The Devil Who Breaks My Neck - Chapter 22
Warning: This chapter may contain psychological, emotional or physical ab*se.
The sky was bright and blue. The wide surface of Lake Aunue sparkled like a fish’s scales in the sun.
Next to Herace, who got off the wagon, was a maid who held a parasol casting a shadow on her. Still, Herace, who held her hand above her eyes, slowly looked up at the sky.
Ezekiel, who arrived first, can be seen standing affectionately with his mistress. The two, who stood close to a large black horse, appeared to have come riding together.
“Ezekiel, I was so scared. It’s still incomparable to riding in a horse-drawn carriage.”
[T/N: Hold on a sec, let me grab some pineapple juice *sigh.]
“You’ll get used to it soon. I’ll be going out a lot because the weather has gotten better. I’ll bring you out often too.”
Although he was far away, his voice was clear. Herace made a bitter face as she looked at the two of them standing like lovers.
[Would you like to ride a horse with me to the lake? Charlotte said she wanted a ride, but I’m asking you first. What do you think?]
[I’m fine, so do as you please. If you want to ride with her, you don’t have to care about me.]
[Hah! Care? Why would I care about you?]
[I don’t mean that…]
[… Prepare the wagon. Use it when it arrives.]
Still, the decision seemed right. Herace was a little worried because he went nuclear while they talked before leaving.
“I’m… Ezekiel. Your wife is over there, too. What should I do?”
Nevertheless, seeing the husband who teased the mistress still felt awkward. I think I’ll get used to it, but… Herace lowered her eyes and turned her steps.
‘…I should have pretended I was sick. I shouldn’t have come. Once Ezekiel left, I could have gone to see Erzen in secret.’
Her heart burned when she thought of Erzen. She sent Anna, but she got emotional when she heard that Erzen was crying from time to time. The child was sobbing on the bed and was crying in search of his mother.
[E-Ezekiel… Ugh! Just once… If I can just go to Erzen once…]
[Herace, sh*t up. I don’t want you to keep doing this. You want to go see your child at the separate house? Is that so?]
Ezekiel said she was just overreacting to him crying, but Herace was sure. Erzen was definitely looking for his mother.
The child who had seen his father’s face only once clinged to his mother, Herace, as if he knew that his father was treating him with coldness. Even when she leaves the room and he cries, her lovely son stops when he is held in her arms……. Herace thought that she would be okay with the world even if she only had Erzen in her arms.
“Madam, it’s dangerous if you go down further.”
Herace was walking aimlessly by the lakefront while thinking of Erzen, but the maid who was following her blocked her. Raising her head and looking in front of her, she realized that she was at the edge of the lake. Had she walked a little further and slipped on the slope, she might have fallen into the water.
When Herace said she wanted to sit down, the maid spread the cloth she had brought on the flat ground.
“Madam, can I get you something? Although it is a warm day, the wind is cold, so I think warm black tea would be good.”
As she sat down, the maid spoke cordially. Anna had asked to keep the maid by her side in place of her for a while. Did she say her name was Helen? Unlike other servants who became more blunt towards her as the days went by, this maid was quite polite and kind.
“Then I’d be grateful.”
“Yes! I’ll get it right away.”
When the young maid disappeared, Herace’s eyes turned to the lake.
The deep blue Lake Aunue was as beautiful as its reputation. The water grass and rocks that grew at the estuary, as well as the wild flowers, seemed to be full of vitality. Occasionally, the sweetfish jumped out of the water with a popping sound. A smile fell on Herace’s face as she looked at it after a long time.
However, Herace’s brief peace did not last long. It was not her maid-in-waiting behind her, but Charlotte, her husband’s mistress, who came closer.
“It’s a beautiful day, but you look like a dog in the rain.”
She didn’t even tell her to sit down, but Charlotte sat down beside Herace as if it was natural. She spoke rudely and showed something in her arms towards Herace. The smiling child wrapped in white cloth was a familiar face.
“Oh, Miguel, you should look at your mother’s face, not hers. There you go. That’s right. Well done.”
The child born on the same day as Erzen was quite large and looked healthy. Unlike Erzen, who still occasionally gasped, the child in Charlotte’s arms smiled and stretched his arms around. Seeing this, it reminded her of Erzen, who would be crying in the castle for not having seen his mother. Herace no longer looked at Miguel and turned her head away.
“You don’t have to harden your face. I’m also here to say thank you.”
Charlotte, who was condescending with the child in her arms, covered her mouth and laughed. The thin green eyes were full of malice.
“I heard that you are attending Miguel’s 100th-day banquet. I thought you wouldn’t attend because you said you were sick… After all, it seemed something that we’ll only get to see when the world ends. When that day comes you might get sick and get a stomach ache.”
