The Devilish Duke Can’t Sleep - Chapter 2
The Illegitimate Maid
“Why did such a rich man come here?”
Sid muttered puzzled as she gave the remaining pruned apple to the purring horse by her side.
“Well? What if to heal himself?”
“Why do you have to go to Kerouac to heal yourself?”
“Because it’s close to Ardennes.”
“Is it? Anyway, I hope that man stays for a long time.”
“Yes. The market atmosphere is lively. There seems to be very little leftovers in the market because the house buys this and that.”
“Wow, that looks like a lot of money. Maybe he’s richer than the Baron?”
The two separated after trying to figure out who was richer, Baron Fidelia, or the nobleman who had come down from the capital. The remaining apple was handed to Sid to give when Uncle Theo arrives.
After washing her hands and rinsing her mouth so that she didn’t smell of apples, Lena dangling her braided hair, drew water from the well and poured it into a large pail. Before the maid chief, Mrs. Marvin came out after breakfast, she had to wash all the bed sheets so she had to move diligently. Thanks to that, even though she ate an apple, her stomach, which she thought was full, quickly went out. It was around the time she gasped and barely managed to lay the last sheet on the clothesline.
Lena was startled by the sound of Mrs. Marvin looking for her, eager to eat her at any moment, and she answered in a loud voice.
“I’ve been looking for you for a while! Where the hell are you doing?!”
“Yeah? Madam told me to wash the sheets this morning…….”
“Who are you to talk back to me!”
“There is nothing cute about this little girl. Go to the master immediately! He’s looking for you.”
Lena pretended not to hear the gossip that followed behind her back, that she often walked into Baron Fidelia’s office.
‘You hate me even if I do what you asked me to do. What am I supposed to do …….’
Lena pouted her lips and climbed the stairs. But if there was one more gritty than Mrs. Marvin, it would be the Baroness. Although she didn’t harass Lena herself, she was the number one cause of Lena being bullied in the Barony. Why would the other maids be kind to the maid, whom the Baroness hates openly? She was often beaten in the back of the head, forearm, or back, and all of the troublesome tasks were put off to Lena.
Still, Lena didn’t budge. No matter how much they cursed at her , even if she was occasionally starved of her meals or got slapped by the hands, this was enough for her to endure. If it’s just curse words, it’s enough to just let it go, and even though she’s been hit a few times, or actually quite a few times, she’s never been so hurt that she couldn’t get up the next day,
She thought getting starved was a bit disrespectful, but she still hid jerky and dried fruit in her room, so she’s never really been hungry.
In any case, Lena tilted her head and knocked on the door of the office of the Baron she had little contact with before he was looking for her.
“Master. This is Lena.”
As Lena announced her name, a call came from within the office telling her to come in immediately.
The door opened carefully, and on the sofa of the lavishly furnished office sat the Master Baron Fidelia, the Baroness, and their daughter Elliot Fidelia.
“Did you call me, Master?”
She came because she was called, but Baron Fidelia seemed to be looking at Lena carefully like tearing her apart without saying anything. So was Baroness Fidelia. Rather, it was Elliot who broke the silence.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if she was dressed up properly?”
That was really weird. Elliot, whose hobby is usually tormenting Lena, never praised Lena, even as a joke. It was then that Lena began to get a little worried. However, this was the first time for her to experience this kind of situation, so she couldn’t figure out why they called her and gave her such an evaluation.
“Hmm…… Well, that’s right, but… … .”
Baron Fidelia let out a shaky sigh, like he was brooding over something.
In fact, there was nothing wrong with Elliott’s words. Considering Lena’s biological mother, it’s only natural that Lena was pretty.
The calm dark brown hair was rich, and there was not a single blemish on the skin that was fair unlike a maid’s. With the tip slightly raised, her eyebrows revealed her stubbornness, and the tip of her prickly nose was playful. The peach-colored lips and her eyes that seemed to contain amethyst radiated a refreshing beauty.
However, showing her appearance that was reminiscent of her mother’s appearance made the Baroness even more annoyed, so the Baroness deliberately covered her with soot.
“Elliot is right, honey. She won’t be the bloodline the Viscount wants anyway. That person must have heard the rumor of why she was kicked out of here.”
“Father. You really don’t mean to let me go, do you?”
The Baroness and Elliott looked at Baron Fidelia and tried to convince him of something. In that situation, there was no room for Lena’s opinion, the subject of the evaluation, to intervene.
“However…… Anyway, what the Viscount said was ‘Baron Fidelia’s daughter’. Later, if he found out…….”
The Baroness’s eyes quickly became ferocious at the Baron’s troubled tone.
