70. The Duke of Ice
The moment Duke Vincent arrived, we decided to welcome him in the throne room.
“What’s wrong, Eliane? Your expression is gloomy.”
Douglas, who stood beside me, beckoned to me out of concern.
Apparently, Douglas was also going to join in on welcoming Vincent.
“Is it obvious?”
“Yes, a gloomy expression doesn’t suit you. Laugh.”
“I wish I could, but it’s hard, you see…”
We were about to welcome Vincent. I was confused after suddenly being told of his visit. As usual, Nigel’s explanation was brief. I wasn’t going to complain about that anymore—
—Actually, I’d like to, just a little.
The problem lied in Vincent’s personality, which I had heard about from Abby.
“Does Douglas know what Vincent is infamous for?”
“Obviously not. Because he’s a duke, he should be a great guy, right? Yet I am a dragon, it matters not to me.”
“Well, you’re right…”
He was unfazed as always. I was jealous of Douglas’ attitude.
“It seems that Vincent is infamous for being the ‘Duke of Ice’…”
Curious, Douglas raised his eyebrows.
He had been Nigel’s classmate since their school days and had become the lord of a territory at a young age.
He lived near the new dungeon that manifested the other day and also the spirit village.
“He’s ruthless? What’s the proof of that?”
“According to Abby, he purged all the ministers who rebelled against him without hesitation.”
“It isn’t! If you were to purge people merely because they disagreed with you, that would be plain merciless…”
“Judging from a different perspective, it would not be wrong to call that a, ‘dictatorship’.”
Although there were various theories regarding what happened to the purged ministers, there were rumors that Vincent sentenced their families to death.
Of course, those were merely rumors. I didn’t know whether or not they were true.
However, there was a common understanding among the people who heard such rumors—
—that Vincent wasn’t one to hesitate over making ruthless decisions.
Either way, a scary person.
“The Duke of Ice, was it? Well, I think we’re going to get along. I agree with his actions. I don’t know much about rebels, but all enemies should be annihilated. If it were me, I’d cut them into eight pieces…”
Douglas was being noisy. I was still terrified.
Would I be able to converse with such a scary person?
If I behaved improperly, I might get cut down!
No… Nigel was present, and I didn’t think things would get that extreme…
However, when I thought about Vincent, my stomach ached.
“Oh, Vincent has arrived.”
Someone announced such.
When I looked up, a group of five or six people was about to enter the throne room.
The person in the center had the most extravagant attire.
Was that person Vincent?
“…How beautiful.” I involuntarily muttered that the moment I saw the man whom was supposed to be Vincent.
He had long eyelashes.
His hair and skin were pure white, giving a cold impression.
He looked menacing.
When my gaze was involuntarily caught by him, suddenly, he looked towards me.
That person’s gaze was directed at me. My spine froze.
—Why is he staring at me so much!?
Eventually, the man turned away as he knelt before the throne where His Majesty the King and Nigel sat.
“It has been a long time, Your Majesty the King, Your Highness Nigel.”
“Indeed, it has been a long time, Duke Vincent. No need to be so formal. Lift your face.”
The man was instructed by the king to raise his face.
Apparently, I wasn’t mistaken. That person was indeed Vincent.
“I’ve been informed of your recent feats. Even though you’re of such a young age, you’re managing your territory well. You haven’t allowed any invasions from other kingdoms. You inherited your territory from your deceased predecessor and developed it to this extent. You deserve to be rewarded.”
“Thank you for your words.”
The king and Vincent exchanged some words.
During that time, I wanted to immediately escape, but as if I could do that in the presence of His Majesty! I put up with it and stayed still.
Vincent’s back was towards me.
However, I had the illusion that he had eyes on the back of his head. I felt like he was paying attention to every single one of my actions.
Did I do something uncouth?
I was just standing there the whole time!!
I was honestly discomfortable.
“Okay, let’s continue the rest of our talk with the minister tomorrow. Your trip must have been long. We’ve prepared a room. You should retire for today.”
Vincent replied briefly.
“Right, Nigel. The two of you have been friends since your school days. There must be a lot for you to talk about. Enjoy your conversation together.”
Nigel and the king had such an exchange.
…I didn’t think that was the end of today.
I was scared, even though I didn’t do anything…
However, because we were dismissed, I tried to escape to my room…
Nigel spoke to me from behind.
“I’m about to speak with Vincent, but I definitely want Eliane to join. Would that be alright?”
“I, it’s alright with me, but won’t I be a bother?”
“What are you talking about? Let’s go.”
When I tried to beckon to Douglas, whom was supposed to be standing next to me, he was gone.
H, he ran away!?
Speaking of which, I did hear him mutter, ‘boring’ amidst the previous exchange. Did he return to his room the instant the meeting between the king and Vincent ended!?
What a coward!!!
W, will I be safe?
But my worries were unfounded.
“Vincent, it’s been a long time!”
As of the moment, Nigel was putting his arm around Vincent’s shoulder. He talked like a good friend.
“Nigel, it’s stuffy. You’re still the same.”
Vincent was frowning.
To the unexpected outcome, I was about to rapidly blink my eyes.
***T/N: This saint is basically:
>Befriended a dragon and succeeded on discussing teen-lit novels with him
>is the future queen +++ the crown prince is simping HARD for her.
>thwarted the ~strongest~ curse
>was brave enough to Katniss Everdeen “I volunteer.” back when that Cursey Thot’s simp wreak havoc and legit attempted to massacre the people of Lunch and Ham kingdom.
>basically tried to face an actual cold-blooded murderer on her own.
>can clean miasma as effectively as panasonic water purifier.
Then rumors about Vincent came and she was like, “OH NO!!! RUMOR ABOUT MY NEXT IKEMEN CAST BEING COLD-HEARTED AND RUTHLESS!?!?! MY WEAKNESS!!!!!!! WHAT IF HE KILLS ME, EVEN THOUGH I WAS THE FUTURE QUEEN, CAN CAST A BARRIER THAT ENVELOPS THE ENTIRE KINGDOM, AND MY HEALING POWER IS A STEP AWAY FROM RESURRECTING THE DEAD!?!??!!” //shivers
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