When the man reached out his hand again, Herace leaned back as if trying to run away.
But only her lips escaped, her face was still in his hands.
Herace groaned while trembling and begging him to let her go.


“No, no, no.


“…Open your mouth, Herace.”


Herace knew better than anyone that a lot had changed in her relationship with him over the past few months.
He was the one who became cold.
He was the one who told her that she should not be noticed.
So, why on earth was this happening?


She was afraid of his eyes that were boiling with heat.
Herace struggled, trying to get away somehow.
Her white feet slammed against the dressing table, and her tiny fists hit Ezekiel’s shoulder.
But even her slight resistance did not last long.




There was an intense pain on her back which felt like it was about to break.
The pain seemed like someone was cutting through her gut with a sword.


Ezekiel also let go of her hand and looked at Herace as if he realized something was wrong.
Herace looked down, even though she was dizzy.
Something damp made her seat look ominous.


The white chair was slowly turning red with blood.
As soon as she saw the dark blood with her own eyes, a fishy smell came up.
Her blue eyes trembled with fear.


“Herace! Is there anyone out there? Herace!”


The man’s roar buzzed in her ears.
As Ezekiel lifted Herace, she could hear the footsteps of many people.




However, Herace’s vision blurred and the last thing she saw was her husband’s pale face.


Part 2 – Child


It was premature.
Herace gave birth to a boy less than nine months old.


The child, who failed to fill the total number of months, had a weak cry.
As he breathed out, he looked like he was going to leave the world soon.
He was only able to breathe properly after the doctor stepped in.


‘Oh… baby… my baby…’


Herace, who was close to fainting, finally lost consciousness once she knew that the child had been born.
She opened her eyes again three days after giving birth.


Anna had lost weight and was thin, having suffered the past few days.
As she burst into tears, she didn’t bother wiping her tears or runny nose, and just held Herace’s hand tightly.


“Anna, don’t cry… show me the child.
My child is healthy, right?”


The child Herace gave birth to could not be said to be healthy.
But Anna nodded her head vigorously and smiled.
She approached the midwife and carefully received the child.
When the child, wrapped in a white cloth approached, Herace raised her head up and tried to see the child as soon as possible.




The child who was sleeping, babbled, albeit faintly.
She hugged the baby in a sullen manner, but the child did not show any objection to her, it seemed to have instinctively recognized her as his mother.
Tears welled up in Herace’s eyes when she saw the child for the first time.


[T/N: We are referring to the baby as “it” in some parts because she doesn’t know that he’s a boy.


A child who did not reach full term, but still stayed in her womb for a long time.
Herace felt sorry and guilt-stricken at the small hand of her child, blaming herself.


It’s too small….


She couldn’t even shed tears in fear that it would affect her child.
Herace held out the child to Anna.
Instead of accepting the child, Anna wiped Herace’s tears with a clean handkerchief and adjusted her position so that she could see the child more comfortably.


The child’s hair was black resembling Herace.
She wasn’t quite sure yet, but it’s particularly fair skin and overall face seemed to resemble her. 

‘What about his eyes?’ 


Herace looked at her child’s features, and thought of what color her child’s eyes might be, behind its tightly clenched eyelids.


“The young master looks just like the Madam.
I thought he might have gotten your eyes as well.”


The gentle-looking midwife spoke in a warm voice, as if she knew what Herace was curious about.
But Herace was more surprised by her other words than the answer to her question.


“It’s not a girl?”


“Oh, where has my mind gone…My Lady… No, Madam.
He’s a boy.
He’s pretty, but he’s a young master.”


At Anna’s words, Herace looked at the child curiously.
He was so beautiful and small that she mistakenly thought he was a girl.
Even his small nose and round lips were enough to make her believe it.


Her emotions soared again as she looked at her child.
A doctor approached, seeing the tears rising in Herace’s eyes.
He also looked very tired and he seemed to have been struggling for a few days.
However, around his exhausted eyes was a sense of pride that he saved the child.
The doctor spoke anxiously to Herace, beckoning Anna and the midwife.


“The madam should also get enough rest.”


Anna, who took the child from Herace, handed it to the midwife.
The midwife hugged the child as if she were familiar with him and brought the child to the adjoining room right next to hers.


Herace followed her movement until the child disappeared, and stared at the door for a long time after it closed.
Anna shook her head looking at Herace and laid her on the bed with her firm hand.


When Herace laid down, the doctor and other maids bowed and left the room.
Anna closed the curtains and looked at the fireplace.


