< — Ducal Couple — > (6)
TN: I don’t know if I’ve said this but I’m reading this novel as I translate. This part was just so interesting, I finished it! I don’t do audio books (and this is in Korean…), sadly, it just doesn’t work for me.
A few days passed by and Jerome continuously hung around Lucia.
“Your Grace, I don’t about other things but about whether you are pregnant or not, it’s be good to be sure.”
Eventually, Lucia agreed to receive treatment from Anna.
“It is not pregnancy.”
In contrast to Lucia who accept it naturally when Anna said this, Jerome had a slightly disappointed expression.
But before Lucia could raise her head and see it, he quickly hid his expression. He didn’t want to take the chance of letting his disappointment hurt her.
“Did her Grace have any symptoms that made you suspect pregnancy?”
Since Anna was suddenly called to verify if Lucia was pregnant, she was a bit suspicious.
If Lucia was truly suspected of pregnancy and Anna couldn’t verify it, they would be worried about her ability as her primary doctor.
Jerome made a promise with Lucia. After they verified if it was pregnancy or not, he wouldn’t mention anything about the state of her body and the task of informing the duke about the situation would be left to Lucia.
“No, Anna. Her Grace seemed more tired these days so…”
“In my opinion as a doctor, there’s a different reason as to why her Grace is tiring easily. A woman’s body is not steel. Head Butler, let me speak to his Grace once. Anytime is fine. Her Grace is already needing restorative medicine at such a young and energetic age. After I finish working, I take a break from work. This is pretty much the same thing.”
Anna was only giving her opinions as a doctor, however the more she spoke, the stranger the mood became. Jerome stared at the air uncomfortably while Lucia looked down.
“Isn’t your Grace having a hard time? Please pass my words onto the Duke.”
It wasn’t like she was having a hard time but Lucia’s face was currently dyed red and she couldn’t say it. Especially not with the current mood in the room.
‘I like him coming to my room everyday’
She couldn’t say it at all.
“If it is hard for the head butler to say then, I can tell him myself” [Anna]
“Ah, no. I…will tell him. So…to what extent..?”
“Five days. And with a day of rest.”
Even though Anna could sense the embarrassment in the air, she remained brazen. If a doctor was talking about a patient’s condition and got embarrassed, they wouldn’t be able to treat them properly.
After they all left and Lucia was alone, she went to the bedroom, opened the big windows and went onto the balcony.
A tender breeze gently passed by.
Just for an instant, when Anna announced that she wasn’t pregnant, Jerome’s voice lost its energy.
Lucia felt a bit bad. In her dreams, she was 15 when she started menstruating. No one was around to teach her that those were the signs of becoming a woman.
Usually, the inns taught those things but in the palace there were no inns and the palace maids did not care if it was not their business.
The orphan-like young princess, to the palace maids, was not a master that they had to serve but a burden they had to take care of.
Whenever she had menstrual blood on the bed, the maids would have increasingly annoyed expressions as they changed the bed sheets.
After entering the palace, Lucia had lost almost all of her youthful cheerfulness. She became more timid and spoke fewer words.
The young Lucia of that time did not learn how to call the people under her or act majestic and with dignity.
‘I might die soon’
The fact that she was continually losing blood from her body was horrifying to her. She became extremely obsessed with her fears.
‘I have to stop the blood so i need medicine. I have to take medicine…’
A drug that stops bleeding. At that time, an herb accurately appeared in her mind. It was an herb called mugwort.
Mugwort was a very common herb with three leaves. It could be seen growing here and there, and even in the palace it could be seen growing around.
When mugwort was boiled hard, dried, ground and then sprinkled onto the wound, it would have a hemostatic effect.
It was an emergency medicine that the common people used for first aid when they could not find or afford a doctor. Its effect was incomparable to a doctor’s work but it sufficed.
Lucia had learnt first-hand that it had the ability to stop bleeding. In the past, she and the children of the village had run around the neighborhood, digging up grass here and there.
She had fallen and scrapped her knee and ground mugwort was sprinkled on her injury. At that time she had just thought it was fascinating the way the blood had stopped flowing.
Hence, Lucia started taking the mugwort herb from the garden. She didn’t know how to make it for consumption so she just ate it raw.
She simply thought that because the blood was flowing from her body, it made sense to eat it.
Surprisingly, the effect was immediate. Her period did not come.
So, the next month when she bled again, she took it and in that way, continuously for half a year, after which she completely stopped bleeding.
At the time, she had no idea what had happened to her. She didn’t even know the word infertility itself.
Later, while she was married to Count Martin, she found out the truth of her body’s situation.
That was the first thought that came to her. The moment she learnt that was no chance of her giving birth to a child for the Count, she felt as though she had stopped walking towards the edge of a cliff and her heart felt completely at ease.
