Chapter 11 - The Next Morning
The bedding was cleaned regularly by the servants, but the sheets were old and worn. It was more fitting to call the dark room a desolate corner than the room of a young lady. Isabel didn’t have the energy to take off her dress and carelessly crawled into bed. She then closed her eyes, curled up, and let sleep consume her.
* * *
Agares furrowed his brows in irritation at the hand shaking his body. He shrugged off the hand but it stayed tenaciously and refused to let go. There were only a few people who could afford to wake him, the empire’s one and only Grand Duke, in such a discourteous manner. At the top of the list was a man named Cien, who had been taking care of the Grand Duke since he was a child. He had wanted to punish his impudent vassal right then and there, but he had a splitting headache and couldn’t open his eyes.
An ordinary secretary would have left by now, but Cien hardly even budged.
“Your Highness! Your Highness! Please wake up!”
“Ah, my head hurts. Don’t shake me. I’m going to die.”
Was he hallucinating, or did Cien shake him even more violently upon hearing news of his headache?
“Do you know how hard I’ve looked for you, Your Highness?! I feel like my legs are going to fall off my body after turning this mansion upside down looking for you!”
“I told you to go away.”
“What were you doing all night that has left you feeling like you’re going to die? Or, are you running out of stamina, now, Your Highness?”
Agares heard words that he could not ignore even with his fatal, splitting headache. Wait, had he heard that right? Was Cien doubting his stamina now? The Grand Duke finally opened his eyes in annoyance in response to the impertinent words, an offended look crossing his face. As he got up in his disheveled state, he stared at the brightly smiling Cien with a frown.
“Please speak, Your Highness,” Cien replied smoothly, his face saying, “I am your faithful servant.”
“What did you just say?”
“You finally opened your eyes. You’re beautiful today as always. You look handsome.”
Was he doing this on purpose, or did he misspeak? Agares really did not like being called beautiful, truth be told.
“Cut the bullshit. Not that, what else did you say? Say it again.”
“Gosh, what are you saying? Others would be so scared if they heard that.”
“I told you to cut the bullshit.”
“What are you talking about, Your Highness? I didn’t say anything. Did you mishear something while you were half-asleep? First, let’s calm down your lower parts, wash up, and return to the grand ducal residence.”
Agares raised his hand, wanting to teach the cheeky bastard a lesson, but he restrained himself.
“Before that, some water.”
His head hurt and his neck was locked. Overall, he was a wreck. The only thing that had gone away was the drowsiness in his body. As soon as Agares reached out his hand, Cien handed him a glass of water as if he had already read his mind and prepared it in advance. He assessed his attendant as he drank the iced water. If he had not been as perceptive as he was, Agares would have thrown him out early on. Now that he had had some water to drink, he was able to sober up slightly. His stiff neck felt much better too.
“Cien,” Agares called as he swept his long, blond hair back.
Shiny locks flowed down his back and cheeks like a waterfall. Cien, who had seen him his whole life, admired Agares’ beauty. He was undeniably good-looking.
“At your command, Your Highness.”
“Was anyone here when you came in?”
“There was no one, Your Highness.”
“You’re sure you didn’t see anybody?”
“Yes. No one. Speaking of, that’s quite odd. Usually, the other party would be sleeping in this bed, and Your Highness would have gone back, but this time you’re lying here and the lady you were with is gone.”
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