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Chapter 46 - 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 fell into a deep sleep, utterly exhausted.

Was it because her mind and body, pushed to the brink of collapse, greedily clung to the rest they had barely managed to secure? Rest is important.

But is it really okay to rest? Her mind kept urging her to wake up and look around attentively.

However, her body wouldn't obey.

Navia fell asleep, wrapped in the soft bedding, only to be awakened by the savory and delicious smell.

When she turned her head towards the clinking sound, she saw a middle-aged woman setting up a meal not far away.

'Who is that?'

The middle-aged woman, catching Navia's gaze, greeted her with a kind smile.

"Are you awake?"

Before Navia could reply, the woman spoke first.

"My name is Margaret Romanov. I'm the caretaker of the Eseled Duke's household."

Navia felt her sleepiness vanish instantly.

'Margaret Romanov!'

Margaret was one of the few female nobles who had been granted a title and was a war hero in her youth, though some time had passed since then.

Navia tried to get out of bed to greet her.

But Margaret, placing the tray on the bedside table, stopped her.

"Don't strain yourself in your injured state. What's the harm in breaking a bit of etiquette?"

The only time Navia could disregard etiquette was when she was unconscious.

That's why Margaret's insistence on not being too formal was surprising to her.

'Is she serious?'

Navia's eyes calmly surveyed the other woman.

She felt no hostility or discomfort. It seemed she was simply being friendly because Navia was a child.

'In that case, it's better to accept her kindness.'

It would be troublesome if she caused friction like Agnes did while staying here.

Navia nodded her head.

"Pleased to meet you, Countess Margaret Romanov. My name is Navia."

Margaret was surprised when Navia correctly addressed her by her title.

"Do you know me? You're still so young, yet you've studied the noble families diligently. Impressive!"

'Is this something to be praised for?'

Navia was used to hearing that she was not bad or that her humble origins couldn't be helped.

The praise of being 'not bad' wasn't something she heard just for memorizing noble families.

It was for difficult tasks like memorizing an entire history book or demonstrating high-level etiquette.

That was the highest praise for Navia.

But to be called 'impressive'?

'Especially from someone as remarkable as Countess Romanov, she wouldn't sincerely admire such basic knowledge.'

So, this must be just a courtesy.

However, it was a bit ambiguous. Margaret didn't seem insincere.

'And it's strange for her to speak so formally to me.'

Navia, slightly bowing her head, expressed her uncertainty.

"Please, feel free to speak casually with me."

Margaret then smiled warmly.

"I must show proper respect to a guest of my lord. Don't worry, I am speaking comfortably."

'My lord.'

Navia wondered why Margaret referred to him as her lord and why she was performing a role akin to a butler here, but she didn't ask.

Her own position was still unclear. Until she resolved this issue, she had to act as a complete outsider.

Lost in these thoughts, Margaret asked her a question.

"Are you very hungry?"


Her stomach answered for her.

Blushing, Navia admitted, "Yes."

"Here, let's start with the soup. If it's not enough, just let me know. There's plenty more."

"Thank you, Countess."

Margaret smiled gently, as if saying 'no need for thanks.'

'I'd feel more at ease if this were just pretense.'

As Margaret brought a small patient's table over to Navia, the thick and creamy aroma of the soup wafted over.

Navia, famished, quickly took a spoon and blew on the steaming soup before taking a sip.



Navia felt a warm sensation spreading inside her, softening even her mood.

How long had it been since she last had a warm meal?

The rich cream soup had a deep flavor without being greasy. The taste was heavenly. Navia savored the soup in small sips.

"Does it not suit your taste?"

Margaret asked curiously, noticing Navia's cautious eating. Navia quickly replied.

"No, it's delicious."

"But why then…"

Margaret stopped mid-sentence.

'Food was a luxury.'

Having lived where food was scarce, Navia had developed a habit of maximizing the satisfaction from even a single bowl of soup.

'What exactly happened to her at the Duke of Agnes' estate...'

Margaret sighed despairingly.

It should be a cute and lovely sight to see a child happy with food.

However, Margaret knew why Navia was behaving this way, and it pained her heart.

'Her body was covered in wounds. There were also marks of being whipped.'

Margaret was the one who had bathed Navia when she was unconscious.

Therefore, she had seen every single scar on Navia's body.

Minerva's words while treating an unconscious Navia came to mind.

"She's severely malnourished. She's overworked her body so much that I'm not sure if she'll grow properly."

Margaret looked at Navia with pity as she noticed the soup bowl getting empty.

"I'll bring more soup. Eat a lot. Is there anything else you'd like to eat?"

Navia politely declined.

"This is enough. I'm full and can't eat anymore. Thank you for your concern."

While her overly polite manner was noticeable, what worried Margaret more was the amount Navia ate.

Though Navia said she was full, the amount she had eaten was ridiculously small.

It was just enough to whet the appetite before a meal.

But she claimed to be full.

'However, forcing her to eat more might not be good.'

Then snacks should be prepared.

Margaret hoped Navia could stay here comfortably.

She wished Navia could rest a little, not to be anxious.

'...I really.'

Margaret smiled bitterly. It was heartbreaking to see a child in pain.

"I'll bring a slightly larger meal at dinner. For a snack, warm milk with honey and chocolate cookies seem appropriate."

Warm milk with honey.

And chocolate cookies?

Navia, overwhelmed by such generosity, was about to refuse.

"For me, so much..."

She stopped herself mid-sentence.

She had intended to say that they needn't go to such lengths for her.

But she decided against it, not wanting to seem ungracious.

Navia knew her place well.

'Eseled is the master, and I am the servant.'

A clear master-servant relationship was established, and she needed to navigate it without causing offense.

'Let's not be a nuisance.'

Navia replied with a sweet child's expression.

"Thank you."

Margaret, realizing she hadn't yet earned Navia's trust, smiled gently.

Trust isn't something that forms in an instant.

She fully understood why the child was so guarded.

The child probably needed some independent time.

"I'll prepare the snack, so please rest."

Navia seemed slightly relieved at Margaret's announcement of leaving and nodded gracefully.

Margaret laid Navia down, carefully covered her with a blanket, and looked out the window after drawing the curtains.

"It doesn't look like it will snow."

With that, Margaret left the bedroom.

The peaceful silence returned.

Navia yawned deeply, wiping away the tears that had formed at the corners of her eyes with her sleeve.

It seemed she had slept quite a bit, but sleepiness was overwhelming her again.

Adapting to a new place was nerve-wracking, she thought.

Navia lay wriggling on the bed, looking at the black canopy and pondering.

'I wonder if honey milk and chocolate cookies are delicious?'

What would they taste like?

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