“Ah, no!”

The attendant stretched out his arms and blocked me.

“What do you mean by no?”

I clicked my tongue.

“Your master always called me out in the middle of the night for all sort of things, but I cannot disturb his precious night’s sleep, is that it?”

The attendant shook his head.

“That’s not it!”

The servant lowered his voice and carefully opened his mouth.

“His Majesty is drinking now. The Duke knows. How vicious His Majesty gets when he’s drunk…….”

I snorted.

“That’s bullshit.”

I had no more patience left, so I pushed out the attendant.

“Get out of the way. If you can’t announce it, I will.”

I knocked on the door with all my might.

When there was no answer, I burst open the door.

“Your Majesty!”

Leaving the startled attendant behind, I stormed right inside.

As the servant said, Cardan was sitting on the bed, drinking.

“What fuss is this?”

Cardan looked like he’s in a very dirty mood, as if the attendants’ words were not exaggerated.

My spirit, which had been boiling hot just a while ago, cooled down as soon as I faced Cardan’s cool eyes.

This Cardan right now looks very much like a tyrant.

His red eyes were sharp as a knife under his tangled hair. Looking at his frowned eyes and his hardened jawline, I felt like he would throw the glass he was holding right away.

Cardan is not a tyrant. It’s all just a rumor.

That’s just fiction created by the Duke of Baloa.

I barely opened my mouth even though I kept repeating these words to myself.

“Your Majesty, it’s me, Duke Baloa.”

Cardan, who picked up another glass from the side of the bed table, paused as he was about to take it to his mouth.

Then he crumpled his eyebrows and glanced at the glass.

“This strange thing must be quite effective. I’m starting to see some hallucinations.”

Cardan pulled the dagger out of his waist without hesitation.


I barely covered my mouth before screaming awkwardly.

Contrary to my concern, instead of the blade flying, Cardan cut his palm slightly with a strange face.

“It stings.”

Meanwhile, Cardan straightened the knife again.

I lost my calm without realizing it.

“Your Majesty!”

As I grabbed Cardan’s hand, his blood-colored eyes slowly turned toward me.

As Cardan’s eyes turned to me, I couldn’t even move, stuck in place. Only my two hands trembled violently.

I finally picked up the remaining glass from the table and drank it all at once.

As the pungent alcohol came up, the trembling of my hands slowly stopped.

At the same time, Cardan’s eyes slowly observed me. His lifeless gaze carefully scanned through my face as if he was searching for something.


I smiled at Cardan’s low call and bowed my back in the most ‘Duke Baloa’ way.

“Your Majesty, I have returned from my vacation.”

“……Are you serious?”

When asked by Cardan, I straightened my back right away but was pushed back one step due to dizziness.

Even before I could get my balance right again, a hard hand supported my waist.

The distance between us narrowed instantly as Cardan pulled my arm and dragged me closer to him.

My body shrank with tension.

“Are you sure you’re coming back?”

However, my tension was relieved by Cardan’s eyes, which carefully examined my intention.

I even laughed without realizing it.

“Yes, I’ll stay.”


“Here in this empire.”

We’ll end up together. I swallowed the last word tactfully.

Cardan’s expression of disbelief still made me smile.

“Let us save the Empire, Your Majesty.”

His arms tightened, and I was in a position almost in Cardan’s arms in an instant.

While I was flustered, he embraced me even more.

The smell of alcohol was dizzying in my head, but I couldn’t tell whether it was from me or from Cardan.

At that time, Cardan’s voice rang low near the soft spot between my shoulder and neck.

“Thank you for coming back.”

His pleasant voice tickled my skin.


He was too close.

As my heart began to beat violently, my goal began to ring as if I were drunk.

Surprised by an unfamiliar sense, I tried to get out of his arms, but Cardan wouldn’t let me go.

It was actually a relief.

Suddenly, due to dizziness, I was not confident that I would be able to properly control myself even if I got out of his arms right away. If I fell to the floor in disgrace, it would be unsightly.

I soon gave up and leaned my head in Cardan’s arms.

A surprisingly good smell enveloped my whole body, so I buried my face and breathed heavily.

Just before I was consumed by the alcohol, I held onto my unbroken spirit and remembered an important fact.



“If we succeed in saving the Empire…….”


“You have to compensate for all my burned property.”

When I spat out what had been on my chest like a stone, a hot sigh came out.

“Even if it means stealing all of His Majesty’s property… … , I must get it back.”

Even though it was a rude remark, a calm smile tickled my ears.

“Yeah. Take it as much as you want. I’ll give you everything.”


