πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️ Lucia Side Story 2 & 3 Full Chapters πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️


Side Story 2.1 - IN ANOTHER FUTURE―HUGO(1)

T/N: There are only 2 parts for this one.

The torches that brightened up the darkness like day, cast a darker despair than the cover of the night. The chaotic scene was tidied up in the blink of an eye, and the household of the Count was bounded and lined up. The dozens of servants in the house were gathered in one place while the soldiers stood guard.

The servants hugged each other and wept soundlessly. Their chances of survival were slim. They were fated to share their life and death with their master who had committed the crime of plotting treason.

The sound of a group of people approaching could be heard. The thudding sounds of their footsteps were like signals leading to death. The soldiers straightened up tensely, along with the knight who was conducting them. The man approaching the criminals was accompanied by dozens of knights and his hair was so dark that it melted into the night.

“Status report.”

The conductor at the scene took a disciplined step forward before opening his mouth.

“All but two members of the traitor’s household have been captured.”


The tone of the voice asking was fierce. The knight flinched and quickly added.

“The traitor’s third son was confirmed to be currently enrolled at the Academy and immediately after confirmation, an arrest unit departed for Ixium. We expect to hear from them by tomorrow morning. But only the whereabouts of the traitor’s wife is unknown.”

The man listening to the report raised a brow.

“And her maid’s testimony?”

“Neither the family members nor the servants closely serving her have any idea. We are currently combing through the mansion repeatedly. I have also sent people to look outside the mansion.”

“What is the possibility she has already left the mansion?”

“The maid testified she had last served the traitor’s wife late in the evening. No one among the servants are missing.”

It was hard to believe that a noblewoman had escaped alone into the dark without anyone helping her.

“She might have been hidden away because she was carrying the traitor’s seed. Look into that.”

“Yes, sir.”

“If she is in the mansion, then she is hiding somewhere. Which means there is a secret compartment in this place. Dean, pick out a few men with good eyes.”

“Yes, my lord.”

“I am innocent! There must be a mistake!”

Hugo’s indifferent gaze turned to the direction the sound came from.

“Please let me see His Majesty!”

The chubby man kneeling on the floor with his hands tied behind his back had a silhouette like that of a pig. Just like he looked, the sound of his screams were unpleasant to hear.

The Count of Matin. If Hugo had not been told by his subordinates on his way here, he would not have known who this house belonged to. This man was the most insignificant game among the targets Hugo had hunted until dawn. Perhaps the man was falsely accused like he claimed, but Hugo didn’t care. The mere fact that he was a subject of suspicion and got on his hunting list was a crime.

After taking a brief glance, Hugo coldly turned around and headed into the mansion. The annoying cries grew louder, then after a scream, it became silent. An eerie chill enveloped the surroundings like a fog.

As Hugo stepped into the mansion, a corner of his lips went up slightly. He didn’t think there was a day that suited his life more than tonight.

The office of Count Matin was already a mess from being turned upside down. But Hugo could see a few documents that were neatly arranged on the desk. Hugo skimmed through the documents with a bored look on his face. He didn’t expect anything important to come out of here from the beginning.

After a while, the knight came in and reported:

“I have confirmed that it is unlikely for the traitor’s wife to be pregnant with a child. According to her maid, she is infertile and incapable of having children. For further verification, I have sent someone to bring over the doctor that visited here.”

“There’s no family doctor?”

“There is apparently not one because of the cost of employment.”

The life of one doctor was saved thanks to Count Matin’s stingy nature.

“When the woman is found, execute her with all the traitors. I will report it to His Majesty separately.”

There were a few more places they had to stop by and clean up. There was no more time to delay here. Leaving the finishing up to his subordinates, Hugo left the Count residence that would soon become a haunted house.

No one would want to buy a house where the former residing family committed treason and dozens of people died in the courtyard. Even if it continued to be empty and grew old and hideous, it would take at least 10 years before it was torn down and a new house built in its place.