“It’s not wrong. Isn’t that kid your seed anyway? It’s not my child.”
At those words, the Baron jumped.
“Madam! Are you still talking about it? Because I really don’tt!”
“Who can believe that! You think there’s only one or two people who’ve seen you in and out of that bitch’s house?”
“How many times have I told you that!”
The Baron looked like he was wronged, but in fact, he couldn’t do anything about it either. Lena’s mother was too pretty to be seen in the village, and Baron Fidelia, lord of Kerouac, tried hard to seduce her.
Lena was born after Lena’s mother came to the area, so people were told that Lena would be the Baron’s child. Why would a powerful man leave a woman alone when he was attracted to her?
Moreover, Lena’s hair was the same color as the Baron’s, so when her mother died, the Baron accepted the ten-year-old Lena as a maid of his castle. So it was understandable that the misunderstanding of the Baroness had deepened.
So Lena had been beaten instead of Elliot, who was of her age, since she was ten years old when she entered her castle, and she was also beaten by Elliot. She called Lena here and there, and she did all the dirty work, but there was no kindness for the young maid whom the Baroness and Elliot hated.
But Lena was always brave. The workers in the castle were as cold as ever to her, but the most despised stable keeper in the castle, Uncle Theo’s family, took care of her like a daughter. Because of them, Lena was able to grow up without falling into the hatred for others.
But Elliot couldn’t have given her a generous compliment now, no matter what. Because Elliot never had a good view about her.
So she knew that even now, this wouldn’t be a good story for Lena. But the hated illegitimate child, the maid, had no options. She rolled her eyes and waited only for the Baron couple to dispose of her.
“Hooo…… Well, I don’t think Viscount Delroins will look at the family register in detail, so let’s do as the Madam says.”
“Yes! Well thought. Maybe you made a mistake for this day to come. I will forgive you now.”
The Baroness’s expression, with a somewhat relieved expression on her face, smiled broadly at the Baron to such an extent that her cold, cold face was overshadowed. And she quickly opened her mouth to Lena, in case the Baron might change his mind.
“Lena. You are already eighteen years old.”
“Yes…… I will not forget the grace that the master and the Madam had given.”
“Of course it is. So, the opportunity has come for you to repay the favor.”
For the first time since Lena entered the castle, the Baroness smiled at Lena. Then Elliot stood next to her and stopped talking, as if it was absurd.
“Mother! This is not for her to repay the favor, but for us to grant her another favor. Without us, how could such a lowly girl be the wife of a nobleman?”
“That’s right, that’s right! Aww, our clever Elliot.”
The mother and daughter exchanged affectionate glances with each other. Lena was envious of many things about Elliot, but she most envied that Elliot had her parents to give and receive love like that. Seeing Elliott and the Baroness, she missed her dead mother so much. Her mother, who was as beautiful as the forest at dawn in summer and as warm as the sunset in the evening of autumn, always protected Lena, even though she was so delicate. At that time, she had nothing to envy or fear of in this world…….
While Lena’s eyes sank, the Baroness spoke to Lena again.
“As you may have guessed from Elliot’s story, we found you a husband. It’s the Viscount who came down from the capital. He has a lot of money and is a good man.”
Lena lifted her eyes slightly, which had only been looking down at the floor. It seemed to be the noble man, who had been rumored to be on the market recently. They said that he was very rich, so he spent a lot of money every day. So, there is something quite strange about this story now.
“However…… Why is the noble man with a maid like me…….”
“Oh, Lena! I thought you were really stupid, but you can think like that, right?”
Elliott scoffed. Lena couldn’t figure out what Elliot thought was so stupid when she looked at Lena. While she was beaten instead of Elliot, she learned the rites of the nobility and the history of the kingdom over her shoulder, and she did it without making a mistake once taught. She didn’t know it was an exaggeration to say that Uncle Theo and Sid complimented her as ‘the smartest in Kerouac’, but to say that Elliot, who barely managed to achieve average in every exam, was not in a position to call Lena an idiot.
But Lena didn’t feel the need to argue. Because Elliot’s thoughts didn’t matter to her anyway.
“True. A Viscount never marries a commoner. So you will join the Fidelia family before marriage. For the next three months, try to learn the etiquette to match Fidelia’s name. You must never let the Viscount know that you were a maid.”
“What? I…… I’m going to join the family?”
Lena, who opened her eyes wide, couldn’t shake her startled look and looked at the Baroness.
“Yes. You will receive a grace that is not enough for a lifetime of gratitude. So, even if you are married, you must never forget this grace. Do you understand?”
“Yes…… I under…… stand.”
Seeing Lena answering in a faint manner, the Baroness smiled contentedly.