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Chapter 100 - Can We Become a Family?

Theorban clicked his tongue in disapproval as he checked the room Masha would be using for a while.

"Our future empress is going to use such a shabby room."

Even though it was said to be the best on the second floor, it was merely a guest room.

Moreover, the furniture was limited to a table, chair, and a single vanity, making it hard to consider it a noble's room.

The servants Theorban brought were decorating Masha's room, but the things they brought didn't fit the atmosphere and were only alienating.

Masha pouted her lips in dissatisfaction and asked,

"Dad, can't I use the third floor? Why do I have to use such a rundown place!"

Then Theorban said firmly,

"The third floor is strictly off-limits without the head of the family's permission. You could die because of the magic. Tsk."

Masha sighed deeply.

'I just want to stay in my usual room.'

Masha's room in the Alvin Count's house had wallpapers lovingly painted with flowers by artists.

The bedding was a beautiful light pink, as if dyed in flower water, and was filled with real fur dolls gifted by her parents and relatives.

But this place was utterly dark and had no decorations at all.

Masha wondered what kind of person her soon-to-be adoptive father Lark would be.

'I haven't seen Duke Eseled even once, will I see him this time?'

Honestly, she didn't have much expectation.

Theorban always cursed him as a loser, a lifelong bachelor, a man with neither money nor power.

'But the servants said he's the most handsome man in the world.'

She couldn't figure out what was true.

Anyway, the important fact was that from now on, this place would be her home and she would become its master.

"Dad will visit every day, so if there's any problem, make sure to tell me. Understand, my precious daughter?"

Theorban was troubled by the fact that he had to leave his beloved child in this garbage dump.

But it was a necessary step for his precious daughter to ascend to the most noble position.

The current sacrifice would later bring glory to both her and the family.

"Don't worry about me, Dad."

Masha spoke maturely, and Theorban chuckled and patted her head.

"That's right. My daughter is smart like me. But be careful of that cunning girl. That wretched thing might be jealous and do something to you. Understand?"

Masha's smile cracked slightly when she thought of Navia.

The always calm and elegant demeanor reminded her of Empress Diana she saw at the royal palace.

No, strangely, she seemed even more noble.

'No! That can't be.'

That insignificant girl couldn't be more noble than the empress.

She heard that the girl is now simply 'Navia', without a family name.

A status of neither noble nor commoner, just a 'prisoner'. Merely trash.

"Then Dad will leave now."

** * *

After Theorban left, Masha spoke abruptly while eating snacks prepared by the maids.

"I want to change clothes."

"The dressing room is right next door. Let's move there."

Masha had considerably more clothes and accessories than her peers. She proudly changed her clothes several times a day as if showing off her numerous luxuries.

"Will you change into this?"

One maid brought a fancy dress that Masha usually liked to wear around this time.

"I'll wear something else today."

Masha kept being haunted by Navia's extraordinary beauty.

Navia, despite being in her pajamas, looked adult-like and noble.

Masha was very fond of her own clothes. They were cute and lovely, adorned with ribbons, lace, and jewels.

But now, they all seemed childish.

Masha seethed with frustration.

She could not stand being inferior to anyone.

Sara Lucia was the niece of the Empress and a noble lady, so Masha tried hard to suppress her feelings of inferiority, but Navia was different.

Navia, who was in a lesser position than herself, should not have anything better than her.

"Is this all? Isn't there anything else?"

The dressing room was packed with dresses laid out by the maids.

The maids answered awkwardly.

"We've brought out all the dresses, Miss..."

"What? Why only these, you wretched creatures! You did this on purpose to embarrass me!"

"Oh, no! There was no more room in the carriage... Ah!"

Masha violently grabbed the maid who talked back by the hair.

"Then you should have carried more yourself, why so much talk!"

"I'm sorry, Miss!"

Masha, after venting her anger, chose the dress with the most jewels to wear.

Even after dressing up beautifully and wearing pretty clothes and shoes, something felt lacking.

Irritated, Masha threw her favorite doll.

"I'm so annoyed!"

The maids flinched, fearing Masha might grab their hair or kick and hit them.

Masha's behavior was all learned from watching Theorban.

"But why isn't that prisoner in jail?"

The maids instantly understood 'that person' to be Navia.

