Oscar recognized Laritte as the Duchess and approached her.

“Hello, Ma’am?”

He called from a distance to avoid startling her.

Laritte also discovered Oscar.
He was a young gentleman with brown hair.

She turned to face him.


Laritte greeted without even knowing his identity.

There were branches for camouflage in both her hands.

Oscar Iassa, the Crown Prince of the Iassa Empire, had a good heart.

Even though he was not a splendidly beautiful person, he was popular among the young generation because of his gentle nature.

He didn’t mind even though the Duchess stood hiding behind branches.

“How is it that Ma’am is out here without a maid?”
“That, I was hiding away from the bear…….”
“I’m Oscar Iassa.
I’m currently studying to succeed to the throne of the Empire.”

He kindly introduced himself.

Laritte finally recognized him when she recalled the visit of the Crown Prince.

He was supposed to be here in two hours, but he arrived early.

“Yes, Your Highness.”

Laritte hid behind the tree again.


Awkward, Oscar smoothed the brooch over his chest.

Was it the end of their conversation?

If it were someone else, they would’ve tried to talk to him more.

Even though he was just the Crown Prince, he was the next Emperor.

“May I ask what Ma’am means by hiding from the bear? I suspect a bear has really appeared in the mansion.”

She was hiding from Ian.

This was because Ian thought that a fly in the air was dangerous to her.

Laritte had run away when he tried to put a coat over her face.

‘It’s frustrating.’

“Forgive me, but I think I will be caught if His Highness stays here.”

Laritte muttered straightforwardly.

“Ah, I should hide too.”

However, he was too late.
Ian, who was leaving the mansion in search of Laritte, found Oscar.

Ian approached the patch where Oscar was standing.

He was going to ask why the Prince came earlier than scheduled when his face dropped into a frown.

“Oh, no.”

She sighed and came out from behind the tree.

“You’re here.”

Ian greeted Oscar as he grabbed Laritte’s hand so she couldn’t escape again.

“Your Highness, I apologise, I should’ve greeted you in person.”
“Your gatekeepers were eager to inform you, but I just came early.
How have you been, Ian?”

Oscar took off his gloves and reached out to Ian.

He addressed him as the Duke of Reinhardt in front of others, while he called him by his name in private.

Ian accepted his handshake with his unique fierce facade.

In their exchange, Laritte looked up to find that they were quite close.

“Thank you for coming such a long way.”
“The coachman and the horses were the ones who worked hard.
By the way, you seemed to have developed a good relationship with the Duchess.
It’s nice.”

Oscar’s eyes landed on the couple holding hands.

Ian smiled cynically and locked arms with Laritte.

“I’m afraid my tomboy wife will run away again.”

He almost looked terrifying.

Oscar had seen Ian since he was a child, so he was immune.
Surprisingly, he also found Laritte unaffected.

She pouted her lips, but unevenly.

“It’s because you’ve been bothering me lately.”
“I was making sure Laritte didn’t get hurt.”
“I am being careful.
I’m just a little unlucky these days.”

Ian ignored her excuses and told Oscar,

“Let me introduce you officially.
Your Highness, this is the Duchess, Laritte Reinhardt.
And Laritte, this is Oscar Iassa, the Crown Prince of the Empire.”

Oscar greeted with a gentle gesture.

“Finally, we have been officially greeted, Ma’am.”

He kissed the back of Laritte’s hand.

A group of knights who happened to pass through the area greeted the Crown Prince, while Mason smiled when he discovered Laritte.

Prince Oscar also knew about Mason.
He was a respectful veteran.

However, Oscar was kind of shocked.

How was the noble Sir Mason exchanging a friendly glance with the Duchess?

‘I see, the Duchess is loved by everyone.’

Oscar was also aware that Ian had destroyed the family of Count Brumayer for Laritte.

It was a famous gossip in society.

Even so, everyone expected the Duchess – ‘an illegitimate child’ – would soon be abandoned.

But, it didn’t happen.

Laritte was a Duchess decent enough to be respected by the people of the mansion.

Meanwhile, Ian coughed because Oscar kept his grip on Laritte’s hand for a while longer as he got lost in his thoughts.


Ian was a little uncomfortable at the sight.

“Let’s talk inside.”

Oscar finally let go of Laritte’s hand.


The gesture didn’t last that long either.

Did he happen to be?

Oscar’s outstanding sense of surviving in a thorny imperial family alerted him.

Ian was acting extraordinary!

He did hear that their marriage was political, but Ian’s eyes were gentle and caring every time he glanced at Laritte.

It was the first time for Oscar to see Ian like that, even though he was friends with him since childhood.

In the meantime, Laritte escaped from Ian and ran into the mansion.

‘I don’t like her wearing those cumbersome clothes!’

Frustrated, Ian yelled at Laritte’s back.

“Be careful not to fall.”

No answer.

Oscar opened his mouth as he was guided by Ian into the mansion.

“I was curious why you didn’t show up in society these days.
However, I’m relieved to see you doing well.”

He looked up at Ian.

Oscar was tall, but Ian was even taller.
His sharp jawline and handsome features were visible.

Oscar was ashamed.

Due to lack of power, he could not protect the Duchy from the Empress’s clutches.

Ian was of course not afraid of the royalty.

“I recently saw a report that you set up a subjugation troop after a suspected dragon sighting.
Luckily, you didn’t have to face one.”

It seemed Oscar was scared to face a dragon.

Ian replied casually with his usual low voice.

“That is true.”
“If you had been hurt, you would have worried your beloved Duchess.
You are not alone anymore, so be careful.”

Oscar was so focused on advising his friend that he didn’t notice Ian pause.

He turned around to find Ian confused.


Beloved Duchess? What did Ian just hear?

“What do you mean, beloved?”

No way.

Ian thought it was clear to him that he did not love anyone!

“……Did I say something wrong?”

Oscar didn’t understand either.

From what he witnessed, Ian and Laritte were a loving couple.

He didn’t know how the Duchess felt, but he was clear about his friend’s feelings.

“Don’t say anything weird, especially in front of Laritte!”

Oscar’s gentle features gradually turned into clear astonishment.

‘Does Ian not know how he feels?’

“Ian, you…..”
“I don’t want to listen to it.”

As Ian disappeared into the mansion, Oscar quietly followed him.

‘Doesn’t he hold feelings for the Duchess? Am I mistaken?’

Oscar had to reconsider his definition of love.

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