Author: Tam Editor: Briggy

Back in the room, I asked Irene to bring me a fan and lay down on the sofa. My face still burned, ‘Why is it so hot in here?’ The cold water Irene poured for me actually helping with cooling my body down. However, the same couldn’t be said for my bright red face. Ugh, I leaned my head back and bit my lips. 

 

‘The atmosphere was strange.’ Which was to be expected; we communicate well, but to suddenly make physical contact like that? To the point where I ended up sitting on top of him? As a loner who has never held hands with a man before, it was a given that I would panic. 

 

‘Ugh, I’m so embarrassed.’ 

 

‘No wait, I’m allowed to be awkward, but what was with Sylvester’s reaction?’ The original Sylvester would have jumped at the chance to poke fun at the situation, but he didn’t. He, too, was as shy as I was—like a teenage boy! And that realization brought me more shame. 

 

Aren’t there situations where one would be more embarrassed when the other person blushes? This was exactly the case! And in this cycle of shame, we merely parted in front of the main building after exchanging brief goodbyes. 

 

“Just what was that?” I murmured into the air where I received no response. Still, the pounding in my chest showed no signs of subsiding. Sylvester and I are a couple anyway, so I expected that something like this would happen in the future; even the thought of sleeping together was also something I had to take into account.

 

‘Wait, that’s—!’ I can’t do that! What am I thinking! I buried my face into the cushion and screamed silently.

 

“I can’t do this,” after struggling for a while, I muttered and sat up abruptly. Yeah, I can’t do this. I must divorce him as soon as possible If I fall in love with Sylvester, I’d be in big trouble! Then it would turn hopeless. The original story would be twisted beyond repair and the events would be even more unpredictable.

 

I didn’t want that.

 

As I said, I didn’t want to get caught up in the whale fight they were about to have. ‘Let’s run before we get tangled up in the mess.’ I had to divorce him quickly.

 

“Callian, how to appeal to Callian—”

 

I rolled my head around and soon enough, I came up with a way.

 

******

 

Sylvester sat blankly with one hand on his chin and the other holding a pen. He constantly reminded himself of the situation in which Ophelia embraced him earlier. It was the first time he made contact with her like that. Ophelia used to hate even standing next to him. She was a woman who never stood by his side except for when it was necessary, such as riding a carriage or entering a ballroom. 

 

He was also not caring enough to forgive Ophelia’s attitude, so naturally, he also never initiated any physical contact with her. That is, until today happened. As soon as her fair arms touched his chest, Sylvester felt the air being knocked out of his lungs, even though the whole situation wasn’t really anything out of the ordinary. It’s not like he’s a prepubescent teenager so why did he get carried away like that?

 

Sylvester dropped his pen and covered his eyes with his palm.

 

“This picture, she’s your mother, right? Is she? Why what happened to her? To the point where you’re hiding her like this.”

 

Remembering what she said, Sylvester let out a laugh. No one in this castle, or even in this Empire, can ask him that. If they did, they wouldn’t be able to live unscathed. Yet, Ophelia asked such a thing so casually. It was cute and funny at the same time, and it made him wonder what went on inside her head—he liked the new Ophelia.

 

He catches himself smiling whenever he talks to her, and it was not only once or twice that he started smiling whenever she appeared in his mind. Without realizing it, the spot Ophelia filled in Sylvester’s mind grew as time went by.

 

‘I have to be careful.’ Especially since he planned on throwing Ophelia away sooner or later. He couldn’t let whatever was going on continue to root itself deeper. Sylvester did not think Ophelia would successfully seduce the Crown Prince, but if she continued to try as she did now, there would be more contact between them. Sylvester would then be able to seize the moment and announce a relationship between the Crown Prince and Ophelia. The public would then turn against the Crown Prince, ‘And power would naturally trickle down onto the 2nd Prince.’

 

Sylvester had to somehow make the 2nd Prince be the Emperor. ‘Only then…’ Only then would he be able to achieve his lifelong goal. He straightened his body, removing his hand from covering his eyes. 

 

“Any news from the 2nd Prince?”

 

“Not yet,” Neil, who was rummaging through the papers on the other side, answered, “He must be busy. The monsters in the North, I heard, were too much to even try to count.”

 

“He’s not dead right?”

 

“There’s no way,” Neil replied with a laugh. That’s right. Sylvester laughed similarly at the thought of saying something so unnecessary.

 

“Let me know if you receive any news.”

 

“I understand.”

