Season 2 Chapter 6: (Season 2) – Chapter 6
The bright lights stunned her for a moment.
Maybe it was because she was stuck in the dark for almost a month. The lighting on the stage had been soft, so she didn’t realise it, but this place was different.
The bright lights shining within the room penetrated Min Ha-rin’s retinas.
It was only after blinking a few times that she was able to see the overall appearance of the room.
It was a large room filled to the brim with luxurious furniture and decor.
And in the center of the room, there was a silver table at which he sat.
This was probably the first time she was getting a good look at him.
The first thought she had upon seeing him was that he was like a vampire. To be precise, he reminded her of Count Dracula, who appeared in old time movies.
His face was pale, and his hair was grey. And the black tuxedo he wore contrasted sharply with his body.
If he weren’t a Demon, she might have even thought that he was a very good-looking old man.
But Min Ha-rin was feeling intense chills at that moment.
An instinctive fear, similar to the way one felt when facing a predator, licked at the back of her neck.
A Duke, a being who stood at the pinnacle of Demon nobility. Some people mentioned the possibility that there were Grand Dukes, but even they could not deny the fact that Dukes were representative of the pinnacle of Demon Nobility.
They were incredibly dangerous creatures.
Walking natural disasters.
Nuclear warheads with egos.
Demons of the end.
There were dozens of names for them, and the association paid attention to the movements of every Duke using any means they could.
This was because they understood that if they were to let even a single Duke out of their sights, an entire branch might disappear like dust before heavy winds.
‘Officially, there are only two recorded cases of defeating Dukes.’
And the damage that accompanied this defeat was immeasurable.
Many thousands of promising hunters had become cold corpses, and many more suffered irrecoverable damage.
And now, such a being, who could create a disaster as easy as breathing, was sitting in front of her.
He was standing within arms reach.
What hid behind this facade of a genial old man was a monster who could destroy her heart with the flick of a finger.
It felt like there was a sword being pressed against her throat.
Min Ha-rin forcibly tried to ignore her shivering. She tried to not shrink back, but she still lowered her gaze.
This wasn’t because she’d given in. She’d just realised how foolish it was to openly display her hostility.
Sandro hummed in interest when he noticed her change in attitude.
He looked at Min Ha-rin for a moment before waving his hand.
“You may leave.”
The Demon who brought them bowed his head politely before leaving the room, closing the door behind him.
At that moment, Min Ha-rin felt like the atmosphere in the room was becoming heavy again.
Sandro’s attention was only locked onto Min Ha-rin. He didn’t seem interested in Lukas, who stood beside her.
“I don’t know if you’ve eaten. Are you hungry?”
Sandro’s voice was unexpectedly soft.
If she didn’t know who he was, she might have mistaken him for a kindhearted old man.
Knowing he wasn’t, Min Ha-rin didn’t answer.
“Why don’t you relax a little?”
She didn’t answer this time either. She wasn’t openly being rebellious, it was just that she couldn’t even think about lowering her head like Drisa had mentioned.
So instead, she bit her lip and suppressed her feelings.
“Did you have a change of heart? Your attitude is different from earlier. Well, it doesn’t matter.”
Sandro got up from his seat and began to skillfully cut tea leaves.
A subtle scent filled the room, but Min Ha-rin had to resist the urge to cover her nose as though she smelled a terrible odor.
“I know human nature doesn’t change so easily. But it’s not fun to have a conversation like this…”
While listening to the sound of the tea leaves boiling, Sandro chuckled.
“Let’s do this. I will break one of that man’s fingers every time you don’t answer me.”
Min Ha-rin’s body shook.
She looked back.
There was still no change to Lukas’ expression despite Sandro’s vicious words.
“That person… has already gone mad. It would be pointless.”
She tried to speak calmly, but she couldn’t help the slight tremors in her voice.
And Sandro was very aware of this.
“What does that matter? What I want to see is your reaction. I want to see what my new slave is like. Show me just how high your view of morals and ethics is.”
“I’ll ask again. Are you thirsty?”
Min Ha-rin bit her lip.
“Your original expression has returned. That’s good. I hope you can maintain that rebellious spirit for a long time.”
Those words filled her with anger.
“I won’t obey a Demon. Instead of obeying you, I’d rather—.”
“Kill me? Is that what you want to say?”
Sandro let out a laugh. It was a laugh filled with genuine joy.
“I don’t care if you have such thoughts, but I should probably start your training early so you can learn things you shouldn’t do.”
“How? Are you going to intimidate me or threaten that person again? Ha. It seems a Duke is no big deal after all. I can’t believe you’d resort to such petty tricks because you couldn’t make a single human submit.”
“Petty tricks? That’s an interesting expression.”
Sandro knew that Min Ha-rin was trying to provoke him. The reason she mentioned Lukas was because she didn’t want him to touch him anymore.
Sandro, who had lived for hundreds of years, could easily see through the ploys of this young girl.
“Of course, I know many ways to make a human submit,”
“I’m not afraid of torture. Nor am I afraid of my mind breaking or death.”
“Haha. You can only say that because you’re ignorant. Child, you can’t even begin to imagine what real pain is like. There are many things in this world that are more terrible than death.”
Sandro’s smile widened.
“However, I won’t touch you just yet.”
“I won’t do it for at least a month. You can trust me. I always keep my word. Nevertheless, you will swear your loyalty to me and do whatever I say.”
“That will never happen.”
Sandro flicked his finger.
Suddenly, the restraints on Min Ha-rin’s hands and feet were released.
The collar was still around her neck, but to an extent, she had regained her freedom.
Min Ha-rin looked at Sandro in confusion.
