No, why on earth is he asking a lady a question that even scholars couldn’t answer?

“Why don’t you answer, Duke?”

Cardan raised one eyebrow smoothly.

“Ha ha.”

The reason for the collapse of the Sumarean Empire was similar to the reason for how this current Empire is about to collapse.

“A vicious cycle of government posts determined by money and connections rather than skills, ridiculously high tax rates raised by the ruling class’ excessive luxury, leading to a significant population falling from commoners to slaves. We should simply give competent people a government post and adjust taxes.”

I glanced at the Emperor.

“Of course, the empire under His Majesty’s fine rule has no such problem.”

Yes, it’s scheduled for demise in a few years.

“See, you should know how to answer this right away.”

Cardan clicked his tongue.

“What’s the use of it if they’re good at memorizing but not applying it well?”

Cardan smiled quietly, weaving his hands behind his head.

“Don’t get another lumber to become my concubine.”

That’s a lot of nonsense. A far-fetched argument

I was trying to smile and pass the situation, but Knoxus, who was assisting the prince of the East continent, sneaked up and reported something to Cardan.

It was suspicious to see him whispering because they had been so close.

“There was no unusual activity, Your Majesty.”

“Yes, you did a great job. Watch closely so that high-ranking official does not betray the empire in the future.”


When Knoxus tilted his head, Cardan’s eyes were fiercely drawn to him.

In the end, Knoxus was forced to return to his original position in cold sweat.

What is this all about?

I peeped at Cardan’s countenance.

“Is there a problem?”

“Ah, there was a tip-off about a high-ranking official who tried to betray the empire and move to the East continent.”

What do you mean…

However, it was not difficult to notice who the high-ranking official was as Cardan’s eyes stared at me.

For a moment, fifty thousand thoughts crossed my mind.

Did all my asylum plans get discovered?

Otherwise, there is no way that the word “betrayal of the empire” will be said.

In fact, my actions are tantamount to treason.

If I admit it here, it’s really over.

Not only myself, but everyone under the Duke will be executed.

Cardan would painfully kill even my pigeons for disgrace.

“Betrayal? Is there a servant who tries to commit such a heinous act?”

I swallowed my nervousness and looked at Cardan’s lips slowly falling.

“……there is none yet.”


“However, if the Duke, who rose to the position of Prime Minister, tries to marry the prince of a foreign country, there will be.”

It took a few seconds to understand Cardan’s words.

“You mean… If I marry the prince, it’s treason, right?”

“You understand me well.”

When Cardan smiled satisfactorily, relief flooded in all at once.

He didn’t find out about my plans to leave the Empire.

Also, Cardan just teased me with words like he always does.

In a few seconds, Cardan raised his feet with his legs crossed, totally unaware as I went back and forth between hell and heaven.

“You can’t get married.”

Cardan raised one eyebrow.

“It must be done within the empire.”

“This humble body will work until its bones are worn out for the Empire and Your Majesty for the rest of my life. I have no intention of getting married for the time being.”

Today, it was very difficult to say a line that was deceitful.

“I like the Duke because you learn fast.”

That cheeky smile made me think hard about whether I should punch his handsome face just once.

“Oh, my!”

Lady Treve, who found Cardan sitting on one side of the garden, swallowed her breath.

Suddenly, the lady’s face turned white as if she had suffered some trauma.

“Cough, cough.”

Lady Treve, who was trying to drink tea with trembling hands, eventually choked.

“Are you all right, Lady?”

The prince handed a handkerchief straight away like a gentleman.

“T, thank you…….”

Lady Treve coughed again and glanced at this side with anxious eyes.

How much trauma did Cardan have left on her? She made an expression like a dog left in the rain just by Cardan just running into her.

“Was there a problem with the tea?”

Fortunately, the prince took good care of her.

“The tea was a little strong, but…….”

On the other hand, Cardan began to look at the prince and Lady Treve, with his arms crossed.

I was just watching, but for Lady Treve, who was not as bold as I was, even the indifferent gaze seemed to be almost an arrow of murder.

The lady shook her shoulders more pitifully.

“Sorry, I’m sorry……!”

“Sorry? What?”


