Home Post 807-chapter-12


We almost sprinted back to the carriage. Once alone, I exploded at Raphael, nearly shouting,

“Are you out of your mind? Aside from getting caught, how could you even consider jumping from a second-story height!”

“His Highness wouldn’t be pleased to hear that,” Raphael remarked mischievously, still trembling with laughter and barely restraining his amusement. I could only shake my head at his demeanor.

“We’re doomed! This is the second time already! His Majesty won’t overlook it!”

“The second time?” Raphael blinked with eyes like a rabbit and inquired.

“Isn’t this not the first time you’ve challenged His Majesty’s authority?” It was an unexpected discussion, aimed at upholding Ulysses’ honor. But upon realizing it wasn’t the first occurrence, Raphael erupted into laughter, clutching his stomach.

“Haha, oh dear. You’re even more entertaining than I anticipated. Not once, but twice, attempting to challenge His Majesty’s authority. Ahaha!”

Raphael wore the expression of a perpetual sidekick. However, it wasn’t the first time I’d seen him genuinely laugh like that. Unease crept over me.

“…Do you have a fondness for strong and amusing women?”

Isn’t there a stereotype like that? The protagonist can’t help but adore the woman who bewilders or amuses him.

Raphael wiped away a tear in response to my anxious query and replied.

“If I had to pinpoint it, I don’t really have preferences. But all of a sudden? Maybe you’ve truly fallen for me… Well, probably not.”

Raphael smoothly shifted the topic, noting my expression. Seeing his laughter fade somewhat coldly, I felt relieved. I reclined on the sofa, arms and legs crossed.

“That’s a relief. You wouldn’t stand a chance with me.”

“…It stings my ego a bit to hear that face-to-face.”

“After pocketing 200 gold coins, you still have the audacity to worry about your ego? Whose name is on those 200 gold coins anyway?”

Raphael’s lips sealed shut as if glued together by my old-fashioned remark.

No one is as straightforward as me. Naturally, my intention was to prompt the other party to sever ties as soon as the transaction concluded by honestly stating my intentions.

Raphael grumbled discontentedly.

“If I had known it would turn out like this, I would have demanded 300 gold coins without hesitation.”

“It’s already too late.”

I chuckled. The 300 gold coins Raphael had intended as a commission fee for Douglas had naturally become my personal property.

“Well, I guess I failed to overthrow the prince in one strike.”

Having failed to bring him down in one fell swoop, I lounged back and defended myself.

“…I hope I’m not provoking his mother’s anger again.”

In moments like these, the Emperor’s severity toward Ulysses can be helpful.

But it wasn’t solely Ulysses who posed a problem; Dahlia was the primary concern.

“Dahlia was an unexpected nuisance. I’ve seen men pine after women who didn’t reciprocate, but Dahlia is on a whole other level.”

She appeared to have a fondness for Raphael.

What could possibly be the reason for that?

I glanced at Raphael. Despite my disdain, he still possessed a handsome face.

‘Quite handsome.’

He was already attractive, but now, adorned in finery, he seemed even more aristocratic than Ulysses. Was the problem that I had polished Raphael too well, with my discerning eye and ample resources?

Raphael seemed offended by my scrutiny and shifted uncomfortably.

“What are you scheming now?”

“I need to tone down your appeal a bit…”

“…You’re not planning to erase my face altogether, are you?”

Raphael’s head edged away from me. There’s a limit to seeing someone as a brute; I remained resolute.

“I’m just saying, wasn’t it your fixation on Dahlia that was the issue from the start?”

“I wasn’t fixated. What can I do if things got twisted on their own?”

Raphael seemed genuinely hurt. Honestly, I could understand his feelings. After all, being handsome isn’t a crime. In fact, I’ve had quite a bit of fun with Raphael over the past few days, playing with his appearance.

‘But it seems I’ve developed feelings for him before I could properly manipulate him.’

…Perhaps I should slightly diminish his attractiveness. That way, Dahlia might come to her senses and either pursue a genuine romance with Ulysses or abandon her infatuation altogether.

