Chapter 53 – The Black-haired Boy (2)
Gris, who had been looking at him, now averted her gaze and looked straight ahead. She felt sorry for the black butterfly. She felt sorry because of its dark color that stood out to its enemies.
Come to think of it, Quentin told her that the Grand duke also liked butterflies. She had thought it was probably just him being kind, but she kind of hoped it was real.
She fiddled with her lower lips with her index finger and then carefully opened her mouth once more.
“I’ve heard that big brother likes butterflies. Do you perhaps like taking a break in the garden too?”
He just laughed in response, as if it was the first time he heard that about him and that he found it ridiculous. Gris supposes that if that wasn’t the case – he was instead laughing at her believing what Quentin said, like a naive girl.
“If you don’t like it, why….”
She was trying to ask why then he called her out and was sitting like this in a place filled with butterflies without clearly stating his business, what was his reason when clearly, he did not enjoy being there.
However, she trailed off because she was too frightened to really ask him this, but then she heard a short answer back from him.
“No, I like them. Butterflies and flowers, they are beautiful,” Vianut told her.
His orbs then landed on a black butterfly that had fluttered down lightly onto a pink wildflower. The instant Gris tried to follow his gaze; a drowsy voice suddenly filled her ears.
“Butterflies are valuable enough for the world that it has gained a right to be greedy.” He told her.
The two of them watched in silence as the black butterfly busied itself with the pink flowers, mindlessly sucking its floral liquor.
Suddenly, Quentin appeared behind it crouched. She felt like his gaze at the butterfly was like the eyes of a leopard preparing to pounce on its prey.
“But what do you think will happen if it gets excessively greedy?” Vianut asked her.
Gris felt an ominous premonition when she saw the growing interest in his face. No way. No way…The moment her heart started beating like a drum, Quentin pulled a handkerchief from the embroidery plate and quickly covered the butterfly.
“S-stop… don’t catch it….”
But Quentin was already holding the handkerchief like a pocket, and the butterfly was heartbreakingly running on it by the time she stood up. The Grand duke, satisfied, stood up when he saw Gris’ distressed and then took off first with Quentin following. Gris bowed her head with her lips trembling.
It seemed like the Grand Duke wasn’t here to take a walk or to collect butterflies. He was here to play a relaxed, persistent, destructive game.
She clutched her chest, where her heart cracked, and gasped in pain.
Vianut van Byrenhag, the lawful owner of the holy land of Byrenhag.
This was a face everyone acknowledged. The citizens would bow and praise the Byrenhag family whenever he passed. Of course, it was not absolute loyalty, but just a token of appreciation for protecting their lives.
Vianut was never impressed with their praise. Everything that settled on the Holy Land of Byrenhag was his. The trees, lakes, flowers, crops, and even the people.
So, it was natural for him to protect it, and if he wanted it was possible for him to kill it. However, Vianut did not kill or protect without good reason. He did it according to his rules.
Catching the black butterfly was a very impulsive decision. He didn’t think of doing that when he first saw the black butterfly as he sat on the bench. Then he recalled his first encounter with the fake Julianna, who stared at the butterfly with eyes swelled red.
The girl’s innocent, defenseless eyes, they certainly weren’t Juliana’s.
In addition, she had too many holes for a con man trying to leech off the Grand duke’s family. That was what troubled Vianut.
He had so far distinguished good from evil by necessity. He had killed the wicked whenever he could, and only let the good live in the land. It was a rule that he should apply to the fake Juliana.
He was ready to kill her as soon as he felt that she was an unnecessary villain in her estate. However, that moment, like a while ago, did not come.
He had been observing the fake Juliana, and she was a mass of contradictions. She was a parasite that had latched onto the Byrenhag family, but she didn’t try to sponge off on anything.
She acted as if she was an aristocrat from the bottom of her bones but would look ashamed when she turned around. The fact that she was a prostitute that had innocent eyes was the greatest contradiction.
Vianut spent a lot of time trying to figure out whether Maria, the prostitute, was good or bad but he still couldn’t tell.
Then he realized something unfortunate. It was the contradicting features of Maria that interested him. That was why he broke his rule and caught the butterfly.
Back in the room, Vianut laid down on a spacious window frame, holding the handkerchief that still had the insect in it. It was a new habit these days, even though he was not interested in sunbathing or appreciating the scenery.
He raised his knees, put his feet on the window frame, used his arm as a pillow, and stared at the ceiling while lying down. All his thoughts were directed at the butterfly trapped in the handkerchief. He wondered how broken it was inside the cloth, and he wondered how Maria would react if she saw that.
Then the white-haired viscount, Briun came in after knocking and came and bowed in front of the window frame.
“Your Highness, the Princess of Britin has sent a handwritten letter.”
Vianut’s unusual eyes turned to Briun. It glowed with drowsiness. He had been like that lately.
Briun knew that it was a warning not to interrupt his relaxation time. The letter, which he had extended to the side of Vianut’s stomach, slipped back.
“I’ll put it on the side table.”
After hesitating, Briun opened his mouth with difficulty.
“The Princess of Britin will be happier the sooner you answer. This is because you can measure a man’s affection from how long he takes to respond.”
It was an epiphany for the young Grand Duke, who was indifferent to the woman, and only spent his time in politics and swordsmanship. Vianut knew all the officials and bishops in his territory were waiting for news on the Grand Duke’s marriage, so he answered as if it was natural that he should.
“Yes, I will.”
So far, he had been delaying his marriage by saying he would do it when his grandmother wakes up from her sickbed. It was because he had lost his fiancé in an unforeseen incident when he was young. He didn’t want to fill the vacancy with another woman.
The longer this went on, the officials grew more concerned and even the king ordered the Grand Duke to fulfill his responsibility. Therefore, he was given a mission to produce a son as soon as possible.
He could resist the rise in fleshly desire after puberty, but he couldn’t resist the king’s command. Therefore, he just had to look forward to the already decided marriage and be content with it. Thinking so, he sat on the window ledge.
Briun, relieved by his choice, looked into the crystal bowl on the floor under the window frame. Inside were piles of sun-dried red jerky and he suddenly thought,
‘It seems like he didn’t eat today.’