Chapter 1

“I would like to propose a contract marriage to the Grand Duke.”

Reinhardt firmly fixed his handsome face at my proposal and spoke in a single breath.


His blue eyes, full of weariness, held the coldest chill I had ever seen, and his sharp nose and jawline exuded a frigid atmosphere.

In addition to his jet-black hair that was rare among Southern people, he had discarded his coat despite the weather, revealing a robust and muscular body that had been forged through battles with demons and other creatures.

In short, he was the owner of extraordinary beauty and possessed the typical qualities of a Northern Grand Duke found in romantic novels.

“…Aren’t you rejecting me too quickly?”

“I’m sorry. I’ve been receiving so many contract marriage proposals lately.”

It was a contract marriage, not a real marriage, but there were many proposals?

When I sent him a puzzled glance, Reinhardt pointed to a book someone had left behind. It was a romance novel that had become wildly popular among young women lately, titled ‘We Fell in Love Through Contract Marriage!’

“It seems like many young women want to become the female lead of these overused contract marriage stories through me.”

He explained.

Ah, so these young women insist on using the ‘contract’ angle to avoid a straightforward proposal and possible rejection from him? It seemed that they believed that they would eventually fall in love for real, as was often the case in these contract marriage stories.

‘…What should I do? There’s someone else who is meant to experience the typical ending of a contract marriage story with Reinhardt.’

That person was not me, but Lucia, the female lead of the novel ‘My Contract Husband is a Bit Strange.’

In the book, she proposed a contract marriage to Reinhardt to avoid becoming the 23rd concubine of the emperor. She needed to either go back in time and become a minor to avoid it—which, of course, was impossible, making the only option was to marry someone else.

However, there was no one who would marry her if it meant displeasing the Emperor.

Lucia, who was worried, eventually found a powerful person who didn’t need to care about the Emperor’s attention and proposed a contract marriage, which was Reinhardt.

[ “I’m not doing this because I like the Duke or anything… I just want to do well because we are contractually married.”

“I feel the same way.” ]

They initially bickered like every cliché of a contract marriage novel but eventually fell in love with each other.

It was not very common that I, unlike other female leads, had no desire to have a romance with Reinhardt and a contract marriage as an excuse. I just borrowed someone else’s male lead for a while because there was no other way to live.

“I’m not proposing marriage to the Duke with any ill intentions. If you want, I can add a provision that prohibits access within 42.195 km in the contract.”

“Do we have to run a marathon to meet each other? Why such a distance…”

Reinhardt reacted with a hollow laugh at my words. According to his words, marathons were also held in this world. Come to think of it, there was an event where Reinhardt and Lucia participated in a marathon race.

“It means that I didn’t have any ill intentions toward the Duke to the extent that it doesn’t matter even if we live that far apart. As long as we are legally married on paper.”

“Let’s hear your reasons.”

Reinhardt, who was looking at the door as if he wanted to leave quickly, sat up straight. It meant that he was finally ready to listen to me properly.

“I have been chosen as the 22nd concubine of His Majesty the Emperor. The only one who can prevent that is you.”

Yes, I wanted to propose a contract marriage to Reinhardt for the same reason as Lucia.

Lucia was the 23rd, while I was the 22nd. In other words, I was a senior concubine who had never appeared.

My name was Irovel Hoover.

I continued.

“I can’t face a terrible death as the 22nd concubine.”

“If you don’t want to become the 22nd concubine, you should be careful with your words.”

In the original story, she was just a person who appeared only in rumors and was already dead. Fortunately, the time of my possession was before I became a concubine.

‘…I won’t die this time.’

As long as Reinhardt married me to prevent me from becoming a concubine—!

“No one dared to marry me because they were afraid of His Majesty’s watchful eye, but you’re different.”

“What are the conditions?”

He asked arrogantly, lifting his chin.

I replied while pressing the jewel on my ring.

“I’ll let you draw me*.”

[ T/N: Even after reading a few chapters, I still have no idea what this drawing means. The author literally wrote . The current explanation you will read later is also slightly weird imo. So, this will be subject to change until it is explained again in future chapters. ]

The next moment, the magic was released, and my dark brown hair turned into a bright pink color.

“You are…”

Seeing Reinhardt stare at my hair and widen his blue eyes instantly, I nodded my head.

“That’s right. I am half-demon.”

The fact that my hair was pink was evidence that I was a hybrid.

Lucia’s hair was also pink.

