IBRV (Novel) Chapter 3

C 3

My appearance drew everyone's attention in the conference room.

My heart started beating rapidly.

"I don't like crowds..."

I didn't know there would be so many people. Swallowing my saliva, I moved to find the place where my name tag was written.

My seat was literally in a corner among the corners of the large conference room. It was a place that clearly displayed my position.

"Who is that girl?"

"Oh, why is she here? The bastard that scoundrel gave birth to outside."

"Ah... So she managed to give birth to a child. I wish to have a child too..."

"Has it been seven years? For the Etham family, it's difficult to have children, whether they are direct or collateral. So, no matter how carelessly that bastard has been provoking the lower part of his body outside, he can overcome the difficulties..."

A murmur broke the silence and lodged in my ears.

"... What the hell was that person doing?"

Not only was he a fool, it seemed he had a reputation notorious enough to be called a "scoundrel."

"Still, she seems quite decent to be the daughter of the guy who used to reek of alcohol..."

"If that's the case, why don't they adopt her and raise her?"


"Yes, it would be better for that girl to be adopted than to grow up without parents like that. Every descendant is precious."


Oh my God, is there an option to be adopted?

"No, but first of all, am I really a blood relative of this family?"

If the truth is revealed today, that intention will also disappear, right?

As I thought, the door opened wide. The buzzing suddenly stopped.

Everyone slowly stood up from their seats, holding their breath.

I quickly got up from my seat and stood next to the chair.

"His Excellency, Duke Miriel Etham, the 12th head of the Etham family, is entering!"

With the porter's loud voice resounding, a stout old man walked over the carpet.

There were bulging veins on fists adorned with rings of gold and silver, and long scars on his cheeks.

And after that, the direct line with black hair and golden eyes entered.

Meanwhile, there was also Erno Etham, who was smiling cheerfully.

He entered with a leisurely step, but as if he had seen me, he stopped and greeted me.


If I don't return the greeting, he'll probably be persistent until the end.

"What? That rascal suddenly..."

"What rascal? He's a demon..."

"But why the hell is he waving his hand over here...?"

"Why else? Isn't it the first time he's acting on a whim? It seems he has started again."

While persistently waving his hand, his eyes began to focus only on me. I quickly waved my little hand.

Only then did he sit right next to Duke Miriel Etham with confidence and calmness despite being the last.

"We will begin the New Year's meeting. I hope everyone has come with a plan in mind."

A plan?

What is he suddenly talking about?

While rolling my eyes in disbelief, suddenly a passage from the novel came to my mind.

"The New Year's ceremony of Duke Etham begins with the gathering of all the members of the duke's family and the announcement of their annual plans.

"Did you come here with a plan like this? You went crazy last year, abandoned your family, and became addicted to alcohol. I can make you live in a drunken stupor for the rest of your life."

Hmm, no, let me correct that.

It starts with a great rift in the year.

Hardly anyone came up with a plan that Duke Miriel Etham would like, and if he didn't like the plan, everything they did last year was exposed."

I opened my mouth wide.

"Myla, you didn't mention this!!"

As I opened my mouth in astonishment, the first person who was called stood in front of the head of the family with a very nervous and somber expression.

The duke nodded with an arrogant expression.

The man standing in front of the duke carefully set aside the thick papers and began to speak.

"I am going to start a new research this year... Recently, a new plant was discovered in the East Continent, and it is said that this plant emits a unique fragrance that calms the mind and body, so based on that..."

"You didn't read the previous research materials as well?"

The duke, who had been insincerely reviewing the papers and listening to the conversation, interrupted and casually tossed the papers aside.


He took a deep breath and continued.

"Your head is like a garden of flowers. Did studying medicinal herbs alone make flowers bloom in your head? This is a plant that has been studied before, you foolish amoeba. Do you keep your eyes on your own feet? Well, it might be because you get drunk and go to upscale pubs with research funds, shouting loudly that you have Etham family blood. You harass women and pick poisonous herbs while wandering around tarnishing my name. Tsk, why? Did you leave your brain in the afterlife after you died? Do you want to go to the underworld and bring it back?"


"No? You speak well. Let me tell you what 'no' means."

