Chapter 1

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“Your Highness, a woman with a certain noble language is knocking on the door saying that she wants to see you.”

 

“That’s not possible.”

 

The man rebuked the opponent with a low reply.

 

The castle was located in the middle of a multi-layered mountain range, always among the frozen snowy mountains.

 

The interior was dark with a gloomy color.

 

If outsiders wanted to come here, they had to schedule a month in advance and make all the necessary preparations. In the past, half of the guests froze to death on the way here.

 

 “There’s no appointment.”

 

“That’s what I’m wondering too…… She did indeed mention Your Highness’s name. She said she came to see Duke Blake Upus.”

 

 

Blake checked the simple calendar on his mahogany desk once more. There were no outsiders to come.

 

“I’ll go out myself.”

 

At last he stood up and left his office. A much larger-than-average build passed through the desolate hallway.

 

It was a dark night.

 

On the mirror that occupied the entire wall on one side, the man’s thick jawline and a clear neck of blood vessels were reflected.

 

It was a manly face, all the way down to the dark skin he was born with, but everyone avoided Blake.

 

This was because Blake Upus was a descendant of barbarians.

 

The entire duchy was once a barbarian kingdom.

 

So there were actually only a few outsiders who came to the Duchy of Upus.

 

“What kind of crazy noblewoman would visit here? It’s more likely to be a ghost.”

 

With as much sarcasm as he could muster, he finally reached the front of the gate. He broke through the huge castle in a single step and didn’t lose a breath.

 

A thick hand passed over the servant and opened the door directly.

 

The metal ring, frozen in the cold air, breathed out a flame.

 

And in the snow-covered fields of the night that could be seen beyond….

 

“………… Who are you?”

 

Blake had to acknowledge the fact that a woman had indeed arrived.

 

There was a woman standing on this high snowy mountain holding a light.

 

Her head was a near-white blonde, but the thick hat prevented a good view. A scarf half-hid her small face.

 

Even then, the eyes were blue, but there was no sign of fear or reluctance towards Blake.

 

She was the color of waves on a deserted island. It didn’t go well with these snowy mountains at all, which was funny.

 

‘But why? She’s familiar.’

 

Strangely enough, there was a sense of familiarity.

 

Pretending to be high and mighty, the noble shouldn’t be so close to his barbarian self.

 

“What’s the matter?”

 

Blake asked bluntly.

 

“I’m here for business.”

 

The woman’s accent was peculiar to the upper class.

 

Contrary to her wild and arbitrary behavior, she seemed to have grown up with higher education since birth.

 

He felt a sense of distance that seemed to have no contact at all.

 

However… The man was really strangely familiar with everything about this woman.

 

‘Who in the world is this?’

 

“Otherwise, there’s no way I would have knocked on someone else’s castle gate, especially since I had to go through snowy mountains.”

 

Okay, so the woman knew that her destination was winter all year round. How many layers of skirts did she put on?

 

It was noticeable that she was wearing layers of clothes.……

 

Blake pointed out in a not at all gentle tone.

 

“That is not appropriate clothing for climbing snowy mountains. They have to get off the carriage and climb more for half an hour. How long did it take you?”

 

The woman let out a sigh.

 

“That’s true, this tattered skirt keeps getting stuck under my feet. It took me at least two hours to get here with the help of magic.”

 

As she said this, she lowered her scarf and her face appeared.

 

She was beautiful, so beautiful that anyone who saw her once would remember her.

 

The white blonde and blue eyes that everyone envied, and even the eyes of a puppy that matched it.  The small face and facial features were densely packed.

 

Blake’s brow furrowed as if he was remembering something.

 

“What is your name?”

 

” Lily Hedwick.”

 

Lily was famous.

 

She was the flower of society.

 

There was always talk that any man would gladly give up one arm if he could only have her company.

 

If such a famous woman was so close to him, how could he not remember her?

 

Blake thought to himself.

 

“Have we met before?”

 

“I don’t know if you remember me, but it was five years ago at a charity party that Lady Rose Jeffrey threw for war orphans. We were both in attendance, so I’m sure we’ve met before.”

 

No, it wasn’t because of such a trivial incident that Blake felt familiar with her.

 

Maybe it was a long time ago, much older than five years ago… 

 

“And what else?”

 

“There isn’t any, is there……?”

 

Lily Hedwick tilted her head as the snow fluttered behind her.

 

To Lily, the man was really just a stranger.

 

“Anyway, at that charity party, your father spilled some wine on my dress.”

 

“I suppose that got people’s attention.”

 

It must have been the talk of the town, because the barbarian who was the enemy of their eyes humiliated the flower of the society.

