, since she would’ve come out in just a minute if she just came in to pick out some cufflinks.”
Mrs. Tilly looked at the ignorant Alfred with pity.
“Oh, Alfred, you still have a long way to go.”
Fervin looked at me as if he had already finished wiping off all the water.
He still wasn’t wearing any clothes.
I tried to look at him directly to inform him.
“I’ll get going now. Going through so much in the morning has made me tired.”
Fervin stared straight into my eyes.
Those wolf-like eyes that didn’t match his white skin completely captivated me.
“Since you’ve already come all the way here, I wish you’d help me pick out some clothes before you go.”
“According to what you said, since it’s a tradition that was made to ensure successors, and since that doesn’t have anything to do with us, isn’t that something you can just get a servant to do?
He came closer toward me.
Those pale green eyes of his seemed to be getting darker and darker.
He whispered into my ear.
“I really want you to do it, seriously.”
He blinked his eyes, saying he was sincere, so how could you not do it?
Even just by looking at those desperate eyes of his.
I headed to the closet before my face could turn even redder.
The wardrobe was filled with clothes that reflected his taste.
Neat achromatic clothes, or mostly blue clothes.
I picked out some clothes that would suit him.
He called out to me as I was smoothing out the wrinkles.
“Irwen. My clothes.”
“Here you go.”
The moment I was heading toward him with his clothes.
He untied the towel from his lower body.
Contrary to my surprise, he was already wearing underwear underneath that towel.
I breathed a sigh of relief, but my heart was still pounding.
When he saw my wide eyes, the corners of his eyes crinkled in amusement.
“What, did you expect something more? Is that what you wanted?”
Fervin took the clothes from me, adding, “You choose some cufflinks. I’ll wear the rest.”
While he glanced at his watch and dressed hurriedly, I rummaged through the box of cufflinks.
Yes, this was also a Duchess’s daily task.
While I was rummaging through the box, the only thing I could hear behind me was the sound of clothes rustling.
There was nothing to be said between us.
I grabbed a cute heart-shaped cufflink in my hand and started to fiddle with it.
Mrs. Tilly had advised me to talk to Fervin while choosing a cufflink.
Except only embarrassing situations kept occurring.
But what should I even talk about?
What should I say to get closer to my husband?
Can I really get closer to someone who takes my teasing so seriously?
As I glanced back at him, I saw that he was now wearing a beige vest over a white flannel dress shirt.
Fervin naturally held out his sleeve as I picked up the cufflinks and approached him.
When I put on the heart-shaped cufflinks that were made with elaborate red rubies on both sides, his pale face flushed red for a moment.
When I noticed that the corners of his mouth twitched, he covered half of his face with his hand.
I could see his pupils shaking and the corners of his eyes crinkling.
The redness from his cheeks now seemed to spread all over his face.
He seemed to like it too.
Fervin cleared his throat and barely managed to speak.
“…Why did you choose this?”
“Let’s get along in the future. As of today, the cold war between us as a couple is over, and starting from today, we’ll become a couple with a good relationship.”
The gaze that was staring at the heart-shaped cufflinks slowly slid up to my face.
Those eyes which had looked coquettish earlier had now completely turned into half moons.
Earlier, he had hidden his face with his hands, but now, he fixed his gaze on me, as if he had no intention of doing so.
“A couple with a good relationship, it’s an unfamiliar word, but it’s still nice to hear. Right, you’ve been putting in so much effort and worked hard during this time, so I should put in even more effort than you.”
I saw his radiant smile for the first time.
The fact that one heart-shaped cufflink could unravel his heart was something I never would’ve imagined.
However, whether or not his smile also spread to my heart too, I also smiled at him.
Fervin, who was staring at me, added.
“You said that we should head towards being a couple with a good relationship, so I’d like to suggest one thing.”
“What is it?”
Without a word, he put on his jacket and continued.
“There’s a saying that physical distance also affects the distance of your hearts. I don’t often spend time with you during the day, so I was wondering if I could spend the night with you as well.”
“But you, you’re always in the study at night.”
“I want to get along with you.”
“Forcing effort is…”
His soft gaze dropped to me.
“I’m not forcing it. I mean it.”
He took a step back, perhaps embarrassed for saying it.
As he stepped back, a thumping sound resounded from the door.
His face flushed red.
As I approached him, he put his hand behind his back and turned it.
The door handle was pulled down as the door swung open.
Mrs. Tilly and Alfred were arguing until their faces had turned red.
“I’m sure their relationship has gotten better.”
“His relationship with Madam suddenly getting better? I don’t believe it.”
