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* OnlySaneMan: The Duchess and Leslie gradually become the only sane members of the Salvator household. This is illustrated best when the men, including the generally sensible Ruenti start gushing about Leslie's birthday and proposing all sorts of extravagant gifts, including festivals named after her. Acela and Leslie can only facepalm as the conversation carries on.

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* OnlySaneMan: The Duchess and Leslie gradually become the only sane members of the Salvator household. This is illustrated best when the men, including the generally sensible Ruenti start gushing about Leslie's birthday and proposing all sorts of extravagant gifts, including festivals named after her. Acela and laughs while Leslie can only facepalm as the conversation carries on.


* MeaningfulName: The ''Salvator'' family ''save'' Leslie.

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* MeaningfulName: "Salvatore" is an Italian name that means "Savior". The ''Salvator'' Salvator family ''save'' Leslie.



* NamesToTrustImmediately: Doesn't get much more trustworthy than being called 'Salvator,' meaning savior.

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* NamesToTrustImmediately: Doesn't get much more trustworthy than being called 'Salvator,' a name meaning savior.


%%* MeaningfulName: The Salvator family save Leslie.

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%%* * MeaningfulName: The Salvator ''Salvator'' family save ''save'' Leslie.



%%* NamesToTrustImmediately: Doesn't get much more trustworthy than being called 'Salvator.'

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%%* * NamesToTrustImmediately: Doesn't get much more trustworthy than being called 'Salvator.''Salvator,' meaning savior.


* EarnYourHappyEnding: '''Boy''' does it ever. At the end of the original novel, Leslie finally attained her happy ending.

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* %%* EarnYourHappyEnding: '''Boy''' does it ever. At the end of the original novel, Leslie finally attained her happy ending.


* MeaningfulName: The Salvator family save Leslie.

to:

* %%* MeaningfulName: The Salvator family save Leslie.



* NamesToTrustImmediately: Doesn't get much more trustworthy than being called 'Salvator.'

to:

* %%* NamesToTrustImmediately: Doesn't get much more trustworthy than being called 'Salvator.'

Added DiffLines:

* MeaningfulName: The Salvator family save Leslie.


Added DiffLines:

* NamesToTrustImmediately: Doesn't get much more trustworthy than being called 'Salvator.'


It all culminates when her father has her thrown into a fire. Leslie survives, but the experience awakens something in her, the dark magic that the Speràdo family has, but to a much greater degree than either her father or sister. Fearing her life is in danger if she stays in the Speràdo home, but needing a guardian to protect her until she reaches adulthood, Leslie approaches the Duchess Salvatore, matriarch of a family alleged to have monster blood in their veins, and asks to be adopted.

to:

It all culminates when her father has her thrown into a fire. Leslie survives, but the experience awakens something in her, the dark magic that the Speràdo family has, but to a much greater degree than either her father or sister. Fearing her life is in danger if she stays in the Speràdo home, but needing a guardian to protect her until she reaches adulthood, Leslie approaches the Duchess Salvatore, Salvator, matriarch of a family alleged to have monster blood in their veins, and asks to be adopted.



** Sir Konrad's father won't win any prizes either, after he abused him for [[spoiler:siding with Leslie and the Salvatores against the Speràdos during the trial for custody.]]

to:

** Sir Konrad's father won't win any prizes either, after he abused him for [[spoiler:siding with Leslie and the Salvatores Salvators against the Speràdos during the trial for custody.]]



* AndNowYouMustMarryMe: Duchess Salvatores warns [[spoiler:Leslie that when denying marriage proposals, she must be careful to keep stoic about it. Some nobles will take ''blushing'' as a sign of consent and agreement to the terms presented]].

to:

* AndNowYouMustMarryMe: Duchess Salvatores Salvators warns [[spoiler:Leslie that when denying marriage proposals, she must be careful to keep stoic about it. Some nobles will take ''blushing'' as a sign of consent and agreement to the terms presented]].



** Duchess Salvatores has endured many proposals from noble families to marry into hers. [[spoiler:After Leslie becomes a Salvatores, she too receives a proposal from the eldest son of a prominent merchant noble, who is also about 13 years Leslie's senior]].
* AristocratsAreEvil: With the exception of the Salvatore house, which is headed by the titular "Monster Duchess," all the aristocrats and nobles are entirely self-serving, at best, but the crown of cruelty has to go to the Speràdo house, where Leslie hails from.

to:

** Duchess Salvatores Salvators has endured many proposals from noble families to marry into hers. [[spoiler:After Leslie becomes a Salvatores, Salvators, she too receives a proposal from the eldest son of a prominent merchant noble, who is also about 13 years Leslie's senior]].
* AristocratsAreEvil: With the exception of the Salvatore Salvator house, which is headed by the titular "Monster Duchess," all the aristocrats and nobles are entirely self-serving, at best, but the crown of cruelty has to go to the Speràdo house, where Leslie hails from.



* BatmanGambit: The Salvatore Knights discuss a plan in chapter 45 to [[spoiler:find an excuse to fight and hurt the Speràdo Knights by dressing in worn-out clothing when they celebrate the birth of one of the Salvatore Knights having a second child at a pub the Speràdo Knights frequent, they hope to provoke the Speràdo Knights into a conflict and beat the crap out of them]].
* BigFancyHouse: Two of them! Both the Speràdo and the Salvatores live in big, lavish mansions on large estates on their properties.
* BlackAndGreyMorality: The Salvatore family does have a history of morally dubious behavior, but still treat their friends, allies, servants, and each other with genuine kindness and affection, especially the sweet little Leslie. Their enemies, especially the Speràdo, are morally pitch-black, doing things that are evil, purely because it is evil, but have the gall to openly call themselves "righteous" and only pretend to have redeeming features, for the sake of appearances and to prevent punishment from coming their way.

to:

* BatmanGambit: The Salvatore Salvator Knights discuss a plan in chapter 45 to [[spoiler:find an excuse to fight and hurt the Speràdo Knights by dressing in worn-out clothing when they celebrate the birth of one of the Salvatore Salvator Knights having a second child at a pub the Speràdo Knights frequent, they hope to provoke the Speràdo Knights into a conflict and beat the crap out of them]].
* BigFancyHouse: Two of them! Both the Speràdo and the Salvatores Salvators live in big, lavish mansions on large estates on their properties.
* BlackAndGreyMorality: The Salvatore Salvator family does have a history of morally dubious behavior, but still treat their friends, allies, servants, and each other with genuine kindness and affection, especially the sweet little Leslie. Their enemies, especially the Speràdo, are morally pitch-black, doing things that are evil, purely because it is evil, but have the gall to openly call themselves "righteous" and only pretend to have redeeming features, for the sake of appearances and to prevent punishment from coming their way.



* BreatherEpisode: Chapter 42 starts immediately after the trial ends, and it's basically one big, heartwarming chapter consisting of nothing but Leslie spending time with the Salvatores and being happy.

to:

* BreatherEpisode: Chapter 42 starts immediately after the trial ends, and it's basically one big, heartwarming chapter consisting of nothing but Leslie spending time with the Salvatores Salvators and being happy.



* DarkIsNotEvil: Zigzagged. Dark magic is neither good nor evil, it just is, like shadows. Its current user is Leslie and is called the "Dark Saint" by Duchess Salvatore and Leslie. However, the bloodline from which it hails, the Speràdo, have been engaged in HumanSacrifice to bestow it upon their favored offspring, killing all the "useless" silver-haired siblings, for at least 1000 years.

to:

* DarkIsNotEvil: Zigzagged. Dark magic is neither good nor evil, it just is, like shadows. Its current user is Leslie and is called the "Dark Saint" by Duchess Salvatore Salvator and Leslie. However, the bloodline from which it hails, the Speràdo, have been engaged in HumanSacrifice to bestow it upon their favored offspring, killing all the "useless" silver-haired siblings, for at least 1000 years.



* DownerBeginning: The story begins with a little girl about to be thrown into a fire pit, desperately calling for her family for help, but her father pushes her in when she refuses to go into the pit. This causes her to snap and accept that her treatment from the Speràdo family will never improve, causing her to flee to the Salvatores for asylum. From there, the story spends a lot of time showing how much her new family cherishes her.
* DramaticIrony: When Leslie and Duchess Salvatore meet for the first time and Leslie requests being adopted, the Duchess notes that as the child of a Marquis she won't know dire hardships or starvation, unaware of the completely abusive life the girl has lived.

to:

* DownerBeginning: The story begins with a little girl about to be thrown into a fire pit, desperately calling for her family for help, but her father pushes her in when she refuses to go into the pit. This causes her to snap and accept that her treatment from the Speràdo family will never improve, causing her to flee to the Salvatores Salvators for asylum. From there, the story spends a lot of time showing how much her new family cherishes her.
* DramaticIrony: When Leslie and Duchess Salvatore Salvator meet for the first time and Leslie requests being adopted, the Duchess notes that as the child of a Marquis she won't know dire hardships or starvation, unaware of the completely abusive life the girl has lived.



* FromTheMouthsOfBabes: When Leslie meets Duchess Salvatore's husband, Sairaine, he tells her about how the Duchess repelled an attempt by Leslie's father to take her back. Not really getting how to talk to children, however, Sairaine describes the incident as a "f*cking massacre", prompting Leslie to ask what a f*cking massacre is and getting Sairaine thrown out of the room. It's later revealed this isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened, as Bethrion did the same thing as a child... in front of royalty.

to:

* FromTheMouthsOfBabes: When Leslie meets Duchess Salvatore's Salvator's husband, Sairaine, he tells her about how the Duchess repelled an attempt by Leslie's father to take her back. Not really getting how to talk to children, however, Sairaine describes the incident as a "f*cking massacre", prompting Leslie to ask what a f*cking massacre is and getting Sairaine thrown out of the room. It's later revealed this isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened, as Bethrion did the same thing as a child... in front of royalty.



