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FMDF – Chapter 31

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The first cabinet meeting since returning from the border.

Today, I decided to head to the palace with Kaelus. Quietly enter the conference room, to cheer him up close.

In addition, this time the emperor also appears at the state council meeting. Holding the hand of Crown Princess Diana, whose position is in danger.

 On the other hand, he seems to have decided to save his daughter-in-law, but it’s a pity. Today, Kaelus is due to file a complaint against the temple.

My heart was pounding with anticipation to see Diana and Helios collapsing in front of my eyes.

“Wow…”

Kaelus, who grew up nicely, was truly wonderful. A dark gray suit with colorful silver hair and a calm and intelligent atmosphere.

If there’s only one thing that sticks out.

   “Are you going to use that kravat again?”

   “This is needed.”

   The fact that he is not willing to give up the kravat that I made by reforming my scarf.

If I knew this would happen, I would have made it less noticeable. If I had to express it, it’s like he wrapped his whole body around a luxurious luxury brand, but it feels like there is a cheap thing hanging only on his neck.

However, it should be fortunate that the material of kravat had a subtle luster, and that the disaster that looked like a bathroom towel was avoided*.

*TN: what she was originally planning on giving him

“Are you ready?”

“Yes…”

Still, it is a pity that I could not take away that kravat.

The indictment was prepared to match the number of people attending the cabinet meeting. That work alone took a few days.

It’s a huge amount, but if this can make the temple and the crown prince kneel completely, wouldn’t it be worse for them?

Copies of the complaint were placed in several solid boxes. The copy would not be distributed in advance, but Kaelus will enter the state council to finish the negotiation report, and then the court servants will distribute one copy to each of  the participants at the time of change of subject.

It was Kaelus who would read the document himself, but I am more nervous.

“Hestia, you’re very nervous.”

He held my cold hand warmly.

I had no choice but to admit it.

“I guess it’s because I’ve been preparing for this for a long time.”

“I’ll make sure your efforts are not wasted, so don’t worry.”

“Haha, I’m sure you’ll do well. Kaelus. I’m just sorry. I let you do what I should have done.”

Kael pressed his lips lightly on my forehead.

“It’s because of Helios’ trick. After all, he allowed me to negotiate with the kingdom as a duke.”

And I got my hands on Attica.

Technically, it’s not a big loss. Still, it is very painful for me to borrow the hands of Kaelus.

If I had been more careful, I could have handled it neatly on my own.

I made a mistake when writing a memorandum with Helios, so no matter how well I look at it, it was my mistake anyway.

“The accusation you made is perfect. Today’s victory is all your credit.”

I don’t agree with him.

Today’s victory was entirely up to Kaelus. If he hadn’t given it to me, I wouldn’t have actually been able to file a complaint.

“I rather think you have the credit.”

I raised his hand that was holding mine. I kissed it with respect and affection.

And eye contact.

“…”

“…”

