Release that Witch Chapter 389
"Duke... Eltek, dinner is ready."
Irene opened the room door and bowed rigidly. Her voice sounded more restrained than usual. This was the first time Ferlin had seen his wife behaving in such a manner. Even when she met the prince, she was not as nervous as this.
"Father?" He raised his voice and glanced at the knight who had not spoken a word since he returned.
"Ugh..." Duke Eltek blinked his eyes as if he had just woken up from a period of meditation. "Come and eat."
The dishes placed on the small dining table were especially sumptuous. To Ferlin, it was apparent that his wife had made a trip to the Convenience Market. He looked at her and smiled, as if to praise and encourage her. He started the dinner by slicing the bread as usual and then proceeded to divide the main course into four equal portions—apart from the three of them, there was also Irene's friend, May.
Earlier, when he came home, he saw May discussing the content of a drama with Irene. After he introduced his father to the two of them, he expected that May would choose to leave, as most people would do. However, she did not, and instead, after making a simple bow towards Duke Eltek while revealing a frown on her face, she remained beside Irene. Even more uncommonly, she proposed that she should stay for dinner.
Ferlin was boggled by all of this. In the past, when he wanted to thank her properly, he invited her several times to attend a banquet, but she never agreed even once.
However, Morning Light had no time to think about all of this. Although on the surface he appeared calm and collected, his heart was in an utter mess. The first reason was that he was worried about what his father thought about his wife, and the second Agatha's attitude. From the look of disappointment on his father's face, it was evident that, as the current head of the Eltek family, he cared a great deal about the matter. However, Ferlin did not know how to console his father, particularly because the many years of separation had created some estrangement between them. All he could do was continue to eat quietly.
Fortunately, Miss May was around.
Her conversation topic regarding the drama aroused the interest of Duke Eltek, and together they had a nice chat about the charm of King's City and the lives of the nobility. Hence, the dinner was not so dreary at last. Moreover, Irene was able to participate in the discussion regarding the new drama, and Duke Eltek even enquired about her recent performances. This allowed Ferlin to feel relieved.
After dinner, May swiftly took her leave.
After helping his wife to wash the cutlery, he was asked by his father to meet in the study.
"Your wife has made a good friend."
"You mean Miss May?" Ferlin was slightly surprised. "She's indeed an outstanding actress, and has assisted Irene tremendously in her dramas. She took care of Irene during the show in the Stronghold..."
"No, I'm not referring to acting," Duke Eltek said. "Didn't you notice? She kept asserting power over me."
"Assert power?" Ferlin's eyes grew bigger. "Weren't the two of them simply having a nice chat?"
"Hahaha..." The old man laughed uncontrollably and shook his head. "You really don't understand how nobles deal. Her story regarding King's City was taken from a legend about the interaction between a commoner girl and a noble man. It's called Cinderella. When discussing politics, she even referred to His Highness' intention to reclaim feudal land. I believe that she knows that you willingly severed ties with your family to be with Irene, or else, she wouldn't have opposed me in every sentence."
"Is... that right?"
Duke Eltek smiled. "Rather than be in awe of superficial things like status and title, you should know that it's one's practical actions which are more important. After talking to Miss May, I've figured out what to do regarding Miss Agatha. Whether or not our ancestors lied, we've returned the items that she entrusted to us wholly intact. Even if she's unwilling to accept us, we can serve her through other means." As he spoke, he sighed loudly. "Although I personally disagree with your view, yet after seeing your life here with Irene, I suddenly realize that these efforts may not be futile after all."
"Thank you..." The sense of affirmation which was revealed in his father's words made Ferlin's eyes well up with tears. Although he was very firm about severing his family ties back then, he still hoped in his heart that his marriage would be endorsed by his family.
However, what Duke Eltek said next astounded him.
"Have you ever considered returning to the Eltek family?"
"What? No, I... you..." Morning Light was stupefied. He opened his mouth but did not know how to reply. "Return to the family? Why would father suddenly mention this?"
The old knight said slowly, "Since you know that your initial decision was a mistake, it's not too late to turn back."
After a long while, Ferlin said cagily, "I feel that my current work is decent, and also the life in Border Town is..."
"I'm not asking you to go back to become a knight in Longsong Stronghold." Duke Eltek interrupted. "You should understand what I mean." He then enunciated his words. "I want you to inherit the family."
Kingdom of Dawn swallowed his own saliva. "But brother..."
"Miso Eltek won't make a good successor," Duke Eltek said openly. "At first, he wanted to become a renowned knight in Western Region just like you, but after the Duke's defeat, he lost his direction. As a family of the losing side, we should pledge our allegiances to the new ruler of the city, but your brother continues to keep in close contact with the other four big families, and I'm unable to change his mind about it. You should be able to guess the reason for this."
"Because he's sure of becoming the next head of the family." Ferlin guessed. After he left the family, his father had no other option except Miso to succeed him. This was also probably why his brother gave him the cold shoulder when he returned to the family mansion after so many years.
"This has nothing to do with ability and knowledge. Ability can be developed and knowledge can be taught. But a suitable successor should know how to observe the current situation," his father continued saying. "Lord Petrov has announced His Highness Roland's new policies. By also inferring from Miss May's drama in the Stronghold, which is titled "New City", I suspect that he's going to shape the entire Western Region into one entity soon. It's uncertain whether the four big families will accept this change, but the situation is definitely not calm. At this time, the most suitable thing for us to do is to observe the changes quietly, rather than be used by these families as pathfinding stones."
Ferlin had heard this news before. His Highness had never concealed his own intentions and policies, and in fact, he would publicize them to his people before implementing them. This included the plan to build Border Town into a city.
However, he did not wish to participate in a contest over leadership of the family. Despite his father's words, Miso would definitely not take things lying down. Ferlin understood his younger brother's personality very well.
Finally, he shook his head. "Sorry, Father. I... "
"I'm not asking you to make a decision now." The knight gestured with his hands. "After all, I'm still very healthy, and with me around, our family won't lose its direction." His smile appeared to have aged somewhat. "If Miso could understand these, I wouldn't need to say so much. All I'm hoping for is that, should our family ever fall into some kind of trouble, you'll do us a favor—on behalf of your mother and me."
This time, Ferlin was not able to refuse.