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Chapter 107 - Can We Become a Family?

This winter was a bit special.

It must be the aftermath of the news that a cure for the magic reflux disease had been discovered.

As a result, the engagement between Vivian and Prince Ares became a foregone conclusion.

The nobles of the capital were silently waiting for the union between the royal family and the Agnes.

And today was finally the day of their first meeting.

Normally, the pre-engagement meetings are conducted informally.

Even for a union between the royal family and a duke's family, today's meeting was prepared on the scale of a family gathering.

"What if my makeup is too extravagant for the children's meeting?"

Empress Diana, with her glamorous golden hair styled up and adorned with numerous jewels, tried on her new dress.

"The dignity of Her Majesty the Empress is the dignity of the royal family, isn't it? Today, Your Majesty will set the standard for the royal family."

The maids asserted with pride in their voices.

"You all exaggerate too much."

The golden dress indeed displayed the royal family's dignity in its most imposing form.

It was the very epitome of wealth and power.

Soon, the Lady-in-waiting Helen entered the Empress's dressing room.

"The carriage from the Agnes ducal family has just passed through the main gate."

Diana, having lightly dabbed her painted lips on silk, smiled faintly.

"Is our son ready?"

"He's waiting in Your Majesty's bedroom."

Having finished her preparations, Diana went to the bedroom to see her son.


As she affectionately called her son, the nine-year-old boy, tall like the Emperor with ashen hair, turned his gentle gaze towards his mother.

His eyes too were a vivid blue, just like the Emperor's.


His smile and aura were more reminiscent of Diana.

"My goodness, you look so handsome today."

Diana's face was filled with emotion.

"Our son has grown so much, already discussing marriage."

"It's just a meeting, Mother. Marriage is for when one is an adult."

"Still, your mother feels a little melancholy."

Ares got up with a tender smile and approached his mother.

Then, Diana bent down to embrace her son.

"My beloved son. You are all I have."

Diana hugged her son tightly, her expression mixed with a cold sneer.

Yes, she truly only had her son.

No matter how beautiful she remained or how devotedly she behaved, the Emperor was never satisfied with just one wife.

Her son had grown up healthy and beautiful, intelligent and flawless, except for his penchant for collecting silver fur and red eyes.

Diana didn't see anything wrong with such a hobby in a future emperor, but Ulrich disliked the unusual taste in his son.

'How noble it must be to hide a mistress in the Sophia Temple and play the commoner family game.'

Diana had commissioned an information dealer to find out about the Emperor's secret hunting ground and had her suspicions confirmed.

The mistress was a simple and neat brown-haired commoner woman.

She had been the Emperor's cherished mistress for the past eight years.

There were more facts discovered by the information dealer.

'She had a six-year-old daughter.'

Since the mistress had given birth to the Emperor's child, Diana couldn't rashly kill her.

The illegitimate daughter was even more untouchable.

Still an Emperor's bloodline, after all.

Soon, the existence of the child would be revealed to the world, and she would be brought into the royal family.

However, Diana was relieved that the child was younger than Ares and illegitimate, putting her lower in the line of succession.

'If it's a daughter, she might be useful for marriage deals.'

"Come, let's go to the banquet hall."

"Yes, Mother."

Diana took her son's hand and headed to the banquet hall.

Nikan and Vivian had already arrived there.

"How have you been, Duke?"

"Greetings, Your Majesty the Empress."

Then Vivian, who had learned etiquette in bits and pieces, mimicked a greeting.

"Vivian Agnes greets Your Majesty the Empress."

The Empress greeted Vivian with a smile, finding her twisted bow adorable.

"My, Lady Agnes. You've grown so much since I last saw you."

Nikan felt proud that his daughter, though awkward in her etiquette, was healthy and standing here for the meeting.

Nikan laughed heartily and stroked his daughter's hair clinging to his leg.

"His Highness Prince Ares grows more dignified by the day."

At Nikan's words, Ares, uncharacteristically mature for a child, smiled gently.

"You flatter me, Duke."

Vivian carefully observed Ares, her future husband.

'He's even more handsome than my brother.'

Vivian had rarely seen boys of a similar age in her life.

Among those she had seen, Ares was undoubtedly the most outstanding.

"Greetings, Your Highness.”

