The Lucendorf Archducal residence was in an uproar.
Everyone, including the butler, was shocked when the archduchess was embraced by her husband.
Killian quickly took Laura to the second floor in his arms.
“Simon, call a doctor right away.”
The butler, Simon, ran out with his hair flying.
Killian kicked open the door to the bedroom and went in.
Melissa followed him in and pulled back the covers.
Killian carefully laid Laura down on the bed.
Her cheeks were so pale that they looked bluish, as if drained of all life. Sweat was dripping down her smooth forehead.
He sat on the edge of the bed and looked down at her.
Even as he reached out to gently brush her hair away from her forehead, his intense gaze never left her face.
Melissa was surprised at how tender her usually stern master was acting.
“Aren’t they here yet?”
Melissa shrank back at his angry voice.
“I-I’ll go out and f-find out right away.”
Melissa barely managed to finish her sentence before rushing out of the room.
No, she was trying to leave. If only her master hadn’t given her a direct order.
“Bring a towel.”
“Because she’s sweating.”
At her hesitant question, Killian shot her a quick glance.
The maid, who couldn’t move quickly, seemed uncomfortable.
Melissa, who was terrified by his gaze, rushed out like her skirt was on fire.
When the archducal doctor arrived,
He witnessed an unusual sight.
The ice-cold Archuke of Lucendorf was personally tending to his wife.
Killian carefully wiped Laura’s sweaty forehead and neck with a white towel. He occasionally checked her forehead’s temperature with the back of his hand and tidied up her well-groomed hair.
As the doctor hesitated when he entered the room, Killian’s indifferent gaze landed on him.
“I greet you, Your Grace.”
“Enough talk. Just treat her.”
The sharp command made the doctor hurry to approach the bed.
But he hesitated because he didn’t know what to do.
Because Killian was standing his ground and not moving away.
“Your Grace, if you could just get up for a moment….”
Only then did Killian realize that he was blocking the way between Laura and the doctor, and he stood up with a low groan.
But he did not move far and sat in the chair he had left by the bed. He crossed his arms and watched the doctor with a cold, stiff face.
The doctor cautiously examined the archduchess.
“Um… Her body temperature has dropped significantly. Her heart rate is also slow.”
“I know that too.”
Killian, who was glaring at the doctor as he lightly grasped Laura’s wrist, said.
“Oh, yes. When did the archduchess start experiencing these symptoms?”
The doctor asked, pulling at his shirt collar and leaning in closer.
“It’s been about 30 minutes since she collapsed.”
“Yes, I heard that from the butler. However, these symptoms usually start showing before that.”
“Symptoms such as lack of sleep, decreased memory, and easy fatigue.”
At the doctor’s words, Killian fell into thought.
There was a time when she couldn’t sleep well because a mouse appeared in the bedroom.
But that issue had been resolved long ago.
“Did my wife collapse because of lack of sleep?”
“It’s one of several symptoms. I just asked if she had shown such symptoms before.”
“Are you asking that because you don’t know why my wife collapsed?”
Killian sharply questioned, causing the startled doctor to hesitate before answering.
“In my opinion, the archduchess seems to have greatly weakened. And I think we will need to wait for the archduchess to wake up to know more details.”
“Yes. Based on my examination, the archduchess does not show any serious symptoms. When she wakes up, please have her eat a nutritious meal to regain her strength and avoid excessive movement for a while.”
“So, you’re telling me to wait until my wife regains consciousness?”
Killian’s expression turned cold and fierce as he did not like what the doctor was saying.
“For now, there is no other way. We just need to let the archduchess rest comfortably….”
“That’s enough. You can leave now.”
At Killian’s sharp dismissal, the doctor left the room with a pale face.
Killian looked at Laura with a sunken gaze.
Despite his wiping her with a towel, her pale face was once again covered in sweat.
Whether she was having a bad dream or not, she let out a faint groan. Her dry lips trembled weakly, and even her delicate eyelids wrinkled.
It was a heartbreaking sight for anyone who saw it.
The anxious head maid, Heather, stepped forward.
“We will take care of the madam from now on. So, Your Grace….”
Killian did not answer.
He leaned his body heavily against the back of the chair and rested his chin on his hand. But his strangely dark pupils were still fixed on Laura.
It was an atmosphere that no one dared to approach recklessly, and Heather carefully watched her master’s mood.
When Heather called him hesitantly,
He stood up, still like a statue, unmoving.
As the man in the exquisite attire rose to his feet, the air in the room grew even colder.
He approached the bed and stooped down to wipe Laura’s cheek.
At that moment.
“…Give it to me, honey.”
Laura murmured with pale lips.
Then, like a baby bird begging for food, she rubbed her cheek against the palm of his hand.
His hand, which was wiping her cheek, stopped. Soon, his sharp jawline trembled as if suppressing something.