Side Story 2.2 - IN ANOTHER FUTURE―HUGO(2)

Translated by: Miss Ruby

Edited by: ShadowDog

The clean-up of the Count of Matin, a supposed ‘small fry’ was moving at a snail’s pace. The traitor’s third son who was attending school at the Academy had luckily escaped to another country and the traitor’s wife had still not been found for three days. Thanks to this, the lives of the traitors was extended by several days and because leaving them at the count’s residence while monitoring them was a waste of manpower, they were all taken to prison.

On the fourth day, Hugo got a report from Dean stating that he had found a device that led to a secret area.

“Have you gone in?”

“I have not checked inside as you ordered, my lord.”

As a day passed, then two, then three, Hugo became curious about the woman who had hidden herself so deeply. She had definitely not left the mansion. Currently, security in the capital was water-tight and anyone suspicious would definitely standout. Since she had no one helping her, a noblewoman who had lived an easy life, would not be able to hide without leaving any trace. Therefore, Hugo figured that there was a secret location in the mansion and that she was hiding there. He told his subordinates that if such a place was found, they should immediately report it to him instead of combing through it.

He took only a few knights with him and went to the deserted house of Count of Matin. As Hugo watched Dean manipulated the device to reveal the darkness behind, his red eyes narrowed slightly. A knight lit his torch, cutting through the darkness.

Hugo looked around with interest. The expertly-made secret area was impressive. After descending for a while, they reached a chamber with dimly lit walls. Upon finding the shadow of a person lying in the corner, Hugo’s footsteps came to a stop.

He stopped his knights behind him, grabbed a torch and approached the shadow. There was no movement from the woman who was lying down, with her body curled up. Hugo lifted the torch higher to illuminate the surroundings. The temporary bed that the woman lay on was made of several layers of blankets and the surrounding leather sacks were filled with dry food. He also saw a bundle of clothes.

‘I suppose it’s a prepared shelter.’

The Count of Matin’s family did not know about the existence of this place. It was clear that the woman had prepared all of this by herself. It wasn’t possible that she knew about the Count’s household extermination beforehand. So why? Hugo’s red eyes gazed down at the soundly sleeping figure of the woman.


The woman’s struggle was intriguing. Hugo couldn’t understand the woman’s passion for life. This was boring and tedious world. If the woman had a child then he could see why, but both the maid that served her and the doctor in charge of her treatments said that she was infertile.

[She is definitely infertile. Even if she were not infertile, her husband has been incapable of having children for a few years now.]

Without even being asked, the doctor spoke about Count Matin’s sexual dysfunction. It was as if the doctor thought that proving the Countess’ infertility would save the Countess’ life. It was never a good thing to get involved with someone who had been caught up in a plot of treason, but the doctor looked to be more worried about the Countess’ situation than being afraid.

It felt like a contradiction for a woman who was supported by the people around her to have found a route to escape alone, abandoning her husband and children, even if the children weren’t actually her own. Was the life of a woman who chose the lifelong status of a fugitive worth being so obsessed about?

Hugo searched through his memories, checking to see if he remembered a woman called the Countess of Matin. He had a good memory, but he couldn’t remember people he didn’t have an impression of, or simply passed by without talking to. He had no memory of the Countess of Matin.

Hugo turned away from the woman.

When their lord began to climb up the stairs without saying anything, the knights followed silently as well. After they had fully exited the secret space, Hugo ordered:

“You have not seen anything today.”

The knight simply accepted without asking questions.

“Get a female body, put some noble clothes on it and throw it in the woods. The hair color should at least be similar.”

Hugo felt somewhat merciful and decided to save a member of the traitor’s family, giving her a chance to escape. It was on a whim, but he, himself, didn’t know why. Since she wanted to live so much, why not let her try. A noblewoman that had enjoyed a nice and easy life; how long could she endure? There was some cynicism mixed within.

“However, don’t slack on tracking down that damn third son.”

He could allow an infertile, childless, traitor woman to live, but a child was impossible. His usual belief was to never leave an ember behind.

The next day, all members of the Count Matin household were executed.

* * *

About a month later, Hugo attended an event where the king intimidated the nobles, calling it a party as a pretext, then sometime after midnight, he was on his way home. As he was passing by a noble’s mansion, he saw a shadow through the window and suddenly got curious.

