The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin (Novel) Chapter 69 - 70

C69 - 70

Chapter 69: Banquet of Blood (2)

“Wow! Look at our young master, so tall! You look quite elegant all dressed up like this, don’t you?”

Her face seemed a bit more mature, but the familiar spiritedness was still there.

After all, changes in the body don’t necessarily mean changes in personality.

“You’ve changed so much that I almost didn’t recognize you! Have you become even more of a man in my absence?”

She greeted me somewhat aggressively, as if trying to break the ice of the past two years.

Brian’s face as he watched this unfold was quite a sight.

“Why didn’t you contact me once in the past two years? Not even during the holidays! I was worried sick, thinking something had happened to you.”

Well, seeing her face after so long does bring a sense of joy.

Her unchanged cheerful personality didn’t give any negative impressions.

“Have you been cooped up indoors all this time? Or are you being bullied? That won’t do! You need to live well for me to maintain my pride among the other maids!”

That’s our Emily for you.

Whenever there’s a chance of developing some fondness, she quickly dismisses it.

That’s how she should behave as my maid.

“So why are you here?”

“Is that all you have to say after not seeing me for so long? You may not know, but I’m quite well-regarded as a maid in the mansion!”

I couldn’t help but laugh inwardly.

Sometimes you have to lie a bit.

“Huh? You don’t believe me? Would you believe that Sir Aschel wanted to make me his personal maid?”

I raised an eyebrow and doubted my ears.

Who wanted to do what now?

“Why would…?”

“Why? Because I’m obviously capable. Not only have I raised you as a fine young master, but I’ve also been a steadfast maid on the front lines! Who wouldn’t want to take me?”

I didn’t want to argue with her, but that couldn’t be it.

Unless there’s some dirty scheme behind it, he wasn’t the kind of person who would ask her to be her maid.

“So, are you here as his maid now?”

My voice felt strained, even though I tried to keep it restrained. Well, it’s not easy.

“Of course not!”

Emily replied with a determined look.

“I refused right there on the spot. Sir Aschel may be handsome, but there’s only one young master for me!”

“…”

I was unsure how to react for a moment, and my expression became somewhat ambiguous.

“What’s with that expression? Did you think I’d be such a disloyal maid?”

I almost nodded my head.

She raised me from the time I was a snotty child, spending a long time together, and even sharing life and death situations. Why did I naturally assume she would go over to Aschel?

Suddenly, one side of my heart started feeling uneasy.

“So how did you end up here?”

“When Sir Aschel came to the mansion, he brought me along! He even suggested I should see your face, you know? He’s really a kind young master! It’s a shame we couldn’t see the palace.”

Why? For what reason?

And he suggested you show me your face too?

Why did he bring her here to see such a good sight?

There’s more than one suspicious thing about this.

I silently stared at Emily’s eyes.

Pure, to the point of being foolish.

Even if that guy is impressive in some aspects, he probably won’t ask her to do anything.

However, it’s too risky to just let her go like this.

“Brian.”

“Yes, my lord!”

“Take her to my room.”

Both of them blinked as if they misheard.

“W-what did you say, my lord?”

“You stay in my room until the end of the party. I’ll send you back when it’s over.”

Her bewildered face was truly a sight to behold.

“W-what are you saying, my lord? Why suddenly…?”

“I’ll show you around the palace when it’s over.”

“…!”

Her demeanor changed in an instant.

“Where should I go, my lord~?”

***

“Oh, my! Princess Arin, you look absolutely stunning today!”

“That pendant suits you so well. You’ve grown into such a fine lady.”

Princess Arin, finally entering the banquet hall after all preparations were complete, was as busy as any other member of the royal family, engaging in conversations with the attendees.

However, even those interactions were merely formalities.

Just when it seemed like she might ask about the well-being of others, they all soon moved on to other places.

Nevertheless, she didn’t feel disheartened.

It was something she had experienced at every banquet.

