The expression on Aiden’s face changed at that question.

“Last time, wasn’t it in the Commander’s office that the Princess called for me? You kept your presence while we were talking.”
“Or is there something I shouldn’t hear from the Princess, Your Grace?”

It was an impudent tone that hardly seemed to be what an apprentice knight would say to a knight commander.

But Asralda didn’t stop there. If she couldn’t ask directly like Kyle, she thought her conscience would be relieved if she tried this way.

She asked quickly and almost as if she were arguing.

“You said earlier that you couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me during the day. I don’t know the Commander’s intention. Aren’t I bait in the first place? Me.”
“If I’m just a bait, you don’t have to worry about me this much. Even when I was in the arena, when I burned my feet, and when I was clearly in the reservoir a while ago….”

The words were cut off coldly at that moment.

“You know, there’s a reason why you and Marinda shouldn’t meet alone.”

Aiden laughed coldly.

“What? That.”

“I can’t believe you don’t know that. Didn’t Marinda tell you in the office last time? We’re engaged.”

At that moment, a surprised chuckle escaped.

Aiden scolded her without changing his expression.

“I can’t help but worry if some guy meets my fiancée secretly like this.”
“Especially if the guy boldly notified me that he would threaten me.”

…Yes, she hadn’t really expected him to tell her the truth. Maybe what he just said is true.

No, it was better for Asralda if it was true.

It was to the point where just imagining Aiden’s love made her shiver.

Moreover, Asralda was completely fed up with Aiden with his recent answer.

“Yes. I was thinking too short.”

So Asralda didn’t ask anymore. She just wished she had said what she should have said earlier with an expressionless face a little later.

“I’m sorry. I’ll be careful not to let this happen again.”

And until Aiden ordered her to return to the barracks, she didn’t even look at his face.




It was a moonlit night.

Asralda lay in bed, holding the note that Marinda had given her all night long, pondering what to do.

She still wasn’t curious about Aiden’s feelings. It was like adding ashes to a wound that had already been scraped and dried up, and then pouring oil on it as it rotted away.

Moreover, she was in a state where she couldn’t really feel the sudden storm of so many things that had come at once.

‘Aiden actually remembers the past, loves me, and has already gone back in time once or several times without my knowledge, and the Crown Prince will die in four years….’

Just thinking about it made her head feel like it was about to explode.

But anyway, it was all meaningless to Asralda. What was more important to her right now was her own safety.

‘I’ll help you. I don’t have any reason to be hostile to you anymore since I don’t hate you anymore. I’d be relieved if you disappeared.’

She had unconsciously known that Asralda disliked her, and for someone like her, she would be nothing but a thorn in her side.

‘I’ve also experienced firsthand that there is some power in that gem that can turn back time to the past….’

It was a very convincing proposal that fit together perfectly with the situation.

Although she had firmly refused at first, Asralda’s heart had been swaying like a reed from the moment she heard it.

It wasn’t a problem to hold out for six months, but it was uncertain whether such an opportunity would come again.

Even if it was a gamble, it was something worth trying.

‘But it’s too risky….’

Asralda reached her hand up to the ceiling, holding the note.

The fact that Marinda had prepared this note in advance meant that she had already made a few moves. It also meant that if she was determined to deceive her, she could easily be fooled.

However, Asralda soon changed her mind.

Well, checking the contents of the note wouldn’t be a problem. After all, it was up to her to decide whether to join hands with Marinda and whether to leave the castle.

And eventually, she unfolded the note. The contents were much simpler than she had expected.

— Next week, supplies will be distributed at Ashard Castle. Come to the annex where the food storage is located at mealtime. When you get there, my maid who you saw today will be there with the merchants. Listen carefully to what she says and when the merchants leave, go out of the castle with her. Once you leave the castle, my maid will take care of the rest.

It was vague. At least there didn’t seem to be any tricks in the note.

But how were they supposed to leave the castle together? That part wasn’t written down, so it was still a mystery.

