Indebted Lady to a Heartless Gentleman

⟪Complete Novel⟫ What sort of witchcraft was that? Her closed eyes snapped open, and she was met with his smoldering dark gaze, her eyelids slowly slid closed once more as he continued to devour her. 'Embrace me in your mind, just as you have in your body and heart.' She shook her head, but his hands pressed against her cheek, limiting her ability to move her neck the way she desired. 'I know you like this. I can hear it in your heartbeat. I can taste it.' She did like it. His deep voice inside her mind carried a wealth of passion. It felt like having even more of him within her. It was tempting to fully embrace it. 'You are mine, body and mind, give me everything.' *** The Archduke of Lanark was blessed with two daughters, his eldest was the most beautiful Lady in the kingdom, while the youngest, Adelaide, held a special place in his heart. Life for the noble family was about to undergo a profound shift. With the revolution threatening the aristocrats of Emoria, their Monarch demanded they part with a significant portion of their wealth to appease the people. As a result, Adelaide's proud father found himself facing financial hardships that pushed him into deep debt. Just as despair gripped the family, a mysterious stranger arrived in town, igniting fervent discussions among the nobility with his considerable fortune and flawless etiquette. To their astonishment, this stranger paid off the Archduke's debt, becoming involved in their lives in more ways than one. Egon von Conradie, the wealthy commoner, had a hidden agenda. But his perfect plan faced an unforeseen obstacle—he had not anticipated falling for the daughter of his mortal enemy. Only Adelaide, a rare Healer, had the power to captivate a unique Beast like Egon. *** Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, events, and incidents are the products of the author's imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. The art's credit goes to the owner.

MerrySweet · Fantasy
Not enough ratings
465 Chs

Fateful encounter

Adelaide de Lanark paused for a moment to catch her breath.

She was done secretly crossing the relatively empty back alleyways connecting her family's estate with the rest of the Archduchy and came face to face with Lanark's busiest street, Harrow Way.

Panting and nervous, her eyes darted left and right searching for a familiar face amongst the crowd and hoping to find none. Many merchants could afford to dress like nobles, but most passers-by looked like commoners.

She swallowed back a sigh of impatience as she tried to figure out how to remain inconspicuous.

Going by unnoticed was a challenge for Adela, but getting exposed was out of the question. She held on to her shawl and pulled it up to cover what she could of her facial features then closed her eyes.

I have to think of a way to cross to the other side…

As if an unseen powerful force took pity on her, she heard the rhythmic strikes of horse footsteps on the paved road and spun in that direction while still pressing her back against the cold wall, she took a deep breath and braced herself for what that meant. A gamble. One that involved her life.

But there was another life at stake here, a young one much more helpless and vulnerable than hers.

Leaving it all in the hands of fate, she stealthily peeked from behind the wall and spotted the magnificent eight-horse-drawn carriage moving with the perfect speed. The gold and black paint layers decorating the vehicle told her that the carriage owner was a foreigner, which meant that she would not be recognized by the aristocrats riding inside even if she was seen by them.

The circumstances could not get any better, and Adela quickly decided to improvise.

Her lips twitched down, the words she wanted to say never leaving them. If only I did not have to go behind my father's back. But she did not have the leisure to reflect on her disobedience now when it was the time to make that leap of faith.

Before she had the chance to change her mind, she held her breath and cradled the basket her hand held protectively as the carriage approached, then she took a steady sidestep and sprinted like a gust of wind.

"Out of the way!"

The coach driver screamed and then was up on his feet anticipating the collision with whom he deemed a beggar with a suicide wish. It was an absolute miracle that the young woman managed to jump out of the way and land on her feet in the nick of time avoiding getting stomped by the horses.

Completely disheveled and drenched in mud, Adela bent down and rubbed her throbbing leg waiting for the pain there to subside, she was only consoled by the fact that she was out of the aristocrat's curious sight in a cold and dark alley once again.

It is awfully quiet behind me...

Before getting up and running down the narrow path that separates the richest part of Lanark from its poorest, Adela glanced back at the carriage that came to a halt because of her.

She winced when she saw the figure of a man wearing a fine dark suit beneath a mahogany cloak fit for a king. Her eyes were keen on observing his attire to try and figure out his origins starting from his spotless black leather boots slowly climbing their way up. She could not place him in a certain region of the kingdom, but he managed to impress her still.

The stranger was tall, well-built, and had a dark complexion. He was certainly a foreigner.

He must be the owner of that carriage...

His big dark brown eyes that glared menacingly at her brought back the images of one of her father's hawks in flight landing to catch its prey.

