< — The Taran Duke’s Family Doctor — > (1)
After Anna left, Philip sat on the sofa with his head low and hands clasped tightly together. The lights were off in the sitting room causing it to be dimly lit. In this lighting, the silhouette sitting like a doll in the dreary atmosphere was enough to frighten any who saw it.
Philip’s body began to tremble and he burst out laughing like a madman.
“Kuhahaha!! It’s not the end! It’s not over yet!”
It was not the usual Philip that kept his emotions in check without losing his calm expression. His eyes were bloodshot and the veins on his forehead bulged. Like an evil spirit, his expression was distorted, full of madness and obsession.
He discovered a possibility for the obsession he’d half-way given up on, so he was overwhelmed with excitement.
After the former Duke met a tragic death and the new Duke succeeded him, Philip was one day kidnapped by a suspicious person. When he woke up after fainting, he found himself locked up in a prison. He was imprisoned for the whole day. And the person that showed up in front of him in the prison was Hugh, the one who had become the Taran Duke.
[Old man. I hear you know the way to make a child? Tell me. I combed through that cursed room but it wasn’t there.]
The Hugh Philip saw after he became the Duke had changed. Deep rooted disgust and hatred overflowed in his eyes. Philip came to realize that the cause for this was the room which Hugh referred to as ‘that cursed room’. It was the room that contained secrets of the Taran bloodline.
[You entered the secret room.]
[That’s right. It was really interesting, you know? The girl that the late Duchess had in her womb was supposed to carry my child in the future. It’s truly a shame. My future wife didn’t get to see the light of the day and was turned into a lump of flesh to be thrown away in her mother’s stomach. If I knew, I would have at least checked her face. I mean, since the Duchess’ stomach was practically bulging, there must have been some kind of shape.]
Unlike his words, the Duke’s expression looked nauseous like he couldn’t stand the mere thought.
[Indeed a huge secret and according at those scribbled documents, the Duchess must give birth to a son so she could never be an ordinary woman. But this time, was it because my mother died? Then, if one bore a daughter, one would not be able to able raise it publicly and can only hide it away.]
Philip did not give any response or acknowledgement. The late Duchess had indeed planned that as soon as her daughter was born, she would treat it like it were dead and raise it outside.
The Duke continued with his inference of Philip’s thoughts.
[And since that girl and I differ greatly in age, I don’t believe she would be left alone with me. That old fogey would have probably made me marry a woman that’ll give birth to the girl that would be my son’s bride in the future. But, if it goes this way, the woman that gives birth to my son, the woman with the oh so precious Taran blood, becomes a mistress. And her son becomes an illegitimate child. There’s no way such a flaw would be allowed. So, on a second thought, the wife that gives birth to my daughter will probably end up dead in time. Whether by sickness or by accident. And my step-sister that grew up well outside will come in as my second wife and give birth to my son. What do you think? Did I hit the nail on the head?]
[But what can one do? Since my step-sister is dead, my son won’t be born. Forever.]
Looking at the extremely delighted Duke, Philip did not reveal that the child of the late young master Hugo was conceived and growing up nicely. If the Duke knew now, he would kill both mother and son immediately.
[But a daughter can still be born as usual. You disgusting bastards will do anything to make me have a daughter without hesitation. Now tell me, Old man. How this monstrous family came to retain such a tenacious bloodline. I don’t plan on leaving anything carrying my filthy blood behind on this land.]
Philip could predict what the Duke would do if he told him the truth about the mugwort. Even if it sounded impossible, he would try to root out all the mugwort that existed in the world, and if he really needed a woman, to avoid future troubles, he would either embrace a prostitute once then get rid of her, or avoid embracing the same woman more than once. In this way, the possibility of the Taran bloodline continuing would disappear.
[If you want stay locked up and never see the sun again, keep your mouth shut.]
Philip would never divulge his family’s secrets and using the pretext that he couldn’t resist under the Duke’s threat, he spun a tale.
[The Taran male that will become the father of the child has to steadily administer his blood to the woman for over a year, then take her virginity.]
And the Duke believed those nonsensical words. From this, one could guess how much the Duke thought of the Taran blood as a sickening monster.
Since the Duke thought that pregnancy was impossible without himself voluntarily acting on it, he treated Philip like a completely non-existent person afterwards. Making the most of this indifferent approach, Philip did not stop trying to progress to his goal.
Those of Taran blood inherited madness in their blood from generation to generation. It caused one to urge for slaughter or increased one’s sex drive. In the Duke, the extent was severe and it got even worse after his brother’s death. By the second half of his late teens, it was to the extent that the Duke couldn’t sleep without slaughter or sleeping with a woman.
Philip bought a young orphan beggar and prepared her body by feeding her mugwort. He taught her sexual practices to match the Duke’s tastes and knowing that the Duke did not like maidens, he took measures using his family’s secret manual to prevent virgin blood from flowing out.
Just in time, war broke out, becoming an opportunity and Philip’s access to the Duke became much easier. He fed the prepared woman pain-killing drugs so she wouldn’t feel the pain of breakthrough (TN: pain from first sex) and sent her into the Duke’s quarters. The Duke, excited from the madness of slaughter, did not care who the woman let into his quarters was and united with her.
But Philip’s attempts always ended in failure. For pregnancy to happen, the Duke had to have a steady relationship with a woman but the Duke was quick to lose interest. The amount of unsuccessful women Philip had killed to silence numbered more than a dozen.
As the war came to a lull, the Duke began to gradually temper his recklessness and lack of self-restraint. It could be that by seeing his fill of blood through the war, his thirst was somewhat relieved or it could be due to the Duke entering his mid-twenties. His preference also changed to luxurious noble women so he only took women like those to bed.
No matter how resourceful Philip was, he couldn’t obtain aristocrats like he obtained orphans. If there was a daughter left behind by the late Duke, he would have looked after her to make sure she bore an offspring for young master Damian in the future but unfortunately, all females of the Taran blood were dead.
The discarded daughter who lived without Philip and the late Duke knowing gave birth to Damian and died, the girl being raised to be the future Duchess fell off her horse in an accident and died, the girl in the womb of the newly taken Duchess of the late Duke was killed along with her mother, by the hands of young master Hugo.
The birth of young master Damian was by Heaven’s aid. However, if young master Damian did not have a bride, the Taran bloodline would end. Without the Duke’s cooperation, the path to securing a bride was far-off.
But. Without him (Philip) putting any effort, someone that met all the needed conditions became the Duchess. To confirm this, he had lied to Anna that it needed special conditions.
It was perfect. It was definitely a miracle. The heavens were still watching over the existence of the Taran bloodline.
‘A beautiful bride will be born for you soon, Young Master Damian.’
In the darkness, a dark smile spread across his lips. Philip was already considering several variables, and various plans were being made in his head.
The long-cherished wish of his family passed down for generations. The persistent obsession that was asleep in his blood for a while was ignited once more.
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