✍️✍️✍️✍️ Lucia Chapter 21 - 22 Full Free Reading ✍️✍️✍️✍️


< — Ducal couple — > (9)

TN: I changed most of the ‘old man’ in the other chapters to old geezer. Seems more insulting and appropriate. Many of you guys were actually on point last chapter in your deductions. I have a 10 page (4 and a half down, 5 and a half to go) research paper to write so see you guys next week (maybe) ʕ ಡ ﹏ ಡ ʔ

He felt like ice cold water had been poured on his head. No, it was a much clammier feeling, as though his body had been bound and the inside and outside of his body was filled in rancid filth.

‘I feel dirty.’

Apart from those words, there was no other words to describe it. It was not just simple annoyance but the really annoying discomfort you feel when you pull your feet out after stepping in mud and there is mud all the way to your ankle.

No, it was a bit different from that. It was akin to thinking he had caught the enemy off-guard but ended up meeting them as they already knew beforehand and were waiting for hime. No, not like that either. He earnestly and anxiously tried to capture what exactly the feeling he was going through was but he couldn’t deduce an answer.

Her clear eyes were starting to at him with a little suspicion. He needed more time to think.

“Are flowers that good?”

“Rather than being happy about the flowers, I’m happier that you sent me a gift.”

Her expression was bright and purely full of joy. It seemed as though she had accepted the meaning of the present as simply a present but he didn’t dare to openly ask. Then she would know that the present was not something he had sent and because she knew it as simply a present, she would be disappointed.

“I’m glad you liked it.”

He hid his restless mind and on the surface, responded very calmly but inwardly he harbored a minor grudge with Jerome. Out of all the possible presents, why did it have to be rose flowers?

Although they were many other kind of flowers there, all Hugo could see were the rose flowers. Hugo lowered his body and easily took her up in his arms. Lucia let out a scream due to his sudden actions.

He sat on the table, placed her on his laps, wrapped his two arms around her firmly and propped his chin on her shoulder.

“Your Grace…?”

“Just wait a moment.”

After she’d struggled a little and then gave up, he started to think. Feeling the temperature of the small body in arms gradually getting warmer, he calmly explored his memory.

‘Yellow. Right. It was a yellow rose.’

At first, just seeing the red flowers he was flustered and surprised but after the moment of surprise passed, he began to think rationally. No matter how much he looked, there was no sight of anything yellow. There was no sight of the yellow rose that he’d sent to women to signify their parting. He instantly felt relieved.

Initially, he had no idea that those women would be receiving yellow roses. He had simply ordered Jerome to handle the matter adequately by himself but he never inquired about how it was handled. But then, one day, a woman who had received a yellow rose came to find him and threw a bunch of yellow roses at him. Even though they had only met up a few times, she was a woman he’d thought to have had quite the personality.

After that incident, Hugo got to know that there was a flower known as the yellow rose. To him, once it was colorful, they were all the same flowers, but the yellow rose was one flower he was aware of. He never asked Jerome why amongst all flowers he sent yellow roses but it seemed meaningful so he asked Jerome to keep doing what he was doing.

‘Does she know it is supposed to be a yellow rose?’

No matter how much he thought about it and sorted through the conversation they had while signing the contract…


There was nothing specified about the rose (1). But, looking at her reaction, she didn’t seem to take the roses sent today in that sense. And the farewell gift was a bunch of roses. Since this huge pile of flowers wasn’t it, he arrived at the conclusion that clearly, he had defined it differently (2).

Now that he’d solved one problem, he once again recalled him memories of the contract day. The conditions he’d put forth that day were the two documents. And then there were two additional conditions.

Freedom in his private life and to never fall in love with him.

‘You crazy bastard’*

Why did he add such a useless condition? He originally would not use a condition in a contract if the situation was one where it could not be documented. What happened was the result of her sounding him out and then confronting him.

Freedom in his private life was not really a problem. There was no need for him to marry a normal wife and then fix his eyes on another woman. That would be too troublesome. Sometimes he could play around and then with the flip of a hand, suddenly change his mind but anyways he was a man who open about his contradictions.

[I will never fall in love with your Grace.]

