< — Ducal couple — > (13)
TN: Just trying out new formatting instead of writing “part”. The new way looks cleaner imo.
The garden was full of floral scents. Lucia walked in the space in the garden then would stand still and close her eyes, the scent seemingly intoxicating.
These days, her biggest job was gardening but she did not personally do any labor. The gardener took care of everything.
Lucia simply made the choice on what flowers to plant, checked if they were doing well and wandered around.
However, even though they did all the work, people would flatter her. It was a bit funny at times.
Looking at the sky, the sun had already gone down and was making shadows. She turned her gaze towards his office.
‘Ah…he isn’t there.’
He was definitely standing there a while ago. His intense gaze on her neck was embarrassing but when it disappeared, she felt disappointed.
It was a complicated feeling.
He often took a break from work to rest in the balcony and Lucia often went into the garden because she wanted to see him.
Her ‘examining the flowers’ was a pretty good excuse. Majority of the time that she saw him was limited to the evenings. It was only around this time that she could see him for an extra moment.
Although they lived in the same place, he was usually far from her reach as he was really busy. Jerome had informed her that he was buried in a pile of paperwork.
He was very diligent lord that would hold a half-a-day meetings with his vassals every three to four days and did not forget to inspect his fief.
Count Matin only knew how to show his face at various parties in the capital and wasn’t concerned about the situation of his fief. She had only found out later but Count Matin’s fief was one of the worst.
Because of the excessive taxes, people would either escape or were caught while trying to escape and were killed. Perhaps the miserable ending of Count Matin was his karma.
Almost every night, Hugo and Lucia would have dinner together, talk, then Hugo would find her in the bedroom. She knew that she should not be greedy for more but she sometimes couldn’t bear the loneliness.
Lucia sometimes felt like she was standing dangerously on the thin ice of a deep lake and would rather have the ice break so she could sink to the bottom.
“Milady, I’ve been asked to escort you inside.”
“…By who?” The only person who could ask someone to bring her inside was her husband, the Taran Duke but she still asked the maid.
“His Grace asked me to escort you inside.”
‘Why at this time…?”
Lucia followed the maid inside with an uneasy heart. There wasn’t only one person waiting for her in the receiving room on the second floor.
In addition to Jerome, there was the family doctor, Anna. The moment Lucia saw Anna, she had an inkling of what was happening.
Afterall, not too long ago, she’d been acting like she didn’t know what Jerome was talking about. She knew that Jerome would one day tell Hugo. However, she didn’t think that Hugo would go to the extent of summoning the doctor and coming along with her.
Although, truthfully, it would have been a bit disappointing if he hadn’t shown any interest.
Looking at Lucia who stood at the door like an uninvited guest, Hugo’s expression hardened and he took big strides, approaching her. As his tall and large frame suddenly appeared in front of her, Lucia was momentarily shocked.
“Why…” He started speaking with repressed expression but stopped and grabbed her hand. He dragged her to the sofa and then sat beside her.
Anna slightly turned her head to peek at the ducal couple. It was her first time seeing the couple together up close, side by side.
She had had her doubts about whether the rumoredly terrifying knight-born Duke and the quiet and fragile-natured Duchess would look good together but seeing them together this way did not paint an awkward picture.
‘To be attacked by someone that big, Milady must have it hard.’
From Anna’s perspective as Lucia’s doctor, she inwardly criticized the Duke that was ignorant of his own strength.
“Milady, I heard you’ve not had your monthly guest the entire time you’ve been here.”
Lucia was uncomfortable with this situation.
She had personally made the choice to be infertile and had never bothered to look for treatment as she knew she could treat it by herself at any time but this situation made it seem like she was a patient with a deadly disease.
“You never had your first menstruation?”
“…I had my first menstruation.”
“Then when did you stop menstruating? Were you hurt or ill before it stopped? Does anything feel wrong inside?”
“Wife, explain it properly to the doctor.”
Lucia was surprised at his voice which sounded firmer than usual. Turning her head to look at him, she saw his cold red eyes, watching her. For some reason, he didn’t give off a good feeling.
“…I took the wrong medication when I had my first period.”
“What medicine did you take? Did you feel poisoned?”
“I don’t really know what medicine I took and I don’t know about being poisoned. It didn’t hurt and till now, I haven’t been able to see anything strange with my body.”
Even when Lucia was looking for doctors in her dreams, those doctors could not properly figure out her symptoms. Even if she explained everything to Anna, it didn’t seem like Anna would figure it out but Lucia still hid her symptoms as much as possible.
This female disease was a delicate one. If the patient did not explain it properly, the doctor could not find an answer. Even more so if it was a disease the doctor had never heard about before.
No matter how many times Anna dug through her memories, she had never heard of symptoms where someone’s menstruation stopped after they took medicine.
“Milady, can you retrace your memories a bit more? What did the medicine taste like? For what reason did you take it? How much of it did you take? And what was the color and shape of this medicine?”
“…I don’t know. It happened when I was young and had no knowledge of medicine so I don’t remember anything.”
Hugo who had been sitting still, listening to the conversation, suddenly turned his body and stared at Lucia.
“Talk with me for a bit.”
He then made a gesture to the people standing around.
“Everyone get out.”
*Cuteness overdose in this first half. SOS.
*Second half, I was overcome with awkwardness. I know this is set in like the feudal times and what not but I would be AWKWARD AF if I had to talk about my period with people around. *shivers*