“Do you want to see another woman by my side?”
His gaze, which looked slightly somber, fell upon Ronée. His eyes resembled the deep sea she had once read about in a book.
‘The waters may appear calm, but one never knew what laid beneath the surface…’
This described Nabel’s eyes perfectly. His gaze appeared calm, but the thoughts coursing through his mind were a complete mystery to those around him.
“Tell me I’m the only one you want” replied Ronée.
‘For the past 10 years, my mind was constantly filled with thoughts of you.’
‘Reminiscing about the time we spent together and wondering what kind of person you would become; I waited for you to return and fulfill your promise to me.’
‘So, please tell me I’m the only one you need.’
His deep blue eyes regarded her as she spoke.
“You’re more than enough for me,” Nabel said sincerely.
‘Please don’t leave,’ he silently pleaded.
“Furthermore, I want to stand at your side as a true master of the Shinsu.”
‘Regardless of what threats come our way, I refuse to yield.’
“…It could be dangerous.”
Nabel closed his eyes when thoughts of Duke Lloyd began to surface.
‘I don’t want to be disturbed by the thought of that unpleasant man while lying in this bed.’
“I don’t want to be useless while standing next to you. Not after you worked so hard to protect my sanctuary.”
Ronée still remembered the wounds Nabel received that day when he removed the vines from in front of her room with his small hands.
“What you have done for me, I will do the same for you. Or do you intend for me to simply exist at your side as an ornament?”
“I would never dare to do such a thing to you,” Nabel said as he buried his face in her arms. “As I told you once before, my reason for revealing my secret to you is so you can hold my leash and wield me at will.”
“Then, allow me to become a true master of the Shinsu.”
In the end, Nabel had no choice but to grant Ronée’s request.
“…I will prepare you for the test.”
“And when you finally stand at my side as a true master of the Shinsu, I will make this place the warmest haven.”
Nabel held her hand tightly.
* * * * * * *
That morning, the Emperor’s Palace was lively with rumors about Nabel.
“A woman from the Eastern Continent?”
“Hold your tongue, she is a guest of His Majesty.”
“But she’s from the East…”
“… Are you saying he spent the night with her?”
Although Nabel remained silent on the matter, the rumors continued and eventually spread throughout the Imperial Castle.
Naturally, the rumors also reached the ears of Nabel’s knights.
The Imperial Castle of the Western Empire consists of several buildings within and outside the fortress walls.
Among the knights, Nesha, a member of the 1st Order of Imperial Knights, who oversaw guarding the inner castle, was forced to listen to a discussion concerning the rumors that morning.
“Did they spend the night together?”
“I’m sure they did, right?”
“So, did they just go to sleep, or…”
Nesha slapped a knight on the back before he made a slip of the tongue. The knights who were curiously discussing the master’s night were members of the emperor’s private order of knights.
They came from families that were loyal to the former Iver Emperor and had met and fought alongside Nabel on the battlefield for nearly a decade.
Even the other nobles didn’t know the story of how the group came to be.
The imperial knights were a group that followed strict rules. It was because their actions were associated with the prestige of the imperial family.
However, the 1st Order of Imperial Knights, to which Nesha belonged, was a little different, due to their work being closer to that of an informant than a knight.
A group that Emperor Nabel Iver solely entrusted with missions that were both highly classified and dangerous.
That was a more accurate description for them. Thanks to this, they had to be aware of all the rumors within the Imperial City.
‘It appears that he spent the night with the one he brought from the Eastern Continent.’
Nesha rubbed his forehead in exhaustion at the rumors. Things were becoming clearer as he approached the Ronée Palace.
Duke Lloyd would not turn a blind eye to his master choosing a woman of unknown origins when there are plenty of eligible noblewomen in the Western Empire.
He would brazenly push forward his 20-year-old daughter as a potential marriage candidate.
‘But why did he have to sleep with her now?’
It was the task of the 1st Order of Imperial Knights to consider such things. After 10 years on the battlefield, much of their noble dignity had been lost, but in this case, their prestigious background was very helpful.
No one was as knowledgeable as they were when it came to politics.
Then someone called him from afar. It was Ruchel, the Grand Mage running towards him with a frantic expression. He had also traveled the battlefield with Nabel, but became a member of the Magic Tower instead, thanks to his divine magic.
Ruchel was blue in the face when he reached Nesha and needed a moment to catch his breath before he could respond to his question.
“His Majesty is preparing for the Tower Trial!”
Nesha was satisfied with his master’s wise decision to shut Duke Lloyd’s mouth. Duke Lloyd would no longer be able to question Ronée’s origins.
However, Duke Lloyd is still a follower of the House of Miltan and couldn’t be executed because there was no evidence of treason.
And Nesha was confident that Duke Lloyd would not welcome the return of the master of the Shinsu to the Iver family.
It was obvious what Duke Llyod’s next move would be.
He would try to interfere by any means!
Nesha felt like pulling his hair out when he thought about the difficulties he would face in order to escort Ronée safely.
* * * * * * *
“Your Majesty, the situation is still chaotic. In particular, some of Miltan’s minions remain.”
The Western Empire’s Political Affairs Conference had been in session for several hours. Nabel was sitting up with his chin resting in his hand as he listened to the countless reports.
