Mommy Villainess Chapter 47
47 Duke Of Oakes
KIHO felt a little betrayed when Tilly left him with Duke Prescott alone.
According to his wife, she needed to pick up the tailored hunting clothes that she personally ordered for him.
And so, here he was in the foot of the mountain that the Prescotts owned.
[They own a freaking mountain.]
It wasn't just any mountain because it was home to the rarest spirit stones in the empire. No wonder they were so rich.
"Captain Kiho, do you know how to use a rifle?" Duke Prescott asked while holding a rifle in his hands. "I know that you're a swords master. But in hunting, using a rifle can also be advantageous. I heard it's all the rage among young men these days. Even Captain Sherwood has shifted from swords to rifles."
"I heard about it, too, Your Grace," Kiho answered politely. "I'm not an expert but I know how to use rifles."
"Good," the duke said. "I want you to use a rifle at the Hunt."
"That won't be a problem," he said. He wasn't choosy when it came to weapons anyway. Heck, most of the time, he used his bare hands for the kill. "But may I know if there's a specific reason as to why I need to use a rifle?"
"Because Captain Sherwood would definitely use a rifle at the Hunt."
"I apologize but I don't see the connection."
"I'll get straight to the point then," the duke said while looking at him with widened eyes. "Captain Kiho, I want you to beat Captain Sherwood at what he's good at."
He swallowed hard at the duke's request. "I will try my best, Your Grace."
"House Sherwood is also a part of the Royal Faction," Duke Prescott continued. "But I can't forgive them for laughing when they heard that you joined the Hunt for the first time. Worse, Captain Sherwood's arrogant father even apologized to me because apparently, his son would ruin my son-in-law's debut in the Hunt. That obnoxious old man"
He knew that it was a serious matter but to be honest, he was doing his best to stop himself from laughing. He found it amusing how Tilly resembled her father a lot.
[They both have nasty temper.]
"I don't want you to simply win the Hunt, Captain Kiho," the duke said menacingly. But he knew that his anger was directed at the Sherwoods and not at him. "I want you to crush Captain Sherwood so bad that his father can't laugh at you anymore. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Your Grace," he said.
He wasn't sure about the crushing part but he never intended to lose. After all, he promised Tilly that he'd emerge as the victor of the Hunt.
"Has my daughter told you about my wish for you to have your own last name?"
"She did, Your Grace."
"I'll give you until the Hunt to think about it," the duke said. "I want to hear your answer after you were awarded as the victor."
What high expectations.
Well, he was willing to live up to it.
"I'll think about it carefully, Your Grace," he said politely. "My utmost gratitude for the generous offer, Duke Prescott."
The duke looked at him with a knotted forehead. "You have the reputation of a wolf but you act like a puppy. Did my daughter tame you or something?"
He almost laughed at that. But he didn't want the duke to think that he wasn't taking him seriously so he just bowed.
"Anyway, I'll teach you how to catch the hardest one to hunt among the Four Ancient Beasts that serve as the empire's guardians," the duke said. "Captain Kiho, do you know which among the four ancient beasts is the hardest to catch?"
"I believe it's the Blue Dragon," he answered politely. "The last time the replica of the Blue Dragon was released, almost half of the hunters were killed."
"I understand why you think that the Blue Dragon is the most dangerous," the duke said. "After all, you haven't seen the Red Phoenix, have you?"
He shook his head. "As far as I know, the replica of the Red Phoenix hasn't been chosen ever since the Hunt began."
"That's true," Duke Prescott said. "But we never know. The Red Phoenix must have been chosen as the ancient beast for today's Hunt."
That kind of surprised him because the duke said it with confidence, like he was so sure that the Red Phoenix was the chosen ancient beast for this year. But he was probably over thinking.
[The replica of the chosen ancient beast will only be released before the Hunt begins.]
"Your Grace, do you know how to catch the Red Phoenix?"
"I know two ways to catch the Red Phoenix," the duke answered. "But I will only teach you the safest way the one that wouldn't require you to hurt other people."
