That night, Elody stared at Caville, who had fallen asleep.
When Elody first saw him a week ago, he kept having nightmares. It is a relief to see him sleeping so peacefully nowadays, he didn’t seem to have nightmares plaguing his sleep anymore.
‘Don’t worry, my dear. I’ll happily get rid of your nightmares!’
Then, Elody began to think of the things she had to do in her new life.
‘First and foremost, I will raise and feed Caville well before he goes to war.’
She didn’t want to send him, but it was the duty of the Duke of Cernois to join the war at the emperor’s command. She does not have the power to stop the war.
Caville was only 13 years old when he went to war. In the original story, he was abused and wasn’t well-fed, so as a result, his body became very frail.
Fortunately, after years on the battlefield, Caville grew into a wonderful adult.
‘The thought of sending my baby to war makes me cry. If I have to let him go, I’ll feed him well and raise him with lots of love so that he’ll grow into a strong young man.’
‘Secondly, I will keep the land safe until Caville returns.’
The duke’s estate is very vast and fertile. However, the number of productive people in the dukedom was very small, it was all because of poor governance.
Naturally, the efficiency was bound to fall.
In the original work, Elody ruined the duke’s territory to the point of no return.
Elody threw all kinds of chemical drugs into the lake and forest in the midst of studying magic pills, which resulted in permanent damage to the environment.
Still, the dukedom is open for many prospects as it has not been contaminated yet.
‘Well, first of all, I’ll have to study the magic that will make the land more fertile. It’s better to plant more expensive crops. I’m sure that there are gold coins and jewels hidden somewhere within the estate.’
In the novel, the original Elody found the vault to the hidden gold.
Unfortunately, Elody didn’t know the location. So she’ll have to look it up again, one by one.
‘Last but not least, I’ll have to research the cure for my incurable disease.’
This was the biggest problem. This was how Elody’s life came to an end.
While trying to poison the princess, she got infected by the disease.
‘I don’t want to die. If possible, I want to live a long and healthy life.’
Elody was still writing on her desk when she suddenly heard Caville’s voice.
The sound surprised her and she quickly headed back to the bed.
Perhaps because he wasn’t properly educated at the orphanage, Caville was still not used to the demeanor of nobles, such as the usage of titles.
Still, Elody answered him gently, “Yes, your sister is here.”
His nightmare stirred him up in the middle of his sleep and he was surprised to see himself in bed. Tears welled up in Caville’s eyes.
Elody hugged his tiny head, Then she gently re-tucked his tousled blanket.
“Now, lie down in my arms. I’ll put you back to sleep.”
“Uh, where are we, sister?”
“Call me your wife, Caville.”
“Yes, until you bring the princess back, you will call me your wife.”
Elody held him within my embrace and stroked his head.
It felt warm.
He wriggled and hugged Elody’s waist with his small arms.
“My wife’s a princess?”
“No, but soon she’ll be your wife.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll take care of it and send her to you, so don’t have to look for the princess.”
Caville, who was unable to comprehend Elody’s words, thought. ‘She’s still a little girl right now’
Elody stroked Caville’s head. She wanted him for herself.
‘No, I can’t do this!’
Later, when Caville brings the princess back from the battlefield, she can’t be upset.
‘I will not be jealous of his lover. I will not be like the previous Elody and resort to dirty underhanded tricks.’
* * *
The next day, Elody woke up to the sound of birds chirping.
She opened her eyes, and woke Caville up. Then she proceeded to wash and feed him.
After that, she went to speak to the butler.
“I want to see the financial situation of the territory.”
Norman, the duke’s butler, had a bad premonition.
Truth to be told, when he tried to bring back Count McClaire’s daughter, he had a lot of worries. Count McClaire was notorious for his greed and stupidity.
Norman was worried about the little duchess’ personality, as they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
But he had no other choice. No one wanted to send their precious daughter as a wife of the illegitimate son of a poor Duke. For aristocrats, wealth was one of the most important aspects to look for when accepting marriage.
But Count McClaire had no qualms about giving his daughter. Later, he even wrote a contract for his daughter so that he won’t get involved.
“Yes, madame, I’ll give you an easy report.”
“If the financial conditions do permit, please hire a swordmaster for Caville. “
“He has to learn from an early age so that one day, he’ll be able to lead a group of knights.”
“Ah! Yes, understood.”
“Find me the best swordmaster there is.”
At Elody’s words, the butler bowed his head and went out.
‘She’s so thoughtful.’
Norman was touched. The former Duke of Cernois was very extravagant and was deeply addicted to alcohol. So was the duchess. Both of them sat on the sidelines, drinking their alcohol without a care for the world.
Coincidentally, the two died of a heart attack because of the accumulated years of heavy drinking. In the absence of a successor, Norman questioned the maid who had given birth to a child of the Duke.