“You just heard it, the bed creaking so early in the morning, what else would that be if it wasn’t passionate…”
Fervin faced them with an icy face.
His pale face was now unobscured.
They bowed deeply, as if they were embarrassed.
He rushed past them down to the drawing room, and didn’t say anything until breakfast was over.
When I went out the front door to see him off, he finally opened his mouth.
Although his face was still red, there was a light behind his eyes, as if he had come to a decision.
Although he said so while looking at my face, it was also said in a tone that told the servants, whose eyes were shining as they looked at us, to listen as well.
“I’ll have dinner with you tonight, so please wait for me.”
The sound of servants whispering could be heard from behind.
“Oh my, how many years has it been since Master had dinner at home?”
“It’s the first time they promised to have dinner together like this in advance ever since they got married.”
Fervin lowered himself from his tall stature and looked down at me.
His eyes, which were cast underneath his long eyelashes, sparkled brilliantly.
“It’d be good if you could prepare a late-night snack for me to eat later too.”
“What do you mean night… Night?”
“And the most important duty of the Duchess’s duties which you emphasise so much on.”
Fervin placed a finger lightly on my lips.
“I’m talking about spending the night together1.”
There was a moment of silence.
I doubted what I had just heard.
What do you mean by spending the night together?
Fervin Carlisle and Irwen Lillias had never spent the night together, ever since their first night of marriage.
It was only a ceremonial first night, and even that wasn’t spent properly since Irwen had caused a fuss.
The ‘worst first night’, which was described in a single line in the original novel, was as followed:
‘The first night of the Ducal couple, which should have been romantic, turned out to be the worst night that left nothing but terrible memories for each other.’
Since there was such a description, Fervin should’ve clearly wanted to refuse sharing a room together.
Suddenly mentioning her duties as a duchess… Having sex2?
Then was Fervin sincere in saying that he wanted to ‘spend the night together’, earlier true?
I was tongue-tied with embarrassment when I heard the rather explicit word of ‘sleeping together’.
“What… did you say? Spending the night together?”
“Then, see you later in the evening, Irwen.”
Fervin pretended not to know and hurriedly left the house
A faint smile settled on his lips as if he found it amusing.
Moving his long legs in a hurry, he climbed onto a dazzling black horse.
I chased after him as fast as I could and shouted.
“Wait, we haven’t finished talking yet!”
“Let’s finish our conversation later at night together.”
He hurriedly got on his horse and left for the imperial palace.
His fine hair fluttered in the spring breeze like flower petals
Let’s have dinner… and spend the night together?
Just what the hell is wrong with this guy?
Was this a dream?
I pinched my cheek fiercely.
This probably wasn’t a dream then.
Even when I pinched both cheeks, I could still vividly feel the pain.
I had a strong hunch that something had been miscommunicated.
However, the people around me cheered and surrounded me.
It was as if there was a festival taking place.
“It seems as if my prayers from the past four years are finally being fulfilled! Goodness, Madam has finally returned to her senses. Heavens, just how long has it been since they’ve shared the same room?”
“There will finally be a successor! I will finally be able to hear the cry of a baby in this quiet Carlisle household!”
“Tell all the idiots who said that the Carlisle family line would end in this generation to come and see!”
Most of them were servants who had served the previous Duke of Carlisle, so they were all pretty old.
Having seen and heard as much as they had with how long they’d already lived, they patiently endured the villainous Irwen, earnestly praying for her to have a change of heart.
That’s why they had smiled brightly when they saw me, who had become quite nice for a while.
They were also the ones who welcomed the change in Fervin’s gaze towards me, from hate to curiosity.
And thus, as if he were responding to their concern, Fervin declared that we would share the same room.
Since that too, had been said in front of everyone listening, I couldn’t even back out of it.
Mrs. Tilly was thrilled and pulled my arm slightly after wiping away her tears.
“Madam, please come in and eat in the mansion. There are many things to prepare for sharing a room tonight. Marianne! Go to the garden and pick a basket of rose petals, I’ll prepare the bath!”
Mrs. Tilly’s niece, Marianne, who was considered rather young in the mansion, ran to the garden with her face completely red.
I walked back into the mansion with Mrs. Tilly.
Mrs. Tilly chatted beside me in excitement.
“I’ve been saying that it should’ve been like this earlier. Now, the elders of the Carlisle family will no longer have to keep nagging Master. If you just have one successor, then there won’t be any reason for this family to give you anymore pressure, Madam. Heavens, I feel so relieved. What second marriage, how could you want a second marriage when you have such a beautiful madam already…”
Mrs. Tilly looked at me warily as if she had realized her own mistake.
