༺ The Disciple ༻
Although a long time had passed since Frey left the room the girls were in, only a heavy silence lingered in the room.
“Girls… I have something to say.”
The girl who previously offered themselves as tribute to Frey broke the silence with a grave expression.
“I’m going to attack Frey when he returns.”
All the girls froze on the spot when they heard her declaration.
“E-excuse me! What are you saying!”
Lulu hurriedly approached the girl and spoke out as all the other girls remained frozen stiff in terror.
“I-If you do that… Lord Frey will…!”
“…He’ll kill me? He has a terrible temper and he is also the biggest scum amongst the trash of the Empire, he’ll definitely kill me out of rage.”
The girl wore a rueful smile, and Lulu started muttering with a pale face.
“By any chance… are you…”
“Yes, I no longer have the will to live.”
The girl continued with a trembling voice as she expressed her intent to die.
“I can’t harm myself, much less commit suicide due to the curse placed on me. No matter how much trouble I caused my owner, they had always spared my life.”
“Except, I was punished in ways far worse than death every single day.”
The girl’s grievances greatly shocked Lulu.
‘To think that she couldn’t commit suicide or perform self-harm of her own free will…’
Lulu, who has ‘Magic Eyes’ and the ‘Stigma of Misfortune,’ is immune to curses and brainwashing. Thus, she was greatly shaken when she learned that the freedom to die can also be taken away.
“S-So you will… Lord Frey…”
“I no longer want to continue to live this way. I just want to be at peace now… I’m sorry Ms. Lulu.”
Lulu quickly raised her hands to stop the girl when she began apologizing.
“W-Why are you apologizing! No, rather than that, doing such a thing…”
“Cause if Frey gets mad over this incident, he’s going to take it out on you.”
Lulu scanned the room and noticed all the other girls silently nodding their heads. She could only remain silent as she lost her train of thought.
Unlike herself, the girls were all too familiar with being the outlet of their owner’s rage.
“Sorry… I’m really sorry… no matter how much I resist and fight back against the other aristocrats… they would only sneer and ridicule me…”
“Please wait, please hear me out…”
“But if it’s Frey, I’ll definitely be killed or be given the death penalty. Therefore, if I want to die, it has to be now, while my body is momentarily free…”
Lulu, who desperately attempted to convince the girl otherwise. She turned pale when Frey entered the room.
“Hm? Why are you staring at me like that?”
When Frey, whose face turned red from drinking and inquired with a frown, the girl beside Lulu began to slowly approach him.
Right as Frey tilted his head and Lulu screamed with a pale face-
The girl took out a hidden knife and attacked Frey.
Unfortunately, she ended up rolling across the room as Frey snatched the knife and kicked her away with ease.
“Oh my, is this a rebellion?”
Frey glanced at the girls as if he found the whole situation amusing.
“P-Please kill me…”
“I wasn’t in my right mind and did something I can never be forgiven for. I’ll pay for this mistake with my life, so please…”
Frey roughly understood the situation from listening to the girl beg for death with a pale face. He walked towards her.
The girl silently closed her eyes as she sensed her impending death.
“…Lulu, how should we deal with her?”
But Frey simply looked down at her and questioned Lulu.
“W-Why are you asking me that…”
“Cause, all the girls in this room are now yours.”
Lulu’s face displayed bewilderment as she glanced around at the girls in the room.
“I just bought all the girls here.”
“W-What do you me…”
“I thought about it, and I disliked that you, my pet, are classified the same as them.”
Frey curved his lips into a smile and continued.
“And… it wouldn’t be good if my pet didn’t have personal servants to take care of her needs, correct?”
Having stated as such, Frey pet Lulu as the girls started staring absent-mindedly.
“You all heard, right? Lulu is your owner from now on. In other words, you’re the pets of my pet.”
“Lulu… you can manage them properly, correct?”
Lulu opened her mouth to utter something but instead just ended up nodding in a daze as Frey gently stroked her hair with a smile.
“Good. Then you’ll be the one to order them from now. You’ll also be the one who decides their punishments, starting with the bitch who attacked me earlier.”
