Home Post 1172-chapter-22


“Well, actually, you stood up for me instead. I don’t know what happened, but that guy said something slanderous about me earlier.”

“Right. I said something you shouldn’t have heard.”

“So, in fact, I should be thanking you. …Thank you.”

Eve’s ears turned red as she spoke with her head down. Charles continued to look at her clasped hands before whispering in her ear.

“Don’t act like that in front of the Emperor.”


“Because I feel like you might pass out looking at my face.”

“Who’s going to faint looking at whose face?”

“You’re going to faint looking at my face.”

“Oh, please!”

Eve let out an exasperated breath. Why should I like your face? Eve forcefully pushed his hand away.

“I’m not interested in men. Especially handsome ones.”

“Well? That’s something you don’t know. You’re so blind to such men that you’d give your heart to them…”

Eve slapped Charles’ chest hard. She looked visibly angry.

“I’ve never given my heart to a man like Arsen.”

“Sorry, my mistake.”

Ignoring Charles’ apology, Eve turned away. Charles tried to follow her, but soon gave up and sighed, running an irritated hand through his hair.

“His Majesty was wrong this time. Why did she act like this out of nowhere?”

Without warning, Tiago’s jab reached Charles, distorting his expression even more. Tiago quickly changed the subject before any sparks could fly.

“Besides, Bonaparte was looking for you. Since the Duchess will be there, it might be a good idea for you to go.”


Charles watched Eve’s retreating figure before finally turning back.

Meanwhile, Eve had arrived on the terrace in a heated temper and gulped down the wine she had brought with her.

In truth, she wasn’t angry with Charles. She was just venting her frustration because Charles had mentioned the truth.

She had given Arsen everything. Body and soul. And was discarded heartlessly. That fact was still an indelible mark in her new life.

But it wasn’t as if Charles had done something terribly wrong that would justify her beating him in front of everyone.

She could have just shrugged it off as usual, but she found herself involuntarily getting worked up.

“How childish, Yvonne. How rude.”

Eve cursed herself as she swallowed the wine again. The burning sensation made her stomach feel bitter.

The fact that Arsen might have swapped with the Emperor was already bothering her, and in the midst of the divorce, Cecilia, and everything else, it was getting on her nerves. The thought that Charles might be toying with her was also worrying.

She had to act wisely. Her new life had to be different from her past.

Ironically, that thought seemed to torment her even more.

Finally, Eve sighed. What’s the right path? What do I want to do? She was lost in thought as she looked at the roses in the garden.

“You seem to have a lot on your mind, Duchess.”

The voice of a stranger made her turn quickly. And she was surprised. Standing there was none other than the Emperor.

Seeing him up close, his beauty seemed almost inhuman. But her surprise was short-lived; Eve quickly set her mind to work.

‘Could this man be Arsen? If so, what is his purpose in approaching me? Is he trying to gauge my reaction?’

The problem with Arsen was that even though he wasn’t interested in Eve, he didn’t seem to want to let her go.

Of course, he had considerable power as part of the Laurent family, but there was also a possessiveness about Eve, as if she belonged to him. In her past life, Eve had mistaken that possessiveness for love.

If His Majesty came all the way to the terrace to talk to me… there must be an important reason.

“……Greetings to His Majesty the Emperor.”

Eve greeted respectfully, hiding her inner turmoil. The Emperor, Arsen, narrowed his eyes at Eve and smiled.

Although she had once been as plain as a withered weed, she now had a certain charm that he found somewhat appealing. After all, if she was going to be his wife, she would have to present herself accordingly.

“Perhaps it wouldn’t be a bad idea, if the opportunity arises, for you to be my mistress. With the power of the Laurent family…”

Before, she had been a woman who couldn’t move an inch against him. Now that he was the emperor, she had no choice but to be even more obedient. But then again, with a face like his, any woman would easily submit. However, contrary to Arsen’s thoughts, Eve questioned whether this man was really Arsen or not. The emperor was beautiful, but was that enough for her to recognize him?

Finally, Eve asked in a somewhat stiff tone, “Your Majesty, may I ask why you are here?”

“Oh, I came out for some fresh air and happened to see the Duchess.”

