Author: Nikss



Merria answered with a casual face. “For example… being gloomy?


Lilith shook her head and continued. “There was a time, some nobles tried to court Merria.”


“She refused without even meeting them, and that rumor spread.”


I shrug my shoulders and intercept Lilith’s words. Many nobles wanted to make connections with the only Duke in the Empire.


Therefore, several political suitors sought the status of Duke.


Most of them were those who originally aimed for Serinia, and turned to Merria after Serinia got engaged to Miles.


There was a time when Themis asked me to meet the seemingly decent nobles.


However, I strongly expressed my desire to think about it after becoming an adult, so everyone went back without seeing my face.


Perhaps their pride was hurt by such treatment, and those nobles undermined Merria’s appearance, which they had never met.


Rumors spread in the dark, saying, ‘Merria Rackester was an ugly girl who couldn’t even show her face to the public.’


“It would be hard for us to fix the rumors that are circulating among the nobles,” Karina said, swaying her head.


During the conversation, Lilith asked as if she had suddenly remembered something.


“So she shouldn’t return to the mansion today, right? Merria who was the real thing, shouldn’t be running away.”


“Well… there are things like that.”


There’s no reason to avoid the eyes of Altheon anymore. It was bothersome to explain each one, so I replied gently with a slight nod.


Lilith also looked at Karina again without asking further.


Suddenly, I was wondering why I brought up this subject.


“Well… shall we each have a glass of champagne?”


Karina pours champagne onto the table and hands them over to the two.


Karina, who handed over the glass, did not wait but lifted her glass of champagne. Lilith and Merria, who were satisfied with the champagne, also raised their glasses.


Suddenly, an informal drinking party began on the terrace on one side of the banquet hall. Since it was a low-alcohol drink, the three people who emptied the bottle in an instant enjoyed the cool breeze quietly.


After a while, Karina spoke grimly.


“Do you have someone you like…?”


It was a more outspoken way of speaking, perhaps because of the alcohol.


“No, she doesn’t have anyone like that.”


Merria spoke playfully in response to Lilith’s belated answer.


“I saw Pedro earlier.”


Pedro was a man who existed between Lilith’s first love and her dark history.


Lilith’s face crumpled when she remembered the days when she was young and thought she would marry Pedro, and her mouth twisted.


“Hah. Anyway, why are you asking about that?”




Karina’s eyes trembled. It was a very different atmosphere from the usual Karina, who always had a noble expression.


I felt like I was playing Truth or Dare on a school trip with a blanket on.


“I’ve never met with aristocrats other than dancing at a ball.”




Thanks to the open social society, rich and bored aristocrats often lead promiscuous lives.


They were actively courting each other, dating, and breaking up. However, I couldn’t help but be surprised that Karina, who would have been wooed by countless nobles, was single since birth.


Karina’s face turned red, perhaps embarrassed.


She continued, burying her face in the palm of her hand. “Everyone thinks of me as sophisticated and refined, but it’s not true. I always harden in front of the men. So, also with his Majesty, I always speak in a stiff tone…”




Merria took a breath and looked at the atmosphere of Lilith. It was a secret that Karina had feelings for Altheon beyond a political relationship.


Karina, who confessed to Lilith under the influence of her drunkenness, suddenly realized it and stopped talking.


“So, if you stand in front of His Majesty the Prince, you couldn’t speak because you’re nervous?”


Lilith laughed at Karina looking at her like a middle school student in love.


Such a friendly conversation at the first meeting, I thought the power of alcohol was great and stopped Lilith.


“Lilith, don’t make fun of her. It’s pretty important.”


“Your Majesty, where are you going.”


Karina, who was bowing her head, looked up suddenly. Her brown eyes shook violently.


The eyes of the three people hurriedly turned toward the sound.m they heard.


Two silhouettes of men were visible through the covered curtains.


If it was Altheon outside, I thought for a moment that Karina’s face might explode like this.


Karina’s face quickly turned from red to pale white.


“Don’t tell me he heard…”


Lilith raised her hands to block Karina’s mouth as Karina made a shrieking sound with a surprised expression.


I waited for a while without making a single breathing sound.


Then came the low, soft answer of Altheon. “I’m going to get some air.”


His voice was exhausted.


At that moment, Merria’s head turned quickly. Karina’s face became pale at once, outside the terrace where no voices could be heard.


Merria, looking alternately from both sides, grabbed Karina’s hand and walked to the door.


I called Lilith from behind, but I said without looking back. “Lily, if you see a beautiful woman with silver hair and pink eyes at the banquet hall, hold on to her.”




“It’ll only take a second. I’ll explain later. It’s a very urgent situation.”


So the two disappeared suddenly.



Coming out of the banquet hall through the nearest exit, I stopped in the middle of the garden after a few hesitations.


Beside me was Karina, with her confused face, staring at me.


Merria closed her eyes deeply, opened them, and held Karina’s shoulders firmly.


And spoke quickly and low like a whisper. “Karina, I know it’s out of the blue, but there’s something I really want to say.”


“Huh? Okay.”


“The Prince loves flowers.”


“The Crown Prince loves flowers.”


“…?” Karina’s head tilted.


Having checked that Shannon was not around, I repeated the same thing.


