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A fierce horse whip flew wildly right past her nose. And with a terrifying sound, it tore something else.
Damia was so startled she froze, unable even to exclaim. But someone else screamed for her instead.
A voice… of a child’s was tragic and pitiful. Damia reflexively turned her head toward where she heard the cry.
Crouching, there was a young silver-haired nobleman with his back exposed.
At the whip that flew again, the boy, this time, clenched his teeth without yelling. It must have been painful and frightening, especially for a child.
However, only venom was burning on the boy’s tear-soaked and increasingly blue face. As if he was determined to repay all of this agony and humiliation one day.
Damia saw the boy’s face before her and was silently astonished.
‘Sir Akkard… … ?’
She couldn’t comprehend what she was seeing. Even though it’s a dream, was such a nonsensical thing possible?
Why is he, the son of the famous Duke of Valerian, being beaten with a horsewhip? Who dares to beat him, and for what reason?
Unexpectedly, the answer to that question came from an unimaginable place.
“It’s no use.”
The girl with a face as young as Akkard said with her pale silver eyes lowered. It was none other than Sienna.
“You can’t see a future that isn’t allowed just because you hit my brother.”
Contrary to her dull voice, Sienna’s hands, which were tightly holding the hem of her skirt, were white with effort. Those miserable fingers twitched a little each time she heard Akkard’s painful screams.
Cunning adults couldn’t miss what Damia had discovered as well.
“It’s all your fault that Akkard is in so much pain, Sienna. If you only answered my questions, would I need to do this?”
What a horrible sister.
The silver-haired man with a whip in his hand whispered meanly. Damia could find the faces of Akkard and Sienna in his cold facial features.
Perhaps that man was the retired and former Duke of Valerian.
‘Didn’t the Duchess suddenly get sick one day, so they went to a foreign country for treatment?’
Damia recalled the retirement of the former Duke Valerian, which once caused a stir in the kingdom.
People called the Duke of Valerian a romantic who gave up power for his wife and went to a foreign country to recuperate. But the man Damia sees now was a bit far from that assertion.
His dark purple eyes had a dark misty lust for power. Far from being a romantic, he seemed like a man who would sell his wife for the sake of any advancement.
Now he was whipping his tiny son, Akkard, to cleverly provoke Sienna.
“If you don’t want your brother to be in pain, you can change your mind. Sienna, don’t you know how important this is?”
“… … .”
“Now, tell your father. Who will inherit the king’s throne in the future?”
Would it be the first prince from the body of the queen? Or would it be the offspring growing in his lover? Or is it the king’s illegitimate son he had with Baroness Rupry?
The former Duke of Valerian patted his whip and asked threateningly. Upon hearing this, Damia finally realized what he wanted.
The previous Duke of Valerian was now contemplating who to align with politically. To do this, he was doing this crazy thing to bring out Sienna’s prophecies.
This would be before Heinrich had yet established his position as the Crown Prince. At this time, Damia was still just a young girl, so she only knew vague stories about the situation.
But she knew that there was quite a fierce competition for the throne.
‘A lot of people were purged.’
The king was very promiscuous and gave birth to countless illegitimate children until he contracted a venereal disease and became incapacitated. Even among his concubines, there were women of quite a prominent status.
For this reason, even though the queen successfully gave birth to a prince, she could not take anything for granted. This must have been a grim period of political turmoil in the midst of the succession strife.
“Sienna, the future of our family depends on it. You are my daughter, so why don’t you help me?”
The previous duke spoke like a caring father while in his hand, he held a horsewhip stained with the blood of his young son.