Chapter 3

***

 

Two ragged breaths mixed together dissipated quickly into the air.

 

The man moving on top of Elysia was like a beast. His physical strength was limitless, and he pushed her without a moment’s rest. She couldn’t even remember how many times they mixed their bodies.

 

The man, who had been burying his face into Elysia’s neck and letting out a ragged breath, slowly raised his head.

 

Elysia followed him with a sense of satisfaction. She wanted to know the identity of the man who had given her such intense pleasure, far more intense than anything she had ever experienced before.

 

Both of her loose eyes snapped open the moment she saw the man’s face. The sculpted appearance that looked like made by God, and the intense golden eyes that contained her.

 

Elysia, who realized who the man on her body was, was so surprised that she opened her eyes wide. 

 

Gasp!

 

How startled she was, her purple eyes that had found their focus a moment ago went black.

 

No nightmare had ever been this bad.

 

Of all the many men, the man was Duke Deimos. It was a ridiculous dream, since she had never felt any lust for the Duke in her life.

 

But she thought it was a dream, and as she raised her hand to her forehead, Elysia noticed that something was wrong.

 

The ceiling that came into her clear vision was completely different from the ceiling in her room.

 

“…!”

 

Startled, Elysia jumped upwards. It was just a small move, but soon a groan came out of her mouth.

 

“…Ah.”

 

Her body was screaming everywhere. There wasn’t a spot that didn’t hurt and sore as if she had muscle pain.

 

“How many rounds did I play in bed, but why does my body hurt so much…”

 

Elysia’s pretty face was grumbling and frowning, soon froze.

 

 “Did I really do it?”

 

Otherwise there was no way to explain the strange feeling in her lower abdomen.

 

“With whom?”

 

She blinked in dismay as she realized that she had slept with someone. Suddenly, some additional images came to her mind, along with the thought that she was dreaming of the Duke.

 

A man with his wrists tied with her dress ribbon to the bed headrest looked up at her with a troubled expression. Aside from his sculpted and magnificent face, his eyes that seemed to be woven with gold……..

 

“You seem to be in a difficult situation, but I can lend you again if you need it.”

 

When she even thought of Iker’s voice, Elysia covered her face with her hands and hit her head on the bed.

 

“Oh my God…!”

 

Why Duke Deimos of all people, no matter how urgent she was? Moreover, she was the one who had jumped on him first.

 

“…Triel, I’m really going to kill him.”

 

A gloomy voice escaped from between Elysia’s red lips, which were still swollen from the repeated kisses.

 

Of all the things she had eaten last night, there was only one that didn’t go through Harl. A cocktail that was given her while Harl was out of the room.

 

It was disconcerting that the person who gave it to her was Baron Triel, but she didn’t think he would spike her drink at an imperial banquet. 

 

She didn’t know it was the drug Helis was in it. Elysia clenched her teeth.

 

If she hadn’t picked up anything as Harl told her, she wouldn’t have to face such a frenzied situation, let alone how she knew that Helis had side effects and Baron Triel did for a moment. 

 

She fumed for a moment as the shame and anger at what had been done to her overwhelmed her as she looked down at her opponent. After all the emotions had passed, what came was the worry of cleaning up the mess.

 

“Oh my God…”

 

Elysia banged her head against the bed as if to punish herself, when suddenly her forehead stuck not to the bed mattress, but to something warm, and she jerked her head back in surprise. A gentle low voice with a smile sounded in her ear.

 

“Apparently, hitting your head on the bed is your habit. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in the council chamber.” 

 

“Iker?”

 

Perhaps it was the surprise of the golden eyes that appeared in front of her. Elysia couldn’t help but spit out the name of the person she had been calling with pleasure all night, instead of his title.

 

“Still, it seems that you have not forgotten my name.”

 

“….!”

 

The softly curved golden eyes were so unfamiliar that Elysia, who had been looking at the man in front of her in a daze, was startled. It was only later that she realized that she had called him by his name. Iker took her hand away from her forehead as he saw her violet eyes tremble.

 

“Self-harm is not good, Elly. You’d better break that habit.”

 

What? Elly? 

 

The nickname that flowed naturally from Iker’s mouth instantly brought Elysia’s spirit back to where it had been for some time, after it had escaped.

 

It was a mistake to call him by his first name, but why he called her by her nickname?

 

 

Elysia’s eyes slightly raised in doubt that the Duke was teasing her.

 

“I’m sorry, Your Excellency, but I don’t think Your Excellency and I are on the same page when it comes to calling each other by our nicknames.”

 

She opened her mouth, feigning composure, and her brow wrinkled as she realized that her voice was hoarse.

 

It was certainly strange that she hadn’t rested after crying so charmingly.

 

“Is that so? I thought you would like it, since you allowed me to call you that last night.”

 

“…… me?”

 

“Who else but you would allow me to call you by your nickname?”

 

Elysia remained silent as she looked at Iker, who answered socalmly, come to think of it, it seemed like he had been calling her Elly all last night.

 

She felt her head throbbing with pain.

 

Had she ever wanted to be reborn and go back in time like she was now? How on earth could she escape this difficulty?

 

A ray of light came to her, like a ray of sunshine, as she was dwelling on her search for a way to escape.

