Even in a situation where she was under suspicion, Edith analyzed the incident with a calm and dispassionate attitude.
The fact that Lise’s room was empty was something that Killian and Cliff were also sensitive about.
They said that Edith had a short amount of free time on purpose, but in fact, it had been empty for quite a long time.
However, after seeing Edith, who probably did not know about the circumstances, immediately point out and doubt that part after the handicraft merchant, Killian came to think that Edith was not the culprit.

If Edith had been the stupid poisoner who tried to kill Ludwig, as people thought, she would have been flustered and made excuses when she was accused.
However, Edith acted coldly, as if she was looking at things that had nothing to do with her, and a person that smart would never have done things in such a row.
And Edith’s reasoning that followed was also plausible.

If you think that the idiots of the Count of Sinclair were behind this incident, everything fits.
Because they hated both the Lise and Rigelhoff families.
If Lise was killed or injured because of Edith, the Sinclair family might have tried to take something away from the Ludwig family using Lise’s comfort as an excuse.

‘If that’s true… Edith has been suspected and insulted while not guilty of anything.’

Edith continued to insist that she was not guilty, but she was the only suspect.
If that was the Sinclair family’s ruse…? That assumption alone left Killian breathless.
Maybe that’s why he’s been ignoring that easy assumption more.
But it was already too late to hand over an apology saying he was sorry.
Because nothing had been revealed yet.
Instead, he kept arguing with her.

It’s strange, but as he kept talking to Edith, she kept scratching his insides and provoking him, and he wanted to see her brazenly bumping into him.

“Don’t think I don’t know that much, it hurts my pride.”

“I said I would risk my life, but they didn’t believe me.
Can you imagine how I felt?”

“I trust you and the Duke.
To be more honest, I don’t think you’ll ever feel that I’m worth the effort.”

Edith, who did not get angry at the rude provocation and responded proudly, to be honest, was attractive enough to make him drool.

‘Was she like this?’

She was someone he had known only by rumors.
He thought that was enough.
He had to admit it: she was arrogant.
Edith, whom he met only after preparing for marriage, was a completely different person from the rumored protagonist he knew.
Of course, that voluptuous and seductive appearance was a separate issue.

“I am Edith Ludwig.
Do you think I’ll be jealous of other women just because I want a man’s love? Don’t get me wrong.”

As Edith lifted her chin proudly as if she were mocking him, Killian couldn’t help but kiss her, who was far more dizzying than the ‘rumor’ he knew of her.
If he didn’t have more patience, he might have knocked Edith to the floor and clinging to her like a beast.

His crisis was glossed over with the absurd excuse of ‘I just wanted to do it’, but his own pitiful lust didn’t disappear, he just waited for the time.
Hearing that Edith’s probation had been lifted from today, he paced in front of Renan’s office in time for Edith to be working. 

It was to check her condition under the guise of a coincidence.

‘I’m asking you to go in and see the tax receipts from Ryzen’s estate last year.
That would be natural enough.’

Even when he came up with that excuse, he didn’t notice that there was anything wrong with it.
He took several deep breaths and silently opened the door to the office, and the scene seen through the crack in the door made Killian stand tall.

If you give me a little time, it will stop soon, soon.”

Edith was crying.
As if embarrassed by her endless tears, he didn’t know what to do, and he even tried to run away.
And that kind of Edith was consoled by Renan.

“There is no need to hold back your emotions like you are being chased like that.
Emotions are bound to explode someday if you forcefully cut them off.”


“You take care of things so quickly that you have time, so you can take it as slowly as you like.”

Then, handing her the handkerchief, Renan went back to his seat like a mature adult, and he started working casually.

Edith buried her face in Renan’s handkerchief from behind the post, catched her breath for a moment, then took several deep breaths as she settled herself.
And before leaving the pillar, Edith practiced smiling, raising the corners of her mouth, as she did at Count Ermenia’s corner… 

“I’m fine now.
Thanks for your understanding, Renan.
What should I do next?”

