< — Ever After — > (2)
“Son of Sir. Elliot. We have troubled you to come all this way.”
Looking at the dark-haired man that was sitting behind the desk, Boris clenched his trembling fists.
“No, sir! I was not troubled at all!”
Boris was completely unable to think of a proper greeting. His mind was frozen. As he stood there as stiff as possible, Dean tapped his back from the side, startling him out of his trance. Boris hurriedly took out the message in his chest pocket and handed it to the Duke.
The content of the message from Callis Elliot was mostly about the border and some news about the north. The most particularly important part of the message, was concerning the movement of the barbarians. The barbarians were a tribal group that bordered most of the northern part of Xenon, which was the territory of Taran.
They frequently came down from the border and plundered whatever they could get their hands on. There were hundreds of small barbarian tribes, so there wasn’t a clear target for them to war against. Whenever the band of robbers were directly caught, the other tribes would deny all knowledge of them and claimed they were not involved.
Since the barbarians were a group of horse riders, the speed with which they attacked and withdrew was instantaneous. Because their purpose was solely to plunder food, whenever the situation turned slightly unfavorable, they would quickly take to their heels. For them, there was no such thing as honor or chivalry.
“When was the last subjugation?” (Hugo)
“A year and two months ago.”
“So it’s time to clean up the pests.”
The indifferent muttering was tinged with the thick smell of blood.
In order to stop the looting and prevent the barbarians from gaining too much momentum, the Duke regularly dispatched knights and led them into battle, with him personally leading at the front. In the nation, it was believed that the Duke of Taran was protecting the nation from the barbarians. That belief wasn’t wrong, but it wasn’t true either.
The Duke did not drive the barbarians into a corner. Even though if he seriously made up his mind, he had the capability to go to war and completely wipe them out so much that they wouldn’t be able to stir up trouble for the next few decades, the Duke did not do so. The barbarians were a necessary evil for the Duke of Taran.
The barbarians had to exist in order for the Taran family to have a purpose to exist. As long as the troublesome barbarians existed, no one could carelessly touch the Taran family.
The secret room of the Taran family contained the teachings of the ancestors that talked about how to handle the barbarians. First, do not let the barbarians gain a pivotal figure and set up a nation. Second, do not weaken the barbarian forces too much.
These were the principles that had never been shaken so far. Up to this point, this was knowledge that the elite knights were privy to. But there was also another secret that was only known to the head of the Taran family. The barbarians were sacrifices for calming the madness flowing in the Taran blood.
Under the justification of protecting the nation through war, they were able to kill as much as they desired. For many generations, the head of the Taran family had come to use this method to suppress their instinctual craving for blood. And that cursed blood also flowed in Hugo’s body. Even without his nauseating birth secret, Hugo sometimes had doubts as to whether he was really human.
‘A year and two months, huh. I have never not killed something for more than a year.’
The impatient thirst in his body could not be resolved without seeing blood. If he held a woman, it would settle down to some extent, but even that had a limit. But right now, his condition was very good. The desire for murder did not soar. Rather, he was annoyed. It was probably okay to just send the knights, was there a need for him to personally attend as well? The problem was that the content of Calliss’ message was ominous.
‘They have a pivotal figure and are integrating the tribes…’
The fact that they would be facing a bigger enemy if the barbarian were to established a nation was only a secondary issue. The main problem was that dealing with the barbarians would then become a nation-to-nation affair. If this happened, there would be less room for the Taran family to interfere. And as a result, the influence of the Taran family would diminish. Hugo could not let that happen.
He couldn’t hand over the Taran family to Damian with its power weaker than it was now. Otherwise, where was his dignity as a father?
* * *
Hugo summoned the knights that were above division leader to his office. He assigned tasks to the knights that guarded his wife, the knights that shall remained in the capital, and the knights that would join the ranks for the punitive expedition.
“Dean. I need you to keep doing your work here.”
“Yes, my lord.”
Dean replied without any questions. He was left to guard the Madam in the capital.
Roy lifted his hand.
“I want to stay in the capital.”
All the eyes on Roy were saying, ‘What whim hit this guy in the face today?’. This was the very same guy that was always the most excited and jumped to the forefront every time they went to subjugate the barbarians. They all knew how vexed he was for not being able to attend last year due to the duty of guarding the Crown Prince.
Thinking that Roy had not thrown away his habit of irritating people into a duel for no reason and hurting blameless people, Hugo’s gaze turned fierce. Here he thought Roy would stay quietly after the coronation party, but it looks like his body was getting itchy.
