The Eldest Daughter Walks Down The Flower Path - Chapter 1
In some cases, the life that some eldest daughters tread is painful only because they were born as eldest daughters.
1. The death of just another eldest daughter
A knight riding a horse passed through the Tilrod family’s gate.
The sudden appearance of the knight was the onset of a tragedy.
With armor that was entirely covered by the black blood of a demon, with a stench that pervaded, with the knight’s own injuries seeping blood through the heavy metal of the armor.
And it was as though the knight could barely hold onto the saddle.
“Ugh . . .”
The knight, moaning with pain, slipped from the horse as soon as the mansion’s gates closed behind them.
The gardener who was working by the fence was startled and immediately ran towards the knight.
“No, Radi . . .”
The gardener hastily corrected himself and used the proper title.
“Young Master David!”
As he tried to remove the knight’s helmet, he shouted at the village kids who followed the knight to satiate their curiosity.
“You filthy brats! You’re sightseeing? Get out! Leave!”
“Uwaah! Sir David’s dead!”
The fallen knight was David Tilrod, the eldest son of the Tilrod family and the Commander of the Expedition Squad of the Imperial Order of the Knights, which was in charge of hunting demons.
. . . As far as the world knew.
The gardener, who chased off the village kids threateningly, quickly laid the knight on the ground and peeled off the armor.
Before long, red hair cascaded down and swept over the knight’s shoulder.
“Goodness, Milady! Please wake up!”
Wanting the knight to breathe more easily, the gardener straightened the knight’s head.
The unconscious face was soaked with the black blood of demons and with the knight’s own red blood, but there was still a distinct beauty to that face.
The knight’s brows furrowed, then the eyes beneath them opened slowly.
“Ugh . . .”
“Milady, are you awake? Please let me help you.”
The knight rose from the ground without saying a word, walking slowly and refusing the gardener’s help.
With a mixture of sadness and respect, the gardener looked at the knight’s retreating figure and bowed his head.
* * *
At that time, dinner was in full swing inside the Tilrod household.
Margaret, the family’s Madam, was busy taking care of David Tilrod, the eldest son who was sitting at the table.
“David, my baby! Eat some vegetables, too.”
“. . .”
But David was busy looking at a book of poetry.
Sitting opposite David was Yurhi, the family’s second daughter.
“Leave him alone, Mom! Older brother’s busy looking for poems to write in his love letter.
“Oh my, a love letter?”
David, who had his nose buried in his collection of poems, raised his head and glared at Yurhi.
“Hey! Shut up!”
“. . .”
Margaret pushed a plate of meat before David.
“David, don’t be so hard on your sister. Dating isn’t something you should hide. But who’s the lucky girl? Hohoho!”
Instead of answering his mother, David yelled at Yurhi.
“You’re married! Why do you keep coming here?! Hey, if you and your big mouth want to start up some trouble, just do it to your husband!”
“What? Big mouth?!”
Margaret stopped the brother and sister’s petty quarrel before it could take off into a more serious argument.
Then at that moment, a maid approached Margaret.
“Madam, Master David has . . .”
When the maid realized that David was sitting at the table, she promptly corrected herself.
“No— Lady Radis has returned.”
Margaret snapped back at the maid.
“What did you say?”
“Her wounds are very serious.”
“. . .”
Margaret sighed deeply, the back of one hand over her forehead not as a gesture of worry, but annoyance.
Her cutlery clattered on the table as she stood up.
“I have to go. David, eat your vegetables, hm? And Yurhi, don’t provoke your brother anymore.”
After Margaret left, Yurhi put down her own knife when her appetite disappeared.
She stared at the fish atop David’s plate.
It wasn’t just fish— it was chock full of vegetables, bread and some grilled meat.
No matter how much you looked at it, all the good dishes were placed in front of her brother.
Yurhi stared intently at David, who was still focused on his poems.
He didn’t even look at the food as he used his own fork to take from all the plates as he wished, as if everything was his.
Eventually, Yurhi decided she couldn’t take it any longer, so she opened her lips with a sly smirk.
“Oh, our poor Radis.”
“. . .”