"I'm curious, though," he said. "Your Grace, why do you know how to catch a Red Phoenix?"
"My predecessors fought in a war where the Fire Mages were seized," the duke explained. "They helped seal the Red Phoenix and the method was passed down generation to generation."
"Does it mean Tilly only knows how to seal the Red Phoenix?"
"Of course not," the duke said. "It was only passed down to the males in the family. That's the reason why I'm teaching it to you instead of my daughter."
"Pardon me but I think it's unfair," he said. "Tilly is capable. She's even more qualified to inherit your title instead of me, Your Grace."
"I chose not to teach Tilly the method because it's life-threatening and not because she's a woman," the duke denied. "And there's no reason for her to learn how to seal the Red Phoenix since my daughter isn't a warrior."
"Oh, that makes sense," he said. He agreed with the duke. Tilly had no reason to learn how to seal the Red Phoenix. "I apologize for being rude, Your Grace."
"Forget it," the duke said casually. "I want to know if you're willing to learn the method I'm talking about even if it's dangerous. I don't know if it's worth it especially if you consider the fact that there's a miniscule chance that the Red Phoenix was chosen as the ancient beast."
"If it's a method that House Prescott has been preserving for years, then I'd like to learn it as your heir," Kiho said, then he bowed to the duke. "Please teach me the method, Your Grace."
"Raise your head," Duke Prescott said and when he did, he saw him smile at him for the first time. "I'm glad that my daughter married you, Captain Kiho."
And Kiho was lucky that his father-in-law respected him.
[I swear on my life that I will protect House Prescott forever.]
"DID you and the High Priest manipulate the mystery boxes?"
"Of course not," Nia answered Captain Sherwood's ridiculous question. They were sharing a table while having tea. It was kind of dark because there was no window in the room. But the candles made it bearable. "Aku would know if the mystery boxes were manipulated."
It was midnight right now.
She secretly met up with Captain Sherwood in the basement of the High Priest's temple. It was a place that not even Aku could detect. Everyone in that room would temporarily "disappear" in the empire. That was thanks to the spell in there that nullified their Mana.
"You're saying that it was co-incidence that the Red Phoenix was chosen?" Captain Sherwood asked in amusement. Then, he munched on a sandwich. Wherever he was, this gentleman was really so carefree. "That's amazing."
"It's going to be hard even for you to catch the Red Phoenix," she said seriously. "There are two ways to seal the Red Phoenix. Unfortunately, we only know one of those methods."
"So, what do I have to do to catch the legendary bird?"
"The Red Phoenix doesn't have a heart," she started. "It's the replica of the original bird so naturally, it doesn't have a heart as well. You can kill the phoenix and seal its ability to reincarnate if you crush the heart."
The captain's eyebrow rose. "Are you telling me to crush Lady Prescott's heart to catch the Red Phoenix?"
"If you crush Lady Prescott's heart and the phoenix died, then it will be confirmed the she really has the heart that we need," she said. "We can't destroy the heart just to win the Hunt. But it's a good opportunity to test if Lady Prescott's heart is really the one I'm after."
"How do we do that?"
"I'll give you a dagger that can make any heart stop for a minute. If the Red Phoenix's heart stops beating, the bird will also get paralyzed," she said, then sipped her tea before she continued. "The dagger won't kill Lady Prescott or damage her heart. But you have to catch the Red Phoenix in a minute. Because once Lady Prescott's paralysis is over, the bird would also recover and might even turn aggressive."
"Wait, I'm confused," the captain said with a knotted forehead. "Your Royal Highness, how am I supposed to stab Lady Prescott's heart and capture the Red Phoenix at the same time? The Hunt would be held in the forest while the audience area would be far from the hunting grounds. I can fly but I can't turn invisible."
"Have you forgotten about my ability, Captain Sherwood?" she asked while shaking her head. "Our predecessors were the ones who made the replica of the ancient beasts. I can also make a replica of anyone or anything that has shadows."
Captain Sherwood grinned as if he already realized her plan. "Oh. So, you're going to make a clone of me?"
Nia smiled sweetly. "Exactly."
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