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Mommy Villainess Chapter 205

205 The Woman Of The Prophecy


TILLY didn't expect that her face would make the whole diner quiet.

She noticed that everyone as in literally everyone in the room was looking at her face and hair with awe. Well, it was strange for them to see hair as black as hers. But it wasn't illegal so it was fine with her if they marveled over it.

The hostility the girls had towards her a while ago was now replaced with admiration.

Okay, it's time to switch gears.

"Girls, we shouldn't fight over the duke when we should all know that he belongs to the duchess," Tilly said with a smile. Most citizens in the empire were weak against good-looking people so she was confident that she could charm her way out of that little trouble that her nasty temper gave her. "I apologize for my rudeness, ladies," she said with a vow. "As a fan of the Duchess of Oakes, I was hurt by your baseless accusations against her so I became hostile. I only said that I was after the duke to mess with you. I'm sorry about that." She gestured the vacant chairs (of the table for four that she occupied). "As an apology, will you join me and let me treat you to breakfast?"

The three girls that she was just "fighting" immediately took the seats around her.

She could clearly see that they hadn't recognized her as the Duchess of Oakes. Was it because of her different hair color? Were they too young to remember her face when she was still in the Royal Capital? Or was it because she had been gone for too long that no one would expect that she would suddenly appear in a cheap diner?

Well, I'm just glad that they haven't recognized me yet.

"Sister, you're so beautiful," the girl with curly brown hair said. "Can I call you 'sister?'"

"Sure," Tilly said with a smile. "You can all call me "sister.""

"This is the first time that I've seen you in this area, sister," the blonde girl, now completely smitten by her beauty, said. "Are you a tourist? A foreigner? A visiting merchant?"

She shook her head. "None of the above."

The girl with light-brown hair with freckles gasped and clapped her hands. "Ah! I know," she said excitedly. "Sister, you're here to audition for House Nystrom's search for their first ever advertising model, aren't you?"

Her ears perked up at that.

She vaguely remembered that she felt a note for Kiho in case their new business didn't go well: to find a suitable person to promote their products.

Kiho, you're working hard.

"House Nystrom is going to launch a new collection of jewelry," the light-brown haired girl continued. "They're going to hold an audition to look for their first "advertising model." Since it's the first time in the empire that a business will hire an "endorser," even the higher nobles are going crazy about it. I heard that even high-ranking noblewomen will audition."

That audition sounded like a good stage for her "debut," huh?

"Yes, that's exactly the reason why I'm here," Tilly lied with a big smile. "Since I'm a fan of the Duchess of Oakes, I'd like to have a chance to promote House Nystrom's products."


The girls looked excited for her.

They remind me of Leni and Lani.

"Sister, will you be alright though?" the blonde girl asked worriedly. "I heard Lady Huxley will join the audition, too. A lot of people are saying that she's the one who's going to get picked by the sponsors."

"Well, those people haven't seen me yet, have they?" she asked with a smile.

The girls giggled.

"Wait, wait, wait," the blonde said as if she just realized something. "Lady Huxley became the talk of the town because of the prophecy. According to that prophecy, Duke Nystrom was supposed to marry a woman with jet-black hair. From what I heard, the Duchess of Oakes had the darkest hair among the noblewomen in the past so she was chosen to be the duke's bride."

"The prophecy also said that the black-haired lady shall give birth to the child that will someday become a special existence to the empire," the curly-haired girl said. "But if the duchess isn't the woman of the prophecy, then does it mean Lord Julian isn't the child"

"Shh," the other two girls hushed their friend.

"Most of us think the same," the blonde said in a hushed voice. "But everyone knows that His Majesty is fond of Lord Julian. So don't say something like that in public again."

Tilly clenched her fists tight.

That damned Aku Moonchester used Winter as his heir in her first life. And now, he was doing that to Julian her second child in the past.

Aku Moonchester, my children are not your puppets.

"Is it just me or it suddenly got literally hot in here?" one of the customers in front of them said while fanning her face.

Oh.

That was when she realized that even the three girls on her table were sweating profusely now.

And eventually, everyone in the diner as well.

Sorry, folks.

Tilly took a deep breath to calm herself down. Only then did the temperature in the diner return to normal. When the three girls asked why she suddenly fell silent, she smiled at them. "Shall we go to a caf and talk about why I'm a fan of the Duchess of Oakes?"

***

KIHO was happy and satisfied to buy stuff for Winter.

He didn't know shopping could be this fun until his son returned into his life. If he could, he would give Winter the world.

Of course, he wanted to give everything to his wife, too.

Anyway

He hated that Winter had to wear a cloak to hide his identity. So to join his son, he also wore a cloak with a hood that covered his face as well. He was kind of known in Atlenta Town because of his pearl farm. But he was still hoping that people didn't recognize him as the duke.

"Dad, aren't you buying me too much clothes?" Winter asked after he bought the newest collection of the dress shop (for kids) they were in for his son. Right now, they were in the tea room of the dress shop while waiting for his son's clothes to be packed. He didn't want to have it delivered to his ship because people would know that it was really him. "They're all nice but the pieces of clothes you bought will be enough to last me a year."

