MBCEM Ch 3

this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!


For the first time, Yuwen Lan discovered that someone knew his secret.

He looked up at the seemingly inconspicuous woman in the far corner.

Just who was she?

Not too long after, all the other imperial concubines soon discovered that the Emperor’s eyes seemed to be always only pointed in one direction.

Following his line of sight, they looked down and saw that it was two women who were sitting at a table near the door of the hall. One was dressed plainly, as if she were a palace maid, while the other had adorned herself so extravagantly that she was even on the same level as Noble Consort Zhou, Consort Ning, and the rest of the consorts.

They were all able to guess who it was in their hearts.

In a low voice, Ren Dong also said to Yan Shu, “Master, why does it feel to me as if His Majesty keeps looking in your direction?”

Yan Shu didn’t take her words seriously at all, only saying flippantly, “It can’t be. Wouldn’t he be looking at Talented Lady Zhang? Just look at how eye-catching she is!”

As she spoke, she had a taste of the Western Lake fish soaked in vinegar that had just been served on the table. Mm, the meat of the fish was tender with a sweet and sour tang to it, even unexpectedly having the umami of the crab soaked into it — truly extraordinary.

The voices of the two of them floated over to a certain side, causing Talented Lady Zhang to grow increasingly certain of her conjecture.

Ever since the Empress Dowager had arrived, the Emperor had intentionally or otherwise continued to look over in this direction. Thus, she concluded that dressing herself up today seemed to indeed have some effect.

This invaluable feet of woven brocade, this precious stone hairpin that cost ten thousand gold just for one, were truly the perfect finishing touches. 

It was just that the distance between the two was still a bit too far, and she still had to find a way to make a memorable impression on the Emperor, so she must not miss this great opportunity for nothing.

As a result, she called for Chun’e, her palace maid, to fetch her a pipa, carrying it over to the middle of the hall and and opened her mouth to say, “On this beautiful occasion, chenqie would like to sing a song for Your Majesty and the Empress Dowager, wishing the both of you good fortune and health.”

 枇杷 (pipa): traditional chinese instrument that’s played by plucking the strings

Not to mention that the pipa had been inlaid with mother-of-pearl, it even could be said that it complemented her dazzling appearance.

The eyes of Noble Consort Zhou, Consort Ning, and the rest of them, burned with a raging fire, their hearts filled with all kinds of curses that stemmed from their jealousy and resentment.

Absent-minded, Yuwen Lan said, “Granted.”

The palace servants hurriedly moved over a round stool. Talented Lady Zhang hugged the instrument and sat down, plucking at the strings with her fingers that resembled scallions, and started to sing in a delicate voice.

“A single straight stalk of purple bamboo, make a bamboo flute and send it to me…”

It turned out that Talented Lady Zhang was actually playing and singing a Jiangnan ballad. The melody was graceful and lilting, and the lyrics were all kinds of tender, delicate and charming. They had even been sung in a Suzhou1 dialect, which indeed caused people to sit up and take notice.

 江南 (jiangnan): often refers to the sunny south, often regarded as one of the most prosperous districts due to its wealth in trade.

After the song ended, everyone had no choice but to applaud.

The Empress Dowager even intentionally asked, “Are you from Jiangnan?”

From the side, Hu’an, a manager within the Department of Ceremonies2, said, “Reporting to Empress Dowager, Talented Lady’s father is a weaving envoy from the capital, with their whole family being true capital citizens.”

Talented Lady Zhang also said with a smile, “Chenqie heard that the Empress Dowager is fond of Suzhou ballads, thus, especially sought to learn a few poems. However, my singing isn’t too good, so thus, must have made you laugh.”

The Empress Dowager nodded, “At least you have the heart.”

In between speaking, she snuck a peek at the Emperor out of the corner of her eye. However, he only calmly took a sip of tea, his face indifferent, with not a ripple of disturbance to be found.

However, Consort Ning suddenly said to Imperial Concubine Li beside her, “This ballad is indeed pleasant to hear, just that the lyrics are a bit difficult to understand. Oh, that’s right, Imperial Concubine Li, your hometown is in Jiangnan, quickly tell us, what is the meaning of that song?”

Imperial Concubine Li showed a troubled look, looking around and saying, “This… I’m afraid this sort of thing isn’t appropriate to say on a night like this.”

Once these words were said, everyone present couldn’t help but be curious—

Oh, it isn’t appropriate to say? What exactly did Talented Lady Zhang sing in her song?

Consort Ning burst into laughter, what else could be inappropriate to say? Don’t tell me the lyrics are disgraceful?”

大逆不道 (danibudao): referring to disgraceful behaviour that’s a grave breach of societal norms, e.g. being unfilial, rebelling, etc

Talented Lady Zhang’s complexion changed completely, immediately shaking her head and saying, “How could this concubine dare to do so?”

Imperial Concubine Li, however, covered her lips and smiled, saying, “Contrary to that, that isn’t the case, Her Ladyship Consort Ning is just joking. This song, however, is simply just uncultured language said between rural people, talking about passionately making love. Something like, ‘A single straight stalk of purple bamboo, make a bamboo flute and send it to me, bamboo flute against the mouth, mouth against the bamboo flute, back and forth like a little carp’s tail, young girl’s cheeks blushed with pink, my little…”

“Oh my!”

Before Imperial Concubine Li could finish speaking, Consort Ning interrupted her, covering her ears and scolding her, “You too, Imperial Concubine Li. How could you speak such language at an occasion like this? How could you tarnish the ears of His Majesty and the Empress Dowager?”

Having heard what was said, Imperial Concubine Li hurriedly got up with a face full of panic and bowed toward the seat of honour, “Your Majesty, Empress Dowager, please forgive me. Chenqie has acted out of propriety…”

Tch, she was only the one to relay those words, so even if they wanted to blame her, they couldn’t put it on her. As a result, both the Emperor and the Empress Dowager didn’t say anything else, however, everyone soon turned their eyes to Talented Lady Zhang.

Only Yan Shu, who was holding up the freshly served fish soup and drinking it, shook her head in her heart—

The so-called shooting the first bird with a gun, having to take responsibility for as much work as your skills, even coming out to scramble to and fro blindly for no purpose — you’ve done it this time, haven’t you!

Look how nice it is to just eat honestly like me!

Mm, this fish soup is sour and spicy, truly delicious.

Not far away, Talented Lady Zhang was as if she was sitting on pins and needles, having rode the tiger and unable to get off, her feeling of pride that had just sprouted instantly vanished like smoke in thin air. Having no other alternative, she hurriedly kneeled and said, “Asking for His Majesty and the Empress Dowager to forgive me. Chenqie also learned this from the people in the Department of Musical Instruction3. Chenqie is not from Jiangnan, and at that time, worked diligently on the intonation for the sake of singing well, not at all aware of what one was singing about.”

骑虎难下 (qihunanxia): lit. finding it hard to get off after riding a tiger / fig. impossible to stop halfway.

Consort Ning and Imperial Concubine Li no longer said anything, only coldly looking on as bystanders. 

After a while, the female official by the Empress Dowager’s side, Zhu Shu, came out to mediate the situation, “Presumably there are many folk tunes amongst the people like this, Talented Lady Zhang must have done it unintentionally.”

After these words fell, the Empress Dowager also raised her hand, “Forget it, today is a big celebration, all of you return to your seats.”

Only then did Talented Lady Zhang dare to get up, carrying the pipa and returning to her seat with her tail between her legs.

Imperial Concubine Li also returned to her seat, and while no one was paying attention, shared a look with Consort Ning, a tacit understanding that goes without saying in their eyes.

The palace servants serving in the banquet began to bring out new dishes again. Although Noble Consort Zhou and Consort Ning continued to fight over talking to the Empress Dowager, Yuwen Lan’s face, from beginning to end, showed no sign of happiness or anger.

Dealing with everyone on one side, the Empress Dowager’s gaze travelled toward that faraway corner once again, and couldn’t help wonder, could it be that the Emperor had taken a liking to the one near the door that just kept eating?

That’s… really a unique preference.

~~

pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:

Seeing all the cold dishes, hot dishes, pastries and snacks, and hot soup all come one after the other, just as Yan Shu had eaten to the point of bursting, the New Year’s banquet finally came to an end.

When the Empress Dowager got up from her seat to leave, everyone got up to respectfully see her off.

Yuwen Lan also got up from his seat of honour, following the figure of the Empress Dowager as she walked out of the palace hall door and boarded her palanquin, still trying to seek out that girl’s thoughts.

However, he heard her burp in satisfaction and secretly smack her lips, [Tonight was all kinds of delicious, it would’ve been perfect if we had a few more spicy dishes. Let’s do the maths, today is the eighth day of the lunar year, when would the next banquet be? Little New Year? Damn, I still need to wait another half a month…]

 小年 (xiaonian): also known as the festival of the kitchen god and is often the event that kicks off the main festivities for the spring festival

Yuwen Lan, “???”

Why is it all about food?

Then, he heard her sigh in her heart again, [Since it’s already set in stone, might as well just sit back and relax4. It’s still a blessing to eat good food without being sexually satisfied5 in life.]

Yuwen Lan, “???”

Now what does this mean?

What is the meaning of ‘sexually satisfied’?

t/n: would make sense that yuwen lan is unaware of what this means since it’s modern day slang

Why is this woman’s thoughts so… strange?

Yuwen Lan narrowly stopped his footsteps.

However, if he did so, afraid that would inadvertently alert the other party6.

He continued to endure, feigning that nothing happened and walked out the door of the palace hall.

~~

The Head of the Imperial Guards, Fu Hai, could sense that there was something different about His Majesty tonight. 

After coming out of Rouyi Hall, although he still went to the imperial study to read the memorandums as usual, he didn’t start writing for a long time, as if he was distracted.

Fu Hai was pondering it over secretly when he heard the Emperor ask, “Who was sitting at the end tonight?”

After having accompanied him for many years through the good and bad, Fu Hai hurriedly replied, “Replying to Your Majesty, the one who came out to present a song just now at the banquet was Talented Lady Zhang, the daughter of the capital’s Weaving Bureau envoy, Zhang Tong.”

After those words were said, the Emperor didn’t react at all.

He then added on hurriedly, “The one sitting next to Talented Lady Zhang is Yongning Palace’s Beautiful Lady Li.”

As soon as those words were uttered, the Emperor finally opened his precious mouth, “Where is she from?”

Fu Hai finally knew that he had guessed right, hurriedly replying, “This small one recalls that Beautiful Lady Li was born in Qingzhou prefecture’s An De County, entering into the palace through the imperial draft three years ago.”

Qingzhou…

Yuwen Lan pondered to himself secretly, a place that was a few hundred miles away from the capital, how could she possibly be aware of affairs that were regarding him?

However, he heard Fu Hai sigh in his heart, as if deeply moved, [Hey, looks like this Beautiful Lady Li is about to get promoted. Who could’ve thought that the first person in the harem to catch the Holy One’s eyes would be a little insignificant Beautiful Lady?]

Disturbed by the voice, Yuwen Lan raised his hand and said, “You may withdraw.”

“Yes.”

Fu Hai bowed and retreated a step, mulling it over in his heart, [What sort of situation is this? Since you’ve already taken a liking to her, why didn’t you ask her to come and serve you? It isn’t early anymore. My dear Emperor, a moment of the spring night is worth a thousand pounds of gold!]

 春晓 (chunxiao): spring night refers to a night of love making; spring is often an euphemism for sex

Just as he thought of this, he felt as if he could feel the icy tip of a blade at the top of his head. Fu Hai quivered, unable to figure out when he had touched on an inverse scale of His Majesty’s, only quickening his footsteps out of the door.

inverse scales usually refer to the soft spot of a dragon and resemble something or somebody you shouldn’t touch, and doing so would lead to dire consequences.

With his ears finally quiet, Yuwen Lan tiredly rubbed his forehead, thinking for a while before calling again, “Someone come.”

This time, the person who entered was a Brocade Uniform Guard clad in a flying fish robe7.

 锦衣卫 (jinyiwei): secret police force of ming emperors

“Go and take a trip to Qingzhou Prefecture’s An De County, and look into the imperial draft of that year.”

The Brocade Uniform Guard nodded, immediately exiting out of the door to carry out his orders.

Yuwen Lan picked up the case in the memorandum once again, but his mind seemingly hadn’t fully come back yet.

His mind would always go back to that woman from the banquet.

—Three years ago, on his way back to the capital, he encountered a sudden clap of thunder8 and fainted. Upon waking up, he gained the ability to read minds, but gradually lost the functions a man should have.

Over the years, he had secretly been sending out people to inquire and seek a cure, but it was all to no avail. 

This was a big taboo, especially as an emperor. He had always taken strict precautions in defending this secret to death, so much so that even his trusted aides and eunuch that he relied on the most were unaware of it. 

So, how exactly did that woman know?

Just who was she?

Just where did it all go wrong?

His heart became more and more chaotic and disorderly, so he simply put down his papers and called over another little eunuch who was wearing a rounded collar gown.

“Keep a close watch over Yongning Palace. Big or small9, Zhen wants to know every single detail.”

——

the author has something to say:

A certain emperor: Woman, you have successfully attracted Zhen’s attention

A certain author: Kid, this sort of opening is seriously too low standard.

A certain emperor: Woman, you know too much.

A certain author: ???

[1] 苏州 (suzhou): prefecture in jiangnan.

[2] 司禮監 (silijian): in charge of etiquette and ceremonial rituals

[3] 教坊司 (jiaofangsi): in charge of music and dance practices for banquets and festivals

[4] 既来之,则安之 (jilaizhi, zeanzhi): since it’s like this, we should just accept it

[5] she literally says ‘xing福’, which is a homophone with ‘幸福’ (good fortune). it’s slang that alludes to a sexually satisfied life by replacing the first character ‘幸’ with the character ‘性’ for sex

[6] 打草惊蛇 (dǎcǎojīngshé): lit. beat the grass and scare the snake. / fig. Inadvertently alert the enemy

[7] 飞鱼服 (feiyufu): worn by the ming dynasty imperial guards.

[8] 惊雷 (jinglei): lit. sudden clap of thunder. / fig. a surprising turn of events

[9] 事无巨细 (shìwújùxì): lit. things are not separated according to their size (idiom) / fig. to deal with any matter, regardless of its importance


almost cried translating that folk song QAQ
if any of you guys can offer me a better translation, please comment it down below, i’m rlly out of ideas GHDSFLKJD ;-; the raw is:
一根紫竹直苗苗,送也吾郎做管箫,箫儿对着口,口儿对着箫,小小鲤鱼尾巴摆,好似妹妹粉红腮。我个小乖乖……”

IBVIAAN Ch 61 — You’re My Woman

Although it was rather embarrassing for me to say, honestly speaking, I seemed to have the wrong preconception in my head of what the demon realm would be like. I had imagined an almost stereotypical red land, a black palace, et cetera. But all such preconceptions flew away as soon as the light from the teleportation circle dissipated and the world unfolded before my very eyes.

“Welcome to the Demon King’s Palace.”

“Wow!” I held nothing but admiration now. 

I was right about it being a vast expanse of land. But on the contrary, it wasn’t the gloominess or red that I couldn’t see an end to, but the greenery. The endless sky seemed refreshing and the floating clouds seemed fluffy like wool. The scenery was so picturesque that one could even paint a picture out of it.

this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!


Although it was rather embarrassing for me to say, honestly speaking, I seemed to have the wrong preconception in my head of what the demon realm would be like. I had imagined an almost stereotypical red land, a black palace, et cetera. But all such preconceptions flew away as soon as the light from the teleportation circle dissipated and the world unfolded before my very eyes.

“Welcome to the Demon King’s Palace.”

“Wow!” I held nothing but admiration now. 

I was right about it being a vast expanse of land. But on the contrary, it wasn’t the gloominess or red that I couldn’t see an end to, but the greenery. The endless sky seemed refreshing and the floating clouds seemed fluffy like wool. The scenery was so picturesque that one could even paint a picture out of it. 

However, the most awe-inspiring thing there was the towering castle. Unlike my preconceived notion that it would be crude and unsophisticated, it seemed to be even more refreshing and clean than the imperial palace. Although it was luxurious and grand, it didn’t go over the top and didn’t feel heavy either, not the slightest bit gloomy at all.

“Welcome, my lady.” Tanma, the butler, greeted me at the main gates. It wasn’t his human appearance that I usually saw, but his appearance as a demon, his horns blatantly out in the open too. He had his usual smile on his face, but it somehow felt different from usual.

“It’s been a while, Butler.”

I hadn’t been able to meet him for a while after he took Frody away, perhaps because he was getting things ready at the Demon King’s Palace so he could welcome me properly.