Well, you don’t have to be wary.
Since my ultimate goal was to get a divorce after completing this contracted marriage.
…Though my goal was getting blurrier and blurrier since Fervin’s tender eyes continuously glimmered in front of my eyes.
“My apologies, Madam. I ran my mouth recklessly, please forgive me…”
I spoke calmly to Mrs. Tilly, who was still apologising.
“It’s alright, Mrs. Tilly. I’m sure Fervin was just saying that we’d share a room… just out of courtesy.”
“Out of courtesy, Madam? Madam should know better than us that Master isn’t the type of person who would say something he doesn’t want to keep.”
Mrs. Tilly scanned our surroundings, then whispered to me, as if telling me her biggest secret.
“Even now, he’s still keeping his word on not touching you without your permission.”
My eyes shook violently unknowingly.
You said you’d never touch me without my permission?
Then what do you call everything that you’ve done up until now?
Is that not touching?
Does Fervin have a different standard of physical contact to me?
My mind was suddenly thrown into confusion.
“I guess he couldn’t stand it any longer, huh? Even when we see Madam these days, we can’t help but wonder how you can look so beautiful. So what about our energetic Master?”
Mrs. Tilly smiled sinisterly.
“Master seems to be in a hurry too.”
In the vast imperial palace, Fervin Carlisle was sitting alone in a spacious room, staring at his work.
As the Chief Commander of the empire and the Emperor’s right-hand man, his desk was full of documents he had to process every day.
Although the situation he was in didn’t allow him any time to focus only on the papers on his desk, he was currently immersed in his thoughts, fiddling with the cufflink on his right sleeve.
He twirled the heart-shaped cufflink that was hanging from his sleeves.
The red ruby sparkled, as if representing his mind which was filled with curiosity.
Fervin was thinking about what had happened this morning.
Her innocent expression when she had woken up in the morning and come running to his room to find him and choose his clothes.
It was the moment he couldn’t hide his embarrassment since she had rushed in after he had taken a bath.
His embarrassment was written all over his body, his face feeling feverish and his mouth drying out, so he had unknowingly treated her more stiffly.
He had no intention of touching her when Irwen didn’t want him to, and the first step of becoming ‘a couple with a good relationship’ like she hoped for was to replace their conversations with a softer and more tender one.
However, once a wave of emotions burst forth from him, it led him to an unexpected situation.
He was curious about her sincerity, and wondered just how far she’d go for him.
Although she said she’d do her duties as Duchess, he wondered what she would do in a situation where they had to share the same room.
At his wife’s first light touch against him, he couldn’t control the various emotions he had hidden over the past four years.
If it was as usual, he would’ve walked out of the mansion respectably in front of the other servants, but the fact that he emphasised that he wanted to spend the night with his wife also proved that he was overwhelmed with excitement.
It was his wife who had reached out her hand first, and it was he who promised that he would do his best too.
‘Anyway, if we start to look like a loving couple, the pressure on producing an heir on Irwen will increase. It’s better to show the vassals such an appearance before they start to pressure her, rather than having Irwen face such pressure by herself.”
Several sheets of paper slipped out from the hand of him, who was absorbed in his thoughts.
His face burning and heart pounding, he hurriedly picked up the scattered paper.
He couldn’t be productive when he thought about spending time with Irwen later in the evening.
Just then, his close friend, Marquis Celestine, came in.
He was also a talented person who was indispensable to the empire.
Unlike Fervin, however, he was a father who quickly formed a pleasant family and had three children.
He shook his curly brown hair and handed Fervin a message.
“Why are you just staring into space and not doing any work?”
“When did you see me do that?”
Fervin hastily accepted the message from him.
Marquis Celestine sat down next to him and laughed at the heart-shaped cufflinks.
“You didn’t choose this yourself, did you? I didn’t think that you, who didn’t have much of an interest in accessories, would have made this heart-shaped one out of your own will…”
“Irwen chose it for me.”
Marquis Celestine clicked his tongue in astonishment.
“What do you mean? That a wife wouldn’t do this for her husband?”
“No, I mean… you and your wife are a little different from the average couple.”
Marquis Celestine scratched his head after saying so.
It was Marquis Celestine, whom he had been close to since childhood, who had been especially concerned about the unsuccessful marriage of Fervin.
At the wedding where the only one smiling was Fervin, Marquis Celestine thought his friend had become a little strange.
The Duke Carlisle who he was familiar with, who was one who would never give in to his impulses, quickly married his first love, saying that he had fallen in love with her at first sight.
As expected from their sudden marriage, Fervin then spent a troublesome four years with Irwen.
