Author: Bunny

Chapter 31 

 

Only then did Cadric was reminded of what he had forgotten in his rage – who the being before him was. That she couldn’t possibly not know what he knew. 

 

“And yet, you sent him to Duke Ashillean…?” 

 

“Sister likes handsome things.” 

 

“…” 

 

Cadric groaned again. 

 

‘If I only had one more eye.’ 

 

As if she could read what was on his mind, Callena added with a smirk, “He’s also weak, and she’s weak when he’s trying to act weak. Even though she said it was such a bother, she was captured by him and always trying to help him.” 

 

“…” 

 

“Sister is a little like that.” 

 

She had been like that even when she was still the eldest daughter of Count Luxen. She was the heir who strictly controlled and managed the employees of their mansion, but she was also a reckless employer, sneaking medicine, money and other necessities into their pockets. Even when she left for North, she said: 

 

[‘They’re criminals anyway, wild people who ran away because they didn’t want to be ruled. They’re no better than beasts. If they become a nuisance, I’ll wipe them out.’]

 

Callena gave Rubiana the life and death of criminals hiding in the North. She gave her the freedom to do what she wants without reporting to her or asking for permission. 

 

Rubiana took the trouble to beat the criminals to death and rehabilitate them. A pretty and pitiful tyrant’s illegitimate child – in Callena’s eyes, there was no better combination than this. 

 

‘But it doesn’t matter. I am the most important to her.’ 

 

Callena ran her fingers through the shawl draped over her shoulders, to be exact, the old lace that had been added to it. 

 

“Sir Cadric, do you know what this is?” 

 

“A shawl.” 

 

“Sister gifted it to me on my fifteenth birthday.” 

 

“…?” 

 

Cadric looked up, his blue eye stared at the worn-out lace. Callena swept down the lace proudly. 

 

“My sister was hiding it and never wore it on her dresses but kept it in a secret drawer. She would occasionally take it out, touch it, and then put it back.” 

 

“Why is that…?” 

 

Cadric frowned. There had been a time long ago, where he, too, was an older brother. He remembered fighting with his brothers over a toy. 

 

“So you stole it.” 

 

“Sister gave it to me.” 

 

“Yes, that means you took it.” 

 

Heh, Callena snorted. “Does that mean what looks pretty in her eyes won’t look pretty in my eyes? That’s why I took it out and wore it at every chance I got. I begged her to give it to me.” 

 

“Yes, and that’s how you stole it.” 

 

“My sister gave it to me.” 

 

“…” 

 

“She kept refusing me, and got mad when she told me not to touch it, but she gave it to me in the end. 

 

Callena tidied up the shawl. 

 

“Are you saying that the tyrant’s illegitimate son is that lace?” 

 

Callena didn’t say anything. She only smiled. 

 

“Are you saying I am using my sister? So what? If that means he’s trying to be pretty, flirtatious and pitiful to steal her heart, I don’t care.” Her green eyes glowed coldly. “In the end, when I ask her to kill him, she will.” 

 

When an ant climbs onto a human foot and says, ‘This human is my mount,’ the human doesn’t get angry. No, the human will just walk along without knowing that the ant is trying to use him as a mount. And when the ant slips off the foot, the human will stomp it to death, unmoved. 

 

To Callena, Louismond was no better than an ant. The idea that he was using Rubiana, pretending to like her, court her or whatever, doesn’t hurt her feelings one bit. 

 

“… I see.” 

 

Cadric was convinced. He also realized how he should act going forward. 

 

“Your Majesty always prevented me from courting her and confessing my feelings, but you also just watched as I dared to put away anything that dared to approach her.” 

 

“I did.” 

 

“Are you going to stand by and watch this time as well?” 

 

He was a meticulous man. He didn’t take it lightly, no matter how insignificant the ant is. Then again, he was always the man who annihilated enemies on the battlefield. 

 

‘If I can’t be her husband, then no one can.’ 

 

(T/N: Very classic~)

 

The cold, harsh temper typical of a Westerner flashed in his blue eye. 

 

“Nice eye, though it’s a pity you only have one. Sister’s too much. How can she ask me that pretty thing right away?” 

 

Callena laughed at the sudden change in his eye. Once again, she gave no warnings, admonition or request to Rubiana to leave that twisted fly. Apart from considering him as same with ants; apart from giving consent to their marriage. 

 

“So, who wants to go with me to have breakfast?” 

 

(T/N: Truth is, I didn’t understand a bit of Callena’s plans or whatsoever, is it me or what?)

 

∘₊──────₊∘

 

“Achoo.” 

 

All the way back to the mansion, Rubiana was sneezing again and again. There’s no way she’ll catch a cold today when she usually doesn’t. 

 

“Who could be enjoying cursing me?” 

 

Rubiana blew her nose and sneezed again. Achoo. Her way back was easier than when she was going to the Imperial Palace. Moving around seemed to loosen the stiffness in her body. Her body’s aches and pains seemed to be getting better. 

 

‘Anyway, Lena is still thinking of killing him.’ Rubiana slowed her horse and recalled her conversation with Callena. ‘Should I hoard him secretly when it’s appropriate before he gets killed?’ 

