Huge thanks to SKIP_A_BEAT for the kofis! (2/2)
“You are a cheeky girl. Didn’t His Highness ask you for your name?”
The knight, who was holding Layla, opened his eyes wide and urged her to answer.
Layla, contemplating how to get out of this difficult situation, reluctantly opened her mouth.
“…It is Layla.”
“Layla? That’s a rare name in the Empire.”
The prince, Justin, stared at her and licked his lips.
“You’re also a rare beauty in the empire.”
Leila frowned involuntarily at the way he seemed to be evaluating things.
If she could, she would’ve poured a bucket of swear words over him, but she had to endure it.
Even her master chose not to come out of the room out of fear of causing interest and problems, so what could she do?
‘Yes, wait, Layla. You have to be patient for the sake of the princess.’
On the other hand, Justin, seeing her expression, raised his eyebrows as if it was ridiculous.
“Now, are you frowning at me?”
“What do you mean no? With such an unpleasant face?”
The prince strode towards Layla’s side.
The knight held her hands with such great strength that her cheeks wrinkled, her face wincing.
“I hate people who lie the most. Especially if the liar is a woman.”
“O-oh, let me go!”
“I don’t want to. Hold on tight.”
At the prince’s words, the knight’s grip on Layla became even tighter.
“Bring her to my room.”
“Yes, my Lord.”
Her eyes widened as if she was torn apart at the command that was reeking of the prince’s obscene intentions.
“No, don’t do this-!”
Layla shouted in her painstakingly calm voice, but that was of no avail to the prince.
The moment the knight grabbed her arms and pulled her forward, Layla bit her lip.
“Let go of me!”
She kicked her right foot into the sky in anger.
With a dull and light sound, the knight went backward and fell.
He was hit on the chin by her fierce kick.
Perhaps it was because she had hit his vital point, the knight was lying down and losing his mind.
“Hey, what is this!”
As the startled prince tried to approach her, Layla ran to avoid him.
However, in the process, she was forced to push the prince’s shoulder slightly.
“You dare to hit the prince! You crazy b*tch! There! Stop there right now!”
The prince chased Layla angrily, but he couldn’t catch up with her, who was famous in Bashal for her speed.
Layla’s long, neatly braided hair swayed precariously behind her, as ran away in the distance.
Dooha blocked the yawn that was coming out of her with her hand.
After all, being confined to a corner of a room didn’t seem to fit her lifestyle.
‘As Layla said, I should have gone for a walk in secret.’
She put down the book she was reading, got up from her seat, and opened her window.
The Duke’s bedroom, located on the top floor of the castle, had a very good view.
The range of the view was so wide that one could see not only the inner courtyard of the fortress but also the sights of the estate beyond the fortress.
Dooha, who had been relishing the breeze outside with her chin in her palm, was dreaming of stepping out into nature and never returning.
‘Is she bringing me a whole tree?’
Her side felt cold for some reason. Probably because there wasn’t the person, who was always next to her and chatted, beside her.
Dooha, who had been stroking her hair that was messed up by the wind, frowned at the sudden sense of uneasiness.
It seemed peaceful outside, but the wind was stronger than usual.
‘What is this?’
Since Dooha was also from Bashal, she knew how to handle the forces of nature. She manipulated the power of the wind as a princess of the wind tribe and her specialty was fortune-telling.
‘If the wind is this sharp, it’s clear that something big has happened outside.’
Dooha turned to the door behind her.
‘What is this ominous feeling?’
It was then, when she bit her lip because of the uncertainty of the unknown,
With a loud noise, one of her maids ran into the room with a pale face.
She threw her body on the floor as if she had fallen.
“Ma- madam, we are in trouble!”
“Th-the maid, no, Miss Layla!”
When Layla’s name came out, Dooha’s pupils shook slightly.
She struggled to calm the maid with her calm face.
“Speak calmly and slowly. What is going on?”
The maid, whose face was covered in tears, gulped and spat out,
“The Prince was raging to kill Miss Layla, but the head maid stopped it, and so now she is getting hit hard-!”
It was an unintelligible sound.
Why was the prince going on a rampage to kill Layla, and why was the head maid being beaten for such a reason?
“It looks like both of them are going to die! Madam, please help them out!”
“The Duke is…”
“The Duke is away from the castle right now! Only Madam can stop His Highness!”