In time, it was only natural for our lips to touch each other’s.

~~~~

I lowered the thick veil, mingled among the nobles, and quietly entered the cabinet.

Kaelus headed for the seat of the Imperial Duke, right next to the emperor. He was courteously greeted by everyone there.

“Whoo….”

I took a big deep breath.

A space where the nation’s ambassadors travel to. The unique solemnity and rigid air permeates the lungs.

After all the ministers of state entered, the minister shouted.

“His majesty and the crown prince are entering!”

The emperor walked in slowly with his hand on Diana’s arm. Helios, the crown prince followed suit alone.

Diana settled right behind the emperor, closest to Kaelus sitting next to him.

Helios sits next to the emperor on the other side. His face is not immediately visible from Kaelus’ position.

With the advent of the emperor’s family, the atmosphere that was briefly disorganized soon subsided calmly.

“Duke Kaelus. I congratulate you for successfully negotiating with the kingdom. The empire that was on the verge of war was able to overcome the crisis well thanks to you.”

The emperor was the first to notice Kaelus.

“Thank you, your majesty.”

He rose from his seat and took hold of a report that summarized the results of the negotiations.

“For the past year or so, the kingdom has consistently collected information for imperial aggression, including spying on the defense of its borders under the guise of bandits.”

The hall was silent as if it were holding its breath. Only the calm voice of my favorite rang through the conference room.

“Recently, we have even increased our troops on the pretext of a bandit sweep on the border. His highness considered it a major military provocation against the empire.”

To be exact, it was discovered and pointed out by Kaelus, not Helios.

As soon as Kaelus overcame his panic disorder and returned to politics, he reminded Helios of border anomalies.

“After detecting suspicious movements in the kingdom, we immediately started working to stop them. As a result, we were able to set the stage for negotiations before the armed conflict became a reality.”

State ministers flapped through the report before them to confirm the details.

The remarks continued.

“What the kingdom ultimately wanted was to enter the empire and leak our wealth to the kingdom. So while I allowed the kingdom to enter on business, I required, in accordance with the laws of the empire, that they borrow more than a percentage of the business funds from banks within the Empire.”

“Whoa….”

“Well…”

There was a little exclamation here and there. They seemed to be impressed by his exquisite scheme.

“If the conditions are rejected and the military provocation continues, the empire also decided to march across the border immediately after the negotiations break down.”

The kingdom must have been horrified. A large army had gathered at the border, which was no different than usual.

A thoroughly prepared diplomatic negotiation. And Kaelus, the best politician and resourceful man in the empire.

With this combination, it will be much more difficult to fail than to succeed.

“The kingdom accepted the terms of the empire. So we agreed to allow the merchants of the kingdom to enter the empire, but to make sure that more than half of the capital is filled with imperial capital.”

The boldness of setting up a negotiating table outside the imperial borders also had a significant impact on pressuring the kingdom. From the point of view of the kingdom, it was reasonable to assume that Kaelus, the imperial duke, did not hesitate to come out of the border because he hid another weapon.*

*TN: saying he wasn’t afraid to leave the border because he had another trick up his sleeve

At the end of Kaelus’ report, the ministers of state applauded in unison. It was a compliment to the best resourceful man who returned after safely finishing his heavy duty.

The emperor also clapped his hands with satisfaction.

“It’s the second time I’ve given you such a heavy burden. Good work, Duke Kaelus.”

“I’m sorry, your majesty.”

His expression was cold all the time, completely unexcited.

Soon the applause died down, and Kaelus spoke again.

“And here, before his majesty and the empire, I have one more thing to say.”

I held my breath still.

It finally explodes.

“?”

“?”

The imperial court servants moved quickly and laid down copies of the accusations before the ministers of state. Thick files were soon placed in front of the emperor and the crown prince.

The emperor and Helios picked up the document with a mysterious face.

“!”

Helios’ face, which confirmed the information of the document, turned pale at once.

“Hmph….”

I smiled with satisfaction behind the veil.

Even if you were lucky enough to stop it once, you wouldn’t be able to stop it twice. You never would’ve imagined that Kaelus would have brought a complaint himself.

“Look, Diana.”

Alas. My heart beats so hard that I can’t breathe.

Kaelus’ voice rang calmly in the rather tumultuous conference hall.

“I would like to make a public accusation today before the Empire and His Majesty about another scandal that has been criticized for its pursuit of worldly interests today.”

“!”

“!”

People who are appalled.

I raised my eyes gently and looked at Diana.