‘That woman. She must have escaped, right?’

He had his carriage change directions to the Count of Matin’s residence. The Count’s residence was now a bleak sight and it only got gloomier as the day grew darker. Hugo manipulated the device, opening up the secret space and headed down. Sensing the presence of several people, the small creatures scuttling around quickly scattered in the dark. When he lit the torch and looked around, there was no person in sight, only rats.

Although he had already guessed that she would be gone, Hugo felt empty for some reason. He slowly looked around and found traces showing that someone had been here until just a few days ago.

‘She stayed in this place for over a month?’

He admired her extreme patience and tenacity. He didn’t expect such attributes from a Countess who was formerly a Princess. He couldn’t help but wonder what in the world had given her so much sustainment. Was it simply just the wish to live?

“There should be a passage out of here. Find it.”

The knights scoured the surroundings, then they manipulated a device and found a dark passage. Hugo and his knights walked along the narrow path of the tunnel for quite some time. When they finally got to the other side, one of his knights said that they were at a public cemetery at the outskirts of the capital.

The light in the sky was dim. As it was a cemetery, the area was completely void of people, not even shadows could be found. Hugo stared at the morning sun which was shining light on the graveyard.

“Do we track?” (?)

“…No need.” (Hugo)

This was the result of his useless curiosity. Hugo decided to stop here in doing things that were unlike himself. No matter how the woman lived after this, it was a matter that had left his hands.

His carriage was at the Count’s residence. Rather than waiting for one of his knights to bring a vehicle for him to ride, he decided to use the passage and go back. Hugo turned around, about to go into the passage entrance, but then he halted and bent down. He cleared away a pile of rubble and a small wooden jewelry box, usually used by noblewomen, was revealed underneath. He took off the cover and chuckled. The rings and necklaces heaped inside the box didn’t seem like very expensive items.

‘Must be an escape fund. So she hid all her trinkets here instead of carrying it on her body. Clever judgement.’

As he was about to cover it again, Hugo’s gaze fell on his left chest collar. There was brooch pinned to the collar of his tailcoat. It was in the shape of a lion’s head exquisitely crafted from silver and had two small red jewels embedded on it. It was an ornament that represented the lord of the Ducal House of Taran.

Hugo tore off the brooch from his chest. It was more valuable than several of the rings in the jewelry box. He threw it into the box without any hesitation, covered up the box, put it back where it originally was and even piled up the stones like before.

Hugo stayed squatting like that for a very short while. He shook off his thoughts, feeling strange and rose to his feet. Then he unhesitatingly began to walk into the dark tunnel. His knights immediately followed after him. Their figures quickly disappeared into the darkness.

Three years later, Hugo received a report that Bruno Matin, the third son of the traitor was caught and executed on the spot. The third son of Count Matin, who had been evading the tracking unit with his sudden appearance and disappearances was a hot topic in the social circle for a considerable amount of time, but as time passed, people’s attention turned elsewhere. And so, Bruno Matin’s death was quietly buried.


Side Story 3.1 - HAPPILY EVER AFTER(1)

Edited by: ShadowDog

The King came to the Queen’s Palace without sending any message in advance. When he appeared, Beth was in the middle of a conversation with a noblewoman that she had invited. The noblewoman couldn’t blame person that had suddenly disrupted them and had to rise in the middle of their discussion to leave.

Beth wondered why the King abruptly intruded into her palace. It was hardly possible for the king not to know that the time when she met with the noblewomen was in its own way, an important part of her itinerary as Queen.

“What might be the matter, Your Majesty?”

“This king got stood up.”

Kwiz plopped down on the sofa with a peeved expression on his face.


“This king is the only one in the world that can stand someone up. Yesterday, Selena definitely promised to have lunch with me today.”

Kwiz was really looking forward to the lunch appointment with his lovely daughter whom he wouldn’t trade for all the treasures in the world. Even when it went past the appointment time, he gratifyingly thought that she was running late because she was a young lady and had to prepare. But even after waiting for a good while, there was no news. He got concerned and sent a servant to check but the servant returned with a hollow answer. Princess Selena had already gone out in the morning, so she wasn’t around.

