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Chapter 73 - 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

Sairen thought almost the same as Benny.

They deliberately bumped into Minerva's shoulder on their way to clear the dishes.



Minerva quickly clamped her lips shut.

Her shoulders shrank, and her hands trembled slightly, but her eyes widened fiercely.

'Don't be scared. It's okay.'

The real terror wasn't violence.

The scariest thing was becoming powerless.

Still, it was hard to shake off trauma quickly, so it was inevitable that her body froze up.

Sairen sneered at Minerva, lifting one corner of her mouth mockingly.

Navia, watching silently, spoke up.

"You seem in a good mood, Sairen."

Sairen flinched for a moment but managed a smirk, thinking a child wouldn't understand.

"It's just the weather is nice!"

'Besides, that one will die soon anyway.'


Sairen hummed a tune through her nose.

Minerva glanced at Sairen and Benny before moving closer to Navia.

'I'll protect you, Miss.'

Minerva didn't say it aloud, but Navia felt her intentions clearly.

In fact, after the maids left, Navia had planned to send Minerva out with Margaret.

But Minerva insisted on staying, saying it was better if she was there.

'You don't have to overdo it.'

Minerva often had to go outside for work, but she protected Navia even when she should have been resting.

In the process, she even developed a new ointment while carefully checking Navia's wounds.

"You're making progress, but the problem is still your stamina. You need to eat more."

"I will."

"But don't force yourself. If you find something you like, let me know. Enjoying food will make you want to eat more."

"…I will."

Minerva understood sharply that Navia treated meals like a task, even though she looked frail.

And Minerva, unbeknownst to her, didn't have a chronic stutter.

In fact, she spoke very precisely and clearly when focused on her main tasks.

Navia nodded her head and, seeing the day turn to dusk, spoke.

"I'm a bit tired today, so I'll sleep early. You should rest too, Mina."

With Navia's dismissal, the maids happily prepared to leave.

"Oh, are you going to rest? Then we'll take our leave, Miss."

Minerva stood up, relieved to see them leave willingly.

'I wish someone better than me could be by the Miss's side. A maid who can serve her properly…'

"I, I'll go check too…"

The maids, pretending to check the room one last time, unlatched the window before leaving.

Navia watched as they closed the bedroom door, barely containing their laughter.

"Ah, I thought I was going to suffocate."

"Seriously. I wanted to torment that annoying doctor but couldn't."

"Let's quickly go to the room. It feels eerie without the light."

The Duke of Eseled's mansion was particularly terrifying at night.

Even with lamps lit, the darkness was oppressive.

The two spent their last night chatting until Sairen shook her head with a trembling expression.

"I want to leave right now."

Even the shadows cast by the lamp light seemed like evil spirits to her eyes.

"But it's over tomorrow."

Then, the shadow of Benny on the wall moved on its own.

'…What was that?'

Sairen's eyes froze as she shifted her gaze from the shadow to Benny.

Benny's shadow was making a different movement.

"What's wrong?"

"Your… shadow…"


Then Benny's shadow twisted its head sideways.

As the light spread across its face, it formed a shape.

It was a smile.

"Aaah! Behind! Behind!"

Sairen suddenly screamed and shot up, startling Benny as well.

"Why, why are you doing this, you're scaring me!"

Benny quickly turned around.

However, there was nothing unusual to see.

Sairen, with a pale face, trembled violently.

"It's true, the rumors were right. This place is haunted!"

"What are you talking about……?"

"Don't you know? This mansion is cursed, and the previous Duke and his retainers all died suddenly!"

"What……? It was just a coincidence. I heard they died from a plague."

"How can a plague that only kills a few people exist!"

Sairen yelled sharply and then shook his head vehemently.

"This isn't right. I can't stay here. This isn't it!"



Ignoring Benny's call, Sairen ran out of the mansion.

She couldn't die a meaningless death in this haunted ducal residence.

That shadow earlier wasn't an illusion.

Sairen felt a chilling premonition when the shadow suddenly appeared normal as Benny turned around.

The evil spirit is after me! Why?

Why me and not Benny?

Pant! Pant!

It was when Sairen was running through the desolate garden.

Her steps came to an abrupt halt.

She had run into three men concealed in the shadows.



The man in the middle said.

"Make sure the body isn't found."

* * *

Navia quickly moved after using her shadow magic to make Sairen run away in fear, hiding in a corner.

The magic of summoning shadows was quite convenient.

She could send shadows to her target with a mere thought, even without direct supervision.

After confirming Sairen had left the room, Navia returned to her own.

For Navia, such a trick was nothing but a petty prank.

Still, it would allow her to pressurize Benny and eventually blame Theorban, who had sent her.

'The compensation will arrive tomorrow, and Theorban will come running to claim it.'

She planned to use today's events to embarrass him.


Before sleeping, Navia checked the window.

'Just in case.'

She had many enemies.

So it was wise to be cautious, like checking the window latch.


But the latch was undone.


Hadn't the maids checked the windows earlier?

'Or was it left open on purpose?'

Navia's expression darkened instantly.

She took off her slippers and rummaged through a drawer for a paper knife.

It wouldn't be enough to fend off an adult attacker, but it could buy her some time.

'What if the assassins are already near?'

She knew nothing for certain.

'The count and Lady Margaret use the annex.'

Going outside the mansion now would be more dangerous.

Nor could she go to Lark on the third floor for help.

Setting foot on the third floor meant death.

Recalling her previous search for a towel, Navia thought of a windowless room.

'I still have some magic left.'

If she spread her magic on the door, she could detect intruders.

'I just have to survive tonight.'

She quietly dashed to her destination, biting her lip to suppress any noise, despite the throbbing pain from her injuries.


Navia entered a storage room and hid in the deepest part.

Now, all that was left was to wait for morning without being discovered by the assassin.

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