this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!
Having successfully exchanged my jewelry for money, I changed my outfit first.
That was because, even though I had worn the simplest clothes from the Duchy, they were still too flashy and made me stand out too much. The long flowy skirts were also too uncomfortable.
I used to wear pants since I had felt uncomfortable with even formal skirts, not to mention the clothes that a noble young miss had to wear.
After that, I bought a map and found an inn that was the closest to the city walls. This was the best place for me to start moving from tomorrow.
I roughly unpacked my luggage in the single room and found a restaurant on the first floor.
“Here’s your garlic wild boar meat stir-fry and creamy beer~”
I ordered one of the things I had always wanted to try while reading <A Divine Retribution>, and now it was really right in front of me.
“Thank you for the food~!”
To think it’s wild boar…! Isn’t this a dish that can’t easily be tasted in Korea?
“Oh, it’s really good though?!”
Although it was my first time trying wild boar meat, it actually wasn’t that bad?! It’s pork, but should I say it was more delicious than pork?
Since this was so delicious, I wanted to try all the other food that was here. Perhaps the grilled brown bear tongue that I had seen earlier.
I was so hungry that I finished the food without any hesitation. It wasn’t until I had washed my mouth down with a mouthful of creamy beer that I finally opened the map that I had bought. It was a detailed map of the Bakarta Empire, as well as the areas surrounding it.
“Then, where should I plan to go?”
My notebook, which lay open next to the map, contained what my future plans were.
- Asylum (Where should I go? – As far away from the Empire as possible!)
- Obtain the spirit1!!! (The one that’s in the abandoned temple of the moon god!)
The ultimate goal after seeking asylum, was none other than finding the spirit.
Although going into hiding was one thing, I still needed a way to protect myself in case something unexpected happened. So what I had thought of was the spirit.
The spirit, which was mentioned in passing in the novel, was sleeping in the abandoned temple of the moon god and was said to be a defense spirit.
Although it wasn’t strong enough to stop someone from deliberately trying to kill me, I would still at least be able to avoid being shot by stray arrows.
It was unknow whether the Demon King would only destroy the Empire or completely wipe out the entire continent instead.
So, if the world were to suddenly turn into a war zone, it was clear that having the spirit would have a great impact on my survival rate. The problem was…
‘Why is the abandoned temple there?!”
The abandoned temple of the moon god, where the spirit was sleeping, was right next to the the territory of Grand Duke Arvis!
Grand Duke Arvis, who boasts the second largest territory after the capital, was a place that was extremely hard to enter.
In particular, Grand Duke Arvis, who ruled the area, didn’t leave the Grand Duchy very often, so no one but the Emperor knew what he looked like.
Since he didn’t show his face very often, there were rumors that said that he was an ugly-looking man, and there were also doubts on whether he was a real person or not.
However, I knew the reason why the mysterious and incomprehensible figure didn’t leave the Grand Duchy.
‘Because he’s the one who destroys the Empire!’
Grand Duke Arvis was the Demon King, who had hidden his identity!
After staying quiet for close to a hundred years, what sort of bullshit could have caused him to suddenly call for his entire demon army and completely obliterate the empire?
‘Could the emperor have offended him…? No, he couldn’t have.’
The Demon King was a founding contributor who had helped the founding emperor to establish the empire.
Since no one else had lived for a hundred years, although the other nobles and ordinary citizens merely thought that the present Grand Duke Arvis was only a descendant of the founding contributor, only the Emperor knew that he was that very person himself.
‘I mean, he knows he’s the Demon King, so would he have been crazy enough to provoke him?’
So what the hell was the reason?
When he founded the empire, he raised a human up into the emperor’s position, but did his desire to conquer finally boil over?
Or what, did he wonder, ‘shall I devour the Empire today’ simply because he was bored?
Why was someone who should be ruling the Demon world live as the Grand Duke in the mortal world in the first place?
“Huu, let’s calm down.”
Thinking of this, I calmed my worked up self with a few deep breaths.
‘It’s alright. There are still three months left until the invasion.’
Right, what’s important right now isn’t why he lives as a Grand Duke in the mortal world, but how I’m meant to get to the abandoned temple next to his estate.
‘I’m going to be as inconspicuous as possible, steal the spirit and bounce.’
