Chapter 2

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Juliana, who had hitherto lived a flawless life, felt that her pride was smashed but the marriage negotiations were simply too far along to be stopped.

Thus, the unyielding Juliana Auburn who wasn’t afraid of anyone or anything since she was born, slapped her bridegroom’s face on their wedding day…

“Argh!” Juliana ‘Lee Sian’ Auburn screamed in agony as she recalled the memories from her past life. Why?! Why now?! Why after I’ve already done all of those things to the male lead…?! 

“Ugh…”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the door, the maids who didn’t know what language the Duchess was speaking, could only listen to her howling.

Time flowed on, uncaring.

Today was the day when the story of Lee Sian, now Juliana Auburn, was flowing again. Today was also the day when her husband was returning from the battlefield after a year of absence

The Duke’s servants were busy cleaning and spiffing up the mansion since early morning to prepare for the Duke’s triumphant return.

Normally, the Duchess should be supervising them but this generation’s Duchess was unusual. The butler, therefore, took charge in preparations, basing the return ceremony on his memories of a previous occasion.

As time went by, it was already morning. During that time, the Duchess still failed to make an appearance, and the servants of the mansion were all clicking their tongues, ‘Tch,’ under their breaths. The Duchess’ lazy attitude was well-known to all of them so they didn’t bother to complain at her routine negligence.

Under the butler’s guidance, the mansion was polished to perfection such that the doorknobs all shone brightly. It was then that the Duchess went downstairs, shocking the servants who all stared at her as though they had seen a ghost.

“Du, Duchess?”

“Isn’t this the day the Duke will arrive? Can you prepare some tea? I must celebrate his return.”

The Duchess didn’t look as splendid as she usually did. She seemed a little wan even with her beautiful dark red hair and bronze-colored eyes that change color depending on the light. Her face was pale and her eyes were slightly swollen.

There might be a story in there somewhere, the servants gossiped as they quickly prepared the tea.

“…tea? Has the Duchess ever volunteered to prepare anything for the Duke herself?”

After the Duchess left, some of the servants went to the kitchen to make the tea. They looked at each other and gossiped before they finished selecting quality tea leaves, boiling the water and warming the teacups.

“Maybe she’s sorry about the fact that her lovers have been in and out of the mansion all this time?”

“No way. Don’t you know the Duchess? Even if everyone in the empire is talking about it, she wouldn’t even blink.”

“Ah, that’s too much. The Duke has been risking his life to fight the barbarians for a year, all to bring glory and wealth to the dukedom.”

“That means nothing to the Duchess who didn’t want to marry the Duke of Hilchen. There was a lot of gossip about it when I was hired. Haven’t you heard of it? It’s a famous story. When she found out that the Duke was an illegitimate child, the great Duchess slapped his face…”

One of them, who was also quietly sniggering, glanced at a clock and said, “Oh, the Duchess is waiting. Go and bring it to her quickly.”

Afraid that the Duchess would be angry enough to stab her with a sword if she was late, the maid took the tea set to the drawing-room.

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