Without knowing the situation, the prince looked puzzled, but Lady Treve finally began to cry.

“I don’t even know the taste of tea……. I’m, uh, stupid, right? Heuk…”

“Why is the lady stupid? I’ve never seen anyone as smart as the lady.”

However, Lady Treve’s tears did not stop despite the prince’s comfort.

It’s a huge mess.

Cardan, who was watching the scene from the side, took it a step further.

“Why is she crying like that?”

It’s because of you.

“She’s such a delicate person.”

At that moment, I decided to give up on Lady Treve and look for another candidate.

“Duke Baloa.”

The prince approached me, supporting Lady Treve.

“I think I should take the lady back to her house, so I’ll see her off.”

Lady Treve cried so much that her eyes were red.

“You certainly don’t look well.”

Cardan looked down at the lady with indifferent eyes.

When the lady flinched at his gaze, the prince tightly wrapped his arms around Lady Treve’s shoulders.

“Sorry, I’m sorry. I’ve been making a fool of myself, so…….”

The lady sobbed and buried her face in a handkerchief.

As she almost hid in the prince’s arms, the tip of his ears turned slightly red.

“That’s not the case at all.”

The prince comforted the lady, carefully patting her shoulder.

This, this, this, this might not be too bad, right?

A big smile spread across my face as I opened my mouth.

“Sadly, I have my next schedule, so may I ask the prince to take care of Lady Treve? The lady seems shocked, so I’m nervous to let her go alone.”

With one gesture of my hand, the maids quickly packed various things for Lady Treve.

The prince nodded obediently.

“Don’t worry, I’ll take you home.”

“Thank you, Prince. Lady, go and rest, too.”

Swallowing an insidious smile, I greeted both.

If the two work out well, there is certainly less concern about my post-exile future.

“What’s with that impure smile?”

When Cardan glanced at me, I bit my lip right away.

“I’m sorry, the two looked so good together, I made a mistake.”

However, his fierce gaze did not ease.

“……I’m sorry to have hurt Your Majesty’s eyes, who should only see see lovely things?”

Cardan was silent for a while and then uttered a short one.

“It’s better than crying.”

It was nothing special.

But for some reason, it kept ringing in my ears even after Cardan left.


When I heard Knoxus’ subdued voice, I barely broke out of my thoughts.

“What are you thinking about?”


I smiled lightly as I looked back at Knoxus. I happened to ask him a question.

I saw Knoxus roll his eyes anxiously.

“If I’m betrayed by the same person three times, it’s not his problem, but mine, right?”

“W, what do you mean betrayal!”

Knoxus jumped.

“Watch carefully so that high-ranking official of the empire do not betray the empire?”

I poked Knoxus with one finger in the chest.

“Since when have you been a man of the Emperor, and not mine?”

Still, as if he was guilty, Knoxus’s face heated up with something similar to shame.

“His Majesty’s man! Absolutely not!”

He crossed his arms as if to explain.

“I was simply looking into whether the prince was approaching Master with impure intentions.”


I sighed.

“I’m the one who approached the prince with impure intentions.”

“I know.”

Knoxus smiled faintly, but it was as precarious as a barely made-up smile.

“I was in the banquet hall, too.”


“But I’m afraid the prince will not give up and will continue to put the master in trouble after that.”

Knoxus’ smile turned into a self-deprecating laugh.

“So I watched. That’s what His Majesty knew. I don’t know where the word “betrayal” came from, but…….”

“What’s the point of doing such a useless thing?”

As I grumbled, Knoxus burst into a small laugh, but I couldn’t get rid of the feeling that it sounded bitter.

“I thought he wouldn’t give up easily since it’s the master.”

“What a load of crap.”

Knoxus smiled only a faint smile at my playful words.

I turned my head as if I didn’t know because of the warm but somewhat bitter-looking eyes of Knoxus.

“Let’s go home now.”


After much consideration, I decided to change the operation.

It was clear that the disadvantages were more noticeable as each candidate for the concubine is met one by one.

So it’s time to take on the offensive role.

Isn’t that one of the official strategies of K-pop’s leading entertainment companies?

“I’m sure there’s at least one of them that he’ll like.”

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