“…What?”

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He regarded his employees as the cogs in the mansion.
No one wanted to ask something every time they saw the parts of a machine.

What the hell was he curious about? The maid named Sally Bristol and her family? If that were the case, it would have been enough to recite the details the revolutionary army had already carefully organized.

However, if she recalled his actions from a while ago, it may be very vulgar and private curiosity.

Insults and curses were about to come out of her at once.
Sally bit her lips tightly.

“Perhaps…”

For some reason, Winston, who had been staring tenaciously into her eyes, spoke softly.
The question was neither vulgar nor overly private, though it made Sally hope for a rather vulgar curiosity.

“Did you ever go to Abbington Beach as a child?”

Abbington Beach.
The moment she heard the words, her heart sank.

‘Dirty pigs—!’

The mistakes of her childhood were repeated in her mind like a faded movie.
Just over a dozen years later that summer was about to take all of her time.

‘…No.
If you have to ask, it’s just a feeling.
There’s no proof.’

It was fortunate that he didn’t ask a trick question.
As calmly as possible, that was the only way to live…

“Yes?”

Sally tilted her head as if confused.

“No… My parents were poor, so we couldn’t afford to go to such a luxury resort…”

This time, she lengthened her words sullenly.
The corners of her eyes and lips drooped with the weight of the woes of poor Sally Bristol, a poor rural daughter and her only family member was her mother with tuberculosis.

“….”

Winston was silent again.

He stared tenaciously into her eyes, like before he threw a bomb masquerading as a question.
Was he looking for evidence of lies or evidence of truth in the turquoise waters of Abbington Beach…?

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She wanted to close her eyes.

But, even if she did, nothing would change.
It wasn’t until Sally’s maid’s blouse started to cling to her skin, wet with sweat, that Winston caught her eye.

“Well, yes.”

He went back to the car with a chuckle and ridicule as he believed that he had made an unreasonable guess.

Soon, the iron gate opened.

With the sound of the ferocious engine, Winston passed Sally.
She muttered quietly as she watched the car getting smaller and smaller.

‘Damn my eyes.’

 

º º º

 

The wheel, which was rolling down the entrance road lined with square bricks, gradually lost speed and stopped.

The iron gate at the end of the road was firmly shut.

Even though the butler had already been informed of the arrival time, the driver, who glanced at Leon’s expression in the rearview mirror, immediately blew the honk loudly.
After ringing twice, a middle-aged man hurriedly ran out of the window and opened the door.

The car started moving again, and as they passed by, the gatekeeper hurriedly saluted him, though Leon smiled and turned his gaze to the front.

There was nothing surprising.
It was not a matter of a day or two for Grand Duchy Eldrich’s subtle negligence.

‘It’s understandable.’

It was the Winstons who immediately benefited from the deal of engagement.
The Grand Duke just looked to the future and invested.
So, shouldn’t the scale be tilted to one side…?

Leon’s neglect was simply ridiculous.

In order to injure one’s pride, it was necessary to expect, or at least have even the slightest interest in, this transaction.

‘Oh, mother might be outraged.’

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The corners of his lips, which had been raised at an angle, soon came down again.

The road that seemed to have no end was finally coming to an end.
The magnificent mansion at the end was just one of the many villas of the Grand Duchy.

Even the villa was designed to overwhelm those who set foot in it, worthy of the Grand Duchy’s prestige.
But, that also works for those who are in debt with the Grand Duchy.
Leon was just annoyed by all of this.

As the car stopped in front of the mansion, the butler of the villa walked slowly.
While Leon’s personal attendant, seated in the passenger seat, hastily went out and opened the back seat door, the butler brushed off his shiny hair with pomade.

“Captain Winston, I will guide you to the parlor.”

Even the polite greeting was slow.

Leon closed the folder that had been on his lap and opened the black briefcase on the seat next to him.

His attendant, Pierce, approached to do so, but he raised his hand and refused.
He put the file folder and fountain pen in its place and picked up a black cap.
Then, he gently put in his hair neatly, pressed the curled hair, and even fixed the shape.

“Captain, if you hurry up a little bit more…”

He got out of the car and followed the butler into the villa after the arrogant butler bowed down.
He stopped Pierce from following because he was only going to bring the woman out, anyway.

“The Grand Duke is waiting for you.”