 

Among the fragments of embarrassing memories, she found a promise that Iker had made to her, a promise he had indeed made. He won’t use what happened last night as her weakness.

 

Her complexion brightened as she looked up at Iker and asked.

 

“Sir, do you remember the promise you made to me last night?”

 

“…”

 

It was a well known fact among the nobility that Duke Deimos kept his promises. So, even in such a situation, he must keep his promise.

 

Elysia waited anxiously for his reply. And he did not disappoint her.

 

“Of course I remember, Elly.”

 

Elysia’s face crinkled again as she lifted the edge of her mouth in relief at Iker’s immediate reply.

 

It was for the nickname that he kept calling.

 

“Sir…Even if the situation was like that last night, I don’t think you should keep calling me by my nickname. You know very well what a nickname is, don’t you, my lord?”

 

There were a few specific cases where a nickname could be used between a nobleman and a noblewoman: husband and wife, close family relations, and lovers.

 

So it was not right for Iker, who was not included in any of these categories, to call her by her nickname. 

 

“I see. I’m sorry if I was rude, Marquess.”

 

Iker understood her words and immediately changed the name.

 

It bothered her that he, who knew more about etiquette than anyone else, no matter how they had spent the night together, kept calling her nickname until she pointed it out, but Elysia decided to be satisfied for now.

 

After all, she had done something to him…

 

“And I apologize for what happened last night. I was rude because I drank the wrong cocktail.”

 

She immediately bowed to Iker. 

 

Grabbing his chest wasn’t enough, she tied him to the bed and used him to satisfy her need, there was no way she had anything to say.

 

Elysia, who was bowing her head, thinking she would hear a complaint, blinked in surprise when a small brown bottle was pushed in front of her eyes.

 

“Drink this first, Marquess.”

 

“What is it?”

 

She couldn’t drink it without knowing what it was.

 

Iker added softly to Elysia’s wary gaze.

 

“It’s contraceptive medicine that my doctor made. He said it’s safe to take because it’s not too hard on your body.”

 

Elysia was stunned when she saw the Medea he was offering.

 

No man she had ever met had ever given her contraceptive medicine like this. In a strange mood, she reached out and grabbed the bottle.

 

A strange shiver ran down Elysia’s spine as their fingers touched each other in the process.

 

The one who stroked and touched every inch of her body…………

 

I knew it, I was crazy.

 

Elysia spat out a swear word at her body, which reacted to the slightest contact, then opened the brown bottle and took the contents all at once.

 

It was more savory and thirst-quenching than what her doctor usually made for her.

 

“Huh? This is delicious.”

 

Elysia mumbled, sticking her tongue out at the sweetness and licking the medicine off her lips. But she didn’t notice that Iker’s golden eye, staring at her red tongue that came out and disappeared for a very short time, has become darker.

 

“It’s my first time hearing that medicine is delicious. Is it because the Marquess is hungry?”

 

“Me?”

 

“It’s almost noon. I think it could be because you skipped breakfast.”

 

It’s already that time? Elysia blinked and looked at the window.

 

It really looked like it when she saw the bright light leaking through the curtains, although they were blocked.

 

“Oh! I had a meeting this morning… …..!”

 

‘Oh, no. I’m doomed.’

 

She forgot Iker’s advice and hit her head on the bed mattress again.

 

If she remembered correctly, there was a meeting at the imperial palace about raising taxes. That was  why she drank as little alcohol as possible yesterday. But it was all ruined because she drank the wrong drink.

 

It was the first time that Elysia had skipped a meeting after inheriting the marquesship.

 

She was gritting her teeth that she still had to kill Baron Triel, when she suddenly realized that something was wrong. 

 

‘Hm? But why is this man here?’

 

She wasn’t the only one who had to attend the meeting in the morning. Duke Deimos also had to attend as the head of the imperial faction.

 

Elysia looked up and questioned Iker cautiously.

 

‘Why are you here, my lord? The meeting is this morning. ……”

 

“I postponed it to tomorrow.”

 

“Postpone?”

 

“Yes. So there’s nothing to worry about. It’s better to eat a little something. Your face looks thinner.”

 

“No, it’s okay……..”

 

Before she could say no, Iker walked up to the bed and pulled on the rope attached to the side of the bed. Then, as if she had been waiting, a maid came in.

 

“Bring breakfast. Something light that won’t put pressure on stomach.”

 

A meal?

 

Elysia blinked vaguely as Iker instructed the maid. Right now, this was the situation where they were having breakfast….

 

She knew she had to stop the servant before she left the room, so she hurriedly shouted, forgetting her physical appearance and everything else.

 

“Your Excellency!”

 

“What’s the matter, Marquess?”

 

As soon as Elysia called him, Iker reacted so quickly that she felt confused.

 

“Thank you for your consideration, but it’s okay.”

 

“Do you usually skip breakfast?”

 

“Oh, yeah, well, that’s how it is…”

 

Actually, Elysia always eat breakfast no matter what, but she had no intention of telling the Duke that.

 

Of course, it was true that she felt very hungry that she thought her stomach would stick to her back skin due to excessive night work last night.

 

But still, she was going to eat at the home of the man whom she attacked last night. In the house of a man who was far from being friendly?  

 

It was nonsense, she thought.