Chapter 12

Translator: Alice

Editor: starrie

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Huge thanks to Curufin san for the kofis! (6/10)

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“My mother’s power has always pointed me towards something helpful. And this time, my mother seems to be… sending me some luck.”

“What?”

At his unexpected answer, Tariq asked in response with a puzzled face. It felt rather odd for a man like Slarhan to speak about ‘luck’.

“Do you know what I am called in high society?”

“Of course you’d be praised as the Empire’s most handsome man or the finest knight.”

“Thank you for your compliment, but unfortunately that’s not the right answer. Slarhan Ventiark is said to be the unluckiest man in the Empire.”

“What does that…!”

Tariq tried to refute strongly, but Slarhan shook his head first.

“First, I had no choice but to let my mother go because she was from the Sabi tribe.”

Seiren Ventiark, the former Duchess and Slarhan’s mother, was a wise and kind Lady of the Ventiark family.

The Emperor that was on the prowl for Irdel’s weaknesses, finally found out about the fact that Seiren was from the Sabi tribe and drove her into the role of a witch.

Irdel made a deal with the Emperor in order to protect his beloved wife, Seiren.

In exchange for clearing up the misunderstanding regarding Seiren, he will run towards wherever the Emperor orders him to.

He tried to show his loyalty towards the Emperor by constantly annihilating his enemies and achieving victory, but the Emperor was instead discouraged by Irdel’s growing reputation.

And when the Emperor targeted Slarhan, who inherited Seiren’s blood, becoming the heir to the Duchy of Ventiark, Seiren made the decision to leave on her own.

“Please divorce with me.”

Seiren asked for a divorce with her own mouth.

As she was tightly held by Irdel, Seiren’s argument that it could become dangerous for Slarhan, left Irdel with no choice but to let her go. 

A family that loved each other so much had to be separated without a just cause.

No one could have imagined that such a thing would happen in a Ducal family that had inherited the blood of the Imperial Family.

“Second, we did not receive privileges from Imperial businesses, despite the fact that we are a collateral line of the Imperial Family.”

This was also the Emperor’s plan. 

In the Empire, all of the major businesses were monopolized by the Imperial Family, and the collateral lines of the Imperial Family were granted preferential rights to the business.

It was strange that despite this, the Ventiark family could not enter the business world.

It was mostly due to the fact that they didn’t attend the informative meeting, but the problem was, they never received an invitation or notice about the informative meeting.

The Emperor’s efforts to block the news can be seen from how he didn’t even hear about any rumors regarding the informative meeting. 

“Third, my father died while following the Emperor’s order, but there wasn’t any compensation sent.”

Tariq, who was well aware of this fact, gritted his teeth.

“Fourth, the Emperor’s order is causing an increasing loss of territory, fifth, no one would want to marry into the Ventiark family, sixth… “

“Even, even so! What does that have to do with the slave girl?”

At that, Slarhan turned and looked at Tariq.

“That girl… she has an odd spirit.”

“What?”

Although he had repeated the question ‘what’ so many times, Tariq had no choice but to ask again.

“You don’t feel it? Aren’t the eyes of that child filled with confidence?”

“Isn’t it because she’s arrogant without knowing her place?”

“Do you think that a person that’s treated as less than a human for half a year in Rubelfast will be able to maintain that look? A girl that’s only sixteen?”

“I think that it’s quite impressive but…”

As a knight, Tariq was aware of the importance of “vigour”, so although he looked dissatisfied, he couldn’t refute it.

Even in his own eyes, Ellier was somewhat different. Although she pretended to be obedient, the main point was that she was ‘pretending’ to be.

Just from the child’s eyes, she seemed like she could be a descendant from a prestigious noble family.

“And that lass guaranteed that she would bring me fortune.”

“…As expected, she’s arrogant.”

“Well, what do you think? It wouldn’t be a loss. My mother sent it to me, so no matter what it is, anything would be of help.”

That line meant that Slarhan had been driven into a corner, to the extent that he had to rely on the bluffs of a slave.

The glorious name of Ventiark that was bestowed by the late Emperor, was in danger of falling to ruin. But there wasn’t anyone around that could help, and no one could be trusted.

However, the Emperor suddenly did not try to cover up his oddness and invited Slarhan to the capital.

There weren’t any expectations, nor was there anything great that required preparation. 

Therefore, he decided to believe in the luck that that arrogant slave child would bring.

As he imagined how painful it must have been for Slarhan to bring up that tragic story casually, Tariq felt like his heart was going to explode.

“All right. I will teach that child how to ride a horse from today onwards. If she can’t learn to ride, she can take turns to ride along with the knights.”

“She can ride with me too, so don’t worry too much about it.”

“…That must never happen,Your Grace. Please protect your dignity and class.”

