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Ran grabbed her skirt and ran downstairs. Kara, who was behind her, yelled at her to be careful, but she didn’t hear it.
She quickly ran to the first floor and rushed to the front entrance, where she saw a man getting off his horse through the open front door.
Ran screamed, jumped off the porch, and tightly hugged Yustaf.
“I’m glad you’re alright, I’m so glad.”
Ran said several times as she tightened her hug.
Yustaf laughed in a low, deep voice as he lifted Ran up.
QC/N : Oh my, Oh my.
Ran blinked at the unusual voice and turned her gaze to Yustaf.
“Uh, your voice……?”
“Is it weird?”
“No, I like it. A lot”. Ran replied quickly.
Yustaf has grown taller once again.
His voice has also deepened. It no longer sounds like a small boy’s voice, but rather a manly, low, gentle voice.
Ran was embarrassed to have her arm around his neck, so she carefully withdrew it and placed her hand on his shoulder. Yustaf’s muscular and broad shoulders seemed unfamiliar to her, and made her clenched her fingers.
“I didn’t know you’d welcome me so enthusiastically.”
Yustaf said as he walked up the porch and set her down. Ran turned red when she saw the knights and servants standing behind them.
“Yus, you’ve grown so much.”
“But it’s quite uncomfortable because the clothes don’t fit.”
“Then we’ll go out and get you some new ones.”
Ran replied, tugging his sleeve, wondering if the clothes he was wearing were new because she hadn’t seen them before.
‘But these don’t feel like new clothes.’
“It’s Sir Ross’s clothes.” Yustaf said this as if he had noticed what she was thinking.
“Let’s go buy you some new clothes right away.” Ran said firmly as she looked up at Yustaf.
Yustaf burst out laughing at her remarks. Ran was taken aback by the laughter and asked seriously.
“You’re not hurt, are you?””
“Of course, do I look that weak?”
“It has nothing to do with that. Even if Yustaf is a legendary warrior, I’d still worry.”
Yustaf slipped a quick brush on Ran’s plump face with the back of his hand when she spoke with a puffed cheek.
“Are we going to stand here and chat forever?”
Ran frowned at Yustaf’s words and pulled him away.
“Would you like to wash up or eat?”
“I’d like to wash and change first. Have you eaten yet, sister?”
“No, I was waiting for you.”
Yustaf nodded at Ran’s words.
“Then I’ll wash up quickly.”
“You can take your time. I’ll have the servants call you when dinner is ready.”
“Okay.” Yustaf answered, bowed slightly to Ran, and went upstairs.
Ran sighed as she stared at Yutaf’s retreating figure.
‘He’s safe. Thank God he’s really safe.’
The news that Marquis Cameron had declared territorial war against Lachia quickly spread across social circles.
Ran stopped all outside activities. She wanted an audience with the emperor, but her request was denied.
Ran felt irritated by the circumstance. However, three days after the territorial war was launched, she met Nocturne, a member of Lachia’s spy organization.
A gorgeous young man with short hair requested an audience with her.
Ran summoned the young man, who used Baron Wilde’s name, to the second parlor. But Blaine was skeptical because he had never heard the young man’s name before.
“The second shadow meets the Duke.”
With a respectful greeting, he introduced himself as Nocturne and briefly described the situation.
“I’m here to tell the Duke that you don’t have to worry.”
“I don’t have to worry?”
“Yes, my Lord guarantees absolute victory.”
Nocturne said with a soft smile. Ran didn’t say anything and just stared at Nocturne.
“So there’s a spy organization in the Lachia family that I don’t know of.”
“And you are now aware of it, Duke.”
‘Yustaf Raban de Lachia!’
Ran screamed internally as she stared at Nocturne. Nocturne was looking at her with a face that showed no malice.
Of course, they wouldn’t harm her.
Ran sighed as she thought about it. She understood, but she also felt betrayed.
“In that case, can I speak comfortably with you?” Ran said with a troubled expression.
“Of course. Please do.”
“You say Yus guarantees victory, but how will he do that? Will he use the blue flame?”
Is it possible even if he’s not the current head?
“No, he will not.”
“But they have more troops.”
It wasn’t only Marquis Cameron’s army. She knew he had gathered a large number of people by persuading other nearby families.
There were already rumors in the capital that Lachia’s reign was coming to an end.
“Lord Yustaf isn’t the type to talk nonsense.”
“I know, but- but he’s only eighteen, right?”
The last word came out as though she were wailing. Only eighteen years old. For Ran, he’s still a twelfth-grade student.
Yustaf was only 18 years old and had yet to become an adult at the age of 19.
And perhaps that’s why she’s been so easy with him.
‘I should have been more vigilant.’
She can’t believe an 18-year-old boy would go to war and kill people. It makes no sense to Ran.
“With all due respect, he had been trained to take over as Lachia’s head. He isn’t your typical 18-year-old.” Nocturne said to Ran, his face looking serious.
Ran let out a sigh.
“Of course, I know. But.” She grumbled.
“I also have something else to say.” Nocturne added.
“What is it?”
“It appears that Marquis Cameron made an offer to His Majesty the Emperor.”
“Yes. If they win the war, they will give His Majesty half of our mine.”
“What?” Ran clenched her teeth.
As an emperor, he has nothing to lose.
‘That’s why he refused my request for an audience. He stabbed me in the back.’
