Translator: Latte Editor: Sasha
“Alright. Has anyone else tried to reach out to you?”
“No. Not yet.”
“Let’s prepare in advance next time.”
“Yes, next time, I will pursue those scums to the ends of the earth and find out the bastard behind all of this.”
The words that came out of the servants’ mouths were quite harsh. It was like a conversation between members of a black organization.
A few days ago, a strange guy attempted to contact the servants of the duke’s mansion.
The person in question didn’t reveal his name or who his master was. But he had asked all of the servants gathered there if they could sell information in exchange for money.
The servants noticed that he wanted information about the duchess.
He offered a large sum of money, but it was not a tempting amount for the servants.
They were already given an incredibly high salary from Elody.
The amount he presented was not even close.
Moreover, the servants had no intention of selling information about the madame to someone they did not know in the first place.
“If I accept the job, will you tell me who your master is?”
One of the servants who received the proposal asked this question, but the man refused to answer.
Even Olivia, the maid who was recently contacted, tried to track him down.
However, she failed to catch him because he was as agile as a rat.
“I think I scared him… I don’t know if he’ll come back,” Olivia said bluntly.
She was so angry when she heard his ridiculous offer. She even started to threaten him.
“If you touch our duchess, I will kill you along with your family.”
As Olivia spoke with eyes full of fury, the man got scared and ran away.
“No, you did a great job.”
Marie patted Olivia on the shoulder.
“But… I could have caught him…”
“If he tries to contact you again, then make sure to catch him,” Marie said as Olivia nodded in response.
She had been suffering from depression and panic disorder for a long time, so she was one of the maids that the servants cared about the most.
In fact, she had only been in the mansion for half a year.
She recalled her past…
Olivia, like Petria, first met Elody as a defendant in court.
However, unlike Petria, who had been arrested for stealing, Olivia was charged with murder.
Her father brought her there on charges of murdering her older brother.
Her older brother was a scoundrel who used violence against her younger brother, Olivia, and her mother.
The same was true of her father.
Her brother and father didn’t work. Instead, they indulged themselves in alcohol and gambling.
Olivia and her mother were the breadwinners of the family. And her father and brother would occasionally beat them up from time to time. They were treated as nothing but puppets, whose sole purpose in life was to relieve the two men’s anger and greed.
Still, she endured them with her mother.
It was true that she was stupid for not fighting back. But at the same time, even if she asked for help, she knew that no one would come.
Ever since Olivia was young, she had been asking for help here and there, but there was no one willing to save her and her mother.
Olivia worked hard to earn money to nurse her mother, who became mute because of traumatic brain injury from constant abuse.
Then one day, when Olivia came back from work, she found her mother collapsed on the floor, all covered in blood.
The blood drained from her face as she saw her brother kicking her poor mother, who was trembling in fear.
Olivia’s heart turned ice cold and slunk into the shadows as her rage took complete control over her body. Waves of fury rolled off her as she rammed into her brother with all her might.
“You crazy b*tch! What the f*ck is wrong with you?! Do you want to die?”
Seeing Olivia aggressively rebelling unlike usual, he decided to act more violent as well.
Her brother looked around and grabbed a large kitchen knife laying on the countertops.
Olivia immediately stepped back as her drunken brother glared at her with a murderous look.
She feared that she might die with her mother.
“I’ll kill you!” He screamed before charging towards Olivia.
Olivia desperately tried her best to stop her brother.
She couldn’t easily win due to their overwhelming difference in strength, but she had some upper hand against him because of his drunken state.
So she mustered all of her power and slapped the knife away from his hands.
When she came to her senses, the knife that had been aimed at her neck was now stuck in her brother’s chest.
At that time, her father, who had just entered the house, saw the scene, and grabbed Olivia’s hair as he dragged her towards the duke’s mansion.
Olivia’s mother followed her husband with her bare feet chafing against the harsh pavement. She had vowed in her heart to protect her daughter even if it meant going against a divine being.
Her father asked Elody, the acting lord at that time, for summary judgment.
He didn’t want a full trial. He just claimed that his daughter was the killer and wanted her to be punished then and there.
A young girl who was shivering in fear with blood on her hands.
And a drunk father who wanted her dead.
And then, just like her daughter, her mother cried into her chest, unable to control her pain and fears.
Elody was appalled.
She heard a loud noise coming from outside, so she ordered the servants to let them in…
But she hadn’t expected to hear this kind of thing.
Elody called the knights to send them to court and they separated the man from his daughter because of his display of violence against her. His hand kept grabbing her hair as her body swayed under his violent tug as if she was a lifeless doll.
“That b*tch killed my son! My son!”
“Did you witness it yourself?”
“Yes! I saw it when I came home! I saw it myself! Look at the blood on her hands! When I entered, she was holding a knife… My son was… a-already dead…!” The middle-aged man said while on his knees, claiming that he was in despair because of his son’s death.
The knight in control of the man leaned over and smelled the scent of alcohol.
Elody couldn’t believe in the words of a drunkard.
“I’ll give you a chance to defend yourself. Is what he’s saying true?” Elody asked the girl.
The girl, who glanced at the floor, slowly nodded.
“Yes. I killed him.”
“See?! That blatant b*tch! I don’t even know why I raised a child as disgraceful as you! How dare you kill your own flesh and blood!”
“I should have killed you too…”
“You f*cking swine!”
