When they arrived at the doorstep of the mansion, Joheim opened his mouth to speak, but Lobelia cut him off.

“What’s the matter, Sir Jereminus?” she asked.
Joheim’s eyes faltered at her question.
He lowered his eyes to hide his agitation and obscured his emotions from his voice as much as he could.

“I heard from the Duke roughly,” he said, “I will do my best to help Miss Lobelia, so you don’t have to be afraid of whatever happens today.” Lobelia stared at Joheim with her green eyes.
He fidgeted under her gaze as if he was regretting the words that left his lips.

“How far have you heard?” Lobelia asked.
Her voice came harsher than expected, but she needed to figure out how much Joheim knew.
That way, she’d be able to behave accordingly in front of him. Did Jade tell him everything? Lobelia wondered. From our contractual relationship to my revenge? He was one of Jade’s closest associates, so it wouldn’t be a surprise he knew about the situation, but Lobelia decided to remain cautious.

“Sorry?” Joheim asked in bewilderment.

“I asked how much do you know,” answered Lobelia.
Joheim’s face flushed at her question.
As Lobelia tilted her head in wonder, Joheim spoke with difficulty.

“I’ve heard that the two of you have taken a liking to one another and are trying to build a good relationship,” he muttered quickly.

“What?” It was Lobelia who was surprised this time.
Meanwhile, Joheim’s face was now as red as an apple. Jade Ferrado, you’re even fooling your confidante?

Joheim quickly opened the door and ushered her inside, “Let’s go in.”

Lobelia wanted to pry more information from Joheim, but as soon as the door opened and revealed her presence, every single person in the hall turned to look at her, including Madame Terrine and Josephine’s handmaidens, who had been waiting for her.

“Come,” Madame Terrine said.
They led her to the drawing room across the hall, occasionally glancing at her.
As they arrived at the drawing room, Lobelia froze.
Two familiar faces came into view; Jade Ferrado and Marlon were faced against each other, looking at her.

Ferrado was seated comfortably with one leg crossed with the other.
His movements were graceful as always, his clothes were spotless with dust, and his hair was neatly pulled back.
However, amid his princely appearance was a formidable aura projecting from his red eyes.

Lobelia stiffened at Jade’s gaze.
The reflection in his eyes was laughable.
She had rushed to leave Aina behind in the outhouse, so she was unable to change from her usual attire: a worn out skirt and dark colored top.
Her shabby clothes next to Jade’s premium suit made her look like a beggar.

As he glanced at her attire, looking surprised, Lobelia returned his gaze.
Yesterday, she had visited the duke’s residence dressed in the maid’s clothes Aina had given her, and during their first encounter, she had worn a prayer dress to disguise herself as having gone to the temple.
Still, it was unreasonable for Jade to be taken aback at her ragged appearance.

After glimpsing at Lobelia, Jade looked at Marlon again and said, “Now we can talk in earnest.”

Marlon, on the other hand, still hadn’t taken his eyes off Lobelia.
Lobelia stood still under his sinister glare, expressionless.
He beckoned Lobelia to come closer until she stood between Marlon and Jade.

“What are you calling this child for?” Marlon asked Jade warily.
“The luncheon you served yesterday was enough in return.”

“I want to take Miss Lobelia to my residence,” Jade answered, nonchalantly.

At Jade’s response, Marlon frowned deeply.
“Didn’t you hear what I said?” he grumbled, “You have already repaid her kind—”

“I want to do more for her,” Jade interrupted.
Marlon narrowed his eyes and asked in a low voice.


Jade looked at Marlon with a relaxed expression.
He uncrossed his legs and reached out to Lobelia.
Recognizing the signal, Lobelia accepted his hand.
The dirty sleeves of her clothes grazed his suit, but he didn’t seem to care much.

“Because,” Jade paused, a smile playing on his lips, “She and I have been dating since yesterday.” He intertwined his fingers with Lobelia without hesitation and kissed the back of her hand.

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