However, the news that Grand Duke Eldrich was at Camden’s villa was unexpected.
Upon entering the parlor, the Grand Duke, in comfortable clothes, sat up at an angle on the sofa, read the newspaper, and stood up.

“Oh, Captain Winston.”

It was a formal title to call someone who would soon become a family member.

“Your Highness, long time no see.”

“Okay, are you here to pick up Rosalind?”

“Yes.”

“Hmm…”

The Grand Duke was fiddling with the long mustache that stretched to the side.
His gaze glared down at Leon’s neck.

“It’s nice to see a serious attitude towards dating like fighting a battle.”

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The Grand Duke’s words sound like a compliment to the naive, though Leon was far from naive.
He couldn’t have not known that the Grand Duke was displeased that he was wearing an officer’s uniform rather than a high-class suit to a date arranged by the adults.

“The work was delayed and this was inevitable.”

He pretended to be modest and smiled, but the Grand Duke couldn’t have not understood that Leon was not interested in this date or even this deal.

“Yes, you must be very busy.”

It was not really work, but his departure was delayed because he had twice glanced at the annoying maid.

“Because even the Captain who keeps his promises like a sword is late today.”

It was an unexpected word.
Did the Grand Duke know the time of the appointment with the Lady…?

‘…Is he really waiting? What business does he have?’

He had a strong feeling that it would be a troublesome story.

“Would you like a drink?”

He didn’t have to answer since it was neither a question nor a suggestion.
The Grand Duke walked right into the corner of the parlor and picked up a crystal glass.
It was when the liquid was pouring into the glass that someone knocked on the parlor door.

“The Grand Duke, Lady Rosalind has arrived.”

“Oh, come in.”

As the door opened, Leon’s prospective fiancée walked in, ready to go out.

“Captain Winston.”

“Your Highness Lady Aldrich.”

Both of them called each other by names that were too formal for both men and women to be engaged.

As they exchanged greetings, the Lady’s dress couldn’t help but catch his eye.
It was far from the fashion these days when skirts were getting shorter every day.
The long dress, barely showing her ankles, looked cramped rather than pompous.

She wore only expensive things like the Grand Lady who boasted enormous wealth, though she was a boring woman who made everything seem plain.

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Rosalind Aldrich was such a woman.

Even if it was boring, a mission was a mission, even if it was a mission that the elders of the family threw at him to satisfy their greed.

Leon approached the Lady and held out his arm modestly.
It was so light that he couldn’t even feel a hand resting on the inside of his arm.
She was reluctant to have physical contact with him, so the girl didn’t really like going on a date either.

“Grand Duke, I’ll have a drink next time.
The departure time of the cruise ship is near.”

“Yes, please have a meaningful time.”

Only the adults in the family think this deal was meaningful.

There was no conversation between the two people sitting next to each other in a car running along the river across the city.

Pierce, unable to withstand the awkward atmosphere, whispered.
He lightly recommends the menus of the cruise ships’ high-end restaurants and bars, adding that he hopes the two will have a good time.

“I don’t like alcohol.”

It was the Lady who spoke first.

This nonsense was probably due to her father recommending drinks to Leon at the villa, or because Pierce recited the bar’s cocktail menu.
The Grand Duke was famous for being a drinker.
It was common for a woman whose father was a drinker to dislike alcohol.

“I don’t really enjoy it either.”

“Alcohol confuses people’s judgment.
They say it makes you forget the pain of life, but it seems to only give you a bigger problem.
In particular, it is easy to lose self-control and become indecisive when meeting people.”

Was she trying to say he would make a big mistake when drinking? Leon grew annoyed when the Lady, who would not usually speak her words, gave unsolicited opinions.

He didn’t want to do anything like wasting time in the name of dating.
Although since he was in the inferior position in this deal, that woman seemed to know how to attack him and made her pregnant, so as not to smoothen the deal.

‘It’s ridiculous.’

If he really wanted to close this deal, he would have done it sooner.
Even if it was not as disgusting as pregnancy, the cards were overflowing, even if he heard it being mean.

In the first place, he was not uninterested in s*x to the extent that even seeing a woman’s naked body made him reluctant.
It was quite common for high-class prostitutes, who smelled of strong perfumes, to hang out with the officers at drinking parties.
Still, no one had ever moved him.

But, why is he in heat with the maid who smelled of blood?

Staring at the Lady’s face, who smelled of powder, Leon repeated the same name in his closed mouth.

‘Sally Bristol… Sally, what the hell is she?’

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