Chapter 9

“Hey, that’s harsh. He is the person I am serving after all, how can you call His Highness, the Grand Duke, a b*st*rd.”

 

“……..”

 

“No matter how bad the other person is, to call him a b*st*rd is too much. The prince shouldn’t use such vulgar words, Hah…. Haha.”

 

He started laughing as he said it. Ian’s cold expression was not visible to him as he kept giggling and banging on the table.

 

I thought it would work out. Depending on the person’s point of view, I could have thought so, but I could tell that it was intentional just by hearing the words that followed.

 

I should really stab him in the neck this time. 

 

Looking at the dagger that was in the same position as yesterday, Ian quickly planned on how to kill him. It would not be surprising to be found dead because it seemed like a rip-off that would leak from outside.

 

However, a few minutes later, Kyle, who had been mired in the game of framing for a long time, raised his head and opened his mouth, as if he had discovered his future, which would have been discovered with his own cold corpse.

 

“I mean, are you curious about our Archduke?”

 

Strangely enough, it was more annoying that I could understand what he was saying.

 

“What are you more curious about? You heard only notoriety. Is that because it’s the first time you’ve actually seen him? Certainly, if you see our grand Duke in person, the reaction would be the polar opposite. Especially if they are foreigners, they treat him like some other kind.

 

The Hyers were originally famous, but after the war 50 years ago, the story of the Hyer family started to spread from the mouth of a person to another and then to other countries.

 

It was ridiculous how they were talking about him being over 3 meters tall and how his face was covered with snake scales.

 

The rumor says, they slaughter people and take a shower with blood, and when the piled-up snow in the forest is removed, several frozen bodies can be found lined up. The more details someone added, the more bizarre the story became.

 

In addition, the atmosphere became even more frightening as Prince Hyer was accompanied by rumors. Those who had never seen the Archduke in person believed the false rumors.

 

Kyle has been constantly reminded of the moments where the people who never saw him trembled like a mouse and then became mesmerized by Logan’s face when they actually saw him.

 

“Aye, he is not as bad as the rumors say.”

 

Of course, it was true that there were corpses in the forest. A few other truths were mixed in, but Kyle, who lightly ignored them, ran his head fiercely to find the goodness about the Prince.

 

He threw the temperament out of the window of executing nobles or whatever. It was also said that if his stomach is punctured, he will recover in one day.

 

Kyle, who bent his head with one hand, barely slept and even had a seizure-like madness. He rolled his eyes, looked into the forest, and managed to find some good pointers.

 

“It’s true that the Archdukes are all short-lived.”

 

Fortunately, most of them died early.

 

Ian tilted his head, puzzled as to why such a story was being told here when Kyle suddenly brought up the family history of Hyer’s, who mostly died in their 30s.

 

“The longest predecessor who lived was 41 years old. Usually they suddenly die in their early to mid-30s. Should I say they were weak when I saw that? Hahaha.”

 

Weakness was a b*tch. 

 

It was true that they were short-lived, but everyone who heard Hyer’s name knew that they would never die easily.

 

Kyle, who showed off his high-level jokes, grinned at Ian, who was looking at him with a strange expression.

 

How are they the same as humans? 

 

“Even if you kill him, he will survive, but he’s still human, he has to die in the end, haha.”

 

“……..”

 

But the other party was Ian, who had no knowledge of this place.

 

He isn’t physically weak. It does not match the descriptions at all when I recall what I had seen earlier, but just by looking at it from the outside, I didn’t know it.

 

In other words, there may be unknown diseases, there may be other reasons too. Anyway, the man here is going to die soon. It was very natural for a person to die, but my heart was still pounding.

 

Without knowing that the joke was considered as a documentary, Kyle repeatedly emphasized the Archduke’s weakness.

 

He seemed to get amused with Ian’s attitude of rarely nodding his head, but he seemed eager to appeal to the greatest strength of the Grand Duke he had chosen to serve. In the end, he will die early.

 

If Claude had seen it, he would have punched Kyle in the face, but unfortunately, there were only two people in the room.

 

Misunderstandings were piling up like snow, but no one noticed.

 

Kyle, who had been talking a lot, smiled and added a word when it became noisy outside the window.

 

“But it was a good choice.”

 

It was out of the blue. Kyle, who was silent for a moment, whispered, wondering if he realized as he couldn’t ask back what he meant.

 

“I mean, Rox. I wanted to serve a low-ranking prince who is fearless and has no mood swings.”

 

Abandoned to the enemy’s land as the noblest. Usually you’ll be in a bad mood every day or wet the sheets with tears. You would at least get cold feet. Desperate at the situation of being unable to even speak.

 

However, the prince of this foreign country was as easy going as if he had come on a trip. The way he accepted everything so naturally was more of a three-way attitude despite the situation.

 

I wondered if it would be okay, but Kyle, who watched for a few days, quickly came to a conclusion. It was a good choice.

