My Male Lead Is The Northern Black-Haired Grand Duke - Chapter 1
Translator and Editor: Bunny and Tea
Inside a tall castle built with gray granite was a round staircase and a narrow hallway lined with glistening full-mail body armor. Then there was a small room that could only be found by walking through the maze-like hallway.
(T/N: A full-mail body armor is a type of armor consisting of small metal rings linked together in a pattern to form a mesh.)
– Burn, burn. >
A girl and a boy were sitting side by side reading a book inside the small room where the crackling of the burning wood softly echoed.
“Once upon a time, a long time ago,” the girl with her pink hair plaited into two as fluffy as cotton candy said in a stern voice, “In the cold and snowy gray castle, the Northern Black-Haired Grand Duke lived.”
The little boy was mesmerized by the girl’s story and tilted his head.
“Minelli, what is a Northern Black-Haired Grand Duke?”
The girl smiled kindly and answered.
“When you grow up and become an adult, you will become that Northern Black-Haired Grand Duke.”
“Listen more about what kind of person you will become.”
The boy nodded softly. The girl continued the story in a firm voice.
“The Northern Black-Haired Grand Duke was a very, very cold person. He didn’t smile at anyone, and he didn’t even say more than three words.”
“Me? I will do that when I become an adult?”
The girl nodded and added the rules that must be followed in order to become a Northern Black-Haired Grand Duke.
“You can’t shower with warm water, and you can’t drink sweet drinks.”
The boy cried at the girl’s statement.
“But I like chocolate…”
“Still, you can’t eat it. The Northern Black-Haired Grand Duke is like that.”
The girl firmly shook her head at the boy’s protest. The boy looked at the section of the book the girl opened with a troubled expression on his face. There was a big man, and he didn’t know if it was a bear or wolf that the girl drew with her poor skill.
The boy tilted his head and asked, “What’s the point of being such a great Northern Black-Haired Grand Duke?”
The girl smiled broadly at the boy’s question. Since ancient times, the end of the story was always the same.
“The Northern Black-Haired Grand Duke lived happily with the beautiful and kind Princess, who melted his cold heart.”
My name is Minelli. This is inside the romance-fantasy novel called [Canary’s Cage], and I will make the ill-fated male lead, Grand Prince Setz Alkaman sitting next to me, the perfect Northern Black-Haired Grand Duke, and make him happy.
I was obviously special to God, someone who diligently binge read romance-fantasy novels. I thought I had died on my first day of work, but I suddenly woke up in a different world like this!
‘Is this the world of romance fantasy!’
I looked at the castle where I had awakened with curious eyes. Built of gray granite, the castle had a gloomy and cold feeling.
‘Usually, most toilets of medieval castles only had hollowed holes on their windows.’
In one corner of the room, there was a clean toilet and a plumbing facility where water gushed when you turned on the faucet.
‘This is indeed fantasy.’
I shook my head as I logically answered my own question. Just then, the door opened and a woman with her brown hair tied in a high ponytail came in.
“Have you been well today, Minnelli?”
She looked unfamiliar, but I knew her instinctively. She was the mother of this body.
‘Uuuh, it feels like someone is whispering in my ear.’
She’s obviously not in my memory, but it was awkward that I am having this welcoming feeling. It wasn’t just a good feeling, but if I felt awkward with my mother, then she would be completely suspicious of me.
‘I woke up in the world of a romance-fantasy I loved after a long time, and I don’t want to be called a crazy woman.’
I tried to squeeze out a pleasant voice, but my voice was strange.
“Am nug!” (I am good!)
What is this?
‘Why is my tongue short? What’s with my mouth?’
I touched my mouth with a bewildered expression, but,
‘My arms are short?!’
The short, plump arms that barely reached my mouth caught my eye. Could this be my arm? Bewildered, my mother hugged me. She was a young woman despite her pale complexion. She rubbed my forehead against her cheek.
“Yes, our sweetie.”
At those words, I screamed, ‘Kyaaah!’
‘Goodness! What’s happening! Am I starting this second life as a baby again?’
Isn’t this another cliché? My heart was pounding.
‘Right, if I were to be reborn like this, it would usually be the precious Princess, Imperial Princess, or a Duke’s daughter!’
