Crazy Duke and Fallen Queen

She's the Queen who lost a war. And he's the man who won. * COMPLETED * Theodora is the Queen of Polis, a city-state that lost the war against the most powerful empire in the continent. She is sure that they'll execute her immediately but, somehow, she survives the meeting with the Emperor, and she finds herself... Married? Tossed in a new world without connections and allies, she has to either accept her fate or lose the chance to help her people once again. She soon finds out that her new husband knows more about her than she does herself, and that his purposes are often far from what she expects. A fallen queen that doesn't know how to be anything else. A handsome Duke who's the cause of her ruin. And their efforts to find some happiness in a marriage that's been forced on them. WARNING: there are contents not suitable for a sensitive audience. The smut scenes are half-censored at the beginning, but the amount and details will increase after a few dozen chapters (according to the Queen's mood .-. ) *** «I'm sorry for lying to you, your grace...» «You're a Duchess. No one will dare to consider your words a lie: if you say that you were painting souls, then it's the truth.» «I will remember it.» «No, you have to understand it, Theodora. You're not a prisoner, but my wife. I'll protect you when you need it, and I'll help you with any issue you have. You're not just a Duchess in the name. You're my Duchess.» «It's hard to believe in such a short amount of time.» «For now, stop shaking like a chicken. I won't hurt you.» *** Cover from Vatarison.art You can chat with me on discord: bit.ly/discordxiaohai Instagram: xiaohai_23 Facebook: Xiao Hai or Xiaohai_23 (FB page) Ko-fi: ko-fi.com/xiaohai_23 (you'll find my short stories here) My other stories on Webnovel: * The Cursed Tyrant and His Reluctant Queen (historical and fantasy romance, ongoing) * Destined: the Vampire's Soulmate (fantasy romance, completed, ~150 chapters expected) * Unexpected Gift (sci-fi romance, ongoing, free to read, 1k chapters expected)

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Law is law

I'd like to refuse Princess Lyland's kindness, but it doesn't look like a wise thing to do in my situation.

In the end, I have to accept one stranger more in my surroundings.

I return to my chambers and wash with warm towels. I clean the wounds on my hands with hot water, and then I wear a simple dress, one of those that the Duke prepared especially for me.

It's still early, I won't be able to get rid of the maids for some more, so there's no use in wearing a nightgown.

Still, I lie on the bed and close my eyes, trying to think about something joyful. I think about my early childhood when my brother was born. I only have a brief memory about that, since I was too little. I remember how my mother told me to take care of him because no one will be a better friend to me.

After a while, I can forget about what happened and relax on the bed. I turn to the side, and the sounds of a conversation come to me.

«I was starting to like the Duchess,» a maid whispers to another one. «It's a pity that something like this happened. Do you think the Duke will divorce?»

«Divorce? He can't ask the Emperor to take back a decision he made in front of the whole court. He will just kill her to get back his honour. It's the right of every husband that is betrayed.»

«But the Duke likes the Duchess!» the first one notes. «He won't be able to kill her just like that.»

«I know, but he has to. Laws are laws...»

Laws? Is there a law that says that a husband has to kill his wife? By the way, I didn't betray anyone!

«We women have to bear with it,» the maid sighs. «The Duchess sure was reckless, though. She should have been more careful.»

Their words breach into my heart, as I open my eyes abruptly.

Will Alexander really kill me? I've done nothing wrong, so he should be more understanding.

I can't sleep for the whole night, and the only positive side of this story is that the Princess's maid convinced the others to leave me alone. She sat on a chair in a corner and embroidered for the whole time.

If I wasn't going to die, I'd ask her to teach me. However, it would be a waste of her time.

I turn restlessly in bed until she gets up and brings me a cup of tea.

«This will help you sleep, your grace,» she whispers.

I accept the cup and sip the liquid, even though I don't want to sleep. I don't want to waste my last hours.

I write a letter to my brother. I'll ask Alexander to send it to Asteria after my death.

I also place back the jewels I hid for emergency situations. I should still try to run away while I can, but I don't have any energy left. It's better to just get it over with.

What's the point of struggling to live? There is nothing, out there, for me. My brother's position is safe in Asteria thanks to my mother's relatives, but my appearance would put him at risk.

I'll just let him know that I'm dead so that he can stop waiting for me.

Maybe, I should end it with my own hands. At least, I would make sure not to feel pain in the last moments of my life.

Yet, I can't hurt myself. I'm not brave enough, and I don't want to end up in hell. It's simpler to just wait.

In the morning, Patricia and the other maids barge in as if nothing happened.

I sit on the dressing table, and she starts to comb my hair. Her hands are brusquer than usual, but there's no use in complaining. Who would pay attention to a sentenced to death?

I look at my pale face, and I smile. The end result is a weird grimace, so I stop trying. I will just be remembered with this gloomy expression.

«I want a dark purple dress,» I say.

A couple of maids run to the closet to search for a suitable attire, while I consider wearing the gown of my first night of marriage. It's not purple but mauve, but I like it as well.

When the doors are slammed open, I wince on my seat, but I don't move from here. I still have some dignity.

«Have you heard of knocking?» I ask, rather naturally.

The Duke looks at me, and then at Patricia. She has my hair in one hand and the comb in the other.

All the people in the room are staring at the Duke with surprise. Some of them are in the middle of doing something, so they froze in a weird position.

«Get your hands off her,» the Duke murmurs, and he moves his eyes away. «And leave, all of you!»

I see Princess Lyland's maid bowing quickly and running away. She's probably returning to her master.

The other maids follow in silence. A few risk stealing a last glance to me, and I stare back at them coldly. I don't want them to remember a frightened Duchess, so I smile bitterly.

«And you don't need to come back,» the Duke adds before they can close the door.

Of course, a dead woman doesn't need servants.

I turn back to the mirror and finish the work Patricia left at half. I then braid my hair simply, trying to look as tidy as I can.

I walk to the wardrobe and open a drawer.

«Can I change clothes first?» I ask.

The Duke nods, and I take out the purple dress.

At least, I won't die in front of many people. And also, my corpse will look in order.

If the Duke doesn't overdo it.

I glance at him, and my stomach turns on itself. His face is furious, and his breathing nervous.

I change as quickly as I can, trying not to anger him even more.