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Only the two of them were left in the restaurant on the first floor after Meliara headed back to her room.
Although the sharp tension that filled the atmosphere was still there, lecht stood up, as if he couldn’t care less about it.
Upon his appearance of leaving without even a word, a knight who was next to him cried out in protest.
“Please show more courtesy toward His Highness, the Prince…!”
However, Linden raised a hand to silence him.
Instead, he looked warily at Lecht and asked cautiously.
“I didn’t expect to see you in a place like this, Grand Duke.”
Lecht, who had stopped in his tracks because of the knight, turned his head to look at Linden.
His ambiguous attitude didn’t seem to be perfectly respectful, nor was it completely disrespectful either.
Nevertheless, he said something completely irrelevant instead.
“The fact that I’m Grand Duke Arvis.”
Linden flinched reflexively at that sharp gaze that seemed to pierce through his body.
“You’d better not let her know.”
“There’s no need for you to know that.”
Having said that, Lecht’s gaze skimmed over the knights standing next to Linden.
“You’d better make sure your knights keep their mouths shut, since there’s no way that fact will leak out from my side.”
Linden’s gaze landed on Tanma, who was standing behind Lecht.
Although the butler was smiling, that smile was just as cold as the light in Lecht’s eyes.
Lecht left the restaurant without any qualms after that.
“How could he be so rude…!”
“Enough. Don’t speak recklessly.”
Linden shut his angry knights up. Instead, he sighed and wiped the sweat at his furrowed brows.
‘I think I know why His Majesty said that.’
When he was very young, he overhead His Majesty the Emperor talking to his older brother, the Crown Prince.
What he had said was so absurd that he could still clearly remember it.
“And, no matter what happens, never oppose the Grand Duke of Arvis.”
“Would I even ever have the chance to meet that person who never even leaves the Grand Duchy?”
“I’m saying this because he doesn’t appear very often. No matter what unreasonable or absurd situation there is, never go against him.”
“Why are you so wary of him?”
“That man is the reason our empire exists today.”
“I know he’s a descendant of the country’s founder, but…”
“It’s not like that! That person…”
There was no mistaking the fact that the emotion that filled the face of the Emperor, who was sighing deeply, was undoubtedly ‘fear’.
He was well aware of Grand Duke Arvis’ capabilities. It was to the point that he felt that sending the Grand Duke’s knights to subdue the barbarians or invade other countries was more reassuring than sending the Imperial Palace’s.
But did the empire’s emperor possess that much tact?
“The reason he leaves us be and allows us to act like the imperial family is simply because he doesn’t like to leave his territory.”
“What do you mean by leave us be? Father, just how could the Grand Duke possibly be so low-profile…”
He wasn’t even there, yet the emperor was still careful about what he said.
“Unless the empire is in a crisis, just let him live quietly within the Grand Duchy. Because the moment he decides to point his sword toward us, this empire will become a wasteland.”
“What do you mean…”
“If you don’t want to see the empire in such a state, then don’t provoke him.”
Although Ziken may not have noticed, Linden did.
The fact that it was something more than simply the Grand Duke grasping onto one of the Emperor’s weaknesses.
Something that even the Emperor was trying to hide.
Ever since he had met Grand Duke Arvis, he had only been even more confused.
A dismissive attitude that flows out so naturally.
A power that could easily subdue, and was to natural to be called arrogant. Is this the exact feeling of how it felt to be a ruler since birth?
The moment he revealed his overwhelming aura, Linden recalled the one and only portrait of Grand Duke Arvis in the Emperor’s room, and immediately changed his attitude.
Since he was someone whom even the Emperor was wary of provoking, it was wiser to be cautious, instead of seeing a critical situation first.
Linden turned toward the stairs to the second floor.
‘Just what does Meliara have?’
Just what exactly was it that even forced Grand Duke Arvis to make a move?
Although he volunteered to accompany them on their journey in order to find out about it, it somehow seemed as if it would be a troublesome journey now.
“Haa, I need a drink.”
Linden, who felt stifled by the refreshing scent left behind by Lecht, ventilated the surroundings with a little wind magic and went to look for alcohol for the first time in a long time.
