“Miss Cherryl, did you hear that?” 

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The soft sound of water was heard in the bathroom.

Something pricked Cherryl’s ears as she enjoyed soaking her relaxed limbs in the bath.

It was Lucy, the maid, who asked that attention-grabbing question.

She was organizing the laundry when she came close to the bathtub and knelt to whisper a secret. 

“The bandits are going to visit our mansion.”

“Bandits? What do you mean?”

“Shh! Lower your voice.
Someone might be listening.”

Lucy hurriedly put her index finger on her lips and glanced at the door, ensuring it was closed.

A noblewoman was in the bath, so there was no way someone could barge in unexpectedly, but she looked nervous.

Cherryl tilted her chin in wonder.

“Why do bandits want to come to my house? To steal? They wouldn’t have to announce their arrival to do that.”

It wasn’t normal for bandits to steal upon the owner’s knowledge.

The story was absurd.

“He isn’t here to rob.
It’s not even his first visit.” Lucy leaned over and whispered in a quieter voice.
“Don’t be surprised and listen to me.
Remember the town festival you attended a few weeks ago?”

Cherryl recalled the grand village festival promoted by her father, Marquis Milose, who was an infamous miser.

The supply of barbecued meat was abundant, and several bottles of aromatic wine were airlifted from the southern part of the country, allowing the Marquis’ townspeople to enjoy them.

“Yes.  I remember.
My father gave me some silver  coins and told me to go out and have fun.”

That night, the Marquis of Milose flashed her a kind smile as he pushed Cherryl and several other people out of the door.

The festival was a fun event for Cherryl, spending her days going from place to place.

Outdoor lights had decorated the village.

She watched the street stalls, bought fruit skewers, and enjoyed the minstrel’s songs in the square.

 It was an exciting time for the first time in a while.

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“Something is bothering me,” Cherryl murmured, reflecting on the Marquis’ expression. 

She found it strange that the stingy Marquis would hold a festival for his young residents’ welfare.

That night, she found his smile disconcerting since the Marquis did not show a single grain of affection while she was growing up.

Ever since he started a business in Hindel, the Capital, a few years ago, he was frequently away from home.

Neither did they make eye contact nor have a conversation with each other.

Therefore, her father’s smile on the night of the festival ade her approach him with great reluctance.

“That night–” Lucy whispered and broke Cheryl’s conception.
“Oliver, the coachman, had overeaten meat at the festival, so he went back to the mansion early because he felt sick.
That’s when he saw him.”


“The black men who look like bandits.”

Cherryl’s heart thumped.

“The group’s number could have been less than five.
Oliver was so shocked to see how tall and big they were.
All dressed in pitch black.” The maid lowered her voice further.

“I have heard bandits at the Northern border calling themselves ‘wildlings.’ The blood of wolves.
Rumors said that they glowed in the dark like predators when they look at you.”

“Don’t tell me–“

“These bandits were the Marquis’ guests.”

It was beyond belief.

The prestigious family of the Marquis was the next in line of power to lead the Empire, so why would her father, who considered an aristocrat’s reputation important, have contacted the bandits?

Was a deal going on while he was doing business in the capital?

Why would his father, who treated commoners like little bugs, have made a deal with barbarians?

Questions that she hadn’t known the answers to arose in her head one by one by one by one.

There was something else in her mind other than the band of bandits calling themselves ‘wildlings’ and whose bodies had the blood of beasts running through their veins.

The unusual combination struck a flash of thought.

Don’t tell me he’s…?’

Cherryl had lived in this world for more than twenty years, so her past life memories should have faded a long time ago.

However, the man in her memories gradually emerged when she heard the unfamiliar description.

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What’s the point of him going to this remote central area in person?’

Cherryl shook his head vigorously to shake off the man’s afterimage.

Oliver must have been mistaken.

It was easy for a man to declare that one  is a northern savage if he is tall, well-built, and dressed in all black.

Despite Cherryl’s skepticism, Lucy kept whispering.
“Oliver had never seen the Marquis laugh so loud before.
They even fed festival meat and wine on the black horses that the men rode.”

“Maybe the Marquis’ festival was a snow trick for a blind date.”

Sure enough, Cherryl swallowed her dry saliva.

 That was hard to deny.

Lucy nodded wildly.
“The Marquis had greeted them when the men were on their horses.
One bandit said he would be back on the second night of the full moon.”

It was like a code word.

Cherryl narrowed her brows and pondered the meaning, and her eyes had widened at the thought that soon followed.