The butler nodded slightly and led me inside. 

“You said that the Grand Duchy is like a mini version of the Demon King’s Palace… Is the Demon King’s Palace really that much better?”

The density of the splendour was in two completely different realms, even in this garden that we had just walked past. It was a place where every single petal hadn’t been left untouched by the gardener. The level stone path and even the lighting that would illuminate it the pathway at night had been perfectly maintained. 

“Everyone seems to have paid more attention since the lady was coming.” Tanma said, letting out a laugh when I couldn’t hide my awe at the surroundings. 

No, was this really something that was possible simply because they ‘paid more attention’?

That’s how we arrived in front of the castle gate.

The eyes of the gatekeeper seemed to sparkle as they looked at me. Their affection that was openly directed toward me was to the extent where it felt slightly burdensome. 

Although the thing standing guard with the gatekeeper seemed like a demonic creature, it was also the first time I had seen that sort of species before. It seemed like a sable, but its stripes looked like a skunk’s, and its large tusks were reminiscent of wild boars. Although it seemed like a kid that was cute in various ways, it made one nervous for no reason, perhaps because it was bigger than a brown bear. 

I shifted closer toward Lecht as I saw it wave a tail that was thicker than an elephant’s trunk at me. I wanted to hug it at least once and shower it with affection, but I thought that my ribs would definitely break if it hugged me, even once. 

“We’ve prepared something small to welcome you, my lady.” Tanma said as he opened the door with the gatekeeper. 

And the moment the door swung open, a thunderous roar suddenly erupted.

“Welcome, Your Majesty!”

Ahhh! Her Majesty has come!”

“Wow! Welcome!”

Voices that were unexpectedly filled with joy and welcome. Lecht entered with his arm wrapped around the shoulders of me, who had stiffened and froze on the spot. 

Vibrantly coloured petals were scattered over my head as I walked on a path that had been covered by a red carpet. Long ropes on either side of it were preventing the crowd from rushing onto the red carpet. There were also guards stationed to control them, who were screaming like crazy. Even those guards seemed to be unable to stop glancing at me, unable to focus on the task at hand. It was too obvious that everyone here welcomed me.

“Those bastards who are still waiting anxiously for Your Highness in the demon realm must be so jealous that I’ve become Your Highness’ exclusive errand boy!”

“Everyone will just be happy to hear that Miss Ara is coming back.”

Muso and Lydia’s words suddenly flashed in my mind. So what they had said hadn’t just been said to make me feel better, but it was actually the truth. There had actually been this many people waiting for me. 

It seemed like the tears would burst from my eyes at any second now, so I tried my hardest to put on a smile. Although they were tears of joy, the only thing I wanted to show them, who were watching me, was a happy smile. 

“The butler’s standard of ‘something small’ seems to differ greatly from mine.”

“This must have seemed too small when compared with my lady’s standards.” Tanma said playfully, despite knowing exactly what I meant. “Don’t fret. A grand-scale welcoming party has also been prepared separately.”

Just how large of an event were they planning to hold? However, I suddenly had the thought that by receiving their welcome, reducing the size of the event would also seem as if they were reducing the love they gave me. Letting them show their affection toward me to their hearts content was also a precious act in itself.

“Then I’ll look forward to it.” As I whispered while smiling, the cheers around me grew even louder. I thought that it was a good idea for me to follow Lydia’s advice and choose the most splendid dress amongst the clothes I had been given. 

“Ara.” Lecht called my name amidst the shouts that were even more formidable than the ones during the proclamation ceremony. I turned my head toward him without concealing any of my overwhelming emotions. 

It happened in a flash.

Lecht’s lips brushed against my forehead, then left just as quickly.

“L-Lecht?!”

Kyaaaaa!

Wooooooo!

The cheers which I hadn’t thought would be able to grow any louder, became even rowdier to the extent where I wondered if the Demon King’s Palace would be able to stand it without collapsing like this.

“Why all of a sudden…!” In any case, my heart that had already felt overwhelmed with emotions, raced so fast it felt like it was about to explode. I felt as if it were about to jump out of my mouth with its thumping.

“I’m making sure that no bastard here has forgotten. That you’re my woman.”

“!”

Lecht smiled smugly at my face that was now burning red. At that smile that seemed like the smile of a wolf who was pleased at catching a mouthwateringly appetising piece of prey, my heart couldn’t stand it any longer. 

I buried my face into Lecht’s arms with a strange groan. I had to hold onto something because it felt as if my legs were about to lose their strength at any moment now. 

As if he knew somehow, Lecht lifted me up into his arms and walked to the end with the endlessly growing cheers at his back.

It was a blessed moment that was mixed with happiness and embarrassment. 

* * *

pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:

“I heard that they’ve arrived.” A demon with a single horn in the middle of their forehead said as he finished contacting his old friend that worked in the Demon King’s Palace.

Hmmm~” The person who received their report let out a long nasally sound. It was just a sound, yet the shoulders of the demon who had just delivered the report started to tremble slightly. It was due to the powerful force of enchantment that had engulfed his whole body for a moment. 

“Saintess, my saintess. You really have no sense of fear.” Frody murmured as he looked down at the forget-me-nots that were blooming before him, despite it not being the season for it. “It would’ve been safer for you to continue staying in the human realm… I wonder just how many people are after you in the demon realm, Saintess.”

Frody uprooted the forget-me-nots. He examined the sensitive flowers from a few angles before lifting the corners of his mouth. “Just like me.” 

Murmuring softly, he dropped the forget-me-nots onto the floor. The heavy scent of gold osmanthus began to spread simultaneously as he trampled the flowers underfoot. Since the scent wasn’t able to completely devour the remaining scent of the forget me nots, it simply absorbed the flowers’ vitality instead. The scent of the gold osmanthus became even stronger the longer it continued to do so, and the forget-me-nots that had bloomed eventually all withered. 

“And the thing I told you to prepare?”

“…Though they’re still trying, there hasn’t been a definite response either.” The subordinate standing by his side replied, trying his best not to breathe in the scent as much as possible. The difference in ability between him and Frody were evident, so if he so much as inhaled that scent even once by accident, his rationality would be eaten away by it.

“Oh… that’s quite troublesome. I only got it after breaking the rules and playing a joke on the Grand Duchy.” Frody smiled at his subordinate. It was a smile that was expressed with his eyes so charmingly that it would’ve been able to captivate men and women of all ages without fail. “Don’t you think?”

“…Yes.”

“If there’s any possibility of me having no choice but to make the saintess disappointed, then…” 

He walked lightly toward his subordinate. His mischievous aura that could be seen when he was facing Ara and Lecht had completely disappeared, now only replaced by a bleak energy. 

“I would be very upset, right?” Standing before his subordinate, he whispered, leaning down and looking into his eyes while doing so. A tiny light shone in his blue eyes, poking his subordinate’s soul. 

“I’ll make sure it’s ready within the time frame!” He shouted, already pale with fright, as Frody stood back up from his bent back. 

“Then. You should do so. After all, it’s none other than a present for our precious saintess.”

Humming to himself, Frody brushed past him. Only after he disappeared into the darkness and the sound of his footsteps couldn’t be heard anymore did his subordinate finally let out a breath.

And with Frody’s disappearance, the scent of gold osmanthus also disappeared along with him like it had never existed in the first place. 

* * *

Lecht disappeared soon after, seemingly having been dragged away by Tanma, who had nagged at him about having all his work pushed back. 

After leaving me with the words that he would come and see me in the evening, as expected, the one that came to see me was none other than Solte, who had come on behalf of him. Apparently she had come over to the demon realm even earlier than Tanma in order to prepare my room for my arrival. 

Both glad and relieved to see a face I knew, I allowed myself to be guided leisurely to the floor that I would stay on.

“Hold on!” But as I was listening to her explanation, I suddenly discovered an embarrassing part. “Who… the dress room?”

“This is your dress room, my lady, and that is His Majesty’s dress room. In any case, I thought it would be better for them to be separated rather than all lumped together so that it would be more convenient when you’re selecting what clothes to wear, so I made it like so.” Thinking that I didn’t understand her reasoning, Solte calmly added an explanation. Even though I was just flustered by what she had said.

“No, why is Lecht’s dress room in this room…”

Solte tilted her head at my question. “I thought it would be inconvenient for the dress room to be far away from the room, so I arranged it like this. It was like this in the Grand Duchy as well… are you perhaps uncomfortable with this?”

No, why does the conversation between Solte and I always seem like it’s one wavelength apart? I wasn’t curious about that part.

“I mean, why is ‘Lecht’s’ dress room in ‘my’ room…” I felt like I knew the reason why after I phrased the sentence like this.

“Aha.” Solte smiled, finally understanding my meaning behind the question. “Because this room is my lady and His Majesty’s room.”

“H-Huh…? Why? How, why?” I was so flustered that I even lost the ability to speak properly. 

Solte, who finally managed to understand me, tilted her head again and said, “The aide… so I arranged it like that since the butler, Tanma, specifically ordered me to do so. Did he not inform you beforehand?”

No…! This is my first time hearing about such a thing! 

At my face that was full of embarrassment, Solte let out a ‘hmm…’ as if she were contemplating over something before smiling. “I didn’t think there would be a problem for the two of you to share rooms a little quickly since the two of you will be married soon anyway.”

“Whatttt?!”

“Oh, though of course, there are many people here who call you, ‘Her Majesty’ already since they’ve already promised to pledge the rest of their life to you a hundred years ago…”

No, wait. So you’re saying that the reason why Muso calls me, ‘Her Majesty’ is because he already sees me as Lecht’s wife?! I thought he was just calling me, ‘Her Majesty’ because he couldn’t find a way to over exaggerate and call me, ‘my lady’ in a very Muso-like way!

“Back then, there weren’t many people who could celebrate it with the two of you together, so the truth is that everyone is expecting for the two of you to hold a ceremony this time.”

Huh…?!

“Naturally, I am also looking forward to your wedding, my lady. Since according to His Majesty’s character, he will definitely make it grander than any other demon king’s wedding.”

So how did it become that my own wedding ceremony had already been settled without me even knowing? I felt so aggrieved, yet I couldn’t even find the words to retort when I saw that even Solte was smiling with her eyes full of anticipation.


MBCEM Ch 2

Yuwen Lan walked into the hall and looked up, seeing something similar to an ocean of precious stones and pearls, the jewellery that was draped over these women’s heads and bodies almost dazzling him under the reflection of the hall’s light. 

Noticing the fragrance of cosmetics in the air becoming stronger, he frowned slightly and said lowly, “All rise.”

All the women complied, returning to their seat one after another, each and every one of them seemingly putting on their noblest bearing in their formal attires, yet they all still quietly cast their gazes toward him.

“The hall seems to be brighter now that Your Majesty is here.”

this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!


Yuwen Lan walked into the hall and looked up, seeing something similar to an ocean of precious stones and pearls, the jewellery that was draped over these women’s heads and bodies almost dazzling him under the reflection of the hall’s light. 

Noticing the fragrance of cosmetics in the air becoming stronger, he frowned slightly and said lowly, “All rise.”

All the women complied, returning to their seat one after another, each and every one of them seemingly putting on their noblest bearing in their formal attires, yet they all still quietly cast their gazes toward him.

“The hall seems to be brighter now that Your Majesty is here.”

The one who spoke was Noble Consort Zhou, who was seated near the very front of the banquet. Yuwen Lan knew her since she was the Empress Dowager’s niece, as well as his own younger cousin sister in name.

 表妹 (biaomei): younger female cousin via the female line

Today, she was dressed like a big red lantern at the entrance of a temple. The smile on her face seemingly extremely appropriate, yet the voice in her heart was full of malice.

[Each and every one of these lowly sluts have unexpectedly dressed themselves up even more eye-catchingly than me. Seems like only after dealing with them properly will they properly understand the rules.]

—Ever since he started having the ability to hear other people’s voices three years ago, Yuwen Lan had already become accustomed to seeing all kinds of duplicity1, thus, he only said indifferently, “Zhen is not a lantern, so how could Zhen light up the hall?”

 朕 (zhen): used by emperors to refer to themselves, (lit.) ‘subtle’

Yet there came a pfft sound, with a woman nearby saying laughingly, “Your Majesty is indeed humorous, however, Her Ladyship, the Noble Consort, has always previously been the most proficient in speech, so how is it that today she’s made such a blunder2?”

This was Consort Ning, the Grand Princess Consort’s niece, and had been sent into the palace by the Grand Princess. Yuwen Lan had seen her a few times, so he had an impression of her.

 长公主 (zhanggongzhu): current emperor’s sister

Naturally, he could also hear this woman cursing at Noble Consort Zhou in her heart, [Hmph, did you think you could overwhelm me and trample me underfoot if you just draped your whole body in red? Why don’t you look for a mirror instead and see just how ugly you’ve become? If you want to compare, it’s still my ruyi3 phoenix hairpin that’s better, truly not a waste of my 2,000 taels of silver. See, isn’t His Majesty looking at me now?]

Seeing as this was probably the first time the Emperor had looked at her ever since she entered the palace, Consort Ning hurriedly straightened her back and raised her head with a smile to meet the gaze that came from above. 

But who would’ve thought that the Emperor just took one glance at the top of her head and frowned, “The things on your head seem to be very expensive?”
Consort Ning paused, but Noble Consort Zhou said hurriedly, “In Chenqie’s opinion, I’m afraid Consort Ning’s hairpin can’t be made without producing at least 3,000 taels of silver. It’s just that in this past period, the harem has tightened its expenditures to show support for the snow storm that affected the capital, just don’t know where the Department of Treasures got the silver from?”

 臣妾 (chenqie): this servant/concubine

Consort Ning could only explain in a hurry, “These things are all bestowed by my paternal aunt, the Grand Princess, not from the Department of Treasures.”

 婶母 (shenmu): wife of father’s younger brother

After speaking, she was still a little panicked, not knowing whether the Emperor would still go and look into the Grand Princess manor. 

Fortunately, Yuwen Lan did not speak of it again.

That was because in addition to the two women in front of him who were scolding each other, a multitude of various other voices were still pouring into his ears—

[Hmph, these two stupid women are usually accustomed to being arrogant, let them have a taste of their own medicine today.]

[Fortunately I can squeeze into this corset dress after starving for three days, and sure enough, this Jinling cloud brocade is indeed very good. How could these coarse and stupid village women enter into His Majesty’s dragon eye? Your Majesty, look over here!]

[What if these two idiots annoy His Majesty and drive him away? I’ve been diligently practising with my blood, sweat, and tears for three months, yet I haven’t even had the chance to present my dance to His Majesty! Fools!]

pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:

Although mind-reading had a distance limitation, so Yuwen Lan could only hear the few that were close to him, these few were already noisy enough. 

He took a sip of tea out of boredom, sincerely feeling that instead of watching these women act out such a boring play, he’d much rather return to the palace and look through more documents. He never would have come here in the first place if it wasn’t for the Empress Dowager putting so much pressure on him to come.

At this moment, Yan Shu, who was sitting at the end, was eating a new melon with the system. 

[It’s even the Emperor’s melon? What is it?]

System, [The Emperor cannot participate in worldly affairs4.]

Yan Shu, [??? Cannot participate in worldly affairs? Doesn’t that just mean he’s unable to do it?]

System, [Exactly right.]

Yan Shu almost spat out a mouthful of hot tea, [Is that really true? You’re not joking, right?!!]

System, [? Are you questioning the level of professionalism of this system? Has this system ever joked before?]

Yan Shu, [But how could there be such a thing??? And he’s even the emperor of a country!!!]

System, [Men, there will always inevitably be various unspeakable secrets5. Is the emperor of a nation not a man?]

Yan Shu, […]

That’s true. In the past two years that she had been following the system in eating melons, she had encountered all kinds of weird men, some had a habit of liking to crossdress, cut sleeves6, violent lunatics, alcoholics, gambling addicts, and so on. She had caught a large majority of them in the imperial court’s civil and military officials, so comparing a simple, ‘cannot participate in worldly affairs’ already counts as one that isn’t too bad. 

But wait… 

Isn’t this still the Emperor!!! Even her husband in name!

She was shocked once more, [Why did you only inform me of such an important matter now?]

System, [This system has also just now received the news.]

Yan Shu, [Then what did I even enter the palace for??? Could it be that I should observe being a widow for a lifetime???]

System, [In any case, you don’t have much ambition anyway, so just live as a widow. A lifetime passes by extremely quickly, just one blink and it’ll be all over.]

Yan Shu, […]

Are these human words? She had finally managed to obtain a healthy body with much difficulty, could it be that this one would also pass with a blink of an eye as well?

System, [It’s better to know than not to know. It’s already set in stone, so just take it easy.]