After the marriage with the count ended and Lucia became free again, she started to look at her body. Apart from her abnormal infertility, there was nothing wrong with her body.
But for a woman, she knew it was a fatal problem to have hence, she started to look for a cure. Every doctor that visited her shook their head. They all said that mugwort was poisonous herb that should have never been eaten.
“I’m not sure if the infertility is rooted…oh, you ate it? Just why would you do such a thing…”
Even then, usually, the doctors couldn’t understand Lucia’s symptoms. Therefore, she was rather amazed when she found out a new fact.
It was rare but there were competent doctors who had seen symptoms similar to Lucia’s before.
“I have seen a woman who stopped menstruating because she ate something unknown during menstruation, however this is the first time I have seen someone in a long term infertile state from eating something…but have you gotten married? Pregnancy can happen even if your period is irregular. It may not be infertility.”
But her period was not irregular; it never occurred. However, she had never tried to have a child before so couldn’t answer with certainty as to whether or not she was pregnant.
Then a more knowledgeable doctor came along and gave Lucia new information.
“A long time ago, when we lost the war and women were caught by the enemies, there was a story that they would eat mugwort on purpose to avoid having children for the enemy. It seems that they thought that if the menstrual cycle was stopped then naturally, it would serve as a form of birth control but it has been proven that mugwort has no effect on contraception.”
The doctor’s answer was pretty ambiguous. Lucia did not give up and in her spare time asked about any skilled doctors then visited them. But time had continued on and she was growing older.
She was about to give up. She was old enough and there was no discomfort in her life without her fertility so she was going to act like nothing had happened. Then one day, a wandering doctor chanced upon the town she lived in.
At first, none of the villagers believed the dirty old man’s claims that he was a doctor. However, as the doctor remained in the village and gave treatment, more people began to see the positive effect and were swayed to believing him.
Lucia went to see the doctor since she had nothing to lose. The doctor was temporarily staying at a room that someone in the village had left, and just like when he first arrived, he was dressed shabbily.
However as they conversed, an image different from his outward appearance was revealed. His expression and manner of speaking were gentle and somewhat dignified.
“Did you really eat the mugwort herb? And then your menstruation stopped?”
When she told other doctors about her symptoms, they would look at her as some kind of rare animal which made her embarrassed but this doctor was different. He was both surprised and intrigued.
“Why? When? And to what extent did you eat it?”
Because he had a different reaction from all the doctors she had met till now, she grabbed onto one last hope and answered all his questions diligently.
“From my first menstruation onwards.” [Lucia]
Right after she said that, the doctor’s eyes strangely lit up.
“By any chance, are you a virgin?”
“No. I’ve been married before so I’m not a young maiden.”
Truthfully, she was pretty much like a virgin but she didn’t want to tell the doctor things to that extent.
The doctor was somewhat disappointed and gave a bitter laugh.
“In my eyes, you are a very young lady.”
“Is my condition infertility?”
It was the same answer that all the previous doctors had given her but she was desperate.
“Can it …. be treated?”
The doctor chuckled and guaranteed her treatment that no one else had been able to do.
“You are a lucky person. There is a treatment method passed down in only my family.”
So he gave her a prescription containing various drugs to be mixed together. She didn’t write it down but took a book out of her bag, tore a page from it and gave it to him.
“Since it is a secret method passed down in your family, is it ok to give me this?”
“In any case, it’s not something I need anymore.”
The doctor’s expression as he said this seemed a little sad.
“I…Can I really get better? They all said mugwort herb is a poison.”
It wasn’t that she didn’t believe the doctor’s prescription but that she had gone through hardship to get it treated and yet here he was, giving her a simple solution. The situation itself was a bit unbelievable.
“Poison…yes, it is known as such. This is an exclusive but I’ll tell you something special. Mugwort has a surprising effect. It doesn’t just do something simple like stopping blood flow. If you eat it, it completely purifies the body.
That is the reason why menstruation stops. But the human body itself is a mass of impurity, there is nothing good to forcibly purify. The effect of the herb is just that strong that such side effects occur but it does not harm your body. And apart from not having your period, you haven’t gotten sick anywhere else, right?”
“In fact, to become infertile from eating mugwort, you have to have been eating it for a long time, like from your first period onwards. Just like you. If you haven’t been taking it for that long, even if your menstruation stops for a while, there are no other symptoms. And something like infertility will definitely not happen. But, people treat it as a poison because of its only symptom, which is to stop menstrual flow. Anyways, because it is not poison, if you weaken the effect of the herb, your body will return to its original state. If you regularly take your medicine, it will surely get better. I hope for you to have a pretty child and become a happy parent. ”
Not too long after, the doctor left the village. Unlike when the doctor first came to the village, the villagers were truly sorry to see him go.
