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Chapter 23 - 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

Philippa and the maids, unaware, had held their breaths, displaying dumbfounded expressions.

Until now, they had freely poured out their contempt and vile emotions towards Navia, as if it was a game, reassured by Nikan’s tacit approval.

But with just one sentence, the situation reversed.

The hairpin wasn’t meant for Vivian.

It was Navia’s.

With this, all righteousness and justification tilted in Navia’s favor.

Everyone’s face, having been hit hard, gaped open.

No one here had anticipated Navia’s response, not even Nikan.

Navia, briefly leaving the silence, curled her fingertips and bitterly continued, “Is it too much to ask for?”

Nikan, unwittingly, let out a soft sigh.

Until just now, Navia was like a condemned prisoner at the execution ground.

But the atmosphere had swiftly changed.

Even a seasoned schemer would struggle to turn the tables so easily.

Was this planned? Otherwise, it was too cunning.

Nikan looked at Navia with suspicion in his eyes, not yet dispelling his doubts.

Suddenly, everything seemed laughable to Navia.

‘Don’t they realize how ridiculous it is to cause such a fuss over a mere boutique item?’

And that, against an eight-year-old girl.

In the end, it was a matter of birth.

Being born a lowly tool, one needed a legitimate reason even to accept a gift.

But since entering the Duke's house, she had never received a gift, except for the necklace Nikan gave her on her first and last day.

‘Ah, so this is my second gift?’

At that moment, her fingertips trembled.

It wasn’t an act. Her hands shook beyond her control.

Navia took a deep breath.

It wasn’t the time to be swayed by personal emotions.

She was still under Nikan’s suspicion.

“I’m sorry for being greedy. I’m just so happy to receive a gift from father…”

But her voice trembled.

It was strange. She wasn’t sad at all.

Far from feeling wronged, it was hilarious.

She should have been laughing at their stupidity, holding back tears of laughter.

But instead…

Her eyes grew warm.

Her cold mind heated up as a tide of emotions overwhelmed Navia.

‘No, pull yourself together!’

Forcing back her tears, Navia bit down on the tender flesh inside her mouth.

Everyone’s attention was on her.

A poor finish could lose her the upper hand.

“I just need this one hairpin.”

Her choked-up voice filled the room with dense melancholy.

“I won’t ask for anything else.”

Amidst the heavy atmosphere, a single tear she couldn’t hold back fell.

As Navia’s tear soaked into the carpet, Nikan realized he was clutching his fist so tightly that his palm turned white.

He felt as if he were sweating coldly.

He had been that focused on every look and word from Navia.


Nikan found it hard to believe he had been momentarily overwhelmed by someone else's emotions.

Just now, a corner of his mind had harbored doubts.

What if Navia had indeed overstepped her bounds and deceived him? Nikan didn’t trust her.

Trusting a tool was foolish. One should trust the person wielding the tool.

Thus, he had scrutinized Navia closely.

In the noble society, he had seen plenty, having stood at the apex of the upper class.

Feigned joy and sorrow, painted smiles and tears…

A society where everyone, masked, engaged in dirty and intense scheming.

Nikan, well-seasoned in this political and secretive world, had set out to thoroughly examine Navia.

The mask of an eight-year-old would surely be laughably naive and flimsy.

And he just confirmed it.

‘Her brainwashing hasn’t wavered.’

No further inspection was necessary.

The place was enveloped in a storm of such deep and heavy sincerity.

Even Nikan was momentarily swept away by the intense emotions radiating from Navia.

What mattered now wasn’t this laughable commotion.

'Those movements just now!'

Despite having seen them up close, Nikan was astounded by the flawless etiquette. It was a joyous confirmation.

'She truly looked like a noble!'

His choice in selecting Navia was indeed not mistaken.

In fact, it couldn't be.

It was a decision made by Nikan Agnes himself, how could it be wrong!

Nikan spoke with the magnanimity of a most gracious father.

"What are you saying? Nabiya, you are a lady of Agnis. It means you can expect more."

Navia almost burst into real laughter at that moment.

'Me, a lady of Agnes? Expect more?'

If that were really true, what about the doubts you showed just now? What about the tears streaming down my face, the heart that had dried up? Instead, a brutal hatred filled its place.

'It's a skill, I suppose, to spout such worthless words so easily.'

The term 'brazen' must have been created just for him. Navia donned her mask more fiercely, more perfectly.

'Pretending to be the obedient daughter you wish for is disgustingly easy.'

'But because of me right now......'

She deliberately trailed off, gauging the reactions around her.

'You haven't forgotten the mockery and derision that filled this place just now, have you, Duke?'

Seeing Navia's expression, Nikan immediately glared around fiercely.

“Yes. We need to sort out who is really to blame for this mess.”

Philippa nearly choked in shock.

“The master is being deceived by that wicked woman!”

“It's all an act!”

Philippa, eyes blazing with anger, pointed at Navia and shouted.

"Look at her now, playing the victim to escape this predicament. How despicable......"

"Can’t you stop!"

Nikan shouted angrily, and Philippa blurted out without thinking.

"If the master had seen what this girl did to me, he would never let it slide......"

"What do you mean?"

Philippa clammed up, realizing her mistake, but the damage was done.

Nikan questioned her sharply.

"Dare you be silent to my question?"

Philippa had already destroyed all evidence of embezzling the nursing funds.

She was planning to expose the chef’s embezzlement, implicating Navia and Charlotte as well. The fabricated ledger was supposed to arrive today.

‘I can’t act rashly until the ledger arrives......!’

Philippa glanced at Navia.

Though she had destroyed the evidence, if Navia mentioned the embezzlement in this situation, things could get complicated.

Even just now, hadn’t Navia’s mystic maneuver suddenly changed Nikan’s attitude?

But Navia remained silent.

It felt eerily calm, but Philippa was too focused on the immediate problem to pay attention.

Philippa said cautiously.

"It was...... because I didn’t take proper care of Miss Navia, there was a little friction."

"But how can you blame Navia?"

"I must have been momentarily insane with grief. Please forgive me, master."

Philippa quickly bowed her head. But Nikan’s mood had already soured.

"I must have trusted you too much, Philippa."

His gaze still landed on Maki, kneeling on the ground.

"So a mere maid dares to deceive the master."

Maki’s face turned pale.

The situation had been flowing exactly as she intended. An eight-year-old could never be her match.

But when she came to her senses, Nikan’s sword was already at her throat.

The crime of deceiving the master. A horrific price must be paid.

Maki started trembling. The other maids were no different.

"Ma, master...... I, I misunderstood, yes, misunderstood......"


As Nikan drew his sword from his waist, Philippa also quickly prostrated on the ground.

If she could just hold on a little longer, the evidence of the embezzlement would arrive.

With that, she could turn the situation around. She couldn"t just die like a dog.

"Master, I"m sorry! Please forgive me this once. Just this one time......!"

Nikan said coldly.

"Your insolence has gone too far."

It was then.


Amidst the uproar, the unconscious Vivian regained consciousness.

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