Yan Shu, […]

Having eaten melons for so long, yet this was the first time she had eaten a melon of her own; and it was even such a big one, of course it was natural for one to be caught off guard and somewhat bewildered.

It was to the extent that she wanted to take a sip of tea, but failed to hold it properly, causing the cup to fall to the floor and make a clanging sound.

At this time, the Empress Dowager had not yet arrived, so the banquet had not started, the hall still quiet. Thus, this sound inevitably attracted the attention of many people. 

The women at the front of the table all looked sideways, and upon seeing the way that she was dressed without any sense of presence, unable to even measure up and be as eye-catching as the palace maids of Noble Consort Zhou, Consort Li, and the rest, they all didn’t take her seriously and turned their heads back one after the other in succession.

Only Talented Lady Zhang, who was sitting at the same table as her, whispered, “Is Sister Li already drunk before the banquet has even started? Just that I’m afraid His Majesty didn’t hear you.”

Yan Shu paid her no mind. 

She finally realised why the Emperor had never entered the harem—wasn’t this wanting to fucking enter, but also couldn’t?!

At this moment, she felt as if she had just gone through the ups and downs of seeing through the affairs of this world.

Rather than struggling and exerting all one’s strength in giving it all to pursue an impossible goal that required her to be irreconcilable adversaries7, it was indeed more comfortable for one to give up earlier.

Everything returned to normal after the serving maid brought a new teacup, and Yuwen Lan, who was seated in the distance, also retracted his gaze.

Compared to the women near the front who resembled flowers and birds, lanterns, and even chicken feather dusters, he felt that that clumsily dressed girl seemed more easy on the eyes.

The only thing was, just why did she drop the cup? Was it just to draw his attention too?

It was just a pity that he couldn’t hear her thoughts at all since he was seated too far away.

After a while, the sound of an announcement rang out from outside of the hall, “The Empress Dowager has arrived!”

Yuwen Lan stood up in greeting, and the hall packed full of concubines also followed busily in saluting, the hall ringing out with the sound of, “Respectfully greeting the Empress Dowager.”

The mother and son met in the middle of the hall, Yuwen Lan stopping and saying respectfully, “Respectfully greeting Imperial Mother.”

 母后 (muhou): “imperial mother”, used by the emperor’s children to refer to his main wife, the empress. despite having their own concubine mothers, the emperor’s children were not allowed to call anyone but the empress ‘imperial mother’.

Let alone the fact that the voice sounded deep and resonant, clear and extremely easy on the ears, being this close to the Emperor was also a rare opportunity. Yan Shu seized this opportunity and hurriedly stole a glance, finally seeing that face more clearly. 

Oh…

What dragon and phoenix-like appearance, pure and upright, white like jade, a brilliant ray of light…

The lines of poetry that she had known for two lifetimes all gushed out at this moment, lingering in her mind.

The rumours weren’t false, truly a beautiful man!

But what a pity!

Yan Shu silently let out a sigh. So good looking, yet can’t be used—truly the highest degree of wasting natural resources8!

Yuwen Lan paused.

‘Good looking, yet can’t be used’?

‘Wasting natural resources’?

What did that mean?

He attempted to seek out the source of these thoughts out of the corner of his eye, and discovered that it was that clumsy girl from just now.

At the close proximity of this moment, he could clearly tell that her countenance was indeed delicate and pretty, her face not having applied a thick layer of makeup.

Aijia has arrived late, must have made you all anxious from waiting, huh?” The sound of the Empress Dowager’s laughter came from beside his ear.

 哀家 (aijia): (lit.) “This grieving one”; used by a widowed empress/consort dowager

Yuwen Lan could only control his expression, saying, “Imperial Mother has had it tough, quickly, please sit.”

[Tch, you better speak clearly. Why is he impotent? Was it congenital? Or was it because he suffered some sort of trauma, leading to this result?]

Yuwen Lan paused again.

He heard it extremely distinctly this time. That girl had used the word ‘impotent’.

That’s right, that’s exactly how Yan Shu described it. Since she was currently shouting at the system right now.

Normally it was okay if she ate other people’s melons, but this huge melon had blown up beside her, and was even related to her own fate. Coupled with those startling looks that resembled a celestial’s, how could she possibly remain indifferent?

She felt that there could definitely be a solution to the situation, so she should understand the root cause clearly first and then discuss more in depth later.

System, [The root cause is temporarily unknown, however, it shouldn’t be congenital.]

Huh, if it wasn’t congenital impotence, then that indicated that perhaps there was still a chance?

Yan Shu’s eyes lit up, having not perceived the surging killing intent that rushed forth from not too far away.

That’s right, the moment he heard that word, a wave of killing intent had already welled up in Yuwen Lan’s heart.

No one else in the entire place had known about this apart from himself.

So how did this woman know?

Then, in the next moment, he heard her mulling over it to herself again, [Maybe he can try ‘The Plain Woman’s Sutra’, ‘A Concubine’s Remarkable Methods’, and that sort of thing, and if that indeed doesn’t have any effect, then he can also try ‘Heaven and Earth’s Intersection of Yin and Yang9, Endowed with Bountiful Joy and Happiness’!]

Yan Shu, who is the so-called phenomenon that hasn’t eaten the pork but has seen the pig run10, has in any case, eaten so many melodramatic and obscene melons over the years, these precious books had only been picked up in passing. As if remembering the melon in ‘General Xuan’wei and the Little Widow’, that skillful position, the lustful little widow precisely using ‘A Concubine’s Remarkable Methods’, inviting the brave man and great general, firmly accepting him in her pomegranate skirt.

Tch, it’s truly sentimental beyond words, so heart wrenching yet erotic, thinking about it now still made one overwhelmed with excitement.

“All rise. Today is a holiday, no need to stand on ceremony too much.”

The Empress Dowager’s voice interrupted her beautiful memories. Yan Shu hurriedly rearranged her expression, following everyone in thanking the Empress Dowager for her favour and getting up.

Yuwen Lan hid his turmoil in his heart, calmly leading the Empress Dowager to her seat.

The banquet officially began, with the palace servants finally serving food such as sliced chicken with lotus flowers, braised duck simmered in bird’s nest, assorted shark fin soup, roast lamb head, golden shrimp, stuffed crab, and so on. At this time, all sorts of delicacies filled the banquet table, causing people to be dazzled by the sight. 

The biggest advantage that this person, Yan Shu, had, was precisely her ability to adopt a light-hearted attitude. Now that things had already become a foregone conclusion, it was useless to be at a loss, so she put her whole mind into focusing wholly on the delicacies in front of her and started to eat seriously.

Because the Emperor had never attended in the past, there was never anything like a New Year’s banquet in the palace. She never had the chance to attend normal banquets either, so today, she would count it as eating until she was satisfied. The chicken slices with lotus flowers were silky and tender, the stewed duck with bird’s nest fresh and fragrant, a mouthful of the assorted shark fin and it seemed to exceed the bounds of immortality, while the roast lamb head was simply too good!

No need to even mention the crispiness of the golden shrimp or the plump stuffed crabs…

Both the cold and hot dishes were amazing, coming today was indeed not in vain!

Happening to look up, she saw Noble Consort Zhou, Consort Ning, and Consort Duan, all competing with one another to either speak eloquently in front of the Empress Dowager, or propose a toast to the Emperor. Imperial Concubine Li, and Wang zhaoyi, were also taking the initiative to present music and dance, each and every one of them attempting to outdo one another11, making the atmosphere of the banquet extremely lively.

 嫔 (pin): mid rank concubine title, ‘imperial concubine’, typically six positions

 昭儀 (zhaoyi): slightly lower than ‘imperial concubine’. i’m just going to leave this one as the pinyin since writing ‘lady of bright deportment wang’ will seriously be a mouthful

Only she hid in the corner, eating and drinking thoughtlessly.

Not even noticing that the Emperor, who was the centre of everyone’s attention right now, was completely focused on her.

——

the author has something to say:

Yan Shu: Hold on, eat first as a sign of respect.

A certain emperor: Is Zhen not even as important as these few dishes?

Yan Shu: Brother, who are you?

A certain emperor: …

[1] 口是心非 (koushixinfei): (lit.) for the mouth to wrong the heart / (fig.) to say one thing and mean another, two-faced

[2] 马失前蹄 (mashiqianti): (lit.) the horse loses its front hooves / (fig.) sudden failure through miscalculation or inattentiveness 

[3] 如意 (ruyi): an s shaped object that’s usually made of jade and symbolises good luck

[4] 人事 (renshi): euphemism for sex

[5] 难言之隐 (nanyanzhiyin): a hidden trouble hard to mention / an embarrassing illness.

[6] 短袖 (duanxiu): (lit.) “cut sleeve”, derived from when an emperor was unwilling to wake his male lover, who was sleeping on his sleeve, so cut it to avoid waking him up. / euphemism for homosexual

[7] 你死我活 (nisiwohuo): (lit.) “you die, i live” / (fig.) two parties cannot coexist

[8] 暴殄天物 (baotiantianwu): to waste natural resources recklessly, not to know how to use things sparingly.

[9] 阴阳 (yinyang): ‘yin’ normally refers to females, and ‘yang’ usually refers to males. ‘yin’ and ‘yang’ are often used to refer to the sexual properties of the two genders, so ahem, you can take this ‘intersecting’ of ‘yin’ and ‘yang’ as an allusion to sex.

[10] 没吃过猪肉也见过猪跑 (meichiguo zhurou yejianguo zhu pao): (lit.) “hasn’t eaten the pork, but has seen the pig run” / (fig.) a person who hasn’t done the deed, but has seen it been done

[11] 争先恐后 (zhengxiankonghou): (lit.) striving to be first and fearing to be last / (fig.) outdo one another

golden shrimp

sorry for the wall of footnotes, it’ll probably get better after most of the titles are out of the way and stuff.

IBVIAAN Ch 60 — Beautifully, Boldly, and Exactly Like You Would

Though I had thought it would turn out like this, but still…

“You’ll basically be leaving your string that’s tying you to life with me; is that really alright with you? Even if I might suddenly change my mind and decide to kill you?”

“Then I’ll just accept it.”

Although my eyes were round, he smiled rather faintly. “If that happens, although the Duchy might be worried, at least I’ll be able to walk hand in hand with my younger sister on her final road.”

“…”

“I couldn’t even be by that child’s side and hold her hand as she took her first step because I drowned in grief over that selfish reason. I even made her attend her debutante by herself since I had mistakenly placed my trust in the crown prince.”

this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!


Though I had thought it would turn out like this, but still…

“You’ll basically be leaving your string that’s tying you to life with me; is that really alright with you? Even if I might suddenly change my mind and decide to kill you?”

“Then I’ll just accept it.”

Although my eyes were round, he smiled rather faintly. “If that happens, although the Duchy might be worried, at least I’ll be able to walk hand in hand with my younger sister on her final road.”

“…”

“I couldn’t even be by that child’s side and hold her hand as she took her first step because I drowned in grief over that selfish reason. I even made her attend her debutante by herself since I had mistakenly placed my trust in the crown prince.”

“…”

“I thought that I’d at least be able to walk by your side at your wedding, but now, even that’s impossible. So if I could walk hand in hand with that child, even if it’s her final road in this life, wouldn’t that be a death I’d be content with?”

It was pure sincerity. Just why would such a person leave their younger sister to be lonely by herself for such a long time? The more I got to know him, the more I felt that the situation was regrettable. 

I let out a sigh and handed him the poison. “Still, you should at least sign a waiver before drinking it. Since I’d hate to have the blame be shifted on the Lunar religion.”

“Gladly.” 

He unhesitatingly wrote a waiver and signed it at my light words and gulped down the poison. 

Keurgh!” He vomited blood not even a minute after he had drank it, perhaps going to show just how lethal the poison was. 

—B-Brother…

His younger sister, Meliara, began to pace around beside him with a restless look on her face. 

I kneeled beside him, who was breathing heavily and seizing intermittently. I covered his eyes with my hands and whispered, “Go and have a good meeting.”

At that moment, his soul escaped from his body like a lie. Though I was momentarily surprised, I slowly began to infuse my divine power into his body.

t/n: alion’s dialogue as a soul will now be in bold

—This…

“I won’t be able to hold this for more than five minutes.”

Alion, who was looking down in bewilderment at his own body, quickly came back to his senses at my words. 

—So you really can see souls.

“I don’t think this is the right time for you to admire me.” I pointed with my chin at the area next to him. 

Turning around, he spotted his crying younger sister. Then he stiffened on the spot. His eyes that were looking at her shook violently. Though it was an absurd story, his gaze was different from the way he had looked at me when I had told him that I was occupying his younger sister’s body.

—Mel…iara.

He called out awkwardly, as if he had never said her name before. A faint smile spread across the lips of Meliara, who was looking at him.

* * *

pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:

Alion was filled with complicated emotions upon seeing the appearance of his younger sister, who was smiling at him. Turns out his little sister had become this skinny… He felt as if his heart was about to be torn apart.

—Meliara, I…

He opened his mouth once again, but couldn’t bring himself to say anything.

Staring at Alion, who only bit his lips for a long time, Meliara opened her mouth instead. 

—I’m sorry, Brother.

—…What?

What she had said was so shocking that Alion’s whole face stiffened up.

—Why are you…

—Just because I wanted to marry His Highness the Crown Prince… I never knew that you had been pushed to the front lines of the subjugation in order to satisfy my greed.

—That’s…

It hadn’t been for her. It had been a selfish step that he had taken in an effort to make up for the past mistakes he had committed. 

—Brother had been taking such good care of me, yet all this time, I thought that you hated me… Yet you were such a good older brother…

—Stop. Please, just stop.

Alion’s face distorted, as if he couldn’t bear to hear anymore.

—I wasn’t a good older brother.

—But…

—I hated you. Because I thought Mother had died because of you.

He spoke honestly about his feelings.

—But… you…

His face twisted up once again as he winced. It hurt so much it felt as if his heart was being split in two whenever he recalled the thought of his younger sister, who at the age of nine years old, regretted ever being born into this world.

—You didn’t take Mother away—rather, it was Mother who risked her life to bring you into this world.

—…

—I realised that too late.

The relationship between the two of them had already become estranged. And Alion, who had never learned how to love, didn’t even know how to correct it. He didn’t know how to apologise, nor did he know that he had to apologise. Since he was also young, and no one had ever taught him to. He just wanted to hide from his feelings of remorse every time he saw her increasingly uncomfortable and wary gaze. So he simply avoided her.

—But Brother, you were young back then as well…

—You were even younger though.

—…

—I…

Alion’s throat started to close up as he choked out. 

—I should’ve let you know that you were never alone.

He always only thought by himself. He did whatever the empress and crown prince wanted since she seemed eager to marry the crown prince. Always obtaining a losing hand. 

On the premise that the marriage had already been set in stone, he even departed on a subjugation expedition. Not even knowing that when he returned, his younger sister’s engagement had been annulled and she had been kicked out of their family. If he had known that she would be in such pain and loneliness, then he would never have gone on the subjugation expedition in the first place.  

—Everything became ruined because I made a cowardly choice and acted foolishly. 

It all went wrong. And it became too late for him to fix it. 

—Meliara. I know that words alone won’t be enough, but…

He let out a long sigh.

—For making you feel lonely… and for pushing you away because of my own pain, I am truly sor…

Alion, who had been sincerely trying to apologise, suddenly had his words stuck in his throat.

—…!

It was because of the sudden warmth that had dashed into his arms. His younger sister, who was in tears, had run into his embrace. And hugged him with all her might. 

—Thank you, Brother. Thank you for letting me know that I was also loved.

Alion’s eyes became as round as saucers. He froze, as if he were genuinely filled with shock. His pupils trembled violently as his face gradually scrunched up. He seemed as if he were in more pain now than when he had consumed the poison earlier. 

—I think I can finally leave happily now. Thank you so much, Brother. 

As if to prove what she had said was true, her appearance was becoming even fainter than before.

—Meliara.

Alion called out her name urgently, but Meliara only donned an even prettier smile for him.

—I’m truly happy now. So don’t worry about me too much as well, Brother.

—Meliara, please.

He spoke urgently, as if he instinctively knew what would happen next, but Meliara was more knowledgeable about this space than he was. She slipped away from him before he could say anything or react properly. 

—You’ll have to live a healthy life and live out my share as well, alright?

Smiling beautifully, she pushed him back by his chest. It was obviously only a weak push since she herself also had a small stature, yet Alion, who was a knight, stumbled backwards.

—Wait…!

—Goodbye, Brother.

His younger sister’s happiest and most radiant looking smile that he was seeing for the first time was also the last thing he saw before Alion’s world was turned upside down.