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:
It was a fine morning as I washed my body and hummed while descending the stairs excitedly.
When I arrived on the first floor, a kid was already waiting there to greet me first.
“Kelber! Did you sleep well?”
As I stroked the head of the guy that was wagging his tail, I found yet another familiar face.
“Butler. We meet again.”
I thought that he seemed like someone who had aged really well.
“Yes, it’s an honor to see you again, miss.”
“Please just call me Meliara.”
“Yes, Miss Meliara.”
No, I was asking you to call me my name without the addition of the ‘miss’ in front of it though.
However, it seemed to be more comfortable for the butler to call me ‘miss’, so I just laughed it off.
“And your name is?”
“What a cool name! Then Tanma? Butler? Or Butler Tanma?”
“Call me whatever you like.”
I smiled brightly, deciding on a name in order for it not to be awkward later.
The butler also smiled from corner to corner of his face. His smile exuded a dignified aura.
“Breakfast has been prepared already. Would you like some?”
The butler guided me to one side of the restaurant on the first floor.
Lecht and Linden were already there waiting for me.
“Did the both of you sleep well?”
“Yep. Did you have a good sleep too?”
Lecht merely nodded his head concisely while Linden asked me in return gently. He even pulled out a chair for me to sit in.
I, who was experiencing the first time a man had pulled out a chair for me to sit in, sat down with a faint smile in my heart.
As soon as I settled into my seat, Linden immediately pushed a large plate in front of me.
“This is the best-selling breakfast menu item here.”
“What’s all this? Sausage, bacon, and eggs on pancakes. Even a salad…?”
It was an amount so big that I couldn’t even tell if it were a breakfast or a hearty dinner instead.
Although it looked like it had been cooked tastily, I had no choice but to put on a slightly embarrassed expression.
‘I don’t normally eat this much in the morning…’
I normally only eat about a piece of toast and one cup of multigrain shake.
I didn’t have much time to eat since I was always busy with work, and once I had already established the habit once, I would get rather bloated if I ate too much for breakfast.
When I had first taken possession of this body, I tried to eat more for breakfast, wondering if my appetite had changed since my body had also changed, but it seemed as if I couldn’t eat more for breakfast due to the influence of my mind instead of my body.
But I had no choice but to pick up my knife and fork awkwardly once I saw the way Linden looked after he had prepared all of this for me, his eyes sparkling.
“Thanks. I’ll eat well. Haha.”
It was when I stretched my fork out toward the pancake, thinking to myself that I should pretend to eat it, even if I had indigestion later.
The plate gradually moved away from me. Gently, as if my fork and the plate were magnets that repelled each other.
I spotted the hand that moved the plate as my gaze followed the plate in a puzzled state of mind.
It was Lecht.
“Now what are you doing?”
Linden’s protest followed behind quickly, but Lecht ignored him easily and placed a smaller plate in front of me instead of the large plate of breakfast.
Two pieces of toast which were cut into the shape of a triangle were placed on the noticeably smaller plate.
It looked exactly like what I had been eating every morning for the past few years.
“You’ll feel uncomfortable moving about if you eat too much in the morning.”
So you were worried about how it’d affect our travel. I thought you had noticed that I felt troubled by the huge breakfast.
I smiled mockingly at myself, who had expectations for no reason, and lowered my fork to stab some toast.
As soon as I stared at him, he added, as if he had something else to say.
“…It’s strawberry jam.”
I burst out laughing again.
“How did you know that I like strawberry jam?”
Although he naturally wouldn’t have known, and had just chosen it because it was the most common one, I was still in a good mood for no reason, as I smiled and took a bite of the toast.
The crispy texture of the toast was so delicious that I wouldn’t get tired of eating it even if I had to every morning.
A cup of multigrain shake would be perfect here.
Since there was no way I’d be able to find multigrain powder here, I swallowed my regret and reached out for a glass of water, but the glass suddenly disappeared.
Instead, a light brown drink was placed right in front of me.
