YCKTML Chapter 60
I didn’t hear anything from the Duke of Clifford until the afternoon the next day. The same went for Rupert and Chloe.
I couldn’t sleep last night because of all the thoughts I had.
‘After all, do I just have to leave tomorrow like this?’
I really was an outsider, not only in this castle but in this world itself. Knowing a little bit of the original story didn’t change the grand scheme of things.
If the Duke was like the bird I saw yesterday, he would have already reached the end of his lifespan.
‘It’s fate, so to speak.’
So, what would be Erin’s fate?
If the course of the original story was the ‘fate’ of this world, Erin should have died sooner.
Of course, Erin, the former owner of this body, died long ago, but I was still alive.
‘Did I get out?’
As I walked down the hallway, I glanced at the stairs leading to the third floor.
I know I was about to leave, but I couldn’t shake off the Duke’s appearance overlapping with the bird from yesterday. Should I sit on the sidelines even though I know he’s in pain?
However, if I approached the Duke prematurely and he died, I had no idea how it would affect the people around him.
I wasn’t ignorant of Duke Clifford’s status in the empire and what it meant for his title to be inherited.
‘Anyway, we can talk about it.’
With my lips pursed, I picked up the hem of my skirt and strode up the stairs.
When I reached the Duke’s room on the third floor, I smelled it again. I opened the door without knowing and went inside.
Startled, Eliana jumped up from her seat. As usual, she held a medicine bowl.
I approached the bed and glanced at the Duke’s face. With a dark blue complexion, the Duke breathed out as his eyes met mine.
I couldn’t speak, but I could understand what he meant. The faded, bloodshot blue eyes reminded me of the bird again.
I grabbed the medicine bowl from Eliana’s hand.
“Ack, Madam! The medicine!”
“Let’s talk for a moment.”
Eliana looked desperately at me, but I shook my head firmly.
“Get out first. We’ll go to the drawing room downstairs,” I commended despite her resentful look. Eliana eventually succumbed to me and walked out the door.
With the medicine bowl in my hand, I looked down at the Duke.
I thought of asking him if he wanted this, but his eyes closed before I knew it.
‘He’s alive, but I don’t know if I should call it that.’
He seemed relatively fine on my first day here, and the day Enoch arrived. Was it the power of the drug, or was it because of my unknown influence?
Well, it didn’t matter.
I opened the window and threw the liquid in the bowl out the window before following Eliana.
When I went to the drawing room on the second floor, I saw Eliana standing there, watching me as I entered.
“Madam, why are you interrupting?” Eliana was furious. She clenched her fists tightly and she didn’t know what to do, but the way she looked at me showed she could barely control her anger.
I thought it was a little strange. I didn’t say anything yet, but it seemed unusual to be so agitated.
“Miss Eliana, please sit down.”
I comforted her by gently holding her fist. From what I’d seen here, Eliana had no malicious intent, at least as far as the Duke was concerned.
“Come on,” I whispered, patting her hand, then her quivering breath soon calmed down. Then I led her to settle down on the sofa.
“… I’m sorry, ma’am. It’s been a little bit intense.”
Her eyes were red. Rather than asking about the drug immediately, I decided to take a little detour.
“What was the Duke to Miss Eliana?”
Eliana lowered her head and remained silent. Without letting go of her hand, I calmly waited for her answer.
The redness around her eyes grew even more profound, then tears welled up and ran down her cheeks.
“The Duke…” her trembling voice trailed off as she wept.
I waited patiently for her to continue while Jenny served us tea and left without a word.
“He’s my benefactor. I was an orphan and His Grace took me in and hired me to work as a maid.”
I quietly nodded my head and let go of her hand to pick up the teacup.
Working as a maid in a noble household might not seem much from a nobleman’s point of view, but it’s actually the best among the jobs that a commoner woman could do.
Of course, the difficulty varied depending on the character of the nobleman they’re serving. Still, the salary was high, room and board were provided, and people outside didn’t treat anyone’s maid carelessly.
“Then one day, I fell ill for a long time and couldn’t work. In fact, if it’s that much, you’re usually kicked out… You have to go out yourself.” Again, tears flowed. “But His Grace brought me closer! They accuse me of being his lover, but he and I are not like that. The Duke… He’s like a father to me.”
She couldn’t control her emotions and looked at me again, the spark from before returning.
“…So I didn’t want the Duke to die. But why, Madam!”
“Miss Eliana.” Startled by her sudden outburst, I put my hand on her shoulder and whispered, “Calm down.”
Her rigid body relaxed and she calmed down. This was starting to feel more and more strange. I couldn’t be sure, but it felt like it wasn’t just the situation that easily agitated her.
“First of all, I know very well that the Duke is precious to Miss Eliana.”
I didn’t know why but I felt like I had to hold her hand.
When I took her hand and tried to meet her eyes, Eliana lowered her head and avoided my gaze. Then, in a tone lower than before, I whispered, “What are you hiding?”
“Miss Eliana, look into my eyes. Tell me the truth.”
Eliana turned to me, her eyes trembling. When she met my gaze, her eyes gradually calmed down.
“…I.” But her sobs grew stronger. “I actually saw His Grace pass away.”
It was quite shocking. I thought that the Duke’s life’s might be forcibly extended, but I didn’t expect him to be already dead.
“When did that happen? When did you start feeding him the medicine?”
“I started giving him medicine a week before Madam arrived. He was very weak at the time, but he was still alive. But after Madam and His Grace met…”
“I thought he was sleeping comfortably, but he wasn’t breathing. I was so surprised that I rushed to put the medicine in his mouth… then he started breathing again,” Eliana said in disbelief.
Honestly, she didn’t make sense. Even if she used the drug to make him survive, the dead couldn’t swallow it.
“The drug is to save the Duke.”
“But the Duke didn’t seem to like the drug, did he?”
“…but if there is a way to save him, how can I just watch him die?”
She wasn’t wrong about what she said. If a loved one died, they would do anything to save them. However, the problem was that this was not really saving.
So, someone took his soul and became someone’s puppet. Was Count Melaton doing this to control the Duke? Where did he get the drug?
“Do you really think he can live on that drug? You’ve seen him.”
“Of course, after taking that drug, his complexion still hasn’t improved… I felt like I was losing my mind. But… since he’s alive, I’m glad I did it,” Eliana spoke to me earnestly, but in a tone of uncertainty.
Seeing her like that made me feel distant. I don’t think she could be convinced. I got up from the sofa and sighed.
“You’re glad… the Duke seems to be in pain.” I glanced down at Eliana’s face. Then she trembled as if agitated by my words and shook her head. She started rubbing her palms against her skirt.
“Is it really for him to live in pain because of your own greed? Well, I don’t think so.”
“Even if he lives, he won’t be living. Think carefully. I’ll be leaving soon.”
“Leave? When?” Eliana jumped up to ask.
She looked a little surprised, but she didn’t particularly hold on to me or regret it too much. It was too short a time for us to develop a special relationship, and since she didn’t know that I was going to get a divorce, she might think that she would see me again.
“…That, Madam,” Eliana cautiously called me. I looked back at her as I was about to leave. “Take care.”
It seemed that the drug had something to do with Chloe. Eliana was obsessed with the Duke’s life-saving drug, but she knew that the situation was very strange.
After a brief greeting, I left the drawing room.
Now the choice was up to her and the people here. Whatever happened after that, I would no longer care.
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