< — Ducal couple — > (16)
TN: So flat translation for this name is Ashin. I am considering changing it to Ashen for more ‘english’ vibes but what do you guys think? And a HUGE shoutout to my second ever patron Tofu!
He quickly read through documents and signed below them. For things that needed to be looked over separately, they were marked and placed to the side.
On the left were things that he had to process and ones the right were also things he had to process, piled up together.
No matter how much his eyes felt like falling off, he massaged his aching head and went through the papers but he still couldn’t see the bottom of the pile.
At one point, he flung the pen away and leaned backwards to rest. Even though he closed his eyes, his head was full of things he needed to do.
He was fed up with it. He wondered how much more of this he would have to do.
‘Maybe 10 more years? Come to think of it, how old will that boy be in 10 years?’
He would be 18. At that age, he would just be graduating from the Academy. If so, it wouldn’t be in 10 years. Maybe in about 15 years?
That boy wasn’t a dim-witted child so if he was taught for about 4-5 years, he would become useful.
’15 years, huh…’
Even the minimum amount was way too far.
‘I have to do this crap for 15 more years…’
As it was raining, he looked outside the window, staring at the dim sky. It had been raining since morning.
At first, he never looked outside the window but eventually, three days ago, he stole a glimpse of Lucia walking through the garden without going to the balcony.
He didn’t realize how unbecoming his behavior was and only grumbled about not seeing her because of the rain.
‘If I don’t see her now, I don’t get to see her at all.’
He mumbled irritatedly then stopped himself with a chuckle.
‘You are so pathetic. Why don’t you just go and take a look?’
It was not far, he just had to go down the stairs and walk for a bit. At this time of the day, she was usually in the receiving room on the first floor.
The way she lived was monotonous and simple but it was regulated as she had things scheduled to do at almost every hour.
She didn’t seem to want to go out these days so he knew her schedule more than he knew his own schedule.
‘I am doing the stupidest things.’
He was now avoiding his wife. To be more precise, he was running away from his own heart.
‘Love? How absurd.’
He continuously denied it. His heart should only belong to himself. He would never waver because of someone else.
Even with such confidence in himself, he didn’t have the courage to meet her. He felt like if he met her, everything would crumble down in a moment.
With the excuse that there was a lot of work, he stayed late at night in his office, dealing with documents.
After which, he left the office and slept in his own bedroom that he had not used in the last few months.
‘I can do well without her.’
That was his excuse to keep going. His rationality called him a loser and a coward but he ignored it.
The first one or two days were fine.
‘Right. There is no way I am being swayed by a woman.’
He had felt elated like an immature child. But it didn’t take long for such confidence to disappear.
As time went by, his mood gradually declined and the contents of the documents failed to enter his head making his work speed drop.
Even though he spent the same amount of time on them, because the efficiency was lower, his working time grew longer.
He was uncomfortable with his current state that was very different from what he was used to and the work in his hands entered this vicious cycle.
But he still didn’t want to admit it. He was denying his withdrawal from her, and persisted in his stubbornness.
Unfortunately, there was no one around him to pull his ears and scream out the facts to him.
The moment he heard that familiar voice from outside, annoyance swiftly swelled within him. The owner of that voice always brought a lot of work for him.
And as expected, once the owner of the voice entered, it was not a baseless notion.
Ashin, one of the Duke’s secretaries, the administrative officer, entered and found Hugo fiercely looking at him, making his hairs stand on end but he stayed firm and placed a pile of documents on the left side of Hugo’s desk.
Spitefully looking at the sight of Ashin furtively going away, Hugo spoke curtly.
“When is that boy’s vacation?”
Ashin was confident of being able to answer whatever question thrown at him, anytime, anywhere but he started sweating at the Duke’s unexpected question.
Fortunately for him, his mind was clear so he found the answer without pause.
“…I do know he doesn’t have any vacations.”
There was only one person that would make the Duke talk about vacations. The one who was appointed as successor and the only son of the Duke, Damian Taran.
Accurately speaking, he was the illegitimate child of the Duke but unless one wanted to die, they wouldn’t say such words in front of the Duke.
No one amongst the Duke’s vassals mentioned Damian in the presence of the Duke.
‘They were still the same, doubting the possibility…’
They all thought that it could change and hoped for that change, after all the Duke was still very young and had just gotten married.
There were many that did not understand an illegitimate child becoming the Duke’s legitimate heir.
However, Ashin was convinced that as long as there was no unexpected event, the successor of the Duke’s name would be the illegitimate young lord.
This was something the Duke had gathered his vassals together and announced and the Duke had never once gone back on something that he had said.
The event of succession to the Duke send a huge ripple through the entire region. The fact that such a huge scandal was not even more widely spread was because the Duke’s vassals had watched their mouths.
They were uncomfortable with the fact that an illegitimate child could perhaps become their master in the future and did not want to publicize it.
‘Although he made such a loud entrance into society, the relationship of this father and son is completely…’
As soon as his son was six years old, the Duke threw him into a boarding school.
Frankly, the people around him tried to dissuade him. They told him that Damian was young and maybe he could try waiting one or two more years before putting him in boarding but the Duke snorted at them.
[Young? At six years old, he should be able to survive even if he’s thrown into a desert.]
They were all shocked at the standard he held Damian to. But the words that came out of the young lord’s mouth was even more astonishing.
[The survival rate of boarding school is surely more than that of a desert. Thank you for your generous actions.]
And so, the young lord that was grossly mature for his age, went to boarding school without any hesitation.
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