Chapter 176

Lindsay’s shoulders trembled as she felt Raven’s gaze on her.

Feeling a little embarrassed by the sight, Raven tossed in firewood to the already blazing fireplace and poked at the fire.

With her head down, Lindsay stole glimpses at the back of Raven. She could see a strong, solid shoulder and the outline of his muscular back on top of the thin shirt.

“Your grace…”

The skinny and weak young man whom she helped train could no longer be seen in her eyes. However, Lindsay somehow felt a slight longing for those times as well.

Since when did she start to have him in her mind? Before, he was someone that she could not even raise her head in front of.

Was it when she saw his pale, white self training until his face was tinted with red and his expression was crumpling in pain?

Was it when he ordered her to rest when her hands had been full of blisters and feet were cramping up from following him to Bellint Gate?

Was it when he treated her with kindness even though she was not pretty and had no status, while he had a dragon with transcendent beauty by his side? When he succeeded in reopening the mausoleum?

‘No…’

Lindsay shook her head with a poignant smile.

It may have been from when she first washed him, when his eyes closed, and no one knew when he would wake up.

No, maybe it was when his slow-running heart picked up pace at the moment he opened his eyes. When she felt his heart beating steady, stronger than anyone else, that may have been the moment it started.

However, she could only hold it in. She did not dare show it.

It was an unbelievable luxury for a mere maid to not know her place and have her master in her sight.

Nevertheless, the man was cold to princesses and noble ladies, but continued to be warm towards her, and the kindness continued to shake her heart.

At first, she liked it.

Even though she knew it was not love, it didn’t matter.

Oh, how fast her heart had raced when he accepted her as a concubine in consideration of her and in order to take responsibility?

But it didn’t take long for it to transform into a prickling pain.

For more than a few months, even on their way to the imperial castle, nothing happened.

Everyone envied her for becoming the concubine of a duke and attaining the position of a baroness, but she was hurt because her lover didn’t share the same sentiment. It was a painful reality.

But today, maybe, just maybe, she thought the long pain might finally end.

‘What should I do…’

Lindsay felt restless as she pressed down on her pounding chest.

When the moment actually came, she couldn’t remember the advice that the senior maids had given her.

Should she call out to him?

No, then she would be seen as a cheeky woman.

Should she lightly place her hands on that hard, solid shoulder?

No, that would be shameful as well. He might think of her as an unruly woman.

After racking through multiple ideas, Lindsay finally took courage and carefully opened her trembling lips.

She thought it might be all right to offer him a drink…

“Y, your grace, t, there is some wine…”

‘This is killing me.’

Raven was at his wits’ end as he endlessly scoured the fireplace. The flames that flared up and scattered seemed to reflect his present self, who could only burn, only to scatter away.

It wasn’t that he didn’t know women.

The pain accumulated by dancing with death, killing, and seeing blood – he had forcibly relieved it with women. There were no other choices in the demonic army.

But that was it.

There was no exchange of emotions.

It was a luxury to share one’s mind as someone that struggled to survive in an uncertain world. Furthermore, the impossibility only multiplied when directed at women.

‘Now that I think of it… I was mistaken. I do not know women…”

Raven smiled bitterly, holding back a vain laugh from bursting out.

He had to correct himself.

He may know a woman’s body, but he did not know a ‘woman’.

It occurred to him that he might have pushed Luna away and did not spare a glance at Ingrid for such reasons.

Of course, Soldrake was an exception.

Soldrake’s feelings towards him and his feelings towards Soldrake were a little far from the love that existed between men and women.

Even though he did not know love, he could differentiate that much at least.

A life companion, the companion of the soul.

That was who Soldrake was to him.

‘But…’

He could feel something hotter behind his back, something hotter than the heat that was radiating from the fireplace.

He was certain that Lindsay was looking at him.

Lindsay Conrad.

What did she mean to him?

Suddenly, he remembered when he first opened his eyes as Alan Pendragon.

The soft and full chest that neared him with a lively humming had seemed like a dream. It was like a ray of light that came at the end of death.

His life was marked by regret, disgrace, blood, and murder. It was the first time that he felt an ecstatic comfort.

She always did her best even though she was a maid.

She never uttered a word of complaint. She never asked for anything.

Raven knew that she always considered him first and worked her hardest without ever taking a break. He also knew that it would not have been easy.

‘Why…?’

Once, he thought it was because of their relationship as the master of the duchy and a maid, as a concubine and her husband.

But that wasn’t it.

With her status, Baroness Conrad could easily gather wealth in the duchy. If she made up her mind, she would have been able to provide land and money to her father and brothers, who were living a difficult life on the outskirts of the duchy.

But she never once asked him to do anything.

