Chapter 2. Growing Cracks

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Episode 13

“I think I can see why you hate the Duchess so much.”

“Ha, I really don’t understand.
What was she thinking?”

Aster led me well when I was in turmoil.
He patted my back and whispered as I twisted the steps.

“Shouldn’t you focus on me for now? I’m getting jealous.”

“I’m sorry.
I didn’t mean to do that on purpose…”

“I know.
From now on, let’s focus on the two of us dancing.”

He smiled softly and proceeded on the steps gently.

The song was heading towards the middle.

I admired his proficient dance skills.

Leading me well, who was lost in thought, was difficult.

“You are good at dancing.”

“Because this is also a kind of exercise.
It’s like wielding a sword.
If you have a sense of rhythm and mastery, you can learn it quickly.”

After the music, he bowed to me.

I also greeted him face to face and linked my arms to his.

The nobles, who had been mesmerized by the unexpected dance, soon spread out in all directions.

“Come this way.”

I was escorted by Aster and headed to the top seat.
My father, who I thought was waiting in his seat, was nowhere to be seen.

“Are you looking for the duke?”

“Ah, yes.
Obviously we were going to do the second dance together, but I can’t see where he went.”

“I think he might be with the Tower Master.”

At Aster’s words, I almost screamed without knowing it.

“My mother is here?”

“If it’s today, it is only natural for the Tower Master to attend the banquet.
I don’t know why everyone is so surprised.”

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“That, that… It’s because Aster doesn’t know.”

Freya Oldman, former Duchess of Pioneer, was a wonderful woman.

I didn’t say that because she was my mother.

The reason that Raymond, who was known as a genius, still stayed in the position of the second-in-command of the tower was because my mother was alive and well.

But it wasn’t just me and my father who were afraid of her.

“Is there a secret that I didn’t know about their divorce?”

“No, not like that.”

The two divorced due to conflicting interests, but their love for each other still remained.
Read only at pm tl.

What I was worried about was not their relationship.

I hurriedly looked for Tatiana.

If she was dancing with the Archduke, it would be more noticeable, so it was important to find and hide her quickly.


A woman’s scream echoed through the melodies of a beautiful orchestra.

I let go of Aster’s hand and ran in the direction the scream was heard.

“How dare this bitch take my daughter’s man again!”

My mother, with her black hair like mine, grabbed Tatiana’s hair as her red eyes flashed.

“Why, why are you doing this?!”

“Why am I doing this? You ask because you don’t know?”

The pearls and jewels that adorned her beautiful silver hair were tossed around by my mother and rolled on the floor.

Tatiana’s face was messed up with tears, and the Archduke, who was too late to grasp the situation, struggled to separate the two.

“Stop it, Tower Master.
She’s my wife!”

Roughly removing my mother’s hand, the Archduke hid Tatiana behind his back and shouted.

As my mother held her breath, she scoffed as she looked at Andrew, who was much taller than her.

“Since she’s this bastard’s wife, she shouldn’t have been unguarded.
How pathetic are men in the world for that bitch to run around this man and that man?”

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It was a familiar repertoire, but I cut in between the three to stop my mother.


“Kari? Oh my god, you’ve all come to the banquet.”

The expression on my mother’s face, who found me, softened.

The Archduke was startled by the change in her attitude.

“What are you doing here?”

“Oh, I was just scolding that crazy bitch.”


“Oh my, this is not the Magic Tower.
I was scolding that crazy woman.”

I shook my head as I watched my mother change her vulgar remarks.

I wondered where my father had gone, and he seemed to have run away because he was afraid that my mother would scold him that he had no eyes for a good son-in-law.

“Come over here.
It’s a loss for me to get angry about something like that.
Seeing this man and that man chirping like this makes me feel like an animal.”

“Why should mother care! Just let her live like that.”

I took my mother’s hand and dragged her towards Aster.

My mother grumbled and looked back, as if something was missing from her.

She didn’t seem to have resolved her anger yet.

“Long time no see.
Tower Master.”

At Aster’s call, my mother slowly turned her head to look at him.
She looked like a person who looked at Aster meticulously to make sure there were no spoils on the fruit.

“Mother, that’s rude to His Majesty.”

“It’s because you and your father seem to have eyes for men on your feet, Kari.”

I had nothing to say to her.

Because I didn’t have anything to refute.
When I shut my mouth, Aster smiled and spoke first.

“The Tower Master will not have anything to worry about in the future.
I assure you, I’m a pretty decent guy.”

Your Majesty, do you mean that my daughter likes you?”

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My mother looked at Aster with the eyes of a beast observing her prey.

It was such a blatant gaze that I was embarrassed.

But Aster just smiled as if nothing had happened.

We’ll have to figure that out step by step.”

“Mother, aren’t you going home right away?”

To see what you are doing, and to observe His Majesty a little, and so on.”

Seeing my mother smiling softly made me feel eerie.

What the hell is she trying to do?

As if determined, my mother poured questions on Aster.

She also had a broad spectrum of questions, asking everything from favorite food to values and family plans.

Aster seemed quite sweaty with my mother’s questions, and she smiled as if she had heard a satisfactory answer.

Once the questions were settled, I wondered where my mother would be staying.

Her family had transferred the townhouse in the Islands to their firstborn and went down to the estate.

“By the way, mother, where do you plan to stay?”

“I’m going to think about that now.”

“You mean you came here without a plan?”

She looked at me with a shrug as I asked in surprise.

“No, of course I…”

“Then where do you plan to go? If you have nowhere else to go, you can stay at the palace.”

At Aster’s favor, my mother shook her head.
And she said with a confident face.

“I’m thinking of staying at the duke’s house for a while.’

I had never heard that my mother would stay at the duke’s house.

I asked, tilting my head.

“Did you talk to father?”

That’s my home, so why should I go somewhere else to live?”

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Unknowingly, I nodded my head as she looked proud.

After asking Aster a few more questions, she left the place to find my father.

She said, ‘Your father was so surprised earlier because he saw me.’

I felt some pity for my father when she caught and scolded him.

“She was a funny person.
I thought the princess was more like the duke, but I think you’re more like the Tower Master.”

Is that a compliment?”

“Of course.”

Aster smiled and took my hand.
My cheeks felt warm as I felt the firm touch between our fingers.

“Then let’s enjoy our date a little more.”

“Hey, we’re on a date?”

“Of course.
Isn’t this the first time we met properly after we decided to date? So it’s a date.”

His plausible words made me feel better.

I looked at Aster and smiled.

It was the first time since I came to this world that I felt so secure while attending a banquet.

I was always on the verge of being attacked by Tatiana and her followers.

However, it was different with Aster by my side.

I felt comfortable as if a huge protective shield had formed around me.

I looked into his friendly eyes and grabbed his hand slightly.

“Then what should we do to have fun?”

“I am sure you will like it.”

His smile, which stood out clearly even in the splendid Great Hall, made my heart flutter.

His good-natured face overshadowed the man who was called a tyrant.

People seemed to hate Aster, but I seemed to admire him on the other hand.

At least, that was the case with the jealous gazes on me who were holding his hand now.

We leisurely walked out of the venue, feeling the gaze of people toward us.

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