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The young Arielsa was wailing. I was so frightened that the ins and outs of the situation in my memories did not come to me so easily and only slowly appeared but in the end, it was because the Young Duke Kyron had a bad temper. She was crying while pouring out her resentment to the Young Duke Kyron.
“Hic, hic. The Young Duke, hic, hic, hic, really, really has a bad temper. The Young Duke should drink lots of tea, hic, because you’re always cold!”
The late wife of the Duke used to explain to her that the Young Duke’s eccentric and weird personality was brought about by the coldness of his body. And it stuck in the mind of the young and immature Arielsa.
Young Duke Kyron was in shock as he stood still in front of Arielsa. He looked like he did not know what he should do with her.
Just like me right now.
Duke Kyron chewed me on with his words. All I could do was stare blankly at the breath that was coming out of our mouths.
“You said everything that you could say. You even told me that I’m human trash. Since you blamed me, I thought that I really had a problem with my personality. So I started drinking the tea, just like you said.”
My god! Arielsa only said that you have a bad personality. When did she even say that you’re human trash……!
Ariel would definitely sigh sadly if she heard that the Duke remembered her words like that. However, I couldn’t even make such noise.
“It took me years before I could adjust to the taste of tea. Arielsa would often look at me apologetically whenever she made me tea. A child like that easily forgets those memories?”
Indeed, it was a memory that could not be easily forgotten. If these important memories and experiences between people had disappeared, from that point on, I could confidently say that we really did not know each other. It was at that point that Duke Kyron stopped pretending that he could understand my suspicious behavior.
So he followed me and heard me shouting that I wanted to go back home after I ran around the garden while shouting strange words…
My actions were suspicious enough especially in this era where demonic beasts existed.
I couldn’t even think of a word to persuade Duke Kyron. Our first encounter was something that was far beyond what was written in the original novel and even if I tried to run away, it seemed like my legs would fall off. Even my head was frozen and blank.
When the blade of his sword grazed the back of my neck, I felt like all the blood had been drained out of me since my skin felt extremely cold.
“I’m already merciful enough to let you die by my hands.”
There was no hesitation in his words.
I can’t believe that I’ll die like this. And it’s even by the hands of the male lead…? A still have a lot of work to do, no, this is only the beginning!
I shouted loudly in frustration. I did not have any reason to pretend and be timid like Arielsa.
“D, d, dad, if you hurt me, then dad will go crazy!”
“Right. Whatever you are, George will definitely crush you with his own hands once he finds out that you stole his daughter.”
Ah… I did not think of that.
Duke Kyron raised his sword after leaving those cold words.
I quickly crouched down and covered my head with my arms. I couldn’t even determine if the cold that I was feeling was from the coldness of the hard ground beneath me or it was from the fear that was enveloping my body.
I shouted hurriedly.
“Arielsa’s gone! I’m Arielsa!”
Duke Kyron glared at me as he stopped for a moment.
It was only natural that he couldn’t understand my words. After all, it was also something that I couldn’t understand either.
“What the hell are you on about?”
“Arielsa already left… when she fell off of the ladder.”
His expression turned heavy and dark but it seemed like he had already accepted her death. Then, he asked me with his cold and gloomy voice…
“Then, what are you?”
“I came, I came from a different world.”
Duke Kyron gritted his teeth as he forced his words out.
I spoke quickly.
“A scar! The Duke was supposed to fall off of his horse today and get a scar. I didn’t like the thought of that so I stopped it!”
His arm that was holding the sword tightly became a bit relaxed. He was fully aware of the consequences if I wasn’t able to remove the goblin’s grass from the horse’s ear today. If he hadn’t admitted that I had saved him, then he wouldn’t have tested me under the guise of drinking.
“Right now, you, are you claiming to know the future?”
“I saw your life when I was still in the other world. It was a hard life where the Duke had to constantly fight against a gigantic enemy but you never gave up nor backed down against them. That was the reason why I liked the Duke! It was because your life was so moving!”
I couldn’t bear to tell him that this world was from a novel and that the creator, the author, was someone that existed separately from them. In this world of fiction where everyone was vividly alive, it seemed like those words were like the harshest way to put them in death and despair’s door. So I just told him that I saw his life.
He looked down at me in the dark, no, under the cold and subtle light.
“Do you think that I would be fooled by something like that?”