If he could not establish a successor as it is, the house would ultimately fall onto the duke’s brother, the Count of Borque’s hands.
Count Borque has an odious personality. Norman didn’t want to see the House of Cernois, who the first duke had devoted all his life to, be trampled upon by Count Borque.
Upon finding the maid, Norman still needed to spend a lot of resources to find the abandoned heir in an orphanage.
The successor to the dukedom, who was so hard to find, is nothing but a skinny little child.
Because of the way he was treated, Caville was extremely afraid of adults. It was a tragic incident. Norman sent a letter saying he had found the heir. He was also able to make Count Borque acknowledge Caville as the successor of the Duke of Cernois.
But truth to be told, Caville hasn’t been able to adapt to the new environment.
This is the reason why Norman decided to have him get married at such a young age. He had hope that his wife would be able to take care of him as an older sister would.
On the other hand, Caville’s grandfather was a benevolent master. Recalling the fond memories of his old master, Norman secretly wiped the tears on his face.
* * *
“Caville, stop eating snacks.”
Elody taught Caville the word “wife,” and now he keeps calling her that.
Elody patted Caville’s head as a gesture of praising him. Then, she ordered the maid to clean up the plates. She wanted to feed him as many snacks as she can, but it wouldn’t be good if he eats too much.
“You have to learn well and obey your instructor.”
“He’s not a snack. He’s your instructor. Instructor.”
Before sending Caville to the battlefield, she thought it would be convenient to let him learn the basic skills of swordsmanship.
‘I wish I could teach him in person, but unfortunately, I do not have sufficient knowledge regarding swordsmanship whatsoever.’
There were some knights who became Caville’s loyal subjects, but she couldn’t remember their names.
‘Ah, I don’t know, I don’t know!’
She decided to stop worrying and played with Caville instead.
“Now, let’s go and play!”
As a child, playing is essential.
Elody took Caville’s hand and went out into the garden. Even though the trees and flowers were withered, it was still good enough to serve as a playground for children.
“Come on, Caville, try to catch me!”
“You count to ten first and then catch me!”
Elody rushed throughout the garden excitedly.
‘Unexpectedly, I seem to be more excited than I thought I’d be.’
Caville smiled brightly and looked at Elody running around. His smile was dazzling and beautiful. It was prettier than the moonlight and more beautiful than the sun that sets at dawn.
As Elody grew further and further away, Caville became nervous.
In the end, Caville chased Elody without even counting. He was afraid that Elody might disappear from him.
“Hey! That’s cheating! Ah!”
Despite Elody’s grumbles, Caville persistently ran after Elody and he caught up to Elody.
“I got you!”
Caville smiled and hugged Elody. His grip was very tight. Elody soon smiled helplessly and held Caville’s hand. Caville held Elody’s hand tightly.
Young Caville never wanted to let go of this hand. He didn’t want to give it to anyone else.
* * *
Today was the day of Caville’s first sword training.
To make sure he has a lot of vitality, Elody fed him a lot of rice.
‘Maybe it’s because he couldn’t eat well at the orphanage, but he has a good appetite.’
He ate freshly baked warm bread with braised chicken, and two cups of sweet milk mixed with honey. Elody couldn’t be more glad to see him eat so well.
“Let’s go to the training grounds, Caville!”
She reached out her hand to Caville.
Since it’s his first day, Elody decided to attend the class with him.
Caville’s instructor is Brien Vedos, commander of the knights of House of Cernoir, who will later become Caville’s right-hand man.
The sky was dark, but it didn’t rain. Elody went to the training center in the knights’ building while holding Caville’s hand. Sir Norman who followed us from behind, introduced Sir Brien to me.
“Now, Sir Vedos. I look forward to your lessons starting today.”
Brien looks dispirited. He was a young man in his twenties. Sure enough, Caville hid behind Elody’s back and shifted his eyes nervously.
‘That coward is the duke? Oh, dear Lord.’
Brien is an open book. It was easy to understand his thoughts. I continued to stare at his gray expression.
“Unfortunately, Caville is afraid of adults. He’s struggled with trauma as he was often abused in the orphanage.”
Brien’s expression melted at Elody’s words. He fiddled the back of his head with shame. Elody looked at Caville, who was wriggling behind her back, and then looked up again at Brien and said,
“He’s a child right now, but he’s going to lead the knights of Cernoir in the future. So I humbly ask you to look after him, sir Vedos.”
“I understand, madame.”
Brien looked at Elody with curious eyes.
‘So small, yet so mature.’
He was thinking with a look on his face. Elody turned to Caville hiding behind her back.
“Caville, he’s a good man.”
“Be a good boy. All right?”
“I’ll be right next to you, so don’t worry.”
“You won’t leave me?”
“I won’t. I’ll sit over there, see?”
Even with anxious eyes, Caville nodded.
Brien looked down at the young master with a wistful face. But Norman, the butler, was instead smiling with pride.
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