One evening after the merchant ship set sail.
I got a message from Kaelus that he was going to be late, so I had dinner first by myself.
The butler Uross said casually.
“Before he got married, he often worked at the palace this late.”
“I knew it, but it happened a lot more often than I thought.”
“To add a little suggestion, I was wondering if he’d like to have dinner at home once a week.”
“Kael hasn’t fully recovered yet, so he can’t overdo it already.”
I shook my head. To what extent do these emperor and prince plan to work my favorite?
I came back to my room after a leisurely meal. I sat down in front of my desk with the thought of taking care of the remaining work before bed.
Still, it was quite disturbing.
“In the novel, it just says that he works late at night…”
I feel sorry for Kaelus.
In fact, the overtime work of the character in the rofan novel that I encountered was far different from what I imagined.
The atmosphere of the night in modern Korea, where the surroundings are bright with artificial lighting, and the night in the rofan world, which has little to rely on other than the moonlight, differ in atmosphere.
Even now that I am working alone in this room, I feel a deep loneliness as if I were left alone in the world.
What about the imperial palace?
I opened the terrace door wide because I thought I might hear the sound of a carriage from outside.
After a long time.
As I was getting sleepy and my eyelids were heavy, I heard the clattering of carriage wheels outside.
Come to think of it, I’m also very strange. I can just fall asleep, but I’m waiting for my favorite while trying to get rid of sleepiness.
He’s been quite kind to me these days, so it seems like I’ve become his real wife.
I shouldn’t be like this.
This isn’t my home.
Then where’s my home?
Wake up, you’re a rofan reader. You’re not a character in a rofan.
“…Yes, I was just possessed….”
A lonely question and answer.
In fact, I have become more wary of myself these days.
I keep getting my position confused.
In reality, I fell asleep while reading a web novel at night, but when I woke up, I was possessed by a novel, so I even watched the ending of the novel as if I were experiencing a vivid VR experience.
Even after the ending, I still haven’t figured out why I couldn’t wake up from being possessed. Honestly, I don’t even know how to find out.
If I collapsed and died in the temple, shouldn’t I go back to the real world? Nevertheless, I am still in the world of this novel under the buff of ‘return’.
What the hell?
I ‘m not living in this world right now because I have a sense of duty. I just wanted to find a purpose because I couldn’t get out of it, and I just fixed it with the happiness of my favorite Kaelus.
Literally living while I’m alive.*
*TN: she’s just existing until she dies
It was the same in my original world, but it’s the same here.
Yeah, it’s the same thing. Same.
There is a rush of confusion.
Is there a fundamental difference between my previous life and my present life? Is the life where I’ve been reading web novels my reality? And is this just a novel?
If I admit that this is my reality, then what will my life be then, which was suddenly thrown away by possession?
Why did I go to school for decades and dream of the future and live a life of work?
Why? Because I thought I’d live in that world forever.
My reality is that I dream of the future. The life that can portray my distant future is the real “reality” that I have to live faithfully.
What about here?
Do I have a future here? Am I living as a Hestia, thinking about the future?
Not like that.
There is no future for me now. There is only the present Kaelus, and I only do what I have in front of me.
That’s why I can act so selfishly and slyly as a manipulative human being. Like a wicked woman in a novel.
It’s not my world, so I can be indifferent and callous to everything else in this world.
Except for one Kaelus.
“Get a hold of yourself! Are you going to live here just because your favorite has been kind to you?”
I slapped myself in the face with both hands.
Tingling cheeks. Did I hit myself too hard? Tears welled up.
“Get a hold of yourself….”
The next morning.
“Have you slept well?””
I said good morning to Kaelus whom I met at the dining hall. He also gave a simple answer.
“Did you sleep well? You seemed to stay up late last night.”
“Oh, how did you know?”
“When I got out of the carriage, I looked up at your room and found the terrace door open and lit.”
I’m a little touched. I can’t believe my favorite was checking my room.
At the same time, the confusion and loneliness that I felt alone that night came back to me.
I guess I looked down without realizing it. I suddenly came to my senses at the mysterious voice of Kaelus.
“Oh, haha, I was thinking about something else for a second…”
Kaelus frowned slightly and then straightened himself. Then he looked at me with more heavy eyes.
“Hestia, I have an important thing to tell you.”
“I think we’ll be negotiating with the kingdom in a few weeks.”
I stiffened up with the tableware in my hand.
Diplomatic negotiations with the kingdom.
The whole country trembled before the threat of war because it was unprepared before the return. Helios and other government ministers rushed around and tried to prevent the collapse.