“Your Grace, the archduchess seems to have regained consciousness.”
Heather said with relief.
“Everyone, please leave.”
“I said leave because I’ll be here.”
Still with his hand on Laura’s cheek, Killian glanced at Heather. His eyes staring at her were filled with a sense of discomfort.
“But, Your Grace, we need to take care of the archduchess….”
“I said leave. Didn’t you hear me?”
“Yes! We will leave immediately.”
Taken aback by his sharp response, Heather hurriedly left the room, dragging the stiff Melissa with her.
The bedroom door closed, and silence filled the room.
Killian removed his hand from Laura’s cheek and straightened his waist that had been stooped down.
He stared at Laura sleeping for a long time.
Then he seemed to have made up his mind and began unbuttoning his jacket.
The jacket that covered his sturdy physique fell to the ground.
A dazzling white shirt opened up, revealing a muscular torso.
Throughout the process of taking off his clothes, his gaze remained fixed on Laura.
Finally, Killian lifted the blanket and lay down beside her.
“I’m doing this because you want to…….”
A muffled whisper flowed from him, hiding his expression as snow fell.
* * *
Laura stretched happily.
Her body felt soft and relaxed, as if she had just had a sweet dream.
“Why do I feel so good.”
A smile naturally appeared on her lips.
The morning sunlight that filtered through the thin curtains tickled her face.
Laura closed her eyes and savored the peaceful morning.
Then she snuggled deeper into the warm blanket.
Even though it was midsummer and should have been hot, it wasn’t at all.
Laura hugged the thing that made her feel good with one arm and rubbed her cheek against it.
A satisfied sigh escaped her lips.
It’s firm, yet soft…
With a hazy mind, Laura suddenly stopped breathing.
Something was strange.
There was no way there could be something firm and soft on her bed.
Laura opened her eyes wide.
The first thing she saw was a smooth chest made of muscles that throbbed with each breath.
As if she had seen something she shouldn’t have, Laura was startled.
Before she could even finish her sentence, she met Killian’s gaze, who had been watching her with a strange expression.
She screamed and jumped up.
Her heart raced madly as she gasped for air.
While still staring straight ahead without turning her head towards Killian.
Although his silent gaze made her cheeks flush, she didn’t turn around.
Why am I in bed with Killian?
What happened yesterday?
All sorts of questions came to mind and repeated themselves until she finally remembered.
Yesterday, she had visited the Duke Tormaite’s residence and had all her mana taken away by a girl named Laila.
Her last memory was of Edward holding her collapsing body.
And Killian staring at her coldly like the arctic ice.
Now that she had woken up in her room, it was clear that Killian had brought her to the main house.
But why were they lying in the same bed?
She returned to her first question.
That’s when it happened.
He sat up with a rustle, and she couldn’t help but glance at him.
Laura, who had been secretly observing him, was immediately captivated by his appearance.
“Why, why are you naked?”
Killian propped himself up with one arm and used the other to brush back his tousled hair.
His thick shoulder and chest muscles twitched with every movement.
Laura couldn’t take her eyes off his suggestive movements. Just as she was about to faint, a sudden thought crossed her mind.
The only reason they were both naked in bed together was because of that.
In other words, a couple’s relationship.
They had crossed a river last night that they could never return from.
The reason why her body felt so refreshed was because they had exchanged mana to overflowing.
And she couldn’t even remember that huge event herself.
“What if we did it while I was unconscious!”
What a waste.
In fact, it was Laura’s first time in bed as well.
It was unfair that she hadn’t been able to properly experience the exciting act and had just let it go.
It was also regrettable that she hadn’t experienced the process of mana building up.
“I want to remember it vividly too… what?”
“We didn’t do it.”
Laura blinked slowly.
They didn’t have a conjugal relationship.
That’s what his words meant.
Laura looked at his naked upper body with disbelief. Then he looked down at her.
She was properly dressed.
Her cheeks turned red in an instant.
It was very embarrassing that she had made a fuss about feeling unjust when they hadn’t even had intimacy.
“We didn’t do anything, I get it. But why are you the only one undressed? You’re making people misunderstand…”
“…Because I’m hot.”
He leaned his elbows on his raised knees and rested his chin in his hands. His pupils, which stared at her intently, still seemed drowsy and lazy.
She had nothing to say.
It wasn’t her place to ask someone who had undressed because they were hot why they were confusing people.
Anyway, nothing had happened.
Her shoulders slumped.
She wondered why she felt so disheartened.
One good thing was that she was able to regain her strength because he was by her side.
“Then why were you lying in bed with me?”
His pupils, which had been drowsy, gradually became clear. Then he furrowed his brow slightly as if considering his answer.
“Because my wife needed it.”
He mumbled as he lowered his long eyelashes.