- Devilish Duke
“Then I’ll have the kids clear the last room on the second floor, so you can move your luggage there. Until you get married, take Elliott’s etiquette class and study together. I’ll get you a couple of dresses.”
It was an unconventional suggestion. Because the second floor was where only the Baron’s family lived, and the dresses worn by nobles, no matter how modest, were so expensive that it was unimaginable by a maid’s salary.
But that wasn’t important. Lena, who was trying to save some money and leave Kerouac, was suddenly bound in the Barony.
Besides, that favor wasn’t free either. At first glance, Elliot seemed to have to go through a wedding she didn’t want to go to, so that person couldn’t have been decent. Even though Lena knew that, she couldn’t refuse. Because she was nothing more than a maid, an illegitimate child without a single person to rely on.
If she rejects this offer, she will be driven out of the castle, starved to death without ever finding anything. The Baron was such a great power.
“Ah, and from now on, call me mother. Madam, madam, do not make that mistake when calling me in front of the Viscount.”
Even Lena could not quickly respond to that order. Because her only mother was the one who had passed away.
Lena unwillingly murmured, but Elliot, who was by the Baroness’s side, got angry.
“I hate it!”
“Elliot. It’s three months. You can protect yourself with those three months, so what is the importance of that title?”
“I still hate it! You just have to be careful in front of the Viscount. No matter how stupid you are, you can do that, Lena?”
Elliot shouted furiously at Lena as she bowed her head, but Lena had never been more pleased with the voice now than she ever does.
“Of course, miss. I will be careful in front of the Viscount.”
Fortunately, the Baroness didn’t seem happy being called mother by Lena, so she told her to do so, and she let her go.
* * *
After Lena left, Elliot swiped her chest, and said.
“Whew. I’m glad I have that idiot. Viscount Delroins deserves to be kicked out too. How can he ask me to be his wife when he’s over fifty? Besides, wasn’t he a pervert?”
“Tsk. I didn’t know that he would ask for a daughter as a condition. It seems that as soon as he came down to Kerouac, he started digging out who had a daughter and how old she was.”
Baron Fidelia also shook his head and frowned.
Although driven out of Ardennes, Viscounty Delroins was not a family that would rot in the countryside. This is because it was a family that had accumulated so much wealth that even their collateral family could live without worrying about money. And it was an opportunity for Baron Fidelia that someone like Viscount Delroins had come to Kerouac. He decided to take this opportunity to advance into the political realm of the capital.
But Viscount Delroins was a far more brazen figure than expected. To the Baron who wants to become his confidant, he says that he doesn’t have a wife, and he talks about the Baron’s daughter.
[“By the way, Lady Fidelia is not married, right? After all, there is no firm relationship as strong as a relationship bound by family.”]
The giggling and smiling face was disgusting. What’s more, how can he trust a man whose number of days left in his life was unknown to marry his daughter?
“Ah, I’m getting goosebumps. Why is his hair all bald and his belly looks like that? … And did you see it? There’s a drool on the corner of his lips. Ugh…… Just thinking about it makes me lose my appetite.”
“The bigger problem is that the man is incapable of producing children. If a woman marries a middle-aged man who doesn’t know when he will die, and can’t have any heirs, that woman’s life will be as good as nothing.”
“Is the successor a problem? I’d rather die than sleep with a man like that.”
“Elliot, you don’t have to worry anymore. Anyway, we’re going to marry off ‘Baron Fidelia’s daughter’ as promised, and it’s none of our business about their relationship after marriage. So, straighten that fine brow. You’ll get wrinkles.”
The Baroness comforted her daughter by stroking Elliot’s dark blonde hair, which looked just like her, and Elliot smiled softly at that friendly touch.
* * *
The next day, Lena packed up her little luggage and moved to the corner room on the second floor, and then she headed to the stable to find her close friend, whom she will not see often. Sid was brushing the horse’s mane with skillful skill.
She is the daughter of the stable keeper Theo, and has been raised as an older sister to the one-year-old Lena since 8 years ago. Although she was often mistaken as Lena’s ‘brother’ because of her short-cut, chubby and curvy body, the two were sisters who knew each other better than anyone else in the world.
The only time Sid, who was always blunt, smiled was when she met Lena. When she saw Lena had come to her, she lit up and spread an old blanket on a bale of straw in one corner of the stable, and Lena, sitting on it, told Sid everything that had happened yesterday and today.
“No way! Marrying a nobleman?”
“I don’t know the details either. I don’t know when I’ll be officially admitted, but anyway, from now on, I’ll be called Lena Fidelia, and I’ll marry the Viscount in three months. Maybe instead of Miss Elliot.”
