Author: B0ucha
Author's Thoughts

'You’ve got to be kidding me.'
How could anyone bear this awkward moment?
It was the first time everyone had gathered together for a meal after waking up here. But no one would open their mouth to speak.
It was astounding how the short wait before the food came out could be so suffocating.
Should I even look at that person now?
He wouldn’t be able to raise a finger against her without Duke Sorpel’s express permission, but at the same time one couldn’t just ignore that Ludeville.
No matter what anyone says, he wielded the greatest influence in the dukedom after Duke Sorpel.
'Ahhh, it's stuffy here.'
Ludeville had always been quiet, but even Ravi was strangely silent today.
Did something happen at the party yesterday? Ravi seemed genuinely unhappy with Ludeville's return to the duchy.
Unusually for him, he was showing his emotions, and not even pretending to look in Ludeville's direction, let alone talk to him. What's wrong with that foxy guy?
With the atmosphere like that, it was really...….
'I don't like to eat.'
If you guys get sick, it's all your fault!
Then the dishes began to be placed on the table, one after another. A plate of well-grilled steak was placed in front of Camila.
But just as the plate was about to be placed, a hand snatched it.
Raising her head hastily, Camila could see Ludeville taking her plate and placing it in front of himself.
‘…What are you doing?'
Did you just steal my food?
Camila, for whom it was the first time she has ever been deprived of a bowl of rice in her life, could not hide her incredulity. Even during her abusive childhood, she has never had her rice bowl taken away!
The plate was placed again in front of Camila, who was stunned and gasped. It was the dish that Ludeville had taken away.
'Did my meat look bigger?'
Camila’s mind became clouded by the sight of Ludeville sitting back down and starting to eat as if nothing had happened.
Even after seeing Ludeville's actions, Duke Sorpel and Ravi did not react in any way. Is this a new type of bullying? She pondered, but not for long.
“Did the presentation go well yesterday?”
A conversation was heard over the table.
“I’m sorry. I should have paid more attention.”
Duke Sorpel seemed genuinely sorry for forgetting Ravi's presentation. Ravi's pointed expression slightly relaxed, as if that feeling had been conveyed to him.
"No, Father. Thanks to you, the presentation ended well.”
"Okay. That's good.”
Camila, who was watching the conversation between Ravi and Duke Sorpel, tilted her head slightly, just enough to avoid being noticed.
'What happened?'
I’ve been to countless breakfasts that took place after a dinner, presentations, and party, but this was the first time I had ever seen something like it.
Had Duke Sorpel ever apologised, while mentioning Ravi's past presentation?
Even though you had always quietly passed on as if nothing had happened, as if you couldn’t care less about his recitals?
What has changed?
“Yes, Father.”
Following Ravi, Duke Sorpel gave me his attention as well.
“I hear school will start soon.”
Right. My girl, she’s still a student. It was spring break season, so I was taking a break.
“Do you really have no intention of changing courses?”
Oh yeah, my course.
‘Ah, fu-…….’
I had completely forgotten. Even when this girl chose a course, she had to choose a shitty place like that!
'You talentless dweeb!'
However, she couldn't say that she wanted to change because she could guess why Camila, the original owner of this body, had chosen the course.
“I will do the best I can.”
“Is that really ok with you?”
Duke Sorpel didn't question her anymore. He simply nodded his head lightly in response.
“Here’s the thing though.”
Instead, as if he had something else to say, Duke Sorpel looked at Camila with a rather serious expression.
“I was given chocolate as a gift.”
"Yes, Father?"
What chocolate, all of a sudden? Camila cast a puzzled glance at him.
Duke Sorpel, who coughed for a moment at the sight, immediately continued.
“The flowers seem to have withered a bit…….”
Oh right. I was going to change the flowers in the office and bedroom today..…..
At first, the flowers were changed every day, but it was a pity to throw away the flowers so she was changing them every 2-3 days.
Today was the day to change the flowers, but due to meeting an unexpected person in the garden, the flowers changed hands.
Camila, who looked for a moment at Ludeville sitting across from her, let out a small sigh. She had been distracted and hadn’t thought of getting the flowers again.
"My apologies. I was going to change the flowers tomorrow.”
“Yes, yes. Chocolate would go very well with tea.”
"Ah, yes Father."
Why do you keep talking about chocolate when I said that I would change flowers? We would always drink tea after I put down the flowers...….
Camila's gaze returned to Duke Sorpel.
Did I miss something important just now?
But the Duke Sorpel was just eating again as if nothing had happened. Camila's head tilted to the side again.
Ravi, who had been watching the two of them silently, gave a bewildered look.

* * *

As soon as the meal was over, Ludeville went straight to Duke Sorpel's office. He had a lot to report.
Then, his gaze naturally fell on a piece of paper on his desk.

