The Demon Duke and I

By: Marian Tee

Dedication





This book is dedicated to God. I owe everything to Him.



My heartfelt thanks as well to the following:

My publisher for the ever-competent handling of my books

The Passionate Proofreader for the excellent editing

CT Cover Creations for the gorgeous cover

My Tee and Piñera family, Allen Tan, and the STREAK SEO gang

A special shoutout to C.Erani (U.S.), Donna (PH), Jennifer B. (U.K.),

and Gabi from Romania

And lastly, old and new readers who always take the time to humor me on FB and subscribe to my mailing list. As always, you guys rock!!! #ikidyounot =D





In the Kingdom of Chalys




Women dazzle in corsets and petticoats while men swagger in coats and breeches.

Carriage rides, tea parties, and masquerade balls,

Flirtations between waltzes and sweet flowers for courtship,

These are but some of the pleasures offered in the brightness of day.

But when the sun sets, a deadly silence prevails---

To survive the darkness you must always remember:

CHALYS

Is a kingdom like no other.

Ruled by angels and coveted by demons,

Chalys is the hunting ground for Night’s children,

A world where humans are but precious prey.





- A Chalysian legend





Traveling to Chalys: An Introduction





Having easily compiled the gargantuan amount of information needed to make traveling to Chalys hassle free, I am certain that many of you will find it laughable that I now find it extremely difficult to write this guide’s introduction, which I have purposely left last.



Writing the guide itself was easy for everything was made on the assumption that you, Dear Reader, already know what to expect. But what about those who have been living under a rock and have – as unbelievable as it may seem – no knowledge of Chalys? Those readers are what this introduction is for and hence my dilemma – how to explain in a page or two the mystery, beauty, and miracle that is Chalys?



I have turned this matter over and over in my mind, trying to come up with analogies and scenarios of all sorts but in the end I realized that the best thing I can do is to show you, Dear Reader, how I discovered Chalys on my own.



When I was a little girl, I dreamt of living in a place like Chalys, where all my fairy tale fantasies seemed to have come to life. I would gawk at photos and videos showing how women there would always be dressed up in the prettiest gowns and wear crowns and tiaras like it’s an everyday thing.



When I entered high school, I started questioning everything. Chalys may be one of the loveliest places in the world, but it would be hell to live in. They didn’t have cars, nightclubs, and they weren’t even allowed to use mobile phones! Women weren’t allowed to go out alone, speak their minds, or make a living! They were so backward they made the Flintstones look modern.



When I became a journalist, I realized I had the wrong answers. I used to think the Chalysian way of living was crazy, oppressive, and barbaric. But now – it’s just not so simple as that. Thanks to their inflexible stand on technology for the past 200 years, Chalys’ carbon footprint is nearly zero. And some may disagree with me on this, but I think their astoundingly low crime rates also have to do with the fact that manners mean so much to Chalysians that they would rather die than lose face.



And finally, when I visited Chalys for the first time, I found out that there would always be more questions than revelations about it. Although Chalys is just about the same size of Australia, only one city in the entire kingdom, Asphodel, is open to tourists; going anywhere else requires a special invitation from its ducal leaders. The Chalysian government is so famously tight-lipped about life beyond Asphodel that you have to wonder just what it is they’re hiding. Nuclear bombs? Untapped veins of oil and gold?



In the end, it’s simply better to take Chalys as it is – a place that glitters in the day and tantalizes when it’s shrouded by darkness. When you visit the kingdom, I urge you to make the most of your time there for the city of Asphodel is a little bit like Cinderella, with all forms of pleasure forbidden to last beyond midnight. As for what happens after the clock strikes twelve, I wouldn’t know – and I have a feeling it is not something I would care to find out.

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