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He couldn’t stand the slightest offense. He didn’t know what that madman, Damia’s step older brother, was thinking when he was pushing for an engagement.
The sleepiness disappeared from Akkard’s purple eyes.
It was only an hour later that he arrived at Count Primula’s estate. Leon was the first to discover Akkard, who appeared on horseback like a thunderstorm.
Leon, the youngest member of the Primula family, was out in the garden and was practicing walking. As he waddled around holding a maid’s hand, he glanced up at Akkard.
Surprisingly, the young Leon remembered him. It was Leon who ate up all the southern macaroons that Akkard gave Damia during his first visit.
Leon, who recognized the visitor who brought delicious snacks, clapped his hand. And as a sign of welcome, he drooled on his bib.
“Leon, you’re so—Oh my!!”
Noela, who followed Leon later, found Akkard belatedly. She was of the timid-sort and was startled.
Akkard delivered a formal greeting without getting off the horse.
“I’m sorry to visit without prior notice. Rather, where is Damia?”
It was a greeting that had excluded a lot. It was not that far from looking especially sorry.
However, Noella was so flustered she did not notice it.
“Did you come to see Damia now?”
she asked while hugging the young Leon, her eyes widening.
As Akkard nodded, Noella’s lips shut with a face that reflected how awkward she felt.
She recalled Akkard visiting with flowers and gifts last time to court Damia. She couldn’t bring herself to say that Damia went to meet her to-be-fiance in front of him.
“Please tell me. Where is Damia?”
asked Akkard in a more stern tone.
He had anticipated her so when he couldn’t catch sight of her, his stomach started boiling like magma. Feeling as if his hot emotions were going to burst out like lava at any moment, Akkard clenched his teeth.
Fortunately, someone stepped up on behalf of the frozen Noella. He was a middle-aged man with gray black hair and blue eyes.
“Young man…. Who are you to be looking for my daughter?”
It was Owen Primula, the head of the family. Realizing who he was, Akkard immediately descended from his horse and bowed his head politely toward Damia’s biological father.
“Excuse me. I’m Akkard of the Duke of Valerian.”
It was a polite greeting that even the Crown Prince Heinrich had rarely received.
However, Owen, who had no clue of this, frowned and repeated his name,
“If you are Akkard Valerian········.”
The gap between Owen’s eyebrows became narrower due to his displeasure. Steadfastly ignoring this, Akkard reached out to Owen, as one was supposed to do in polite high society upon the first time one met someone.
“Nice to meet you.”
After hesitating Owen clasped Akkard’s outstretched hand. For the brief moment they shook hands, Akkard glanced at Owen with a sharp hawk-like gaze.
‘His hands are cold even in the summer. His eyes are bloodshot, and his pupils are too big.’
Having encountered neurological-affecting drug addicts in the capital several times, Akkard quickly noticed that Owen took drugs.
Of course, Lessid made a great contribution by noticing this:
‘But it’s unusual. The Count Primula I know is not one to force his daughter to marry. I don’t know why he is suddenly moving as Cesare said,’
Lesid muttered, saying under his breath, ‘Does he have a weakness?’
That alone was enough for Akkard to piece together the puzzle.
He had already heard from Damia that Cesare had a “drug.” Now convinced of Owen’s addiction, mentally Akkard clicked his tongue in displeasure.
Ignorant of it all, Owen groaned gently pressing his temples as if he had a headache. Then he stuttered and spoke.
“I’m not sure what kind of person sir is because this is our first time meeting….. but my daughter is not here. She is going to get married soon. So, she will live happily….. comfortably, and well.”
At first glance, he seemed normal, but Owen’s eyes were hazy with confusion and his tone was flat, dim and slurring. Akkard speculated his nervous and neurological system was confused by the drugs, and his mind had been fluctuating for a long time.
Seeing that he was still able to endure this much, he was indeed Damia father. It seemed Damia’s strong psyche was hereditary.
However, it was not a time to leisurely admire. Having confirmed Damia’s absence, there was no reason for him to linger with Count Primula.
Akkard ascended back on his horse, assuring his would visit in the future.
‘She’s probably in Klaus’ mansion.’
A memory flashed through his mind: Klaus’ smooth face.
He said he was of mixed heritage and had a pretty exotic and beautiful face.
Some women preferred such a boyish, pretty face compared to a manly appearance. Maybe Damia did, too.
Akkard was well aware of how sweet her gaze was. Those twinkling eyes that glistened in ecstasy. Any man would risk his life away to receive such attention.
Has Damia ever looked at Klaus with those same sweet eyes that had looked at me?
Imagining the scene, another black. muddy, sticky emotion boiled up in his stomach. It was a dirty feeling he had often these days.
It suddenly occurred to Akkard:
If I arrive at the Count’s estate and see Damia is smiling happily, with my own two eyes—I may go crazy.