Ariel hummed as she sat in a lavish carriage adorned with pure gold, precious stones and ivory. The seats were so comfortable that it made her very excited. Aside from that, the scenery outside the window were also very interesting.
Magnificent stone buildings, large crowds, and four-legged beasts roaming around them. Everything was incredible for Ariel, who was visiting Earth alone for the first time in her life.
‘It’s sudden but I’ve already decided to stay here, and it’s not bad as I think, isn’t it?’
Since this happened, she thought she’s finally going to have some fun.
“What’s your name?”
The Grand Duke, who had been silent for a long time after boarding the carriage, finally spoke. Ariel was overjoyed as she watched his beautiful blonde hair flutter in the breeze.
‘He’s quite commendable,’ Ariel thought with a smile.
Although she didn’t like small talks, he was a kind-hearted person who gave her a place to stay when she had nowhere to go. When she returns to the realm, she’s thinking of granting him a big reward so Ariel responded kindly.
“I’m Ariel.” She spoke without honorifics.
Ren’s shoulders twitched slightly, but the Grand Duke didn’t seem to mind.
“Ariel, I think I’ve heard that name somewhere.”
“Isn’t that the name of a goddess?”
“Yes, the goddess who was born from a rose. It is said that she was brought up by the God Akelon. Perhaps your parents named you after the goddess.”
‘Hey, you mean you know me?’
Ariel was startled and covered her mouth. She has never appeared in front of humans before, so how did he know her? She was embarrassed by the superior intelligence of humans, but somehow she felt better. Although the gods treat her like a garbage, humans still see her as a goddess.
It was when Ariel was grinning like an idiot, forgetting her pride as a goddess,
“Ah, that stupid goddess.”
Ariel’s lips hardened in a straight line.
How dare a mere human dare speak disrespectful words to anyone?
‘Did I heard it wrong?’
She was so stunned that she doubted her ears, but the Grand Duke drove a wedge between them.
“She was born with the fate of becoming a king, but she doesn’t know how to handle the divine power, so she’s being ignored by the gods.”
Ariel’s mouth widened. What kind of filthy bastard was talking bad about her?
‘Is it Arande, the Goddess of Beauty? Or Cassandra, the Goddess of Childbirth? Or the God of Wisdom, Tailored?’
Ariel, who was guessing the culprit, folded her fingers one by one then wrapped her little hands around her head and cried out.
‘They’re too many to guess!’
Was it the gods who are displeased with her? If it is, then she won’t be able to figure out the culprit even if she stays up all night, so she directed her anger to the Grand Duke.
‘Crude bastard!’ No matter how the rumors came from the gods, how dare humans insult a goddess.
‘Bad man! Once I go back to the realm, I will talk to Akelon about this. I’m sure he will be very upset!’
Ariel clenched her cotton-like fists and vowed revenge. After that, various questions came out of the Grand Duke’s mouth, but Ariel was so angry that she didn’t even pretend to listen.
While the Grand Duke and Ren were puzzled by the sudden change of attitude, the fast-moving carriage arrived at the Grand Duke’s residence.
The Grand Duke got off the carriage first and opened his arms to Ariel. It was already a huge favor coming from him but Ariel’s mood was so bad to accept it as it is.
‘This pretentious human being!’
Ariel turned her head away as she snorted her exasperation, and extended her arm towards Ren.
“You take me.”
Ren glanced at the Grand Duke who’s wearing a perplexed expression. The Grand Duke looked down at his awkwardly extended hand and nodded.
“Let’s do that.” It was as if he didn’t care at all, but to Ren, who has been his assistant for 10 years, he knew that the Grand Duke was feeling down.
‘Really, I feel like a shrimp caught between two whales.’
Ren sighed deeply as he looked alternately at Ariel, who raised her chin arrogantly, and at his master’s hardened back.
“You are here, my lord.” The servants lined up in front of the door bowed their heads politely to greet the Grand Duke. The Grand Duke nodded his head, and the old butler with gray hair, took a step forward.
“You came back earlier than expected.”
“I didn’t prepare bath water yet because I expected you to arrive home in the evening. I’ll get it ready right away…”
“No, prepare the meal first.”
The Grand Duke was a regular man. When he returned from going out, he will take a bath first and then eat.
‘But what about today…’
The butler looked at him with a puzzled look, and the Grand Duke looked back instead.
“I think you must be hungry.”
Only then did the butler discovered the child Ren was holding.
Blonde hair, green eyes, and an arrogant expression closely resembled the Grand Duke of his childhood.
