“Your Majesty, Duke Aiden Chlorus has requested an audience.”

Orden, who had just finished his morning work and was sitting in the shade by the window, jumped up at the voice of his aide coming from outside.

He then hurriedly paced back and forth in the room, forgetting his composure, before finally sitting down in his office chair.

He spoke in a nonchalant voice to the door.

“Come in.”

Soon, Aiden entered the room.

As he entered, his face was so pale that it was frightening. His forehead was covered in cold sweat.

Unlike usual when he always wore his uniform, he was wearing a new suit that seemed to indicate he had come straight from the ducal estate. His appearance was completely disheveled, contrary to his usual demeanor of not wanting to show any flaws.

He had one black coat hanging on his shoulder, with a splint on his left arm.

It was clear at a glance. He had rushed to the palace as soon as he woke up.

Even so, he walked straight to the office desk without any hesitation.

Orden raised his eyebrows and looked up at him.

“Greetings, Your Majesty.”

With a heavily locked voice, Aiden barely managed to give his greetings before immediately getting to the point.

“I heard that Asralda Grantry has been imprisoned. What is the reason?”

It was an expression that could not suppress his emotions. His own anger and anxiety were overflowing from his eyes, which were barely able to contain them.

“Oh my god…”

Orden, who had been watching him closely with his lips tightly closed, finally couldn’t help but burst into laughter.

“Aiden! I knew you would come running! You really are deeply in love with that woman!”

Aiden seemed not to hear Orden’s mockery. He asked again in a cold voice.

“What is the reason for imprisoning Asralda Grantry?”
“You don’t seem to have fully recovered… Are you sure you want to push yourself?”

Orden asked with a smirk.

Instead of answering, Aiden shot Orden a cold look.

Soon, Orden took something out of the office desk drawer. It was a letter that Asralda had written on the spot in Orden’s office two days ago.

He put it on the desk.

“That bitch wanted it herself.”

Aiden immediately grabbed the letter and checked its contents. Seeing him like that, Orden chuckled and said,

“She’s a very audacious woman. She takes after that crazy bloodline of hers.”
“But it seems like she has a grudge against you.”

Aiden’s expression gradually hardened as he read the letter.

“What do you mean?”
“What are you talking about?”

Orden asked innocently. Laughter still lingered on his lips.

It was so amusing to see Aiden grimace like that.

Aiden, who had roughly grasped the situation, put the crumpled letter down on the desk and said,

“You accepted her proposal because you wanted something from her, didn’t you? Please tell me.”

Having finished mocking him, Orden nodded with a smile.

“Yeah, that’s right.”

Then he slowly got up from his seat and began to wander around Aiden with his hands behind his back. He looked up at the back of Aiden’s head and muttered.

“Yeah, what do you want?”
“If we’re going to do it, we might as well hang the weights precisely and calculate based on the value of that woman, right?”

As he spoke, he glanced at Aiden to see his reaction.

Judging by how urgently he had rushed over, he seemed willing to pay whatever was necessary.

“What should I offer?”

He thought about it for a moment.

The huge sum of money that the former emperor had given to the Chlorus family? The fortune that he had accumulated after being ennobled as a duke?

It wouldn’t hurt to take anything, but he felt like there was something more substantial that he could use against Aiden.

He impulsively spoke up.

“How about downgrading your title of duke to the level of a count.”

Taking someone’s money or land was one thing, but taking away their title was an unimaginably miserable thing in noble society.

But Aiden didn’t hesitate for a second in his response.

“I’ll do it.”


Orden had thrown the idea out as a starting point for negotiation, but he was surprised by how quickly Aiden accepted it.

“Demote you from a duke to a count? Are you serious?”

Orden’s face gradually changed as he stared blankly at Aiden.

In case Aiden changed his mind, he quickly added,

“Well, let’s wait and see. If we’re going to strip you of your title one by one, we need a convincing excuse.”

Then, after a moment’s thought, he turned to Aiden and asked with a smile.

“How about we say that while you were having dinner at the palace, you slapped the crown prince’s cheek and made a scene? And on top of that, you refused to go on this expedition and ran away in anger. Would that excuse be convincing enough?”
“Do as you please.”
“Or maybe it’s better to say you flipped over the entire lunch.”

At the same time, Aiden’s tightly closed lips parted slightly as a rough voice burst out.

“Whether I ran away or flipped over the table, it doesn’t matter. Just tell me where that woman is.”


Asralda sat alone in a dark and damp prison cell.

Resting her head against the humid and nauseating prison wall, she was lost in thought.

‘No matter how much you hate me like a bug, I can’t give up. Even if you try to destroy me with cruel words, it’s useless. Even if you stab and cut me, I won’t let you go. I won’t go back alone without you. I’ll definitely go with you.’

She was afraid. Just the thought of that persistent voice piercing her ears made her shudder.

She felt more at peace in this prison without him.

Asralda buried her face in her knees as if she were shivering.

‘I can’t stop Aiden from bringing me back to life by turning back time.’

Then she decided to simply kill Aiden.

That was her conclusion.

But she didn’t want to let Aiden go easily, let alone Marinda. Not after all the suffering she had gone through because of them. She wanted them to feel the same way she did.

That was why she had come all this way to this prison.


Lost in thought and staring at the rusty iron bars, someone called her name in a dry voice.

Asralda looked up.

Aiden had been standing in front of the prison door for who knows how long. The barred door was half open.

Aiden frowned as he saw Asralda’s defiant expression. Then he let out a long sigh as if exhausted.

“Come out.”

Asralda looked at Aiden hesitantly and then got up from her seat.

Without a word, she crossed the prison door.

She had expected him to be angry and scold her when he saw her face, but for some reason, he was calm.

Aiden glanced at Asralda’s discolored and dirty uniform and silently took off his coat.

Soon his coat covered her shoulders.

Asralda didn’t resist. She just looked up at his pale face and asked.

“What did you give to the emperor?”

Otherwise, there was no way Aiden would have come to the prison so quickly and easily.

Aiden’s eyes narrowed slightly.

Just when she thought he was going to get angry with her, he leaned towards Asralda.


His head, which was about to fall on her shoulder, stopped just short of it.

He held onto the bars and slowly brushed aside the strands of hair that had fallen onto her face. His face was distorted by a throbbing headache.

Asralda finally saw Aiden’s face again. Now she could see that his face was covered in sweat. His eyes were even bloodshot.

It was clear that he had been unconscious since the Aresh Mountains. She was about to ask if he had come straight to the palace after waking up, but Asralda kept her mouth shut.

What was the point of asking if he had already come all this way?

Aiden took a few deep breaths and then stood up straight as if he had never faltered. Then, as he passed by Asralda, he muttered.

“I’ve prepared a carriage. Follow me.”

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