Bon Appétit - Chapter 33
When did the rumor start?
A rumor about the duke catching a witch and imprisoning her in his dungeon began circulating in the empire’s capital. Of course, few people completely believed the rumor because the witch was known as a race that had long extinct. No matter how great a duke is, how can he catch and imprison the extinct witch?
“The duke is particularly obsessed with witches.”
The previous duke also sought witches throughout his life, but he couldn’t find the witch until he died. All the news they heard was a lie, and the one who came claiming to be a witch was just a con artist. But now, the current duke finally caught a real witch.
“Like father, like son.”
The obsession with witches hasn’t gone away. Some said that the duke did this because of the witch’s curse, and others said there is no way there is a thing like a curse in the world. But regardless of their opinion on the curse, there is one thing for sure.
“Where in the world is the witch?”
It was said that witches did not exist in the world. Hundreds of years have passed since witches did not appear in the world. Most people already thought that witches were myths, like dragons, because no one could see it. But he caught a witch!
“No matter how powerful a duke is, he can’t find a creature that doesn’t exist.”
The rumor spread widely, but it didn’t mean much to people. It was just a story that could be eaten as a snack at a drinking party, and that was it. But others did not think so.
Rumors that flowed to the back alleys naturally reached the ears of those who stayed there.
As soon as the man came home, he put down his shopping basket and sighed deeply.
With disgust, he clicked his tongue and hovered around the table. But no matter how much he moved, he could not calm his nervousness. The duke caught a witch. Everyone believed it couldn’t happen, but he knew the fact that it may be true.
All the daughters born from witches are witches. It meant that Elanya’s daughter, Luana, was also a witch. He stayed vigilant, although he knew the duke’s gaze toward Luana was not hatred. He thought the duke didn’t know she was a witch yet, so he wasn’t in a hurry. Instead, he would endanger Luana if he went the wrong way and would approach her cautiously over time. But everything went wrong.
The man stopped and sighed again. He was aware of the duke’s obsession with witches. No, it was good to say that most of the witches knew except for the newborn witch. The duke’s family has been hunting for witches for generations to lift the curse!
“No, it can’t be like this.”
He couldn’t just sit still. He couldn’t leave her in a dangerous situation as Luana was a precious child of his only best friend, Elanya. She is in a dungeon! He thought he should move right away.
Sleeping powder, paralysis powder, sneezing powder.
Bottles containing all kinds of powder piled into the bag. Just because he’s a wizard doesn’t mean he’s always free to wield magic at his heart’s content, so he had to be well-prepared.
“Wait for me.”
He got ready and left the house at dawn when people were almost asleep to rescue Luana!
Luana sighed and rolled over her blanket, looking around. Blankets and cushions piled up on a soft duvet, and tea and cookies were on the low table. In addition, there were lanterns in the corner, so it was no longer dark. She disinfected the inside of the dungeon with some medicinal herb, and the bugs also disappeared.
Nevertheless, this was a dungeon. It was an environment where she couldn’t do what she wanted. She didn’t want to do the embroidery or read books the duke put in. There was only one thing she wanted to do now. It’s something she had never forgotten since the day she entered the dungeon!
“Ugh… The jars! I really wanna go see the Jangdokdae!”
Way sometimes secretly delivered the news about her jars, but it was different from seeing it in person.
Luana hugged her pillow and rolled over, and cried. She was impatient and nervous, afraid that the pastes she had carefully prepared would be ruined.
“If you’re being serious about decorating the dungeon, just let me go! Why the hell are you locking me up?!”
She shouted that many times, but no one listened.
Yes, the butler doesn’t have that much authority, so she understands. But the duke! That damn duke! He only came and looked at her occasionally but did not listen to Luana. However, as he came, the environment of the underground prison gradually improved.
“How can you have the heart to do this!”
She felt like she was talking to herself. She only slept because she had nothing to do, so her eyes became wide open at dawn.
“Ugh… I’m bored.”
