Jewel in the Mist (BL)

Chapter 2: Reality

here he made the decision to leave his county and apply to the Valenti knights selection tournament entry invitation. However, because of his good looks and skills, he caught the admiration of Evelyn, incuring the protective wrath of Jule Valenti who switched his invitation letter with someone else.

In the original novel, Jule was said to be two years younger than Borealis, meaning that he could be 14 right now – just a year before he would apply to the knights selection tournament. Jule silently cheered. He had a full year to prepare.

As long as he didn sabotage Borealis, the protagonist would be recruited as a knight for the duchy. A moving, breathing talisman to ward off the evil ghouls and Tonucan assassins! How wonderful!

A knock on the door interrupted Jule just before he could finish writing.

”Young master, the Duke and young lady are waiting for you at the dining room. ”

”Ill be there in a moment, ” Jule replied. Internally, though, he was hyperventilating. Where is the dining room?

He navigated his way out of the warm, comfortable bed chamber into the cold hallways that never seemed to end. The glass windows tinted by the blue sky and white snow clouded the scenery. The floor stung even through his shoes, as if Jule was walking on ice instead of marble. The Valenti mansion was a frighteningly cold place.

”Duke Valenti, young lady Evelyn, young master Jule have arrived. ” The door he had been trying to find for the past half an hour opened.

”Brother! ” Evelyn exclaimed, but Jule ignored her, instead staring at the man sitting at the opposite end of the dining table. His black hair was swept up neatly, revealing an intimidating but handsome face. His eyes resembled ice, blue and cold which seemed to soften slightly when he saw Jule.

”Duke Valenti, ” Jule forced the words out of his mouth. ”…Brother, ”

”Jule? ” The Dukes eyes widened, his mouth open in surprise.

”Nothing, nothing, forget what I said. ” Jule laughed awkwardly, avoiding the dukes gaze by turning towards Evelyn. ”Evelyn, you must be hungry. Eat, eat, ”

Alexander Valenti, the one and only, young Duke of Qelia, was but a plot-filler side character in COAIS. He had a protagonist start, born as the child of a mistress and the most powerful duke of the kingdom, ignored by his parents, beaten by servants who thought he couldn resist. When found out by the late duke, Alexander was belittled for not resisting. At age 17, his father died, forcing him to take on the position of Duke Valenti.

His ending was that of a heroic cannon fodders – dead in a pool of blood whilst protecting his only surviving family, then cast away and not mentioned ever until his name was relevant to the plot.

”How have you been, Duke? ” Jule attempted to start a conversation.

Alexander replied without sparing him a single glance. ”Im alright. ”

”I…see, ”

Evelyn looked back and forth between him and the Duke, confused as to why they were conversing with one another.

Despite being from a wealthy family in his previous life, Jule seldom ever used his table manners. So, in order to not embarrass himself in front of people who were definitely accustomed to table manners, Jule ate very little.

”Brother, why aren you eating anything? ” Evelyn tilted her head.

”Is the chefs food not good enough? ” Alexander scoffed, his eyes narrowing.

Jule wasn scared of most external forces, but if there was one thing he was especially afraid of (and hated), it was passive aggressiveness.

”Of course not, when did I ever say that? ” Jule snapped. He began to stuff all the food into his mouth at once irritatingly as Evelyn watched in horror, completely forgetting his plan to not embarrass himself. Fuck you, scrap pride, Jule cursed mentally.

”…Duke Valenti, is it alright if I visit the library after? ” Jule asked quietly, still avoiding Alexanders unnerving stare.

”Don you have access to it? ”

”I don have access to most places in the mansion, duke, have you forgotten? ”

Earlier, Jule had found it strange that there was always someone to accompany him wherever and whenever he went outside of his room, while Evelyn could usually walk freely around the mansion without being supervised by a servant. Moreover, unlike other nobles and servants, Jule had no entry pass or house insignia to go outside. Nevertheless, if Jule Valenti had truly been under house arrest this whole time, it wouldn be a surprise, considering his bad reputation and irritable personality.

”It has only been a few months since I became Duke, it mustve slipped my mind. ” Alexander set his utensil down with a clank, so brutally Jule had to fight the urge to lean a little closer to check if the metal had been dented. ”Ill inform the chamberlain to remove your restrictions within this mansion. ”

”Thank you brother, ” Jule sighed, not noticing the way Alexanders eyes widened. His lips quirked up, his eyes grinning as he became more confident in front of the duke. ”Then, about my house arrest- ”

”You may not leave yet. ”

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