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Chapter 94 - 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

Navia's gaze, which had been squinting, was still surprised to see silver hair even though her own silver hair had settled down.

"Are you okay?"

But that hair was quite short.

Moreover, a strange voice caught her attention, and when she looked down, she noticed a man with a remarkably handsome appearance.

Could he be in his late twenties? The man had silver hair and clear, sky-blue eyes.

Navia's eyes widened gradually.

The man, seeing Navia, opened his eyes wide in a slightly surprised expression.


A moment of silence settled between them.

Navia, looking as if she was lost in thought, hurriedly composed herself.

Then, the man naturally let go of Navia and straightened his bent back.

He was tall and strikingly beautiful without a flaw.

"Thank you."

As Navia was about to politely move past the man.

"Wait a moment!"

The man called out to Navia.

He asked with an expression as urgent as Navia's.

"Do you like waffles?"

The man seemed embarrassed after saying this.

To anyone listening, it would sound like something a kidnapper might say.

As Navia just blinked, the man seemed more flustered.

"Ah, I mean, since we bumped into each other, you might be hurt, um."

The man pointed to a coffee house.

"I own this shop," he said.

Navia's expression changed intriguingly.

'So, this person is...'

He was the owner of the information broker she had been using.

Navia had made extensive use of this information broker but had never seen such a person before.

Why had she only now encountered someone she had never met before? And this man, he had silver hair.

'This life is full of anomalies.'

There had never been a time without anomalies, but this last life was particularly extreme.

'...Anyway, it's good. I had business here.'

Navia calmly adjusted her expression and said.

"I came looking for this shop."

At that, the man smiled broadly.

"Ah! That's great. Would you like to come in?"

The coffee house was still before opening hours, but there was staff.

The employee, about to mention that they were not yet open, continued wiping the plates upon seeing who had entered.

From the outside, the shop seemed like a lazy establishment, operating just enough to pick the pockets of customers using the grand theater.

In fact, the main customers of this shop were people like Navia, who bought and sold information.

"Shall we go to my private office? The sofa there is much more expensive and comfortable."

Navia slightly smiled at his cheerful words.

"Yes, that sounds good."

The man's private office indeed had a better atmosphere.

The room Navia used for buying and selling information was quite luxurious, but not as much as this one.

"What kind of waffle do you like?"

Navia had never eaten waffles before, so she had no preference.

"I'm fine with anything."

So she replied that way, and the man called over an employee to prepare a waffle topped with ice cream and syrup.

'I don't feel like eating because of a stomachache.'

"Did you come here alone?"

To the man's question, Navia nodded.

"It's curious that you specifically came to this coffee house, as there's no particularly delicious menu that would warrant a special visit."

"There's a menu here that's not available anywhere else."

The man smiled ambiguously at her significant words.

"I guess I've been late in introducing myself. My name is Erkin. And you are?"

"I'm Navia."

Navia said this, noting that he had not revealed his surname.

This man before her was a nobleman.

His posture, the gestures he used when asking something of the staff, all subtly betrayed a lifetime of etiquette training.

Of course, Navia, being a regressor, had a keen eye for such things.

'Which nobles go by the name Erkin?'

And one who she didn't recognize by face...

It didn't take long for Navia to think of someone.

'Erkin Vladina, the Duke.'

The young head of the Vladina Ducal family was the owner of the information shop.

There were two great noble families Navia had never met in her past life.

One was Duke Larke Eseled.

The other was the man before her, Duke Erkin Vladina.

She had information on him, though.

At this point in time, Erkin Vladina was 28 and unmarried.

He seemed entirely uninterested in politics or fame, refraining from any public activities.

Perhaps that's why he got the nickname 'Hidden' Vladina.

'But if that's the case, 'Reclusive' would be more fitting than 'Hidden'.'

Yet, knowing he operated this information shop, the nickname seemed more reasonable.

'I had no idea the Vladina Duke was running an information shop.'

Navia observed Erkin carefully.

Erkin, unlike most men, had a particularly slender jawline and a high, thin nose.

In contrast to the strongly masculine Larke, he had a delicate and handsome appearance.

'...He looks like me.'

