Home Post 431-chapter-18


Marius had reserved a private room in the restaurant for security and safety.

Alice carefully examined the documents Marius handed her.

“The duration of the marriage contract is ten years from the day of the imperial wedding. You can find the details of compensation and benefits in the documents—”

Alice interrupted her recital and firmly spoke up.

“I want you to add one more thing to the divinity-based healing.”

“What is it?”

“My younger sister is a scholar who dabbles in various studies. According to her, it’s possible to attempt different things through magic. So, please ensure that a magician with expertise comparable to the Tower Master, or the Tower Master themself, is dedicated to research and treat Liliana’s condition.”

“That part might need a separate discussion with François Cassel. I’ll contact the Tower Master today, so could you wait just one day?”

“Alright. And specify that my family can stay in the Empire whenever they want without any permission or authorization during the duration of our marriage.”

“You’re quite thorough. We’ll make sure of that, too. Is there anything else?”

Rather than hastily saying there wasn’t, Alice examined the contract once more. After several reviews with no issues to point out, she asked Marius.

“Your Majesty, do you have any objections?”


Marius smiled broadly as if her question amused him and shrugged his shoulders.

“What more could I want when I have Lady Alice?”

Alice didn’t notice the strange tone in his voice, so she didn’t catch the faint, ambiguous emotion that passed over his face.

It was a dark, serious, even slightly oppressive emotion, barely discernible and required intense concentration to notice.

Marius promptly hid that emotion with a casual smile.

* * *

It was late in the evening when I could finally return home with Youngest Sister.

As we opened the front door, Eldest and Older Sister were there. They didn’t even spare a glance when I arrived.

“Hey, I’m here!”

I rushed into the living room, holding Jelly the teddy in one hand while Youngest Sister shouted from behind.

“Wash your hands first!”

“Alright, alright.”

After washing my hands and quickly drying them on my skirt, I noticed Mister Leopold, who I hadn’t noticed earlier. At the same time, Older Sister signaled to Youngest Sister.

“Emilia, come and say hi to Mr. Leo. Leopold, this is my twin sister, Emilia.”

The atmosphere felt strange, so I hurriedly ran over to Older Sister’s side while clutching Jelly tightly.

“Leopold von Waltrachen. Nice to meet you.”

“I’m Emilia. But what brings you to our home? Oh, I heard you helped when Liliana disappeared last time. Is it related to that? Welcome, but–”

“It’s not about that. Emilia, listen. I’ve decided to date Mr. Leo starting today.”

“A long-distance relationship?”

“No. I’m going to the Empire, too.”


I couldn’t help but make a strange noise.

I still didn’t know if I should be happy that Older Sister is going to the Empire with Eldest Sister or not.

Eldest sister next to me sighed and rubbed her forehead.

It seemed Eldest Sister had already finished her conversation with Older Sister.

I quickly covered both ears with my palms when I noticed Youngest Sister’s face flush with heat. At the same moment, she yelled loudly.

“Regina Verchio, are you crazy?”

“Emilia, lower your voice. I’m not deaf.”

“Why do you suddenly want to go all the way to the Empire?”

“I don’t want a long-distance relationship. I like Mr. Leo and want to meet him often face-to-face. Anyway, let me introduce my new boyfriend. Ta-da. Ohohoho.”

Older Sister clapped her hands with her characteristic laugh. Her laughter sounded so genuinely happy that I, without realizing it, moved my hand that was holding Jelly to join in the applause.

“You, that…”

Youngest Sister clenched her teeth, unable to finish her sentence. But even I, at seven years old, could easily guess what she wanted to say.

“Let’s talk.”


Youngest Sister slammed her hand on the table, glaring at Older Sister.

In this staring contest, Youngest Sister was the loser. Annoyed, she grabbed her wallet and left the house.

The front door slammed shut, and the air vibrated.

As I fidgeted uncomfortably due to the ruined atmosphere at home, Older Sister suddenly turned toward me and asked.

“Oh, wow. I haven’t seen that doll before. Did Emilia buy it for you?”

“No, a handsome gentleman gave it to me as a gift. But Older Sister, are you really dating Mr. Leo?”

“Yeah, I am. Do you like him, little one?”

“Yes, I like him!”

However, what Older Sister wanted was to meet Leopold before Eldest Sister announced her marriage to Marius.

Now that Eldest Sister is settling in the Empire, half of our family will stay in the Empire if things go well between Older Sister and Mister Leopold, and the other half will remain in Trovanza.

I couldn’t entirely oppose it since the person receiving the crazy devotion was Older Sister. She had many experiences of being hurt by people.

‘If it’s Mister Leopold, he will truly love Older Sister…’

Unlike Eldest Sister, who was happy with her work, or Youngest Sister, who was dedicated to her research, Older Sister just wanted to have a normal relationship and get married.

But all her previous boyfriends were terrible.

They were cowards and losers who said hurtful things and broke up with her even when they shouldn’t have.

In contrast, Mister Leopold was strong and affectionate. So even if he finds out about her ‘secret,’ it won’t make my sister sad.

“…Are you two really serious about each other?”