There wouldn’t be a chance for me to encounter him anyway, since it’s said that he’s always stuck to the confines of the Grand Duchy.
I’ll come and go quietly. Quietly.
‘Please don’t let anything strange suddenly happen, just because I’m in the body of a villainess…’
I grabbed my map and notebook with the hope that everything would go well.
While I was thinking that it’d be better for me to go to bed early since I’d have to ride in a carriage first thing in the morning tomorrow, someone approached my table whilst I was in the midst of preparing to leave.
pls do not share this anywhere or the transmigration gods will transport u into boku no pico !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:
As I raised my head up, I saw a man approach me, taking off his hood.
“It really is you!”
He approached me with a bright smile that seemed as if he were happy to see me, and naturally sat down at my table.
“I think this is the first time I’ve seen you wearing pants. I thought I saw wrong for a moment.”
Seeing him talk to me in such a friendly manner, I couldn’t even manage a stutter in reply.
Who are you…?
Dark pink hair tied up into a single bunch. Eyes as blue as the summer sky. Skin that was like white jade.
‘What kind of characters are all so pretty and good-looking?’
The man I had met in the afternoon had been so handsome, it seemed as if he’d be able to conquer the world just with his beauty alone, but this man in front of me was quite formidable too. It was clear that he’d be in ‘the top 5 most good-looking people I’ve ever seen in my life’.
So… who are you?
‘We seem to know each other since he had greeted me before… but did I ever have such a friend who had greeted me so warmly like this?
It was hard for me to think, ‘Oh, it’s you!’, just by looking at his face.
“Y-Yeah, how have you been?”
I tried to greet him without being awkward to the best of my ability.
However, his eyes widened, as if surprised by my greeting.
“No, it’s just because you’re speaking casually to me.”
Heok. Did we usually not do so? I only did it because you were also speaking casually to me…!
“Ahaha, it’s been so long since we met so I forgot…”
“I mean, it’s good! You can continue.”
He used his hand to prop up his chin and smiled brightly while looking at me.
“You wouldn’t do so, even if I asked you in the past. That’s why I always felt hurt, since it felt like you were trying to keep a wall between us all the time.”
When he gave a faint child-like smile, coupled with the vibe of a pure idol, I felt as if I had a maternal love that didn’t even exist.
“Then, since you’ve already changed your way of speaking with me, can you change the way you address me as well?”
“Yeah. After all, ‘Your Highness’ is too stiff.”
I inhaled sharply.
“Call me Linden.”
I tried to stop the choking sound from coming out of my mouth.
I knew he couldn’t have been an extra with a face like that!
A combo of pink hair and blue eyes.
‘You’re the Empire’s second prince!’
He, who was giving me a pretty smile right now, was the second prince of the Bakarta Empire, who possessed the long name of Linden Ezzarson von Bakarta, and was the second male lead in the original novel.
Unlike the Crown Prince, who had the Empress for a mother, and was from the main line of descent, he was the son of a concubine. As the only daughter of the head of the billionaire Ezzarson Guild, his mother, who had come to the imperial palace to help her father, had caught the eyes of the Emperor and eventually became a concubine.
She, whose influence was weak despite her wealth, couldn’t win over the Empress, who enjoyed the support of the aristocratic faction, and eventually died a mysterious death when Linden was seven years old.
His grandfather, the head of the Ezzarson Guild, raised the child outside of the imperial palace in order to prevent Linden from getting caught up in the struggle for succession.
‘Although I heard that his face wasn’t widely known, unlike the Crown Prince’s, I didn’t know it would be this bad.’
He, the prince, was sitting in an inn on the outskirts of the capital, yet no one around us paid any attention to him.
‘But it’s not like I don’t know, just because those around me don’t know!’
In addition to that, he was often referred to as a ‘schemer’! I had to be careful not to provoke him.
“Ohoho, but how could I say the name of His Highness, who is the light of the Empire, so thoughtlessly?”
I diligently tried to make something up. However, his face stiffened slightly as he mumbled reflexively.
“The light is my older brother.”
Shit. I pressed the wrong switch.
‘I forgot that he had an inferiority complex to his older brother, the Crown Prince.’
He hated the fact that everyone would say that the Crown Prince was the future and light of the Empire, while simultaneously calling him the stain and the shadow of the Imperial Palace.
“You are the light to me. Hoho.”