Lucia went ahead and bought herbs that had been prescribed by the doctor.
“Why are buying these two herbs together? Surely, you aren’t planning on mixing them together? If you eat them together, you’ll have a huge problem!”
The prescription combinations that the doctor gave her didn’t seem to be one that complied with commonsense.
However, Lucia didn’t think she could get worse and she was curious anyways so she followed his directions and started to make the medicine.
As long as no abnormality happens, once a month, steadily take the medicine until menstruation starts again; how to eat and how frequent was easy to know. She did wonder if it would actually work but then she shook her head and chose to believe it.
A lot of time passed and suddenly one day, her menstruation restarted.
Now the Lucia who had seen all this in a dream was not embarrassed like her 15 year old self from the dream. She already knew that she wasn’t sick and was not going to die.
However the 15 year old Lucia was mentally unstable for a reason different from the one in the dream. She had thought that she could change anything in the present since she knew the future however there was nothing that a young princess, locked up in a palace room could do.
It felt like a prophecy that the coming future would be exactly like the dream. The thought of getting married to the count at 21 again was extremely sickening and she couldn’t bear it. Her fears reached its climax as soon as her menstruation started.
‘I do not want to give birth to that bastard’s child.’
She already knew that getting pregnant was surprisingly not very easy. There were many married couples that had no children. Moreover, considering Count Matin’s sexual capability there was almost no possibility of her getting pregnant. However, she didn’t want to let the slightest possibility remain.
So, she chose to make herself infertile. The doctor she met in the dream had told her that the mugwort herb was not poisonous and the treatment method that she had received remained in her memory.
Since she could treat at any time with the medicine, there was not really any worry if she was currently infertile.
Lucia could cure her infertility at any moment but she had already told Hugo that she could not get pregnant and would not suddenly tell him that she could.
‘At that time… I had thought I would get divorced…’
When she proposed marriage, she had thought that they would live together for a few years then he would ask for a divorce or after a reasonable amount of time, she would ask herself. However,
‘I won’t do something like divorce.’
Even if he did not mention the family tradition, he was the kind of person that would not proceed with the divorce process because it was annoying.
She had no idea if there was another woman who loved him to death and wanted to marry him by all means but it didn’t look like that was possible.
‘I already said I wouldn’t regret this…I made up my mind to endure.’
There was going to be no children in her life. The moment she signed the marriage certificate, she was already prepared.
[I hope for you to have a pretty child and become a happy parent.]
It would seem that whether it was the dream or the present, the doctor’s wish would not be fulfilled. Lucia dug into her memories for the doctor’s name.
Right. That was his name.
It was afternoon and as usual, Jerome brought tea and quietly entered the Duke’s office. Because it was obvious who was coming in, Hugo didn’t take his eyes of his documents. But as Jerome didn’t go back and kept standing by the desk, Hugo raised his head.
When the Duke’s eyes left the documents and faced him, Jerome opened his mouth.
“Your Grace, Madam is planning to have a tea party tomorrow.”
“Yes. I’ve heard.”
“Since it is her Grace’s first event, what do you think of sending a congratulatory gift?”
He gave a low ‘hmm’ and mumbled, lowering his pen and sitting more comfortably in his chair.
“A gift, huh.” [Hugo]
“Yes. Her Grace will be extremely pleased.”
Now that he thought about it, he didn’t have anything to give her. He was not the type to easily know when to give gifts but if he was told to get this and that, he could.
But she didn’t tell him what to get and he didn’t know what she would like and couldn’t think of what to give her.
Was it enough to make the budget plentiful?
She didn’t ask him to give her anything but as it was her first time debuting in the northern social circles, it was enough reason. If she receives a gift that she could never imagine, wouldn’t she like it?
When he thought of her sparkling eyes as she expressed her thanks, his mood somehow grew merrier.
What would be good? Jewelry? Or maybe…jewelry? If that didn’t work…then jewelry? Jewelry was the only thing that he could think of. He was sure that women like jewelry but strangely, he wasn’t too sure that Lucia liked them.
While his worries were deepening, Jerome was patiently waiting for his master’s answer. Jerome’s ear picked up the sound of a soft knock at the door.
In order not to disrupt his master’s thought, Jerome left quietly then came back after a while.
“Your Grace, Sir Philip has arrived and is outside. He said he hasn’t returned in Roam in a long time and wants to give his greetings to your Grace.”
*Honestly, it’s either mugwort or wormwood. The problem is according to google those two PROMOTE menstruation…but the author is King. LOL.
*I was also too invested to stop translating so u get the full chap. May not happen again ha-ha.
*This was edited sparsely. Was about to miss my bus. Tell me if u see mistakes.
*Don’t hope for ch 19 anytime soon. Sorry *.*