Finally, Eldest Sister, who had been sitting quietly all this time, opened her mouth.

“Yes, I’m serious.”

Older Sister’s sober response couldn’t be more weighty than anyone else’s. It was also clear from Mister Leopold’s gaze that he was completely captivated by Older Sister.

‘If Leopold knows Older Sister’s secret and still loves her, they might even get married in the Empire…’

I rubbed my forehead against Jelly’s crown. I didn’t want to leave Trovanza.

And I didn’t want to go to the Empire and not be able to come back.

I’ll miss the warm climate, the beautiful beaches wherever you go, delicious and cheap lemons, my friends, and the memories with my family.

“Then, Older Sister, you won’t return to Trovanza with me?”

“Hmm… Well…”

Mister Leopold cleared his throat and asked.

“Does Liliana want to stay in Trovanza?”


I couldn’t answer and just glanced at Eldest Sister, noticing an unfamiliar ring on her finger.

Is it an engagement ring? Oh no, what should I do?! I guess Eldest Sister is really going to marry Marius.

Even if I object, it won’t change anything.

I’m just a seven-year-old, and my sisters are the adults responsible for their own lives.

‘Most importantly, I don’t want to do or say anything that will make them hate me.’

I believed my sisters wouldn’t hate me, but I couldn’t help but worry.

Andrea, my brother, suddenly left for the south one day, and now all I had left was my sisters.

I had two choices: either be stubborn and stay in Trovanza with Youngest Sister or follow Eldest and Older Sister to the Empire.

Can’t we just continue living the way we have, with the four of us together?

I pouted and stood up, holding Jelly.

“I’m going to bed now. It’s no fun anymore.”

I had at least ten more years before I became an adult.

Ten years meant I had to sleep for three thousand, six hundred and fifty more nights.

Not a hundred nights, not a thousand nights, but three thousand nights. It was a moment when only Jelly in my arms could comfort me.

* * *

“Ugh… My head.”

She woke with a terrible headache.

Emilia blamed herself for drinking herself into a stupor the day before and pulled the covers over her head.

It was to avoid the morning sunlight.


Emilia realized something was wrong.

First of all, her room had thick blackout curtains, so sunlight couldn’t enter.

Secondly, her blanket didn’t rustle like this.

Lastly, there shouldn’t be anyone else beside her.

A shiver ran down her spine.

It was a creepy feeling, as if every hair on her body stood on end. Emilia kicked the blanket aside and sat up.

What she saw was…

“You’re finally awake.”

François Cassel was casually drinking coffee while sitting in a chair next to the bed.

Stunned by his shamelessness, Emilia asked.

“What happened?”

“What? You don’t remember?”

Francois asked, sounding disappointed, with a look of open disapproval and raised eyebrows.

Emilia sighed, unsure whether to laugh or sigh.

Could this headache really be from a hangover? Maybe it was the result of her terrible decisions from yesterday.

She grabbed her head tightly and then flopped back onto the bed.

Francois’ eyebrows shot up in response to her reaction.

“Whatever happened, let’s just forget about it.”

“That’s a clean way to deal with it. Life must be so simple for you.”

“Do you want compensation? Or should I take responsibility?”

“Responsibility, of course.”

François’ statement about taking responsibility was scarier than she had expected.

Emilia broke into a cold sweat and closed her mouth, and Francois casually flicked his finger.

Then, a stained shirt flew toward her from somewhere.

“Somehow, you managed to vomit all over a silk shirt worth fifteen gold coins. You said you were feeling dizzy, grabbed me, and then threw up… It was really disgusting.”

Unlike François, who was visibly irritated to the point of showing disgust, Emilia had a bright expression.

She laughed cheerfully and picked up the shirt that had dropped in front of her.

“I’ll pay you 16 gold coins for it, including interest.”

“The Emperor has contacted me, asking if I can make an effort to support your little sister’s health for the next ten years.”

Emilia was willing to pay for the shirt without hesitation, but her face froze at François Cassel’s unexpected remark. François continued in an indifferent tone.

“No matter how you look at it, your sister and the Emperor are clearly in a contract marriage.”

“…I thought as much. Do you think it will be difficult for my sister to establish herself in the Empire?”

“Do you think the imperial nobility will just sit by while a woman who is neither a royal nor a noble becomes the Empress?”

“My older sister is stubborn. She won’t back down, especially not if it concerns Liliana’s health.”

Although François seemed to be watching Emilia, his eyes held a secret that others couldn’t read.

He took a pill from his pocket and chewed it. It was medicine to prevent emotional fluctuations and the weakening of his rationality.

Soon, the pill’s bitter taste spread through his mouth. The damned pill wasn’t much help, but it was the best he could do for now.

But… just a few more years. When the time comes, I will resolve this issue no matter what happens.

To do that, it was important to prepare in advance.

“So, how about let’s make a contract ourselves?”

“What kind of contract?”

“I’ll help you and your sister, and in ten years, you will help me.”

“What kind of help do you need?”

“You’ll find out when the time comes.”

Despite his angelic appearance and smooth smile, his eyes were submerged in darkness.

Emilia thought François’ faint smile was a little eerie.