"I've heard they're treating her well on purpose to trouble the master..."

"Trouble my father? How?"

"Well, I don't know..."

The maids, not knowing about politics, looked puzzled.

Masha, still young and as ignorant as them, didn't understand how Navia could trouble her father.

"So she's the problem, then?"

Then, as a good daughter, she should trouble Navia for her father's sake.

Masha pondered how to make Navia more miserable, like a rat in a gutter.

Navia had to look as pitiful and wretched as possible.

Only then would she herself stand out more.

"That dress from before, it's not enough just to step on it. Tear it up."

The maids, resembling their mistress, lit up their eyes.

"Leave it to us, Miss."

* * *

Navia changed out of her damp pajamas into another set.

The sky-blue dress, still damp, was laid near the hearth along with the cloak.

Charlotte left to finish preparing Navia's meal. There was no time to keep being angry and bothered by such trivial matters.

What mattered was Lark's condition.

She quickly filled a basin with cold water and went upstairs.

"Mr. Suleiman."

Suleiman, feeding Lark an anesthetic, looked at Navia apologetically.

"I was just about to come down to check. Did anything happen?"

"I'm fine. Count Alvin has gone back, and it's quiet now."

"I see..."

"What about the Duke?"

"We've managed to give him the anesthetic Minerva hastily prepared, but we'll have to see how it goes."

Navia approached the bed, placed the basin on the stool, and wet a towel in cold water. She wrung it tightly and laid it on Lark's forehead, still burning like a flame.

"Can I ask what happened yesterday?"

Navia smiled awkwardly.

Somehow, she felt that Lark's unstable appearance she had witnessed should only be known to her.

It seemed better not to bring anything up until he woke up.

"I'm sorry."

That's why Navia could only respond that way.

"There's nothing to be sorry about. You must have your reasons."

Navia felt comforted by Suleiman's words, realizing how amazing and surprising it was to have someone who supported her actions, even when she couldn't explain them.

'Please, just wait a little longer.'

She was determined to take back the poppy farm and ensure that Eseled's followers would no longer bow to the worthless Theorban.

"Alright, go rest now."

"No, you rest, Mr. Suleiman. You must be tired. I'll keep watch here."

Suleiman couldn't hide his admiration for Navia's mature and dignified behavior.

"Our little lady is indeed commendable. More grown-up than even our lord."

Navia fidgeted with her hands.

Our little lady. Our lord.

She felt awkward realizing she was now included in 'our'.

Suleiman laughed heartily and patted Navia's head.

"The lord is a special person and will soon wake up without any problem. You don't need to worry about nursing him."


Although Navia had sensed that Lark was an extraordinary person, recalling his appearance from yesterday, he seemed too small and frail.

It didn't make sense, but that's how she felt.

Still, it wasn't good to reject kindness too much, so she complied with Suleiman's words.

"I will do that."

Navia knew well that she wasn't naturally charming or lively enough to be easily adored.

It was much easier to gain favor by being obedient and gentle.

'I can't be someone's sore spot.'

As Navia went downstairs, Charlotte wrapped her in a blanket as if she had been waiting.

"Thank you. But where did you get this?"

"I received it from Mine yesterday."

Navia smiled happily.

"I'm glad you're getting along with Mine."

Charlotte grinned, looking at Navia, who spoke as naturally as if she were the head of a family.

'Perhaps the lady is not yet aware...'

Navia in Eseled was completely different from when she was in Agnes.

There, she was more compulsive and guarded.

Here, she seemed to have slightly let down the thorns she had wrapped around herself, peeking out at the world.

To Charlotte, this change seemed even more dramatic.

"I've brought food to your room. Please eat soon, Miss."

Navia nodded and returned to her room with Charlotte.

But the door was open.

"I'm sure I locked it..."

Charlotte muttered in dismay and hurried to the room. The doorknob was broken.


Charlotte turned to Navia with a pale face.

Navia stood silently at the open door, looking inside.

"All the clothes are torn."

The clothes Navia had were all meaningful to her.

But seeing even the cloak with special memories from Margaret torn to shreds, her blood ran cold.

'Ah, finally.'

A sharp anger, as if standing in the heart of Agnes once more, wrapped around her after a long time.

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