While other members of the royal family found their places and engaged in deep conversations, as time passed, Arin found herself alone, with no one to accompany her.

‘Where is Cyan?’

Despite searching around, there was no sign of him anywhere.

Despite hearing that he attended the banquet, his presence was nowhere to be seen.

‘Why did he bother to come if he’s not going to come to me first?’

Feeling upset, she even threw a little tantrum, but ultimately, it was useless without the person in question.

Wondering if he might be unwell and resting, she continued to look around with a hint of concern.

Just when she was starting to look around for him, she noticed a girl of similar age in the distance.

With innocent blue hair tied up in a cute style, she exuded a mature aura despite her youthful appearance.

She also seemed to be looking for someone, and she kept looking around her.

“……!”

Then, all of a sudden, their eyes met.

They looked at each other in fascination for a while.

She took her first step and began to approach Arin.

The girl placed one of her hands on her chest and slightly bowed her neck.

Her calm demeanor seemed to remind Arin of someone.

“It’s an honor to meet you, Princess Arin Sevellerus.”

Her polite greeting, coupled with her youthful appearance, gave off a sense of maturity.

Her steady gaze seemed to evoke memories of someone else.

“I’m also glad to meet you! Your name is… Luna Rainriver, right?”

She was not a stranger to Arin.

A prodigious magic girl from the Garam Kingdom who enrolled in the academy a year ago.

She was the granddaughter of the head of the Garam Magic Society, which stood alongside the Ushif Magic Society as one of the top magic societies on the continent.

While Arin had heard many stories about her, this was the first time she had seen her face-to-face.

“You’re very beautiful.”

“Huh? Oh, this pendant? It’s a gift from my brother…”

“No, Princess. I mean, you look really beautiful, unlike when I saw you at the academy.”

It wasn’t the usual formal compliment.

It was a sincere praise hidden behind her dry eyes.

Arin felt her heavy heart lighten a bit.

The two of them conversed quite well.

From their experiences at the academy to their training in magic, and even shared concerns as girls.

Since Ressimus, it had been a long time since Arin had met a peer with whom she felt so connected.

“But what were you doing just now, Luna? I saw you wandering around a lot earlier.”

“I was looking for someone. They said they would come to this party, but I haven’t seen them yet…”

——————
——————

“Really? I’m actually in the same situation. Are we talking about someone close to us?”

At the mention of someone close, Luna seemed to hesitate for a moment.

“We’re not particularly close, but we address each other as seniors and juniors.”

“Seniors and juniors? So, they’re a student from our academy? What’s their name?”

As she asked with genuine curiosity, Luna responded with innocent sincerity.

“It’s Senior Cyan.”

“…?”

Arin’s face, which had been bright like a blooming flower, froze in place as she spoke.

Did she mishear, or did she want to hear it wrong?

She never expected to hear his name in this situation.

She was taken aback, not so much by the name itself but by the unexpectedness of hearing it.

“Senior Cyan…?”

* * *
The Great Chamber of the Palace, situated eastward, serves as the guest room area for nobles attending the banquet.

Adjacent to it lies the westward annex, where the Emperor’s children, including Princess Arin, reside.

Essentially, the only area I can freely roam is this eastern annex.

Upon initial inspection, the guest rooms appeared clean.

The special room presumed to be Ashel’s showed no distinctive energy, indicating it was an unrelated area. Consequently, I had no choice but to head to the most likely place.

As the entrance to the western annex was blocked by knights, peaceful means of entry were impossible.

Of course, this was within the bounds of peace.

If the situation turned hostile, there was nowhere in this palace I couldn’t reach.

After all, I had thoroughly grasped the layout of the palace.

I quietly raised my hand and tapped on the wall.

– Hollow.

Instead of a solid sound, there was an echoing emptiness.

Normal stone walls wouldn’t produce such a sound.

This meant there was a space inside.

“Shadow Step: Spatial Transition.”

The mist spreading from my whole body enveloped my right hand and extended towards the wall.

