YMA – 89

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“H…How is Baron Hestia doing, by the way? Is he training hard?”

When Medea asked about Seira, Lyle’s face turned pale and twisted. Luke glanced at Lyle and replied to Medea,

“He is doing well and training well, too.”

While he was here, Luke had wanted to ask about the Baron’s secret, but couldn’t because Lyle was next to her.

If the Baron was a woman and Lyle didn’t know, she could have been severely punished for deceiving the Emperor, introductions had already been made.

‘Will my stomach be big by the time she takes the knights exam….?’

Medea smiled at Lyle, not seemingly knowing his disgruntiness or taking note of his sullen expression. Lyle felt relief at her smile.

‘Are you upset whenever I talk about Seira?…. There’s no way the two of them will have an affair.’

All that’s left is Luke, the male sub character.

Medea glanced at Luke’s face. Luke was studying the Emperor and his wife, who looked a lot more fond of each other with a complicated yet happy expression.

‘Will Seira and Luke get along? If it goes well, I think it would be good for Luke.’

Due to the production of manastones on her land, Seira quickly rose from a peasant to a wealthy young lady with a large dowry. Still, many people may say that she was not qualified to become a queen or a duchess.… At least she thought that being on the duke’s side she would not be severely harassed.

‘The original storyline has changed a lot, so I don’t know if Luke knows Seira is a woman in disguise.’

In the novel, it was only Lyle who noticed that Seira was a woman at the beginning. Luke found out long after when Seira was injured and tried to treat her. She hadn’t even taken the knight’s test yet, so the event…….

‘Maybe it won’t happen? That’s what happens when a neighboring empress comes and makes a mess. Is the Luke route going to get lost because of me?’

Since Medea was alive, there will be no empress from a neighboring country who comes to propose to Lyle. Therefore, there will be no events where Seira is bullied by the empress. She would never get hurt trying to save the bitchy empress.

At that moment, Medea felt guilty. She felt as if she not only took Lyle away from Seira but had also blocked off Luke’s route.

‘No. But I saved her brother’s life! It’s better that her brother is alive than love! You two were on good terms…….’

Even if Medea had to apologize to Seira, she didn’t want to give up Lyle anymore. Didn’t Lyle belong to the Empress, Medea, anyway? Now that she was Empress, Lyle was hers.

Medea gently clasped Lyle’s hand and looked at Luke.

“Be nice to Baron Hestia. It’s not easy to leave one’s hometown and prepare for the exam.”

“I understand, your Majesty.”

Luke nodded thoughtfully.

Lyle showed a subtle complaint, but was relieved by hugging Medea. For some reason, she did not push Lyle away this time, so Lyle smiled satisfied.

***

In the end, he couldn’t ask.

On his way back, Luke’s mind was full of thoughts concerning the Baron as he sat in the carriage.

Seeing the way the Emperor had treated his sister, he didn’t think he had to worry anymore. Perhaps that’s why his thoughts kept tilting toward the Baron.

‘I can’t openly ask…….’

He couldn’t act rudely and check to confirm. It would be a big deal if she was really a woman. He thought about having a maid take a peek, but her secret would leak out.

“I’m at a loss.”

Why should he keep worrying about the Baron’s secret?

In other words, there was no reason for Luke to care so much even if she was really a woman. If her identity was discovered, she might be the cause of slight criticisms toward his sister who brought her to the capital, but she was currently pregnant, so it would have been easy to move on.

Baron Hestia, who deceived the Emperor, could be taken to prison.

‘Even if you pass the exam, it is unreasonable to live in a knight’s residence. Are you pretending to be a man because you want to test and prove your abilities?’

Luke just guessed that much. It could mean a lot in the current situation where women could not be knights. Perhaps she had always heard that she was inferior to men, so she wanted to test her skills at least once.

Revealing her identity would be a nuisance to the young lady’s other family members.….

‘She’ll just pass the test and go home.’

And she would return to her life as a young noblewoman.

Luke knew that Baron Hestia had a sister. He had heard that the two looked exactly alike, so he assumed that the two might have switched identities.

‘This has not been proven either, so it’s just my hypothesis.’

It was not appropriate to spend time on fantasies that had no practicalities behind them. Luke frowned with an annoyed expression and looked out the window.

The carriage was approaching the duke’s residence.

“Ducal heir, you’ve arrived?”

Seira, dressed lightly, greeted Luke as she came down the stairs. She was wearing a white shirt and pants with lace.

‘She must have taken a bath after training…….’

Gazing at her glowing and pinkish skin, his mouth went dry. Luke quickly turned his head to hide his burning cheeks.

“Are you done with your practice?”

“Yes, I was just resting. How was the Empress?”

“She’s happy. She didn’t forget to ask after you. Please… Don’t do anything that would disappoint the Empress.”

“I will do my best.”

Noticing the Baron’s sad expression, which seemed bleak and pained, Luke became embarrassed. His guess seemed to be true.

‘If it’s true, I’m going to protect her from getting caught as my sister asked.… But what does this feeling mean?’

“…I’m tired. You go up and rest as well.”

“Yes, Little Duke.”

As she stepped aside, Luke inhaled as he passed by the Baron. The Baron, who had just finished bathing, smelled of fragrant flesh.

Was she a man?

Can a man smell like that?

Feeling confused, Luke glanced at Baron. The white thin neck was dazzling.

‘Fuck.’

Luke quickly turned his head, strode up to his room. No matter what he did, his shaking heart couldn’t calm down.

***

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