Author: LyraDhani

That was how the four-way encounter began.

 

Ishir who was still angry, Cedin who was perplexed, Ante who was confused, and Rene who was relaxed all alone.

 

Such a strange encounter between four people.

 

“First, put down the article.”

 

“Then tell them I’m not the real culprit.”

 

“I can’t do that.”

 

Ishir said coldly. However, Rene was also confident that she wouldn’t lose if she stayed calm.

 

“Then I can’t either.”

 

“Wait, Your Highness, may I speak to Rene for a moment?”

 

Then, Ante interrupted.

 

“What does it mean that you’re such a talented person?”

 

How annoying. Rene glanced at Ante’s status window.

 

<Status Window>

 

Name: Ante Marchius

 

Family: The Duke of Marchius

 

Fame: 799

 

Title: <The Little Duke of Marchius>, <Sword Expert Top Level>, <Marchius’ Pride>, <Long Unrequited Love>

 

Power: 740

 

Agililty: 680

 

Strength: 770

 

Wisdom: 450

 

Luck: 302

 

Favorability: -?13

 

It was almost restored now, and most of the status windows were visible except for the favorability. But the awkwardness remained the same.

 

Ante didn’t have enough ability to measure Rene’s.

 

At least he needed to be at Cedin’s or Ishir’s level to roughly see the outline.

 

‘You have to become a sword master to be qualified to attack me.’

 

She sighed and continued.

 

“Sorry, Ante. I think the Prince probably got it wrong. Isn’t that right?”

 

Rene fired her power toward Ishir. It was an unspoken pressure to answer well.

 

“…It was a slip of the tongue, Little Duke.”

 

“Are you asking me to believe that now? I also deserve to know about my sister!”

 

“Um. Well.”

 

[Skill activated! – <Breath of Astaroth>]

 

[Ante Marchius falls into a deep sleep…]

 

“…I also… need to know….”

 

Ante’s eyes gradually closed. Rene patted Ante, who was trying to overcome his sleep, and put him to sleep Soon, Ante’s head hit the table with a thud.

 

He fell into a deep sleep.

 

“Sorry, Ante. I don’t think you deserve to know.”

 

Honestly, that was how it was. Since when did they become such a tight-knit family?

 

“Was it magic?”

 

Ishir looked at her still in disbelief.

 

It was the same with Cedin. No, Cedin was closer to being awestruck.

 

“That’s not the point. Both of you, please shut up about my abilities.”

 

“It seems that even the Duke of Marchius doesn’t know your skills.”

 

He murmured in a serious tone.

 

But Rene only shrugged.

 

“It was better for him not to know.”

 

“How is that possible? Without inheriting the family vision-”

 

“It’s not even that great of a skill. I’m a magic swordsman, so it might seem more impressive, but my skills are just that of an advanced sword expert.” 

 

Rene said, deliberately hiding her abilities. Cedin’s eyes flashed. It was obvious that he found her lies interesting.

 

“How have you been hiding it?”

 

She knew he’d ask this question. Rene looked Ishir in the eye and answered.

 

“Have you ever paid attention to me, Your Highness?”

 

In fact, she didn’t know anything about her relationship with the Crown Prince. How much Rene liked this crown prince and how harsh he was to Rene.

 

But –

 

“…!”

 

She had a hunch.

 

“I didn’t hide it, Your Highness just didn’t see it.”

 

“…It’s a sophistry.”

 

“Or are you going to claim that I achieved this within a day?”

 

 Ishir frowned as if he couldn’t bear it.

 

“…How far have you learned the magic?”

 

“I can only use very few magic tricks. Just the ones I’ve learned. One or two. Let’s just say it’s a very poor skill.”

 

“Still, magic swordsmen are very rare. If it had been known, you would have been treated well.”

 

Ishir hesitated for a moment and continued.

 

“…You wouldn’t have been called Marchius’ shame like you are now.”

