Chapter 4

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Juliana impatiently led the servants to the mansion’s entrance. The staff stood there to wait with the butler in the forefront, who seemed to be taking over the Duchess’s duties as she walked to the gate. All of the knights on their horses looked large and intimidating, which made Juliana tremble in fear as she clasped her hands in front of her body.

…what did Juliana originally do in the novel? No, no! If you were planning to do the same thing as her, why would you go outside like this? You’re doing this to do something different to avoid death!

Juliana had no intention of repeating Juliana’s foolish actions in the novel. Now that she has made up her mind, it was time for her to put her ideas into action.

The knights said, ‘Whoa—.’ Then she approached the spot where they had stopped. Seeing Juliana standing on this unpaved dirt road was unprecedented.

“Whoa!”

Evan Hilchen, clad in a black helmet and armor, stopped his black horse. If an enemy were to encounter this knight in the battlefield, they would be overawed by his menacing air.

Juliana’s eyes went wide with fright but she forced out a smile.

“E, Evan, welcome home.”

The people watching all gasped loudly in shock with a sound like deflating balloons.

“The Duchess said ‘welcome home’!”

“To the Duke!”

Before the noise could become any louder, Juliana raised her voice to say, “I’ve been waiting.”

“…”

This time Juliana could hear the sound of Evan swallowing once then breathing heavily underneath his helmet.

Evan Hilchen then got off his black horse. He stopped in front of Juliana and took his helmet off, handing it to a waiting maid who had stepped forward from the line of servants behind them.

When he took off his helmet, Juliana could smell sunshine and the fresh scent of rose-scented soap. It was the fragrance of a person who had just washed himself at an inn. Juliana stood frozen under the shadow of his large body.

Evan Hilchen narrowed the distance between them. Then, despite Juliana’s vigilance, he quickly grasped her by the waist.

“Ack!” Juliana suddenly came face-to-face with him.

For one long moment, Juliana was trapped against his body that was still clad in heavy armor. Juliana couldn’t take her eyes off the blue eyes that were staring into hers.

Evan’s eyes were sharp and cold, like those of a black hawk. The pupils of his deep blue eyes were as black as the abyss. His glance flickered over her face, his eyes reminiscent of the black and blue sea.

“My wife…”

“…”

“…still hates me,” he scoffed softly.

“Oh, no!” said Juliana, shaking her head.

Evan frowned at her unexpected appearance. It seemed that he was on the alert because he thought this might be her new way of insulting him.

Juliana found it hard to find the words to reassure him, and finally said, “I, I told you I was waiting for you.”

“…I see. You’re angry because I kept you waiting?” Evan nodded his understanding in response to her words, and said, “This dirt road will have to be paved at once since it’s dirtying the hem of your dress.”

“…wha, what?”

All he had to do was to order the servants to sweep the road clean but instead, he said that he would have the road fixed just because he hated that it dirtied his wife’s dress. This man… was he crazy?

“Y, You don’t have to…”

“I’m glad you came to greet me,” he said softly, avoiding her eyes.

Ah, he’s shy! thought Juliana. She was astonished at his reaction.

This… what kind of novel is this?

She had dropped the novel because she was mad that she was spoiled by the comments. As the saying goes, unlucky people will break their noses even when they fall backwards. How unfortunate!

Juliana suppressed her turbulent emotions and forced herself to smile again. The corners of her mouth curved upwards in a grotesque grin as if an angel from heaven smiled. 

“You’ve suffered hardships.”

Her husband smiled happily like a demon who had grabbed the enemy by the neck and cut off the barbarian’s legs to keep him from running away. He lightly kissed Juliana’s cheek with a shy smile like a boy in love.

“With this kind of greeting, I wouldn’t mind going off to fight barbarians for a few years.”

“Ah, what a terrible thing to say…” Juliana laughed, “Ha ha ha,” and quickly retreated.

Evan, who was still standing beside his black horse, stood unmoving as though waiting for her to tell him to come in, and stared at her. Juliana coughed a little as if suffering from the cold, rubbed her numb fingers, then waved Evan forward.

“Evan, I’ll serve tea, so come inside and rest.”

As soon as she finished speaking, Evan moved quickly, as though he had never been frozen in place earlier. Despite wearing heavy armor, he swiftly entered the mansion.

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