Chapter 3

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Author: EunEun Editor: eris421

Blasco, which was notorious for using their head faster than words, and using their fists much faster than their heads.

 

They were a family that produced countless Imperial Commanders from generation to generation, they were also in collusion with military forces. It is said that most of their trips are covered and passed on.

 

Since a few generations ago, they had started their business with a huge amount of money, perhaps to wash away the stigma that even their brain was made out of muscles.

 

Mineral mining, iron manufacturing, and alchemy. In short, it was a comprehensive weapon business.

 

High-quality weapons that were produced by generously using the know-how of swordsmen accumulated over the years, were sold like hotcakes to the neighboring kingdoms. After raising taxes and accumulating their wealth, it was only natural for Blasco’s right to speak in the Seven Noble Associations to increase.

 

It was said that their ignorant boldness of grasping not only the military, but also business and politics was enough for even the emperor to take a step back.

 

Just like their unusual reputation, Blasco’s Main House boasted amazing dignity.

 

I would believe it even if they said it was a palace, and not a mansion. The majestic pillars and stone reliefs which were embossed with the lords of various generations on the ivory outer wall gazed down at the visitors threateningly.

 

In the middle of the hall facing the entrance, marble carved with a demon sword, the symbol of the Blasco Family, stood there. Not to mention the brilliant interior.

 

However, too busy thinking about my immediate future, I had no time to look away.

 

‘When I meet the Duke, I’ll lie flat first.’

 

The best way was to put on an act if anything got overdone.

 

I put my brain to work on what to do after neatly giving up on the inheritance.

 

‘I should ask whether I can receive only one house in return for writing a memorandum of giving up the inheritance.’

 

I don’t even desire for something like a mansion in the Capital. The three-story house in Telpa where I lived with Grandfather was enough.

 

In there, the 10 years of memories me and Grandfather had been unraveling in its totality. It was said that I could lie down on my back anywhere and I would live, but I wanted to continue living there.

 

‘Will they not give me even that much?’

 

Since Grandfather Herzen was not even present, the only thing that could protect me was nothing but a piece of paper called a will.

 

‘It’s not like that they’re going to swoosh and take care of the young child because it was being materialistic, right?’

 

Just imagining it made my heart shrink. I guess this was why people shouldn’t live being greedy.

 

I followed Jemian’s back, deliberating on how to stay alive until my head was steaming.

 

The place where he guided me was in front of a large door engraved with delicate gold patterns.

 

“Your Excellency, I brought Miss Catyshia Ainsley.”

 

Oh no! It’s the Duke’s office!

 

Before I could even prepare myself, an answer was heard from inside.

 

“Come on in.”

 

It was a low and dry voice.

 

Jemian opened the door of the study.

 

I hesitantly took a step inside.

 

The scenery in the study didn’t even register in my eyes. Only one person, a tall man leaning against the window facing the sun which leaned through the west, caught my sight.

 

As I got closer one step at a time, the aura I felt was overwhelming. With his whole body, he was revealing that he was the master of the renowned high swordsmen.

 

But more than anything else…

 

I was dumbfounded and looked up at him.

 

‘They said he was a person who could catch even bears with bare hands…?’

 

The Duke was too different from what I imagined. I could only recall the young version of Grandfather Herzen’s wrinkled face.

 

The man swept his pitch-black hair neatly to reveal his forehead, and his thick eyebrows and raised eyes gave off a sensitive and wild atmosphere.

 

However, his blue eyes were very beautiful. They emitted a bright glow similar to that of a sapphire. Those blue eyes were representative characteristics of Blasco’s direct blood.

 

The Duke seemed more like an upright and cool-headed knight who knew honor rather than a gangster as the rumors said. He was a surprising old man for me, who thought of a muscular hairy bandit with a beard.

 

The Duke, who had been staring at me with a fixed gaze, finally opened his lips.

 

“So? Are you saying that that child is the owner of that ridiculous will?

 

Even the Duke’s voice, which he lowered, was handsome.

 

I couldn’t take my eyes off his beautiful face for a moment, then I suddenly remembered the educated greeting in the carriage.

 

“M-may the sapphire of Blasco be blessed by the demon sword. Catyshia Ainsley greets Your Excellency the Duke.”

 

I politely put my hands together and promptly bent my waist.

 

Now if he tells me to raise my head…

 

If he tells me… to raise my head…

 

‘I knew this would happen.’

 

I sighed while absent mindedly looking at the carpet on the floor.

 

I can not straighten myself until the Duke allows me. There’s no smoke without fire. Even if he’s handsome, a villain is a villain…

 

In front of him, with my waist folded in half, there was an exhausting silence.

 

Of course, I was the only one who was tired. My lips became pouty automatically.

 

‘How childish. No matter how much he doesn’t like me, does he really want to torment a 10-year-old like this?’

 

Even if he didn’t take the initiative to beat me down like this, I was already beaten down you know. My back began to stiffen.

 

It felt like it was only a few minutes later that a cold voice fell over the top of my head.

 

“How old is that this year you say?”

 

To think that he called a person ‘that’! No matter how I thought about it, Mister’s way of speaking was wrong.

 

I heard Jemian answering.

 

“Miss Catyshia is said to be 10 years old this year.”

 

“10 years old?”

 

While I stared at the eagle embroidered on the carpet, the Duke faked laugh as if he was at loss for words.

 

“That palm-sized thing is 10 years old?”