They look like father and daughter.
Like father and daughter.
Father and daughter.
For a moment, the butler’s eyes widened.
‘Wait, is this kid… No, no. Impossible.’
The Grand Duchess died shortly after giving birth to her first son, so there’s no way a ghost could have given birth to a child, and the only other possibility is that the Grand Duke had a child with another woman, which also didn’t make sense.
The Grand Duke was not interested in women.
Marriage with the former Grand Duchess was also only a set up by the current emperor.
But having an illegitimate child, it was impossible.
‘Then what is this child?’
It was difficult to say that this child with blonde hair and light green eyes, which is a symbol of the imperial family, was not of the Grand Duke’s bloodline. The old butler, who was looking at Ariel with narrow eyes, suddenly held his breath.
‘Is it possible that you already had a woman in your heart?’
Yes, that explains it. The attitude of the Grand Duke who had been away from women for a while, and the face of the Grand Duke who looked particularly sad on his wedding day.
‘But if there is a woman you like, why didn’t you look for her earlier?’
The butler who was thinking deeply immediately thought of an answer.
‘Oh, it’s because of status!’
If he welcomes a woman of low status as the Grand Duchess, the empire will be turned upside down, so he hides it somewhere and enjoys a secret affair.
Then only brought in the child after seeing it. As long as the mother’s identity is invisible to the public, he can brush it off.
Convinced that his vain imagination was true, the butler looked at the Grand Duke with wrinkled eyes.
‘He had a child with the woman he loved, but how painful it must have been because he had to hide it until now.’
Of course, it is wrong to commit infidelity, but don’t you say that his arms were bent inward.
‘I was worried that he might be enjoying sodomy, but how fortunate it is not the case.’
Besides, he was very happy to see such a cute little girl after serving only the blunt Grand Duke.
It was when the butler was smiling happily as he looked at Ariel’s cheeks, which were plump like a baby’s bottom.
“Martin, are you listening?”
“Oh, yes! Yes, my lord. I will prepare the meal immediately as you have ordered.”
The Grand Duke’s eyes narrowed at the look of the butler, which was quite different from usual.
“After dinner, bring the child to my room.” The Grand Duke went into his mansion without saying a word, and Ren followed him.
Martin approached Ariel, who was standing still, and made eye contact.
“Nice to meet you, miss. My name is Martin, who works as a butler for the Grand Duke. I’m truly honored to have you here.”
“Oh, I’m Ariel.”
Ariel, who had been in low spirits the whole time after the Grand Duke’s remarks about the ‘stupid goddess’, gave the butler a blunt reply. Still, Martin pulled his wrinkled lips together and smiled softly.
“It’s a noble name.”
“Isn’t it the name of a goddess that is as beautiful as the goddess of beauty? One day she will become the king of the gods.”
Ariel was stunned for a moment. He must have heard the same rumors as the Grand Duke, but the reaction was completely different.
‘…Are you kidding me?’
Although she pondered for a moment, Ariel was originally a simple person.
“Well, to be praised like that. Of course, it’s true that she is prettier than that ugly one. And she will be king someday.”
Ariel, who had been twisting her body with a bashful smile, suddenly arrogantly raised her chin.
“You can call me Ari. I’m giving you special permission.”
Martin tried hard to maintain his mouth shut, but the servants standing behind them jumped and screamed.
“Oh, so cute and lovely!”
“Small and precious!”
“That arrogant tone, it’s so cute!”
Ariel chucked at the sight of the servants rolling and squealing. They were so moved just because she gave them her name, and Ariel find it cute.
‘Is this the joy brought by believers?’
It was only now that she understood the feeling of the gods, who boasted how respectfully their followers treated them whenever they had a chance.
‘Okay, while I’m on earth, I’ll have to coax them well and make them into my followers. Once I did it, I’ll tell them to build a temple for me first!’
A shrine larger than that of Akelon’s, the King of the all Gods, and more beautiful than that of Arande, the Goddess of Beauty. And of course, full of faithful believers who packed it with no space left to step on.
As Ariel was inflated with happy delusions, Martin opened his mouth.
“We’ve made a big fuss in front of a precious person. The miss must be very hungry after coming in a long way. Please, let’s go in. I’ll take you to the dining hall.”
Ariel put her hands on her back and moved her steps in a very calm manner in order to not disappoint her onlooker believers.
‘Ah, that haughty look and dainty steps. How humble!’
But Ariel never thought that her prospective believers would think like that.