Kwiz was terribly hurt by his daughter’s betrayal. It seems like just yesterday when she was clinging to him and crying ‘Royal Father’ and he couldn’t believe that she’d already found other things more interesting than her parent’s embrace.

In Xenon, there were two men who showed off their unstoppable love for their daughters. One of them was Beth’s husband and the sovereign of this country, and the other was the Duke of Taran, a man who held power second only to the king.

Beth recalled the ridiculous matter that happened because of the highest authorities in the country. It was called the dollhouse case.

Kwiz custom-made a dollhouse with a cutely decorated bedroom for his daughter. Selena took that dollhouse to the ducal residence and boasted about it to her friend. Evangeline was very envious and waited for her father who was returning home late that day.

Hugo was moved to see his daughter came out to meet him with sleepiness in her eyes.

[Father. I want a dollhouse too.]

When Evangeline rubbed her head in his chest and whined, Hugo felt very regretful that he couldn’t put a dollhouse in front of his daughter right now. And the very next day, he found a constructor and began production for the dollhouse immediately.

My daughter should have the best in the world!

A larger, fancier dollhouse with a living room inside a bedroom, became Evangeline’s. Selena, who visited the ducal residence, was shocked to see her friend with a better dollhouse and ran to Kwiz.

[Royal father. Eve has a better dollhouse.]

Who will make the nicer, more fabulous, more expensive dollhouse?

Beth and Lucia watched, completely dumbfounded at the two men who were competing with each other over something immature.

It went past the standard of being a toy and crossed into the territory of artworks. They chiseled a small bathtub out of marble, called a watchmaker to make a miniature clock to hang inside the dollhouse, commission a famous painter for a painting to hang on the wall of the dollhouse, and even got adopted equipment facilities for the small bathtub to receive water.

After almost six months, the dollhouses were completed, and the two men came to a mutual agreement and set up an objective judging panel to judge their work. They got the same score in the first round and chose a date for the second round. Their wives who had just been observing the situation came forward. It was a competition that had nothing to gain even if you won and would only hurt the feelings of whoever lost.

[It looks like we are both troubled by husbands who can’t act their age, Duchess.]

[I know what you mean, Your Highness.]

The two women comforted each other and forcefully concluded the fight by agreeing to donate the dollhouse to the showroom in the Outer Palace hall.

In fact, while the fathers were busy fighting over the dollhouse, their two daughters had already lost interest and were focused on other ways to entertain themselves.

The amazing competition that drew the attention of many people, fizzled out in the end without a winner. The two huge dollhouses, made in the form of a three-story estate mansion, became a specialty for foreign envoys to see at least once.

After the dollhouse incident, it became a trend for people to look at their youngest daughter and go, ‘our daughter is the cutest.’

“She’s at an age where she forgets promises she makes easily, even firm ones.” (Beth)

“She went to the Duke’s residence again, right?” (Kwiz)

“There’s no other place that Selena goes to.”

“It is troubling for the princess to form the habit of going out continuously from a young age. Why do you allow it, Queen?”

“It’s the Duke’s residence, I see no issue there.”

“Still, when you consider it, an esteemed young lady should be the one entering the palace. How can the princess be going out to meet an esteemed young lady?”[1]

Beth chuckled. Her husband wasn’t the type of person to be strict or nitpicky over such formality. He was grasping at straws.

“They are children. It’s not a matter that requires the pride of adults.”

“There’s also the issue of safety.”

“To be quite frank, the Duke’s residence would be safer than the palace.”

Kwiz couldn’t say anything to that. The guards around the Duke of Taran’s residence reminded him of an impenetrable fortress. Kwiz always wondered how heavily guarded the security was at the ducal residence. So last summer, he lightly made a bet with the Duke.

[Gong. This king is going to try to go through the guards at your residence. Will you take up this king’s challenge?]

[I never avoid a challenge.]

Kwiz also made a second bet with his adjutant. Naturally, he bet that he would succeed, and the adjutant had no choice but to bet on the remaining option.

