Jewel in the Mist (BL)
Chapter 3: Unearthing
Chapter 2: Reality
The reality of being isekaied into a historical, fantasy novel was a disconnected and confusing one. First of all, the showers, or in his circumstances, were irritatingly impractical.
To his left side was a bucket of heated water in case the wooden bucket Jule was currently sitting in did not have enough, and to his right was a wooden scoop. On the counter above was a sad bar of dry soap that did not lather no matter how much he rubbed it. The only thing that kept him sane was the fact that the water was perfumed with fresh herbs, or else he might truly drown himself out of anxiety.
Nevertheless, the annoyance of having to work with an inferior shower and cleaning product only added to Jules current stress.
In a few years, Duke Valenti would be on the battlefield per the royal familys order. The defenseless Valenti duchy then, though guarded by the best knights of the kingdom, would no doubt face defeat once the Tonucan army arrived. Jule Valenti had somehow escaped the attack unscathed, but the novel didn mention how.
He bit his finger, his leg shaking. ”If only there was someone as strong as Duke Valenti… ”
”Stupid Jule Valenti. If you hadn swapped Borealis tournament invitation, you and your siblings might have lived for a few more years- oh. ”
He jumped out of the wooden bucket, water splashing everywhere. Of course, of course! Let nature take its course and don mess with other peoples invitations!
All Jule had to do now was sit back, relax, contemplate his existence, and freeload using the original Jule Valentis body. Borealis would then be recruited into the duchys knight order, protecting it while Duke Valenti goes to the frontlines.
Simple, yes! His intuition told him it wasn going to be.
Now that his mood had lightened and Jule no longer felt like a disgusting, sick mess, his mind could finally process some things.
Next to the shower was a neatly folded white garment. Unlike the clothes he wore before, this outfit was much simpler and probably more comfortable for nightwear. The fabric felt soft to the touch, like white clouds…
It has been a while, Jule realized. He never knew there would be a day he would miss the light, pleasant feeling of a clean and comfortable cloth. After his fathers scandal got leaked to the public, his familys company – which was already struggling to compete in the industry – went bankrupt. Jule was forced to move into a small, dirty one-room apartment, with barely enough money to pay his private schools tuition fees.
The only thing Jule had left of his father before the man left the country out of shame were the old medical textbooks he left behind: thick, dense, and handwritten.
Hed sworn, once, that hed become an honorable doctor, someone whod bring back pride to his family. But more than that, someone who would save lives, a person that brought smiles to others faces. But the Ministry of Health…he couldn stand the sight of them, let alone want to work next to those so-called doctors. His mind flashed back to the genuine sincerity and unadulterated happiness of the physician whose eyes were filled with joy. In that moment of confusion, he had somehow not noticed the physicians honesty.
As he slipped the robe on, Jule couldn help but notice how the paleness of his skin was comparable to the color of the fabric.
”Gosh, has Jule Valenti never gone outside before? ” Jule spoke, amazed as he stared into the mirror. ”Jule Valenti…wow, if only your personality was as innocent as your face, ”
Jule Valenti, no matter how terrifyingly annoying his presence was in the original story, was a slim, pale, and beautiful boy. His soft gray hair shone like threads of silver, his light golden eyes the shape of petals. His physique, though not petite at all, was lean and delicate – the perfect example of a sheltered noble.
”If I wasn straight and Borealis didn exist, Id fall in love with this body, ” He proclaimed proudly.
Wait, what if I were to… Jule contemplated as he looked in the mirror. Then, he smiled, pushing his cheeks up with two of his fingers, and softened his eyes.
”Fuck! ” He slapped himself hard, blushing. ”Shit, **, no. Whats wrong with me? Was I that ugly in my past life? ”
Just as the tension in both his stress and strained muscles had been washed away by the hot herbal bath, his thoughts and tension had also been erased. Jule threw himself on the leather armchair, his surroundings illuminated by the warm, red fireplace. He knew it was an awkward and cliche thing to do – mainly because he definitely was not the main character – but writing down the details of his transmigration and the story of COAIS was probably the best way to start. Lest he forgot the plotline of the original story, hed still have the notebook to review.
However, it would be a problem if someone were to read the contents. If so, could he write it in initials? Or should he create an allegory to remember by?
Jule decided on the former; hed rather do simple things first.
The novel began with Borealis turning 15, where 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. ”
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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