A shadow covered her head when she closed her eyes and opened them again. It’s the duke again. So far, the only person looking for her at this time was the duke. She couldn’t say everything she wanted to say because she was scared. But this time, she is going to tell everything! Luana raised her head with determination, immediately tilted her head.
“Who are you?”
A man in a cloak was standing in front of the iron bars. When she asked about his identity, a slender finger slipped out of the cloak and pulled back the that covered his face. A beautiful man with purple eyes and white hair revealed his face.
Until now, Luana thought the emperor and Ingrid were the best beauties in the world, but this person is also quite a beauty. Luana stared at him with her mouth wide open without realizing it.
But when she first saw him, She thought he was a man, but Luana wasn’t sure about this person’s gender as it was strange for her.
The purple eyes curved gently and greeted Luana.
They greeted face to face.
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“I came here because I heard you are locked up in a dungeon.”
He looked inside the iron bars, then stepped back for a moment and looked at the next cell. It was the same prison, but the inside was too different. The prison where Luana was locked up looked like a well-decorated room for nobles, but next to it looked as if a ghost would pop out at any moment.
‘Why is there such a difference?’ he wondered.
“Is this a dungeon?”
“It’s obviously a dungeon, no?”
There was a moment of silence between the two; the first person to break the silence was this beautiful person.
“It’s late, but let me introduce myself. Nice to meet you, Luana. My name is Gerald. I was a friend of your mother, Elanya.”
He smiled, and that smile seemed very friendly. Whenever a beautiful people smile, it feels powerfully destructive to her. Luana forcibly shut her mouth as she was about to open her mouth again and returned the smile.
As Luana slowly returned to her mind, she recalled what she had just heard. So, what did this person just say?
‘My mother, Elanya’s friend?’
Friend? Luana narrowed her eyes and looked at the beauty, Gerald. She is now over 20 years old. And her mother gave birth to her in her early 20s. That means the person in front of her is at least 40.
‘No, it can’t be. Maybe she was friends with people of all ages.’
Luana nodded to finish her rational thinking.
“Nice to meet you! But what brings you here?”
“I’m here to rescue.”
When she asked the question as if wondering, Gerald answered with a bitter smile.
“You have a lot of questions. It’s a good habit for a little witch. Elanya raised her child well.”
At those words, Luana hesitated for a moment. It was because she had never even seen her mother’s face. Of course, she didn’t have time to learn anything.
‘No, wait a minute. There’s something weird about what he said just now.’
Luana asks and raises her hand.
“Who is the little witch?!”
Then Gerald answer with a puzzled look,
“I’m not a witch!”
“Luana, aren’t you Elanya’s daughter?”
“Yes, but she is not a witch.”
“If you are Elanya’s daughter, you are a witch. Witch’s child is a witch.”
To summarize Gerald’s words, her late mother was a witch, and her child, Luana, was also a witch. But here, she wanted to object.
“I can’t use magic!”
Shouldn’t there be something special about being a witch, at least? Like some red, yellow, and blue little witches, they use magic! Or fly on a broomstick!
“That’s because you haven’t had a formal witchcraft ceremony yet. You cannot use magic just by being born. You’re just an ordinary human now. It may be unusual, but it won’t stand out that much.”
Cold sweat was running down her back. She referred to the duke as an apprentice witch, but she never once considered herself a witch. But she turns out to be a witch, a real witch!
‘Did the duke know that?’
She got goosebumps at thinking whether she had been locked up in a dungeon because the duke already knew.
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“T-then, did you come here because I’m a witch?”
“It’s kind of like that. Rumors are circulating in the capital these days. Rumor has it that the duke has finally caught the witch and locked her in a dungeon. Normally, I would have thought it was a false rumor and didn’t care, but this time, you were here. That’s why I came here to rescue you.”
Luana was very grateful that this person had come to rescue her, but that was it. She had no intention of running away. Even if she escaped, there was nothing she could do out there.
‘After all, if I run away from here, what’s next?’
If she is caught running away, the duke might try to cut her throat this time.