Chapter 17

Translator: Gold

The place where Marcus Hanson, the old Rosan Family butler, lived was a ramshackle tavern on a corner of Reve Street.

He did odd jobs during the day and served customers at night, living in a small room attached to the tavern.

Marcus had many children and grandchildren, but the family had split up a long time ago.

Artizea had never met Marcus Hanson in her past life.

In the past, his granddaughter, Lise Hanson, had come in as Artizea’s maid, concealing her name with the intention of getting revenge.

Lise Hanson had thought that she had completely concealed her identity.

However, at that time, Artizea already had many enemies. She had to be careful even with her new maids.

After checking Lise’s background, Artizea had thought that her ambition and temperament would fit in well with her work.

In that way, she had secured the position that Marcus Hanson had held. Having taken her grandfather hostage, Lise had no choice but to remain loyal to the end.

However, in reality, she had done nothing to Marcus. She had not even met him in person.

But when she entered the tavern, she could tell at a glance who Marcus was.

Marcus was a 78-year-old man, but he stood erect and firm. Even though the old-fashioned suit he was wearing was worn out, it looked clean, even his cuffs were white.

He asked, without losing his composure, while the other man who worked with him was overwhelmed by Cedric’s sword and his splendid clothes.

“Dear nobles, what brings you to a place like this?”

“…”

“Can you give us a moment of your time, Mr. Hanson?”

Marcus was silent for a moment. But he soon told the other employee.

“I’ll be right back.”

“A-Are you sure, old man?”

“Don’t worry, I don’t think they want to kill me.”

He said that and turned around, walked away.

Artizea followed him, along with Cedric.

Marcus led them to a vacant lot behind the tavern, where they used to put the garbage.

“This is not a nice place, but I work here, so it’s hard to get them to a clean place. Grand Duke Evron, why did you come to visit a man like me?”

He recognised Cedric and asked him.

Eighteen years ago, when Marcus was forced to leave the Marquisate Rosan, Cedric was a child who was not yet ten years old.

However, Cedric looked like his father, his predecessor, the Grand Duke Evron.

As the former chief butler of the Rosan Family, Marcus knew the faces, personalities and history of all the high nobility.

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For that reason, it was not surprising that he knew who Cedric was.

“Although our family has been kicked out, we have served the Rosan Family for generations. There is nothing I can tell you.”

Marcus thought the reason for Cedric’s visit was to unearth the Rosan Family’s weaknesses.

But Cedric shook his head.

“I am simply her escort.”

Cedric pointed to Artizea.

Artizea slowly took off the hood. Her platinum-blond hair slid over her shoulders.

Even in the vacant lot resembling a rubbish dump, the sun shone, with Artizea’s hair glittering intensely.

“…”

“Greetings, Mr. Marcus Hanson. I am Artizea Rosan.”

Artizea looked up. Marcus stared at her for a moment without saying a word.

pent-up anger, grudge, longing, and sorrow welled up inside him, making the old man’s wrinkled face contort.

Marcus did not know what to say.

‘Miraila’s daughter?’

‘The person who had caused the destruction of my family and the extermination of the Rosan Family?’

But he finally spoke in a trembling voice.

“You certainly look a lot like Lord Michael. Heir apparent.”

Eighteen years had cleared away the grudge inside him. Old age had exhausted his body to the point where he didn’t have the strength to vent his pent-up anger.

The longing called forth sorrow. The most intense feeling in Marcus was sorrow.

And sorrow is a feeling that one wants the other person to understand. One wants to be heard, to be comprehended and to be embraced.

That was the only remedy.

Marcus still missed the Marquisate Rosan.

The Hanson Family had served as butlers to the Marquisate Rosan for generations. Although they were not aristocrats, they prided themselves on being different from ordinary people.

Marcus was born in Marquess Rosan’s estate, and as a child he became a playmate of the Marquess’ children.

Since he grew up, he learned to work as Michael Rosan’s attendant. After some experience, he started working as a butler under the orders of his grandfather, the head butler.

His children and grandchildren were also born at Marquess Rosan’s estate.

His sons and daughters followed in his footsteps, serving the Rosan Family.

He couldn’t help but get nostalgic. The more he remembered his family, the more he remembered the good times and the more he missed the Marquisate Rosan.

He wanted someone to help him with this pain, this sorrow.

Artizea could see it in Marcus’ face and trembling eyes.

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It was the same feeling she had sensed in Lise Hanson, who had wanted to kill her in the past.

“Mr. Hanson, you are the first person to address me as heir apparent.”

Artizea said in a soft voice. Marcus spoke firmly.

“Heir apparent, does your mother know… that you have come to this place?”

“She should not. If she knew, she wouldn’t have let me come.”

Said Artizea, then she put her hand on her chest and bowed deeply.

