I turned my head away from Diart and glanced at Milto standing nearby. Milto subtly avoided my resentful gaze.

‘Hey hey, traitor.’

I’ve been so good to you, and now you’re being a dick?

Lately, it seemed like he was reporting my whereabouts to Diart. It was undoubtedly a scheme orchestrated by the knights who followed me around. Feeling betrayed, I turned my gaze towards Diart, who was watching me from outside the glass window.

‘Just pass by, please. Please!’

Despite my wish, Diart entered the bakery. The way he strode down the aisle was enough to attract attention. He looked straight at me and sat down at the adjacent table.

The table, decorated with lacy fabrics and ribbons, looked so out of place with his imposing frame, yet somehow fitting.

I narrowed my eyes at the unexpected sight of him sitting at the next table and nonchalantly ordering coffee. Not only did he draw attention, but also the fact that he was a well-known figure made people look at me and then at Diart alternately. It was obvious that rumors of a romantic involvement would spread, so I touched my forehead.

“What’s wrong?”

Edgar, who had been talking about trendy novelists, chuckled as he saw my expression. I quickly shook my head.

Yeah, let’s not worry about it. I’m not openly flirting, am I?

“No, it’s nothing. What were you saying?”

“Oh, that author is said to be very interested in the Eastern Continent and knows a lot about mysterious sorcery. It’s mentioned in the book…”

As I listened to Edgar’s words, my attention kept shifting towards Diart sitting next to me. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that he was tilting his coffee cup in a graceful gesture, but I could feel his eyes slowly scanning Edgar from head to toe.

“I can only vaguely guess about fortune-telling and palmistry, so it’s a pity that I can’t fully understand them. If I knew for sure, I could empathize more with the works.”

I couldn’t understand how this line-like thing represented fate… Edgar looked down at his hand with a disappointed expression. Without realizing it, I opened my mouth.

“Shall I take a look for you?”

“Do you know how to read palms?”

Edgar’s eyes widened.

“A little. I learned it because I was interested.”

Actually, I learned it out of interest when I was working part-time at a fortune-telling cafe1​​”사주 카페” refers to Korean fortune-telling cafes where professionals analyze one’s fate based on birth dates and times. Edgar’s eyes sparkled at the mention of fortune-telling.

“Well then, if it’s not too much trouble, could you do it for me?”

“Of course.”

As I nodded, Edgar took off his gloves and extended his hand to me. His pure white hand was soft, without a single scar as if it had never suffered. It felt satisfying to hold the hand of my favorite person, but I hid my contented smile.

“This is the lifeline. They say the darker and longer it is, the less you suffer in life and the longer the lifespan.”

Although the energy transmitted through his skin was faint, no different from that of others, the sense of fulfillment I felt psychologically was different. The character I had only read and imagined about was breathing right in front of me, and being able to touch him like this felt truly special. Now I understood why fans wanted to attend fan meetings; I could sense it.

“And this is the marriage line, you have four of them.”

“Four? Does that mean I will get married four times?”

“It’s more like interpreting it as having harmonious relationships with women.”

Edgar, who was surprised at first, now had a relieved expression. While Edgar continued to exclaim in admiration, I kept explaining about the emotional and success lines, but suddenly the space above my head darkened. I turned my head and flinched. Diart looked at me with a cold expression and then shifted his gaze to the hand holding Edgar’s.

Following my gaze, Edgar trembled. He seemed crestfallen compared to his previous excited expression.

‘Diart must be scary.’

Well, I had become too accustomed to him, but Diart was a man known as the ‘War Demon’ in the empire. There were ominous rumors about him that seemed partly true. So, for someone as sensitive as Edgar, he must have been intimidating. And even when he stayed still, he would give a fierce glare, which made it even worse.

Seeing Edgar look helpless like a herbivore about to be devoured by a ferocious beast, Diart’s voice became even more piercing.

“You seem to be enjoying yourself.”

Despite his lack of imperial courtesy, Edgar met his gaze.

“May I also sit?”

“Oh, um, yes, Duke. Please have a seat.”

Before Edgar could finish speaking, Diart sat next to me, looked at me with sharp eyes, and spoke.

“I didn’t know that my wife was acquainted with His Highness the Prince.”

“Oh, um, we just met at the bookstore earlier.”

“It seems quite intimate for meeting for the first time today.”

“I think it’s because my sister talks about the Duchess a lot, so I feel a sense of closeness. And also because she’s such an interesting person.”

“So you’ve become so close that you’re holding hands in such an open place in broad daylight.”

“That… We were looking at palm lines…”

I could see Diart’s jaw tensing as if he were biting down on something. Edgar’s expression showed that he couldn’t understand why Diart was being so aggressive.

He grabbed his arm as if he was interrogating someone who was having an affair with his wife. I could feel his tone hardening as he spoke.

“Your Highness, it’s a shame, but it would be better to see you again next time.”

“That would be good.”

Edgar hesitated as if he had been waiting for that. He looked cute with a relieved expression, so I smiled without realizing it. Diart frowned at me.

“Is that what you like?”

The encounter was far too short for what I had hoped for. As I was looking at the place where Edgar had left with regret, Diart asked in a low voice. I turned my head and he looked down at me with a scowl. His tone was unkind and blunt.

“My type?”

“The way you’re looking at him is filled with affection.”

Because he’s my favorite. It seems that it was obvious enough for Diart to notice.

“No matter what, he’s the prince, saying such things, it’s scary to think who might overhear.”

“I said I won’t get a divorce.”

Diart leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms. His stubbornness pierced me once more.

“That means you shouldn’t meet other men.”

“Well, then I’ll just have to meet someone without getting divorced.”

When I said it forcefully, the expression on Diart’s face vanished. I turned my gaze away as I felt a twinge of guilt. He looked like he was going to make a fuss if I met another man. After all, he was such an obsessive man that it was scary to imagine what he might do.

In the midst of the silence, Diart suddenly reached out his hand. What now? I wondered as I looked at him curiously. Then he raised his eyebrows.

“How about my marriage line?”

Huh. He’s not someone who believes in that kind of thing. His sullen face looked jealous. The way he gestured for me to look was kind of cute……. I quickly bit my lip. It’s not cute!

To erase the ridiculous thoughts from my mind, I roughly grabbed Diart’s hand. For a moment, I almost lost my mind from the intense energy that spread throughout my body through my nerves. Lately, I had been in contact with Diart more often, so I didn’t feel thirsty because of the curse.

However, the intensity of the energy I felt every time we touched was getting stronger and stronger. It seemed that the damn curse was trying to somehow entangle me with Diart.

I tried to speak casually.

“It’s just one line.” 

“There is only one marriage for me.”

Diart said in confirmation. He heard everything I said to Edgar from the next table.

“It means that our relationship is not harmonious.”

“That’s up for interpretation.”

“Don’t deny it.”

His palm was rare to see, good fortune and success were evident. Among them, the lifeline was deep and long, indicating a long life. As expected from a male lead, he has everything.

Although it was a forced palm reading, I felt reluctant to let go of his hand and asked.

“Do you want me to see how many children you’ll have?”

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    ​​”사주 카페” refers to Korean fortune-telling cafes where professionals analyze one’s fate based on birth dates and times
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