Author: lipzoldyck

 

Perhaps after Kellerhan left and I cried alone for a long time, I collapsed and fell asleep, and when I opened my eyes, it was morning.

 

I straightened my curled-up body and carefully got out of bed. I was looking out the window to check the time when I heard the door open.

 

I turned around and saw Magda, who was standing holding a silver kettle.

 

“Oh my, Miss. You woke up early.” She widened her eyes in surprise.

 

Magda left the silver kettle on the table and came closer to me. She sat on one of her knees and tidied my hair. Then she said, “You can sleep more, though.”

 

I hesitated and opened my mouth. 

 

“It’s okay. I usually wake up at this time.”

 

“Yess? Really? But now it’s totally dawn, though?”

 

Magda’s eyes, which were still round, grew bigger.

 

“From now on, try to sleep a little more. Sleep is the most important thing for children.”

 

“…” 

 

I couldn’t find any words to answer, so I looked down at my toes.

 

When I was really young and still with my parents, I used to sleep peacefully until the sun came up in the middle of the night.

 

But in Lodgemund…

 

Let’s just let it go. I don’t want to think about how they treated me anymore.

 

“Since you’ve already woken up, I’ll tell them to prepare your breakfast a little earlier.”

 

Magda pulled the leash on my behalf and said, calling out the maids. She ordered the maids to bring the washing water and breakfast, and I could start to get myself ready.

 

After taking a bath thoroughly and tying my hair to the back of my neck, a maid came in with breakfast. 

 

“Today, the kitchen prepared a special pancake for you.”

 

When the silver dome was opened, a fluffy, fragrant pancake appeared. Magda spread sweet honey over the surface of the evenly cooked pancakes and cut them small for me.

 

As the silver knife gently sliced the pancakes, I watched it with almost bewitched eyes.

 

“Now, enjoy it.”

 

I lifted my fork and put a slice of pancake covered in thick honey in my mouth.

 

…Wow, it’s really delicious.

 

It was so delicious that it was incomparable to the seafood soup and white bread I ate yesterday. In particular, the sweetness of honey filled my mouth and gave a sweet feeling.

 

Can I really eat something so delicious like this?

 

I felt my hands guilty out of habit.

 

At that time, Magda’s friendly voice was heard.

 

“They’ve baked a lot, so please feel free to eat it.”

 

At those words, my heart warmed as if someone had given me warmth. I put as many pancakes in my mouth as possible until my cheeks were rounded. I chewed it tightly, savored its sweetness, and swallowed it.

 

After I emptied the plate and drank warm milk, I was very full. Magda and the maids smiled sweetly as they saw me full and droopy.

 

Ah, I’m so full that I feel sleepy again…

 

“Would you like to sleep more?” Magda asked while the maids cleared the plates.

 

I washed my face and tied my hair, but I was still in my pajamas and I could just lay down on the bed then go back to sleep.

 

A little bit, a little bit would be good.

 

It was the moment when I couldn’t stand the temptation and was about to nod my head.

 

“Oh my!”

 

“Duke!”

 

Bang! I heard the sound of the door opening roughly, and the maids hurriedly bowed their heads.

 

My sleepiness ran away and I saw Kellerhan, who suddenly appeared, with a startled look.

 

“Duke, why did you come all the way here…” Magda lowered her head like the other maids and asked cautiously.

 

“I came here because I thought she would have woken up by now.” He said while he stared at me.

 

While I stiffened with the tension, he gave gestures for Magda to raise her head.

 

“Are there any clothes for her to wear at home?”

 

“We went to Schwires’ house last night and brought the things Miss used to use, so I’m sure there are.”

 

“That’s great. Get ready.”

 

“Yes? It hasn’t been long since Miss woke up. Where are you going?”

 

“You don’t have to know that.”

 

As Kellerhan answered straightforwardly, Magda couldn’t ask more.

 

“I’ll give you 10 minutes. Bring her in there all alone.” He only said what he had to say and disappeared.

 

The maids, who had been frozen as they looked at the closed door for a while, soon came to their senses and began to move busily.

 

Some of the maids ran out of the room to find my clothes, and some approached Magda while she braided my hair.

 

“No need to worry too much, Miss. The Duke is a good person even if he looks scary. He won’t take you to a strange place.”

 

No, I don’t think so, though.

 

I took back the answer that almost popped out unconsciously into my throat and fastened my arms and legs to the outing dress brought by the maids. The outwear was a dress with yellow fabric and white laces that my mother bought in the past as she made a fuss about it being pretty.

 

I sat down on the bed and looked skeptically at the maids as I was wearing lace socks and cute shoes on my feet.

 

No matter how much I think about it, I don’t think this outing dress would suit the place Kellerhan was about to take me to.

 

“It’s done! You can go to the Trarium Square right now!”