Marquis Celestine, who saw Fervin every day at the imperial palace, felt sorry for him, and would comfort him by inviting him to his residence from time to time.
“It’s really tough.”
Fervin, who usually couldn’t express his own emotions very well, uttered out whilst drunk.
Marquis Celestine was just one person who hoped for the end of his marriage and sincerely wished for his friend’s happiness more than anyone else.
However, not too long ago, things seemed to become strange once again.
Ever since the Duchess woke up from her faint, she seemed to have changed personalities.
At the cultural festival that was recently held at the Duke’s residence too, the malice from her face seemed to have disappeared.
And above all, Fervin’s face was like that.
Marquis Celestine looked at Fervin’s ever-changing expressions on his face as if it were bizarre.
‘That guy… I don’t know why he’s acting like an adolescent boy.’
Fervin, who was unable to take his eyes off the documents, as if he were contemplating over something, tilted his head slightly.
“Haa… why did it have to be today…”
“There’s an urgent matter that’s to be dealt with today. It’s a message from His Majesty to stay until the evening. It’s probably because of the additional taxes that need to be paid for the new palace… Haaa…”
“The empire wouldn’t be able to function without you. Just work hard for today.”
“Don’t you want to leave work early to see your fox-like wife and rabbit-like children?”
Marquis Celestine shrugged his shoulders.
“Well, I’m always happy when I go home. But even if you go home, it’s not great for you anyway, right?”
Fervin refused to get dragged into a question that was deliberately trying to draw information from him.
However, his face easily betrayed him.
Just thinking of Irwen made his pupils tremble violently.
Fervin changed the topic and asked a question instead to hide his own thoughts.
“Lance. What made you fall in love with your wife?”
Marquis Celestine thought about it without being aware of anything else.
He thought that if he replied saying he fell in love with her beautiful face, it’d seem too superficial of an answer.
Thus, he treaded carefully and replied reluctantly.
“I… well, I’m sure it must’ve been her kind heart.”
At that time, Marquis Celestine fell in love with Count Onorin’s second daughter, the current Marchioness, at first sight, and persistently pursued her.
He was famous at that time within high society for courting her passionately and saying that her looks fit his ideal type.
Fervin, who knew his love story better than anyone else, had an absurd expression on his face.
“Seems like you can’t tell the truth.”
“Then what aspect of the Duchess did you fall for? Why the hell did you get married in such a hurry, as if you’re roasting beans with lightning and eating them3?”
When the Marquis Celestine, who was flushed red, asked such a question, Fervin responded as if it were natural.
“Since she was my first love, and I was sure that she’d be my last too,” he said.
“…How can you be so shameless!”
When Fervin shrugged his shoulders, Marquis Celestine shook his head a little, as if it were incomprehensible.
Then, he opened his mouth again, as if he remembered something.
“By the way, the imperial ball will be held next week. I heard that Young Lady Bell would also be there. You knew as well, right?”
Fervin’s face stiffened at the name that was suddenly brought up.
Count Bell’s daughter, Stella Bell.
The young lady who was once mentioned as his future wife, and his childhood friend.
No, rather, it was she who claimed to be his childhood friend.
 합방 can mean a combined room, spending the night together, or slang for sex.
 more explicit word for having sex rather than the insinuation Fervin used earlier.
 to behave in an impatient or hasty manner (raws actually say fire but the proverb is lightning)
AHHHH THIS CHAPTER WAS NEARLY 5K WORDS i was meant to get this out by 29/11 but ;-; i didn’t expect that this chapter was THIS LONG yawl getting FED FR HGSLKDFJDSF ૮₍˶Ó﹏Ò ⑅₎ა
one thing i do want to touch on tho is THE TITLE !!
consent is important, even if you’re married, pls still get consent from your partner every time (remember enthusiastic consent or it means no !!! plus consent is super fucking sexy too !!) i
t’s cute when irwen says it when she’s teasing fervin since we know both their intentions but pls remember this is fiction, pls apply common sense in rl life too !!!
moving on, some things i rlly like abt this chapter is the friendship between marquis celestine and fervin !!! he wishes the best for his friend and i love that fervin has someone he can lean on! the way marquis celestine says he fell in love with his wife’s kind heart and fervin’s just like, ‘you lying bro???’
PLUS CAN WE TALK ABT FUCKING MRS. TILLY THROWING HANDS WITH ALFRED HANGLDSKFJDFS WHEN SHE SAID DON’T YOU DARE GO IN THERE I CACKLED MF she rlly thought the bed creaking was them having snu snu i- LMAOOOOOO