“But will people believe it?” Lobelia asked.
“Believe me,” he replied, “considering my reputation.”
Lobelia recalled the Original.
Jade Ferrado had one trait that was truly unnecessary: a womanizer who has different lovers every few months.
In the Original, the duke’s vassals urged him to marry, worried that his constant affair would jeopardize the future of Ferrado.
Unless it was time to wield the sword, he was charmingly polite, flawlessly handsome, and above all, the only duke in the empire.
Women ceaselessly flocked to him.
However, he was destined to die from a curse that cannot be broken, so he intended to cede his seat to his nephew.
In fact, in the Original, it was his brother’s son, Emerson Ferrado, who became duke after Jade’s death.
Whenever he was in a relationship, the vassals were unable to hide their anticipation that Jade would finally get married and secure an heir.
Lobelia lowered her gaze to the table where scrumptious dishes and exquisite silverware and blood-red wine were neatly laid out.
A contractual relationship was an unexpected suggestion, but it wasn’t bad.
Besides, Lobelia had nowhere to retreat to in case time called for it.
“Alright,” she looked up, “A contractual relationship, let’s do it.”
At her agreement, Jade nodded contentedly.
“Well thought, Miss Lobelia,” Jade said, his deep red eyes twinkling, “I will be faithful to you until the end of our deal.”
“So I want you to be faithful to me.”
Lobelia shook her head.
“I’m sorry, Duke, but I don’t believe in good faith,” she said.
Human beings are inherently evil and insatiable.
Driven by greed, humans forget reason and do terrible things.
“Then let’s change the word,” Jade said.
Lobelia calmly gazed into his eyes.
“Don’t betray me,” he warned, “if you betray me, it will be the end of you.”
At the word betrayal, Lobelia laughed.
“I don’t have the same faith as the Duke, but I have a goal that I want to achieve with as much fervor as the Duke.
So, you don’t have to worry about betrayal.” Jade stared back at her.
“Then the deal is sealed,” he said.
“Then I’ll have to get you out of the Count Evelentia’s house first.”
At that moment, the two of them swore obedience to the unwritten contract that would completely rewrite their fate and began to devise their ploy until the food was no longer warm.
Jade ultimately came up with a very simple idea, to which Lobelia agreed to.
Jade rose from his seat and approached Lobelia and held out his arm.
Lobelia stared at his hand with a questioning look, then let out a cry of realization and placed her hand on it.
With her hand on top of his, Jade escorted Lobelia back to the carriage where Joheim was waiting.
“See you tomorrow,” he bade.
When they were almost at the count’s residence, Joheim opened his mouth to speak.
“Miss Lobelia,” he said.
“What is the matter, Sir Jereminus?” asked Lobelia.
Joheim hesitated for a moment.
“I’ll be with you until tomorrow,” he finally said.
“What?” Lobelia tilted her head.
Why would he be staying with her until tomorrow? “Sir Jereminus must return to the Duke of Ferrado,” she said, matter-of-factly.
“The coachman will deliver my message,” he replied.
“But why would Sir Jereminus stay with me?” Lobelia questioned.
“That is…” Joheim bowed his head.
His inability to answer her questions was different from his master, Jade Ferrado.
“If you return to the Count of Evelentia like this… I’m sure you’re going to suffer.” Lobelia’s eyes widened.
“What does that mean?”
“I’m sorry madame, but rumors about Count Evelentia are already widespread in social circles.
So, how can I, a knight, ignore Miss Lobelia?” Joheim said.
He was aware that Marlon, Josephine, and Aina were tormenting Lobelia terribly, so he meant to protect her.
“It’s none of your business, Sir Jereminus,” Lobelia interjected, refusing his offer.
There was a hint of wariness in her voice.
She knew that knights pursued the unusual value of “chivalry” to worship the Lady, but she thought this was too much.
“I’m not a lady,” she said.
She was not to be guarded by knights.
“But…” Joheim’s voice trailed off.
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