The way the wager worked was: if the mansion’s intruders brought back a specific mark in the mansion’s garden, it was Kwiz’s win, and if the infiltration failed, it was Hugo’s win. The result was terrible. Kwiz was soundly defeated. Two out of three attempts, they couldn’t even get past the wall before being discovered, let alone acquiring the mark.

In exchange for the bet, Kwiz had to meet the Duke’s demand for another title and once again, he could not use a word chosen by his adjutant. So far, his bets with his adjutant have all been consecutive defeats.

The adjutant was overwhelmed with pride because Kwiz’s conduct had become more refined since he became king.

There were no doubts about the safety of the ducal residence, and so, Kwiz didn’t need to worry about Selena. Kwiz couldn’t think of anything else to nitpick on, so he sullenly shut his mouth.

Translator’s Corner:

[1] [Gongnyeo] vs [Gongju]: Gongnyeo is used to refer to a young woman with high status, Gongju is the formal title for princesses, i.e of royal family. Gongju Katherine = Princess Katherine. In a way, Gongnyeo can also mean princess but it isn’t a title. I didn’t want to use princess(because it overlaps) so I translated gongnyeo to esteemed young lady.

Side Story 3.2 - HAPPILY EVER AFTER(2)


“Nowadays, Ethan is also going to the Duke’s residence with Selena.” (Beth)


Kwiz didn’t anticipate this unexpected news about his third son.

“Ethan is going to the Duke’s residence? Why?”

“The third son of Marquis Philip often visits the ducal residence and apparently, his age is very similar to Ethan’s. He seems very excited about making friends with his peers.”

“Hmm, the children have already reached the age where they are looking for friends more than their parents.”

Although it was said that children only listened when they were young, Kwiz wasn’t yet ready to let Selena out of his protection.[1] As her husband mumbled while looking discouraged, Beth said something even more shocking to him.

“The reason Selena keeps going to the ducal residence isn’t just because she enjoys playing with the Duke’s young daughter.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I’m talking about Selena.”

Beth couldn’t stop herself from smiling as she spoke.

“She fell for Sir. Taran.”

Kwiz didn’t understand the Queen’s meaning for a moment then his eyes gradually grew bigger and his gaze quivered with shock.

“…Sir. Taran? You mean, Count Taran, son of Duke Taran?”

When the Queen nodded, Kwiz slammed his hand on the table and jumped to his feet.

“What is this—?! Do you know how old Count Taran is right now?”

“When Selena is seventeen, Sir. Taran will be 27. Their age difference isn’t unsuitable.”


Kwiz sat back down. The difference between eight and eighteen felt like a huge gap but once you added 9 years to it, it changed into a commonly acceptable difference.

“…but still, what does an eight-year-old know?”

“Just like Your Majesty says, what does Selena know? It’s probably just curiosity and yearning in the same manner when she sees a pretty doll and indulges in it. However, Your Majesty. Girls grow up quickly. In five years’ time, that yearning will change to love.”

He hadn’t even released her from his protection yet. Kwiz had never thought about marrying off his daughter. She couldn’t live by his side forever. He knew that but when he realized that his daughter’s marriage might not be that far away, he felt like he had lost all the energy in his body.

“My Queen, you seem to be very pleased with Sir. Taran.”

“Oh, very much so. Sir. Taran’s succession seems to be set in stone and whether it is his personality, appearance or ability, there is nothing to complain about. Hasn’t Your Majesty also praised Sir. Taran frequently?”

“Well that…”

Even if you say he was named the youngest Count thanks to his father’s support, becoming the Academy’s youngest Shyta wasn’t something that could be achieved with backing alone.

‘Taran Gong is such a lucky devil, eh.’

In most cases, if the father was outstanding, the children’s capability was usually below their father’s. However, Taran Gong’s son seemed to have inherited his father’s capability but none of his father’s personality defects, so he was more perfect.

‘And he’s only a year older than the Crown Prince.’

Compared to Count Taran, the Crown Prince was very young and immature.