As a half-demon like her, I always promised myself that I wouldn’t reveal my race, so I hid my hair color thoroughly. It was because if it were to be revealed that I was half-demon, all kinds of people would try to kill me.

“If you were half-demon, you should have said so earlier.”

However, just like with Lucia, Reinhardt was unfazed even after knowing that I was half-demon.

‘It’s been a while since I’ve seen someone react so casually.’

While I expected this reaction since he must have dispelled the magic, I was a little taken aback.

‘Isn’t half-demon an extremely rare existence that is difficult to even see in pictures?’

After the gates to the demon world were closed, demons became extremely rare beings so that was why all the pictures of demons were very old and in poor condition. People pitied this fact because there was nothing better than demon pictures to deal with the Tartars.

The Tartars were the leftover underlings of demons that remained in the human world even after the gates to the demon world were closed. They were not as powerful as demons, but they were still quite strong.

Reinhardt, who had fought them head-on in the north, knew this very well.

“Is there a set deadline?”

“Yes, it’s one year. After one year, we’ll get a clean divorce. During that time, you can use my picture to eradicate the Tartars, and I can get away from His Majesty’s attention. Isn’t that perfect?”

Why one year?

It was because that was about the time Lucia would be chosen by the emperor. By then, the Emperor would only be interested in Lucia, so my existence would be forgotten. In addition, Reinhardt would become single due to our divorce, so Lucia could propose a contractual marriage to him.

“One year…”

After a little hesitation, he opened his mouth.

“Please don’t expect our relationship to be like a typical contract marriage romance novel even if I agree to the contract.”

“Of course.”

“I’m planning to draw a lot of pictures, so please actively cooperate as my drawing model, even if it’s difficult for you.”

“Of course. I also have a few conditions. Can you take a look at them?”

Saying so, I handed the contract I had prepared in advance to Reinhardt, and after scanning through it, he opened his mouth.

“What is this clause?”

His handsome face was several times stiffer than when I first proposed the contract marriage.

“Ah, it’s a clause that says Reinhardt Erestein will actively cooperate to prevent Irovel Hoover from falling in love with him.”

“And there’s also a clause that prohibits approaching within 42.195km. Wasn’t that a joke?”

“No. It wasn’t.”

I answered seriously and continued to explain.

“I’m the type to fall in love quickly, so if we do a contract marriage, I will definitely fall in love for real. Especially if the person is as breathtakingly handsome as you, Your Excellency.”

Reinhardt, who was breathtakingly handsome, gazed at me with a look of disbelief. It was no wonder he would feel that way. I asked him to marry me and then issued a no-approach order.

“I’m sorry, but if you can’t accept this clause, we’ll consider the contract as if it never happened. I’m the type to fall in love quickly, so I’ll definitely fall in love with Your Excellency, who is so handsome, won’t I?”

Reinhardt would fall in love with the female lead Lucia, who would appear a year later, not with me anyway.

Besides, I was the type to fall in love quickly, also known as a love-at-first-sight enthusiast, and I had countless crushes before I transmigrated. Therefore, when I transmigrated into this novel and became Irovel, I made a vow…

‘I will never have a one-sided love in this life.’

If I were to fall into the swamp of unrequited love, I thought it would be better to run away to a distant foreign country and do odd jobs instead.

“It’s ridiculous. What are you going to do if I don’t agree to those conditions and won’t sign the contract?”

“I can only become His Majesty’s 22nd concubine obediently then.”

That was a lie.

I had the plan to escape to a distant foreign country, but if I revealed it, Reinhardt might betray me later.

“…What exactly do you mean by actively cooperating to not fall in love?”

As Reinhardt asked, sweeping his bangs with a tired expression, I jumped up at his appearance and shouted.

“No, you can’t do that kind of thing. No sexy actions are allowed…! I’m very weak for handsome guys because I’m so obsessed with looks.”

“What do you mean by sexy actions?”

“You just swept your bangs. It looks sexy, so please be careful. Oh, and don’t stare at me like that. It makes me feel fluttery because you’re so handsome.”

Listening to me, he turned his head.

Oh, his profile was handsome, too!

“I realize that your profile is very handsome. I have a thing for guys with high noses, so showing me your profile is a very dangerous action… no, your back is fine, too, so don’t show me your back either.”

Reinhardt, who had been sitting and showing his back, said in an irritated voice.

“Are you telling me to leave right now?”