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    With resounding steps, Abel’s voice echoed loudly from the forest.

    “Ah, Commander-in-Chief!”

    This morning, as usual, began with the Commander-in-Chief.

    Karas turned his head from his staring match with the bear to the sound calling him. Abel, looking like he might topple over, rushed in, unable to contain his excitement.

    “Commander-in-Chief, huff, huff, look at this!”

    Abel ran up to Karas and sat down, showing him what he had brought in from his long robe. Of course, Karas showed no particular interest, only glancing briefly, but Abel proudly burst into laughter regardless.

    “Uhahaha―, can you believe it, there’s a pomegranate tree in this forest! I really doubted my eyes. It’s almost nonexistent in our country, but it grows here because of the warm weather. Hahaha, look at this, Commander! It’s a real pomegranate!”


    “Hehehe, it’s a pomegranate!”


    “Hehe, it’s a real pomegranate.”


    Only then did Abel realize that he had been laughing like a madman all by himself. Of course, even if he had known, it wouldn’t have made a difference.

    “Uhahaha―, you’re not surprised by the pomegranate after all, Commander-in-Chief! You’re truly amazing!”

    Although he received compliments he hadn’t heard yesterday, receiving them for something like a pomegranate only made him feel worse. Karas looked at the pomegranates brought by Abel with eyes that had turned cold since morning.

    What the hell is all this fuss about? Then something suddenly came to mind.

    “Are you going to eat it?


    Startled, Abel clutched his chest and twisted his upper body. Due to his delicate heart that pounded even at a small shock, Abel could only open his mouth after a long while of calming down.

    “Of course, it’s for eating! If it’s not for eating, why would I be so happy?”

    Indeed, Karas nodded internally but continued to feign disinterest, only lowering his gaze to the red fruit. It was a small gesture, however, Abel felt please and chuckled as he lightly squeezed one pomegranate against a nearby rock. As a groove formed in the pomegranate, he put his fingertip in it and pressed with force, splitting it in half. With a crisp sound, a small, tightly packed, red fruit came out.

    “You can eat the small fruit inside.”

    Abel extended half of it, but there was no reaction. Smiling, he placed it on Karas’s knee and ate the other half of the pomegranate himself.

    “Hehe, try it. It’s sweet and delicious.”

    Then, deliberately not looking at Karas, Abel focused on eating the pomegranate. As Abel exclaimed in admiration while eating, after a while, Karas also took a piece of the pomegranate, removed the fruit inside, and put it in his mouth. With a popping sound, a unique aroma he had never experienced before spread in his mouth along with the sweetness.

    It was delicious! Perhaps because it was morning and he was thirsty, it tasted even sweeter. Glancing over, Abel was chewing happily with his eyes closed. While Abel wasn’t looking, Karas quickly scooped a large handful of seeds and popped them into his mouth. They were indeed delicious. He understood now why Abel had made such a fuss over them.

    Without realizing it, he also focused on eating the pomegranate and suddenly, another half of the pomegranate popped up above his knee. When he looked up, Abel was again looking elsewhere and only ate his share of the remaining half. If their eyes had met, he probably would have refused it, but he couldn’t miss the opportunity to eat the pomegranate again. Of course, as it was very delicious.

    After obediently accepting several more pomegranates offered by Abel, it finally came to an end. However, it wasn’t over just because the pomegranates were eaten. Abel had discreetly wrapped the remaining two pomegranates in a handkerchief. When Karas noticed this while chewing the last pomegranate, Abel mumbled as if making an excuse.

    “This, um, I’m giving it to someone else.”


    He asked without thinking, but Abel lowered his eyes and blushed. Then he let out an embarrassed laugh.

    “Hehe. Just, um, just someone.”

    The person Abel wanted to give it to was the prince. Since the Commander-in-Chief seemed to be eating pomegranate for the first time, maybe the prince hadn’t tried it yet either. He imagined the prince eating it deliciously like the Commander-in-Chief, and his heart swelled. Even if he couldn’t meet him, he wanted to give him this small gift.

    However, he didn’t mention that he had kept it aside to give it to the emperor of the country because it might sound strange. The Commander-in-Chief didn’t seem to suspect his own identity anyway. In the midst of Abel’s embarrassment, Karas stopped chewing and stared at him with narrowed eyes.

    He felt bad for no reason. It was like when someone compared him to someone else last night and he only received one compliment. Thanks to that memory, he also knew who the person Abel wanted to give the pomegranate to. It was clear that he wanted to give it to the guy who was magnificent, elegant, and handsome.

