You Can Keep the Male Lead Chapter 57

YCKTML Chapter 57

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“…”

I stared at Rupert, who looked as if he had lost everything in the world. It was strange. 

Ironically, that desperate expression somehow felt the most vivid of the emotions he had ever shown.

“Why… Only you, to me…”

At the eerie low-pitched voice, I passed him by and left through the open door without looking back. I wondered what would happen if he stopped me by force again, but luckily he didn’t.

It was upsetting to see the raw expression on his face, but I soon calmed down. Since it was Rupert, I decided not to care anymore. 

I walked from the center to the end of the west hallway, looked out the window, and saw the back garden. The last time I took a walk there, I saw Chloe and Melaton’s illicit rendezvous.

Someone was strolling under the warm autumn sunshine. 

“Who is that?” I moved closer to the window to see better. It was Eliana. 

After walking a few steps, she settled down on a bench near the pond. She didn’t look like she was doing much; she just sat there. Was she just out for a walk, then? It definitely wasn’t easy to take care of the sick.

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Instead of going to Eliana, I decided to head to the Duke’s room upstairs on the third floor. The Duke’s bedroom was on the west side, and I saw it immediately after making my way up the staircase.

As I was going up, I heard a strange noise.

‘A human voice?’

Someone kept saying something over and over again. I slowly headed toward the source of the noise, keeping my steps light to make sure I didn’t make any sound. 

The source of the sound was the Duke’s room. 

I covered my mouth, not even breathing. Then I walked closer to the door and listened to the voice. 

To my surprise, the voice I heard inside was a man’s. The words were muffled, so I couldn’t hear it exactly, but I knew who it was–Clifford, Earl of Melaton, the Duke’s younger brother.

“Brother, you can’t go back like this. Now, drink more of this.”

Just what were they doing inside? The curious situation puzzled me, and I carefully opened the door a little bit. The scene I saw through the crack surprised me even more. 

“This will make it last longer. Hey, why do you hate it that much? Don’t do that and open your mouth. Come on.”

Melaton supported the Duke with his arm, scooped out medicine with a spoon, and fed him. He carefully poured the antidote into the Duke’s mouth, wiping it with his hand in case it spilled.

Moreover, just listening to his words, it seemed like he was feeding the Duke medicine to save him. But I could smell the burning scent again.

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“Stop, Count. Please stop making him drink it,” I said, jumping as I opened the door and entered the room. 

The Duke looked blankly at me as Melaton struggled to feed him the medicine.

“What are you doing here? I was just making my brother take his medicine.” 

“The medicine… What kind is it?”

The answer came from behind me. 

“It’s a drug that makes the Duke live a little longer. Count Melaton told me about it, and it’s a drug we’ve been using for a while now.”

“…But.”

But even if that statement was true, what was the cause of this ominous smell? Furthermore, the Duke was refusing to take medicine with that weak gesture.

Eliana approached the men and took the medicine from the Count.

“Thank you, milord. I will do it from now on.” 

“Well, you heard her… Brother, take good care of yourself. See you again,” Melaton said in a serious tone, then glanced at me before leaving. 

“You need to take your medicine… Please stay by my side for a long time.” Eliana begged as she put the spoon to the Duke’s mouth again.

The look in the Duke’s eyes revealed his pity for her. I couldn’t say anything about it, so I went back.

The people here had their own circumstances.

I thought Melaton wanted the Duke to die soon. But, given the circumstances, it seemed that he did. 

As I slowly walked down the hallway, a sudden thought made me stop. The long corridor was filled with silence. No one came to this floor where the Duke stayed except those assigned.

It was frustrating to have a clue that seemed to lead to something but didn’t.

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They said the drug makes people live longer, but they didn’t say it was a cure for the disease. 

Was it simply a difference in expression? Was I being paranoid?

I started walking again. 

The words Enoch said a while ago replayed in my mind. 

