Jewel in the Mist (BL)
Chapter 4: Records
Jule smiled, his fingers twitching under the table. ”May I ask why? ”
”You were under house arrest for a while before father passed, probably a few months now, ” Alexander answered. ”As of current, you don have the best reputation amongst the aristocracy and nobility, not since you last threatened a whole house because their heir did not agree with you, ”
Evelyn rolled her eyes. ”What brother did was not wrong! What right does a mere noble have to disagree with the words of a Valenti, duke? To side with a mere noble over your family, how- ”
”Im alright Evelyn. ” Jule gulped. Noble or not, the fact that Jule Valenti threatened an entire house would already cause enough trouble. Jule Valenti, are you annoying or just stupid?
Alexander ignored Evelyns words. ”Moreover, you have only recovered. I don want to risk you wandering around the northern region, especially when its almost winter. ”
”I…see, ” Jule wilted. There was no point arguing with the duke.
”Winter, huh, ” He mumbled. It was almost winter. Surely itd snow, right? After all, the Valenti duchy was the northern region.
One of the main reasons he began reading Clash of An Independent Sword was because of the protagonists intriguing name: Borealis. Borealis was the name of one of the two auroras, more commonly known as the northern lights. These patterns of colored lights were like brilliant marble paintings in the sky, bright and unlike no other.
One of his favorite scenes in the novel was the first time Borealis noticed the presence of the northern lights in the sky. It was long before he left the County of Edmond, when Borealis was chosen as one of the few servants to accompany the Count to the Valenti duchy. That was also the first meeting between him and Evelyn, where the young, naive girl had supposedly fallen for his face. In hopes of meeting him again, Evelyn had brought up the Valenti knight tournament. Intrigued and encouraged, Borealis applied, not noticing Jule Valenti was watching from the side.
Wait. Hold up. Have they met before? Had he been too late?
Jule coughed. ”Duke, by any chance, was the noble house I threatened the County of Edmond? ”
The only two major families in the Northern region were Valenti and Edmond. All other noble houses were either barons or viscounts, which, even if Jule Valenti had threatened, wouldn have enough power to put him under house arrest.
Alexanders eyes twitched. ”Who else could it be? Because of your thoughtless words, the peace contract between our two houses was almost broken off. ”
”Aren they to be visiting the duchy in a few months? ” Evelyn interrupted. She clenched her utensil tightly, her eyes narrowing at the duke. ”Can you renew it then? ”
”Count Edmond and I are planning to, ” Alexander sighed. ”Jule, you must remember that the count is a blood relative of the queen. The next time he visits, do apologize to him. If you succeed in redeeming the duchys reputation, the order for your house arrest will be lifted. ”
That must have been why Count Edmond visited the duchy in the novel. Jule chuckled, Jule Valent, you weren a prick for nothing.
”Well then, duke, ” He stood up and placed the napkin on the table, careful to not spill the crumbs on it. ”Im not feeling well, is it alright if I leave early? ”
” Evelyn whined, her blue irises sparkling.
e leaving already? Evelyn doesn want to be alone here, ”
”Evelyn, you have the duke. ” He resisted the urge to run off in front of the two. ”Well talk later, dear sister, ”
The way to the library was even longer and more confusing than the way to the dining room. The mansion had multiple routes, and at the end of those pathways were the many directions to the numerous places within the mansion. In every hallway, there were servants who seemed to be so busy they only spared him a slight bow before getting back to work.
As he busied himself in his own thoughts, attempting to find the library himself, Jule did not notice the chamberlain quietly walking beside him. He was aware of him only after Kastel stopped him in his tracks before he could turn in the wrong direction to a different maze.
”Young master, are you by chance going to the library? ” Kastel smiled, the long strands of his light brown hair falling over his shoulders as he leaned closer to Jule. ”If so, would you like me to lead the way? ”
”Thank you, ” Jule rubbed his temples and sighed. ”I never thought I would forget the paths of my own mansion. ”
”Not many would, ” Kastel chuckled lightly. For a split second, his eyes fell dark, the beautiful shade of light brown morphing into a gray, emotionless look. ”It must be because you are tired, young master. Many experience certain…changes after a recovery. ”
”Say, young master, it hasn been a full day since youve recovered, though it doesn take a genius to notice that youve changed. ” The chamberlain continued, his footsteps behind on the cold marble floor slow and heavy.
Jule gulped. A cold, suffocating weight fell on his shoulder, but he shrugged it off with an unknowing smile.
”Last night… ” He scratched his neck. ”I had quite a realistic dream, ”
”Oh? What was it about? ”
”I don remember the events exactly since it all happened so quickly, but the duchy was on fire. ” Jule kept walking, ignoring Kastels persistent stare. ”I was all alone then. When I woke up, I wondered if my current state truly was reality. Since then, Ive been confused. ”
”From today onwards, I have to learn to cherish my current life more. ” He laughed lightly, ducking his head and using a hand to wipe the sweat off his forehead.
”Im surprised, young master. To think a dream could change a person…I wonder what else our minds are capable of. ” The tension from before quickly dispersed. Thankfully, Kastel seemed convinced.
Soon, they arrived at a wide wooden door. Above it was a flaky and peeling golden-plated sign in cursive, wiggly handwriting. ”Ah, it seems we have arrived. Young master, what books are you looking for? ”
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