* HeroBall: Usually the cast are incredibly efficient about trying to keep Leslie out of danger once the Speràdos make their intentions known. But then Leslie herself grasps onto this firmly [[spoiler:for the meeting with Amroa, not wanting her several knight bodyguards or taking off the strangely heavy bracelet she was given to at all disrespect the only woman that's ever respected her before the Salvatores. Leslie nearly burns alive for this unusually reckless behavior, though as an upside, this sinks the emperor's mercy left for the Speràdos as well and leads Ellie and the Marquess getting their just desserts, and Leslie is ''incredibly'' self-conscious about the reckless decisions made here.]]
* HeroWithBadPublicity: The Salvatore house. Every single one of them is a OneManArmy or OneWomanArmy, in the case of the titular Duchess, and they are war heroes the Recardius Empire relies on for survival, to defend them against their enemies, yet the local talk about them is anything but kind, and mostly untrue. Said rumors are a direct result of ''all the other noble houses and the crown'' being afraid and jealous of their SuperStrength. Ironically, this is what causes Leslie to seek them out for aid in the first place.
* HourglassPlot: "The Monster Duchess and Contract Princess" starts with Leslie being in the lowest position among the Speràdo family. However, as the story continues with Leslie deciding that [[TheDogBitesBack she had enough and fought back]], Leslie eventually gets the happy family life she wanted with the Salvatore family as she trains to be a future duchess and part of the Salvatore family, while the Speràdo eventually [[HowTheMightyHaveFallen spiral downwards]] to a point of losing their reputation [[spoiler:and position as a noble family]].
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: Leslie was brought up with the bare minimum of food required to survive and looks about half her age as a result, while the Salvatores are a family of giants who tower even over normal adults, let alone a malnourished child. This makes her look even younger and smaller than she already did. While she eventually grows in height by the TimeSkip in the novel, she is still relatively tiny compared to the rest of the Salvatores.

to:

* HeroBall: Usually the cast are incredibly efficient about trying to keep Leslie out of danger once the Speràdos make their intentions known. But then Leslie herself grasps onto this firmly [[spoiler:for the meeting with Amroa, not wanting her several knight bodyguards or taking off the strangely heavy bracelet she was given to at all disrespect the only woman that's ever respected her before the Salvatores.Salvators. Leslie nearly burns alive for this unusually reckless behavior, though as an upside, this sinks the emperor's mercy left for the Speràdos as well and leads Ellie and the Marquess getting their just desserts, and Leslie is ''incredibly'' self-conscious about the reckless decisions made here.]]
* HeroWithBadPublicity: The Salvatore Salvator house. Every single one of them is a OneManArmy or OneWomanArmy, in the case of the titular Duchess, and they are war heroes the Recardius Empire relies on for survival, to defend them against their enemies, yet the local talk about them is anything but kind, and mostly untrue. Said rumors are a direct result of ''all the other noble houses and the crown'' being afraid and jealous of their SuperStrength. Ironically, this is what causes Leslie to seek them out for aid in the first place.
* HourglassPlot: "The Monster Duchess and Contract Princess" starts with Leslie being in the lowest position among the Speràdo family. However, as the story continues with Leslie deciding that [[TheDogBitesBack she had enough and fought back]], Leslie eventually gets the happy family life she wanted with the Salvatore Salvator family as she trains to be a future duchess and part of the Salvatore Salvator family, while the Speràdo eventually [[HowTheMightyHaveFallen spiral downwards]] to a point of losing their reputation [[spoiler:and position as a noble family]].
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: Leslie was brought up with the bare minimum of food required to survive and looks about half her age as a result, while the Salvatores Salvators are a family of giants who tower even over normal adults, let alone a malnourished child. This makes her look even younger and smaller than she already did. While she eventually grows in height by the TimeSkip in the novel, she is still relatively tiny compared to the rest of the Salvatores.Salvators.



* OneSteveLimit: Averted; the titular Duchess' full name is Acela Benkan Salvatore. According to Leslie's Salvatore-appointed etiquette teacher, there is an Acela Di Altera, another Duchess and the fourth highest ranking woman in the Empire (directly behind Salvatore).
* OnlySaneMan: The Duchess and Leslie gradually become the only sane members of the Salvatore household. This is illustrated best when the men, including the generally sensible Ruenti start gushing about Leslie's birthday and proposing all sorts of extravagant gifts, including festivals named after her. Acela and Leslie can only facepalm as the conversation carries on.

to:

* OneSteveLimit: Averted; the titular Duchess' full name is Acela Benkan Salvatore. Salvator. According to Leslie's Salvatore-appointed Salvator-appointed etiquette teacher, there is an Acela Di Altera, another Duchess and the fourth highest ranking woman in the Empire (directly behind Salvatore).
Salvator).
* OnlySaneMan: The Duchess and Leslie gradually become the only sane members of the Salvatore Salvator household. This is illustrated best when the men, including the generally sensible Ruenti start gushing about Leslie's birthday and proposing all sorts of extravagant gifts, including festivals named after her. Acela and Leslie can only facepalm as the conversation carries on.



* PimpedOutDress: The Speràdo ladies sans Leslie are always wearing these. One chapter shows the Salvatores going to a dressmaker so they can get her some nice dresses, seeing as she was never able to wear anything nice before.

to:

* PimpedOutDress: The Speràdo ladies sans Leslie are always wearing these. One chapter shows the Salvatores Salvators going to a dressmaker so they can get her some nice dresses, seeing as she was never able to wear anything nice before.



** If you can get past the Speràdo family's false exteriors, almost ''everyone'' instantly knows they're pure scum that fly straight into StupidEvil. The Salvatores on the other hand are feared and hated publicly for their power, but as direct enforcers to the emperor they refuse to carry the IdiotBall for even a second while the Speràdos keep screwing up in their attempts to take Leslie before finally initiating the Noble's Trial. The result is nigh-unanimously in Salvatore's favor and, short of the Child Protection Act problem, no one really expected otherwise.
** Before said trial, Marquis Speràdo's numerous plans failed but he still had the reputation and political power to even get the trial in the first place, not to mention manipulating word of mouth through backhanded means. When finally put in the public of court, his lack of thorough planning and HairTriggerTemper ''destroys'' his reputation in short time as he repeatedly demonstrates how unstable and downright psychotically angry he can be when things don't go his way, on top of throwing other groups like the entire magician's guild under the bus as in the palms of the Salvatores ''[[RightInFrontOfMe even as they're attending.]]''

to:

** If you can get past the Speràdo family's false exteriors, almost ''everyone'' instantly knows they're pure scum that fly straight into StupidEvil. The Salvatores Salvators on the other hand are feared and hated publicly for their power, but as direct enforcers to the emperor they refuse to carry the IdiotBall for even a second while the Speràdos keep screwing up in their attempts to take Leslie before finally initiating the Noble's Trial. The result is nigh-unanimously in Salvatore's Salvator's favor and, short of the Child Protection Act problem, no one really expected otherwise.
** Before said trial, Marquis Speràdo's numerous plans failed but he still had the reputation and political power to even get the trial in the first place, not to mention manipulating word of mouth through backhanded means. When finally put in the public of court, his lack of thorough planning and HairTriggerTemper ''destroys'' his reputation in short time as he repeatedly demonstrates how unstable and downright psychotically angry he can be when things don't go his way, on top of throwing other groups like the entire magician's guild under the bus as in the palms of the Salvatores Salvators ''[[RightInFrontOfMe even as they're attending.]]''



* ScarsAreForever: Played With. Leslie's burn scars are cured by a cleric, at the request of Duchess Salvatore. For the duchess herself, she has a scar that's too deep and too deforming to cure, so she wears a mask.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: The scanlations don't always spell the character's names the same way from time to time. Marquis Speràdo's real name is Travis, but recent chapters called him Tra Vesh, likely a translation error. At one point, Duchess Salvatore's first name, Aleca, was spelled as Acela.

to:

* ScarsAreForever: Played With. Leslie's burn scars are cured by a cleric, at the request of Duchess Salvatore.Salvator. For the duchess herself, she has a scar that's too deep and too deforming to cure, so she wears a mask.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: The scanlations don't always spell the character's names the same way from time to time. Marquis Speràdo's real name is Travis, but recent chapters called him Tra Vesh, likely a translation error. At one point, Duchess Salvatore's Salvator's first name, Aleca, was spelled as Acela.


[[caption-width-right:224:Sperádo house, [[ThisIsUnforgivable I will never forgive you.]]]]

The first twelve years of Leslie Sperádo's life were wrought with misery. Expected to do nothing but support her elder sister Ellie, starved when she didn't perform up to standards, faced in front of a mirror to tell ''herself'' how useless she is...

It all culminates when her father has her thrown into a fire. Leslie survives, but the experience awakens something in her, the dark magic that the Sperádo family has, but to a much greater degree than either her father or sister. Fearing her life is in danger if she stays in the Sperádo home, but needing a guardian to protect her until she reaches adulthood, Leslie approaches the Duchess Salvatore, matriarch of a family alleged to have monster blood in their veins, and asks to be adopted.

to:

[[caption-width-right:224:Sperádo [[caption-width-right:224:Speràdo house, [[ThisIsUnforgivable I will never forgive you.]]]]

The first twelve years of Leslie Sperádo's Speràdo's life were wrought with misery. Expected to do nothing but support her elder sister Ellie, starved when she didn't perform up to standards, faced in front of a mirror to tell ''herself'' how useless she is...

It all culminates when her father has her thrown into a fire. Leslie survives, but the experience awakens something in her, the dark magic that the Sperádo Speràdo family has, but to a much greater degree than either her father or sister. Fearing her life is in danger if she stays in the Sperádo Speràdo home, but needing a guardian to protect her until she reaches adulthood, Leslie approaches the Duchess Salvatore, matriarch of a family alleged to have monster blood in their veins, and asks to be adopted.



** The most benevolent memory Leslie has of her life in the Sperádo house? Having her mother march her up to a mirror, and then being forced to tell her own reflection "you're useless."
** Sir Konrad's father won't win any prizes either, after he abused him for [[spoiler:siding with Leslie and the Salvatores against the Sperádos during the trial for custody.]]

to:

** The most benevolent memory Leslie has of her life in the Sperádo Speràdo house? Having her mother march her up to a mirror, and then being forced to tell her own reflection "you're useless."
** Sir Konrad's father won't win any prizes either, after he abused him for [[spoiler:siding with Leslie and the Salvatores against the Sperádos Speràdos during the trial for custody.]]