 

However, Magda and the maids didn’t give up hope until the end. She even gave me a small handbag, saying it was a special gift. There was a handkerchief and some candies for children in the handbag.

 

I held a handbag in one hand, Magda in the other hand, and went down.

 

In the hall, Kellerhan was waiting for me in a full uniform and a black cape coming down to his calves.

 

Wow, because he was like that, he really looked like a grim reaper.

 

I approached him cautiously, recalling Kellerhan’s other nickname, ‘The Reaper of Criminals’.

 

“It’s only the two of us going out, that’s why wait here, Magda.”

 

He pulled me apart from Magda with such cold and decisive words. 

 

Although she defended Kellerhan before, her face darkened as she was anxious to leave me in his hands. I squeezed Magda’s hands tightly.

 

“Oh my, Miss?”

 

She looked down at me in surprise. Tears welled up in her eyes when I looked up to say that I was okay and I could do well.

 

“How can you be so mature?”

 

Kellerhan could’ve interrupted, but he stayed still until Magda hugged me and said goodbye. She let me go after a while.

 

“Let’s go.”

 

Once Magda withdrew, he gave a brief order.

 

He took a step first. I, again, had to diligently work my feet off to keep up with his big, fast stride. It seemed I had to go quite far, but there was a carriage waiting outside the hall.

 

I was thinking about how to get on the carriage when he lifted me up and put me on the chair. He then also got on the carriage and ordered the coachman to leave.

 

While the carriage rattled and moved, I glanced out the window for a moment, trying to get a clue as to where we were going. But just looking at the scenery, I couldn’t guess at all. It was because there was no way that I, who had been imprisoned for a long time, knew.

 

I gave up guessing and leaned back against the back of the chair. And ten minutes later, the carriage stopped.

 

Kellerhan hastily opened the carriage door and went down before the coachman even got off his seat. As I got up from my chair to follow Kellerhan down, I saw a huge white building in front of me and froze on the spot. I passed an unknown street and arrived at an unknown place, but I knew where it was.

 

Because I saw that building in the newspaper.

 

What was Kellerhan thinking that he brought me here? I couldn’t get a grasp of it.

 

“Kid, you have to get off.” I barely came to my senses after hearing Kellerhan rushing me. “Come here.”

 

As I approached him, he lifted me up and put me on the ground again this time.

 

“From the look of your face, you seem to know where we are.” He said indifferently.

 

I barely put up with the wish to grab his sleeve.

 

“It’s a place where prisoners who have been sentenced to death are imprisoned before they’re executed.”

 

It means, it’s a prison.

 

Also known as ‘Rudger’s Mansion’.

 

A prison named after Rudger, a fearsome angel who is one of the 12 angels of God who serves in the Great Hall and leads evil people to hell and eats them in small pieces.

 

Those imprisoned in Rudger’s Mansion were among the most popular among death row inmates who needed public execution. Perhaps because only the dead were gathered, Rudger’s Mansion had ominous and gloomy energy that couldn’t be hidden even by its white exterior walls and beautiful appearance.

 

“Who taught you that?” He looked down at me with curious eyes.

 

“I saw it in the newspaper.” I murmured. It wasn’t a lie.

 

He just shrugged once, believing when I said I saw it in the newspaper.

 

“Let’s go.”

 

“We’re going into the Rudger’s Mansion?” This time around, I couldn’t help but to be surprised.

 

Can just anyone get in there?

 

As he realized my question, Kellerhan grinned a fishy smile.

 

“When I caught Phillip the Killer, His Imperial Majesty gave special instructions to the Security Department to give me free access to Rudger’s Mansion.”

 

Once again, I realized that this man in front of me had the most powerful authority in the Empire regarding the arrest, extradition, and punishment of criminals.

 

“Don’t worry, they can let at least one child in and out with my permission.” He uttered such terrifying words and started walking while holding my hand tightly to prevent me from running away.

 

I couldn’t guess what Kellerhan was thinking of bringing me to Rudger’s Mansion, so I followed him nervously.

 

“Open it.”

 

Arriving at the large main gate of the mansion that is the prison, Kellerhan told the guards guarding the door.

 

“Aren’t you the Duke of Barmuth?!”

 

The guards who saw Kellerhan’s face saluted in surprise.

 

“Obviously, as you said last month, Batalli Dodna was delivered, b-but did we do something wrong…?” They asked, tensely, with their faces turned pale.

 

Apparently, Kellerhan appeared once every time something went wrong and turned the Rudger’s Mansion upside down. He looked through the guards with his eyes on the poor creatures and opened his mouth.

 

“I’m here to see Dodna.”

 

“What? Batalli Dodna…?”

 

Questions appeared on the guards’ face and mine at the same time.

 

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Comments (1)

  1. he really decided to try and traumatize her until she leaves 💀