Where there was light, there, inevitably, were the presence of shadows. A kingdom, no matter how strong or beautiful, can never be without its own form of darkness born out of the malevolence of the few privileged ones who think that they are entitled to everything as if it was their birthright.
The slavery system, which was in the past something so horrible that it was hard to look at its state had been reformed in the hands of the hero king.
Mars, during his life, gave his all in slowly but surely improving the conditions in which they lived.
Nowadays, all slaves are the shared property of states and as such, hurting them was equal to destroying the states’ property.
Alongside some other such laws, Mars truly managed to change the title of slave into something more akin to a public servant.
In theory, they received pay, they were cared for, each year they received checkups and other similar privileges. What more the children of a slave didn’t receive the status of slave and were free.
This was without a doubt a beautiful outcome. This was without a doubt incredible, but…Was it enough? Everything was perfect in theory, if only everything could be according to theories, reality was often disheartening.
The imperial city of Lustburg was divided into five great districts.
The central one belonged to the church and the tower of babel.
The North district was under the supervision of the Highland family.
The South was under the Milaris.
The West was under the Travers.
And finally, the East under the Gorfard.
Four Duke families, one Church, and one Royal family. Those were the powers that stood at the apex of the Lustburg kingdom.
Despite having their own territory, each heir of the Duke families had the obligation to live in the imperial city until they took their obligatory position as the head of their household and officially replaced their predecessor.
Officially, it was a way to help them have close contact with the different nobles, but everyone knew that in fact, it was a way to keep them hostages.
In the East district, the highest castle belonged to the Gorfard family. Of course, it paled in beauty compared to the Tower of Babel, but still, it was without a doubt a Castle worthy of a Duke.
This castle was inhabited by Leonard Gorfard. Eldest son of the Duke Gorfard and heir to the title.
If you asked anyone to describe him, they would give you a list of all his good points. A list so long that you would wonder how such a perfect human being could even exist. And you would be absolutely right in your doubts.
Leonard was many things, but his friends would describe him with only two words. Arrogant and lustful.
Currently, in the shades of his room, he was pressing a woman down onto a chiffon-veiled bed.
He grabbed her neck from behind and pulled it up, enjoying the grimace of pain flashing on her beautiful face, his grunts and her moans intertwined together in a harsh melody as he lost himself in his bliss.
“My… my lord, please, please forgive me…”
“Hmph~! Is this all the famed blue wolf can do? I’m sure you can make better sounds than that. Moan for me.”
However, as he looked down on the wolf girl whose body was already twitching as she passed out, Leonard slapped her buttocks with a “Hmph!” and dumped her onto the bed like a used toy.
The white-skinned woman rolled off the bed like a broken doll. The impact returned her to consciousness, and her body shuddered in disgust and pain.
Her hair was as blue as the sea, and two fur-trimmed ears stuck out from the sides of her head. However, her flawless white body was now marred with bruises, bite marks, and many other signs of violence.
“If you pass out from just that much, you won’t be able to satisfy me…”
“Please forgive me…” the woman moaned in a trembling and small voice. Her eyes looked over to him as she climbed off the cold stone floor and back onto the bed.
“Try harder, then. Your sister’s fate depends on it.”
“Please show mercy, my lord, she is only a child!!”
“Enough! Go back!”
Leonard did not even bother to answer her as he turned his muscled body away and ordered his attendants to dress him.
The wolf woman sobbed as she rose naked from the bed and wrapped herself in its sheets. Then she slowly limped away, supporting herself against the wall as she left the man’s room.
Leonard clicked his tongue. “I’m getting sick of this toy.” He wondered whether her little sister even if young would make for a better partner, he could already imagine the anguished screams she would make under him.
A voice responded to his muttering.
“Your Highness, even if it’s for fun, you shouldn’t entertain such an idea. It would be bad if the royal family were to get proof of your misdeeds.”
“Tch! Don’t talk to me about those holier than thou bastards. Slaves and commoners are nothing more than lowly playthings that should bow in front of us. Why make it so troublesome?”
The one who was speaking to him was, an elderly man wearing butler clothes, despite the scene that had previously happened, no expression could be seen on his face,
“Indeed this is so. But the reality is in front of us.”
“*Sigh* I get it, I get it. Enough of your yapping, they are ruining my mood. Speaking of which, Why did you come here today? Peeping? Or do you want her despite your age? That’s fine too. She might be a bit dirty now, but she’s pretty when she’s cleaned up.”
After Leonard was dressed, his attendants left the room. Now only he and his butler were left in the room.
“I am afraid I will have to decline. My old body isn’t what it was anymore,” while speaking as such, he bowed and presented a letter sealed with the insignia of the royal family. “We received this letter just now, it’s an invitation to participate at the gathering of young nobles. This will be the first party organized by the prince, as well as his birthday.”
“Kekeke~! That sissy bitch living in a golden prison is finally showing himself? Who would have thought.”
Leonard smiled derisively and took the letter. His eyes shining with malevolence,
“So he finally reached that age. It was about time. Are the preparations ready?”
“Oh? Good, good. It’s necessary to act fast now. It would be a shame if we missed the perfect timing.”
Elsewhere, in an unknown place, an elderly man was kneeling in front of a bed while facing a beautiful young girl who seemed to be in a state of deep sleep.
At least she would have been beautiful if all of her body wasn’t marred by purple veins-like marks that throbbed rhythmically.
Despite those marks, the old man’s gaze held no disgust nor fear, only deep affectionate love.
“My child, I am so sorry for everything you have to endure. Your grandfather is truly a useless man. But you know. I have found it. I have found a way to cure you of your pain and suffering. Soon you will be able to laugh and run like in the past.”
He lovingly caressed her face and closed his eyes in order to hold in the tears that were threatening to fall.
‘I am sorry, I am so sorry for what I am about to do. But, this is the only way to save her. For that, I am willing to become a devil if necessary.’
Time waits for no one. As the gears turn and machinations fall in place, time inexorably advances to an unknown future.