”O… livia… ”
The middle-aged woman, who appeared to be the girl’s mother, continued to cry and shake her head. She felt sorry for her feet because it was full of wounds.
Elody asked the girl again.
“What is your reason for committing murder?”
“…if I had not killed my brother, my mother would have died. I could have died too. It was self-defense…”
Without hesitation, the girl began to take off her clothes. The soldiers, who saw her suddenly stripping, turned their backs on her.
The only ones to see her body was Elody, her mother, and her monstrous father.
Elody witnessed the horrific traces of abuse left on the girl’s body.
Not to mention, one of her shoulders was slightly twisted.
As Elody stared at her, she remembered Count McClaire, who had often abused her.
“…My mother’s wounds are worse than mine. They have abused us for a long time. The beatings were so cruel that my mother has lost her ability to speak coherently.”
“I accept any punishment that is given to me. I will be fine, even if you decide to behead me right now. But I will never let that devil and my mother live together again… Please protect my mother. That is all I ask. So please…”
The girl knelt and started begging while wearing only her underwear.
“It’s a lie! She’s spouting nothing but lies! I don’t know where those wounds came from! How dare that b*tch blame me!”
The knights held on to him as he started rampaging as if he was possessed by an evil spirit.
Elody descended from the platform and approached the girl lying on the floor.
The proof on her body was enough for her to finalize her judgment.
“What is your name?” Elody asked, sitting with her knees bent in front of the girl.
The girl replied in tears, “It’s Olivia…”
“Get up and get dressed.”
At Elody’s words, the girl slowly got up and put on clothes. She thought it was time for her to redeem her sins.
After the girl got dressed, she turned to her mother, who was sobbing in tears.
Olivia’s eyes traced to her mother’s scarred feet.
The girl bit her lips and took off her shoes. She approached her mother and gently slipped her shoes onto her bleeding feet.
The knights who were watching also swallowed their breath in regret.
They knew that the sentence for murder was the death penalty.
Elody said to the girl looking at the floor with her shoulders shrugged.
“Alright, Miss Olivia. Did you mean to say that you witnessed your father killing your brother?”
“Wh-what is this?!”
Olivia raised her head and blinked her eyes in shock.
The man who was held by the soldiers also looked dumbfounded.
Elody casually looked at the middle-aged woman behind the girl’s back.
“The witness had directly seen the crime. And so, the accuser is found guilty of murder.”
“Thus, the offender will be sentenced to death.”
At Elody’s command, the knights immediately led the man out.
“N-no! You can’t do this to me! You!!! It’s all your fault!” The man shouted as the knights dragged him out.
None of the knights questioned Elody’s decision. It was because the man was a crook and was notorious for his criminal records within the territory.
But most of all, it was also because they had put their absolute trust in Elody.
It was against the regulations, but Elody did not regret her decision.
“Make sure you protect your mother,” Elody said as she held Olivia’s blood-stained hand.
It was a miracle for Olivia.
Her brother and father had finally disappeared from her life.
In addition, the duchess even hired her as a maid of the castle.
She was able to stay with her mother in the building where the servants of the mansion lived.
A safe space was created for her and her mother, free from violence and terrible memories. Fortunately, the servants did not feel uncomfortable and treated them with their utmost kindness.
Everything felt like a dream.
But that wasn’t just it. The duchess even provided a cure for her mother’s mutism.
Thanks to this, her mother’s condition had improved a lot, and she began to speak little by little.
For that reason, Olivia felt more indebted towards Elody more than other servants.
She, who had a somewhat gloomy appearance, always kept her head down and mumbled to herself every day, vowing that she would pay back Her Grace with her life.
She was as devoted to the duchess as a pious saint to serving the god they believed in.
The servants sometimes pretended not to see it, but they still couldn’t help but feel astonished.
She had shrunken shoulders, a gloomy face, and a skinny body, but her loyalty was stronger than anyone else.
Therefore, she was as shocked as Marie by the news of her incurable disease.
“By the way. Among the knights who came back from the war, weren’t there some who used to be mercenaries?” Tessie said in a dissatisfied voice.
They all agreed and complained.
The reason why the servants’ faces have been dark recently wasn’t just because of the duchess’ disease.
The mercenaries were also a problem.
The madame told them to be treated as kindly as possible so that they would not feel alienated, but the servants simply could not mingle with them.
This was because of their arrogant attitudes of disregarding the knights that remained in the mansion. They tried to hide it, but it was seen in the eyes of the servants.
And the same was true of Therion’s knights who remained in the mansion. Their dislike was mutual.
The cold war lasted for several days among the knights.
And the tension… eventually exploded.
“Hey, you assholes. While you were playing around with the duchess, we were risking our lives in war! Y’all listening? Have you ever been to a battlefield? Huh?” Heinz raged.
Therion’s knights jumped from their seats.
Even the knights from the provinces who participated in the war started complaining, saying that it was not true at all.
They looked around and started looking for Vice Commander Brien, Solar, and Ren.
However, the three were away.
Meanwhile, Therion sat still and was cleaning his gauntlets.
“You praise the madame very much… How great she is! Oh, how beautiful she is! Yadda yadda—what a load of crap!” He snorted, “Don’t you know that the princess is coming soon? You guys will have to leave the mansion after she comes, you know? She’ll become the new duchess, and your precious madame will finally perish!”
The moment Heinz finished speaking, Therion, who was watching silently, jumped up and ran towards Heinz.
“You son of a…”
Without hesitation, he balled his fist and struck him square on his disgusting face.