The carriage door was opened by Lucien's personal aide, Hansel Griffin.
"Welcome home, Your Grace! How was it? Did you see the Saintess?" Hansel said energetically.
Lucien looked at him in amusement.
Hansel looked at the seat facing Lucien and was surprised. "Oh! You have someone with you."
"Did you kidnap this lady, Your Grace?" Hansel asked with a horrified look.
"Your Grace, you shouldn't kidnap people! I'm sure there are ladies we can discreetly pay to serve you," Hansel said in a scolding manner.
Lucien burst out laughing while Hansel looked at him in confusion.
"Hans, meet the Saintess, Lady Euphemia, my fiancée. Lady Euphemia, this is Hansel Griffin, he's my personal aide and also my best friend," Lucien said.
Hansel looked at Euphemia in shock.
Euphemia smiled in amusement. "It's nice to meet you. Could you please help me down the carriage?" Euphemia extended her hand to him.
Hansel quickly regained his senses and took Euphemia's hand to help her alight the carriage.
Lucien was still chuckling as he got down the carriage.
"Lady Euphemia, I'm afraid you might be mistaken. As the Saintess, you're expected to stay in the Imperial Palace. Did this Duke coerce you to come with him?" Hansel said in panic.
"No, he didn't. You have nothing to worry about, Hansel. I chose to go with him and I don't want to stay with that prince in the palace," Euphemia laughed.
"Hansel, aren't you going to let us in? Lady Euphemia must be tired," Lucien said, pretending to be angry.
"Apologies, Your Grace. Please come in. I shall instruct the servants to prepare her room," Hansel said hastily and stepped out of the way.
Euphemia and Lucien went inside the mansion. Euphemia had never seen such a beautiful house before. She looked around, admiring its beauty. The style wasn't very extravagant but it exuded elegance. Dark wood with intricate carvings, velvet sofas, and a huge chandelier hanging from the celing.
"Your house is beautiful, Your Grace," Euphemia said.
"Thank you. I had it made when I moved out of the Imperial Palace," Lucien said. "The dining room is over there. You must be hungry already."
Euphemia nodded. It was already dark outside. She wasn't sure of the time but it must be past dinner time already. She worried that the Duke might hear her grumbling stomach.
"You lived in the palace, Your Grace?" Euphemia asked. She was sure there was no information of that in the webnovel.
"After my mansion burned down, the King took me in. I lived there until I signed up for the army when I was fifteen. While I was in training, this mansion was under construction," Lucien said.
The dining table had twelve chairs and Euphemia wasn't sure where she should sit. Lucien sat at the far end of the table. Euphemia sat at the chair nearest to him.
Lucien looked surprised but he just smiled quietly.
"Did you get wages when you were in training? You must have paid a lot for this beautiful house," Euphemia said.
The first course arrived. The rich aroma of the soup made Euphemia hungrier.
Euphemia blew on the soup repeatedly while Lucien watched her in amusememt.
"No, there are no wages for those in training. It turned out, Mother had left me a fortune in the bank. It was only turned over to me when I was fifteen," Lucien said.
She must have predicted that the King would take him in because his father was the King's brother. She must have also predicted that he would choose to leave the Imperial Palace around that age.
The flavor was exotic to Euphemia. She could identify the tomatoes, onions, and garlic in the soup but she wasn't sure about the other ingredients. Euphemia slurped her soup happily.
"Your Grace, is there someone who could help me sell this dress?" Euphemia asked.
Lucien was surprised. "Why would you wish to sell that?"
"I was just summoned here and I don't have anything else to wear. Maybe I can trade this for clothes. I hope there are stores here that accept second-hand clothes," Euphemia said.
Lucien was baffled. "You don't need to do that. You're my fiancée, Lady Euphemia. I will provide you with your wardrobe and your living expenses. Also, your dress is worth a fortune! I've never seen gems like that," Lucien said.
"Oh. They're just rhinestones though," Euphemia said.
"Rhynne Stones? They must only be available in your world, Lady Euphemia," Lucien said.
He noticed that she looked disappointed.
"Is there something wrong?" Lucien asked.
"I . . . just wanted to get rid of this dress. It was given by my ex-fiancé," Euphemia said with a frown.
Lucien nodded in understanding. "I see. Well, I shall not let you sell it in a small store. I can have it sent to an auctioneer and it will be sold as 'The Saintess's Dress'. I'm sure you will gain a fortune for it, Lady Euphemia."
"Me?" Euphemia was confused. "All gains should proceed to you, Your Grace."
"It's your dress, Lady Euphemia. I think you keep forgetting but I'm your fiancé, not your lender. You don't need to repay me anything," Lucien said gently.
Euphemia felt uncomfortable being a freeloader. She'll find a way to repay him. If the Duke is right and she'll get a nice sum of money, maybe she can start a small business then she can repay him!
Lucien and Euphemia finished the second and third course. All of the dishes were new to Euphemia but she found them delicious. She did miss the dishes from her old world. Maybe she can try to cook them here. If they like her dishes, maybe she can sell them in Aderlan!
Lucien noticed that Euphemia was quiet. She looked deep in thought. He sighed. He had the feeling that she was coming up with plans on how to repay him.
"Will it be all right with you to have our engagement contract signing tomorrow, Lady Euphemia?" Lucien asked.
"Yes, of course, Your Grace," Euphemia said.
"We can put in our conditions in the contract. You may add there your requests such as how you wish to be treated or how much do you wish to get per month. Other couples add in their contract how many times they wish see each other per month."
"I don't think I would have any special requests," Euphemia said.
"Just think about it. I think I already have a request I would like to add in our contract," Lucien said with a smile.
"I hope it's not too hard, Your Grace," Euphemia said.
"My name. I just want you to call be my name. You keep calling me 'Your Grace' like Hansel and I don't want my fiancée to sound like him," Lucien said teasingly.
Euphemia laughed. "I can agree to that. I'll call you by your name tomorrow."
Euphemia thought for a while. She didn't want to be called by her old name. Maybe a nickname then.
"In exchange, please call me 'Euphee' as your nickname to me," Euphemia said.
It sounded cute when she thought about it. It sounded fluffy. It sounded like Eevee in Pokemon.
Lucien wasn't sure if he should tell her. Only close friends and lovers use nicknames in Aderlan. He didn't want to tell her. He wanted her to call him with a nickname too. Maybe next time. Lucien felt his cheeks go warm.
"It's late. You must be sleepy already. I'll guide you to your room." Lucien stood up.
Euphemia followed him out of the dining room. They went to a corridor and passed by several rooms.
At the end of the corridor, there were two doors at both sides that both had elaborate designs.
"My room is just here facing yours. If you need anything, there's a bell at your table and a servant will serve you," Lucien said. The door to his room was dark brown while Euphemia's door was white.
"I'll leave you now. Have a good night, Lady . . . Euphee," Lucien said. He was glad that the end of the corridor was dark. His ears felt warm.
"No, wait! Come inside first!" Euphemia said and suddenly grabbed his hand.
Euphemia opened the door to her room and pulled the Duke inside. The room was dark. There was only one oil lamp at the bedside table.
Lucien didn't know what was happening. His mind was going blank.
Euphemia led him to her bed and made him sit on it.
Somewhere from the corridor, a grandfather clock chimed. A beautiful melody filled the mansion.
"Oh, it must be midnight! I can call you by your name now," Euphemia said cheerfully.
"Lady Euphee, I'm confused. Why did you bring me in here?" Lucien finally remembered how to speak.
"Lucien, please take off your clothes," Euphemia said.