- What the curse takes
It was to be welcomed by everyone that the bloodstone would be much brighter. Kahel shivered after accepting the results of the research on lylok and bloodstone. If the bloodstone efficiency improved that much, the era of using the bloodstone as a street lamp would soon come. The brightening of the night will be the cornerstone of infinite development.
However, the problem was that, knowing the usefulness of lylok, the Kingdom of Hildebrunn would not try to sell it as a decorative building material as before. However, since lylok’s value shines only with bloodstone, they will surely try to test the Luaves, the largest producer of bloodstone, and Kahel will not only actively accept that approach, but will definitely use Luahalla to obtain an exclusive supply contract.
With that in mind, as he was writing down the fine lines on the carefully selected letter paper.
There was a sound of tea being poured from the side, and soon the scent of tea began to spread. It was still awkward for someone to give him tea that was properly brewed at the right time while he didn’t have to move.
But he had to admit that this was a good feeling. It’s not that he was intentionally arrogant as a duke, but he felt like he’s being treated like a noble now. To be honest, it made no sense for a Duke to brew tea with his own hands.
Kahel put down his pen and picked up the teacup as he carefully read the letter he had written. The taste of the tea he took a sip was much better than what he used to brew. He brewed tea himself for over 10 years, but maybe because he didn’t really want to drink delicious tea, his brewing skills didn’t improve much. There were times when he was engrossed in work and threw away the tea that was so bitter.
“Was this the way tea was supposed to taste…….”
It really was. He realized that the original taste of tea was like this. He felt guilty about the tea leaves that had been thrown away hopelessly for 10 years.
But Lena swallowed a gulp at his words.
‘Oh my God! After all, it must not be as good as the tea the Master used to drink!’
But it was a little embarrassing. How could he expect her to be able to brew tea like a skilled maid while she only has a week to learn?
Of course, she couldn’t put out such a complaint with her life as collateral. All she could do was bow her head and ask for her master’s mercy.
“I, I will try harder next time.”
Kahel, who was putting the teacup on the saucer, glanced at Lena. It is already delicious, but her attitude to try harder was a little prideful.
“I look forward to it.”
Ending the conversation with neither comfort nor encouragement, Kahel barely suppressed the smile that was about to come out.
This woman, who had achieved a dramatic rise in status from a death row prisoner to his own close maid, was still terrified of him. It was understandable as he had scared her, saying, ‘I will decide your life or death by your usefulness.’
She bowed her head and shuddered every time he said something, but in any case, her being cautious of raising her eyes and looking at him was proving her unusual condition.
The ‘common people’ who met him, no matter how much manners were in their head, could not overcome their curiosity and glanced at him. Naturally, he couldn’t have felt good to receive such glances from the position of being the Duke of the Kingdom of Logos. However, it is impossible to punish them all, because they had an excuse, “This is all because of the devilish power that Duke Kahel Luave emanated.”
After receiving that kind of treatment for over 15 years, he tends to become blunt, so he forgot about it. This was how a noble should have been treated.
Once again, he had to admit, it felt good. He wanted to praise the maid for making him feel this way even if she was a spy planted by the Duke of Santella. In front of this maid, he could be treated as he deserved, and he was not treated as a prostitute who emits his charm in order to seduce people.
‘That’s right…… This is what this damn curse took from me…….’
Kahel sighed deeply.
He sighed because of his pitiful situation, and Lena flinched again, wondering what she had done wrong. He didn’t even want to kill her anyway, so he thought she’d stop being startled. His suspicions that she might be a spy had not yet been fully resolved, so he thought that he shouldn’t try to soothe her. So this time, he just pretended not to know, turned his head and gazed down to read the letter he had written.
-Dear Marquis of Rognac,
Not long ago, I was presented with green tea from Bruenne. As I was looking at the clear, light green multicolor, I remembered that the Marquis’ eyes were so clear green. I enjoyed the conversation we had at the last meeting, and I was curious about how the Marquis was, but I received a letter from the Marquis. Can it be interpreted that the Marquis is also looking forward to meeting me for the second time ….?
If it’s okay with you, I’d like to invite you to my parlor next Friday at 10 am.
I look forward to sharing a cup of green tea from Bruenne with Marquis.
Although it was not without the feeling of being a little muddy, it seemed that he had to seduce him to this extent for him to be encouraged.
Although it depends on the degree of craftsmanship, a 1 kg bloodstone is currently being traded for 2,000 luans. If you enhance this with lylok, it will sell even if you raise the price to 3,000 luans. At this time, the amount of profit that the Luaves will earn is determined by the cost of lylok.
