Home Post 1092-chapter-157


Swallowing dryly, Siervian stepped inside the desolate Empress’ Palace.

It was the most dismal sight Siervian had ever seen.

‘So this is what it looks like when a palace is sealed off.’

The once-radiant, resplendent glass windows were tightly boarded over with wooden planks. Barricades of thorny trees blocked all entrances leading into the palace, save for one, which was heavily guarded by vigilant sentinels.

“Greetings to Her Highness the Princess.”

“…I want to enter.”

“As you wish, Your Highness.”

The guards made no move to bar Siervian and her escort’s path.

From now on, only the bare necessities for survival would be allowed to pass through here.

‘I never imagined Father would go this far.’

Of course, it wasn’t an excessive measure.

The ducal family had committed a crime far graver than treason. The fact that the Empress had actively colluded yet was spared execution and merely confined was most likely a decision made solely for the sake of the Crown Prince.

‘There’s no one here.’

When the mistress of the palace was confined, the servants and maids who worked there had a choice to make. They could either remain in this frigid palace to demonstrate their loyalty or request reassignment elsewhere.

Naturally, no one remained in the Empress’ Palace.

“What business do you have in this wretched place?”

“…I have come to see Her Majesty the Empress.”

Siervian offered a formal greeting for the time being. The Empress had been stripped of all her authority. Even her freedom to appear in public had been taken away.

However, she still retained her identity as a member of the royal family.

“Hah! Do you dare mock me now?”

However, the Empress interpreted Siervian’s last remaining courtesy differently.

[Cybelle Pacour]
Thoughts: How did things come to this! That wretched girl!

I should have gotten rid of her when she was a baby……!

With a sense of bewilderment, Siervian gazed at the Empress as she spewed hatred toward her.

Why on earth?

“Why do you hate me so?”

Siervian couldn’t help but blurt out the question, despite having more pressing matters to attend to.

It was a question that had plagued her ever since her regression. Why did the Empress despise her so?

“Why do I hate you?”

In her previous life, she had tried to win the Empress’ affection.

But despite her efforts, all the Empress had ever given her was poison and a death sentence.

‘The false accusation that I practiced black magic, which they still have no proof of, was most likely the work of Duke Pacour and his sister the Empress.’

Perhaps they had intended to dispose of her, with her allergy to harmin, before she reached adulthood.

“Because you are that Abishe’s daughter! Do I need any other reason?!”

The Empress shrieked hysterically in response to her question. The mask of feigned kindness she had struggled to maintain had long ago fallen away.

But the Empress’ outburst still made no sense.

“That lowly wench bewitched His Majesty. How dare he look for a proper heir in the harem when I am here? I, the most noble of all nobles! I broke a long-standing taboo to become a member of the royal family!” The Empress muttered, roughly pushing back her disheveled hair.

It seemed that the shock of being abruptly confined to the palace and left alone still lingered.

And in her voice, Siervian detected a hint of doubt.

‘A proper heir? A long-standing taboo?’

To be honest, Siervian thought the term ‘proper heir’ applied more to her brother.

If she hadn’t been given a second chance at life and hadn’t known the future, and if she hadn’t had the status windows, she wouldn’t have been able to accomplish so much.

“That cursed black hair of yours! Right now!”

However, Siervian’s musings were cut short. The Empress, who had been tearing at her own hair, suddenly strode toward her.

“Stand back.”

“How dare a mere escort stand before me!”

The Empress was still a member of the royal family. Instead of harming her, Sir Roid simply used his body to shield Siervian.

“Sir Roid, stand down.”

“Your Highness.”

“It’s alright. If I’m in any danger, you can help me again.”

Siervian put aside her remaining questions and instead focused on what needed to be said. She didn’t want to see Sir Roid get hurt unnecessarily.

“The Duke has escaped. Do you know where he went?”

Her young body instinctively tried to shrink back.

‘I won’t allow it anymore.’

But Siervian forced herself to straighten her back and face the Empress with dignity.

“Hah. Did you think I would obediently tell you if I knew? You foolish girl.”

[Cybelle Pacour]
Thoughts: Brother has gone to the safe house outside the city…! He will surely be able to plan for the future there.

The Empress paused for a moment then spoke again, her tone sharp. She glared at the armed escort as if she wanted to kill them, but there was a glimmer of hope in her eyes.

Siervian asked a question that was just pointed enough that Sir Roid wouldn’t find it strange.

“Judging from the fact that he escaped and his whereabouts are unknown, he must have a safe house outside the city.”

“What, what…! How did you know!”

The Empress was unable to maintain her composure when Siervian mentioned the safe house as if she had read her mind.

After all, everything she had worked for her entire life was crumbling around her.

“Is there a secret passage connecting the ducal palace to the safe house?”

She pressed her relentlessly. The guards had raided the palace swiftly, but they had failed to capture the Duke.

