Death Can’t Sleep - Chapter 36
When she returned to her room, Mary spoke up.
“The Grand Duke has executed vassals before. He killed their family members, their knights, messengers, everyone.”
Her white fingers nervously gripped the hem of her skirt. She hesitated a few times before lowering her head.
“Since then, many people have left the village. Even the head butler and maid who trained us. After that, his highness left for the battlefield, and we were alone in the castle.”
Mary’s eyes were wet.
“So many people died, Madame. I still remember…”
Her expression was full of fear.
She squeezed her eyes shut and exhaled.
“That’s why I’m afraid of his highness.”
Amarion couldn’t keep up.
All of her maids were trembling, as if they were standing in front of a terrible beast.
Seeing the executioners must have triggered their bad memories.
Amarion hugged the little maid tightly.
“It’s okay, Mary.”
“I’m sorry, Madame…”
“Don’t worry, it’ll never happen again.”
She didn’t dare to say that Victor wasn’t scary or wouldn’t hurt them. Because she couldn’t be sure anymore.
Amarion comforted the maids and sent them to sit on the sofa.
When she opened
Flamberge, smiling terrifyingly, and Dordophine, the fool, watching as she poisoned the teapot.
[The cruel and beautiful Flamberge cried out.
“Ah, Dordophin! Now bring me a sword. Find a dragon’s scale sword that can cut anything. I won’t hurt anyone. I just want to trim the flowers in the flower bed.”
“I will bring you anything, my beloved.”]
She silently looked down at the book.
Dordophin’s dazed expression caught her eye.
‘Does he really not know? Or is he pretending not to know?’
Even when she heard the reason the Welch family closed their doors, she was the only one who firmly believed that Victor couldn’t have done such a cruel thing.
Because she desperately wanted to believe so.
Because Victor was a gentleman in her mind.
Because Victor had always been kind and nice, just like a righteous knight in a fairytale.
But once her doubts bloomed, they covered her heart like vines.
The suspicion that he might not be the person she knew.
Victor didn’t show up for dinner. Instead of calling him, she ordered snacks to be delivered to the Grand Duke’s office. Diederick followed her instructions without question.
She ate alone, took a bath, changed, and went to bed.
Victor didn’t come back until very late. After beckoning the attendants without a word, the candles were put out one by one.
Victor suddenly asked.
“Do you want to go outside?”
She looked at him quietly. He looked exhausted, immersed in gloomy darkness.
Just like the day they first met.
She shook her head.
He quietly laid his head on the pillow.
She was silent as she sat next to the bed.
The castle was quiet.
The square, the village, and even the execution site were the same.
Victor’s whispers could be heard clearly.
“This is all I need…”
Victor’s eyes closed slowly.
She glanced down at his form and bit her lips.
She suddenly wondered.
‘What does he dream of?’
‘What is the nightmare that torments him so?’
The Victor she did not know… what kind of life did he lead?
She hugged her sword a little tighter and curled up next to the bed.
Victor Morte wanted to die.
He always had.
From his distant childhood he couldn’t remember very well, the only thing he thought about was death.
He was the second son of the Grand Duke of Morte, who controlled the northeastern part of the Empire.
His land, Morte, was cold and full of monsters, but he was famous for training excellent knights.
After the difficult birth of her second son, his mother named him Victor.
In the Southern tongue, it meant victory.
She gave Victor such a name in hopes that he would become a great knight, but she died before she could see Victor hold a sword.
That was Victor’s first death.
After the passing of his young wife, the Grand Duke grieved.
The whole estate mourned the death of the Grand Duchess, and the Grand Duke was so sad that he never returned to the castle.
After his father abandoned him, young Victor was left alone with the servants.
The servants were indifferent towards the little boy.
They served the Duchy with all their hearts and tended to his needs, but that was all.
No one spoke to him casually, so Victor spent much of his time alone in the library.
The Grand Duke had collected all kinds of special books. From liberal arts to romance novels, philosophy to religion.
Victor learned about life and death through books.
He also looked at the portrait of his mother from time to time.
He wondered if he would see his mother again when he died.
The person who pulled him out of that dark abyss was his older brother, who had returned from the Capital.
Mortheon Morte, who was seven years older than Victor, had dark hair and warm brown eyes, characteristic of the Morte family.
Returning from school hastily after his mother’s funeral, he found his neglected brother. He immediately knelt in front of him and grabbed his little hand.
To his brother, whom he hadn’t seen in a long time, Victor said quietly.
“I want to go to our mother.”
Mortheon’s face contorted at those words.
He hugged his little brother with all his might.
“Victor, I love you. You are my dearest brother. I will protect you no matter what.”
In his arms, Victor cried for the first time.
He desperately needed someone to tell him that.
Mortheon was a faithful successor. Despite his young age, he eased the chaotic atmosphere of the castle.
He kept in touch with his father to understand Morte’s politics, and he did not skip his studies.
The knights and vassals welcomed the wise and strong successor of the Grand Duchy.
As soon as the political situation was stabilized with the help of his advisors, Mortheon immediately began training Victor.
His education had been delayed because it was ‘too early’.
But Mortheon strongly insisted that he learn, and found the best teachers for Victor.
Several teachers began to visit the castle.
Accounting, politics, Cesarean studies*, social arts, dance. Victor did well in all subjects, and Mortheon was very pleased with his brother’s ingenuity.
[*E/N: all I could find on this was birth related, so… I guess Victor learned how to midwife lol]
Everyone praised him for his talent and greatness.
Victor liked to be praised, so he worked even harder.
He had the same thoughts the day he first grabbed a sword. He wanted to be praised by his older brother.
The Little Duke’s first swordsmanship training drew a large crowd of spectators.
It was natural.
This was the land of knights, and the children of the Grand Duke had always had talent in martial arts.
“The Little Duke is sure to have talent!”
“Lord Mortheon also had outstanding skills from a young age.”
Among the people chatting with anticipation, Mortheon smiled and gave him a look of encouragement.
Victor nodded his head and grabbed a wooden sword with a nervous expression.
His opponent was an apprentice knight, the same age as Mortheon.
The vice captain planned on training both Victor and the apprentice knight at the same time. He put an emphasis on posture, as well as the proper way to hold a sword.
Since the Knights of Morte’s swordsmanship was focused on one-to-one combat, it was common to train this way.
Their match started with a signal.
Victor thought the knight was making fun of him.
His trajectory was too obvious.
It was slow and sloppy.
They were such sloppy movements that he wondered if the knight was doing it on purpose.
Victor was a little offended. Although he was a child and the son of the Grand Duke, he had to train seriously.
If the knight acted this way, he wouldn’t be able to learn properly.
Victor couldn’t stand it and swung his sword.
Once on the wrist and once on the shoulder. After stabbing the weak-looking parts of his opponent, he struck his knee and knocked him down.
His opponent fell down so easily that it was ridiculous.
Victor picked up his opponent’s sword and raised his head with a broad smile.
However, what he heard was not praise, but shouts of astonishment.
“…No, how? He’s still…”
“Today was his first time…”
“…Mortheon was like that…”
Victor looked around slowly, his eyes widening.
No one praised Victor when he solved a difficult problem or greeted him properly according to etiquette.
They just whispered as if they had seen something strange.
The apprentice knight who fell to the floor and the vice-captain who helped him up were acting the same way.
Victor felt like he had done something wrong.
He looked back at his older brother, his last hope. His older brother was always different.
He looked at him differently than others.
“…Oh my God, Victor.”
However, as soon as he saw his brother’s pale face, Victor became aware.
This was no ordinary thing.
‘I am not ordinary.’