Unable to shake off the feeling of deja vu, I pursed my lips.

“Why are you making that face?”

“It’s nothing.”

I’ll be leaving soon anyway, so let’s not worry about what’s not going to happen yet. I pointed to the greenhouse to change the subject.

“Can I look around?”

“Of course.”

Cardan opened the door to the greenhouse.

“You must be the one who knows more about the greenhouse anyway.”

I tried to answer that I don’t remember anything, but I closed my mouth at the sight beyond the door before I could say anything.

The greenhouse was full of poisonous weeds.

Mereiza, a fairy glove that is poisonous even if smoked, and a horn mushroom that is fatal just by touching it.

“Certainly…… Now I know where I learned about poisonous plants.”

Cardan laughed lightly.

“As a child, the duke only followed my mother all day with a watering can.”

Cardan, who seemed to be lost in memories for a while, looked around the verdant greenhouse.

“Come to think of it, it’s been a long time since I stopped by, so I thought these plants would have dried up and died……. That’s strange, it must have been left unattended for at least a few years.”

“Maybe one of the employees came and took care of it.”

“That can’t be true. There were so many poisonous plants that servants were banned from the start.”

There’s no way Eleanor, who’s lying down, would come and take care of the garden…….

“The Duke of Baloa must have come here often without me realizing it.”

Cardan looked at me with vague eyes.

“I don’t know, but…….”

I don’t know. I’m not the Duke of Baloa.

But I was also surprised inside.

I didn’t think the duke would have taken care of this place because of her childhood memories.

Why did she take care of this greenhouse?

To poison someone?

Cardan smirked as he smoothed the green leaves as if he had thought the same.

“Maybe you were trying to poison me.”

It was not until the leaf shook that I found a poisonous mushroom blooming red under it.

“Your Majesty!”

My hand went out without realizing it.

When I snatched and pulled Cardan’s wrist, he came along surprisingly easily.

“Did you touch it?”


“Did you touch the mushrooms?”

I hurriedly examined his large hand full of calluses.

Poisonous mushrooms were fatal enough to cause the necrosis of flesh just by touching them.

No matter how much Cardan was an obstacle to me, I didn’t want him to die in front of my eyes.

I don’t know with the Duke of Baloa, but I didn’t have the nerve to.

“I didn’t touch it.”

I already checked with my eyes, but I felt relieved only when his low voice was heard.

“Huh… That mushroom is fatal just by touching it. There’s no antidote.”

“I know.”

I realized that my hand was shaking all this time as I touched Cardan whose hand was wrapped in mine.

“Whenever I visited the greenhouse when I was young, you nagged me and chased me around.”

Cardan raised one corner of his mouth gently.

“Is it because you lost your memory? Looking at you, it’s like you’re back to how you used to be when you were young.”

I pulled out my hand.

My stomach has become uncomfortable. But I didn’t know what the reason was.

Maybe it’s because of the warmth left in my palm. Or maybe it’s because of his eyes that keep trying to find someone else in me.

“I don’t know. How I was then.”

“Yes, because you don’t remember.”

No, it’s because I’m not the Duke of Baloa.

But Cardan didn’t stop there.

“But it’s certain. Giving Lord Ethan several chances, helping Baron Hanue, even pampering the pigeons… the Duke of Baloa would’ve never done it, but Erina would have.”


“It means that you are much better now.”

Cardan grinned when I couldn’t answer anything.

“There’s no danger of being poisoned.”

“Even if I lost my memory, I am still the Duke of Baloa.”

My words came out reflexively.

I’m not the Duke of Baloa, nor am I Erina.

Whatever it was, it was because one thing was certain.

Even if I can’t go back to my childhood, I’ll follow the Duke of Baloa’s karma to the end even if her deeds are things that I haven’t committed.

He sighed shallowly at my firm words.

“Yes, I’m not trying to test your power.”

His eyes, which were wandering awkwardly, eventually fell into one place.

Following the end of the gaze, there was a poisonous mushroom with a sign written in straight handwriting.

It was not the handwriting of the Duke of Baloa, so it would belong to Eleanor.

Only after hearing the laughter of the young ladies outside did Cardan turn his eyes away.

“Let’s go back now.”

I nodded silently.

On the way back, Cardan rowed alone, and I didn’t bother to make a fuss and help.


“Kka! Kkak! Kakkak! Kaaahhhk!”

It was long after meal time, when the crow lashed out at him, asking where he had been.

“Okay, I’ll give it to you, I’ll give it to you”

Cardan raised his arm to stop the crow from pecking his head.


Then the crow took away the handkerchief he had hidden in his sleeve.


The crow once again made a fuss, saying, “Why are you carrying this pretty and shiny thing that doesn’t suit you?”

“Give it back!”

The crow, who officially declared it his own, was about to flutter up but was caught by Cardan’s hand.