Seeing the ominous look in his Lord’s eyes, Roy flinched and quickly added:
“I mean I will do the job of guarding the Madam. It’s not that I’m worried Dean can’t do it. It’s just that everyone else have been going to the north and back, but if Dean continues to stay in the capital, he’ll lose his wild side.”
“…he’ll lose his battle instinct you mean.”
When Hugo corrected him, the knights burst into laughter. Roy didn’t look ashamed, rather he talked boastfully.
“A man shouldn’t care about those small stuff.”
Hugo wondered if he should suspend the talk for now and beat up this punk.
“Plus, it’s much better for me to be here when the lord is not around. Ignoring skill, Dean has all his holes plugged. Even if something happens to the Madam, he will definitely say, ‘you can’t do this’ first.”
Dean’s expression stiffened while the other knights struggled not to laugh as their shoulder trembled.
“As for me, I will beat them up first. I might not look like it, but I protected His Majesty for over a year. I’m telling you, I saved his life, you know.”
Look at me, I’m so great. Seeing the triumphant air around Roy, Hugo let out a sigh. Who knew where the guy tossed out his age, there was no sign of improvement in his childish actions. Hugo had given up; Roy would likely never change.
“Dean. What do you think?”
“Roy’s suggestion has reason to it. When it comes to flexibility, there is no one better than Roy. I will follow your order, my lord.”
Hugo was worried. Roy’s skills were outstanding but the biggest problem with him was his uncertainty. No one knew when and where he was or what he was doing. Hugo had heard that Roy was called the Mad Dog. It was really a good nickname for the punk.
‘If he’s ordered to do something, he definitely does it.’
The problem was that he didn’t care about the means or the method. Come to think of it, the means and the method that were used in order to protect his wife didn’t matter. Even though Hugo was worried about Roy causing trouble beside his wife, he was at ease placing his wife’s safety in Roy’s hands. He would be a strong watch guard.
With his worries coming to an end, Hugo left the duty of guarding his wife to Roy, and Dean joined the ranks of the knights for the punitive expedition.
 Honestly not sure what to call this [조장급]. According to what I found, it’s not a title. More like a team leader of sorts.
 The joke disappears in the translation. The word for [wild side] is yaseong while the word for [battle instinct] is taseong. Roy mixed it up.
 ‘All his holes plugged’. He’s saying that Dean is too rigid/too stuffy. This was the best translation, albeit a liberal one, to somewhat keep the joke.
Is this going to become the next biggest “drama” in their relationship?
The medicine should take about a year to disable the effects of infertility in Lucia (which seems to be about now?) and Hugh is leaving her side for a while… Are we going to see the first symptoms of pregnancy while Hugh is away, with the suspicion of her cheating on Hugh with Roy?
I hope not… but the set up makes it likely…
a Taran descendant always has red eyes so you can’t say she cheated if the baby has red eyes
Oh… pero yo deseaba un bebé con ojos calabazas como lucia. Hugo una vez pensó en un niño sin su sangre maldita, así que seria lindo q el bebé fuera igualito a el (con cabello negro y todo) menos sus ojitos, que los tenga igualitos a los de su mami!
Yeah, but there’s about a 9 month period before you can confirm the child’s eye color. With that much time Lucia’s reputation among nobles (and maybe even her maids) could get shredded – possibly even affecting her mother’s side of the family.
Also who knows maybe certain someones try to take advantage of any scandal surrounding Lucia.
The drama might not be about Lucia and Hugh fighting over whether or not she has cheated, but rather how the two of them deal with a high society shitstorm.
Also, did they ever talk about, whether Hugh would accept a child from Lucia? If I recall correctly, not having a child is pretty important to Hugh.
Lucia might panic, should she find out that she is pregnant.
But it has been mentioned that Hugh wants a child for Lucia that looks like her. He is just sad that it is not possible and that it would mean passing on his horrible blood.
Did other people know that Hugo is infertile? I think no, because they believe he has Damain (an illegitimate son). Only Lucia and Philip knew that Damain is his nephew.
So I think the people (maybe aside from Hugo?) will celebrate her pregnancy since all of them knew how much action the two had been since they married, it’s only normal.
Regarding the cheating, Hugo won’t believe it without concrete evidence since he basically man walled protected Lucia.
Except it is only Lucia and Hugh that know Hugh is infertile. It would not be a scandal because Hugh would be the only one with doubt. And I know Hugh will not doubt her.