“She sacrificed everything for her family, for her brother, only for it to be like this.”
David turned sharply to Yurhi as he heard her sarcastic tone.
“That’s right. She’s been fighting demons because her cowardly brother couldn’t do it—for six whole years. She received a title under her brother’s name, was bestowed a pure mana stone and brought it all home. What else could it be called if not sacrifice?”
“You, watch your language! Who are you calling a coward?!”
David slammed the table with a knife still in his fist.
“Why should I be called a coward?!”
“Then should I call you despicable instead? Come to think of it, it was Radis who took the test for the Imperial Academy in your name, which you’ve been shamelessly boasting about all your life. I was only thirteen when that happened, but I remember it all vividly.”
David’s eyes were burning with fury.
“Did anyone ask her to do it? Why should I be a coward when she’s done all that by herself? And why should I be despicable?”
“Oh, right, right! You never asked her! It’s all because Mother coerced her to do it for her beloved son. And now, that beloved son is just lying down under a tree with his mouth open, waiting for an apple to fall down as Mother shakes the tree vigorously for him.”
To mock him even further, she pretended to be under a tree herself, opening her mouth with a red face.
Then, she spoke with a lower tone to mimic her brother’s voice, pretending to hold an apple in her hand.
“I hate obligations, but it’s good to reap the benefits without having to lift a finger. I was too scared to hunt demons, but wow! While pretending to be a valiant knight, I can meet so many girls! Yup, yum!”
David jumped up and rushed to Yurhi’s side to yank down her hair.
“Argh, let me go!”
“I told you to shut up! I never asked for anything like that!”
“Ugh, it’s always like this, right?! You’re only strong in front of weak people like me and Mother!”
“Shut up! You yourself only married well because of the money Radis earned! Why are you criticizing only me, you hypocrite!”
“Argh! It hurts! Let go!”
“Oh, I know. Does your husband have a mistress? Gerrick does, you know, because he likes young women so much. I heard that a daughter’s fate mirrors her mother’s exactly. Does your husband have a concubine, too?”
“What . . . ? You!”
Not being able to endure it any longer, Yuri retaliated and sank her nails into David’s arm.
David collapsed, screaming.
The brother and sister fought like hyenas, tearing each other’s hair off, scratching each other as if they were children fighting over candy.
It was only until Margaret returned that they parted with tears in their eyes.
* * *
The eldest daughter of the Tilrod family, Lady Radis Tilrod, couldn’t take off her heavy armor and helmet until she arrived home.
When someone took off the helmet and wiped off the dry blood on her, it was clear that her face looked terrible.
The once beautiful face now looked as gaunt as a corpse.
Her skin had deteriorated to a mottled purple hue after the prolonged exposure to demonic energy.
Her body was in a worse state.
Her condition was no better than a lone candle in a howling wind, the demonic energy exposure only the cherry on top of all the injuries she sustained during the expedition.
The old maid who was cleaning Radis’ body hesitated before speaking to Margaret.
“Madam, she’s in terrible shape. Shouldn’t we bring in a doctor or a priest?”
Without any warning, Margaret slapped the maid across the cheek severely.
“If a doctor or a priest finds out that she’s been exposed to demonic energy and not David, will you take responsibility?!”
The maid quietly put away the bloodied armor, clearly wanting to say something, but deciding to keep silent. She also picked up the helmet on the floor and gave Radis a sympathetic look.
‘The poor young lady . . .”
Because she was only a maid, she couldn’t dare go against House Tilrod’s Madam.
As the maid left the room with the armor and helmet, Margaret glanced sideways at Radis. Even if she didn’t know anything about medicine, she knew instinctively that it was serious.
But what could she do?
She couldn’t call a doctor to heal her wounds or a priest to clear away the demonic energy.
Then, Radis’ eyes slowly opened.
Her eyes were shrouded with fog.
Margaret was haunted by the unusually dim black eyes, which usually shone with acuity.
She forced herself to speak with a bright tone, but avoided looking into Radis’ eyes.
“Are you hungry? Do you want something to eat?”
“. . .”
“I’ll get you some soup.”
Margaret hurried out of Radis’ small, cramped room.