Chapter 22

< — Ducal couple — > (10)

TN: This is much later than I planned but oh well. I got finals coming up so translation will be done whenever I’m taking a study break. School is almost over though so that’s a plus!

Cushioned on the finely detailed muscles of a man’s body, there lay a woman’s body. Leaning her head on his shoulders and placing her cheek on his upper chest, Lucia enjoyed the feeling of his hands gently caressing her naked back. His chest was under her palm and she felt fascinated by the firmness of his skin so she put a bit of strength in her hands and poked his skin.

“Starting tomorrow, I will be away from Roam for a few days.”

“Where are you going to?”

“Fiefdom inspection. I plan to look around once or twice a month from now on.”

Although he had fallen for the sweet dream called the newlywed life, he had not forgotten what he needed to do.

“Does a Lord need to do that?”

“Of course. I need to maintain order.”

Those people are type to look for another place to go to if they do not see their master so before that happens, he has to tighten their leash. Although it was fun to observe and pick out the fools who look for another place and warn or deal them, he refrained from making such a coarse expression in front of her.

‘Inspection of the fief…this is something he’s originally been doing.’

Her husband in her dreams, Count Martin, had never once visited his fiefdom and as expected, Lucia had never been there either. However from time to time, she would see people coming from the fief with tax reports and have the report flung on their face and screamed at.

“Will it take long?”

“About three or four days. If it’s a long visit, it can take a few more days.”

‘He won’t be here for a few days.’ Lucia felt somewhat strange.

Even though she’d come to Roam right after they had gotten married and had stayed alone for nearly a month, at some point, it had become natural for her to be near him.

She wondered if she were to say, ‘Please come back soon’, if he would get annoyed.

“Your next tea party is in two days, right?”

Lucia’s second tea party was to be held two days later. It was almost half a month since her last tea party. Because of the success of the first tea party, Lucia was looking forward to the second one, however when she thought about how he wouldn’t be around, her enthusiasm suddenly diminished.


“I have something to give you. It should arrive tomorrow or the day after.”

“What is it?”

“A gift. I feel that the last tea party present was a bit lacking.”

He was speaking in a calm voice but Lucia’s heart began to throb. His unexpected and sudden gift made her heart flutter.

“Can I ask what the gift is?”

“A necklace.”

As his voice was so bland, Lucia’s heart that was throbbing in expectation cooled down slightly. It was simply a formal gift but here she was having high expectations alone.

Lucia was yet to grasp his simple personality that had never given a gift on his own before or teased someone about a gift.

“Do you perhaps hate jewelry?”

“Is there anyone who does not like jewelry?”

“Then that’s good. Do you have any special plans for when I’m away?”

“The tea party in two days but other than that…”

“So there’s nothing in particular? Don’t think of doing anything abrupt or unexpected while I’m gone. Just stay obediently.”

“What unexpected action?”

“I’m only saying you should be as you always have. And particularly, don’t go outside.”

Lucia wondered why he would suddenly mention going out. Ever since she arrived at Roam, she stayed without ever leaving the mansion. Even if she had stayed out of tolerance, everything she needed was prepared for her therefore there was no need for her to go out and perhaps her personality was boring for she preferred a quiet and unchanging life to a dynamic one.

The entire time, she’d never told him that she wanted to go out so she couldn’t figure out why he would suddenly say something like that.


“Do you want to go out?”

‘Do not step outside my territory while I am gone.’ That was what he really wanted to say.

“No but you never know what could happen. You have to tell me the exact reason so I can make a decision.”

“Since I am not here in my position, my Duchess has to take care of it, right?”

He was pleased with himself for coming up with a pretty reasonable answer. It was not necessary for her to stay in Roam to take care of duties in place of him but Lucia couldn’t find any gaps in his words and just thought it made sense.

“Ah yes.”

Because he hadn’t said anything for a while, Lucia glanced at him and found him staring at her.

“Is there anything else you want to tell me?”

He chuckled and lowered his head, capturing her lower lips, he bit it gently then sucked on it. His wife who listened well to his words with an innocent expression and clear eyes, could not be so pretty. He was already worried about not seeing her for a few days.

Philip watched as the Duke of Taran and his knights left Roam early in the morning. His residence was a corner in the inner part of the outer wall of Roam. The residence of the primary doctor of the Duke was originally a strong one but as the owner changed eight years ago, Philip’s residence was pushed to the outer wall. Apart from the residence changing, the Duke did not treat him ‘specially’ or persecute him.

It would be correct to say that the Duke held absolutely no interest. And when Philip changed his residence, the several medical records of the house that were passed down from generation to generation were allowed to move with him.

Philip never forgot that his life was hanging on Hugo’s narrow compassion. Exactly speaking, it was more payment than it was compassion. The payment on a life debt. Philip admired the cold-blooded duke who did not bleed nor possess tears. The people who knew the secret of the Taran family had vanished without a trace and the only one left who knew the secret was Philip but Philip had never condemned the Duke’s cruelty.

