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Chapter 98 - Can We Become a Family?

A day had passed.

Navia had been washing clothes and secretly preparing meals.

Afterward, she anxiously waited in her room.

The weather, which had been only rainy at night, suddenly became terrifying with thunder and lightning.

But she endured it. Morning came, and the rain clouds cleared, bringing sunshine.

Navia, though having taken short naps, got out of bed feeling quite tired.

Knock, knock.

That's when Charlotte brought breakfast.

"Miss, please eat."

Navia smiled faintly.

"Thank you, Charlotte."

Her gratitude wasn't just for the meal.

Without Charlotte, Navia would have felt like she was drowning in a swamp, struggling with depression.

"Is there any improvement with the Duke?"

Charlotte shook her head. Navia, after a moment of silence, spoke.

"Then everyone must have stayed up all night. I should go and take over."

"You must be tired too..."

"It's okay. You should rest too, Charlotte. Let's meet at lunchtime."

Navia tried a bit of the meal Charlotte brought but eventually put it down, having lost her appetite, and headed to the third floor.

In Lark's bedroom, Margaret and Minerva were there, and the atmosphere was tense.

"Has there been a problem?"

Navia asked, and Minerva answered with a gloomy face.

"Oh, Count Alvin was supposed to send anesthetics yesterday, but we haven't heard anything..."

'I see, they're using the anesthetic as leverage.'

It was a predictably foolish thought.

Margaret tried to smile and said,

"Suleiman has gone to Alvin, so he should bring good news."


Navia anticipated that Suleiman would return empty-handed.

Theorban's desire wasn't money but the Eseled family, so it was clear he would campaign for the heir position.

'I hope Duke Vladina moves quickly.'

"Anyway, you two should go rest. Minerva looks sleepy too. I'll watch over him."


"Oh, Miss..."

"Go ahead. It would be worse if everyone gets sick."

After Navia spoke, Margaret and Minerva reluctantly left to catch some sleep.


As the door closed, Navia went to Lark's bed.

His body was burning hot, yet he wasn't breathing heavily.

He was eerily quiet, almost like he was dead, which scared her as she kept checking if he was breathing.

"He should be cooling down..."

Navia fetched cold water to refresh the cloth on his forehead.


Then, with her nimble hands, she wrung out the wet towel and placed it on his forehead.

'What kind of illness could it be?'

Lark seemed overly healthy, but it was like he lived off anesthetic.

Minerva said the anesthetic stopped his seizures.

Though she didn't explain further, it was shocking enough for Navia.


Was he out in the rain for hours yesterday in light clothes just to apologize to her?

Navia gazed at the unconscious Lark.

Honestly, she still found Lark uncomfortable.

Despite his pitiful and desperate apology yesterday, Lark was a difficult person for Navia.

But she couldn't leave the care solely to Margaret and Minerva.

"Please wake up soon, Duke."

* * *

Four hours had passed since she sent the two away.

Navia brought a clock from the heir's room since there wasn't one in Lark's bedroom.

The time was 11 AM.

Lark was still lying quiet as a dead person.

When awake, his very presence was imposing.

Firstly, he was much taller than most, and his combination of jet-black hair and red eyes seemed to symbolize noble blood, inducing an instinctive fear.

His physique was also large and robust, suggesting great strength.

Navia's gaze fell on the corner where a black marble table lay split in half.

Hmm. He really seemed to be quite strong.

'I remember that table was intact yesterday...'

Navia suddenly looked down at her own body.

In her previous life, she had grown to 159cm at most, but why was this person so tall?

"I'm not particularly strong," she thought.

Lark, except for his red eyes, seemed to have nothing in common with her.

Such a strong-looking person, yet he appeared so weak yesterday.

"Stay here."

He pleaded with her, gasping for breath, his eyes unfocused.

His request sounded almost like a threat.

He seemed desperately afraid of being left alone.

Navia muttered softly, like a sigh.

"I don't really understand the Duke."

His tone was blunt, yet oddly kind, and he seemed to feel a certain fondness for her, only to suddenly become distant and reject me.

Navia felt frustrated, unable to guess why such things were happening.


She decided to fetch fresh water first.

Navia picked up the basin and went downstairs.

"This damned mansion has no servants but is so unnecessarily large!"

Hearing a voice that had become all too familiar in just a few days, Navia stopped in her tracks and turned her gaze toward the main gate.

Sure enough, Theorban and his daughter, Masha, were entering.

Dozens of servants followed them, flaunting their immaculate uniforms.

Navia raised one eyebrow.

"Lord Suleiman must have gone to the Alvin estate. Did their paths cross?"

Moreover, Theorban's demeanor conveyed a strong determination to achieve what he wanted today.

Upon seeing Navia, Theorban frowned unpleasantly.

"Tch! Unlucky to come across such a woman immediately upon arrival."

Navia maintained her courtesy.

"I greet you, Count Alvin."

"Where is Count Geneger? And Count Romanov?"

He didn't even acknowledge her greeting, treating Navia like a servant and asked bluntly.

"You must have missed each other. Lord Suleiman went out to see Count Alvin earlier. Lady Margaret is resting now."

"Hmph, that's none of my concern. Call Count Romanov immediately!"

Just then, Masha, with a shocked expression, asked Theorban.

"Daddy, who is she?"

"Oh, Masha. Remember I told you about a madwoman who attacked the duke's residence? That's her. She's not worth your concern."

Masha glanced at Navia with trembling eyes and bit her lip.

'She's not insignificant at all, is she?'

To Masha, Navia did not seem insignificant at all.

Her captivating silver hair, pale and delicate skin, eyes like red plum blossoms blooming in the snow, fluttering beneath long eyelashes.

Her doll-like smooth nose and small, plump pink lips.

She stood nobly, like a goddess statue in a quiet, deserted chapel.

Masha had never seen such a devastatingly beautiful girl before.

'She's the adopted daughter.'

She had heard that now she was a poor soul without a home, having been disowned by Agnes.

But the girl in front of her did not appear to be in such a miserable state.

She was serene and composed, with an air of maturity.

Masha thought she had only seen such nobility in Lady Sara Lucia, but even Lucia would seem childish before this girl.

This girl had the perfect grace that all noble ladies yearned for. Incredibly so!

"If you were planning to visit, isn't it common sense to notify in advance, Alvin?"

Masha, still unable to take her eyes off Navia, was brought back to reality by Suleiman's sharp voice.

Suleiman seemed to have returned from the Alvin estate in perfect timing.

Ignoring his remark, Theorban said,

"I have brought the anesthetic."

He gestured, and the servants behind him lined up, carrying a wooden box filled with anesthetic.

It was clearly a large amount.

"Settle the payment in the drawing room."

At Suleiman's words, Theorban snorted disdainfully.

He then revealed his true purpose, which he had been hiding, in a harsh tone.

"Forget the money. Register my daughter in the family register, and send that brat to the servant's quarters right away. That's the condition for handing over the anesthetic."

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