It was the drink I had been thinking about a while ago, so my eyes were bound to widen into circles when I saw it.
Nah, no way.
“What is this?”
“Try it. You’ll like it.”
Instead of answering my question, he suggested me to taste it.
I slowly tasted the drink with a trembling heart. The sweet yet savory taste soaked my tongue and flowed down my throat.
‘Is this really multigrain powder…?’
I was confused.
Of course there was no law against the people of the empire eating ground and roasted soybean powder or glutinous rice powder and the like, and mixing it into milk. It’s just that in my mind, multigrain powder was a very ‘Korean’ food, so I didn’t think that I’d see it here at all.
‘Nothing is impossible if you have the right ingredients.’
But just because I had understood it didn’t mean that I could make any sense of it.
When I looked up in confusion, Lecht was staring at me with his chin in his hand, leaning against the table.
Looking at his languid expression and his unwavering eyes, it seemed as if he had been watching me ever since he had given me that toast. When our eyes met, he added, as if he had just been waiting.
“Apparently it tastes better when you add honey instead of sugar.”
My heart started to beat faster at those meaningless words.
“Ah, yes… That’s right, it’d taste better with honey.”
Why was my heart in such a fluster over such an offhanded remark?
Was it perhaps because multigrain powder was just exactly to my liking? Or maybe it was because I noticed that he was watching me eat? Ah, or was it just because Lecht’s face was just that handsome?
Well, to be fair, with a face like that, even if he said, ‘Ma’am, this jade heating mat is a premium high quality product,’ I would still be excited and buy everything.
Yes, this rapid heartbeat is because of that sharp jawline and those dark features of his that were sexy, even this early in the morning.
I tried to calm my heart down by chewing on my toast and drinking all the multigrain shake, rationalizing all my thoughts.
“Thank you for the meal.”
“Will that be enough for you?”
Linden asked, as soon as I put my glass down. The look of concern was obvious on his face.
“I’m fine. I don’t normally eat a lot in the morning anyway.”
“Have you eaten enough? It seemed as if I was the only one eating.”
“Yep. I finished eating already.”
“That’s a relief. Lecht, have you eaten… Huh? Where did he go?”
When I turned my head back again, Lecht was nowhere to be seen. The jingle of the doorbell and the shaking of the door showed that he had already gone outside.
“So fast, I didn’t even hear the sound of him moving…”
As I was still blankly awestruck, Linden called out to me again. Turning his head, he asked me with an extremely serious expression on his face.
“How do you know that person?”
“Rather than know each other… did you see that dog there? Kelber. I ran into that kid yesterday and then happened to also meet him for the first time.”
Although Lecht spoke as if we had met in the past, this was the first time I had met him.
“It was my second time meeting him last night when I was with you.”
He trailed off at the end of his sentence.
But I seemed to know what he was trying to say.
It was why he was so openly hostile to Linden, but not to me? He was definitely treating me differently from Linden, so much so that it was even obvious to me.
“Perhaps he’s one of His Highness, the Crown Prince’s people? He might not know that our engagement has already been broken.”
That was the best guess I could make.
“That’s not it.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“The thing is…”
He seemed to be extremely cautious with his words. The place where he sneakily glanced towards was where Butler Tanma was waiting for Linden and I with a friendly smile.
“Since he’s someone who’s a close acquaintance of His Majesty the Emperor.”
The Prince of Misfortune who was rejected by the Emperor. A direct power who had a close relationship with the Emperor. It was understandable for Linden to act low-key in front of him.
‘Wait no, you’re one of the Emperor’s people, yet you don’t know that I’m the Princess of Darchez?’
What a mysterious man.
“Would you feel more at ease if I swore on the Lake of Moonlight that I’d protect you?”
But I didn’t hate it for some reason.
“Try it. You’ll like it.”
He may have done such things without putting much thought into it, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it and smiling over it again and again.
What could I do if it was something good? It wasn’t a crime for my heart to flutter, right?
After experiencing the natural unspeakable magic that occurred no matter what a handsome man said, I began to have high hopes for my journey in the future.
The carriage that greeted me the day I came out with all my luggage was extremely nice.
