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Chapter 18 - Can We Become a Family?

Forced to be Empress, Navia craves acceptance, but faces betrayal. She pursues revenge and new life. DBT,Korean,Novel,Translations,CWBF,Shoujo,Fantasy

Charlotte, though upset, let Maki have her way.

She couldn't bring herself to say that she hadn't managed to get the apple juice, thinking about how happy Navia was with it.

"……Thank you for taking care of it."

Charlotte said quietly with a dispirited attitude, rolling up her sleeves.

"There's a lot to take care of for Miss Vivian's meal, right? I'll help."

Maki's sly smile deepened at her servility.

"You don't have to go that far."

While saying so, she didn't really stop Charlotte from helping.

Charlotte briskly brought trays and plates to serve the food, helping them to work more efficiently.

As Charlotte was about to move the juice glass, Maki snatched it away.

"I'll do this."

In truth, it didn't matter if Charlotte just moved the glass, but feeling like a thief with a guilty conscience, Maki decided to handle the juice herself and told Laura to carry it.

Laura, having to carry a tray with four glasses of juice, pouted.

"My arms are going to fall off."

"Why is it so heavy just to carry it for a bit?"

Maki had filled the large cups to the brim with ample apple juice, dividing it into five glasses, making it nearly as heavy as ten.

Laura grumbled discontentedly.

"…It's really heavy."

At that moment, when Maki saw Charlotte looking at them with a peculiar gaze, she flustered and busied herself pretending to be occupied.

Charlotte prepared bread and butter to go with the soup for herself, Navia, and Vivian.

As Charlotte prepared the meal normally, Maki internally relaxed and moved more leisurely.

'Preparing food at this hour is pointless since the lady won't wake up to eat it.'

That's why she only plAnnd to pretend to work.

As Charlotte seemed about to leave with the tray, Maki, who had been idly fiddling with the salad, smiled broadly and greeted her.

"Let's help each other out like this more often, Charlotte."

Charlotte reluctantly nodded with a forced expression.


As soon as Charlotte left the kitchen, Vivian's maids burst into laughter.

"If she gets caught drinking the juice by the lady, she'll be in trouble but can't complain about it. Ah, so satisfying."

As Laura giggled, Ann joined in the laughter, glancing towards the door.

"The chef went to see the doctor and still hasn't returned. The medicine we added must be really strong."

Maki had mixed stomach medicine in the chef's mulled wine, making him leave his post, to avoid being caught giving apple juice to Charlotte.

Laura clicked her tongue in admiration of Maki.

"Typical Maki, you're scary. You're really born for this sort of thing."

Maki shrugged.

"It's no big deal."

They raised their glasses of apple juice in a toast.

"Mm, sweet! It's a waste to give such good apple juice to that faker. Should've mixed it in the soup."

As Laura smacked her lips regretfully, Maki shook her head.

"No way. Charlotte's too sharp. We would've been caught."


They were loafing around when the servants, sent off earlier to take a break, started returning returning. They quickly prepared Vivian's meal.

As Maki left the kitchen, she said,

"It's about time for the medicine to take effect."

Ann was surprised.

"Already? Maybe we've been too leisurely. Let's hurry up."

"Yeah. We can't miss the good show…"

Laura was agreeing with Ann when she suddenly stopped talking. Her face quickly turned pale.

"What's wrong?"

Maki asked in confusion, but Laura doubled over without answering.


Because of that, the tray tipped over, spilling all the food on the floor.

It was obvious that Vivian's portion of apple juice was spilled too.

"Ah! What are you doing, Laura! The lady was so looking forward to the apple juice!"


Laura trembled, curling up and clutching her stomach.

Maki was startled and then horrified by Laura's behavior.

"What's wrong with you!"

"My stomach, my stomach…"

Unable to bear it, Laura hurriedly left the place.


Ann called out to Laura, who had caused a mess.

"Maki, what do we do! How will we explain this to the lady? We should have left at least our portion untouched!"

Maki's expression drastically changed.

"Could it be."

Muttering in disbelief, she urgently asked Ann.

"Ann, did Charlotte approach Laura earlier?"

"Charlotte? No. She didn't even talk to Laura?"

But from Laura's reaction, it was clear she had drunk the juice mixed with stomach medicine.

Maki, with an infuriated face, glared at the food spilled on the floor and raged.

"When did she switch it? Charlotte, damn thief!"

* * *

Knock knock.

"Miss, your meal is ready."

Charlotte arrived at the Emerald Room and gently woke up Navia, who was already sound asleep.


Navia blinked sleepily.

Charlotte helped Navia sit up and held a bowl of soup, bringing a spoonful to her mouth.

"Have some soup, then take your medicine and go to sleep."

Navia obediently ate the soup, still half asleep.

The care felt dreamlike, perhaps because she was not fully awake.

After Navia had half emptied the bowl, she no longer wanted to eat. Then, Charlotte put down the bowl and offered her apple juice instead.

"It's apple juice, Miss."

Navia woke up at the mention of juice.

'She really brought it.'

Navia, still dazed, firmly gripped the cup with both hands.

Inside was a golden liquid. The sweet smell was enticing even before she tasted it.

"Thank you."

"It's nothing. Please try it."

Navia cautiously touched her lips to the cup.

'It's my first time trying apple juice.'

She had eaten apples and baked ones occasionally, but never apple juice.

Navia swallowed a sip.


How can it be so sweet?

The intense apple taste, as if honey was added, filled her mouth, making her feel languid.

Navia took another sip and offered it to Charlotte.

"Let's drink together."

Charlotte, surprised to be offered juice, hesitantly accepted it.

"Thank you, Miss."

To Charlotte, such juice was a bit expensive but not rare.

But she knew how precious it was to Navia. To share it so willingly...

'I did well to bring the juice.'

Charlotte pretended to drink, leaving the juice level unchanged, and handed it back to Navia.

Navia, fighting sleepiness, slowly drank the juice.

No lessons and drinking sweet juice, it felt like a birthday.

Navia savored the juice, then suddenly realized the cup was oddly heavy.

'This doesn't seem right for serving juice.'

It was a heavy cup that Navia could barely hold with one hand, needing both to handle it.

"It must have been heavy for you to carry this alone, Charlotte."

Recalling the earlier situation, Charlotte shook her head.

"This cup was the doing of Vivian's personal maids. I wouldn't have thought to use such a heavy cup... but I switched it because it seemed they tampered with the juice."

Charlotte wondered who might have drunk the switched juice.

'I hope it was Maki.'

'How could I not notice something suspicious in the juice?'

She was sure Maki had mixed stomach medicine into the juice, given her character.

Laura, lacking patience and small in stature, was weak.

Forcing her to carry something heavy and slowly prepare meals, what could happen?

'She'd definitely rest her sore arms and shoulders.'

Charlotte intentionally took a longer route while carrying the food.

Fortunately, they used cups of the same design, making the switch easy.

"So that's what happened."

Navia didn't need more explanation to imagine the situation.

Such childish, lowly tactics were typical of Maki.

"So someone drank the tampered juice."

"It seems so."

Navia got up and poured her medicine into the cup.

Then the color of the juice, which had been golden, strangely changed.

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