Warning: I wasn’t sure what sort of warning I should put here.
It’s… It’s just a lot of abuse.
It’s really bad.
FL, please run away.



“Give me! Give me my son!”


Her high-pitched voice sounded like a scream.
Herace was distracted by Erzen’s crying.
She was worried about the shaking child and seemed to go crazy.
He was still weak.
The doctor said it was enough for him to eat well and sleep well, but she couldn’t calm her mother’s heart so easily.


Whenever Erzen frowned, her heart would sink.
When her child cried, it felt like her heart was being stabbed.
But right now, to such a child… her precious heart was being shaken by her husband uncontrollably.


“Ezekiel! Don’t do this.
Why are you doing this!?”


Unable to overcome her husband’s power, she clung to the man’s arm.
Her pale hands kept trying to reach the child.
However, the only thing that touched her fingertips was his arm or empty space.


“Ezekiel, talk to me.
Let’s put Erzen down and… Aahh!


Ezekael, who firmly pushed away Herace, walked towards the door with the child.
Herace tried to get up and ran to Ezekiel, somehow lifting her body against the wall.
He opened the door without difficulty while holding Herace back with one hand.


“Take it.”


The people, whose eyes were startled by the sound they heard from inside, bowed their heads at the terrifying face of their Master.
One of the maids near him, gently took Erzen.
He was still crying as they walked away.
The castle’s hallway was filled with the child’s cries.


“Erzen! Erzen!”


The mother, who had been separated from her son, cried out calling the child’s name.
But the man, the father of the child and her husband, was heartless.
He turned around and grabbed Herace’s shoulder and at the same time slammed the door shut.


“Erzen… Hnnn.”


Ezekiel didn’t let go until Herace almost collapsed in exhaustion.
As she was held by him and pushed up against the wall, she struggled and cried until she almost fainted, then slid her back against her wall.


“It’s hard to even talk to you.”


Ezekiel forced Herace to stand up and threw her onto the couch.
Unable to hold her body back, Herace limped while staring at him with venomous eyes.


“You don’t have to look at me like that.
I sent the child out to talk to you alone.
When you’re done, you can pick up your child.”


“Erzen is just a little baby.
If you wanted a conversation, you didn’t have to send him out like that.
It’s dangerous! You can’t treat a baby like that.
But Ezekiel, you… you really…”


Herace, who was devastated by his attitude towards Erzen, cried.
But Ezekiel pretended not to hear her and didn’t respond.
Instead, he rummaged through his pocket and tossed something towards Herace.
A small, shiny, reflective object fell onto Herace’s dress as she sat.


“Do you know what this is?”


The object Ezekiel threw was a small gold ring.
Herace, who recognized the ring, looked up at Ezekiel, forgetting her sorrow.
Ezekiel had a face that seemed to ask why it was there.


“Fortunately, you seem to recognize it.”


The ring was not an ordinary ring.
The handiwork was so detailed that the ring was made of gold without a single gem, but there was one reason why it was well-known.


The ring was not only precious because it was a work of art.
The most beautiful gold ring in the world was the treasure of the Duke Serpence.
Those who have been Dukes for generations, presented the ring to their wives.
Thanks to this, there was a saying in the Duchy of Serpence, the wife must have this ring to be a true Duchess.


“Then, can you explain why it left the castle?”


Realizing the gravity of the situation, Herace got up and went to the dressing table.
She originally wore the ring every day.
She took it off for a while to take care of Erzen, but she did not neglect its maintenance.
She pulled out her jewelry box, tightly packed with locks, from the deepest part of her vanity, and put her hand into a hidden space behind her vanity mirror.
Soon, a small key was in Herace’s hand.


“You’re not answering, so I’ll ask again.
Why was the ring in someone else’s hand when it was supposed to be on yours? A notorious loan shark at that.”


Herace, who was holding the key, opened the jewelry box with trembling hands.
In the box of precious things, various priceless gems were shining, but the most important ring was missing.


“Why is that… that’s obviously…”


“Don’t stutter and explain it properly.
Why was this found outside the castle?”


“I-I don’t know.
I’m sure I put it in here…”


“If you don’t know, I’ll change the question.
Did you take this off your hand?”




“Looks like it’s true then.
Why did you take it off? Did you forget what kind of ring this is?”


The treasure of the family was taken outside.
There was justification for Ezekiel’s accusation.
Biting her lips, Herace held the ring, not looking at Ezekiel’s face.
She didn’t even know this ring had disappeared until now.
She managed to open her mouth and made excuses.


