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    Chapter 5

     

    It was a deep slumber as if sinking into an endless mire. Kaillus was getting more exhausted as he wandered through the dark cave, but then, a ray of light appeared – a light where there was nothing but infinite darkness. Kaillus frantically followed that light. The moment he finally came out of the dark cave with nothing in sight, he was suffocated by the tremendous light. 

     

    “Heok!”

     

    His suffocated airway opened up and a panting breath came out. 

     

    Pant, pant….

     

    Kaillus opened his eyes and slowly exhaled. His heart that was about to explode began to slowly calm down a little. He looked up at the familiar ceiling while slowly moving his hand to see if this was a dream or reality. He felt a sharp tinge when he clenched his hand. 

     

    It wasn’t a bad dream. Kaillus twisted the corners of his mouth and murmured in a low voice, “Ha, finally….”

     

    He woke up. Kaillus finally regained consciousness from the endless pit, and there was a dangerous glint on his black eyes – to his dear mother that made him this way. 

     

    Death’s shadow has always followed Kaillus since childhood. His mother passed away tragically shortly after giving birth to him. His stepmother Quillian Orphes  came in as soon as his mother’s funeral was over. 

     

    Baron Orphes Family. 

     

    In the Pentium Empire, Quillian was the Young Lady of a dull and humble noble family, and she seduced his crazy-with-beauty father, becoming the Duchess at once. It was because she was the only one among all the women to get pregnant. He can’t remember correctly, but it was said that Madam Quillian came to the Duke’s house with only a month before giving birth that was just around the corner, but her first child unfortunately died as soon as it was born. 

     

    Everyone thought that because Madam Quillian birthed a dead child, she would be driven out of the Duke’s house. The only reason she could be the Duchess was because of their child even without her family and money. But Madam Quillian was lucky indeed. 

     

    The Duke had an accident on his horse a few days after her child’s death. The accident happened while the Duke was drank and horse riding with a prostitute bargirl. The Duke was unable to move his body after the accident, and the Duke’s vassals needed to protect the Duke’s honor that had fallen to the bottom due to the numerous accidents he caused. So, they had no choice but to entrust the  Duke’s Family to Madame Quillian. 

     

    Kaillus was only two years old at that time. However, Quillian was a more vicious woman than the vassals had thought. 

     

    As she took control of the Duke’s family, the growing up Kaillus started to annoy her. She was afraid that he would take away the Diorat’s Duchy from her, so Madame Quillian did everything  to kill Kaillus – from food poisoning to sending assassins. When all else failed, Madame Quillian used the Duke Diorat to send the only 12 year old Kaillus at that time to the battlefield. 

     

    Everyone thought that Kaillus would die on the battlefield – but he survived. He experienced the gruesome battlefield and became stronger. He proudly succeeded the Dukedom at 16 after making big contributions to the war, and reclaiming the Dukedom from Madame Quillian. 

     

    Although it was unprecedented for his age, he was old enough to inherit the title and there were no major difficulties in setting up a great achievement. There was only one thing that bothered him – the younger brother Madam Quillian had while he was away at war. 

     

    Eventually having a child, Madame Quillian was waiting  for him with his five-year-old younger  brother. He was planning to drive Madame Quillian out of the Duke’s House, but he couldn’t after she gave birth to a son for the previous Duke. Kaillus had to be content with the decision to send Madame Quillian to the annex of the Duke’s castle. 

     

    Kaillus completely changed the Duke’s employees after becoming the Duke. A few of Quillian’s maids were sent away with her to the separate annex, and he also was able to reveal their true colors. The Duke Diorat Family was on the verge of bankruptcy. 

     

    Was it because he had been focused on reviving the  Duchy for ten years? Kaillus forgot for a moment the quietly living in the annex Madame Quillian. Like an idiot, he didn’t completely get rid of the root cause. 

     

    And in the end, Madame Quillian succeeded in poisoning the careless Kaillus.

     

    “You fool.”

     

    The war is not over until the enemy’s head is completely decapitated. Kaillus blamed his stupidity, but he couldn’t waste his time blaming his foolishness. He woke up miraculously just when he thought that it was the end, so he would completely take his enemy’s breath away this time. 

     

    Kaillus slowly got up after gathering his thoughts. He couldn’t estimate how long he was unconscious, but his rock-heavy body was clearly telling him it wasn’t for a short time. 

     

    “Haa, I think I’m going to suffer for a while.”

     

    Kaillus let out a tired sigh after getting out of the bed. He took off his own he was wearing and shook his hair; the candle’s light contoured his sculpted body. He suddenly noticed his smooth arm as he was heading to the dressing room, and stopped walking. 

     

    “What’s this…?”