The problem was with this. His thoughts flipped back and forth, he felt as though his heart had been hit with a strong force and his breath was caught in his throat. Moreover, her oath was covered by two shields (3). She had declared to him: ‘I will never give you my heart and if by any chance I do, please send me a rose.’

And he had initially thought that it was a condition advantageous to himself and gladly agreed.

‘You stupid fucker.’*

He’d disliked himself originally but it was closer to disgust, he’d never thought of himself as a fool. In fact, he was very confident about the ability of his body and his brain but that confidence was slowly cracking.

“Whew, it’s hot.”

She twisted her body in his arms. As the strength in his arms disappeared, she pushed away from him with both hands and released her upper body. As the cool air hit her skin, she let out a small breath. He dropped his gaze and was stared dazedly at Lucia who was flushed slightly red from the heat.

‘This woman does not love me.’

[If that’s so, then I’m thankful.]

In the past, that was how he thought towards women. A woman’s love is annoying. They would give him their heart which he didn’t want then buzz around asking him to reciprocate. The love they had for him was ultimately based on what he had. Those women loved his power and his wealth.

They all loved the Duke Hugo not the Hugh who didn’t have anything to his name. And to him, of course Lucia was the same.

The person she wanted was himself as the Duke. But gradually that conviction of his was growing blurry. She hadn’t shown any interest in his power and wealth.

But he couldn’t know yet. They hadn’t been married for that long. Some people can hide their original motives for tens of years. That is what his rationality kept telling him but why does his sensibility keep telling him that something is different about her?

‘Do I hope for her to cling to me…? Like other women? Why?’

It was a mystery that he was completely unable to solve.

‘And if she ends up clinging to me… what am I to do?’

If that occurred then it would be a breach of the contract. But… if the contract conditions could not be kept then what about it?

His pupils momentarily twinkled. Their contract had a very fatal loophole. First, undocumented contracts cannot assert legal effects. Secondly, the contract did not mention any specific details about destroying or renouncing the contract when the conditions were not met. He didn’t see anything about divorce.

He had initially said that intending to block the annoying divorce process but thinking about it now, it was a clever foresight.

‘A rose? What about it? What if I don’t send roses forever? And so what if send some again?’

As he had stared at her for a while, her gaze grew increasingly questioning. His red pupil sank deeply into her amber eyes. She was his wife. She was his woman and no one would dare argue with him about that. From the moment she signed that marriage certificate, she was entirely bound to him.

‘This woman is mine.’

The conclusion he’d arrived at made him very satisfied. Love or whatever it was ultimately didn’t matter. She would never be able to escape from his hands. Possessiveness and obsession with her had begun to sprout from within his heart.

“Did the meeting not go well?”

She couldn’t place her finger on it but something about him was different from usual. Because he was such a remarkable person, she couldn’t imagine there being a problem that he was troubled with but the north was a vast land and he was the lord over many people, on the contrary, if no problems occurred then that would be strange.

Truthfully, Lucia was a bit sulky towards him.** Rather than letting his servant handle the gift, it was better to not have given it at all. However based on what Jerome had strongly asserted, Hugo had thought about the gift itself and her heart was slightly inclined to believing that.

And, at the tea party today, the noblewomen were concerned about the young and seemingly innocent Duchess and gave her some words of advice.

[Men are simple beings. There is no need to think about it complexly. Even if he just gifts you one flower, as though there are no gifts more precious in the world, jump into his arms, embrace him and thank him. If there is any passion, that passion will overflow.]

[You have to keep pretending that you love the gifts so that they will keep coming in. And from time to time say phrases like ‘my husband has done a great job, wasn’t it hard?’ you will find that he will be extremely soothed.] (4).

She’d now learnt how to keep a hold on her husband while they lived together but what could she do with that.

As they smiled and chatted, the noblewomen gave similar advices while Lucia sat there quietly and diligently piled the advices in her head.

Until she had run into his arms and embraced him, there had been no intention to follow the advice of the noblewomen. In that moment, she was just purely happy to see him. However just then the advice came to mind and the situation was simply perfect. And so Lucia put aside the complicated circumstances surrounding the flower gift and actively expressed her gratitude.

“The meeting had no issues. You said you liked the present, right?”

As his gaze on her was very intense, Lucia hesitantly tried to come down from his knees but his arms closed around her waist.


