PDM Chapter 6
“Then the interior management of the mansion…”
“The butler will take over that.”
Laura raised an eyebrow behind Kyle’s back. She couldn’t believe Kyle was leaving the house to the butler. It was like he was letting his employees know that the new Madam was nothing but a Duchess by name. Her position would be unstable if she did not assume the family’s internal authority.
“But if you don’t give your wife the authority to the household–”
Laura stopped talking when she heard the cold voice. When she lifted her head, there was her owner, whose eyes were gleaming with a sullen glare.
“Stop being presumptuous.”
Laura shrugged at Kyle’s high-strung energy. She expected that he would change as the years passed, but her master, whom she saw for the first time in ten years, had become a more ruthless person than she had expected.
“Yes, Your Excellency.”
It must be because of the accident. Laura squeezed her eyes shut and shook her head. Kyle’s eyes turned to his quill, and so Laura left the office.
There was silence in the office, and after a while, someone knocked on the door.
The door creaked, and the butler entered. “Your Excellency.”
He had light blue hair and light blue eyes and looked to be about the same age as Kyle. His name was Takan, a former mercenary hired by Kyle himself.
Kyle’s high-strung energy had softened. Takan approached Kyle and bowed.
“Yes, sir… Shit.”
While saying hello, Takan suddenly raised his upper body and grimaced.
“I’m having goosebumps.” Takan rubbed his forearm and took off his monocle. “Why did you get married all of a sudden?”
Tarkan rubbed his face and leaned against the desk.
Takan was born to parents who worked for a noble family. However, he remembered that his parents were constantly bowing down and were often kicked and abused when they met their violent masters.
To him, no matter how perfect the nobles acted, it wouldn’t hide the fact that they were filth. Even the commoners living with the nobility did not understand. It was because they didn’t experience the life of begging the aristocrats for crumbs, all the while not being treated as human.
That’s why Takan couldn’t understand his parents.
Takan’s parents died, and he and his sister settled on the outskirts. As a mercenary, they barely made ends meet as they lived paycheck to paycheck, but he and his sister were happy. Until the enemy attacked the village and he lost her sister.
From then on, Takan began to cut people regardless of whether they were an ally or an enemy.
When Takan lived a life like a beast, it was Kyle and Louis who stopped him.
Takan joined them and forgot his identity. On the battlefield, their status was nothing but a bluff, and they gave each other their shoulders, which no one had offered theirs before in their lives. He thought it would be okay if all nobles were like Kyle and Louis.
‘If there’s no place to live after the war, I’ll come to you.’
He used to say that in jest. Yes, he thought so. Following his younger sister, Takan had to witness the moment when a close friend’s head was decapitated.
He was desperate, but not as much as Kyle. So, maybe he’d gone crazy and turned Takan, who didn’t even know the basics, into a butler.
‘What? You want me to be a butler?’
‘Don’t you know I’m a mercenary because I don’t want to do that? No, not even a knight, why a butler? I can’t do that, I won’t!’
Eventually, Takan couldn’t refuse and took over. How hard it was to learn the aristocracy, the upper-class culture, the manners, the rules, and so on. He struggled to correct his erratic steps.
Takan sighed and squeezed his neck. He was tired of taking on the internal work of the mansion, which was not suitable for his aptitude.
‘This is why I don’t like nobles.’
Takan glanced at Kyle. He just didn’t get him.
To marry a woman you don’t even love to stop a rumor like that.
Takan grimaced as he recalled Aelle at the wedding. “Why such a woman?”
“I’d rather you marry the Countess! It’s good for you and Louis!” As Kyle raised his gaze, Takan groaned and waved his hand. “Ah, do what you want. I don’t care about the dignity or rumors of such a noble.”
Takan turned around and raised his monocle with his fingertips. It was time for the Duchess, whom he did not like, to arrive in a little while.
“I am going, sir.”
Takan scratched the back of his head, a habit he couldn’t shake off, and waved his hands impatiently. He dusted off his clothes and neatly arranged his hair. He had no choice but to do it to look the part.
Well, he didn’t mind hearing the employees whisper complaints about the young butler’s.
When Takan left the office, Kyle was finally alone. He opened the first drawer on the right. In the corner of the drawer was a small glass bottle, a token of friendship shared with Louis and Hari when they were children.
‘Kyle! Louis! Can’t I leave it? Do I have to carry it around like an alter ego?’
‘But there’s nothing in the glass bottle.’
‘Kyle, there you go again. Hari and I told you, that’s where we put our friendship!’
‘What if Louis loses it?’
‘Why would I lose it? Kyle, you’d probably lose it.’
‘Don’t lose them both!’
Friendship can grow when we’re together, and let’s put our friendship together in an empty glass bottle—something like that.
‘I’d rather you marry the Countess! It’s good for you and Louis!’
Getting married to Hari wasn’t something he could even dare dream of.
Louie and Hari were special to Kyle. His father used extravagance to regain the lost political power. Luxury and excess were the symbols of power, leaving the family with only a name.
Eventually, saddled with huge debts, they became nervous as the repayment date approached, and couldn’t stand the loss of prestige and chose to commit suicide.
Around that time, Kyle witnessed the suicide of his father and mother in the basement of his study. Maybe that’s why Kyle despised dark and narrow spaces. Because it would remind him of the day he found the bodies of his parents.
From that day on, Kyle suffered from aphasia. He had no time to mourn the death of his parents.
Why did you leave me? Why did you leave me alone in a world where you also chose death?
He wanted to ask those questions but couldn’t, so Kyle kept his mouth shut. He blamed his loved one and felt the pain of his life collapsing.
The people who saved Kyle were his childhood friends, Louis and Hari. The Empire believed in gods. However, it meant nothing to Kyle. For Kyle, these two were his gods, and their words were doctrines.
Marrying Hari. That ship had sailed a decade ago. From the moment Louis and Hari went to him holding hands. From the moment the two smiled at each other, and acknowledged they were good together. Kyle had missed his chance.
And that wasn’t all. Louis lost his life to save Kyle. Kyle knew it was a debt he couldn’t repay for the rest of his life. The debt he owed to Louis and Hari weighed more heavily on his heart than the debt left by his father.
She vowed to spend the rest of her life with Louis, who had left, and he respected her decision.
All Kyle could do was protect Hari so that she could live happily for the rest of her life on behalf of Louis. So Hari, she should never know his mind.
Kyle narrowed his eyes and tightened his grip on the glass bottle.
It’s a marriage for each other’s benefit. Aelle was a haven, a life of abundance, a marriage in vain to hide his heart from Hari.
Kyle’s gray eyes glistened in the dark.
I covered my mouth with my hand. I had never been to a proper aristocratic mansion because I grew up poor.
I had set foot in the Duke’s residence before, but at that time, I was so nervous that I only stared at the back of the head of the employee who guided me.
A diamond chandelier hanging from the main hall of the mansion. The walls embroidered with gold. From the walls and furniture to the artwork.
I gawked at the mansion in awe.
Rumors circulated that the previous duke had spent beyond his means and even borrowed from his vassals. Was it true?
At that moment, someone approached and said, “Did you feel any inconvenience on your way?”
I was surprised in a different sense than I was before. I’ve never seen anyone in such a neat outfit.
With refreshing sky blue eyes and hair, he had a distinctive appearance no matter how clean he tried to look. The monocle on the bridge of his nose looked like decorations worn to make them look intelligent. The scar that crossed the left eyebrow diagonally was particularly conspicuous.