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Chapter 84 - 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

While Navia was lost in thought with a blank expression, Margaret suddenly clapped her hands.

"Anyway, it seems the important thing right now is lunch."


Come to think of it, she was quite hungry.

Navia agreed with Margaret's words and got out of bed.

Looking at her clothes, she had already changed into pajamas.

"Let's all go to the dining hall and eat together for a change. Minerva, of course, too."

At Suleiman's suggestion, Margaret also smiled softly in agreement.

"That's a good idea. After lunch, let's have cake too. We didn't get to eat it yesterday."

"Cake, huh. It would go well with tea. Alright, Miss Navia. Don't move, or your wound will worsen. I'll carry you to the dining hall."

Before Navia could even decline, Suleiman swiftly picked her up, and they all went down to the first floor together.

Navia's heart fluttered again.

'It's exactly like Vivian.'

No, it was a little different.

She was not entangled in a master-servant relationship with these people.

'If I had to categorize it... friends?'

Navia couldn't define what their relationship was.

In fact, she was just a girl with a complicated story, living off the charity of Eseled.

'I must be a nuisance...'

Lark was right.

She was an annoying presence.

She brought turmoil to a quiet family and couldn't offer anything in return, so she had no right to complain if she was disliked.

'Actually, it seems like the Duke does dislike me.'

That thought made her uncomfortable.

How could she be at ease, being disliked by the lord and master of the people she thought were good?

'But still... these people seem to think well of me.'

Of course, that could be an optimistic interpretation.

But this was a first for her.

Being carried in the arms of an adult, chattering away as they went down the stairs – this situation was new.

Spending a warm mealtime together like a family and then having dessert, making it a daily routine – this was more peace than she deserved.

Navia felt her heart, which had been tense until she almost fainted, relax gently.

That didn't mean she thought this place was completely safe.

She didn't dare consider it her home.

It was just, she thought, a stroke of luck.

To be able to receive such warm attention and generous kindness, and to realize that such benevolence could be extended to her as well, she thought it was extremely fortunate.

They were on their way down to the first floor, heading towards the dining hall.

"Excuse me."

A slightly tired but lively voice crossed the lobby distinctly.

Everyone turned their heads with a look of curiosity.

A woman carrying a large bag, walking with her back to the light, came into view.

Navia's eyes widened.


As the woman approached them close enough to converse, she put down her bag and caught her breath.

Her auburn hair and clear eyes immediately gave an impression of determination.

"Do you, by any chance, have a job here?"

It was Charlotte.

Why had Charlotte come to Eseled? Navia stared blankly at Charlotte for a moment and then, meeting her lively eyes, involuntarily grasped the hem of Suleiman's coat and asked.

"The coffee house?"

The money Navia had given was enough to start a small coffee house and pay the first month's rent.

She thought that would be enough for Charlotte to settle down in a new area and have a stable life.

If one were to mention what was starting to become fashionable in the empire, reading clubs and coffee houses would be on the list.

A coffee house, as long as it had the right look, was said to be a surefire business, such was the craze.

Charlotte met Navia's red eyes and replied directly.

"I changed my dream."

Navia couldn't bring herself to ask what that dream was.

Just the fact that Charlotte was here was enough to guess what it was.

So, she was taken aback. A tingling sensation, like a mild static shock, spread across her cheeks.

Today is truly a strange day.

Suleiman, not knowing what expression to make, awkwardly remained silent and put Navia down on the floor.

This was the moment for Navia, as the host, to welcome a retainer offering her allegiance.

It wasn’t appropriate to spend such an important moment in someone's embrace.

"Fortunately, our young lady was in need of a personal maid."

At Suleiman's words, Charlotte beamed with joy.

"That's good to hear. I have experience in that field."

Charlotte's bold statement elicited smiles from not only Suleiman but also Margaret.

'It seems Navia wasn’t always alone in Agnes.'

Employing a maid was not usually done in such an impromptu manner.

But Eseled was different from typical noble families.

Larke didn’t have any close noble friends to recommend servants, no wife to manage the household, and only a foolish cousin who coveted his wealth and title.

In such an isolated situation, now they had a mansion magically turned pitch black.

Ordinarily, no one would want to work in such a suspicious place.

Navia wore a troubled expression amidst them.

To be honest, she was glad to see Charlotte.

After all, she was a familiar face to Navia, and they had worked well together, though it had been only for a few days.

But there was a problem.

'Employing someone requires the Duke’s approval. Besides, there are issues of salary and the fact that Charlotte, as my personal maid, would need access to the third floor.'

Navia couldn’t dare to hope for a personal maid, given her situation living in someone else’s house.

Moreover, Lark had explicitly warned her.

'Don’t be troublesome.'

While Navia wasn’t sure of the atmosphere before her arrival at Eseled, it was true that things had become noisier and more tumultuous since then.

She didn’t want to further aggravate him.

No, she absolutely must not.

Then Charlotte spoke.

"I didn’t come to be a burden to you, miss."


"Please let me stay by your side and serve. I want to repay the kindness you’ve shown me."

Suleiman watched the two and was lost in a long-forgotten memory.

He saw a reflection of his younger self in Charlotte's willingness to pledge loyalty.

As Navia still hesitated and couldn’t give a definite answer, Suleiman gently smiled and suggested.

"We were just about to have lunch in the dining room, would you join us?"

Nobles sometimes dined with their cherished servants, but only in their own rooms and in a simple manner.

So, when Charlotte was invited to dine in the dining room on her first day, she was initially startled but promptly responded graciously.

"It would be an honor. May I leave my luggage here for a while?"

"Leave that to me."

Margaret summoned a shadow, shaped it into a bird, and had it carry Charlotte's luggage to the second floor.

"I’ll show you to your room after the meal."

Charlotte seemed momentarily surprised by the unexpected magic but soon bowed in gratitude.

"Thank you for your concern."

Navia felt a bit relieved as everyone seemed to welcome Charlotte.

It would be fine as long as Lark allowed Charlotte to stay.

'Theorban had unilaterally sent maids who were paid out of his own pocket and practically coerced with narcotic herbs. This situation is different, so I should get permission.'

Compared to them, Charlotte had no such ties and had also worked in Agnes.

Lark had no reason to accept her.

But... it would be nice if Charlotte could stay.

'It’s impressive that Charlotte has evaded Wood even while staying in the capital until now. Given Wood’s nature, he must have issued a warrant for her.'

Failing to enslave Navia, Wood would have immediately ordered Charlotte's capture.

Sending Charlotte away from the mansion would be dangerous.

"It’s fortunate that you’ve been alright despite Wood probably not leaving you alone."

"Without Philippa, the young master has no one to turn to in such matters."

Navia smiled as if agreeing with Charlotte's remark.

'So that’s why she tried to deal with Philippa before leaving Agnes.'

Navia hesitated for a moment, then spoke.

"You’ve come at the right time, Charlotte."

At those words, Charlotte smiled even more joyously.

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