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Chapter 45 - 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, that child is causing trouble!"

He heartlessly abandoned Navia.

"The truth is, there's a problem with that child. The storm yesterday was caused by my son, caught in that child's cruel prank."

Nikan was cutting his losses.

'Just as that child had said.'

A cold aura passed over Suleiman's expression, which had been unmoving.

That child is indeed dangerous.

He was thinking this when,

"Even though she's my adopted daughter, I regarded her as my own and tried to correct her behavior... But now that it's come to this, there's nothing to be done."

"Are you saying this incident was actually the doing of your adopted daughter?"

"Wood is an innocent child, always nearly killed because of falling for Navia's tricks."

Nikan apologized politely, his face twisted in agony.

"I sincerely apologize for causing trouble to the Eseled family due to my household's issues. This should rightfully be repaid with the life of the criminal and I will also make a financial compensation."

The incompetent hired thugs and Wood couldn't have caused even a scratch on Eseled's turf.

Therefore, if he gave up Navia's life and promised sufficient financial compensation, it could be smoothly settled.

As long as Nikan showed a cooperative attitude in his lowered position, it was excessive to press further.

He had shifted all the blame to Navia, after all.

Nikan was internally hoping to see Suleiman agitated, knowing yet unable to do anything about it.

However, Suleiman had maintained the same expression from his first appearance until now.

When Nikan seemed to have finished speaking, Suleiman finally put away his staff.

"Does this mean you're handing over Lady Navia Agnes to our jurisdiction?"

"Of course. Such a wicked girl isn't fit to be an Agnes. I'll report this to His Majesty the Emperor today and expel her from the family soon."

Suleiman nodded, having heard the answer he wanted.

"Then we'll organize this matter and send a messenger to the palace from our side as well."

Nikan smiled brightly.

It was a shame about Navia, but losing a bit in the process of handling assets wasn't a big concern for him.

"It's good that we understand each other. I'd like to formally apologize and arrange a meeting with the Duke of Eseled soon... Would that be possible?"

Nikan threw out this bait, thinking to penetrate the impregnable Eseled manor.

Suleiman twisted his lips into a semblance of a smile for the first time.

"Well, if the Duke of Agnes really doesn't mind, then consider yourself invited."

Nikan hesitated to speak upon the meaningful words. Suleiman continued.

"Then please take Lady Agnes. We'll take the corpses of the hired thugs."

Nikan glanced at the pile of corpses reluctantly.

'No more problems, right?'

He nodded with a forced smile and took care of Wood.

After all, blood was important.

Suleiman adjusted his hat and said to Nikan.

"When would be a good time to officially report this to His Majesty the Emperor and finalize the arrangements in writing?"

"I'll set a date within this week and contact you."

"Very well. Let's leave it at that then."

As Suleiman boarded the carriage, Nikan continued to apologize with a revolting expression.

"I'm sorry about today. Travel safely."

Eseled's carriage then slowly started to move, cutting through the snow.

Nikan watched the carriage and, annoyed by the fluttering snow, turned away.

"What are you doing! Attend to Wood immediately!"

"As you command."

Nikan briskly entered the main building, followed by the stretcher carrying his son.

"It might be best to deal with Navia first, just in case."

This was the time for a professional assassin, not just a mediocre hitman.

"I need to go to the palace."

As Nikan put on his coat again, he suddenly thought of Edward.

"Where is Mr. Spencer?"

"He has been shown to the reception room."

"Sorry, but let's postpone today's dinner to another time."


Nikan thought that in the process of reversing the plan about Navia he had discussed with the emperor and empress today, his face might get a bit embarrassed, but such a mistake was nothing to him.

What mattered was that Vivian's illness had been cured, and that child would become the empress and produce the next emperor.

There might be other ways to swallow Eseled, not necessarily through Navia.

"Yeah, that's settled."

Nikan set off for the palace.

* * *

Upon returning to Eseled for work reporting, Suleiman immediately headed to the third floor.

The thin layer of snow that had lightly covered his black coat melted away swiftly.

"Snow in November already."

Snow in November and the mysterious girl from Agnes.

It had been a strange day indeed.

"Nikan agreed that I could kill the foster daughter, so is that a relief?"

But that didn’t mean he intended to kill the poor girl.

The plan was to politely send her away from the duke's house as soon as her treatment was over.

One year, huh? What on earth was the lord thinking in agreeing to that?

"It doesn’t seem like he did it out of pity for the girl..."

Still, there were benefits gained thanks to the girl, so it seemed fair to show that much generosity.

