Double update today, since I missed the one on Thursday.
* * *
“So that’s what he did with that slave?”
“No way. Your Highness won’t do that.”
“You weren’t in the square at the time, were you? Don’t talk as if you’ve seen it.“
“I know the slave was really pretty.”
“Oh, that’s not the point, you should have seen the atmosphere!”
“Yeah, and then he just held her hand and walked away!”
“Oh, really? Then what?”
The three knights who were organizing their weapons froze like ice for a moment.
This is because a voice that is familiar, and they didn’t want to hear interrupted their gossip.
“Really, what? Why did you stop talking?”
The frozen knights suddenly stood upright.
Their faces were pale and embarrassed.
“I suppose you all have time for idle chatter.”
Arnic’s voice was plain, but the knights’ bodies grew even more unnatural.
“If I hear you talking about this one more time. I can make sure that you’ll never have the strength to open your mouths again.”
“Please forgive us Sir!”
Although he was not currently in charge of training, Arnic’s notoriety was well known among the Knights of Thorn.
There was even a rumor that once he had set his mind on something, he would really go all the way.
“Ah, well, I won’t sew your mouth shut for the time being.”
Arnic shook his head as he turned away from the nervous knights behind him.
“Hey, but why do I seem to be the only one worried about this situation?”
Vaslow, who was walking alongside him, sighed in response.
“Let’s just try our best to prevent this from spreading to the entire empire.”
“Now’s not the time to be sighing, is it?”
In the midst of their bickering, they soon arrived at their original destination— The barracks of Captain Ricks.
“Captain, it’s Vaslow.”
“Come on in.”
During the demon’s previous attack, the captain had suffered a large gash on his forehead after being hit by a shrapnel that flew out of nowhere.
He was sitting on his bed with bandages wrapped tightly around his body.
He hadn’t heard the whole story of the crown prince and Seth last night because he was immediately injured as soon as the demon had appeared.
“We found her.”
There was no conversation about whether she was okay or not.
What truly mattered was that she’s alive.
This was the front line after all, bad things happen often here.
At least she’s alive.
“I see, what happened?”
Arnic and Vaslow sat down at the bedside table.
“Should I say that she appeared rather than found.“
Vaslow blurted out himself.
“She just showed up?”
“I accidentally ran into her while I was scurrying the barracks.”
“Accidentally? Tell me more about it.”
“She said she couldn’t remember.“
“What? Does it make sense?“
Arnic’s expression, which had been listening quietly, gradually distorted, and eventually a loud sound came out of his mouth.
He’s been wandering all night to find the whereabouts of the slave, but she actually can’t remember anything, and just showed up out of nowhere?
“I should probably go ask her again, where the hell she’s been.”
“Stay put for now. His Highness will ask.”
“So is she with his highness now?”
The captain had heard about Seth, and had even gotten the report of the deep embrace that happened in front of the square.
He wondered what had happened afterward, but it seemed that she and his highness were together now, as expected.
“Yes, sir. She’s currently inside His Highness’ barracks.”
Ricks nodded with a look that said, ‘I see.’
“Sir, it’s only a matter of time before rumors spread. I think we need to crack it down somehow. It would be extremely detrimental for his highness’ reputation, once rumors of him sleeping with a slave spread out.”
“Yes. We have to keep it under control.”
Rick’s tone was not at all serious, and Arnic grimaced to himself.
“Am I the only one who’s serious about this? Aren’t you worried about the rumors?”
“It would be a shame if rumors spread. I’m sure the imperial family would not be pleased.”
“That’s exactly what I’m worried about!”
“At least she came back alive.”
“It was fortunate that we managed to find her before it got worse.”
Rick’s eyes deepened for a moment.
Vaslow ran a hand through his hair with his free arm.
It was as if he didn’t want to even imagine a scenario where she hadn’t made it back alive.
“Before it gets worse..?”
Arnic mulled over his captain’s words.
What could be worse than a rumor spreading around the Empire?
A theory immediately popped up in his head, but he tried to push it away with all his might.
The image of his master holding the slave in his arms flashes in his mind immediately, but Arnic deliberately pushed it away because he didn’t want to face the heavy emotions.
Heroic stories in Einfork always spread to the empire as fast as the speed of light.
People were always thirsty for the latest news, like how the crown prince obliterated a Demon at once and how overwhelming he was, while covered in blood.
The crown prince in the front line was their hero and guardian.
And there was someone in the empire who listened more to the news of ‘Him’ than anyone else.
It was the Crown Prince’s own brother, Ethan.
“No, I don’t believe it.”
He did find his behavior unusual, especially since that time he saw the crown prince carry a slave during the princess’ memorial.
Still, he doesn’t believe it, but the story about them once again caught his attention.
“No matter how ignorant he was, he was still a member of the imperial family. Tsk.”
Since she had a pretty face, he could see why Shane had taken a liking to her…
‘But isn’t she a slave?’
He heard about the news first before it could even spread throughout the empire, but as a member of the same imperial family, it was really shameful.
It would be better for him to spread worse rumors to damage the crown prince’s reputation, but he even wanted to prevent it from spreading this time.
It was obvious that it wouldn’t only damage the crown prince’s reputation but it could even tarnish the image of the imperial family.
“Surely, the rumors are exaggerated.“
The Duke of Lé Chenío, who was sitting opposite the second prince, replied.
The Duke, was one of his most trusted confidants in the empire.