Perhaps there was a way for him to move around undetected.


The Empress bit her lip and remained silent.

[Cybelle Pacour]
Thoughts: Could it be that the secret passage leading from the study in the Duke’s estate to the underground has finally been discovered? No, that can’t be right. If that were the case, he would have headed straight for the inner palace.

It’s futile anyway.

“I see. So that’s how he was able to escape so quickly. There must be a space in the Duke’s estate that connects to an underground secret passage. Understood.”


Her true intentions exposed, the Empress finally noticed a strange sense of incongruity.

“You wretch, what is this?”

However, Siervian cut the Empress off sharply, not wanting Sir Roid to notice.

“…Sir Roid. Let’s go.”

“Yes, Your Highness.”

“Just now, what was…!”

Unable to fully grasp the situation, the Empress hurriedly approached Siervian. At that moment, the sound of a door opening reached their ears.



“Your Majesty…! Your Highness! How could you treat me like this!”

Despite having their guards with them, the Emperor and the crown prince were worried about Siervian. That’s why they had only given her brief orders and rushed over belatedly.

“Siervy, are you alright?”

Carefully avoiding the resentful gaze of his mother the Empress, Damian asked Siervian.

Her heart aching at the sadness in his expression, Siervian quickly took his hand and led him from the room.

“Yes, Brother. I’m fine now.”

It was a complex answer.

She was fine now. The true villainess had received her just punishment, and her family had come running to her because they were worried about her.

‘I won’t look back anymore.’

Even though she was so loved, there was still a cold hand occasionally tugging at her ankle.

Why did she have to be so hated? What had she done wrong?

‘It wasn’t my fault.’

Until the very end, the Empress had directed her enmity at Siervian’s mother and not Siervian herself.

From the very beginning, the Empress’ heart would not have changed, no matter what Siervian did.

“Let’s go.”

Siervian could finally cast off the sorrow that had followed her from her previous life.

Because she had done nothing wrong.

“Yes, let’s go.”

After they left, the massive door of the Empress’ Palace closed again, appearing to Siervian like a farewell to her previous life.

* * *

After learning of the duke’s whereabouts, Siervian moved quickly. No one suspected that she had obtained this information from the Empress.

However, when Siervian said she would accompany them to arrest the duke, her father worried again. So she had no choice but to convince him that there would come a time when her ‘ability’ would be needed.

‘Once this is over, I’ll have a serious conversation with my family about my ability.’

Since the matter involved Harmin, the emperor took personal action. The Imperial Guards were already thoroughly searching the Duke’s estate and surroundings, so the soldiers who came to support the emperor’s procession moved quickly.

“I can’t believe the duke created a secret passage under his mansion.”

With all its guards detained, the duke’s mansion looked desolate. Once untouchable, the mansion’s status had now plummeted to the ground.

Not long after mobilizing the soldiers, they were able to locate a secret passage under the desk in the study that the duke used. It was thanks to Siervian’s hint that it led underground.

“Stay behind me, Siervy.”


The secret passage was quite large, suggesting that it had been expanded over a long period. In fact, they soon came to a fork in the tunnel.

“There’s a response from this side.”

And only on the left path did Mana Detection pick up anything.

Siervian and her party naturally turned left.

“Damn it, already. Attack!”

As they closed in, the sound of swords being drawn rang out from within.

“Protect His Majesty!”

The enemy knights fought fiercely, taking advantage of the narrow passage.


However, they were outnumbered and outmatched. Especially when a formidable mage like the emperor was facing them head-on.

“Hmm. Stand back a little.”

Before unleashing his final spell against them, her father said to Siervian.

[Alderuan Elverdotte]
Thoughts: I can’t let the precious Siervian witness such a wretched scene.


It wasn’t a situation where she could stubbornly insist, so Siervian obediently stepped back with Sir Roid.

Habitually glancing at the enemy knight who had collapsed to the ground.

[Thoughts: We’ve successfully lured them to this path. Ugh. Please stay out of harm’s way, Your Excellency.]

‘A lure? Then the duke must have gone down the right path!’

They had unconsciously assumed that the duke would be on the left. In such an urgent situation, it would be a gamble to station his close knights elsewhere.

But it seemed that the duke had taken that gamble. Siervian hurriedly tried to inform her father of this.

[Thoughts: We have to keep them pinned down here….]

Unfortunately, the fallen knight was quicker to pull out something from his pocket and press it. It was a small switch-like object.

“Ah…! Everyone, watch out…!”

“Stop him!”

“Ugh. It’s too late.”

Her father was the first to look back at Siervian after the fallen knight’s strange behavior.

Just then.

“Get out of the way!”

Sir Roid reflexively pulled Siervian behind him.


Something rose between her father and Siervian in an instant. It was a massive iron wall that completely blocked the passage.