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Chapter 24 - 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

Nikan, glaring at Philippa and Maki who were prostrate on the floor begging, immediately reacted to his daughter's voice.

"Vivian! Are you alright?"

Vivian looked around her bedroom with dazed eyes.

Her crying maids, Philippa the nanny, and Navia, who was calmly observing her.

'Why is sister here...?'

Her head felt foggy.

It took Vivian a moment to fully grasp the situation, but when Dr. Hans began examining her, she realized how strange everything was.

"Why is everyone acting like this?"

Her gaze then fell on the sword in Nikan's hand.

Come to think of it, wasn't Dad about to kill Maki?

In that moment, she was suddenly sure that Dad had tried to kill Maki because of Navia.

Tears of sorrow started flowing from Vivian again.

"Don't kill the nanny and Maki! Waaah!"

Nikan sighed deeply in front of his daughter.


He had barely managed to replace the curse that almost slipped out with a sigh.

No matter how young his daughter was… it was hard to tolerate her defending servants who had deceived their master.

But he couldn’t ignore her words either.

Ignoring his daughter wailing as if her breath would stop and executing them would probably cause real trouble.

"Alright, I understand. Stop crying, Vivi. You might collapse again."

Nikan hugged the loudly crying Vivian and patted her back.

How fatherly he looked...

Navia quietly observed the situation, like a forgotten person.

She was used to this role.

She had always watched from afar, like a dazzling sunbeam or a heady scent of flowers, illuminating them, the center of the world.

The brighter and more splendid the spot where her family stood, the deeper the shadow cast where Navia stood.

She was the darkness here. That was her fate as a substitute.

Navia's gaze turned to Philippa and Maki.

Their expressions were ones of relief.

Their loyalty to Vivian deepened, and their hatred for Navia thickened.


Nikan, still holding Vivian, spoke to Navia.

"The gifts I gave you are all yours. You don't need to give them back."

At his words, Vivian flinched for a moment but did not react further.

She instinctively felt it was better to stop here.

Navia took a step back and gracefully bowed.

"Thank you, Father."

Nikan nodded in satisfaction.

"Alright, you may leave now."


Ignoring the resentful glares directed at her, Navia left the bedroom.

As the door closed, Nikan put Vivian back on the bed and addressed Philippa and the maids.

"You were spared by Vivian."

Philippa and the maids bowed their heads deeply.

"…Thank you for your mercy."

Nikan clicked his tongue in disdain and looked back at Vivian.

"Vivi, being jealous of Navia's gifts was not becoming of an Agnes."


"It's natural for a father to buy prettier and better things for his daughter. Why would you think otherwise?"

Although not completely satisfied, Vivian was appeased by the promise of receiving things prettier and better than Navia’s.

"Mm. I won’t cry anymore."

"That’s good."

Relieved, Nikan stroked her hair and then turned back to the servants.

"You will have a pay cut for three months."

That was a moderate punishment.

"Thank you."

Nikan clicked his tongue and left the bedroom.

Instead of going to his office, he headed to his own bedroom, instructing Lyndon.

"Prepare my clothes immediately. We're going to the palace."

"Understood, Master."

Nikan was planning to suggest to the Empress that they have the pre-engagement meeting on the day she invited him.

A satisfied smile appeared on Nikan’s lips.

"This will reduce the lobbying expenses I was going to pay to the Empress."

Magic stones were not unique.

The Lucia family could use lower quality magic

The Empress fully exploited this situation, taunting Nikan with other marriage prospects to pressure him.

Although Nikan was frustrated, he had no choice but to postpone the meeting until Navia was presentable enough to be seen in public.

"This will all come to an end today, Empress Diana."

Nikan had thought it would take at least until the year after next, but the level of etiquette Navia demonstrated today exceeded his expectations.

"Master. The carriage is waiting outside."

Before leaving the mansion, Nikan glanced over the quiet hallway one last time.

Vivian had been placated, and Wood, following yesterday's warning, was as quiet as a mouse. But one could never be too sure.

"Assign a knight to keep an eye on Wood and ensure he doesn’t act rashly."

"Yes, Master."

Everything was going according to plan.

* * *

Navia slowly walked to her room, holding a hairpin in her hand.

It felt like walking barefoot on an ice-cold, slippery rink, or as if thorny vines sharp enough to pierce through her thin slippers carpeted the floor.

The distance to her room, located on the opposite side of the central staircase from Vivian's bedroom, felt even longer due to her sluggish steps.

But she simply couldn't muster any strength in her feet.

She was exhausted.

Was this what a soldier felt like, returning to camp after an endless war, weary from the relentless battles?

"Just a little longer."

Navia paused for a moment, rubbing her tired eyes.

Her head throbbed, and she felt sick to her stomach. Then, she caught sight of the crescent moon on her wrist.

This mysterious power to steal others' magic was like a symbol proving her 'ninth life.'

Ninth life.

Yes, this was her last life.

"Is this really living?"

Suddenly, she felt nauseous.

Navia hurriedly covered her mouth and rushed to her room.

But she stumbled, lost her balance, and fell to the floor.

She quickly closed her eyes and covered her face with her arms.


Despite the severe impact that hit her arms and entire body, Navia didn't scream.

She just slowly opened her tightly shut eyelids.

The plain hairpin she had chosen herself to deceive everyone was right in front of her nose.

It was Navia's modest and insignificant trophy, a result of her lone battles, being both a shield and a spear among those who pointed their swords at her.

She still had more days to fight.

So, she needed to snap out of it. She had to cast away any weak thoughts.

She had to be more ruthless and vicious than those trying to trample her.

But her heart was wearing thin.

Her emotions, her spirit, were eroding away.

It felt as if the thorns she created to survive were burrowing into her own flesh, oozing out thick blood.

"Am I really okay like this?"

Having lived the same life nine times, she wondered if something had fundamentally broken within her. But she couldn't stop now.

"Stopping means death."

Navia slowly stood up.

Then, with a fluid motion, she inserted the pin into her hair, her hands moving as if painting a picture.

She took a deep breath, letting the air fill her lungs, awakening her to reality once more.

"I don't have time to be sentimental."

Navia lifted the corners of her mouth.

A smooth smile formed effortlessly.

Yes, it's okay. I'm still intact.

Navia stood in front of her room, pulling the door handle.


"Where have you been crawling off to?"

A voice sounded right beside her.

Before Navia could turn her head, Wood's command was quicker.

"Hit her."


And with that, her consciousness faded away.

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