** Marquis Sperádo had been able to use his waning influence to secure Ellie as the Crown Prince Alendro's fiance. [[spoiler:Their losing the Noble Trial and things said there have jeopardized this and the Emperor is considering revoking this arrangement]].

to:

** Marquis Sperádo Speràdo had been able to use his waning influence to secure Ellie as the Crown Prince Alendro's fiance. [[spoiler:Their losing the Noble Trial and things said there have jeopardized this and the Emperor is considering revoking this arrangement]].



* AristocratsAreEvil: With the exception of the Salvatore house, which is headed by the titular "Monster Duchess," all the aristocrats and nobles are entirely self-serving, at best, but the crown of cruelty has to go to the Sperádo house, where Leslie hails from.

to:

* AristocratsAreEvil: With the exception of the Salvatore house, which is headed by the titular "Monster Duchess," all the aristocrats and nobles are entirely self-serving, at best, but the crown of cruelty has to go to the Sperádo Speràdo house, where Leslie hails from.



* BatmanGambit: The Salvatore Knights discuss a plan in chapter 45 to [[spoiler:find an excuse to fight and hurt the Sperádo Knights by dressing in worn-out clothing when they celebrate the birth of one of the Salvatore Knights having a second child at a pub the Sperádo Knights frequent, they hope to provoke the Sperádo Knights into a conflict and beat the crap out of them]].
* BigFancyHouse: Two of them! Both the Sperádo and the Salvatores live in big, lavish mansions on large estates on their properties.
* BlackAndGreyMorality: The Salvatore family does have a history of morally dubious behavior, but still treat their friends, allies, servants, and each other with genuine kindness and affection, especially the sweet little Leslie. Their enemies, especially the Sperádo, are morally pitch-black, doing things that are evil, purely because it is evil, but have the gall to openly call themselves "righteous" and only pretend to have redeeming features, for the sake of appearances and to prevent punishment from coming their way.
* BreakTheCutie: Leslie is cute as a button, even comes pre-broken for your convenience. The Sperádo family still insists on breaking her more, however.

to:

* BatmanGambit: The Salvatore Knights discuss a plan in chapter 45 to [[spoiler:find an excuse to fight and hurt the Sperádo Speràdo Knights by dressing in worn-out clothing when they celebrate the birth of one of the Salvatore Knights having a second child at a pub the Sperádo Speràdo Knights frequent, they hope to provoke the Sperádo Speràdo Knights into a conflict and beat the crap out of them]].
* BigFancyHouse: Two of them! Both the Sperádo Speràdo and the Salvatores live in big, lavish mansions on large estates on their properties.
* BlackAndGreyMorality: The Salvatore family does have a history of morally dubious behavior, but still treat their friends, allies, servants, and each other with genuine kindness and affection, especially the sweet little Leslie. Their enemies, especially the Sperádo, Speràdo, are morally pitch-black, doing things that are evil, purely because it is evil, but have the gall to openly call themselves "righteous" and only pretend to have redeeming features, for the sake of appearances and to prevent punishment from coming their way.
* BreakTheCutie: Leslie is cute as a button, even comes pre-broken for your convenience. The Sperádo Speràdo family still insists on breaking her more, however.



** Marquis Sperádo [[spoiler:is the eldest of three siblings. His younger brothers were treated like slaves to the elder brother, being beaten and injured regularly. When they were sold to slavery, one died in the carriage crash and the other escaped and survived in secret]].

to:

** Marquis Sperádo Speràdo [[spoiler:is the eldest of three siblings. His younger brothers were treated like slaves to the elder brother, being beaten and injured regularly. When they were sold to slavery, one died in the carriage crash and the other escaped and survived in secret]].



* DarkIsNotEvil: Zigzagged. Dark magic is neither good nor evil, it just is, like shadows. Its current user is Leslie and is called the "Dark Saint" by Duchess Salvatore and Leslie. However, the bloodline from which it hails, the Sperádo, have been engaged in HumanSacrifice to bestow it upon their favored offspring, killing all the "useless" silver-haired siblings, for at least 1000 years.
* TheDogBitesBack: As early as chapter 3, Leslie, rightly, gets fed up with all the abuse she's suffered at the hands of the Sperádo family, and starts pushing back, [[MadeOutToBeAJerkass at which point, her father, mother, elder sister, and all the household servants start treating her like she's evil, insane, and insanely evil.]]
* DownerBeginning: The story begins with a little girl about to be thrown into a fire pit, desperately calling for her family for help, but her father pushes her in when she refuses to go into the pit. This causes her to snap and accept that her treatment from the Sperádo family will never improve, causing her to flee to the Salvatores for asylum. From there, the story spends a lot of time showing how much her new family cherishes her.

to:

* DarkIsNotEvil: Zigzagged. Dark magic is neither good nor evil, it just is, like shadows. Its current user is Leslie and is called the "Dark Saint" by Duchess Salvatore and Leslie. However, the bloodline from which it hails, the Sperádo, Speràdo, have been engaged in HumanSacrifice to bestow it upon their favored offspring, killing all the "useless" silver-haired siblings, for at least 1000 years.
* TheDogBitesBack: As early as chapter 3, Leslie, rightly, gets fed up with all the abuse she's suffered at the hands of the Sperádo Speràdo family, and starts pushing back, [[MadeOutToBeAJerkass at which point, her father, mother, elder sister, and all the household servants start treating her like she's evil, insane, and insanely evil.]]
* DownerBeginning: The story begins with a little girl about to be thrown into a fire pit, desperately calling for her family for help, but her father pushes her in when she refuses to go into the pit. This causes her to snap and accept that her treatment from the Sperádo Speràdo family will never improve, causing her to flee to the Salvatores for asylum. From there, the story spends a lot of time showing how much her new family cherishes her.



* FantasticRacism: The Sperádo family teaches its blonde, green-eyed children that they are the best at everything and deserve the best the world has to offer, just for the asking. They treat all of their other children with disdain and abuse. Children with silver hair are offered up as a HumanSacrifice to empower their blonde children with the black magic they steal from said silver-haired children.

to:

* FantasticRacism: The Sperádo Speràdo family teaches its blonde, green-eyed children that they are the best at everything and deserve the best the world has to offer, just for the asking. They treat all of their other children with disdain and abuse. Children with silver hair are offered up as a HumanSacrifice to empower their blonde children with the black magic they steal from said silver-haired children.



* HateSink: The Sperádo family does its best to live out the biblical scripture "the heart of man is truly wicked and desperate in its wickedness." To try and maintain their standing in the empire, they have been murdering their own children for HumanSacrifice, and do their damnedest to be utterly despicable to Leslie, while daring to call themselves "noble and righteous," and the current Marquis, Leslie's father, is absolutely desperate to hold on the family title of "the masters of Dark Magic," no matter how vile the actions he has to take are.
* HeroBall: Usually the cast are incredibly efficient about trying to keep Leslie out of danger once the Sperádos make their intentions known. But then Leslie herself grasps onto this firmly [[spoiler:for the meeting with Amroa, not wanting her several knight bodyguards or taking off the strangely heavy bracelet she was given to at all disrespect the only woman that's ever respected her before the Salvatores. Leslie nearly burns alive for this unusually reckless behavior, though as an upside, this sinks the emperor's mercy left for the Sperádos as well and leads Ellie and the Marquess getting their just desserts, and Leslie is ''incredibly'' self-conscious about the reckless decisions made here.]]

to:

* HateSink: The Sperádo Speràdo family does its best to live out the biblical scripture "the heart of man is truly wicked and desperate in its wickedness." To try and maintain their standing in the empire, they have been murdering their own children for HumanSacrifice, and do their damnedest to be utterly despicable to Leslie, while daring to call themselves "noble and righteous," and the current Marquis, Leslie's father, is absolutely desperate to hold on the family title of "the masters of Dark Magic," no matter how vile the actions he has to take are.
* HeroBall: Usually the cast are incredibly efficient about trying to keep Leslie out of danger once the Sperádos Speràdos make their intentions known. But then Leslie herself grasps onto this firmly [[spoiler:for the meeting with Amroa, not wanting her several knight bodyguards or taking off the strangely heavy bracelet she was given to at all disrespect the only woman that's ever respected her before the Salvatores. Leslie nearly burns alive for this unusually reckless behavior, though as an upside, this sinks the emperor's mercy left for the Sperádos Speràdos as well and leads Ellie and the Marquess getting their just desserts, and Leslie is ''incredibly'' self-conscious about the reckless decisions made here.]]



* HourglassPlot: "The Monster Duchess and Contract Princess" starts with Leslie being in the lowest position among the Sperádo family. However, as the story continues with Leslie deciding that [[TheDogBitesBack she had enough and fought back]], Leslie eventually gets the happy family life she wanted with the Salvatore family as she trains to be a future duchess and part of the Salvatore family, while the Sperádo eventually [[HowTheMightyHaveFallen spiral downwards]] to a point of losing their reputation [[spoiler:and position as a noble family]].

to:

* HourglassPlot: "The Monster Duchess and Contract Princess" starts with Leslie being in the lowest position among the Sperádo Speràdo family. However, as the story continues with Leslie deciding that [[TheDogBitesBack she had enough and fought back]], Leslie eventually gets the happy family life she wanted with the Salvatore family as she trains to be a future duchess and part of the Salvatore family, while the Sperádo Speràdo eventually [[HowTheMightyHaveFallen spiral downwards]] to a point of losing their reputation [[spoiler:and position as a noble family]].



