“Wh-what is the young miss doing”
“She wouldnt be able to hear anything even if she puts her ears on the door,” the Black Falcons murmured.
Aria had a serious expression as if she could really hear something from the inside.
Her cute antics caused the knights to feel a pang in their heart.
“What are you investigating” A knight asked while suppressing a chuckle.
‘Should I answer him Aria thought as she stared at the knight whose eyes glimmered with anticipation.
In the end, she decided to tell him.
[A murder case.]
The Black Falcons glanced at each other before breaking into hysterical laughter.
“A murder case. Pfft!“
“Well, if you stay near the lord, then youll never lose your job as a detective!”
“Youve come to the right place!”
“Well help you find the evidence!”
They had a knack of lightening up heavy subjects.
‘I can see that they were trying to brighten things up since I am currently a child, but…
This was not it.
Their way of talking would only make kids cry.
The grand duke, his subordinates, even his children!
All of them had no talent in childcare.
‘Now I know why the Black Falcons were as infamous as the Valentines. Aria thought.
Dwayne was the only normal person here in the grand duchy.
‘He always has an expression that seems to mirror headaches while standing next to the grand duke.
He must have taken the wrong job.
Aria pitied the aide.
Then, she focused her hearing senses to detect sounds from the mansion.
“Unfair, you say” Tristan spoke.
W-well, I do not understand why we must compensate for the parasites…”
As soon as Aria knew the other persons identity, she immediately figured out what was going on.
‘He mustve brought the compensation money for the grand duke.
However, by his intonation, it seemed that the viscount had not prepared 1 billion zahr.
It wasnt unexpected since he did have a lot of debts.
“It appears that you have misinterpreted my words.
The parasites are also part of our private property.
Werent you people the ones who took it without my permission”
Aria heard the grand duke snigger.
The Grand Duke of Valentine was deliberately mocking him.
“I suppose thats only fair, but… Your Grace please…”
The viscount was obviously troubled.
‘He has no other choice than to agree with the conditions.
Since the cause of their illness has been revealed, his vassals might tarnish his reputation if he leaves it as it is.
Besides, they had spread rumors about the Valentines curse when it was actually a parasite infection.
It could cause great mishaps if the rumors were to spread within the territory.
Viscount Cavendish was wrapped around Tristans fingers.
“Your Grace, the viscounty had suffered from a massive drought last year…”
“Get to the point.”
“I was out of it because of serious financial difficulties.
Please forgive me.”
Suddenly, Aria heard a loud thud.
‘Is he kneeling on the floor
Aria thought that he was being ridiculous.
They were the ones in the wrong, but they were conceited enough to spread malicious rumors and even demanded money.
‘Apologizing wont fix anything.
And as she expected, the grand dukes response was cold.
“Do you think that Ive come all the way here just to see your ugly self”
‘Did the grand duke put a sword on his neck
Even if Aria couldnt see them, she could roughly predict the situation.
“Your Grace, Ive told you several times already.
You can only threaten him after at least 10 minutes of conversation,” Dwayne said as he blamed the Grand Duke.
“I havent killed him yet.”
“Well, you can at least talk to him for five more minutes.”
“You heard that Let us have an honest conversation with each other for 5 more minutes,” the grand duke said to the viscount.
Aria thought that the grand dukes tone was brighter than before.
‘Im pretty sure that he meant, if you dont give me a satisfactory answer within 5 minutes, Ill kill you.
Even Viscount Cavendish seemed to have noticed the meaning behind his words.
He quickly spoke, “If its alright with Your Grace.
This is an ancient relic that my ancestors found from 500 years ago… .”
Aria could hear him arranging items on the table.
“This is my family heirloom!”
He was selling his heirlooms.
He must have been in a real hurry.
“Alright, thats not bad.
Ill deduce 700 million from your payment.
Get the other 300 million within a month.”
“Ah, a month is too…”
“Is very… reasonable.”
“Of course, it is.
Now get out.”
The viscount finally stood up and stepped back.
Aria heard the clatter of his footsteps getting closer and closer.
But before she could react, the door had already burst open.
“What the— A kid”
She became a trapped bird.
Aria had leaned her weight on the door, so when he opened it so suddenly, she had no choice but to stumble and fall on her butt.