Smiling more naturally than she had practiced, Edith took the job from Renan.
And Killian couldn’t get inside it and pulled her body back.

‘That is… It was a practice to laugh.’

After Shane left at the bazaar, she looked in the mirror and smirked, and all he could do was wonder what she was doing.
Her eyes weren’t smiling at all, but it was such a strange expression that she was struggling to lift the corners of her mouth.

‘Smiling… It was practice…’

He remembered how Edith came back from the corner and smiled casually.
He felt sick to his stomach.
He was fine for a few days, but his head started hurting again.

Killian squeezed his throbbing temples and tried to think of something else.
And the first thought that came to him immediately was Renan, who had handed her a handkerchief.

‘Could it be that Renan seduced Edith?…No, no.
Renan only acted in a very gentlemanly way.
It’s because Edith cried that Renan took out his handkerchief.
Edith seduced Renan.’

As was his habit, he thought of reproaching Edith, and his headache got better.
Although he didn’t recognize it himself, his instinct to avoid the pain blaming Edith as a way for him to keep the pain away and not be hurt.

‘I knew that too.
Women know well that men are weak to women’s tears.
Renan wouldn’t be immune to that.
Yes, the bad one is Edith.’

As if trying to convince himself, Killian kept repeating, ‘Edith is the bad one.’ Then the headache got better for a while, but that wasn’t the ultimate reason he felt bad.
Eventually, as he battled a throbbing headache, he pondered why he was feeling bad.
Then, at the end of that thought, he had no choice but to face his true heart, which was a bit embarrassing.

‘How could she seduce Renan over me?’

On the day they spent the night together, she clung to him so beautifully, and after that, she didn’t come back and even kissed him, only to accept it.

‘Me… was I eated and thrown away…?’

It was an expression only used by lustful men, but that was all he could think of.
He tried not to look funny to Edith, but Edith seemed to have easily understood that.

‘I made a mistake.
I took her too lightly.’

When he erased the idea that Edith was stupid, everything he had done in front of her so far seemed like a mistake.
Killian buried himself in that thought until nightfall, and by the time the servants started to turn off the lights in the hallway, he couldn’t stand it.
He jumped up from his seat and went to Edith’s room.
He sent out all the surprised maids and insulted and pushed Edith.

The surprised eyes that seemed to know nothing were disgusting.
She was hateful, but he thought it was strangely endearing.
So he had no choice but to kiss her neck and avoid her gaze.
Just as he was about to turn from her to the top of her head with excitement because of the scent of roses, he froze at the completely incomprehensible scene in her.

‘What is that?’

Edith’s shoulders were still round and smooth.
But even in the darkness, her shoulders, which should only glow white, were stained with black bruises the further she went behind her.
It wasn’t a bruise she could get from accidentally bumping into something.
Judging by the green and purple bruises, it was probably made over several days.

“Killian, this, this, so…”

Edith tried to explain something, but Killian, seeing her back, refused to believe anything she said.
She didn’t speak any more, as if she, too, had given up.
She didn’t even answer the question whose it was, but that was enough for Killian.

If Ludwig was human, there was no reason Edith couldn’t answer.
And until she was like this, the proud maid of Rigelhoff had not even posted a single report.
Anger welled up inside him, but Edith suddenly begged in a faint voice as if holding onto the hem of her dress.

“Killian… that… I know it’s inappropriate in this situation, but I just… Can you hug me?”

“Is that to distract me?”

“No, not like that… just… Just because I want to…?”

Even though she wasn’t crying, he had the illusion that Edith’s eyes were wet.

He couldn’t understand why Edith was trying to protect the maid, even tempting him with her bruised body.
He didn’t know if she had her own circumstances, but Killian could never forgive her.

“I am not a beast enough to hug a woman covered in bruises.
Just have a good night’s sleep today.”

Then he went straight to his room to find some ointment for the bruise, and he had to cool off for a while before going back to Edith’s room.

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