“…!”

The big blue eyes were shaking violently.

Her eyes remained on Kaelus in front of her, and did not fall.

 “I demand that the accounting books and the list of properties of the temple be made public to his majesty and the people of the empire.”

What do you think, Diana?

How do you feel about the dagger being stuck in you by the hands of the same man you’re desperate to get back?

“Look at the present reality, that those who act in accordance with the will of the noble God, do not obey it properly and fulfill self-interest.”

How long did you think Kaelus would miss you?

How much more time will it take to get out of your boring past?

“There is evidence in this complaint that the priests have divided what they have and used their sacred wealth in the presence of God, only to raise their stomachs.”

Helios, you’ll have to work hard to protect Diana.

If you don’t have any more affection for her, now is the time to make a bold decision.

Will he give up and save the royal family from the mud?

Or will he hold her hand until the end and crash with her.

Whenever the dry voice of Kaelus rang in the conference hall, the emperor’s expression grew stiffened.

After that, Diana looked even more pitiful. A pale complexion.

Helios kept his lips tight, as if trying to control his embarrassment.

Serious eyes of the ministers of state, who began to buzz, moved back and forth between each other and passed by Diana once in a while.

The indictment was strictly a denunciation of the misconduct of the temple. But even a passing child would know. In this country today, the temple was a symbol of the Crown Princess Diana.

Kaelus finished reading the complaint, keeping a cool look on his face throughout.

“Taking care of the empire’s internal troubles was also considered loyal to the empire and its emperor. Please confirm to the temple that there is no sanctuary in this country that is beyond your majesty’s control.”

The eyes of the nobles suddenly focused on the emperor and Diana in the back seat.

“Kaelus, Duke of the Empire, pleads like this.”

Kaelus sat down again after reading the long complaint.

“Ha….”

I felt weak as if I had read the long document myself.

At the same time, I admired him again. How can my favorite person stay calm and calm until the end without shaking his voice?

Diana’s gaze was fixed entirely near the back of Kaelus’ head. Thanks to him, she didn’t seem to notice that the attention in the hall was focused on her.

It’s a waste of the title crown princess because she’s so flustered. I thought she got used to controlling her facial expressions.

Soon there was a dead silence in the conference room. Everyone looked at the emperor’s mouth and watched what would come out of him.

After a long time.

“…the contents of this complaint…”

The emperor finally spoke.

“Is everything true, Duke Kaelus?”

“Yes, your majesty.”

Kaelus answered immediately without a trace of agitation.

“As it says in this document… The poor suffered from the plague for a long time because they didn’t get the temple’s treatment on time?”

“Yes, your majesty.”

“Certainly, compared to the situation in Illion that you are taking care of, the situation in this capital is…”

“Your majesty, Illion recognized the temple’s negligence early on, supplied the soap, and maintained the sewer system. Thanks to that, the number of infectious diseases has decreased significantly even during the rainy season of summer.”

“Well….”

“My conclusion is that, the temple is far from capable of fulfilling the role given to them alone after all. In addition to the temple’s original role in serving and performing rituals, it is right to let the authorities supervise the relief work and medical practices that are entirely entrusted to it.”

The subject of the complaint was very clear. That there was no sacred realm in what a person does.

Perhaps this proposition was firmly engraved in everyone’s head who listened to Kaelus today.

After a low sigh, the emperor nodded slowly.

“I understand the Duke Kaelus’ loyalty to the empire and the imperial family. I will certainly respond to your accusation as soon as possible. I’m a little tired today.”

He slowly lifted himself up on the armrest of the chair. Diana, who had been absent-minded, rushed to the emperor and helped him.

The emperor left the meeting at a very slow pace.

“…”

And only Helios was left.

The meeting ended with the Emperor’s departure, but he still could not leave and approached Kaelus.

“The duke.”

“Your highness the crown prince.”

The flaming golden eyes glared at the calmly sunken ones.

“I need to talk to you for a second.”

“I’m sorry, but my wife is waiting….”

While Kaelus replied, I walked up behind him with a pompous gait.

“…!”

Helios distorted his face as soon as he noticed me.

“Was it you?”

“I didn’t break my promise with you.”

I smiled deeply.

“Your highness played me with a loophole, and I also fought back with a loophole.”

“Hess…!”

Helios was about to burst in anger, but he managed to endure it when he confirmed that there were still many people around him.

“…both of you come to my office. Right now.”

Kaelus and I looked at each other for a moment and nodded right away.

“We’ll follow you soon, your highness.”

Do you think we’ll be afraid of that?