“Melia…! Keurgh!

He hurriedly stood up and shouted as soon as he came to his senses, but it was blood that came out instead. 

“Your body has been wrecked by the poison.” It was a voice he had just heard, yet a voice filled with completely different emotions reached his ears instead. 

Clutching at his sore chest, he turned his head to see a woman sitting down with the same face as his younger sister.

“Although I’ve finished neutralising the poison, you’ll still need to recuperate and take some medicine in order to repair your ruined body.” She was quite expressionless, but she wasn’t able to conceal the worry and pity in her eyes…

“It’s definitely… different.”

It wasn’t his younger sister. He could see it clearly after meeting his younger sister. It was the same face, yet two different people. 

Saintess Ara smiled painfully at his words. “You can see it because it’s you. Because you truly love your younger sister.”

“…”

Unable to say anything, Alion turned to where Meliara had been standing. “I couldn’t say anything in the end.”

Saying he was sorry, as well as saying that he loved her. His tolerant younger sister didn’t bother to listen to him and left after receiving an understanding of it. As if she understood his true feelings, she left after embracing him. 

“I thought it’d be better if I told her my true feelings before she left, but… I still have my own regrets.” He laughed at himself in self-mocking. Because of the poison, his anguish came with it, his smile twisting.

“Every death leaves lingering regrets. From the one who is leaving, to the one who is sending them off.” Ara said quietly. 

There was a brief silence afterwards.

Getting up shakily, Alion wiped the blood from around his mouth with a handkerchief and asked, “Have you heard that Father is going to proceed with the engagement between you, the saintess, and Prince Linden?”

“Yes.”

“Do you have any intention to?”

“No.”

“Alright. Then I’ll proceed with that in mind. I thought you wouldn’t, but I just wanted to make sure.” Alion bowed his head toward Meliara, who was looking up at him from where she was kneeling. “Then I’ll take my leave now. Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart.”

“No, all I did was give you the power to do what you already had in mind.”

It was Alion who decided to take the poison in order to meet his younger sister. Ara seriously didn’t think she had done much herself. 

“No, that power made that invaluable time possible.” But on the contrary, Alion thought that Ara had done everything. “Thank you.”

“Alright. Take care of yourself too.”

Alion said his farewells and left. As he opened the door and left, the sound of the knights who were waiting outside making a fuss at the bloodstains on his clothes sounded. But the door soon slammed shut as silence returned to the prayer room once more.

“Is it really fine to leave it like this?”

—Yes, this is more than enough.

Ara raised her head and turned her gaze toward Meliara, who was smiling. She had already become visibly fainter to the eyes. The light along the faint outline was getting brighter and brighter. 

Both Ara and Meliara knew what that meant.

—Don’t be sorry. You’ve done more than enough. 

Meliara said after reading Ara’s expression.

—You cleared me of all my false accusations and prejudices. You helped me feel my older brother’s love for me, and even got me the revenge that I never once could’ve imagined getting.

“But…”

I couldn’t help but think of the thought, ‘If only I hadn’t taken over your body in the first place’.

Meliara thought differently.

—I don’t blame you. The one who gave up first was me anyway.

The one who had given up her body first was her after all. This was the result of her own choice while she had only been the one that got caught up in it. 

—Rather, you are a person who has bloomed beautifully, and brought life to what I had given up on.

Meliara squatted in front of Ara. She smiled as she tapped her heart with her index finger. Though she naturally couldn’t feel it, Ara felt it somehow and thought she had been mistaken. 

—The person sitting here isn’t Ara, who became Meliara, but rather, wholly you, just Ara.

This place no longer had a ‘Meliara’ remaining.

—That’s why you should live. Beautifully, boldly, and exactly like you would.

“Meliara…” A faint smile hung from Ara’s mouth. It was a smile full of gratitude. “Thank you.”

—I should be the one saying thank you.

The two smiled at each other. And in that manner, Meliara’s body was also enveloped in light and disappeared. With the only thing she left behind her being a gust of warm air. 

“Goodbye.”

It was a final greeting that would be eternal.

* * *

“Goodbye then.” Lydia sent us off with a smile.

“I’ll trust in the words of Lydia and come back safely.”

“Yes.”

I also responded with a bright smile, turning my head to see Lecht standing on top of the teleportation circle that was departing to the demon realm. The teleportation circle was glowing softly, as if declaring that it was ready to go. 

I placed my hand in his outstretched hand as he grabbed it, enveloping it in his large hands. I was pulled helplessly into his arms. His refreshing scent made my heart race. 

“It’ll be troublesome if you fall behind in the middle, so hold on tightly.”

No, to think that I could fall behind in a teleportation circle with a fixed departure and destination. I laughed at Lecht, who was hugging me tightly under the excuse of such a ridiculous reason. I hugged his waist, pretending not to know either.

“Let’s go!”

To your world. 

I closed my eyes and buried my face in Lecht’s arms as the bright light from the teleportation circle engulfed me.


this whole chapter was super bittersweet. although i’m glad alion and meliara both got at least some sort of closure, i still wish her story hadn’t ended here — i wanted her to get her own happy ending too QAQ

i cried a ton translating this chapter – as i do whenever it involves these two siblings ;-;

MBCEM Ch 1

The cold wind swirled in the courtyard and plucked away the last dead leaf from the old tung tree. 

Ren Dong carried a food box, trotting away, and finally returned to the hall of Yongning Palace.

Compared to the other palaces in the harem, this place was secluded and remote, and the furnishings in the hall were rather simple. 

A charcoal bamboo basket made the room just barely warm. 

Seeing her coming back, Yan Shu, who was warming herself by the charcoal basket, immediately asked, “What are we eating today?”

this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!


The cold wind swirled in the courtyard and plucked away the last dead leaf from the old tung tree. 

Ren Dong carried a food box, trotting away, and finally returned to the hall of Yongning Palace.

Compared to the other palaces in the harem, this place was secluded and remote, and the furnishings in the hall were rather simple. 

A charcoal bamboo basket made the room just barely warm. 

Seeing her coming back, Yan Shu, who was warming herself by the charcoal basket, immediately asked, “What are we eating today?”

Ren Dong took out the contents in the food box one by one, and said, “We have stuffed mushrooms, roast duck with bamboo shoots, an assortment of stir-fried vegetables, eight treasure tofu, right, today is the eighth of the twelfth lunar month, so we have Laba porridge as well!”

Yan Shu then came to the table, “I like stuffed mushrooms the most, the Laba porridge in the palace is also delicious, not bad, not bad!”

With that, a mushroom stuffed with three different kinds of minced meat entered her mouth.

Oh, it was delicious and juicy, the fragrance of the minced meat in the glutinous rice didn’t lose to the delicate feel of the shiitake mushrooms, really the best pairing with rice!

Of course, this was also thanks to the nimble feet of Ren Dong, since if she had taken her time in coming back and caused the food to cool, the flavour would have been greatly reduced.

The hierarchy within the harem was strict. The imperial concubines with high ranks often had their own servants sent from the Department of Palace Delicacies1 that were in charge of their meals. However, Yan Shu was only a Beautiful Lady2, so she could only have her own people go. 

There are no more than eight eunuchs and palace maids in Yongning Palace, and from the few that had been brought from her maternal family, only Ren Dong really understood her tastes, thus, the person who brought her meal every time was always Ren Dong. 

“Right, master,” Ren Dong said again, “I heard that there would be a New Year’s banquet tonight. Just now, De Wang, who manages the Department of Treasures3, went to Talented Lady4 Zhang with something bundled in a cloth. Don’t know what they’re sending her again.”

At the mention of this, Ren Dong felt that this was unfair for her master—

The concubines had rules on how much they ate, and a budget for the spending allocated for their clothes as well. Yan Shu’s rank was low, so naturally she couldn’t be compared with the concubines above her. However, that Talented Lady Zhang was clearly of an even lower rank, yet stubbornly relied on the fact that her maternal family was wealthy to bribe the palace’s eunuchs so that from time to time, they would find some good quality clothing, jewellery, rogue, foundation, and so on, all wanting to step on her master’s head. 

“I don’t think any of the other Ladyships5 are as good looking as you,” she lowered her voice wistfully, “If we had the spare money to dress you more extravagantly, you would definitely outshine them all.”

Yan Shu couldn’t even care less about that, “That’s all just useless, dressing up like a fairy, yet His Majesty still won’t come tonight.”

Tsk, this is her third year in the palace, yet she has never glimpsed even a corner of the Emperor’s robe.

Speaking of him, he could be called a legendary figure today. Back then, the previous emperor’s prestige and bloodline were weak, and the imperial clan’s various kings were all eyeing his position covetously. At a young age, he killed his way out of a siege, unifying and succeeding the throne in the midst of a bloody rain and violent winds, and took just three years to stabilise the country and organise the imperial court, which could be said that he actually had some amount of ability.

What was most important was that his looks were rumoured to be incomparable to that of mortals.

Yet within these three years, the Emperor had never set foot into the harem, not even showing up easily to festival banquets.

Yan Shu was of low status, not qualified to go and pay her respects, so she had not yet had the opportunity to verify whether the rumours of him being a celestial being were true or not. 

But in spite of this, the concubines in the palace still didn’t give up hope, banding together and lining up one after the other, and like Talented Lady Zhang, doing their best to enter the Emperor’s sight first; all except for Yan Shu.

Hearing what she said at this moment, Ren Dong hurriedly persuaded her, “Even if His Majesty doesn’t come, it’ll be fine as long as you show your face to the Empress Dowager. If the Empress Dowager takes a liking to you, and often asks for you to chat with her in Ci’an Palace, wouldn’t you have a better chance of meeting His Majesty?”

Yan Shu was currently putting a yellow piece of eight treasure tofu into her mouth as she said perfunctorily, “Forget it, isn’t that Noble Consort6 Zhou still the Empress Dowager’s niece, yet isn’t she still the same as well? Oh, this tofu is seriously crispy on the outside and soft on the inside!”

Ren Dong, “…”

Ai, just by judging from her master’s appearance, if she had even a tiny smidgen of ambitious spirit, afraid she would have already made a name for herself! Yet all she cares about all day long is what she should eat and all the gossip she hears out of nowhere.

At this time, she heard her say again, “Right, I heard that Noble Consort Zhou’s parents have been having a couple’s quarrel over these past two days, don’t know if she and the Empress Dowager have heard of it yet.”

Ren Dong’s eyes lit up, “Could it be that Madam Cheng found out about Benefactor Cheng’s sixth concubine that he raised outside?”

“That’s right.”

Yan Shu nodded as she ate, “This little six does indeed have some small schemes, taking advantage of the fortunate timing of her pregnancy to spread the news and provoke Madam Cheng into making a fuss. However, Benefactor Cheng would still anyhow be distressed for his own flesh and blood, and Madam Cheng’s cannot possibly override him, so he will most likely demand for little six to be accepted into the manor and become a proper concubine.”

 胳膊拧不过大腿: (lit.) arm cannot pinch one’s thigh / (fig.) the weak cannot overcome the strong

Ren Dong clicked her tongue, “If little fifth had been this scheming last time, then the she wouldn’t have passed away. That said, just how old is Benefactor Cheng already, yet he’s still got such a bellyful of trickery, isn’t he ashamed?”

 香消玉殒: (lit.) fragrance vanishes and jade crumbles / (fig.) a beauty passes away

“He’s a man, most of them are like that.”

Yan Shu gulped down a mouthful of Laba porridge, only feeling that it was sweet and dense, so appetising it reached all the way down to her stomach. 

Try another taste of a piece of duck, oh, the imperial kitchen is very skilled in controlling the heat, the duck meat is soft and delicious, the flavour of the bamboo shoots had even seeped into its texture, the meat was fragrant yet not greasy, salty and delicious.

She had come from a modern world and traversed through time to get here. In her previous life, she had been in poor health, hugging herbal decoctions and medicine ever since she was a child, and could not eat this nor that. Despite all her efforts, she had barely managed to survive to her youthful years, yet she had still died under the torture of her illness. 

Although in this life, she had somehow passed through to the ancient era, for her to possess a healthy body that didn’t make her worry about what she could eat or drink already made her cherish this opportunity, and grateful to the heavens. 

Furthermore, she gained a melon eating system after she entered the palace. From time to time, she was able to eat all kinds of novel melons, with each family’s harem having some juicy love history told to her everyday, she was constantly overwhelmed with excitement. 

吃瓜: (lit.) eat melons / (fig.) derived from eating melon seeds when watching entertainment, it figuratively means listen to gossip (a western equivalent would perhaps be eating popcorn)

 Right at this moment, the voice of the system once again reappeared in her mind, [New melon, Marquis Lin Wu’s heir isn’t his own son.]

Yan Shu almost choked on the Laba porridge, [There’s even this?]

The entire capital was well aware that Marquis Lin Wu only had this one son, who was normally the apple of his eye, yet unexpectedly it isn’t his?

pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:

~~

After lunch, the cold wind outside howled even more severely.

Yan Shu was currently eating Marquis Lin Wu manor’s huge melon, then heard someone outside the door say, “Is Beautiful Lady Li inside?”

Hearing that voice, it was exactly that Talented Zhang that Ren Dong had just spoken of. 

Yan Shu’s rank was low, so the other concubines disdained to deal with her, thinking it was beneath their own honour, nor did she also show herself in front of others either. This Talented Lady Zhang, however, was very different. Although she was the lowest-ranking concubine in the palace, she often came to the place of her, the second-to-last ranking concubine, to make her presence known.

It wasn’t polite to not see her when she was already at the door, so Yan Shu had Ren Dong open the door.

Sure enough, she saw Talented Lady Zhang step into the room and greet her, “Sister Li must have already had her meal, so having nothing to do, I came over to your place to chat.”

Yan Shu smiled politely, “Please sit down, is it cold outside?”

“It’s alright. I dressed warmly, so I didn’t notice either.”

With a smile, Talented Lady Zhang unhurriedly removed her brocade cloak that was line in ink, seemingly worth a fortune at a glance, and even intentionally smoothened out the snow white animal down that lined the brim of her cap. Only after that did she settle down in her chair, “There’s a New Year’s banquet tonight, and I even heard that His Majesty will be attending. Has Sister gotten ready yet?”

As she spoke, the plum blossom dangling hair ornament that was crafted of pure gold at her temple continued to sway, and borrowing the afternoon sun that poured into the room, the bright light was so dazzling that it blinded people’s eyes.

Ren Dong’s heart seemed to harbour a fire. This Talented Lady came here wearing a new cloak and jewellery, wasn’t she just here with the aim of deliberately making fun of her poor master?

However, Yan Shu frowned and rubbed her forehead tiredly, even covering her mouth and coughing twice, pretending to be weak as she said, “Unfortunately, I caught a cold yesterday, so I don’t feel too well today. I’m afraid I won’t be able to go tonight.”

Ren Dong, “???”

Not feeling too well? Didn’t you just swallow one bowl of rice and two bowls of porridge?

Zhang cairen’s eyes lit up, but she tried to cover it up and said, “What a pity, it’s such a rare chance to see the Emperor’s face. I was even thinking that if Sister didn’t have any jewellery, I could even lend you two!”

Yan Shu covered her mouth and coughed twice, “Thank you for your good intentions, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to make use of it now.”

Probably out of fear of getting sick as well, Talented Lady Zhang hurriedly got up and said, “Then I’ll let Sister rest well, I won’t intrude on you any longer.”

With that, she put on her newly made mink cloak and led her palace maids out the door. 

The room became quiet again. Ren Dong cast a grieving and lamenting glance toward Yan Shu, “Didn’t you hear that His Majesty will be there tonight? What a great opportunity, so why are you pretending to be sick?”

Yan Shu didn’t pay that any mind, “Even if I go, I’ll be seated at the bottom, separated by dozens of people in the middle. His Majesty can’t even see past other people, yet can still see me?”

Rather than watch those bored concubines strive for his favour, it was better for her to stay in her room and continue to eat melons, just halfway through digging up Marquis Lin Wu Madam’s relationship history, yet it was already so thrilling!

But Ren Dong said, “You’re the hope of the entire An De County’s common people! In any case, our county has never before produced an imperial concubine, so how could you be so unambitious and abandon yourself to despair?”

Yan Shu, “…”

She just wanted to be a happy salted fish, can’t afford to carry such heavy moral shackles, okay?

咸鱼: salted fish refers to someone who wants to laze around and do nothing

However, before she could speak, the little palace maid, Lian Xin, entered the room and said, “Beautiful Lady, the Empress Dowager’s palace maid has just come to deliver a decree. His Majesty will be there in person tonight, so all concubines must be sure to attend the New Year’s banquet in Rouyi Hall. 

