Rowaine, who was overjoyed, called Dimitri’ Blue’ several times for joy before her eyes suddenly began to blush again.
“I miss my cats since I’m looking at you like this.
One day, when I have my own house, I want to take all my cats and give them a treat.”
“I wanted to heal all those that are sick and give them delicious food every day so that they can live comfortably in a warm place.”
As she took a deep breath, a drop from her tears fell onto the floor.
“However, because I am incompetent… I can’t afford to bring them home and take care of them…”
A drop or two of a watery sigh fell.
“They were more like family than my family.”
Dimitri watched her cry silently.
‘Cats were like family…?’
It was a way of thinking that he could not understand.
Sometimes he’d seen people treat dogs like family.
Nevertheless, it was rare, and in this world, beasts were only beasts and were not treated equally with humans.
Moreover, for Shapeshifters, weren’t they regarded much less than as beasts and treated like slaves?
But, it was strange to see her thinking of her cats and to see her say that they were like her family.
‘…As expected, she’s a strange woman.’
At that moment, Rowaine suddenly burst into laughter.
“Thank you for comforting me, Blue.
You’re so smart.”
It was then that Dimitri noticed that his tail was rustling as if it were brushing her back, and he stood up in shock.
‘I didn’t mean to comfort her.
She’s misunderstanding me again.’
He walked away shyly.
* * *
The next morning after returning from Madame Elbas’ mansion, I decided to visit the Duke after much deliberation.
‘Can I propose that we fire some of the employees?’
Even if I became the Duchess, I still was in a pretentious position, so I didn’t want to go out of my way with the internal affairs of Blois.
Nonetheless, seeing Madame Elbas’ behavior yesterday made it necessary to reduce her influence in this mansion.
I heard that Sophia, the maid, educated and led the maids here and there between this mansion and Madam Elbas’ mansion.
Because of that, even a maid like Tilda, was still standing in the shadow of Madam Elbas and ignoring me.
If it goes according to the plan, I will be spending about three years here.
It was impossible to live with the eyes of such employees for a long period of time like that.
It would not just be a fight with employees.
It will be a long battle with Madam.
‘I don’t want to waste my energy on unnecessary things.’
Clearly, just by firing a few high-ranking people, the discipline could be reestablished.
‘Let me ask him first, anyway.’
I wrapped my head with a note that I was holding in front of me before going to the Duke.
My offer would be accepted if I had prepared well enough for him to be plausible.
‘First… if we’re going to get rid of someone, we should fire Sophia first.’
Among the maids working at Blois, we can hire new maids with a lot of experience.
‘Still, the fact that she has a lot of experience here doesn’t mean she could be a close associate of Madam Elbas, like Sophia.’
No matter how Madame Elbas took all of the maids to the place where she lived now… I would never know if there were eyes and ears left behind here.
Wouldn’t I have made a personnel decision before I knew what to do?
I covered the note with Sophia’s name on it.
“Let’s hang out a little longer and observe people.”
If there was no alternative, I would have been unable to carry out any opinions if I only hastily visited the Duke and begged him.
There was nothing I could do, anyway, so I decided to collect information by observing the employees.
And, until then, I decided to leave only Agwen by my side.
Fortunately, Agwen did not feel burdened to serve me alone but willingly accepted it.
“The Madam is so considerate of her servants, so it’s not difficult even though I’m alone at all.”
As I was used to doing anything on my own without being picky, it seemed that it felt like consideration for her.
I talked a little more with Agwen.
She is a woman with cute dimples that appear when she smiles, she fits her age.
After talking to her for a while, I really like her.
Contrary to her docile-looking appearance, she was cautious and respectful in her determined attitude that sometimes appeared.
Still, she also seemed to have a pretty daring corner, seeing that she sent Tilda to the most arduous workshop in the mansion.
Just as I searched for him, he must have searched for me as well.
It was a time when I got to know each other with Agwen, the butler sent by the Duke came and held out a pocket with bills and cash.
“Your Excellency has asked me to pay forty million pennies every month to the Madam.”
At that, I counted the value of money in my head and tried to calculate how much it was.
‘If you multiply Korean currency by two, it seems to be similar to the value of the currency here.’