“The lake. The Duke almost drowned in that boat accident. You were only barely able to swim out of the lake. Once you got to the shore, you passed out and contracted pneumonia. When the Emperor learned of it, he sent the Duke a cure that contained poison.”
I quickly shut my mouth. I couldn’t help but flinch at my own blabbermouth. It was not yet time to speak about the Emperor. He was a man of integrity and he despised the fact that someone was pouring suspicion over the Emperor. He did not believe that the Emperor was trying to kill him until the very last minute.
And just like I expected, Duke Kyron’s expression darkened. His hand that was holding the sword tightened once more. He slowly approached me with his sword as he grasped my chin with his left hand.
If he just placed a bit more strength in that hold, my jaw would definitely break. The only thing I could do was shut my eyes tightly.
“How dare you… Who sent you?!”
His tone had changed. It seemed like he thought that I was a spy sent by the Emperor.
I felt choked. Since there was nothing I could hide, I spoke everything that I kept bottled up in my heart.
“I want to know too. I also want to know how to get back! But until I know how, at the very least I wanted to see the Duke becoming happy. I wish to see the Duke experience love and happiness…”
Duke Kyron glared at me for a moment. He threw my face away after snorting loudly. My body staggered as I fell down on the ground. However, his stare was still as cold as the air around us.
“Love? Ha! What a funny thing to say.”
That was right. Kyron Harpel was a man who had everything. However, he did not shed any blood or tears. Especially now.
Perhaps there would be no room for an everlasting love in his heart if he had not lost everything and was not driven south. After all, all the hardships that he went through was a process that created the ground where true love could sprout in the heart of this man that was stubbornly obsessed with coldness.
When I looked at him, I realized that it was because I was Arielsa so his eyes were a bit softer. It was because he had a bit of a soft spot for his maid and his childhood friend.
I couldn’t help but shout.
“There is! Love! You will have the greatest love in the world! Even if everything is a lie, you shouldn’t deny something like this!”
I wasn’t sure why I shouted these words. I even jumped up as I bragged to the king of this territory and the man who held a sword to my neck.
Duke Kyron just stared at me coldly. His eyes were as cold as tundra. However, I spoke as harshly as I could.
“I beg the Duke to remember the times when I saved you.”
He would deny the grace that I have given him after saving his life. He might have saved me from the wolf but I saved him far more times than that.
There was a short yet long silence. He finally sheathed his sword back in.
“You, you’re another woman in Arielsa’s body?”
“You know my future?”
“You’re going to help me?”
I stared straight at his eyes as I answered his question.
“Yes. I think so.”
“That sounds convenient.”
He strode to me as he lifted my chin up. I could feel his breath lingering on my face. That was when I realized that our faces were too close to each other. Then, he looked down at me as he spoke softly…
“From now on, I own you. It would be good for you if you remember that fact.”
His laughter was so cold that it gave me goosebumps. His laughter contained the cruelty of someone who ruled the North and defeated the demonic beasts as well as the person who survived against the Emperor and won his hard earned love.
This was something that he did not show Arielsa. No, it was something that he showed to the rest of the world while Arielsa was safely hidden behind him.
My heart sank coldly.
Did I finally meet the full and complete Kyron Harpel?
Then a smile formed on my lips. This new look on his face might not be what I wanted but I did not feel offended nor betrayed. After all, this was the real him.
Duke Kyron’s face hardened when he saw the smile on my face. However, he still chuckled even though his mouth was twisted and sulking.
The two of us finally met and greeted each other for the first time.
“Keep this a secret from George. Arielsa.”
“Yes. I will keep this a secret from my dad.”
“Come to the office tomorrow. Make sure to do so if you don’t want your legs cut off.”
He turned around with his flapping cape and left me behind in this cold and dark garden. I stumbled back to my room, but in the end, I couldn’t go to the Duke’s office.
It was because my body was now like a ball of fire. I was unclear as to the cause. I did not know if it was because I had exposed my body in the cold garden for quite a long time or if it was because I was exposed to fear and death.
I had to suffer from fever all night. When George found me the next morning, he literally panicked. He rushed the doctor to my room as he continued to pace back and forth inside. George would even panic whenever I let out an ‘Ugh…’ from the bitterness of the medicine.
Chaers looked like he was suffering from a bad hangover as he stared down at me with a frown.