 

“Because I don’t want to.”

 

Ishir looked at her with questioning eyes.

 

“Because I don’t want to be treated well by people who call me a disgrace for my lack of ability.” 

 

She meant what she said. Rene did respect the principle of the jungle. She used that principle a lot.

 

But that didn’t mean she was ignoring the weak.

 

Rather, she had the utmost respect for the weak. Strong for the strong, weak for the weak.

 

Because that was the truth she believed in.

 

So from her point of view, she didn’t like Marchius.

 

Judging what she’d heard from Cedin, there were many reasons why Rene strayed this far. 

 

  1. Rene was originally a civilian who couldn’t use swordsmanship or magic at all.

 

The Duke of Marchius had been dominated by the strong for generations, so the way they treated Rene was bound to be terrible.

 

On the other hand, Ante and Cyril were much more talented than their peers. So she had no choice but to grow up being compared even more.

 

  1. One of the reasons why the Crown Prince was not interested in Rene was because Rene was completely useless.

 

The Crown Prince tended to decide on a lover and a spouse based on a thorough calculation of profit and loss.

 

It was why Lian, a saint who could bring the greatest benefit, was chosen as his fiancee.

 

On the other hand, although Rene was the daughter of a famous duke, she had a bad reputation and was like an outcast in the family.

 

So she couldn’t even be nominated.

 

Wouldn’t it be weirder if she managed to grow up properly in this situation?

 

‘It was so bad that no one believed her when she was molested.’

 

It was really too much.

 

“Why? With this skill, you will be the heir to the family right away. No, we could have a new Duchy.”

 

At Ishir’s words, Rene laughed bitterly.

 

“I’m not interested in that sort of thing.”

 

Rene waved her hand in annoyance and pushed Ante’s chair. Then Ante fell to the ground.

 

Good. He was definitely asleep.

 

She turned her head back toward Ishir, uncaring of Ante who was lying on the floor in an ugly way.

 

“I hate being bothered the most. Got it? So you must keep your mouth shut about my abilities, Your Highness.”

 

“…I don’t understand. Why did you hide it all this time? If you’d told me earlier-“

 

“If I told you, so what? Do you think you’d be engaged to me instead of the Saint? Would you have used me instead of her?”

 

At her words, Ishir’s eyes were filled with tangible anger. But Rene laughed at him without batting an eye.

 

“I already know that you were fake.”

 

“Cedin.”

 

 Ishir growled at Cedin in a low voice, but Rene clapped her hands on Ishir’s face.

 

“Don’t blame Cedin. That’s not my concern. It doesn’t matter whether you two love each other or not.”

 

“…!”

 

“Because my concern is to prove my innocence.”

 

At Rene’s words, Ishir shut up for a long time. Cedin watched him quietly. Would he believe that?

 

“Are you sure you’re innocent?”

 

“That’s what I want to ask you.”

 

“Do you think I am crazy enough to kill Lian? She was my fiance. It was a man to become an empress. Why would I kill her?”

 

“You had a reason to kill her.”

 

Rene smiled and folded her arms.

 

“There’s a rumor that the Daint wanted to run away from you.”

 

“It’s a false rumor.”

 

Ishir said coldly. Oh, he sounded pretty firm.

 

“Well, what if it’s true?”

 

“It’s just a rumor.”

 

“Of course, your throne and reputation will be over. Isn’t that why you killed the Saint before she ran away?”

 

“Are you seriously saying that now?”

 

“Why not? Which part of it doesn’t make sense?”

 

“Lian never tried to leave me even once!”

 

 

 

Bang. Ishir punched the table. In the end, that part seemed to have been his breaking point.

 

Rene stared at him coldly.

 

“It’s still unknown. The youngest priest’s testimony was different.”

 

“Isn’t it just Lady’s claim?”

 

“My false accusation is, in the end, just someone else’s claim.”

 

“Let me be clear, Lady.”

