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FUL Chapter 98

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Felix took his eyes off the letter and stared sharply at the man who delivered it. He was a servant whom he had seen several times in the duchy.

“Why did he invite Lucy?”

“The master wants to hear directly how Lucy Keenan, whom he is sponsoring, is living in the academy and if there is any inconvenience.”

Felix chuckled. His father was by no means a man to mind such a thing. It was clear that there was another ulterior motive.

“Who else was invited besides Lucy?”

“There is only one person who has been invited to today’s dinner.”

In response, Felix bit his lip.

The Duke seemed to know more than he expected. 

The relationship between them and about how significant Lucy has become to him. If he uses her well, he will be able to control Felix easily.

How on earth did he find out? Could he have attached people to follow me in secret?

In light of the Duke’s terrible character, it was not impossible.

One thing was certain, he could no longer hide his relationship with Lucy from the Duke. His father already knows everything.

“I’ll have a carriage ready for you in the evening.”

Even though Lucy has not yet answered, the man sent by the Duke delivered the schedule arbitrarily.

“When you’re ready to go to the Duke’s house…….”

“Tell him she’s not coming.”

Felix interrupted the man in a sharp voice.

“……I’m sorry, young master. The master ordered Miss Lucy Keenan to answer directly.”

“Tell him she’s not coming.”

Felix said firmly, cutting off the man’s words repeatedly.

“I’ll be attending the dinner in Lucy’s place. Tell father that.”

“All right, young master.”

As soon as Felix finished speaking, the man answered, bowing his head. In the first place, Lucy’s attendance was unimportant. After receiving Felix’s answer, he left the library without hesitation.

“…… Why did the Duke suddenly invite me?”

Lucy’s trembling voice was heard behind his back.

“Does the Duke know all about it? … about you and me.”

“My father often invites people whom he is sponsoring to the mansion. There’s no other reason.”

Felix looked back at Lucy and lied. He didn’t want to see her worrying or getting anxious about his father. But Lucy didn’t believe what Felix said.

“Then why are you stopping me from going to Duke’s house?”

“That’s…”

Felix was rendered speechless. She appeared to have a general understanding of what was happening even though he kept lying.

“… After all, the Duke knows everything, that’s why you’re in a difficult position.”

Lucy had a confident look on her face, and Felix, on the other hand, could not deny it. 

“Don’t worry. This is my first time meeting someone. My father is probably just curious.” 

Felix tried to look as if he was talking about something insignificant, but Lucy was still suspicious.

She didn’t ask Felix any more questions. To be honest, even if they were discovered, there was nothing she could do about it. It just adds to her worries.

Felix felt sorry for Lucy for no reason. He wouldn’t have had to go through this if he had a normal father, or at least one who wasn’t such a horrible man as the Duke of Berg.

“You didn’t do anything wrong. Don’t be so upset.”

Felix said, gently sweeping Lucy’s cheek down.

“I can handle this.”

If he can no longer hide it, he has no choice but to confront it head-on.

Lucy still had a shadow on her face, but she nodded reluctantly when she saw Felix’s determined face.

***

Felix reassured Lucy, who hardly shook off her worries, and then turned around and left the library.

“How are you going to solve it?”

At that time, a voice from behind stopped him in his tracks. Turning around, Adrian was standing by the door.

“Your relationship with Lucy…… You should have been more careful, Felix.”

As if he had heard the conversations with Lucy, he sighed, rebuking his brother. He looked worried that his beloved junior would get involved in something useless.

Felix, who knew what he was worried about, had nothing to say. There was nothing wrong with Adrian’s words; he should have been more careful.

“……I’ll take care of Lucy, she’ll be fine. “

“Lucy is Lucy. You’re the one I’m worried about, Felix.”

At Adrian’s words, Felix closed his mouth and raised his head. Adrian’s face was filled with sadness for Felix.

“These days you’ve been following father’s order, you’re learning business, and you run right away as soon as you’re called?…. I was wondering why you suddenly changed. Is it because of Lucy and me? Because you think you’ll be able to protect us if you get power?”

Adrian paused. Then he hesitated and continued talking.

“You said you didn’t want to live like our father or be like our grandfather.”

Felix couldn’t fathom Adrian’s intentions.

Then what else is there to do? For now, he has no choice but to do what their father tells him to do.

