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Chapter 220: Chapter 220

“Oh, Christopher.”

A lady called his name to console him, and it shocked Rubica. What was he doing here? Had the criticism about her ribbons started from his mouth?

Their eyes met and he bowed elegantly. There wasn’t even a single flaw in his posture.

“I am Christopher. I would be honored to make a dress for you one day.”

“That won’t be needed, I have Khanna.”

Rubica coldly turned him down flatly, but it didn’t make his smile fade. He had a number of high nobles as his regular customer, so this kind of refusal was nothing to him.

He believed Rubica would eventually be eager to wear a dress made by him, although she was pretending to be too high for that. All he had to do was to trigger her fear that she might be excluded from the society, a bit of vanity, and pride.

“Oh, right. I don’t deserve to as I am not a dweller of Claymore Dukedom. You are as chaste as they say.”

“If I’d only known the duke wanted a wise woman who manages his land well, I would have shown him how much I care about his house instead of trying to flatter him when he showed interest in me.”

A lady tried to imply she had had a chance with Edgar, but it confused Princess Charlotte.

“Edgar never showed interest in you.”

That made the lady blush hard, so she replied, “Your Highness, he did have some interest in me. We even danced together at a ball once.”

“That’s because my father forced him to.”

The princess replied completely unconcerned, and Rubica was more than just glad to hear it. Although she looked a lot like her father, she seemed to be a different kind of person.

“Hmm, anyway, I’ve married a good man and lead a free and happy life, and there isn’t more I can hope for. On the other hand, being a duchess must be hard. If my husband were to make me order dresses from designers in our land and put fabric ornaments on my chest instead of gems, I would cry until I have no more tears to shed.”

Edgar would have been really, really mad to hear that. It reminded Rubica of all those gifts he had given her. She had put them in storage as there were too many of them and she found them too bothering.

‘Should I have brought that jade fan?’

However, she knew competing with such people would only be pouring oil to the fire of their stupidity. She decided to just say, ‘Thank you for your concerns’ and leave, but then…

“Rubica.”

They heard a voice. They turned in surprise and saw Edgar standing near them.

Both Rubica and her opponents hadn’t been able to sense his arrival as they had been so absorbed in that fight of words, so they were all shocked.

The duke was usually cold as if he was made of ice, but compared to how he was now, that would have been as bright as the sunlight of a warm spring’s day.

Edgar came next to Rubica and met eyes with each one of them. His fierce but cold rage scared even the princess who took a step back.

The duke was even scarier than her mother and her father. She thought she had made a huge mistake, although she didn’t know what it was. But then, Rubica smiled warmly and took his hand. Everyone was shocked to see her greet the duke with such ease.

“Edgar, you could have waited for me at home.”

She worried he might have heard the conversation.

“The sun has set, but you didn’t come, so I was wondering if some lizards were bothering you, but…”

In a flash, he caught a fly with his bare hand right in front of the princess’s face.

“I see there was a fly.”

Then, he flashed a deadly smile and Rubica could see he was about to do something. She really didn’t want to let him loose in front of the young princess, so she grabbed his arm.

“It’s getting late, we should go. Your Highness, I’m afraid we must leave now.”

“Huh? Okay.”

The princess replied, still not knowing what she was saying. However, Edgar kept glaring at the party and Rubica had to literally drag him out.

“How dare they…”

He started to grit his teeth the moment they got on the carriage. He must have heard what the lady said to offend Rubica, and she worried he might be storming into her home right away.

She changed the topic in an effort to calm him down.

“Hasn’t Minos sent a message?”

“Oh, he came himself.”

“Really? He must have come while I’m gone. He’s still there, right?”

Rubica brightened up at hearing the news. The goblin had information about the ring, which was their only lead to break the curse. She had so many questions to ask him. However, Edgar shook his head.

“What? He’s gone?”

Rubica regretted wasting time on the princess and her group. She should have ignored them and be on her way, but she couldn’t help getting enraged at hearing the name Christopher.

“He has left to the north while saying he will try to talk to Iber’s underlings.”

“To the north?”

“Yes, he is going to show them the ring and try to talk about it.”

Actually, Ios had left with Minos, but Edgar didn’t want to talk about the dragon to Rubica. He would get a severe stomachache each time she complimented Ios even a little.

“He said it would be better for him to go as they wouldn’t even talk to you and me as we are humans.”

“I… see.”

For now, the best they could do was to wait for Minos to do what he’d promised to do. Nevertheless, she was quite glad to get at least a small bit of hope.

***

Minos had been equally hopeful when he arrived at the entrance of Iber’s territory. Blanco, who was pretty much the chief of Iber’s underlings, was one of his old clients.

In fact, when he knocked on the door, Blanco was quite glad to see them and even offered them hot tea. She was also happy to see Ios had grown up so much.

“Claymore?”

Until they mentioned that name. As soon as they spoke of it, Blanco cleaned her ears with water as if she had heard something filthy.

“Don’t you dare speak of that cursed name in front of me!”

Then, she kicked the two out of her home. Outside, the cold snow had piled up to almost a meter high. Ios muttered to himself as he pulled out Minos by his feet. He had been thrown on his head and was stuck in snow.

“What just happened?”

He had always been received warmly whenever he came to visit Iber’s territory. He had never been kicked out. It was so shocking that he couldn’t even be mad about it.

“Well, I don’t know.”

Minos brushed off the snow on his clothes and took out his books from his pocket. Although they had just been kicked out by Blanco, he still had many other clients. So, they went to the second important client.

“Claymore?”

However, the same thing happened again. A second later after they mentioned Claymore’s name, they found themselves buried in the snow.

“Ugh!”

Ios became really angry and hit the falling snowflakes with his fists. If there hadn’t been a rule among dragons about not hurting each other’s underlings, he would have lunged in like a bull and smashed the door.

“Hmm, I guess just mentioning Claymore is enough to enrage everyone here.”

“What on earth has that man been doing?”

“Well, we must use a different strategy.”

Minos narrowed his eyes as he looked for the next client’s address in his books. Going without preparation will likely have them be thrown out again. Getting plummeted to the snow head first twice was more than enough.

“First, we must find out why they hate Claymore so much.”

“Yes! We must find out and tell on them to Rubica about it.”

Ios was having quite different thought as he didn’t like Edgar at all. He didn’t like that he could touch him without any trouble even though he was only a human, and most of all, he didn’t like that he was smart.

He wanted to use this chance and find out his weakness.

“Oh my, Lord Ios, why have you come to this humble place?”

“Just… don’t kick me out later.”

“What?”

“Never mind. Let me go in, it’s cold.”

The third underling they visited, Snow, was very confused, but she took the two to the warmest spot and brought them milk boiled with butter.

That was pretty much the same as before, but Minos knew this was going to change the moment he said they were here to find a clue for breaking Duke Claymore’s curse.

Ios raised his arms in guard, determined to not be kicked out so easily this time.

“Lord Ios? Why are you raising your arms?”

“Oh, it’s…”

Before Ios could say he was in defense in case Snow grabbed him by his collar, Minos put down his cup of milk and interrupted them.

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