~~~~

“I thought you were very concerned about the royal authority!”

Helios then vented his pent-up anger.

“I’m accusing the temple because I respect the royal family, your highness.”

Kaelus also responded coldly without losing.

I added a few words, too.

“The highest authority in the palace is the crown princess, and then the his majesty the emperor.”

“Hestia!”

When Helios burst out, Kaelus’ expression also became fierce.

“If you have something to say, tell me, Helios!”

“What? Oh, yeah. Good!”

Oh, it’s a mess. They’re not using any honorifics.

“Even if you don’t twist your neck* like this, Diana is already in danger!”

*TN: go out of his way to accuse her

“It seemed very comfortable for something like that, didn’t it? Even though the imperial family has owed a huge debt, there is not a single shade on their face.*”

*TN: there are no repercussions for the imperial family after Diana’s debt

“In the end, what do you want, Kael? The abdication of Diana? Being blamed for the loss of face to the imperial family?”

“Cool your head. It was the temple, not the royal family, that I condemned, Heli.”

During the quarrel, I glanced leisurely around the office. Is there anything to drink?

“You knew I had a deal with Hestia! And yet you’re backstabbing me like this!”

 “You are the one who has caught Hess with a cheap trap. Did you think I, her husband, would just watch?”

Oops. I can hear you. I’m not good at making tea, but would it be worth a drink if I made this much?

“I’m going crazy because things haven’t worked out yet, and you’re the one who put an extra load on me!”

“I don’t think it’s politics that doesn’t work out, and who are you blaming for the twisted relationship between you and Diana?”

Ugh, I can’t drink. It’s the tea leaves that the crown prince drinks, so the quality should be good, but I can’t.

“Wait a minute, Heli.”

“What is it, Kael?”

Kaelus, who was in a fight, suddenly snatched my teapot.

“Just do this.”

“Ha…!”

I laughed awkwardly.

“Thank you, Kael.”

“Don’t force yourself to drink, and if it doesn’t suit your taste, just throw it away.”

Helios laughed in vain.

“Shall I get you some coffee?”

“You don’t have to treat her, Heli.”

Kaelus also responded coldly.

Anyway, the heated air cooled down because my favorite suddenly poured me the tea.

“Didn’t the temple take a step back from Diana anyway? I heard they asked the royal family to repay their loan.”

“I did draw a line with the temple first. But public perception hasn’t changed yet.”

Helios is right about this. The world is still looking at the temple and Diana on the same line.

It can’t be helped because Diana has such a strong presence as a “goddess.”

It would have been better if she had abandoned the “saint lady” sooner and changed to “crown princess”. However, neither of them could be put down, and she was forced to hold them all at once, and eventually had to pay the price.

“Hey, Hestia.”

“Heli…!”

At once, my favorite’s voice became sharp.

However, Helios’ tone has softened.

“Wait. I really want to ask her something.”

I looked at Helios with a teacup.

“Say it, Your Highness.”

“What is the result that you really want? And if I give you the result, will you stop the attack?”

“What I want….”

I laid the glass still on the table. Then, I looked at Helios again.

“She hasn’t apologized yet.”

“!”

“…”

The two men were silent at the same time.

I giggled.

“My move was extremely consistent. In fact, the answer is simple.”

“…”

“…”

I narrowed my eyes and laughed.

“And yet, do you know what it means for the wise Your Highness Helios to continue to want to confirm this?”

“…?”

 I tilted my head slightly, looking at the shaky golden eyes.

“You want to avoid it. You don’t want to  apologize, you don’t want to pay for it, you just want us to move on, right?”

Common excuse for perpetrators who bullied someone. ‘It’s all in the past. What are you going to do about it?’

From Helios or Diana, there’s no way I don’t know what I really want. Isn’t it extremely simple, which can be inferred quickly with a little thought?

Nevertheless, the reason why he’s asking is.

“Do you want to argue that this is enough, and that it’s enough because it’s been so painful?’”

“…!”

Helios could not immediately refute.

Is it enough? No. Never.

They did not experience a tenth of the despair that Kaelus felt. You didn’t suffer enough to put death into practice.

I grinned.

“When it comes time to sit down and argue with our couple, I’d think about how to deal with this mess first.”

When the problem seems complicated, simplifying it as much as possible is a shortcut to finding clues quickly.

“Your highness has only one thing to focus on. The fact that this accusation is not directed at the imperial family, but at the temple.”

I don’t mind giving this much advice to poor Helios.