“If you like it then you should return the favor.”

‘Really, this man is completely shameless’. He definitely knew that the gift was not something he sent yet he didn’t seem to be conscience—stricken. She considered spilling the beans but then Jerome would be scolded, she didn’t want to start up trouble for nothing so she let it pass.

“What would you like?” [Lucia]

“Is anything possible if I want it?”

“If it is something within my capacity to do, then yes.”

As he leaned in and whispered something into her ear, Lucia’s face grew redder and hotter.

“No way!”

“It’ll be over soon.”

His lips drew near to her lips and their lips touched.

“It’s almost time for dinner.”

“I’ll finish before then”

She continued to resist the little kisses he showered on her.

“I don’t believe you.”

“You say that so easily. Since when did my credibility become so little?”

“Why don’t you try placing your hands on your chest and thinking about it?”

Every time they were in bed, he would say ‘Just one more time’, or ‘this is the last time.’ And because she didn’t believe he would trick her, she would once again be deceived. He didn’t care about any of her complaints.

He gave a small heave and lifted her from under her thighs and above her skirt. The position of her legs were changed to spread around his thighs as she was firmly perched on him. Her position sat them face to face, her legs were as though they were wrapped around his waist and her nape was dyed red as she looked at him.

If not for clothes being in the way, there was practically no difference from their position when they had intercourse. She could already feel his excited male part which meant that he was really planning on doing it there.

“What do we do if someone comes?”

“My steward is not someone without tact. I bet if we don’t come out of here after while, he’ll handle it himself.”

‘That’s even more embarrassing!’

Lucia bit her lips and didn’t know what to do. One of his hands had already slipped under her skirt and was groping around inside. His other hand was nestled on her back, pulling her in as he bit her earlobe lightly and licked it.

“At first, I wanted to do it in the garden but then when I thought about it, with the weather being as it is, there will be a lot of insects. If you faint while we’re doing it, that would be difficult. Wait no. That wouldn’t matter. Even when there are no bugs, you occasionally—”

“…If you add one more word, I will bite off your lips.”

He giggled and replied playfully, “Yes, Your Grace.”

He kissed around her eyes as she glared at him bashfully. He swallowed her red lips and breathed in her sweet fragrance. He started moving to make good use of the time she had given to him, however he didn’t keep his promise about when he would finish.

Dinner time had already passed when they were done so they ate a very late dinner.


As Jerome brought some afternoon tea to his office, placed it on the desk and turned to leave, Hugo spoke.

“From now on…”

Jerome stopped walking, turned around and walked back to the desk to listen to his master’s words.

“I don’t care about other flowers but no more roses. Do as you see fit but I do not want to see any more of that particular flower.”

Jerome did not fully understand what his master wanted but he replied that he would take care of it. He wondered if yesterday, her Grace had been offended or hurt by the present that he had sent. But looking at the mood between the both of them today, it didn’t seem like that. As he was thinking about roses, a memory suddenly rose to the forefront of his mind.

“Your Grace, the other day, her Grace had asked me if I had sent a yellow rose.”

His hand that was signing instantly stopped moving, causing the ink from the pen to drop and spread under the paper. He frowned slightly and pushed the document away.


“Her Grace asked me if she was right about Lady Lawrence being the last person to receive a rose…and I answered positively.”

On the night of the victory party, she had witnessed first-hand the sight of him breaking it off with Sophia Lawrence. He’d forgotten. Rather than saying he’d forgotten, saying that he didn’t feel the need to worry about it was better. He could somewhat get a glimpse of why she saw him as an unscrupulous and shameless villain.


“Is there something else?”

Hugo’s voice grew a little sharper. Perhaps because of the mood, Jerome didn’t study his master’s face or he would have seen his master’s visible discomfort.

“Her Grace asked why the last person to receive a rose was not the Countess of Falcon and I answered that your Grace hadn’t ordered so.”

He had a cool expression on the outside but the hand holding his pen gripped it tighter.

‘If you answer that way, what am I supposed to do?!’

His swallowed back the words he wanted to scream. It was moments like this where his always capable butler was instantly reduced to a tactless fool.

“Send it. The rose.”

“Is your Grace talking about the Countess of Falcon?”

“Send it today. Right now.”

