“You’re back.”

The door opened, and I saw Nadricka. I staggered over and stood next to him.

“I have something to tell you.”

Nadricka didn’t ask what it was. He just patted my back without a word.

“It is alright, take your time.”

I slumped down where I was. Nadricka got to his knees, facing me. I looked at him.

Just like Robia had, he tucked my hair behind my ear. I felt drawn to take his hand.

“I have something to tell you.”

I realized I was repeating myself only after the words had already left my mouth. Nadricka quietly looked at me. I glanced behind me.

“……Leave us.”

I heard the receding steps of the servants outside. It seemed like the soldiers were moving away from the door as well. I cupped Nadricka’s face in my hands.

“The truth is.”


“I’ve been hiding something from you.”

His face was calm. Nadricka laid his hands over mine.

“Do you remember how I said I lost my memories?”


I had to say it. I had to confess it to him. I couldn’t hide it any longer. Even if…. he would be hurt by it. I couldn’t keep him in the dark.

“The truth is.”

It was getting hard to maintain eye contact.

“……The truth.”

My head dropped.


It was the first time he had voluntarily called me by that name.

“Look at me, please?”

His hands tenderly cupping my face, Nadricka brought my head up. Our eyes met.

“You don’t have to tell me if it’s hard.”

Those words made me open my mouth.

“It’s a lie. All of it.”


“I never lost my memories. I’m not the woman you knew.”


He didn’t look surprised. Seeing him so unfazed, I was incredulous. At the same time, I felt a little hollow. Because I had never once expected it.

“You knew?”


That there was a possibility that Nadricka already knew my identity. But that he would hide it.

“Why….. No, how? Since when?”

His hands tightened around mine.

“The day we first met.”


“When you held my hands. Starting from then.”

Since that day? In other words, he had known I wasn’t the princess since the day I first fell here.

He laughed sadly.

“It seemed impossible but…. it was even more impossible that you could be the same person.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“You did not want me to know.”

“But…. why? If you knew from the beginning, then why did you help me?”

“At first, I just liked being able to breathe freely. It felt like I had escaped from hell. I thought that at the very least you would not kill me.”

Nadricka was calm and collected as he began his story.

“But after a point, I sincerely began to pray that things would continue like they had. I became afraid whenever you went to sleep. I wondered what I would do if when you woke up the next day, you weren’t you.”


“That is why I couldn’t say anything. Because it felt like the moment that I spoke the truth, everything would be ruined, and you would leave me and disappear to someplace far away.”

He wrapped his hands around mine and slowly brought his lips over them.

“Why did I help you? You already know the reason.”

A serene smile spread over his face. There was no way to tell who had embraced who first. His arms always managed to envelop me completely.

“And, how is it possible I would not know he’d noticed as well?”

Nadricka mumbled with his head buried in my neck.


“That’s why you had that expression.”

“How did you know?”

“I just thought that he might have noticed as well.”

“……Was I so obvious?”

“No. It is more like….. he seemed to have feelings for you too. Not the princess, but you.”


I hadn’t realized Nadricka would have guessed that much. I wondered if he knew what Robia had told me today as well. I let go of him and looked into his eyes.

“Do you really think so?”

“If he didn’t, he wouldn’t have known. Ever. Just like everyone else.”


“That man has always been looking at you, Your Highness.”


“Just like I was.”

I shook my head.

“That’s not enough. I can’t trust him.”

“He’s a smart person. The fact that he revealed it to you means that he has no intention of putting you in danger. In fact, he-.”


“Are you afraid of accepting him?”

“…….What are you saying?”

“You keep coming up with reasons why you cannot accept him.”

He had hit the mark. If I trusted Robia, if I shared my deepest secrets with him, then like he said, I would have no reason not to take him. He was my concubine, however…..

“…..I only need you.”

“Please do not be like that.”

“Please don’t be like what?”


I felt a sudden jolt of fear go through me at Nadricka’s expression.

“Why are you like this?”

Nadricka avoided my gaze.

“Why…… Why are you being like this? You said you liked me.”


My blood ran cold. I grabbed Nadricka by the shoulders. I was rambling. I lowered my head and tried to find his eyes.

“Is…… Is it because I’m not the real princess? Because it’s been revealed now? Is it too much pressure for you?”

“It isn’t like that!”

“Then why did you say that!”


