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    The butler cleared his throat, then glanced away before finally speaking.

    “I’m glad. It means our master and mistress can continue to see the young master they worked so hard to have. However, our mistress is very frail. Even a small shock can make her faint, so when facing our master and mistress, please imitate our young master as much as possible.”

    “Yes, of course, imi….”

    Abel, who was nodding his head vigorously, suddenly stopped and asked.


    “Yes. It’s not that difficult. Our young master was a very simple person.”

    Abel blinked his eyes at those words, wondering if that was the case, but Melmond, who was quietly listening to their conversation, couldn’t help but intervene. The butler’s young master, who was said to love mirrors the most, didn’t seem to have such a simple personality. He seems very picky and self-indulgent.

    “Is he really that simple?”

    Melmond asked with a skeptical voice, and the butler confidently replied with a face that said it was obvious.

    “Yes, that’s right. Our young master lived in this world with only one belief.”

    “What belief?”

    “That he’s the best!”


    “Hahaha, he acted so well according to that belief, how he pretended to be superior and selfishly thought only of himself, without any consideration or kindness to others. He was such a great person who lived like that.”

    He’s a social devil.

    Melmond wanted to blurt out, but the butler proudly raised one finger to boast about the young master’s flawlessness. What worried him was Abel, who had to act as such a person. He was also surprised, with his mouth half open. Melmond tried to comfort him by putting his hand on his shoulder. It must be a shock for a kind soul like him….

    “Wow, he was an amazing person.”

    Abel exclaimed. The butler’s pride grew even stronger.

    “Hoho, yes. In unfortunate circumstances, he refused to be anyone but himself. In that sense, he was so naive that he didn’t even know how to pretend to be good for the sake of others’ opinions. Uhaha―”

    “Wow, he must have been a person with strong principles!”

    “That’s right. No matter how much he was insulted around, he elegantly ignored everyone with dignity!”

    “He’s really amazing!”

    “Hahaha― Our young master is a bit……”


    Melmond finally interrupted the fools conversation by hitting the table. Then, with a menacing look at the startled pair, he sorted out the situation.

    “Imitating the amazing young master is a later problem, what are the other necessary conditions?”

    “Ehem, I seem to have gotten a bit excited.”

    Fortunately, as a quick-witted butler who had a great young master, he quickly put a smile on his face.

    “The second condition.”

    “Yes,” Able replied, swallowing nervously.

    He had a feeling that difficult requests were about to be made. Indeed, the condition that came out through the butler’s mouth seemed challenging for Abel’s body right now.

    “Health. We cannot send you to a dangerous place without a promise to make an effort to maintain your health properly.”

    However, Abel laughed brightly instead. This was actually what he had hoped for.

    “Of course! I will make an effort. I was already thinking that I needed to get healthier. I’ve been exercising diligently. By the way, Mr. Melmond.”

    Abel quickly turned to Melmond and asked.

    “My master told me before that there is a special ingredient in barley liquor that is very good for health. Do you happen to know what that special ingredient is?”



    Abel made a firm promise to the butler with a stern face.

    “I will definitely get healthier through exercise.”

    “Just having good health is not enough. You must make an effort to meet the standards I propose.”

    The butler said firmly, his eyes sharp. He had a separate goal in mind. He wanted to make the other person give up by presenting standards that they could never agree to. This was something that even a healthy person would find impossible, so the butler could confidently say it.

    “At least, you should be able to climb a cliff with bare hands and defeat a wild boar with bare hands……”

    “Uhahaha― Of course!”

    The other person also confidently replied. Not only that, but he clenched his fists and ignited his determination.

    “The basics of health are cliff climbing and wrestling with wild boars! That’s actually my specialty!”


    “Even if the young master’s body is weak, I can overcome it with effort. Hehe, I will work hard!”

    The butler, who had expected Abel to be intimidated and retreat when he presented unreasonable standards, stood firm like a rock. Melmond quietly offered words of comfort.

    “Let’s drink the snake wine first.”

    ⊹˚. ♡.𖥔 ݁ ˖ ⊹˚. ♡.𖥔 ݁ ˖

    It’s roughly a month’s journey. The butler, having obtained permission from the master just a day after contacting him, swiftly completed the preparations. Thanks to that, the next morning, the carriage was loaded with luggage. Although it’s said that using the waterway during the middle of the journey would significantly shorten the travel time, it is still a far place that would take a month to travel even by carriage.

