Chapter 48

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“Sister!”

“Look, young lady. You have to tell us where your family is.”

“Well, uh, I heard that my older sister is here.”

“Is that older sister at the Imperial Palace ball?” 

The guards blocked the little girl.

Although they didn’t know which country she came from, the clothes she wore were the same style that was popular about 10 years ago. Still, her skin looked good and her hands showed that she never did any sort of physical work.

It seems obvious that she’s a noble lady…

“Hhhh…”

Then, a plump, pale man suddenly emerged from the bushes.

The guards said, ‘Who the hell is this guy? They frowned and looked at him, but soon they were startled and froze. 

“…oh, Marquis of Auburn?”

The Marquis of Auburn was sweating profusely because he chased after Iris Caverner who ran ahead like a slender swallow. 

The Marquis of Auburn then spoke to the guards with a somewhat intimidated face.

“I told her to wait for the ball to end, but suddenly this kid is doing this all by herself. Now, Iris. Come here. You came here because you said you couldn’t wait for Juliana to come home. But you can’t go in because you haven’t been invited.”

“Oh, Marquis of Auburn. But my mom…wants to see my sister very much.”

“…”

These words hardened the face of the Marquis of Auburn. He sighed, his eyes were filled with sentiment.

“…alright. I’ll help you deliver her words—.”

They were standing next to the guards and confusing them. Suddenly, someone strode towards them. 

“Mom? Who’s that person?”

“Sister!”

Iris clasped her hands together in front of her. Despite the coldness she heard in the voice of the person who appeared, she responded as if she knew the solution to this problem.

Juliana trembled with anger at the sight. Although she kept trying to calm herself down.

…yeah. I’m just reincarnated. So I can be less emotional. So as for the mother, the current mother is like another person for me now.

Juliana inwardly recited ‘the fact’.

Nevertheless, the memories of ‘Juliana Auburn’ were still lingering, so the thoughts of Teresa and her former mother filled her head.

Juliana said coldly, “What’s going on in that faraway country that you came all the way here? Now that you stepped into the capital, do you think someone like you is going to fit into a social party?”

She tried to restrain herself, but impulsive words popped out. Juliana uttered a curse word in her heart. She tried to bear it, but she couldn’t.

Whether or not she knew Juliana’s heart, Iris said, with a glint of goodness, as always, during interactions with her sister.

“Sister, I know you’re very angry with our mom. But…mom worries about you a lot. Believe me.”

“Aha. So for that reason, she sent me such nagging letters saying that even after she left home, she thought that it would be better for me to play less with strangers? But those letters ended a year ago, too. I thought she quit because she was bored—.”

“No! Mom was sick!”

Iris scolded Juliana for thinking that way. Iris continued, nervously playing with her black hair, which was quite different from her sister’s hair. 

“Oh, she couldn’t even write to my sister because she was so sick. Mom’s about to die. But, my mom said she wanted to see my sister.”

“…so you stepped uninvited into the Imperial Palace to act as her messenger? Do you know that if I’ve heard that you were here I would never meet you?”

Juliana sneered at her.

Then one of the guards standing next to her said, ‘What are you two talking about?’ and Evan, who came to Juliana’s side before she grasped the reality, said with a friendly smile, “I’ll protect this place, so you’d better get going.”

“…Duke.”

The guards looked at each other.

It was a great honor for them that an old friend of the Emperor and the hero of the Empire offered to protect such a back gate, but they didn’t want to be blamed for neglecting their duties.

Evan noticed that and mentioned the name of the captain of the Guards.

“How’s Claudier doing?”

“Cap, Captain Claudier always strives to protect His Majesty, the sun and—.”

Captain Claudier, the demonic captain of the Imperial Guards, was a woman who constantly teleported them to the northern borders whenever she thought it was necessary for them to fight the magical beasts until they were about to die. She said that it was to improve the strength and skills of the Emperor’s guards. 

Did the sweet and insane boss and the Duke, who were both wielding swords in the mountains of the north, knew each other well?

As soon as Evan mentioned Claudier’s name, the guards naturally started to back away. 

Evan grinned as he heard their intimidated voices in one ear and shed them in the other.

“Ah. Of course, I know. If you are trying to stay here in order to eavesdrop on the conversations of the nobles, you can convey other words to Claudier.”

“…huh!”

As soon as he said that, the guards didn’t forget to steadfastly salute and then run away.

Evan, who was watching them as they ran away, turned his head to face the eyes directed towards him.

“What’s the matter?”

Juliana, who was half feverish and had to do something with her appearance, calmed down a little.

“Do you really know the captain of the Guards?” she asked her husband dumbfoundedly.

“Juliana, there’s no way I know another woman.”

He looked at her with a look that seemed to be asking how could she not know it herself.

Perhaps because it was so ridiculous, Juliana finally calmed down completely. Evan, who was checking if she had been in control of her emotions, turned around and spoke to the Marquis of Auburn and Iris.

“I don’t think there’s any need to speak out here.”

“I don’t like it, Duke. We didn’t even have to talk long in the first place.”

Juliana, who spoke firmly, had no intention of taking her half-sister home.

When Juliana turned her gaze at her father, she tried to hold back her desire to scream.

Why is my father still so soft on her? You’ve been abandoned like that, what does it matter if she dies or not?!

“Let’s do this, then.”

Evan smiled and wrapped his arm around his wife’s shoulders. Then he whispered into her ear the words that Juliana had forbidden to say earlier.

“There’s someone who owes you a favor. She happens to have her own secret place.”

* * *

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