    He felt even worse. But feeling bad about such things, Karas stood up first and started walking. Abel, who was flustered behind him, could be heard tidying up and hurrying to follow, but Karas deliberately quickened his pace. However, he couldn’t help but continue to be concerned about one person. He must have been good at swordsmanship, had an elegant voice, and a handsome face.

    ⊹˚. ♡.𖥔 ݁ ˖ ⊹˚. ♡.𖥔 ݁ ˖


    Ashler, who was fixing his words to prepare for departure, suddenly turned his head and looked around. Seeing his expression stiffen, Nani next to him asked curiously.

    “Why, is there something wrong?”

    However, Ashler opened his mouth after looking around nervously.

    “Where to live…”


    “Never mind.”

    Ashler shook his head, thinking it was a misunderstanding. Then he approached the carriage where Melmond and the butler were. The butler, who had fainted from the shock of the bet, had not looked well since morning. Of course, Melmond’s face was also pale from praying all night. Perhaps because of this, he was struggling to hold the light fare stone that had been placed on the carriage wheel. Ashler couldn’t even ask if they were okay, however, the culprit of everything shamelessly asked a question.

    “Are you guys not feeling well? Both of you don’t look well.”

    Hwang, hwang!

    The sudden question made Melmond and the butler turn their heads sharply, creating a whistling sound in the air. Thanks to Nani’s concern, their faces immediately turned red. It seemed that not only anger but also fire would burst out of their eyes. However, Nani, whose wealth had quadrupled overnight, was surrounded by the aura of happiness like a shield.

    “Hahaha- What is it, are you upset because you lost the bet? Hahaha, how petty!”

    Melmond took out the dagger he had for self-defense. The butler barely stopped himself from committing murder, but Nani’s sarcastic remarks continued.

    “Why are you guys frowning just because you lost a little money? You should be happy that His Majesty and Abel recognized each other! Hahaha- As a servant, I am extremely happy at the good fortune that has befallen His Majesty. Ahahaha-“

    Suddenly, unable to contain himself, the butler suddenly snatched Melmond’s dagger and rushed towards Nani. Fortunately, this time Melmond stopped him and saved Nani’s life once again. If this continued, it seemed that the butler and Melmond, not Nani, would succumb to madness, so Ashler had no choice but to stop Nani.

    “Shut up, Nani. The results haven’t come out yet.”

    He calmly reminded him of the harsh reality, but Nani laughed instead.

    “Huh, why are you like this, Ashler? Since you have received many new territories anyway, you don’t have to worry about a year’s worth of salary, right? Don’t act so pitiful and accept the results.”


    Ashler drew his sword. Melmond and the butler pretended to stop him and pushed him towards Nani. However, realizing the seriousness of the situation, Nani gasped and stepped back, avoiding another life-threatening situation. Ashler glared sharply at Nani and warned him.

    “It would be wise to be careful with your words. Moreover.”

    Ashler looked around and lowered his voice.

    “Do not mention Abel’s name.”

    Fortunately, Nani quickly realized his mistake and politely responded.

    “I’m sorry, Sir Ashler. Then what should I call him?”


    The gaze of the two people, who had been silent for a moment, naturally turned towards Melmond and the butler. Then, Nani, who was quick-witted, asked the butler something that came to mind.

    “Ah, then I suppose that will do. Originally, what is the name of the young master…”



    It happened in an instant. In the blink of an eye, Melmond threw the stone he held in his hand at Nani, and he fell to the ground while he was speaking. However, no one who watched sympathized with Nani. Ashler and the butler understood in their hearts that Melmond couldn’t bear it and threw the stone.

    However, the reason was because of the name. Melmond didn’t want to hear that cursed-sounding name again. Especially through that wicked mouth. Nani, who was oblivious to this, clenched his fists and opened his eyes wide.

    “Ah, Melmond! Are you really acting like this? Throwing stones just because your measly house got robbed!”

    Melmond wandered around looking for the stone again at the mention of such his “measly robbed house”. Meanwhile, Nani who was bold as ever, quickly spoke to the butler.

    “Please tell me the name of the young master.”

    This time, even before Melmond could stop him, the butler suddenly opened his mouth.

    “Hoho, Liliah Aretrin Chloride!”

    It really sounded like a curse.

    ⊹˚. ♡.𖥔 ݁ ˖ ⊹˚. ♡.𖥔 ݁ ˖

    Truyde appeared leisurely, knowing that the guest was waiting for quite a while. Still, no complaints were heard.