– Swish.

The wall undulated like waves. Without surprise, I moved my feet and slipped into the wall.

A matte space devoid of light. Although the air felt slightly thin, it wasn’t suffocating.

[What is this stuffy place?]

Although I don’t think it was.

“It’s a secret passage of the palace. It’s a kind of escape route available to the Emperor’s children residing in the western annex.”

Starting from the rooms of the 1st Prince to the 5th Princess, each set of five rooms are interconnected and lead to one another through the eastern annex, connecting to the outside of the palace. It’s designed to allow them to escape in case of emergencies.

[It’s a space for the emperor’s children, how does our master know?]

It was a question brimming with intent.

“Well, it can’t be for a good reason.”

Though it was created explicitly for the royal family, ironically, I had found my way into this space.

It wasn’t for a particularly good reason.

I chose not to delve into past memories but instead slowly proceeded, uncovering only the necessary ones.

As I ascended the dusty stairs, I sensed a presence at the end.

If memory serves, that would be the 1st Prince’s room.

Moreover, the energy felt wasn’t just from one person.

Without hesitation, I headed there.

“…!”

The moment I reached a certain distance, I halted in my tracks. Beyond the thin wall, about 10 meters ahead…

Through a thin gap, a bright light seeped out.

I sensed it.

Along with the Crown Prince, the familiar energy beside him.

My fists clenched involuntarily, teeth gritted, blood rushing.

Though not certain, I felt a conviction.

Aschel was beyond that.

“Huh…”

I barely managed to calm the rising energy, trying to grasp the current situation.

It was the peak of the banquet.

The two main figures were in one room.

Surrounding them was a transparent mana barrier, a surveillance barrier, to prevent their conversation from leaking out.

In this state, no matter how hard I listened, I couldn’t hear their conversation.

I could dismantle the barrier with just a flick of my hand, it was that simple.

However, the fear of being discovered by those suspicious ghosts was too great.

They weren’t fools to not notice their barrier disappearing.

As I pondered if there was no other way, out of the blue, Kaeram’s admiration came forth.

[That’s cute?]

The words weren’t directed at me.

They were clearly thrown towards the beings beyond the wall.

“Can you hear them?”

I asked.

[Of course? Did you think that a barrier like this could block my ears?]

Kaeram replied, wearing an intriguing smile, eavesdropping on their conversation.

I couldn’t help but focus my gaze on her face, not the wall.

[Hey, master.]

“Why?”

[Would you like to see some blood tonight?]

——————

Chapter 70: Banquet of Blood (3)

Emily and Brian arrived at Cyan’s room.

Emily couldn’t hide her bewildered expression.

“Um, uh, Sir Knight?”

“Yes, Miss Maid!”

Two years ago, when Cyan left for the academy, they had been on good terms as a maid and a stable hand.

Of course, the parties involved had no recollection of it.

“I don’t understand the situation… Who is this little kid?”

The girl had sparkling eyes and cute lips forming a half-moon.

On the other hand, Emily’s demeanor, with heavy eyes and a tightened mouth, was quite contrasting.

Emily thought for a moment.

The girl seemed young, maybe around ten or eleven, similar in age to Cyan.

But she was wearing maid attire similar to Emily’s and was in Cyan’s room.

That meant…

“Nice to meet you! I’m Nana, the maid serving Cyan Burt!”

Nana’s voice was cute yet loud.

“A maid?”

Emily repeated incredulously, unable to believe it.

“Leaving me and choosing this child to serve as a maid? Is the young master really insane?”

As Emily kept talking, Brian couldn’t help but break out in a cold sweat.

How could someone speak so boldly without even blinking an eye?

How strong must their connection with Cyan be to act like this?

It was truly admirable.

“Hey, Sir Knight! Was it because of her that the young master didn’t return even during the break?”

