Masterpiece - Chapter 3
Chapter 3 – Work that’s beneficial, work that eats away at oneself
The three individuals inside the violet carriage maintained silence. The knight, sitting in a rigid posture, sent piercing glares from beneath his helm. Keeping both legs stiff, it looked like he detested any sort of contact at all between him and Couven.
the attendant, on the other hand, had the hood on his cloak over his head. He closed his eyes and clasped his hands as though in prayer.
The only sound that filled the stifling air was the rumble of the carriage wheels rolling on the dirt road.
Couven, leaning back in his seat, sneered. He hadn’t expected lavish treatment as an alpha, but he despised how this cramped carriage was requiring him to fold his large frame as much as possible.
As he gazed out the carriage window, he saw the flitting houses. It seemed like they were heading away from his familiar dwelling. He caught a glimpse of the art studio he often frequented.
Inside the rattling carriage, Couven contemplated.
‘Is being summoned to an aristocrat’s mansion, forsaking my original plans, going to be beneficial to me, or would it eat away at me?’
The carriage carrying the painter and his frustrations left the village. The farther they got from the village, the less the carriage rattled. The once rustic clatter of horseshoes on the ground had become rather melodious, and the wheels started to roll smoothly.
It appeared that someone had paved the road.
With proximity to Duke Quixote’s mansion, it was evident that servants had been employed to maintain the road.
The sun streamed in through the carriage window, and the warm sensation made the artist, who had been blinking his eyelids in contemplation, rest his arm on the window frame.
In response to this small movement, the knight, as if ready to draw his sword at any moment, flinched. He was attentively vigilant of all of Couven’s actions within the confines of the narrow carriage.
“Do not move unnecessarily.”
If this level of reaction was anything to go by, it seems like he has experienced something harsh at the hands of an ‘alpha.’ Or perhaps it was his family who suffered.
An alpha’s persistent courtship entailed, of course, giving up one’s body after imprinting, or getting abandoned, or getting killed off for refusing that very persistence.
At the time when the throne was to be succeeded by the next generation, a military coup had been mobilized by one particularly influential prince. However, when he had soon manifested as an alpha, the coup d’état failed and the entire household nearly collapsed.
Whatever the case, it had been a regrettable situation. However, it’s time to stop wasting emotions on this matter. The artists couldn’t care less about the knight or his family—not one bit. Not even as much as a fingernail.
Couven didn’t even possess enough power to sway his own family.
a bit removed from the densely packed town, the mansion of the Quixote Duchy stood tall in a vast, flat expanse. Without a single hill to obscure the view, the mansion claimed its imposing presence on the plain.
As the carriage carrying the artist progressed along the long mansion driveway, a row of poplar trees lined the way. The more they advanced, the clearer the majestic sight of the mansion became.
The carriage came to a brief halt in front of the sky-high gate. Perhaps it was impossible to know how high it soared.
The gatekeeper and guards engaged in a brief conversation with the coachman, and the carriage slowly moved beyond the gate. A guard on duty at the gate stared intensely at Couven as the carriage passed by.
Unfazed, Couven returned the guard’s intense interest with a dry, disinterested gaze.
At a speed slower than ever before, the carriage crossed the front yard. A large, elongated pond dominated a portion of the front yard.
Rows of box hedges, grown knee-high, were planted symmetrically on both sides of the pond, like a décalcomanie.
As the carriage rolled a bit further, an impressive fountain came into view right in front of the mansion building. Built using a high platform, the fountain resembled a cave with an open ceiling or a semi-basement square.
Three sculpted angels stood in formation at the center of the fountain, blowing their trumpets. Water sprayed from the trumpets, creating smooth arcs.
The carriage, which was rolling at a leisurely pace as if boasting of the mansion, came to a stop at the foot of the stairs. It was the entrance to the building.
“We have arrived.”
After a brief rap on the small window behind him, the coachman announced their arrival. To prepare for the guided tour, the attendant was the first to disembark.
Following suit, Couven emerged from the carriage, stretching out his arms and legs that had cramped from the ride, needing a good stretch.
Although he could feel it even from a distance, up close, the mansion was undeniably ostentatious. It was decorated in the type of way that seemed to boast its grandeur.
As Couven glanced over the mansion’s exterior, he climbed the stairs following the attendant’s guidance. The knight who had disembarked from the carriage followed them with an unsatisfied expression.
The guard at the entrance exchanged salutes with the knight.
“We have brought the guest. Please open the door.”
Upon the attendant’s request, the guards exerted their strength to open the thick, majestic doors.
Finally, they were inside the Quixote manor. The marble floors were so clean that the ceiling reflected on them. Couven walked a bit further into the mansion, stepping on that floor.
Attendants, maids, and servants who managed the mansion passed by.
Before Couven could thoroughly appreciate the lavishly decorated hall, he furrowed his brow.
‘They didn’t prepare for an alpha’s visit. How inconsiderate.’
Enveloping his body at once was a raw scent that stimulated his senses sharply—pheromones omegas who hadn’t taken suppressants in time. His expression involuntarily crumpled from the multitude of scents that couldn’t be identified.
To prevent the release of pheromones that flowed unconsciously, one needed to take medication, but weren’t they being too careless? What did they think was going to happen with him here?
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