Home Post 1194-chapter-86


“The contract stipulated that you would only fight off Alors, but it seems that the Cartiel will continue to target me after that.”

Hmm. I chose my words carefully.

“I first signed the contract to ensure my safety, and―”

“…The reason Cartiel is targeting you is because you captured Cartiel’s attention in Argenta.”

Diello smoothly interrupted me.

I hadn’t intended to discuss responsibility.

As our eyes met, I asked him cautiously, “…Irrespective of who is at fault, how about we extend the contract until Cartiel is defeated?”

After a brief pause, I added.

“Of course, you can continue to search for the Ferro during that time.”

I looked him straight in the eye.

“I can’t help but think that if Diello had awakened with the Ferro, the Alors wouldn’t have been able to launch such a reckless attack.”

After the death of the youngest knight, it felt like a bucket of cold water had been poured over me as if to clear my head. I couldn’t afford to be charmed by his sweet smile any longer. If I continued like this, I didn’t know what else I might lose.

…To prevent any further sacrifices and pain.

Diello slowly opened his mouth in response to my words.

“An even longer extension is possible.”

“Until the Ferro appears?”

Diello didn’t answer my question for a moment. He had a light expression on his face as if he would answer me soon.

After a brief silence, he replied.

“All right. Until the real Ferro appears…”

He paused for a moment to choose his words.

“…And marries me.”

Then, he changed the subject naturally.

“That’s important, but we should also prepare for the possibility of Cartiel invading right after the battle.”

His hand traced the boundary between the Alors and the Cartiel. It was something to worry about, though I shook my head slightly.

“Even so, if they don’t have a reason to invade, it will take some time.”

It would be unreasonable not to prepare for it, though. After all, since both sides were dukedoms, they needed a reason to invade. And that reason would be difficult to establish, at least during the battle between the Alors and Argenta.

We wouldn’t be attacked right away.


* * *


How long had I been working outside, trying to distract myself? I noticed a strange glow in the water that I had been staring at.


As I stood up and approached the water’s edge, Diello followed me.


He also noticed the strange magical energy and frowned. As he reached out and touched the water first, a paper imbued with magical energy floated up. I could feel the same magical energy from the paper as I had from the paper that the Duke of Alors had given me.

It was meant for me. It must have been designed to follow my magical energy through the water to reach me.


Diello frowned. I could clearly see his hand twitching slightly.

He had sensed Alors’ magical energy.

“I’ll take a look.”

Even though I quickly tried to take the paper, Diello shook his head.

“It’s fine.”

Then, he unfolded the paper.

The paper, imbued with magical energy, was not wet at all. As I placed my hand on it, the paper, which had seemed empty, reacted to my magical energy and displayed words.

[ Krua Alors, have you received the report? ]

It seemed like a note was originally intended for me alone, which is why it came to me, but Alors probably didn’t expect Diello to see it with me. The Duke of Alors probably thought that I had ‘regained my senses and was working towards my goal’ after my last visit.

[ Have you eliminated all the lilies of the Duke of Diello Argenta? ]

More words appeared.

As Diello and I met each other’s gaze, I pointed at the paper.

“He’s really eager.”

Since they were already preparing to invade, we couldn’t delay for long, but it seemed like we could probably decide the exact timing of the invasion on our side.

“When should we send word that the lilies have been eliminated?”

Diello narrowed his eyes.

“Tomorrow would be good.”

By then, the paperwork would be finished. If we send word then, it would reach the Duke of Alors at the right time.

He answered in a calm voice.

His gaze towards the enemy was cold, as always.


* * *


That night, Krua fell asleep early.

She had been complaining of fatigue a lot lately.

“…Is it because of all the paperwork lately?”

Diello muttered somewhat worriedly. Even though Nias had examined her, there was nothing wrong with her body. On the contrary…

“Her heart rate and flow of energy are much smoother than usual.”

He had said that she was in peak condition, so why did she seem so tired and go to sleep so early?

As he narrowed his worried eyes, Diello remembered Krua asking him, ‘How about we extend the contract until Cartiel is defeated?’

“Fine. Until the real Ferro marries me.”

He recalled his own cunning reply, hiding his dark intentions.


Diello uttered the unpleasant word. It should have been a welcome word for every head, but not for him.

As he felt twisted inside whenever he thought of Venia, he regretted more and more that Krua was not his Ferro. If she were his Ferro, he wouldn’t have to go through this much trouble. He would have accepted his fate willingly.


Diello narrowed his eyes.

“Does she know that you’re this kind of man?”

He remembered Venia asking him that repeatedly.

‘No, she doesn’t.’

He let out a short sigh. What would his wife, who expected him to be kind, say if she knew that he was hiding the real Ferro?


He felt his heart sink more and more.

At first, he hid Venia to get what he wanted. However, the more he hid her, the more impatient Krua became.

It was obvious that she was waiting for the Ferro.

An uncomfortable feeling washed over him as if a heavy stone had been placed on his heart. Would she understand him if he told her that he did it because he didn’t want to part with her? At some point, he had started thinking of excuses, but she would say that wasn’t good for Argenta.

That was all he could think of.

His mind seemed to go blank whenever he saw Krua, who believed that he had to marry the real Ferro to completely defeat the enemy and be safe.

“What should I do…”

He pondered, looking down at the empty desk in his office where he had already finished his work.

He didn’t think of himself as a good person. He was someone who could shamelessly take what belonged to others for the sake of Argenta. Still, this time, for some reason, he hesitated. Was he going crazy after pretending to be good?


He shook his head slightly. That wasn’t it. He already knew the answer.

He wanted Krua to think well of him.

He wanted to be the person his wife wanted him to be.

He wanted to be the man she wanted, someone in a real relationship, not a fake couple based on a fake relationship.

…The problem was that he kept lying to her.

He let out a pained breath.

“I didn’t intend to hide it forever.”

The fact that he was hiding Ferro.

The fact that he was deliberately not awakening.

The fact that what she had been waiting for had been in his hands all along.

If he was going to tell her, he should have told her from the beginning. It was because if the Ferro had come, she would have naturally asked for a divorce. That was why he couldn’t tell her.

And now that relationship has been built on that lie…

He couldn’t bring himself to tell her because he thought that if he revealed that lie, all the feelings they had built up until now would be gone. Because of that, he couldn’t bring himself to reveal the lie, and now a thick layer of feelings has built up on it.

He should have revealed it sooner.

It was too late for regrets.

“When the Ferro comes…”

She had said that and looked at him, worrying about him and telling him to love someone else.

The wall between her and him, which he thought was thin, now seemed thick. It had seemed thin enough that he could easily climb over it. He thought he could do it with a little effort. He was confident he could.

She might not come over it if she knew he was a liar. She might even try to get away.

The moment he realized that…


Diello felt a fear so strong it was choking him. He couldn’t go on like this. Before he committed a greater sin, a greater mistake…

That was when he made up his mind.


A slight vibration echoed around them.


He froze and looked towards the annex. And then.


A violent surge of force shook the surroundings. It was coming from the direction where Venia was.

“My lord!”

An urgent report came in.

“Venia is using her water powers in the basement of the annex!”

Diello’s eyes widened at those words.