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Chapter 136


Emperor William commanded sharply to his attendant. The attendant had already poured several glasses of strong wine into his cup.

Herman stood beside William with a stern expression.

“You’ve had too much, Your Majesty.”

Herman, who saw that the back of William’s neck was red from drunkenness, gently stopped him.

When he heard that Rowaine would attend the party, William distinctly remembered his promise with Herman, to not pay any attention to Rowaine at the party.

‘I managed quite well at first.’

As the alcohol flowed, his gaze increasingly turned towards Rowaine.

Herman rolled his eyes and sighed deeply.


Honestly, it was too pathetic.

For several months now, William had been calling him over under false pretenses for relationship advice. It was almost like venting and lamenting during their consultations.



“I know that Rowaine liked you! You unlucky b*stard. Huhuu.”

“Still, she loved what I had more than you. In the end, she loved me, the Emperor, more!”

“But why did she go to that shapeshifter, why…”

“I believed that we would spend the rest of our lives together, relying on each other… Hoohoo! She even promised that once I stepped down from the throne, we would leave the capital and live together in Birkenheim Palace.”



At that point, Herman laughed at William, saying he didn’t think Rowaine ever intended to keep that promise.



“That vile woman. I gave her power, but she just used it as she pleased and ran off to meet someone else? B*tch.”

“Did she sleep with him? She must have slept with that shapeshifter! Disgusting! She doesn’t care whether it’s a beast or whatever as long as she can roll around with them!”



When his lamentations intensified, he cursed Rowaine as if he were cursing his greatest enemy. Although it always ended with him sobbing uncontrollably, calling out her name in drunken sorrow.



“Rowaine…! Herman, say something. How can I win back her heart? Tell me!”

“I even gave her a diamond mine, yet she still hasn’t come back! I can give her even more!”

Hoohoo, Rowaine. I miss you so much, what are you doing…”



Herman, who didn’t stop the woman who was leaving and didn’t stop the woman who was coming, didn’t really understand William.

It was somewhat intriguing.

‘To think he’s having such a passionate romance even in his fifties…’

Anyway, Herman was tired of listening to his complaints.

So he whispered to William.



“Your Majesty, there’s one way to bring Rowaine to the capital.”



To be frank, finding Renée and making her his mistress was experimental. When Herman went to Blois, he felt that Rowaine was completely different from the old Rowaine.

He wanted to test that.

So that was why he whispered to William to use Renée.

‘If Rowaine can’t bear jealousy, she’ll come running immediately upon hearing that news.’

He wanted to know whether Rowaine was pretending to change for some reason or if she had truly turned over a new leaf.

When he heard that Rowaine had come to the capital shortly after hearing about Renée, he thought, ‘Well, I suppose so.’

Even if she lost interest in William, Rowaine had a temperament that couldn’t let go of what was her. So, he advised William to completely ignore Rowaine if he wanted to win her back, saying that she would eventually be unable to bear it and would seek him herself.

However, the woman he saw at the party behaved differently than Herman had expected.

Contrary to his expectation that she would try to get the Emperor’s attention, Rowaine seemed completely uninterested in William.

“Showing affection to the Duke of Blueah only fueled the Emperor’s jealousy.”

Even now, William’s gaze wouldn’t stray away from Rowaine. Since Dimitri’s arrival, he had been continuously drinking and persistently urged Herman while doing so.

“How long do you expect me to sit idly by? How much longer?!”

Herman glared at the back of William’s head with cold eyes.

‘If this continues, who knows what will happen.’

If he just let Rowaine go, who knew how much more William would torment him. Herman, who was pondering what to do, came up with a clever idea. For the first time today, a smile appeared on his lips.

‘There’s something I wanted to confirm anyway, so this works out.’

He spoke to William.

“Your Majesty, if you really wish, I have a great idea that I think could bridge the gap between the Duke of Blois and Rowaine. Would you like to hear it?”

William’s eyes widened.

“What is it?”

“Let’s try like this.”

Herman lowered his voice a little more and whispered in William’s ear. Upon hearing this, the Emperor immediately summoned the attendant and instructed him to fetch someone.

A satisfied smile crept onto Herman’s lips as he watched the scene unfold.



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Cadis was strolling in the parade ground in front of the hunting hound barracks.

It was a brief period of freedom that let the hounds loose in the cramped, prison-like space for about thirty minutes. Although the time was short and the location limited, it was a precious moment to relax and chat with comrades.

“Number 136! You’re late today, huh?”

Number 136 referred to Cadis since hounds that didn’t have names called each other by numbers.

Originally, hunting hounds didn’t have names.

Cadis, too, originally had no name. He got his name after meeting Elaine. When they first met, she asked him for his name and upon learning he didn’t have one, she gave him the name Cadis.

