‘Why am I…’
Without even realizing it, Chris was some way or the other, sitting inside a carriage running through the capital’s streets. And inside the carriage, sat the famous Duke of Taran on the opposite side of him and beside the Duke, was Damian with his fox on his lap.
‘I’m thankful that journey to the capital was comfortable and fast but…’
Chris didn’t know why he was currently in the same carriage with the Duke of Taran and his son, going to who-knows-where. He couldn’t muster up the courage to ask the Duke of Taran where they were going nor could he say that he was very grateful to have been brought this far and that if they let him down anywhere now, he could find his way home. Chris felt like if he went home now, he could actually look at his strict father straight in the eye. Compared to the Duke of Taran, his father was a very comfortable person to be around.
“You mentioned earlier that something had happened. May I ask what that is?” (Damian)
What Hugo said before in the dorms had kept on swimming around in Damian’s mind. He waited for his father to say something first but when there were no signs of that, he couldn’t hold back and asked.
“Your mother received your notice of suspension.” (Hugo)
Damian’s face sank. He didn’t want to make his mother worry.
“When I said don’t kill people at the Academy, I didn’t mean you should get beaten by irrelevant turds.” (Hugo)
“…I’m sorry.” (Damian)
“Do you bear the weak thought that no matter the issue, killing isn’t an option?” (Hugo)
Hugo was worried that Damian might show weakness like his biological father. Once he became the head of the Taran family, he couldn’t avoid the subjugation of barbarians in the north. He must be prepared to reap numerous lives.
“No. Whenever I lift my sword, I am always prepared to stop my opponent from breathing.”
Chris turned ghastly pale and his body shook with fright. His hands gripped his knees harder. Was he hearing something he shouldn’t be hearing? Would be dragged to some quiet place and ended at this rate? All sorts of thoughts ran through his head.
Unfazed by Chris’ terror, the Taran father and son continued their bloody conversation like it was an everyday occurrence.
“Your mother wants to introduce you into the social circle. Don’t argue and just do as she says.”
“You’ll go back to the academy when the semester starts. I’ll take care of the outing issue.”
“I want to go back at least a week before the semester starts.”
Hugo hummed, as he thought it over.
“I am in the process of speaking to His Majesty about your title. If the bestowment procedures finish quickly then it is possible. For now, we’ll have to wait and see.”
“When you say title…”
“The successor to the Taran name cannot go without a title after debuting in the social circle.”
Chris’ face, which had been deadly pale, now looked dazed.
Chris looked at Damian with new eyes.
‘What? This guy is the next Duke?’
Chris figured that the reason why Damian’s status was unknown was because he was a precious young master, experiencing the world. A wicked smile crept onto Chris’ lips.
‘You’re all dead now.’
Chris laughed inside, thinking about how black the faces of those two guys who caused the suspension incident would look, as well as the bastards who kept looking for Damian’s trouble for no reason.
‘Still, even if he is the successor, he’s already being given a title? Is that possible?’
Most of the people that were conferred titles were usually around twenty years old. The successor of Marquis Philip, Chris’ elder brother, was 19 years old, but he had not received a title yet.
Despite Chris’ expression seemingly changing every minute, the Taran father and son’s dry conversation continued.
“After today, rumors that you are my son will likely spread in your academy.”
As they were on their way to the carriage after leaving the dorms, a string of students who were returning to the dorms after the graduation ceremony saw them. Some of them seemed to be from Xenon because when they saw them, they looked like they were going to have a fit. Rumors were bound to spread quickly from their mouths.
“Did you plan to keep hiding it?”
“No. I was going to reveal it soon.”
Hugo remembered what his wife had carefully said before he left.
[I’m worried that Damian might be hiding himself purposefully because of his birth. Please comfort the child so that he won’t be anxious or uncertain.]
“Damian. I said I will give you my position and I never go back on my promise. I think you can do well.”
Damian’s gaze slowly fell to the floor. His flushed ears itched like it had a rash. Glancing at the red-eared Damian, Chris thought for the first time, that Damian looked his own age.
‘Although the manner of speaking is stiff and the content of their conversation is dubious, it’s not very different from my relationship with my father.’
Chris was relieved. He didn’t know why but he was just relieved. Chris’ feeling of contentment only lasted a moment.
“If I ever hear of the heir of the Taran family being beaten again, graduating from the academy or not, I will stick you at the northern border to train.”
“I will keep that in mind. Such a thing will not happen again.”
Chris’ face went ghastly pale again.
‘Like I thought, these people’s conversation is odd somewhere. Oh? That’s my house.’
Chris sorrowfully watched his house, which he weirdly missed a lot today, getting farther through the window as the carriage rode on.
The carriage entered the ducal residence then it stopped. Chris came down from the carriage and looked around. The surrounding view was immersed in darkness, but thankfully, he wasn’t being dragged to a scary place like he feared. After handing Asha over to a servant, Damian approached Chris, who was looking around, and tapped him on his shoulder.
“What are you doing.”
“Huh? Oh. We’re at your house…?”
“Of course, where else would we be? Ah, do you have to go home right now?”
You’re only asking now? Chris mumbled inwardly as he shook his head.
“There’s nothing urgent.” (Chris)
“Come in then.” (Damian)
Chris silently watched Damian’s retreating back, then he hesitantly followed.