“Do you know me?”

“Hmm, I’ve seen you before from a distance.”

It wasn’t strange that he didn’t remember if they had met before. After all, the emperor met and saw many people. What was more surprising was that he remembered seeing her from afar.

“Your memory is impressive.”

Arsen was taken aback by Eve’s sharp remark.

Cecilia had warned him not to pretend to know anyone from Fontaine. It might reveal his true identity. In truth, Arsen hadn’t been too worried even after hearing that advice. How could the unsuspecting Eve find out? Besides, since he was playing a completely different role in front of her, Eve would never connect the dots.

So he planned to check out Fontaine’s current situation and observe her reactions. That’s what he thought, but…

‘Surely you haven’t discovered anything?’

Anxious, Arsen cleared his throat and changed the subject.

“Anyway, it was nice to meet you. I must go now.”

“Wait, Your Majesty.”

“What is it?”

Eve stared at Arsen intently without saying a word. Then she superimposed the image of her familiar husband on him.

“Something about you is familiar.”

Even if it seemed superficial, they had known each other for over a decade, since childhood. His little habits, gestures, expressions, everything was etched in Eve’s memory.

And those memories told her something. That this man resembled Arsen.

‘But I can’t be sure yet.’

If this man was really Arsen, things would escalate from there. This matter required utmost caution. She might even have to become a traitor to her own family because of him.

At that moment,

“Madam, are you here? I’ve been looking for you for a while.”

Noah opened the terrace curtains and stepped inside. At that moment, Arsen flinched when he saw Noah. Eve didn’t miss the reaction.

“Oh, Your Majesty is here, too. I apologize if I startled you.”

“Oh, no need to apologize. Margrave, you were here, too.”


Arsen hastily wrapped up the situation and left as if fleeing the scene. Noah watched the emperor’s retreat and frowned.

“Isn’t His Majesty a bit lax compared to before? That wasn’t the case before.”

“Do you think so, too?”


Eve asked Noah, who tilted his head with a smile.

“Do you also find something strange about the Emperor today?”

“It’s not that he’s strange, but… he feels a bit uncomfortable today, as if he’s done something wrong…”

As someone who had often thwarted surprise attacks from the Minok tribe, Noah’s senses were sharp. Then, as if he had suddenly realized something, he raised his voice.

“Could it be that His Majesty said something disrespectful to you?”

“Oh, Noah.”

Eve sighed, feeling like it was starting all over again. Noah was undoubtedly her lovable younger brother, but sometimes she wondered who had made him that way.

“What could possibly be wrong with His Majesty to behave like this toward me?”

He wasn’t Arsen. Then again, even Arsen often brought other women into his affairs, so it was unlikely to be about her.

But Noah did not even seem to be convinced that Eve was a noblewoman.

“How can you say that? You are more beautiful than the morning dew on fresh leaves, and your eyes shine brighter than the moonlight in a deep night sky.”

Embarrassed by Noah’s passionate defense, Eve’s cheeks flushed.

“Stop it. I’m afraid someone might hear.”

“This brother only spoke the truth to you, so there is no shame under heaven.”

‘Ugh, who made him like this? Was it me? Was it me?’

Eve silently scolded herself and gently tapped Noah’s arm.

“Oh, I’m embarrassed. Let’s stop and go outside. I feel a little dizzy after drinking. Could you escort me?”

“Of course.”

Noah held out his arm with a dignified expression. Smiling at his demeanor, Eve soon pushed away the memory of Charles offering his arm.

“If you are angry, express your anger.”

That was what he himself had said… Of course, she would apologize later. She also had to talk about whether the Emperor was Arsen or not.

He would surely appear before her again tomorrow, whistling. Eva believed this when she left the terrace with Noah.

But what happened next was completely unexpected for Eve, as she found herself face to face with Charles in a situation she had never imagined.

* * *

“Eve, Eve.”

Eve had become increasingly intoxicated since leaving the terrace and had fallen asleep early in the guest room at the Imperial Palace. She frowned when someone shook her awake.

“Eve, wake up.”

With her eyes closed, Eve thought. There were only four people in the world who called her ‘Eve.’ Among them, her grandfather and her parents were probably not here, which meant…