“Goodness, Sir Anjou.
Were my ears mistaken”
It is my first time seeing an outsider with such a weak body, so I wasnt mindful of my words,” he gave an insincere apology.
Dianas expression was full of disbelief.
She couldnt apprehend the words that came out of his mouth.
“Didnt the grand duchess come from the House of Valois The family had produced honorable knights for generations.”
“What do you mean by that”
“I cannot put my mind at ease.
Even the madame, who had been trained as a knight since she was young, couldnt bear it.
Let alone a child as weak as her…”
If you dare say another word, I will not hesitate to report this conversation to His Grace.” Diana scolded with a grimace.
Then, Aria handed out a card.
[What is your age]
“Im twenty-four this year…”
Since Aria died when she was just twenty years old in her previous life, she should be four years older than him now.
She put up a pitiful act.
[Health, status, strength.
Those things are based on you being born with luck.]
[Its such a pity that you have earned nothing by yourself during your 24 years of life, and now youre so proud of this hollow shell of yours.]
The knight stared at her, too shocked to speak.
He had never thought that a ten-year-old girl would criticize him.
After he grasped the meaning of her words, his face flushed red in humiliation.
The second son of the Beauport Family, the grand dukes vassal.
He was a knight from the 4th Order of Knights.
The 4th Order of Knights was the order of ordinary knights that were not able to associate with the other orders, and because of that, they were often ignored by the others.
As a matter of fact, Anjou was only able to join the order because of his familys influence, not his abilities.
That was his inferiority complex.
He had it hidden in the depths of his heart and didnt tell anyone, but Arias words pierced right through it.
[Sick people will get better after taking their medicines, but I dont know what to do about people with rotten hearts.
A short chuckle was heard.
One of the escorts was futilely suppressing his urge to laugh.
Trembling in shame, his glare went from Aria to the other knights gaze.
However, the knight just shrugged his shoulders, not minding his furious expression.
‘You are nothing without your family.
Is what they would say.
‘These lowly scums…
Sir Anjou gritted his teeth.
‘Has he even experienced hardships Aria thought.
She had been abused all her life, sold by her father as a sacrifice, and was in a situation where she could be expelled empty-handed!
“Then, have you ever achieved anything by yourself”
Adults should never say such things to a child.
Even so, he was blinded by rage.
He couldnt think of anything else to appease his anger.
Unexpectedly, Aria smiled at him.
She gazed at Anjou as if she was dealing with an immature childs tantrum.
She presented her next card.
[When I grow up, I will never become an adult like you.]
He was utterly ashamed.
Diana, Betty, and the other servants were inevitably surprised.
They had never known that Aria, who was so innocent and lovely, had a side like this.
But at the same time, they held great respect for her.
Especially Diana, since she was the one who knew Aria best.
‘Although they are both of noble lineage, she didnt bring up her peerage.
She only exposed how he despised his knighthood that His Grace had bestowed because it was nothing more than a mere shell.
All humans were the same.
But without having an ideology, it would be impossible for her to say things like that.
It was a revolutionary thought, especially in the Pinetta Empire, where feudalism existed.
“…What! This!” Anjou shouted.
When he realized he had just yelled at the future grand duchess, he covered his mouth.
“Sir Anjou, are you mad”
“Do not disrespect the lady ever again! Now, step back!”
Even the knights, who were displeased with his atrocities, stood up for Aria.
“You bitch! I mean, young miss…”
As he directed his angry scowl at her, Aria tilted her head.
Since he was so fixated on class and social status, Aria wanted to show him the real difference.
Unfortunately, there were too many eyes here.
‘Shall I secretly visit him later
Then again, he wasnt worth dealing with.
‘More than that, hes very irritating.
As Aria watched the servants mutter in disbelief regarding Sir Anjous audacious remarks, she heard a tiny voice.
The voice was short and sounded like it came from a child.
However, it was filled with a perceivable aura of intimidation.
Startled, everyone turned their gaze to the opened door.
Leaning against the door, the boy stared at the knight with a stern look.
His eyes were like a void of darkness.
Anjou knew that his stone-cold glare was targeted at him.
His mouth opened in a silent scream, and his unblinking eyes popped like a fashioned toy doll.
A bead of cold sweat dripped down his back, and his skin became as pale as the blade that flashed before his neck.
He was beheaded, and his head rolled on the floor.
The knight groped his throat, panting heavily.
‘M-my… my neck…!
…His head was still intact.
However, he certainly saw a terrible vision of his neck being cut off.
This was the power of the Prince.
Lloyd sheathed his sword, making it seem like what he had seen wasnt an illusion.
“Y-Your Highness! I was wrong……!”
“You can only repent in the presence of God.”
Dont beg the devil for forgiveness.
He only needed a mere second to take out his sword and cut off a humans neck.
It was at that moment.
