+ -

Chapter 70 - 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

How much time had passed?

Knock knock.

"Miss Navia?"

As Suleiman called out Navia's name, staring at the small figure beyond the canopy, Navia fluttered her eyelids and slowly woke from sleep.

"...Mr. Suleiman."

"Oh. I woke you up. It's okay to sleep more. Come back later."

Navia forced herself awake, blinking her eyelashes rapidly.

"No, I'm awake now."

Suleiman approached the bed with a troubled expression, regretting disturbing the sleep of the ailing child.

"Are you really okay?"

He looked at Navia, whose eyes were slightly unfocused, with an apologetic expression and helped her to sit up properly.

"Your clothes and shoes will arrive tomorrow morning."

"Thank you."

"What for. I've benefited greatly from you; it's only natural to do this."

Navia smiled briefly and then spoke.

"It seems the situation I mentioned has all happened."

'Quite perceptive.'

Suleiman licked his lips, thinking he could deceive a ghost, but not this child.

"Yes. As you said, Theorban sent a letter."

He told her everything that had happened at the palace.

In truth, this was a matter that should be reported and discussed with the head of the house, but it felt awkward to consult the girl who had temporarily come to live with them.

'But discussing it with Navia seems correct.'

The master surely wouldn't be interested anyway.

Navia nodded after hearing the whole story.

"The compensation is quite generous. When will they send it?"

"They'll send gold coins and magic stones by carriage within two days."

"I see."

'With this much compensation, I can quickly start the things I've been thinking about.'

She thought she could create a promising business before the end of this winter.

Then a loud noise came from outside the window.

"It's a messenger from Agnes! Is anyone there?"

Navia looked at the window in surprise.

'Did they use a loudspeaker spell?'

Suleiman had already approached the window and looked down.

"I'll go check what's happening."

He rode the wind through the window down to the first floor.

Navia also sluggishly approached the window to check the situation below.

Suleiman approached the messenger.

"I am Suleiman Geneger, aide to the Duke of Eseled. What's the matter?"

"Count Geneger, I see. It's not much, but Duke Agnes has urgently sent a letter to Miss Navia."

"Out of the blue now?"

Suleiman thought Nikan's sudden change of attitude was shamelessly blatant and extended his hand.

"Give it here. I'll deliver it."

Then the messenger spoke respectfully.

"I've also been ordered to check on Miss Navia's well-being. After all, it concerns his child, doesn't it?"

His child? Suleiman almost laughed out loud.

'If he truly considered her his child, he wouldn't have spouted such nonsense about punishing her in front of me.'

Suleiman pointed upwards with a displeased expression.

The messenger's gaze followed his finger upwards, and he saw a girl with silver hair looking out the window.

The silver hair was unmistakable from afar. It was definitely Navia.

"I apologize for the intrusion. Then, I entrust this letter to you."

The messenger handed over the letter, and as Suleiman took it, he stared at the messenger intently.

It was a sign for him to leave.

The messenger quickly understood the meaning of the gaze and bowed his head before mounting his horse and leaving the ducal residence.

Suleiman once again rode the wind to Navia's room.


He handed a letter to Navia, who had stepped aside.

"This is a letter from Duke Agnes. Would you like to read it?"

Navia unfolded the letter she held.

'I bet it's full of excuses.'

The letter was concise.

It contained various excuses about the incident caused by Wood and a message to stay on good terms with Duke Eseled as he couldn't come to fetch her right away.

Navia chuckled, not surprised by the predictable content.

"What does it say?"

Without further ado, Navia handed him the letter to read.

Suleiman also read it and sighed in disbelief.

"The audacity is beyond words."

Nikan believed Navia was still under brainwashing, thinking that this much would make her wait endlessly for him.

Navia twisted her lips.

"But it means they see potential in me, a good sign. This will start a serious power struggle between Agnes and the royal family."

Suleiman frowned at her words.

This struggle was ultimately about who would consume Eseled.

Theorban, Agnes, the royal family.

'If my lord intervenes, they stand no chance.'

Suleiman slowly knelt on one knee to meet Navia's eye level.

"I have a favor to ask of you."

"Please tell me."

"Do you hold the key to saving this place?"


Navia didn't respond.

But her silence was answer enough.

"Please help Eseled."

Suleiman hadn't expected to ask such a thing from anyone. It wasn't a matter of pride.

It was because there was no hope.

Navia's judgment was accurate, and her directives were excellent.

