Home Post 598-chapter-27


“Helena is not a fool. She doesn’t make up things out of thin air, and she’s not someone who exaggerates things. I know that well. I also understand some aspects of what she says to some extent. Me…”

I paused for a moment. I cleared my throat and continued.

“Me, even your initial interest was somewhat burdensome. No matter how much it’s called Duchy, there can’t be any political burden in matters of this magnitude.”

“That’s not something you need to worry about.”

He spoke with weary eyes. Even from our considerable distance, I could still discern it sitting there.

“I decided to show interest in you. It’s something the central figures leading the Duchy will think about. It’s not something a kid like you needs to worry about.”

It was a sentiment akin to that of his son. By now, the vivid image of his worried figure waiting for me outside lingered in my mind.

“Reedmore… is the first person who apologized to me.”

This time, the Duke was speechless. Whether he was surprised or something else, I couldn’t tell, but he had an expression of unknown emotions.

“No matter how unlikely it may be, even if it’s a one in a million chance, I don’t want to harm someone because of me. It’s more heartbreaking than revealing what I’ve been through… to me.”

He showed no reaction. Quickly, I added the next point.

“The desire for revenge with my own hands is sincere, of course. I’m confident. I don’t want to pass my share to Desmiere. It’s a right I treasure.”

Our gazes lingered in the air. The Duke took a very long time to respond.

“… If you say so.”

“Thank you.”

Was expressing gratitude appropriate? I felt confused. Nevertheless, unable to find a more suitable phrase, I just said it.

The Duke, his finger on his lips, posed a question.

“Don’t you have anything else you want to say?”

After contemplating for a moment, I asked.

“What about Ashley? What are you going to do with her?”

“Do whatever you want.”

“… Have you investigated her as well?”


The Duke opened a drawer, retrieved a piece of paper, and began reading.

“Ashley Emma Minker. 31 years old. She has three children, aged 10, 8, and 5, and her husband, a cloth merchant, is currently in another region. After leaving the Barony, her income drastically decreased, and she turned to crime. She has committed several thefts as a member of a pickpocket gang and delivered stolen goods.”

“… Hand her over to the police for legal punishment, please.”

I bit my lip before speaking. A faint widening of the Duke’s eyes.

“Is that the end?”

Following a moment of hesitation, I added.

“Until that father comes back… please take care of the children.”

I didn’t want to see the Duke’s expression, so I hurriedly lowered my head. Almost involuntarily, words spilled out as if seeking justification.

“They bear no guilt.”

After a considerable pause, the answer finally came.

“…Fine, I’ll do that.”

With an odd sense of anxiety, I swiftly stood. Bowing to the Duke, I made an attempt to leave.

“Well, I shall take my leave.”

As I approached the door.


Before I could grasp the handle, he called out to me. Inexplicably, I trembled, retracting my shaky hands and leaning forward.

What came next from the Duke caught me off guard.

“I’m sorry.”

It felt as if someone were choking me, my breath caught, and my tongue stiffened.

After exhaling deeply, he continued.

“I neglected you, left you in that family as it is, after your father, that man, died… I’m sorry.”

I was rendered speechless. My mind went blank, and coherent thought eluded me.

“You covered your eyes with blind faith in bloodline. Blame my foolishness.”

The Duke’s slow and weary words entered my frozen ears.

“I thought you would handle things well in Barony. I assumed that as you grew up, inevitable rumors about you would circulate, thinking no further than that. Just judged by rumors, thinking you inherited madness and…”

The air felt like it was pressing on me from all directions. The Duke sighed.

“It’s ironic. Both of us are judged by rumors. The one known as evil turned out to be an innocent child, and the one known as good turned out to be an horrific individual who turned the tables on people’s lives.”

Dark crimson eyes, deeper and denser than his son’s, held me in an indescribable emotion.

“I’m sorry, Khalia.”

“…I’ll excuse myself first.”

I couldn’t even think if I had greeted him properly. I rushed from the room without knowing how I left it.

The door closed with a louder noise than expected. When I placed my hand on my chest, my heart thumped wildly.


I gasped for breath, as if I had just finished a long run.

‘Was I truly harboring resentment toward the Duke?’

I was shocked by the fleeting thought that crossed my mind. I couldn’t know. I didn’t even understand my own feelings.

Before I died, and even after coming back.

I had never harbored genuine resentment toward the Duke. Or so I believed.

My father’s sins were his own. Duke Desmiere was a justly condemned man.