As she lifted her head, her gaze came into contact with Viscount Cavendish.
With a crooked face, the viscount spoke, “Dont just stand in front of a door… Wait, this hair color…”
He narrowed his eyes with a look of impatience.
Then, he reached out and took off Arias rabbit mask.
He caught her off guard.
Aria hurriedly bowed her head and covered her face.
But it was already too late.
Viscount Cavendish had already seen her appearance.
“Cortez the clown!”
“Ha!” Viscount Cavendish said as he burst into laughter.
House of Cortez was a very famous family.
They were known for producing world-class musicians, but now they were famous for being a disgrace in the nobility.
“You look so much alike.
I can see the resemblance.
But, hmm… since when did that clown have a daughter How come Ive never heard of it”
Unlike his predecessors, the current count was ridiculed as a circus leader.
This was because he had taken advantage of the Sirens, a minority race, to bring back his wealth and fame.
At this point, the only ones that came to listen to the Sirens songs were people whose lives were beyond redemption.
‘Like people who suffered from severe drug addiction and looked for greater stimuli.
Viscount Cavendish was one of them.
“Then, is your song so fantastic, huh”
He was a member of a secret society.
The meetings they held were a complete secret to the other nobles.
Aria knew this because she was also a member of the society.
Though it wasnt easy getting into it because she had to make a pledge.
‘But after mother died, the pledge was useless..
Arias forehead was dripping with cold sweat.
She didnt think that he would recognize her right away.
“Did you come here to sell your songs to the Valentines Why dont you stop hiding like a clown and let the whole empire know your name, kid”
“With the Valentines financial resources, that kind of thing is bound to happen.
Will we be able to listen to the Sirens song at the capitals Grand Theater”
He grinned at the mere thought of it.
“If you truly have inherited your mothers skills, you will be deemed as an angel who came down to earth with the voice of a goddess.”
Aria squeezed the hem of her dress to hide her trembling hands.
“Maybe you could even sing in front of the emperor.
Your father will love that.
The moment she heard that, her face turned pale in an instant.
His words were like a prophecy.
‘That was true…
She was praised.
Everyone supported her.
The nobles, with their secular ambitions and insatiable greed, was the worst abuse of all.
They kept on demanding her for more outrageous things as time passed by.
They poured out secrets she didnt want to know.
She asked for salvation.
But they broke her leg.
Locked her in a cage.
And forced her to sing until she vomited blood.
A member of the Black Falcons urgently covered Arias eyes.
But, through his fingers, she could see the tip of a sword penetrating his chest.
A gush of blood soaked on his clothes and trickled down his body.
“Five minutes have passed.”
The Grand Duke of Valentine was the one holding the sword.
And as soon as he pulled it out, the viscount fell to the ground.
His body was limp.
‘…And I was saved.
Aria slowly raised her head.
The Grand Duke of Valentine put the rabbit mask back on her face.
As the fluffy texture brushed her face, Aria shifted her gaze to the grand duke.
“Ah, you killed him in the end…” Dwayne said after chasing the Grand Duke.
He seemed to know that this was going to happen.
“Sigh… Oh well, it cant be helped.
Ill go and settle this matter by accusing him of insulting the Valentines name.”
As Dwayne quickly grasped the situation at hand, he immediately went out to get the job done.
After working as an aide for about 15 years, he had no trouble dealing with these kinds of work.
“This shouldnt be too hard.”
Viscount Cavendish did commit a huge crime.
Unfortunately, the grand duke wasnt listening to Dwayne at all.
And he quickly muttered, “I see.
I didnt even think about the situation.”
The Grand Duke did not know anything about the urgent meetings hosted by Count Cortez, because he had never paid attention to it.
He didnt expect him to be able to recognize Aria at first glance.
Then, he looked at the little girl.
She looked pale, tired, and rattled as if she had seen a ghost.
Even her eyes were quivering.
She was obviously petrified.
‘Does she hate being known as the Sirens daughter If she doesnt like it, then she can just simply remove the title, the grand duke concluded.
“Bring me a list of members that attended meetings hosted by Count Cortez.”
The knights standing before the grand duke obeyed his commands and bowed their heads.
“Every single one of them.”
Take care of them.
…Aria nervously gulped.
The Black Falcons didnt speak as they immediately understood the meaning of his words.