The Woman Ravaging Beast I
In Maria’s room, on the highest floor of the Royal Palace, there is a dressing table upon which is adorned a large mirror.
Arrayed in front of this mirror were a number of small containers, coming in all sorts of beautiful different colours and shapes. Those little glass bottles and jars, gleaming from the sunlight that streaked into the room from an open window, were all cosmetics.
They were the same types of make-up that her ‘mother’ and former half-sister Lilith had used when she was the same age as Maria was now.
Once she was finished applying foundation and a thin veneer of white powder to her cheeks, Maria checked her reflection in the mirror after adding a finishing touch of eyeliner and lipstick.
Soft hair, the colour of honey. Big eyes and long eyelashes, prominent enough to cast a shadow on her pale face. On those white cheeks of hers was just the slightest hint of red.
Looking at the fourteen-year-old girl in the mirror was like looking at the Lilith from her memories.
Looking at the mirror, she glared at the sight of that disgusting woman.
Clenching her hands into fists, those long nails dug into her palms. Ignoring the pain, Maria got up and left the room, closing the door behind her.
‘The only reason women doll themselves up is to tempt men’. This was what Hayden Winter, coach driver to Duke Wenschlee, thought.
For example, a woman doing up her hair, a woman putting on makeup or a woman who exposed any part of her skin with revealing clothing. All of this was done merely to lure the gazes of men.
As he held the reins of the horses pulling the Duke’s carriage as they drove through town, he could hear the laughter of young women echoing from the sidewalk.
Just what kind of men were they trying to ensnare, with those provocative red ribbons in their hair?
(My goodness… For a woman like that to invite men in such a conceited way…)
As he thought about it, his mouth loosened into a smirk. It was only after arriving back at the Duke’s household however that Hayden brought the carriage to a stop.
After helping his Master descend from the carriage and seeing him off towards the front entrance, he made his own way around towards the back. As he tied up the horses in the stable as he usually did, he heard the excited voices of young maids nearby.
“-just as beautiful as the rumours said!”
“It’s true. So mature as well, it’s hard to believe we’re the same age!”
(The younger girls, huh? Are they talking about a man?)
As he peeked around the side of the stables to look, the maids’ faces suddenly turned sour.
“Hayden is watching us again, how unpleasant.”
(…Hmph, acting so proud even though you’re just a wench. If you don’t show me the proper respect, you might end up like…)
Hayden’s thoughts trailed off to that one moment he often relived, a time of utmost ecstasy.
In the woods, on the shore of a lake.
That sense of conquest and triumph as he pinned that woman beneath him, seeing her conceit and pride break like a twig crushed under his heel…
His daydream was interrupted by a sudden highly strung voice.
“What are you all doing?”
“M-My apologies, Head Maid! We were just discussing how beautiful she has looked since she arrived, Lady Maria…”
Hayden found himself staring at their conversation.
“Well, that is only natural. Lady Maria is the daughter of Her Royal Highness Lilith, you are aware? You may not know this, but Her Highness has always been adorable, even as a child.”
(…Her Highness’ daughter? She’s in this house now?)
For some reason, the name ‘Maria’ stuck with him. But, just why was that?
However, that strange sensation was reduced to a trifle once he beheld the girl who suddenly made her way onto the scene.
“Head Maid, so this is where you were?”
Hayden’s eyes opened wide.
That was because there really was a girl here who shared all the grace and beauty of Lilith, a woman who had once offered him what he had desired.
“When I was studying abroad in Aachenfrau, I bought you all souvenirs. I bought some for all the servants, so I was hoping that you could help me with giving them out…”
“My…! Of course, it will be my pleasure! On behalf of all the servants, I would like to thank you for your generosity and kindness!”
“Oh no, it’s no bother.”
That girl called Maria also smiled in the same gentle way Lilith did.
“Since I am going to be staying in this house for a while, I will be in your care. I truly am sorry to burden you all though, since I selfishly wanted to spend some time in the home my mother was born in.”
“Please don’t feel as if you’re ever a burden to us. In fact, everyone is greatly pleased with your return here, Your Highness Maria.”
Watching the women talk amongst themselves, Hayden stood in stunned silence.
(Hey… She… She really is just like…)
That golden hair and that gentle face… She looked delicate, but that smooth white skin and subtly obscene body…
Just then, Maria turned to look at Hayden herself.
As she blinked, he noticed a twinkle in her eyes, as well as the light amount of make up she wore on her face. Curtseying slightly in his direction with a lovely smile, Hayden suddenly began to get excited.
(Hmph, even though she’s still a woman, she’s not bad. Well, that’s only natural. It makes sense that any woman should show respect for a man… Even if they’re a Princess, a woman should always bow and scrape before their betters.)
Watching that girl, he imagined her kneeling in front of him, listening to any demand he had… Just the thought of it made him gulp again. Maria looked once again in Hayden’s direction and gave him a smile, before departing with the Head Maid.
(Hmm…? That Princess, has she already fallen in love with me?)
That night, Hayden realized that his intuition was completely correct.
It was nearly midnight when it happened. Waking up in his servants quarters, he strode into the stable with a lantern to calm down the horses that had been spooked for one reason or another, when he saw it.
In the stables, there was a girl wearing a thin white nightdress.