Yan Shu, “…”

Great, I can’t even be lazy when I want to.

~~

Twilight descended, the lanterns were lit at the first signs of darkness, the entire palace shrouded in splendour.

Living in a remote area of the palace, her status too low for her to ride a palanquin, Yan Shu struggled all the way to Rouyi Hall, her little face having already turned red from the cold. 

Fortunately, the warmth of the hall soon faded her two spots of blush, making her complexion look quite good.

Because they received news of His Majesty personally attending today, the concubines all arrived particularly early tonight, decked out in gold and silver, having all applied powder and cinnabar, all exceptionally gorgeous. 

Even Talented Lady Zhang was dressed even more extravagantly than when they had met in the afternoon. Adorned in a palace dress clustered with gold plum blossoms, a gold hair pin with precious gems and blossom and butterfly pearls, lips painted bright red with rouge, she looked extremely eye-catching.

In contrast, Yan Shu was wearing a lotus coloured coat and skirt, only a pearl dangling hair ornament in her hair that had been coiled up, her plain appearance seemingly extremely pitiful.

Ren Dong was completely helpless, wanting to dress her master up prettily, yet Yan Shu insisted on the light makeup, so light that it didn’t even have any sense of presence, thus, she had no choice to do so.

At this time, Yan Shu was sitting almost near the end of the banquet, and compared with the concubines in front of her with their heavy makeup, she really had no sense of presence. 

However, it was different for Talented Lady Zhang, who was sitting at the same table as her. Ren Dong could clearly feel that Noble Consort Zhou, who was in the seat of honour, Consort7 Ning, and the others, were all intentionally or otherwise shooting daggers at her with their eyes.

In an instant, she suddenly had a flash of insight, finally understanding her master’s intentions—to stand out in such an occasion was clearly seeking enemies for oneself; and furthermore, they were all extremely powerful enemies!

This Talented Lady Zhang really has the guts.

Talented Lady Zhang, however, did not seem to sense it herself. At this time, she was sitting upright, assuming her best bearing, patiently waiting for His Imperial Majesty to come. 

By contrast, Yan Shu was exactly like an extra, listening to the system’s melons while looking at the pastries on the table, wondering when they can start eating.

Oh, the pastries for this huge banquet are truly different at first glance, this lotus cake really looks too alluring. 

Not long after, with a “His Majesty has arrived…”, tonight’s main character finally appeared on the stage.

Everyone saw a figure wearing a black dragon robe enter into the hall. He was tall and imposing, the face underneath the golden crown seemed to be carved like a knife, with wind billowing with every step.

The mood of the concubines in the palace hall began to stir in excitement, getting up to salute him, each and every one of them calling out in a lovable and coquettish voice, “Respectfully greeting His Majesty, long live.”

Yan Shu copied their usual practice, after all, it was a rare opportunity for her to sneak a peek. But unfortunately, she was too far away and could only vaguely make out that the other party had a straight nose, thin lips, and strong jawline. It seems that he was indeed quite good looking.

At this moment, there was the sound of a ding in her ear, and the voice of the system rang out, [There is a big melon of the Emperor’s.]

——

the author has something to say:

System: There’s a melon of the Emperor’s.

Yan Shu: What melon?

System: Your husband is very handsome.

Yan Shu: …

[1] 尚膳监: managed by eunuchs. the department provides the food for the imperial household

[2] 美人: a low ranking concubine title, titled ‘beautiful lady’, quite low on the hierarchy, below the noble consorts, consorts, and imperial concubines. an unlimited amount of people can possess this title.

[3] 司珍: department that is responsible for making or purchasing the imperial household’s share of jewellery and treasure and is under the ministry of revenue

[4] 才人: a low ranking concubine title, titled ‘talented lady’, even lower than beautiful lady. an unlimited amount of people can possess this title

[5] 娘娘: seniority appellation that’s used for empress or imperial concubines 

[6] 贵妃: high ranking concubine title, titled ‘noble consort’, ranked only below the empress. there are typically only two people who can hold this title.

[7] 妃: high ranking concubine title, ‘consort’. typically only four positions of this title are open.

mushroom stuffed with minced meat
eight treasure tofu
roast duck with bamboo shoots (closest i could find)
assortment of stir fried vegetables
laba porridge

just thought i’d try my hand at tling chinese novels since this doesn’t have a translation! please do go easy on me, i’m not fluent in chinese and this is mostly with the help of a dictionary as well, so don’t expect fast updates,,,

this novel is so good though, mc is a foodie and just wants to laze around all day while the emperor can read minds HGLSDFKJDFS 100% a chaotic novel LMAOSDKSDFJ

on another note, i got hungry translating this chapter, haven’t eaten yet GHSDFLJSDF

IBVIAAN Ch 59 — Dying and Coming Back to Life

A stormy few days had passed since the proclamation ceremony had ended. The entire empire had been turned upside down by what had occurred that day, but the Great Temple, where it had all started, was still peaceful.

“Wow, I can’t even file a claim to Lunar.” I clicked my tongue at the priests that were struggling to fill in the holes in the floor and the ceiling.

“Isn’t it enough that they cooperated nicely with you on that day?” Lydia comforted me, telling me not to worry about the cost.

A day after the full moon had passed, Lunar’s voice also naturally disappeared along with it. Although I was relieved that the rowdy voice that had been filling my head the whole day had disappeared, it was also a little disappointing when it actually did.

this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!


A stormy few days had passed since the proclamation ceremony had ended. The entire empire had been turned upside down by what had occurred that day, but the Great Temple, where it had all started, was still peaceful.

“Wow, I can’t even file a claim to Lunar.” I clicked my tongue at the priests that were struggling to fill in the holes in the floor and the ceiling.

“Isn’t it enough that they cooperated nicely with you on that day?” Lydia comforted me, telling me not to worry about the cost.

A day after the full moon had passed, Lunar’s voice also naturally disappeared along with it. Although I was relieved that the rowdy voice that had been filling my head the whole day had disappeared, it was also a little disappointing when it actually did.

“Whether it’s to thank them or to file a complaint, I’ll have to wait until next month anyway.”

Though there was nothing to be sad about since we could still meet again, as long as I came to the temple on the day of a full moon.

“You’ll come to meet Lunar again next month?” But the man by my side suddenly interrupted me. “Don’t tell me you’re thinking of staying up all night every time the full moon rises?” Although those words were filled with concern, he still couldn’t hide his brusque expression.

“Don’t get jealous of Lunar. Isn’t she someone who always only calls me, ‘daughter, daughter’?”

“I don’t like it.” Lecht sneakily hugged me from behind. With his face resting against my hair, he murmured, “Lunar is your family and I’m not, so it feels like there’s a line dividing us.”

Wow, so you can even think of it like that. His jealousy seemed to have no limits and exceeded common sense.

I just patted his arm that was wrapped around me silently, knowing that no matter what I said now, it would all stimulate his jealousy even further regardless. I simply changed the subject instead.

“I’m sorry for causing so many incidents before we could leave.” I said to Lydia, who was looking at Lecht and I with a smug expression on her face.

Being able to feel comfortable in the Great Temple, even after the situation burst out of control, was all thanks to Lydia.

“Don’t worry too much about what’s happening on this side and spend as much time as you need over there.”

“And if you do need to, it’s easy for the Great Temple in the demon realm to contact the Great Temple here as well!” Muso added another comment on top of Lydia’s reassurance.

“Like Muso said, please come and find me whenever you need to. In any case, the place that will suit the saintess of the Lunar religion more than the human realm would be the demon realm.” They were words that relieved the sense of obligation to visit them often.

As I smiled smugly, I suddenly spotted a grinning Muso, who was looking at Lydia with an expression that said, ‘I did a good job, right?’.

“But when did the two of you get so close?” I’m pretty sure the only time they spent together was when they went to the Grand Duchy together last time.

“Aha. Seems like you don’t remember, Ara. We met a hundred years ago.”

“Heok, really? How?”

When asked again in shock, Muso replied with a smile, “We met when you took me in, Your Majesty! You gave me food and blankets back then.”

“So that’s how you guys connected… no, wait a minute. So you also met me a hundred years ago, Lydia?”

“Yes. Back then, you had black hair, didn’t you?”

“Wait, why didn’t you tell me?” I was completely unaware of it, as if I was someone who was meeting her for the first time.

“You didn’t remember anyway, so I thought that I didn’t need to insist on you being aware of it. Since it’s a memory, we can just make new ones from now on.”

So there wasn’t anyone around me that wouldn’t talk about a hundred years ago, huh? The woman that was me from a hundred years ago, you sure lived your life diligently.

“When you go to the demon realm, there will also be many people apart from me that still remember you, Ara. Seems like every one of us is living with precious memories, one by one.

“I’m starting to feel apologetic again. I can’t remember though.”

“I’m telling you in advance that you don’t have to. Since everyone will just be happy that you’re back, Ara.”

As soon as Lydia finished speaking, Lecht’s arm that was wrapped around my waist tightened. Embracing me tightly, he whispered in my ear, “Don’t you know when you look at me? Remembering isn’t important. What’s more important is that you’re by my side.”

My face turned red at the uselessly sweet words that he uttered.

Woof! Woof!” As if agreeing with Lecht, Kelber wagged his tail and rubbed his head against me, making me even more flustered.

When I was just wiggling my toes since I didn’t know what to say, Lydia looked behind me and said, “We have a visitor.”

The place she was staring at was where Alion Darchez, who had just opened the temple door and entered,was standing.

“Oh.”

As soon as I spotted him, I immediately extricated myself from Lecht’s arms and looked around me. Meliara was nowhere to be found.

“She must be beside the teddy bear again.” She would always be there whenever I couldn’t find her. Just what are you thinking about so much while you look at that teddy bear? Nevertheless, I never asked for the particular reason, since she always seemed to be in a good mood when I went to find her.

“Saintess. Your Excellency.” Alion nodded to both me and Lecht. “Greetings, High Priestess.”

After greeting everyone lightly, Alion immediately turned toward me. “Saintess, I’d like to talk to you for a moment. Do you have time? It’s in regards to clearing up the recent rumours that have been floating around about your engagement.”

“Is that really the reason?”

The engagement he was talking about was none other than the one between Linden and I. When Ziken merely became a discarded card of his and Linden popped into his mind, the Duke of Darchez sneakily brought up how close Linden and I were to the emperor and suggested that we be engaged. And constantly brought it up here and there as if it were already a done deed.

However, being aware of the relationship between Lecht and I, the emperor’s reaction was lukewarm, and above all, Linden was also clearly expressing his refusal. With that as the root source, rumours began spreading about internal conflict within the Darchez Duchy. Though of course, the Darchez Duchy also had a horde of other problems besides that. But that isn’t likely to be the reason why Alion came to see me.

“That’s… the external reason.”

I laughed at his honest answer. “Why do you need to make up an external reason when it’s just an older brother coming to visit his younger sister?” I started to walk forward. “You can just come. I even gave you a gift at the proclamation ceremony in order for you to do so.”

Alion’s shoulders flinched at my words. This was our first conversation since the proclamation ceremony, so he seemed to have a lot to ask about.

“This way.”

I led Alion to a room that Meliara might be in. Although Lecht had a dissatisfied expression on his face, he still diligently left with Kelber in tow.

Just as I suspected, Meliara was in the room where the teddy bear was kept.

—Oh! Ara. You’ve co… with Older Brother.

Meliara, who smiled brightly upon seeing me, paused when she spotted Alion following behind me.

“Is… she here?” Alion asked upon seeing the teddy bear being beautifully displayed on the table when he entered.

“Yes.”

“How did you know that I came here because I wanted to meet her?”

“Is there any other reason for Alion Darchez to pay a visit to the Lunar religion?” Coming here under the pretext of talking about the engagement that was about to be annulled was too flimsy of an excuse.

Alion, who had been silent for a while, asked cautiously, “Where is she?”

At his question, I went and stood next to Meliara. Alion looked over when I showed him she was right next to me. Though it would only look like an empty space to him anyway.

He pressed his fingers against his furrowed brows with a complex expression on his face once again. “I’ve come to the realisation of it every time, but humans really are just animals with a weaker visual perception.”

“Don’t be so hard on yourself. Since in this scenario, your sight, hearing, and touch, all of it should be excluded.”

Though it’s better if you can hear, even if you can’t see. Like how I can hear Lunar’s voice. But in Alion’s case, there was nothing. So even if he came with a huge resolution, it was more likely for him to overthink when facing the situation in reality.

“Is there really no way…?” He asked me in the end, unable to overcome the wall that was a human’s five senses.

Although I had shaken my head firmly last time, I couldn’t confidently do so this time. Ah… this seriously doesn’t seem right.

Alion’s eyes were particularly conspicuous as I pressed my lips tightly together. “Saintess.”

Haa…”

He naturally noticed that I was acting differently this time.

With a long sigh, I began to speak heavily. “It’s not that there isn’t a way.”

“Is that true? As long as you tell me, I’ll do it.”

His enthusiastic appearance made my heart feel even heavier as Meliara bit her lips as well. It was because I had already told her.

“It isn’t easy either.” I hesitantly started to tell him the way. “The Little Duke… will have to die and come back to life.”

“Pardon…?”

As expected, Alion looked at me with an expression that seemed as if he must have misheard me.

Haa…”

*

pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:

I had also been pondering laboriously over this part on the day Lunar had first appeared as well.

‘So there’s no other way?’

[There’s a way. But it’s a rather awkward method.]

At my question, Lunar spoke in a worried tone.

[Although you can see her and talk to her because you’re my daughter, you still would’ve been able to see her, even if you weren’t my daughter.]

‘How come?’

[Because you’ve experienced death before. Because of that, your soul has been suspended over both the realms of the living and the dead. Well, since that’s also something that’s closer to me, I don’t really have a problem with it.]

So being alive wasn’t something that was an obstacle. It’s just that the only ones that could be seen were those who had died ambiguously and couldn’t cross over to death like Meliara.

[So there’s only one way if her brother wants to meet her. And that’s for him to die and come back to life.]

‘Die and come back to life… Did I hear you correctly?’

[Yes, that’s right. Dying and coming back to life.]

How could you say such a thing so easily?

[It can’t be helped. Since it’s impossible for her to come back to life. Even I can’t do something like turn back time for the whole world just to save one particular dead person, regardless of how much authority I have over time.]

Even Lunar couldn’t get too involved in the lives and deaths of each individual. So even if a natural disaster like a landslide occurred, they still weren’t able to kill a specific person that way.

‘So the Little Duke has to die…’

[It’s not dying, but dying and coming back to life.]

‘Is it really as easy as how you make it sound? It’s not like he can open his eyes in another body like me!’

[My daughter, don’t you have the ability to neutralise poisons?]

Lunar said lightly, as if asking if there was a need for me to think so deeply about this.

‘What does neutralising poison have to do with any of this?’

[You can drag him to the point where he’s about to die with poison and then bring him back to life. Although it’ll only be a short while, it’ll still be enough time for the two siblings to meet, right?]

‘But if I fail to get the timing right, then he’ll die.’

[Yep.]

Is the weight of people’s life and death different to them because they’re a god? Lunar spouted crazy nonsense quite carefreely.

‘Haa… that will definitely be difficult.’

[Because miracles don’t happen easily.]

*

Recalling my memories of that time, I explained to Alion, “There’s no guarantee that it will definitely succeed. There’s probably a higher chance of failure since I’ve never done it before.”

No matter how, I had to stop him from dying. However, that didn’t guarantee that he would be able to safely meet Meliara either. Though Lunar had also said, ‘I guess he would?’, they never said that they were certain either. And what about the pain that would come from taking poison in the first place as well?

“So irregardless, it’s all up to you.”

I placed the poison that I had prepared on the table with the teddy bear. I had prepared it in case he came back and made such a request. To be honest, I didn’t actually want to use it, but…

“If you want to take that risk and give it a try, then…”

“I’ll do it.”

He answered before I could even finish speaking.


get ready for the next chapter bc it’s a real tear jerker

IBVIAAN Ch 58 — The Cruellest Word in the World

“…Ara.” I could sense the complex emotions in Linden’s voice that was calling out my name.

“Lecht. Could you wait here for a moment?”

Lecht had a dissatisfied expression on his face at my request, but he nevertheless still quietly retreated without any hesitation. I took Linden to a nearby room where there were no people.

Linden opened his mouth as soon as the door closed. “Why did you do that?”

“…Did it make you feel bad?”

“I told you not to do anything dangerous…!”

“Linden.” I quietly cut off his words that were said in a choked voice. I smiled slightly at him, who was looking at me with an inexplicable emotion on his face.

this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!


“…Ara.” I could sense the complex emotions in Linden’s voice that was calling out my name.