“Yes, your Grace. Oh, and another thing—”

“Why are they so many?” Hugo mumbled gloomily.

He’d only stopped Jerome from leaving and said one thing but it seemed like Jerome had taken that opportunity to pour out one thing after the other.

“This is something that her Grace’s primary doctor said. She wants you to restrain yourself in going to her Grace’s bed....

“What? Why does the doctor care about that?”

“She said it was because of her Grace’s health and that once in five days, her Grace needs to rest.”

The health of the wife; it was the emergence of a tough task that he couldn’t resist at all. His wife was small and weak. Truthfully, Lucia was not that fragile but in his head, it was fixed as a huge deal if she were to fall ill. And for more than one month without pause, he’d had his way with her.

Though if he could really do it for more than one round then at least it wouldn’t be unfair.

Once every five days.

He became depressed.

Translator’s Corner.

He means there was nothing said specifically about a yellow rose. She just said send me a rose.
If this sentence feels off to you, sorry. I can’t really get what he’s trying to say. But from what I’m hearing, basically he’s saying that if she doesn’t think this pile of roses is the, you know ‘go away rose’, he interpreted what she said differently.
The condition are the shields.
So I feel like I need to explain this. Basically it’s like if her husband is back from work, to comfort him, ask him if he’s tired and say he’s done a great job.

* He is totally cursing himself out if you couldn’t tell.

**Google translate (GT) of the day:

So as you know, I use google translate for the audio and this sentence’s translation had me rolling in laughter for a while. For those curious, put this is google translate:

사실 루시아는 그에게 조금 샐쭉해 있었다.

< — Ducal couple — > (10)

TN: This is much later than I planned but oh well. I got finals coming up so translation will be done whenever I’m taking a study break. School is almost over though so that’s a plus!

Cushioned on the finely detailed muscles of a man’s body, there lay a woman’s body. Leaning her head on his shoulders and placing her cheek on his upper chest, Lucia enjoyed the feeling of his hands gently caressing her naked back. His chest was under her palm and she felt fascinated by the firmness of his skin so she put a bit of strength in her hands and poked his skin.

“Starting tomorrow, I will be away from Roam for a few days.”

“Where are you going to?”

“Fiefdom inspection. I plan to look around once or twice a month from now on.”

Although he had fallen for the sweet dream called the newlywed life, he had not forgotten what he needed to do.

“Does a Lord need to do that?”

“Of course. I need to maintain order.”

Those people are type to look for another place to go to if they do not see their master so before that happens, he has to tighten their leash. Although it was fun to observe and pick out the fools who look for another place and warn or deal them, he refrained from making such a coarse expression in front of her.

‘Inspection of the fief…this is something he’s originally been doing.’

Her husband in her dreams, Count Martin, had never once visited his fiefdom and as expected, Lucia had never been there either. However from time to time, she would see people coming from the fief with tax reports and have the report flung on their face and screamed at.

“Will it take long?”

“About three or four days. If it’s a long visit, it can take a few more days.”

‘He won’t be here for a few days.’ Lucia felt somewhat strange.

Even though she’d come to Roam right after they had gotten married and had stayed alone for nearly a month, at some point, it had become natural for her to be near him.

She wondered if she were to say, ‘Please come back soon’, if he would get annoyed.

“Your next tea party is in two days, right?”

Lucia’s second tea party was to be held two days later. It was almost half a month since her last tea party. Because of the success of the first tea party, Lucia was looking forward to the second one, however when she thought about how he wouldn’t be around, her enthusiasm suddenly diminished.


“I have something to give you. It should arrive tomorrow or the day after.”

“What is it?”

“A gift. I feel that the last tea party present was a bit lacking.”

He was speaking in a calm voice but Lucia’s heart began to throb. His unexpected and sudden gift made her heart flutter.

“Can I ask what the gift is?”

“A necklace.”

As his voice was so bland, Lucia’s heart that was throbbing in expectation cooled down slightly. It was simply a formal gift but here she was having high expectations alone.

Lucia was yet to grasp his simple personality that had never given a gift on his own before or teased someone about a gift.

“Do you perhaps hate jewelry?”

“Is there anyone who does not like jewelry?”

“Then that’s good. Do you have any special plans for when I’m away?”