    What kind of feelings does the prince have in that distant place?

    If Abel had one wish for the prince, it was that even if he had to shed blood through countless deaths, he hoped the prince would live the life he desired. Abel turned his head in the still dim dawn sky. The butler was checking numerous times to see if he had accidentally left any luggage behind, and Melmond was saying goodbye to his family from behind.

    “I’ll just pass on what’s necessary and come back right away. If I take a ship in the middle, it could be shortened by a week. If all goes well, I might be able to return in two months.”

    His wife nodded at his nonchalant explanation. Although she wasn’t exactly thrilled about him going off to battle, as her husband departed for the dangerous battlefield, her face was as calm as his.

    “Take care.”

    She simply bid farewell and pushed her husband’s back.

    Abel immediately realized why they were so calm.

    They were used to this. It was clear that Melmond had taken this trip many times before. Perhaps he had left home dozens or hundreds of times in the past 12 years to give the prince an antidote.

    “Shall we depart?”


    “Huh? What’s wrong?”

    Melmond noticed the green eyes that were silently looking up at him and turned around as he passed by. At first, he didn’t recognize it, but the more he looked, the more it reminded him of the old Abel. It wasn’t that the color was the same, but the same warmth could be felt. But the face was that of an unfamiliar fairy. Abel, who had shorter hair and looked even more fairy-like, shook his head and faintly smiled.

    “I will work hard. I will do whatever I can do.”

    Don’t die just yet, just as he was about to lightly retort, but feeling the weight in his voice, he closed his mouth. Melmond knew that Abel felt guilty about the past 12 years. It seemed like he was sorry for not being able to go through difficult times together.

    What a foolish guy.

    Melmond grumbled internally and then responded bluntly.

    “Take care of your health first.”

    “Haha, of course! I’ll get well soon and climb the cliffs with my bare hands….”

    “Just shut up and walk properly on flat ground.”

    Abel rode the carriage with a defeated look, his shoulders slumped. He had dashed out the door yesterday morning, claiming he would start exercising right away, but he couldn’t even take ten steps before fainting, showing how delicate his lungs are.

    The butler’s statement that they must start with walking had already shocked Melmond, so one could only imagine how it affected Abel. Although Abel seemed to be in low spirits, Melmond couldn’t help but chuckle at the sight of Abel’s shrunken back. That guy would never know. No matter how much he returned with a fragile body after twelve years, his mere presence brought him immense joy and reassurance.

    Of course, he never intended to express such feelings. He had a slightly resentful feeling towards this guy who died early. As he got on the carriage, he thought of someone who might feel more resentful than himself.

    May the prince’s resentment never turn into hatred.

    When one had a master, seizing power was natural, when one had none, openly wielding power was a given.

    Six years ago, when the prince ascended the throne and left the palace citing war as the reason, it was truly so. The power he held in his hands wouldn’t change, even if the new king was away.

    Things should have improved, there was no reason for them to worsen, but the current situation was not as expected. Perhaps the ominous signs began six years ago, during the king’s succession ceremony. The one ascending to the throne had the duty to prove the power of the dragon during the ceremony.

    The King’s Heart had already prepared a plan to deceive the people on that day. A trick to make objects float in the air when the prince gives a signal. However, the prince did something else. He untied the cloth that covered his eyes. Then, with his gray eyes, he looked around at the people.

    To those who knew the prince’s old yellow eyes, it was more surprising than any other miraculous dragon’s miracle.

    What could have happened?

    Could it be someone other than the prince?

    The King’s Heart was bewildered. However, everyone who saw him unanimously said the same thing.

    He had grown taller and his face had become that of a young man, but he was clearly still the prince. Even with his ordinary gray eyes, he still exuded a creepy aura. It was a chilling sensation as if the snake in front of them was baring its fangs and silently preparing to strike their neck.

    If the prince’s eyes were truly restored, this would be a big problem. The prince might possess the true power of a dragon contrary to what the King’s Heart had anticipated. Fortunately, even though the prince exuded an aura that one could not approach, his gaze remained cloudy. That was clearly a symptom of black potion poisoning.

    Thanks to the gradual poisoning over the past six years, even inside the royal palace, he consumed food containing the black potion without any resistance. But something was odd. While one should become blurred in mind and seek only pleasure due to the black potion, the prince desired blood. He declared war.

