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Chapter 37 - 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

Navia woke up with a yawn.

"Where am I?"

A space ominously black all around.

In it, Navia swept her gaze around in a flutter of anxiety.

"Am I dead? Has a new cycle started? But my regressions have ended."


At that moment, she felt a vague pain all over her body, and her confused mind cleared up.

Navia slowly blinked her eyes and calmly settled her anxious breath.

"I'm not dead."

The situation before she fainted flashed through her mind like a zoetrope.

Ice-cold rainwater, the bursting ground, the muddy water soaking her body, the heavy and cold clothes.

The feet that kicked her. The drowsy neck.

The man with unidentified red eyes who suddenly appeared.

"Please... save me."

Including the inexplicable act she had committed herself.

"I asked to be saved."

Since the ninth cycle began, Navia had endlessly asked to be saved. But they were all calculated words of necessity.

This was the first time she had genuinely begged for her life.

"But I survived."

She thought she was surely going to die but she survived.

"Then, could that red-eyed man be Duke Lark Eseled?"

Navia sat up.

The place was dark all around.

A black canopy. Black blankets. Black walls. Black furniture. Black floor.

There was only one such place in the world.

Duke Eseled's mansion. She had entered its interior.

Navia bowed her head and looked at the pajamas she was wearing.

The touch on her skin was extremely soft, perhaps made of high-quality fabric, just like Vivian's pajamas.

She then checked her body.

"My wounds have been treated and I've been bathed."

Moreover, the pain was remarkably faint despite the evident signs of extensive treatment.

"Did they use an anesthetic herb?"

The anesthetic herb was a highly expensive medicinal herb. The farms capable of cultivating it were few.

Moreover, since it could be used as a drug, the Empire had strict licensing conditions.

There was always a price for kindness.

Navia thought it would be the same this time.

They must have judged that they could gain some benefit from her.

"I hope that's the case."

That way, she could proceed with negotiations for mutual benefits.

"Anyway, what's important now is to move on to the next step without delay."

Navia checked outside the window.

It was still raining.

Up to the eighth cycle, the rain that fell without fail was supposed to be the day after the day Navia escaped, and only that day.

Therefore, if nothing unusual had happened, it was either still the day of her escape or a day or so after.

"Considering there's no sign of nursing and no maid assigned, it's more likely still the day of my escape."

That meant time was still flowing in her favor.

Navia checked her wrist.

Seeing the Black Moon, now calm having exhausted its magic, she felt reassured.

"The Black Moon is my only ally in this world."

Just that was enough for Navia to feel her tensed nerves relax a bit.

Navia staggered out of the bed.

The prickling pain all over her body was annoying, but she could move around.

Rather, the chronic, mild headache she always felt had disappeared due to the anesthetic herb, leaving her mind clearer and more satisfied.

She had much to think about. Even though she had escaped Agnes, she was still within its influence.

"Nikan might hire an assassin to deal with me, or the Imperial family might try to forcibly adopt me as their daughter. I need to publicize this situation before that."

The justification was with Eseled, so as long as she wielded it, she could gain more time to escape.

To do so, she must succeed in negotiating with the head of the Eseled family.

Her safety and Eseled's benefits were at stake in the negotiation.


But before that, she was too hungry.

"...I'm hungry."

Navia clutched her flat, plaintively rumbling stomach.

Before getting active, she thought of quelling this terrible hunger.

"I need to drink water."

She was grateful that it was familiar to fill her stomach with water to alleviate hunger.

Navia looked at the nightstand where the water jug was placed.

On the nightstand were medicine and water, and a glass jar filled with sweet biscuits. 

Navia stared intently at them.

"Is this for me to eat?"

Given the circumstances, that seemed right.

She first took the medicine, then drank the water. But she didn't touch the cookies.

It was just a habit.


Something struck the cup then.

Navia set the cup down and picked it up. It was a pearl hairpin.

The hairpin was not originally something a noble lady would use. Now, due to its rough handling, its paint was chipped, making it look even more shabby and miserable.

"So, this hairpin made it here."

If this had been Agnes, she would have been relieved she hadn't lost the hairpin.

But now?


Navia walked to the window and flung it open. The cold rainstorm blew in fiercely through the open window.

The black curtains fluttered in the storm. Through them, Navia's silver hair also scattered in the air, embroidering the void.

Amid the monochrome, her cold red eyes shone out like droplets of blood.

The hairpin was no longer needed.

She didn't want anything given by her adoptive father.

"Soon, I'll discard the surname attached to me."

Just like this hairpin.

Navia threw the hairpin.

In that moment, as the hairpin disappeared into the rain,


The rain froze into snow.

Navia looked up in surprise at the sky.

"Snow in November."

Was this also an effect of the water storm? Navia watched the small snowflakes fluttering in the wind, then wrapped her chilled body and closed the window.

She had no fond memories of snow, so unlike most children, she wasn't excited or cheerful about it.

Navia hated snow. And rain, too.

Anything associated with her death, she detested.

"…Before it's too late, I must find Duke Eseled."

Navia shook off her thoughts.

Just as she was about to leave the room and grab the doorknob, the door was roughly opened.


Navia looked at the newcomer with a slightly surprised expression.

Black hair combed slick with oil. Dull purple eyes and a vulgarly extravagant outfit, as if to show off.

"Count Theorban Alvin."

He was a cousin of Duke Eseled.

Navia knew this man quite well.

Not because Theorban was a remarkable person, but because he was so hungry for upward mobility that he forced himself into places he didn't belong, often causing incidents.

‘A man who knew nothing of manners or basic common sense, just greedy for money and power.’

Theorban was indeed as Navia remembered. His entrance, barging in without knocking and showing undisguised displeasure at young Navia, confirmed it.

A sharp and intense hostility flowed in with the cold air.

Did he realize?

This sensation only sharpened her more.

Navia quickly put on the guise of an innocent lamb, pretending not to recognize who Theorban was.

"…Pleased to meet you. My name is Navia."

Theorban clicked his tongue in disgust.


'To think that this girl, a prisoner captured after attacking the duke's family, is here, in such a fine room, receiving treatment.'

It greatly displeased and annoyed him that such a preposterous thing was happening.

"If I hadn't been taking care of the household myself, things would have really gone to ruin!"

Navia stood motionless, unflinching at Theorban's sudden outburst.

But her mind was busy.

'Was Theorban Alvin the deputy head?'

Deputy Head.

This position was usually held by the heir or a direct blood relative of the head of the family.

Being a deputy head meant having the authority to handle affairs on behalf of the head of the family in situations where the head could not perform their duties.

Normally, someone like Theorban would not be entrusted with such an important role.

'But currently, Duke Eseled has no heir or other direct relatives.'

Therefore, Theorban inevitably took on the role of deputy head.

It was common knowledge, but Theorban had not faithfully carried out his duties on behalf of the absent Lark.

So, Eseled Duchy was struggling with financial difficulties, and this place was soon going to disband its soldiers.

"That's why I have an opportunity."

Navia had a secret trump card for dealing with Theorban, and she planned to use it in her negotiations with Duke Eseled.

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