Flowers of Worship - Chapter 2
Why didn’t she want her father’s money, honor, and title? Perhaps she had given up on wanting them because she is a woman. From the age of twenty-two to twenty-six, she has been pondering on the thought of why she didn’t want to be her father’s heir. Was it because she had no desire, or was it because people had been secretly pressuring her, a woman, would not be capable enough to be her father’s rightful heir?
“I never once felt ashamed or regretted the fact that you were my child. Silli, you must make sure to seize everything when I die. I didn’t become a duke to pass it on to those field mice. Do you understand?”
Father grabbed me and asked determinedly. Since my father said all those things, I could not give up nor compromise on inheritance. I need to take everything. As that is what my father wanted.
Turning her head to the voice, Gianton stood at the door of her father’s study. My father was a top collector in the country. Hence, the countless expensive books, people even said that he would have made more money than the king if he had chosen to give up on the books. In essence, my father’s study room was an enormous and excellent repository.
I felt uncomfortable standing here alone, a place even the highly trusted servants couldn’t even enter. She sighed, the thought of them stealing a book crossed her mind, but they would be held responsible by the next owner anyway.
“Your Highness, there’s something you must know…”
“Gianton. I’m the next Duchess.”
“I’m the rightful heiress. The title of Duchess is mine, the Knights are mine, and I’m the owner of this castle. And of course, the ashes are also mine, as well as all the books here belong to me.”
“I know you’re afraid, but collect yourself. I’m starting to get irritated.”
I swear to God, Gianton…
He replied, while quivered out of shame.
Originally, she was always well composed, but the death of her father seemed to have a significant effect on her, along with the issue of inheritance rights that was likely going to arise.
From the start, Gianton was a soft-hearted person, and he worked adequately well. The castle’s deacons were where many people revealed their affairs, and Gianton often reports them to my father.
For him, the situation right now must send them into chaos.
As for how the situation is now, she was sure everyone would be questioning him how she’s doing. Though she sympathized, however, more than ever, she felt emotionally distressed and under pressure.
Gianton called me again, hesitantly. Just looking at him, who was at a loss for words, she could see that he had come to me with something quite urgent.
“We shall have a funeral at midnight, Gianton. I don’t have time to spare.”
Though it wasn’t tasteful to say this in her father’s study, she was trying to urge Gianton to finish his thoughts this way. This would last all night by the look of it, as he was having a difficult time saying it.
“Your Highness, Last year His Excellency…”
Ah, he is keeping me on my toes.
Gianton’s face was visibly said, “what should I do?” and that was the only thing he can think about.
He used to rattle on and on before, but couldn’t even finish a sentence now. I yelled.
Sigh, I give up.
Surprised by my scream, Gianton replied unwittingly.
“He brought a boy last year!”
First Chapter. The Missing Child
I was dumbfounded when I followed Gianton to confirm the boy’s presence. Wasn’t he the one who told me to take everything? And I even have a son.
“How old is he?”
“He’s 11 years old.”
Eleven years old?!
Even before he was making those proclamations, the child was already here.
Sigh, what the hell was her father thinking saying all that?
Her father has a son. Despite the fact that he was born out of wedlock, the inheritance rights would be handed over to him. Even if they aren’t related, because he wasn’t from the bloodline, if her uncle had decided to adopt him, it’s the end. If he asks for the right of succession to a political party, she would definitely lose.
No. That’s not the point right now. Why didn’t father tell me about this before?
She’s been diverting herself for four years because of the inheritance. Although, it’s uncertain to her, whether the torment stems from her doubt of not having the desire to become the Duchess herself or because she suppressed her urge after being told countless times that she’s not suitable to be the next Duchess.
She swung her feet while thinking about it. If her father brought him in, his position is no different than her, even though he hasn’t been officially proclaimed. Now this child is going to become a part of her life. She had never given a thought about having a brother, but if he is, should she help him become the heir?
After all, there are still battles with her greedy relatives.
If she were the heir, then all this would have been easier. It wouldn’t matter if she were called inferior for being a woman, because she would still be the one in charge. She would do things her own way. There is no reason to have a cooperative relationship with him anyway. Regardless, there will be a lot of disapproval and alienation between her brother and her, and no matter how nice my relatives are, they would still choose his sides. They’re all unrivaled when it comes to scheming.
Frankly speaking, this situation could also benefit me. If my brother goes against me, it would be even more tiresome. The kid can take the official works, but I will not hand over the Hastred Knights. The Knights won’t choose him either.
One of the most influential properties in our family is the Knights. Several people think that being the Knight’s leader is the true successor. Supposedly, if my brother starts to get greedy, he will need to go through me first because there’s no way I would give up the Knights.
The Hastred Knights are the mercenary Knights. The owner of this historic two-hundred-year-old knighthood fought his family and his rapacious relatives on several occasions. Historically, the family’s ownership of this two-hundred-year-old chivalry has been switched numerous times, but is now owned by the Sarian family, my family.
Hastred’s laws are quite different from those of the public. It was created to protect the people and their freedom, so they must follow their oath as they are Knight. To the Sarian, Hastred’s identity, protection, freedom, and contracts are considered more important than life.
My father, Illyde Sarian, had long-term contracts with King Grosslann, who granted him the title of a Duke, with the purpose of making others assumed Hastred Knights are servants of Grosslann. However, between Hastred and Grosslann are strictly contractual. Hastred is still independent.
This is why it is difficult for the relatives to claim the ownership, with the King’s offerings of position and territory. Therefore, no one dares to claim the position of leader of Hastred. If she truly has a younger brother, she needs to make sure nothing would happen to the Knights.
Oh, let’s not be pessimistic when that has yet to happen.
Eleven years old, huh…
Since he’s still a child who can say sweet things, it would be best to appease him and treat him well. All while making sure he doesn’t lay hands on the Knights, and giving him the rest of the inheritance. Then, go on separate ways.
“Here you are.”
Gianton sighed nervously,
I replied, “What?”, while frowning.
“I don’t mean to be rude, Your Highness.”
“I know you wouldn’t have let this go easily.”
No matter how illegitimate my son is, he is still mine, the only rightful heir of the Duke. Now that the boy is here, it is impossible for my only son to be the throne’s heir, given that it means he is going to receive the inheritance instead.
Father, what the hell are you thinking?
No, there’s still marriage. If he is going to be the Duke, then he must get married immediately. If the lowly, illegitimate child and a woman like me got married and inherited the throne, then there would be a bloody fight, considering all the given hostility. All the while, digging into the illegitimacy of the marriage. The latter is more likely to happen, as they will oppose it immensely.
She would not let that happen.
While contemplating the dreadful future, Gianton suddenly stopped walking. I paused as well, looking at his back.
After questioning where my bother is, I was surprised and curious as to why he brought him to the corner of the castle. Isn’t this old room we don’t even use anymore?
Why would father bring him here, instead of dressing him up, feeding him, and ordering him to study? Why would he be stuck in a dump like this? He is indeed unusual, but would he be ruthless and cold-blooded to anyone other than her?
This is outrageous. If she were in her father’s position, the boy would not just be brought to put here.
Though she would rather stay outside, she entered the room slowly. A fusty smell, cobwebs, and all kinds of filth greeted her when she stepped foot inside.
Ah, I feel something stuck to my shoes.
Gianton started calling out someone’s name.
Is she speaking informally?
When she glared at him, he jerked his head up.
“Yes, Your Highness!”
“Starting today, You must not speak informally towards him.”
“Yes, yes, Your Highness. T-then Master?”
Why is he named Eden?