“I heard that you successfully hunted a noble during your first mission. At that time, you were only 15 years old. I’m curious as to how promising you would’ve been if you were allowed to grow.”
“…you did a lot of research. Do you enjoy looking into the backgrounds of slaves?”
Min Ha-rin forced herself to speak coldly, but a part of her felt cold when she heard those words.
‘How could he know about my first mission?’
It wasn’t strange that he knew her name, age, and other minor personal information. She was certain that the Chester Company, who sold her, had all of that information.
However, information about the missions a hunter went on were confidential and known only to the association. So it was certainly strange for a Demon Duke to have access to it.
She shook her head as an ominous thought appeared in her mind.
It couldn’t be. If that was the case, humanity would have already been destroyed.
She must have been overthinking. She had to have been.
“There was an unusually large number of people at the event today. So my shoes got a bit dirty.”
It was a sudden change of topic.
When Min Ha-rin glared at him, Sandro smiled before pointing down to his shoes.
“Lick it with your tongue and clean it. I don’t want to see even a single speck of dust.”
It was a ridiculous request.
Min Ha-rin had a strange expression on her face as she said.
“You should be glad I don’t know many curse words.”
“Haha. I knew you’d say something like that. Right… It’s so heartbreaking to have a disobedient slave.”
After muttering quietly, Sandro went silent for a moment before continuing.
“Do you want to know what I plan to do next?”
“I don’t care.”
“No. You will care. A lot.”
Sandro smiled warmly as he looked and Min Ha-rin.
“Because I have a disobedient slave who won’t listen to my orders, I think I will go for a stroll. Just to get some fresh air. Maybe I’ll even go for a long walk. Maybe I might even make a trip down to the peninsula.”
It was a soft voice as though he was reading a storybook.
However, Min Ha-rin’s expression became harder and harder as he continued.
By peninsula, he meant…
“I want to see the sea, so I think it would be better to go to Busan, which is called a port city. I want to relax and enjoy the night sea, but I don’t think I’ll be able to. I don’t know why, but I feel like a lot of hunters will suddenly come and attack me.”
Min Ha-rin could no longer hide her shock. Her pupils shook violently.
Busan was the location of the headquarters of the Hunter Association’s East Asia branch.
And this Demon knew that.
“They will try to kill me, and I will defend myself. It’s been a long time since I used these old hands, so I’m not confident in holding back my strength. This means that most of those hunters will die. The blood of hundreds of people might cause the ocean water to become a bit red. Of course, I wouldn’t get a single scratch.”
“However, my little plan to enjoy the view of the sea would have been ruined by then. I’m not very patient, so this fact will make me extremely angry. It’s natural that I will go to the den of the bugs who disturbed me and wipe them out. The hunters won’t know that I already know the location of their underground bunker. They will think they’re safe. But they will soon realise that it was just an illusion. I will reach the center of the bunker in a heartbeat while laughing at their defenses. I will annihilate all of the high-ranking officers there in a short amount of time. Then, I will find the Branch Manager who is barely holding on to his life and tell him with a smile.”
An ugly smile blossomed on his old face.
“If he gives me the two children, Min Ha-ru and Min Yoo-seong, I will let him live.”
Min Ha-rin collapsed when she heard the names of her two younger siblings.
Her body shook.
To Min Ha-rin, their deaths were tens of times more terrifying than her own. It was the worst situation she couldn’t even imagine.
“They are you brother and sister. Only twelve and fourteen years old. Why aren’t you more pleased? You will soon be reunited. I assure you, they will call for you desperately. Until their blood spills from their throats.”
Sandro finished his cup of tea.
Then, he got up from his seat and put on the coat that had been hung over the chair.
“I sincerely hope your siblings are as strong-willed as you are.”
Just as he was about to walk out the door.
Then he turned around with a smile.
“What was that?”
“S-, sorry… I’m sorry… I’m sorry…”
Min Ha-rin said these words with tears rolling down her face. She repeated the same thing like a broken radio.
She bent her knees, which she’d vowed to never do, and banged her forehead against the ground over and over again.
“I, I… I don’t care what you do to me. But please… Please don’t do anything to my siblings. I was wrong.”
Sandro looked down at her. He let out a pleased laugh before walking back to his seat. Then, he sat on the chair and crossed his legs while looking down at Min Ha-rin.
“Well, it seems my shoes are still dirty.”
Min Ha-rin froze, but it was only for a moment. She stood up from the ground with a resigned expression.
To go to Sandro. To clean his shoes with her tongue.
“Not like that.”
Sandro smiled and pointed to the floor.
“You have to come to me. Like a slave.”
She didn’t have a choice.
Min Ha-rin didn’t bite her lip this time. Her pride had already been torn to shreds, and her eyes were lifeless.
She crawled towards Sandro.
More than humiliation and shame, fear for Sandro grew within her. Fear that ate at her mind.
She could see the shoes. As Sandro had said, they were a bit dirty.
Instinctively, she knew that if she were to really lick Sandro’s shoes, she would not disobey until the day she died.
But even so.
She didn’t have a choice.
Then she heard a strange sound. And Min Ha-rin realised that the atmosphere in the room had changed drastically.
She raised her head.
Duke Sandro was no longer looking at her. He was no longer smiling as well. But this was different from before.
His expression was a bit stiff as though he’d witnessed something unexpected.
Min Ha-rin followed his gaze.
Lukas was standing there. He still stood in a daze with a blank expression on his face, but something was different.
He didn’t have a collar.
Duke Sandro narrowed his eyes.
To be more specific.
Lukas had ripped it off on his own.