“It doesn’t make much difference to me. Whether I’m a slave or a commoner, I will still die on the battlefield.”
It did not make sense.
Lara felt like she was about to faint from the chills going up and down her spine at the moment.
Demian was a slave.
Even in her last life, he continued to be treated as a slave until he fled to the lawless area. Never once did he talk about the surname or immunity he received from the Crown Prince of Tarragon. She was the only one who changed after returning to the past. What was going to happen had happened, and the world was the same, no matter which timeline.
That means Demian was not a slave in the past, and that there was no reason for him to be imprisoned when she put a barrier between them.
“…Why did you do that?”
Lara really wanted to ask him.
She regretted it like crazy.
She should have had more conversations with Demian then. He could have just fled back then, but he did not.
He deliberately got caught.
“I really don’t know you.”
Looking straight into Demian’s eyes with a pale face, she tried to find his appearance from the past.
“I’m the one who should be asking you that.”
After finishing the big sandwich in a flash, Demian said to Lara.
“You have always looked like you knew everything about me. But why do you feel unfamiliar with me every time I tell you the truth?”
Lara asked Demian.
“Why did you come to Hautean?”
He did not answer Lara this time.
Before this, he used to at least answer with a lie, but now he just shut his mouth up.
Things have turned out to be really ambiguous.
The investigators judged Demian to have committed an unforgivable crime. But after finding out he was not actually a slave and was granted immunity from the Crown Prince of Tarragon Empire, they left the prison with a white face.
Hautean was a small country.
It was a small, powerless state that, even though it did not have to obey the laws of the Empire, it still had to live walking on eggshells around the Empire. Diplomatic friction could arise if they had executed the commoner whom the Crown Prince of Tarragon treated specially.
They could neither release nor imprison Demian
In addition, as soon as the next morning came, the secretary of Thousand Gold Isadora came with a large check and asked how much his bail was. The Chief Watchman had no choice but to leave the matter to the superior office.
Sidhar Hautean was the eldest son of the King.
His appearance was fine, and his abilities were very good. Befitting his background as royalty, he was elegant and honorable. Moreover, he was impeccably adequate in academics, swordsmanship, and religion, so the people of Hautean naturally thought he would be the next King.
Of course, that was how it would have been if his younger sister, who was better than him, had not been born.
When Prince Sidhar realized that he had to fight for the throne with his younger sister, who was ten years apart in age, the first thing he remembered was the seat of Princess Consort that he had left empty so he could use it one day.
“It’s Laviore Ria Bailey, Your Highness.”
“Why did her parents give her such a confusing name? I thought a cute name was more of a trend at that time.”
“Marquess of Bailey tends to obsess over aristocratic things. He must have wanted to show off his elegance with a long and difficult name, and also a middle name.”
“Her nickname is Lara?”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
The old aide approached and handed a painting to Prince Sidhar.
It was Lara’s portrait.
It was incomplete, but it was a great painting still. The painter’s sketching was so amazing that they felt like they were looking at her in front of them. She was a lady with sharp eyes, a defiant gaze, and a captivating atmosphere.
“I heard that the Marquess of Bailey is desperate to make his daughter the Princess Consort, but why is this portrait still incomplete?”
“She recently left her house.”
“I heard the Marquess couple are in a divorce dispute. Her mother took her daughter with her.”
“Is she a fool? She should have stuck with her father. Her father is a noble and also an aide to the Prince.”
“That’s because she’s still young.”
Prince Sidhar clicked his tongue with a face, saying that she’s pathetic. He crumpled Lara’s portrait and swayed it around.
“I can’t make her the Princess Consort right now. I should choose a woman who can help with royal authority as much as possible. How could he send me such a foolish woman? Marquess of Bailey is too greedy.”
Prince Sidhar lost his interest because Lara had a look that was far beyond his taste and did not seem to be smart.
But his old aide did not seem to think so.
“I don’t think that’s right.”
“What do you mean?”
“Marquess of Bailey has a high status and his wife is the Thousand Gold Isadora…”
“Wait, Thousand Gold Isadora?”
“She’s an accomplished merchant, who will be able to feed a big city with the value of her business and real estate.”
“Is that so?”
Prince Sidhar’s eyes turned to Lara’s portrait again.