Among the list of about 30 shops, a line was drawn through the name of the chocolate shop at the top. It seemed that the Duke had checked what he had bought.
Ludeville, holding a pen, drew lines at several of the shops on the list.
“What are you doing?”
“That kid doesn’t like apples.”
The shop he crossed out was a dessert shop where apples were the main ingredient.
“How would you know that?”
“… … .”
At Duke Sorpel's question, who showed a bit of surprise in his eyes, Ludeville kept his mouth shut. Then he immediately brought up another topic.
“I heard that there are people who play pranks on Camila’s food, Father.”
“Who did you hear from?”
“It’s just something I had heard.”
Duke Sorpel let out a small sigh.
The food Camila ate that day, and even the ring she said the child had been stolen……. The Duke’s mind did not rest easy at the thought of what Camila had gone through here.
“How did you deal with the culprits?”
“They won’t be able to set foot in my lands or other places too.”
They were prevented from working for the aristocratic family again.
Ludeville frowned slightly, as if he didn't like that things were ended by simply expelling them from the territory.
However, he too could not help but understand that it was the best possible punishment for Duke Sorpel.
It would damage the duke's reputation if it became known that those who worked in the duke's family stole the belongings of those they served and harmed their superiors by playing pranks on their food.
“Other than that, did it fail again?”
With a curt reply, Loude Bill took something from his bosom and set it down on the table. It was a pendant. There was a white gem engraved in the middle.
A long sigh emanated from Duke Sorpel's mouth as he gazed at the pendant.
“It’s a failure again.”
"Sorry, Father."
“It isn’t your fault.”
Duke Sorpel picked up the pendant very carefully.
“I couldn’t find the Divine Beasts this time either…….”
The Divine Beasts.
In the Fabler Empire, there were three ducal families. However, people used the title of the Three Guardians of the Empire more often than the Three Ducal Families.
The Three Guardians.
Every Ducal House was blessed with the protection of the Divine Beasts. The same was true for the Ducal House of Sorpel.
Until a few generations ago, the Duke of Sorpel was also under the protection of the Divine Beasts. They were always by the clan leader’s side.
It was a very long time ago. The head of the Sorpel family, while attending the imperial palace party, had been assassinated by poisoning. There was no time to react. As soon as he took a sip of his drink, he was killed instantly.
The problem was that the Divine Beasts shared its life with the household leader.
When the household leader dies, the Divine Beast disappears with him. He was supposed to hear directly from the Divine Beast the place where the new Divine Beast would be born before he died.
The only one who could hear the voice of the Divine Beast was the head of the family. Successive Dukes of Sorpel considered it their ultimate duty to inform their descendants about this.
However, the Duke of Sorpel, having died from poisoning, could not tell his descendants the place where the new Divine Beast would be born. Since it had happened so suddenly.
In the end, the Ducal House of Sorpel, one of the Three Guardian families, was led by someone who couldn't use a Divine Beast.
The same was true of the current Duke of Sorpel. As had been the case for his father.
Fortunately, the Ducal House of Sorpel's wealth was great and was known to have defended the empire for a long time, so its reputation and power was enormous.
There was no one who could ignore the Duke of Sorpel just because the Divine Beasts were gone.
Then again, it was hard to place them on an equal footing with the other two families that still possessed the Divine Beasts.
However, it wasn't that the Sorpel family had been ignoring it until now. It took a lot of effort for a long time to find their Divine Beast again.
A pendant with a white gem embedded in it.
That jewel was the key to awakening the Divine Beast. Also, whenever a Divine Beast was nearby, it reacted by pulling the pedant towards itself.
And so it was, that for a long time, the family had been looking for their Divine Beast with this pendant. They wandered all over the empire, waiting for the pendant to respond.
It had been so for the current Duke of Sorpel, as well as his father. Ludeville would bring the pendant whenever he went to a new place.
However, the pendant had yet to show any response.
A short sigh leaked from Duke Sorpel's mouth again.
Was it time to give up? At this point, enough time had passed to the point where someone would have found dozens of needles in a whole desert.
'Damn bastard!'
But when he thought of the other two dukes, one of them in particular, he couldn't give up.
He wouldn’t say it openly, but the Duke of Sorpel couldn’t stand the expression of that man, smirking as he summoned his Divine Beast in front of the Duke.
“Don’t really get what’s so amazing about those Divine Beasts…Hmph!”
Even so, the Duke of Sorpel held the pendant with a careful hand. They were vital towards finding and awakening the Divine Beast.
He couldn’t help but let another sigh escape from his lips.

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  1. Qusstion: The chapter 15 I bought for 20 honeys is the free author’s thoughts?