Home Post 1312-chapter-28


“Liliana, do you feel any pain or dizziness after sweating profusely all morning and afternoon?”

Eldest Sister asked while combing my hair. I answered, fiddling with Cookie’s long ears.

“No, I don’t feel any pain.”

Eldest Sister was always sensitive to my health, because if I overexerted myself even a little, I would get a fever and collapse.

In fact, I spent ten days on a ship to get to the empire. Everyone thought that I would get seriously ill due to the travel fatigue, but somehow I was still fine.

“Can I ask Uncle Reo to ride a horse after dinner tonight?”

“Do you want to ride a horse?”

“Uncle Leo is tall, so I can smell the air above me.”

“Okay, then. I’ll be sure to ask him.”


Marius and Leopold decided to join us for dinner.

According to Eldest Sister, it was to implicitly declare that the emperor cared a lot about the distinguished guests from Trovanza.

They move fast.

Older Sister bitterly criticized Marius’ choice.

Anyway, for that reason, I held Eldest Sister’s hand as we went to the restaurant.

“When can I see Youngest Sister?”

Instead of answering, Eldest Sister placed Cookie next to me.

Older Sister didn’t seem to know what her younger sister was up to.

Eldest Sister, Older Sister and I sat down in that order and waited for others to arrive.

“Older Sister, you’re pretty.”

Older Sister kept smoothing her hair, so I gave her a thumbs up.

“Really? Little One, do I look pretty today?”

“Yes. Not the most beautiful in the world, but the second most beautiful.”

“Who’s first?”

“That’s, uh…”

There was no way I could just say Eldest Sister.

“Me! I’m the prettiest!”

As I slyly spoke, Older Sister stroked my cheek, saying that was correct.

While the two of us were chatting back and forth, Marius, Leopold, and Edgar entered the restaurant at the same time.

Similarly to when I saw him in front of the hotel, Marius seemed aloof. His atmosphere in the imperial palace was quite different from when he was in Trovanza. Unlike his unruliness in Trovanza, he was untouchable.

Come to think of it, he was originally a tyrannical emperor.

In the original, he was a ruthless man who, after ascending the throne at a young age, killed his brothers and relatives to maintain his position.

Perhaps, that’s why Marius didn’t hesitate to shed blood to achieve his goal.

In the first place, Marius waged a war against Trovanza because he was obsessed with the Heroine, Rebecca, and was vying for her affection.

If François could become irredeemably cruel even to the woman he loved, Marius was a man who would unhesitatingly destroy the world for love.

“Hmm, Kid, why do you keep staring at me? Am I that cool?”

Nowadays, only nonsense comes out of his mouth.

I turned away and pretended not to hear.

Then I saw Edgar, who had run away, leaving me behind earlier.

Hurt because he ran away from me earlier, I glowered at Edgar.

I couldn’t help but notice that the corners of Edgar’s eyes were red and swollen.

Surprised, I pointed at him and asked.

“Edgar, were you crying?”

“W-who said I cried!”

“No, you cried.”

“I didn’t!”

Edgar yelled at me then realized a bit too late that he was being rude and turned pale. He pursed his lips and looked at my sisters.

“Let’s sit down and eat first. I’m sure the Young Duke is famished.”

Although Edgar and I were fighting, Eldest Sister thought nothing of it other than it was a common occurrence between children. So, instead of addressing the exchange, she went ahead and offered us a meal.

Instead of sitting across from me, Edgar came to sit next to me.


However, when he dragged a chair out, Edgar saw Cookie there and frowned.

“Remove this.”


“I want to sit here.”

“No, that is Cookie’s seat. You sit there.”

Anyway, there were three of us and three of them, so we could sit across from each other just fine.

Why bother coming here?

I really couldn’t understand him.

“It’s a doll. A doll doesn’t need to eat.”

“Even if he doesn’t, he’s my little brother.”

“How can a doll be your little brother? A doll is a doll, so it’s natural for me to sit here.”

“Cookie is special to me. Go away, Edgar. You aren’t special.”

“What? You…

Seeing that I refused to back down, Edgar glared at me before going to the seat across from us—but not before he smacked Cookie.

When I realized what just happened, Older Sister sitting next to me chuckled.

She then turned her gaze to Leopold, who had placed Edgar next to him.

“Mr. Leopold, how was your day?”

“It’s the usual. I went to work at the Order of Knights and went to meetings…”

Leopold told my Older Sister about his day yet seemed half out of it.

From the warm gaze to the melting voice and slightly red ears…

Perfect, it’s going according to plan.

Leopold would be able to make Older Sister happy.

While I was thinking about various things and not forgetting to have a snowball fight with Edgar, the food was served.

Marius apologized while slicing his steak into small pieces and exchanged plates with me.

“Little girl, I have a lot to apologize for.”

