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BA Chapter 57: The Meaning of Love

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Ingrid couldn’t easily let Luana go. Her little sister, whom she had never seen before in the kingdom, seems precious now to Ingrid. Luana was the only one brought to the empire, and she could be on the same side as Ingrid. It wasn’t that she didn’t understand either. When she asked her to leave with her, she continued to refuse. Luana said she was fine and couldn’t bring other words. Then, Luana, who parted with Ingrid, let out a small sigh.

She thought there was no one in this world that she could think of as a family, but she was becoming more and more precious.

‘It’s a good thing, isn’t it?’

She wanted to believe that. The duke was waiting right in front of her as she came out into the hallway.

‘I can’t believe you followed me all the way here.’

Luana spoke a little grumpy,

“Why are you here?”

The duke took Luana’s hand and began to walk in front of her. She followed him in confusion, and the destination was his room.

“We don’t share rooms anymore.”

As they’ve got Rio,  it was better to prevent any misunderstandings in advance. She tried not to enter the room, but the duke insisted and pulled her hand.

“Are you going to use a different room?”

As Luana was dragged in, she raised her voice, and the duke opened his mouth.

“What if you run away?”

“What? What were we talking about earlier? I said I wouldn’t run away. Why are you talking in circles?”

In exchange for that, didn’t she decide not to put someone on watch while they were together?

“Are you asking because you don’t know? You nodded at that woman, Ingrid’s words.”

“No, wait. How do you know that?”

“How did I know?”

The duke replied in a sarcastic tone.

“Did you put someone to watch me that time?”

“And you nodded at the idea of leaving.”

“I’m not saying I’m leaving now, didn’t I?”

“Doesn’t that mean one day you’re going to leave?”

“Then, should I live here for the rest of my life? Until I see Sir Legion takes a wife and gives birth to your child?”

“I can afford you living here.”

“I can’t live here!”

As Luana refuted, the startled duke frowned and approached her closer.

“Why?”

“Well, if I’m here, there can be a lot of misunderstandings. People will think you’re cheating with me.”

“With you?”

At those words, her heart aches.

“W-what’s wrong with me? There were a lot of people who liked me, you know?”

Actually, there wasn’t really any; she just blurted those words. That way, she seemed to be able to protect her shattered self-esteem even a little.

“Yes, I see. Then we can do this.”

“What?”

The duke’s arms rested against the walls on either side of Luana. The back of her head was pressed against the wall, the duke slowly moved his face closer to hers, but she didn’t move. She couldn’t even speak because of the tension. His red lips came closer and closer.

‘There is no way, right?’

Luana covered her mouth with her hand, but the duke did not stop. Soft and warm lips touched the back of her hand, which became rough while cooking.

Slowly, her face began to heat up. The heat got in all the way and eventually made her ears red. Her ears pounded at the sound of her heart beating.

“What, what did you do?”

“What did I do?”

The duke asked while curved his eyes.

‘How can I explain this in a sound manner?’

Luana desperately tried to rack her brain, but she couldn’t think of anything. She eventually let out a small sigh, covering her face with both her hands.

“Kiss.”

“I’m giving you a kiss.”

Once again, his lips touched the back of her hand. As the lips left a deep trace faded; this time, a long finger tapped on the back of her hand. It seemed he wanted to remove her hands, but he couldn’t. She knew what would happen if she removed her hands!

“W-why are you doing this to me?”

She asked with tearful eyes, and the duke answered,

“I’m offering you a solution because you’re running away.”

“What’s the solution?”

“Don’t you know?”

“I don’t know!”

She carefully lowered her hand, revealing her eyes. The red eyes shining right in front of her looked mean but also beautiful.

“Love, let’s try it with me.”

“What?”

She was so startled that she let out a strange voice.

“If we fall in love and you become the duchess, you won’t be able to leave anymore.”

“W-who loves for that reason?!”

“I am.”

“What about Rio?!”

“I think she’ll be satisfied just being the duke’s cook?”

Luana is sure she is. Rio won’t hate it because it’s a well-paid and honorable position. Luana also liked her since the first time they met in the duchy. But that and this are different!

Luana protested fiercely. Before she knew it, her hands covering her mouth went down.

“Love is not for that reason!”

“That could be the beginning of love.”

He smiled with his eyes and kissed Luana’s lips lightly. It was too late for her to move.

“N-now!”

“I kissed you.”

Luana looked up at the duke with a face as red as a tomato. She needs to slap him right now and leave. Even though she knew it, her hand did not move.