The result is a near-devastating peace agreement. The merchants of the kingdom were allowed to do business within the empire without any restrictions.
It prevented the consequences of going to war, but it was never a good thing.
However, it changed after the regression.
Kaelus, an excellent negotiator, did not die for now, and I informed him in advance of the provocation of the border area and prevented it. In addition, they prepared early for the threat of war.
This allowed the empire to negotiate calmly and quietly with its neighbors without sudden fear and confusion.
Peace continues unbroken.
“Yes, I see… Finally….”
I managed to squeeze out my voice.
Kaelus also replied calmly.
“We’ve prepared thoroughly so far, so the negotiations will end successfully. It’s all thanks to you.”
“Don’t mention it. I just gave you a heads up, and I didn’t do anything.”
It’s true. It’s useless to just know.
Foresight is also useful because there are people who can change the situation well.
And another thing that changed before the return. What it means is that Kaelus is about to engage in negotiations with the kingdom.
“Then your promotion to the duke will be done.”
“At a cabinet meeting a few days later, the emperor will officially announce my promotion to the throne.”
Unlike me who is smiling, he’s always had a nonchalant look.
“And I told you first that the succession ceremony is not held in a grand manner due to circumstances. We’re running out of time, and we have more important things to do.”
“Yes, I don’t mind if you don’t mind.”
We can make a small rice cake and smash it.* Should I make it cake instead of rice cake?
*TN: idiom for a situation where there is enough of something. In this case, Hestia is saying there are enough rewards coming and that perhaps instead of rice cakes, she should celebrate with cake
A voice is heard at that moment.
“I’m going to file a complaint against the temple right after the negotiations.”
Another heavy thing falls on my chest.
Finally, the temple.
“I decided to do so because there was speculation that people’s attention would be completely focused on the temple only when negotiations with the kingdom were over. But if you have any other ideas, I want to hear them.”
My words were followed with a big smile.
“I agree with your plan. If people’s interests are elsewhere, the effectiveness of the accusation will be significantly reduced. That’s the best way to resonate as much as you want.”
When people’s eyes turn from outside the country back onto the country.
When you can eliminate all external threats and focus entirely on internal issues.
Diana, the noble saint.
I hope you’ll be safe in the midst of a series of hectic hits.
By the way, at this point, there was a desire that I couldn’t control.
Facing the heroine Diana alone.
“Ha… I miss you…”
What kind of expression will she make when she meets me in the middle of nowhere?
I want to feel her sincerity right under my nose. Despair, revenge, regret.
No, I’d love to see her steadfastly trying to keep her faith.
Her name is the crown princess who is trusted by the emperor. She must already know the situation inside and outside the country.
Kaelus is about to be promoted to duke, and that I will get the land of Princess Letona.
I completely gathered the positions of the Duke Orcus and Princess Letona, who were Diana’s enemies.
As a heroine, I think she’ll be a bit embarrassed.
“I really want to see your face shaking like that. Diana.”
I finally picked up my pen.
A very earnest letter to the lily palace owner, Princess Diana.
Let’s not let anyone step in, let’s face it woman to woman.
If you show me your true feelings even a little bit, I can also show you how much I really feel.
Actually, you’re curious, too. Diana.
Don’t you want to know how I feel, why I’m so impatient to eat you, and how I feel at the bottom of it?
“…so please do this humble woman’s request…”
Suddenly, a scene from the past comes to mind.
When I went to the temple and begged the priest to let me meet the saintess.
That’s what the priest said to me at the time. ‘I can’t let the noble crown princess meet a humble woman like you.’
What will happen this time?
“…please don’t defeat me, holy princess.”
On the day I got a reply from her, I quietly burned the letter.
In the secret place of prayer in the temple.
Somehow, I feel strange because it seems like the two of them are connected.
I didn’t even tell Kaelus that I was supposed to meet Diana. Judging from the reactions he has shown me these days, he wouldn’t ike it.
Covering my face with a dark veil, I arrived at the temple.
A priest, which seemed to have been instructed in advance by Diana, approached quietly. I followed him to the prayer house like a stream.
“Please go in.”
In front of the door where the priest has stopped. After nodding quietly, he opened the door gently.
An empty room with no one in it.
A small candle shook finely as I moved around the white statue.
The sound of footsteps rang from my low heels.
I came close to the statue. A statue with both arms raised like a benevolent mother.
“…that is not God.”
I murmured to myself.
I’m probably the only one in the world who knows the identity of God.
If any of the priests had received God properly, or if they had learned the truth of the world.
The world wouldn’t be so peaceful.
But at the same time, questions arise.
What if that is really God?
