The Duke's Unwanted Wife/C8 The Town of Traisen
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The Duke's Unwanted Wife/C8 The Town of Traisen
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C8 The Town of Traisen

The stuffy air of the carriage was hard to endure when the breeze was fresh outside in the city. Everything the man in front of her harped entered one ear and came out of the next. It was okay to ignore him, especially as she searched the crowd for familiar faces. Even after 10 years, her memories were still fresh, making her mission easier.

“Milady, we would alight here. Please hold on to this”

“Thank you” she smiled, taking the tablet. It had traces of fae magic which in the past, burnt her fingers when she took it. It was one of Wilbur’s many pranks. In the past, she flinched whenever she touched it but when she took it, even after a burn appeared on her hand, she didn’t flinch. The carriage door opened and she got down, leaving the stunned butler inside.

It was the first time the daring young man felt a sliver of fear. Even as they both smelt the scent of burning flesh, she wasn’t the one that flinched. The look on her face didn’t change and she continued as nothing happened.

“Where do you suggest we start our investigation, Butler Wilbur?”

“We should head into the guard station and check in the case with them first”

“Let’s do that then” she unfurled her fan, taking his hand to disembark the carriage. They walked into the guard station, the guards that followed her opening the door for her. Immediately they saw the insignia on their uniform, the guards in the guard station summoned their leader.

“It is my profound honor to meet the duchess” the middle-aged dark-skinned man bowed. The guard leader, Hermas, was someone she was also well acquainted with. He was the person who came back to check on her after she was abandoned dealing with the side effects of the aphrodisiac and someone who fought alongside her in the war. Unfortunately, he tried to kill her once.

“I’m here on assignment from the Duke to investigate the matter of the bandits that have been causing trouble for this town. I would appreciate your cooperation, Sir……”

“Hermas, ma’am. I would be more than happy to cooperate”

She wasn’t the only one having troubles with the bandits, his eye bags were proof that they were a big problem, even though the duke put them aside.

“That’s great. Please show me the documents”

Wilbur watched her display every bit of elegance as she went through the proceedings. She was befitting of her reputation in the capital, a cold impenetrable wall of elegance. The look in her eyes was one he hated the most, those cold eyes that regarded everything as beneath it.

“Would you like a tour of the city, my lady? Perhaps we could investigate as we go. It’s too nice a day to waste here” he offered with a charming smile.

“There’s no need for me to go investigate in person. I’m sure the guards here are more than capable. I will do my best to help from here” she replied without looking at him. The dark expression that replaced his smile scared the guards who could see him.

“It’s truly a nice day. I think you should enjoy it, my lady”

“Are you trying to dismiss me as nothing more than a figurehead, Sir Hermas?”

“It’s nothing of the sort, my lady! It was only a suggestion”

“This place, this place, this place, and this place. From what I have observed, they are grey areas not well guarded. What is the reason for it?”

“......w-well, we are trying to avoid altercations with the underworld”


The underworld was a complex network built by nobles to hide their immoral side, justifying that the world cannot exist without shadows. The underworld was firmly controlled by the crown prince who was fond of the most immoral things she had ever heard of not to talk of the ones she hadn’t. If the guards were trying to avoid altercations with the underworld, it meant they didn’t have support from the duke. She knew exactly why that was.

“If it’s the underworld, it cannot be helped, huh? You know what, I just might go on a walk today. It’s a bright and beautiful day after all”

“Ah-should I escort you, my lady?” Hermas offered.

“Don’t bother, Sir Hermas. This is my duty”

“I don’t need the help of either of you,” she said, standing up. The two were about to insist when she raised her hand.

“You two are to remain here to continue the investigation. You” she pointed to a town guard. He gestured at himself, confused.

“You will escort me around town. I’m sure a guard under the jurisdiction of the duke would be more than capable of protecting the duchess. Isn’t that right?”

“........of course, your grace” Hermes and Wilbur sighed in defeat.

The blue parasol stood out along with her high fashion clothes in the bright afternoon. The guard trailed behind, uncomfortable with the stares he kept receiving. The foreign noble caught much attention, good and bad. Still, she kept walking as if she wasn’t being stared at as if they were nothing more than ants spectating an elephant walk by. It felt debilitating.

“Guard……what’s your name? I can’t keep calling you that”

“Simon, my lady”

“Simon, can you lead me to the best boutique around here?”

“Of course, your grace. It’s just down the road”

As he led her in a new direction, an unsettling pair of eyes that had been following them since the beginning also changed course. They reached the boutique and walked inside to an extensive decor. She smiled, recognizing the pattern of the house engraved on the doors.

“Welcome to La Borisque boutique, from House Borisque. We have the latest of high fashion and quality material ready for my lady’s perusal”

“Of course you have. I want one from Chloe’s collection”

“Y-Yes my lady!” The attendant tried to hide her surprise and ran inside to rally the others to attend to the lady. They led her to a lounge where she was served tea and given a catalog. She perused it, pursing her lips at intervals. When she did, the attendants held their breaths, looking at each other.

“It seems… page is missing?”

“Yes, my lady. It was ordered by the duke’s butler as a gift to Princess Alana”

“Hmmmm, how nice. I liked this navy blue one anyways. Bring me this set, this set, and this set. Also, I need a private room to change”

“Yes, my lady!” they scrambled again to get her exactly what she needed. The guard marveled as he watched it happen. They didn’t know who she was but the moment she walked in, they were at her beck and call. Even he felt like bowing at her feet when she turned to him.

“You’re not planning to enter the changing room with me, are you?”

“Of course not, my lady! I shall wait for you here”

She smiled as she was led into the changing room. She declined the request for an attendant to help her and was left completely alone. A few moments after, a shadow bounded into her room, raising a dagger against her neck.

“To whom do I owe this pleasure, Mr. Rusell?”

Libre Baskerville
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