To be precise, Navia in her full-grown, adult form certainly resembled him.

A coincidence?

Just then, a staff member came in and set down a plate of waffles.

The golden-brown waffles topped with a semi-circular scoop of vanilla ice cream, drizzled with zigzagged caramel syrup.

Finely chopped nuts were scattered like fallen leaves, and two sprigs of thyme perched quaintly atop the ice cream.

Navia hesitated for a moment, feeling unsettled and slightly nauseous.

"Here, try this?"

Erkin offered a fork, and Navia reluctantly took a bite.

The warm waffle, cold ice cream, savory nuts, and caramel syrup exploded with flavor in her mouth.

Navia chewed eagerly, swallowing, and then expressed her pure admiration.

"It's delicious."

Erkin, with his handsome features, smiled fittingly.

"I'm glad. It's my favorite combination."

Navia found his kind and gentle demeanor strange and awkward.

She had never experienced such tender behavior from an adult male towards a child.

'And he's observing me.'

Erkin looked at her thoughtfully, not with malice or curiosity, but as if trying to confirm something.

Lost in thought, Navia suddenly realized the waffle on the plate had disappeared.

She was embarrassed.

She had only planned to eat a bite or two, given her earlier meal, but ended up consuming the large waffle entirely.

'...How embarrassing.'

Navia awkwardly set down her fork.

"What should I do since I've eaten it all?"

Erkin hadn't even touched his waffle.

"It's a waffle I'm offering as an apology, but how could I eat it? Still, I'm very pleased to see you enjoying it."

He was as charming in his words as he was in appearance.

Erkin's color scheme and atmosphere were really quite different from Lark's.

Navia's expression darkened momentarily as she thought of Lark, but she quickly shook off the thought.

"There was no need for an apology from you. Rather, I'm fortunate. I've met the owner of the information store I intended to use."

Erkin looked at Navia with a calm expression instead of the gentle smile he had been wearing.

He didn't pretend not to understand what she meant.

"How did a young lady like you know this place is an information broker?"

The information broker always had prior knowledge of Navia's identity.

So, even now, this man must already know that Navia is Agnes's foster daughter.

Navia could see what he was currently doubting.

"Don't worry, they don't know this place is an information broker in Agnes."

Since Navia's guess was accurate, Erkin let out a low sigh and slightly furrowed his brow.

"Such a smart lady you are, Miss Navia."

Navia smiled broadly.

The information he had about Navia would be from before her regression, when she was seven, so she fully understood his current bewilderment.

Erkin examined the unique type of child he was seeing for the first time, humming lengthily.

Her firm gaze was unreadable, and her expression well-guarded.

She appeared like a seasoned noble who had rolled through high society.

'Navia Agnes, now just Navia? I need to significantly update the information on this girl.'

He shrugged his shoulders and asked.

"Does coming to an information broker mean you plan to use this place?"

Navia nodded.

"I'm here to request a method to take over Count Alvin's anesthetic herb farm from the Eseled ducal house. Including both the legal farm and the illegal one."

"That sounds like a substantial fee."

"I'll pay with the information I have."

Erkin did not dismiss Navia's words as absurd or laughable. Instead, he asked with an intrigued expression.

"Oh, what information is that?"

Navia had used this information broker quite a bit.

That's why she knew very well what information this place had valued the most.

Especially around this time of year.

"Aren't you looking for Emperor Ulrich's secret hunting ground?"

Erkin's eyes narrowed at the unexpected statement.

"…Is that so?"

"I know about it."

At her assertion, Erkin fell silent for a moment.

The reason Emperor Ulrich's secret hunting ground was urgent information was clear.

The client wanting this information was none other than Empress Diana.

A place that even the Empress's intelligence network couldn't find meant that there must be a secret there that absolutely should not be discovered.

For example, a mistress and illegitimate child.

Erkin and the employees of his information broker were highly likely to guess that the Emperor's secret hunting ground might be hiding a mistress and illegitimate child.

"How reliable is this information?"

"Send someone to check. If my words are correct, then you can take on Count Alvin's anesthetic herb request."

Navia continued, narrowing her eyes.

"Isn't that right, Duke Vladina?"

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