Pushing aside the drastic difference between their postures and how both of them looked in the present moment, she returned the glare with all the pride that she carried inside of her heart.

The foreigner who wore a frigid expression in response to the way Adela glared back at him approached her gracefully. And all the momentary courage she felt before he started moving escaped her. The only thing she could do to avoid blowing her cover was to turn her head around and push her body up and then forward.

Adela ran away from the nobleman as fast as her legs could carry her while holding her dress with her free hand and her precious basket with the other, should that man be petty enough to chase her, she would not stand a chance against him let alone the guards he will surely summon because of the insolent way a commoner regarded an aristocrat with.

Her mind raced attempting to articulate sensible things to say when that happens.

As if running away from wildfire, Adela ran faster after that — She did not slow down until she was positive that the intimidating foreigner refrained from running after her and only came to a stop when she saw the three old cottages at the eastern entrance to Lanark's Forest.

She smiled against the burning sensation in her nose and throat. All the trouble she went through would not be in vain.

She drew closer to the middle hut where the wounded young man was and wiped her forehead with the back of her hand before knocking on the door.

Emersed in her final task to enter, she flinched when she saw Larissa emerging from behind the shabby little cottage riding her bay mare, flanked by two of her father's knights.

Larissa felt her patience evaporating under the sun's rays; the only thing keeping her from exploding in Adela's face was knowing where her younger sister's heart was.

It all started when the Archduchess threw that maid out in the morning.

"…So, this is where you went out dressed like a commoner without an escort,"

"Shh! Now is not the time for this!"

Larissa narrowed her eyes, "Mother would surely get a migraine once she hears that you snuck out again, think about the Archduke's reputation!"

Having too much to say about that particular subject, courage filled Adela's heart.

"Helping the people of the Archduchy would benefit father's reputation. I will apply the ointment on the boy's wounds and return without anybody noticing..."

The door opened to Adela before having to argue further with her sister, her eyes landed on the maid who was fired earlier in the morning for failing to follow up with her duties. Adela frowned when the woman fell down on her knees and hung her head low.

"M-My Lady, please! My nephew…He is burning up and… W-We can't afford the doctor…"

Even with the money in the maid's possession, Adela knew that no doctor would agree to pay a visit to a commoner and risk losing the favor of the nobility.

"…Where is he?"

"H-He is inside! My Lady, if you would be kind enough to follow me… I will forever be in your debt,"

Adela did not need to think too long about the woman's request, she was already dressed like a commoner and had enough ointment and catnip in the basket that she carried.

"Lead the way,"

She grimaced sensing her sister staring at her from behind and foretold the lecture that was about to come her way yet paused giving Larissa a precious moment to vent.

"You have already made your debut to society and are no longer free to follow your whims — A daughter of the Archduke is associated with the royal family and a representative to them. All of us will suffer the consequences if word of your actions reaches the King's ears!"

Larissa massaged her temple with her fingertips. The thought of her sister's conduct becoming material for the righteousness of the rebellion taunted her. And she feared for her sister more than ever now that nobles scrutinized each other seeking angles of blame.

"...This kind heart of yours should not become a weapon others can wield against our family, Adela,"

Larissa's warnings slowly died away as the sound of the squeaky wood floor surrounded Adela, she had only taken a few steps in the freezing place when she heard the haggard breathing of the young man coming from the only room the cottage had. Only one door separated them now.

"Open the door,"

"Yes, my Lady!"

Covered by a thick old quilt that was torn and woven back from so many places, the young man still managed to visibly quiver. Adela bit her lips when she took in his flushed face and glassy eyes.

…I'm late.

Regret weighed heavily on her conscience, but she refused to succumb to its pulling force or let it prolong the young man's agony. She was here now and that was all that mattered.

A strange desire to drag Larissa inside possessed her like a lonely spirit. She wanted her sister to take a look at this man and then dare speak of scandals after that.

"L-Lady Adelaide, w-will my nephew survive this fever?" The maid sobbed as she looked at the noble Lady de Lanark and saw the incarnation of a saint.

Three is a crowd...

"Draw the curtains and let some light in then open the window. Get me some clean water and a clean piece of cloth after that,"

"Right away!"

The woman did what was asked of her and then stumbled her way out of the small space.

Struggling with feelings of injustice and anger, Adela took the ointment from her basket and placed the heavy thing on the floor, she stood up and lowered her gaze taking the pathetic state of the young patient once more.

"If only you were born into a privileged family like that foreign nobleman who probably knows not of suffering,"

Hello guys, this is the author greeting you and hoping you enjoyed my very first chapter. Don't forget to add this novel to your library so you won't miss out on an update!

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