[Luisen Anies has been imprisoned for impersonating a pilgrim!]

[The pilgrim from the rumors was the worst scoundrel in the Capital?]

The next morning, Luisen’s name dominated the front pages of all the newspapers. The people of the capital, no matter who they were with, talked about Luisen all day.

“So Duke Anies was arrested after all, right? I thought he would go to jail at least once.

“The duchy isn’t as strong as it used to be. The duke’s in handcuffs and all.”

Some ridiculed how the duchy’s power had fallen and Luisen’s downfall. However, those people were a minority. In fact, most folks were just surprised.

“To think the pilgrim from the rumors was actually Duke Anies!”

“Then, Duke Anies defeated the thief, solved the plague, and saved some village from a monster? I didn’t think he was like that, but he’s a good person, I suppose.”

“I know–I can’t believe it. Duke Anies? Why… wasn’t he famous for being stupid and being unable to memorize a single prayer…? I guess that wasn’t true.”

Like that, the capital was surprised to learn that the capital’s trash was actually the respected pilgrim.

Meanwhile, slowly but surely, Luisen’s achievements in the duchy began to receive attention once again. Surrendering to Carlton and preventing significant casualties in the duchy during the civil war, discovering new crops, anticipating the locust swarm, and more. While rumors had spread throughout the kingdom through the mouths of traders and mercenaries traveling to the southern regions, nobody had taken them seriously.

People dismissed these rumors as desperate propaganda from the duchy, trying to regain the lost honor of Luisen who had, at that point, reached rock bottom. However, if it was true that Luisen had acted as the pilgrim, the prevailing opinion was that the good deeds done in the duchy must also be true.

Of course, there were suspicions that the pilgrim’s good deeds were fabricated. However, thanks to the testimonies of those that Luisen had saved–such as the folks who survived the boat plague or those who survived Viscount Boton’s manor–those doubts were alleviated.

Amidst such heated interest and speculation, Luisen spent three days trapped in the church.

The young lord lay on a straw cot in the corner of his cell, exhausted after several rounds of interrogation.

‘I’m sure the deputy chancellor is doing alright, right?’

Of course he’s doing well. He’s a trusty retainer.

Luisen expected to be held for a long while; the church was incredibly prudent and slow. The investigation alone could take over a month. Anticipating complications with his escape, Luisen had given deputy chancellor instructions on what needed to be done before the trial.

Of course, he didn’t intend to be docilely imprisoned for more than a month. He couldn’t waste precious time sitting in jail. The crime of impersonating a pilgrim was heavy, but he had also thought of a way to pass this trial easily. If there wasn’t the danger of being imprisoned and punished, he wouldn’t have gone with this plan.

‘Will I be able to leave tomorrow?’ Luisen thought absentmindedly when, suddenly, he heard someone walking his way.

“Is that food? Am I going to get anything decent today?” Luisen muttered without raising his head; the young lord thought his visitor was a guard.

However, he received an unexpected response.

“In this situation, can my Duke really think about… food?”

This voice? Luisen leapt to his feet. “Morrison!”

There stood Morrison behind the bars, wearing a complicated expression.

The young lord shouted, “You finally came! Do you know how long I’ve been waiting? By the way, you came sooner than I expected. You must have been nearby?”

“When I received your message, I was already near the capital. Carlton had already contacted me first, so I was on my way.” Morrison’s words were unexpected.

Carlton called for Morrison? Luisen had had an ominous premonition. “What? Why did Carlton do that? What’s happening?”

“Come on out for now.” Morrison opened the prison door with a key.

“Can I leave?” Luisen asked.

“Yes. I have permission from the Bishop. The Duke’s impersonation…will receive a trial, but that’ll pass by without a hitch.”

Morrison looked incredibly tired. Luisen didn’t understand much, but it seemed like the inquisitor spent much effort to get Luisen off the hook.

The young lord quickly emerged from his cell, “So, what’s this about Carlton?”

“I haven’t received direct contact from Carlton either. I’ve merely received a message. If you go to the mansion, that person will explain everything.”

“Who is ‘that person?'”

“Ennis. The first prince’s maid.”

“She’s in the mansion right now? Alone? What about Carlton?”

“Let’s go quickly.”

Luisen became even more bewildered when Morrison changed the subject so blatantly. He hurried to the mansion.


Returning after leaving the mansion for three days, the situation had changed remarkably.

After Luisen was taken away, the Paladins took control of the mansion. Therefore, the Royal Knights were forced to step down. The Paladins, though strict, recognized that the people of the mansion were innocent and allowed them more freedoms than they had under the royal control. Thanks to that, the deputy chancellor took advantage of the confusion in the capital and worked fervidly to handle matters.