 

Before the three years are up, about a month or two. She was thinking of asking Louismond who is the woman he loved and help them run away together. Rubiana knew very much how Callena favored her, and she knew how to use it to her advantage. 

 

“She’s not thinking of killing me, right?” 

 

No, I’m still her older sister and she couldn’t have the heart to kill me. At most, she’ll just get angry. 

 

With that thought, she arrived at the mansion. The mansion was in an uproar, so much that they didn’t notice the arrival of the owner of the mansion. Rubiana could see the servants and the maids stomping their feet and running about. 

 

Above all, the Head Maid wasn’t standing in front of the door. Wasn’t she a dutiful Head Maid who, no matter how busy she was, always came out to see Rubiana when she came home and went? Rubiana’s face grew serious. 

 

“What is going on?” 

 

Rubiana stopped a passing servant. When the servant saw her, he was startled and bent over in surprise. 

 

“You, you have arrived, Duke.” 

 

“…” 

 

“Ah, about what’s going on….” 

 

The servant stammered, and Rubiana’s eyebrows shot up at the answer. 

 

“What? My husband material is nowhere to be found?” 

 

She was worried that the Emperor wouldn’t grant her the permission to marry him, but it never crossed her mind that the husband material she spent the night with would be gone. 

 

“Haha.” This is ridiculous. 

 

The horse went back to the stable on its own, unattended by its owner. Rubiana stared at the mansion, unaware that the reins had slipped from her hand and disappeared. Her green eyes were calm, but her red hair blown by the wind seemed to be on fire. In short, she looked pissed. 

 

‘So they were looking for him before I came back.’ 

 

The servant screamed inwardly and fell to the floor. 

 

“Please forgive us!” 

 

The untactful shout echoed throughout the mansion, alerting the other servants and maids of Rubiana’s return. 

 

“Heok.” 

 

“Oh, no.”

 

“We… are going to die.” 

 

They all froze in place, their faces turned white. Apparently, a month had been too short to change the perception of the employees who were accustomed to the fearsome rumors of the cold-blooded Duke of the North. 

 

The mansion fell silent at once. The terrifying silence was broken by the sound of Rubiana’s footsteps as she walked in. Tap, tap. 

 

“Duke, you’ve arrived.” The Head Maid appeared behind her. 

 

“What happened?” 

 

Rubiana asked, taking off her glove and handing it to her. There was no way that the Head Maid hadn’t noticed that her voice was sharper than usual. 

 

“My apologies.” 

 

“I didn’t say I wanted to hear you apologizing.” 

 

“I was just doing something for a moment….” 

 

The Head Maid was unusually grim, and it made Rubiana feel a little better. 

 

“When was the last time you checked on him?” 

 

Rubiana asked as she climbed the steps. 

 

The Head Maid followed her without any energy, “A colleague of his came and they enjoyed tea in the drawing room. He went back to his room after, then….”

 

“A colleague visited?” 

 

‘How did his colleague know he’s here?’ 

 

She asked herself for a moment, then she remembered how she came here with Louismond last night, making a big commotion. She shut her mouth. 

 

“Yes, it was an imperial official who studied with him at the House of Scholars.” 

 

“Their name is?” 

 

“Fionnie Lauren. She had just received the title of Baronet.” 

 

“…” 

 

It was a woman’s name. Rubiana paused halfway up the stairs. 

 

“A woman?”

 

“Yes, it was a woman.” 

 

“…”

 

“He said they were close friends. It certainly seemed that way to me.” 

 

The Head Maid hastily added, but none of it reached Rubiana’s ears. 

 

‘Is that woman his lover?’ 

 

A love he’s willing to protect even if it means marrying the cold and cruel Duke of the North. She was suspicious when she couldn’t find the woman he was deeply involved with. And it turned out there was a reason she couldn’t. 

 

‘I never thought he had a love affair in the House of Scholars’ 

 

He really lived up to his looks. In that den of nerds, where people who seemed to have been born to study gathered, his love blossomed. 

 

‘But why did he run away?’ 

 

Could it be that looking at the face of the woman he loved, he realized that a loveless contractual marriage was something he couldn’t do? Was that why he threw everything away and fled for love?

 

‘No way.’ 

 

Even a loser in the Scholar’s House would never make such a foolish choice. If he did, he would not only be pursued by Count Graham, but also by the Emperor and Duke Ashillean. Rather, it was more believable to say that Count Graham sent someone to kidnap him. 

 

“Did Count Graham come here?” 

 

“He came after you left, but I didn’t let him in.” 

 

It means that he was shut out of the door. 

 

“We’ve also tightened the security.” 

 

The Head Maid speaks with emphasis. Apparently, Count Graham has been caught trying to sneak over the high walls of Duke Ashillean’s mansion. Even when Count Graham made a scene outside, she was relieved to know that the Head Maid had kept him at bay. 

 

‘So he ran away?’ 

 

That didn’t make any sense. 

 

“Who was the last person to see him?” 

 

“The maid cleaning the room.” 

 

As the Head Maid called out, the standing in the corner stepped forward, shivering in fear. When Rubiana looked down on her, the maid trembled as if she was convulsing. It wouldn’t be surprising if she fainted at any moment. 

 

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