Author: Nikss


Cedric’s unshakable voice echoed through the hall.




After hearing his sudden remarks, I was barely able to catch my breath and could only say those words.


“Then start the hearing right now—”


As soon as I saw his red eyes, which looked determined, I realized that he was seriously planning something unusual.


Ciel rushed forward to the throne to somehow stop Cedric, and her anxiety came like a wave.


“Wait! Hold on, Your Majesty!”


Everyone’s eyes turned to me at my urgent call.


“A new contract all of a sudden? I’ve never heard of anything like that.”


In the first place, I have no obligation to sign a new contract.


According to the contract I signed with the previous Emperor when Cedric finally reaches adult age and becomes the next Emperor, my position would immediately be terminated two months after the coronation.


There was no provision regarding the obligation to extend the contract.


“I dare you to explain to me what the hell’s going on here, Your Majesty!”


Cedric’s straight dark eyebrows twitched.


It was his habit when he found something interesting.


“Yes. I understand.”


Cedric, who stood at the end of the throne, slowly stepped down the stairs.


Every time he moved, the red cloak on his shoulder slid, and the gold ornaments wrapped around his body shone brilliantly.


Cedric quietly opened his lips, as everyone was watching his beautiful yet restrained movement.


“According to the existing contract, the contract between you and the imperial family would automatically end in a week.”


As soon as he came down the stairs, he looked straight at me and smiled softly.


“It was also true that even if you leave the Imperial Palace after that, there’s no reason for us to hold on to you.”


“Then why…”


Cedric looked down at me as I questioned him.


And without a word, he pulled out his sword from the scabbard he was wearing around his waist.


The red magic stone that received the light from the chandelier gave off a mysterious light, and the ministers who were watching it began to shout.


The Deamant Empire was a country built with the power of the sword.


The act of the Emperor directly taking out the sword, which was the basis and symbol of the power of a wealthy Empire, was never something that could be taken lightly.


“Yes. The imperial family has no justification for that.” (Cedric)


The magic stone, which was called by its owner, emitted a splendid light.


A faint red spark began to emit around the handle of the sword, and none of them could take their eyes off the rare sight of the Emperor using his own magic.


“But I wanted to let you know that it had a cause, not for the imperial family.”




“You’re all set, aren’t you?”


With a relaxed smile, Cedric shouted at the servants standing behind him.


“Yes, Your Majesty.”


Upon receiving Cedric’s signal, the servants bowed their heads and pulled down the white cloth covering an unknown object behind the auditorium.


When the cover cloth fell to the floor, what appeared was a huge target used in the Knight’s magic swordsman training.


Without a chance to ask what all this was, Cedric pointed the sword with a red spark at the target and shouted.


“Everyone, I want you to take a step back, as it could be dangerous.”


There was no sign of hesitation on Cedric’s face, holding the sword.


He had an expression of a confident, victorious Emperor, which he had never shown in front of me.


“Your Majesty—”




The thundering sound and a dazzling bright red light hit the target directly.


Everyone couldn’t take their eyes off the target, at the sight that looked like a red lightning bolt.


The burnt-out target collapsed, and smoke rose from the broken wooden board.


‘No way!’


This couldn’t be true.


As if to crush my thoughts of denying the scene in front of me, a minister shouted, pointing at the broken target with a trembling finger.


“Your Majesty, your lightning…”


Starting with the servant, cheers, and applause came in a flurry in the auditorium, which was frozen in silence.


“Your Majesty has demonstrated a lightning strike!”


“Finally, Your Majesty’s lightning strike…!”


But unlike them, who are delighted that the Emperor has mastered the most powerful attack skill the swordsman could show, I am briefly stunned.


Because I finally realized what he was trying to do.


— ‘If one day you really became good at wielding swords, then I would grant you a wish.’


The condition for ‘to be able to handle the sword really well’ was to be able and use a lightning strike.


‘Crazy. How the hell…’


Recently, I mean, a few months ago, Cedric wasn’t at the level of being able to use the lightning strike.


Cedric was clearly trying to tie me up eight years ago under the pretext of a promise I made to boost his interest in swordsmanship.