“I’m going to be the richest person in the empire. More than the emperor…… Rich…..”

Cardan looked down at Erina, who was muttering while rubbing her cheek against his chest, with a bewildered look, then smiled.

“Yes, you can take it all.”

Cardan gently ruffled Erina’s hair, but Erina only breathed loudly and did not move as if she had fallen asleep.

“Duke, are you asleep?”

There was no answer when he called, then he called her name quietly again for no reason.




There was still no answer, but it was just fine as it was.

Cardan carefully picked up Erina and laid her on the bed.


When the crow, who was watching everything from the corner, flew in and interfered, Cardan lightly grabbed the crow’s beak.

“Be quiet.”

“Kkkaa! Kkaa!”

When the crow flapped wildly, Cardan eventually let the crow go.

“Kkaa! Kkaa!”

As soon as he was released, the crow pecked Cardan on the head as if asking him to come to his senses.

The crown nagged him again, asking him if he would accept the Duke of Baloa, even though it had not been long since he had been betrayed.

Why are you smiling so hard when you’re going to be betrayed again?

“Do you enjoy living with a devil?”

“When did I…”

Cardan protested, then pretended to stroke his chin, then he pulled down his mouth, which had risen unknowingly

“Kkaa, kka.”

The crow flapped its wings at Erina, who was asleep.

Unlike someone whose face darkened like a yaksha’s, “Can’t you see that her cheeks are very plump?” but Cardan only put his chin on his hand with the corners of his mouth stretched out long.

“It’s cute.”

It was a word that was uttered toward the crow who was clearly expressing logic by flapping its wings. He didn’t know exactly who he was talking to, but anyway, the crow, who had never heard Cardan say he was cute, shuddered.


The crow made a final rave.

He drank alcohol like it’s water mixing bizarre liquor like a crazy man without being drunk, but as soon as this person arrived… “Isn’t it unfair that she stretched out her body on someone else’s bed so comfortably?”

“I know…”

When Cardan blurted the end of his words, the crow’s eyes twinkled.

At last, it seemed that his master had come to his senses.

He was worried about how he would make a living in the future if he loses his property to the cunning duke and becomes a cripple. God seems to have pity on this black beast, whose only sin is working hard.

“If I had known she would get drunk so quickly, I would have used less whiskey.”

There were deep wrinkles between the straight brows of Cardan, who was sighing.


The crow ended up falling backwards.


When I appeared at the Cabinet meeting earlier than scheduled, the gathered aristocrats approached me in amazement.

“Duke! Is your vacation finally over?”

“Oh, I’ve been waiting for you!”

Even the nobles, who had never spoken to me, grabbed my hand with tears in their eyes.

“I’m so glad you’re back, Duke.”

“Don’t take a vacation for the rest of your life.”

Everyone seems to have missed me a lot, even giving me warm words of blessing.

I realized how much the aristocracy had changed.

In the past, everyone was busy taking care of their own rice bowls, so they kept each other in check without hesitation about illegalities.

It was all due to the influence of the Duke of Baloa, the leading figure in aristocratic society.

It would be strange if the boss behaved in such a mean manner and expected her subordinates to rely on each other and move in the right direction.

But now, everyone was welcoming me with one heart.

The warm sight made me laugh awkwardly.

“Haha, how have you been?”

Marquis Treve sighed deeply and examined the documents he was holding with soulless eyes.

“I tried to fill the absence of the Duke as much as I could, but it was not enough.”

Well, maybe he’s just happy to have someone back at work.

“I think Marquis did a great job. You’re being too modest.”

“No, I had a nightmare yesterday. Of all things, there is an agenda that His Majesty will not like…….”

The marquis slipped the document into my arms.

“An agenda that His Majesty will not like?”

While looking at the documents, the Marquis continuously poured out his words as if he was expressing his resentment.

“Yes. You know well, don’t you? How complicated His Majesty’s relationship with women is…….”


I was coughing because I was stabbed for no reason, but the nobles who gathered around me added word by word.

“I heard he leaves the Imperial Palace every night and visits at least three bars.”

“When His Majesty appears, women never stop approaching.”

“He uses all his physical strength as a sword master only to enjoy such entertainment…”

I shook my hand, trying to suppress the urge to block my ears.

“Haha, everyone is exaggerating.”

But no one listened to me.

Marquis Treve moaned, covering his head with both hands.

“In the meantime, there has been no problem because he’s only touched commoners. But he touched a princess from another country at the banquet……!”

I muttered unconsciously as if I had been hit hard on the back of my head.

“Oh, yes, indeed.”

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