Leaving him alone in thought, I left there holding my favorite’s hand in hand.

~~~~

As soon as Kaelus and I returned from the imperial palace and relaxed, we climbed onto the bed.

There was no energy to roll around in each other’s arms, so we glued our eyes together for a long time.

Surprisingly, the accusations at the cabinet meeting turned the whole capital upside down than less than that evening.

After a long sleep, we finally came to our senses in the twilight.

“Oh, my God… …while I was asleep, I got this many calls?”

I was fed up with the pile of letters that my butler Uross had spilled. Seeing that Kaelus can’t say anything, he seems to be surprised too.

The butler replied with an embarrassed look.

“There were quite a few visitors. I sent them all back, but…”

“Ha….”

I picked up Erinnis’ letter first and read it quickly.

“I think a copy of the complaint distributed at the state council is already circulating.”

“That’s what I expected, Hess.”

Kaelus said in a casual way.

“Not everyone who sees the accusation will agree. But it’s enough for the mainstream to agree and become the trend.”

“Huhu, I think the trend is already down.”

It had been a long time since I made a public opinion against the crown princess and the temple. Madam Harmonia also steadily gathered public opinion that the temple’s accounting books should be disclosed at her salon before leaving for Attica’s estate.

In particular, Erinnis was a person who joined hands with me and even made a joint board. She’s been waiting for the day when the accusations would break out.

“I asked the emperor to release the list of the temple’s property in front of him, so what’s left is his decision.”

“Hmm.”

“It doesn’t matter if the emperor rejects the demands of the complaint. The people will take their support for the temple away.”

Support for Diana, who was in the same boat with the temple.

And this is the ultimate purpose of the accusation, which I ultimately want.

Despair and loneliness when everyone who supported him turned their back.

The things that have been done with faith so far have become pieces of paper without any value.

I hope that Diana will experience this feeling. I hope for her to despair and weep just like Kaelus.

Only then will she be able to sympathize with a little bit of Kaelus’s heart, which she brutally abandoned.

Stuck in the notion of morality and justice, she lost her affection and respect for people.

This will be the definition of the existence of Diana, which she will carry to the end.

~~~~

Kaelus took some time off from the emperor. It was a reward for going a long way for diplomatic negotiations.

Seeing Kaelus taking a leisurely walk in the garden, I can’t think of him being confined to his room at the time of our marriage.

“Phew… Kael must be happy. Because he’s free….”

I sighed deeply at the accumulated work.

We have publicly accused the temple, so we must absorb those who leave as soon as possible.

The day was drawing to a close when I decided to invite the priests to work at the duchy’s clinic. It was something I had been planning since Kaelus went to the border, so I wouldn’t struggle on my own.

While Kaelus was taking a walk in the garden and taking a break from back-to-back reading, I diligently prepared to greet guests with the doctor and butler.

The doctor shook his head.

“There are a lot of people, so there are a lot of things to worry about, madam.”

“Ha ha, you can just focus on what kind of lectures you’re giving to the guests.”

We can’t just feed the doctors who were former priests. I decided to give my time to the duke’s doctor, who was known by name.

The doctor seemed to have a lot of stories accumulated so far. However, I asked him to show the contents of his lecture in advance so that it would not be a ‘in the old days’ speech.

The division of work was clear. The butler was thoroughly responsible for the meals, and the doctor and I focused on filling the meeting.

While I was working for so long, Kaelus snuck in.

“You look busy.”

“Oh, Kael!”

No matter how busy I am, it can’t be more important than my favorite.

“It’s alright. Come on in.”

The table that was littered with papers that were quickly pushed aside.

“I have nothing to offer but coffee right away. What do I do?”

To me who was sorry, Kaelus smiled affectionately.

“I like coffee quite a bit, too, Hess.”

How can you be so considerate with every word you say? Is it the cold and dry Kaelus that was in our early stages of marriage?

But that cold favorite was also really charming.

“You’re thinking about something again.”

I stopped laughing.

“I guess I’m not good at hiding my facial expressions.”

“Hmph….”

Kaelus snorted lightly as he touched his cup of coffee to his lips.

I’ve been caught, so I better be honest.

“You’re so sweet now, but I thought you were cool when you were cold too.”

“Well…”

He wrinkled his brows.

“Actually, that’s what I liked the first time. Of course, I’m still happy, but you don’t have to erase it.”

I remember well how he was infinitely affectionate to Diana.

So when he treated me in a rather cold manner, I was rather relieved.

Because that was the essence of the character Kaelus. I was grateful that I could see his unadorned true self.

If Kaelus was holding back his true nature like when he used to love Diana.

It would be very sad for me to love him unconditionally.

“Hess.”

“Yes.”

Kaelus put down his glass with a look of much thought.

