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  • The past can be known. So naturally, Truyde’s secret can also be revealed. Because those secrets are something that happened in the past. Not only that, but it would also reveal the last moments of his master, whom he could not protect in the end, and how the prince had lived for the past twelve years.

    As time passed, Abel realized how much he still didn’t know yet until the lord’s wife told them. However, being able to know everything about the past seemed like a lie. At first, he thought it might be records of the past, but even records have their limits. You can’t leave everything behind. And if it were a record, the fact that only one specific person could read it was strange.

    Then is it magic?

    However, that also didn’t make sense. The emperor was the one who inherited the power of the dragon. He himself had a power that seemed like magic. But now it was a Regas who could see the past. Abel looked down at his bandaged arm which was still not healed. It seemed like he had no power at all.

    “Are you scared?”

    Abel looked up at the cautious question. Melmond was looking at him with worried eyes beyond the campfire.

    “Does it burden you that only you can find out the past?”

    “No.” Abel murmured under his breath and shook his head.

    “I just can’t believe it.”

    “Well, I still can’t believe it either. Something that can find out everything about the past.”

    Melmond glanced down at the snoring butler next to him and spoke.

    “At first, I thought it might be a book with records of the past, but it doesn’t make sense to be ‘all’ of the past. After all, you can’t write down everything that happens in this world.”

    Melmond, who had the same thoughts as Abel, then tilted his head.

    “So even if it’s a book, I wonder if there’s some kind of magic in it. Something that only a Regas can read, and see? Like how only the Regas can enter the Dragon’s Forest.”

    Ah, Dragon Forest.

    Only then did Abel slightly agree.

    “That makes sense. It’s not that I have some magic, but rather that the object itself is enchanted. I’m just the condition for it.”

    “That’s right. And if it’s an object, it’s better to find it than to find out the secret of the black potion from Truyde. Of course, Marquis Yan is also a dangerous person, so it’s better not to expose it to him.”

    “Is it possible?”

    “I heard that Marquis Yan has been reclusive since his son died a few years ago. Like a tiger without its fangs. It won’t be easy to deal with him, but if Truyde has more weaknesses, we might be able to steal the object secretly.”

    “And we can find out what else we need.”

    “What do you mean by what we need?”

    Melmond asked as Abel added.

    Before answering, Abel looked around at a place a little farther away. Kin and Karas, who had given the campfire to Abel and his companions, were having a conversation. It was mainly Kin talking, while Karas seemed uninterested, looking elsewhere. For the past few days, Kin had been talking to Karas alone.

    Is something going on?

    Abel had been uneasy ever since they left the lord’s manor. They had planned to meet the emperor’s army near the capital, but there was still time before the agreed date. Yet the journey was more strenuous than when they went to the lord’s manor. Thus, when the few hours of rest came, everyone collapsed as if they had passed out.

    Especially for the weak Abel, the bumpy carriage was a torment. That’s why it had been days since he had a proper conversation with Melmond. The situation seemed like they were being chased. No one said it out loud, but Abel’s companions suspected they were being chased by someone.

    The reason was the soldiers they had seen at the inn after leaving the lord’s manor. The way those soldiers, marked with the insignia of the emperor’s army, looked at Karas and Kin was a bit strange.

    However, nothing had happened for days, and they just kept moving quickly. Though frustrated by the lack of explanation from the two, there was nothing they could do but endure. But today was different. Despite having a village nearby and the sun not yet set, they stopped at the forest entrance.

    So, they had a little more time to rest than usual and had a conversation, but it made them more anxious.

    Were they not being chased in the first place?

    Or did they think it was okay since they would soon meet the emperor’s army?

    There were many questions, but what truly troubled Abel was something else.

    The person who had made him feel down for days. Karas, who was now listening indifferently to Kin’s story. Every time Abel looked at him, his heart felt as heavy as a stone. His current expression was the same as when he killed the lord’s young daughter. A face devoid of emotion.

    Even though he had been told that the fake’s sins justified killing the lord’s family and their servants, his sadness still remained. It wasn’t just because of sympathy for the lord’s family. It was because of Karas. His appearance when killing someone was not only cruel, but also empty, as if he couldn’t feel anything, and it suffocated Abel.

    “What past do you want to know?”

    Melmond, who was tired of waiting, asked again, and Abel came to his senses and turned his head.

    “Like how the prince spent those twelve years.”

    Melmond frowned as if he was worried, and Abel smiled slightly as he looked at him.

    “Just… I’m worried that the prince might have become too accustomed to war.”

    Although he said that, he actually wanted to see the past of someone else. He became curious about Karas’ past. Before, he reminded him of the prince while looking at him, but now he was worried about him regardless if he reminded him of the prince or not. And this was a big problem.

    As they continued to travel together, he tried to attribute his growing interest to the reason of being together, but his heart’s reaction was excessive. Unconsciously, he found himself becoming conscious of him, stealing glances at him. Like now, when he felt his gaze. Abel quickly averted his eyes again but then lowered his head in surprise when he met his gray eyes.

    Melmond said something in a somewhat in bewildered voice from the front. It seemed like he was saying that the prince was doing well. However, Abel didn’t pay much attention to Melmond’s words because he could feel his gaze still on him.

    Why did he keep worrying about the Commander-in-Chief, even though worrying about the prince was enough?

    Abel raised his eyes only after asking himself a question that seemed to reproach himself.

    “When we arrive at the palace, I will go to Marquis Yan’s house.”

    Melmond looked surprised at Abel’s decision and glanced at Karas.

    “Let’s think carefully about that. It’s better to decide after seeing the situation instead of rushing in blindly. Marquis Yan won’t necessarily help us just because we go looking for him.”