For more than a month after becoming his concubine, her family still lived in their old, narrow house while farming.

It was not until he spoke directly to Melborn that a house, land, sheep, and horses befitting her status were bestowed on her family.

On that day, she had cried for a long time while bowing her head and repeatedly saying ‘thank you’.

That was when he realized.

Lindsay really didn’t want anything from him, except for just one thing.

Love.

She wanted love from him even though he didn’t know love.

And she… kept providing him with the same love until now.

Without receiving anything in return.

Raven felt a throbbing sensation in his heart and lifted his face with a frown.

He could see the reflection of Lindsay on the decorative silverware on top of the fireplace. He saw her raise her hand a little, before putting it back down. She appeared restless, wanting to say something to him.

A smile appeared on Raven’s face.

Even at this moment, she was in love with him.

After a moment of calmly gazing at her reflection, he eventually jerked around.

***

“Y, your grace, t, there is some…”

“It’s fine.”

Lindsay became greatly surprised when Raven suddenly turned around.

But the real surprise was still to come.

Raven took large strides towards her and sat next to her.

Raven buried himself in the warm, cozy fox skin sofa under the heat of the fireplace and wrapped his arms around Lindsay’s shoulders. Her clear, round eyes widened in surprise.

“…..!”

She was so flustered that she was unable to speak a word, continuing to open and close her small mouth.

Smelling Lindsay’s unchanged scent, Raven put slight pressure on his hand that was wrapped around her shoulders.

As if she had been waiting, her small body neared his.

Without delay, Raven devoured her chirping breath.

“…..!”

Lindsay’s gaze wavered like waves.

But soon, she accepted the man’s burning emotions, allowing him to dig deeper into her arms, into her lips.

The man who wanted to know love and the girl who wanted to be loved – both shared their warmth with each other.

That night, Lindsay Conrad became a true lady of Pendragon.

***

“Hmm.”

Raven opened his eyes to the chilly air. The fireplace seemed to have gone out during the night.

The sky outside the window was still a little dim.

A sudden realization of a warmth caused Raven to look down. Lindsay was letting out chirping breaths with a face full of smiles.

Raven carefully stretched his hand and pulled some tangled hair off her ruddy cheeks.

“Mmm…?”

Feeling Raven’s touch, Lindsay squinted. Her face moved slightly, indicating her half-awake state. Their gazes met, and Lindsay muttered quietly.

“Your grace…?”

She tilted her head in confusion, thinking that she was still dreaming. But after a moment, her eyes started growing larger.

Proportionally, her face turned red, before spreading to her neck and chest, which were slightly exposed from the blanket.

“I , I, I, I, I…!”

“Stay in bed.”

Lindsay started to hurriedly lift herself out of bed, but Raven stopped her.

“Oh, n, no. I, I, this humble w,w ife has dared to make to make your grace wait for me.”

In the meantime, Raven laughed at Lindsay’s use of the words “this humble wife”.

“The air is cold. Just listen to me and lie back down.”

After speaking, Raven wrapped a silk tower under his waist and stood up before heading towards the fireplace.

Lindsay’s face heated up even more when she saw Raven’s exposed back, which was full of sculptured muscles under his wide shoulders.

She remembered the events of last night.

“There we go. It should become a little warmer soon.”

Raven rekindled the fireplace and turned around.

As a result, Lindsay was exposed to his hard, steel-like chest. She closed her eyes tightly, feeling breathless.

“Huh? What’s wrong? Your face is so red… Perhaps, did you catch a cold?”

Feeling a little worried, Raven hastily put his hand on Lindsay’s forehead. She shook her head in a hurry.

“Not at all! It’s just, just so embarrassing.”

Even though she had desired last night so much, she acted restless as if she had committed a huge crime. Looking at her appearance, Raven smiled.

He felt an urge to embrace her, so he started to stretch out his arms towards her. But then his arms stopped midway, and his eyes widened slightly.

“…..?”

Lindsay felt a little confused when her husband started to reach towards her, then stopped midway as if thinking about something.

Did she look ugly because she wasn’t dolled up?

A, ah, maybe since it was morning, her breath…

Lindsay agonized over all sorts of thoughts before finally taking courage and asking in a small voice.

“Y, your grace, what’s wrong…?”

At Lindsay’s call, Raven gave up his thoughts and looked down at her. He smiled as he observed her big, round eyes which contained pure feelings for him.

“Thanks to you… I think I have learned something I have never known before.”

“Yes?”

Raven’s ambiguous words confused Lindsay even more.

She could not have known.

The man who had never known love his entire life began to feel love for her as a woman, even though she was currently bedraggled…

TL Note: THERE YOU GO. THE MOMENT YALL BEEN WAITING FO.

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