Moreover, it was Adrian himself who always showed signs of giving in, saying, “Let’s not make father angry,” and “Let’s follow his words for now.”

“You’ve been avoiding situations that are against our father’s will, Adrian. Why are you asking me that now? Isn’t this what you wanted?”

When asked by Felix, Adrian lost his words this time and closed his mouth. After a while of hesitating, he continued his words with difficulty.

“……Yes, I always wanted you to live as a proper successor because I didn’t want to be dragged around fulfilling your role. I wanted to live as a whole person, not as someone else’s shadow. But… I know I’ll never have that freedom.”

Adrian raised his gloomy eyes and looked at Felix.

“I’m scared because you’re changing. If you do your part entirely…… So what will happen to me, your stand-in?”

At Adrian’s words, Felix was stunned as if an explosion had occurred right next to him.

His brother was still struggling in the hands of his father, strangling him. He was afraid he wouldn’t be used as his replacement.

“Trust me, Adrian. I will never let father touch you again.”

Adrian smiled faintly at Felix’s words.

Does it mean he believes him or not?

Adrian did not answer until the end.

***

Around evening, Felix headed to the duchy. His conversation with Adrian left him confused.

The Duke didn’t look very surprised when Felix, not Lucy, appeared in the mansion. He sat like a statue at the table and watched Felix enter.

“You wanted to see Lucy.”

Suddenly, Felix spoke without greeting him. The Duke responded calmly, without expressing his displeasure at his disrespectful demeanor.. 

“Because I am Miss Keenan’s patron. Isn’t it only natural to be concerned about what she might be lacking?”

The Duke spoke with a brazen expression on his face.

Felix felt suffocated already. He didn’t want to spend a lot of time talking to him.

“I don’t want to hear a long story. What do you want from me? You must have had a reason for calling me out and using Lucy as an excuse.”

He spoke impatiently.

“Sit down first.”

The Duke relaxed and offered him a seat.

“Yes, since you look so impatient, so I’ll get straight to the point.”

As Felix sat down, the Duke opened his mouth.

“As soon as this war is over, the emperor will try to build a wall on the eastern border.”

Felix’s eyes shot open in response to the unexpected remark.

The war had just started a few days prior, and the populace of the imperial city was in disarray. He had no idea why his father had brought up the war’s conclusion.

Regardless of Felix’s expression, the Duke continued the story.

“In the meantime, the Kingdom of Lausanne was like a wall that blocked the relationship between the empire and the barbarians. Now that Lausanne has recruited the barbarians and invaded the eastern borders of the empire, the wall is as good as gone. Perhaps after the war, we will need a new wall to stop the barbarians.”

The Duke continued in a monotonous voice.

“They will need a huge amount of stone. Go to Ikar before the imperial family and monopolize the mountain stone.”

“…….”

Felix looked at his father, speechless.

This country was at war. Even at this moment, many people are suffering in the east.

Moreover, Adrian could have left for the battlefield in a few days.

But even in this situation, he was thinking about raising money.

Is he really a man of no blood or tears?

“They haven’t even sent all the imperial troops, and yet, you’re already talking as if the war is over.”

Felix was sarcastic. However, the duke replied in a firm tone.

“The Imperial Army will win.”

There was no doubt in his voice.

“Lausanne’s strength is not comparable to the imperial army in the first place. The only annoying part here is that the barbarians Lausanne recruited are also quite intimidating when they are on horseback, but that’s all. If they drop it from the horse, their fighting skills are useless.”

The Duke explained with an insensitive face, as if he were talking about a war in another country.

“Lausanne started this war because they wanted to keep some territory in the east as a disputed area. The battle is already won. Therefore, we should not care about the process of war, but prepare in advance to seize the opportunities that will come afterward.”

After finishing the explanation, the Duke looked at Felix’s face as if waiting for his answer.

“But it would be too late. By now, the imperial family is already trying to buy stones in Ikar.”

“Except for Berg, the Ikar imperial family will not negotiate with anyone.”

“What do you mean?”

“This means that we have already obtained priority negotiation rights for the mountain stone a few months ago.”

“A few months ago?”

Felix opened his eyes wide, as if he were surprised.

“How did you know we’d need stone?”

As soon as he asked the question, Felix began to get goosebumps on his back. He whispered lowly to his father as his face twisted.

“……You already knew that there would be a war.”


Sienna

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