Home Post 576-chapter-98-1


As I explained, Theodore nodded in agreement. The Crown Prince and Zen took their seats, and I unfolded the documents on the round table.

“…..This is…”

The Crown Prince’s expression hardened as he saw the magical ritual for creating a dark spirit.

Given his experience learning magic under Great Sage Philist, he wasn’t completely unfamiliar with magic, so he immediately grasped the meaning.

“…..No way, impossible. What is this?”

The Crown Prince muttered in disbelief while holding the documents. While I expected this reaction, it was surprising to see him, usually composed, so astonished.

“It’s still too early to be surprised yet.”

“Duke Valentino, please explain. This ritual… Is what I’m thinking correct?”

The Crown Prince asked Theodore somewhat bewildered when he held the documents. Theodore nodded quietly.

“Correct. The ingredients used for this magic ritual are human death and souls.”

“….this is insane….”

The Crown Prince muttered in disbelief, wiping his mouth with a trembling hand.

He stared blankly into the space then spoke when he remembered something.

“About 15 years ago… I was still a child back then. The Kingdom of Francis, as well as the entire land, experienced a period of ominous disappearances.”

“Yes, I remember.”

“Hundreds of people disappeared within just two years, and despite extensive investigations, we couldn’t find even a small clue.”


“And after the disappearance incidents ceased, a massive earthquake occurred in the Akiten region.”

After that earthquake, the previous spirits of the land went into eternal rest. Terra was born to fill that void.

“Hundreds of people lost their lives in that earthquake… I don’t have the exact number, but it’s estimated to be around 700. And before that, about 300 people disappeared due to the previous incident…”

A thousand people.

When combining the large-scale disappearance incidents and the deaths from the earthquake, it was roughly that number.

And the number of humans needed to create a dark spirit:

A thousand.

“….This is…”

The Crown Prince’s gaze turned icy as he looked at the magic ritual. His eyes had a dark and cold expression, something I had never seen before.

“….It was a thoroughly planned scheme. Both the disappearance incidents and the earthquake…”


“All of it… was to create this dark spirit.”

A heavy silence fell in the meeting room.

The Crown Prince, clenching his fist, began to tremble. He soon hit the round table with his palm.

Immediately, he jumped up from his seat and wandered around the conference room. As if to try to calm the simmering anger.

“The Everett family was much worse than I thought.”

His voice was trembling with anger. Without a word, he lowered his head and looked at me, his two bloodshot eyes raging.

“Duchess Valentino assured us that she is no longer associated with the Everetts and is now committed to Valentino. She offered to assist us.”

“….I said that first of all.”

“First of all?”

I let out a small sigh. This is what happens in the end. Perhaps I had anticipated the possibility of such a situation, but….the Crown Prince had truly started to doubt me.

He suggested that I might still be part of the Everett family or even a spy.

….Well, his suspicion was valid. He didn’t know my circumstances.

“Crown Prince, my wife is not a spy for the Everetts. I can swear on my life and Valentino’s honor.”

Theodore stepped forward to defend me. His gaze was sincere, and his voice carried a solemn tone, but the Crown Prince’s suspicion towards me didn’t seem to dissipate easily.

“Duke Valentino, do you think I’ve seen someone who fell in love with a woman and ruined a lifelong duty only once or twice? For instance, consider my father the Emperor, who made me learn from his mistakes. I am not making a baseless suspicion. This issue must be thoroughly addressed.”

“Your Highness, my wife—”

“It’s okay, Theodore.”

I slowly stood up trying to stop Theodore’s attempt to defend me. Facing the Crown Prince’s cold gaze without flinching, I looked directly into his eyes. I had nothing to hide, there was no reason to cower.

“Your Highness, let me explain everything.”


“It’s okay. I was expecting this anyway.”

I said, looking briefly at Theodore, who was genuinely concerned for me. The Crown Prince looked at us with an anxious face.

Turning my gaze back, the Crown Prince was staring at me with a frown. I spoke, looking straight at him.

“Once all this is over, I have no intention of remaining as Duchess Valentino or even a noble. So, I will tell you everything. I am—”

I paused for a moment and then continued. Staring straight at the Crown Prince’s eyes that now looked bewildered.

“I am not Duke Everett’s biological daughter.”


“I have no reason to lie, Your Highness. I detest the Everett family more than anyone else in this world. I am a child Duke Everett adopted from a maid.”

Gradually, shock spread in the Crown Prince’s eyes.