If Marquis Cameron was defeated and the Duke of Lachia complained, he would pretend to be surprised and said, “I didn’t know Marquis Cameron would do that either.”
If the Duke of Lachia was defeated and protested, the complaint would have been much more futile.
Although they don’t have a subservient relationship, isn’t this too much?
Ran thought and massaged her forehead.
‘Though, we have no intention of being loyal to the imperial family.’
The Emperor does not have to keep an eye on Lachia. He only needs to swallow what is profitable.
‘The Emperor of the Empire.’
He’s a bit greedy. He’s so focused on immediate gains.
Ran couldn’t help but think that way. Then she thought of the second prince.
She had never actually met the second prince. In the original story, it appears that the second prince has ascended to the throne in some way, but there is nothing significant that was mentioned.
‘Should I meet him?’
Ran thought so, narrowed her eyes, and asked Nocturne.
“Are you going to obey me if I give you orders?”
“Of course, just–” Nocturne said, his gaze fixed on Ran’s eyes.
“Of course. Although, Lord Yustaf’s orders are of top priority.” Nocturne continued.
“That’s fine”. Ran shrugged.
It doesn’t matter because she has no intention of competing with Yustaf’s authority over the spy organization.
“What will the cost be? Is this where Yustaf has been putting his money? Was his allowance sufficient?”
Ran felt that Nocturne didn’t want to give her a detailed answer, so she just nodded.
“Then can you investigate the second prince?”
“The second son of the emperor.”
“I will heed your orders.”
After answering, Nocturne had a cup of tea and leisurely walked out of the mansion.
Three days later, news of the Duchy of Lachia’s victory over Marquis Cameron shook the social world. Along with the report that Yustaf had beheaded Argol, Marquis Cameron’s eldest son.
The Marquis protested, his eyes turning red, arguing that Yustaf’s actions were absurd.
However, the statutory law stated that the winner of the territorial fight had the right to dominate the loser at any time.
According to the Marquis, there should be a practice of reparations, but written law outweighs customary law.
Eventually, the Marquis’ protest was dismissed.
Ran, was likewise, surprised to learn that Yustaf had severed his enemy’s neck, and she wondered if they really wanted the Marquis’ unnecessary deep grudge.
Similarly to the newspaper’s thrilling headline, “An Actual Crisis,” the article’s lead, “Young Lords Battle for Life and Death,” had also left a strong impact.
Besides, it’s Lachia.
The Northern family.
The knights of the North were sharp, cruel, and cold as winter.
These words are both intriguing and provocative.
Everyone was talking about the Knights of Blue Flame, and the minstrels took out their old cigars and sang a song about them.
Lord Blaine drew a great deal of attention as the leader of the Blue Flame Knights, and rumors about Yustaf spread like wildfire.
‘If you heard the rumors, you’d think Yustaf single handedly defeated the enemy’. Ran thought so.
‘But he’s still an 18-year-old kid.’
But she thinks he was scary for an 18-year-old child.
Yustaf, who had come to the capital for compensation and other reasons, had matured to an unexpected degree.
“Yeah, well, I still have to look after him.”
Ran decided and ordered the servant to begin preparing dinner slowly.
* * *
Madame Nouise gazed proudly at her creation, her eyes gleaming.
Yustaf, clothed in a new suit, patted his jacket lightly and turned to face Ran.
“How is it?”
Ran, hoping she hadn’t drooled, nodded.
“He looks stunning.” Madam Nouise said with a smile.
“Huh? Oh, Yes! You look so cool.”
Ran grinned. Yustaf looked gorgeous in a custom-made, form-fitting suit.
“How tall are you, Yus?”
“I’m not sure.”
“The Young Lord is about 177 centimeters tall. And he’ll most likely grow even taller.”
Madame Nouise spoke on Yustaf’s behalf. Madam measured him herself, so it must be accurate.
‘You were the same height as me not long ago!’
In one year, he grew more than ten centimeters. Is that even possible?
There’s still a touch of boyishness on his face, but it’s about to disappear.
Furthermore, she couldn’t shake the feeling of incompatibility that made her feel like he’s a different person every time she heard his voice.
His boyish “sister” and the low-pitched “sister” felt completely different.
“It appears that Marquis Cameron plans to call for another duel.”
Ran diverted her gaze from him and turned away. The attendants removed Yustaf’s old coat and he was dressed in a new one.
“I’ll tell him to file a petition. That is, if the Marquis could find a courageous knight.” Ran shrugged.
The Blue Flame Knights and Yustaf’s bravery was so outstanding that one wondered if they had captured a dragon.
“More than that, does my sister know the second prince?”
“Yeah. Do you know him too, Yus?”
“Of course”. Yustaf looked at Ran with his blue eyes.
“That’s enough.” He said to the attendants as he raised his hand lightly.
Madame Nouise, perplexed, was going to say something, but when her gaze met Yustaf’s, she quickly bowed her head.
“We’ll come back next time and finish this.”
She then swiftly gathered her assistants, grabbed the fitting tools, and exited the room.
Ran was perplexed and looked at Yustaf.
“Why? Don’t you like it?”
“No, it’s not that.”
Yustaf turned his gaze to Ran. Even though he was dressed simply in black pants and a shirt, he was stunning. Ran feels it’s wrong to be this attractive.
QC/N : I feel the same as Ran.
“Are you thinking of treason?” Yustaf asked.