“The tea party in two days but other than that…”

“So there’s nothing in particular? Don’t think of doing anything abrupt or unexpected while I’m gone. Just stay obediently.”

“What unexpected action?”

“I’m only saying you should be as you always have. And particularly, don’t go outside.”

Lucia wondered why he would suddenly mention going out. Ever since she arrived at Roam, she stayed without ever leaving the mansion. Even if she had stayed out of tolerance, everything she needed was prepared for her therefore there was no need for her to go out and perhaps her personality was boring for she preferred a quiet and unchanging life to a dynamic one.

The entire time, she’d never told him that she wanted to go out so she couldn’t figure out why he would suddenly say something like that.


“Do you want to go out?”

‘Do not step outside my territory while I am gone.’ That was what he really wanted to say.

“No but you never know what could happen. You have to tell me the exact reason so I can make a decision.”

“Since I am not here in my position, my Duchess has to take care of it, right?”

He was pleased with himself for coming up with a pretty reasonable answer. It was not necessary for her to stay in Roam to take care of duties in place of him but Lucia couldn’t find any gaps in his words and just thought it made sense.

“Ah yes.”

Because he hadn’t said anything for a while, Lucia glanced at him and found him staring at her.

“Is there anything else you want to tell me?”

He chuckled and lowered his head, capturing her lower lips, he bit it gently then sucked on it. His wife who listened well to his words with an innocent expression and clear eyes, could not be so pretty. He was already worried about not seeing her for a few days.

Philip watched as the Duke of Taran and his knights left Roam early in the morning. His residence was a corner in the inner part of the outer wall of Roam. The residence of the primary doctor of the Duke was originally a strong one but as the owner changed eight years ago, Philip’s residence was pushed to the outer wall. Apart from the residence changing, the Duke did not treat him ‘specially’ or persecute him.

It would be correct to say that the Duke held absolutely no interest. And when Philip changed his residence, the several medical records of the house that were passed down from generation to generation were allowed to move with him.

Philip never forgot that his life was hanging on Hugo’s narrow compassion. Exactly speaking, it was more payment than it was compassion. The payment on a life debt. Philip admired the cold-blooded duke who did not bleed nor possess tears. The people who knew the secret of the Taran family had vanished without a trace and the only one left who knew the secret was Philip but Philip had never condemned the Duke’s cruelty.

The reason Philip’s family clung desperately to the Taran Duke because of the Taran bloodline crystal. A long time ago, magic was the order of the world. At that time, the Mado Empire ruled the world and the Mado Empire was located at the center of their own very country, Xenon. (1)

There existed a number of ordinary humans and a few nobles who ruled over them. The nobles of the Mado Empire referred to ordinary humans and another race with superior abilities. This race had black eyes and black hair. Other than that, they didn’t look much different from humans but they had abilities much superior and overwhelming to an ordinary human. The Taran family is the last trace of the Mado Empire.

Translator’s Corner:

(1) Refer to Chapter 1 if you have forgotten everything about Xenon.

*haven’t edited yet. Sry if there are mistakes.

< — Ducal couple — > (10)

TN: I put links to make chapter navigation easier and school is officially over!!!! (Until summer classes start lmao). And I changed “Mado Empire” to “Madoh Empire”. It kept bugging me as I was translating.

The nobles maintained their bloodlines by marrying amongst themselves. The Madoh Empire was dominated by magic and only nobility could possess magical powers. Since nobles were born from nobles, they had magical powers from the moment they were born. These few nobles suppressed and exploited the numerous humans. It was as though the nobles were all born the same as they all, without exception, were cruel and merciless. Even if thousands of humans were to charge at one noble, they would be unable to beat the noble. The ruling class was consolidated while the despair of the humans deepened. It seemed like this order would never be broken.

But one day, a meteor from space crashed on the surface. It created a huge earthquake but nobody was hurt because it crashed in a place that was deserted. A few researchers took interest in it but that interest cooled down soon enough. They ended up taking it as a memorable but worthless event. But from that day onwards, the order of the world began to crumble. The atmosphere that was full of magical power dispersed and as the magic that flowed in the blood of the nobles began to disappear, their strength plunged lower than that of criminals. They could not compete against the physical strength of ordinary humans and the humans that had suffered numerous exploitations rose up and banded together.

