< — Damian — > (1)
TN: The highly anticipated title: Damian is finally here! Also: Poll over.
“Young master, I am Ashin, the administrative secretary. Do you remember me?”
Damian briefly looked up and down at Ashin then he gave him a stiff nod and entering the carriage. His coldness was not inferior to his father’s.
‘This is why they say you can’t feign blood…’
Perhaps the Duke was just like this when he was a child. With his black hair and red eyes, Damian was a miniature Taran Duke. There was probably no need to use the royal family’s magical treasure to determine his ancestry.
No one would be able to say that the little lord was not of the Taran Duke’s blood.
‘Whew…this is just my fate.’
He hated long-distance trips. He would be extremely satisfied if all he had to do was routinely go back and forth between Roam and the house. He couldn’t help but sigh when he thought about having to sit next to that dreary little kid for a long time.
“I see you have been healthy and comfortable in the meantime. You have grown a lot, I almost didn’t recognize you.”
Ashim spoke amiably in a bland effort to elevate the mood. It wasn’t something he usually did but he didn’t want to be taken as a thug and Ashin found that the little Taran duke, who looked exactly like the Duke of Taran, the man whom he knew as the scariest man in the world, was extremely prickly.
Plus, it was the truth that he almost didn’t recognize him.
‘Whew…what eight year old looks like this? He looks like he could be three to four years older. My nephew is ten years old but even he is smaller than our little lord.’
Even when the little lord was six years old, he had a burly physique so there were already signs of it back then.
Just like how a fox and a tiger were of different sizes.
‘If he keeps growing like this, won’t he end up with a huge frame? Totally different from what’s on paper.’
“…What is it?”
Ashin felt pleased with himself when the young lord finally opened his mouth.
“You know, with your rank, you didn’t have to pick me up personally.”
Right. Someone of his status usually didn’t have to. Although, Ashin didn’t think that these words were something that should come out from an eight year old’s mouth.
‘Let’s put aside the fact that he remembers me… he remembers my rank?’
The Taran Duke’s bloodline must have something different in it. When Ashin thought of it this way, he felt that it was unfair and at the same time, he could also understand.
Even the present Duke of Taran was like that. He was a knight and also one of the best yet his brain was excellent.
‘The world is originally unfair.’
Ashin came to this realization the day his childish innocence was broken.
“It was the order of His Grace the Duke.” (Ashin)
Damian’s eyes grew a little bigger.
His expression seemed to be was asking.
“I believe Young Master has already heard the news. The Duke of Taran now has a Lady of the House.”
Damian nodded his head. He usually received news about the Ducal House in a relatively detailed manner.
In order for him to take over in the future, the Duke intended for him to know about everything. No matter how long he was away from the house and no matter whether he was in a boarding school that was cut off from the outside, Damian was informed about everything. It was all so that the Duke would never hear the words, ‘I didn’t know’.
Damian had memorized the letter that was sent, word for word.
“These are just my thoughts but since you both have a mother-son relationship now, I think you should get to know each other as a family.” (Ashin)
‘Mother-son relationship, you say?’
Damian inwardly questioned. His father was not such a delicate person. The idea that the Duke would want them to have a strong mother-son relationship did not make any sense.
Maybe he and the Duchess would bite and tear at each other and the Duke wouldn’t even be interested till one of them died.
“He didn’t say anything else?” (Damian)
“Ah…he…wanted you to…not be rude to your mother. Said you should show proper respect…”
‘Well that’s that.’
Ashin had simplified it but he had delivered the warning. He just had to stay there quietly without being nervous. Even though the young lord was the successor, he was still illegitimate. Which meant that he shouldn’t get on the Duchess’ nerves for no reason.
Even if the Duke didn’t warn him, Damian had no intention of confronting his stepmother. Before he was officially legal, his identity was one that couldn’t be shown anywhere and the consent of the Duchess was absolutely necessary to elevate his status.
“Is she pretty?” (Damian)
“Huh? Ah…I’ve only seen her a few times…”
‘You only needs to see someone once to know if they are pretty or not.’
Due to Ashin’s hesitant response, Damian came to a conclusion.
‘She must not be that pretty.’
Damian’s interest in his stepmother was only to that extent, after which he folded that thought.
Looking at things from his stepmother’s point of view, Damian didn’t expect to be welcomed. He expected that while he was in Roam, they would only meet a few times.
He planned to live quietly as if he were dead. If she didn’t want to see his face, he would lock himself up in the room and if she harassed him, he planned on just enduring it if it was tolerable.
Damian wasn’t very surprised when he heard that the Duke was getting married. He suspected that the Duke had only done so because it was about time for him to get married.
Damian was beginning to understand the cold temperament of his father which was only moved by necessity. Even if the Duchess were to give birth to a child, Damian’s status as the successor would not be shaken.
His father was never a good father but he was someone that you could have firm belief in.
Damian’s thoughts then switched towards the Academy. The sudden summon at the beginning of the semester had messed up his schedule.
He was initially worried about leaving and falling behind since he didn’t know when he would be returning. At worst, he would have had to give up on the entire semester.
‘At most, I’ll be there for a week.’
It would take about three weeks if the journey back and forth was included.
If he didn’t want to fall behind when he returned, he couldn’t let any of his time be spent in vain.
Damian had already filled the trunk of the carriage to the brim with books.
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