 

Ishir continued, grinding his teeth.

 

“If there’s anyone in the world who’s definitely innocent, it’s me.” 

 

‘Should I trust him?’

 

Rene quietly asked the Constellations. Should I trust this guy or not?

 

[The <Lord of Vile Blood> votes to not trust him.]

 

[The <Monarch of Waves and Healing> votes to trust him]

 

[The <Emperor of Enticement> abstains.]

 

‘Abstain? That’s dishonorable!’

 

[The <Emperor of Enticement> avoids eye contact]

 

“All right, since we both have been treated unfairly, so let’s have a truce for a while.”

 

“…A truce?”

 

“I will take down the article. You clear my charges.”

 

“That’s not in my authority.”

 

“Let’s not do this. We both know it’s in your authority.”

 

“If I want to resolve the allegations, I need decisive evidence. Not you.”

 

…He was really stubborn. She couldn’t help but shrug her shoulders and hold out something.

 

“What’s this?”

 

“Where the Saint was last found.”

 

“…What?”

 

Ishir looked at her with astonished eyes.

 

Right. What she gave him was the address she had shown to Ante earlier.

 

Ishir hurriedly picked up the note and read it.

 

‘I’ll cut you some slack.’

 

“Originally, I was going to send it to the princess. You owe me.”

 

“With all this information, why haven’t you told me yet?”

 

“Because I just found out today, too?”

 

Ishir stood up with his teeth clenched at Rene’s brazen attitude. Maybe he didn’t want to waste any more time.

 

“I’m going to go here right now.”

 

“Whatever.”

 

“Wait here until then.”

 

What’s this, was he trying to use the information she gave him without her?

 

“No, am I crazy?”

 

“Young Lady. I don’t think I know what’s going on, but even if you’re framing me, you’re the most likely suspect.”

 

“I’m coming with you.”

 

She too slowly stood up and faced Ishir.

 

“No way.”

 

“It’s not up to you to decide,. Your Highness.”

 

Renee grabbed Ishir’s hand and injected mana into it. Then, the note in his hand was burned in an instant.

 

“If you go without me, I will send this note to Her Highness the Princess. Then Her Highness will love it, right? Is this her chance to send her competitor away once and for all?

 

“…!”

 

“Do you think I can’t do it?”

 

Perhaps thinking that she would really do it, Ishir gritted his teeth.

 

What a disappointing response.

 

“Where’s the guarantee that if you come along, you won’t kill Lian?”

 

“Then where is the guarantee that Your Highness won’t kill the Saint?”

 

At Rene’s words, Ishir’s eyes sank cold.

 

Regardless, Reneeblew the ashes on Ishir’s face. 

 

“Are you that insecure? You think I can kill the Saint right in front of you?”

 

“….”

 

“Have we reached an agreement now?”

 

Rene reached out to Ishir and suggested a handshake.

 

But Ishir turned around without looking at her hand.

 

‘That unlucky bastard.’

 

Anyway, she had to do well.

 

[The <Lord of Vile Blood> strongly recommends you to assassinate Ishir von Lambdish!]

 

Then she could complete the quest. 

 

“Let’s go, Cedin.”

 

“Are you all right? Young Lady.”

 

“Why? Are you worried? About me?

 

“It is natural.”

 

“It’s okay, you’re coming with me.”

 

“…But still.”

 

Cedin wrapped a handkerchief around Rene’s hand with a worried face.

 

“What is this?”

 

“You held his hand earlier. When you burned the note.”

 

“Yeah. So what?”

 

“I just want to wipe it for you.”

 

Is there such a strange culture here?

 

She tilted her head because she couldn’t understand Cedin and silently received the touch.

 

Cedin wiped every nook and cranny of her hand.

 

Somehow the touch was an exquisite mixture of sincerity and anger.

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Comments (1)

  1. Thank you for the update!!! This is such an interesting read!!!