Nothing good would come out of pretending in front of a schemer, so I wagged my tail slightly in order to make him feel better.
However, Linden looked at me suspiciously and said.
“…Did you decide to change routes and go for me after breaking your engagement with my older brother?”
“No way. I don’t have anymore lingering attachment to the imperial palace.”
Seriously. I have no interest in that anymore.
My only concern right now was ‘how to steal the spirit quietly and flee to a distant continent’.
“You said it was your only hope at one point.”
“Gosh. How could that be my only hope when the world is so vast?”
The imperial palace was a doomed stock. Grand Duke Arvis… when the Demon King starts to run rampant, the entirety of the Imperial Palace would return to dust.
“…Your thought process seems to have changed after your broken engagement.”
Could you please stop saying things like ‘you’ve changed’ since it prickles at my conscience…?
Although there was no way he’d ever notice that this body’s soul had changed, I was only speaking dispel any useless doubts.
“I just had a change of heart after my engagement got broken off. You don’t need to worry about it too much.”
“How could I do that?”
Linden tilted his face toward me.
“It’s your business, not anyone else’s, so of course I have to care.”
In addition to that, he began to look at me closely with a slow gaze.
Although it was burdensome for me to have such a pretty face right in front of me, I didn’t know where to put my eyes since he kept looking at me with those blue eyes of his. I sneakily avoided his gaze and wiped off some cold sweat.
“Hahaha, how nice of you.”
A laugh that seemed awkward, even to me, suddenly burst out.
While I was wondering how to fix this, he whispered to me, as if he hadn’t felt anything strange.
“I’m not being nice. I’m only like this because it’s you.”
His expression was so pitiful that it made my heart ache for no reason.
The reason Linden was so dangerous was because contrary to his insidious mind that was constantly plotting to bring down the Crown Prince and snatch away the female lead, Olivia, he had a very naive-looking appearance.
And he knew how to use his appearance to his advantage.
So I knew this was all just acting. I knew he was a trickster, yet…!
“You know, just like how I’m your only friend, you’re my only friend as well.”
Haaa… I’m melting, I’m melting.
I ended up screaming in surrender to his face and said, “Thank you for caring about me, it’s really comforting to know.”
I knew that he hadn’t said this to console me, but rather, to ‘supervise’ me, since it would be a waste for him to throw away ‘the Empire’s only princess’ card so early.
“If Your Highness ever needs comfort someday, please come and find me. Although I can’t say anything particularly cool, I can still lend a listening ear to you.”
If I had remembered correctly, it was about now that his grandfather finally died.
Finding out that he had lost the last person who would always be on his side unconditionally must have been extremely difficult for Linden.
Anyway, there was no room for me, since the original female lead would comfort you instead.
‘But giving someone who is in need of comfort a shoulder to cry on is simply one’s duty as a human being, right?’
However, he made another bizarre request at my suggestion.
“Then call me Linden.”
“Well, naturally that’s a bit…”
No matter how much you want to, you’re an imperial prince and I’m a princess… Oh, I’m about to be exiled soon, so I’m actually a commoner.
“Then at least speak casually with me then.”
How persistent. It was clear that there’d be no end if we continued to argue like this.
In the end, it was a battle that I, who was particularly weak to handsome men, had no choice but to lose to Linden, who used his looks to his full advantage for the most part.
It would’ve been strange for me to call him ‘Your Highness’ while speaking casually to him, so I just gave up on it all.
Then Linden, who had been disappointed, looked a little surprised before his whole face brightened up.
“As expected, there’s no one like you, Meliara.”
His smile was dangerously pretty. Look how fast my heart is beating already…
While I was in the midst of thinking that meeting a handsome guy wouldn’t be as hard as expected, someone came into the restaurant at the sound of the bell at the top of the door.
I unconsciously turned my gaze to the sound of the door opening, and inhaled sharply upon looking at who had entered.
 although 기연 means ‘fate’ normally, in webnovels (especially martial arts ones), they often refer to when a character receives an opportunity to level up spontaneously (e.g. being chased by a villain, falling off a cliff, then finding [something/somebody] in the cave under the cliff and getting stronger through that). this can also refer to objects depending on the situation (e.g. secret martial arts almanac, elixir, master, etc.)
it’s alright meliara, i too, also have a weakness for handsome men ( ´ཀ` )