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Chapter 44 - 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

"We have arrived, Master."

Nikan entered the lobby with Edward. He handed his coat to Lyndon, who had come to greet them, and asked, "Has anything unusual happened?"

It was a routine question, asked with the assumption that nothing would have gone wrong, but in reality, something had indeed happened.

Lyndon glanced at his master before speaking. Fortunately, Nikan's expression was bright.

'It seems his plans are going well. I won't get caught in any crossfire.'

Relieved, Lyndon reported the events that had transpired, from Vivian releasing Philippa to locking her up again.

"Philippa, that cunning...!"

Nikan's mood soured upon hearing that Philippa not only betrayed him but also deceitfully swayed Vivian while he was away.

"There's no need to see more! Execute Philippa immediately!"

Nikan asked, trying to contain his anger, "Did you say Navia went to the store? How does she have money for that?"

At this point, Edward, who was standing nearby, perked up and paid close attention to the conversation.

Lyndon explained, "She exchanged some items at the Ancier Boutique for cash with the accountant. She said she wanted to buy gifts for the family."

'Exchanged items for cash with the accountant?'

It wasn't an unimaginable idea, but it was a line of thought too complex for young Navia.

'Did the teacher suggest it?'

Nikan glanced at Edward briefly and then asked another question, dismissing it as not overly important.

"Who accompanied Navia?"

Usually, a dedicated maid accompanied a young girl like Navia when she went out.

It must have been a new dedicated maid instead of Charlotte.

As Lyndon was about to speak about the maid, he suddenly looked embarrassed.

"It's... that maid."

He pointed to Kate, who was moving with a tray in her hands.

'I didn't hear that the lady had returned...'

Nikan called Kate over.

"Over there!"

Startled by the loud call, Kate flinched and then approached Nikan.


"Are you Navia's new dedicated maid?"

"Yes, Master."

Nikan looked at the tray Kate was carrying. It clearly contained tea and snacks, none of which were permitted for Navia.

"Where is Navia?"

Kate's eyes trembled.

"She, she hasn't returned from her outing yet."

"Then who is accompanying her?"

"...A coachman went with her."

Nikan felt his anger rising slowly and asked the next question.

"Which coachman?"

As Kate hesitated and remained silent, Nikan gritted his teeth.

He had a strong suspicion that this was Wood's doing.

"Where is Wood?"

Lyndon answered, "Master Wood said he had to go out for something a while ago. His departure time doesn't coincide with Miss Navia's."

However, Kate shook violently as if to deny it.

Nikan, realizing that the snacks in Kate's hand were not for the master but a reward for herself, knocked them down with his hand.


Kate immediately fell to her knees with a pale face.

"Please forgive me, Master! I was only following the young master's orders!"


Nikan slapped Kate's cheek.

Mentioning his son in such a public place?

"Punish this maid!"

This was a command for a severe beating.

This maid was clearly guilty of deceiving her master, so there was no need to suffocate her in the laundry room like Charlotte.

Nikan, holding his throbbing head, coldly ordered, "Track down the children's whereabouts. Just then..."


A guard, who should have been at the main gate, rushed in with a look of horror.

Nikan felt an ominous premonition.

"What is it?"

"A carriage from the House of Eseled has arrived. But, but..."

The guard swallowed hard and continued his report.

"Inside the carriage, the young master is unconscious!"

Nikan's face turned as hard as stone.

'The House of Eseled?'

Why did that reclusive family come to his house today, of all days, and with his unconscious son?

"Let them in."

Nikan, along with Lyndon, the physician, and a few servants, anxiously waited in the lobby for the carriage to arrive.

Soon, three black carriages approached the mansion, quietly rolling over the thin layer of white snow.

Nikan gazed intensely at the carriages, concealing his anxious heart.

'Why Eseled, of all the noble houses?'

A foreboding feeling crept up from his toes.

He hadn't heard anything separately about Navia from the guard, who also disappeared.

There are three carriages, one must be Eseled's messenger, another carrying his son, and the third must hold Navia.