Nadricka’s voice trembled. I put my arms around his neck. I snuggled into him like I was afraid of parting and buried my head in his shoulder. His hands on my back had never been so anxious.

“I told you I would protect you. You don’t have to do anything, I’ll never put you in danger. So, so….. you, you can’t do this to me, you really can’t…….”

I tried not to break down.

“That’s why!”

“I’m not listening, I won’t listen.”

I rubbed my wet eyes on his shirt while shaking my head, and he patted my back soothingly. His touch was this warm, so why?

“Please look at me.”

I felt him bury his head in my shoulder. His hands around me tensed. The words that came next were tinged with far deeper emotion than I’d been expecting.

“……I’m afraid.”

Tears soaked into my clothes.

“I’m afraid. I’m so afraid. Because I can’t protect you. Because I’m nothing.”

Each word was thick with emotion.

“You’re only looking at me, you say you will protect me, but you are the one in danger!”

Nadricka shouted.

“Why are you protecting me! I can’t bear seeing you like this.”

Nadricka pushed me away.

“So go tell him. Please accept him. Make him cooperate. Please keep yourself safe. For me.”

How is that for you?

“You do not hate him, right?”

“Why… are you saying that. Why that.”

“I do not want to lose you. That is why.”

Nadricka spoke in a clear voice.

I wasn’t confident I could reassure Nadricka, no matter what I said. I realized that even if I said everything would be okay, or ‘you’re special to me’, it would have no effect in putting his worries to rest.

So, I started talking about something else.

I talked about how I had lived in a different world, but how one day upon opening my eyes, I’d found myself here. I talked about how scared I had been, and how much comfort he had given me.

I didn’t give specifics, like about Yuriel, or how everything here might be part of a game. I didn’t want to burden Nadricka any more than that.

As I was talking, Nadricka shifted our clasped hands a little. When I had finished, he asked,

“What do you look like?”

The answer didn’t come to me immediately. I frowned.

“Well……. I had black hair and black eyes?”

“I see.”

“Plain, right? Here….. everyone is radiant.”

“I’m still curious.”

After that, he opened and closed his mouth several times as if hesitating. Then he asked,

“If you had a chance…..”

Would you go back?

Even though he left the question unfinished, I could hear it, and I couldn’t give him a proper response.

This time, he was the one who started talking.

“It happened the moment I met you, Your Highness….. you.”

He tightly clasped my hands.

“I couldn’t not fall for you.”


“Like unavoidable fate.”

Fate. I had never believed in it. Even more so after I had fallen into this place. But in this moment at least……

“So, it’s possible that he felt the same way as me.”

It felt like my ‘falling’ here had been fate.


“It’s freshly baked bread.”

“Thank you.”

Yuriel laughed a little, and the boy who had delivered the bread blushed and disappeared into the kitchen. As soon as the boy left, Yuriel wiped the smile from her face and peered at the system window in front of her.

The affection level of ‘Rocky’ has exceeded 50.

A new route can be generated.

(Remaining slots: 3)

Will you generate a new route? Y/N

Yuriel pressed N and snorted. How dare they look down on her? Yuriel was starting to get tired of this miserable inn.

At that moment, the door opened, and a familiar silhouette stepped inside the inn. As the man crossed the threshold, the gold light illuminating his shoulders was erased by shadow.

“Over here.”

The man glanced up with tired eyes, and walked straight toward Yuriel.

The man who had been the prince of a now ruined country even walked differently than normal people. At least, it looked that way to Yuriel.

“Nothing happened?”

Ettsen pulled Yuriel into his arms. Wrapped in his embrace, Yuriel caressed his back a few times without much sincerity.


“And it’s been fine staying here?”

Yuriel did her best to laugh and nodded. Then she asked without delay,

“And that woman?”

She felt Ettsen’s arms tense.

“…..Why do you keep asking about that?”

He drew his head back and met Yuriel’s eyes.

“And why wouldn’t I? Am I not even allowed to ask how much of a good time she’s having after shoving me into this shabby, disgusting place?”

Yuriel yelled sharply. Realizing that the only thing she had left was the man in front of her, she softened her expression.

“……I was ruined because of that woman, but you never got angry once.”


“Why? Why are you looking at me like that? If you really love me, do something. That woman made me a subject of mockery! Look at where I am now! I……”

“You have always been special to me. Even now you’re-.”

“That’s not what I’m talking about right now! I get it, you’re saying that since I was just another maid who got kicked around, things haven’t gotten much worse for me compared to you, because you used to be a prince?”

