Chapter 14

The incense chamber of Larrite and the Duke’s villa

Fortunately, since the man from the government came, no one looked for the villa.

The winter days passed as the snow piled up, melted, and disappeared again.

Ian’s body also showed signs of improvement and he was almost recovered…..

—Meooowww

One morning, Ian heard a cat crying outside the door.

Ian opened the door and stepped on the squeaky floorboard while rubbing his eyes.

“Butter, you’re here already? Your mother is still sleeping.”

The cat’s full name was Lavingenis von Alexandria Anges.

‘Butterfly’ for convenience.

[T/N: Ornithoptera Alexandrae is a species of Butterfly]

It was only her who had a special meaning to her name.

Laritte herself had said, “Let her visit here for some food, and let’s give her a name.”

Ian took out a fish, which he had caught a few days ago, and returned to the door.

“Meow.”

A long furry cat with blue sparkling eyes, looked at Ian as if she was making a smiling face.

“Yes, yes.
Here’s your meal..….”

Ian stopped.

The green ground was spread out before his eyes.

There were times when the cold got milder, but it was the first time that there was a sign of life.

Spring had finally begun.

Laritte, who woke up from their conversation, appeared in the living room.

“Butter, you’re here! It’s been three days since the last time you visited us.”

“Do you feel more independent these days? Is that why you can live alone?”

Butterfly took a few steps towards Larrite gracefully but stopped before her.

As usual, cats were cats.
They don’t easily trust people even though they have been taken care of.

“By the way, did you take a look outside? There are sprouts.”

“Wow…..”

After the chilly cold weather, there was finally a fragrance of the spring.

Spotting a yellow flower through the green grass, Ian walked towards it.

He picked up the small flower and held it out to Larrite.

He wanted her to smell its faint sweet scent.

But when Laritte couldn’t understand him, she sarcastically asked.

“Is it edible too?”

“…..”

He frowned.

‘No, you can’t eat it.’

***

Especially for the two of them, the change of the season was very meaningful.

The National Foundation Day, which happens in the early spring, will be held soon!

Invitations were usually distributed months before the event because it took a long time for the aristocrats to prepare their custom dresses.

Also, they were about to run out of the groceries.

So when Laritte went to the village to get them, she also bought some clothes for Ian.

And within a few days, the mailer came.

“Here’s the invitation.
I need a signature that it was delivered without any problems.
You can do it here, Duchess.”

It was her first time to hear someone calling her Duchess.

The man was polite, but he certainly looked like he was from the Imperial Family.

After signing, Laritte took a look at the white envelope subtly.

It was because there had never been an invitation for her.

She took out a gourd hinged golden card.

It had a golden symbol that depicted the Iassa Imperial Family.

《Dear Duchess of Reinhardt, 》

Was this ‘Duchess of Reinhardt’ referring to Rose or Larrite?

Laritte thought for a moment.

Rose had a personality who couldn’t stand things that were not certain.

She would have erased all the names of ‘Rose Reinhardt’ and changed them to ‘Laritte Reinhardt’.

Either way, if Ian’s plan succeeded, it would go back to its original state.

She closed the door before going into the villa.

“Here you go.”

“…..Thank you.”

She handed over the invitation to Ian, who was hiding inside the kitchen.

But his eyes were filled with sorrow all of a sudden.

Laritte wondered if she could ask him for the reason before she spits it out herself.

“What’s wrong?”

Until now, she always used to worry about herself.

She had no one to care for.

But was her behavior changing?

She was concerned about someone for the first time.

Ian dropped his face to hide it from her.

But because of their height difference, she was still able to notice his reactions.

“I’m ashamed of myself.”

He murmured.

“There are a lot of people with whom I have no connection, especially with employees of this villa.
What do you think they’re all doing? Did they starve to death?”

“……”

“But I was just….waiting for this f*cking invitation! I….”

He looked straight at Laritte.

‘And me? What about me?’

Larrite asked him back inwardly.

But now he didn’t want to talk about it.

And she knew it was normal for him to worry about his employees.

The fact that he didn’t die was enough.

Ian’s eyes were dry.

Rather, it made Ian’s grief seem bigger.

Laritte hugged him in agony.

Only then did her head touch his chest.

Because of the differences in their sizes, Laritte’s arms could barely hold him.

She brought up what she had been enduring for a long time.

“Come with me to the Imperial Palace.”

Ian had once been reliable to such a small, slender woman.

The woman who belonged to the household of the Duke.

But there was a loyal margin….

She was the woman who did more than what the maids did.

“Duke! Here’s the fruit tea you asked for…..”

“Ah, thank you.”

“…..This tea is perfect for this season! It’s refreshing!”

He raised his head, remembering the memory.

“Alfred brought this delicious chicken skewer from the night market! He was standing in line for three hours!”

“So that’s why he was late.”

Ian had asked for tea half an hour ago.

Compared to how long Butler Alfred had waited, it was much shorter.

He had to buy it because Ian often asked for sweet tea when he worked overtime.

At that time, the considerate taste of the famous skewer could never be made even when it was made by the Imperial kitchen.

It used to be a kind, precious, and worthy family…..

And now Larrite was also a part of it.

He would never want to hurt her.

His relationship with her was more important than a master and his employee.

He was surprised by her words.

He still could not believe it.

“What did you say?”

He shouted, separating Laritte away from him.

Laritte’s face, on the other hand, was so serene.

“It would draw suspicion if you go to the Imperial banquet alone using my invitation.
Let me accompany you.”

“Why didn’t you tell me before!”

Even if Ian failed, Larrite could easily lie about losing the invitation and the situation would blow over.

He might be punished, but there would be no threat to his life.

But if Laritte accompanied him, the situation would be different.

He was not alone in life.

Upon seeing them together, Count Brumayer would also be devastated.

Contrary to her concerns about Ian, she had no reason to cherish the Count.

“No, you can’t accompany me.
You will stay here.”

Now, what she needed to do was to persuade him.

“Do you think I’m worried about you?”

‘So there is another reason?’

She shamelessly told a lie to Ian, who raised one of his eyebrows.

“The Duke should have the Duchess by his side.”

“Yes…..pardon?”

“I have an obligation to help you succeed.
Don’t you think you should depend on me until then?”

The assets that the Duchess knew were enormous.

And they would still not disappear even if she died.

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“I want to try on a beautiful dress too.
I hope I will continue to serve you faithfully under the chandelier.”

‘But I don’t like this shabby place…..’

Laritte continued.

But it was amazing from Ian’s point of view.

‘How can she be so smart?’

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