“Of course, as this is a gift to you, I won’t concern myself with how you go about punishing her.”
Before anyone could respond, Frey, who spoke to Lulu with a smile, had already left the room.
All the girls directed their gaze towards Lulu. Lulu stood there dumbfounded with her mouth agape.
“…Nice to meet you?”
In this moment, the girls whose sincere desires were to find comfort in death after years of inhuman treatment found salvation in the most unexpected way.
“Lord Frey, um… regarding the recent…”
“…Let’s discuss it later via letters.”
After drinking with my scummy friends, I was summoned to many locations, receiving fake birthday congratulations and bribes guised as gifts. Before I knew it, the sun had already set.
It obviously wasn’t the first time people pretended to like me or attempted to bribe me, but recently, a new pattern was added.
“Yes! I’m in your care, Lord Frey!”
That is, there were individuals visiting to inquire regarding the Demon King’s Army.
There were around 5 people who visited, and while 5 may not seem significant, those 5 people are all key figures or high ranking aristocrats.
Befitting of their higher status, they didn’t blindly believe my words like the previous idiots and maintained their suspicions. Although they were cautious and asked me questions metaphorically, it’s obvious what decision they would make as they were all people who would end up betraying the empire.
“The sun has set…”
As I glanced out the window while lost in my thoughts, the sun had set and night was quickly approaching.
Since my birthday only began in earnest when the stars the Starlight family represented began to appear, I should have some time in the meantime to rest.
“Lord Frey! Lord Frey!!”
Shit. Seeing how the imperial maid is quickly approaching me with a pale face, it didn’t seem like I’ll be able to get a break.
I wonder what happened this time. At this point, my expectations precede my worries.
“S-Something big happ…”
“I know, so just get to the point.”
“T-That… Lady Serena…”
I directed a complicated gaze towards the maid and urged her to continue. Upon hearing Serena’s name unexpectedly emerge from her mouth however, I froze in place.
‘Serena… has already arrived?’
She had already arrived at the ball but didn’t come to see me. And for some reason, the imperial maid is staring at me desperately as if I’m the only hope.
No matter how much I wanted to deny it, these circumstances were indicative of a single possibility, resulting in my face turning pale. The maid shortly confirmed my hunch with a trembling voice.
“…Lady Serena is drunk.”
I tightly shut my eyes and asked with much frustration.
“What were the imperial maids and servants doing instead of stopping her?”
“That’s… Lady Serena was being very stubborn…”
“And, how is she currently?”
“She’s gotten to the point no one but Lord Frey can stop her.”
Alcohol is Serena’s only weakness.
Not only does she have an extremely low alcohol tolerance, but she can also become quite the handful when she’s drunk. At times, it would reach the point where even the imperial maids who despised me would search for me since I’m the only one who can calm her down.
As I stood up with a sigh, the maid let out a sigh as well as if they could finally relax.
Although we both sighed, unlike the maid’s, mine wasn’t out of relief, but out of worry.
“Is Serena in there?”
“Y-Yes… in there…”
“Alright, just see yourself out.”
When we arrived with heavy footsteps before the doors to the room, I noticed maids and servants standing by with exhausted faces.
“Thank you very much, Lord Frey.”
As soon as I approached the door, they bowed at their waist to express their gratitude before making way for me.
To think I would receive such genuine thanks… I would normally be happy about it, but I wasn’t in the most cheerful state.
I entered the room while entertaining such thoughts and caught sight of Serena mumbling nonsense with her head lowered.
I carefully called out to her despite my nervous state. Serena slowly lifted her head and stared at me.
“Who are you…?”
When I heaved a sigh upon seeing her ask such a question with hazy eyes. I then began approaching her.
However, I halted my approach when I overheard someone’s voice from behind her. I took a deep breath and extended my neck to see who it was.
It was Roswyn who looked as if her soul had escaped from her body.
“…Serena? Why is she here?”
I stared dazedly at Roswyn before carefully questioning Serena. Serena slowly opened her eyes.
“Do you hate me? Is that it? Do you actually despise me?”
