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Chapter 43 - 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

At the unexpected words, the Emperor raised one eyebrow. It was not a negative response.

Nikan continued cautiously yet firmly.

"Duke Eseled is yet unmarried, let alone having an heir. Should an unforeseen situation arise in Eseled, leaving the successor's seat vacant, it would stir a storm in the political world."

A ducal house is a vast entity, inevitably having many blood relatives and vassals.

If the head of the house dies without naming a successor, a war to snatch a piece of the pie could erupt.

But that wasn't the only issue.

The imperial citizens saw the four ducal houses, founding contributors of the empire and powerful wizard families, as national strength.

And that was indeed true.

Therefore, any significant issue within a ducal house was perceived as a national threat.

Should a problem arise in a ducal house, it would spread chaos.

Usually, chaos was an opportunity.

If the current Duke Eseled died without resolving the succession issue, the Emperor could manipulate the chaos to install a successor of his choice.

He was keen to expand his influence, but the timing was problematic.

It had only been eight years since the annihilation of the Eiles ducal house.

The nobles were sensitive to the disappearance of a house, and if Eseled were to be annihilated, suspicions of tyranny would surface.

This situation was intricately entangled with various interests.

'If the Duke Eseled dies now, I'll be the first to be suspected,' thought the Emperor.

He shook his head.

"That's a reasonable point."

Nikan, confident that the Emperor would heed his words, smoothly continued.

"How about Your Majesty assists in preventing such chaos from happening?"

The Emperor smiled languidly.

"And how might I assist?"

Nikan got to the point.

"As you know, among the ducal houses, mine is the only one with two daughters. Moreover, thanks to Count Wayne, Vivian is now cured of her incurable illness and is very healthy."

Emperor Ulrich recalled the adopted daughter that Nikan mentioned.

Wasn't she the one likely to be engaged to Ares?

"There were marriage talks between the royal family and Agnes. Now that my own daughter's illness is cured, the marriage talks can be adjusted."

Nikan proposed with a seemingly calm yet twinkling gaze.

"How about sending my adopted daughter, Navia, as the successor there?"


The Emperor stroked his chin without responding, calculating the benefits of the proposal.

Nikan added.

"It seems an excellent opportunity for Duffman, Agnes, and Eseled to unite under one force."

Edward, who had been silent until then, added.

"There is precedent in the Count's house for adopting a child of equal standing as a successor."

"Interesting story. It could stabilize the political situation and seems like a good proposal..."

It wasn't a bad story.

However, it wasn't clear if it was a matter to be decided immediately.

But as it was a request rather than an order, he couldn't just refuse without consideration and remained silent for a moment.

The chief steward respectfully reported.

"Your Majesty, the Empress is waiting outside. What shall we do?"

Nikan sneered inwardly.

To instinctively sense something and come running to the Imperial Palace.

'She's a woman with incredible instincts.'

Diana entered the hall as if she were a chandelier, radiating bright light and moving elegantly.

"Greetings to Her Majesty the Empress."

The Empress approached the Emperor's side and asked with concern.

"Please, rise everyone. I hope my arrival hasn't disrupted an important discussion?"

Emperor Ullrich greeted the Empress with a faint smile.

"Not at all. You've come at just the right time. There's great news."

He told the Empress that a cure for magic reflux disease had been discovered.

"The competence of your subjects is a reflection of your Majesty's virtue. I couldn't be happier that such good news comes during your reign."

Diana lost her usual dignified empress demeanor, acting coquettishly like a concubine.

But no one could look down on such an Empress.

Only in front of the Emperor did she become a pitiful and enchanting flower.

The Emperor still adored his wife, who was as beautiful and lovely as during her days as a crown princess.

The Empress would sometimes behave like a seductive concubine, and at other times like a prudent and wise wife.

With such a chameleon-like charm, the Emperor might take a concubine but always returned to the Empress.