    “But if the prince enters the palace, he will have to fight the King’s Heart right away. No, he will be poisoned before that.”

    “Yeah, we need to be more cautious. His Majesty also believes it must be done within a month after entering the palace. That’s clear evidence that he takes the situation seriously.”

    “Within a month? Did the prince say that? But Melmond, you made an antidote. With that, can’t he endure it even if he’s in the palace? That’s why you said he’s fine now, right?”

    Melmond sighed softly at the probing question.

    “Yes, it’s been fine until now. Regardless of what anyone says, the battlefield was His Majesty’s territory. Even if the King’s Heart put poison in the food, the amount wasn’t large. I made sure it looked like he was only poisoned to that extent. But the antidote I made could only stop that amount of poison.”

    Abel could tell even without hearing Melmond’s next words. Even if he didn’t see his face, which had become darker.

    “He will be caught right away in the palace. And Truyde will increase the amount of the black potion to the point where my antidote becomes useless. What worries me is why His Majesty set the deadline for a month. I wonder if that’s the maximum time he can endure it.”

    The maximum time he can endure.

    Abel stared at Melmond for a moment, lost for words, and then whispered.

    “So, the prince is willing to fight with his life at stake?”

    “Hmm, it seems like it.”

    “That’s ridiculous.”

    Abel tried to lower his voice which was getting louder and approached Melmond.

    “That, that is too dangerous. Since we know there’s some weakness of the Marquis, we should find it before entering the palace. Anyway, His Majesty should not enter the palace. Not until we find a way to stop the black potion.”

    “I know that too. But it’s what he decided.”

    “Melmond, please stop him. He doesn’t know anything right now. When you meet tomorrow, please persuade him and talk about the Marquis.”

    “Abel.”

    Melmond grabbed Abel’s arm as he panicked and whispered softly.

    “There is no one who can persuade him.”

    “……”

    “He doesn’t listen to anyone.”

    Both of them stared at each other in silence. However, the silence only indicated that they had the same thoughts. Although he listens to no one, one person may be an exception. That one person is undoubtedly Abel. But neither of them could say it out loud.

    Abel was worried about the wounds he would cause him if he died again, and Melmond felt like he was putting a heavy burden on Abel. Melmond was already worried that he had burdened him now, but the fairy in front of him was still the same Abel who always smiled brightly 12 years ago.

    “What Melmond said is right.”

    After a while, when Abel opened his mouth, Melmond looked at him with a questioning gaze. Abel looked at the empty space as if thinking for a moment and then smiled as if changing the atmosphere. Melmond recalled the past with that smile. The guy who laughed well, knowing he was going to die. And he was the same this time too.

    “It’s not a good idea to go see the Marquis without thinking.”

    “Yeah, that’s a bad idea.”

    “Yes, I should meet the prince first.”

    “Right, the prince… What?”

    Melmond swallowed nervously and asked with a trembling voice at the unexpected words.

    “But you said you didn’t intend to reveal your identity as Abel to His Majesty.”

    “Yes. I don’t plan to reveal it.”

    Abel nodded his head and lowered his voice to Melmond, suddenly asking a question.

    “Mr. Melmond, do you know why I was born in the body of young master Lil instead of someone else’s?”

    Naturally, Melmond had no idea. As Melmond tried to hide his uneasiness and shook his head, Abel smiled cheekily and clenched his fist.

    “It was to seduce the prince with this appearance. It provided a way for me to persuade the prince while hiding my identity!”

    Melmond’s eyebrows twitched at his low shout. It seemed plausible.

    After all, wouldn’t anyone be willing to do anything for him if he just shouted ‘Aing~’ once? Moreover, since the Emperor was a man, naturally, he would yield, wouldn’t he? With that thought, Abel drove the wedge in.

    [T/N: ‘Aing’ In this context, Abel is implying that just by using his appearance and perhaps a bit of aegyo or cuteness, he could easily manipulate or persuade others, even the Emperor, to comply with his wishes.]

    “Furthermore, just by keeping me by his side based on my appearance, he’ll soon get bored and push me away. Of course, even if he gets annoyed and decides to punish me, my frail body won’t be able to endure it, and I’ll collapse before he can even do anything. Then, he’ll forget about punishing me when he sees me collapse.”

    Melmond’s eyes shook. It sounded like nonsense, but it also seemed plausible. After all, even though Abel’s weak body was annoying, it didn’t make him angry but rather it made him feel incredulous.

    It is so unbelievable.

    Is this guy a genius or something?

    “Okay. Let’s push forward with your appearance for now, whether it works out or not. And when you have won his heart, you can persuade him.”

    “Yes, I’ll make sure he likes me.”

    “Yeah, if it’s your appearance, he’ll gladly embrace you…”

    Melmond paused. He finally realized that there was still a major obstacle. Abel still doesn’t know that the prince is the terrifying Karas, and pushing through it using his appearance ultimately means he would have to have s3x with him.

    “Mr. Melmond, is there something wrong?”

    “You, y-you still don’t know who the prince is. No, more importantly, are you okay with that?”

    “What do you mean?”

    Seeing Abel’s innocent question, Melmond swallowed his saliva. As expected, it was just as he thought.

    “Do you know what it means to push through with your appearance?”

    Of course. Abel nodded vigorously, smiling as if to say not to worry.

    “It means becoming close friends by pushing through with my appearance.”

    “……”

    “If it doesn’t work, then just friends.”

    “Hey, shut up.”

    Melmond spat out and slumped on his seat feeling regretful of the time he wasted on their conversation. Abel, who was confused beside him, asked, “Why?” but he couldn’t bring himself to tell him directly.

    That he had to endure and accept Karas’ hot pen1s which he suspected was a wooden bat every morning on the ship.

    Genius my as*, he was still an idiot.

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