“His Highness loves flowers. Since he especially likes this flower, I think it would be good to have a conversation with it.”


Merria pointed to a random flower blooming nearby and made a ridiculous excuse.


Karina was curious about the situation, but she said that Altheon liked the flowers, so she became interested in them.


“I’ll be back in a minute and find Lilith.”


Having finished my poor performance, I quickly walked to the other side.


My face was full of confusion. My mind cooled down as I stopped in the hallway and leaned my scorching head against the cold pillar.


‘It’s okay, it would be fine. It’s not forceful.’


The choice I made a little while ago might have prevented the first encounter of the protagonists.


Originally, I had no intention of doing this.


However, as soon as I realized that Karina’s heart for Altheon was sincere, I had a strong urge to do this.


So I let Karina stay on the road for her to meet Altheon for a while.


What if Karina leaves or she won’t follow Altheon? Altheon would bump into Shannon as it was, and fall in love tonight.


In the meantime, I decided to make a very small intervention.


Karina, who replaced the seat of the villainess from whom I fled, was truly in love with Altheon.


I didn’t want to see my first friend suffer from a thirst for love.


Although I was sorry for Shannon.


“Shannon… was the heroine. The main character that the writer loves, she would be happy somehow.”


She might meet someone who only loves her, even if it was not Altheon. Or maybe she suddenly earns a lot of money.


Shannon would eventually lead a happy life anyway.


It had to be.


Not knowing that I would be paying the price for the intervention of the original right away, I slowly headed for the banquet hall.



“So, could you explain why I have to talk with you alone?”


Serinia’s voice echoed from inside the dark corridor.


On my way to the banquet hall, I approached her with hope in my heart.


Then Serinia and a tall man could be seen squabbling


‘Are you a member of the Knights?’


The man turning around was wearing the black uniform of the Knights of Altairs.


Doesn’t he know that Serinia was engaged while he was out on the battlefield?


He didn’t give up and urged her to go into the room together, saying he had something to tell Serinia.


As I stood afar and looked around, there was no one passing by, let alone Miles.




While sighing in the rush of exhaustion, the man reached out his hand and tried to grab Serinia’s hand.


“Sister, what are you doing here?”


Merria popped out like a bullet and called Serinia.


“Oh, Merria.”


At that moment, Serinia, who was avoiding the man with a crumpled expression, looked back at Merria with a tired face.


The man who was turning back trembled and stiffened in his place.


It seemed quite embarrassing to find out and get caught like he was trying to do something to a woman in a remote place.


I walked in between Serinia and the man without glancing at him.


Her back facing the man while she was in front of Serinia, and spit out a lie.


“Miles has been looking for you, so let’s go.”


“Huh? Oh, that’s right.” Serinia, who responded tactfully, nodded.


Then she tilted her head to the right and said to the man standing behind Merria’s back.


“As you’ve heard, my ‘fiancee’ was waiting for me. Then, bye.” Serinia grinned and turned her body.


I also tried to exit the hallway leaving the man standing still like a tree, but I couldn’t move.




I looked down and found a different hand hanging over my light purple dress.


The man behind me was holding the hem of my dress. When I struck the man’s hand, unexpectedly, the man’s hand fell off easily.


“What kind of manners was this, Sir? It’s very rude.”


No matter how much they were war heroes, even the Knights of Altairs did this to the first princess.


Merria raised her head, thinking of seeing his face, to know which family he belonged to. Her gaze immediately caught on as if the man had been looking at her long before she turned her gaze.


His clear, golden eyes were not even shaken.




On the contrary, it was Merria’s side whose eyes were shaken.


I scanned the man’s face with trembling eyes. Dark hair, fair and transparent skin. A well-straight nose stubbornly closed lips and clear gold eyes that have been passed down from generation to generation.


Even though he wore an undecorated uniform, I was able to recognize him without any doubt.


The one who I didn’t want to encounter forever.


It was Reukis Frederick.




When Merria, who checked his face, suddenly hardened like a stone, Serinia, wondering, shook Merria’s body.


“Merria, come on.”


However, there was no answer. Serinia grabbed her hand and tried to escape.


The man spoke in a low, subdued voice. “Wait a minute. I have something to tell you.” His gaze was still fixed on Merria.


“From a while ago… Where have you lost your mind?” Despite Serinia’s sarcasm, Reukis’ gaze did not fall on Merria.


Confused by the tension between the two, Merria sent Serenia behind her.


Serinia didn’t even think that this man was Grand Duke Frederick. It was a rather dark place and Reukis was only wearing a basic uniform with no decorations.


I hurriedly lowered my eyes as I thought to pretend that I didn’t know his identity until the end.


“Stop it, Serinia. I’ll let this rudeness slide once and for all.”




Before Reukis’ answer came, Merria ended her speech with her acting skills to the fullest.


“I couldn’t take it anymore. I hope I don’t run into you from now on.”


And the two left the hallway like the wind.


Standing alone in an empty hallway, Reukis suddenly let out a sigh. “Ha…”


From the first meeting, something went wrong. But it was a relief. I finally know the identity of the woman who gave me rest that night.


“I found her.”


Reukis, who raised his hand, covered his eyes, and tilted his head back, said as he moved. He walked to the other side where Merria left.


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