Kiho shook his head. "To be honest, the clothes sold in the Royal Capital are better. But don't worry, son. Once we arrive at the capital, I will request the catalog for the best dress shop for kids and buy their entire collection for you." He squatted to match his son's eye level, then he put his hands on his shoulders. "What else do you want, Winter? How about toys?"

He shook his head. "I don't play toys, Dad."

His brows furrowed in confusion. "How do you spend your time then?"

For some reason, his son smirked smugly. "I run a little gang, Dad."

Okay, that made him laugh.

It was his first time to laugh in the past five years.

"I'm serious, Dad," Winter insisted with a pout. "My underlings even call me "boss.""

"Okay," he said while trying to hold back his laughter. Then, he ruffled his son's hair. "You live up to your "little rascal" moniker, huh?"

He smiled and nod. "Yes, Dad. I have to add that my gang is the biggest gang there. So I'm not just a boss I'm actually the "big boss.""

This time, he had to bite his lower lip to stop himself from laughing again. "So, what does my little gangster do?"

"I protect Mommy," he answered proudly, then he pouted. "Although I'm not the only who does that. Uncle Wong is the true leader of her protection squad" his son trailed-off when he realized that he said too much. "Dad, I'm hungry."

"We'll have lunch later, son," he said with a "smile." "Tell me more about this "Uncle Wong first. How old is he? How does he look? Is he single? Did he make a move on your mommy?" He paused for a few seconds before he continued. "I want names, Winter Nystrom."

His son suddenly looked like he was nervous. "What names, Dad?"

"Names of every single young and good-looking bachelor near your mommy for the past five years."

"It's not that many, Dad," Winter said with a smile. "There are only six men who are close to mommy." His son's smile turned brighter. "They all love Mommy very much!"

"Six," Kiho whispered to himself in a cold voice. "It's not that hard to kill six men."

***

WINTER was having a hard time holding back his laughter.

The truth was he knew that his daddy was getting jealous of the men around his mother for the past five years. He knew that it was wrong to play with his father's feelings but he was having a good time.

It was fun to watch different emotions appear on his daddy's usually stoic face.

"So, this "Uncle Wong" that you mentioned," his father started while they were in a caf. They both had ice tea. It had become a trend in the empire ever since House Nystrom built a caf that sold cold drinks. "How does he look?"

Winter sipped his sweet ice tea before he answered his dad's question "innocently." "I can't describe him in detail because I wasn't supposed to mention them to you, Dad. But I'll tell you one thing about him: he's very good-looking."

Well, all Keepers were good-looking since Lord Wixx created them.

"What do you mean when you said "they" love your mother?" his dad asked while his golden eyes were glowing threateningly. "Is it romantic love?"

He blinked to appear more innocent. "What are the different types of love, Dad?"

"Oh," he said, his eyes going back to normal. "You're too young to know that."

He just smiled at his father. "Dad, can I use the bathroom for a minute?"

"Do you want to walk you to the bathroom?"

"I'm not a baby, Dad," he said, then he got off the chair. "I'm a gang leader. I don't need my father to walk me to the bathroom."

His dad smirked and ruffled his hair. "Make it quick, little rascal. I'll get worried if you don't return fast."

He just nodded before he walked towards the bathroom.

But he didn't go there to do his business. When he got there, he locked the door and called his mother. He wanted to know what she was up to.

"Winter?" his mother asked carefully.

"Yes, it's me and not Dad, Mommy," he assured his mother. "Where are you, Mom? Have you met up with Aunt Luna and Uncle Roarke?"

"Not yet," his mom said. "Your mommy is busy leaving my traces here and there."

"Mommy, you should wait for Aunt Luna and Uncle Roarke first," he scolded his mother.

She laughed at him. "Baby, I can protect myself."

"I know, Mom," he said with a sigh. "I'm more worried about the civilians around you, considering that you have a very nasty temper. You need Aunt Luna and Uncle Roarke to stop you from going crazy."

His mommy "coughed" loudly, then smartly changed the topic. "What are you doing now? Are you with your daddy?"

"Yes, Mom. We're shopping right now," he informed her. "But don't worry. We're being very careful."

"I'm not worried about that. I know that Kiho will take good care of you."

"Do you want to talk to Dad, Mommy?"

"No," his mommy said. "If I hear your Dad's voice next to my ear again, I might fly wherever he is and give you a new sibling right away. Do you want a little sister, Winter?"

"Mommy!" he scolded her, his cheeks burning from embarrassment.

"What? Deep inside, you're not a baby," his mother said between giggles.

Yeah, it was so obvious that she was messing with him.

Is it the job of every mother in the world to embarrass their kids?

"I'm just messing with you, my little cinnamon roll," his mother said. Then, she turned serious. "Winter?"

"Yeah, Mommy?"

"Look after Julian, please?"

"You didn't have to say 'please' to me, Mommy," he said. "Well, I admit it's still a little hard for me to accept that he is my brother. But I have to remind myself that it wasn't Julian's fault that he was born. And I actually feel bad knowing that his purpose back then was to be a vessel."