At first, the humans were afraid but once they realized what they could do with their own strength, they turned into a terrifying insanity and the hunting began. Nobles with black hair and black eyes were all pursued, tracked down and caught. It was to the extent that not even their shape was left as they were crushed or murdered. All traces of the Madoh Empire was burned and destroyed. Books and items that had cost hundreds of thousands were now of no use and were reduced to rubbish. No matter where one turned their head, one could see smoke rising in the distance and the blowing ashes.

The Taran family were nobles but more precisely half-nobles. As they were ostracized amongst nobles because they were labeled as heresies, they lived quietly without the usual nobility ties. This was because in the Taran ancestry, a human’s blood was mixed in. Those of the Taran bloodline were weak in magic and were regarded as the shame of the nobles. However, the day of the unusual event, the blood of the human that lay dormant in the Taran blood awoke and mixed with their blood or rather, it changed their body and brain, making them powerful. Their black hair and black eyes were changed to black hair and red eyes. In a world being rampaged with the madness of the humans, the Taran brother and sister survived. They hid themselves quietly and waited for their existence to be completely forgotten so that they could rebuild their family and preserve their bloodline.

They did not have to wait too long. The destruction of the Madoh Empire only kick-started the world of humans. Humans who had now defeated their common enemy, started to destroy, fight amongst themselves and tear themselves apart. The losers (the nobles) disappeared quickly from their memory. Decades later, the Madoh Empire had simply become an old story and hundred years later, it had become a myth. After a long time, the atmosphere changed again. The magic power in the atmosphere was not restored to the way it was before the meteor fell but it was enough for parts of items from the Madoh Empire that were broken to resume function.

Humans were joyous at the discovery of these Madoh treasures and began to enthusiastically excavate them and with that, treasure hunter became the most popular job. Those of the Taran family that were in hiding, carefully and cautiously, came out of hiding. They brought out their family treasures that they had hidden and began rebuilding their family. It was not long before they began a charismatic and remarkable family with a lot of influence.

Philip was one of the few human descendants that had been with the family since they began to rebuild. Philip’s family existed to fulfill their mission which was to preserve the Taran bloodline. In the time of the Madoh Empire, no children would be born between a noble and a human. It was an irrelevant issue to the nobles but many researchers were curious as to why this was so. After doing several researches, they found the method for conception.

From the standpoint of the nobles, the researchers had done something useless but in the first place, majority of the research they did was useless. Thanks to that knowledge, the distant ancestor of the Taran family was born but even after that, they continued to be interested in this method. They continued their research in secret and built up their knowledge. It was a bit different from common nobles for a half-noble and a human to combine and have a child.

After continuous research and trial and error, they finally found a way of keeping only the Taran bloodline. During the time of the Madoh Empire, this method was never used. Yes, the Taran family were half-nobles but a noble was a noble. Although the ancestry of the Taran family was mixed, apart from that instance, they did not do anything like that again. They married full nobles to try deepen their noble blood and get back into the main circle of nobility. When all the nobles in the world were destroyed, the Taran family was only able to continue its bloodline by marrying humans. The knowledge that was already in the family began to show its usefulness. However, all combinations with humans always resulted in females and they needed males to continue the family.

The solution they found was closely related kin. The head of Taran took his half-sister as his wife and only one son was conceived between them. The son needed a wife to continue the family line. And it was the father’s job to make a bride for the son.

It was necessary to prepare for the birth of the child (the bride) by combining with an ordinary human woman that did not possess the Taran bloodline. For this, they needed a young female that had not yet started menstruating. When the female’s menstruation began, they would be made to take mugwort herb for more than half a year to stop it. In that state, the body is cleansed for around a year. The male of the Taran family who would be the father of the child in the future would then take the virginity of the prepared woman. The woman would then be fed with medicine that weakened the effect of mugwort and their body would be returned to how it originally was.

The time for menstruation to restart varied from person to person; short would be one year and long would be three years. The period until menstruation began was the time for pregnancy. He would sleep with the woman and have a child. If menstruation started and the woman was not yet pregnant, she was considered a failure. Philip’s family was involved with this from beginning to end. As time passed, this knowledge was passed down as the vision of Philip’s family and the head of Taran family was told the specific contents separately. The two families were in a mutual and inseparable relationship.

