I Don't Need the Grand Duke's Regret - Chapter 36
A bright morning sunlight poured over Armilla’s face.
The day had dawned, but she couldn’t get up. Her whole body ached as if she had been pressed down by a large boulder all night.
Armilla, who inadvertently let out a groan, was startled by her own voice. Her voice, raspy and feeble, sounded almost like that of an old woman. She reflexively looked to the side, wondering if Ricardo had heard that voice.
However, Armilla’s side was empty.
‘He left first.’
Armilla sighed with a bitter expression as she traced the empty spot with her hand. Her feelings about the vacant space, devoid of any warmth, were incredibly complicated.
Armilla had become the Grand Duchess.
But as the Grand Duchess, she had no idea what she should do or what her duties as a Grand Duchess were.
She wasn’t even a noble, could she manage this role well?
The one person who should teach her, Armilla’s husband, was unrelentingly indifferent. Whenever she had asked, he had simply said, ‘You don’t have to do anything.’
But that couldn’t be true. There must be more to it.
As Armilla anxiously scanned the room with a troubled heart, she heard a cautious knock on the door.
As Armilla hastily covered herself with the blanket, the door opened, revealing the innocent face of a young girl.
“Hehe, Lady Armira.”
Luce, who had brought a basin of water, smiled brightly. She carefully walked toward the bed, making sure not to spill any water. Steam rose from the basin, showing that the water was warm.
“I’ve been waiting for you to wake up, Lady Armira.”
“Thank you, Luce. Um, hmm!”
As Armilla thanked Luce, she coughed and clutched her throat.
Even though she cleared her throat, her voice didn’t return to normal. It was because she had been screaming and moaning all night long.
“Just a moment.”
Luce looked at Armilla with a serious expression, then rushed to the door. She turned around abruptly and waved her hands in the air.
Wash, wash. It seemed like she was suggesting that Armilla should freshen up first, starting with washing her face.
“Like this, like this, continue doing it. Luce will bring some water!”
Armilla smiled at Luce and, after she closed the door and left, cautiously put her feet on the floor. Her body protested, especially her back, but she endured it. She couldn’t stay in this empty room forever. It was time to get up and return to her own room.
As Armilla looked around for something to cover herself, she was astonished when she saw the clothes on the floor.
Armilla’s dress and Ricardo’s clothes were torn to shreds.
It seemed to hint at the passionate night that had just occurred and the nights that would follow.
* * *
“I really don’t know what Your Grace is thinking.”
Nasir clenched his fist, wearing a displeased expression. Ricardo listened to his complaints with an indifferent face.
“This is the marriage of the Master of the North. Yet, you didn’t even have a proper wedding ceremony, and you’re doing it so informally.”
“So what should we do then?”
Ricardo, who was examining the accumulated documents after the visit to the temple, responded with an indifferent tone. His gaze remained fixed on the papers.
He didn’t look anything like a newlywed groom, no matter how they looked at him.
“Is there a need to rush like this? Count Durante hasn’t made any moves yet. Moreover, without the Emperor’s approval…”
“Why do I need the Emperor’s approval for my marriage?”
When the Emperor was mentioned by Nasir, Ricardo slammed his pen down. He looked at his aide with a piercing gaze and said,
“As the head of the Grand Duchy, I make the decisions regarding the affairs of the Grand Duchy.”
“According to the duties of a loyal servant, no. Before that, it hasn’t been long since the arranged marriage with the princess by the imperial family concluded.”
Nasir spoke with a worried tone.
“Moreover, is this how the master of Renato gets married?”
“What’s wrong with this?”
Ricardo rose from his chair. He handed over the documents he had been dealing with to Nasir and spoke with an indifferent expression.
“Grand Duke Ricardo Vittore fell in love with the woman who saved his life in the mountains, and as soon as the arranged marriage with the princess was annulled, he hurriedly married her. Isn’t it a story that the gossip mongers would love?”
It was an attitude as if he was presenting a solution to a difficult dispute.
“However, it will take some time for the rumors from the North to spread to the capital. That’s why I rushed. If there is such a rumor, even the imperial family won’t be able to annul the marriage so easily.”
Nasir sighed deeply, rubbing his forehead.
“What about Lady Armilla?”
“You’re overly concerned. Why are you so worried about Armilla?”
Ricardo’s voice suddenly became sharp. Unlike his previous calm responses, Ricardo spoke with a stern tone.
“Don’t speak casually about the Grand Duchess.”
Upon Ricardo’s warning, Nasir lowered his head.
Now, Armilla belonged to Ricardo.
No one dared to look at her or show interest in her.
* * *
After marrying Ricardo, Armilla’s life didn’t change much.
To the servants, she was ‘Lady Armilla’ and not ‘the Duchess’. She didn’t acquire new clothes or jewelry. The only thing that changed was the place she lived, which became the Grand Duke’s bedroom.
But Armilla didn’t mind.
With the privilege came great responsibility.
If the servants addressed her as ‘Your Grace’ then she had to manage the mansion like a Grand Duchess. If they filled her closet with glamorous dresses, she would have to find tasks to wear them for.
As the Grand Duchess, she had to host lavish parties, visit the imperial court, and build connections in high society.
But Armilla didn’t believe she could do it proficiently. She didn’t even know how to write invitations to parties or what to do at social gatherings.
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