Finally, the carriage arrived right in front of me.

Then the door of the first carriage opened, and a middle-aged gentleman with neatly combed white hair stepped out.

"Count Suleiman Genegar...?"

Nikan muttered as if he hadn't expected to see this person.

Suleiman was a legendary figure who, along with Margaret Romanov, led the war 23 years ago to an undefeated victory.

There was even public opinion that he should be awarded the title of Duke for his excellence.

‘But now, he's just an old has-been.’

People pointed fingers, wondering how a Count would stoop to being someone's aide, claiming Suleiman had lost his mind.

Nikan sneered at Suleiman, whose past glory was dazzling, but who now was nothing.

Now, it was Nikan himself who was leading the Empire.

Then Suleiman took off his hat, greeting Nikan with a cold, unreadable gaze.

"Long time no see, Duke Agnes."

Nikan grimaced unpleasantly at Suleiman's leisurely greeting.

"Where is my son?"

It was a veiled threat that implied he wouldn't stand idle if something was wrong with his son.

Suleiman, understanding the intent, showed no change in expression and gestured with his hand.

Immediately, the coachman opened the second carriage. Nikan, with a tense face, led the physician to approach Wood.


But his step was blocked by Suleiman's extended cane.

Nikan's murderous gaze traveled up from the end of the cane to Suleiman, who dared to block his path.

"What is the meaning of this, Count?"

His voice was laden with hostility, as if he would tear his opponent apart with magic.

It was raining now.

No matter how renowned a magician the opponent was, he was old, and Nikan was in his prime.

Nikan's aura became more threatening.

"Move aside at once."

Suleiman looked at Nikan impassively and spoke calmly.

"Duke Agnes, are you intending to take a criminal who declared a surprise territory war without permission?"


A surprise territory war!

As Nikan retorted explosively, Suleiman gestured to the coachman.

It meant to open the third carriage.

Nikan thought Navia would surely be in the third carriage.

But it wasn't so.

"These are the assassins hired by Wood Agnes, Duke."

Nikan's eyes trembled.

It felt like blood was draining from his head.

Impossible. This must be a dream. A nightmare.

Otherwise, how could such a joyous day be ruined in the worst possible way?

Nikan wanted to deny the reality. His life couldn't have become so tangled and twisted, but lately, things had been strange indeed.

'If I stay still, it'll become uncontrollable.'

He barely held onto his reeling mind.

"So these are the assassins, and my son hired them?"

Suleiman, seeing Nikan trying to escape the situation with wordplay, pulled out a contract from his pocket.

"I've looked into the situation on my way here, in case you might think this is Eseled's manipulation."

Nikan reluctantly took the contract with a pale, cold hand.

It was a contract.

It was written in Wood's handwriting, commanding to take Navia, attack Duke Eseled's mansion, then abandon and escape.

Nikan moved his stiff cheek forcibly.

"It's difficult to say that this is my son's doing just because of this contract. Handwriting can easily be imitated, can't it?"

"But how would you explain the fact that your foster daughter was left in tatters at Eseled's place, exactly as written in the orders?"

The situation had already unfolded as written in the orders.

Moreover, Navia was at Eseled's? That's why Navia hadn't been seen.

'What should I do about this?'

Nikan closed his eyes in despair.

If left as is, his son's honor would be greatly tarnished.

Surprise attacking another family to wage a territory war was absolutely taboo, the most lowly and vile act.

Even an Agnes wouldn't be able to shake off such a crime as a lifelong stigma.

'And having such an older brother, Vivian's position will also become narrower.'

Nikan had to somehow mitigate this incident in the least damaging way. That meant he had no choice but to sacrifice Navia, whom he had painstakingly raised.

'It was surely becoming a perfect picture.'

The world was a chessboard to be set and played as he wished. But the chess pieces rebelled on their own.

The picture was miserably ruined.

'This game is a failure.'

He barely acknowledged the failure.

When something fails, it's best to discard it.

Nikan raised his head with a grim expression on his face.

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