As a result, the people of the duchy that had not been allowed to pass through the city gates returned to the mansion. The other prisoner negotiations went smoothly thanks to the return of the Western and Northern Great Lords. Just as Luisen predicted, the previous blockages were solved easily, and as his great deeds were recognized, his image as a trashy scoundrel had quickly become blurred.

Therefore, when Luisen returned to the capital mansion, the mansion was in a festive mood. The young lord’s heart ached to see the people welcoming him. He almost cried, but the deputy chancellor cried first. Flustered, Luisen managed to compose himself.

After dealing with the welcoming committee, Luisen refused the deputy chancellor’s suggestion to rest and instead immediately visited Ennis. She was in the sitting room, waiting for Luisen. Carlton’s lieutenant was also with her.

Harried and without any peace of mind to remember his greetings or manners, Luisen asked, “What happened?”

The news dropping from her mouth was something the young lord had never expected, “Carlton has gone missing from the castle.”

Luisen was stunned. He thought something must have happened when Carlton called for Morrison, but he disappeared? “Tell me in detail. What do you mean?”

“Aigoo. Please, your grace, have a seat first.” Carlton’s lieutenant stepped in and forced Luisen to sit on the sofa. Ennis continued calmly.

On the day Carlton arrived at the castle, he went to the audience chamber to meet with the first prince after talking to Ennis. But, that day, the castle was told that Carlton had tried but failed to kill the prince and had run away.

Ennis was startled and tried to confirm the truth of the events. “I found out that there was indeed a fight in the chamber. Some folks had even seen Carlton running away, bleeding.”

“He shed blood…” Luisen felt dizzy and grabbed his head. He knew very well how amazing and strong Carlton was–the situation couldn’t have been ordinarily dangerous…Especially if someone who could face life-threatening disasters and emerge without a scratch had to run away.

“Fortunately, or unfortunately, no one has seen Carlton since that day.”

The Royal Knights searched every inch of the castle’s interior, and the servants patrolled day and night. However, they couldn’t even find his shadow. Ennis waited for the mercenary to come find her, but he didn’t appear. “If he had died, his body would have been found. So, that means he’s still alive. But, I couldn’t just wait around.”

Carlton alone couldn’t slip away from the palace and capital, so it was only a matter of time before he was caught.

Ennis wondered if there was anything she could do to help Carlton and recalled what Carlton had said before he left to see the first prince: how to contact Morrison. Carlton said if something happened to him, Luisen would need someone to protect him.

She snuck out of the castle. This escape was only made possible because she had been a maid of the first prince and had worked in the palace for so long. After contacting Morrison, she came to the mansion to find Luisen. However, she had to turn around without stepping inside because of the royal knights. For several days, she hid, waiting until the knights were driven away by the Paladins, and only this morning, after reuniting with Morrison, was she finally able to enter the mansion.

“I thought Carlton may have escaped from the castle… But, seeing as he isn’t here, he may still be in the castle.” Ennis finished, somewhat somberly.

For a long time, Luisen couldn’t open his mouth as well. ‘So, that all happened the day Carlton entered the castle? How long has it been since then?’

Come to think of it, the royal knight’s subjugation of the capital mansion must also be a ploy by the demon worshippers. Carlton had no choice but to head to the castle on his own, separating them. Once he entered the royal castle alone, he had no backup to protect him and was an easy target to kill. Luisen, also left alone, was an easily-killable opponent as well, as the young lord had no power to defend himself.

Unaware of all that, he had wasted away time peacefully. As memories of just a while ago–peacefully sitting in prison–came back to him, he was overwhelmed by self-reproach.

If only he had foresight. But, there was nothing he could have done. Still, it came at a great shock to learn that he remained ignorant while Carlton was plunged into danger.

‘With no one to help, alone… I had no idea, and I…’

Actually, Luisen didn’t want Carlton to leave his side to go to the first prince. Still, the young lord said it was okay, that this was all necessary, and sent his lover off. In hindsight, that may have not been for the best, but regret always came late.

Luisen wiped his face with trembling hands. Still, he couldn’t calm himself and fidgeted like a child.

“My duke.” Ennis gripped Luisen’s hand. “Carlton will be alright. He’s a man who would survive hell. However, it’s true that he needs help from time to time, so my duke must remain alert.”

She made eye contact with Luisen and spoke emphatically. Word by word, enunciated clearly.

“Yes. You’re right.” Luisen nodded. At times like this, he needed to hold his head high and keep his senses about him. Carlton threw himself into danger over and over to save Luisen; now, it was Luisen’s turn to save Carlton.