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Chapter 48 - 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

'This might also be a trick to break down my guard.'

Suleiman stiffened his resolve, which had begun to waver, and heightened his wariness.

He smiled slyly, pretending not to know Navia's true identity.

"Hello, little lady. Are you looking for something?"

Then Navia looked down at her hands and said to him,

"I'm looking for a towel to wipe my hands."

"Then why not call a maid......"

There were no maids in Eseled.

Suleiman frowned.

This child, being from a noble family, should naturally have someone to take care of her.

'But still, this little one seems accustomed to finding and doing things on her own....'

It was indeed strange.

'Probably, this self-reliance has been her norm.'

Being an adopted daughter rather than one taken in out of love might inevitably lead to such independence.

'...Well, helping with hand-washing is something an adult should naturally do.'

"Then follow me. We need to go downstairs to a place where we can draw water."

He took the child to the first-floor kitchen.

Navia's steps were very slow.

She was a small child, and she walked carefully, enduring pain with every move.

Suleiman patiently adjusted to the child's pace.

No matter how cunning, a child is still a child.

The sight of the small, thin girl being battered by her stepbrother was certainly disturbing.


He clicked his tongue without realizing it.

Navia bit her lower lip and then quickened her pace.

She tried not to show it, but her eyes crinkled slightly in pain.

"Wait a moment."

Suleiman stopped Navia, his face showing rare panic.

'Perhaps she thinks I'm reproaching her for being slow.'

He wasn't used to dealing with children.

Being unmarried and having served Lord Lark, he had never been around children.

"You don't have to walk so fast."

To which Navia replied very politely,

"Thank you for your words."

Despite her response, Navia continued to quicken her steps.

Suleiman interpreted her demeanor as merely formal courtesy.

He wanted to say more but instead gave up and simply slowed down his pace.

'That little one is quite tough.'

He thought, shaking his head inwardly.

Navia was clear-cut.

She acted overly polite and formal, effectively blocking others' approaches.

She had built a massive wall around her territory, allowing no one to intrude.

Navia protected herself by hiding behind that wall.

Her actions seemed so habitual that she probably didn't realize it herself.

Suleiman was quite independent.

He wasn't the kind of person to extend more than necessary kindness, even to a child.

Yet... Strangely, he felt uneasy about Navia's guarded behavior.

'Can't help it? She's still a child.'

He attributed his odd, guilt-like feeling to her youth and quickly resolved to wash her hands.

Navia, apart from being smeared with chocolate, appeared remarkably composed for her age.

She could have cried or fussed when the water touched her wounded hands, but she only slowed her gestures without outwardly showing pain.

'A lady used to enduring.'

Suleiman unconsciously furrowed his brow.

Was the child cunning because only the tough could survive in her environment?

"I'm all washed up now."

Navia showed her clean hands, ready to leave.

"Just a moment."

Navia seemed unaware that her mouth was also smeared with chocolate, he began to wipe her lips with a wet hand.

Only then did Navia realize that chocolate was on her lips too, and she slightly blushed, insisting that she would clean it herself.

"It's okay, I'll do it."

At her firm refusal, Suleiman awkwardly uttered something unexpected.

"I can help with this much."

Even as he spoke, he felt awkward and embarrassed.

If only Navia didn't try to do everything alone, Suleiman thought, reaching out his hand involuntarily.

He wanted to provide a shade for the child to rest in the vast wasteland, if only for a moment.

But Navia smiled and refused.

"But you don't like me, do you?"

Suleiman was taken aback, caught off guard, and responded with a confused voice.


Navia was not particularly upset about Suleiman's disfavor towards her.

That was to be expected.

"I don't think I have to accept an adult's help just because I'm a child. I won't resent not being helped."

Navia continued speaking after wiping her mouth.

"That would be shameless."

Was it shameless for a child to receive help?

While Suleiman still wore a dazed expression, Navia said,

"I fully understand why you're wary of me. My situation is not just tied to the Agnes Ducal House but also involves the royal family."

'Did she know from the start that I came to watch her?'

Suleiman could assert that no one but his lord had ever bewildered him this much.

Especially not an eight-year-old child.

Navia surely didn't know that he was in the same room with her yesterday.

But she spoke as if he knew everything and had come to find her.

Could she have deduced this much just by thinking he visited her early in the morning to check on her? Suleiman couldn't help but laugh, almost like a sigh.


He came to understand Navia's intentions but ended up revealing all of his own instead.

Compared to that, he hadn't obtained any more advanced information from the child than the day before.

He was just certain now.

This girl was not just exceptionally smart.

Navia suddenly grinned.

"Still, I appreciate the kindness."

She meant it.

Suleiman didn't feel like his kindness was a ploy to harm her.

'He's a good person, indeed.'

Despite his fearsome nickname as 'Iron-blooded Suleiman', he was just a bit blunt but indeed a good person.

He tried to clear up her misunderstanding and showed consideration even if he was reluctant to.

And he seemed to have a strong attachment to Eseled.

His reason for rejecting her was ultimately to protect the family.

Therefore, Navia spoke more precisely about her situation.

"I hoped to be adopted by the duke as his foster daughter. Of course, I was rejected, but it wasn't to become the heir here."


"I didn't need a father, but a shield. Similarly, Eseled could use me as a spear."


"Honestly, that's the truth. How could a prisoner like me become the daughter of such a noble person?"

Soon Creed, the real adoptive son of Lark, would come, and it was absurd to have an alien element like herself among their family.

"And I will leave here within a year."

Because she had promised.

Navia was consistently calm, almost appearing indifferent.

She wasn't perturbed by the unfair situation she was facing.

As if it had always been this way.

Suleiman felt a strange sense of déjà vu in Navia.

'It's just like...'

Just like looking at his lord.

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