“Do you want Selena to be seated as the Duchess?” (Kwiz)

“I cannot say I do not want that. Seeing Taran Gong’s unchanging affection for the Duchess has made my heart lean towards them. Wouldn’t Sir. Taran love his wife like that as well, seeing as he grew up watching his parents in that manner? It is every mother’s wish for her daughter to be loved by her husband and live happily.”(Beth)


“Were you merely jesting when you asked Taran Gong about becoming in-laws?”

“When the Duchess was pregnant, I was honestly willing to pair Selena up with them if the Duchess had a boy.”

“Why didn’t you consider pairing our son with them if they had a girl?”

“My Queen. Can you imagine how much dowry one would have to give to bring in Taran Gong’s daughter? This king can’t handle that.”

Beth gave her husband a sidelong scowl as he changed realistically concerning their son’s issue.

“I made a slight mention of it to the Duchess in passing but I ended up withdrawing. She told me the Duke was disinclined to a union between cousins.”


Kwiz considered the meaning of that word for a while. Strictly speaking, since the Duchess was his half-sister, their children were cousins. However, Kwiz had never thought of putting it in that category. It wasn’t because Kwiz was stupid or daft, but because in the royal family, the concept of having relatives between descendants was rare, unless they were blood siblings.

In Xenon, there was a law forbidding the marriage of blood relations within the second cousin. However, for the royal family, that law was practically nullified. Whether it was for political reasons or for carnal reasons, a king had more than ten concubines and many more children than that. Kwiz having only a few concubines and no children from those concubines was quite a rare case.

The women who entered the back palace for political reasons were daughters of noble families. If they were all slapped with the title of ‘relatives’, their descendants would not be able to find a marriage partner in the future when they grow up.

Especially in the case of the late King, whose licentiousness was to an excessive degree, quite a number of noble families were relatives.

There would be a limited scope of political marriage partners for their level. Thus, intermarriage between royal descendants such as cousins was something that happened openly.

Moreover, Count Taran was not even the Duchess’ biological son. Of course, since he was entered into the family register, their mother-son relationship was acknowledged as no different from biological according to the law, but in a place where intermarriage occurred between blood-related cousins, what was so uncomfortable about a marriage between people who were only acknowledged as cousins by law? Kwiz figured this was just another way to spin the rejection.

“I don’t believe Your Majesty isn’t thinking about it at all. Consider an engagement between Selena and Sir. Taran.”

Kwiz fell into deep thought.

Becoming in-laws with the Duke of Taran. It wasn’t a bad idea. If that happened, the royal family would be in-laws with the two Duke Houses that held the highest power in the nations. When it came to building a strong relationship, there was no means more stable than blood.

Translator’s Corner:

[1] This is saying that means: Children tend to obey their parents when they are young but do as they wish when they grow up.

Side Story 3.3 - Side Story 3.3
Lucia Side Story 3.3: Happily Ever After


Translated by: Miss Ruby

Edited by: ShadowDog

Every three months, a joint conference was held by the king and it was attended by all the key figures in the nation’s leading administration. It was an important state conference with the largest number of personnel attending.

The attendants of the meeting began to arrive one at a time, from early in the morning, to participate. And as they entered the conference hall, they took at least one glance at the pair of handsomely tall young men standing some distance away.

The two of them were young men around twenty-odd years of age. They conversed briefly with each other while reading the documents they held in their hands. One of them had dark hair and the other, silvery blond hair, and when they stood side by side, the contrast of vibrant colors on their head was eye-catching.

A pair of red eyes quickly skimmed through the meeting files for today, then he spoke to the blue-eyed young man next to him:

“The contents are different from what I received a few days ago. Why has the agenda for today’s meeting changed so much?”

“Indeed. I should have double-checked it yesterday.”

A man in his mid-thirties was about to enter the conference hall when he discovered the two young men, so he turned and approached them. Damian and Bruno halted their conversation and bowed in greeting towards the man walking to them.

Robin’s eyes had a hint of wonder in them as he looked at the two young men who were stirring up all the young women in the high society recently. It wasn’t an exaggeration to say that any party attended by these two youths would be crowded with ladies.