“Lecht. Could you wait here for a moment?”

Lecht had a dissatisfied expression on his face at my request, but he nevertheless still quietly retreated without any hesitation. I took Linden to a nearby room where there were no people.

Linden opened his mouth as soon as the door closed. “Why did you do that?”

“…Did it make you feel bad?”

“I told you not to do anything dangerous…!”

“Linden.” I quietly cut off his words that were said in a choked voice. I smiled slightly at him, who was looking at me with an inexplicable emotion on his face. “I’m Lunar’s child, who is called to be a saintess. In front of me, I have the Lunar religion, and by my side, I have Lecht guarding me. And although it will take some time, I will also have the Little Duke of Darchez, who will become the influential Duke of Darchez, watching my back.”

“…”

“Moreover, it wasn’t me that came forward first. It was her and Ziken who broke into the temple and ruined the proclamation ceremony first, and it was also them who aimed their sword at me first. All I did was respond to them accordingly.”

As if it wasn’t enough for them to break into the temple armed, they even tried to attack the saintess. It was a perfectly normal reaction for the Lunar religion to regard them as their enemy and designate them as their number one target to guard against.

“On top of that, the emperor has now turned his back on the crown prince.” He had tried so hard to remove the crown prince from the situation. Yet Ziken simply kicked all of the emperor’s hard efforts away.

“Now, neither the empress, nor anyone else in power, can touch you recklessly.” Even if they did try and touch him in the first place, they wouldn’t have a way to suppress the Lunar religion or Lecht.

Linden remained silent. He understood everything I was saying, so there was no reason for him to refute it; thus, he just looked at me quietly.

Haa…” It was a sigh that was finally uttered after a long period of silence.

He covered his distorted face with one hand. Only his blue eyes were revealed through the gaps of his fingers.

“My life… it was like I was walking in a very long tunnel.” He slowly began to tell his own story. “Ever since I was very young, I had never seen my mother smiling happily, even when she was alive. Even when I lost my mother and went to live with my grandfather, that long tunnel continued onwards.”

“…”

“Although it felt like my grandfather was walking with me now as well, it was still extremely dark, it seemed hopeless. But then, the tunnel that I had thought had become desolate after my grandfather’s death… for the first time, I could feel a warm breeze gushing in.”

His eyes were fixed on me. With the light in his eyes filling with affection and pain. “The warmth that I had finally experienced for the first time was really… it could drive people crazy.” Linden stretched out his hand toward me cautiously. Nevertheless, it stopped before it could touch my face. It hung around that space, as if he couldn’t bear to touch it.

“But do you know what drove me even crazier?” Clenching his fist that was still suspended in the air, he spat out painfully, “The moment that warmth appeared, for the first time in my life, it was like I had begun to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

“…”

“The tunnel that I thought had no end… it seemed to be letting me know that the tunnel where I couldn’t even see an inch ahead of me in the dark—it had an end to it.”

Linden let out a huff that was close to a sigh. It was a sigh that seemed to release all the stuffy feelings blocking his heart, as well as his suffocated breath, all at once. He took a deep breath and released all the air in his lungs. After breathing deeply for a while, he met my eyes.

“I’m going to check what’s at the end of it. So…”

“…”

“Walk with me.”

Oh.

I let out an inconcealable sigh.

“You were the one who gave me that light in the darkness and imbued warmth into that desolation. If you just keep walking by my side, I think I’d be able to keep going without losing hope, no matter what happens.”

“…Linden.”

“I want to see my future with you, who healed my past and made my present reality radiant.” He kept going on heartrendingly, as if he was a person who knew what I was going to say.

He cautiously stretched out his hand again to hold my hand instead of my face. Holding onto my two small hands with his large ones, he pleaded with me. “Is that not possible?”

My heart felt heavy. My chest seemed to be choked up.

I didn’t think that it would turn out like this with such a straightforward tactic. Since he was someone who would always gather information first, instigate a situation, and then gently scheme in secret. However, that’s also why I could see how serious he was right now.

So… rather, I’d also have to firmly convey my feelings as well.

“I’m sorry.”

Linden lowered his frowning face. His hand that was wrapped around mine tightened slightly.

“As expected… you can’t.”

“…I’m sorry.”

“Did you know that word is really cruel?”

He was right. The words, ‘I’m sorry’, were probably the cruellest words in the world. All I could say in response to this person’s loss and pain was ‘I’m sorry’, just these two words. Even though I couldn’t help but say it, it was an extremely cruel sentence.

“To be honest… I overheard your conversation with Lydia and Grand Duke Arvis. About going back to the demon realm after the proclamation ceremony is over.”

“…”

“At first, I even thought of abandoning everything that I had lived for here and following you to the demon realm.”

This was completely outside of my expectations. I didn’t know you were having thoughts like that.

Raising his head, Linden smiled awkwardly and added, “But for you to seal it like this, saying that this is the place where I should be.”

I had ousted the crown prince as well as the power of his faction. At this rate, rather than Ziken being reinstated as crown prince again, Linden had a bigger chance at becoming the new crown prince instead.

“Giving me a gift like this is clearly telling me not to follow after you.”

“I didn’t mean it like that…”

Linden grinned at my words. “I’m meant to say that I’m thanking you.”

“…”

“Since this opportunity is the last gift you’ll give me. So I’ll handle it preciously and make it so that it will bloom beautifully.”

“…I’m sorry.”

“I really don’t like those words.”

“…”

“I’m thinking of seriously doing it properly. I want to take the position of crown prince and become an emperor that will go down in history. So that when we meet next time, only the words, ‘Great job, you’ve done well, you’ve worked hard’, will come out.”

Next time. He was promising me a next time.

“So if that bastard makes you cry, come back anytime you want. I’ll scold him harshly as the person who won the struggle for the throne in the human realm.”

Linden, the future emperor, who scolds the demon king. You care about how I’m feeling apologetic toward you, even in this situation. He prioritised soothing my pain more importantly than protecting his own wounds. Just like a fool.

Being fully aware of his efforts, all I could do for him right now was just smile at him, just so that his efforts wouldn’t amount to nothing. “Yeah, thank you.”

Only then did he let go of my hand and then reach out to my face. But instead of cupping my face with his large hand, he only lightly mussed up my hair. “If you know, then smile a bit. They say that smiling makes one happier.”

Mm, you too.”

“Even though I’m going to be busy soon thanks to a certain gift from someone?” Linden said jokingly as he burst into laughter.

He took a step first. However, as he turned the doorknob, just before he left, he stopped and stared at me. “It feels unfair somehow.”

“Huh?”

“This is the only image of you that I know, yet Grand Duke Arvis also knows what you were like a hundred years ago.”

How did he find out about a hundred years ago? To be honest, it wasn’t too shocking that he knew. Since now that he knew Lecht’s true identity, it wouldn’t have been too hard for him to find out about our relationship.

“This appearance that I’ve seen of yours is already insanely lovable, yet when I think about how pretty you were a hundred years ago… I feel like it’s really unfair somehow.”

“It was just normal.”

“You? Normal?” As if he had heard something ridiculous, Linden added with a grin, “Like that makes sense.”

He vanished out of the door after that softly added murmur.

* * *

pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:

Coming out of the temple, Linden left without looking back. Though there were many eyes that were stuck on him, he ignored them all.

“Your Highness, Marquis Rothschild would like to speak to you…”

“Next time.”

A subordinate came and reported to him about this and that, but he cleared them all out.

“I’m tired. Next time for all of them.”

That’s how he got out of that place, as if he were running away. He almost ran back to his house.

Occupying the top floor of the Ezzarson residence was Linden’s own space. It was a space that had been occupied by him ever since his grandpa was still alive.

Closing the door with a bang, Linden roughly exhaled a breath that he had been holding in this whole time. “Haa.”

As he leaned against the door, the strength in his legs disappeared as he collapsed. When he leaned his head against the door, the appearance of Ara flickered before his eyes. Although he closed his eyes, he could picture her face even clearer in his head.

Haa…”

She naturally popped into his head whenever he was alone. It was at the level of it being a chronic disease.

‘I knew from the beginning where her gaze was directed.’

There was no way he couldn’t be aware of it, since the way she looked at Grand Duke Arvis became the exact same way he looked at her. He had already expected a rejection from the time he had started to confess his feelings. Nevertheless, his reason for confessing to her was simple.

‘Still… at least you can leave comfortably now.’

If it was her, then she wouldn’t have been able to take a step with peace of mind since she would still be worried about leaving him behind. She must have been troubled thinking about how to vaguely end things with him, who she liked, yet was unable to whisper about love to. Since she was such a gentle and affectionate woman.

So he had no choice but to come forward himself. So that she could completely reject him and be comfortable.

‘How pathetic.’

Linden let out a chuckle. As soon as he had let her go, he felt as if his appearance of wanting her to be comfortable was extremely insignificant. Insignificant and pathetic. But he had no regrets. So he kept laughing, because that was even more pathetic.

“Linden, you don’t have to put so much effort in front of me.”

She was the most comfortable existence to him since he never had to package himself in a certain way. But at the same time, did she know that he had to put in double the effort to keep that smile on her face?

“You already know. I’m a pushover when it comes to you.”

No matter how much he thought about it, the pushover wasn’t her, but rather, himself.

“I’m not sure if you know, but I genuinely wish for your peace and happiness.”

Even though she didn’t accept him as her man, he knew that those words of hers contained unrivaled sincerity.

“In front of me, I have the Lunar religion, and by my side, I have Lecht guarding me.”

And because it was her, even her explanation at how she would be safe was simple, as she let him know that that man would be by her side. It was even crazier because she was such an innocent and candidly honest woman.

“Seriously… she takes first place for driving people crazy.”

The fact that she didn’t know what she was doing was the craziest part.

A bitter smile hung from Linden’s lips. His affection for her that he was unable to hide. The futility of having no choice but to give up.

And in the midst of all that, this ‘crown prince’ position that she had left behind for him became exceedingly precious. Yet if he could return it in exchange for her, then he would be more than happy to do so.

His opposing feelings had mixed in several places and penetrated his mind. But there was nothing he could do to make it better, so all Linden could do was let out a dejected smile.


glad this love triangle between ara and linden didn’t drag out for too long and that she was direct with it too—easier to rip a bandaid off fast than slowly ya feel
i’m glad it ended quickly bc i always did think linden was projecting his lack of affection and trying to seek that from ara but yeah, i have hope that the author will give linden someone that only loves him ❤

IBVIAAN Ch 57 — Those Who Touch My People

The fight was rather one-sided. Although Ziken’s knights were good, Alion’s knights were also second to none as well. Moreover, the knights that Ziken had brought had only been brought with the purpose of breaking Olivia out of prison, so they were far fewer in number compared to Alion’s knights, who had been gathered to guard the entire temple. Even I could still tell who had the upper hand despite not even knowing how to fight.

“Linden, could you go and evacuate the nobles?” Although the fight was going to end soon anyways, I still took the opportunity to push him toward the nobles. “Keep His Majesty safe.”

“His Majesty already has knights by his side.” As he was saying so, he pushed my back in that direction as well.

The nobles, whose lives were the most precious in this world, were running wildly in this dangerous situation. Linden calmed them down skillfully and led them away from where the fighting was taking place.

this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!


The fight was rather one-sided. Although Ziken’s knights were good, Alion’s knights were also second to none as well. Moreover, the knights that Ziken had brought had only been brought with the purpose of breaking Olivia out of prison, so they were far fewer in number compared to Alion’s knights, who had been gathered to guard the entire temple. Even I could still tell who had the upper hand despite not even knowing how to fight.

“Linden, could you go and evacuate the nobles?” Although the fight was going to end soon anyways, I still took the opportunity to push him toward the nobles. “Keep His Majesty safe.”

“His Majesty already has knights by his side.” As he was saying so, he pushed my back in that direction as well.

The nobles, whose lives were the most precious in this world, were running wildly in this dangerous situation. Linden calmed them down skillfully and led them away from where the fighting was taking place.

‘He’s the best at dealing with people.’

I admired his proficiency in that area once again.

‘Now that I’ve clearly imprinted Linden’s skills on everyone there, I should also get a move on now…’

It was when I was thinking of intervening in the fight.

“Die, die I said!!” Olivia, who was halfway to insanity already, desperately threw the dagger that she had toward me. Just where in the world did she get all that power from? To my surprise, the dagger flew directly toward me.

“Saintess!!”

“Ara!”

Astonished shouts broke out from all sides. Lecht, who had moved faster than anyone else, drew his sword to block it. But the dagger was unable to reach me or Lecht.

Because my shield, which I had prepared myself to use just in case, revealed its sturdy appearance. Although I had also thought so when I had taken it out to use against Frody last time, it really was a very holy looking shield.

Alion didn’t miss the opportunity that was provided, and immediately overpowered Ziken’s knights, who had paused at the huge shield that had suddenly appeared. The altercation finally came to a close.

I slowly made my way over to Olivia, who had been captured by Alion’s knights. On the way over, I picked up the dagger that had fallen to the ground weakly after being blocked by my shield. I alternated my eyes between her, who was glaring at me as if she was going to kill me with bloodshot eyes, and Ziken, who had been blocked by Alion’s sword and couldn’t come any closer.

I opened my mouth languidly amidst the silence. “You seem to think that I’ll be kind and merciful due to my label as a ‘saintess’.”

Schwing. Thud–! I flicked the dagger to the ground and it easily stuck into the floor with just the strength from my wrist alone. I could see just how well the blade had been forged.

Kyaaaaa—!

“Livi…!”

Olivia shrieked and screamed, as if she thought that I was throwing it at her, while Ziken, who was shocked, also flinched as expected.

“I am a person who feels that those who lay a hand on my people don’t deserve that respect from me.” I declared with an icy face. “The crime of breaking into the temple to kill me, who is Lunar’s daughter, without acknowledging your crime, which has placed the empire’s citizens in danger due to your numerous crimes. Furthermore, for the crime of daring to hurt the priests and knights who serve Lunar in Lunar’s own area.” I pointed at Olivia. “I punish you in the name of God, to live in pain for the rest of your life and to be unable to break free from it, even if you die.”

Bang!

As soon as I finished speaking, I heard the sound of heaven and earth being overturned outside. A bolt of lightning struck the ceiling of the Great Temple. It drilled through the unscathed temple roof and struck the area right in front of Olivia.

Ahhhhhhh!!” Olivia screamed as her face turned pale at the large hole in front of her. It was a natural reaction to the true power of God that she was seeing for the first time.

[What do you think? The timing was great, right?]

If it weren’t for those additional words, even I might have collapsed in worship.

I turned my gaze away from her, whose face was filled with terror as she gasped intermittently, and looked at Ziken. He also looked back at me with eyes filled in shock.

“Moreover, toward Ziken Srengito von Bakarta, who actively promoted turning his sword against the Lunar religion, I declare in Lunar’s name that he will be regarded as an opposing existence to Lunar, and will be subject to strict surveillance and vigilance.”

It was an announcement that the Lunar religion would forever shun Ziken. At a time when everyone was in awe at the power of God that they had all encountered for the first time, the weight of those words were extremely heavy. Since I was now the only person to hold ‘the power of the living god’ in this era. I was well aware of that, so I was going to make use of that perfectly until the end.

I turned my head slowly toward where the emperor and the nobles were all gathered and standing together. Everytime my gaze passed over them, they flinched.

“Lunar doesn’t desire your excessive loyalty or your infinite worship. It doesn’t matter where your devotion lies either.”

There was no reason to especially discriminate against someone, just because they were a Solarist either.

“However, whoever touches our people, no matter who it is, we will never forgive them.”

We were willing to reveal our hostility, even if they were someone who is the crown prince, so it was practically telling them that if they wanted to make us their enemy, then feel free to support Ziken and attack us. However, how many of those who had witnessed the true power of God with their own eyes would have the courage to do so?

[Wow, my daughter is so cool! Just look at that frightening expression!]

…Fortunately people didn’t know that that very god would be this restless.

[So now it’s my turn to adorn the finale, right?]

As soon as Lunar finished speaking, the full moon in the sky began to change colours.

“The red moon…!”

Starting with someone’s breathy exclamation, everyone became fascinated by the red moon that could be seen clearly through the huge window.

The red moon was considered as more rare and mysterious, since its cycle was unknown.

‘Don’t tell me the reason why there isn’t a set cycle for the red moon is because it’s all according to whenever Lunar feels like it?’

[I can’t do it too often because it gets tiring. The only time I show it off is when people start to forget my existence.]

Receiving the moon’s red light, I swept my right hand through the air. Following my movements, a tremendous amount of divine energy poured forth from my fingertips. In an instant, the temple was filled with my divine power, and feeling their gazes on me again, I smiled.

