Regarding the Duke with Gynophobia and the Eccentric Lady Scholar – Chapter 13

13th Lecture

Rooms were prepared for guests who weren’t feeling unwell at the evening party and that room was also one. There was a sofa, table and bed and Elsa sat on the sofa.

“Here.”

“Thanks.”

Luca handed her a glass of cold water which she took and drank. Then she somehow managed to breath.

“Have you calmed down?”

“Yeah. I was just surprised.”

Elsa replied to Luca, who was sitting next to her, as if nothing happened.

“Did you know the man who picked a fight with you?”

“He’s a scholar. He was at the previous academic conference.”

Not all scholars attended every academic conference, so it’s not like she would always encounter them. So it was just by chance.

“His viewpoint was good but his thesis was impudent. So I was concerned.”

“By the way, what kind of thesis was it?”

“Folkloristics.”

“…… I see.”

Luca caressed Elsa’s hair while listening. She wasn’t ticklish but for some reason she felt like she was going to be ticklish and pulled back. Luca’s hand ended up caressing her cheeks. This time she felt ticklish and turned her face away.

“What’s wrong?”

“What’s wrong with you?!”

Elsa rebuked Luca who had asked her in curiosity. What about your gynophobia?! Ah, Elsa wasn’t in the woman category. That’s right. For some reason or another Elsa was heartbroken.

“I feel like I should be frightened.”

“I’m the one who’s frightened by your actions.”

Elsa replied half-jokingly, but midway through she noticed something strange and grabbed Luca’s hand.

“You, aren’t your hands hot?”

“…… Are they?”

She held onto his hand and they felt hotter than usual. No, was Elsa cold? She didn’t think she was.

“Bear with it a little.”

Elsa, who had said that first, put her palm on Luca’s forehead. Luca winced and meekly touched her, then Elsa also touched Luca’s neck.

“As I thought, you’re hot. You have a fever.”

“…… I wasn’t aware.”

“That’s the most dangerous one.”

Elsa has also had fevers from staying up all night but she never noticed. If her assistant, Selena hadn’t noticed then she would have collapsed.

“…… Now that you mention it, I feel a bit sluggish……”

Luca said and dropped his head. Elsa smiled wryly.

“Lie on the bed if you’re having a rough time, I’ll go talk to Duke Verdi. I’ll be back”

“…… Sorry.”

“Don’t worry, don’t worry.”

Elsa caressed Luca’s head and left the room. It was strange how she became reliable when someone else was in a bad condition. She didn’t have her spectacles so as expected, she felt uncomfortable going to the room that the evening party was held at; so she asked a servant to pass on the message. The servant must have known about Elsa because they immediately brought Duke Verdi and his wife to her.

“Professor, are you alright now?”

Benedetto said with a faint smile and Elsa nodded.

“Yes, I was just a bit surprised.”

“Only a bit, you say? You were scared because a man grabbed your arm, weren’t you?”

Fiona said worriedly. Elsa didn’t feel like that but yes, when she was told so she did feel like that. It was one of the mysterious of mankind. Or not.

“Let’s leave that aside, Luca’s seems sick. He felt a little feverish.”

“Oh my. That child.”

It was a common thing for Fiona to say. Benedetto said, “Fiona”, as if to rebuke her. Fiona shrugged not learning from her mistakes.

“Then, let’s prepare some medicine. Stay over in the room you’re using now.”

“Thank you.”

Elsa gave her thanks to Benedetto, who had immediately given her permission.

It was obvious that if Luca was staying at this mansion then so would Elsa. Elsa was also worried so she wanted to check his condition.

“…… Hey Luca. If you’re going to sleep, then sleep on the bed.”

When she’d returned, Luca had himself curled up on the sofa. It’s not that she didn’t understand that he didn’t want to move because he was sluggish, but the sofa was narrow for Luca since he was tall, wasn’t it?

“Here. Can you stand up?”

She said as gently as possible and somehow managed to lift him up by supporting his body. No matter how tall Elsa was, it was quite difficult to support an adult male. But she had somehow managed to take him to the bed. He flopped onto the bed. She felt relieved for now.

“Excuse me.”