He picked up the crumpled picture and put it on his desk. There were already dozens of portraits piled up there.
“But they’re getting a divorce?”
“Who wants it?”
Then, it would be difficult for them to divorce easily.
Prince Sidhar recently knew that Marquess of Bailey was not in a very good financial condition.
“If his wife is that rich, he would not have wanted to let her go.”
“He would probably ask for alimony.”
“Will they need to undergo a divorce trial then…”
The Prince tapped on the table with his finger.
The sunlight from the window shone on his gleaming golden hair.
“Marquess of Bailey is too good of a card to be thrown away. He behaves well, so he has gotten good reviews from the elders. I can’t just let my aide be a poor divorcee.”
“Your Highness, what do you intend to do?”
“Tell the Marquess to request for a large amount of alimony so that the Marchioness would withdraw her divorce application. And send one of the noble elders with a good reputation to mediate their relationship. She won’t be so arrogant to stay with her decision when the Prince himself comes forward asking them to reconcile.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
“Invite Lady Laviore to the banquet that will be held soon.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
“In the end, she would be grateful to me.”
The Prince ran his finger through Lara’s lips in the painting. When he pressed his nails against her stubbornly closed lips, a mark appeared as if she flashed a smile. The Prince looked carefully at the mark.
After that, the old aide brought up a question that he had almost forgotten.
“Oh, what should we do with that slave? The Chief Watchman is asking for your opinion.”
“Just let him go. Give comfort to the nobles suitably. What’s there to be proud of for nobles to be beaten up by a slave?”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
It was time for the battle for the throne to officially begin.
Prince Sidhar did not want to cause even the smallest friction to happen with the Empire. He ended up releasing the slave without even bothering to ask for his name.
Demian was released from the prison in less than a week after being captured. Lara went to his prison with Konny twice a day with some snacks. Thanks to that, they seemed to know almost all the restaurants in the capital city.
He said he would go back to the arena.
When Lara asked why he would return there when he’s not even a slave, he said that he liked that place because it had fed him for free, gave him a place to sleep, and even gave him money. Lara was dumbfounded. She thought that she would either get her mother’s permission to bring him home soon or save more money and get a nice house in the capital.
Plans for him piled up in Lara’s head, but something more urgent had happened.
Marquess of Bailey had sent a message.
It was a long, long letter. The letter which was mostly unnecessary rhetoric meant that he would not divorce Isadora if she did not hand over most of her wealth as alimony.
Isadora did not even read the letter and threw it into the dustbin.
When she heard the letter summary from her secretary, she coldly called Marquess of Bailey ‘dishonorable bastard‘.
That was within her expectations.
But there was even more undesirable news from the Royal Palace.
One of the noble elders, who was close to Marquess of Bailey, visited Isadora and politely delivered the Prince’s order to reconcile with her husband.
“He’s giving me a warning that he will turn me into a beggar.”
“It means that as long as the Prince is on his side, it would be difficult for me to easily get a divorce from him.”
Lara was having breakfast with Isadora.
Lara was already full because she had eaten more than usual. She fiddled around with the fork, as if she had lingering regrets about the food. Suddenly, she stopped moving.
“Why would he interfere in someone else’s family affair?”
“My husband’s power and my wealth. I’m sure it’s because he wants political funds.”
This was a winning battle for Marquess of Bailey.
Until now, it was known that he had no reason to get a divorce, so the divorce of the two would be handled as desired by the Marquess, who was the owner of the family and had the support from the Prince.
Isadora, who asked for the divorce, had to prepare the alimony.
Lara recalled that around this time, his father, Marquess of Bailey was on the verge of bankruptcy.
“In the end, because of money…”
“Don’t you worry. I will take care of this problem on my own.”
“Let your parents take care of their own problems. It can’t be helped if we can’t get a divorce.”
It was a lie.
Lara quickly noticed Isadora’s lie.
Unlike in the past, her mother wanted to divorce her father by all means. However, after the Prince stepped up to interfere and threaten her, even though she was very angry, she did not let it show.
The grilled vegetables in her mother’s place were being gracefully chopped.
‘I need to solve this problem.’
Lara squinted her eyes.
More than anything, she wanted to free her mother from that bloody House of Bailey. Just in time, all the bad things Marquess of Bailey had done came into Lara’s mind one by one.
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