“On the contrary, if you are someone who is considered as our person, Lunar will protect you, even after you leave this world.”

My divine power stretched out to everyone gathered here. Although it was a little petty, it was more concentrated around the priests, paladins, and Alion’s knights, who were all considered as ‘Lunar’s people’. The difference in treatment was obvious to anyone watching.

Leaving behind that sort of discrimination, I added, “The door to the Lunar religion is always open.”

So hurry up and defect. I mean, in regards to both religion and political support.

What I wanted to say was clear without having to say it out loud. Since the place where my divine power was most concentrated was none other than where Linden was.

* * *

pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:

Their response came faster than I had imagined it would.

The furious emperor made a proclamation on the spot. “The criminal will be burned at the stake tomorrow morning!”

Her sentencing was changed from a beheading to a burning, and the date was also greatly pushed forward. It was a result that everyone had come to an agreement on, so much so that it was unnecessary for them to list out all of her crimes.

However, an even more shocking proclamation was soon announced shortly after. “It is recommended that the Crown Prince, Ziken Srengito von Bakarta, who was swept away by his personal feelings and abused the authority that was given to him to aid the criminal in escaping and lent a hand in the criminal’s personal revenge is recommended to step down from his position.”

Although the word used was ‘recommended’, it was no different from ordering a deposition.

The shocked Ziken was taken into the imperial palace on the emperor’s order, and Olivia, who was completely out of her senses with terror, was naturally taken back into the imperial dungeons.

Now all that was left was Frody, who was by himself and naturally attracted a lot of attention, but the emperor asked me to be responsible for him as the saintess and resolve it. Of course, the emperor said this because he knew that Lecht, who was beside me was the demon king, but to other people, it would’ve seemed like the emperor had great faith in me.

Afterwards, the High Priestess declared that the proclamation ceremony had ended, as the emperor and the nobles all left their seats. As expected, I couldn’t see Linden either, perhaps because he had been swept away by the nobles.

“I really feel extremely wronged this time though?”

As I was searching from here to there for Linden, a charming voice caught my attention instead.

“I swear, I was just staying in my room obediently alright? But then that woman suddenly summoned me.” The expression on the face of Frody, who said he felt wronged, didn’t look wronged at all. “I was going to say that it’s impossible to renew a contract with someone whom I’ve already terminated a contract with~. So I was going to tell her that I couldn’t help her touch the saintess.” He whispered, showing his two hands to proclaim that he was innocent. His smiling appearance and tone that seemed to imply ‘I feel wronged~’ was extremely hateful.

“Don’t pretend that you weren’t aware of everything. Since there’s no way you didn’t sense Muso there.”

Frody smirked at my words. “I was just wondering why the wind that teleported us was so unsophisticated and coarse.”

From the moment he was teleported, Frody would have known that this was all something that was done by me. Since if that wasn’t the case, then there would’ve been no reason for Muso to participate in the matter either.

“By the way, Saintess, is it alright for you to make use of me like this without even obtaining my consent prior to this?”

“Let’s just say that we won’t ask you to answer to the crime of causing chaos in the Grand Duchy for this.”

It was discovered that Olivia had never asked for pestis to be sprayed on the Grand Duchy, so it was revealed as a deliberate act of Frody’s own doing. Although it was a situation where punishment was inevitable, we said that we would let it slide for this incident. No one was seriously injured, so Lecht use it to so that we could proceed with this operation instead of punishing him for it.

Hmm~? You’re still trying to call it even between us by yourself…”

“Go.”

“Huh…?”

Frody was swallowed in an instant by a teleportation circle that suddenly appeared on the ground. It was a recall to the demon realm according to Lecht’s will.

Although there were a few priests that saw him disappear, they brushed it off by pretending not to know. Since it had also been their first time witnessing the power of God, they seemed to be cautious about asking about too much as well.

“Then, what should we do about the ceiling…? What’s with the hole, Lunar should learn to do it in moderation too. And what’s with this floor too?”

[Only by doing it this way would it be able to be this dramatic!]

“Then who’s going to fix this?”

[Everyone will be happy to witness the power of God.]

Haa, I can’t believe it.”

The short play caused Lunar to be extremely elated.

“I used to think so before as well, but Lunar really seems to cherish you alot.” Lecht said, wrapping his arms gently around my waist. I doubt that he could hear Lunar’s voice, so I guess he just came to that conclusion by listening to what I said to Lunar. Was it just me that could sense the jealousy in his voice? Lunar was the one who confirmed my suspicions.

[Is this loverboy still even jealous of me? Gosh, how absurd… That’s my daughter!]

It was natural that I’d be loved by Lunar, so Lecht, who was even jealous of that, was so cute that I laughed. “It’s not so much that I’m cherished, but I think they’re just bored because they don’t have anyone to chat with.”

“I heard that they can also talk to the High Priestess on a day with a red moon. But why does it feel like they’re only talking to you?”

Lunar was the first to react to those curt words.

[I’m going, I’m going! Fine, I’m going to Lydia! Gosh, I don’t even want to look at you.]

“They’re going to Lydia. They said that the two of us could talk.”

“Good.” He was a demon king who used the power of Lunar and was also satisfied that he had kicked Lunar out.

“What are you going to do if Lunar gets mad?”

“I don’t think they’re that petty.”

No, I think they are. They were completely childish and cheap. But I just laughed it off. Even if they were childish and cheap, I knew that they weren’t the type to vent their anger on Lecht.

“Then, can I take you to the Palace of the Demon King with my heart at ease now?” A smile hung from Lecht’s mouth, as if he had waited for this day. I also felt his arms tighten around me. He seemed just as excited as I was about me going to the demon realm.

“We should go. But, I still have something to wrap up here.” I said, looking at Linden who was walking toward me.


i hope the author delves into frody more as a villain — it’s sort of obvious that olivia and ziken are the type of villains that are just cannon fodder to further the plot between ara and lecht so i think this is their last chapter that they actually appear in. tbh frody has more potential in his backstory for the author to really flesh him out as a character so i hope they delve more in depth to his and lecht’s past than the smidge they gave us in an earlier chapter

on another note tho, i made a patreon !! if you’d like to read ahead, the link for the ‘next’ button should lead directly to the advanced chapters table of contents! i’m currently trying tl enough for another tier and i’ll probably cap it at an extra 5 chapters because i’m still dying from uni ;-;

IBVIAAN Ch 56 — A Play My Daughter has Planned

“Your Highness, can we take a short break…?”

“It must’ve been very tiring for you, right?”

Ziken guided the horse with Olivia in his arms.

“Haa, just how hard was it for you while you were in there?” He brushed his thumb over her chapped lips with a pained expression.

“I want to go wash up in the stream, even just a bit.”

“Alright, it’ll be safe for a while since we’ve already come this far.”

Ziken let out a sigh as he turned back to look at the way they came from. He got off the horse first and helped Olivia down.

He let out a long sigh as he watched her walk heavily toward the sound of water. To think that such a bright and energetic child would look so dejected…

this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!

t/n
i’ve decided to change ryno’s name to the literal translation, ‘muso’. i previously translated it as ryno because i mistakenly thought it was the meaning behind his name, but it wasn’t. so henceforth, ryno will be known as muso, and when i have time, i’ll go through all my chapters (on my drafts, here, and wattpad GHSLDKFJ PAIN) and correct his name ^^


“Your Highness, can we take a short break…?”

“It must’ve been very tiring for you, right?”

Ziken guided the horse with Olivia in his arms.

Haa, just how hard was it for you while you were in there?” He brushed his thumb over her chapped lips with a pained expression.

“I want to go wash up in the stream, even just a bit.”

“Alright, it’ll be safe for a while since we’ve already come this far.”

Ziken let out a sigh as he turned back to look at the way they came from. He got off the horse first and helped Olivia down.

He let out a long sigh as he watched her walk heavily toward the sound of water. To think that such a bright and energetic child would look so dejected…

“Your Highness. It’s dangerous for Your Highness to accompany us all the way.” A knight approached him to warn him.

“So you want me to send Livi off on her own? I should at least see her off safely to the villa first before I return.”

“But the jailbreak would have already been discovered, so at any rate…”

“Do I look like someone who can’t even take care of themselves?”

“…My apologies.” At Ziken’s reprimand, the knight eventually bowed his head and retreated.

It was when he turned his head in the direction Olivia went to wash up, worried that she would need a towel or additional outerwear.

“Wh-What is that?!”

A fierce flash of light burst out from where she had disappeared to, causing the knights to kick up a ruckus.

“Livi!” The shocked Ziken dashed in her direction in an instant. 

Standing there was Olivia, whose hand was bleeding from an injury that seemed to be made with a sharp rock. Although he was momentarily surprised, he could see that Olivia was standing in the centre of a large summoning circle. 

“I’m not resigned to this…! Frody!”

The summoning circle which quickly absorbed her blood, let out a strong light, circling quickly until it formed a figure.

“Hmm? What is it?”

The figure that appeared was the demon that had been seen in the imperial palace’s drawing room. Shocked, Ziken drew his sword, but Olivia reached Frody first.

“Oh, it’s my fake saintess again.” He acknowledged Olivia, who grabbed him by the collar. 

“Sign a contract with me, right this instant!”

“Woah, calm down Miss Fake.”

“Fake, don’t call me fake!” Shrieking back, Olivia pulled Frody by the collar.

“!”

What happened next made Ziken’s breath stop. His heart sank with a thud. 

Olivia was kissing Frody. The eyes of Frody, who was looking down at Olivia with an expression of, ‘What’s wrong with her?’, met Ziken’s. The look in his eyes quickly became provocative as he wrapped his arms around Olivia’s waist. He parted his lips as his long and slender fingers swept over every corner of Olivia’s nape and hair. The kiss gradually deepened as Frody continued to keep his eyes on Ziken. 

And Ziken, whose thoughts had come to a complete standstill. With a face filled with shock, he continued to watch as Olivia and Frody kissed deeply, not even daring to breathe. 

“You, you bastard!”

Ziken only came to his senses after the angered voice of his knight had been cut off. “Get away from her, you demon bastard!” Ziken swung his sword at Frody.

However, Frody dodged it lightly and pulled Olivia closer toward him by her waist. “Woah, woah. What will happen if your pretty lover over here gets hurt?”

“Get away from Livi!” The moment he shouted that, a whiff of gold osmanthus brushed past the tip of Ziken’s nose.

“Why should I? From a girl who has thrown herself into my arms and is clinging onto me like this?”

The scent became so overwhelmingly strong that it began to dizzily muddle all of Ziken’s senses. His vision began to swim and his body swayed unsteadily. Although he tried to pick up his sword from the ground and come to his senses, all he could see in his blurry vision was Olivia, who was hanging tightly onto Frody’s neck.  

“Li-Livi…”

“This is my order as your contractor. Take me to that woman!”

“That woman? Oh, you mean my saintess?”

Urk…! ‘Your saintess’ is meant to be me!”

“Yeah, yeah. Alright. But granting that is a bit difficult.”

“What? Why?! The words of your contractor are meant to be followed unconditionally though!”

“That’s true, but…” Blocking his words, Olivia kissed him deeply again.

“Will this do? What else do you want? You said that my body would be enough!”

Hmmm~?”

“Do you want me to give my soul as well? Okay, I’ll give it all to you, so just take me to her right now!” 

Frody could see that Olivia was holding a dagger in her arms as well. “No matter what you give me, there’s nothing I can do to help you kill the saintess, so… huh?”

No matter how deeply the saintess fell for Lecht, she was still a saintess. He could still coax her into becoming his, so it was still too early to make a decision to kill her. 

Just as he was about to refuse, a strong flash of light burst out from under his feat. It was a teleportation circle that stretched over Olivia and Frody of course, and even Ziken and his knights. 

“Huh??” The light engulfed them along with Frody’s rather stupid-sounding exclaimation. The beam of light shot up into the sky with a powerful gale and disappeared. 

The forest returned to its tranquil state once more. With only the harrumphing sound of the horses that were still tied to the trees. 

After a while, a bear-like figure appeared behind a tree.

“This much should do it, right?” 

A baby face that seemed incompatible with that hulking body.

Phew, teleporting is just as hard as I expected. Especially with such a large number as well.” Muso let out a sigh as he slumped against the tree. Humans needed to use a space travel portal to cross long distances, but for demons, Muso’s ability was enough to allow them to travel short distances. “Her Majesty will take care of the rest, right?” 

He looked up at the moonlight that was shining through the foliage of the trees. Seeing as his heart was pounding violently, it seemed like it wouldn’t be too long until the moon turned red. A happy smile flashed across Muso’s lips.

‘As expected, Her Majesty is the best.’

It reminded him of when he first met the saintess when he was little. 

* * *

pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:

There were many people in attendance at the proclamation ceremony. Although it had been chaotic due to the various recent commotions, they had all still come running since this had been all the talk lately. The curiosity they held toward the Saintess of the Lunar religion, who had finally appeared after a hundred years, was also quite large. 

“Your Majesty, you must have been deeply concerned.”

“What could there be to be concerned about? I’m just relieved that it could be resolved.” All of them were gradually getting on the emperor’s nerves, but the emperor only brushed it off while smiling craftily like a fox.

“For him to leave the Princess of Darchez, who will become the Saintess of the Lunar religion to be by the side of a scammer like that is a bit…”

“Shush. What if someone hears?”

“You clearly think so as well. But on the other hand, Prince Linden Ezzarson was on Grand Duke Arvis’…”

Most of the whispering was about the crown prince’s choice and their growing interest in Linden. 

[Are they cursing the crown prince as well? Is that punk actually that pathetic?]

‘I can hear it as well. My mind is already quite chaotic, so you don’t need to do a play by play commentary of the situation right now either.’

I could naturally hear it all as well, yet Lunar still insisted on delivering the news to me again.

[My daughter is holding her proclamation ceremony, yet you want me to keep quiet. Isn’t that too much?]

‘Do you want to see me make a mistake in front of everyone? I don’t have any time to worry about you, so please be quiet.’

[Eiii, how cold.]

Despite grumbling, Lunar quieted down. Thanks to this, I feigned ignorance and was able to deal with the people who approached me. 

“Thank you for coming.”

“Don’t tell me you asked for this sort of favour because you thought I wouldn’t come?”

“Would that not be the case?”

Alion couldn’t find the words to reply to what I had said with a smile. Instead, he ended up changing the subject and threw out another question. “Why did you ask us for guards?”

“You just said so earlier. Because I thought you wouldn’t come.”

“Then just giving me an invite would’ve done the job; I can’t help but think that you have other intentions behind why you deliberately asked me for guards to secure this event.”

This guy really… He wasn’t good at expressing his feelings to his younger sister, yet he’s able to be straightforward at times like this. 

“It’s not like the paladins of the Lunar religion aren’t skilled enough, and even if they are lacking, Saintess also has…” Alion silently alternated his gaze between Linden and Lecht, who were standing somewhat closeby. It was a gaze that said that I could have used the Grand Duke of Arvis’ manpower or the mercenaries that belonged to the Ezzarson Guild.

“Due to the nature of this ceremony, Kelber, who’s always attached to me as a guard, can’t be by my side today… you don’t believe this excuse, right?”

“…You mean that puppy?”

I smiled and properly explained to Alion, who had a ‘does that even make any sense’ look on his face. “Just because. It’s not bad for us to look like a close pair of siblings to other people anyway.”

Alion swept his gaze around me with a complex look on his face.

“Meliara is over there.” I pointed to an empty seat on the second floor. It was a place that I had deliberately asked the priests to leave vacant for Meliara. Alion, who was staring at that place, shook his head and turned his eyes away.

“May I ask you a question?”

“Yes. As long as I can answer it.”

 “You said that you’d oust the duke, right?” I placed more emphasis on the word ‘oust’. 

Alion nodded as well, as if he had noticed my meaning behind it too. “There is only one reason why I lowered my head in submission to the crown prince. And that was because my younger sister wanted him.”

“…”

“Although I am also at fault for pushing my younger sister to that point, I still cannot condone my father’s actions. So now, I no longer have any reason to support His Highness the Crown Prince, nor the reason to go along with my father either.”

I smiled at his resolute tone. Since once a person who is simple and honest makes up their mind, it won’t be easy for them to break it.

“You’ve come to a good conclusion. I strongly support it. Then, I think today’s task will also be a good gift for you.”

“Gift?” He asked back, but a priest who was in charge of the ceremony began to guide everyone to sit down.

“Then, shall we move as well?” 

I was supposed to wait in the space behind the podium and come out when it was time for me to do so. It was when I stepped onto the stairs leading to the waiting area. 

Boom!