"Huh... So is this putting out the urgent fire?"

The Eseled ducal family didn’t use servants, so they could keep their labor costs low.

But the problem was the private soldiers.

"It seems we’ve reached the limit in maintaining the private army."

Until now, Eseled’s private soldiers were dispatched to the border, and the duchy received compensation from the empire to maintain them.

But that was about to be blocked soon.

"The royal family has said they won’t use Eseled’s hand anymore..."

There was a high probability that this was influenced by Theorban.

Eseled’s private soldiers weren’t composed of ordinary magicians. They were knights who had achieved powerful growth through Eseled’s magic studies.

Letting that powerful army fall into someone else’s hands was dangerous.

"Especially Theorban."

If that private army engaged in territorial wars, most noble families wouldn’t be able to avoid being annihilated.

But Lark was indifferent.

He had cut off all possibilities of 'eternity' like a person about to die.

No funds to maintain the private soldiers? 

Then mercilessly disband them.

Suleiman rubbed his tired eyes with wrinkled fingers.

He had hoped that Lark would become attached to something. To live like a person. He could have done so.

Actually, his feelings are closer to those of a Father towards their son rather than to a Master’s.

Maybe it was because they had spent 23 years together.

He still couldn’t forget the brilliant exploits of the seven-year-old boy who suddenly appeared and led the war against the coalition countries to an undefeated victory.

Outwardly, that unbeaten march was known as the merit of Suleiman and Margaret, but the reality was different.

It was Lark’s achievement.

"Do you think people will believe that I did it?"

The boy had scoffed at himself when advised to reveal his military exploits.

"I don’t care about that. What I care about is you, and you two."

Lark had said arrogantly, crossing his legs.

"Be loyal to me. You'll end up doing it anyway.”

Until then, Lark had still seemed human, or at least alive in some way.

When did he change?

'Eight years old.'

Yes, Lark suddenly changed at the age of eight.

The Duke's estate turned dark, and Lark confined himself within it.

"Why does the master not go outside?"

"Do you know the fairy tale about the prince who turned into a monster and was locked in a castle?"

"Why suddenly a fairy tale...?"

"Just think of it as something similar."

The boy was strange.

Without stepping a foot outside, he seemed to possess the mythical 'clairvoyance,' understanding the world as if he were a character from a myth.

Those who swore neutrality to Lark were vaguely aware of his secret.

They speculated that their lord was a being beyond humans, and perhaps his inability to leave the mansion was due to that reason.

If Navia had not been Nikan's foster daughter, Suleiman would have cared greatly for her.

'I have reasons to protect this duchy.'

This was their home. It was natural to eliminate any threat that might destroy their family.

Knock, knock.

"Master, I will enter."

Suleiman opened the door without waiting for permission, knowing well that Lark had little interest in such formalities.

"I have dealt with it as you instructed. The matter of the foster daughter will be transferred to us," he reported.

Lark flicked his hand in acknowledgment without making eye contact.

"So, what will you do with the girl now?"

At that, Lark spoke.

"I told you. Leave her be for a year."

Suleiman's head throbbed.

Was he really going to agree to this absurd deal?

"Keeping her is more of a loss than a gain. The tag of being Nikan Agnes' foster daughter can only be removed by death."

This meant that regardless of Nikan's decision to disown her, if they showed any sign of taking Navia in, they would flip their stance just as easily.

This shameless act would occur as naturally as water flowing downhill, with the royal family's consent.

"They plan to register Miss Navia in Eseled. Then they will marry her to their son and swallow Eseled," he said.

It was clear what would happen if Navia stayed here.

There are things in the world that happen because one is ignorant, but also things that happen despite knowing.

This was precisely such a case.

A year was enough time to act, if there was a will.

Suleiman pondered on the inevitable issues they would face if they kept Navia, despite knowing the consequences.

"So, that kid must have plans too, planning to cut ties with my family and become independent at fifteen."

Suleiman closed his mouth.

Thinking about it, the whole situation had been strange from the start. Almost as if...

'Was it planned from the beginning?'

Was it not just a response to the situation, but planned from the start? Neither seemed plausible.

A regular eight-year-old could never do what Lark did!

'Why didn't I realize that sooner?'

Suleiman felt a chill run down his spine.

"…I will take my leave now."

Leaving the child, who was suspiciously abnormal, in the Duke's estate was a serious matter.


Suleiman left Lark's bedroom, hardening his expression.

"If there is a threat to this place, even if it's a child, I cannot overlook it."

He was determined to uncover the truth with his own eyes.

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