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“You don’t have to do anything… just stay with me.”
He quickly said while Rubica stared at him, saying nothing. There was nothing he could do if she didn’t want to come, but he was ready to pay any kind of price if only he could always stay with her.
The sounds of barking dogs and clopping hooves were already nearby. However, he didn’t seem to hear them and just kept his eyes on her.
What was she that he was so anxiously waiting for her answer? There wasn’t anything he couldn’t have, but he was pleading to her, an ordinary woman.
It made her feel as if she was a queen, but what delighted her even more was the fact that he loved her.
“Of course, I should come to you. I’m your wife.”
He smiled brightly at hearing that. She had always thought he was an ice prince, but now he was smiling brightly like the sunlight. It made her heart almost stop.
That was enough to be on the list of the top ten shockingly beautiful things she had seen. Of course, the first was when she met him. At the time, she had not been able to trust her own eyes and wondered how such a beautiful man could exist.
Latte, the dog that totally liked Edgar, was the first to find them. As soon as it went into the cave, it lunged at Edgar and licked him hard. It made his passion calm down, which Rubica was grateful for.
Carl, who had traces of tears on his face, came right afterward. He had come on a horse with Moreau’s trackers, following Minos’s explanation.
He had witnessed Ios’s remarkable powers, so he believed Stephen would be caught and the duke and the duchess would be fine.
However, what he saw in the cornfield was more than enough to freak him out. More than half of what used to be the biggest cornfield in Claymore dukedom was gone, and there were huge rocks embedded here and there.
Really, the dragon was much more powerful than he had imagined. Carl looked for Edgar and Rubica, impressed by what Ios had done, but then he found a fallen horse at the cliff and turned deadly pale.
It seemed like something had happened, and maybe they had fallen down the cliff. He had lost his mind after that and could only remember bits and pieces.
He tried to go down the cliff immediately, but Baron Moreau stopped him, asking if he wanted to die. Carl could only keep calling Edgar and Rubica as they went down taking a safer route. He prayed to the gods so much.
“Are, are you okay?”
Carl saw Rubica first. Thankfully, she was a little tired, but she looked fine. Although he could see that there was nothing wrong with her, Carl still asked as he was half out of his mind.
If she hadn’t been his mistress, he would have put a hand on her to check if she was real.
“Yes, I’m okay, Carl.”
“And what about His Grace…”
Carl found Edgar slightly later, but then he was shocked. Latte was licking his face so hard as if it was candy.
The butler knew that Edgar was a person who would never let Latte show its affection that way. Maybe he had fallen down the cliff and now couldn’t even move his arm!
Judging from how he normally behaved, it was quite likely that he used his own body as a cushion to save Rubica. Carl fell in front of Edgar and wailed.
He was so shocked that he couldn’t even wail properly.
“I’m fine, don’t make a fuss.”
Edgar frowned and said coldly, but Carl had every reason to misunderstand. The cliff was tall, and it was a miracle they were still alive. Edgar sounded just as usual and Rubica was calm, so Carl slowly started to come back to his senses.
“Your Grace, what about your legs?”
“They’ll be fine when the sun goes down.”
“I’ve checked. His muscles and nerves are fine.”
The duke’s pants had been ripped apart and now it could only cover his middle part.
It seemed like Rubica had checked him as soon as they fell from the cliff. Carl was relieved, but he was worried at the same time.
“Um, have you…”
“I know what it is.”
The duke, who had been delaying in revealing the truth to her, had finally confessed everything. Carl didn’t know how much he had revealed, but as he had expected, Rubica sounded like she had decided to accept everything.
Although the duke had wasted all that precious time, not knowing how considerate she was. It turned out what Stephen had done was all for the better.
“Thank you, Your Grace.”
Carl wanted to ask her to take good care of Edgar, but he knew he didn’t deserve to say it.
Baron Moreau and his trackers also arrived at the cave. As soon as Edgar saw the baron, he asked what time it was. Moreau quickly took out a clock, looked at it, and replied, “It’s one in the afternoon.”
“It’s too late! You should have arrived here at least by noon. How are you going to catch Stephen if you are so slow?”
“Oh, um, it’s, it’s all my fault.”
The duke was as strict as usual. Baron Moreau wanted to say that finding the way down the cliff had taken some time, but he gulped and asked for forgiveness as he knew saying that would only end up with him getting scolded for not memorizing all the maps of the Claymore dukedom.
“Lord Moreau, we need a carriage.”
The baron looked at Edgar after hearing Carl’s request. He looked calm and there was no wound he could see, but it seemed like he couldn’t stand up.
It was good that he had suffered only that much after falling from the cliff.
He turned as pale as Carl had been when he first found Edgar and said he would immediately get a carriage and a doctor.
“There’s no need to waste time. The trip home will take less than two hours, so I will meet my doctor there.”
Edgar was calculating the time needed for the journey home by using the standards of a mana stone carriage. The baron hesitated for some time and said, “Your Grace, you are planning to go back on a mana stone carriage.”
Edgar narrowed his eyes. Judging from the baron’s reaction, it seemed like he hadn’t prepared one.
Maybe it was only right as he had been surprised by the news that reached him in the middle of the night and came with his search party.
However, Edgar couldn’t help getting angry at thinking Rubica, who had suffered so much last night, had to go on an ordinary carriage.
Horse carriages were bumpier than mana stone carriages even if they had cushiony seats.
“How could you forget to prepare that much?”
Thanks to his idiotic retainer, he was being humiliated in front of his wife. He didn’t mind people getting to hear about how mad he was, but this embarrassed him.
His voice was enough to freeze the entire world, and it gave chills to the baron.
He had been hoping that he might be rewarded for doing this important mission well, but now he was about to be excluded from the list of nobles.
“Forgive me, Your Grace! I will have them bring a mana stone carriage right away!”
“Are you a fool?”
“If you tell them now, the carriage will arrive here by tomorrow morning.”
The baron looked so dumb that a fire started burning in Edgar’s heart. His guard kidnapped his wife while his butler ignored her and made him his top priority.
Moreover, the man who he thought to be clever and assigned a job was now blowing his opportunity away.
“Forget about it. Is there any place my wife can rest nearby?”
The baron couldn’t say anything, so Carl spoke instead.
“There is a presbytery nearby. It is too small for Her Grace to rest, but at least you will be able to take a bath and have a meal. I will tell them to prepare clothes for her.”
Carl took a cape from a knight who was waiting outside and handed it to Rubica.
She had been quite embarrassed to be in her nightdress, so she thanked Carl and took the cape.
Edgar had been really mad at him last night, but his anger faded a little when seeing him take care of Rubica well.
“Then we should go there.”
“As you wish, Your Grace.”
The search party started to move fast when the order was given. They sent a messenger ahead to the presbytery and went to get a carriage for the duke and the duchess.
They were all thinking Edgar had been wounded so severely that he couldn’t walk, so there was no need to make an excuse about his condition.
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