Has he still not come back from hunting for monsters?
They said that he was the strongest knight in the Empire. Why was it taking so long? Were they all lies?
Dooha clenched her teeth without realizing it.
One of the things she hated the most was unkept promises.
Not only did she dislike others not keeping their promises, but she also hated breaking promises herself.
As she promised, she shouldn’t leave the bedroom now.
If she went out, she must face the prince.
But if those who were precious to her were in danger, it was a different story.
“Guide me, I will go right now.”
All of a sudden, Dooha’s two eyes were burning like those of an eagle.
“The servants also resemble their masters, so arrogant~!”
Justin licked his lips and grabbed the head maid by her neck and lifted her up.
“Are you still going to defend that b*tch, Maid?”
The maid’s wretched head, who was grabbed by him, looked devastated.
Her always neatly trimmed hair was sparse, one of her cheeks was swollen red, and blood was running down her lips.
Meanwhile, the head maid repeated the same answer with her eyes closed.
“…That child is not at fault.”
“Ha, it’s not her fault?”
Justin chuckled and shook his head.
In the direction he turned his head, Layla was lying on the floor, having been caught by the knight.
She bit her lip as if in anger, glaring at the prince to death.
Justin looked at Layla, who was still being beaten by the knight, and he licked his lips as if he was having fun.
“The head maid has been here for 4 years and has a high status so it’s fine. But this little girl got so cocky over a trivial subject. She has some great guts.”
“The child and I have already apologized to His Highness. What else is there to do…”
The prince once again moved his hand, a vein on his neck popping out.
The maid’s face turned to the other side without any resistance.
“Shut up! You cheeky b*tch!”
From time immemorial, Justin didn’t like the high-spirited young Duke, who didn’t even show his face once except for the first day.
He must have been looking down at him on the inside while standing superior on the outside.
He was, after all, sitting on the seat of the Grand Duke and protecting the frontier, so he had power equal to his own.
That was the reason why Leonhart was so irritable. If it weren’t for him, he would normally have already cut off Layla’s neck as well as the head maid’s.
“You mad maid, I thought being here for four years would have given you a pretty good head, but it must not have been like so. Unless your master told you not to look at me anymore?”
“The Duke commanded us to take His Highness as a guest of honor.”
Justin laughed at the maid’s calm reply.
“Is this the attitude of a 4th year servant while serving distinguished guests?”
“…It depends on the person.”
The head maid, Sylvia, spoke with a detached attitude, contrasting her messy look.
“The man who tried to r*pe a maid who worked for a craftsman could no longer be considered a distinguished guest.”
“As the head maid, I have a duty to supervise and protect the people who work here.”
She looked straight into the eyes of the ferocious prince.
“If there is anything wrong that that child had done, I will surely punish her, but if not, I will defend her to the end.”
In a nutshell, it was his fault, so she never meant to apologize.
It wasn’t something a maid could say to the prince, but she was very calm.
“That damn b*tch slapped the face of my escort, and that’s not enough! Yet~!”
“As a woman, she did everything she could to protect herself. That is not a reason for punishment.”
Justin, who had lost his composure, was about to run rampant on the punishment, but the head maid added her words calmly.
“If His Highness has no remorse in his conscience, it means that my judgment was wrong, so you may punish me instead.”
As if she wasn’t going to say much more, the maid soon closed her eyes.
Justin looked at her unbending will and bit his lip.
Why do such people make him so angry?
From his one and only sister to the deceased princes, and now to these mere servants.
“Okay, that’s good.”
It was pretty good now.
He needed the support of the Duke of Esbaden to ascend to the throne, so he tried not to cause trouble if it was possible.
The ones beneath him in the hierarchy were acting so cocky, and to that, he couldn’t standstill.
“I have nothing against my conscience, and so I will punish you.”
Justin approached the escort knight, took his sword, and walked back to the head maid.
“Pay with death for the sin of disrespecting the royal family, cheeky girl.”
“Your Highness, wait!”
The startled escort knight tried to stop him, but it was already too late.
When the prince was about to aim his sword at the head maid’s neck,
“The Duchess of Esbaden greets His Highness, The Fourth Prince.”
A firm and roaring voice flew in from behind.
Justin slowly turned his head, raising his sword in the air.
“I’m sorry for the late greeting, Your Highness.”
There stood the Duchess of Esbaden, Dooha.