(T/N: A Princess refers to a female member of the royal family, while an Imperial Princess refers to the Princess directly related to the Emperor and Empress [aka their daughter] and related to an Empire.)
What the hell did I possess!!
‘Any situation is fine. Bring it on, I’m ready!’
Having consumed all kinds of romance-fantasy novels for years, my nose puffed in excitement and I blinked my twinkling eyes. I also had a strong confidence that I could get through this situation and create a happy ending.
But it didn’t take long for that confidence to crumble. After a while, a strict and terrifying-looking woman came and shouted like this.
“What the hell are you doing here, Judy! You need to be by the Young Master’s side!”
“B-but the Young Master is taking a nap now. I also have to take care of my daughter – ”
“Do you think the Duke will leave you alone if the Young Master wakes up from his nap and cries loudly? Quickly go and watch over the Young Master!”
“Then my daughter, who will – ”
“Should I know that?”
After unilaterally spewing her orders, the woman slammed the door and left. I frowned.
‘Why is she so angry? She doesn’t even have the slightest bit of manners toward other people.’
I hate to admit it, but the current situation didn’t seem too good for us mother and daughter.
‘If I was a Princess or an Imperial Princess, that woman would never be able to yell at my mother like that.’
No matter how much she is a forgotten concubine in the detached palace away from the Emperor’s eyes, she shouldn’t be treated like this.
‘… Then, am I neither a Princess or Imperial Princess? Or is this a story of a struggling person who suddenly finds out about the secret of her birth and turns her life around?’
That moment I was tilting my head, drops of water dripped on my face.
As I tilted my head and looked up, tears were dripping down from my mother’s large red eyes. After crying silently for a long time, she hugged me tightly and whispered.
“I’m sorry, Minnelli. I think Mom should go back. You will be good, right our baby?”
My heart swelled at the pitiful sight. She muttered while choking.
“Our Minelli was also starving all day.”
Really, the human body is really weird. I felt an unbearable hunger as soon as I heard that I was starving. The hunger was like squeezing my stomach. A cry escaped from my lips as soon as I realized it.
Food, give me food! This child will die!!
Is this because my body is young? I only wanted to eat when I started crying. I couldn’t stop crying until my mom hurriedly put a bottle of milk in my mouth.
‘Oh, I’m going to live now.’
As soon as the bottle entered my mouth, I found inner stability. I grabbed the bottle with both hands and sucked it sideways.
“My Minelli, you drink goat milk very well.”
Mom gently stroked my hair like that. I blinked my eyes.
‘So this is this baby’s life.’
It was a life where I had no choice but to stick to my instincts, because I couldn’t think of anything as soon as I felt the hunger. It was the same now.
‘I don’t know if this is regression or possessing a body, but let’s drink this milk first.’
All I could think of was sucking this lovely bottle of milk. As I was enjoying my meal, the door opened again, and the woman who yelled at me earlier reappeared.
“What are you doing! I told you to go to the Young Master’s side!”
‘Hey! Can’t you see I’m crying!’
Will I be able to live with this sorrow? Even dogs don’t touch other dogs when they eat.
My mother, who had been hesitating for a while, bit her lip and said to me, “Minelli, you’ll be going with Mom to see the Young Master from now.”
I opened my eyes and looked at my mother.
Mom said in a strict tone, “You can’t cry there. You have to be quiet, understand?”
It seemed that my mother was the nanny of the child called ‘Young Master’ so she couldn’t really spend time with her own daughter.
‘She’ll get angry if I cry. I have to hold it in no matter how much I want to instinctively cry.’
I nodded my head with that in mind. Mom held me and opened the door.
The cold air whistled and whirled through the door. I blinked as we started going down the hallway of the castle in my mother’s arms.
‘What is this, this desolate place?’
The room I was sitting in before was still pretty bright. The more we walked, the more desolate the scenery appeared. A gray hallway with no decorations, an old red carpet. As we climbed the stairs a little, there was a large window and a terrace. I stretched my neck and dropped my jaw.
‘Snow? Snow is falling from the sky now?’
Thick snow was pouring from the sky like white flowers. And on the expansive land that my eyes could see, I didn’t see the slightest bit of green.
This dry, barren and cold place.
I knew intuitively – this is the north.
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