He was the first person that came into his mind when it came to doing dirty work.
When news came from Einfork, Ethan immediately shared the news to the Duke of Lé Chenío.
“I sincerely hope that it is an exaggeration.“
It is said that he actually embraced a slave in front of everyone and even had her enter his barracks.
The story of how he spent the night pacing in fear that something had happened to the slave in question was another story that he couldn’t listen to without tears.
“Let me see if I can find out more.”
“By the way, what about the princess?”
When the Duke said he wanted to find out more, he suddenly realized what the second prince meant after he mentioned the princess.
“No, but she seems to be worried about her engagement these days.”
“Well, that’s probably why I don’t see her around anymore.”
Duke of Lé Chenío smiled sheepishly.
The second prince, too, seemed to feel sorry for their relationship.
But they understood all too well that this was not what they wanted.
That afternoon, the Duke of Lé Chenío summoned his daughter as soon as he returned to the mansion.
“I don’t know why he’s so distracted by that slave, with such a beautiful consort.”
Duke of Lé Chenío wore a sad expression on his face as he recounted the rumors he had heard from the second prince.
As Cesaria listened, she felt as if something inside her heart was crumbling.
“Even the second prince was worried that this story could become a blemish on the imperial family. Tsk.”
“I should have exiled her out of the palace. It’s the fault of this ugly father.“
Einfork was a place that was difficult to survive.
It was not a place where female slaves who had never been trained could go and adapt easily.
But he didn’t know that the punishment would lead to this.
The duke was bitter after realizing this.
“Cesaria, if you’re bored with being stuck at home, why don’t you get some fresh air and visit the Crown Prince?”
Cesaria’s eyes widened.
“Why? Do you not wish to go?”
The Duke looked worried, and Cesaria involuntarily shook her head.
She had never had the courage to refuse her father’s wishes.
“No, I was just surprised..”
It was a problem that she had been struggling with every day.
She knew that if she told her father she wanted to go to Einfork, he would always be happy to send her.
But as much as she wanted to be by the crown prince’s side, she also felt as though she might as well stay away, given the task she had been entrusted with.
So this problem had been gnawing at her several times for a while now.
‘Kill the crown prince.’
Those were the words of the father, who had saved her life, said to her.
She wished he’d just straight up ordered her to do it, so she could go against him, and rebel.
However, the Duke asked her if she could do him a favor and do everything else for him.
Obviously, she couldn’t refuse.
She wished that she had been completely insensitive to the crown prince.
It would have been so much easier if she hadn’t given him a piece of her heart.
“Yes, let’s make some preparations as early as possible so that the journey won’t be too inconvenient.“
The Duke of Lé Chenío looked slightly excited.
Maybe he thought that it was a perfect opportunity for her to finally achieve what he had asked from his daughter.
Cesaria couldn’t put her hands on the glass of water even though she was suffering from a sore throat.
It was because the hand holding her skirt was visibly shaking.
Two days later.
Cesaria was escorted into the carriage by the Duke of Lé Chenío.
It was not common for a noblewoman to visit Einfork in person, so the carriage was loaded with a number of relief supplies.
‘It is a poison that is said to end a person’s life within a day, after ingesting it.’
A small bottle that the Duke of Lé Chenío personally gave to Cesaria was also loaded.
It was so small that it could be hidden inside her hand, but as if she had received a huge stone, Cesaria couldn’t help but falter a little.
‘Your father will take care of everything, so don’t worry.’
The Duke of Lé Chenío sent his daughter off with an expectant look on his face.
Cesaria balled her fists as she watched the mansion recede into the distance.
She felt heavy with the task she had been entrusted with, but her mind kept drifting to other things.
Those deep purple eyes, which rarely reveal itself, dominated her head.
The mere thought of that person spending time with the crown prince seemed to be turning her blood upside down.
She doesn’t know how many times she had wished she was the one who had gone to Einfork instead.
Her breath was caught in her throat as she vowed to keep her far away from him this time.
I couldn’t remember if I really had a fever, or how I was still able to sleep comfortably in this bed.
I don’t even remember taking off the cloth pouch that I always wore, which was lying on the bedside table.
After sleeping on the floor of the herb warehouse with just a cloth on it for a while, it felt like my whole body was cheering when I finally laid down on a fluffy bed.
The quilt was so soft and felt so good against my skin.
The only problem is…
This is ‘His‘ bed.
I groggily pushed myself up, when I realized that something was wrong…
The owner of the bed walked into his barracks and was talking to me politely.
You’d actually think that I was the owner of the bed.
Shane even poured me a glass of water.
It was very embarrassing, but I was really thirsty, so I took it with both hands and gulped it.
“How long have I been here?”
I slept so deeply that I didn’t even know whether it was day or night.
I didn’t snore or anything, did I?
“A— a day?“
Light was streaming in from the slightly open window.
Judging by the intensity of the light, it seemed to be a very bright morning.
Since I came in here yesterday morning as well, I guess I had indeed slept through the day.
Where did his highness sleep then?
I can’t bring myself to ask that…
That’s amazing, Seth. That’s truly amazing.
Is that an order?
After tossing and turning around the crown prince’s bed for a day, my head seemed to be spinning slowly.
If you like this translation, click this 👇🏻: for advanced chapters or click the button at lower-left corner of the screen and maybe 👉🏻👈🏻 support me. 🥺