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Chapter 74 - 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

The third floor was bathed only in moonlight as the night fell, serving as the sole source of light inside.

Lark lay there under the pale moonlight, silent as a corpse.

The Eseled mansion was so large it could easily be mistaken for a castle.

With one whole floor empty, it felt akin to being stranded on a deserted island.

The passage of days and seasons felt remarkably slow when confined here.

It was a kind of pseudo-death state.

Lark, with his exceptionally keen senses, needed this isolation; otherwise, the passage of time would overwhelm him, crumbling his mind before his body.

He was acutely aware of the craziest versions of himself he had been throughout numerous lives.

He didn’t want to end up like that again.

After all, he was waiting for someone.

Unless there was an explosion like the day Navia arrived or Theorban ranting near the central staircase, Lark could live in isolation from the world.

But living was different.

Even as a top-notch assassin, as long as they harbored murderous intent, Lark could sense them from afar.

Now, he sensed three presences of murder, all heading towards the second floor.

"Assassins again..."

It was bothersome and irritating.

What was it about that kid that attracted such storms?

Should he just ignore it? Annoyed, Lark kicked the table hard.

"Damn it."

Ignoring it felt suffocating, unbearable.


Lark teleported, irritated.

Upon reaching the second floor, new information flooded in.

Navia wasn’t in her room. The assassins, realizing this, were searching other rooms.

Ah. The assassins found where Navia was.

It seemed they had a tracking mage among them.

Lark sent his shadow in that direction.


In an instant, Lark appeared in the storage room, catching a glimpse of the assassins being engulfed by dark shadows.

He faintly sensed Margaret’s magic there.

A mage, unless exceptionally sensitive, wouldn’t usually detect magic unless it was from someone blood related.

But that didn’t matter to Lark.

'Did Margaret do something?'

He was pondering this when suddenly...


Lark stopped a blade thrust at him.

He turned to find Navia, eyes wide, trying to stab him.

"You’re trying to stab me? How presumptuous."

Navia lifted her head in surprise, her red eyes trembling visibly in the light streaming through the open door.


Lark took the paper knife from Navia’s hand. She had held it so tightly that her body staggered.

"Think you can face an assassin with this?"

"How are you here...?"

Navia scanned her surroundings in confusion.

She had relied on the shadows under the door to alert her of intruders.

Anticipating a potential threat, Navia had rushed at the figure with the paper knife she found in the room.

'I was sure there were three presences.'

But suddenly, only Lark was standing there alone.

"There were assassins..."

"I killed them."

Navia’s mouth opened slightly at Lark’s crisp response.

'So he saved me again...?'

It was too dark to see Lark, standing with his back to the light.

Hesitantly, Navia first offered her thanks.

"…Thank you for saving me."

Lark noticed Navia’s bare feet.

Was it a deliberate choice for mobility, or a sign of her overly calm approach to death, as if she had experienced it many times before?

Such behavior, seemingly familiar with handling things alone, reminded him of his past self.

'Enough with the delusions.'

He was projecting himself onto this girl, which he needed to stop.

He coldly rebuked her.

"Far from making this house safe, you just attract all sorts of vermin."

He couldn’t understand why he had said that.

So, if the girl said "I’m sorry," he would just get angry.

But he couldn’t help it. Her continual presence was irritating.

'Don’t bother me.'

Please, just don’t bother me anymore.

Then Navia spoke.

"I’ll protect it."

It was almost an impulsive statement.

But she repeated it, her voice slightly trembling.

"I will protect it for you."

Lark was dumbfounded.

"You can't even protect yourself, let alone anyone else."

He clenched his hand so tightly that his nails dug into his palm, causing wounds.

Navia, too, realized her current weakness and cast her eyes down awkwardly.

The way her silver eyelashes fluttered feebly and her eyes half-closed seemed so pitifully forlorn.

‘Damn it.’

‘That's not even funny.’

He didn't want to see her like that.

He just didn't want to see the consequences of the words he had said.

That's why he didn't want to be abandoned.

‘Selfish bastard.’

Lark didn't particularly want to be a good person. It didn't matter to him if he was selfish or violent.

What meaning did all that have? The completion of life is achieved through death. Lark didn't have that death, so there was no purpose or value in his life.

But just now, he found himself loathsome.

Navia had made him so.

The bright flame she possessed starkly illuminated his ugly and filthy self.

Lark felt as if his mind would collapse in confusion. This was not a good sign.

If he didn't shut down his consciousness in a near-death state, the fractures would occur more frequently.

It meant that death would come earlier than expected.

That was still inconvenient for him. So, he warned Navia with a frosty expression.

"Don't bother me anymore. That's all you can do."

Hearing this, Navia lowered her gaze even more.

As expected, what Lark wanted from her was 'not to be a bother'.

She had heard it countless times.

It had been her lifelong task and she had always tried to fulfill it.

But it was still a difficult thing.

People thought her mere existence was bothersome.

"Okay, I'll try."

But the answer Navia could give was predetermined, as was the task she had to do.

To try not to be a nuisance.

Navia's lifelong homework was given to her again in the same way.

'It's because I didn't try hard enough today.'

She might have been able to find a better way, or perhaps she could have anticipated and dealt with such situations in advance, but she was incompetent.

Navia constantly blamed herself.

But if she did her best for a year, maybe she could manage it?

'Last time, by acting as little as a nuisance as possible, I even managed to survive until I was twenty-two.'

So if she did the same this time, it would work.

No, she had to make it work.

And if it wasn't Agnes but here in Eseled, with all these good people... maybe it was possible.

"I'll try not to be a bother in the future. I'm sorry."

Navia bowed as deeply as possible, apologizing for her mistake.

Her formally polite etiquette, which she could perform as naturally as breathing, was forgone in favor of merely nodding her head, intending not to upset Lark.

'Because he dislikes formality.'

He wouldn't like anything overly aristocratic, nor well-crafted smiles or manners.

They would all seem like sly human scheming.

Lark grimaced.

He hated hearing her apologies. It grated on his ears like a scratch.


Navia stiffened her body at the sound of his short sigh, her head still bowed.

The brief thought that they might become closer seemed laughable now, as Lark visibly expressed his dislike for her with his entire body.

Navia thought bitterly.

'It can't be helped.'

It wouldn't be strange for him to hate her, considering she had done the outrageous thing of threatening him on their first meeting, saying he would regret it if he didn't take her in. But still, Navia could consider Lark a good person.

He had saved her life numerous times and allowed her to stay here.

'Considering my entire life, he's practically a saint.'

Just the fact that he didn't immediately tell her to leave was enough for Navia to be deeply grateful.

'But I wish I could meet Creed, that man, and leave.'


At the sound of something falling, Navia slowly raised her head.

There was no one in front of her.

On the floor lay a paper knife.

Navia picked it up and murmured.

"Should I go back to my room...?"

But the situation was more dangerous, as she had used up all the magic contained in Black Moon.

Navia locked the door again and hid in a corner.

'I'll just have to endure here as planned for today.'

Fortunately, she was accustomed to staying up all night.

'It's dangerous until dawn.'

Until morning, she would think about how to prepare for such situations in the future.

Navia sat huddled with the paper knife tightly in her hand, staring at the door.

Little did she know that Lark, who hadn't disappeared but was just hiding his presence, was watching her.

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