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Chapter 37


What? Eisel’s eyes widened in disbelief.


“At your behest!”


“Yeah, whose idea is it to rip open a ship?”




Eisel’s harsh protest was answered by a gravelly voice that sounded like it answered back. “What?” Eisel looked up and saw a familiar man standing in the doorway. His ash-colored hair gleamed in the faint sunlight, and his eyes were golden.


“I will not allow that.”


Eisel stared blankly at Carl, who had come out of nowhere to ask for his permission. Why is he here again? Eisel’s eyes followed Carl as it moved toward her.


“If you touch a single hair on Eisel’s body, I will destroy the tribe in Byron’s name.”




The name Byron made him think, and the air became still. Those eyes that shifted toward him.


Eisel covered her forehead with the back of her hand in disbelief, as if the stares asked her what she had to do with this man.


“Just eat.”


Just die here.


* * *




Sinking into the chair, Eisel tilted her head and pressed her fingers into her temples.


‘Why on earth would I…….’


Slowly opening her eyes, Eisel stared at the two men beyond the view blocked by her flowing hair. Carl and Louis. The two men never took their eyes off each other, as if in competition.


“What are you doing here?”


Eisel brushed a stray hair from her brow. The men, whose gazes were still locked on each other, froze, as if they’d forgotten she was there.


“How long are you guys planning to do this?”


Finally, Eisel spoke up. Her voice broke the silence, and Carl and Louis’ gazes shifted from each other to Eisel. Eisel withdrew the arm that pressed on her temple and crossed her arms.


“You’re going to make a scene.”


He stared at her for several minutes without saying a word, wishing he could say something so she would understand. The silence in the room was like hell. Eisel sighed and spoke again.




“How rude of you to show up unannounced.”


“No, Your Excellency.”


But before Eisel could open her mouth, Carl’s voice cut her off. Turning to Louis, Carl lifted the chilled teacup in front of him. Louis lifted his own teacup and sipped cold tea, wetting his lips.


And a moment of silence. This time, however, it was not long.


“Is this the second time we’ve met? Eisel’s fiancé.”


The word “fiancé” seemed edgey, but Louis ignored it and smiled awkwardly.


“That’s how it happened.”


“That’s a flippant way of putting it accidentally.”


Throwing his upper body back with a look of displeasure, Carl rolled his eyes as he scanned Louis’ features. A glazed face and expression. Thin arms and legs that looked like they’d never heard of a sword. There was no sign of tan on his white skin, as if he had no affinity for sunlight. The lines were thin enough that, from a distance, he could be mistaken for a woman, but his unusually tall stature prevented that. After studying Louis wordlessly, Carl lowered his teacup slowly.


“House Widgard is pretty quaint nothing. They’ve been producing knights for generations, so I’d expect them all to take up the sword, but I’m surprised to find someone like you.”


“That’s why my father calls me an outlier.”


“A freak is a freak.”




Louis blinked, wondering what he’d heard, then nodded awkwardly.


“That…… thing, though, is quite surprising.”


“Like what?”


“You two.”


Louis pointed to Carl and Eisel.


“I didn’t think there was any connection, but you know each other, and you’ve known each other for a long time. I never guessed, because Eisel never mentioned you.”




“Then she didn’t tell you about the old days either.”


“No. Not once.”


The corners of Carl’s mouth twitched upward as he realized how much he liked Louis’ words.


He held up his teacup with a look of mixed emotions on his face, as if he wasn’t sure if he liked the fact that he’d known Eisel longer than he had, or if he liked the fact that he knew a childhood Eisel that you didn’t, and that they had made a promise to each other.


“Well, that’s a shame, because that’s a pretty interesting story.”


“Would your Excellency like to hear it?”


“I’m not the type to tell old stories, but since you’re curious, I thought I’d share it with you at…….”


“He was a wimp.”




Eisel, who had been listening to the conversation off to the side, called out. As the two men’s gazes locked, Eisel clenched her jaw and opened her mouth lazily.


“You’ve been shy, hidden a lot, and even cried.”


“……Your Excellency?”