 

Sylvester gazed at Neil, who had nodded, and spat out what he had been saying all along, “Come to think of it, Ophelia hasn’t been going down to the lab lately.”

 

Neil looked at Sylvester with a look of wonder, “I guess she’s sick of black magic now.”

 

“Is that really why?” Sylvester crossed his arms and uttered in a low voice.

 

“What do you think then?” 

 

“I’m asking because I don’t know.” 

 

“How would I know what you don’t know? Work, if you have time to think about something so trivial.”

 

“No, work doesn’t matter.” Sylvester raised his index finger and waved. “What if you’re off-guard and she uses that chance to wield forbidden black magic again? This time, it would be harder to stop.”

 

He pointed out what Ophelia had done to the Grand Duke’s soul in the past. Neil only then raised his head, “Then you can use it as an opportunity to kick her out.”

 

“Even if I’m not getting a divorce yet?” 

 

“Then just stop her.” 

 

“But if she does it in a place I don’t know, there would be no way to stop it?”

 

“What are you trying to say?” 

 

Sylvester’s lips curled up as the words he wanted to hear finally reached his ears, “Let’s assign people to watch her.” 

 

Neil blinked his eyes. ‘What’s with all this nonsense…?’ was the expression he had on right now. “Do whatever you want. Why did you even bother telling me when you know I’d disagree with you.” 

 

“That’s true,” Sylvester shrugged his shoulders, “Then find the right person to carry this out. Also, I’d like you to do some background checks on Ophelia, it’s suspicious that she did a 180-degree change so suddenly. I want you to find out what happened. As you said, there must be a reason why people have changed so much when they didn’t even get hit by lightning. Oh, unless  she did get struck by lightning? There was a heavy rain a while ago, right?” 

 

“Your Excellency,” Neil said, looking down at Sylvester who was so animated as he spoke, “if you don’t want to work, get out.” 

 

“….”

 

“Don’t be a bother.”

 

“….”

 

Sylvester rose quietly and left the office. 

 

“What a mean aide,” he mumbled. 

 

*****

 

I’ve been busy since morning.

 

First, I wore plain clothes to disguise myself, tied my silver hair up in a ponytail, and covered my face with a hat. I didn’t even have to cover my face since the ban was lifted, but I asked Irene to bring me a hat anyway since this way, it would be easier to move around.

 

“Is this enough—?” Irene waited nervously for my answer. In the mirror, I looked surprisingly ordinary, except for my hat that was pulled down, but she did a great job. 

 

“Yes, I like it very much,” I tapped Irene on the shoulder.

 

“Thank you! By the way, where are you going today?” 

 

“Downtown, I need to buy something.”

 

“Pardon?” Irene’s eyes widened in surprise. “Didn’t you hate going there, Madam? It was not very comfortable to hear people rush in when you called for them—. However, you also beat up those who didn’t come to you and kicked them out of the castle.”

 

I was, at this point, tired of listening to Ophelia’s evil deeds. They didn’t even surprise me anymore. I knew that ‘that’ Ophelia was capable of doing anything. Fortunately, Ophelia behaved like a fool, so it’s much easier for me to move around. Of course, the unfortunate thing is that I possessed her amid all this mess.

 

I glanced at Irene and saw the suspicious look she cast onto me. Those two eyes worried I might go outside and cause another accident! It was time to show for certain that I wouldn’t. “This is where I have to go by myself.” I added in a hurry, “Why don’t you come with me?” 

 

“Y-yes?”

 

“Let’s go together. I’ve got a lot to buy, so I’d like you to act as a porter.”

 

“Ah, that’s—” Irene let her eyes wander. No matter how sweet I became, going outside together seemed to be a big mental burden on her, but I had no intentions to back off. I wanted to make sure that this outing changed their perceptions of me. 

 

“Why? don’t you want to go out with me?” 

 

“Yes! N-no! There’s no way!” Irene must be a naturally honest person.

 

“Then get ready and come. I don’t have much time.” 

 

Irene left immediately, saying she would prepare, and I glanced around the empty room and sat down at the desk. I took out a sheet of letter paper. 

 

[To: Callian]

 

The contents of the letter were,

 

[I’ll bring something nice] 

 

Something that can seduce him.

 

The best thing to do was to take the former empress’s letter from the Grand Duchess, but it was difficult to visit the Grand Duchess without an invitation, no matter who you are, so I decided to prepare something else he might like. 

 

And that was—

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