‘Ugh, what’s gotten into me.’

I quickly brushed aside another inner thought. Not only would I lose credibility by parading around someone less attractive, but there would also be no pleasure in it… Of course, it’s absurd.

Since I had no intention of genuinely falling for Raphael, I pushed aside the various social dilemmas raised by my recent thoughts and focused on my headache. Just as I was contemplating this, Raphael cautiously addressed me.

“But, My Lady?”

Raphael switched back to business mode. When he’s acting, he addresses me as Evelyn, but as an employee, he calls me My Lady.

I snapped, “What is it?”

“You mentioned that the contract remains until His Highness gives up on you.”

“That’s correct.”

“At this rate, it seems like it’ll take forever. Though, it’s quite amusing to witness.”


Does he think I entered into this contract for amusement? My family’s honor and my life’s dignity are on the line here.

Seeing that I wasn’t hiding my annoyance, Raphael, with a slyness akin to a fox, began to gently wag his tail, as if to imply there was a misunderstanding.

“Please calm down, My Lady. I have a solution. But I’ll need your cooperation.”

“…Go on. If it’s nonsense, I won’t entertain it.”

“Of course.”

Ugh, he’s so cunning. I shook my head openly, giving him a bit of a hard time. Let’s hear what conditions he has for being so confident.

Raphael grinned slyly and began.

“The biggest issue is the sudden change in My Lady’s demeanor.”


“From what I’ve observed, His Highness seems to be more drawn to individuals of the opposite sex who show no interest in him. He appears to prefer a Young Lady Hebe who is affectionate to everyone over the My Lady who used to actively seek his attention while treating everyone else dismissively.”


I felt unjustly accused of seeking attention, but there was nothing to be done about it. If I was going to inhabit Evelyn’s body and enjoy all the privileges Evelyn would enjoy, then I also had to bear Evelyn’s mistakes.

With a chuckle, Raphael continued.

“No matter what My Lady does, she can’t seem to revert to her former self and feel at ease with the approachable Young Lady Hebe, who she used to converse with affectionately, twice in a row. His Highness must be quite bewildered right now. His heart must be racing unexpectedly in such an unforeseen circumstance.”

Ah, darn it. Impossible.

Raphael flashed a smirk at my apprehensive expression.

“You know that saying, right? ‘The woman who hits you is your first.’ It’s a cliché line straight out of romance novels.”

“Ugh, gross!”

Unconsciously, I shivered and rubbed my arms vigorously, feeling goosebumps prickle my skin, even on my face.

“It’s awful, it’s repulsive, it makes me sick!”

I screamed at the top of my lungs. The mere thought of Ulysses blushing and uttering those words, ‘The woman who hits you is your first,’ made me feel nauseous.

Thankfully, I hadn’t been drinking, but if I had, I would’ve been on the verge of vomiting in the carriage.

“What does this disgusting talk have to do with your proposal?!”

“So, the idea is to try reverse psychology on him.”

Raphael replied, a smirk curling on his lips.

“Keep obsessing over His Highness as before, but treat Young Lady Hebe with disdain. It’ll surely resolve things quicker than having a tantrum like you are now.”

“Hey, I paid you 200 gold coins precisely because I didn’t want to engage in such repulsive behavior. Why should I act disgustingly around that scoundrel? Are you mocking me with that payment?”

I launched into my second bout of honesty. Scratch that, it was a legitimate grievance.

Raphael shrugged with an indifferent air, as though he’d endured countless legitimate grievances in the underworld.

“Some problems can’t be resolved with money.”

“What about the Emperor? If I show a little more affection toward that scoundrel, who’s already engaged to me, he’ll definitely push for an immediate engagement!”

“Well, there’s a way.”

Raphael smiled, a smile that promised suffering for anyone who beheld it. He chuckled mockingly and whispered softly.

“Pretend to be hypocritical.”

* * *

Upon returning from the party, fortunately, neither the Prince, nor the Emperor, nor Dahlia came looking for me.

