Home Post 1199-chapter-17


The imperial family traditionally decided on agenda items through voting in the monthly nobility meetings, where nobles exerted their influence. The Arachrene family had always maintained neutrality, not siding with anyone explicitly.

However, at some point, votes that favored the Empress’s agenda began to mysteriously increase whenever crucial decisions needed the favor. It was clear where these extra votes were coming from.

The elders started coughing nervously.

“…Ah, ahem.”

“How was it possible to gain a majority for the first prince’s appointment as the crown prince?”

This happened after Rysideon Arachrene was named the crown prince’s swordsmanship master.

Regardless of the truth, it sparked rumors that the Arachrene family had bowed to the imperial family. Those results came from those who were promised significant benefits from the Empress in exchange for their influence.

“If we want to continue seeing each other’s faces and engaging in long conversations here, we better behave ourselves moving forward.”

Fernore said, smiling slyly.

Archmond clicked his tongue inside. Lastly, Fernore highlighted the elders’ voting rights, securing the family’s neutrality once again.

For a while, the elders who were cautious of their actions didn’t dare think otherwise. Regardless of their true intentions, from the outside, it appeared as if Duchy Arachrene’s internal unity had strengthened.

“It seems we’ve covered all important agenda items, so let’s conclude today’s meeting.”

Fernore announced, moving the documents and closing the meeting. The elders seemed perplexed, but no one objected.

As he strode towards the exit and flung the door open, at the same time—

“Oh no!”

—Riersha, who had placed her ear closely by the door, stumbled forward. She narrowly avoided a fall but her nose tingled.

She had buried her face into Fernore’s leg.

Fernore, blocking the door awkwardly, tilted his head and asked.

“What are you doing here?”

…She was caught while listening in on the meeting.


* * *


Consequently, Riersha found herself dragged into the now-empty council hall.

‘…What to do? I got caught eavesdropping.’

She hadn’t actually intended to eavesdrop on the meeting. It was just that the repeated mention of ‘the imperial family’ during the discussions had taken her attention, making her stay put. And that was how she ended up being caught red-handed by Fernore.

How to navigate this awkward situation?

As she was deeply pondering, she heard Fernore chuckle softly. He had been watching her with arms crossed for a while now.

“I can almost hear the gears turning in your head.”

“Gwears in my head?”

Riersha flinched, reflexively grabbing her head. Although she knew it was absurd, she had reacted immediately to Fernore’s comment.

While fidgeting her hands and feeling embarrassed.

“Is that what you think it means?”


Of course, it was Archmond scolding her. Riersha sheepishly lowered her hands from her head.

‘But why hasn’t Grandpa left yet? He must be busy.’

Even after the meeting ended, Archmond remained seated.

As she glanced over the tall desk at him, she thought their eyes met for a moment. Startled, Riersha quickly averted her gaze elsewhere. Her red eyes went looking everywhere, then darted back to Archmond.

‘I must have imagined it.’

There was no way she could have made eye contact with him.

Disheartened, Riersha looked down. Her round head looked gloomy. Meanwhile, Archmond’s red eyes, who had been pretending to be occupied with something else in a more sophisticated manner, subtly shifted his gaze back to the little girl.

In his eyes, Riersha seemed intimidated. It was his way of compromise.

The scene was awkward, hardly resembling a typical interaction between a grandfather and his granddaughter.

Rocinante, who was observing closely, clicked his tongue.

‘If only they’d said they wished to get closer to Miss Riersha directly instead of being so blunt.’

Riersha was the one who ended up feeling frightened. She probably wouldn’t know for the rest of her life that she was dealing with two adult men desperately looking for excuses to spend time with her.

‘…It seems both of them have a long way to go.’

Rocinante sighed deeply.

‘The Duke isn’t very straightforward either.’

From his perspective, it seemed only a matter of time before Archmond would come around to Riersha. Despite claiming he didn’t like her, he continually paid attention towards the child. He was worried he might be inseparable from her.

Especially since today’s meeting ended on a positive note, which put Archmond in a good mood. Riersha must have seemed even more adorable to him under those circumstances.

Rocinante glanced at Oberon, who, like him, was waiting outside.

As Oberon felt his gaze and turned his head, an indescribable look passed between them at that moment, prompting Rocinante to smile and give a look that said, ‘Why aren’t you leaving?’ before Oberon casually ignored this and turned away again.

Rocinante placed his focus back on the council hall.

Breaking the silence, Fernore asked, “Why haven’t you left yet? You’re supposed to be the busiest person in the Duchy.”

“I’m not busy at all today. I’ve got a completely free afternoon.”

As Archmond retorted without even looking up, Fernore’s smile twisted.

“That can’t be right.”

“What do you know about being busy?”

“Don’t you have an aide waiting outside anxiously?”

“Aren’t you the one who’s most occupied? Can’t stand lazing around immediately after coming home. And vanished into your office already.”

Archmond waved his head, insisting he couldn’t be the first to leave. Fernore’s eyebrows shot up mountain-high.

This led to an amusing standoff between the two.

“Please leave.”


“…I need to spend some time with my daughter, so please go.”

“She’s my granddaughter too!”

As the voices of the two men rose, Riersha began to fidget uncomfortably, not knowing how to react. Noticing her unease, they both fell silent as if by agreement.

Ahem, hmm.”

Clearing his throat, Archmond seemed to contemplate something before pushing a plate of snacks towards Riersha.

“It’s just unnecessarily sweet and not good at all.”


“You eat them.”

Riersha blinked at the sweets laid out before her.

‘Grandpa must not like sweets.’

She was unaware that the snacks had been carefully selected based on personal preferences.

“Then, thank you.”


The child reached for a biscuit topped with chocolate with her small hand and opened her mouth—each bite she took made an unusually loud crunching sound in the council hall.

“Wow, it’s yummy!”

Riersha exclaimed sincerely. It felt like the most luxurious treat she had ever tasted. Even though she couldn’t tell which brand it was, she wanted to ask Sona to prepare it for snack time in the future.

Watching Riersha eagerly eat the snacks, Fernore commented dryly. Of course, it was a remark only Archmond could hear at such a low volume.

“Do you really want to attract attention with such childish methods?”

“Anyway, I’m better than you. You didn’t even get her attention.”


“Do you like it? Shall I give you more?”

When Archmond asked Riersha proudly, she nodded with crumbs sticking to her mouth. Her bulging cheeks kept moving.

“Yes, so yummy! Grandpa not wike sweets?”

She asked, and Archmond smiled happily.

“Yes, I really don’t like sweets.”

“I see, then I eat all for you!”

Riersha wasn’t bothered at all. In fact, she was more than happy to as she liked sweets. Her cheeks puffed out as she smiled brightly.

Seeing that the trivial nerve war between father and son might continue, Rocinante decided it was time to intervene.

“Excuse me, Miss Riersha. What brings you to the council hall?”