The Devil Who Breaks My Neck - Chapter 23
Charlotte walked towards the carriage with a blank expression on her face. Herace looked up at her, who suddenly changed her demeanor, and had a strangely thicker shadow. Her husband was still displeased and had an angry face.
“Why were you just listening?”
“What that woman just said. Why were you just listening? You slapped her back then.”
It was surprising to call his beloved mistress ‘woman’, but Herace closed her mouth in the end.
At that time, she slapped that woman on the cheek, but she had suffered so much. The cheek had now subsided and left no marks, but the pain was rushing through them. As she tried to take her hand to her own cheek, she pulled her hand back and bit the inside of her mouth.
“All right, let’s just leave it. Then do you have anything to say to me?”
“That’s great! That’s really great!”
“Hah, I didn’t know you were almost mute. How many other people in the castle can hear your voice?”
“Ah… Weren’t you a little chatty in bed? Even if you don’t speak, you have a voice.”
It was time for Herace to shut her eyes at the endless insults. She felt his savage hand on her arm, and her body stood up on its own.
“Where are we going?”
Herace, who was walking in a hurry led by Ezekiel, gasped and asked. There was such a difference in stride that she was almost running.
Ezekiel didn’t say anything. When he dragged his wife with him with an unsettling expression, the servants stopped breathing.
After a while, the place where Ezekiel stopped was the carriage that Herace used to go there. A large carriage, capable of riding six adults, was placed in a pile, separated from the horses. He forced Herace into the carriage and ordered the knight who followed him.
“………I’m going back.”
The knight stepped down at his command. When the door closed, Ezekiel jerked the curtains at the small window. Herace was thrown into a seat. When she hit herself against it, she looked at Ezekiel as she collapsed.
“You don’t want to talk outside, so let’s go back and listen to your voice. We didn’t have enough conversation as a couple, did we?”
Ezekiel, who roughly took off his coat and threw it on the floor, said in a terrifying way. Herace, who predicted what would happen once they returned to the castle, froze. Ezekiel burst out a nervous laugh at the sight, bowed his head and grabbed his wife’s face.
She thought she could feel her heart beating due to the man’s hot hands, and then their lips touched. Herace closed her eyes and relaxed her body.
How many days are left before Erzen turns 100 days old? Tears fell from Herace’s eyes as she began to count the numbers.
The only banquet guests were local keepers and vassals. However, as the main character of the banquet was the son of the castle owner, there was nothing missing even if it was small. Rather, it was too grand for a banquet for a child who was only a hundred days old. Some said that Ezekiel had fallen for the mistress too much like the previous Duke.
But even those words could not dampen the excitement of the banquet. The people all celebrated the Duke’s first child and enjoyed the most recent banquet held in a long time. While most of the castle was excited, there were only two places with a sullen atmosphere, the places where Herace and Erzen lived.
Herace was quietly dressing up for the banquet. Anna, who had visited Herace’s room with the pretext of preparation, was helping with the final touches. Several pearls matching the blue dress adorned Herace’s dark hair.
“As always, you look beautiful.”
Anna looked at her lady in the mirror and admired her. She’d known her since she was a child, but every time she decorated her like this, she burst into tears of joy.
“So you have to keep your head up once you go down. Today, the main character is that illegitimate child, not her.”
Anna added playfully, fixing Herace’s hair a couple more times. But the end of her cheerful voice was trembling slightly. Herace put on her pearl earrings and calmly looked at her in the mirror. Anna’s face, which could not hide her anxiety, was full of tension.
“Don’t worry about me. More than that… Remember what I said. This is our only chance.”
“……Yes, my lady.”
Even the playfulness that was forcibly created disappeared. Anna swallowed her saliva at Herace’s words and nodded her head. Every time the secretly prepared vial dangled inside her sleeve pocket, her pounding heartbeat became louder.
‘You’re not even nervous. I’m trembling as it is.’
Two people. No, three people planned to leave the Serpence Castle today. Herace seemed hesitant when she first mentioned running away, but after a serious illness a while ago, she said she would leave. She said it firmly. The exact reason was unknown, but Anna guessed that Ezekiel played a part in Herace’s decision.