Slarhan frowned while wondering what he had done wrong, but Tariq left the room without even giving Slarhan a chance to ask further.

In fact, Slarhan wasn’t as upset as Tariq had thought, so it was also better for Tariq to leave early.

Ellier was informed about her assignment. 

It was not to feed the horses and take care of them, but to practice horseback riding.

The knights of the Ventiark family were in deep contemplation about what they should be more surprised about.

And Ellier was also the same.

From the day that he made her his errand runner, she felt that things were progressing quite oddly…

“Excuse me, Tariq. Is it really possible for a slave like me to ride a horse…?”

Ellier politely refused first.

“During next year’s Spring Banquet, you’ll be going as His Grace’s attendant.”

“What…?”

“Haah… I don’t want to spend time talking, so hurry and take the reins!””

Tariq was seemingly annoyed by Slarhan’s decision, and his irritation was understandable.

Usually, slave was brought into noble families were given chores that even normal servants avoided.

If they’re lucky, they would be assigned to work in the kitchen, but normally the laundry room or the stables would be their designated work, and if they’re unlucky, they would have to clean up the filth from the castle.

Dressing up a slave that collects poop in nice clothing and entrusting her with the role of the Duke’s errand runner, was that really alright? And even being able to ride a horse…

It was obvious that in order to make Slarhan the Emperor, they would have to go to the capital, but she didn’t know that this moment would come so quickly.

“First of all, you have to become acquainted with the horse. If you seem fearful, the horse will notice right away. If you don’t want to be kicked by a horse, don’t recoil in fear. Now, hold the reins and stroke her gently.”

Tariq handed her the reins, thinking that Ellier would shiver in fear.

Although the words he had spoken were harsh, he was going to protect Ellier from the side so that she wouldn’t get hurt.

However, Ellier carefully took the reins and gently stroked the horse’s neck before smiling softly.

“Hello? I’m Ellier, are you called Amir? Your eyes are so pretty. Oh my gosh, isn’t your mane too soft?”

Then, she placed the carrot slices that Tariq had given her into the mouth of Amir, the brown mare.

Although Amir was originally a gentle horse, it was difficult to say that Ellier’s way of handling horses was that of a beginner.

She continued to talk to Amir and pet her, gaining the favor of the horse.

“You… Do you know how to ride horses?”

Tariq asked, while staring at her with a puzzled look.

As Ellier was distracted by stroking a horse after a long time, focused solely on the horse and nodded. 

‘Do I only know how to ride horses? I know how to shoot arrows and swing my sword while riding a galloping horse.’

“Take it for a ride.”

“Yes? Ah…”

It was only then that Ellier realized she had not been vigilant.

Although she had pretended to be naive, Tariq’s sharp eyes seemed like it wouldn’t give a pass on clumsy acts.

‘Why, is it a big deal?’ 

Ellier nodded again and placed her feet in the stirrups, before lightly hoisting herself onto the saddle. 

Tariq, who was about to bring the horseback riding rack for her, stiffened momentarily.

But Ellier didn’t know that Tariq was startled, and continued to stroke Amir’s mane and neck, gently persuading her.

Fortunately, Amir wasn’t picky, so she obediently gave up the body to Ellier.

“Are we going to the horse’s riding field?”

“Ye–yes.”

Ellier held the reins and lightly squeezed the horse’s belly, beginning to trot along the edge of the riding field slowly.

Although her breath turned white and the tip of her nose turned red due to the cold, the view from the horse’s back was exhilarating.

After walking for a while, Amir seemed to have warmed up, and Ellier started to spur her on, increasing her speed little by little. 

It may seem slow to others, but Ellier’s cheeks and ears turned red while being blown with cold wind on the horse.

But she didn’t want to stop at all. Rather, she wanted to jump over the wooden fence of the riding field recklessly.

If she did so, however, she would be considered a runaway slave and be chased down immediately.

“Stop! That’s enough.”

At Tariq’s command, Ellier seemed to slow down and pouted reluctantly. 

“There’s nothing I need to teach.” 

“Hah…Haha…”

“Where did you learn how to ride a horse?” 

“I’m not sure… I don’t know. I know how to ride a horse, but I have no recollection of when and for what reason I learned horseback riding.”

Tariq’s eyes became narrower.

The people of Ventiark seem to habitually doubt the other party first.

However, she was confident that she wouldn’t lose when it came to putting on an act. 

“The poisonous fumes that were lighted in Rubelfast was very strong. I would see strange hallucinations every day, but during then, my past memories seemed to gradually disappear. Maybe I was hit on the head wrongly when I was beaten. Still, it’s lucky that my body still has the reflexes from what I’ve learned prior.”

He couldn’t spit on a smiling face, so Tariq couldn’t press Ellier any further, who was smiling and talking.

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Notes

N/A

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