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    Translated by Translated by Tam
    Edited by Edited by Tam


     

    She didn’t show it, but she thought she was somewhat relieved. 

     

    Catherine was pleased with the current peace. She had to pay a great price for her soul, but for now, she was fortunate to be able to keep this peace in return. Worrying about becoming an earthworm or a pine tree— didn’t even come to her right now. 

     

    The night when the contract was signed. 

     

    The ingredients are already prepared. Catherine took a seat in front of the bonfire and sprinkled water over a plate of paper. Something started to appear. However, at first glance, the meaning of the words is very strange. 

     

    “The succession of the throne— Uhm. The Grand Duke?”

     

    Catherine looked suspicious when she picked up a wet note. Let’s just not check. 

     

    “Who gave it to you?”

     

    At that time, a big hand suddenly appeared and took the paper away from her. 

     

    “The struggle for succession to the throne, the Grand Duke Cesare, is dangerous.” 

     

    The voice of the man reading the hidden letters sounded lower and quieter than usual. Now it really shows up every now and then. 

     

    “It’s from Maggie.”

     

    “Ah. Are you talking about that picky-looking sister?”

     

    “That’s right.”

     

    There was no need to hide it, so she said it frankly. It’s a deeper tie than blood ties, but no way, he’s not going to harm Maggie, right? 

     

    “—Do you know what this means?”

     

    Cesare’s expression looked very relaxed. Catherine answered without taking her eyes off him as he sat on the sofa opposite her.

     

    “Well, I’m not even curious. The work of Grand Duke Cesare has nothing to do with us anyway, does it?” 

     

    Cesare put the note in his hand. The water-soaked paper was already as transparent as it was. 

     

    “Miss Phanya, there’s actually one thing I must confess to you.” 

     

    “Are you going to propose?”

     

    “Well, I can do that for you if you want.” 

     

    Anyway, Cesare never tried to lose in a place like this. 

     

    Cesare opened his mouth solemnly, withholding the smile that had spread openly. 

     

    “Actually, I am Christopher Grand Duke Cesare.”

     

    “Yes?”

     

    “I mean, I’m the Duke of Christopher.”

     

    A brief confusion ensued. Catherine wonders if this devil is playing her pranks on her for nothing. Or does he think she really didn’t know? 

     

    Only the sound of firewood burning in silence resonated. Catherine pretended to be surprised for now. 

     

    “That’s an amazing story. How did you fool me?” 

     

    With the polished acting, she put her hand over her left chest. Her heart was very calm, as if she had just woken up. Cesare had a flat face.

     

    “I didn’t say it because I wanted that kind of reaction. Miss Phanya seems to have known for a long time anyway.” 

     

    “Isn’t your face too serious for that?” I thought you really thought I was a fool.” 

     

    “If you’re a fool, it’s okay to describe Sir Damien as an idiot.”

     

    Cesare picked up a cup of water and drank it. It happened in an instant without time to stop. That’s water with lemon. 

     

    “—Are you okay?”

     

    Cesare tilted his head with a face asking if there was a problem. 

     

    “—If you’re okay, that’s good.”

     

    “What I was trying to say was that your sister, Miss Maggie’s boss, doesn’t have a very good relationship with me, so be careful. As long as they know we’re acquaintances, it’s going to be troublesome somehow.” 

     

    “Should I even care about my sister’s supervisor? How great of a person is he?” 

     

    “The Crown Prince Safran.”

     

    It was an unexpected name.

     

    She thought she’d found a way to make a living, but she didn’t know it was the royal family. You got a good job, Maggie. 

     

    “But why don’t you get along with him? Are you a love rival?” 

     

    “It’s similar because the Crown Prince loves me very, very much.”

     

    “Ah.”

     

    She doesn’t know if it’s serious or sarcastic, but one thing was sure. Cesare didn’t seem to care what Prince Safran was doing. Is it even a one-sided enemy of the Crown Prince?

     

    “By the way. When are you going to tell me your Imperial Bank account?” 

     

    Ah. Come to think of it, the problem remained.

     

    “Just give me cash.”

     

    “If that’s what you wish for me, I’ll give it to you right now.”

     

    “I don’t understand. If you give me cash, will it hurt your mouth? Why are you so mad because you don’t know my account?”

     

    “I want to ask you something. Why aren’t you telling me your account?”

     

    When asked that way, Catherine had nothing to say. It was because she didn’t want to tell him the name Orléans simply without grand reason. 

     

    “Aren’t we supposed to be together forever, as Miss Phanya said? For whatever reason, human relationships don’t really impress me. It doesn’t matter if you’re a hundred-year-old old man or a famous serial killer. Of course, the latter would be a little surprising.” 

     

    Saying that Cesare’s eyes were bright cobalt. Bright colours that are no different from ordinary people. 

     

    But to Catherine, those blue eyes looked like purple. This is because, at least indirectly, she sensed that Cesare’s identity was a devil to the core.

     

    Rather than being scared— she felt at ease. As if she was moved by the saying that it doesn’t matter who she is. Anyone other than Catherine would feel this way. If Cesare’s actions and words were calculated, her heart would be a little offended. 

     

    “Okay. I’ll tell you tomorrow.”

     

    “I don’t know if it’s because we’re pushed back like this every day, and you’re only going to tell me 100 years later. Have you decided on your wish?” 