Of course, she was very worried because Erzen was still too young and time was tight. But after Anna saw that Herace’s body had turned red, she swallowed her anxiety and bit her tongue. Whatever the reason, they had to leave. Just looking at it for the past few months, Herace’s life had become too painful.
[The Master has ordered to take Young Master Erzen to another room.]
The plan did not go smoothly because he had anxiety and gave an order. When Erzen was taken away, she was frustrated at what he’s doing.
[Anna, I can’t see Erzen for a while. So you have to be good. No matter what happens, don’t leave Erzen’s side. Understand?]
But somehow, Herace placed Anna next to Erzen and continued preparing to escape. Although her eyes still shed many tears, Anna realized that she did not give up. Some may see it as an insult, but her lady was stronger than she realized.
Anna hung a necklace around Herace’s neck and sprayed perfume on her, trying to calm her trembling heart. In a few hours… At least before the end of today, the plan will be done.
“I’ll be waiting for you, my lady. You must come on time.”
Herace nodded her head slightly and stood up. Just in time, someone knocked on the door.
“Madam, it’s time to go down.”
Herace sat at the top of the banquet hall and watched the people. On the podium in the hall, to the right of Duke’s throne was her seat. On the left side of the throne, Charlotte was holding Miguel, the main character of the day. Perhaps he liked red, the rose-colored dress, which stood out more than the last time, boasted its vivid color.
The Lord of the castle, Ezekiel, has not yet arrived. In his absence, people diligently flocked to the podium to flatter Charlotte. They drooled over Charlotte’s appearance as they complimented Miguel.
“The Young Master really resembles the Duke. In particular, his eyes are as clear as the Lord’s. When he grows up, he will make many women cry.”
“Yeah, this guy. You shouldn’t say things like that. The Master is really smart and dignified. He will grow up to be a great knight following the Duke’s footsteps.”
It’s not even a compliment to her, but the corners of Charlotte’s lips raised up. Even though the cradle was ready, she held Miguel in her arms and showed off to people how proud she was, she looked like a Duchess, not a mistress.
She glanced at Herace and said loudly.
“Everyone sees it that way. Hah, the Duke did the same. I am very happy that Miguel resembles his father. Besides, being intelligent and strong for his young age is enough to lead the family.”
After speaking, Charlotte smirked. But no one else laughed in their seats except for her. It was natural. Although she had a child who was likely to be chosen as the successor, right next to her was Ezekiel’s official wife, Herace. It was too rude for a mistress to brag about her child.
When Herace felt that people’s eyes were gathering on her, she deliberately looked away to the side rather than in front of her. She hated the pitying eyes of others.
“She’s still beautiful even after a long time. Nothing has changed from a few years ago.”
“Why, in the past, more than half of the youths of the capital were attracted to the Fairy of Devone……”
“Shh! Keep quiet. Anyway, those words shouldn’t come out of your lips. If you make a mistake, your neck will fall off.”
Contrary to Herace’s thoughts, people had other questions. How dare she disrespect such a beautiful woman. No matter how good the mistress was, the men did not understand. Of course, Charlotte was also dazzlingly beautiful as rumored. But even if she was, she was nothing compared to Herace. Some of the young knights blushed as they saw Herace, which was decorated more lavishly than usual for the banquet.
“His Excellency, the Duke!”
The people who were buzzing at the two women became quiet. When the Lord arrived, everyone got up from their seats.
Ezekiel looked forward and walked without even paying attention to the gazes that were directed at him. They had heard that it was a banquet for his dear son, but there was some annoyance and boredom on his face.
Ezekiel, who stood on the podium and sat down, glanced at Herace once and raised his hand. He said as the people who had stood up sat down.
From then on, the tedious time continued for Herace. The long ceremony started with a congratulatory greeting from the priest invited for the banquet. Someone came up and down, Charlotte made a fuss, and Ezekiel stood up and said something. But, as if all of that had nothing to do with her, Herace just sat there blankly.
“It’s your turn, Madam.”
She was immersed in her thoughts. When she suddenly came to her senses, everyone’s attention was on her. Though embarrassed, Herace slowly rose from her seat with an expressionless face.
Charlotte, sitting comfortably in her chair, grinned in triumph. When Herace, who ignored her, bowed her head and looked at Miguel, the child looked pretty with his eyes closed.