But the shock left me paralyzed in bed.

“What? Hypocritical?”

Even if I were accosted by a lunatic, I couldn’t have been held more firmly. Sure, there’s no Emperor who would force me into the imperial family when I’m already engaged. But still, two-faced? Am I losing my mind? Is there anyone who deserves to be executed for mocking nobility?

Raphael had further elaborated.

“While My Lady exerts herself, I’ll ensure Young Lady Hebe remains infatuated with His Highness indefinitely. Eventually, this issue will resolve itself. What do you think?”

Even if I could dodge the death penalty for defying the Emperor, I’d still consider it a waste of time to devote any energy to Ulysses. It’d even be futile to try to drive him away, considering the effort it would take. How could I bring myself to behave disgustingly around him? I’d rather face death once more.

“Raphael, you scoundrel. This isn’t about me, truly.”

Thankfully, I held the power, so I didn’t renew the contract. The terms for renewal had only been discussed verbally thus far.

“There must be another way… Some action that would make Ulysses detest me…”

What could it be? I pondered while clutching a pillow, shutting my eyes.

“Evelyn, are you in there?”

Henry knocked on the door. It was already late for lunch. Surely, he was summoning me to eat again. Annoyance flooded me, and I didn’t bother opening the door.

“I said I’m not hungry.”

“But you still need to eat! Your mother is worried.”

…If my purse and my favor are worried, then there’s nothing I can do. Reluctantly, I opened the door.

Already prepared, behind Henry were maids carrying trays of food.

“…How many servings is that?”

“Uh? Does it matter?”

…Yes, it does. Evelyn always had these eating habits. She would order anything that came her way, take a bite or two, and leave the rest. Sometimes she wouldn’t even touch some of the dishes.

Naturally, as a frugal Korean, I wouldn’t indulge in such excess. However, since my stomach couldn’t handle a portion as large as that offered, I opted to take only a few bites.

But Henry seemed off. He sat in front of me as though he had something on his mind but couldn’t articulate it. I snapped irritably.

“Do you have something else to say?”

“Dear, how about finishing this and then going shopping?”

Shopping? Again?

Maybe it was because the trio from yesterday irritated me to no end, but I didn’t feel like shopping. I turned my head away.

“Go by yourself.”

“Come on, let’s go. Daddy bought another boutique for our daughter yesterday. Let’s go see it, okay?”

Go by yourself! Henry pleaded with sparkling eyes. Honestly, I wasn’t particularly fond of shopping, let alone going outside.

I fiddled with the meat on my plate and glanced at another dish, mumbling.

“Why buy another boutique? There must be no one left to sell it to by now.”

Henry chuckled softly at my grumbling. His laugh was noticeably different from his usual one.

Surely not.

“If there’s no one left to sell it to, make someone want to buy it?”

…I won’t ask what kind of business he’s gotten himself into.

‘He probably inflated the value and forced someone to buy it.’

Thinking that, I felt a bolt of lightning strike my mind. Right, that’s it!

‘Why didn’t I think of this before?’

Romance novel protagonists generally aren’t driven by money. Not Ulysses, and not even the sub-lead, Raphael.

But regardless of wealth, it’s natural to feel irked when something you desired is snatched away, especially if it’s rare.

I knew what Ulysses would want in the future and even understood the future of this market. And I had the resources to buy at a higher price than anything Ulysses wanted to pay.

The timing couldn’t have been more opportune.

I nodded my head, focusing on the juicy steak.

“Alright, let’s go.”

“As expected of our daughter!”

“But let’s visit somewhere other than the boutique.”


Henry blinked rapidly. “Then where?” he asked with a puzzled look. I smiled as I replied.

“We’re going to Asil’s.”

There’s no problem as significant as money, but neither is there one as substantial as a rift in relationships. I can confirm that from experience.

“I have something other than clothing to buy.”

With a confident grin, I savored a piece of the steak. The taste of sweet victory lingered.