 

“I think it’s going to get cold here tomorrow.”

 

It was chilly but not cold. Recalling the constant temperature for the past few weeks, he raised his head. Kyle waved his hand as he headed to the terrace without notice, just like he did when he came in without notice.

 

“You are going to catch a cold, cover yourself up, my prince.”

 

He said in a tone of real concern.

 

***

When I opened my eyes the next day, the outside of the window had turned white. It wasn’t cold because it wasn’t a drafty room, but as I came out of the blanket and stood near the window, the coldness permeated through my skin.

 

When the maid, who came in at dawn, put firewood in the fireplace, which had been placed like decoration, and lit it up, I had no idea that it would snow like this.

 

He didn’t know that snow would pile up this much in a day, so Ian, who was looking outside, suddenly remembered Kyle’s words that he heard yesterday.

 

It will get cold tomorrow.

 

Did he mean this?

 

It’s not even the Korean Meteorological Agency, but it’s a big coincidence, I put my hands on the fogging glass. The cold wind rattled the window like a clap.

 

“You’re up.”

 

When my entire palm became tingling, Ed came in with a knock. Still neatly dressed, the old butler gently spoke, putting down the tray in his hand on the table.

 

“You are here, and the expedition is also over, so it’s covered with snow again. The weather of the Grand Duchess is harsher than in Rox.”

 

It was a nuance that the weather changed depending on the situation.

 

Due to the nonsense, I took a step back from the window to the table.

 

There was a meat dish that was grilled in a delicious way. The sauce was coated and the luster was flowing, similar to chicken. The stew, which had little to chew on, was nowhere to be seen.

 

“The master told me to pay attention to your meal. Your throat has been healed, so you should be able to swallow soft meat.”

 

Basically, I liked meat dishes the most. Knife and fork appeared as I sat down for the food that I haven’t seen in a long time. Of course, I will retrieve it after the meal, but I have no regrets.

 

When the meat, which is gently separated by pulling it with a fork, is put into the mouth, it is mixed with the juicy sauce and soaked with gravy.

 

Ed took a step back and burst into laughter at the sight of Ian, who was actively moving the tableware, unlike everyday he wasn’t eating mechanically.

 

I thought I had a small mouth. Maybe the food I’ve been eating didn’t suit my taste….

 

“……you don’t want to have any more?”

 

I thought so, but I don’t think I would. 

 

Contrary to moving the fork quickly, Ian, who ate only five pieces, did not raise his hand any further. As if the meal was over, he slowly nodded when asked curiously about the fork on the table.

 

“If the food doesn’t suit your taste, tell me.”

 

This time he immediately shook his head. Seeing that he looked at the meat that was still left for a long time, Ed, who couldn’t ask for a specific reason because Ian couldn’t talk, waited another beat and approached the table. If he doesn’t want to eat more, there’s no reason to comment more on it.

 

“There will be a procession in a few days.”

 

As he moved the plate back to the tray and notified it casually, his eyes followed. He looked like he didn’t know what it was, so Ed, who finally collected the knife, decided to add a more straightforward explanation.

 

“You would have to ride a horse and show your face to the Shertians who live here.”

 

Ian slightly nodded at those words, as if he remembered something.

 

Riding on a horse naked.

 

It’s like he said he will tie a leash and beat me every hour. 

 

I looked at the plate once again, recalling the voice of the man who was kindly reciting it. Half of the steaming meat was not yet empty.

 

“………”

 

Even though he knew what it was, he didn’t seem to mind.

 

Ed, who had expected to see at least an uneasy sign, was at a loss of words for a moment, he stared curiously at Ian, who was looking at the plate.

 

It’s definitely not a normal reaction.

 

But most of his actions were enough to lose one’s mind.

 

Excessively.

 

As Logan had said, Ed, who thought it would be better to wait a little longer, left the room with a brief greeting.

 

That night I didn’t fall asleep like I was fainting, maybe because I wasn’t taking medicine anymore with my food. The wind swayed near the window, and at first glance, it seemed that I heard a cry, but only a couple of times. Buried in the mourning eyes, I tried to listen, but I couldn’t hear anymore.

 

It’s been such a quiet few days.

 

Originally, Kyle, who was supposed to appear giggling, did not come, so Ian, who was lying in the room as if he were dead, felt as peaceful as on the eve of the storm.

 

If he goes out naked in this kind of weather, he’ll be dead when he comes back. Even though he was stuck in a situation, he didn’t forget to look out of the window.

 

And finally, the day of the procession arrived.

 

Ian, who was still touching the snowy window despite Ed’s words the day before, turned his head to the sound of the door opening.

 

“……..”

 

And after a while, looking at the white veil in his hand, Ian swallowed a curse he couldn’t pour out of his mouth.

 

ㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡㅡ

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~Dazzel.D~

Notes

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