Chapter 3: I think I’m out of it for now…

Part 4


Lila’s eyes widened in surprise at his words.
She would not have been surprised to be thrown out immediately, but the words ‘prospective duchess’ implied acceptance.

“Vincent, please escort the prospective duchess to the duchess’s chambers.”

At the soft, accented command, Vincent, the Montefeltra family butler, approached.

With a curtsy that was both polite and deferential, Vincent extended his hand toward Lila.

“At your service, Duchess.”

Lila took a deep breath as she stared at Vincent’s wrinkled but firm hand.

The proposal had come out of the blue, and it had all happened before she could accept it, and Lila still needed time.

The actual wedding would be a year away.
That would depend on what happened in the pre-wedding period.

Lila squeezed the corners of her eyes, knowing that her independence had only been pushed back a year.

The beginning of her original confinement was now only two months away.

She had endured ten years.
For the next two months, she won’t even be on the waiting list.

And there was no reason why she couldn’t wait for the ‘pre-wedding cohabitation’ period.
When it was all over, she would be free.

Her embarrassment evaporated as quickly as it had appeared, and her cobalt eyes were deeply colored with determination.
Lila bowed to the Duke once more with a graceful posture.

“Thank you for your consideration, Duke, and good night.”

Her thick, dark green dress swelled and narrowed.
Lucas was intrigued by the graceful, dainty gesture at odds with what she wore, but that was all.

“Very well, we’ll talk about what we need to tomorrow.”

With a slow nod, Lila reached out and placed her hand over Vincent’s palm.
With a gentle squeeze, Vincent moved.
She followed Vincent, who moved in step with her, to the third floor of the Duke of Montefeltra’s house.
There were only three doors in the wide hallway.

The middle door led to the couple’s public rooms.
The door at the right end of the hallway was the Duke’s private room.
Finally, the door at the end of the hallway on the left was the Duchess’s private room.

Lila’s heart raced as she approached the door.
She didn’t recognize any of the ornate paintings on the hallway walls or the statues dotted along the way.

All she could see was a large door that seemed to be twice her height.

A deeply carved hydrangea greeted her on the dark gray door.
Exquisitely carved sapphires and emeralds sparkled in the reflection of the lamplight.

The large doors swung open smoothly, even with Vincent’s one hand.

“This is the Duchess’s private chambers.
If you need anything, please don’t hesitate to ring the magic stone bell.”

Lila looked up at Vincent as he stood in the doorway and spoke, then released his hand.
She walked lazily into the room.

Unable to think of a response to say, she slowly looked around the room, spacious and full of color and elegance.

“Well, then, make yourself at home, Duchess.”

Behind the soundlessly closed door, Lila let out a groan.

“This is crazy.”

She felt giddy in the most opulent room she’d ever seen since she’d been possessed.
Lila vowed to make the next year count.


  * * *


The sunlit room was as cozy as it looked, and the lavender-embroidered curtains fluttered in the breeze that filtered through the small window.

The bedding, soft to the touch against her bare skin, was so white she felt like she was lying in a cloud.

Lila closed her eyes and smiled deeply, then jerked awake, startled by herself.

“It wasn’t a dream.”

Having slept on a creaky old bed just a few days earlier, Lila grinned, grateful for the new fluffy bed.

“Not now.”

Lila hurriedly slid out of bed.
The barony had long since been tamed by her, and the servants were not allowed in her room, but this was the Dukedom of Montefeltra.

There was no telling when they might enter.

Should I just do what I’ve always done?”

She was uninspired.

“He said we’d talk about what we need to talk about today, right?”

I remembered what he said yesterday, and Lucas’s face flashed across my mind.
Despite the gravity of the situation, I couldn’t help but blush.

Standing tall in the center of the Duchess of Montefeltra’s sunlit chamber, Lila was beautiful.

Her bouncing mauve hair was as rich and lush as a Lilac, and beneath her long fluttering lashes are cobalt eyes that were the color of the ocean.

Biting down on her full lips, Lila began to walk away.

One of the luxuries she hadn’t been able to enjoy at the barony was the usefulness of magic stones.
Unlike the barony, here, she could control the temperature of the water with it.

She took a quick and warm shower and hurriedly started applying makeup.
Today’s focus was the color gold.

She started applying golden pearl eyeshadow in a deep, thick layer and dabbed her cheeks with a sugar-brown blush.

Just as she was finishing up and stepping out of the dressing room, there was a knock on the door.

“It’s Vincent.
The Duke has requested that you join him for breakfast.”

Lila’s eyes widened at the unexpected invitation.

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