It was a polite bow, as if she were bowing to a priest.

“Mr. Hanson. I have many things to say to you, but first I must apologize.”

“Do you know what your mother did?”

“Yes. My mother poisoned all the direct descendants of the Marquess Rosan and framed the Hanson Family. In order to make me the sole heir to the Marquisate Rosan.”

The poisoning incident took place during Michael Rosan’s mourning period. It occurred when Artizea was six months old.

Michael’s oldest daughter, who was to succeed him, was in shock when she learned that Miraila’s daughter looked incredibly like Michael. But there was no way Artizea could be the daughter of the dying Michael. Perhaps one of Michael’s young grandchildren had played with fire, sleeping with Miraila. For that reason, she had decided to recognize Artizea as her sister, because she preferred that, instead of hearing that her son had impregnated the one who was like his grandmother.

Thus Artizea became a legitimate daughter of the Marquess Rosan.

But Miraila, who had lost the Emperor’s favor by becoming pregnant with Artizea, was not satisfied with that. She needed more reliable safeguard.

She saw the funeral as an opportunity. She poisoned the dinner table, where all of Michael’s direct descendants had gathered.

Marcus tried to prove that Miraila was lying and that she was the real culprit.

However, his intelligent daughter, seeing him shaking with fear, gave her opinion.

「You should give up on that idea, Father. You’re putting our lives at risk.」

「But I have proof.」

「What’s the use of all that? Nothing’s going to change for a while. Even if Miraila’s guilt is proven, we’ll probably be dead before that happens. She’s the only one who deserved it.」

「His daughter continued in tears.」

「Anyway, the inheritance belongs to the only surviving descendant, Miss Artizea. If you manage to reveal the truth, do you think she’ll be grateful? Father, you’d be the enemy of her mother!」

He knew his daughter was right.

「Father, please give up. Our family and the Rosan Family are finished.」

If another heir to the Marquess Rosan had survived, he would have fought loyally to the end.

However, the only direct descendant of the Marquess Rosan who had survived was Artizea.

In any case, Miraila would not leave the Hanson Family alone, even if she took control of the Marquisate Rosan.

Finally, Marcus asked his children and grandchildren to escape before anything bad happened to them.

He told them to conceal their identity and forget about the Hanson Family and the Marquisate Rosan. As long as his descendants could still be alive, it would be fine for Marcus.

However, he himself could not give up his name.

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Even though the Hanson Family, which he considered honorable disappeared, he was still Marcus Hanson.

‘Anyway, I’m an old man. If one day Miraila finds me and kills me, it doesn’t matter.’

That’s what he thought.

Miraila’s malicious scheme had not been properly planned and executed, leaving loose ends. She had no useful advisor, no trusted employee.

Marcus had managed to go into hiding.

Then something more frightening happened than his daughter had anticipated.

The Emperor intervened.

The Emperor was furious about Miraila’s infidelity. But in the end, he prevented Miraila from being executed.

The huge bribes and power covered up the truth.

The Emperor opened his bedroom door again to Miraila. Like a bird, Miraila flew into the Emperor’s arms and embraced him.

After all, nothing could be found, despite the search for the poisoner.

Marcus couldn’t show his face to the world again. That’s why he’d been leading a hard life in this tavern on Reve Street.

“I do not intend to excuse my mother’s actions. I’m not doing this in her name.”

Marcus was staring at her. Artizeria straightened her back, looked at him and said.

“As the last descendant of the Marquess Rosan, I apologize for not protecting my retainers.”

“Heir apparent…”

“I am sorry.”

She bowed her head again. Marcus’ eyes got wet.

Artizea approached him and offered him a handkerchief. Marcus accepted the handkerchief.

Cedric was watching the scene from a short distance.

Some of his retainers cherished him more than his family, and as someone who wanted to protect them, he could not help but have mixed feelings.

Also, Cedric felt a relief in his heart, because he thought that Marcus would be the first person to take care of Artizea, who was isolated in the Marquisate Rosan.

***

At that time, Bill, the butler of the Marquisate Rosan, was telling Miraila about Cedric’s visit.

¡Crash!

Miraila stood up abruptly and waved her hands, upset.

A glass vase that was almost a work of art broke when it fell on the floor.

The glass shards spread out and shone on the leopard-skin rug.

Bill knelt quickly in front of Miraila, not caring about the glass that was scattered on the floor. Then, politely, he gave the slippers to her.

Miraila, who was barefoot and only wore a thin robe over her underwear, slipped her feet through the slippers and sat back down on the sofa with a thud.

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“Tell me again.”

“His Grace the Grand Duke Evron asked me why I was loyal to you and not to Miss Artizea.”

Bill said, interpreting Cedric’s words to his convenience. Miraila was burning like fire.

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