This world was the setting for the novel, “The Princess is Loved,” and Damian Kraus was the villain who would get eliminated at the beginning of the story.
Although there was no rule against reusing a once fallen villain, from the way I perceived it, he had no further development. Damian had only played a supporting role when it came to the main character. He was the trigger who made Elena’s real personality bloom.
Damian was the heir to House Kraus, one of the three major martial households in the empire. However, among the male candidates, there was another person who belonged to one of the three martial households.
Reinhard Cromwell, known as the “Sword of the Heaven,” would later rise to become a Sword Master. Due to his prowess, many readers were interested in what the current Sword Master, Count Kraus would do.
Arthur Kraus, head of House Kraus, personally knelt before Elena and Joachim to apologize for his son’s misdeeds. The readers expected Damian to reappear, making speculations such as, “He’s gritting his teeth behind the scenes, waiting to get his revenge.” or “He’ll appear as a villain later on.”
Contrary to their expectations, he did not come back.
Damian Kraus was the only mischief in Kraus’ family. Just him.
From thereafter, the story developed somewhat, and Count Kraus reappeared, as a boy named Alphonse Kraus. Replacing Damian, Alphonse had become the new heir of the household.
On the subject of why House Kraus remained the great leader of the South was not because of their fertile land or good location. It wasn’t due to their renown as strong swordsmen either. The main reason was because they were the guardian of the Runeproud Mountains, a place infested with evil spirits.
Once a year, a mass of evil spirits residing in the mountain range began to head towards where people lived. Hence it was Count Kraus’ duty to command the soldiers at the forefront and protect the people from this march.
In addition, there were such beings known as the dark infidels in this novel. Their appearance led to the collapse of the frontline and destruction of most of the south. Only Sarham, which was guarded by Arthur Kraus, remained as the last stronghold.
In order to support Sarham, various households from the empire provided their aid, one of which was, of course, the Duke from House Edelweiss, and Elena, who grew up to be an incredible magician.
With the appearance of the main character, the fate of the infidels had already been sealed. They were dealt with swiftly by Elena and the Male Lead candidates who followed her.
Alphonse appeared as Kraus’ successor at around this time. He met with Elena to apologize for Damian’s wrongdoings, and assisted Elena in her conquest of evil spirits.
Instead of Damian’s return, only his name was brought up. His whereabouts were unknown according to Alphonse. The readers speculated that Damian was the cause of the monster wave, or that he ran off because he was scared.
Perhaps it was because he had such a Hyung, Alphonse’s appearance was well-received. He apologized for his older brother’s mistake as if they were his own, and the actions he took throughout the subjugation was enough to label him a hero. There was even some uproar over whether he was the new Male Lead candidate or not.
This episode served to prove that Damian Kraus was the only trash in Kraus’ household. It almost seemed like God created Damian just for him to inflict malice upon Elena.
Maybe that’s why my body acts like that when I’m around Elena. I’m going crazy.
Yes, I’m Damian now, and I’m glad to have such a kind younger brother. My past acquaintances once said that the more the younger sibling grew, the more they lost their old personality.
But was it because I knew of the future? I might’ve been relieved since I knew he grew up well even with a trash like Damian for his brother.
A portrait hung above Elena and my head.
The woman in the portrait was seated modestly on a chair. She had light brown hair and green eyes resembling emeralds. The comfortable vibes she gave off was well incorporated in the painting.
A boy, who was the splitting image of her, was trembling in front of me.
I looked around once. It appeared there were no attendants since I didn’t see anyone else but us.
He might have gotten lost. Kraus’ manor was huge, so it wasn’t strange for a child to lose his way. But that’s why we keep attendants by our side. As a matter of fact, the armor ornamenting the corridors was warning enough. Even a stout adult male would not know what would happen if the armor fell on top of them.
But why was Alphonse alone and where in the world did the attendants go?
No matter how well he grew up in the future, Alphonse was still a seven-year-old child right now.
I unconsciously furrowed my eyebrows.
“H-Hyung… Um…” Alphonse stuttered when he saw my expression.
I noticed something in his hand. It wasn’t an item that could be covered by a child’s small hand. I could see the golden chain spilling through the gaps.
It was a necklace carved with our family’s emblem.
I was well aware of what it was.
The unveiled portrait of our mother, Isilia Pavillion full of traces of our mother, and the locket in Alphonse’s hands.
It was then I began to understand what was going on.
I rubbed my scrunched forehead with my finger, then knelt down to Alphonse’s eye level.
“Alphonse. You can’t come here alone without an attendant. What if you get hurt?” I said.
“Do you always come at this hour?”
Alphonse did not answer, but his silence confirmed it, so I didn’t really need to hear his answer.
I always visited the Isilia Pavillion at a fixed time. Today wasn’t one of those days. If it hadn’t been for Elena, this place would’ve naturally been empty today.
Then, why was Alphonse going to the Isilia Pavillion, unattended, and hiding from me?
Entrance to this place wasn’t particularly prohibited.
I had a vague clue to the answer. There was only one person in this family who could control Alphonse.
I turned my head and gazed up at Elena who was standing beside me.
We silently made eye contact.
Elena smiled brightly and greeted Alphonse.
“I saw you last night, didn’t I? My name is Elena Edelweiss.”
The quiet Alphonse eventually opened his mouth. He might be young, but he was learning etiquette. He knew that it was impolite to ignore a lady’s greeting.
“…Oh, I-I’m Alphonse Kraus. And… Um, you can just call me Alphonse. S-Since you’re Hyung’s fiancé.”
“Yes, I see. Lord Alphonse.”
Alphonse’s ears turned red in response to Elena’s gentle smile.
The power of beauty was amazing as to be expected. She knocked him out in one go.
I grabbed Alphonse’s hand.
“Elena, I believe I should take Alphonse back to his room. It’s unfortunate, but why don’t we stop our tour for today.”
“Oh, it’s a shame, but yes, we should. Let us come back tomorrow.”
“I’m sorry… Because of me…” Alphonse kept apologizing.
I brushed his hair. I should be the one feeling sorry. It looked like Alphonse wanted to talk about what happened earlier, but I wasn’t the person he should be talking to.
My head began to ache again at the series of events. First the engagement with Elena, now this predicament with Alphonse.
Does this mean I’m not the only one with a problem in this household?
Time had begun to move again, and the events which should have happened already were being dumped on me all at once.
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