The boy, who had sensitive hearing, heard the bedsheets rustle.
And when he turned his head, Aria met his gaze.
She shook her head.
As if telling him he shouldnt do it.
‘What is she…
But Lloyds eyes went towards Arias neck, which was wrapped in a bandage.
It was a wound that he made.
His expression darkened.
Lloyd squeezed the handle of the sword as if he intended to crush it.
But in the end, he couldnt pull it out.
He didnt want to seem like he obediently followed her words, so he gritted his teeth with a look of impatience and spoke, “Thats a cool nickname!”
“You called her a bitch.
Whats next Why dont you continue talking It seems like you have more to say.” Lloyd spoke.
He couldnt just say it.
The knight, covered with cold sweat, clenched his teeth and bowed his head.
“If you dont finish your sentence, I might mistake you for a person whos already tired of living.”
Lloyd waited for him to speak his words.
Subsequently, the huge jaguars that followed the boy wandered leisurely around the room.
Jaguars invading the room should be an unusual sight to anyone, but the servants just looked at them as if they were familiar with it.
The only one trembling was Anjou.
His hands were shaking, and he felt sick to his stomach.
The jaguars tail brushed past his leg, and he shuddered with an unseemly suppressed scream.
Anjou wiped his wet palms to his trousers, moistened his lips with his tongue and said,
“Th-the young miss is correct!”
“Are you sure”
“Yes, of course.
She said the right thing, but I wasnt able to fathom her words and dared to pervert it.”
The knight had chosen to throw away his pride, for he was threatened with his life.
A person who speaks of class couldnt even say a word when the topic was pressed.
Aria turned her head away from the knight.
As expected, he was tiresome to deal with.
“So youre saying its your fault.”
“Y-yes! It is.”
“How will you pay for it”
“How will I… what”
Instead of replying, Lloyd leaned against the wall again.
He had a cruel, disturbing expression coupled with a sinister menace.
Sunken, dark eyes mindlessly stared into his.
He was the devil that drove his prey into a corner and made them run to the trap on their own discretion.
“H-how will I ever pay you back…”
Was he bored because he couldnt kill him
The boy was motionless.
He had a weary look on his face.
Aria stared at him quietly.
Then, their eyes met again.
Lloyds forehead creased.
The atrocious feeling contained in his sullen eyes, soon disappeared without a trace.
He murmured, “If Im not mistaken, the stable-boys said that theyre short on hands.”
“I will go!”
“You will If a knight helps them, their burden would certainly be alleviated.”
Sir Anjou clenched his fist tightly in shame.
‘He wants me to take care of the horses and clean its dung
Anjou Beauports biological mother was the former emperors beloved niece, carrying the imperial familys blood in her veins.
Although the situation had changed after the emperors death and the crown princes ascension, he still remembered the glory he had enjoyed in those days.
Thats why he thought of himself no less than the imperial family.
Taking care of the stables was the most demeaning thing he could ever do in his entire life.
‘I will never mingle with them.
To think Ill become the assistant of a lowbrow who cant even dare to make eye contact…
But he was desperate to survive.
‘If I refuse, Ill die.
He desperately repudiated in his mind.
“Ah, how about this.
Lets revoke your knighthood until you can reflect on yourself.”
“This is a fitting punishment for someone as daring as you.
Isnt that right”
“You seem unhappy.”
“Not at all.
Ill follow your orders.”
“Then kneel,” Lloyd commanded.
His order was simple and straightforward.
Anjou immediately fell on his knees and lowered his forehead to the ground.
As Lloyd gave Aria the authority to strip off his knighthood, he turned his back on her and left.
But before he stepped out of the room, he paused for a moment.
He sighed and swept up his disheveled bangs with a stuffy look.
All of a sudden, Lloyd strode before Aria with quick steps.
“Are you a fool”
‘Why is he suddenly…
“Why are you holding back”
She wasnt holding back in the first place.
Aria had already said all the things that she wanted to the knight.
Besides, she might have spared the knights life, but it was never out of sympathy.
She just didnt want her room to be dirtied with blood.
“From now on, if someone tries to touch you, just beat them up.
Ill allow you to punch them, even if its the grand duke himself.”
‘But, thats a little…
Aria couldnt tell whether he was serious or not.
While Aria continued to ponder, Lloyd fumbled inside the coat he was wearing and pulled out a brass knuckle.
And he gave it to her.
‘Why is he carrying that around To beat people up
Aria couldnt be more surprised.
“Ill grant you full authority while Im gone.”
‘Why would he do that
Before she could ask, he made an excuse.
“Its my last gift to you.
Use that privilege to set up a residence outside until I get back.
Dont come back to Valentines Palace before then.”
Lloyd led the jaguars away and left the room with them.
Aria later found out that the encounter was the last time she would see him before he left for the academy.