She cried out sorrowfully. Hearing her voice choke up in despair, I felt my own face grow pale as I was trapped in my own thoughts.
‘…Have her memories not returned yet?’
Now that I think about it, all I can recall is that she regains her memories at dusk. Unfortunately, I am unsure as to how she regains them.
And so, if by chance, she’s unable to regain her memories due to this drunken state…
“Why are you always cheating on me… How am I worse than that vixen of a bitch…”
It seems like I might have to listen to Serena’s drunk mumbling for the entirety of my birthday party.
“Hey, what are you doing?”
As I broke out in cold sweat from that foreboding thought, Serena began grilling Roswyn with a glare.
“Why are you there?”
“Y-you told me to kneel over here…”
“So why are you staring at Frey?”
“T-That’s… he suddenly entered…”
Despite being told to leave, Roswyn hesitated. Serena silently reached for the wine bottle on top of the table.
Frightened, Roswyn quickly escaped from the room.
After influencing Roswyn to leave with the use of intimidation, Serena turned her gaze towards me and spread her arms out with a cute smile.
“…How disgraceful. It’s no wonder I dislike you.”
Since I believed she hadn’t regained her memories, I hurled hurtful words while looking down at her.
“My memory has returned.”
However, Serena suddenly made a sullen expression as she stated that her memories had returned.
“Hearing such things from you while the sun’s up is more than enough.”
“H-How did you…?”
Serena whined with an upset voice, so I questioned her, and she replied with a smile.
“At first, I requested my collaborator to come visit me every time I wanted to erase and retrieve my memories. However, they went on strike after stating that it was too tedious.”
“Yes. So I asked them to make it so I would regain my memories when the sun sets and forget all about them after sunrise. It makes me a little uneasy, but it can’t be helped.”
“Then, what about the alcohol?”
“Just an act. If I were actually drunk, the room would probably be in a total mess wouldn’t it?”
It was just as she stated. When I scanned the room, it was too tidy. If she really had been drunk, there probably wouldn’t be any furniture nor any individuals in the vicinity.
“So… what was the purpose of this act?”
“Well, I had to scold a certain vixen first…”
Serena wore a triumphant smile as she explained while tapping the desk with her fingers.
“Secondly, I needed a private space where no one would interrupt us.”
Upon hearing her second reason, my face reddened and I swallowed my saliva.
In response to my reaction, Serena laughed and began to tease me.
“What are you thinking of? I told you last time that we can’t do it for now.”
“It’s about the Prophecy.”
When I stared at her dumbfoundedly, Serena lowered her voice to a whisper and I began to listen seriously.
“I found something interesting in the prophecy you sent me through my owl.”
“What do you mean interesting?”
Serena’s eyes shone when I questioned her as I tilted my head.
“There’s an additional portion to it.”
“When I compared it with the prophecy I have, I noticed that there was a difference.”
I quickly approached her in shock, and Serena embraced me before whispering into my ear.
“The final part of the prophecy.”
Inside the Magic Tower at the same time.
“…I finally managed to rid myself of that shrewd bitch.”
The Tower Master silently drank wine as she recalled how she had to teleport to Serena every night to return her memories.
“…Lord Tower Master, a guest came to see you.”
“Tell them to screw off.”
The Tower Master, who was fully enjoying her long sought-after comfy evening, frowned upon hearing an apprentice wizard knock on her door.
“We tried to see them off, but the guest was being stubborn…”
“Then just beat them till they leave.”
“We tried, but we failed.”
The Tower Master’s expression hardened as the apprentice wizard spoke with sweat pouring down their face.
“The tower wizards are currently fighting them, but the visitor seems to be quite skilled…”
“Did that bastard say anything?”
The Tower Master laughed as if the situation was ridiculous when the apprentice wizard answered after briefly hesitating.
“That your disciple has returned…”
After laughing for some time, the Tower Master departed her room silently and descended the stairs. On the way down, she retrieved a worn out photo and mumbled to herself.
“The shrewd bitch who left in the past now shows up to get a beating.”
A scowling Irina could be seen in the photo.