“That, that…… is that okay? It’s a bit awkward for a poor commoner to be a Viscount’s companion. If he finds out you’ve been working here as a maid, he won’t let you go!”
“Don’t you think I know that? But what if I said I don’t want it in front of them? Do you think the Madam would have said ‘yes, it can’t be helped if you don’t want it.’ Just…… I just hope the Viscount is a good person.”
“Sigh…… it’s really too much. What the hell is wrong with them?”
“I don’t know. I might become a real Viscountess and live a decent life.”
Lena said so, but she knew that it was easier said than done. She was just trying to ease Sid’s worries a little bit.
However, Sid, who clearly knew what she meant, frowned.
Lena was a very bright and courageous child despite the situation she was in. She never lost a nerve or shed tears at the cold-hearted maid chief, and Elliot’s brutal tyranny. But it couldn’t have been harder. It wasn’t Lena’s fault that she was born the Baron’s illegitimate child, but she could never understand why Lena had to be hated.
Sid wanted to help Lena escape from this damned Kerouac right now if she could. Even if she could never see Lena in the future, she was confident that if Lena could run away from this persecution, she would be able to endure the longing. But Sid too was only the daughter of the stable keeper.
“If things are good enough for me to become the Viscountess and not have to run away, I’ll come pick up Uncle and you, Sid.”
“Don’t worry about us, take care of yourself. It doesn’t feel right to be Miss Elliot’s substitute.”
Seeing Lena worrying about Sid’s father and Sid first, even though Lena’s own future might be uncertain, Sid closed her mouth. She hated herself so much for not being able to do anything to Lena.
* * *
Logos, a mighty kingdom where Lena and Sid live together, was a beautiful country with a history of 2,000 years. The four seasons were relatively mild on the large piece of land, and agriculture prospered, and the mines in the north contained a significant amount of rare gems and useful minerals. Because the south of the country faces the sea, trade also developed, and the nobles of the kingdom were curious about new cultures.
People called the rich and powerful Logos, ‘a masterpiece created by an angel and a devil together,’, as if blessed by God. Its nickname is derived from the myth of the founding of Logos.
A long, long time ago, when the white-winged beast and the black-winged beast, who were the masters of this world, were in a never-ending battle with each other, a goddess in the form of a woman appeared and quietly tamed the two angry beasts, and set foot in the land where the present Logos is located.
The two beasts possessed a special power called magic, and the two beast servants took great pleasure in obeying the woman, then cultivated the land beautifully with their mighty power, as if offering a gift to her. And the woman became the queen of Logos, and the two beasts came to take human form by the power of the queen and became the first nobles: the white-winged beast was called Santella, and the black-winged beast was called Luave.
The story is very, very old, and the magic in the blood of the two families has been diluted little by little over the generations, but it was still a power that far surpassed humans. And since that power has always been used to protect Logos, they have always been given the honorable nickname of ‘Guardian of Logos’.
The successors of these two families have always been excellent, but Kahel Luave, the successor and the only son of the current Luave family, received more attention because he was born with a power that is unknown whether it is a blessing or a curse. From the age of seven, when he swore allegiance to the queen, he had the power to bewitch men and women alike.
It was a power that came to be called only as ’devilish’ as they didn’t know what to call it, but none of the Luave or Santella families had ever been born with this power. The royal family, the people of the two Duchy, and those with holy powers, magical powers, or powerful auras, were not affected by it, but ordinary people could not even dare to defy the power.
The problem was that ‘falling in love’ would include intense physical desire and a maddening desire for monopoly, and in extreme cases, a desire to kill Kahel. Thanks to this, Kahel survived numerous murder and rape threats so far at the age of twenty-three.
“That’s not fun.”
There was only a small sound of the dry voice, but the office became quiet in an instant.
“Aside from such boring news, is there any more interesting news?”
Kahel, who was buried in a large chair with his chin resting, asked, without turning his gaze to the young man who was reporting to him.
“If it’s interesting news, are you waiting for the news of Viscount Delroins?”
At that question, Kahel’s red eyes moved toward him. There, the young man with gray hair snorted lightly.
“It’s not something worthy of Your Excellency’s concern. If a man over fifty years old was kicked out to the countryside for flirting with a young Lady, he would feel a bit ashamed and live as if he were dead, but if he was still full of greed…….”
“It’s not just that. He said that it was my fault what happened to him.”
“Sigh…… Seriously, why was such a Viscount a confidant to the black faction nobility? … Count Malen, who had Viscount Delroins as a confidant, was too shy to even raise his head.”
“It should be. It’s because the officials of the Luave family don’t have eyes for such taste in people…….”