Author: Nikss



The source of the voice was the Duke, who had just arrived at the Colosseum but seemed to have grasped the whole situation at a glance. 


His voice was very dry and low, but clear enough to echo through the vast space. 


“I never thought something like this would happen in my castle,” said Duke Anais.


The Duke of Anais had arrived.


‘How did the Duke get here already?’


I thought he had gone hunting thirty mammoths. 


I didn’t him expect to come back so soon.


If the Duke of Anais was the Final Villain, then all my efforts have been for naught. 


I would be deprived of the artifact in my hands. 


All sorts of complicated thoughts raced through my head. 


The Duke strode toward me with a chilly air around him.


His expressionless, impassive lips were set in a straight line. 


I held my breath in a momentary panic. 


However, it was then.


Behind him, Sir Retro burst in with a thud.


“It’s a monster…”


“His Excellency the Duke— He’s been beating up thirty mammoths and made leathers in half a day!”


My eyes widened.


“… Already?”


‘… That’s right, that was my request.’


And it was my misjudgment.  I didn’t think a duke could bring thirty mammoths in half a day. 


Lord Retro’s words dampened everyone’s spirits, including my own.


Of course, Bazel’s complexion, which had been dragged away, grew redder and redder.


Despite everyone’s astonishment, the Duke of Anais was cool.

 In the midst of all this, the Duke of Anais remained calm. 


“How dare you— in my castle, I warned you not to touch Astel.”


He took a step toward me. I stared straight ahead, barely able to keep my shaky legs upright. 


The Duke hobbled over and stood directly in front of Bazel.


“I shall burn this man at the stake for acting like a dog despite my warnings.”


—-I was stunned hearing his words.


The Duke’s cold gaze made my skin crawl. 


His legs trembled as if he were about to wet himself. Yeah, Bazel looked as if he might pee at any moment. 


“Or maybe we should just bury him. Or skin him alive like a mammoth—”


Duke Anais’ voice dropped to a whisper.


“Well, that’s an interestingly troubling thought.” 


The Duke grabbed him by the collar, his face was as cruel as I had ever seen it.


“He can’t die yet!”


The Duke’s response was too much. I stomped my feet and whispered low.


“Isn’t peeling his skin too much?”


Of course, it was like talking to myself.


A voice that was so small and thin that even the person next to me couldn’t hear it in the noisy atmosphere of the Colosseum.

But strangely enough, the Duke’s gaze landed on mine at once. 




He stared at me, and I realized that there was a hint of sadness in his eyes.

Our gazes met in the air.


He paused, seemingly unable to hold back his emotions, and tossed the Bazel to the ground. 


“You’d better shut up.”




Perhaps under the spell, Bazel couldn’t even groan anymore.


“Because I’m angry.”


Bazel rolled on the floor and pursed his lips, but there wasn’t even a gap. If nothing else, he clamped his mouth shut, so he couldn’t speak.


When Bazel was being dragged out of the coliseum with the sound of a hog’s gullet, several of the beasts who had previously been clicking their tongues seemed to be paying attention to the relationship between me and the Head of the Silver Fox family.


I could hear screams vividly in my ears.


“You’ve saved His Highness the Duke, you’ve saved Lord Ricardo, and now you’ve saved the heir to the Silver Fox Family?”


“… It doesn’t look like it, but it’s time to admit it. That human being is pretty good.”


“Is that all? I’m starting to think she’s a genius, now!” 


I’d be lying if I said my shoulders didn’t shrug at the word genius, but—


“Yeah, maybe there were some decent humans after all…”


“The Silver Fox family, the Jaguar family, and the Duke have been indebted to her…  Isn’t that enough to make you the benefactor of our entire duchy?”


I was glad that my efforts were rewarded, but my ears were red because I felt that their praise was too much. At the same time, I felt a terrible glance.




At that moment, when everyone was chanting loudly, only Lord Mayer was standing a little distance away, staring at me like a tower.


Come to think of it, it seemed like a certain intense gaze had been directed at me from earlier—


I turned to face him with a trembling heart.


There must be only one reason why that person glares at me like that.


‘Could he be the last spy? Are you going to avenge Bazel?’


He didn’t even avert from my suspicious gaze.


If anything, the searing glare only intensified. 


‘… Lord Meyer, I must investigate you.’ 


I cautiously crossed my arms and legs, preparing to leave. The head of the silver fox family smiled and spoke.


“Our family hasn’t forgotten about our benefactor.  You seem to be interested in magic artifacts…”


His gaze swept over, scanning me.


“I’ll see you soon.”


He nodded his head and carried his son, Bell, away.


Bell wiped his eyes and clung to his father and mother next to him. 


‘At that moment, I had a bittersweet realization that this was what family was all about, and I fondly remembered my childhood growing up in Count Vietry.’


As a mischievous child, I frequently played in the dirt like a commoner. 


Every time, I would put mud on my mother’s old dress.


— “Mom, can I just hug you? I didn’t wash up!”


— “Sure, come here.”


I was so young that I’d forgotten the warmth of my mother’s embrace. 


And my brother’s voice accusing me of being too childish for my own good—


— “Mother, that child is being spoiled!”


Even the voice of the bewildered nanny.


— “Oh, my lady! Hurry up and come down!”


I bit my lips hard as each memory came flooding back.


My brother was the only one who survived among those who knew my past.


I tried to disperse my thoughts. I still have a lot of work to do. Now I have to analyze the artifacts I got today. 


I only need to catch one more spy. When it’s all said and done, I’ll brag to my brother.


How would my brother react if I said I caught them all?


It was a time when I had that thought.


The Duke, who had been silent after sending Bazel into the hands of the knights, strode in front of me.


The Duke looked cold as if he were about to utter a profanity at any moment. 


I froze in his cold grip and backed away a little more hesitantly, not wanting to reveal that I was carrying a medal artifact. 


But the Duke didn’t seem to mind. 




Calling me by name, he leaned in slowly, crumbling toward my embrace.


“I was worried.” 


It was a gentle hug. 


Was it because he thinks I’m overdoing it today, and he’s afraid I’ll have a fever because of the imprint?


I withdrew and spoke carefully, fearing that he might notice the presence of the artifact in my arms.


“Well, were you afraid I’ve gone too far? It’s all right, Duke, I… I’m not sick…” said Astel.


He must have realized by now that I was perfectly fine. 


There would have been no heat transfer from our bodies pressed together. 


But the Duke did not release his hold on me. 


Instead, he held me even closer and whispered,  “I want to hug you.”



“Because it must have broken your heart.” 


Spoken so warmly—


My vigilance has been lifted once again.


Despite his late arrival, he must have already been informed about the situation where I was accused of being the one who attacked Belle.


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Comments (2)

  1. Thank you so much for the update, TL-nim! 😘💋❤️❤️
    I wonder when will astel remember the duke, and why the duke cant tell her directly😭😭