It is a business scale that can incur a huge gap in the overall profit even with a difference of 1 luan in cost, so if he could earn even a little more profit, he could write a letter of this extent. Of course, it wasn’t just the lylok price that entangled with Luahalla, though.
“Then, ma, master…… shall we…… prepare a meal?”
Kahel almost laughed. He already knew that Lena was about to say something, but it was only talking about eating. She started serving meals today, after all, so she was just nervous.
Kahel thought this maid’s day was going to be too tiring, so he didn’t go to the trouble of correcting her annoying words.
“It would be better to call me Duke or Your Excellency rather than Master. It’s a slave’s habit to call your superior ‘Master’, but you’re not a slave, right?”
“For, forgive me!”
“It’s not something to apologize for. Go downstairs and prepare the meal.”
“Yes, Mast…… er, no, Your Excellency.”
Lena was so embarrassed that the familiar ‘Master’ name kept popping out of her mouth from the Barony. In the Baron’s castle, it was natural to call the baron master, but it was strange that the duke, who was much higher than that, told her to give up that slave habit. Besides, seeing that her life depended entirely on Kahel, it was not much different from that of a slave.
Anyway, it was such a small issue, it didn’t really matter. Right now, she had to do well preparing the meal. Lena, who came out of Kahel’s room to go to the kitchen, sighed and leaned against the wall as she turned the corner of the deserted hallway.
‘Haa…… I can’t breathe in that room at all. I would have been more comfortable working as a maid in the laundry room.’
Lena floundered in the place, thinking. Her fate seemed so twisted. It was good that she had avoided marriage to the gruesome old man, but after a tiring day, she collapsed into her bed and the muscles in her body, which had been tense all day, ached. The job was much more comfortable than when she was in the Barony, but it was difficult for her to say which one was better because she at least didn’t have to worry about losing her life then.
Lena was droopy but she soon shook her head and brushed off the melancholy and she thought of the bright side.
She was a survivor anyway, so she had to go on living. It still doesn’t make sense for her to become the close maid to the duke, but thanks to that, all of her circumstances, including the room she sleeps in, the clothes she wears, and the food she eats, was made incomparably better than before. It’s up to her usefulness to decide whether she gets to live or not, so things will only get better if she does her best to serve her master.
‘Yes! There wouldn’t be a better job than here, except that I might die. If I work hard and stay quiet, even the Duke won’t bother trying to kill me. So let’s be strong. I’m going to be a useful maid!’
Lena stood up with a determined expression. She used to be attending for a simple daily routine, but from today onwards she will also serve at meals. She didn’t even know this was a chance she might have. A golden opportunity to save my life!
Lena stood up again on her knees, patted the wrinkled skirt out, and vigorously headed towards the kitchen.
“Is the meal ready?”
“Ah, Miss Lena!”
Lena was greeted by the chef, Mouchet, wiping the sweaty face with a towel. The kitchen was a battlefield in the middle of preparing food. The only master she had to take care of was Kahel, but he was busy preparing meals for the many knights and servants working in the Duchy’s house.
Lena had no reason to stand alone in the middle of the spinning kitchen, so she either picked up a plate next to her and handed it, or folded a dishcloth and put it on the side.
“First of all, it is a dish that stimulates the appetite before a meal.”
Mouchet placed the pre-meal bread and butter, fig jam, clams soup on a shallow plate, a water bottle and a glass of water on a tray, and then pushed her back to the dining room.
When Lena pushes her tray cart, by the time she enters the dining room, Kahel is already seated. Lena took the hand-washing water from the bottom cart and put it down in front of him, who seemed to hesitate for a moment, and then he casually soaked his hands in the water and washed them. Lena, who had been waiting by his side with a towel, quickly wiped away the moisture by wrapping his wet hands in the towel. His bones were large, so even his hands were big.
“Your fingertips are pretty well-rounded.”
Kahel looked down at the hands that were wiping him.
Lena felt awkward at his compliments. She couldn’t tell if he was really praising, or if he was sarcastic in Elliot’s way. Kahel’s expression of praise, but without a smile, fueled Lena’s confusion. But whether the words were a praise or a rebuke, it didn’t change what Lena was supposed to do. Lena quietly cleared the water bowl and placed the pre-dinner dish on the table.
The amount of pre-dinner dishes was so small that Lena had to quickly go to the kitchen and load up the dishes.
“Uh-huh, do you want me to serve an unfinished dish?”