“I’m sorry, but if I wear a ring or something while taking care of Erzen, the child could get hurt.
And Erzen doesn’t like the cold… But I’m sure I hid it well.
It was definitely there until four days ago.


“So, why are you taking care of the baby yourself?”


The direction of the rebuke shifted to the child.
Herace, who was willing to accept any kind of criticism, looked embarrassed.
Ezekiel twisted his lips as he took one step closer to her.


“So, you’re telling me that you removed the ring for the sake of the child, and that the ring disappeared at that time.
Besides, you didn’t even notice that the ring was gone.
The Duchess was so obsessed with her child that she took off an heirloom and even lost it.
You’re really out of your mind.”


Something was strange.
Losing the heirloom was an unacceptable felony that could not be easily tolerated, even if it was by a Duchess, so it was only natural to be reprimanded.
But the responsibility lies with either the woman who lost her belongings or the one who stole her things.
Herace couldn’t understand why Erzen was being dragged into this.




“Stop making useless excuses.
Other women in the family who gave birth didn’t act like you.”


Herace opened her mouth to refute.
But Ezekiel cut her words and forcefully spoke his.


“The more I think about it, the more amazing it gets.
Why are you behaving like that? It’s not like there isn’t a nanny or a maid to look after your child.
It’s their job to take care of your son, so why are you so nervous without him? Why are you acting so strangely?”


It hurt more to hear him say that she was strange than to be excessively reprimanded.
Herace had never thought that she cared for her child differently.
Any mother would want to be like her.
And if she’s eccentric, was it really such a horrible sin that he had to say that?


What was strange in Herace’s opinion was Ezekiel.
He hugged her, laid with her, and let her have a baby.
He said he loved her and was happy to have a child.
She was sure he did, so why?


“It’s the same as when you had it, and even after you gave a birth… A child! Just a child! Don’t you get tired of it?”


‘Tired, how can you say that? Why do you hate our child so much? Why are you being so cumbersome?’


Ezekiel’s foot kicked a toy to a corner which caught Herace’s eye.
It was sad that the toy was being treated carelessly, just like her and her son Erzen’s situation.
Herace’s eyes became red.


When Herace looked like she was about to cry, Ezekiel kept his mouth shut.
He turned his head to a corner then sighed before approaching Herace.


“Stop babysitting.
Focus on your work instead.”


He brought Herace on her soft bed after having made her kneel in front of the dressing table.
There was a bit of remorse in his slightly softened voice.
But Herace, who was hurt by his words and actions, turned away from Ezekiel.
She then looked at Erzen’s spot on her bed.


Ezekiel’s face contorted again.
His golden eyes shook and gleamed with a cruel light.


“…A woman who has no idea what a Duchess is supposed to do.”




“Hey, you haven’t done anything for Serpence until now.
If I had to ask you what you did… ah, was it warming my bed for months and giving birth to a useless child? That’s right.”


Horrified, Herace was in tears.
She didn’t want to listen, but every word that entered her ears was so sharp that she couldn’t ignore it.


Warm up his bed. Herace was surprised that her love for him could be expressed in that way.


But the more painful words were all related to her son. Useless child… Erzen’s blue eyes came to mind.
Would he have been more loved if he had been born with the eyes of his father, just like that woman’s son? If he had been born in that woman’s womb and not hers, would he have heard such a thing?


As Herace turned and muffled her cries, Ezekiel grabbed her face.
Forcing her to look at him, he put his index finger on Herace’s chest covered by the robe.


“Duchess, the only thing you’ve done so far has been climbing my bed… But Herace, you’ve recently given up on that as well, haven’t you?”




“It’ll be difficult if it’s like this.
Last time, I said I would make you Duchess, but I hate incompetence and uselessness.
So, if you don’t want to get kicked out, stop playing around with the child and do your job.”




“If you’re having a hard time doing something you haven’t done before, go to your husband’s bed like before.
Go up there, and stay in a humble position.
Got it?”


Humble position.
Even while crying, Herace shook her head.
Making love might be easy for him, but it wasn’t that simple for Herace.


“Do what you know.
And, right now…”


Ezekiel trailed off and moved his hands.
With one movement, her disheveled robe flowed down easily.


“… do your job.”


He kissed her tearful eyes and slowly pushed her down.
Her eyes grew briefly dark, but soon were filled with resignation.


Her dress slipped down and fell to the floor.

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