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Nadia looked him in the eye.
It was the time to throw a final


“I don’t want to marry a stranger I don’t even know.”

“You fool.
If you were to marry Lee Jiho, you could have remained in the prosperous capital! Do you know what the northern part is like?”


The angry Duke suddenly stopped talking.

He realized that nothing would change even if he took it out on Nadia now.


After sighing deeply, he continued to talk again while rubbing his forehead.

“So, do you think marrying the Marquis of Winterfell is any better? I don’t think he’s dumb enough not to understand what kind of relationship he has with me.”

“I understand, that’s why I’m volunteering myself.
Marquis Winterfell hates father.
There is no way he would welcome someone with father’s influence as his wife.
Do you have any specific plans on how you are going to send him a bride?”

At that, the Duke of Balazit shut his mouth.

Nadia shouted in cheers in her heart.

‘As expected, there is a way out!’

The marriage to shackle Marquis of Winterfell took place about a year after Nadia engaged with Lee Jiho.

Considering her father’s nature, which he had to finish up what he had set in the beginning, he looked like he could not think of anything at the moment.

Of course, he could sneak someone with his influence into the Winterfell family within one year successfully, but it was still an unclear future.

Nadia was determined to highlight this matter to persuade her father.

“You have to make the event merrier.
People all over the country should be interested in this marriage.
There’s no event as suitable as a triumphal celebration to attract people’s attention.”

“After the triumphal celebration, if His Majesty orders Marquis to marry me under the royal order, he wouldn’t dare to refuse.
If he dares to refuse the royal order while the whole nation is interested in it, his loyalty would be suspected.”

The King was nothing but a puppet.
In fact, it was more suitable to say that there were no aristocrat lords who were loyal to the King.

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So it was never about his sincerity toward the King.

The only important thing was that it could become the merit of the lords to avoid the stigma of ‘disloyalty toward the King.’

An era in which local lords were active and competed with each other for their interests. 

Marquis of Winterfell would not take the risk of being driven into public enemies.

The Duke of Balazit, who couldn’t find anything to refute, replied in a more relaxed voice.


“… You have a point.
However, if that happens, he will be the one who draws the most attention at this triumphal celebration.
What are you going to do about that?”

“Just give him the moment of honor.
Isn’t preventing any possible rebellion the most important thing?”

Cunning aristocrats.
The power to control the foolish King.
The complicated politics.

There were many precedents where local lords who were dissatisfied with the messed-up central politics were revolting.

Among them, there were cases where the ruler changed.

That was why Nadia’s father was wary of the North and felt


Anxiety that his position might be threatened.
He must felt triggered psychologically.

“Didn’t you make a plan today because you’re predicting the risks, too? The hostility between the South and the North are going intensify.
One day, you are going crash with each other.”


All of this was something she could say claim because she knew what would happen in the future.
However, not knowing that she had returned from the future, he agreed with Nadia’s reasoning.

“Please let me make a contribution for you, father.
If you sacrifice me this time, you can put forward the credit that you have given up your child to keep Marquis Winterfell in check.
Your position will become stronger.”

“To make my contribution stand out …..
That’s a very interesting suggestion.”

The Duke burst into laughter.

From his point of view, which regarded daughters only as chess pieces of political marriage, it was a very interesting suggestion.

He couldn’t believe that the chess piece could proudly assert itself.

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Duke Balazit liked those who wanted to prove their value.

Because they tended to be valuable and quick-witted negotiators.

“So, what do you want in return for your contribution? If you marry Lord Jiho, you can live comfortably as the wife of a great knight.
On the other hand, shouldn’t you know that being the wife of Marquis Winterfell and leaving to the North comes with a lot of risks?”

“All I want is freedom, father.”

It was now the last step to trick her father.

It wouldn’t be the right move to say that it was purely out of a daughter’s devotion to her father.
It would be more effective to say what she wanted.

“I don’t want to live in a stuffy capital all my life, tied up as someone’s wife.”

“Don’t tell me you’re willing to go to the North just because the capital is stuffy.”

“That’s not what I meant.
Sometime ago when you said about knocking down your enemy… that meant I could be either | will be a widow or a divocee.
If that day comes, promise me my freedom and abundant mount of support.”

“So what you mean is that you want to be a rich widow or divorcee.”

“Unmarried women are bound to be criticized by the public,

but widows and divorcees are acceptable in the society.
Even if I don’t remarry, I won’t be tainting the name of Balazit.”

“What in the world are you talking about?”

Callaine, who couldn’t stand the conversation anymore, screamed.

How could anyone say that they were planning to live alone without a husband so easily?

Anyone with that mindset must have lost their common sense.

But what she couldn’t believe more was her father’s reaction.

“Sure, I understand what you are trying to say.”

“F-Father? What’s wrong with you?!”

“Silence, Callaine.
It’s none of your business!”

The stern rebuke put Calleine into silence.

 Stroking his jaw, the Duke was lost in thought.

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‘She’s a clever child, so she will behave well on her own even after getting married in the North.
Someday she will be useful to me.’

In addition, the Duke thought that he could boast his contribution of sacrificing his daughter to the King and other nobles.

Even if he thought it over in many ways, what Nadia proposed was tempting

It was then that a nervous-faced Callaine suddenly intervened.

She didn’t know what was happening, but she wanted to prevent things from going as Nadia wanted.

“Wait, father.
What are you going to do with Sir Jiho? Didn’t you tell her to agree to the exchange marriage? l-If you suddenly change your mind like this… he will be offended.”

“It isn’t something that the public have known either, is it? You can just introduce him to other lady.”


However, no matter how hard she squeezed her brain to come up with an excuse, it was too late to reverse her father’s already decided mind.

The Duke looked at Nadia again and said.

“I’ll let you know after discussing it further with His Majesty.
Until then, stay still in the mansion.”

“Yes, father.”

Nadia couldn’t hold her smile.
Considering her father’s answer, it seems that she got his permission.

‘With father’s support, I could leave with enough dowry.’ Bringing her fund from home would help her plan what she was going to do in the future.

Avoiding engagement with a stranger like Lee Ji-ho was only the first step toward changing the future.

“I have something to think about alone for a while.
Nadia, Callaine, go back to your own rooms.”

“Yes, father.”


Feeling angry, Callaine bit her lips.
However, there was nothing she could do as their father told them to leave.

The two had to leave his office as ordered.

Nadia slightly bent her knees to excuse herself and left the room.

As soon as the door closed, half-sister’s fierce voice followed.

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“You… What are you up to?”

“It’s a secret.”

“Just because you got father’s little attention– Where are you going? Are you listening to me?!”

She wasn’t listening.

Behind Nadia’s back, she could hear the sound of her half-sister stamping her feet when she followed her.


However, Callaine didn’t dare to make a fuss in front of his father’s office; therefore, she didn’t pick any further fight with Nadia even after she caught up with her.

Before anything more tiring happened, Nadia hurried out of the main building.

However, when she entered the pathway to the annex, a sudden noise caught her attention.

“I-I’m innocent! It wasn’t me, really! Please believe me, Head Maid!”

A familiar voice.

It belonged to Amber, the maid who was in charge of cleaning Nadia’s room.


Nadia turned her head toward the source of the noise.

She could see dozens of people gathering in front of the annex door.

And there was a girl who was kneeling in the middle of the angry crowd.

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Amber, the maid who was teary, was begging the Head Maid with both hands.

Nadia stopped for a while and decided to watch it.

“I got the evidence, how dare you lying to me?”

“I really didn’t steal it! I’m telling you the truth!”


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