Please be Patient, Grand Duke - Chapter 53.2
“Mother doesn’t feel well, so she’s in her room. It seems like you don’t have to say hello, Lian,” said Marquis Gliad with worry on his face.
Lia came to his townhouse like she was possessed by something. Her head felt heavy. She was feverish. She forced a smile and sat facing the Marquis in his study.
“I heard you’re going back to Cosoar.”
“Yes. The Young Du—. No, I’m going with the Duke. I can’t sleep; I’m enraged that we’ve lost Duke Ihar.”
Gliad poured from the bottle of alcohol in front of him and asked, “So, Lian, how do you like life in the Capital? Are you adapting well?”
“Yes, I’m living comfortably, thanks to your care.”
The Marquis nodded at her answer.
“Why are you so serious today? Is there something wrong at the Academy?”
“No. It’s not that—” Lia bit her lip, shook her head and hesitated a little. But she had something to say. The words that she had to say now were caught in her throat. “I—. I want to stop now.”
“Stop? Stop what?”
“That is,” she hesitated, “I want to stop wearing men’s clothes, Father. I’m a lady.”
That moment, the glass that Gliad held in his hand slid onto the floor. The plush carpet prevented it from breaking, but Angel, who was at the ready, quickly came to clean up the mess.
The Marquis looked at her with trembling eyes, then let out a sigh that was almost a laugh.
“Right. It’s my greed. Who would look at you as a man? I can’t even see you as a man.”
“I’ll go to a place where no one would recognize me. So, I won’t be in the sight of ma’am—”
“Perhaps, are you saying you’re going to Geore?”
“I beg your pardon. Me? Why would I—”
“Then perhaps,” Gliad said, cutting her off, “you have found Laura?” The Marquis’s eyes shone with impatience along with longing, love, and sympathy. “No one has found her. But, did you find her?”
“N, no. It’s not that. I am, however, going to start looking now.”
“Is that so?”
The Marquis quickly gave up and let out a deep sigh.
It was Mom who had made Kieran sick. He almost lost his life because of her, and, yet, the Marchioness keenly felt her husband’s betrayal. Mom can’t be forgiven even in death. But why is there longing for her in Father’s eyes?
“Laura was,” he hesitated, “always great at hide and seek, even at a young age. She wouldn’t get caught easily.”
Lia put her hands together as she heard him talk about her mother for the first time. She wanted to hear more about her mom’s story—a story about which she knew nothing. But the Marquis didn’t continue. He nodded as if he was lost in his memory and leaned against the back of the sofa and breathed calmly.
The Marquis was sleeping with a light smile on his face, no longer agitated. Angel, who was holding Gliad’s blanket, approached and smiled bitterly.
“Seems like he had too much to drink. I’ll see you off, young Master.”
“He seems tired,” she said.
“Yes, he didn’t sleep last night.”
Lia studied the Marquis and then left the study with Angel.
Angel, who was leading the way, looked around the quiet hall and spoke.
“I was a street child that ran away from Geore.”
“You didn’t know? Everyone who knew my name guessed.”
“No, I didn’t know.”
“Anyway, my master now is the one who took care of me. He’s my saviour.” Angel smiled faintly, slowed down and spoke in a serious tone. “Young master, the Geore royals are tenacious and cruel. They were born bloodthirsty. They treat people like bugs to advance science and medicine. So, refuse the marriage proposal by the Prince of Geore. Master has been quite upset about it. Ever since that day, he’s been drinking.”
She stopped at his worried words.
“Prince Ian Sergio officially asked for marriage. You didn’t know?”
Lia shook her head. He thought it was a joke to put her in a difficult situation.
Angel smiled in relief when he realized that she didn’t know at all.
“That’s a relief. He was worried that you might head to Geore. He should be able to sleep well now.”
Lia left the Marquis’s Townhouse feeling confused. Even when she was getting in the carriage, she could hear Ian’s words.
“I’ll come for you, so wait for me, Canillia.”
Did he mean it? Was he really treating me like a lady? Am I that slow?
She had no intention of accepting, but she felt sorry for just treating him so casually.
Even though he ran away under suspicion, Ian Sergio was quite kind to her. If a war broke out, they would never be able to meet again.
Lia’s carriage navigated through traffic and arrived at her destination. White roses were strewn where the funeral procession had passed by.
Lia stepped on them while walking in the door.
“Pepe?” she called out.
It was oddly quiet inside. Lia took off her jacket and searched the entire first floor, but Pepe was nowhere to be seen. Did she go out for groceries?
The maid who had dozed off by the kitchen window, jumped up in surprise. Lia indicated with a wave that she should continue resting, and then started climbing the stairs.
Lia touched her forehead. Just like Marquis Gliad, she also has had trouble sleeping the past few nights. She has been thinking of someone and feels like she’s getting a fever. She should lie down immediately, she thought.
When Lia arrived on the second floor, she started unbuttoning her shirt. She turned the bedroom door, anxious to lie down on the most comfortable bed in the world.
The wooden door creaked as it opened. A thick lavender scent stopped her in her tracks.
There was Claude, sitting with his eyes closed in a chair at the window. He slowly opened his eyes and smiled faintly when Lia came into view.
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