     

    His left arm was wounded from magic. It was a wound he got from the war and never healed since then. Scars from black magic are permanent for life. 

     

    But the scars were now gone. Neither divine power nor magic potions worked, so how did it suddenly become better? 

     

    Kaillus wiped the once wounded area. He felt unfamiliar with the smooth texture of his skin. It was as if a new leaf sprouted. 

     

    “…… How did this happen?”

     

    Kaillus thought for a moment. He wondered if he was still not awake from his dream, but the vivid sensation of standing upright wasn’t a dream. 

     

    “The important thing is I woke up.”

     

    He cut off his deep thoughts. What was more important now was to figure out what happened after he fell. 

     

    He looked for a dark suit in the dressing room and headed towards the window. He opened the largest and jumped out with the chilly wind  blowing. 

     

    ∘₊──────₊∘

     

    Noon, next day. 

     

    Alice was called to find Madame Quillian. 

     

    “I heard you did a good job.”

     

    It seemed like Maris reported what she had seen yesterday. Alice glanced back at Maris’ wrinkled face standing behind Madame Quillian, answering with an innocent face, “Yes, I will do my best to uphold Mother’s will in the future.”

     

    “Hmm, I thought you were short-sighted, but you  know how to use that head of yours.” 

     

    Mrs. Quillian looked at Alice and let out a light smile. It was a smile of satisfaction.

     

    Maris’ face was crumpled upon seeing that, while a smile formed on Alice’s lips. Maris and Madame Quillian were a lot easier than I thought. Well, that was why they were killed right at the beginning of the book. 

     

    In the first place, Duke Diorat was nothing more than a medium for the female lead who wanted to take revenge against the Imperial Family before she met the male lead at the beginning of the book. That’s why no one here will be smart – because it wasn’t important in this place. 

     

    It was really fortunate for her that she wanted to live. As they were simple people, they wouldn’t be suspicious of her as long  as she was moderately acquiescing to their requests. 

     

    “Don’t do anything stupid and just  do what I tell you to do. I will give you a small reward after everything is finished,” Madame Quillian said as she put down her teacup. 

     

    Not a reward, but hanging.

     

    (T/N: Execution by hanging.)

     

    Knowing everything about Madame Quillian, Alice laughed to herself but she didn’t show it. 

     

    She put her hands together as if she was just moved. 

     

    “Oh my goodness! Mother, I will really do my best.”

     

    “Yeah, you should.”

     

    Perhaps she thought that stupid, Madam Quillian looked away from Alice with a smirk. As her gaze moved away, Alice saw Helkin sitting there with a hitched breath. 

     

    Helkin flinched when he happened to meet Alice’s eyes. Her eyes were telling him ‘Do something stupid and you’ll die’. Helkin swallowed his saliva as he bowed his head again seeing her gleaming golden eyes. He seemed terribly frightened. 

     

    That was understandable. Alice didn’t just threaten him but even told him she has evidence he can’t run away from – that was the name of a store where Helkin was doing illegal trading. Thankfully, Alice remembered the name of the store because it was so unique. Even Helkin denied it, his name would come out if the store was to be stolen from. His lifeline was tightly held by Alice. 

     

    “Helkin, you’re quiet today.”

     

    Madame Quillian suddenly called him at that moment. Helkin glanced at Alice and smiled awkwardly. 

     

    “Haha, I couldn’t sleep last night and I was a little tired. My apologies, Old Madam.” 

     

    “Hmm, alright. I have something for you.”

     

    Fortunately, Madam Quillian did not seem to care about Helkin’s condition.

     

    “Yes, Old Madam.”

     

    “Edelm said that he needs more of the anti-fatigue you gave him last time. Make it today and send it to the academy tomorrow.”

     

    “Yes, I understand.”

     

    “Then you can go now. I need some rest.”

     

    “I will go back now, Old Madam.”

     

    “Have a good rest, Mother.”

     

    Helkin immediately said his goodbyes and left first as if running away as soon as he left the door. Giggling at his actions, Alice was about to go back to her room – if only she hadn’t met the butler who just arrived. 

     

    “Little Madame.”

     

    “Butler, did you come to see the Old Madame?”

     

    Alice asked, looking at the envelope in the butler’s hand.

     

    “Yes. I am here to deliver a letter from Baron Meltain, one of the Duke’s vassals.”

     

    “Baron Meltain…?”

     

    Alice’s face slightly stiffened. 

     

    Then the butler spoke calmly.

     

    “Yes. Baron Meltain’s Young Lady has sent me a request to stay at the Duke’s house to make her social debut.”

     

    “…!”

     

    No way. Alice couldn’t control her expression for a moment. 

     

    Baron Meltain’s Young Lady – that exact Young  Lady was the female lead of the novel. 


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