Home Post 873-chapter-62


Before winter began, Duke Lucas was enjoying a leisurely drink of wine in the middle of a party. Carinne approached him and pretended to strike up a casual conversation.

“Oh my, Your Excellency. We meet again.”

“I have been seeing you quite often lately.”

“Yes, it is quite strange, don’t you think?”

Carinne glanced at the man standing next to the Duke with a look of disdain and continued speaking.

“Excuse me, my legs are aching. Could you please bring me a drink from over there?”

She spoke to him as if he were a servant.

Without a word, he nodded and did as Carinne asked. When he was out of sight, she moved closer to the Duke and whispered in his ear.

“Get rid of that man. Don’t you know how many people are gossiping behind your back because of his lowly status? Even if he’s good at his job, he’s not the only one who is.”

“That is not something for you to be concerned about.”

The Duke cut her off, deciding that she was not worth his time.

“Hmph. I am only saying this because I care about you, Your Excellency.”

Carinne let out a small snort and retorted.

“What’s the point of working with such a lowly creature?”

Yes, that was exactly what she had said.

‘…I see it now.’

He had rejected her countless times before. He didn’t know exactly when she had changed, but probably from the day she had come to the mansion in the First Duchy under the pretense of wanting to see him. She must have started pretending to be Carinne around that time.

If that was the case, then everything made sense.

Carinne’s unusual interest in him on a rainy day, her excessive attention to him at the Ashite Flower Festival and the dinner party, and what was happening now.

Duke Lucas let out a bitter laugh as he realized this. He hadn’t missed his chance. He had never had a chance to begin with.

Just then, someone came rushing into the reception room, gasping for breath.

“Your Excellency! I heard that the aide has been injured!”

It was Iris.

“Where is the aide?”

“He’s upstairs with the Princess.”

“Oh, thank you for letting me know!”

Iris ran up the stairs without hesitation.

The door to Carinne’s room, which was visible from the first floor, was half open. She grabbed the doorknob and pushed it open before she froze in her tracks. Her eyes widened as she looked inside the room. A blush slowly spread across her cheeks as if a drop of red ink had been added to water.

She stood still in front of the door for a moment, and then her face turned as red as a ripe apple. The next moment, Iris closed the door and walked slowly down the stairs.

“Your Excellency, I think we should wait downstairs.”

He knew what she meant.

“Has Archenas woken up?”


“Then, that’s fine. I’ll be going.”

There was no need for him to stay here any longer now that he had confirmed the man’s safety.

Iris hesitated for a moment before replying to the Duke.

“I think I should go too.”

Iris said and stood next to the Duke.

Duke Lucas walked out of the Second Duchy’s mansion with Iris by his side. He skipped the farewell to the host. That was a courtesy and consideration for the two of them.


* * *


In the basement of the abandoned mansion, in the secret meeting room, one of the seats at the round table was empty. A gloomy aura spread out from the empty seat like a spider’s web.

A collective sigh escaped from the people sitting around the round table.

“What are we going to do now?”

Someone muttered in a resentful voice.

A deep voice echoed through the meeting room, and everyone heard the question, but no one could answer it. There were only a few people who trailed off their words with a deflated voice.

“To think that an oracle would come down like this…”

“I wonder what the Princess has to do with the saintess for an oracle like that to come down…”

Only the saintess knew the answer to that question.

Another deep sigh escaped from the group as they faced the grim reality. Then, breaking the silence, someone asked quietly.

“Does anyone know what happened to Viscount Frank?”

At the mention of Viscount Frank, everyone recalled what had happened that afternoon. All the nobles present in the courtroom had witnessed it with their own eyes.

At the angry King’s command, he was dragged out of the courtroom like a dog. The King didn’t even try to hear his excuse. Since no one was on his side, he alone would have to bear the brunt of the oracle’s aftermath. Some heaved a sigh of relief, thinking that they could have been in his shoes.

“I heard that banishment is certain. He’ll undergo the investigation, but it’s just a formality. His Majesty has already decided to banish him.”

Another noble shared what he had heard.

“Well, well…”

“Viscount Frank had it coming. He was just trying to get revenge on his family’s enemy.”

Some didn’t agree with that statement. They said that he brought it upon himself, and he had to face the consequences.

Viscount Frank had inherited a huge amount of debt from his father and was constantly harassed by debt collectors. It seemed that he had tried to somehow pay off the interest by latching onto Duke Tricia, but the contract was broken due to the princess’s intervention, and his path to paying off the debt was blocked.

Because of that, the Frank family was on the verge of bankruptcy, and he kept complaining that it was all the princess’s fault that his family was ruined.

Someone chimed in, saying that he should have looked before he leaped.

“I wonder who’s worrying about whom right now. Are we in a position to be concerned about Viscount Frank? Let’s solve our own problems first and worry about him later. Since we barely escaped death, she’ll try to get revenge somehow, won’t she?”

An austere-looking old man stepped in. He didn’t mention names, but everyone knew who would take the revenge.

It was the Princess.

“But Viscount Frank was the one who indicted the Princess. Now that Viscount Frank is banished, the Princess has no one to get revenge on.”

“Do you think she’s an idiot? Have you forgotten that we were the ones who decided to ban the use of truth serum?”