“Observing again today?”

“Yes, Your Excellency.”

After Duke Ramis passed away two years ago, his heir, Count Ramis, succeeded him. Robin, who became the new Duke of Ramis, took a different path from his father. Although his sharp political insights fell short compared to his father, he was recognized for successfully and smoothly establishing himself in politics with a gentle character.

“Why are you standing here instead of going in?” (Robin)

“When all the empty seats are filled, we’ll go in. I don’t think it’s appropriate to take a seat first when we’re just observing.”

Robin nodded, pleased with the answer the tall, dark-haired young man gave him. This merely 18-year-old youth didn’t show off his power, even though he held the honor of being the youngest Count and was the successor to the Duke of Taran, a man who held power second only to the King. Robin really like the young man’s prudence.

‘He looks so much like the Duke of Taran but he’s the complete opposite.’

There were people who were put off by the Duke of Taran’s powerful arrogance, which feared nothing in the world, but even those people were in favor of the next Duke who was both courteous and civil.

The platinum-haired youth that was always next to him, was also a desirable talent. He was rumored to have an extraordinary mind from a young age and as he got older, people said he was equipped with wisdom too. The Duke of Taran set his mind on the youth early on and even asked the king to grant him a title. Bruno was born the third son of a Count and currently, he was a Count alongside his elder brother, Count Matin.

Robin admired the Duke of Taran’s ability to recognize talent and marveled at the bold rewards he gave them for becoming his people.

“What interesting story might you discussing?”[1]

Marquis DeKhan slipped into conversation and greeted the three men, who were gathered together. The Marquis looked at the two youths, with a gaze just as pleased as the Duke of Ramis’. Perhaps because he had gotten older, whenever he saw young people with manners towards adults, he was very happy.

Since the next Duke lowered himself, other people had to do the same. The Marquis was very aware of the younger people suppressing their youthful feistiness and being careful with their attitudes. It was all thanks to Count Taran’s initiative.

“I remember Sir. Matin caused a huge incident not long ago.”

Bruno grimaced slightly, looking troubled. It was something that happened a week ago or so, but everyone he met brought up the same story.

“By ‘a big incident’, you mean…?”

“I suppose Ramis Gong hadn’t heard of it yet. Sir. Matin here, poured cocktail on a Count’s daughter’s head.”

“Oh no, that is quite the mistake.”

“It wasn’t a mistake though, so the social circle was abuzz. He poured it on her head deliberately and embarrassed her.”

No one had ever done such a thing in the social circle, where being courtesy to a lady was the virtue of a gentleman; even if they were a troublemaker. When the Marquis was told about the incident by his son, he had laughed for quite a while. He couldn’t remember the last time he had laughed till his stomach hurt.

When you met a lot of people in the social circles, it was inevitable to meet at least one woman who made you think, ‘what? such women exist?’. But you still had to endure it and be courteous with good manners. This was the etiquette they had learnt from as they grew up and they couldn’t do something that would bring criticism to their family name.

There were a lot of men who were extremely delighted to learn that Count Matin did something others hadn’t dared to do, and boldly at that. Robin was also momentarily surprised to hear this news, but his mouth twitched as he tried to suppress his laughter.

“People’s interest fade quickly, Sir. Matin. But you’ll still have to watch yourself for a while.”

“Yes, sir. I’ll be prudent.”

Ever since the incident, Bruno had refrained from going to gatherings, but honestly, it felt more like a reward than a punishment. The few days he had spent relaxing in the evening was more than satisfactory.

“I don’t think any consolation is necessary. This incident does Sir. Matin more good than harm.”

The Marquis had been watching the situation with interest because it was flowing in a different direction that he’d expected.

“At first, public opinion was mostly sympathizing with the Count’s daughter. But as time went by, the critical gazes on her began increase.”

“How come?”

“Well, because the two gentlemen who have stolen the hearts of all the ladies in the social circle, stopped going to parties. I hear the ladies’ resentment for the culprit, aka the Count’s daughter, is unspeakable.”

