Blake briefly took a bath and changed his clothes. It was all because Rose was bothered by the blood on his arm.
He didn’t want her to be worried about him so he was about to button up his shirt and make his way to Rose’s room when he heard Edon’s voice.
“Your Highness, it’s me.”
“The butler came to pick you up but there was no answer.”
“I was taking a bath.”
“I see. Viscount Dix has something important to tell you.”
“I don’t want to deal with them.”
Viscount Dix was one of those people who strongly protested in favor of Blake being moved to the southern island.
As soon as his curse was lifted, the people around him changed their stance, sending him congratulatory messages and gifts.
Blake had been invited to the Viscount’s mansion every time he came to the valley of chaos, but he had never responded.
“Your Highness, when the door of darkness disappeared, evil beings lurked all over the valley of chaos. The damage to the land is quite serious this time. I know you’re reluctant to talk to him, but why don’t you give him a chance for the sake of people on the land…”
Blake had always acted alone. He was indifferent to others and hated it when they invaded his territory.
Only those who had been nice to Blake in his childhood were exceptions.
Edon was well aware of this.
His personality had changed a lot after Ancia went missing, but his kindness remained the same.
“Your Highness, welcome. I’ve been waiting.”
When Blake entered the dining room, Viscount Dix and Joanna greeted him with big smiles.
Why did he bring his daughter when he had something important to say?
Well, either way it was unlikely that he would express the people’s hardship as the lord of the land.
“I heard the people here have suffered a lot these days.”
Blake said as he looked at the food on the big table.
It was a luxurious meal enough to feed 10 people.
“Haha, but while you were staying in the valley of chaos, nothing happened. I’m sure the demons recognized the emperor who was chosen by the goddess.”
Blake had seen an appeal Dix had written himself before.
He said that the damage on his land was severe because the crown prince, the heir to the curse, was being treated well in the palace so he asked for immediate compensation.
This year, however, he praised Blake even though the damage was far worse than before.
When he was about to leave the place, he noticed a dark green vegetable in the salad.
This vegetable was very hard to get in this season.
When Blake recognized the ingredient, Joanna smiled.
“I heard Your Highness likes it, so I bought it for you.”
“How did you know I was coming today?”
“Everytime you visited the valley of chaos, we’d prepare this for dinner. We’ve been waiting for the day we would be able to serve you.”
He had stepped foot in Vallin’s territory in seven years.
However, they prepared these foods every day in an isolated territory.
Their flattery disgusted him, but he didn’t express it. He thought every human being was disgusting.
“Blake, you’ll meet many people in the future. Many of them are nice and I’m sure some of them would support you regardless of the curse. So I hope you don’t hate everyone because some of them are nice.”
Blake recalled Ancia’s words whenever he met a stranger.
But he always felt skeptical. Did such a person really exist?
Everyone he met only wanted to take advantage of him.
“Your Highness, does the food suit your taste?”
Joanna asked while Blake was lost in thought.
“I’m tired so I don’t have much of an appetite.”
He wanted this to be over but Dix had no intention of letting him go so soon.
“Haha, Joanna are you that worried about His Highness?”
Joanna put her head down in embarrassment.
“Your Highness, Joanna has always admired you since she was a child.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes. She said she wanted to be your bride and also felt sorry for your curse.”
Blake was dumbfounded by his blatant lies.
He had heard countless such confessions after his curse was lifted.
But when he was a child, Ancia was the only one who stayed by his side.
“Didn’t you guys want me to be exiled to the southern island back then?”
Hearing Blake say that coldly, Viscount Dix’s face hardened.
Blake was referring to an appeal he had sent in the past.
In the appeal, he had insisted that the heir of the curse should be confined to the southern island.
“Well, back then the damage to the land was so severe that I lost my temper. After finding out that I sent that appeal, Joanna was very angry at me…”
“That’s right. I blamed my father so much back then!”
Their blatant lies were making him sick.
He immediately got up and left the place, but Joanna rushed after him.
When he stopped walking, Joanna quickly ran in front of him.
“Your Highness, I’m sorry. My father made you very angry.”
She looked up at Blake tearfully.
Blake was already charming to begin with, and now he had the power of the goddess too.
Besides, he was quite fascinating.
He had silver hair and red eyes, and radiated the dignified aura of a royal. He looked elegant even when he was just walking. Not only was he good-looking, he was also mysterious and beautiful, like an ideal prince from a fairy tale.
“Your Highness, you’re so amazing. It is true that I have long admired Your Highness.”
Joanna was pretty. Her facial features were in harmony and her innocent doe eyes and captivated the hearts of many men.
Thanks to her beauty, some influential people in the capital city wanted to marry her, but she refused them all. She had attended several events in the capital city, but she wasn’t invited to the imperial ball so she didn’t get to see Ancia, who was famous for her beauty. Then again, Ancia rarely met aristocrats of her age.
Although Ancia’s existence bothered her, she was already crushed to death by the door of darkness anyway.
‘I’m the most beautiful girl in the empire. So it’s natural for me to be next to him.’
Joanna was very confident about this. Blake’s frequent visits to the valley of chaos was also a good thing.
However, Blake did not visit the Vallin estate. He ignored it even if she invited him herself. It was because her father had criticized him in the past.
Of course, she had thought her father was doing the right thing at that time. Attacking Blake would make their family look good to the Cassil family.
But things had changed. The Cassil family fell and the Crown Prince’s curse was lifted.
Her father was always useless to her. Even if they had a manor, it was located in a rural area. Besides, since it was right next to the valley of chaos, it felt more like an exile, but she did not give up.
Just once, she only wanted to meet him once, and then she could capture his heart.
Besides, she thought that she was the most beautiful of all, so it would be a piece of cake for her to capture his heart.
Joanna was a year older than Blake, so she was 19 years old now. The number letters asking for her hand in marriage were falling sharply.
Only the poor fallen nobles who had no land proposed to her now.
Her father declared that when she turned 20, he would definitely marry her to someone fitting, but she was impatient. She was beautiful, so she had to at least become the wife of a marquis. Even better if he was a duke. She limited her options to long-standing and wealthy families only. It wasn’t worth considering someone with an empty title.
Although her father had once contacted a decent family in the capital city who had proposed to her in the past, the man insulted her and said that he was already married.
There was no one else left now, and Blake was her best bet.
“I heard the nobles in the capital treated you badly. I’m so heartbroken. If it were me, I would’ve accepted your curse.”
There was ridicule and contempt in Blake’s eyes as he looked at her.
If it was only contempt, there was hope.
But there was no curiosity or attraction for Joanne either.
It was also like that before.
She went into his bedroom and tried to seduce him, but he drove her out harshly.
Joanna had been waiting for this day to come because she thought meeting him would solve everything.
‘The moment the Crown Prince discovers me, he will fall in love at first sight. He will notice that my hair and eyes are similar to Ancia, but I am much more beautiful than her. No, the moment he sees me, he’ll forget Ancia. He will ask me to marry him and go into the Imperial Palace, and then I’ll become the Crown Princess. Once that happens, I will step on all those who mocked me. Even if they kneel down and grovel, it would be too late for them.’
She imagined the scene where she became the Crown Princess and the object of everyone’s envy.
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