Chapter 24 - Mikhail’s Regrets
‘No, it can’t be.’ Mikhail narrowed his eyes.
“Isn’t this good news for you? You were worried sick, wondering if she had faked that goodbye!” Radian smirked. Smoked puffed out of his mouth as he laughed.
Mikhail felt extremely displeased by the unpleasant scent of tobacco and his cousin’s vulgar appearance. “Get out if you’re done talking. I have nothing to say to you.”
“I apologize if I have offended you in any way. But I wonder if the displeasure you feel right now is really because of me,” Radian said with a smile. Then he stood up and left the room.
Mikhail frowned and clenched his fists. ‘This is ridiculous.’ He couldn’t help thinking about Jubelian, who had obsessed over him these past few years. He thought it was strange of her to suddenly say goodbye without any regrets, but now it made sense. Upon learning the truth, Mikhail felt justifiably angry.
‘She has a new man?’ He furrowed his eyebrows and gritted his teeth. Back then, he had desperately wished for her to become interested in someone new so she could stop bothering him. But now that it had actually happened, he was filled with anger.
‘Why does a woman like that make me so angry…’ As confusion ravaged his thoughts, a memory of Jubelian’s beautiful face when she confessed to him came to mind.
“I like you, Mikhail.”
At that moment, he became filled with so much anger that he punched the wall.
“Young master! Are you okay?” His servants ran toward him in surprise, but he stood still without responding to them.
“I’m sorry for everything until now. I wish you happiness.”
As he thought about the woman who had left without a hint of regret, a tingling sensation arose in his chest. Mikhail ignored the pain and clenched his fists. ‘She acted as if she was only going to love me for the rest of her life, but she’s already seeing another man?’
His eyes gleamed. ‘You will pay the price for deceiving me, Jubelian.’
* * *
I wanted to give the pendant and cufflinks to my father as soon as I came home, but he was absent.
‘Will he be home late again?’ I wondered to myself.
“Master said he won’t be home for the next few days because of special training sessions,” Merilyn said as if she had read my mind.
It wasn’t uncommon for my father to leave the mansion for multiple days at a time, so I calmly went up to my room and placed the pendant and cufflinks in my drawer.
‘I’ll give them to him when he comes back.’
After I took a bath and changed into comfortable clothes, I opened the military tactics book that my father gave me. It was so entertaining that I quickly immersed myself in the contents.
* * *
The emperor’s secret mission for Duke Floyen was a simple but laborious task.
“I haven’t been able to sleep well after that rat snuck into the imperial family.” The emperor ambiguously mentioned that he was almost assassinated. “I want you, the man I trust the most, to take care of them.”
The purpose of the mission was to eliminate the mastermind behind the assassins. Since the only assassin that was captured committed suicide without leaving any evidence behind, there was no other option but to ambush another assassin for interrogation.
Although it was appropriate for the emperor to give this order to a close and trusted friend, it wasn’t suitable for a duke and hero of this empire to carry out. Nevertheless, the duke accepted the mission.
As soon as he left the emperor’s office, the imperial guards spoke with resentment. “Are you really going to follow this command? If it’s an ambush, we…!”
They rambled about wanting to ambush the assassin in the duke’s stead.
“You men do not need to become a chess piece like me,” the duke said sternly. Although he was being considerate of his subordinates, the knights groaned at their superior’s words.
Max, who had been eavesdropping on the conversation, silently scoffed. ‘He can get rid of him if he wants to, but he’s still following the orders of that trash we call emperor… I’m disappointed in you, Duke Floyen.’
In Max’s eyes, the current emperor, Carlos, was a greedy and pathetic man who was no match for his master. But it was obvious why this outstanding man, who he had once aspired to be, continued to follow the emperor’s orders.
‘It must be because of his weakness.’ As Max cynically recalled this, a knight approached the duke.
“I am here to report that I have successfully completed my escort mission.”
“What did Jubelian do today?” the duke asked with an indifferent expression.
“She went shopping today and looked very happy.”
“I see,” the duke smiled warmly.
‘Why is he like this?’ Max furrowed his eyebrows. He used to think that his master was similar to him, but during times like these, he couldn’t understand him at all.
‘When she gets married, she won’t be part of his family anymore. So why is he so devoted to her?’ For the sake of the family name, it was common to abandon useless children. But whenever his master thought about his daughter, who was nothing more than a nuisance, he revealed a soft spot in his otherwise impenetrable exterior. When the emperor first noticed this weakness, he used it to exploit the duke.
“Sometimes, a person gets stronger to protect their weaknesses.”
‘What a load of crap.’ Max scoffed, recalling what his master had said a few days ago. His eyes then gleamed with determination. ‘Maybe I should check it out myself.’
He decided to pay a visit to the person who weakened his master.
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