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Chapter 97 - 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,FantasyGuys, we now have a discord server! Join us for latest updates and discussions.

Erkin turned the carriage around, heading back to Campanella.


At his call, a man with a rough appearance emerged from a corner inside the spacious carriage.

"Yes, master."

The man's demeanor was too flippant for someone in the presence of a noble, let alone a great noble, but Erkin was not the kind to mind such things.

"You must have heard earlier, but we need to check the Sophia Temple."

"I'll assemble a unit of hidden mages. One day should be enough."

Erkin nodded and briefly touched his lips with his finger.

"Ricardo, any recent news?"

"News? Well, apart from the commotion in Eseled recently because of that little lady, nothing much. Oh, Count Genegar did suddenly acquire some poplar wood."

"Poplar wood? Why?"

"Who knows? How could someone like me understand the thoughts of nobles?"

Ricardo's blunt retort made Erkin chuckle.

"How can you not know, when there's no distinction in thoughts?"

"Stop talking nonsense, do you really believe what that child said?"

Ricardo had been watching the conversation between Navia and his master in the office, hidden by magic.

Navia was certainly extraordinary.

But still, just a child.

It wasn't hard to form a unit and check the Sophia Temple, but the situation of adults being swayed by a child's words didn't sit well with him.

"It's not like I can't trust her, we even wrote a contract. And the information she asked for in return wasn't too demanding."

If Navia's words turned out to be true, they would owe her a great debt.

"But she's still just a child."

Erkin shook his head.

"You need to broaden your view. Why are you so narrow-minded when you made the radical choice of being both a woodworker and an intelligence agent?"

"Woodworking alone isn't enough to live on. I was even thinking of adding packing to my work. It seems like a good idea, as it can also gather information."

"That's a good thought. With your skills, you'll make the fortune you always wanted."

Ricardo grimaced at the optimistic words and spoke to Erkin as if he was unbearable.

"Packing? You do it then."

"But I'm not as talented as you."

Erkin smiled, and Ricardo turned his head away, done with the conversation.

The carriage soon arrived in front of the grand theater.

Instead of the coffee house, he went into Campanella and headed to the office on the top floor.

The entire building belonged to him.


Erkin took out a rolled-up paper from the drawer and untied the string.

It was a replica of Navia's portrait, drawn at Nikan's request and copied by his informant.

"I thought she looked similar in the picture, but..."

The real Navia he met took his breath away, so similar to himself.

Erkin gently stroked Navia's portrait with trembling hands.

Her eyes were filled with pain and sadness.

He took a deep breath with slightly reddened eyes and looked away from the portrait.

Then, he paced the room, recalling Navia's appearance.

Her coat seemed like an old design, perhaps something inherited from her mother.

Of course, even that looked new and fitting on Navia.

Still, as a child, she would have wanted something a bit more fashionable than her peers.

He called his aide.

"Get clothes and items suitable for a noble girl, as much as you can, enough to fill at least five carriages. Oh, and include stuff from Ansier."

The aide looked bewildered.

"Uh, yes. Understood."

Where would they use these? For a children's play?

'But in a children's play, the actors aren't necessarily children. And Ancier is too much...'

While he was confused, Erkin gave another order.

"Check on Count Alvin's poppy farm and transfer the ownership to Eseled."

This was a clear and understandable command, so the aide promptly nodded.

"Your command will be followed."

* * *

Ricardo trudged into his small woodworking shop on the outskirts of the capital.

"What's the use of skill? Those damn guilds don't give newcomers a chance."

In the empire's capital, prestigious guilds of craftsmen were abundant.

It was quite difficult to surpass such local nobles in the region.

He plopped down on a stool in the workshop, as clean as if it were new.

"Should I also take up packing as a side job?"

Since the advent of the magical trains, traveling had become more commonplace among the wealthy.

This led to a demand for specialists who could professionally pack for the nobility.

That market was still a blue ocean, so jumping in now might mean a big payoff.

As he was lost in thought, the sound of hooves cut through the rain outside.

"Who could it be?"

Ricardo stepped out of the workshop, puzzled.

"Good day to you."

A cold, white-haired old gentleman opened the carriage door and greeted him.

Ricardo knew exactly who he was.

'Count Suleiman Genegar!'

Why was this man visiting his workshop?

"Yes, good day. What brings you here?"


Suleiman stepped out of the carriage, opened an umbrella, and approached Ricardo, who stood at a distance, staring back at him.

He pulled a piece of paper from the pocket of his coat.

It was the same paper that Navia had drawn a bag on before.

"This is something that the lady I serve asked me to deliver to Ricardo of the wood artisans' guild here. Are you Ricardo?"

"That's me, but…"

Ricardo, bewildered, took the offered paper.

And then.

"Wait. This is from the lady you serve? Who is she?"

Ricardo trembled in shock and awe.

In that moment, Suleiman's eyes sharpened.

'Seems he knows who I am without introduction. How does a wood artisan recognize me?'

"Navia. The name of the lady I serve is Navia."


It goes without saying that Ricardo's expression was even more stricken with awe.

* * *

Navia, drenched and anxious, watched Lark being moved to the bedroom.

"Young master will be fine. He's strong enough not to feel even the coldest winter chill. You, Miss Navia, might catch a cold like this."

Margaret wrapped Navia in a large towel, gently comforting her with empathy.

But Navia was still frozen in place.

"The duke... the duke has collapsed because of me..."

"That's not true."

"No, it is. Waiting for me, because of me..."

Navia had always been on the receiving end.

She had never made anyone wait or seen someone get hurt because of her.

The fragile bond she had formed with Lark had returned as a massive shock.

When she was ignorant, she simply envied belonging and bonds.

But it wasn't so. Navia learned for the first time about the fear that comes with great responsibility and caring for something precious.

She was afraid not just of his illness, but more so that Eseled's retainers might hate her because of it.

Even in such a moment, she was so selfish and calculating.

Disgustingly so.

Navia felt her eyes trembling.

Margaret recognized that Navia was in a state of shock and confusion, unable to think rationally at the moment.

So, she simply held her without saying another word.

Navia's trembling body gradually calmed down in the embrace.

The power of a hug was strange.

It was more comforting than a hundred logical words.

Though Navia's complexion was still pale, she regained her composure, thinking she needed to act mature so as not to burden those around her.

"Then, I'll step out. I need to change... Oh."

Navia just then realized that the cloak she had intended to return clean was soaked and dirty from the rain.

"I wanted to return it clean, I'm sorry... I'll wash it and return it."

"Oh dear, clothes are meant to get dirty when worn. We can just summon a shadow to do the laundry, so don't worry."

Navia forced a smile in self-mockery and nodded weakly.

She left the bedroom and descended to the second floor with feeble steps.

'I should change into pajamas first and wash the dirty clothes. Then prepare a meal.'

She had to find something she could do.

Right now, there was nothing else she could do.

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