“How about you, Count? If you were sick, which would you choose– the painful and ugly side that will let you keep your life or the side that will let you pass quietly when the time comes? Of course, I don’t know what the Duke’s intentions are.”


At the sound of footsteps getting louder, Chloe looked at herself in the mirror. 

She stared back and forth, checking her large orange eyes, moist eyes seemingly ready to burst into tears right away, and pale cheeks and lips. She deliberately messed up her long brown hair to add to the illusion. 

She didn’t want to look overly weary, even though it seemed like it just happened. Her ivory pajamas that were thin enough to see through her underwear added a subtle charm to it. 

No matter how much enchantment potion she used, it wouldn’t work if she didn’t possess basic charm. Of course, Rupert had already fallen in love with her and would have called her pretty no matter how she looked. 

Just before he could knock, she hurriedly laid her body on the bed. The curtains were still drawn, and so the room was dimly lit.

Knock, knock, knock–.

“Chloe, it’s me.” Rupert entered the room and sighed. “Are you okay?”

He dragged a chair to the side of the bed and sat down. Chloe looked at Rupert with a hazy expression on her face, as if she had just woken up.

“…Rupert.” 

“You suddenly fell down again. I was surprised.” 

“I’m sorry. I made you worry again,” Chloe said, getting up and sitting on the bed. Rupert held her as he always did and made her lean on his shoulder.

Chloe looked into Rupert’s face and patted his cheek. “You, you’re worried about something.”

“How did you know? You know me very well.” 

“I know everything just by looking at your face… because I love you.”

Rupert smiled shallowly at the loved confession that flowed so easily. 

“It’s not easy, it’s different from you.”

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“…Erin, your wife, she didn’t open her heart to you?” 

“Yeah. I think she hates me a lot. She said it herself that she didn’t like me at all.” 

At that, Chloe turned and sat across from him. She cupped his cheeks with her hands and forced him to meet her eyes. 

“It can’t be. You know how long she’s been watching you. And that’s why she was so jealous of me.”

“I know, I know. But now she’s changed her mind.” Rupert shook his head, a bitter smile on his lips. 

Chloe couldn’t hold back her anger and cursed through her teeth, “D*mn, idiot…!”

“What?”

Fortunately, Rupert didn’t seem to have heard it correctly. It was a good thing Chloe didn’t say much. 

With a gentle smile, Chloe stood and rested her knees on the bed. Then, she bowed her head and kissed his forehead and nose. 

“Don’t be discouraged. You’re a charming person. It’s hard to open one’s heart.” 

“…Chloe,” Rupert called to her and looked at her with his blue eyes. His eyes were clear and earnest like that of a knight. “Are you really okay?” 

“…Am I okay? What do you mean, Rupert? “

“I’m asking if it’s really okay if I live with Erin for a long time or get along with her.”

The hand stroking Rupert’s blond hair stopped, and Chloe’s eyes trembled. Soon, she sat down helplessly and wiped her tears. 

“To ask me that question… How cruel.” 

“I’m sorry. There’s no way it’ll be okay. I asked you even though I experienced it myself. But then… Why did you make such an offer to me when it would be too painful for you.”

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“Well…” Tears fell down her cheeks. 

At this point, Rupert would have been busy fussing over Chloe. But today, he just looked at her as she wept, waiting for her answer. 

In the end, Chloe muttered, “I… I have nothing more to give you than your wife. I thought it would be better to have someone next to you to make you shine. Even now… my mind hasn’t changed.” 

After hearing Chloe’s answer, Rupert wrapped his arms around her and patted her back. 

“If it’s too hard, don’t overdo it, Chloe. If you still want to be a Duchess, say so. It’s still okay.” 

Chloe shook her head, burying her face in Rupert’s shoulder. 

“No, I… I’m alright. Your love is enough. Do as you please.”

“…Okay.” 

Rupert held her in his arms and gently stroked her back. But even then, as if something remained unclear, his expression darkened.

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