“I didn’t force myself to hide my emotional state from you then and now. You were always the same even when I was in the cold, and you’re still the same.”

“That’s right.”

“I hope you don’t feel nervous about me showing a different attitude. I will always try to be honest with you.”

A careful choice of words. My heart fluttered at the careful words that took into account my feelings.

As expected, he’s really sweet.

“Thank you, Kael.”

“You’re welcome.”

The purple eyes that bend gently are very warm.

~~~~

When the whole capital was infested with temple charges, the duchy was finally visited by former priests.

Because of the temple’s lifestyle, which emphasizes integrity, it was impossible for guests to have suits suitable for the aristocratic dinner. So I deliberately told them there wasn’t a dress code beforehand, and to come in comfortable clothes.

Still, since I am a host, too comfortable clothes could seem negligent in treating guests. Therefore, it is not a fancy dress, but it is decorated with a few ornaments added to the usual outdoor clothes.

Kaelus also wore a light suit. After getting ready, he decided to enjoy reading in his study before dinner time.

I stood on the porch, greeted one after another the arriving ex-priests.

“Everyone came well. Follow me and you’ll find the dining hall.”

Of course they were thrilled, too.

“I can’t believe that the noble duchess is coming out in person…!”

Instead, they were young people who rarely received such hospitality unless they were bureaucrats. They headed to the dining room one by one with a slightly flushed face.

After a while, all the guests who received the invitation arrived. Kaelus and the duchy’s doctor also entered the dinner room.

“It’s Lord Kaelus…!”

“Duke!”

Although they did not use accurate aristocratic manners, they each rose to greet Kaelus in the most polite manner they knew.

“Today’s dinner is hosted by my wife, so if you have something to honor, go to her.”

“Yes, Duke Kaelus!”

The meal began in an amicable atmosphere.

Large dishes containing food flew onto the long table one after another. The servants diligently went around the table and filled the empty glasses with wine.

“The lives of the people of the capital are on your hands. You all know how sad it is not to get proper treatment when you’re sick, right?”

I emphasized the need for a private clinic to doctors. They also sympathized with my purpose, and the story was generally easy to solve.

It was not long before the doctor’s order was reached. Kaelus and I were also poised to sit back and listen.

But then.

“Master…!”

The butler, Uross, rushed in with a rare flushed face. He’s not quite a runner, what’s going on?

“?”

Kaelus raised his eyebrows in wonder.

Uross whispered quietly enough to be heard only by us.

“Her highness the crown princess is here!”

“?!”

“What…?”

Kaelus’ face revealed his embarrassment.

I had no time to think back and forth, so I told Kaelus.

“Get ahead, Kael!”

“Oh…”

When a person suddenly gets flustered, their mind goes blank.

Just like that, Caelus got up in a daze, pushed by my hand.

“Master, then this way…”

“Ah…”

It has been very rare for Kaelus to be so dazed in recent years, but today we saw a rare sight in many ways.

The doctor and the guests were looking at us. I was terribly sorry.

“I’m sorry, I made a mess.”

I clapped my hands to call attention.

“Well, let’s continue what we’ve been doing. Please, sir.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

I managed to pull myself together and look forward.

“…”

My heart was pounding.

I can’t believe she’s here.


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7 thoughts on “FMDF – Chapter 31”

    1. The memorandum that Hestia sent to the crown prince (which he signed) has loopholes. Meaning they can cheat the conditions of the contract, so that it wont satisfy the other party. Eg. When tje crown prince asked Hestia to stop attacking Diana, Hestia agreed. The loophole was, Helios asked Hestia alone- so Kael did the attacking in place of Hestia.

  1. The confrontation was supposed to be…. Sad…?? Tense??????? BUT IT ENDED UP BEING SO FUNNY LMAOOO HESS PLSSS 😭😭😭
    And i try to hold back so much when Kael noticed Hess’ struggle with the tea and Heli just straight up offering coffee 😭😭😭😂🤣🤣🤣

  2. HAHAHAHA I LOVE IT!!! Fierce standoff!!! But HOLD UP BRUH I GOTTA POUR MY WIFE SOME TEA COZ SHE DONT KNOW HOW TO DO IT PROPERLY 😂😂😂😂 feeding the wife > crown prince wahhahaah doing it right Kael!!!!!!!

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