 

What’s up with that? I’m at the average height for 10 year olds, you know!

 

However, it seemed that the standard of the Duke was very different.

 

“Did Father raise it starving? It looks like a dried orange.”

 

I couldn’t come to my senses due to the unannounced insult on my body. Orange was clearly a combination of my hair color.

 

‘I think I’ll tell Grandfather about everything later.’

 

I was grinding my teeth on the inside, but the Duke clicked his tongue and ordered.

 

“Straighten your back.”

 

First, I straightened my back. I was in a crumpled position for nearly 10 minutes, and somehow I felt even more shrunken

 

“Thank y—”

 

“Come closer and show your face.”

 

Finding that there was no other alternative, I hesitatingly moved my feet.

 

I circled the desk and approached the Duke, who was standing by the window. As I got closer, I had to raise my head up to death, under the pressure of the height difference that could be three heads. It was because the only way I could show my face was by doing that.

 

Even though I had approached him quite close, I didn’t think about the sunk wrinkles that were filling up the Duke’s forehead.

 

‘Until how far do I have to go?’

 

If I went a little further, the front tip of his shoes will be reached. Since I was a little shorter than my peers, I was definitely tiny when I was stuck in front of a 242cm ghost.

 

(t/n: 8척 귀신 [pal cheok gwisin] = A ghost story from Japan; Female ghost with a height of 7.87ft. Also 척 [cheok] = unit for Korean feet (30.3cm). So, 8척 = 242.4cm)

 

“Ho, I was just going to see what kind of clever fox you are. But what…”

 

The Duke of Blasco was so free-spirited that I doubted the fact that he was a villain.

 

Clicking his tongue, the Duke nodded his head toward the desk in front of me.

 

“Jem, put the kid up here.”

 

Jemian strode coming near behind me.

 

“Excuse me, Miss Catyshia.”

 

Jemian’s hand came through both of my armpits, and he lifted me up.

 

I flew into the air and landed on the Duke’s desk. Only then did our eye level become a little more even.

 

The Duke looked closely at my face, which had gotten closer.

 

“Orange hair and green eyes. You’re definitely not a child of Blasco.”

 

His voice was much softer than before, when he seemed to be able to stab a person to death with just his voice earlier. However, his overwhelming physique and cold eyes remained.

 

“Where the hell did you suddenly fall from? You.”

 

It didn’t sound like he was asking me. The Duke, who carefully looked at me with deep eyes, soon lowered his gaze to the documents he was holding.

 

My short 10-year life was clearly organized there.

 

“Name is Catyshia Ainsley. I can tell it’s a girl, and you said she was 10 years old. Then next, starting with the family relationship, Jem. Orange, answer only with yes or no.”

 

“Yes, Your Excellency.”

 

The full-scale investigation of my household affairs had begun.

 

Jemian began the interrogation with a solemn look.

 

“Erm, firstly, it is said that Miss Catyshia was abandoned in front of the late Excellency’s house in early April, Year 427 of the Imperial Calendar, 10 years ago. At that time, you were a newborn baby. Is it correct?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“It is said that the late Duke Herzen, who felt sorry for the abandoned child, collected you. The only thing left with the baby at that time was a note with a name on it and a small locket pendant. Since then up until now, you’ve grown in Mister Herzen’s hands. Right, Miss Catyshia?”

 

“That old man raised her? That’s not even funny.”

 

This time, the Duke snorted without any time for me to answer. The mood seemed to have gone bad in an instant.

 

Even if I didn’t know the situation, I could see that the crack between their parent and child relationship was deep.

 

‘But, that was the Duke’s situation. Please stop your murderous look…’

 

A blue spark jaggedly burst from the Duke’s body.

 

My whole body was throbbing, so I had to roughly rub both arms.

 

Fortunately, Jemian clapped his hands and saved me from the face of death.

 

“Now, now. Your Excellency is looking over there. Miss Catyshia, you have to look here~ Everything I said earlier is true, right?”

 

“Yes….”

 

Jemian was a friendly interrogator who knew how to act considerate to a young child, unlike a villain somewhere.

 

“You don’t have any family other than Mister Herzen, right? And you’ve never seen the faces of your parents or relatives.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Has Mister Herzen ever told Miss Catyshia anything related to his inheritance during his lifetime?”

 

“Ye… no.”

 

If you clean well, I’ll give this house to you. Was that kind of threat included?

 

When I changed my words, the Villain Duke almost rebuked me, saying that he had to dig into what had prompted my words. Jemian, who was quick to sense, quickly added a quick-witted explanation.

 

“What you mean is that he just said a few playful words with passing-by words, but you had never really listened carefully about it, right, Miss Catyshia?”

 

“Yes!”

 

That’s it!

 

“But by any chance, are there any items or documents that could be a token left other than verbal promises?”

 

“No.”

 

It was literally just a joke. I had joked to Grandfather, saying to not only say such things that he didn’t mean like that every day, and if he really meant it, I asked to fill out a document or such. Then Grandfather clicked his tongue, saying that I’ve already been brightened up by money since young.

 

Jemian fired a shot of confirmation.

 

“So you’re saying that there’s really nothing left behind, not even a thing, right?”

 

“Yes.”

 

Don’t tell me that the thing that is called a token is the antiques thrown by Grandfather, saying I’ll get ten times more if it stayed and I sold it?

 

Things like a rusty key, a soundless music box, or a pocket watch that was broken.

 

‘Ey, no way.’

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