He typically didn’t attend political meetings with such indifference.
As an emperor that always considered the future of the Western Empire before acting, Nabel had strong allies and could relentlessly crush his opposition without hesitation.
Most of those who had experienced Miltan’s reign over the past few years had no choice but to welcome his reign. The Miltan’s had lost the trust of the nobles after completely shattering the stability of the Western Continent.
The Miltans had never been interested in the future of the Western Empire.
They only pursued their own personal interests.
Had it not been for Nabel, the Western Empire would have been split into four or five pieces by the Miltan Family.
“So, please, pay attention to the rumors. You must not give them a chance to use this as a way to undermine His Majesty.”
After listening to their chatter for two hours, Nabel could no longer maintain his posture.
The nobles of the Political Affairs Council were shocked by the news that the emperor had spent the night in Ronée’s room.
Many were genuinely worried about him, while some secretly tried to pave a path for their daughters to join the imperial family.
They were only motivated by their own selfish desires. Regardless of their reasons, they all sought to mix with the imperial family.
Nabel narrowed his eyes. He hated those who were willing to sell their children and trample on the lives of others to promote their status.
“Of course, no one would dare tell His Majesty that it is a mistake, but-“
“That’s enough.” Nabel raised his hand to stop the words of the nobles. “I think we have heard enough about how well the daughters of the nobles have been raised.
Nabel stood up. He no longer wanted to hear the nobles brag about their daughters. His firm words silenced the crowd.
“I know the situation is chaotic.”
Even the matters concerning Miltan’s followers haven’t been resolved yet.
He couldn’t find a speck of physical evidence that would grant him the opportunity to make their heads fly off. They must have someone cleaning up behind them.
Someone such as….
His gaze fell on Duke Lloyd, who had been trying to make his daughter seem as appealing as possible the entire time.
“Your Majesty, the one staying in the Ronée Palace is a woman from the Eastern Continent, whose identity has yet to be verified. It would be wise to maintain some distance for now….”
Marquis Donnett, who spoke with such distress, was a very close friend of Duke Lloyd.
“To think that someone from the lower class would dare approach the emperor… Your Majesty-”
“Do you think I spent the night with a woman I didn’t know?”
Nabel laughed. He didn’t intend deny it.
“I’m sure you all have heard rumors about this ‘unknown’ person.”
“―I heard rumors that she is the owner of a Shinsu, but….” Marquis Donnett answered in a reluctant voice.
The nobles who were not present at the Imperial Palace prior to the conference looked at each other in surprise.
“An owner of a Shinsu?”
“But it’s only been about 10 years since Pell passed away….”
It seemed that the rumor had not yet spread outside the Imperial Castle.
But now it would spread through them.
Nabel didn’t want more people to know about Ronée.
He knew that if more people heard about Ronée, the number of people pursuing her would increase.
It didn’t matter whether they had good or evil intentions.
Jealousy would arise regardless of situation or reason.
Furthermore, the sudden appearance of an owner of a Shinsu would attract a lot of attention.
‘It’s obvious how those who follow the Miltans will act….’
‘As the master of the Shinsu, I will take your name.’
But it was Ronée’s choice to take the Iver name.
In other words, she would be recognized as a true master of the Shinsu and marry him.
Nabel shut his eyes and slowly opened them again.
“Even if a Shinsu has appeared, it’s still not clear if she is the owner of the Shinsu, Your Majesty,” Marquis Donnett spoke once more.
He spoke with a tone that seemed attentive and concerned, but there was only one thing he wanted.
To somehow prevent Ronée from solidifying her position.
By creating problems that would force her to abandon the Imperial family of Iver and join the Miltans would be like killing two birds with one stone.
Nabel had no intention of letting it fold that way.
“Then, let’s proceed with the tower’s trial,” Nabel said smoothly.
‘Isn’t this what you wanted?’
He smiled boldly.
‘While we were preparing for the trial, they will certainly aim for her.’
Strict escort protocols would be required, but it couldn’t be helped.
“Tell the Magic Tower to prepare for the trial. As soon as the owner of the Shinsu regains her health, the trial will take place. And…”
Nabel hit the nail on the head.
“Once she is recognized as the master of the Shinsu, I intend to proceed with the national marriage right away. Any objections?”
Nabel tilted his head slightly. The nobles’ mouths were agape from shock.
The words were dropped like a bomb by the emperor, who had previously acted as if he had no interest in women, at the Political Affairs Conference.
There were no objections.
If she is the master of a Shinsu, it wouldn’t matter where she came from.
However, the national marriage is a process that several parties are invested in.
The expressions of the nobles varied as they looked at each other.
In particular, Duke Lloyd could barely keep a straight face.
Nabel’s smile deepened.
If Ronée successfully completes the trial, he could proceed with the national marriage. The opposition would be driven out and he could make this place a haven.
Next, he would wipe out the temples and the Rieda family in the Eastern Continent.
‘Ronée, a cursed woman?’
‘The corners of his lips lifted as he chuckled.
He would punish those who dared to not serve her.
From 10 years ago until now and into the future, everything would be for the sake of giving Ronée a sanctuary.
❤️ Note❤️ We’re really sorry about the late releases! I am still really sick with Covid and Jay isn’t feeling the best either.
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