* HumanSacrifice: The story ''starts with one''. Leslie is thrown into a fire, by her own father, who pushes her in with a staff, "to be of use to her sister." The entire Sperádo family is enraged when she survives, by falling out a window into the river below. This is actually a family policy to maintain their strength: Children with Ellie's and Leslie's appearances often appear with no notable magical ability, but sacrificing those like Leslie in a certain way makes the Ellies much stronger. However, the spirits of the sacrificed children stick around, which allows them to save Leslie at the start of the story.
* {{Irony}}: The Sperádo's entire lineage have coasted on their powerful dark magic as a bargaining tool they exploited, sacrificing their own children to attain it and abusing them to the point that they won't ever fight back. When it came Leslie's turn, the past sacrifices helped save her via that magic - that '''she''' was actually the rightful owner of, as were all the sacrifices. This bites the family in the ass when she finally pushes back, and their attempts to control or even kill Leslie to keep their status quo ends up ruining them because they have no idea how to react when things ''don't'' go their way for once while proclaiming ''[[ItsAllAboutMe they're the victims for being denied what is theirs]]''.
* ItIsDehumanizing: So they don't see themselves as murderers, the Sperádo family calls all their silvered haired children "it" or "that" to each other, and to outsiders, while calling said child "useless" to their face. Leslie finds out, to her horror, by checking the census at the library, that even children of the poorest commoners get a three day mourning period, minimum, for a funeral. The Sperádo children who fell to "mysterious illness or accident" ''would be lucky to get a full day.''
* MadeOutToBeAJerkass: After the Sperádo family has thrown Leslie into a fire, in addition to a lifetime of abuse and neglect, they call her insane, evil, and a liar for having the cheek to survive, and pointing out the scars, when another member of said family ''rips her clothes in public.''
* MakeItLookLikeAnAccident: The Sperádo have been hiding their HumanSacrifice by recording in the official royal ledgers that their children died of "illness" or "unfortunate accident" for a good 1000 years.

to:

* HumanSacrifice: The story ''starts with one''. Leslie is thrown into a fire, by her own father, who pushes her in with a staff, "to be of use to her sister." The entire Sperádo Speràdo family is enraged when she survives, by falling out a window into the river below. This is actually a family policy to maintain their strength: Children with Ellie's and Leslie's appearances often appear with no notable magical ability, but sacrificing those like Leslie in a certain way makes the Ellies much stronger. However, the spirits of the sacrificed children stick around, which allows them to save Leslie at the start of the story.
* {{Irony}}: The Sperádo's Speràdo's entire lineage have coasted on their powerful dark magic as a bargaining tool they exploited, sacrificing their own children to attain it and abusing them to the point that they won't ever fight back. When it came Leslie's turn, the past sacrifices helped save her via that magic - that '''she''' was actually the rightful owner of, as were all the sacrifices. This bites the family in the ass when she finally pushes back, and their attempts to control or even kill Leslie to keep their status quo ends up ruining them because they have no idea how to react when things ''don't'' go their way for once while proclaiming ''[[ItsAllAboutMe they're the victims for being denied what is theirs]]''.
* ItIsDehumanizing: So they don't see themselves as murderers, the Sperádo Speràdo family calls all their silvered haired children "it" or "that" to each other, and to outsiders, while calling said child "useless" to their face. Leslie finds out, to her horror, by checking the census at the library, that even children of the poorest commoners get a three day mourning period, minimum, for a funeral. The Sperádo Speràdo children who fell to "mysterious illness or accident" ''would be lucky to get a full day.''
* MadeOutToBeAJerkass: After the Sperádo Speràdo family has thrown Leslie into a fire, in addition to a lifetime of abuse and neglect, they call her insane, evil, and a liar for having the cheek to survive, and pointing out the scars, when another member of said family ''rips her clothes in public.''
* MakeItLookLikeAnAccident: The Sperádo Speràdo have been hiding their HumanSacrifice by recording in the official royal ledgers that their children died of "illness" or "unfortunate accident" for a good 1000 years.



* ParentalFavoritism: The Sperádo family, for at least 1000 years, favors the first born, without exception, and raises any siblings with silver hair to be a HumanSacrifice so that the heir will "awaken" Dark Magic.
* PimpedOutDress: The Sperádo ladies sans Leslie are always wearing these. One chapter shows the Salvatores going to a dressmaker so they can get her some nice dresses, seeing as she was never able to wear anything nice before.

to:

* ParentalFavoritism: The Sperádo Speràdo family, for at least 1000 years, favors the first born, without exception, and raises any siblings with silver hair to be a HumanSacrifice so that the heir will "awaken" Dark Magic.
* PimpedOutDress: The Sperádo Speràdo ladies sans Leslie are always wearing these. One chapter shows the Salvatores going to a dressmaker so they can get her some nice dresses, seeing as she was never able to wear anything nice before.



** If you can get past the Sperádo family's false exteriors, almost ''everyone'' instantly knows they're pure scum that fly straight into StupidEvil. The Salvatores on the other hand are feared and hated publicly for their power, but as direct enforcers to the emperor they refuse to carry the IdiotBall for even a second while the Sperádos keep screwing up in their attempts to take Leslie before finally initiating the Noble's Trial. The result is nigh-unanimously in Salvatore's favor and, short of the Child Protection Act problem, no one really expected otherwise.
** Before said trial, Marquis Sperádo's numerous plans failed but he still had the reputation and political power to even get the trial in the first place, not to mention manipulating word of mouth through backhanded means. When finally put in the public of court, his lack of thorough planning and HairTriggerTemper ''destroys'' his reputation in short time as he repeatedly demonstrates how unstable and downright psychotically angry he can be when things don't go his way, on top of throwing other groups like the entire magician's guild under the bus as in the palms of the Salvatores ''[[RightInFrontOfMe even as they're attending.]]''
* RuleOfThree: The Sperádos attempted to burn Leslie at least three times, including at the very beginning of the story as a sacrifice, and in a carriage after she rebels against them and makes her first visit to the Duchess. [[spoiler:The third attempt being the last time the Sperádos attempted to burn Leslie, after they lose the Noble Trial]].

to:

** If you can get past the Sperádo Speràdo family's false exteriors, almost ''everyone'' instantly knows they're pure scum that fly straight into StupidEvil. The Salvatores on the other hand are feared and hated publicly for their power, but as direct enforcers to the emperor they refuse to carry the IdiotBall for even a second while the Sperádos Speràdos keep screwing up in their attempts to take Leslie before finally initiating the Noble's Trial. The result is nigh-unanimously in Salvatore's favor and, short of the Child Protection Act problem, no one really expected otherwise.
** Before said trial, Marquis Sperádo's Speràdo's numerous plans failed but he still had the reputation and political power to even get the trial in the first place, not to mention manipulating word of mouth through backhanded means. When finally put in the public of court, his lack of thorough planning and HairTriggerTemper ''destroys'' his reputation in short time as he repeatedly demonstrates how unstable and downright psychotically angry he can be when things don't go his way, on top of throwing other groups like the entire magician's guild under the bus as in the palms of the Salvatores ''[[RightInFrontOfMe even as they're attending.]]''
* RuleOfThree: The Sperádos Speràdos attempted to burn Leslie at least three times, including at the very beginning of the story as a sacrifice, and in a carriage after she rebels against them and makes her first visit to the Duchess. [[spoiler:The third attempt being the last time the Sperádos Speràdos attempted to burn Leslie, after they lose the Noble Trial]].



* SpellMyNameWithAnS: The scanlations don't always spell the character's names the same way from time to time. Marquis Sperádo's real name is Travis, but recent chapters called him Tra Vesh, likely a translation error. At one point, Duchess Salvatore's first name, Aleca, was spelled as Acela.
* StupidEvil: The best way to summarize the Sperádo family's habits and actions. Ellie and the Marquis especially demonstrate that if you at all get past their surface level 'pleasantries', they're effectively selfish, insane, paranoid maniacs that will do anything to get their way - even if what they do would be suicidal and just plain '''dumb'''. Just about everyone that knows them personally despises them for this, even alleged supporters like Medea.

to:

* SpellMyNameWithAnS: The scanlations don't always spell the character's names the same way from time to time. Marquis Sperádo's Speràdo's real name is Travis, but recent chapters called him Tra Vesh, likely a translation error. At one point, Duchess Salvatore's first name, Aleca, was spelled as Acela.
* StupidEvil: The best way to summarize the Sperádo Speràdo family's habits and actions. Ellie and the Marquis especially demonstrate that if you at all get past their surface level 'pleasantries', they're effectively selfish, insane, paranoid maniacs that will do anything to get their way - even if what they do would be suicidal and just plain '''dumb'''. Just about everyone that knows them personally despises them for this, even alleged supporters like Medea.



* WhyDidYouMakeMeHitYou: The ''entire Sperádo family'' does this to Leslie, from the moment she was old enough to walk and talk, until they "have no other choice" but to throw her in a fire, with her father yelling at her "Don't you know dying in your sister's place is your destiny?! Naive brat! Don't you know you are useless?!"

to:

* WhyDidYouMakeMeHitYou: The ''entire Sperádo Speràdo family'' does this to Leslie, from the moment she was old enough to walk and talk, until they "have no other choice" but to throw her in a fire, with her father yelling at her "Don't you know dying in your sister's place is your destiny?! Naive brat! Don't you know you are useless?!"


[[caption-width-right:224:Sperado house, [[ThisIsUnforgivable I will never forgive you.]]]]

The first twelve years of Leslie Sperado's life were wrought with misery. Expected to do nothing but support her elder sister Ellie, starved when she didn't perform up to standards, faced in front of a mirror to tell ''herself'' how useless she is...

It all culminates when her father has her thrown into a fire. Leslie survives, but the experience awakens something in her, the dark magic that the Sperado family has, but to a much greater degree than either her father or sister. Fearing her life is in danger if she stays in the Sperado home, but needing a guardian to protect her until she reaches adulthood, Leslie approaches the Duchess Salvatore, matriarch of a family alleged to have monster blood in their veins, and asks to be adopted.

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[[caption-width-right:224:Sperado [[caption-width-right:224:Sperádo house, [[ThisIsUnforgivable I will never forgive you.]]]]

The first twelve years of Leslie Sperado's Sperádo's life were wrought with misery. Expected to do nothing but support her elder sister Ellie, starved when she didn't perform up to standards, faced in front of a mirror to tell ''herself'' how useless she is...

It all culminates when her father has her thrown into a fire. Leslie survives, but the experience awakens something in her, the dark magic that the Sperado Sperádo family has, but to a much greater degree than either her father or sister. Fearing her life is in danger if she stays in the Sperado Sperádo home, but needing a guardian to protect her until she reaches adulthood, Leslie approaches the Duchess Salvatore, matriarch of a family alleged to have monster blood in their veins, and asks to be adopted.