The reason Philip’s family clung desperately to the Taran Duke because of the Taran bloodline crystal. A long time ago, magic was the order of the world. At that time, the Mado Empire ruled the world and the Mado Empire was located at the center of their own very country, Xenon. (1)

There existed a number of ordinary humans and a few nobles who ruled over them. The nobles of the Mado Empire referred to ordinary humans and another race with superior abilities. This race had black eyes and black hair. Other than that, they didn’t look much different from humans but they had abilities much superior and overwhelming to an ordinary human. The Taran family is the last trace of the Mado Empire.

Translator’s Corner:

(1) Refer to Chapter 1 if you have forgotten everything about Xenon.

*haven’t edited yet. Sry if there are mistakes.

< — Ducal couple — > (10)

TN: I put links to make chapter navigation easier and school is officially over!!!! (Until summer classes start lmao). And I changed “Mado Empire” to “Madoh Empire”. It kept bugging me as I was translating.

The nobles maintained their bloodlines by marrying amongst themselves. The Madoh Empire was dominated by magic and only nobility could possess magical powers. Since nobles were born from nobles, they had magical powers from the moment they were born. These few nobles suppressed and exploited the numerous humans. It was as though the nobles were all born the same as they all, without exception, were cruel and merciless. Even if thousands of humans were to charge at one noble, they would be unable to beat the noble. The ruling class was consolidated while the despair of the humans deepened. It seemed like this order would never be broken.

But one day, a meteor from space crashed on the surface. It created a huge earthquake but nobody was hurt because it crashed in a place that was deserted. A few researchers took interest in it but that interest cooled down soon enough. They ended up taking it as a memorable but worthless event. But from that day onwards, the order of the world began to crumble. The atmosphere that was full of magical power dispersed and as the magic that flowed in the blood of the nobles began to disappear, their strength plunged lower than that of criminals. They could not compete against the physical strength of ordinary humans and the humans that had suffered numerous exploitations rose up and banded together.

At first, the humans were afraid but once they realized what they could do with their own strength, they turned into a terrifying insanity and the hunting began. Nobles with black hair and black eyes were all pursued, tracked down and caught. It was to the extent that not even their shape was left as they were crushed or murdered. All traces of the Madoh Empire was burned and destroyed. Books and items that had cost hundreds of thousands were now of no use and were reduced to rubbish. No matter where one turned their head, one could see smoke rising in the distance and the blowing ashes.

The Taran family were nobles but more precisely half-nobles. As they were ostracized amongst nobles because they were labeled as heresies, they lived quietly without the usual nobility ties. This was because in the Taran ancestry, a human’s blood was mixed in. Those of the Taran bloodline were weak in magic and were regarded as the shame of the nobles. However, the day of the unusual event, the blood of the human that lay dormant in the Taran blood awoke and mixed with their blood or rather, it changed their body and brain, making them powerful. Their black hair and black eyes were changed to black hair and red eyes. In a world being rampaged with the madness of the humans, the Taran brother and sister survived. They hid themselves quietly and waited for their existence to be completely forgotten so that they could rebuild their family and preserve their bloodline.

They did not have to wait too long. The destruction of the Madoh Empire only kick-started the world of humans. Humans who had now defeated their common enemy, started to destroy, fight amongst themselves and tear themselves apart. The losers (the nobles) disappeared quickly from their memory. Decades later, the Madoh Empire had simply become an old story and hundred years later, it had become a myth. After a long time, the atmosphere changed again. The magic power in the atmosphere was not restored to the way it was before the meteor fell but it was enough for parts of items from the Madoh Empire that were broken to resume function.

Humans were joyous at the discovery of these Madoh treasures and began to enthusiastically excavate them and with that, treasure hunter became the most popular job. Those of the Taran family that were in hiding, carefully and cautiously, came out of hiding. They brought out their family treasures that they had hidden and began rebuilding their family. It was not long before they began a charismatic and remarkable family with a lot of influence.

Philip was one of the few human descendants that had been with the family since they began to rebuild. Philip’s family existed to fulfill their mission which was to preserve the Taran bloodline. In the time of the Madoh Empire, no children would be born between a noble and a human. It was an irrelevant issue to the nobles but many researchers were curious as to why this was so. After doing several researches, they found the method for conception.

From the standpoint of the nobles, the researchers had done something useless but in the first place, majority of the research they did was useless. Thanks to that knowledge, the distant ancestor of the Taran family was born but even after that, they continued to be interested in this method. They continued their research in secret and built up their knowledge. It was a bit different from common nobles for a half-noble and a human to combine and have a child.

After continuous research and trial and error, they finally found a way of keeping only the Taran bloodline. During the time of the Madoh Empire, this method was never used. Yes, the Taran family were half-nobles but a noble was a noble. Although the ancestry of the Taran family was mixed, apart from that instance, they did not do anything like that again. They married full nobles to try deepen their noble blood and get back into the main circle of nobility. When all the nobles in the world were destroyed, the Taran family was only able to continue its bloodline by marrying humans. The knowledge that was already in the family began to show its usefulness. However, all combinations with humans always resulted in females and they needed males to continue the family.

The solution they found was closely related kin. The head of Taran took his half-sister as his wife and only one son was conceived between them. The son needed a wife to continue the family line. And it was the father’s job to make a bride for the son.

