As soon as she went through the open door, the temperature on her skin became different.
Even though it was empty, it was warm because it was indoors.

However, like Marie said, there were no traces of human touch.
She wasn’t sure, but it seemed as though it had not been managed for a very long time.
This was just like an abandoned house.
There was dried up grass and withered flowers that she thought had once bloomed.

“It looks fine, but why didn’t they take care of it?”

With every step she took, the grass on her feet rustled and crumbled.
The dead plants that had lost their color and the dry soil beneath them were losing their lives.

“His Grace said to just leave it alone.
Others agreed because it was expensive.”

“Even though .
It’s a shame to leave it like this.”

Keeping a greenhouse warm in the middle of winter did not just require a lot of money.
A mild temperature like that of a spring day must be maintained, and water and nutrients must be continuously taken care of according to the conditions of the plants.
Even the management for one season would be enough to buy a mansion in the capital, so greenhouses could only be maintained by wealthy nobles.

However, it didn’t make sense to say that the Grand Duchy, who was not inferior to the Imperial family in terms of financial resources, wanted to save money.

“I think it’s because there wasn’t a Madam at the castle during that time.”

Although the appreciation of flowers was not limited to females, it was not wrong to say that greenhouses were usually managed by the Madam of the family.
Anne agreed because Marie’s words made sense.
She then asked, as though she had suddenly remembered.

“Why didn’t Marie ask His Grace?”

How dare I?”

What was the difficulty in creating a flower garden to soothe the mistress’ heart? Of course, considering the Grand Duke’s cold disposition, it must have been difficult for Marie to bring up the words.

“But if Marie had asked, he would have listened.”

He will listen if Madam asks.
I want to see flowers too.”

Marie, waving her hand, showed her inner feelings for once and smiled shyly.
Anne heard she was from the North to the bone .
Just as there were few women who disliked pretty flowers.

“I’ll ask him when I get a chance.”

It would be good to assign someone to manage the greenhouse.
She could spend some free time there— time passed so slowly here.

* * *

Returning to her room after wandering around the greenhouse and the big lake, Anne hugged herself in an attempt to shield herself from the chill.
A shiver coursed through her body, as she had walked longer than expected.

When she changed from her gown, which was droopy with moisture, into her indoor gown, Marie realized that Anne was cold and prepared tea to warm her body.

Rubbing her frozen hands, her gaze strayed to Marie, who brewed the tea.
She looked down at the droopy corners of Marie’s eyes, creating a gentle impression.

“If Madam says so, Master will order us to manage the greenhouse right away.”

Marie, who had scooped a spoonful of cinnamon powder— said to warm the body— spoke in a quiet voice.


Marie was not a maid, why would she call Daymond master? The more Anne thought about it, the more strange it was.

Obviously, Marie is His Grace’s mistress .

Anne suddenly realized something.
The Grand Duke visited her without missing a single night from the moment Anne entered the castle.
Even if she admitted that it was unavoidable on the first night, she was somewhat suspicious as the visits continued.

He comes to my bedroom every night .
When does he sleep with Marie?

The war of nerves between the legal wife and the mistress occurred a lot during tea parties.
They did not interfere with each other or quarrel openly, but they were subtly conscious and alert.
Among them, the factor with the most weight was their bedroom lives.
They judged each other’s superiority based on whose bedroom the man went to that night.

When she heard those ladies’ innermost thoughts, Anne clicked her tongue, saying that it was a pity.
Human life was too short for women to live their entire lives competing for one man.
In other words, it was a waste of time.

So, she paid little attention to the relationship between the two and moved on.
She never even thought about when they slept together.

But those doubts, once started, kept biting her in the back and encouraged her to keep asking questions.

“Since when did you and the Grand Duke become lovers?”

It’s been less than half a year now.”

Marie’s head lowered.
Such a conversation was obviously quite difficult.

It was always like this.
Marie had always acted like that, unconsciously avoiding questions related to the Grand Duke.
At first she thought it would be better not to ask Marie, so she didn’t, but she kept having strange feelings, so she didn’t back down this time.

“The Grand Duke .

Anne pondered what to ask, and said again.

“He seems to like Marie a lot.”

“That .
that’s .
not true .

Marie jumped and shook her head violently.
Was it just a humble, polite denial? Or was it a complete denial? She could not make a proper judgment.

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