Chapter 1. The beginning of everything
Sponsored by Skyino 💖 (⅘)
Enjoying a relaxing moment in the sunny garden, Ellea naturally yawned, probably because of the weather.
Jane, who poured her a cup of tea, asked curiously,
“Didn’t you sleep well last night?”
“Not until late. I checked out a book from the library.”
Ellea stayed up until quite late because she was reading the book she borrowed from the library yesterday.
“Then you should sleep a little more. We have nothing special to do today.”
“Should I? I’ve been working hard, sleeping less than usual, and now that I’m out in the sun, I feel sleepy.”
Jane laughed because she felt like Ellea was complaining, and remembered the story that had just hit the Imperial Palace and the capital.
“Oh, yes. Princess, have you heard the news, by any chance?”
“The Duke of House Kaicher has changed.”
Ellea was immediately interested to learn that the person Jane was referring to was Chaylen.
“Has the story become such a rumor already?”
“Of course. The Imperial Palace is abuzz with talk about it. I heard that the one who was thought to be dead came back alive.”
“What do you mean? The Duke was dead?”
Ellea asked, surprised that she had not heard this before. Jane told her what she knew.
“I don’t know much about it either. I’ve heard that Duke Peisen Kaicher is the younger brother of the previous Duke.”
“But, why the sudden change in the landlord?”
“I was told that the Duke and his entire family had passed away. It’s been quite a long time ago.”
“Do you know why they died?”
Jane shook her head as if she didn’t know that much about it.
“No, it was unknown. They only said it was an accident. It wasn’t enough that the Young Master, who was thought to be dead at the time, was alive, and they were all surprised when he came back as the new Duke.”
It seemed that Peisen, the only surviving family member, covered it up. As if he didn’t want anyone to know.
“Indeed, they had every right to be surprised. Everyone thought he was dead, but he came back alive.”
‘What happened that day?’
Ellea, who had been listening to Jane, pondered for a moment about the identity of Chaylen.
‘And is it really a coincidence that he came back at this time?’
To think it was a coincidence, there were many questions about Chaylen.
Why had he hid his existence all this time, and how had he lived after he was known to be dead?
Above all, he came back as the Duke of Kaicher, as if he had been preparing for something since then.
When Ellea thought about it, he thought about Peisen, who was now the former Duke.
She didn’t know much about the original Duke, Heindel Kaicher, but Peisen could be summed up in one word: greedy.
He didn’t seem to have the dignity of a Duke. Most of all, he often showed a look of contempt and disdain at times at El who was Terban’s trusted knight. It was as if he could not talk to a commoner about how El, who had nothing to offer, was protecting the emperor’s side.
Now that Chaylen had appeared, it was easy for her to predict how Peisen would come out. He (Peisen) wouldn’t give away what he had so easily.
On the other hand, she was curious how Chaylen had regained the title from Peisen.
“I think Duke Chaylen is better than him.”
“Huh? I beg your pardon?”
“Nothing. It’s a beautiful day, let’s stay here longer.”
Seeing Ellea’s delight, Jane excused herself to give her some time alone.
Quickly heading to Ellea’s room for cleaning, she spotted one coming down from the floor where the room was located and stood and blocked her.
Suddenly being blocked, the other person raised her head to look at Jane.
“What’s gotten into you all of a sudden?”
“That’s what I want to ask you, Marie. Why are you coming down from there? That’s not the area you’re in charge of.”
Marie’s only response to Jane’s question was to be annoyed.
“I was looking for Miss Borence. I couldn’t see her anywhere, so I came to see if she was in the Princess’s room.”
“Is that right?”
“Yes. Where is she?”
Jane, who was immediately suspicious of Marie’s question, said vaguely about the whereabouts of Borence.
“She went out for a while. I’m sure she’ll be back soon.”
“All right. Thanks for letting me know.”
Marie said, and went downstairs. Jane, who was watching her, immediately went to Ellea’s room.
Looking around the room with a strange feeling, she saw that it hadn’t changed much and began to scurry about cleaning it.
Meanwhile, Marie, who had gone downstairs, finally let out a surprised sigh when she saw Jane walk into the room.
‘I could have been in big trouble. I almost got caught.’
As Shanil had asked last time, Marie had to observe Ellea’s movements carefully. And she was going to check the room to see if there was anything hidden.
Of course, it wasn’t easy, since she had to avoid people’s eyes, so she tried to sneak in when the room was empty.
But then she heard footsteps coming up this way. So she hurried downstairs before she was spotted and met Jane on her way to Ellea’s room.
Marie was relieved that Jane hadn’t found out, and decided to look for another chance. If she got caught, everything would go down the drain.
At the same time, the person who had caused a stir in the capital was meeting with Terban alone.
“I’m sorry that I should have come and told Your Majesty the truth first. Time was of the essence, so I had no choice but to greet you in the conference hall.”
