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MYGIP Chapter 54

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Chapter 54

The search lasted two weeks. Everyone who was in the auction house, as well as anyone who had anything to do with it, was arrested.

Naturally, it also included the host, Count Nigor, and his servant, Oberon.

She tortured the two to obtain a list of auction house guests, documented revenue documents, and evidence that the Duke of Nikerman had been behind him. The search was thus extended to the House of Duke Nikerman.

The appearance of an uninvited guest made the Duke of Nikerman, who had always been quiet, agitated. The employees watched the Duke of Emers and the knights strode down the hallway with anxious faces.

Most of the employees quickly ran away, so there are only a few people in this place now.

At best, the butler and maid, who have been guarding the mansion for a long time, and twenty loyal servants and maids. Considering that over 100 people at one time worked hard in their respective districts, you can see how seriously the number of employees has declined.

Having reached the end of the hallway, Duke Emers opened the door to the office. A huge, antique carved wooden door opened gently without a sound.

An old man, who looked to be between 60 or 70 years old, was sitting in a dark room where the sun was shining softly. His face, showing his deep years of age, was engraved with thick wrinkles like a tree ring. His reddish hair was intermingled with white gray hair, which at first glance looked like scarlet. He put his hand down as he went through the papers in his office.

When Duke Nikerman raised his head to face Duke Emus, his eyes appeared bright yellow like a full moon.

The Duke of Emers said in a calm voice.

“You didn’t run away either.”

“Because there is no reason to run away. Isn’t it because you’re certain that you’ve come this far? If you don’t accept reality in this situation, you will only become a coward.”

“Yes, you are right.”

Bang! A woman’s hand in a white glove slammed hard against the desk.

“It’s not just certainty. There is even very convincing evidence.”

At the bottom of her hand was written evidence that Duke Nikerman had helped Count Nigor. The Dukes of Nikerman picked up the documents and examined them carefully. As one of those who lead the four great Dukes who support the Empire, his face kept a firm expressionless expression even in this situation.

“Are you admitting with your mouth that you were helping James Nigor’s business by accepting reality?”

“… Yeah.”

As soon as those words were finished, the knights standing by the Duke of Emers fell to Duke Nikerman’s knees.

“I will ask you one last time. Why did you help Nigor’s business? If you were involved in the slave business, didn’t you know that one day you would be like this? You weren’t stupid enough to think about it.”

“As you get older, you sometimes do stupid things, don’t you? I was just doing something ugly to make some money in my later years. Yes, that’s all.”

“Well…. I don’t think that’s all. Let them in.”

With the order of the Duke, the door to the huge office opened and two knights came in with someone.

“Leave this! let it go…!”

She was a girl with long coral-colored hair reaching her waist and pale orange eyes that looked like gold if you glanced at it.

At first glance, she was wearing a luxurious dress and accessories that could be worn by aristocrats.

Looking at the things she’s wearing, most people will mistake this little girl for a noble status.

The girl, who was being dragged into the office with her arms grabbed, shouted sadly as soon as she saw Duke Nikerman.

“Dad!”

The expressionless expression of Duke Nikerman, who made eye contact with the girl, was shattered. He jumped up from his seat with a bewildered expression on his face.

“No…  you, why are you here? She apparently ran away with her nanny…!”

“Do you think I’m going to miss the suspicious characters coming out of your mansion? It looks like they moved late at night to avoid people’s eyes, but to no avail.”

“Hey, Dad… Daddy…! Help me! These people just grabbed me, kept me from going, and tormented me! Dad…! Ugh…!”

The girl, who had been crying for a long time, shut her mouth as soon as she noticed the red eyes looking down at her. It is because her cold, deep eyes evoked in the viewer the fear of the unknown, as if peering into the abyss.

The girl, who was shaking slightly, looked at her father with watery eyes. It’s like she’s begging for help. Duke Nikerman let out his groan and reached out to the girl. But he was soon stopped by the knights.

“At first I couldn’t understand why I was called father. My only child died by hanging himself 15 years ago.”

Duke Nikerman bit his lip when the story of his son came out of the Duke’s mouth. Princess Nikerman was his traitor.

No one is unaware of the tragedy that occurred 15 years ago in the Duke of Nikerman.

Duke Nikerman was a genius and obsessive perfectionist who had admired many scholars from an early age. His personality was reflected in his surroundings as well. A clean mansion without a single speck of dust, angled employees… and only one daughter.