Louis looked back at Carl astonished. The same cold-blooded face that bleeds cold blood if pricked? The rumors about the Duke of Byron were always the same.


‘The leader of the black lions, without blood or tears.’


A man who slaughtered his enemies on the battlefield with impunity, ordering them to kill enemy civilians if necessary. He was colder and more terrifying than any other duke the House of Byron had ever produced. Would such a man be a crybaby or timid?


Louis’ eyes swept up and down Carl, and in a rare moment of panic, Carl spoke up.


“That’s very young…….”


“I just helped you when you were crying your eyes out after being grabbed by a kid smaller than you. That was our first meeting.”




“Not really teary-eyed…….”


“And he was drowning and screaming for help, and he was so scared he was crying…….”




Carl rushed forward and clamped a palm over Eisel’s mouth. It took only a moment for the stoic, expressionless, cold-blooded composure of the Archduke of Byron to crumble.


Carl knew how impolite it was to cover a grown woman’s mouth, but now was not the time for that.


If he did, he’d reveal his dark history. And to Eisel’s fiancé, whom he didn’t want to admit to.


“If anyone hears it, they’ll misunderstand.”




Eisel tilted her head to ask what he meant. Her expression was calm in contrast to Carl’s urgency. Carl bit his lip and opened his palm in a pleading gesture. Eisel spoke up.


“Oh, was that something I shouldn’t have said?”


“It’s not something I shouldn’t say, it’s something I don’t want you to say.”


Why? It’s okay to pee as a kid. You can still pee as a grown-up if you’re scared.


But despite Eisel’s thoughts, Carl was desperate. In his mind, Eisel’s words were like bombs.




[crybaby, coward, timid…… and pissant].






None of this had anything to do with being a knight and having a sense of honor. However, it is rumored that the Archduke of Byron and Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Army, who is supposed to be the leader of the Black Lion and a fearsome boss to all knights and men, was a pissant?


‘Did you hear that? The Archduke was a coward and wet his pants as a boy!’


‘Well, we’ve all heard that he wasn’t scared of wolves when he was a kid. Instead, he hunted them down, and he was brave in front of ogres, but he was just a pisser?’


‘He was a pisser.


“Kahahaha, pee-pee commander-in-chief!


“Pee! Pee!


Sweat trickled down Carl’s forehead. That story must never be told. Only two people in the world knew it. Only Raven and Eisel knew the story.


Raven was nowhere to be seen, but Eisel was not, the woman who knew his entire black history was right in front of him. One word from Eisel, and his majesty the Archduke of Byron was extinct.


Whether he realized it or not, Eisel stared at Carl and nodded. He understood. Carl breathed a sigh of relief and stepped back.


“Where will you find His Excellency…….”




Carl cried out, rushing to Eisel’s side. Louis, who had watched the scene from afar, shook his head, noticing the amused grin on Eisel’s lips before he could stop himself.


“…… has a nasty temper, too.”


Knowing Eisel, who saw other people’s misfortune as her own happiness, Louis could only stare at fevered Carl.


* * *


“Welcome, Chancellor.”


Glediol stand from his seat to greet his welcome guest. Once inside, Bahidman gazed dryly at the Emperor who had summoned him to his private chambers, then bowed slowly in greeting.


As Gladiol took his place in the throne room, Bahidman crossed his still-clean legs and rested his chiseled hands on his knees. It was a very arrogant posture, one that could hardly be considered appropriate in the presence of the Emperor, but Gladiol smiled, unperturbed.


“You must be very busy, I’m afraid. I haven’t seen your face.”


“Without a doubt, this is probably the busiest time since the Empire was founded, starting with the post-war handling and ending with the armistice agreements and the private disputes that have erupted between nations. It’s so hectic that I can’t even remember the last time I returned to the manor.”


“The Empire and the Imperial House run because of the Chancellor’s efforts.”


“Which is why His Majesty can sit back and enjoy a glass of wine.”


Gladiole glanced at Bahidman, who heard his words, and squeezed his lips together.


“So what have you summoned me to?”


“What do I have to do to call you?”



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