    Duncan appeared in a rather unkempt attire, with his shirt not properly buttoned, suggesting that he might have had a rough night. As someone who valued propriety most within the King’s Heart, Truyde scanned him with interest before taking his seat. Just then, Duncan, who had been pacing the room, also sat down opposite and immediately spoke up.

    “Duke Truyde, please, please help me.”

    Truyde pulled the rope first to summon the servant, then asked slowly.

    “Is it such a huge problem? Your complexion doesn’t look good.”

    “Ah, well…”

    Duncan briefly explained with a flustered expression, biting his lower lip.

    “Daring war profiteers are audaciously coveting my house and land. These arrogant individuals must have been thrilled by rumors of His Majesty’s return, as they broke into my house last night and shamelessly took away my belongings!”

    The term “war profiteer” was a derogatory nickname referred to the newly grown forces. From the perspective of the King’s Heart, they were truly insignificant individuals.

    When the door opened and the messenger entered, Duncan stopped speaking, but his anxious demeanor was evident. Truyde ordered calmly for the opponent’s situation to be brought in slowly, whether it was urgent or not. Although Truyde was blatantly ignoring him, Duncan, who was in a hurry, did not notice and erupted in anger again as soon as the messenger left.

    “To think that rootless country lords or knight upstarts would come rushing to the capital and flaunt their money around just because they acquired a little land! We cannot overlook this!”

    Truyde nodded in agreement, but a small smile played on his lips.

    “But did you just let those rootless people take the goods? Wasn’t Duncan’s family of soldiers famous for their bravery?”


    He turned his eyes away in embarrassment. Of course, Truyde didn’t mind that he didn’t answer. He already knew that Duncan had dismissed all his soldiers because of financial troubles. What he was really curious about was what he could extract from him before discarding him.

    When the King’s Hearts Five Families first united under this name, they made one promise. Regardless of social position or assigned role, they would hold equal positions. This was to prevent any internal conflict or division that might arise from each family claiming their own role as the most important.

    Although there were five families, there were four divided roles. The first was assigned to make a potion to control the king. The second was educating the Regas. The third was storing the information containing the secret of the dragon. And the last was managing the dragon temple. Since managing the temple was quite profitable but required a lot of effort, the two families had been doing it together from the beginning. Duncan’s family was one of those two families.

    However, the management of the temple had long been neglected, with the sole focus being on squeezing out money. From Truyde’s perspective, they couldn’t really be useless. No matter how long ago the promise between the families was, he wanted to push it aside whenever he had the chance. Moreover, the fact that the temple went bankrupt despite its huge income was a problem.

    One of the reasons why the King’s Heart could hold the country’s power was because the people trusted the King’s Heart through the temple. Even if they were powerless individuals, their support, representing the majority, was an important pillar supporting the King’s Heart. That’s why the King’s Heart has been passed down for hundreds of years.

    However, it was obvious that the public opinion of the world would have changed if they had squeezed more money from the temple because they needed more funds. He had to remove Duncan as soon as possible, not to restrain the emperor, but for the sake of the King’s Heart.

    Then who should replace him? What about the war profiteer?

    Truyde offered words of comfort while hiding his inner thoughts.

    “If they trust His Majesty and are excited, the problem will soon be resolved. Marquis Norhox has guaranteed that he will succeed no matter what happens. I heard that he even prepared quite a clever bait.”

    “Does Duke Truyde also think so?”


    Truyde smiled at the surprised opponent.

    “But it doesn’t matter. It would be even better if His Majesty returns alive.”

    “Even better?”

    “Why do you think His Majesty has been wandering outside the country for the past six years?”

    Duncan frowned and mentioned Karas’ cruel nature.

    Because of his love for blood.”

    However, Truyde shook his head.

    “No, it’s because of fear.”


    “Yes. He saw how his father died and he himself became addicted to the black potion, so he fears us. That’s why he’s out there, gaining strength in order to attack us. So, if he returns, it would surely only bring us joy.”

    Truyde let out a voice mixed with laughter.

    “This is our front yard. What is there to worry about when everyone in the palace is under our control? If His Majesty comes, we should welcome him. Among us, we need to find what he treasures, likes, and his weaknesses, slowly making him kneel down to us, and tame him by adjusting the black potion appropriately. However, if he still doesn’t listen.”

    Truyde shrugged his shoulders and added easily.

    “We’ll kill him, that’s all.”

    [T/N: This Truyde is getting on my nerves T-T Btw, we are almost reaching the end of 2nd volume! About 2-3 chapters left~]

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