Who brought me back to this world?
As far as I know, there are some phenomena that are not fit to be called the “God” of the world.. No other than what I experienced myself.
“…who are you…?”
Although I did not pray, I asked God.
Of course there is no answer back.
What is this, I feel empty for no reason.
In a moment.
The door opened silently, and a thin image appeared.
Standing in front of the statue, I slowly turned around.
“Here comes her highness, your grace.”
Diana’s expression was very stiff.
I smiled deliberately.
“Honestly, it was unexpected. I can’t believe that someone who thinks I’m an enemy is listening to my request.”
“I also thought I should meet you soon.”
I stared at Diana. Then, I lifted my chin slightly.
“Then I’m rather curious.”
I hope the reason you want to meet me is what I expect.
I think it’ll be thrilling to see that you’re playing into my palm.
Diana’s blue sea eyes gleamed heavily.
“Your craftiness will be revealed to the whole world someday. I’ll make you feel very ashamed.”
I stopped laughing.
Diana was stunned.
“How impertinent! How dare you…!”
But I was calm.
An incredibly wide-eyed look.
I raised my arms like the statue behind me
“You know that kind of sermon doesn’t work on me anymore.”
“That’s right. We don’t need a little etiquette between us. Don’t you think so?”
Did Diana not prepare herself? How I will come out of a place where no one is watching.
How much do you trust your authority?
I looked calmly at the trembling Diana.
“If I were afraid of profanity, I wouldn’t have done the same thing in the last tea time. So let’s be honest.”
“Let’s throw away our status, our manners, and say what we want to say to each other. What do you think?”
I smiled as gently as I could.
Have you finally figured out the situation?
Diana in front of me seemed to be calming down little by little. Eyes that are wide with astonishment are slowly regaining their light.
Finally, the word of surrender, or acceptance.
I laughed softly.
“Yes, Diana. That’s it.”
I plodded forward. Before I knew it, we were close enough to reach each other.
“I’ll listen to you first. Because you didn’t want to meet me just to do that boring sermon.”
Her expression became cold with my voice, which was completely removed from laughter.
“Stay away from Kaelus.”
I clasped my hands in surprise.
“Well, that’s too much of a line from a righteous woman.”
“Don’t take it as a joke. Kaelus is too noble to be used for your greed.”
Diana’s tone was so serious that I was genuinely dumbfounded.
“Who said I used him? Didn’t your husband tell you? I love Kaelus.”
“Were you so jealous that I became a princess from being a commoner? So you wanted to take the Attica estate and become a duchess?”
“Shut up, Hestia. I’m not the kind of person you should treat so recklessly.”
I’m tired. That endless narcissism.
If we stick to this, I don’t think the story will end until the sun sets today.
I should change the direction.
“Then you considered Kaelus so noble that you condemned him to death.”
“You’re being contradictory, Diana. I thought he wasn’t that noble to you.”
Diana took a big deep breath at my comment.
“It was the result of the excessive affection of Kael. His behavior is by no means moral, but at least his motivation is…”
“You can’t blame him for his motives, but he deserves the blame because of the results?”
“You can’t say what’s not right is right, Hestia. It’s a truth that doesn’t change even if heaven and earth were reversed.”
Diana retorted, biting her lip.
I smirked at the absurdity.
“Then why not allow the opposite? Even if you can’t blame it as a result, you can blame it as a motive. Especially when you’re the target of my criticism.”
“I understand as much as anyone but you and Helios who criticized Kaelus. Especially anyone who was involved with the Duke Orcus.”
“But at least you and your husband should have covered for Kaelus. If that’s the case, Kaelus…”
His despair always chokes me up.
“……He wouldn’t have wanted to die.”
“I swear, I didn’t want him dead!”
Diana threw back like a fit.
The more she did, the colder my voice became.
“As you said, he was full of affection for you. And yet you never said thank you to him.”
“Don’t make excuses for not having a chance, Diana. I know you’ve been poking around him lately. But that alone won’t do it.”
Then Diana’s eyes became stiff.
“Kael loves me.”
“Oh, so what? How dare a princess commit adultery?
I laughed my head off.
“Don’t you think you’re shameless? You’re trying to get all kinds of help from him, like he has to pay for love…”
“When Kael realizes your true feelings, a sly woman like you will be thrown out without looking back.”
What a joke that Diana’s confident remark is. I stopped laughing.
“Hahahaha! It doesn’t matter. I don’t expect that.”
“That’s how you laugh now because you think Attica will be your land. But I want you to remember what the former owner of the land was facing.”
Seriously, what does it matter?