Her golden hair reflecting in the lantern’s light, it didn’t take him long to realize that it was Maria.
(Hahaa! I was right after all, she really came to see me!)
Hayden’s heart nearly leapt out of his chest, but he struggled hard to keep a lid on his feelings for now.
“Whatever is the matter, Your Highness?”
For now, he approached her from behind, gently calling out.
“By any chance, are you having trouble sleeping? That would be troublesome…”
As he approached her, step by careful step, Maria didn’t show any signs of running away.
She didn’t say a single word, seemingly transfixed on the old horse in front of her.
“If it’s alright with you, I know a way to help you get to sleep…”
He tried to invite her back with him in a roundabout way. But, she didn’t say anything, nor did she turn to look at him.
As if she didn’t know what to say, she just stood silently.
Was she offended all of a sudden?
Even though he moved to the side slightly, her golden hair covered her face, so Hayden had no idea what expression she wore.
As a result, Hayden couldn’t figure out what she was thinking and he began to get irritated with the charade.
(Cheeky little brat. You’re just a woman, why are you trying to trouble a man like this?)
But, he couldn’t rush things. Hayden did his best to stay polite, still talking to Maria.
“No need to be shy. When Lady Lilith had trouble sleeping, she often came to see us servants for help as well, so…”
Saying that, he stretched out his hand to Maria in invitation, but…
The very next moment, Maria turned away from her horse and began to walk off as if nothing had happened.
As if Hayden wasn’t there at all.
As if the words he spoke or the hand he held out had never existed. Hayden followed after Maria, trying to call out for her to wait.
But as he did, the horses started neighing and whinnying loudly again as if in a panic.
“W-What the hell is wrong with you guys, be quiet!! There there, good good…”
Hayden, who was left in charge of the stables, was flustered by the sudden outburst from the horses. As he settled them down, Maria left the stables.
He clicked his tongue in naked irritation. A sudden violent outburst of anger overtook him as he slammed his foot into the side of the stable. But that alone wasn’t enough to settle Hayden’s anger.
(What is wrong with that woman, didn’t she come here to see me!? Well, fine! I’ll get over her by doing a little hunting out in the city…! Some tavern wenches should be finishing work by now, so I’ll just drag one into a back alley and enjoy myself…)
Usually, he would have his way with some harlot, but he was in a different mood tonight.
He wanted to rape a woman who would desperately try to resist him. Hayden, after taking Duke Wenschlee’s carriage out into the town without permission, drove towards the street where most of the taverns and bars could be found.
(A pretty young blonde thing would do just nicely. That’s right, someone just like ‘that woman’…!)
That woman he had once raped on the shore of the lake. She couldn’t remember her name or face clearly anymore, but he did remember that she was the daughter of some mistress the Duke had on the side.
Fifteen years later, Hayden still often forcibly took women that reminded him of that night, beating and violating them in the same way.
To him, it wasn’t really a big deal. He had only killed once or twice and besides, they were just women, slaves that lived or died by a man’s will.
That night, Hayden eyed a serving girl who left a tavern after closing.
“I heard that the Head Maid received an awful scolding from Madame, I wonder what that was about?”
“Who knows? But, since she’s always such a slave driver, I don’t feel sorry for her!”
“Oh yeah, one of the others told me that there was a girl who turned up in an awful state in town this morning. You hear things like that so often lately, it’s quite frightening…”
“Oh, that’s right! Speaking of town, there was this shop that opened recently…”
The maids could be heard idly chatting nearby.
Meanwhile, Hayden, still groggy from the lack of sleep, lead the two horses to the front gate to pull the carriage.
He was barely getting a wink lately since he was always feeling so excited that his body didn’t seem to tire out at all.
Yet despite that, Hayden’s mood wasn’t dampened in the slightest.
Waiting at the front gate, after a time the doors to the mansion opened and Duke Wenschlee emerged, seen off by an entourage of servants. Beside him was his granddaughter, Maria, wearing a pretty and luxurious dress.
“Grandfather, where shall we go today?”
Maria, whose gentle smile lit up the faces of all that looked at her just like her mother Lilith’s did, was a seemingly innocent young girl at first glance. However, Hayden was the only one who knew her true nature.
“I’m just so happy to see you return here, my dear adorable Maria. So for today, let Grandfather show you something truly special.”
“My! Well, I am looking forward to it. I wonder what it could be…?”
Just before stepping into the carriage, Maria locked eyes with Hayden. In an instant, Hayden became flustered.
(Just what on earth is she planning?)
Ever since the first time, Maria had visited the stable every night since.
She never did anything, just silently standing there without saying a word. No matter what Hayden said, she never replied to him, as if he wasn’t even there.
(Acting so high and mighty just because you’re a princess…)
Or, perhaps, was she waiting for Hayden to make the first move?
Her mother was never so stuck up about this kind of thing. Even though she was a Duke’s daughter, she knew her place as a woman, obediently inviting him to join her with gentle words.
(It seems like this princess requires a little bit of training.)
What a selfish creature this girl was. She definitely wants him, but she thinks that he ought to be the one to make the first move.
What a conceited wench, thinking that she can bend a man, her better, to her whims.
Tonight, he was going to finally lay hands on Maria.
With that conviction in mind, he followed his master’s orders and steered the carriage out through the front gates.