The old man retorted to the previous noble’s comment as if he couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

That was true. They had prohibited the use of truth serum under the pretense of not using illegal drugs, but in reality, it was to make it difficult for the princess to prove her innocence.

Viscount Frank said that she didn’t remember anything about the past and that she was definitely a witch, but not a single noble believed him. They vaguely assumed that she had forgotten because she was a capricious and reckless woman or perhaps because she had a bad memory.

What mattered was whether they could get rid of the Princess through the witch trial. In fact, the nobles had planned to bribe the judge and witnesses and plant some troublemakers among the audience to sway the trial in their favor.

Unfortunately, their plan was ruined because of the oracle.

She was falsely accused and almost died, but she survived. There was no way the Princess would let this go. If the Princess, along with Duke Lucas and the Knight Commander, joined forces and tried to harm them…

Once again, everyone’s mind was filled with horrible imaginations. It was clear that if Duke Lucas’ faction seized power, they wouldn’t be able to continue dominating the country and expanding their influence as they pleased.

“We have to get rid of the princess somehow. Once the sword is drawn, this fight won’t end until one of us falls.”

“That’s right.”

“I agree.”

One noble’s comment was met with agreement from here and there. But again, the method was the problem. How could they possibly drag out the princess of the Second Duchy? Not only was it difficult to think of a way to do it, but after seeing what happened to Viscount Frank, no one wanted to be the one to pull the trigger.

At that moment, the austere-looking old man broke the silence and spoke.

“How about setting up a scapegoat?”

He said, cupping his hands as if to form an arch.

“Someone we can manipulate at will, someone with enough presence that we can hide behind them and watch the situation unfold… Of course, we’ll make decisions with everyone’s consent.”

The old man spat out a name as the other nobles looked at him with curious expressions.


* * *


The next morning, Carinne woke up with a stuffy nose.

When she came to her senses, she realized she was breathing hard with her nose buried in a man’s chest. She took her nose off his chest, but she still couldn’t breathe well, so she checked to see what the problem was and felt an arm wrapped around her waist.

A pale, firm arm was hugging her tightly as if she would break.

She carefully grabbed the man’s arm so as not to wake him up and pulled it up. After struggling for a long time, she managed to break free from the man’s arms, but this time she was blinded.

Warm sunlight poured through the window onto the bed.

Carinne covered the sunlight with her hand and blinked her eyes, waiting for her eyes to adjust to the light. When she was able to open her eyes comfortably, she naturally wondered.

Who was this man?

…Nevermind. In fact, she knew very well who he was. She just needed confirmation because she couldn’t believe it.

Carinne turned her head and looked at the man’s face.

‘Wow, sh… This is crazy.’

Archen was sleeping soundly with his eyes closed in peace.

Even though the backlight was shining and his eyes were invisible, his beauty shone through. So, this was what he looked like without glasses. She had seen him once before, but she guessed it felt new to see him sleeping.





Carinne ran her fingers over his face, tracing the elegantly arched eyebrows, the pale eyelashes that fluttered slightly as he breathed in and out, the overly straight nose, and the slightly parted, pale pink lips. She caressed them with her fingertips and finally brought her hand to his cheek. The skin was smooth as pudding, pale and soft.

If only it wasn’t so much paler than usual.

It must be because of yesterday. She vowed to feed him well and put him to bed early until he regained his healthy complexion.

Before that…

His slightly parted lips were too tempting to resist.

Carinne brought her lips to his and kissed him softly. They were as soft as cake and as sweet as candy. So sweet that it made her lightheaded. She let out a dreamy sigh, lost in the sweetness, and then brought her lips to his again. She might as well do it one more time since she was already at it.

She’d make it a bit longer this time.

She could feel his ragged breathing right next to her ear as she was about to cover his lips, when suddenly, his eyes fluttered open. At first, his face held the groggy expression of someone just waking up from sleep. However, as soon as he realized who was in front of him, his blue eyes widened in surprise.

Carinne leaned back to meet his gaze, resting her head on one hand as she looked at him with sparkling eyes.

“You’re awake?”


“You don’t believe me? I didn’t either.”


“How’s your body? Are you okay?”




He blinked, his face a picture of disbelief. Carinne’s smiling face was reflected in his wide eyes.

“It’s me.”

She poked his cheek playfully with her index finger.

“What happened yesterday wasn’t a dream. I’m Carinne, and I really like you… Ow!”

Just like yesterday, she couldn’t finish her sentence. He wrapped his arms around her and whispered in a voice choked with emotion.

“Oh, thank you, God. You’ve answered my prayers.”

‘Was dating me your wish?’

A pleased smile spread across her lips. Why had he been hiding it when he could have told her sooner? Carinne closed her eyes contentedly, feeling the silky hair tickling the tip of her nose. Just hearing his voice right next to her made her heart flutter.

“Now, if you could grant me just one more thing, I’d have nothing left to ask for.”

He was surprisingly greedy. What more could he possibly want?

Still, Carinne decided to hear him out.

Archen stroked her hair and brought his lips close to her forehead. She could feel his hot breath on her scalp.

“Please, don’t let me wake up from this dream.”


Carinne grabbed his shoulders and gently pushed him back.

He had a dreamy, dazed look in his eyes, like someone walking on clouds. Carinne answered him with a gentle smile and brought her hand to his face. She spread her fingers and caressed his cheek, and then…

She pinched his cheek with all her might.

“I’m real!”