Anna shuffled the flaming firewood a couple of times before turning around.
Herace was still looking at the door where her child had disappeared with sorrowful eyes.
Anna sighed and walked over to her Lady, covering her with a blanket and nagging her.


“You heard the doctor.
You should get enough rest.
Get some sleep for now and I’ll bring him back when you wake up.”


Herace softly nodded at Anna’s words.
With her head clear and at ease, she blinked slowly and looked at Anna as if she had something in mind.


“Yes, yes, but Anna…”


Her voice was full of concern as she hesitated.
Anna looked at Herace with a curious expression.


“… What about him?”


At Herace’s question, Anna’s face hardened a little.
The question had clear expectations.
Sure enough, Herace again asked Anna for an answer.


“When did he leave? I clearly saw him next to me…”


Herace remembered Ezekiel, who was by her side.
She fainted several times, so all her memories were not clear, but he was clearly there in the moments she remembered.
He would mutter as he wiped Herace’s cold sweat.
Herace had never seen his face so pale in his life.


“…The Duke had to do something, so he left in the middle.”




So, although Herace was a little disappointed at Anna’s words, she didn’t resent him.
She clearly saw it herself.
The worry in his eyes… She would have been happier if he had been by her side when she woke up, but he’s a busy man.
Seeing that he still hadn’t come, something must have happened that he couldn’t leave.


“Was it urgent? If he’s going to the subjugation again, I’ll have to ask him to hug the child before he leaves.
He may not be able to come back soon once he leaves.”


“No, it wasn’t.”


When Herace smiled and talked as if she understood, Anna couldn’t bear to cut off her Lady’s words and stop her.
Her eyes filled with resentment were looking at the floor, and felt sorry for Herace.
Anna had a hard time opening her mouth.


“……That woman gave birth.
The same day as you.”




 She felt her heart sink.
Herace opened her eyes wide and stared above her.
Anna tightly closed her eyes.
Anna slowly opened her eyes and Held Herace’s hand, who was dazed in shock.


“……good for her, after all that trouble.”


After a long silence, Herace spoke.
Her forced laugh was full of hidden sadness.


Didn’t she already expect this? It was something that would’ve happened one day.
It wasn’t too strange for a woman who was much more bloated than Herace to have a baby first.
The timing was a bit odd, but she couldn’t blame the woman.
It’s not like she wanted to have a baby on the same day as her.


“What do you mean by ‘good’ ! While my lady was fainting, she took the Master away saying she was having a baby!”




“The Master was also too nice.
My lady was suffering… but he still went to that woman right away.”


When she found out the truth, despair came over her.


‘I see.
You went to her.’


The missing husband went to his lover instead of staying with her.
After all, as he only had one body, it was only right that he went to the one who was more important to him.
However, despite understanding, her gloomy mood couldn’t be lifted.
Her heart pounded as if she had reconfirmed that his love had left.


“She is a really mean woman.
What kind of grudge did she have with you! Because of that woman, even the young master…”


“What about my child? What’s going on?”


Herace, who quietly nodded and accepted, quickly asked when her child was mentioned.
She didn’t know anything else, but she was nervous for her child.
When Herace tried to lower the blanket and pulled herself up, Anna quickly stopped her.


“Calm down, my lady.
Nothing happened.
It’s just… “




“Her child was born a few hours earlier.
And the master… “




“…her child was announced as his first child in front of the people.”


Her body lost strength.


 First child. 


The meaning of that word was quite great.


Nobility did not readily recognize illegitimate children.
Even if an illegitimate child was loved and acknowledged, it was rare to pass the family name to an illegitimate child unless the line of succession was cut off.


However, Ezekiel officially announced an illegitimate child born from the womb of his mistress.
This meant that he recognized the child as his, and officially expressed his intention to hand down his last name.
Besides, it was his first child.
In aristocratic families, the succession of the eldest son was common.
Therefore, Ezekiel’s words were intended to empower a particular child in the race for succession.


This was Ezekiel’s way of firmly ignoring Herace and treating her as an incompetent person.
His rightful wife, Herace, was not infertile, she even had a child, a boy at that.
If this happened in an ordinary family, the wife could file a lawsuit against this problem.


But Herace couldn’t dare file a lawsuit against him.
She neither had family nor friends to help her.
Moreover, she wouldn’t even be a noblewoman if the precarious title of Duchess Serpence, which rested entirely in Ezekiel’s hands, were to disappear.
And in that case, the lawsuit will be null and void.
A criminal like her would not be able to bring a lawsuit against him, a great noble…

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