"Even if he was a vessel, it wouldn't change the fact that he's a part of our family," his mother reminded him. "Julian is our son and he's your brother, Winter."

"I know, Mommy," he said even though his heart was aching. But for his parents, he decided to set aside his personal feelings. After all, Julian was his real brother anyway. "Mom, I have to hang up now. I don't want to make Dad worry. He's as paranoid as you."

"As he should. I'll never forgive him if you get hurt under his watch," his mother said firmly. Then, her changed turned gentler when she continued. "Take care, my little cinnamon roll. Mommy misses you so much."

"I miss you too, Mommy," he said softly. "See you later."

After talking to his mother, he went out of the bathroom and noticed that a trail of his father's Mana followed him. He probably did that to make sure that he would come back to their table safely. His mother often did that, too.

Anyway, he noticed that his father was looking at the store across the caf when he returned.

"Welcome back, my little gangster," his dad said gently as soon as he sat on his chair. "How's your mom?"

His eyes widened in shock. "You know that I talked to Mom, Dad?"

"Of course," he said. "If I were you, I'd do that too."

Paternal instinct is quite scary too, huh?

"Mom is fine," he said, then he changed the topic. "What were you looking at a while ago, Dad?"

"I found an art supply store," his father said hesitantly. "I'm thinking about buying Julian some art materials since he's into painting recently."

That hurt, for real.

His father took a deep breath before he explained. "Winter, I want you to know that I have an adoptive son and his name is Julian. His Majesty is using him as your replacement. So everyone in the mansion, and perhaps the whole empire, thinks that Julian is the child of the prophecy. The emperor hasn't introduced him to the public yet but still, everyone already knows his name."

He listened to his daddy even though it hurt because his mother told him to pretend that he didn't know that Julian was his real brother.

"It's okay, Dad," he assured his father. "I understand your situation."

"I'm sorry, Winter," his father said. "Please wait a little longer," he begged him softly. "Soon, I will give you back your birth right."

Winter smiled even though his heart was being squeezed at the moment. "I trust you, Dad."

***

"SISTER, thank you for the treat!"

Tilly smiled at Laura (the light-brown haired girl with freckles), Caroline (the blonde girl), and Mei (the curly-haired girl) whom she brought to a caf. "No problem, girls."

"We will help you find justice for the Duchess of Oakes," Caroline, the toughest among the three girls, promised her. "I can't believe that we judged the duchess without evidence." She held the Ice Tablet that she generously gave her. "But with all the pieces of evidence that you have, we will help the duchess clear her name."

The evidence that Caroline was talking about was the pictures of "Duchess Tilly Nystrom" while she was bleeding on the ground.

Yep, it's a "screenshot" of myself when I was almost killed five years ago taken from the body videocam that I had then.

Not only that. She also showed the girls the blurry pictures of the carriage of House Hayward that night. According to Luna and Isabelle, it was following their carriage back then. And the person inside it was Yumi her evil mother-in-law.

Thank you for being dumb enough to use the carriage of House Hayward, Mother.

"I heard that the new madam of House Hayward is a sly, young woman," Laura whispered because there were other customers near their table. "But after I found out that she was involved in the disappearance of the Duchess of Oakes, then I wholeheartedly believe the rumors now."

"Sister, is it really okay if we anonymously spread these pieces of evidence with the story behind it?" Mei asked worriedly. "Won't you get in trouble?"

"The Royal Court didn't listen to me when I presented the evidence to them because I'm a foreigner," she lied smoothly. And yes, she had to thank Kelsi again for teaching her how to act. Gosh, if she was in the modern world, she would have won an acting award by now. "I have no choice but to resort to gaining the public sympathy instead. If more people talk about what really happened to the duchess, then maybe the Royal Court will finally reopen the case and investigate the reason of her disappearance properly."

She paused for a while, then she let out a deep sigh.

"I want this case to be solved as soon as possible because I feel bad for Duke Nystrom," she continued in a sad voice. "I heard that he lost his memories because he was attacked when he was trying to save the duchess back then. And according to the people that are working with His Grace right now, the duke is still trying to remember his past with the duchess."

"So, the rumor between Duke Nystrom and Lady Huxley isn't true?" Caroline asked curiously.

"That can't be true," she said firmly. "I'm sure that Duke Nystrom is still in love with the Duchess of Oakes."

"Aww," the three girls said sadly.

Yep, that's exactly the reaction that I want.

Although she picked Laura, Caroline, and Mei randomly, it was really her goal to choose young commoners to spread the rumor that she wanted the whole empire to hear.

Also, the working class was bigger in number than the ruling class.

This is how you utilize the power of the common folks, Aku Moonchester.

"We will help you, sister," the three girls promised her.

"Thank you, ladies," Tilly said with a bright smile. "Since I was really close to the Duchess of Oakes in the past, I will make sure that she will reward you generously once she's found."

Laura, Caroline, and Mei looked more determined and excited now.

And being a damned capitalist was the reason why Tilly had become a villainess once again.

***

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***

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