** The most benevolent memory Leslie has of her life in the Sperado house? Having her mother march her up to a mirror, and then being forced to tell her own reflection "you're useless."
** Sir Konrad's father won't win any prizes either, after he abused him for [[spoiler:siding with Leslie and the Salvatores against the Sperados during the trial for custody.]]

to:

** The most benevolent memory Leslie has of her life in the Sperado Sperádo house? Having her mother march her up to a mirror, and then being forced to tell her own reflection "you're useless."
** Sir Konrad's father won't win any prizes either, after he abused him for [[spoiler:siding with Leslie and the Salvatores against the Sperados Sperádos during the trial for custody.]]



** Marquis Sperado had been able to use his waning influence to secure Ellie as the Crown Prince Alendro's fiance. [[spoiler:Their losing the Noble Trial and things said there have jeopardized this and the Emperor is considering revoking this arrangement]].

to:

** Marquis Sperado Sperádo had been able to use his waning influence to secure Ellie as the Crown Prince Alendro's fiance. [[spoiler:Their losing the Noble Trial and things said there have jeopardized this and the Emperor is considering revoking this arrangement]].



* AristocratsAreEvil: With the exception of the Salvatore house, which is headed by the titular "Monster Duchess," all the aristocrats and nobles are entirely self-serving, at best, but the crown of cruelty has to go to the Sperado house, where Leslie hails from.

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* AristocratsAreEvil: With the exception of the Salvatore house, which is headed by the titular "Monster Duchess," all the aristocrats and nobles are entirely self-serving, at best, but the crown of cruelty has to go to the Sperado Sperádo house, where Leslie hails from.



* BatmanGambit: The Salvatore Knights discuss a plan in chapter 45 to [[spoiler:find an excuse to fight and hurt the Sperado Knights by dressing in worn-out clothing when they celebrate the birth of one of the Salvatore Knights having a second child at a pub the Sperado Knights frequent, they hope to provoke the Sperado Knights into a conflict and beat the crap out of them]].
* BigFancyHouse: Two of them! Both the Sperado and the Salvatores live in big, lavish mansions on large estates on their properties.
* BlackAndGreyMorality: The Salvatore family does have a history of morally dubious behavior, but still treat their friends, allies, servants, and each other with genuine kindness and affection, especially the sweet little Leslie. Their enemies, especially the Sperado, are morally pitch-black, doing things that are evil, purely because it is evil, but have the gall to openly call themselves "righteous" and only pretend to have redeeming features, for the sake of appearances and to prevent punishment from coming their way.
* BreakTheCutie: Leslie is cute as a button, even comes pre-broken for your convenience. The Sperado family still insists on breaking her more, however.

to:

* BatmanGambit: The Salvatore Knights discuss a plan in chapter 45 to [[spoiler:find an excuse to fight and hurt the Sperado Sperádo Knights by dressing in worn-out clothing when they celebrate the birth of one of the Salvatore Knights having a second child at a pub the Sperado Sperádo Knights frequent, they hope to provoke the Sperado Sperádo Knights into a conflict and beat the crap out of them]].
* BigFancyHouse: Two of them! Both the Sperado Sperádo and the Salvatores live in big, lavish mansions on large estates on their properties.
* BlackAndGreyMorality: The Salvatore family does have a history of morally dubious behavior, but still treat their friends, allies, servants, and each other with genuine kindness and affection, especially the sweet little Leslie. Their enemies, especially the Sperado, Sperádo, are morally pitch-black, doing things that are evil, purely because it is evil, but have the gall to openly call themselves "righteous" and only pretend to have redeeming features, for the sake of appearances and to prevent punishment from coming their way.
* BreakTheCutie: Leslie is cute as a button, even comes pre-broken for your convenience. The Sperado Sperádo family still insists on breaking her more, however.



** Marquis Sperado [[spoiler:is the eldest of three siblings. His younger brothers were treated like slaves to the elder brother, being beaten and injured regularly. When they were sold to slavery, one died in the carriage crash and the other escaped and survived in secret]].

to:

** Marquis Sperado Sperádo [[spoiler:is the eldest of three siblings. His younger brothers were treated like slaves to the elder brother, being beaten and injured regularly. When they were sold to slavery, one died in the carriage crash and the other escaped and survived in secret]].



* DarkIsNotEvil: Zigzagged. Dark magic is neither good nor evil, it just is, like shadows. Its current user is Leslie and is called the "Dark Saint" by Duchess Salvatore and Leslie. However, the bloodline from which it hails, the Sperado, have been engaged in HumanSacrifice to bestow it upon their favored offspring, killing all the "useless" silver-haired siblings, for at least 1000 years.
* TheDogBitesBack: As early as chapter 3, Leslie, rightly, gets fed up with all the abuse she's suffered at the hands of the Sperado family, and starts pushing back, [[MadeOutToBeAJerkass at which point, her father, mother, elder sister, and all the household servants start treating her like she's evil, insane, and insanely evil.]]
* DownerBeginning: The story begins with a little girl about to be thrown into a fire pit, desperately calling for her family for help, but her father pushes her in when she refuses to go into the pit. This causes her to snap and accept that her treatment from the Sperado family will never improve, causing her to flee to the Salvatores for asylum. From there, the story spends a lot of time showing how much her new family cherishes her.

to:

* DarkIsNotEvil: Zigzagged. Dark magic is neither good nor evil, it just is, like shadows. Its current user is Leslie and is called the "Dark Saint" by Duchess Salvatore and Leslie. However, the bloodline from which it hails, the Sperado, Sperádo, have been engaged in HumanSacrifice to bestow it upon their favored offspring, killing all the "useless" silver-haired siblings, for at least 1000 years.
* TheDogBitesBack: As early as chapter 3, Leslie, rightly, gets fed up with all the abuse she's suffered at the hands of the Sperado Sperádo family, and starts pushing back, [[MadeOutToBeAJerkass at which point, her father, mother, elder sister, and all the household servants start treating her like she's evil, insane, and insanely evil.]]
* DownerBeginning: The story begins with a little girl about to be thrown into a fire pit, desperately calling for her family for help, but her father pushes her in when she refuses to go into the pit. This causes her to snap and accept that her treatment from the Sperado Sperádo family will never improve, causing her to flee to the Salvatores for asylum. From there, the story spends a lot of time showing how much her new family cherishes her.



* FantasticRacism: The Sperado family teaches its blonde, green-eyed children that they are the best at everything and deserve the best the world has to offer, just for the asking. They treat all of their other children with disdain and abuse. Children with silver hair are offered up as a HumanSacrifice to empower their blonde children with the black magic they steal from said silver-haired children.

to:

* FantasticRacism: The Sperado Sperádo family teaches its blonde, green-eyed children that they are the best at everything and deserve the best the world has to offer, just for the asking. They treat all of their other children with disdain and abuse. Children with silver hair are offered up as a HumanSacrifice to empower their blonde children with the black magic they steal from said silver-haired children.



* HateSink: The Sperado family does its best to live out the biblical scripture "the heart of man is truly wicked and desperate in its wickedness." To try and maintain their standing in the empire, they have been murdering their own children for HumanSacrifice, and do their damnedest to be utterly despicable to Leslie, while daring to call themselves "noble and righteous," and the current Marquis, Leslie's father, is absolutely desperate to hold on the family title of "the masters of Dark Magic," no matter how vile the actions he has to take are.
* HeroBall: Usually the cast are incredibly efficient about trying to keep Leslie out of danger once the Sperados make their intentions known. But then Leslie herself grasps onto this firmly [[spoiler:for the meeting with Amroa, not wanting her several knight bodyguards or taking off the strangely heavy bracelet she was given to at all disrespect the only woman that's ever respected her before the Salvatores. Leslie nearly burns alive for this unusually reckless behavior, though as an upside, this sinks the emperor's mercy left for the Sperados as well and leads Ellie and the Marquess getting their just desserts, and Leslie is ''incredibly'' self-conscious about the reckless decisions made here.]]

to:

* HateSink: The Sperado Sperádo family does its best to live out the biblical scripture "the heart of man is truly wicked and desperate in its wickedness." To try and maintain their standing in the empire, they have been murdering their own children for HumanSacrifice, and do their damnedest to be utterly despicable to Leslie, while daring to call themselves "noble and righteous," and the current Marquis, Leslie's father, is absolutely desperate to hold on the family title of "the masters of Dark Magic," no matter how vile the actions he has to take are.
* HeroBall: Usually the cast are incredibly efficient about trying to keep Leslie out of danger once the Sperados Sperádos make their intentions known. But then Leslie herself grasps onto this firmly [[spoiler:for the meeting with Amroa, not wanting her several knight bodyguards or taking off the strangely heavy bracelet she was given to at all disrespect the only woman that's ever respected her before the Salvatores. Leslie nearly burns alive for this unusually reckless behavior, though as an upside, this sinks the emperor's mercy left for the Sperados Sperádos as well and leads Ellie and the Marquess getting their just desserts, and Leslie is ''incredibly'' self-conscious about the reckless decisions made here.]]



* HourglassPlot: "The Monster Duchess and Contract Princess" starts with Leslie being in the lowest position among the Sperado family. However, as the story continues with Leslie deciding that [[TheDogBitesBack she had enough and fought back]], Leslie eventually gets the happy family life she wanted with the Salvatore family as she trains to be a future duchess and part of the Salvatore family, while the Sperado eventually [[HowTheMightyHaveFallen spiral downwards]] to a point of losing their reputation [[spoiler:and position as a noble family]].

to:

* HourglassPlot: "The Monster Duchess and Contract Princess" starts with Leslie being in the lowest position among the Sperado Sperádo family. However, as the story continues with Leslie deciding that [[TheDogBitesBack she had enough and fought back]], Leslie eventually gets the happy family life she wanted with the Salvatore family as she trains to be a future duchess and part of the Salvatore family, while the Sperado Sperádo eventually [[HowTheMightyHaveFallen spiral downwards]] to a point of losing their reputation [[spoiler:and position as a noble family]].



