Forgotten Juliet - Chapter 5
The magic arts.
The Count’s mouth was wide open.
Of course, this was all her doing. The rumour that the Duke’s lover practiced the dark arts was actually true.
“Understand? If you do, nod your head.”
The Count nodded frantically, displaying a look of complete bewilderment on his face. Juliet smiled with contentment and turned around, walking away from the scene.
“What’s wrong? Are you alright?”
“Th, This is ridiculous…….”
It was only when Juliet completely left the area that people crowded around. Count Kaspera, meanwhile, was trembling as if he’d seen the most terrible thing in the world.
A loud noise echoed behind her, but Juliet never looked back.
Watching the people make way for her as if the sea was splitting, Juliet thought casually,
‘Sometimes this crazy bitch can do crazy things.’
As Juliet walked leisurely, a blue butterfly fluttered along behind her, hovering nearby.
Juliet glanced at the butterfly as it settled on the back of her hand.
Almost cutely, the blue butterfly folded and unfolded its wings a couple of times as it rested on Juliet’s hand. Soon, it began to emit a blue-ish glow.
Count Kaspera’s fear seemed to be a pretty satisfying meal.
This spirit was Juliet’s power – a butterfly-shaped monster summoned by her mana.
Although it was small and pretty, its true identity was a terrifying demon that feasted on human emotions… And its real body was that of an evil and almighty deity which existed in a different dimension altogether. He said that he only borrowed the form of a dazzling butterfly because it was capable of deceiving human eyes, easily driving them insane.
These butterflies gave Juliet the ability to inflict horrifying nightmares upon her desired opponents. He would present the most terrifying monster or scene that was imaginable and devour the victim’s emotions.
‘So the secret’s out now,’ Juliet thought calmly.
Well, Count Kaspera was only half right.
It was true that Juliet’s butterflies could perform “wild magic tricks”, but what the evil spirits liked the most were negative emotions such as anger and fear.
Juliet stared at the butterfly, which seemed a little bigger than before, and opened her palms. The butterfly-shaped demon became a bluish mass of light, and was quickly absorbed by her once again.
The more emotions it consumed, the bigger the butterfly could grow, along with a larger capability to utilise a wider variety of illusions and fantasies.
But complete mental domination – like ordering someone to jump off the roof whilst sleeping, as she threatened Count Kaspera – was still too much for her.
‘Besides, it doesn’t work on the Swordmaster.’
So, as everyone imagined, it was too much in the first place for her to ever seduce Lennox Carlisle, even with this gift.
‘If it had been possible, things wouldn’t have turned out this way.’
And for 10 years now, Lennox Carlisle had already been known as the youngest Swordmaster in history.
As Juliet stepped out of the temple, she noticed a tall knight standing in front of the Duke’s carriage.
Juliet tilted her head instead of descending the stairs. Apparently the escort who took her to the Temple this morning had been replaced with someone else.
“Where did Sir Kane go and when did Sir Jude* arrive?”
*TN: she’s speaking to Jude. In order to maintain formality, I left it as ‘Sir Jude’ instead of ‘you’.
“My mentor had to leave suddenly on business. I’m here to pick you up.”
The young man was Jude, one of the knights of the Duke. Jude Hayon was the youngest of the Duke’s entourage, not to mention the youngest in his division of knights.
Jude possessed a good-natured and friendly personality from birth. He even treated Juliet, his master’s lover, as if she were his sister.
After glancing around for a moment, Jude lowered his voice and quietly asked Juliet,
“What happened in there?”
“Then why is everyone looking at you?”
Juliet acted as if whatever happened had nothing to do with her, but Jude nodded as if he already understood it roughly.
Jude Hayon, like Juliet, belonged to an aristocratic family. He understood the system well, so it wasn’t hard to guess what happened inside.
The society of the Capital had always been childish.
Smiling meaningfully, Jude knelt down on one knee before her and held out a small box instead of opening the carriage door for Juliet.
“It was sent by the Duke of Carlisle.”
It was a deliberate act, entirely conscious of the surroundings. In an instant, Juliet felt the attention of countless people around her. She looked down at the silent Jude.
‘……Did you have to do this here when it could’ve been done in the carriage.’