Philip had watched over the twin brothers from the moment there were born. When the Duke tried to kill one of the twins, he had dissuaded him to leave them in case of future uncertainties. The Duke showed cruel interest in them. Interest in how it would turn out if one grew up with the best background and the other grew up and survived in the worst of conditions. Although the Duke did not stop his child from being sold as a slave to the mercenaries, he always watched from afar. Hugh did not know but when he was young, there were a few times Philip saved his life.

The gentle Hugo that did not inherit the brutal temperament unique to the Taran lineage and the spiteful Hugh that killed people without batting an eye. Philip loved them both but between the two of them, his attachment to Hugh was stronger. To pass down and continue the Taran family line, human blood was mixed in so naturally, the Taran bloodline grew murky. The people of Taran were becoming more and more human-like. In the middle of this, Hugh was born; the perfect sculpture of the Taran bloodline (1). An outstanding body, a nimble brain, incredible mental strength, cold-blooded and ruthless. He was the perfect image of the master of Taran that they had wished for.

The former Duke was the same in that he liked the abandoned son more and he connived to switch them again. However, he was opposed to killing off Hugo. He had some affection for Hugo but mainly it was unprecedented for twins to be born in the Taran family. He did not want to throw him (Hugo) away that easily. However, it was impossible to predict the future. He did not know that some way or the other, Hugo would meet Hugh and learn how to read into the actions of people. He did not know that because they did not know about the existence of the other, the two brothers would meet for the first time in ten years and end up regarding each other as existences more precious than life itself rather than as enemies. Compared to his predecessors who were cruel but coolheaded, the dead Duke of Taran was full of greed. He was different from the other masters of Taran.

The Duke did not forget his mission to make a remarkable child and continue the family line but he did not want to lose the absolute power he enjoyed while he was alive. Greed always led one to downfall. At the time, it was Hugo’s Taran but as Hugh survived and persisted alone, Philip could see hatred and disillusionment in his eyes. Philip could sense that he would soon disassemble the family and break it into pieces. If Damian did not exist, Hugh would definitely have done that. It saddened Philip to see him one day, walk to the end of the world without having given his heart to someone. Philip would never admit it nor would he be believed but he loved Hugo. For the Philip that had no family, the twin brother were like his grandchildren.

[I’m warning you now but don’t you dare try approaching my wife]

And that is why he could not forget the way Hugo looked in that instant. It was momentary but he could feel vigilance and protection from him. It was neither empty threats nor intimidation but the feeling of a mother trying to protect her child. It was the first time Philip had seen him fixated on someone other than the dead Hugo.

‘What kind of person is it?’

It was just pure curiosity. He wasn’t thinking of doing anything nor could he do anything. He just wanted to know how the Duchess looked and what her character was like. He wondered if it would be possible to leave once the Duke left the premises but as soon as he approached the door to the castle, a man appeared out of nowhere and blocked him.

“I will be troubled if you were to go in, Sir Philip.”

Philip let out a low sigh. He did not know someone was watching him.

“Are you monitoring me?”

“As long as you do not enter the castle, your actions will remain unrestricted.”

“Just why? What is the reason?”

“I do not know any reasons. I just follow my orders. If there are any protests, I have been given permission to get physical.”

“… I understand.”

Philip went back quietly. He sat facing the castle walls and licked his lips then he looked to the sky and mumbled bitterly.

‘Do I have to leave again…?’

He never stayed in one place for too long because his heart was never attached to it. It was his wish to meet Damian once in his life, but he had tried before and failed. The Duke would never give Philip the opportunity. Perhaps the Duke wouldn’t even tell Damian the secret of the family and would keep it all to himself.

‘Is it an obsession?’

He had to agree that the desire of his family and their hanging onto the bloodline of Taran was an obsession. Philip’s father, grandfather, and the ones before his grandfather were the same way. It was not that easy to change the idea which he had been infatuated with since childhood till he was an old man. He probably would still be unable to let go of this attachment even when he was on his death bed and closed his eyes for the last time.

Translator’s Corner:

It reads perfect crystal but I think sculpture is more representative of what the author is talking about. I also edited the previous chapter a bit because I got confused when crystal came outta nowhere. Context, baby.