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"Yes, thank you for being so quick to guess."

'I knew it.The Duke of Linie is after the throne!'

Struggling to hold back her facial expression, Ortansia nodded quietly.

'I can't show any agitation here.'

'I must get more conclusive evidence.'

"One more thing... I've heard that the Duke is connected to "those people". That... worries me a little."

Ortansia continued, slightly bowing her head.

"I was once kidnapped by 'those people.' I know well how dangerous they are. That's why… I'm worried. I'm afraid they might turn their fangs on you, Your Grace."

Feigning worry, Ortansia searched for any signs of reaction from the Duke.

It was the enemy territory. If he became even the slightest bit suspicious, he could capture Ortansia at any time.

The thought of that made her break out in a cold sweat, but Ortansia remained calm and continued quietly.

The Duke stared at Altansia.

… Maybe he found out about Ortansia's intentions.

When she started to think that way… he smiled with pleasure.

"Don't worry about that. I have complete control over them."

Ortansia gaped at the Duke of Linie as he said that with such confidence.

He smiled at her and said, ""Our goals align. They want to overthrow the current teachings of the temple and allow the worship of the forbidden demon gods. I want to break this system where the era's king is decided only by foolish numbers like 'succession order.' It sounds good to say mutual cooperation, but the power balance is completely in my favor, so rest assured."

Ortansia ruminated over Duke Linie's words in her head.

'This person is so dangerous…'

The Duke of Linie probably thought of the Occult group as mere pawns to be dealt with.

But he does not know the true horror of that group.

If by some chance the demon gods were to resurface, the world would be in chaos. 

"...As an intelligent person, I'm sure you'll agree with my idea, Lady Verite, don't worry, as long as you're with me, I will never let anything harm you. And...I will offer you a supreme position that no one else can give you."

With these words, the Duke of Linie held out his hand toward Ortansia.

Ortansia already knew his true intentions.

If she refused to take his hand here, there would be no guarantee of her safety.


'If he thinks of me as an ally, I should be able to learn more about his plans.'

She needed to get inside his confidence and extract more detailed information.

That way, she could take down the rebels and the occult of the demon god.

'If we don't, we have no future.'

Then she took the Duke of Linie's hand with a nonchalant expression on her face.

"It is my honor, Your Grace."


It was like crossing a deep hole into an abyss, relying on a single rope that had been stretched tight.

 If she made even the slightest mistake, she would surely lose her life.

But if she did not take any action, not only the Verite family with her father and brother, but also the country - and even the world - could be in a state of panic.

'Really, the goddess has been reckless with me.!'

Ortansia, for example, is an ordinary person who may or may not have ducal blood in her veins. But still, she have no choice but to do it.

To protect her future and her precious family.

'I am relieved that you are a woman of understanding, Duchess Verite. It is a pleasure to have someone like you as a comrade."

Upon receiving Altansia's answer, Duke Linie spoke with a cheerful tone.As Ortansia was about to open her mouth to extract more information.

"As a matter of fact, there's someone I'd like you to meet."

"Me?" Ortansia asked.

"Yes, you'll surely be surprised," Duke Linie replied.

Ortansia tilted her head in confusion, thinking to herself, 'If he says I'll be surprised, then it must be someone of considerable status…'

She wondered just how many people Duke Linie had drawn into his plans.

While she pondered, Ortansia politely replied, "I'm looking forward to it."

The Duke of Linie looked amused, with a smile on his face.

Soon after, there was a quiet tapping on the door of the room.

"It seems they are here."

The Duke of Linie stood up and opened the door.

He then called out to the person on the other side of the door and beckoned him into the room.

Ortansia also stood up and was about to bow when she froze, as if her whole body had frozen.

The reason being, the person standing next to Duke Linie was unmistakably her brother, Gerard.

'There was no mistaking that figure,' Ortansia thought to herself.

Gerard was standing right there beside Duke Linie.


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