 

The nobles around must have raised their voices and spoke ill of that man for the beautiful woman.

 

“Your father said he was sorry and apologized.”

 

“And then what?”

 

“And he made a promise to me. He said he would do me a favor for anything under the name of his family.”

 

Lily recalled what happened five years ago.

 

Somehow a middle-aged man with reddish copper skin had acted furtively when he spilled over fifty years of wine on her dress.

 

Lily wasn’t too concerned about him being ostracized as a barbarian.

 

[Please don’t worry about it.]

 

When she laid the matter to rest as if nothing had happened, Blake’s father showed his closeness.

 

He exclaimed gaily with a laugh, for he was quite different from the temperamental nature of his son Blake.

 

[How kind of you! I can’t just let it go! I’ll do whatever you ask, My Lady. We have no honor, but we have many possessions. You can tell me anytime!]

 

And today, five years later, was the day Lily came to ask for the favor.

 

“You were there when it happened, and I hope you fulfill the promise of your father. Please allow me to stay in this house. I’d be grateful for a long time.”

 

Blake had a headache.

 

He was strangely familiar with her….but at the same time he didn’t know her. 

 

He answered bluntly again.

 

“I refuse.”

 

“Even though it wasn’t your promise, your father did put his family on the line. It’s not a very big request, so I’m sure you can comply.”

 

He was engulfed in the urge to make this shameless woman realize what she was saying.

 

There were employees, but he was the only person in the family.

 

“It’s a castle ruled by one strong man. What kind of rumors would arise from letting a stranger’s woman stay here? It would add one more thing to the slander of being a dangerous savage. No, shouldn’t you be more concerned about your own honor than my reputation?”

 

Blake was treated like a gutter by the Empire from birth. However, Lily Hedwick was the flower of society. If his knowledge of the society was correct, the young lady was a high-minded woman.

 

“Don’t worry about it.”

 

Lily took off her leather gloves.

 

Her left hand was getting redder and redder from the edge as the winter air hit it. It was a very white hand, so the disparity was awful.

 

“What are you doing now?”

 

“Look at my ring finger. You see the mark where I wore my wedding ring? I got married last year. I guess that means I’m not a Lady. If you didn’t know, you are a slow updater of information.”

 

“Are you now refuting the word “Lady”? I was giving you my concern for your honor.”

 

Of course, it was not a tone of concern. It was more like a sarcastic tone. However, he did look at the fact that Lily was freezing more and more as she stood outside the door, but……….

 

“Don’t worry about my honor either. I’m divorced. It was also a way to escape, leaving only the divorce papers behind. Honor is not more important than life. I need a very quiet place so that my ex can’t find me.”

 

The snowy mountains of Blake Upus were just right for Lily’s requirements.

 

This was a place with very little interaction with the outside world. As long as she kept the employees quiet, she could hide well enough for at least a year.

 

Only then did Blake learn why she had come here.

 

There was no better place to hide from all of the Empire.

 

But Blake didn’t really appreciate the fact that he understood.

 

He hated outside visitors, anyway. All of the socialites were equally repulsive.

 

It was strange that the woman didn’t look at him as if he was a barbarian…Even so, the door to his heart was coldly closed.

 

“Ha…”

 

In any case, now was the moment he had to make a break for it.

 

Was his father, the father of the family, buried in the earth with a comfortable heart, leaving behind the promise of the family name?

 

“Good….so….”

 

“Yes!”

 

“Come in for now. Just don’t complain that the season is harsh. It’s always winter here, and the rules of survival are even more developed than the rules of etiquette.”

 

Lily smiled gratefully for the favor.

 

“If you’re short-handed, you can leave the job to me. It’s more what I want. There are certainly things I can do to help you.”

 

When Blake stepped out of the way, Lily came inside the gate quickly.

 

The difference in size between the two of them was drastic, even though she was wearing several layers of winter clothing.

 

“One moment.”

 

Lily was caught limping lightly in his eyes.

 

Lily stared at Blake as if to ask what the problem was.

 

She didn’t ask for help, even though it was obvious that her leg was frozen to the point that she couldn’t walk. Blake felt strangely sick to the stomach.

 

‘If it hurts, you should say it hurts. Do I look like the cruel one who won’t even help if you ask?’

 

He felt insolent, and wanted to tease her. So, without asking permission, he lifted Lily up, tucking her into his arm like a sack.

 

“….!”

 

It was really strange to feel this way about a woman he had never met before.

 

It was as if he had known her for a long time. 

 

“Let’s start with soaking you in hot water. Unless you want to cut off your necrotizing legs as soon as you wake up tomorrow.”

 

Notes

N/A

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