* HumanSacrifice: The story ''starts with one''. Leslie is thrown into a fire, by her own father, who pushes her in with a staff, "to be of use to her sister." The entire Sperado family is enraged when she survives, by falling out a window into the river below. This is actually a family policy to maintain their strength: Children with Ellie's and Leslie's appearances often appear with no notable magical ability, but sacrificing those like Leslie in a certain way makes the Ellies much stronger. However, the spirits of the sacrificed children stick around, which allows them to save Leslie at the start of the story.
* {{Irony}}: The Sperado's entire lineage have coasted on their powerful dark magic as a bargaining tool they exploited, sacrificing their own children to attain it and abusing them to the point that they won't ever fight back. When it came Leslie's turn, the past sacrifices helped save her via that magic - that '''she''' was actually the rightful owner of, as were all the sacrifices. This bites the family in the ass when she finally pushes back, and their attempts to control or even kill Leslie to keep their status quo ends up ruining them because they have no idea how to react when things ''don't'' go their way for once while proclaiming ''[[ItsAllAboutMe they're the victims for being denied what is theirs]]''.
* ItIsDehumanizing: So they don't see themselves as murderers, the Sperado family calls all their silvered haired children "it" or "that" to each other, and to outsiders, while calling said child "useless" to their face. Leslie finds out, to her horror, by checking the census at the library, that even children of the poorest commoners get a three day mourning period, minimum, for a funeral. The Sperado children who fell to "mysterious illness or accident" ''would be lucky to get a full day.''
* MadeOutToBeAJerkass: After the Sperado family has thrown Leslie into a fire, in addition to a lifetime of abuse and neglect, they call her insane, evil, and a liar for having the cheek to survive, and pointing out the scars, when another member of said family ''rips her clothes in public.''
* MakeItLookLikeAnAccident: The Sperado have been hiding their HumanSacrifice by recording in the official royal ledgers that their children died of "illness" or "unfortunate accident" for a good 1000 years.

to:

* HumanSacrifice: The story ''starts with one''. Leslie is thrown into a fire, by her own father, who pushes her in with a staff, "to be of use to her sister." The entire Sperado Sperádo family is enraged when she survives, by falling out a window into the river below. This is actually a family policy to maintain their strength: Children with Ellie's and Leslie's appearances often appear with no notable magical ability, but sacrificing those like Leslie in a certain way makes the Ellies much stronger. However, the spirits of the sacrificed children stick around, which allows them to save Leslie at the start of the story.
* {{Irony}}: The Sperado's Sperádo's entire lineage have coasted on their powerful dark magic as a bargaining tool they exploited, sacrificing their own children to attain it and abusing them to the point that they won't ever fight back. When it came Leslie's turn, the past sacrifices helped save her via that magic - that '''she''' was actually the rightful owner of, as were all the sacrifices. This bites the family in the ass when she finally pushes back, and their attempts to control or even kill Leslie to keep their status quo ends up ruining them because they have no idea how to react when things ''don't'' go their way for once while proclaiming ''[[ItsAllAboutMe they're the victims for being denied what is theirs]]''.
* ItIsDehumanizing: So they don't see themselves as murderers, the Sperado Sperádo family calls all their silvered haired children "it" or "that" to each other, and to outsiders, while calling said child "useless" to their face. Leslie finds out, to her horror, by checking the census at the library, that even children of the poorest commoners get a three day mourning period, minimum, for a funeral. The Sperado Sperádo children who fell to "mysterious illness or accident" ''would be lucky to get a full day.''
* MadeOutToBeAJerkass: After the Sperado Sperádo family has thrown Leslie into a fire, in addition to a lifetime of abuse and neglect, they call her insane, evil, and a liar for having the cheek to survive, and pointing out the scars, when another member of said family ''rips her clothes in public.''
* MakeItLookLikeAnAccident: The Sperado Sperádo have been hiding their HumanSacrifice by recording in the official royal ledgers that their children died of "illness" or "unfortunate accident" for a good 1000 years.



* ParentalFavoritism: The Sperado family, for at least 1000 years, favors the first born, without exception, and raises any siblings with silver hair to be a HumanSacrifice so that the heir will "awaken" Dark Magic.
* PimpedOutDress: The Sperado ladies sans Leslie are always wearing these. One chapter shows the Salvatores going to a dressmaker so they can get her some nice dresses, seeing as she was never able to wear anything nice before.

to:

* ParentalFavoritism: The Sperado Sperádo family, for at least 1000 years, favors the first born, without exception, and raises any siblings with silver hair to be a HumanSacrifice so that the heir will "awaken" Dark Magic.
* PimpedOutDress: The Sperado Sperádo ladies sans Leslie are always wearing these. One chapter shows the Salvatores going to a dressmaker so they can get her some nice dresses, seeing as she was never able to wear anything nice before.



** If you can get past the Sperado family's false exteriors, almost ''everyone'' instantly knows they're pure scum that fly straight into StupidEvil. The Salvatores on the other hand are feared and hated publicly for their power, but as direct enforcers to the emperor they refuse to carry the IdiotBall for even a second while the Sperados keep screwing up in their attempts to take Leslie before finally initiating the Noble's Trial. The result is nigh-unanimously in Salvatore's favor and, short of the Child Protection Act problem, no one really expected otherwise.
** Before said trial, Marquis Sperado's numerous plans failed but he still had the reputation and political power to even get the trial in the first place, not to mention manipulating word of mouth through backhanded means. When finally put in the public of court, his lack of thorough planning and HairTriggerTemper ''destroys'' his reputation in short time as he repeatedly demonstrates how unstable and downright psychotically angry he can be when things don't go his way, on top of throwing other groups like the entire magician's guild under the bus as in the palms of the Salvatores ''[[RightInFrontOfMe even as they're attending.]]''
* RuleOfThree: The Sperados attempted to burn Leslie at least three times, including at the very beginning of the story as a sacrifice, and in a carriage after she rebels against them and makes her first visit to the Duchess. [[spoiler:The third attempt being the last time the Sperados attempted to burn Leslie, after they lose the Noble Trial]].

to:

** If you can get past the Sperado Sperádo family's false exteriors, almost ''everyone'' instantly knows they're pure scum that fly straight into StupidEvil. The Salvatores on the other hand are feared and hated publicly for their power, but as direct enforcers to the emperor they refuse to carry the IdiotBall for even a second while the Sperados Sperádos keep screwing up in their attempts to take Leslie before finally initiating the Noble's Trial. The result is nigh-unanimously in Salvatore's favor and, short of the Child Protection Act problem, no one really expected otherwise.
** Before said trial, Marquis Sperado's Sperádo's numerous plans failed but he still had the reputation and political power to even get the trial in the first place, not to mention manipulating word of mouth through backhanded means. When finally put in the public of court, his lack of thorough planning and HairTriggerTemper ''destroys'' his reputation in short time as he repeatedly demonstrates how unstable and downright psychotically angry he can be when things don't go his way, on top of throwing other groups like the entire magician's guild under the bus as in the palms of the Salvatores ''[[RightInFrontOfMe even as they're attending.]]''
* RuleOfThree: The Sperados Sperádos attempted to burn Leslie at least three times, including at the very beginning of the story as a sacrifice, and in a carriage after she rebels against them and makes her first visit to the Duchess. [[spoiler:The third attempt being the last time the Sperados Sperádos attempted to burn Leslie, after they lose the Noble Trial]].



* SpellMyNameWithAnS: The scanlations don't always spell the character's names the same way from time to time. Marquis Sperado's real name is Travis, but recent chapters called him Tra Vesh, likely a translation error. At one point, Duchess Salvatore's first name, Aleca, was spelled as Acela.
* StupidEvil: The best way to summarize the Sperado family's habits and actions. Ellie and the Marquis especially demonstrate that if you at all get past their surface level 'pleasantries', they're effectively selfish, insane, paranoid maniacs that will do anything to get their way - even if what they do would be suicidal and just plain '''dumb'''. Just about everyone that knows them personally despises them for this, even alleged supporters like Medea.

to:

* SpellMyNameWithAnS: The scanlations don't always spell the character's names the same way from time to time. Marquis Sperado's Sperádo's real name is Travis, but recent chapters called him Tra Vesh, likely a translation error. At one point, Duchess Salvatore's first name, Aleca, was spelled as Acela.
* StupidEvil: The best way to summarize the Sperado Sperádo family's habits and actions. Ellie and the Marquis especially demonstrate that if you at all get past their surface level 'pleasantries', they're effectively selfish, insane, paranoid maniacs that will do anything to get their way - even if what they do would be suicidal and just plain '''dumb'''. Just about everyone that knows them personally despises them for this, even alleged supporters like Medea.



* WhyDidYouMakeMeHitYou: The ''entire Sperado family'' does this to Leslie, from the moment she was old enough to walk and talk, until they "have no other choice" but to throw her in a fire, with her father yelling at her "Don't you know dying in your sister's place is your destiny?! Naive brat! Don't you know you are useless?!"

to:

* WhyDidYouMakeMeHitYou: The ''entire Sperado Sperádo family'' does this to Leslie, from the moment she was old enough to walk and talk, until they "have no other choice" but to throw her in a fire, with her father yelling at her "Don't you know dying in your sister's place is your destiny?! Naive brat! Don't you know you are useless?!"


The first twelve years of Leslie Sperado's life were wrought with misery. Expected to do nothing but support her elder sister Eli, starved when she didn't perform up to standards, faced in front of a mirror to tell ''herself'' how useless she is...

to:

The first twelve years of Leslie Sperado's life were wrought with misery. Expected to do nothing but support her elder sister Eli, Ellie, starved when she didn't perform up to standards, faced in front of a mirror to tell ''herself'' how useless she is...



* AerithAndBob: The series uses both normal names, such as Leslie, Eli, Travis, and Konrad, and names that are clearly made up, such as Aleca, Sairane, Bethrion, Ruenti, Fieste, Arlendo, and Derrial.

to:

* AerithAndBob: The series uses both normal names, such as Leslie, Eli, Ellie, Travis, and Konrad, and names that are clearly made up, such as Aleca, Sairane, Bethrion, Ruenti, Fieste, Arlendo, and Derrial.



