< — The Taran Duke’s Family Doctor — > (2)
Following the Duchess’ will, Anna informed Philip that his medicine was rejected. As Philip listened to her story, he couldn’t conceal his surprise.
“So… she knows the herb mixture that gives the vanilla scent…?”
Philip muttered to himself repeatedly.
“Let me meet the Duchess. This is most definitely a cure.” (Philip)
“You know that cannot happen. What did you do to be under surveillance?” (Anna)
“It is a personal matter and has nothing to do with medicine. Do you plan on giving up on the Madam’s treatment like this?”
Anna shook her head.
“For me, there’s no other way. Just as you say, Sir Philip could meet Milady and directly explain it to her but the meeting itself is impossible.” (Anna)
“Anna, I cannot give up on a patient in front of me.” (Philip)
“…Then, I will ask His Grace the Duke when he returns.”
The Duke of Taran was currently not in Roam as he was inspecting the fief so Philip couldn’t miss out on this opportunity. Once the Duke came back, he would never be left alone with the Duchess.
The Duke did not know the secret behind the mugwort but if the Duchess got pregnant after receiving Philip’s prescription, the Duke would immediately see through Philip’s manipulations and tricks. And the Duke would do everything within his power to stop the child from being born.
Therefore, the Duke must not know that Philip was involved in the Duchess’ pregnancy. For that, Philip had to meet the Duchess. He was confident that once he met the Duchess, he could coax and persuade her.
“The will of the patient is priority. The most important thing is whether the patient wants a child. Do you think His Grace the Duke wants a child from the Madam when he already has a child born out-of-wedlock as his heir? Nobles are cold-hearted. They are different from ordinary people like us. Succession and affection towards one’s wife are thoroughly differentiated. The Madam must also want a child to look at in her old age. Don’t you think it will be a shame if the Madam is never able to embrace her own child?”
Philip calmly tried to persuade Anna. And Anna, whose heart leaned positively to Philip, was easily persuaded.
‘Their relationship might be good now but…’
In the first place, noble relationships were like this. Whether male or female, they kept separate lovers and enjoyed themselves even when they were married. The only thing left was the child.
Anna thought the same way as the servants who gossiped that the Duchess was thinning because she had to enter an illegitimate son into the register as soon as she married in.
“I’ll try and talk to Milady.”
To Anna, it was for the Madam’s sake.
* * *
“Milady, the doctor that I talked to you about the other day has requested to meet you.” (Anna)
“Is that so? That’s fine with me.” (Lucia)
“However, Milady. This doctor…actually, he’s the Duke’s doctor.”
“Yes. The butler called me some time ago and informed me so. I was told that the Duke’s doctor was being watched and should not be allowed to meet Milady nor should his existence be mentioned to Milady. I was told it is an order from His Grace the Duke.”
Anna’s expression and tone were resolute. Lucia’s feelings of expectation towards seeing her benefactor began to subside.
“Then, you are committing a grave mistake right now. You are disobeying the order not to mention this to me.” (Lucia)
“I am aware and I will take responsibility. But Milady, the doctor said you can definitely be cured. He wants to meet Milady and explain.” (Anna)
“Responsibility? How will you take responsibility?”
“…I will resign from my position as doctor. I lack too much in many areas.”
Lucia studied Anna’s haggard expression. It was an expression that said the woman had a lot on her mind.
“Anna, the matter of the medicine last time was so, and the matter this time, likewise. These things would not happen if you kept to your duty.”
“I know I have acted out of line. I just want to treat Milady so Milady can have a lovely child.”
Lucia sighed. Anna wasn’t a bad person. On the contrary, it was rare to see someone with passion as pure as Anna’s. Therefore, Lucia liked Anna. However, she wasn’t one to be tactful with people.
“What is the name of the Duke’s doctor that wants to meet me?”
“He is titled a baron.”
Could the wandering doctor Philip be the Duke’s doctor? For what reason would the titled doctor of a Duke be wandering around? The Philip she saw in her dream seemed used to the life of a wanderer. He wasn’t some traveler taking a short trip.
‘Could something have happened to the Duke of Taran at that time?’
In the later part of her life, Lucia lived enclosed from the world. She didn’t know what was going on in the world much less hear news about the high society. It was the most tranquil time of her life in the dream but Lucia suddenly felt angry with herself in the dream. It would have been nice if she lived paying a bit more interest to the things around her.
‘Why didn’t he(Hugo) want me to learn of the doctor?’
At most, the man was simply a primary doctor. If Hugo hated the sight of him, he could simple expel the man and never see him again. Why was he going through the complicated process of planting eyes around the doctor?
“This doctor of the Duke, has he worked for the Duke for very long?” (Lucia)
“I hear he’s been the Duke’s doctor in the household for many years.”
Once Lucia heard the words ‘household for many years’, she recalled something Hugo said.
[I can’t tell you everything. These are things I don’t want to reveal even when I die.]
‘The secrets he wants to keep. This doctor…he knows them.’
It was just a feeling. However there was something she didn’t understand. If her guess was really true, the doctor would have already died in Hugo’s hands. The clues on her hands were too little to reach a further conjecture but one thing was certain.
He didn’t want her to meet the doctor. If she wanted to meet the doctor, the best chance would be now that Hugo was absent but her instincts were telling her not to meet the doctor without Hugo’s knowledge.
“I will not meet this doctor.” (Lucia)
Anna sighed ruefully.
“Anna, as a doctor and as someone of the Duke’s house, you have committed a huge blunder. I can forgive the mistake you’ve made as a doctor but I cannot do so for the mistake you’ve made disobeying the orders of His Grace the Duke. As for your resignation, I will accept it but not right now. We may be going up to the Capital soon so keep it with you till we go to the Capital.”
Lucia then called for Jerome.
“Jerome, today my doctor Anna told me that the Duke’s doctor wishes to meet me. However, you have previously cautioned me about this.”
For a moment, Jerome’s sharp gaze went to Anna who was solemnly standing at the side with her head lowered, then his gaze went back to his Madam.
“Yes, Milady. Master sent down the order.”
“If it is his order, then there is certainly a reason. I have no intention of meeting the Duke’s doctor. And as for this incident, I will personally inform him when he return.”
“Anna wanted to offer her resignation but I refused. She will remain as my doctor until we go up to the capital. That is to say, there is no need to interrogate Anna additionally.”
Jerome’s attitude was akin to a solemn knight kneeling before his King to receive a command. Jerome always respected the Madam’s wise decisions. There was nothing lacking in the one that reliably held up the House of Taran.
Jerome was really glad to be of service to two respectable masters.