Chapter 74 - Reunited at Arcade Street
Max naturally disliked busy places because it reminded him of the battlefield, the only other place he had been to that had been this crowded. For this reason, he felt lost when he entered the unfamiliar Arcade Street. A wandering musician played an instrument in front of the fountain at the center of the plaza, surrounded by onlookers. Lines of people stood outside renowned shops. A wide range of people traversed Arcade Streets, moving in groups as family, friends, or lovers.
‘How tiring.’ The peaceful atmosphere made Max even tenser. He felt like an outsider in this strange place. ‘Where on earth is Jubelian?’ He was constantly moving around, trying to look for her. Just as a man was about to bump shoulders with him, Max swiftly evaded the collision.
“Agh! Darn it!” The man who ended up falling by himself shouted angrily and glared at him. “How dare you!”
Max frowned at the man’s bizarre and excessively loud voice. ‘What is this thing?’ he wondered. He never avoided people who tried to start fights with him, but his top priority right now was to find Jubelian. Max ignored the man and tried to leave, but a group of young men who looked like escorts suddenly appeared and surrounded him.
“What’s the matter, my lord?” they asked the man who fell.
“Where do you think you’re going after offending a nobleman?” the man yelled fiercely as his escorts helped him get up.
Max scowled at his unpleasant words. “What did I do wrong?” he countered.
“That thing you just did, you rascal! Didn’t you just trip me?”
Max unconsciously raised the corner of his lips, feeling a murderous urge rise inside of him when he realized that the man was trying to pick a fight. ‘Should I just kill him?’ Max silently clenched his fists, then unclenched them. The escorts who surrounded him had big figures, but they were nothing compared to him. If he decided to fight back, he could guarantee complete victory. But if he dirtied his hands over this trivial matter, it would delay his search for the woman.
“This has nothing to do with me.” Max once again tried to leave after speaking as nicely as possible, but the other man continued to rave with fury, unwilling to let him go unpunished.
“You scoundrel! Are you trying to avoid responsibility after putting a nobleman in danger? Apologize at this moment!”
Max truly wanted to put this man in danger as he said, but he suppressed this impulse. “I don’t know why I have to apologize when you’re the one at fault for falling.”
The baron gritted his teeth in response. ‘How dare he, a commoner… look down on me!’ As a nobleman who had been born from the lower class, Baron Gordon was disdained in high society for his origins. For this reason, he had been miserable for quite some time. No matter how much support he won using money, there seemed to be no end to his suffering. Then one day, he witnessed an unpleasant scene while he was in an extremely foul mood.
“Oh my goodness, what is your name?”
“Won’t you work for us? I’ll pay you plenty.”
A group of noblewomen who usually ignored him was fawning over a good-looking servant. ‘Disgusting.’ He was so irritated by what he had seen that he ended up summoning the servant and picking a fight with him. He received an apology in response: “I’m sorry for making a foolish mistake. Please be generous and forgive me.”
It was truly a great spectacle when this good-for-nothing, who had been overconfident in front of a group of noblewomen just a minute ago, begged for mercy and kneeled on the ground like a dog. He felt as if he could fly. ‘I’m the nobleman here.’ It was only when he reassured himself of this did he relax. After that day, he bullied tall and attractive commoners to release his anger. But unlike his other victims, who easily apologized, Max continued to be stubborn to the end, making him sink into his violent tendencies again. ‘I can’t let go of a bugger like him!’
“What are you doing? Tie up that arrogant commoner!” the baron burst out, his voice filled with anger. The young men surrounding Max advanced at his orders, but a voice soon made them pause.
“Stop that right now.” The voice was gentle and sweet, but it was also cold and laced with dignity. Everyone ceased what they were doing to look at the woman who spoke.
There stood an elegant woman with silver hair, periwinkle eyes, and alluring features that dazzled the eye. One could immediately sense that this gorgeous woman, who bore a frosty expression, was of the upper nobility. Although Baron Gordon was deserted by aristocratic society, he wasn’t so dull as to not recognize the woman who outranked most of high society.
“I greet the lady of the great House of Floyen. I am…”
The woman listened to the baron’s greetings and slightly nodded before opening her mouth. “I know who you are, Baron Gordon.” Although she had spoken in an icy tone, Baron Gordon was delighted that Lady Floyen had recognized a low-ranking nobleman like him.
“To meet the lady like this by coincidence, I am truly a lucky person.”
The children of dukes were usually treated as if they possessed the ranks of a count or countess. It was rare for a baron to even be able to strike a conversation with someone like her. ‘She’s rather notorious, but what does that matter?’ If he could win the favor of the lady and eventually become noticed by the duke, the baron thought that it was worth using all the money he had. ‘It’s very easy to please a young girl.’ Baron Gordon’s eyes shined at the lady when her red lips parted.
“Really? Because I’m very annoyed right now.”
The baron flinched at her frigid voice, which didn’t even contain a hint of warmth.
<To Be Continued in Book 2>
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