Unlike the dazzling carriages I had seen in the Darchez Duchy, it carried a dignified aura, and was made of dark varnished wood. At the same time, the decorations which weren’t too excessive only added to the carriage’s luxurious feeling.
“It’s okay! I can just go there via the public carriage.”
“Is there a need for us to travel on the same road with different carriages?”
That’s true. It would be strange for me to pay to rent a public carriage when there was one already readily available.
“Then I won’t refuse you! Thank you.”
“It’s only natural for this to happen.”
Oh my. Look, even his answer is perfect.
“It seems like I’ve found a really good companion.”
Aside from the cost it saved from renting a carriage, sharing the same one was a wonderful choice, as it would even take into account his responsibility for my safety too.
I smiled happily and entered through the door Lecht had opened for me.
The inside was just as nice as the outside. Contrary to its dignified feeling, it was still cozy. It also seemed to have a subtle scent of peony.
“Even the seats are spacious.”
Is this what it feels like to ride an expensive limousine?
I burst into laughter for no reason upon experiencing this sort of luxury for the first time.
‘But what are you all doing instead of getting on?’
I seemed to have seen enough of its interior, yet still heard nothing from Linden or Lecht, so I poked my face out of the open door.
Sure enough, the two men were glaring at each other with the cold wind blowing in the background.
“Of course, isn’t it a given for everyone to ride in the same carriage together?”
“I’m not sure why you would think that was a given.”
“Wow, you’re so cold-hearted. Can’t we share one of them?”
“What’s wrong must be your attitude of claiming a favor as a right.”
“I’m not claiming it as a right, but it’s common sense in this situation…!”
From what I heard from the contents of their argument, what I seemed to get from it was that Linden was roughly saying that, “Doesn’t it make more sense for us all to get in the same carriage since we’re all going together?”, and Lecht was, “It’s my carriage, so why should you get on it?”
I suddenly heard the sound of Linden calling out to me just as I had sighed, at a loss on who to convince.
“Meliara, can’t I get on the carriage too?”
“Huh…? This carriage isn’t mine, so…”
At my words, Linden’s face reflexively looked as if it were close to tears.
“Then am I supposed to follow you guys on a horse by myself…?”
“N-No, it’s not that, but…”
Since you’re someone with a lot of money, shouldn’t you rent your own carriage…?
No, but as Linden said, we’re all going the same way, so wouldn’t it be strange for us to go separately? It was reasonable for Linden to get on the same carriage as us using the reason I was using to ride in Lecht’s carriage.
“Meliara. Take me too… okay?”
Linden, who had suddenly closed the distance between us before I knew it, gave me a pitiful look. Even if it wasn’t the case, I still felt as if I were bullying him, since his expression was so pitiful, like a child’s, and was a mixture of both a puppy and a rabbit’s.
I, who didn’t want to feel like I was a gangster bullying a child, answered impulsively, causing Linden’s face to brighten like a blooming flower.
And then quickly climbed into the carriage.
Ah… I received yet another critical hit from his beauty.
It was then that I catch sight of Lecht behind him.
“I’m sorry. It’s not my carriage, yet I…”
“It doesn’t matter.”
He answered immediately before I could even finish my sentence.
“If you’re comfortable with it, then do it.”
He was someone who had been acting extremely firm, saying that he’d never allow Linden to ride with us, but when Linden did get on the carriage with us, he acted as if it only an insignificant matter.
‘Are you just trying to meddle with Linden’s every move?’
As a person of the Emperor, do you not like Linden, who is ‘the stain on the Imperial Palace’? Or did the Emperor send you to ‘test’ Linden?
Although my head was filled with all sorts of thoughts, it didn’t seem to have anything to do with me, so I simply let it all go. I was just happy to be able to see these two handsome men at a glance.
So I shouted out energetically.
“Then shall we not stop until we get to Chiban Village?”
…I didn’t know at that time.
That our journey to the temple would be so difficult…
tsundere lecht hehehehe
also, if anyone has the raws for the very last chapter of this series, pls pm me on discord !!