Elsa said just in case and began taking off Luca’s jacket. No, you there, don’t treat me like a pervert. If he slept like this then his jacket would crease and also, Luca wouldn’t be able to sleep well with it on, would he? She managed to take of his jacket and also took off his tie. Then she roughly put the bedsheet over him.

“It feels like your fever’s going up.”

Elsa, who had hung the jacket and tie on the chair, put a hand on Luca’s forehead and said. She felt that it was hotter than before.

“…… Elsa’s hand.”

“Yes?”

Elsa inadvertently smiled when he called her name in delirium.

“It’s cold and feels good……”

“…… Ahaha.”

She hoped that the servants would bring him an ice pack soon. Elsa’s hand got hot.

Elsa sat down on the bed and casually caressed Luca’s hair. She usually refrained from touching him since he had gynophobia but he was feeling weak so she took the opportunity to caress his hair.

“Excuse me.”

Elsa stood up when she heard the knock and a woman’s voice. The servant had brought the medicine.

“I have brought the medicine, water and ice pack.”

“Thanks. Put it over there.”

“Certainly.”

The female servant put the tray onto the table that Elsa pointed out and turned to her and said.

“Please call me if you need anything. Also, we have already told Duke Lombardini that you would be staying here tonight. The Master also said that you do not have to worry about the evening party either.”

“Okay. Please thank the Duke for me.”

“I understand.”

As expected of Duke Verdi. While Elsa was thinking that the movements of the servants were professional, she saw the female servant bow her head.

It was decided that Elsa would be nursing Luca. The servant had left. Well, Elsa didn’t notice and missed her chance to rebuke so she thought it was fine.

The person herself didn’t notice but she might have been a little shaken by Luca’s fever.

“Luca, can you get up? Your medicine’s here.”

Elsa lightly tapped Luca’s shoulder. His fever had risen and his face was slightly red.

“Luca, I asked you to get up, didn’t I?”

She said a little stronger and Luca opened his eyes. His icy-blue eyes were also clouded. His face that usually gave off a cool impression was nowhere to be seen.

“The medicine’s here so go to sleep after you drink it.”

“…… Okay.”

Luca sluggishly got up. Elsa, who thought about making him drink the medicine by force, was relieved. No matter how many times she’d said she liked to cause pain, she didn’t want to do something like that to a sick person.

She helped him take his medicine all the same. Luca had somehow managed to swallow the powdered medicine that he drank with water. Elsa put a sheet over Luca, who had laid down again.

“…… It tastes bitter……”

“Don’t say something so childish. If you really can’t stand it then I’ll give you something to wash the taste away.”

Elsa was being nice while rebuking. She also placed an ice pack on his forehead.

“No…… I don’t need it.”

Instead Luca grabbed Elsa’s hand as she sat on the bed. His hand was much hotter than before and Elsa grasped it.

“I’ll be here so go to sleep. It’ll be more comfortable for you that way.”

“…… Such an unpleasant way of speaking……”

Elsa laughed while rebuking a sick person. Luca, who closed his eyes, began to fall asleep. Elsa tried to get up but he was still holding her hand so she decided to stay for a bit.

How much time had passed? There was a knock at the door when Elsa, who despite being accustomed to staying up all night, started nodding off. Elsa turned her head to the door and replied, “Yes”.

“Sorry to disturb you. How is my brother?”

It was Fiona. She came to see how he was because she was worried. Elsa stood up in a hurry.

“Duchess. Sorry for leaving in the middle of the evening party.”

“Don’t worry. It’s this child’s fault, isn’t it?”

Fiona said and gently laughed. Elsa also laughed.

“The evening party ended successfully and I also explained the circumstances to your parents.”

“Once again, I’m sorry…… Thank you.”

“Thank you for going out with my troublesome brother.”

When she said it like that, Elsa felt guilty. She thought that Luca might have been the one who was going out with her, and not the other way around.

“Well then, how is he?”

Fiona returned to the first question. Elsa thought, oh yeah, I haven’t answered yet, and spoke.

“The medicine is working and he should be getting better soon. Well, he’s been sleeping the whole time though.”

“I see.”

Elsa narrowed her eyes and Fiona sighed in relief.

“I’ve also prepared a room for you. Will you be staying over?”

“…… If you don’t mind.”

She couldn’t just leave Luca alone and nodded. Thus, she got the room next to Luca’s and stayed the night at Duke Verdi’s mansion.

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