** Marquis Sperado had been able to use his waning influence to secure Eli as the Crown Prince Alendro's fiance. [[spoiler:Their losing the Noble Trial and things said there have jeopardized this and the Emperor is considering revoking this arrangement]].

to:

** Marquis Sperado had been able to use his waning influence to secure Eli Ellie as the Crown Prince Alendro's fiance. [[spoiler:Their losing the Noble Trial and things said there have jeopardized this and the Emperor is considering revoking this arrangement]].



** Eli covets the power Leslie is born with and wants her dead to not just obtain the power, but return things to how they were before.

to:

** Eli Ellie covets the power Leslie is born with and wants her dead to not just obtain the power, but return things to how they were before.



* HeroBall: Usually the cast are incredibly efficient about trying to keep Leslie out of danger once the Sperados make their intentions known. But then Leslie herself grasps onto this firmly [[spoiler:for the meeting with Amroa, not wanting her several knight bodyguards or taking off the strangely heavy bracelet she was given to at all disrespect the only woman that's ever respected her before the Salvatores. Leslie nearly burns alive for this unusually reckless behavior, though as an upside, this sinks the emperor's mercy left for the Sperados as well and leads Eli and the Marquess getting their just desserts, and Leslie is ''incredibly'' self-conscious about the reckless decisions made here.]]
* HeroWithBadPublicity: The Salvatore house. Every single one of them is a OneManArmy or OneWomanArmy, in the case of the titular Duchess, and they are war heroes the Rucardious Empire relies on for survival, to defend them against their enemies, yet the local talk about them is anything but kind, and mostly untrue. Said rumors are a direct result of ''all the other noble houses and the crown'' being afraid and jealous of their SuperStrength. Ironically, this is what causes Leslie to seek them out for aid in the first place.

to:

* HeroBall: Usually the cast are incredibly efficient about trying to keep Leslie out of danger once the Sperados make their intentions known. But then Leslie herself grasps onto this firmly [[spoiler:for the meeting with Amroa, not wanting her several knight bodyguards or taking off the strangely heavy bracelet she was given to at all disrespect the only woman that's ever respected her before the Salvatores. Leslie nearly burns alive for this unusually reckless behavior, though as an upside, this sinks the emperor's mercy left for the Sperados as well and leads Eli Ellie and the Marquess getting their just desserts, and Leslie is ''incredibly'' self-conscious about the reckless decisions made here.]]
* HeroWithBadPublicity: The Salvatore house. Every single one of them is a OneManArmy or OneWomanArmy, in the case of the titular Duchess, and they are war heroes the Rucardious Recardius Empire relies on for survival, to defend them against their enemies, yet the local talk about them is anything but kind, and mostly untrue. Said rumors are a direct result of ''all the other noble houses and the crown'' being afraid and jealous of their SuperStrength. Ironically, this is what causes Leslie to seek them out for aid in the first place.



* HumanSacrifice: The story ''starts with one''. Leslie is thrown into a fire, by her own father, who pushes her in with a staff, "to be of use to her sister." The entire Sperado family is enraged when she survives, by falling out a window into the river below. This is actually a family policy to maintain their strength: Children with Eli and Leslie's appearances often appear with no notable magical ability, but sacrificing those like Leslie in a certain way makes the Elis much stronger. However, the spirits of the sacrificed children stick around, which allows them to save Leslie at the start of the story.

to:

* HumanSacrifice: The story ''starts with one''. Leslie is thrown into a fire, by her own father, who pushes her in with a staff, "to be of use to her sister." The entire Sperado family is enraged when she survives, by falling out a window into the river below. This is actually a family policy to maintain their strength: Children with Eli Ellie's and Leslie's appearances often appear with no notable magical ability, but sacrificing those like Leslie in a certain way makes the Elis Ellies much stronger. However, the spirits of the sacrificed children stick around, which allows them to save Leslie at the start of the story.



* StupidEvil: The best way to summarize the Sperado family's habits and actions. Eli and the Marquis especially demonstrate that if you at all get past their surface level 'pleasantries', they're effectively selfish, insane, paranoid maniacs that will do anything to get their way - even if what they do would be suicidal and just plain '''dumb'''. Just about everyone that knows them personally despises them for this, even alleged supporters like Medea.

to:

* StupidEvil: The best way to summarize the Sperado family's habits and actions. Eli Ellie and the Marquis especially demonstrate that if you at all get past their surface level 'pleasantries', they're effectively selfish, insane, paranoid maniacs that will do anything to get their way - even if what they do would be suicidal and just plain '''dumb'''. Just about everyone that knows them personally despises them for this, even alleged supporters like Medea.

Added DiffLines:

[[quoteright:224:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/596_xp919196.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:224:Sperado house, [[ThisIsUnforgivable I will never forgive you.]]]]

The first twelve years of Leslie Sperado's life were wrought with misery. Expected to do nothing but support her elder sister Eli, starved when she didn't perform up to standards, faced in front of a mirror to tell ''herself'' how useless she is...

It all culminates when her father has her thrown into a fire. Leslie survives, but the experience awakens something in her, the dark magic that the Sperado family has, but to a much greater degree than either her father or sister. Fearing her life is in danger if she stays in the Sperado home, but needing a guardian to protect her until she reaches adulthood, Leslie approaches the Duchess Salvatore, matriarch of a family alleged to have monster blood in their veins, and asks to be adopted.

Intrigued by Leslie's request, the Duchess agrees to protect her and thus begins the saga of ''The Monstrous Duke's Adopted Daughter''. As the Duchess and her family help Leslie learn to protect herself, Leslie may experience true affection and joy for the first time in all her life.