"N-no, it's not that... Everything Lord said is true! My lord, I'm sorry... I will try again."

What I saw in front of my eyes was truly a scene of tremendous interrogation and bitterness. I was almost about to cry as if I had panicked.

"...No, isn't that something to be scolded for?"

I mean, he was drunk and even ended up harassing someone while in such a mess.

After that, when someone stood in front of the duke, they were immediately shaken.

An endless stream of curses and embarrassing pasts echoed in the conference room.

"What have you been doing for just a year?"

More and more, the faces of those who did not step up to the podium turned white.

And the next turn was that of a young boy. He seemed to be about thirteen now.

He appeared to be one of the children on the other side of the room, but he was so petrified that he looked like he was about to cry.

"Y-Your Excellency the Duke... M-my goal and plan for this year... Is to be among the top 10 in the academy..."

"Last year, you ranked 87th in the first semester and 128th in the second. And you still say you want to be in the top 10? Do you think this is realistic? Or did you just let it slide and plan to get away with it now?"

"N-no. I-I work hard... I think it's possible..."

"Does it seem possible? So you're serious about it. Then, what do you think are your chances of success?"


"I've heard your story. Recently, your teachers' evaluations hit rock bottom. I heard you were hanging out with bad boys, neglecting your studies, and bullying your classmates..."

The boy turned pale at the duke's words.

"Liam? It is said that there are things that can be recycled even in stone bricks, and there are things that cannot be recycled. I certainly enjoy suppressing others with my power, but that's only possible because of the power I've gained. What do you have without me? Do you think you're crazy enough to let me hear complaints about a classmate when you have nothing? I don't like having non-recyclable stone bricks in my house. Stones don't burn, do you know the headache it would give me to get rid of them?"

Duke Miriel fired away without pause. I opened my mouth and rolled my eyes.

If that person had been born in Korea, I believe they would have become famous even if they had become a rapper.

"I-I'm sorry, I'm sorry..."

"Listen carefully. If I hear shit like this again..."

The voice, which had been speaking calmly, suddenly turned somber.

The duke's gaze slowly moved to the middle-aged man and woman sitting to the side.

Judging by their pale blue faces, it was clear that they were probably the boy's parents.

"You can become a bastard."

Damn, the famous phrase came out.

That was the ultimate curse in this mansion.

A bastard.

In other words, my father... It was a term referring to a person like him. It was a signal to let you know that you would be expelled from the family.

There was nothing more painful than being expelled from the Etham family.

"Y-yes... yes..."

I felt sorry for him holding back tears, but bullying is not right.

After that, the procession of collateral and direct children continued.

As I watched, I suddenly had a question.

"Oh? Could it be that I have to do this too?"

As the call continued, sweat began to flow down my back.




I began to feel something ominous.

"Next, Mr. Callan Etham, Mr. Silian Etham."

At the call, two boys with a beautiful appearance stepped forward.

"I don't have many things I want to do this year. I'm thinking of taking a break this year, Patriarch."

"I don't have any specific plans for this year either, I'm taking a break because I'm stuck before the fifth circle."

A black-haired boy who looked exactly like Erno Etham and a red-haired boy who stood out spoke boldly about their aspirations.

Those boys were Erno Etham's sons.

In the novel "Adopted," they were the brothers in charge of supporting the female protagonist.

Although they looked like that, both of them had scars, so they were helplessly attached to the heroine's bright smile.

"Yes, the proper rest is also necessary."

The other children were scolded like this, and yet the duke didn't say anything even when they proudly declared that they would take a break.

"As expected, the world is about money, personal connections, luck, and talent..."

And I have nothing.


"Yes, Miss Eirin, please step forward."


... I'm doomed.

My turn came, which I had never expected.

"Miss Eirin?"


I got up from my seat and stood in front of the Duke.

Due to his imposing appearance, the sense of intimidation was considerable.

It seemed like his entire body was made of muscles. He didn't look like an elderly person, not in the slightest.

The duke's indifferent gaze reached me.

"Tell me."

"What plan?... What plan?... What plan?"

My brain went blank.

"M-my p-plan..."

Don't I have a plan right now?

"It's t-to leave this house... safely..."

Is it because my brain is blank?

The words came out without going through.

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