That was what I thought.

The primary reason I considered visiting him in this life was because he was a powerful duke.

Even if the one who killed my father was an unknown frontier general, I would have crawled under Desmiere’s roof. No matter what it took.

Even if the whole world praised him, I believed I had the right to resent him alone. But I never truly blamed him for it.

‘What is this emotion?’

It differed from the feeling when I apologized to Reedmore. It was disorienting

Leaning against the railing, I inhaled, and a surprised sound came from beside me.

“Miss! Are you okay?”


She had approached me unnoticed and now supported me with a worried look. She leaned against the railing, covering her forehead with her hand and compared her temperature with mine.

“You don’t have a fever…”

She whispered while covering her mouth.

“Did you talk to His Grace? Is there any problem? Surely, he didn’t find out that I planned to bring you, did he?”

“It’s not that. I’m fine.”

Merely uttering those words brought a sense of relief, prompting me to step away from her. Still, Aila didn’t lose her concerned expression.

“Hmm, well, that’s a relief… But, after you visited last time, I was happy when you returned home quickly. You shouldn’t be sick. Go lie down. Drink some warm water, and if you sleep, you’ll get better.”

I was helplessly led into the room as she held onto my arm.

I absentmindedly muttered, “Home…”

“Well, this is your place, miss.”

She supported me, climbing the stairs one by one, and casually said, “You’re home.”

Her eyes widened when she turned to look at me without much thought.

“Oh my, why is your expression like that? Is it really true that nothing happened in the office?”

“What’s wrong with my expression?”

She tilted her head, her face a picture of puzzlement.

“Your complexion is pale, your lips seem twisted as if you’re about to cry, and then it looks like you’re laughing…”

With a worried look, she walked alongside me, leaning on me with her fists and headed to the room.

“We’re here. Lie down quickly.”


The room was bright and clean. It had a warm scent.

Aila lifted the white sheets to create a place for me to lie down.

“Close your eyes for a moment. I’ll bring some water.”


After a brief pause, she returned with a glass of warm water.

After finishing it, she gently helped me lie down, quickly covering me to ensure no cold breeze entered.

Before leaving the room, she quietly fixed the stray hair on my forehead.

The sensation of her fingers scratching my forehead lingered for a long time until I fell asleep.

* * *

When I woke up, it was closer to evening, making it almost dark like night. A gentle hand stroked my shoulder.


Aila was sitting on one side of the bed, looking down at me quietly. Her weight caused the bed to sink slightly toward her.

“You were sleeping so soundly, so I didn’t wake you.”

As I blinked, still not fully awake, she spoke softly.

“Would you like to have a simple dinner? And then go back to sleep?”

I nodded. She rose, illuminated the room with a lamp, and returned with a simple meal of soup and bread. Meanwhile, she sat, propped against the bed’s headboard.

While eating, I shared the reasons why Reedmore and I returned to the mansion today, the events I experienced in Barony, and the conversation I had with the Duke.

After finishing the retelling, she hugged me and said, “You’ve been through a lot.”

“Well, you don’t have to observe Desmiere separately or anything now. Just be comfortable.”

“Got it.”

Aila responded with a slightly hesitant tone. She added with a more solemn expression, “But you know, for me, Miss comes first, right?”

“I know.”

As I offered a faint smile, and she reciprocated.

I was left alone in the room after Aila left.

It was a serene night. Moonlight poured in through the window.

After a sound sleep, waking, having a meal, I felt much better.

However, whenever I tried to recall the events with the Duke, something heavy rose inside me.

It seemed I shouldn’t actively think about him yet; it felt too overwhelming.

Therefore, I set that thought aside and concentrated on determining my next steps.

How to bring about the downfall of Helena and Barden.

What do I need to accomplish without relying on Desmiere’s help, entirely on my own?

“I need power.”

A power that no one can casually challenge, a substantial and physical strength.

I needed a formidable strength that would prevent anyone from even thinking about interfering with me, especially when my friends and I come home, saying we’re happy.

“I need to enhance my spirit magic. More than my level now.”

A sigh escaped involuntarily. Though I managed to reach intermediate spirit magic, thinking about contracting superior, supreme, and spirit kings felt daunting.

“But that’s alright.”

I made a resolution while lying down and looking at the moon.

I’ve come back. Skipping death, crossing fate, I’m here.

“There’s plenty of time.”

I closed my eyes. Eventually, I will succeed.