Thus, the concubines that lost the Emperor's favor always disappeared without a trace.

It was predictable.

The Emperor continued.

"Duke Agnes suggests adopting his eldest daughter into the Eseled Ducal House. What do you think?"


Diana still smiled like a flower, but her eyes turned into those of a cruel politician.

'Sending the foster daughter to Eseled? I see his plan.'

The Empress realized that Nikan was trying to swallow Eseled in his scheme, and feigned pure admiration.

"Your Majesty’s mercy in opening a path for the isolated Eseled Ducal House, and the political gesture of seeking good relations, is indeed an excellent proposal."

Duke Eseled was past the marriageable age set by aristocratic society.

The royal family could intervene by sending a child with a guaranteed identity as an heir.

"Your sharp insight into Duke Agnes’s grand strategy always amazes me."

Nikan smiled lightly, bowing his head.

"You flatter me."

Both the Empress and Nikan wore smiling faces, but inside, numerous calculations were already underway.

'Let's see who ends up swallowing Eseled.'

The Empress smiled slyly.

"Shall we discuss this further over a meal? We’ve received fresh deer meat today."

"Let's all go to the dining room. It's a day to celebrate, so let's ask the chefs to prepare something special."

They soon moved to the dining room.

* * *

The atmosphere during the meal was peaceful.

Each wearing a smile-filled mask, the atmosphere couldn't help but be gentle.

In this scene, Edward remains unnoticeable amidst the frivolous power struggles, his thoughts entirely occupied by Navia's next actions.

‘These pointless power struggles don't interest me. What completely fills my mind is Navia's next move.’

'How exactly does she plan to escape the ducal house? And how will she use this situation to her advantage?'

It was all a part of Navia's scheme, these power plays and mutual checks among them.

They were laughing and rejoicing, unaware that they were mere puppets in her game.


Suddenly, Edward's attention is drawn to the heavy rain he had been ignoring.

"The rain is heavy. It would be dangerous to drive the carriage now," murmured the Empress.

Edward's eyes widened.

'Could she have even calculated the weather?'

The sky had been ashen since early morning. But the rain could have come later, not now.

But maybe it meant that Navia was so confident that she wouldn’t stall for time in her room and send Nikan away?

'Can this be considered the courage of an eight-year-old...?'

There's a clear difference between youthful recklessness and the ability to push through a plan boldly.

Edward saw this as decisiveness.

Nikan frowned.

"We'll wait until the rain lessens before we leave."

While waiting for the rain to subside, they enjoyed tea time.

Three hours had already passed in the palace.

"The rain has stopped, and it's snowing now, my lord. It would be wise to return before the roads freeze," suggested a courtier.

Nikan responded with surprise.

"Snow in November? Quite unusual. Then, call the carriage immediately."

The Emperor personally saw Nikan off.

"We'll meet again soon with more good news," he said.

It was about Vivian and Ares' engagement.

"I look forward to that day, Your Majesty," Nikan replied.

He boarded the prepared carriage.

Edward was with him again.

He had invited Edward to dinner, so they were returning together to the Agnes Ducal Mansion.

"Thank you for accepting my invitation, Count Wayne."

"I have yet to receive the title. Please feel comfortable."

"Ha! How can I? The title grant is already certain."

Nikan was very pleased with Edward, a rare scholar-type in Agnes.

"Today was truly the best day."

Nikan muttered like a satiated beast, looking out the window.

"Ah, stop for a moment. I need to buy a gift for my daughter."

On his way home, he stopped at a shop to buy flowers and a doll.

His whole body exuded ease, like someone who had already secured victory, so evident that anyone could guess he was in high spirits.

This elation seemed to wash away the anger and fatigue accumulated from recent events.

'Now that I've decided to send Navia to Eseled, if the emperor is decisive, he will issue the sacred decree tomorrow.'

Thus, marrying his son to Navia would bring Eseled's formidable power into his hands.

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