‘Are they going to hide me in a carriage or something?’

Even after reading the note, Asralda’s mind was still unclear.

She stared at the note for a long time before finally folding it decisively.

Yes, she wouldn’t be able to do anything about it inside the castle for now. There would be more than one pair of eyes watching her.

And she thought as she stuffed the note into her pocket.

‘I’ll check the situation with my own eyes next week and decide then.’




One week later.

As Marinda had said, Ashard Castle was bustling with merchants who had brought in supplies early in the morning.

It was even a regular monthly day for them. They brought in wheat, fruit, spices, and other foods on large carts, as there were so many mouths to feed. There were six large carts filled with food alone.

Asralda was sitting in the dining room pretending to eat. Since she was in a conspicuous position, she was planning to leave alone after checking around. That’s when it happened.

“Is the food not to your liking?”
“I’ve been watching you since earlier, and you’ve been picking at your food.”

It was Kyle.

Asralda’s eyes widened with surprise and she unconsciously looked at her plate.

She had consciously avoided him dozens of times over the past week, even avoiding eye contact on purpose when she went to the office to do her work.

So, it had been a week since they had a private conversation like this.

Since he didn’t mention anything about that day, she naturally thought he had accepted what she said.

But it seemed to have been Asralda’s misunderstanding.

Kyle elegantly picked up his fork and knife and spoke with ease.

“I didn’t want to make you uncomfortable, so I let it go, but it seems like you’ve misunderstood my attitude.”

Asralda tried to avoid eye contact with him as much as possible by fixing her gaze on her plate. But she couldn’t keep it up for long.

“I wasn’t bad last week.”

Asralda raised her head in surprise for a moment and looked at him.

“Now you’re finally seeing me.”

Oops. As soon as she lifted her head, her eyes met Kyle’s. He was staring at her as if he had been waiting for her.

He wasn’t wearing his uniform, so he must have gone out. He was wearing a frock coat the same color as his navy blue hair. He spoke softly.

“You’ve been avoiding me so much, but it means you’re paying more attention to me than before.”

She coughed involuntarily. She was so surprised that he could be so shameless as to come out like this.

Asralda cleared her throat and finally opened her lips.

“To others, both you and I are men. If you keep openly flirting like this, strange rumors will spread.”

Then she quickly gestured to the man sitting on his right and gave him a hint.

Kyle turned his blue eyes and glanced at her right side.

Artel was sitting there, quietly eating and listening to their conversation.

He laughed out loud and leaned towards Asralda, whispering.

“He already knows. That I like you.”
“My subordinate who I brought with me when I was dispatched to Ashard Castle.”

What did he say? But at that time, he clearly said to me…

‘The truth is, I was dispatched here in a hurry, so I don’t know anyone at all.’

Asralda’s expression was crumpled as she stared at Kyle stupidly.

‘He tricked me.’

He no longer had any intention of hiding it and grinned at Asralda.

It was an attitude that said he had nothing to lose. No, now that the situation had turned out like this, it seemed refreshing to be deceived.

He raised his hand and covered his lips, whispering.

“Oh, of course, he still doesn’t know that you’re a woman.”

Asralda’s expression hardened at his words.

Then it became a bigger problem, or rather… was it better? No… she didn’t know.

Anyway, if she stayed any longer, she felt like she would be caught up in his pace right away. Asralda put the bean on the fork and put it in her mouth as her last bite.

And just as she was about to get up from her seat…

‘Wait a minute…’

For some reason, she couldn’t help but stop still for a moment.

Why did Kyle’s words from a few days ago come to mind at this moment?

‘I’ve never treated you as a man even once, not before and not in the future.’

Come to think of it, she had never revealed herself as a woman in front of Kyle even once before the day of the match. No, she hadn’t even hinted at it.

‘Yet he already knew that I’m a woman…’

Asralda looked at Kyle with a sudden chill. He was looking at me with a smile as if asking what was wrong.

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