“Give it to me.”

Cardan took the handkerchief away with ease.


The crow pecked Cardan’s hand, saying, “You don’t even use this anyway.”

“It’s not for me.”


He said, “Why did you bring it if you weren’t going to give it to her?”

“I know. Why did I bring it?”

A slightly self-deprecating murmur flowed out.

“It’s no use.”

The more he stared at the handkerchief, the more the conversation they had in the greenhouse kept fluttering in his head.

The Duke of Baloa was right.

The Duke of Baloa is still the Duke of Baloa, even if she has lost her memory.

Losing her memory doesn’t change what she did.

And the moment the duke gets her memory back, she’ll put a knife back in his back.

The handkerchief was untidy in Cardan’s grasp.

Cardan, who was staring at the silver embroidered cloth, sighed and put it in the fireplace.


“I got hit.”

The Empress briefly exclaimed at the news that the prince announced his engagement to Lady Treve.

Her ladies-in-waiting, who served the empress in a tense atmosphere, held their breath.

Only the youngest maid, the most immature of them, opened her mouth senselessly.

“Why don’t you buy the Marquis of Treve?”

The Empress Dowager put down her fountain pen to make a dull sound and looked back at the youngest maid.

The face of the maid who received the Empress Dowager’s gaze quickly became pale.

“Stupid talk.”

The Empress Dowager clicked her tongue.

“The Marquis of Treve may not be a man of the emperor, but he is a man of extraordinary loyalty to the empire. There is no way he’ll turn on our side. In addition, it seems that the Duke has already taken him as her own person.”

“I, I’m sorry.”

When the youngest lady-in-waiting immediately bowed her head, the Empress Dowager gritted her teeth again.

She didn’t know why, but the Duke Baloa was annoying these days.

It wasn’t just because of her ruining her plans one by one.

The duke used to always move alone.

It’s because of her desire to monopolize all the power in the Empire alone.

As a result, her friction with other nobles continued, so if it had not been for the full support of the emperor, she would have been quickly removed from the aristocratic society.

But at some point, the Duke of Baloa changed. Suddenly, she went on a tour of the Empire and interacted with other nobles, and eventually succeeded in uniting the great powers of the empire under her.

Count Linoa, a big hand in maritime trade, Marquis Treve, who owns most of the iron mines in the empire, as well as knowledge on how to produce weapons, and Count Gesban, who only guarded the border, away from central politics.

How did things change like this?

“She was just a stumbling block before.”

A tyrant who only knows how to play took the throne. An empire where even the nobles were scattered as they sought power for their own practical benefits.

In fact, the reason why the empire was able to endure all this time without collapsing was only because of the hard work of the Prime Minister, Duke Baloa.

Of course, the Duke was also full of herself, but she was definitely the closest aide to the emperor.

Therefore, it was self-evident that the empire would be easily torn down if only the Duke was removed.

That’s why she tried to remove her again and again. Although it has failed every time.

“Now it’s clearer why I should remove the Duke.”

Now that the Duke of Baloa has begun to take care of the entire empire without taking care of her own interests, nothing would go according to her plans.

The Empress Dowager beckoned to the maid who had supported her for the longest time.

“Contact the Salsu Guild.”

The maid opened her eyes wide.

“Are you sure?”

Until now, the Empress Dowager has never used the Salsu Guild before.

It was easy to be trampled on by those who were bought only with money.

Therefore, she has attempted to assassinate her targets only with the help of those people who have a desired relationship or have a clear justification.

Sir Ethan, who was abandoned while working for the Duke on her tour.

Count Gesban’s furious butler who lost his granddaughter because of the slave market.

She only used people with clear motives so that they could take the blame.


The Empress Dowager answered without hesitation.

“Now we must kill the Duke at the risk of being discovered.”


“I am grateful to the Duke in many ways.”

The prince of the East gave me a heartfelt greeting on the day of his departure.

“Thanks to you, the alliance was successful, and most of all, I found my destined marriage partner.”

The prince looked at Lady Treve, with warm eyes, who came out to see me off. At that gaze, the lady was at a loss because her face was ripe red.


I waved my hand, holding back my desire to rub my nose with a pleased expression.

“No, I’m more grateful.”

Then I took out the bottle of wine I was holding.

“I prepared a gift to thank you. Hope you like it.”

“What is this?”

“It’s a 100-year-old wine. It’s a product that can only be obtained from our duchy.”

I swallowed an insidious smile and pointed to the date at the bottom of the bottle.

“It’s a perfect drink to be presented to guests on a special day.”

“No, how can I receive such a precious gift?”

I had a hunch when I saw the prince hugging the wine bottle.

If I pack only the bottles of wine piled up in the duke’s castle warehouse to the East, I can live a comfortable life for the rest of my life.

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