Suleiman no longer saw Navia as just a child.

Her decisions were trustworthy and followable.

It could be a rash judgment.

But his intuition, borne of age, was unmistakably at play.

If he didn't listen to this girl, he'd regret it for the rest of his life.

"Please help this place."

Navia certainly had a way to lift Eseled out of economic hardship.

Suleiman added,

"But if it's too hard and overwhelming, it's okay to leave."


Navia blinked in surprise, and Suleiman smiled kindly.

"This old man is old enough to understand that."

Suleiman was indeed desperate.

His world was crumbling at a rapid pace.

The lord had not said it.

But Suleiman had a vague idea.

Ah, not much time left.

Lark does not believe in eternity, perfection, or completeness.

Not because he was cold or dry.

But because there was no eternity, no perfection.

He didn't believe in them for that reason.

Time was running out.

Suleiman felt this starkly.

The lord had spoken of a year.

Suleiman wondered,

'Why exactly a year?'

Then he realized.

A year was the most meaningless to Larke. That's why he could give it. That's why he could discard it.

'A year, huh.'

Too short.

An unbearably brief time.

What could possibly be done in that time?

Suleiman's face calmly crumbled bit by bit.

The castle had already been abandoned.

A family once glorious, now faded.

It was only a slender thread of connection that he clung to, barely holding on.

But even that was reaching its limit.

Yet, no matter how desperate, he couldn't just burden this young girl with the tragically crumbling house of Eseled.

The child was bright and mysterious.

She certainly inspired hope that she would achieve something.

'Still, she's just a child.'

She had the right to be protected, to drop her heavy burden and flee if she wished.

He himself had no shame left. That's why, even if she chose to abandon this place, he wouldn't harbor any resentment.

But all of this was foreign to Navia.

Navia felt the sincerity that was thick in the air, almost suffocating her.

Each word he uttered was filled with precious sincerity and care.

Yet, Navia spoke as if she were in charge of this relationship.

Navia had no choice but to enter Eseled.

But Suleiman was telling her that she had a choice.

Hearing his words, she felt like a bird with wings, free to fly anywhere.

"…So you're saying you'll join hands with me, knowing there's a risk of betrayal?"

Navia knew the weight of betrayal, having experienced it countless times.

Suleiman might not have experienced betrayal as much as Navia, but it seemed unlikely that he had never faced it in his life.

To not arrange things so that someone couldn't betray him, but to embrace that possibility?

Navia had never learned such a concept.

<em>"Before being betrayed, one must strike down those who seem likely to betray."</em>

Nikan always said that.

Suleiman said,

"I think of life as wandering through a forest. The forest is so vast. If you only look at the whole, you become overwhelmed and can't do anything."

Then he suddenly changed his perspective.

Instead of looking at the forest, he looked inside it, at a tree.

A tree cloaked in rough, brown bark, its roots unknown in depth.

"In life, we might pass by even that one tree without truly knowing it. But sometimes, we stop and look at it."

How old it might be, whether it had been eaten by insects.

"What if that tree wasn't mine? So what?"

It was a forest; there would be other trees to see.

"The world I live in is a forest made up of each of these trees."

So, there's no need to be greatly disappointed by a tree that isn't yours.

"To build your forest, shouldn't you examine each of your trees?"

'My forest. My trees.'

"I planted the tree named Navia in my forest. If that tree fails to root in my soil, I'll blame myself."

It was a story too ticklish to bear.

She found herself entering someone's forest.

And a tree had also entered her forest.

She should make the soil fertile, bring rain, and sunshine for this tree to grow well.

Thinking this way felt so unfamiliar and strange.

'Can I really do that?'

Is it okay for me to have my forest? To have my trees? This place, Eseled, was strange. It kept making her think things she had never thought before.

'Eseled is a strange place.'

Navia kept feeling these new, unfamiliar emotions from its strangeness.

They exchanged glances.

Their looks, once exploratory as if seeing something unfamiliar, were changing into something else.

It was still too faint to be defined in words, like a tiny spark of something undefinable.

Read ahead by supporting me on Ko-fi. Access 5 advance chapters with the Agnes of Water Tier ($10) or 10 advance chapters with Duffman of Dominion Tier ($18) For every $15 collected on Ko-fi, I will release an extra chapter. Choose your tier by clicking the 'Support me' button! Rate and review this novel on NU to help people find this novel. Bonus chapters on reaching milestones. Happy reading!

Post a Comment