Not only in front of the Temple, where people’s attention was naturally drawn, but in front of a carriage carved with the Duke’s emblem.
Jude winked at Juliet.
As a nobleman himself, Jude was well versed in ‘the aristocrat’s shameful situation’.
“Here are the Sun’s Tears, a gift that his Majesty ‘specifically’ prepared,” he spoke so loudly that it could be heard by all, shortly before opening the box.
A dazzling necklace was what appeared.
A large diamond reminiscent of the sunset was the main feature, truly worthy of the title ‘the Sun’s Tears’, and it was accompanied by a sea of small, transparent and near colourless diamonds which surrounded the entire piece.
It possessed nothing less than a brilliant radiance.
Such a luxurious necklace appeared very expensive at first glance.
“Why, look at that glow.”
Even before Juliet could react, the growing number of spectators admired it from afar with burning intensity.
Listening to the rattle, Juliet thought coldly, Now those who’ve witnessed this sight will diligently go and spread the rumours of what they’ve seen.
And then, by the evening of the New Year’s banquet, the entire Capital would know.
How the Duke’s lover, after visiting the capital for the first time in a long time, behaved so haughtily in front of the other aristocrats. And how extravagant the necklace the Duke of Carlisle presented to his spoilt lover.
With an unimpressed expression, Juliet turned her head after observing the dazzling necklace.
Only after closing the box with deliberate slowness did Jude open the carriage door.
He didn’t forget to cast a final glance towards the rowdy crowd before climbing onto the carriage.
When the coach carrying the two of them had turned the corner from the Temple, the horseman turned around in the front seat to ask where they were headed.
“Where can I take you?”
Jude, who sat across from Juliet, asked as if he already knew the answer.
“Back to the mansion?”
“I’m going to the Montagu County*. Could you drop me off in the middle?”
*County: the land owned by a Count
Whilst Jude sat there, blinking with a blank face, the horseman turned in the direction of the outskirts of the Capital.
“I’m going to rest at home and then travel directly to the banquet hall. Please inform his Highness too.”
The County of Montagu was empty after the Count and Countess had both passed away, and their only daughter, Juliet, had travelled North.
But some of the Count’s old servants remained to take care of the Montagu mansion, and Juliet would stop by whenever she came to the Capital.
It was not unusual for Juliet to visit her home County.
But even so, Jude wore a puzzled expression.
“You’re not going back together?”
“Yes. And take this back with you.”
Perhaps he felt foolish for questioning her again, as Jude kept his mouth shut for a long moment before asking again with a serious expression.
“Why? Do you not like it?”
“No, it’s pretty.”
“Then why? To put it bluntly, it was extremely expensive. It was a special gift specifically for Miss Juliet’s birthday…….”
However, instead of answering, Juliet simply smiled intently.
“It’s not as good as a mana stone, but it’s useful.”
Although the amount of energy within it was a lot lower than a condensed mana stone, the large, fine jewel still contained traces of mana. And it was him who first taught her that.
She fiddled with the necklace placed in its flat box for a moment, and a cool sensation flowed through her fingertips.
The necklace, so elaborately crafted with such large diamonds, was certainly pretty. Juliet wouldn’t know, but, as Jude said, the necklace must’ve been extremely expensive.
But Juliet didn’t bother to wonder how much it was worth. Perhaps one of the Duke’s secretaries had decided it to be the right price. The Duke must have signed a blank cheque without even sparing a glance at the necklace. Just as he did for her birthday every year.
Juliet knew what this expensive gift meant. It was clear to see what he meant by sending the necklace to her with his knight.
‘It means he wants to pretend the conversation that morning didn’t happen.’
It was a very Lennox Carlisle-esque approach.
‘Really, nothing’s changed.’
No emotion was visible in Juliet’s down-cast eyes. She was too tired to even be disappointed.
If there was anything she’d learned from the past 7 years during her time by his side, it was that Lennox Carlisle never changes no matter what she does.
The day that man gets over his pride and asks for her affection would never come.
Juliet wasted seven years to learn that foolish lesson.
Juliet’s hand closed the lock on the box.
If it was going to be like this, then she’d give him the same answer again and again. Juliet returned the necklace to Jude with a light smile.
“This isn’t my birthday present.”