    Some within the King’s Heart dismissed it as the effect of the black potion manifesting as violence, but Truyde felt uneasy. War, of all things. The prince had already been out of their control for the past six years, and now, as soon as he became king, he was slipping out of their grasp again.

    However, the 14-year-old boy had been hoping for the day when he could stain his sword with blood while mastering swordsmanship for six years. As evidence, several Regas who were sent to the King’s Heart were thrown in front of the palace after being tortured. The voices calling for him to control his temper grew louder, and the war began under the pretext of resolving minor disputes at the border.

    At first, everyone expected the prince to return within a few months, a year at most. But it had already been six years. At that time, he had thoroughly defeated neighboring countries and was even called the reincarnation of the dragon. The King’s Heart, who had complacently let him go, believing he could be controlled with the black potion, now found the prince not only worshipped as a god by the people but also posing a direct threat to the King’s Heart.

    As soon as he had most of the continent in his hands, he ascended to the position of emperor. Once he was no longer called a king, the King’s Heart also lost its relevance like a severed cord. Initially, the King’s Heart did not take it seriously. However, the symbolism carried by the name was quite significant.

    Now people no longer saw the emperor and the King’s Heart as one. In the past, the King’s Heart was considered to be the king’s will, but the emperor was just an emperor. Therefore, the King’s Heart even tried to change the name of the faction to the Emperor’s Heart.

    However, their attempts were met with ridicule. They made the long-standing faction look ridiculous in an instant by asking if the King’s Heart would become the Beggar’s Heart if the king suddenly fell into poverty due to his defeat in war. As the emperor continued to win battles and expand his territory, a new rising power suddenly emerged, who moved to the newly conquered lands and began to accumulate wealth. They naturally sided with the emperor and supported him.

    The King’s Heart, leisurely occupying ownerless palaces, found themselves welcoming new deputies appointed by the emperor on the battlefield. It was only then that the King’s Heart realized, as if awakening from a drunken stupor, that their power was in jeopardy. It was not just a matter of the faction’s name anymore.

    Now there was only one country in the continent that did not kneel under the emperor’s feet. If this place, which had lasted for over a year unlike other places, fell, the war would end. The next place the emperor might point his sword to could very well be their own.

    While the King’s Heart was at ease, the emperor, who had grown like a giant tree, clearly intended to seize the power of the black potion by force, unlike his ancestors. The black potion, which they believed to be omnipotent, had actually made him more dangerous. As evidence, the emperor easily closed one of the King’s Heart’s sources of income, a salt mine.

    It happened the day after they stopped using the black potion to tame the emperor. Salt was supplied from the newly conquered lands and spread in the market at a cheaper price. Profiting from this was one of the emerging forces supported by the emperor. Thus, an invisible fierce battle of wits between the emperor and the King’s Heart continued for several years. Now that the war was nearing its end, the King’s Heart had few cards left to play.

    “We must continue to endure.”

    Truyde’s indifferent tone distorted the expressions of the remaining King’s Heart. One of them, whose financial situation had deteriorated rapidly between 1 and 2 years, voiced his dissatisfaction.

    “But do you know how much money we have already spent to endure the enemy for a year?”

    Though everyone seemed reluctant to agree, there was an undeniable truth in Truyde’s following words that left no room for rebuttal.

    “Is that a big deal? His Majesty is still alive.”

    Truyde was the only one who opposed the war. He warned that if the king went too far away, he wouldn’t be able to properly take the black potion, but others were too focused on resolving the immediate situation and couldn’t see the future. After six years, he mockingly threw laughter at the remaining four families with a relaxed expression.

    “Once he leaves the palace and enters the battlefield, there is no other way to eliminate His Majesty. In order to do that, the war must continue, isn’t that right?”

    Truyde’s gaze turned sharp as it fell on Norhox.

    “And who was the one who guaranteed that one person would die in an instant during the war?”


    Norhox bit his lip as he faced the condemning gaze directed at him.

    “This time will be different. No matter how monstrous the emperor’s moves are, this time, his throat will be cut. I’ve prepared a bait separate from the shadow that follows him like Ashler and the knights. I’ve set up several traps, so he won’t be able to escape alone. Even if he goes all the way to the end, he will surely die there. I can guarantee that.”

    With a grim tone, he added as if this was truly the last time.

    “Well, no human could possibly survive it.”

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