“Well… It doesn’t really matter if you come or not. After all, there will be many guests other than the wife, and the protagonist of the day is Miguel, no matter what anyone says. Even without the wife’s congratulations, I’m sure many people will bless him. Unlike another kid who would be locked up in a corner of some room.”
“Don’t insult my son.”
Herace, who had been silent despite her sarcastic remarks, finally opened her mouth. She tried to ignore her, but the words about Erzen were unbearable.
Her voice, filled with anger, contained a warning, but Charlotte’s eyes lit up as if ready to strike at Herac’s response.
“Hah! Are you going to talk like a noble again? It’s no use. I know now.”
“I heard your family disappeared. Treason, for God’s sake….. Even people like us don’t do things that deserve such a wretched punishment.”
The downfall of Devone. It was so famous that most of the castle servants knew about it. So Charlotte finding out wasn’t that surprising. Still, Herace felt like she was stabbed by her husband’s mistress, in one of the most painful places.
“Ezekiel told me. There was no need to bow my head, as the wife and I are the same. He looked so terrifying when he spoke of the treason. I was afraid he was going to cut off your head right away. As you know, Ezekiel is very loyal to His Majesty the Emperor.”
Charlotte, who looked at Herace’s face, smiled as she added her lies.
Ezekiel never told her about Devone. She had found out through the nanny that nurtured her child, the nanny trembled as she told her, knowing that her neck would fall if the Master ever found out.
‘In a way, she’s a person inferior to me…’
It didn’t matter whether the maid’s neck fell or not. The most important thing for Charlotte now was to scratch Herace’s nerves.
She looked down at her son. The same golden eyes as his father were shining brightly. Alas……. Charlotte, holding her proud son, began to whisper her harsher words.
“I’m warning you, don’t pretend to be a snob with that face in front of me.”
“You took that place by bewitching a man with your face and a sinner’s body in women’s clothing, right? I’m in a similar position, but don’t you think it’s rude to pretend to be a victim? No. But my parents weren’t sinners, so am I more noble?”
No matter how great her power was, it was not something a mistress should say. But Charlotte’s courage was coming from somewhere, she held her son tightly in her arms as she spoke insanely.
“After this banquet is over, Miguel will be chosen as the successor. You’ll get thrown out anyway. Of course, it would be better not to think about being kicked out nicely. After taking this ring and everything you have, I will throw you out of the castle naked.”
The gold ring on the white finger shone brightly. Charlotte’s eyes grew even more venomous when Herace finally didn’t respond. She looked at Herace up and down and raised the corners of her lips. She was beautiful, but she was about to be kicked out. It was just right to throw insults and play with her anger.
“On the way, I’ll give you a few men from time to time. Your face is pretty good, so you won’t be thrown away. I don’t know. Everyone will fight for you.”
At Charlotte’s words, Herace forced herself to endure the nausea. She wanted to throw up right away, but she hated giving in to her husband’s mistress’ twisted scrutiny.
“Or would you like me to introduce you to a place where you can work? It’s a place I’ve known before, and it’s pretty decent. If you’re prepared to get hit in the face a few times…”
Charlotte’s stabs continued and her words did not come to an end. A long shadow fell over them. Startled, Charlotte hurriedly looked back.
Charlotte, recognizing the shadow’s owner, smiled awkwardly. His ferocious golden eyes were staring at her. It was so cold and vicious that it would not be strange if she was cut right away.
“Hey, Ezekiel. When did you come? I wanted to talk to your wife……”
“……Get lost before I cut that head off.”
The long sword hanging from the man’s waist caught her eye. As Charlotte barely suppressed her fears, she clasped Miguel in her arms as if it were her shield.
“Didn’t you hear? Get out of here if you don’t want to die, get back to the castle now.”
“What’s wrong with you all of a sudden? I want to stay a little longer… ugh!”
It didn’t matter if she was holding a child. Ezekiel grabbed Charlotte by the shoulder and pulled her up. Charlotte, who was thrown back with the child in her arms, jumped to her feet and raised her voice.
“Miguel almost fell! How could you do this to me! I……….”
Ezekiel looked at Charlotte’s arms instead of her face. ‘Yey’, Miguel exclaimed. Herace had an anxious look on her face, fearing that her husband’s wrath might be directed at the child.
[T/N: Sweet Herace, worrying about the mistress’ child ( ͡╥ ͜ʖ ͡╥)]
“…… I see. I’ll go first. I’m going to leave now. Madam.”
But somehow things ended peacefully.
As her venomous eyes started to soften, Charlotte straightened her back. She calmly bowed to Ezekiel, followed by a polite greeting to Herace. Between her deeply bent body, the child’s big eyes were clear. For a moment, Herace felt chills running down her back.