The Duchess and the Devil - Chapter 30.1
QUALITY CHECKER: Akane
While Derrick skillfully tried to take out the letter from the container, Judith hesitantly retreated, covering her body with the blanket. It was because Carmen’s red irises that quietly observed her were uncomfortable. Those were clearly to be those of an animal’s, but she had an uneasy feeling, as if she was certainly being watched voyeuristically by someone who had intellect.
“Where are you going?”
Derrick swiftly noticed that she was planning to leave the bedroom, and wrapped his arms around her waist in an instant, making her sit on his leg. No, if he was going to seize her, he could just place her beside him — why on his legs…? Judith, who was caught by him without being able to move an inch at all, blinked while feeling embarrassed.
Derrick, who easily overpowered her, unfolded the letter in his hand. While Derrick examined the letter, Judith awkwardly looked back and forth.
Carmen gracefully folded his deep black wings and looked at her. His vivid, crimson eyes were frightening, to the point she felt chills at the back of her head alone. It felt unpleasant, as if her entire naked body, despite being covered by a blanket, was completely exposed before him.
As it was difficult to face each other, Judith covertly avoided his gaze. As soon as she looked back at Derrick, his nonchalant expression became stiff.
Derrick opened his mouth, not taking his eyes off of the letter. Unlike before, in which he was exuding a dampened smile, the tone of his voice became deeper and lower. It was proof that he was displeased. Confirming that Derrick’’s jaw was clenched, Judith looked back at the crow again.
It was amazing. Despite being called a ‘demonic beast,’ was he not an animal after all? Still, Carmen surely turned his head to the side like a human acting with reason. It was an attitude, as if he was evading Derrick’s icy call of his name.
“What is the meaning of this?”
The letter, which was held in Derrick’s hand, crumpled all of a sudden. He glared at Carmen, giving him a tempestuous gaze like the sharp edge of a blade.
As if playing innocent, Carmen looked elsewhere before unexpectedly flying up in the air, flapping his wings. Carmen, who so intensely flailed in the air that made sounds resembling the wind, was about to escape out of the bedroom immediately, as if his true intention was to run away. However, as he sprang forward into the opened door of the balcony, he crashed into the opposite wall, as if he had boundaries.
At the drastic scene that happened in the blink of an eye, Judith was scared out of her own wits and hunched herself. Carmen, who crashed into the wall and fell, vanished into thin air in the shadows. Then, its silhouette was gently revealed, but it wasn’t the bird that had flown around freely until a little while ago ― it appeared to be something like the shadow of a human.
“Dammit… It hurts, you know, Chief.”
What changed wasn’t just its appearance. Now, the crow was talking.
“What is this! You lost all your mana, but if it’s to the point you can still make my appearance change, I know there is some of it remaining!”
Judith stared at the boy, who was a little taller than her height and had a beautiful appearance. Ruby-red eyes and pitch-black hair that blended harmoniously with the darkness. The appearance revealed before her was the very image of Derrick, to the point it felt alright to say that he was Derrick’s son. That was to say, the boy possessed an ambience of bewitching people as much as Derrick did himself.
“Stop grumbling, just answer me.”
Unlike when he was talking to her, Derrick bellowed at him with a cold voice. Perhaps his head that collided into the wall hurt, the boy kept soothing the back of his head, groaning. Before long, Judith, who was gazing at him, discovered something sticking out between his black hair. It wasn’t visible enough as it was hidden in the dark, so she squinted her eyes.
The identity of the object that she finally named was nothing but horns. Those disparate characteristics clearly informed her that the boy wasn’t an ordinary being. It had the appearance of a human, but wasn’t one.
Having perceived the fact that his appearance was frivolous, the boy, Carmen, soon cleared his throat, and then straightened his posture.
“Like I reported the other day, we had thoroughly searched District 1 to District 12; however, Sir Hannibal wasn’t there, and not to mention, we were unable to locate one demon beast he was controlling. Just in case, we tried coming and going through the boundary gap of the human and devil worlds, which you ordered us to do, but…”
“You couldn’t find him?”
Carmen had a look like he was unable to say anything, even if he had ten mouths.
“We are certain that he is not in the devil world for the moment.”
Judith, who had been listening to the conversation ongoing between them, was able to understand the situation without difficulty.
In all respects, it seemed that Derrick had been looking for the whereabouts of ‘Hannibal,’ the devil who was the main culprit of all these matters, giving orders to Carmen, his demonic beast.
“If he isn’t in the devil world, wouldn’t there be only one place where he could possibly be?”
With a look that spoke of a headache, Derrick, who stayed silent for a moment, swept his face. His expression showed his irritation without hiding it, a frank look that she couldn’t see easily from him. That countenance was too unfamiliar for her, so Judith unconsciously held her breath. Perhaps he noticed her suppressed heartbeat, Derrick looked back at Judith and relaxed the muscles in his face that had hardened. He whispered, tenderly sweeping back Judith’s disheveled hair.
“We talked about this before, about the devil that locked me up in this body.”
“Yes, it was the devil called… Hannibal.”
“Right. That fox-like guy seems to be in the human world right now.”
Derrick realized that he himself had been acting too indolent until now.
“He might be hovering around me.”
There was one reason why Hannibal imprisoned him in the body. It was for his complete extinction. However, it was obvious that he was on a lookout, alert for any opportunities around here.
“That devil is around us?”
“Yes. I think he probably wants to give the final blow with his own hands.”
Judith wasn’t familiar with Hannibal, but from what she heard from Derrick, she understood that he was immensely clever and cunning. She could tell just by the fact that these ridiculous things happened to Derrick, a devil just like him, because of the emotions developed from a sense of inferiority within him. But that Hannibal was now said to be hovering near them, even right now, in order to make him go extinct…