‘How can I hit that face? I don’t think it was this much in the past, but now it’s hard to touch it when I see his beauty in full bloom.’

“Please don’t. After all, kissing requires the other person’s consent!”

“I’ll keep that in mind. Then, Luana?”

“What?”

“Can I kiss you?”

“No! Never!”

“I really can’t?”

The duke’s eyes drooped like a puppy. As he whispered in a pathetic voice, it seemed like she was going to die. She has to run away somehow! She would likely have a big accident if she stayed between the duke’s arms like this. She then saw an opportunity for her to escape, but that thoughts were shallow. The other party is the Sword of The Empire. He had no intention of letting Luana go so she couldn’t get away.

“Luana.”

‘No, no. Don’t look at me with that face. You don’t really mean to love me, don’t you? But you’re not this kind of person, so where did you learn this kind of thing?’

Luana struggled, gasping for her breath.

“No!”

“I haven’t said anything yet.”

“No way!”

The duke tilted his head. It was so cute that she wanted to hold his chest without realizing it.

‘No, I can’t. I really can’t.’

Luana gritted her teeth; she lifted her trembling fingers and said,

“Just, just once.”

The duke’s eyes widened in surprise and returned to normal. He suddenly pressed his lips against Luana’s. Her body seemed to freeze at the sensation of his soft lips.

The kiss ended quickly. It ended quickly, but the lingering feeling remained for a long time. When it was all over, Luana collapsed on the wall and sat down.

‘No, but why is the duke so familiar with this? Isn’t this the first time he’s in love? But he was so used to it that I felt strange.’

She thought she should say what she had to say.

“Why on earth did you think you should love me?”

“Didn’t you say that the method of breaking the curse must be interpreted in several ways? Learning how to love or holding a cooking contest didn’t work, so I thought it would be okay to come up with another way.”

“But why me?”

“A writer named Vyan tells me what to do when I want to love.”

‘Vyan, you punk! The next time I see you, I’ll never let you live.’

Luana gritted her teeth. She recognized him from the time he wandered around the duke’s mansion. She was planning to catch him and crush him thoroughly next time.

“You were the only one who could do it.”

She felt bad when she thought about trying it on someone else. But it was better the target was Luana, or else the duke would do all those shameful acts that Vyan taught him to someone else. Somehow she felt like she had returned to herself.

“I don’t like it.”

Luana’s lips said mean things, but she could bear it. It was bearable now if she thought she couldn’t leave his side.

“I have the right to choose a person!”

“I don’t think there are many men who are superior to me.”

Yes, the duke is a rare handsome man with excellent swordsmanship and holds all the power, honor, and money. If he wants a suitor right now, there won’t be one or two people who will come running.

“My standards are more simple.”

A moderately good-natured and kind person. If possible, she would like someone who likes to cook. Luana tried to come up with an ideal type that she had never thought of before.

“Why do you lower your standards by leaving a good person behind?”

The duke curiously asked Luana. He’s very confident. But she didn’t really hate to hear it, because it was true!

“So, Luana. Let’s try to love.”

There was a lot she wanted to tackle, but she sighed and stood up, holding the duke’s hand; Luana sighed. Once the duke is stubborn, she can’t win easily. She thought it would be better to let it slide.

“Is there a time limit?”

“How about an indefinite period?”

“No, you can’t. Make sure you set a deadline.”

“Then ten years.”

“It’s too long! A month!”

“That’s too short. How about a year?”

“It’s still long. Half a year.”

“Okay, then half a year.”

That’s how a promise was made between the two.

“Well, let’s start now. Luana.”

“Yes, Sir Legion.”

“Why don’t you just call me by my first name?”

Calling His Highness The Duke’s name? Luana looked troubled, but the duke seemed unwilling to back down.

“It’s not difficult, is it?”

“Le, Legion.”

It’s just the name minus the honorific title, but she doesn’t know why it’s so embarrassing. Luana held her wringing hands tightly and exhaled deeply.

“Yes, Luana.”

“Still, we have to use separate rooms.”

“I heard it’s common for couples to share a room.”

Luana imagined catching Vyan with a smiling face. She wanted to rip off that long hair tomorrow.

“You said you wanted to be in love. Then let’s do it step by step from the beginning.”

“Hmm… okay then. All right, let’s do that.”

The duke reluctantly let Luana go. She calmly walked out the door, moved away from the duke’s room, and sank back to the floor. She didn’t have the strength to walk. She maybe has to ask him if he’s sure no one was watching them.

It was just confusing.


TL/N: They finally kissed HAHAHA. By the way, thank you, Lily, for the ko-fi! <3

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