     

    She shrugged without answering. She had a rough idea, but she wasn’t completely inclined towards it. As she gazed at Cesare, who slowly raised his body, Catherine unwittingly asked a question that had been floating around in her mind.

     

    “But why do you call Maggie by her first name and I by my last name?”

     

    Cesare stopped moving in a posture just to straighten his back.

     

    “There’s no other reason. Rather, it would be confusing to call her Miss Phanya.” 

     

    “Then you can call me by my first name and then Maggie by her last name. As you said, we’re going to be together for the rest of our lives, but are you going to keep going like that? It’s a bond that is deeper than blood, isn’t it?” 

     

    The more she asked, the more curious she became. He even calls Rose’ Miss Rose’. What is the reason why he insists on the last name only to Catherine? 

     

    Cesare gave an unusually bewildered expression. 

     

    “Yeah, I will do that. It’s not a difficult request.”

     

    “Call me that now.”

     

    “Do I have to—”

     

    “Hurry up!”

     

    Haa. With his back straightened, Cesare sighed quietly. 

     

    “Okay, Miss Catherine. Are you satisfied?”

     

    “You must continue to call me that way. Cesare. That way, it feels like a bond deeper than blood.” 

     

    “I said something wrong.”

     

    Cesare shook his head. Soon after, Catherine was left alone in the drawing-room. Everything was surprisingly the same as usual. 

     

    All that changed after handing over the soul to the devil was that Cesare called her by her first name.

     

    ‘But he doesn’t feel like a devil—’

     

    There is such a phrase in devilology.

     

    「The more evil you have lived for years, the more humane you are.」 

     

    The powerful devil enjoys a near-immortal life and periodically erases their memories to protect themself from eternity. It leaves only the necessary information and burns the emotions and waves of that time without a trace. 

     

    Newborns can empathize with human emotions and naturally melt into them. 

     

    ‘Like Cesare.’

     

    How long has Cesare lived?

     

    ‘After several decades, the exchanges he had with me would disappear, leaving only the fact that he was a contractor.’

     

    She thought it was a little, no, very disappointing.

     

    *****

     

    Early morning the next day.

     

    She thought her chest was strangely heavy, but the cat came up and was grooming.

     

    「Catherine, it’s morning. If you oversleep, you only sleep with beauty.」 

     

    “Where were you yesterday?”

     

    「Outside! I wandered around the streets like an abandoned tomb. It was so lonely!」 

     

    When she woke up, a cat jumped up and hung over her shoulder. 

     

    「There was a sudden indication of the area that was not in the mansion. I ignored it and came in, so I’m very uncomfortable right now.」 

     

    “Indication of the area?”

     

    「 I’m really disappointed with Catherine— how can you do that with the devil without telling me!」

     

    Kyaak. The cat wagged its tail, sticking out its fangs that were not very threatening. In context, the meaning of ‘that’, like Meow said, seemed to be a contract. Does this mean that there is unusual energy invisible to the mansion after the contract with the devil? 

     

    “I’m sorry. Did you keep failing to enter the mansion because of that?”

     

    「Hng. That’s right.」

     

    “My devil won’t care if you come into the mansion.”

     

    What do you mean, my devil? It was a shameful title even after she said it.

     

    「If that were the case, he wouldn’t have even marked the area in the first place—. Ew, I don’t know! I’ll trust Catherine and just come in!」 

     

    Come to think of it, even if the cat knew Cesare’s existence, the cat had never met him directly. He went in and out like that, but it was a bit strange that he didn’t meet him once. He was deliberately avoiding him.

     

    ‘But isn’t it dangerous to leave area marks?’

     

    The presence of the magic circle in the basement was enough to stop the paladin from walking down the street. But if he leaves the area mark to that—. 

     

    ‘Did Cesare do something more troublesome?’ 

     

    She combed her curly hair and left the bedroom, and went down the stairs. As she slowly made her way to the main room, she saw the door to the basement, which was open as usual. 

     

    “Huh?”

     

    She was startled if a thief had entered it, but she remembered that the door was left open that day and sighed in relief. 

     

    「Oh my. Oh my?」

     

    At that moment, the cat came down from Catherine’s shoulder and rushed under the open door. 

     

    “Wait. Stop!”

     

    Far from stopping, the tail is sucked into the darkness and disappears. She didn’t know what kind of misfortune would happen if a strange cat was added to the peculiar magic circle. 

     

    Catherine hurriedly followed the cat.

     

    「The one who has me, the one who—」 

     

    “Meow-ah!”

     

    Fortunately, she didn’t have to run around to catch the little cat. Meow shouted as she circled around Catherine. 

     

    「Catherine! You left me out and hid something fun in the mansion!」 

     

    “It’s not fun at all.”

     

    The voice of the underground magic circle echoed through the darkroom. 

     

    「 Gargoyle. The ruler of the night who does not bow his head easily even to the devil. Why is he here? Human, where did you leave the limbs eaten by the Gargoyle?」 

     

    Is it Gargoyle? Is he talking about this cat? 

     

    In answer to the floating cloud question, Catherine stared at the limbs.

     

    “He didn’t eat it, though? It’s fine.” 

     

    「No way? Gargoyles are the most appetizing race among monsters. I wouldn’t have touched it, your fresh food, right in front of me—」 

     

    At that moment, a cat jumped in and rolled over the pattern on which Catherine was slumped. 

     

    「Wow, look at this. The Devil Summoner is talking! Hahaha! It’s hilarious!」 

     


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    Tam

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