< — Damian — > (5)
TN: Hope you guys enjoy this one, not a lot happens but I had a blast translating it.
Lucia had rarely gone horse riding ever since Damian came back. As she was preparing to go riding for a bit, Kate came to visit.
The two greeted each other with a light embrace.
Kate had not been able to visit for a while because she had been taking care of her injured grand aunt, the Countess of Corzan.
Perhaps she had been weakened by old age for Madam Michelle fell down the stairs and sprained her ankle terribly. It was to the point where she could barely move so she chose the one she dotted on the most, her niece, Kate, to be her care-taker. Even though her grandaunt was usually nagging and strict, Kate stayed by her side and took care of her.
“How is Madam Michelle?” (Lucia)
“She’s limping a little but she can walk around now. She asked me to tell you that she’s thankful for the medicine you sent. They have shown great efficiency.” (Kate)
“It’s my pleasure to be of help.”
At the beginning, Madam Michelle was a frequent visitor to Roam but after Lucia held a few tea parties and handled her socializing effortlessly, Madam Michelle’s visit came to a stop because of her poor health. And ever since Kate became a frequent visitor, they had been exchanging words to and fro with Kate as the medium.
“This is my real purpose of coming to see you today, Lucia.”
Kate placed the basket that she came in with on the table.
“It’s the present I promised you last time. Open it.”
Lucia carefully removed the cover of the basket and exclaimed.
“Oh my god!”
A blinding bright light came in suddenly, causing a certain pair of big black eyes to blink. The disheveled baby fox with fluffy light yellow fur shook its big ears. It was conscious of Lucia’s gaze on it for a short moment then soon enough, it yawned and closed its eyes. It moved its bushy tail and wrapped it around its body for cover.
The lovely creature that was small enough to fit in her hands instantly captured Lucia’s heart.
“Goodness! It’s lovely!”
Lucia placed her hand on her chest to pace her thumping heart. She had gone to the fox hunt and seen the foxes that the noble ladies raised, but none of them was as adorable as the one in front of her.
“It’s also my first time seeing such a beautiful creature. Even when it grows up, it will be beautiful.” (Kate)
Kate had promised to obtain a fox for Lucia for fox hunting.
“You have to get them when they are young to tame them. Look after it often. It has to recognize its owner before it hits the growth phase. If you miss this time, you can’t give any excuses.” (Kate)
“I understand.” (Lucia)
“I’ll send you a list of the things you need to watch out for when raising a fox later.”
“Thank you, Kate. It’s such a wonderful gift…”
The two women descended into conversation about fox hunting for a while.
“Oh, where is my mind? I was about to go horse-riding. Do you want to come with me Kate?”
“I didn’t plan on doing so at first, but I’ve been wanting to go riding for a while. I’ll come along.”
“Ah and I have someone I want to introduce to you.”
Lucia called a maid and instructed her to call for Damian.
“Damian is here. He’s home for a change but I’m not sure if there would be another time to introduce him to you.”
“I mean His Grace the Duke’s son. Well, he’s also my son now.”
Kate’s expression instantly stiffened.
“Could it be you’ve never heard of him? From what I know, the fact that Damian is my husband’s successor has already been made public.”
“…Ah…well…I’ve heard a little…”
The life of the Duke was a taboo topic amongst northern nobles. It wasn’t like someone ordered them to keep their mouths shut but they knew to be careful with what they said. It was thanks to the efforts of the Northern people that no rumors about the son and successor of the Taran Duke had spread throughout the Capital’s noble circles.
Meanwhile, the Duke of Taran didn’t really care whether they spread a rumor deliberately or watched what they said. In the North, Damian was a fleeting existence.
“You called for me?”
Looking at the black-haired, red-eyed boy that walked into the receiving room for a while, Kate swallowed tensely. She hadn’t finished preparing her mind.
“Say hello, Damian. This is pretty much the only guest that visits me in Roam. My friend, Kate Milton.”
Damian looked indifferently at Kate who was unable to hide her puzzlement. He was familiar with such looks and expression towards himself. He had been deluded for a moment because of the Duchess’ innocent goodwill all this time.
As his mood sank a little, he lowered his head in a nodding manner.
“It is an honor to meet a beautiful lady like yourself, Lady Milton. My name is Damian.”
“Ah…yes. I…I am also honored, Young Lord.”
Kate had never had such a hard time managing her expression. Even in the past when she ripped her dress as she was walking, she could manage her expression.
As for the Duchess sitting next to her,
“Wow, you speak so…. geez. You are undeniably your father’s son.”
After saying so, she burst into laughter. Her current feeling was as though seeing a comedy, she couldn’t help but laugh.
“Do you know how to ride a horse, Damian? Or shall I bring a colt?”
“I know how to ride a horse. I learned at the Academy.”
“It’s like there’s nothing you can’t do. Kate, he’s marvelous, isn’t he? He’s only eight but he knows how to ride a horse.”
It was definitely not common for an eight year old to know how to ride a horse properly, but it was very possible for someone of the young Lord’s huge stature, seeing as he exceeded that of a normal eight year old.
Moreover, he was the son of the Taran Duke whose name was hailed among knights. However, Kate didn’t have any intention of diminishing Lucia’s feeling of pride so she just humored her.
“Damian, we were going to go horse riding in a bit, but you can come along with us.”
Damian took a glance at Kate’s stiffening expression. He felt like smiling but it was a sign that told him he was unwelcome.
“No, it’s okay. I still have books I have to read.”
“While studying is good, you can’t keep studying all the time, especially when you’re at the prime of your age. Don’t you want to grow bigger?”
Big. Damian flinched at the sensitive topic.
“You want to grow as big as your father, right?”
Damian nodded his head.
“Kate, would it be okay if Damian joins us? I’m sorry I didn’t ask beforehand.”
“No…It’s fine. But Lucia, the riding field we’re going to… it’s only for women.”
Lucia tilted her head as though asking ‘What’s the problem?’
“Damian is just eight years old. He’s not a man.”
*That last sentence….
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