Chapter 9

thanks so much to Cornflake Gurl for the ko-fi (๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵)! (1/1)

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It was Helena who saved me from trouble. 

“…Mischievous?”

“Yes, you are mischievous.” 

Adrian’s glass bead-like blue eyes shifted slowly from me to Helena and then back to me. 

“I see.” 

At Helena’s words, which overshadowed his sharp question, the grand duke retreated somewhat helplessly. 

I wondered if this was right, but either way, I wouldn’t dare to refuse a helping hand. 

As I was just about to catch my breath,

“So what were you looking for?”

Before I could compose myself, the grand duke suddenly questioned me. 

“Yes?”

“Since my wife said that she really wanted to see me right now.” 

I smiled awkwardly and opened my mouth. 

“That… that is…” 

Helena intervened as she stammered and opened her mouth. 

“Your Highness the Grand Duke, Her Highness is not feeling well, so why don’t you two talk in the drawing room? There are a lot of windows in the hallway, so the air is colder here.”

How could she reveal that! 

Helena’s unexpected revelation made me lose my mind. 

“The grand duchess is sick?” 

“That’s not-” 

Before I could properly answer his question, Helena intervened once more. 

“Yes, I believe she has a cold. In fact, I was about to call Dr. Benson, but Her Highness refused to see him, so we have been scrambling.” 

“It’s not like that at all.”

At this rate, all of the progress I’ve made would be gone. 

I never intended to follow the path of the male lead’s corrupt ex-wife. 

Feeling threatened, I straightened up and lowered my voice. 

“Not at all.”

As soon as I spoke again, I reflexively sniffed because I felt something flowing out of my nose. 

Sniff.

“T-this!” 

I hurriedly added that I was fine, but it was to no avail. 

“Bring Benson.” 

Adrian’s eyes were as cold as a liar’s. 

***

“It’s just a small cold.”

Before the doctor could speak of the results of his examination, I quickly jumped ahead. 

“You have a terrible fever, Your Highness.”

However, the results of the examination were different from what I had just said. 

What was he talking about?

“Fever? Oh my God! I should have noticed it earlier.” 

At Benson’s words, Helena’s face turned pale as she dragged me into a sunny spot. 

I waved my hand dismissingly, embarrassed. 

“I don’t have a fever, this is nothing. It’s just a little embarrassing to have everyone see me like this.” 

“Your Highness has a fever.” 

“But my head doesn’t hurt, and even when I touch it like this…”

Somehow, the atmosphere was unusual, so I placed my hand on my forehead. 

“It’s alright…”

At that moment, as I was speaking to reassure Helena, a large, cool palm covered the back of my hand. 

“Oh, cold!” 

I got goosebumps all over at once and my entire body began trembling. 

Surprised, I raised my head, and Adrian shook his head subtly. 

“Your fever has risen.” 

A sigh was mixed with his small addition about my condition. 

“Risen? What do you mean?”

“You must have felt it in the carriage.” 

I couldn’t quite understand the conversation. 

“I don’t understand what you mean, Your Highness.” 

Clear blue eyes resembling ice shifted slowly. 

The apathetic expression and insensitive cold voice remained the same, but strangely, he seemed to be troubled. 

“When I held you in the reception parlour.” 

For a moment, Helena and Benson’s gazes wavered. 

“Your body temperature was a little higher than normal.” 

“…It was warm in the reception parlour.” 

“It’s not that warm in there. I thought you were just overexcited because you didn’t cool down once the entire time, even when we were in the carriage with the cold wind.” 

At those words, once again, Helena and Benson’s gazes darted wildly. 

Uh, wait. Hold on. The expressions on those two’s faces? 

“Wait…”

I don’t know what the hell he was thinking, but Benson suddenly jumped up and pulled Helena aside. 

“We’re in a hurry.”

Huh?

“For now, I’m going to go back and prescribe some medication right away, so please send a maid.” 

“Yes, sir.” 

“Don’t forget the antipyretics and painkillers; keep them with you at all times.” 

“Yes, yes.” 

“Please plan the diet around light foods that could be easily digested.” 

“Of course.”

“Make sure she drinks warm water frequently, and avoid having her drink tea as much as possible until she recovers.” 

“Are there any ingredients that she should be avoiding?” 

The mood of the conversation between Benson and Helena was too serious to be interrupted. 

“Excuse me?” 

“I think it’s time you gave up and lie in bed.” 

Even Adrian was helping out with the perfect timing of this whole ordeal. 

I wonder if he heard about me being sick. 

Before I laid down on the bed, I felt no pain at all, but as soon as I laid down, it felt as though my body was sinking. 

I held back the groan that was about to escape.

‘I thought I became dizzy from all the praise and compliments, but it was actually because I had a fever?’ 