Brian, innocent and straightforward, responded immediately,

“Uh, well, probably. Since Nana is young, she needs a lot of care. There have been times when the academy was empty for a while due to work, but in the long run…”

“What? So he didn’t come back because of this little kid! Wow, that’s unbelievable! Some people reject proposals and stay loyal, but he brings in another maid instead? When he comes back…”

“Was the young lady also a maid to our master?”

“Of course! I was the only exclusive maid to our young master!”

“Wow! How long have you been together?”

“I’ve known him since he was in diapers, so if we count from training, it’s been well over five years! There’s no one who’s been with him as long as me!”

It felt like she was boasting about her life achievements.

While she was talking and enjoying herself, Brian observed her and thought she seemed quite simple.

“Oh, by the way, I forgot to give this to the young master!”

“…!”

Nana’s cheerful face suddenly froze.

Emily pulled out a red butterfly tie.

“Is this a tie?”

“Yes, Aschel wanted the young master to wear it, so he asked me to pass it on.”

There was a red jewel embedded in the center of the butterfly tie.

“What should we do? Should I bring it to him now?”

“Ah, ahhhhh!”

The corridor was filled with a dizzying scream.

In an instant, Nana’s hidden ears perked up, but fortunately, Emily, who was startled by the sound, did not see it.

Sniffing the faint scent of blood emanating from the scream, Nana’s eyes sharpened instantly.

“The smell of a demonic beast!”

* * *

The banquet hall was adorned with an array of colorful flowers, each displaying its own beauty.

However, among all the flowers, there was one that stood out as the most beautiful.

“Ah…”

Men and women alike were captivated, their faces flushing, and their hearts pounding.

Regardless of how one might describe it, the beauty was unparalleled, reminiscent of a goddess descending among them.

It was Alice Vert, the daughter of Duke Vert, who was known as the Child of the Gods, finally revealing herself at the banquet.

“The goddess has descended…”

No one dared to approach her rashly, as she exuded a noble aura that seemed untouchable.

While some cast envious glances her way, Alice paid no mind to such gazes and simply smiled gently as she moved through the hall.

“Ah, Miss Alice, you’ve grown into such a fine lady, haven’t you?”

The pleasant voice reached Alice’s ears, and she immediately turned her head.

“Teacher Silica!”

Alice greeted Silica, who responded with a warm smile.

“You truly are beautiful, teacher! How have you managed to hide and live like this all this time?”

“While it sounds like a compliment, why does it feel strange? How is it that you only become more beautiful as time goes on?”

No teacher dislikes a well-behaved and academically accomplished student, just as no student rejects a skilled and reputable teacher.

Alice maintained good relationships with most of the academy’s instructors, but among them, Silica was undoubtedly the closest.

It was a joyous reunion between teacher and student, as the two women continued their conversation with laughter and smiles.

“I never expected you, Teacher, to attend the banquet! You usually don’t enjoy such noisy places, right?”

“How can people live according to their stubbornness alone? Sometimes, you need to change the atmosphere to refresh yourself.”

“Well, if that’s the case, you should get married! Even now, dozens of men would flock to you if you returned! How long can you just focus on your research without settling down?”

At the mention of marriage, Silica’s smile turned awkward.

“This…feels like standing in a golden plain watching two beautiful flowers bloom!”

A thick voice that made one’s skin crawl.

Both women’s gazes turned involuntarily.

While Alice was taken aback, Silica’s face froze coldly.

“Pleased to meet you, Miss Alice. I am Drenian Nepelis, the son of Lord Nepelis.”

With a crooked mustache and sinister eyes, Drenian’s appearance was enough to make any woman feel repulsed.

Alice struggled to maintain her composure as she accepted his greeting.

“I accidentally overheard your conversation. Miss Alice is correct. What Silica needs right now is a wonderful companion. Therefore, I intend to fulfill that role.”

——————
——————

Alice couldn’t believe her ears for a moment.

“Well, what does that mean?”

“Oh, you didn’t know?”

-Sigh

Drenian’s hand naturally went towards Silica.

“We are going to get engaged soon.”