Since Bruno was under self-probation, Damian decided to put off outside itinerary for the time being. As the two of them disappeared from parties in the social circle, the number of party participants also dropped significantly. And it was practically only girls.

The number of attendants was a major factor that contributed to the success of a party. Especially for parties with a lot of ladies attending, the number of men that came was always proportional to the ladies. This event had led party organizers to realize the value of Bruno and Damian.

There were already a lot of invitations going to the two young men, but now, they were practically pouring in. Previously, the invitations to Damian were overwhelmingly more, but now it was almost the same. Bruno’s popularity had increased explosively. Now, when people said ‘Count Matin’, they were referring to Bruno, not Bruno’s elder brother who was the actual lord of the Matin family.

Bruno’s actions deserved to be criticized. However, the criticism of Bruno lost its power when Bruno went to apologize to the Count’s daughter personally and expressed that he was reflecting by not show himself even after a week went by, despite people expecting him to show up at parties like nothing had happened.

Bruno was a friend and close aide of Damian, who was no doubt going to succeed the Duke of Taran. In people’s eyes, Bruno’s future was promising. Even though he was young, he was in a position comparable to those with significant power.

Traits of humility in those in power was something that cultivated favorable impressions. As the favorable gazes towards Bruno increased, the people critical of him were careful with their words. No one wanted to provide a reason to become an enemy that could never build a relationship with future powers.

‘Why did he do that?’

Robin wanted to ask Bruno for the details of the incident, but he pushed down his urge. Asking about the situation would be gossiping about the Count’s daughter, and to the public, gossiping about a lady was an act more vulgar than dumping alcohol on one.

‘If it was someone else that did this, he would be buried in the social circle.’

But according to Marquis DeKhan, rather than being buried, Bruno was boasting unabated popularity. Robin had never understood Bruno’s popularity. He was surprised to hear that Bruno had poured alcohol on a lady’s head, but he wasn’t shocked. To him, it was something very possible for Bruno to do.

In the social circle, Bruno was originally famous for being rude to young ladies. To older noblewomen, he was courteous and well-mannered but to the ladies who approach him as women, it was common for him to spit out hard words and for the girl who were courageous enough to ask him to dance, he rejected them right to their face.

The older noblewomen called him a polite young man and were pleased, while the young ladies watched Bruno’s every move during parties and giggled happily amongst themselves.

Now, it wasn’t even a humiliation to be refused by Bruno for a dance. Bruno was known for not saying a lot but when he was rejecting a dance request, he spoke longer than usual so the girls who wanted to hear that, constantly asked him to dance. Thanks to that, Bruno was annoyed to death.

Robin simply couldn’t understand, so he asked his female relative, who had recently debuted, about the reason for his popularity.

[I mean, he’s rude to everyone fairly. Whether it’s a Marquis’ daughter or a Baron’s daughter, they’re the same to Sir. Matin. Do you know how cute Sir. Matin looks when he’s annoyed?]

As he watched his female relative cup her reddened cheeks with a dreamy expression, Robin thought to himself that he would never truly understand a woman’s mind.

While Robin was preoccupied with the secret that was Bruno’s popularity, Marquis DeKhan looked at Damian, covetously.

‘He will be such a perfect partner for Molly.’

Marquis DeKhan really desired Damian as his future son-in-law. His status as the next Duke was certainly part of it, but whether it was in his character or capability, there was no undesirable part. Compared to Damian, all other guys were dead wood.

His daughter, Molly, was thirteen years old. An age difference of five years was absolutely desirable. However, Molly had yet to make her social debut. There were a lot of individuals who drooled over having Damian as a future son-in-law. The Marquis was anxious about someone swooping in within the span of a few years, so he was considering pushing Molly’s social debut a little earlier.

The sight of the Duke of Ramis and Marquis DeKhan chatting amicably with the embarrassed young men at the side, attracted people’s gazes as they entered the conference hall, one after another. As they glanced over, repeatedly, their eyes were filled with the desire to be engaged in that conversation one way or another.

Translator’s Corner:

[1] Not sure how to word this sentence. He’s asking what interesting thing they are talking about.