The Duke wanted to make his daughter perfect like himself. He paved the way for his elite by providing a conducive environment for study and hiring talented teachers. It is ironic that he had prepared so hard, but his plan completely collapsed due to one variable.

It was Melberine Nikerman. Princess Nikerman was different from him. No matter how much she studied and studied, she fell behind other children her age, and her personality was mellow and often overlooked by others.

For Milo Nikerman, Melberine Nikerman was incomprehensible. Why is she so stupid? Why is she so dull and stupid? Duke Nikerman persecuted and insulted her daughter on a daily basis. The story of locking her daughter inside her room as the academy exam day approaches was already popular.

The nobles used to gossip behind the scenes that it was harsh and terrifying, but no one dared to stop the duke’s actions.

Is it because their story was just one of the fun gossips to them, and they didn’t want to be bothered by meddling in other people’s family affairs? There was no one who could stop him in the yard that his wife had long since left. No one could save Melberine.

Then one day, Princess Melberine took her own life in the Duke’s office.

No one knows how the Duke felt when he witnessed his daughter’s death. According to a servant who left the mansion a long time ago, the Duke did not get angry, smiled or wept, and without saying a word, he had his servants take over the daughter’s body and ascertain her cause of death. And when the exact cause of death was revealed, he immediately cremated his daughter. Because it was a shame for the nobleman to take his own life, he could not leave any objects that directly revealed the reason for her death.

After that, Duke Nikerman continued his passive political activities for two years, then withdrew his hands completely from politics. It was around that time that he came to be called the old lion with no teeth.

The Duke of Emers believed that his disposition had changed simply as he grew older. But what if not? What if it had changed because he mourned the death of his daughter? The hypothesis, which he will utter from now on, was based on it.

“Let’s take a look at the girl… I realized that this kid’s face was very similar to Melberine Nikerman. Isn’t it only when you realize that all your questions will be answered? That this child calls you ‘Daddy’ and that you helped Count Nigor.”

When the Duke gestured, the knights forcibly removed the girl’s clothes.

“Ugh-!”

“Melberine!”

In an instant, the dress was ruined like a rag. And on the exposed girl’s back, a brand large enough to cover it was engraved. It was the mark of slavery.

“Oh, my dad said not to show it… I can’t….”

Melberine tried to cover her back, as if she was ashamed of the stigma rather than revealing her body.

“You must have had feelings of guilt or affection for Melberine Nigerman, who committed suicide. That is why, the moment Count Nigor asked for help on the condition of giving you a slave who resembled your daughter, you was forced to accept his offer. Am I wrong?”

“You say… it’s all right. The Count returned the daughter I had lost through my folly. He even promised to erase that awful stigma that, once engraved, never erased. How could I not help such a person?”

Duke Nikerman bowed his head. His clenched fists were trembling.

“Not only did you help with the business, but you also had slaves of my own.”

Duke Nikerman raised his head and shouted.

“Don’t call her a slave…! It’s not like that she’s not a slave! It’s my daughter! Her name is Melberine Nikerman!”

“Your daughter?”

Even in the dimly lit room, his red eyes shone brightly.

“This is not Melberine Nikerman. She’s not your daughter, and you can’t say she’s a slave. She is the victim of being kidnapped, losing her freedom and imprisoned in a stranger’s mansion.”

The Duke of Emers had heard directly from the girl that he lived in a small room in this mansion. The reason was obvious. Probably because she didn’t want to be found out that he had bought a slave.

“Have you ever thought about what her life was like, how she lived, who her parents were, and how much she missed them before coming to your mansion? If you did, those words wouldn’t come out of your mouth.”

The old man didn’t say anything as if he was stunned. As if the girl didn’t feel anything from the two of them, she was just crying with an innocent and pathetic face. The knights led the girl and the man out at the Duke’s gesture.

‘Certainly, the more I look at it, the more she looks like Melberine Nikerman. Even the spots on the lips are the same. It’s amazing where he found something like that. But…’

The Duke of Emers, looking at the girl’s face, shifted his gaze to the back of Milo Nikerman as he was being dragged away.

‘That’s all. Even if they have similar faces, they are different people in the end. If so, wouldn’t he have no reason to show affection? It’s funny. Why are you falling apart like that because of fakes? Really, that’s stupid. To the extent that I cannot think of it as the words of a man who once reigned as the head of the aristocratic faction.’

She looked around the room and followed the knights out. widely. The door closed, and silence is all that remains in the office.

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