“You know that I don’t think that.”

“So? Should I be grateful?”

“…..Yuriel, I don’t think you should have anything to say this time.”

Ettsen didn’t mention Eclot Pacis’s name. Or Yuriel’s reason for approaching him.

Yuriel erupted in nervous laughter.

“Don’t be ridiculous. You should know. You suffered too, didn’t you?”


“Even if they make the same mistake, some people become so miserable, while others get off easy. Why do I have to be the former? I’m going to become the latter. Instead of suffering I’ll-.”

“Yuriel. Calm down.”

“Don’t you hate it? This unfair world? Doesn’t it seem damn ridiculous that they get to have good lives?”

Ettsen was silent. It had been a while since he’d noticed that the woman he loved might not have ever existed.

But he wondered if he could abandon the woman in front of him. Whatever had been the truth and whatever had been lies, it didn’t change the fact that she had been the one to free him when he was trapped in a world of hate and shame.

“I won’t forgive her.”

Ettsen cupped Yuriel’s face in his hands. Anger and hatred swirled in the eyes of the one he loved so much.

He recognized the emotions as those which had once boiled inside of him.

“Yuriel, please. Just leave it. Don’t hurt yourself more.”


“If you want, let’s go somewhere far away. I’m officially a knight now, so I’ll be able to receive an adequate salary from the provincial nobles. That’s……. enough for me, Yuriel.”

She had said to forget. And to maintain a distance neither too short nor too long.

To go their own ways.

“You’re…… going to forgive that woman? Is that what you’re saying? You?”

“No. I said I would forget.”

“You’re mad.”

Now and then, Yuriel would get the feeling that she and Ettsen were different in some unknowable way.

I hate her this much, but who are you to be so detached?

Even his hatred was so detached that it made her want to retch. Ettsen had been this way since the first time she had met him.

Choosing a life of being stepped on by the princess for the sake of your countrymen whose faces you don’t even know? And what else? Saying you’ll gladly die so spare me instead?

But she ignored the feeling in her heart every time. After all, it didn’t make sense for her to be jealous of someone whom she already had at her feet.

“It’s okay if they say I’m mad. Because you’re all I have left. So, let’s just leave together already.”


Yuriel wanted to scream.

Who said they wanted that? Why would I follow what you want?

“…..That woman will continue playing around with people like she wishes. How can you be so certain that we won’t be one of them? You still don’t know? You think that woman will really spare us? It’ll be over the moment she says she changed her mind!”


“Why are you so naïve? That’s why she got the best of you.”


“People don’t change that easily.”

Ettsen became absorbed in thought as he gazed at Yuriel. It was true that there were things that didn’t change. But sometimes, the more something seemed that way, the more easily it changed, leaving you feeling empty. Even though you had once believed it would never change.

That included Yuriel, and the princess, and….. himself.

“Don’t you trust me? Then do this for me.”

Yuriel pulled Ettsen in by his collar. With their noses almost touching, she ordered in a clear voice,

“Kill that woman.”


“Kill her!”


“Then I’ll leave with you. And forget everything.”


You have made a request of ‘Ettsen Velrod’ beyond what he will allow. If he agrees, his affection level will be permanently reduced by 80%. If you withdraw your request, there will be no change.

(Warning! Permanently reduced affection cannot be filled again.)

A. Maintain current affection level.

B. Accept the penalty.

For the first time in a long time, Yuriel felt like the system window was on her side. If Ettsen succeeded in killing the princess, then he would die anyway, so affection level wouldn’t matter at that point.

“I’m not saying you have to do it right away. But.”

Yuriel grabbed his sword hilt at his waist and lifted the corners of her mouth.

“You should be prepared to do it at any moment.”

Ettsen slowly removed his trembling hands from Yuriel’s face. He had a dark expression as he murmured,


Yuriel waited to see what he would say. Going by the system window, he couldn’t refuse Yuriel’s order anyway. That was how it was set up.

But Yuriel didn’t know. That this was the kind of thinking that would make Yuriel just another player trapped in the system.

“I think I’ve ruined you, Yuriel.”

Clinging to him, Yuriel whispered into Ettsen’s ear,

“All the more reason for you to take responsibility.”

Then she smiled crookedly.

You think I’ll let someone like you ruin my life?

Who do you think I am. Why do you think I came here.

She would see it through to the end. And she would definitely be victorious.