Diana still doesn’t seem to understand my real purpose. Because she doesn’t believe in the words that I love Kaelus at all.
Well, I don’t have to beg for understanding.
I stood with my back to Diana. A large statue stands in front of me.
“These days, what do you pray to God?”
I turned my head slightly and looked at Diana, and then headed forward again. Looking at God.
“Do you pray for the return of Kaelus? Or do you want your relationship with Helios to be restored?”
“I am convinced before God that justice will prevail.”
Diana replied in a more solemn tone.
“I hope that morality and truth, which you despise, will soon stand upright in this land. That’s what I pray for every day.”
“Morality and truth….”
My destruction and her victory is justice, morality, and truth.
Well, let’s say so. The definition of the rofan world flows along Diana and Helios. Isn’t that what the main character does to do the right thing?
I spoke in a serious tone without a smile.
“Apologize to Kaelus.”
“I don’t care if he loves you or if you have a husband and feel your old friendship with him again. Just one thing.”
I turned around and stood facing Diana again.
“You’re sorry for hurting Kaelus then, and you sincerely apologize.”
“You don’t have anything left anyway. Your husband’s affection has cooled, your healing powers have disappeared, and the money you have drawn from the temple will soon sink with your ship…”
The heroine’s complexion was white and turned pale.
“Kaelus is the only thing you can count on, right? Don’t you think you should start over from the bottom to rebuild your broken relationship?”
I smiled softly like the first time.
Please don’t be late.
If you hesitate a little longer, Kaelus will put a dagger into you with his own hands.
Diana stared at me with her lips closed.
It must have been unexpected in her mind. Because Hestia, in Diana’s opinion, is a witch who is cunning with desire.
“Tell me the truth. You want to be as close as you used to be to Kael.”
“Or do you want to restore your relationship with the crown prince? Even so, the key is Kaelus.”
The blue sea-colored eyes shook finely as if it was unfair.
I shook my head.
“I’m telling you the way, but you won’t listen, won’t you?”
“I don’t believe you. Hestia.”
An incongruous voice.
It wasn’t surprising, so I replied sulky.
“Do as you please.”
“Heli and Kael are both fooled by your sweet talk, but I’m not. I’ll prove your lies.”
Diana, who is determined to be angry.
I shrugged my shoulders.
“It’s not hard. On the day you hear the news of Baron Potos’ merchant ship, or before that, show me your healing powers, and I’ll prove it in no time.”
Diana’s pretty lips bit mercilessly. Oh, what a pity.
I smiled softly, my eyes bent.
“Actually, you believe in my prophecies, right? You brainwashed yourself because you don’t want to lose.”
“You’re wrong, Hestia. You who doesn’t believe in God can’t have the power of prophecy.”
She was right in a sense. I’m not a prophet, I’m a regressor.
Anyway, I don’t want to argue whether my prophecy is real or not. Whatever I say, Diana won’t believe me.
“Okay, let’s try to prove ourselves to each other.”
A smile brought an end to the conversation.
After a fresh touch on my dress, I bowed modestly.
“Then please take a look. Your highness, the noble saint. This humble little woman will stay here a little longer, pray to God, and return.”
“… That’s so obvious, really.”
Diana muttered sickly. She didn’t even match my rhythm and turned her back on me.
With the sound of her shoes, Diana disappeared.
I watched her disappear for a long time.
Oh, my wish has come true.
I had a cozy conversation with Diana alone.
I don’t feel much emotion. I don’t feel refreshed or upset.
Just a calm feeling in my chest.
You’re on your way, I’m on my way.
Maybe we’ll never see each other again.
Soon after returning home, Kaelus returned home.
While having dinner together, I heard the story of the palace.
“All the ministers of state agreed to promote my title.”
“Oh, that’s great.”
Honestly, one or two people might object, but they were also nobles who knew that it was wise not to go against the tide.
“And Heli summoned Baron Potos to the palace. The reason is to ask about Diana’s investment, but it’s actually to stop them from escaping.”
“Well, I knew it. I thought the crown prince wouldn’t just let them go out of his hands.”
Once he has stepped into the palace, he will not be able to go out recklessly until Helios tells him to go out. It’s a much more sophisticated form of detention than surrounding his mansion with guards.
However, even if the baron is held, there is only a small amount of damage that can be transferred from his property right away. How long will it take to get all of the investment back?
Anyway, what’s certain is that Diana and the temple are in real trouble.
Kaelus suddenly looked at me with a serious look on his face.
“It’s almost a year.”
He says it’s been a whole year, but actually I know.
It’s already been almost a year since the end of the novel.