“Huh? About what?”

“Because of my mismanagement, you heard things that were uncalled-for from the maids. I’m so sorry to you, too, Edgar. I should’ve paid more attention.”

“You’ve already apologized once, so there’s no need to apologize again. Besides, you punished them accordingly, so it’s okay now.”

Edgar retorted, cutting into his steak.

“Mister, please cut it into smaller pieces so I can eat it in one bite.”

I said as I watched Marius slice the steak.

“I don’t know why you’re apologizing when the mean aunties should. Still, Liliana will forgive you. I fell on my back, but it didn’t hurt at all.”

“Aren’t you angry because they were being mean to a little boy?”

“I’m angry, but a hero must be merciful and brave, so I will forgive them.”

When I raised my chin and spoke confidently, Edgar, who sat across from me, disagreed.

“A hero? You?

“Yes, I’m a cool hero, unlike someone who ran away while playing kitchen.”

“I didn’t run away…! Besides, you’re weak, so you’re no hero!”

“Nope. When I grow up, I’m going to beat up all the baddies with my hammer fist strike.”

“Dream on.”

Edgar snorted.

Furious, I swung my legs under the table.

However, my legs struggled to reach him, as if I hadn’t grown an inch since the last time.

After peeking under the table, Edgar stuck out his tongue at me, frustrating me even more.

As much as I wanted to make fun of Edgar by calling him asparagus, I held back because I still had unfinished business with Marius.

“—And since you cut the meat into small pieces, I shall be generous to you.”

Pfft. Where did you learn the word generous?”

Hmph. What? You think I didn’t know that? It’s from ‘The Adventures of Cocobom, the Red Lamb’!”

“Do you still read children’s books?”

Edgar butted into the conversation again.

He snickered, probably thinking I was dumber than him.

Isn’t he six years old just like me?

I gave up talking to Marius any further and decided to get back at Edgar with all my might.

That was how the second dinner table war broke out.

* * *

Marius smiled as he looked at the two kids, whose clothes were a mess from splashing lemon juice and sauce on each other.

The two had bickered throughout the meal, ate dessert and then fell asleep on the sofa in the living room.

Liliana was furious when Edgar asked if she still read fairy tales.

But in fact, Edgar also read fairy tales from time to time.

If anything, Edgar seemed to be making fun of Liliana on purpose because he couldn’t sit next to her in the restaurant earlier.

“We officially announced the engagement today, so Alice will be introduced to the nobles at Edgar’s birthday party next week.”

“I guess so. I’ll attend alone. I think it’d be better for my younger siblings to appear after the wedding.”

“Yes, I think that would be a good idea. Still, I’d like Liliana to attend with us. Edgar seems very happy to have a friend.”

When asleep, Liliana seemed as lovely as a cherub.

There wasn’t anything about her that wasn’t adorable, from her plump fingers to her cheeks, flushed with anger.

“I can’t shield Alice from everything. Not because she’s a foreigner, but because as the next empress, there are things she has to bear and prove. Regardless, I can promise you this one thing—”

Marius reached out and caressed Liliana’s head.

She was such a small, tiny kid. Anyone who saw her pitied her.

—I’ll absolutely protect Liliana.

He would spare no effort to support her so she could safely reach adulthood.

After all, such was the ‘contract.’

Terrifying darkness swept over his serious eyes, only to vanish without a trace, replaced by a ghost of a smile.

Nevertheless, Alice didn’t miss the momentary change.

However, not knowing Marius well, Alice assumed that he was speaking about the contract.

“Don’t be so nervous. Our venerable family isn’t such a big deal up close.”

Marius added as he shrugged.

The words shed some light upon the state of mind of the bloody emperor who brutally punished the traitor who attempted to take his life.

* * *

While Alice and Marius were talking about their future plans, Regina and Leopold went to the garden that Liliana had been forbidden from entering.

Despite the weather, it feels close.

Even though it was still spring, the evening air was hot, probably because Regina was chattering next to him.

His heart pounded every time her high-pitched voice tickled his ears, while his face burned every time their eyes met.

“I also want to celebrate the Duke of Runtvolenu’s birthday, so I prepared a small gift, but I’m not sure if it will be to his liking.”

“A gift? I’m sure he’ll like it no matter what.”


Regina’s voice trailed off as she quickly glanced around her.

Then, when she was sure that no one was around, she motioned for Leopold to bow his head.

As Leopold leaned forward, Regina stood on her toes and whispered in his ear.

“Isn’t …it a bit like that?”

She whispered gently, her breath caressing his ear, yet none of her words reached him.

By that point, his head was about to explode.

…Or will my heart stop before that?

“Well, that’s…”

His whole body tensed as he stuttered like an idiot.

Just as he desperately tried to muster an answer, he heard a sigh.