The webtoon is on-going but the novel it is adapted from is completed. The webtoon can be found in the original Korean [[https://page.kakao.com/home/%EA%B4%B4%EB%AC%BC-%EA%B3%B5%EC%9E%91%EA%B0%80%EC%9D%98-%EA%B3%84%EC%95%BD-%EA%B3%B5%EB%85%80/52792529 here]]. The website Tapas has licensed it as well, and the official English translation can be read [[https://tapas.io/series/the-monstrous-dukes-adopted-daughter here.]]
----
!!Associated Tropes:
* AbusiveParents:
** The most benevolent memory Leslie has of her life in the Sperado house? Having her mother march her up to a mirror, and then being forced to tell her own reflection "you're useless."
** Sir Konrad's father won't win any prizes either, after he abused him for [[spoiler:siding with Leslie and the Salvatores against the Sperados during the trial for custody.]]
* AerithAndBob: The series uses both normal names, such as Leslie, Eli, Travis, and Konrad, and names that are clearly made up, such as Aleca, Sairane, Bethrion, Ruenti, Fieste, Arlendo, and Derrial.
* AndNowYouMustMarryMe: Duchess Salvatores warns [[spoiler:Leslie that when denying marriage proposals, she must be careful to keep stoic about it. Some nobles will take ''blushing'' as a sign of consent and agreement to the terms presented]].
* ArrangedMarriage: These are a common thing among the noble houses to gain or regain power and influence.
** Marquis Sperado had been able to use his waning influence to secure Eli as the Crown Prince Alendro's fiance. [[spoiler:Their losing the Noble Trial and things said there have jeopardized this and the Emperor is considering revoking this arrangement]].
** Duchess Salvatores has endured many proposals from noble families to marry into hers. [[spoiler:After Leslie becomes a Salvatores, she too receives a proposal from the eldest son of a prominent merchant noble, who is also about 13 years Leslie's senior]].
* AristocratsAreEvil: With the exception of the Salvatore house, which is headed by the titular "Monster Duchess," all the aristocrats and nobles are entirely self-serving, at best, but the crown of cruelty has to go to the Sperado house, where Leslie hails from.
* ArmorPiercingQuestion: When the Duchess shows Leslie her facial scar in order to understand the woman she wants to be her mother, the Duchess anticipates Leslie will recoil in shock or fear. Instead, she asks softly, "Doesn't it hurt?" and stuns the Duchess for a moment at this empathetic response.
* BatmanGambit: The Salvatore Knights discuss a plan in chapter 45 to [[spoiler:find an excuse to fight and hurt the Sperado Knights by dressing in worn-out clothing when they celebrate the birth of one of the Salvatore Knights having a second child at a pub the Sperado Knights frequent, they hope to provoke the Sperado Knights into a conflict and beat the crap out of them]].
* BigFancyHouse: Two of them! Both the Sperado and the Salvatores live in big, lavish mansions on large estates on their properties.
* BlackAndGreyMorality: The Salvatore family does have a history of morally dubious behavior, but still treat their friends, allies, servants, and each other with genuine kindness and affection, especially the sweet little Leslie. Their enemies, especially the Sperado, are morally pitch-black, doing things that are evil, purely because it is evil, but have the gall to openly call themselves "righteous" and only pretend to have redeeming features, for the sake of appearances and to prevent punishment from coming their way.
* BreakTheCutie: Leslie is cute as a button, even comes pre-broken for your convenience. The Sperado family still insists on breaking her more, however.
* BreatherEpisode: Chapter 42 starts immediately after the trial ends, and it's basically one big, heartwarming chapter consisting of nothing but Leslie spending time with the Salvatores and being happy.
* CainAndAbel:
** Eli covets the power Leslie is born with and wants her dead to not just obtain the power, but return things to how they were before.
** Marquis Sperado [[spoiler:is the eldest of three siblings. His younger brothers were treated like slaves to the elder brother, being beaten and injured regularly. When they were sold to slavery, one died in the carriage crash and the other escaped and survived in secret]].
** In the history of the Empire there has been at least one case of this for the Emperor himself. Emperor Rowtten killed not just his brother Amgrample but every other living member of their family to secure his ascension to the throne.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Zigzagged. Dark magic is neither good nor evil, it just is, like shadows. Its current user is Leslie and is called the "Dark Saint" by Duchess Salvatore and Leslie. However, the bloodline from which it hails, the Sperado, have been engaged in HumanSacrifice to bestow it upon their favored offspring, killing all the "useless" silver-haired siblings, for at least 1000 years.
* TheDogBitesBack: As early as chapter 3, Leslie, rightly, gets fed up with all the abuse she's suffered at the hands of the Sperado family, and starts pushing back, [[MadeOutToBeAJerkass at which point, her father, mother, elder sister, and all the household servants start treating her like she's evil, insane, and insanely evil.]]
* DownerBeginning: The story begins with a little girl about to be thrown into a fire pit, desperately calling for her family for help, but her father pushes her in when she refuses to go into the pit. This causes her to snap and accept that her treatment from the Sperado family will never improve, causing her to flee to the Salvatores for asylum. From there, the story spends a lot of time showing how much her new family cherishes her.
* DramaticIrony: When Leslie and Duchess Salvatore meet for the first time and Leslie requests being adopted, the Duchess notes that as the child of a Marquis she won't know dire hardships or starvation, unaware of the completely abusive life the girl has lived.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: '''Boy''' does it ever. At the end of the original novel, Leslie finally attained her happy ending.
* FantasticRacism: The Sperado family teaches its blonde, green-eyed children that they are the best at everything and deserve the best the world has to offer, just for the asking. They treat all of their other children with disdain and abuse. Children with silver hair are offered up as a HumanSacrifice to empower their blonde children with the black magic they steal from said silver-haired children.
* FromTheMouthsOfBabes: When Leslie meets Duchess Salvatore's husband, Sairaine, he tells her about how the Duchess repelled an attempt by Leslie's father to take her back. Not really getting how to talk to children, however, Sairaine describes the incident as a "f*cking massacre", prompting Leslie to ask what a f*cking massacre is and getting Sairaine thrown out of the room. It's later revealed this isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened, as Bethrion did the same thing as a child... in front of royalty.
* HateSink: The Sperado family does its best to live out the biblical scripture "the heart of man is truly wicked and desperate in its wickedness." To try and maintain their standing in the empire, they have been murdering their own children for HumanSacrifice, and do their damnedest to be utterly despicable to Leslie, while daring to call themselves "noble and righteous," and the current Marquis, Leslie's father, is absolutely desperate to hold on the family title of "the masters of Dark Magic," no matter how vile the actions he has to take are.
* HeroBall: Usually the cast are incredibly efficient about trying to keep Leslie out of danger once the Sperados make their intentions known. But then Leslie herself grasps onto this firmly [[spoiler:for the meeting with Amroa, not wanting her several knight bodyguards or taking off the strangely heavy bracelet she was given to at all disrespect the only woman that's ever respected her before the Salvatores. Leslie nearly burns alive for this unusually reckless behavior, though as an upside, this sinks the emperor's mercy left for the Sperados as well and leads Eli and the Marquess getting their just desserts, and Leslie is ''incredibly'' self-conscious about the reckless decisions made here.]]
* HeroWithBadPublicity: The Salvatore house. Every single one of them is a OneManArmy or OneWomanArmy, in the case of the titular Duchess, and they are war heroes the Rucardious Empire relies on for survival, to defend them against their enemies, yet the local talk about them is anything but kind, and mostly untrue. Said rumors are a direct result of ''all the other noble houses and the crown'' being afraid and jealous of their SuperStrength. Ironically, this is what causes Leslie to seek them out for aid in the first place.
* HourglassPlot: "The Monster Duchess and Contract Princess" starts with Leslie being in the lowest position among the Sperado family. However, as the story continues with Leslie deciding that [[TheDogBitesBack she had enough and fought back]], Leslie eventually gets the happy family life she wanted with the Salvatore family as she trains to be a future duchess and part of the Salvatore family, while the Sperado eventually [[HowTheMightyHaveFallen spiral downwards]] to a point of losing their reputation [[spoiler:and position as a noble family]].
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: Leslie was brought up with the bare minimum of food required to survive and looks about half her age as a result, while the Salvatores are a family of giants who tower even over normal adults, let alone a malnourished child. This makes her look even younger and smaller than she already did. While she eventually grows in height by the TimeSkip in the novel, she is still relatively tiny compared to the rest of the Salvatores.
* HumanSacrifice: The story ''starts with one''. Leslie is thrown into a fire, by her own father, who pushes her in with a staff, "to be of use to her sister." The entire Sperado family is enraged when she survives, by falling out a window into the river below. This is actually a family policy to maintain their strength: Children with Eli and Leslie's appearances often appear with no notable magical ability, but sacrificing those like Leslie in a certain way makes the Elis much stronger. However, the spirits of the sacrificed children stick around, which allows them to save Leslie at the start of the story.
* {{Irony}}: The Sperado's entire lineage have coasted on their powerful dark magic as a bargaining tool they exploited, sacrificing their own children to attain it and abusing them to the point that they won't ever fight back. When it came Leslie's turn, the past sacrifices helped save her via that magic - that '''she''' was actually the rightful owner of, as were all the sacrifices. This bites the family in the ass when she finally pushes back, and their attempts to control or even kill Leslie to keep their status quo ends up ruining them because they have no idea how to react when things ''don't'' go their way for once while proclaiming ''[[ItsAllAboutMe they're the victims for being denied what is theirs]]''.
* ItIsDehumanizing: So they don't see themselves as murderers, the Sperado family calls all their silvered haired children "it" or "that" to each other, and to outsiders, while calling said child "useless" to their face. Leslie finds out, to her horror, by checking the census at the library, that even children of the poorest commoners get a three day mourning period, minimum, for a funeral. The Sperado children who fell to "mysterious illness or accident" ''would be lucky to get a full day.''
* MadeOutToBeAJerkass: After the Sperado family has thrown Leslie into a fire, in addition to a lifetime of abuse and neglect, they call her insane, evil, and a liar for having the cheek to survive, and pointing out the scars, when another member of said family ''rips her clothes in public.''
* MakeItLookLikeAnAccident: The Sperado have been hiding their HumanSacrifice by recording in the official royal ledgers that their children died of "illness" or "unfortunate accident" for a good 1000 years.
* MistakenAge: Characters frequently mistake twelve year-old Leslie for being about nine or ten, as she is smaller and skinnier than she should be for her age due to her abusive upbringing including not feeding her properly. This is exaggerated when she meets Bethrion. Between his only frame of reference being Ruenti and the fact that his family are all naturally large people, he initially assumes Leslie is ''five''.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted; the titular Duchess' full name is Acela Benkan Salvatore. According to Leslie's Salvatore-appointed etiquette teacher, there is an Acela Di Altera, another Duchess and the fourth highest ranking woman in the Empire (directly behind Salvatore).
* OnlySaneMan: The Duchess and Leslie gradually become the only sane members of the Salvatore household. This is illustrated best when the men, including the generally sensible Ruenti start gushing about Leslie's birthday and proposing all sorts of extravagant gifts, including festivals named after her. Acela and Leslie can only facepalm as the conversation carries on.
* OrphanageOfFear: [[spoiler:Sairaine]] tells Leslie that [[spoiler:he grew up in one as a result of being a war orphan. The director stole money, fed the children very little and often beat them. Sairaine grew quicker than the other children and eventually big enough to deal with the director on his own.]]
* ParentalFavoritism: The Sperado family, for at least 1000 years, favors the first born, without exception, and raises any siblings with silver hair to be a HumanSacrifice so that the heir will "awaken" Dark Magic.
* PimpedOutDress: The Sperado ladies sans Leslie are always wearing these. One chapter shows the Salvatores going to a dressmaker so they can get her some nice dresses, seeing as she was never able to wear anything nice before.
* RealityEnsues:
** If you can get past the Sperado family's false exteriors, almost ''everyone'' instantly knows they're pure scum that fly straight into StupidEvil. The Salvatores on the other hand are feared and hated publicly for their power, but as direct enforcers to the emperor they refuse to carry the IdiotBall for even a second while the Sperados keep screwing up in their attempts to take Leslie before finally initiating the Noble's Trial. The result is nigh-unanimously in Salvatore's favor and, short of the Child Protection Act problem, no one really expected otherwise.
** Before said trial, Marquis Sperado's numerous plans failed but he still had the reputation and political power to even get the trial in the first place, not to mention manipulating word of mouth through backhanded means. When finally put in the public of court, his lack of thorough planning and HairTriggerTemper ''destroys'' his reputation in short time as he repeatedly demonstrates how unstable and downright psychotically angry he can be when things don't go his way, on top of throwing other groups like the entire magician's guild under the bus as in the palms of the Salvatores ''[[RightInFrontOfMe even as they're attending.]]''
* RuleOfThree: The Sperados attempted to burn Leslie at least three times, including at the very beginning of the story as a sacrifice, and in a carriage after she rebels against them and makes her first visit to the Duchess. [[spoiler:The third attempt being the last time the Sperados attempted to burn Leslie, after they lose the Noble Trial]].
* ScarsAreForever: Played With. Leslie's burn scars are cured by a cleric, at the request of Duchess Salvatore. For the duchess herself, she has a scar that's too deep and too deforming to cure, so she wears a mask.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: The scanlations don't always spell the character's names the same way from time to time. Marquis Sperado's real name is Travis, but recent chapters called him Tra Vesh, likely a translation error. At one point, Duchess Salvatore's first name, Aleca, was spelled as Acela.
* StupidEvil: The best way to summarize the Sperado family's habits and actions. Eli and the Marquis especially demonstrate that if you at all get past their surface level 'pleasantries', they're effectively selfish, insane, paranoid maniacs that will do anything to get their way - even if what they do would be suicidal and just plain '''dumb'''. Just about everyone that knows them personally despises them for this, even alleged supporters like Medea.
* TimeSkip: One occurs in the novel which takes place 4 years after the start of the story, with Leslie being 16 years old. The readers do not get a look at the older Leslie in the end of season 1 of the Manhwa adaptation as her back was turned before any readers could see her matured face.
* TraumaticSuperpowerAwakening: Leslie's ability to control Dark Magic is triggered when she's thrown into a fire, by her own father, and a bunch of spirits, presumably the many, many others sacrificed over the years, pushing her out a window, falling into a river far below.
* ViewersAreGoldfish: Each chapter of the story starts with the final panel of the last. Justified for English speaking markets as the ''minimum'' time between translations is approximately 2 weeks.
* WhyDidYouMakeMeHitYou: The ''entire Sperado family'' does this to Leslie, from the moment she was old enough to walk and talk, until they "have no other choice" but to throw her in a fire, with her father yelling at her "Don't you know dying in your sister's place is your destiny?! Naive brat! Don't you know you are useless?!"

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