The night when the heroine and the male character got married and had a happy ending. Kaelus attempted suicide and I saved him. And the next day, we got married.
“…I know. Time flies…”
My heart was filled with bitterness.
It’s not such a good idea to remember the day you lost both love and friendship and were about to die.
And yet Kaelus asked plainly.
“Shouldn’t we do something?”
“Wouldn’t it be enough to send a gift to the palace?”
“What are you talking about?”
A conversation that is somewhat off the mark.
He rinsed his mouth for a while and then opened his mouth again.
“…not the crown prince and his wife, but our wedding anniversary.”
I rolled my eyes and looked at Kaelus. I don’t particularly want to celebrate, but does my favorite have a different idea?
I carefully spoke.
“If there’s anything you want…”
I was at a loss for words when asked back immediately.
Honestly, I really don’t feel like celebrating this marriage. Isn’t it really a celebration between those who have a relationship to become a couple?
Kaelus frowned slightly, as if he had taken my dithering as a denial.
Are you upset because of me again? I’m sorry, but I don’t want to apologize and say let’s celebrate our anniversary.
Instead, there is another alternative.
“Well, there’s another thing to celebrate soon. Kaelus, your promotion to the throne.”
“Why don’t you throw a party all at once? Don’t invite anyone else, just the people in this house. The butler and the lady-in-waiting have all suffered a lot, but we have never been able to take care of them properly.”
I wonder if my persuasion with all my might worked. He looked at me for a while and nodded slowly.
Whew. That’s a relief.
But isn’t that a pretty good idea? Not only me, but everyone in this marquis worked for Kaelus. The effort deserves praise.
It’s the only party in the world with people I like.
My heart is already fluttering.
“Well, would it be better to be prepared?….”
After eating, I laid in bed, tossing and turning, and I was in agony.
Seeing that Kaelus brought it up first, he seems to be hoping for something.
But I don’t have my own money, and in the end, I have to buy a gift with the money I took out of Kaelus’ pocket, so what’s the point?
“It’s hard, it’s hard…”
My opinion that a gift with a heart should contain a price that is indescribable makes me even more distressed.
What can I do to get Kaelus, the Lord of Illion, an item that is expensive enough to beat a castle?
Therefore, it is impossible for me to make a gift out of value. We need to find another way.
It’s best to give what he wants as a gift. Then what does Kaelus want from me the most?
“What do you mean… I’ll be there for you…“
I hugged my pillow and murmured bitterly.
For Kaelus, I am a dependable person or a friend who he can open up to.
He sometimes exudes a strange atmosphere, but it is probably the instinct that stems from his loneliness. It’s like a child being hugged by a mother.
A kind of emotional attachment, far different from sexual attachment between men and women. It’s exactly that.
I rolled over and thought hard.
Don’t parents usually make their children attachment dolls? As a means of helping them until they become emotionally independent.
Then I’ll have to come up with something similar.
What would be good?
I looked around the room lying down. There is nothing appropriate.
I jumped out of bed. If it’s not in this bedroom, I should look around the other room.
I opened the door of the dress room connected to the bedroom. I turned my back and looked around carefully to see if there was anything to give as a gift.
The scarf hanging on the wall caught my eye. It’s so warm and nice to wrap around your neck on a windy day.
I reached out and fiddled with my scarf. Wouldn’t I be able to make something different with this?
“For example, a men’s tie….”
A cravat sounds good, too.
However, I can’t do it with my dirty hands, so I’ll borrow Tekima’s hands. He will make it well as ordered.
It’s done. I’ve decided.
Let’s make a prop for Kaelus with my scarf.
It may be a cheap gift, but Kaelus might be pleased.
After calling in Tekima to ask for a scarf reform, I began preparing for the marquis’ party in earnest.
“Make plenty of food regardless of the type. I wish I could invite the bartender who was invited to the dinner of the envoys.”
Uross, the butler, and Clarice, the maid, also happily put their heads together.
“You won’t have to sign the band separately. There are quite a few people who can play musical instruments.”
“Then it wouldn’t be bad to organize a short performance with their skills. There are quite a few people who want to show off their talents, madam.”
I was genuinely impressed.
“Oh, that’s cool!”
A party where the people play themselves. The mere thought of it excites me.
“Let’s all focus on having a good time, without having to be too polite. It’s a happy day for Kaelus to become a duke, so I hope we can celebrate it together with joy.”
“I will bear in mind your wishes.”
The two walked away with a big smile.
I want to have fun on that day. Without any worries, just thinking of pleasure.
I hope my favorite smiles brightly that day.
I want to see Kaelus with a bright smile.