In a very rough calculation, forty million pennies was about two million won in Korean currency.
‘Twenty million won a month? No way…’
Unknowingly, I opened my mouth and stared at the butler.
Seeing that, he added an explanation.
“On average, the duchess would be paid thirty million pennies, but the Master told me to increase it if you said it wasn’t enough.”
Obviously, the money was a lot.
Although I had no choice but to refuse with my hands shaking.
“This is enough.”
“I will inform him about that.”
“Oh, I will go to the Duke himself and tell him.
I had something to tell him, anyway.”
* * *
I immediately went to the Duke of Blois.
As promised in the past, I had to help him relieve his pain every few days, and I was able to ask him some questions.
There, the Duke was listening to reports from his aide in the office.
“What is going on, madam?”
Come to think of it, he casually called me his wife.
Since his assistant, Viscount Hyle Bilph also knew about the curse, so I spoke without hesitation.
“I’d like to see your condition.”
“Let’s sit down.”
It seemed that he was in a good mood, as he sat down on the sofa in front of his desk.
Whether he was having a conversation with Viscount Hyle Bilph, he stepped aside without any hint of doubt.
“Give me your hand.”
“Is only one hand enough?”
When I reached out, he put his hand on it.
However, it wasn’t exactly palm-to-hand, but his hand was awkwardly raised somewhere between my palm and my wrist.
It felt so disrespectful I gazed up at him, and I realized something when I saw him staring awkwardly to the other side.
‘Cats don’t like to be touched…’
I knew that the cat had a lot of blood vessels distributed on the convex cheeks like soft jelly under the soles of the feet, and that they have a sensitive sense.
‘He’s holding it in for me.’
I think I could use the healing power that overflows within me when it comes into contact with skin, so I thought it would be better to ask for an arm next time…
I quietly pushed my aura into his body through the softly grazed skin.
Perhaps, he was enduring the pain without saying anything.
It felt as if everything in his body was blocked.
He must have felt pain in every part…
‘The headache must have been particularly severe.’
As my warm energy circulated throughout his body, I could see his expression becoming more comfortable.
Even though he didn’t say anything, there was a sense of relief and joy in his countenance.
When everything was over, his eyes that were looking at me were softer.
“If you are not feeling very well, please come to me anytime.
I said once every three days, but it’s not difficult, so you don’t have to ensure it.”
He showed a little favor to me because of the memory of laughing loudly when we came out of Madam Elbas’ mansion yesterday.
The Duke smiled and favorably offered me refreshments.
“At least, have some tea before you go.”
“No, I don’t plan on staying long.
Since I’m here, there are a few things I want to ask you.”
“So, the cost of maintaining dignity.”
“Is it too little?”
I think it’s not too much.
In our relationship, this is the cost of employment.”
“You can say it like that.”
Then, it was a little strange that the successive Duchess was being paid more than they are now.
“You don’t think I have the power to bring the dead back to life, do you? I can only treat you like this.”
I was worried that he was overestimating my abilities and paying too much, so I wanted to check.
However, he responded that he didn’t really think about it that far.
“I don’t expect anything like that from my wife.”
“That’s a relief.”
“Think of it as paying the price for keeping that ability a secret.”
“Oh, is that so?”
I blinked my eyes for a moment, sneaked my guts out.
“Then, can I get a little more?”
As soon as I brought up this topic, I asked if the amount was small because I thought I could raise the amount.
At first, I thought this was a lot, though I changed my mind when I heard that it was money that recognized the value of my abilities.
‘If I can increase my value, there is no need to miss the opportunity.’
Isn’t money a good thing, too?
As if reading my thoughts, the Duke chuckled.
“As much as you want.”
Oh, if this is the case, it’s a war of wits.
“Forty five million pennies…?”
It was equivalent to raising a monthly salary of 2.5 million won in Korean currency.
I gazed at him anxiously, wondering if it was too extreme, but he had an awkward expression as if he had heard a childish joke.
“I’m pretty sure you don’t have any talent for negotiating.”
Thinking it was a word of refusal, I pointed my lips out and grumbled inwardly.
‘I shouldn’t have raised my expectations.’
But, at his next words, I widened my eyes.
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