I shifted my eyes and glanced at Benson, who was giving Helena a list of what to watch out for. 

I have absolutely no idea how this happened. 

As I was flabbergasted at the situation, Adrian opened his mouth. 

“Rest assured. Benson is a competent doctor.” 

“…”

At his words, I stiffened with my mouth slightly open before laughing soon after. 

I laughed in a stupid fashion in front of the arrogant, god-like man who was looking at me with my runny nose. 

I couldn’t help it. 

If I didn’t, I felt like I would burst into tears instead. 

The man who told me to ‘rest assured’ made me feel exactly that way. 

Even though I knew he was going to kill me if I didn’t keep myself on alert. 

Even though I knew this moment was designed to make me fall in love with him. 

It had only been two days since I’d met him, but I could already feel my nerves melting away at his words. 

‘But I can’t help it!’ 

I whined inwardly. 

I hadn’t been pampered even once since my possessing of Ione, and even on days when I felt like I was going to die of exhaustion, I still had to care for my mother and tend the estate. 

Understanding, empathy, comfort, and encouragement were keywords in other people’s stories. 

Then, the first care I received was given to me by a man who would end up killing me. 

I was even surprised that being cared for was so sweet and I was really happy. 

I felt sorry for myself. 

I laughed to keep myself from crying. 

Adrian’s expression stiffened a little as he looked at me, but the laughter didn’t stop. 

Eup!”

My laughter was interrupted by Helena, who arrived 5 minutes later with a bowl of medicine. 

“Here’s your medicine. Take a big gulp.” 

“Wait, wait, wait.”

Eup. 

‘What is this smell?’ 

My stomach turned at the inexplicable foul odour. 

I’m pretty sure that old gutter water would smell better than this. 

“No, it smells like… Eup!”

I can’t take this. 

This isn’t something that’s safe for human consumption. 

I refused with all of my might, but my flailing hands were easily overpowered by Helena. 

Naturally, I then used my hands to cover my nose. 

However, the moment I became out of breath and had to open my mouth, something that tasted like dirt and sewage came pouring in. 

“Yuck!”

In response to my vomiting in vain because of the medicine, Helena began exclaiming. 

“If you throw up, you’ll have to take it again.”

“Ugh!” 

At her words, I began desperately swallowing the medicine, feeling the medicine with the slimy consistency travelling down my throat. 

It was a hard sight to see, so even Adrian left. 

“…”

It was not easy to survive as the role of the supporting villainous ex-wife, after all. 

This knight. 

***

“Hah… life isn’t easy.”

After drinking the medicine, the grand duchess sighed deeply with her eyes closed, and at some point, fell asleep. 

Perhaps it was because her eyes, full of vitality, were hidden. 

Asleep, the grand duchess looked precarious, as if she could disappear at any moment. 

So much so that Benson, who had been standing by her side, unconsciously brought his hand to the tip of the grand duchess’ nose to check her breathing. 

“Why are you worried after you’ve fed her that poisonous stuff?”

Helena asked. 

“…I don’t think that’s the kind of thing someone would say after forcing the grand duchess to hold her nose in order to take the medicine.”

“Well, I did it because I had to, not because I wanted to.” 

“Yes, yes, I suppose so.” 

“I’m not kidding. I can’t believe you’d want me to give her something as disgusting as that medicine when she didn’t look that bad off.” 

“But it couldn’t be helped. Since she didn’t have a seal, I had to give it to her as a temporary measure. She did end up taking the medicine, so all is well.” 

Everything that Benson said was right. 

But he didn’t hear her. 

The grand duchess had whispered, “Life isn’t easy”. 

At that moment, the grand duchess had a really disillusioned expression on her face. 

After closing the door, Helena clasped her hands together and prayed. 

Please, please, may Her Highness the Grand Duchess recover quickly. 

She didn’t even believe in a higher being. 

She begged and begged and begged, desperately searching for someone to answer her prayers. 

She couldn’t help but do so. 

Helena knew all too well how people who had that expression ended up. 

Even if someone were to ask a hundred people, they would all give the same answer as her. 

Everyone who had that expression ran away, all fed up with life in the North. 

But the poor grand duchess wouldn’t even be able to escape this place. 

All she could do was shake it off and get up. 

***

At dawn. 

It was at an early hour, when even the kitchen staff, who always started their days earlier than anyone else did, hadn’t yet woken up. 

Bang! Bang! 

Adrian, who was looking at documents, raised his head at the sound of the strong knock, a knock that seemed to be capable of breaking his office’s door. 

[TL/N]: fun tmi about this chapter! Adrian’s “rest assured” line could have been translated into “rest in peace” which I found a bit funny. Super sorry for the lack of translations recently, I will be trying my best to update regularly! If anything, feel free to ping me in the server for a status update (for any of the stories I’m translating!) ^3^ 

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