It was necessary to prepare for the birth of the child (the bride) by combining with an ordinary human woman that did not possess the Taran bloodline. For this, they needed a young female that had not yet started menstruating. When the female’s menstruation began, they would be made to take mugwort herb for more than half a year to stop it. In that state, the body is cleansed for around a year. The male of the Taran family who would be the father of the child in the future would then take the virginity of the prepared woman. The woman would then be fed with medicine that weakened the effect of mugwort and their body would be returned to how it originally was.

The time for menstruation to restart varied from person to person; short would be one year and long would be three years. The period until menstruation began was the time for pregnancy. He would sleep with the woman and have a child. If menstruation started and the woman was not yet pregnant, she was considered a failure. Philip’s family was involved with this from beginning to end. As time passed, this knowledge was passed down as the vision of Philip’s family and the head of Taran family was told the specific contents separately. The two families were in a mutual and inseparable relationship.

Philip had watched over the twin brothers from the moment there were born. When the Duke tried to kill one of the twins, he had dissuaded him to leave them in case of future uncertainties. The Duke showed cruel interest in them. Interest in how it would turn out if one grew up with the best background and the other grew up and survived in the worst of conditions. Although the Duke did not stop his child from being sold as a slave to the mercenaries, he always watched from afar. Hugh did not know but when he was young, there were a few times Philip saved his life.

The gentle Hugo that did not inherit the brutal temperament unique to the Taran lineage and the spiteful Hugh that killed people without batting an eye. Philip loved them both but between the two of them, his attachment to Hugh was stronger. To pass down and continue the Taran family line, human blood was mixed in so naturally, the Taran bloodline grew murky. The people of Taran were becoming more and more human-like. In the middle of this, Hugh was born; the perfect sculpture of the Taran bloodline (1). An outstanding body, a nimble brain, incredible mental strength, cold-blooded and ruthless. He was the perfect image of the master of Taran that they had wished for.

The former Duke was the same in that he liked the abandoned son more and he connived to switch them again. However, he was opposed to killing off Hugo. He had some affection for Hugo but mainly it was unprecedented for twins to be born in the Taran family. He did not want to throw him (Hugo) away that easily. However, it was impossible to predict the future. He did not know that some way or the other, Hugo would meet Hugh and learn how to read into the actions of people. He did not know that because they did not know about the existence of the other, the two brothers would meet for the first time in ten years and end up regarding each other as existences more precious than life itself rather than as enemies. Compared to his predecessors who were cruel but coolheaded, the dead Duke of Taran was full of greed. He was different from the other masters of Taran.

The Duke did not forget his mission to make a remarkable child and continue the family line but he did not want to lose the absolute power he enjoyed while he was alive. Greed always led one to downfall. At the time, it was Hugo’s Taran but as Hugh survived and persisted alone, Philip could see hatred and disillusionment in his eyes. Philip could sense that he would soon disassemble the family and break it into pieces. If Damian did not exist, Hugh would definitely have done that. It saddened Philip to see him one day, walk to the end of the world without having given his heart to someone. Philip would never admit it nor would he be believed but he loved Hugo. For the Philip that had no family, the twin brother were like his grandchildren.

[I’m warning you now but don’t you dare try approaching my wife]

And that is why he could not forget the way Hugo looked in that instant. It was momentary but he could feel vigilance and protection from him. It was neither empty threats nor intimidation but the feeling of a mother trying to protect her child. It was the first time Philip had seen him fixated on someone other than the dead Hugo.

‘What kind of person is it?’

It was just pure curiosity. He wasn’t thinking of doing anything nor could he do anything. He just wanted to know how the Duchess looked and what her character was like. He wondered if it would be possible to leave once the Duke left the premises but as soon as he approached the door to the castle, a man appeared out of nowhere and blocked him.

“I will be troubled if you were to go in, Sir Philip.”

Philip let out a low sigh. He did not know someone was watching him.

“Are you monitoring me?”

“As long as you do not enter the castle, your actions will remain unrestricted.”

“Just why? What is the reason?”

“I do not know any reasons. I just follow my orders. If there are any protests, I have been given permission to get physical.”

“… I understand.”

Philip went back quietly. He sat facing the castle walls and licked his lips then he looked to the sky and mumbled bitterly.

‘Do I have to leave again…?’

He never stayed in one place for too long because his heart was never attached to it. It was his wish to meet Damian once in his life, but he had tried before and failed. The Duke would never give Philip the opportunity. Perhaps the Duke wouldn’t even tell Damian the secret of the family and would keep it all to himself.

‘Is it an obsession?’

He had to agree that the desire of his family and their hanging onto the bloodline of Taran was an obsession. Philip’s father, grandfather, and the ones before his grandfather were the same way. It was not that easy to change the idea which he had been infatuated with since childhood till he was an old man. He probably would still be unable to let go of this attachment even when he was on his death bed and closed his eyes for the last time.

Translator’s Corner:

  1. It reads perfect crystal but I think sculpture is more representative of what the author is talking about. I also edited the previous chapter a bit because I got confused when crystal came outta nowhere. Context, baby.

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