“Wait, if it’s the second night of the full moon—”

It’s today, right?

As soon as  she realize that, someone knocked on the bathroom door.

Surprised, Cherryl and Lucy shrugged their shoulders and kept quiet.

The tightly closed door suddenly burst open.

Lucy stood up, screaming,  and immediately covered Cherryl’s body.

She was already there in the bath after all.

What kind of senseless person would invade the Marquis’ daughter’s bath?

“What’s taking her so long to bathe?” A middle-aged woman with tied-up dark brown hair entered the bathroom loudly.

Through the open door, the rest of the maids blushed with embarrassment.

The woman, who dissuaded her and ignored the others,  was Natasha.

She remarried Marquis Milose a few years ago.

“I’ve got a lot of work today, and someone here is relaxing and enjoying her bath,” Natasha complained. 

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“I’m doing this because I don’t have things to do.” Cherryl rubbed her temples as if that would get rid of the noise.

Angry at the bold reply, Natasha screamed.
“Who the hell are you talking back to?”

“Can you keep your voice down? You get excited about trivial things.  It’s not like you are an aristocrat.”

“What did you say?”

“The same goes for breaking into the bathroom while someone is using it.”

Natasha, the second daughter of a minor baronet, had a massive inferiority complex in her status because her ex-husband was a mere commoner with money.

Whenever Cherryl talked about the noblewoman’s behavior and pointed out her insecurities, Natasha became speechless from her outrage.

As Cherryl’s stepmother glared, she stood up from the bathtub proudly without caring whether or not her wet naked body was revealed.

Her sheer white, smooth skin glistened subtly from the drops of water dripping down her curves. 

Cherryl’s bright silver-blonde hair was wet and silky that people around her had admired its impeccable curly mass.

Her blue eyes flashed towards Natasha, exposing her pure, elegant figure.

“Oh, by the way—-“

At a loss for words, Natasha cast a disapproving glance into the air. 

Lucy quickly put a gown around Cherryl’s body in silence. 

“—you should have prepared yourself from the embarrassment before you kicked the door in.” Cherryl snorted and straightened her dress out.

 Her imposing attitude seemed to offend Natasha.

Natasha took something out of her arms and she tried to hand it to Cherryl but threw it into the sink, instead.


The crackle of gold resounded sharply in the bathroom. 

Colorful jewels—necklaces, earrings and rings of various kinds– filled the sink.

“Is it a gift? It would be more useful to your mother than me.””

Cherryl cast an uninspiring glance at them.

 It was Natasha, not her, who liked to dress herself up with luxurious jewelry.

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“Your father gave it to you, so keep it safe and wear it for dinner tonight.”

“I didn’t hear I had a dinner date.”

“I’m telling you now.
And you!” Natasha pointed to Lucy with her red-painted fingertips.
“We have an important guest, so take responsibility and dress her up.” 

“The custom-made gown from the Capital has arrived, so make sure it’s not wrinkled and put it on her.
Do you understand?”

“Yes, My Lady.”

The stepmother folded her arms and scanned Cherryl up and down.

“It would be nice to have my hair braided in several strands and wear local flower hairpins to make the guests feel the atmosphere of the central region.”

Cherryl frowned at her tone, treating her like an item for sale that needed to be wrapped exquisitely.

“I’m sure you’ll like the dress, too.
I’ve mended it to fit your body on purpose, so he couldn’t help but like it.
Men are animals who covet things they don’t own.”

“Who are you talking about?”

Natasha gave her a meaningful look as Cherryl expressed her displeasure.

“Who do you mean who? I meant your guest today.”

She walked away with a smile of satisfaction.

“I’ll see you at the dinner.”

As the sound of heels went away, the bathroom door slammed shut.

Cherryl was sick and tired of that woman’s disrespect towards her. 

She didn’t want to waste her feelings on daily arguments so she did her best to ignore such disrespect.

However, Natasha’s suspicious words got stuck to her head.

“My Lady.” Lucy’s worried voice clouded  her ears as Cherryl stared down at the relics  her father had delivered.

She had never received a gift from him for twenty of her birthdays but she was suddenly told to wear this precious jewelry tonight.

His father had smiled for the first time when the bandits secretly visited the mansion.

It was a puzzle that she didn’t want to solve and put together.

Only then did Cherryl realize that the time she had spent flowing like water has been twisted, and things have begun to change her life.


That night when the afternoon sun had finally set, large-bodied men rode heavy black horses entered the mansion of Marquis Milose at a rapid pace.

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