Vivian, her cheeks faintly flushed, shyly greeted him.

For a moment, Ares looked at Vivian with indifferent eyes, then flipped his expression to a warm one and said,

"Hello, Vivian."

At Ares' friendly greeting, Vivian felt as if she was dreaming.

Then, the Emperor entered the banquet hall, freshly back from his outing.

"Everyone's here, I see."

The Emperor was dressed in a hunting tunic, spotlessly clean despite being out.

He had been meeting with his government.

Diana's expression was as beautiful as a blooming flower, but her eyes were chillingly cold.

"Come, come, it's just a family gathering for us. Take your seats."

The children of the Duffman royal family and the dukes had been particularly close since childhood.

It was natural, given their similar levels.

They raised their wine glasses, lightly congratulating and toasting each other.

Nikan took a sip of wine and then spoke.

"Starting tomorrow, we will begin the distribution of magic stones."

At this, the Empress smiled slightly.

"Decisive as always."

"Tomorrow, the cure for magical flux disease will be featured extensively, right? We should also hurry the opening ceremony of the long-distance railway to capitalize on the momentum."

Ulrich laughed heartily, looking very pleased.

"This is why I trust Duke Agnes. Let us all enjoy this glory for a long time."

"An honor, Your Majesty."

Despite harboring their own ulterior motives, the banquet proceeded in a smooth atmosphere.

Suddenly, Diana inquired about Wood, as if just remembering.

"But why hasn’t young Wood Agnes arrived?"

Nikan's smile stiffened slightly.

"Ah... he has a lot to prepare for his upcoming studies abroad."

"Studying abroad?"

As curious gazes focused on him, Nikan feigned wiping his mouth with a napkin to suppress his boiling emotions.

"I'm thinking of sending him to the Sacred Empire Academy."

Wood had talent in magic knighthood due to his noble lineage.

Yet, he wasn't quite at the level to enter the elite Sacred Empire Academy.

The imperial couple realized that Wood was entering through a donation.

The Sacred Empire Academy, while elite, occasionally admitted students through significant donations.

The Agnes family was immensely wealthy, so paying such a tuition fee was trivial for them.

Whether admitted through money or merit, the title of being a student at the academy was still prestigious.

However, Diana knew, through espionage, that Wood's study abroad wasn't for that purpose.

‘These days, Wood has become so violent that he even made Vivian use a separate floor.’

Ah, what sweet news in these dreary times.

"Wood will be an excellent mage there."

"…Thank you."

The banquet resumed as if nothing had happened.

As time passed, Vivian, unable to bear the boredom, fell asleep, and Ares yawned.

"Let's call it a night."

Nikan called for a carriage, taking his daughter and leaving, while Diana escorted Ares back to the palace before retiring to her bedroom.

'When will the future foresight awaken!'

Her youthful beauty was a thing of the past. But power is eternal.

She was agitated and angry at not hearing from Creed, her perfect weapon.

"Hudson, is he slacking in his duties?"

Despite the dark night, the Empress headed to the cold palace with a lamp in hand.

At the entrance, she sensed something amiss.

The door to the cold palace, which should never be open to prevent any inside occurrences from being revealed, was wide open! She entered hastily with a bad premonition.


Hudson lay dead, his body pierced with glass-like shards.

Diana looked at the shattered crystal prison with a frozen gaze.

"No, not my weapon…!"

The crystal prison had burst, and Creed, who had been confined inside, was nowhere to be seen.

"No, my weapon...!"

Diana approached the shattered crystal prison, her face turning pale.

The crystal prison was an awakening tool made by condensing massive magic extracted from magic stones.

It was a technology acquired by the late Duke Lucia, her father, in exchange for handing over all his poppy farms to Eseled.

"You useless pig!"

Diana kicked and stomped on Hudson's body, killed by the crystal shards, with a chilling murderous intent.

"Hah, hah."

She forced down her anger and muttered.

"…I must find him."

Creed had already become a monster, a human magic hole, possessing immense power within himself.

In the state of being no different from an animal that has lost its wits, that child had to be either taken in or, if that was not feasible, killed.

Diana looked around the cold palace with a murderous aura.

"It seems tonight will be quite exhausting."

She had to burn down the place to erase all evidence.

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