With a loud explosion, a huge whirlwind began to form in the middle of the temple. It was so powerful that it had enough force to make cracks appear in the floor and for the pillars to shake. People screamed and tried to flee in every direction to avoid it while Alion’s knights which were standing at attention proceeded to pull out their weapons. 

Whew~ Muso’s wind seriously isn’t normal.” It was much more formidable than I had thought it was.

[After loosening the security of the temple’s boundaries earlier, is the play that my daughter planned finally starting now?]

‘Yes. So Lunar should also get the timing correct.’

[Of course! This is my specialty after all!]

After the wind dispersed with a flash, the appearances of Olivia and Frody were revealed, as expected. Behind them was also Ziken and his knights, who were still reeling from the teleportation.

“W-What the hell is going on with the situation here?”

“Over there, isn’t that the crown prince?”

“How could the criminal be here…?!”

“I-It’s a demon! The criminal really showed up with a demon in tow!”

All the nobles and spectators that were gathered in the temple were astonished. 

Whilst everyone was still stuck in shock, Olivia pointed at me with a dagger in her hand and shouted, “Frody, kill that woman right now!! That’s an order!”

The words that came out of her mouth made many people gasp sharply before fainting. There were some who really fainted, while others had their mouths hung wide open, unable to say anything.

“No, because our contract…” The sound of Frody’s voice, which was puzzled at the situation like everyone else, was heard slightly.

However, his words were buried under Alion’s shout. “Protect the saintess and subdue the intruders!!”

“Yessir!”

Ziken, who had finally managed to come to his senses when the Darchez’s elite corps flocked over with their swords and spears, was greatly flustered. He scanned the situation sprouting from his surroundings, and then slapped his hand to his forehead at the sight of Olivia and Frody. “Why is Livi with that bastard…” His face revealed the immense shock and betrayal he felt in that moment.

“Catch the criminal!”

But at Alion’s shout, Ziken was shocked back to reality and picked up his sword that was lying on the floor. “Protect Livi!”

“Y-Your Highness?”

“Right this instant!!”

His knights were briefly baffled by his orders. Half of them bit the bullet while half of them took up their swords with a sense of loyalty to Ziken.

“Block them!”

“Catch her!”

“Kill that woman—!!”

All kinds of screams and shouts were mixed together with the sharp sound of swords clashing against each other in the Great Temple. 

[As expected, the funniest thing in the world is watching fights!!]

Feeling refreshed as I heard Lunar say the words I had wanted to say, I struggled to keep the corners of my mouth from raising into a smile.


lunar is so chaotic good LMAOOOO

IBVIAAN Ch 55 — Do You Want It?

The morning dawned on the day of the proclamation ceremony. Since I was being proclaimed as the Saintess of Lunar, who was the god of night, my proclamation was scheduled to be held when the moon had risen into the sky at night. Thus, it was time to prepare for the event that would be held in the evening.

I had nothing else to do after choosing which clothes I’d wear. Even if I tried to help with the preparations, the priests would aggressively stop me from doing anything by forcefully keeping me in my room. To be honest, I was actually a bit tired since I had stayed up all night chatting with Lunar yesterday.

[So what you’re saying is, the truth is that you actually had divine power in your previous life, but that world was a place where divine power couldn’t be manifested, right?]

Even now, I seem to be sighing at that noisy voice.

this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!


The morning dawned on the day of the proclamation ceremony. Since I was being proclaimed as the Saintess of Lunar, who was the god of night, my proclamation was scheduled to be held when the moon had risen into the sky at night. Thus, it was time to prepare for the event that would be held in the evening.

I had nothing else to do after choosing which clothes I’d wear. Even if I tried to help with the preparations, the priests would aggressively stop me from doing anything by forcefully keeping me in my room. To be honest, I was actually a bit tired since I had stayed up all night chatting with Lunar yesterday.

[So what you’re saying is, the truth is that you actually had divine power in your previous life, but that world was a place where divine power couldn’t be manifested, right?]

Even now, I seem to be sighing at that noisy voice.

[But despite that, the people around you are still fundamentally influenced by your divine power and are able to receive peace of mind just by being by your side…]

‘You really do talk a lot… Lydia wasn’t just saying it after all…’

[A lot? But I’m only talking about things of importance right now? If you don’t listen carefully, you’ll regret it when you end up hitting the ground later…]

They read my thoughts yet again. 

Haa… How is it possible for them to talk without even taking a single minute’s rest? If we’re talking about skills, then this is one too. What’s even more impressive is that it’s all stuff I haven’t heard before, with not even a conversation overlapping.

‘I thought I wouldn’t be able to hear you in the middle of the day when the moon disappeared.]

[The moon always exists somewhere. Like you said, just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.]

To think that they even used the line I said to Alion. Cheap, they’re too cheap!

[Aha! I suddenly remembered it since you said something about things you can’t see. Aren’t you curious about how the shield you have is made?]

I’m not curious. No, I’m curious, but I don’t want to tell them that I’m curious. Since it’s obvious that we’ll end up talking about that topic for another hour. 

‘I’m going to sleep. Don’t disturb me.’

[Daughter! You’re too mean! We’ll need to part ways after tonight is over!]

How terrible, to have to endure until tonight. 

I lay down on the bed, leaving Lunar, whose dignity as a god had disappeared over night, to kick up a fuss. Nevertheless, I still couldn’t sleep. This time, there was another distraction apart from Lunar.

“Saintess, His Highness the Prince has come.” 

There were visitors coming in and out as soon as day broke.

‘Looks like I won’t be getting a good sleep today either.’

[There’s originally something like destiny you see, so you’re born with some parts, and there are parts that you make as you live…]

Haa…”

And Lunar, who had started talking about that straightaway. The reason why the Lunar religion’s saintesses don’t appear very often was probably because even if they did appear, they’d just run away from Lunar’s chatty self. 

With a sigh, I stepped out to meet Linden. I changed into my light inside-wear and went to the drawing room where Linden was waiting for me. 

“What did you come here so early for when the proclamation ceremony is at night?”

“I had something I wanted to show you. But Ara, why does your complexion look so pale?” Linden asked anxiously as he looked at my dark circles that seemed to hang down to my cheeks.

“I just couldn’t sleep well. It was probably because the issue I was worrying about hasn’t been fully resolved yet.”

I couldn’t bear to say, ‘I couldn’t sleep because Lunar was being too noisy’, so I smiled and made something up. 

“Really? Then you’d probably be even more glad to hear this.”

“What is it?”

Linden placed a piece of paper on the table. It was an official document that came from the imperial palace. It’s said that there wasn’t any inn or tavern that wasn’t connected to it.

“They’ve decided on the death penalty.”

Everything that Saintess Olivia had done so far was written down on it. Compared to all her other malicious acts, the story of her deceiving everyone as a saintess was written in the headlines the most.

“It’s also written that the Solar religion was also damaged because of this. Though I don’t know how much of this the people will believe.”

Wouldn’t they have already lost a lot of their trust in the Solar religion when they mistakenly took Olivia to be a saintess in the first place? But that was something for the Solar religion to worry about, not me. 

“As per your request, they seem to have excluded the story of you and the Grand Duke Arvis as much as possible.”

Although there was no way they couldn’t write about it, they thankfully only labelled him as someone who helped.

“That’s a relief. That way, it won’t seem like it was the Lunar religion who was saying all of that for no reason.” I brushed the official document slightly with my fingertips. My thoughts became complicated.

“What’s with your expression? I thought you’d be happy.”

“Hm? No, that’s…” Considering what Olivia had done, I thought that this punishment was well deserved for her. My thoughts weren’t complicated about that part. “There’s no mention of the crown prince at all.”

“Well, the thing is… that’s because His Majesty also thinks that he’s a victim who has been deceived by her.”

“He’s right to some extent, but it’s also the crown prince who set up the stage that allowed for her to run wild.”

Would she have been able to become that unruly without Ziken backing her? She received his protection just by shaking her shoulders tremblingly and shedding a few tears. Using his love for her, she transformed a lie into the truth. 

“There’s no way the emperor would have been unaware of that fact…”

“Still, he’s the crown prince. He wouldn’t want to put a stain on his reputation for nothing.”

“Even though the reason why that woman was able to commit those deeds that drove his innocent fiancee to become a villainess and annul his engagement with her was because he openly dated that woman?”

People were already aware of that fact. The nobility would already be suspicious of the crown prince’s qualifications, and that would serve as a lifelong weakness for him. Since the crown prince being described as a ‘wronged victim’ could also be interpreted as lacking the qualifications to succeed the throne.

“The only people who like pushovers that are blinded by love are those treacherous subjects who are in positions of power.”

“Nevertheless… it’s because he’s the crown prince. Even the emperor’s arms will naturally curve inwards1.” Linden’s voice was bitter as he said those words. 

I cast a look at his face. The look in his eyes as he stared at the official document seemed to be entangled with complicated emotions, and his lips that were tightly sealed into a straight line seemed to contain an unconcealable sense of grievance and anguish. My own concerns seemed to fizzle out when I saw the expression on his face.

‘Although I’ll be going to the demon realm after the proclamation ceremony ends anyway, I can’t just stand by and watch the empire descend into a shit storm.’

As I jumped up from my seat, Linden’s eyes widened, as if he were shocked.

“Linden, the emperor…”

“…?”

“He has two arms.”

“What are you talking about…?” At the sudden irrelevant words, the voice of the dazed Linden trailed off. 

He seemed to get a grasp at what I was thinking. “Ara, no! It’s dangerous!”

He jumped up from his seat. “Do you think the empress will just sit by as you do that? Even if that’s not the case, the situation right now is already so worrying, so…!”

“Linden, answer me this one time. Do you want to be the crown prince?”

“That’s not what is important right now!”

“It’s important. Your opinion is the most important of all.”

“I won’t do, no, I can’t do anything that puts you in danger…!” He said, gripping my shoulder. 

“That’s not the answer to my question.”

“So, this idea is seriously crazy…!”

“I asked if you will be the crown prince?”

“…” Linden’s Adam’s apple bobbed up and down violently. His eyes were especially eye-catching. “It’s impossible. No matter how much this incident has shaken his position, he still has the empress as well as the Duke of Darchez, so…”

“Linden.” I asked again, interrupting his blabbering. 

“Crown prince. Do you want it?”

“…” 

With his lips pressed tightly together, he bowed his head in the end with a small sigh. The hand clasping my shoulder trembled slightly. 

“I at least… am confident that I’ll do better than Ziken.” 

He confided his innermost thoughts that no one else would’ve seen to me. 

“At first, all I wanted to do was survive. But then, it became something that I refused to yield on that stemmed from my grievance with them.” He started to get angry at the empress, who wouldn’t let him go even if he lived quietly.

“But now, especially as we’ve experienced this situation… I’ve started to become greedy.”

It was understandable though. The Lunar religion, who opposed the Solar religion and stood on his side, as well as Lecht, who he began to spend more time with, even though it was rather difficult to say that they were ‘on the same side’. 

As the incident continued to unfold, there naturally must have been many voices among the nobility that said, ‘I’d rather the prince be…’. A chance could be seen in that road, which had only been dark before.

“If I had the same authority as he had, just how much quicker and easier would I have been able to handle this, and I kept thinking that I’d be able to be a better crown prince than him… because I’m confident that I will hold more love for the empire’s citizens than him.”

Well, that much is obvious.

“However, that doesn’t mean that I want it so badly to the extent that I’d push the people who are precious to me to be my arms and legs.”

Raising his head again, Linden moved his hands from my shoulders and gently cupped my jaw. Unable to reach it, he put his hand around that area and swept my cheek lightly with the tip of his thumb. It was an extremely soft touch. It seemed to tremble slightly as well.

“Ara, please don’t do anything dangerous for me. Even more so if it’s for me.”

“…”

“Promise me you won’t do anything reckless.”

I raised both hands to grab his hand. I lifted his hand off my face and smiled as I lowered it. “Alright, I won’t. I won’t do anything dangerous.”

“You really won’t, right? You won’t do anything, right?”

“To me, I’m the most precious person in the world. I won’t do anything dangerous.”

He let out a sigh and smiled at my words that were said with a smile. It was a smile that was mixed with relief and bitterness. 

Understanding the meaning of that smile, I slowly started to move. “Then, I’ll get going first. Since I have a lot of work to do today.”

“Right, there must be a lot to prepare for the proclamation ceremony.”

“See you tonight!” I said my farewell to Linden brightly and left the room.

After that, I headed to the place where Lecht was at. He was talking to Muso in the garden. 

“Huh? What brings you here, Muso? I heard that you can’t participate in the proclamation ceremony though?”

“His Majesty personally cast an illusion spell on me!” 

When I looked at Lecht in surprise, he explained to me, “Tanma sent this guy instead since he has a lot to deal with because of the incident this time.”

Oh, he’s here instead of Tanma.

“That’s actually better instead. Muso, I’m sorry, but could you give up on attending the proclamation ceremony today?”

Heok, w-why…?”

I smiled at him, who was crying while asking if he had done something wrong. “I want to leave you with a matter that’s way more important than that.”

“What is it?” His eyes sparkled at the words, ‘important matter’.

“Listen carefully to what I say from now on. As soon as I finish telling you this, go over to the Darchez Duchy straight away, and…” I told him the plan that I had come up with. He listened intently with glistening eyes and nodded. Though the expression of Lecht, who was next to him, darkened a little. 

When my explanation was over, Lecht cut in. “But if the incident that you think of doesn’t happen, I think your relationship with Alion will worsen for nothing then.”

My plan was heavily dependent on other people’s actions, so everything could go down the drain and amount to nothing in the end. 

“No. Although the exact details may be slightly different, I’m sure that this sort of incident will happen.”

“How are you so sure?” Lecht shot me a look of doubt and concern. 

“There’s no end to human greed, so if she has nothing more to lose, she’ll also have nothing else to fear.”

“That might be the case for that woman, but what about the crown prince? He still has a lot to lose though.”

“Oh, the answer to that is even easier to predict.”

“…?”

“Lecht, just imagine that I had been imprisoned in an underground prison for being a con-artist that had deceived all the demons in the demon realm. Furthermore, I’ll soon be facing the death penalty as well.”

Lecht’s face stiffened immediately.

“But what would you do if I’m crying and clinging onto you, saying that I’ve been framed and that I don’t want to die?”

I had only asked him to imagine it, but black energy was already rising from Lecht’s feet. I didn’t even have to hear his answer for me to know what it was. Since he had already said those words before.

“If the regulations of the demon realm are the problem, then such a trivial thing like the demon realm, I’ll just replace that as well.”

I reached out and clasped his hand, which had been clenched into a fist so tightly his tendons were sticking out. 

“The crown prince would do the same thing.”

People were able to go beyond their limits to become impossibly brave in the name of love. So although it was still extremely dangerous on one hand, they would still be able to protect their loved ones. 

Especially Ziken, whose loved one was on the verge of death. A normal incident would already have him agitated to the extreme. I mean, that punk wasn’t even that smart in the first place.

“The difference is that you have the ability to do so, but he doesn’t.”

Lecht had the ability to not only save me, but also to protect the people around me. Tanma, Muso; he had the overwhelming power and ability to protect me without sacrificing a single one of them. Lecht could do that. 

I could feel Lecht loosening his clenched fist at my words. 

“No matter how moving their love is, there’s no way I can leave a person who drives their people to such extremities as the crown prince who is supposed to protect them, right?”

He was a man who could bring about the destruction of the empire by causing political and diplomatic issues just to protect his loved one. I had already tried so hard to prevent the destruction of the empire, so there was no way I could just leave it like that. 

In any case. “I want to at least give Linden that much before I go to the demon realm.”

Since I didn’t think I’d be able to keep the promise that I wouldn’t leave you, no matter what. Although it was rather high-sounding of me to call it an alternative, I still wanted to do it for him. Since I thought I’d be able to depart to the demon realm with no worries if I knew that he’d be fine, even if I wasn’t there.

In the end, Lecht nodded with a small sigh, as if he knew how I felt. 

* * *

pls do not share this anywhere or u will always stub ur toe when u walk past a door frame !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:

That evening, when the sun had set and it was already dark. There was a suspicious movement in the dungeon of the imperial palace.

“Livi.”

“Y-Your Highness…?”

“Hush! Hurry up and come out.”

The exact thing Ara had thought would happen was starting.

[1] 팔은 안으로 굽는다 idiom that represents being naturally biased to those that we hold closer to us


i think it was touched on in a previous chapter but i agree with what ara said about having to sacrifice either love or power for the throne. if you want both, you should be strong enough to make everyone who opposes your love to submit to it. a king that protects their love without having the power to protect their own people just ain’t it, even if we do romanticise the ‘villain that gives up on the world to save their lover’ trope.