In addition, the lightning strike was such a high-level skill that it wouldn’t need to be learned unless he was a swordsman who went to the battlefield himself, so I had never taught that to Cedric.


“Your Majesty!”


Everyone shut their mouths and turned to me at the sound of my cry in the hall.


“I know what you’re thinking, but it was just a promise I shed as a child.”


Ciel had no intention of being quietly caught up in such a trivial manner.


Then Ciel took a step closer to Cedric and opened her lips to speak in a voice as calm as possible.


“If you’re trying to stop me with a promise that doesn’t even have a contract—”


“A promise that you made?” Cedric narrowed his brows and asked.


For a moment, his red eyes, holding a sword, shone sharply.


“A promise without a contract?”


Cedric, who put the sword into its sheath and slowly approached me, muttered in a low voice.


When I came to my senses, I found the black-haired Emperor standing right in front of me.


“Y-your Majesty?”


Nevertheless, he did not stop narrowing the distance between us.


Only then did I know…


The red eyes that used to have tears in them now have the same light as a beast.


His height, which wasn’t much different from mine before, has grown tremendously.


Cedric was now 20 years old, and he was no longer the weak crown prince, but the ruler of this empire.


My heart began to pound as the red eyes that seemed to devour me approached right in front of me.


‘Wait, thi-this, it’s too close.’


“You must have thought that the oath with the imperial family was such a trivial promise.”




The moment I still was confused by the word I couldn’t understand the meaning of, Cedric suddenly grabbed my cheek with his big rough hand.


In front of numerous servants and key figures.


“Your Majesty, Your—!”


It wasn’t a rough touch like dealing with a slave or subordinate.


Like dealing with something precious, like how a parent treats a child.


Or it was a gentle touch as if dealing with a lover.


“Your Majesty, Count Minerva…!”


The people present in the room were also immediately confused.


Still, Cedric didn’t care and softly smiled.


“I’m sorry.”


At that very moment, my cheek that Cedric touched felt hot.


It wasn’t as hot as a burn.


It felt as if warm blood was slowly spreading around my cheeks.


“An oath wasn’t such a frivolous promise.”


Cedric’s lips were smiling as he pulled his hand away from my cheek and stepped back.


The moment I was staring at him in dismay, not knowing what had happened, the ministers began to shout.


“Look over there! The oath mark on Count Minerva’s cheek…!”


“Oh my! I didn’t know she even signed an oath—”


“Then the Count without hesitation…!”


The voice I heard from the corner of the auditorium and Cedric’s face, who smiled satisfactorily at me, made my head blank for a moment.


Ciel’s eyes, which had been shaking with nowhere to look, remained in the armor of his right arm.


On my right cheek, reflected in the armor, there was a red pattern in the form of a thorn.


“What the…!”


Ciel muttered, rubbing her right cheek with her left hand.


But all of this wasn’t a dream, and no matter how much I rubbed it, the pattern wouldn’t come off.




Cedric bent over his body and opened his lips.


Ciel was looking down at the face reflected in his armor, and a cool breath touched the exposed nape of her neck.


“I need you,” Cedric whispered in a small voice that no one else could hear.


“So please don’t run away. I’m begging you.”


The moment I lifted my head and looked back at his red eyes, his voice sounded like a gentle wave crashing on the beach on a winter night when the moon rose.


“Count of Ciel Minerva. Eight years ago, you kissed my ring filled with mana and made an oath to grant a wish if the time comes that I could use the lightning strike.”


As if giving a speech to the people in the auditorium, his unshakable voice was as firm and hard as a rock.


“A breach of the oath would make you into an enemy of the entire Deamant Empire.”


How far have you been calculating this?


How many people would have known that the 12-year-old’s request to kiss the ring was to paint such a big picture?


“According to that oath, I would offer the extension of your contract as a wish. In short—”


Cedric’s eyes, at first glance, looked very cold and calm.


But beyond that, I saw something gleamed, with a mixture of obsession and affection.


“I refuse to grant your retirement.”


Cedric’s voice with a relaxed ‘victory smile‘ rang out.


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