Chaylen started to apologize for his sudden appearance, but Terban didn’t seem to mind much.
“It’s okay. Now that the Duke has returned safely.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty.”
“So you have been delegated all authority by Peisen?”
“Yes, that is correct.”
Terban doubted those words. He was also curious as to how Peisen gave Chaylen his title.
Of course he should give it back because Chaylen was the legitimate successor, but Peisen was not a great man who would give away what he had.
“I don’t think Duke Peisen would have given it away willingly.”
Chaylen understood what Terban meant, and with a spontaneous laugh, he explained the situation at the time.
“He wasn’t willing, but I got it back. It was originally mine anyway.”
He also knew better than anyone else what kind of person Peisen was. Because he took over as soon as Chaylen’s father died.
So Chaylen wasn’t going to ask him to return it in words from the beginning.
So it became a situation where Peisen had to give it back.
Chaylen smiled strangely as he remembered that day was the beginning of everything.
On a dark night, a man was sitting at his desk with only a small light on.
In the man’s hand was a letter, which he immediately slammed down on the desk with a voice full of discontent.
“He’s making a fuss again. He thinks he’s my master!?”
“I’m starting to get annoyed now, so should I just pretend I don’t know? I know about it, so I can’t do it recklessly.”
The man leaned deeper into his chair, his eyes glowing with greed.
“I’m a duke, so I can’t do as I please.”
At that moment there was a tap on the door. He gave the order to enter, but instead of a reply, the person kept knocking.
The man finally got angry, got up from his seat and walked directly to the door.
“What is it? I told you to come in at this hour……”
The angry man said this as he opened the door, but couldn’t continue the words when he saw what was in front of him.
Then he seemed to be startled by something and fell down. At the same time, the one standing in front of the door fell over with a thud.
When the angry man finally turned his head to check, what he saw was his knight was bleeding to death with his eyes open.
“What the hell is this?”
“Long time no see, Uncle Peisen.”
Peisen couldn’t believe it when he saw it, he even rubbed his eyes and raised his hand, pointing at the person in front of him.
The person who had surprised Peisen so much walked inside. What Peisen could see under the lights was the person’s face full of blood.
“Oh, you didn’t forget me. Well, I’ve never forgotten my uncle either.”
Chaylen said, still holding his bloody sword, and then closed the door.
The door closed and the darkened corridor became silent again.
”Although the look on your face at that moment was worth seeing.”
The look in Chaylen’s eyes, which flashed for a moment, convinced Terban that he was not an easy person, as he had felt at the meeting.
Chaylen didn’t show any signs of nervousness, even in a situation where he was alone with the emperor.
The conversation so far was only a prelude, and Terban asked, getting to the most important main point.
“So what happened, Duke?” It’s known that you’re dead.”
Chaylen had expected him to ask about that, but he wasn’t about to tell Terban everything.
Because he wasn’t sure which side Terban was on. Besides, Terban had Shanil by his side.
“As you know, Your Majesty, I had the tragic experience of losing my parents. I barely survived, but it has taken me far too long to recover my mind and body, and it was hard to stand up again because I was known as a dead person.”
That was a part of the story that Terban could fully understand. What really bothered him, however, was…
“But why did you show yourself now? After hiding for a long time.”
“I figured it was time to move on. I’ve always felt the need to put everything back together. Isn’t this the family and name that my father has built his whole life?”
Terban also knew there was something Chaylen hadn’t said, but decided to let it pass for now.
“Okay. Welcome back safely.”
“Thank you for saying that, Your Majesty.”
Chaylen thought he had passed it safely and then brought up the main topic he wanted to talk about.
“In that sense, I intend to set up an occasion to celebrate my come back as a Duke.”
“Yes. It will be a good opportunity for the Duke to show himself to the nobles. Everyone is curious about Duke Chaylen.”
But the real reason for bringing up the subject still remained.
“So I was wondering, can I send an invitation to Princess Ellea at the Imperial Palace as well?”
“Yes. We only spoke briefly the last time we met, so I’d really like to invite her.”
When Chaylen brought up Ellea, Terban hesitated, then nodded, as he had no reason to disagree.
“It’s Princess Ellea’s choice whether or not to attend, so you have to ask her.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty. Well, Your Majesty must be busy, so I’ll leave you to it. I look forward to seeing you again.”
Chaylen greeted Terban politely and was about to leave, after which Terban asked him a sharp question that he had not brought up earlier.
“By the way, what happened that day? I’ve been looking at old documents, but I haven’t found any detailed records except for the fire.”
At these words, Chaylen’s hand, which was about to grab the door handle, paused, and he turned around to look at Terban, not showing the hesitation he had shown earlier.
“I just ran away desperately. I was only trying to live.”
With that, Chaylen walked out. Terban repeated the last meaningful words he had said.
Terban was sure that Chaylen was hiding something, but he couldn’t exactly know what it was.