Alice’s hands trembled uncontrollably as she spoke her congratulations, unable to look at Silica’s face knowing full well of Drenian’s vile intentions.

“That’s…quite unexpected. Congratulations!”

As she spoke, Alice couldn’t bring herself to look at Silica.

She knew all too well about Drenian’s ugly sexual tastes.

“It seems the atmosphere of the banquet has become a bit loose. We should have some music that suits these two beautiful ladies. Excuse me for a moment.”

Alone, Drenian winked slyly and then left abruptly, leaving Alice and Silica bewildered.

“What… what just happened, Teacher? How did it end up being Drenian?”

“You know, Alice, it has nothing to do with my intentions. It was arranged by our families without my consent.”

“Arranged by our families” meant there was no choice but to comply.

Despite being the daughter of a noble family, Silica was over 30, well beyond the typical age for marriage.

While she was technically past the age of marriage she could be considered an old bride.

Drenian being over 40 and a widower, due to her background as the empress’s brother, he was an indispensable groom for Silica’s family.

However, Silica herself had no desire to marry.

“But this is unacceptable. Isn’t there any other way?”

“What power do I have? Unless someone kills that guy, it’s hard to get away.”

“You’re saying frightening things.”

It was a half-serious, half-sinister joke.

As their gloomy conversation paused, several men and women in black suits appeared in the hall, moving towards the center with musical instruments, presumably the performers.

They all wore white masks, their faces concealed.

As the setup completed, Drenian reappeared, drawing everyone’s attention to the center stage.

Then, in a voice that was difficult to hear, he began to explain why the musicians had appeared.

It was roughly a praising of Silica’s beauty.

“…….”

Alice felt nothing but pity.

Her revered teacher was engaged to a man who seemed inhuman.

She felt a strong urge to intervene by any means necessary.

*Swoosh!*

“What…?”

Anyone who had held a sword could not ignore the sound.

It was the sound of a sharp blade slicing through flesh.

Soon after, a chilling scream accompanied the sound of a body falling.

“Aaargh!”

Drenian’s neck lay gruesomely on the ground.

Above it was a sharp sword, dripping bright red blood.

Masked figures with eerie weapons, not instruments, exuded a cruel aura as they faced terror-stricken people.

“What… What is happening?”

The banquet hall had turned into chaos in an instant.

* * *

“What… What is this noise! An attack by monsters!”

Emperor Dionne, resting in his chamber, shouted in anger.

“Pl-Please, Your Majesty, stay calm! You must evacuate quickly…”

Leaving the enemies behind and fleeing was not in line with the Emperor’s character.

“I will see with my own eyes! How dare such an unspeakable incident occur in my sacred palace…Ugh!”

But in his excitement, his heart disease overwhelmed him, and he collapsed suddenly.

“What is happening? Why haven’t you escorted His Majesty to safety?”

Appearing in the chamber was none other than the Crown Prince.

“L-Louisnel…”

“I will take responsibility for this incident! Please, Your Majesty! Escort His Majesty to safety!”

Though he wanted to say something, the pain in his heart blocked all means of communication.

Amidst the chaos, Queen Cassandra rushed into the chamber.

“D-Drenian is dead! My brother is dead! What should we do?!”

Louisnel calmly placed his hand on the Queen’s shoulder and spoke.

“Please don’t worry, empress. Everything will end well. First, please evacuate to a safe place with His Majesty.”

A man approached the Queen’s side.

“Aschel, would you kindly escort His Majesty?”

A blond man exuding an unusual aura.

The Queen felt her urgent emotions suddenly subside.

“Are you Aschel?”

“I apologize for not introducing myself properly! Please, come with me for now!”

The Queen showed no signs of refusal.

Her eyes, as deeply absorbed as if enchanted by a beautiful flower, seemed ready to follow him even to the depths of hell.

[PR/N: hoe.]

“…..”

Their eyes met, and the Crown Prince and Aschel exchanged an unknowable glance.

——————

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