Well she’ll have to carry the baby for 9 months inside her belly, so she can’t defend herself from accusations. But if I were on Lucia’s place and my husband won’t believe me, I’ll be very disappointed. Lucia’s motherly instinct will surely reach its peak when she knows she’s gonna be pregnant
It will be a daughter. The one that Damian needs to continue the bloodline
Nope but that’s a boy descendant. And if they have a baby with a normal human it’s always a girl. So most probably then not its gonna be a baby girl for them(although I have this nagging suspicion that lucia herself is somewhat special and is related to magic especially after her whole pendant thing). And phillip has been dying to get her pregnant so he could get a “BRIDE” for Damien.
Same, I was also thinking this while reading the chapter. What would be of Lucia when there’s gonna be pregnancy sumptoms? I’m pretty sure Hugo won’t believe himself to be the father of the child since he “knows” he can’t get any normal women pregnant. I’m already anticipating the angst but I feel like I’m not ready for it!!!
Just a reminder. The usual medicine to cure mugwoth’s effects takes about a year to take effect. The one that the old man made is less potent and would take 2-3 years. The drama would most likely what david and the countess of falcon will do while Hugo is away. Not Lucia being pregnant. Also, If she does, what makes you think that the servants would doubt her? She and Hugh had been having sex almost every day for more than a year, they would likely think that if she is confirmed pregnant 8 weeks after Hugo left, the child is definitely the Duke’s. It’s just all about thinking logically instead of jumping the gun. Though I doubt it’d be that serious. If you haven’t noticed yet, Lucia has unintentionally gained the king’s favor both as a half sister in contrast to his full blood sister and as the wife of the Duke that he is courting to his side. Not only that, she has also gained favor from the Queen, her half sister and many nobles during her stay. All in all, the threats are: david and anita doing some shit to separate the couple and philip if lucia is pregnant, which I doubt.
No olvidar que lucía se considera esteril, ella cree que no ha tomado la medicina. Me pregunto si lograla relacionarlo con el doctor… y sobre Hugo, creo que tenda muchos sentimientos encontrados, ya que el adora su esposa e incluso a dado indicios de querer ser un humano normal para tener una familia con su amada, sin embargo el creer que es imposible le dañara. No se porque siento que estará super furioso con la idea de otro tocandola pero aun así no quera dejarla, tal vez la encierre y veamos algo rudo…
Oh my god that makes so much sense since Hugh is certain Lucia can’t bear his children omg nooo
He is not certain. Who would he choose to trust; His wife that he loves with all his heart or Phillip?
I don’t think he’ll think that she cheated on him I think that that other Duke and the Antia lady will cause trouble.🤔🤔🤔
you just set a death flag or should i say drama flag
Ooooh thank you for the chapter! Hopefully Roy doesn’t mess around too much and disappear too often
Thank You for the chapter!!!😉
hmm? i dont get why roy wanted to stay but whatever
Thanks for the Chapter
I am kind of Scared for Lucia, does anyone remember the queen’s brother who fell in love with her meeting with that woman who liked the duke
I hope they don’t do anything now that the duke is away
The plot is probably going in that direction, aided by the slutty countess (sorry, forgot her name at the moment)
Ahh.. The anticipation angst… 😱😱😱
But Roy knew humans has gone to madness or not..
If the human bad.. He instinctively knew.
I hope Lucia will be saved in the hand of Roy, but I don’t know what rumors gonna brew…
Ooh and Katerine.. I hope she huge help..
But Lucia said she knew about magic tool about test child parents blood..
Even if doubt hurt.. She has means for Hugo to believe her..
And after that Hugh can be groveling dude..
Thanks for the chapter
Thanks for the update. 🙂
whelp with this all the mouse will comes out to play.. the empress brother and duke taran’s yandere stalker
You got that right! Anita and David are watching for a chance to strike. Anita lost her honey pot and David wants to gain one. Both of them are doomed.Hugo will find his blood lust has diminished He will probably want to return home early and just leave the boys to handle the party. It’s going to be true mayhem in the capital and the northern territory.
Is it possible to have a night mode reading in a wordpress @rubymaybe? Cuz i always reading this novel in the night.
Im so ready to see what will happen next
I don’t know the direct translation, Ruby, but the best English equivalent could be either Sergeant (squad leader) or, most likely, lieutenant (a platoon leader). Lieutenant seems more likely considering they’re being debriefed by the General (Hugo) but a case be made for Sergeant as well if it’s small elites squads. I mean Master Chief is a Chief Petty Officer in the UNSCS and he routinely rubs shoulders with Admirals.
Thanks for chapter.
Missed Roy! Thanks for the update!
after reading the comments I am worried and worried…
Roy Krotin’s best boy.