He had kept it a secret from his comrades that Elaine had given him his name.

“Did you have a mission, number 136?”

“Oh, the shift change at the Rose Palace was delayed. Number 207, is the injury from last time okay now?”

Cadis mingled with his comrades in identical training uniforms, asking about their well-being while darting around.

The dog shapeshifters, who instinctively follow the strong in the pack, were thrilled to see Cadis. Within the bounds that didn’t provoke the overseers’ ire, they joyfully shared trivial stories with him.

“It looks like a party is being held at the imperial palace! They served a piece of bread with something sweet on it for dinner.”

“It must be a party at the Golden Palace. There’s a cook there who has a habit of slightly burning the bread. I smelled the familiar burn.”

“Oh, right. They’re holding a party at the Golden Palace.”

The meals for the hunting hounds were usually the same menu.

The squads assigned to procure meat through hunting, tasked with maintaining the stamina of their battle slaves, brought back a small amount of animal meat, baked flour dough and boiled stewed wild vegetables that could hardly be called a dish. Occasionally, when there was an event at the imperial palace, the hounds would sometimes be lucky enough to eat the leftovers discarded by the palace cooks.

Contrary to the guards’ belief, who thought they would know nothing, the hounds often keenly observed the happenings at the imperial palace through these slightly different menus.

Sometimes, they could discern what was happening in the palace through sounds coming from very far away. There were even times when they learned about the people who came and went to the imperial palace through smells.

Cadis sniffed the familiar scent coming from somewhere. It was a faint scent lingering on one of his comrades’ clothes.

“Wait, Number 166. Where have you been today?”

“I was on my way back from waiting at the Golden Palace from escorting His Majesty.”

Cadis’s eyes lit up.

‘This is definitely Eunsoo’s scent.’

It was a scent he remembered distinctly—a very fresh yet sweet scent. However, it was a mysterious scent so faint that humans couldn’t smell it.

‘Is she in the capital? Was she at the party?’

Cadis’s face flushed.

Just being near Rowaine made his heart race with joy and made him feel very happy. It was a happy thing to think of someone he was happy to see.


Cadiz stood tall like a statue and stared endlessly in the direction of the Golden Palace.


However, he heard a cautious rustling sound in his ears.

Not only Cadis but all the keen-eared dog shapeshifters heard the sound. They seemed to know who was visiting just from the sound of footsteps.

‘Her Highness the Princess has arrived.’

All the dog shapeshifters knew that sometimes Elaine would come to the training ground to avoid the supervisors’ eyes. Still, they never disclosed the meetings between Elaine and Cadis to anyone. Except for the Emperor, who held their lives in his grip through a curse, Cadis was essentially the leader of the pack, and there was no benefit for anyone in revealing this fact.

Instead, the hounds were happy to receive treats that Alain gave them when she came occasionally.

“Hold on.”

When he signaled his comrades, several of them pretended to play in groups, creating distractions to divert the supervisors’ attention, while a few others created blind spots for him.

Cadis approached Elaine, who was hiding in the shadow behind a wall. She waved her hand slightly.

“Your Highness.”

“Cadis! Rowaine has come to the imperial palace.”

Cadis’s smile spread slowly upon hearing Rowaine’s name.

“Yes, I know.”


Elaine paused when she saw that smile before her eyebrows arched upward.

She was also pleased with Rowaine’s arrival at the capital. However, unable to reveal their friendship in front of the Emperor and his wife, she deliberately missed her party and came to Cadis instead. But when she saw a delighted expression painted on Cadis’s face, a grumpy feeling welled up inside her.

‘This is my first time seeing Cadis’s expression like that. It’s cute, but…’

Elaine asked sullenly.

“Cadis, do you like Rowaine that much? Why exactly do you like her?”

“I’m not sure.”

Why did he like Rowaine? Strangely, being with her brought peace to his heart and eased his tension. Perhaps it was reassuring. Being with Elaine was also wonderful, but being with Rowaine felt somehow different.

It was an indescribable feeling.

Elaine’s eyes narrowed in disapproval as she saw him smiling broadly. She gently raised her toes before stroking his head. Cadis lowered his head slightly and naturally accepted her touch.

A meaningful smile spread across her lips as she looked at his face as he drew closer.

“Cadis, when it comes to someone you like, you need to know how to mark your territory.”

Cadis, who didn’t quite understand what she meant by ‘like,’ blinked innocently.


“Like this.”


His eyes widened at the soft sensation of her lips touching his. Her lips lingered briefly on his before parting away.

It happened in an instant.

Elaine opened her closed eyes and spoke brazenly.

“I’ll let you know if I hear any other news about Rowaine. Have a good night.”


Cadis placed his hand on his lips at the unfamiliar sensations.

Elaine chuckled as she watched him, his mouth agape and lost in thought.