“….”


“Just give up.
Keep in mind that if you mess with us, you’ll get into trouble.”

I asked, frowning, “How are you planning to deal with the consequences?”

“What consequences do we have? Even if Young Lord accuses us of throwing the brooch into the lake, there’s no evidence, and he won’t believe it anyway.”

“Why are you poking at us and causing us this suffering?”

Though I wanted to hit Clovin, who was acting arrogant, I held back.

“You guys will pay for this later.”

After saying that, I plunged into the lake.

The Penso siblings burst into laughter, looking at the lake where I fell.

“Hahaha, he’ll get his punishment.
The person who said we’d get punished ends up falling into the water alone.
If someone is going to mess with others, they should dare to do it.
Who dares to mess with us?”

“That’s what I’m saying.
If Duke Flotina has a legitimate son, he’ll be abandoned.”

Clara, who had a good laugh, seemed ready to leave the lake.

“Now let’s go, brother.
If we stay here any longer, people passing by might get suspicious.”

“Sure, let’s go, Clara.”

And just like that, only my shoes were left near the lake.

* * *

Meanwhile, the noble families entered the ballroom.

“Long live the Emperor!”

As the Emperor entered, all the nobles in the hall bowed their heads.

“May Stacia’s blessings be upon us!”

“May Stacia’s blessings be upon us!”

The Emperor walked in hand in hand with his daughter, Isabella, and following them were the Empress and the one-armed Crown Prince.

Then, Diego entered with Jed.
Diego gestured to one of the knights, commanding him silently.

The knight passed through the guests and approached Heint.
As discreetly as possible, he spoke to Heint.


“Someone wishes to see the Marquess.”

“Me…?”

“Yes, along with the Young Lady.”

With a stranger trying to take both him and his precious daughter, Heint became defensive.
He held Stella’s hand tightly.

“Tell us first who is calling for us.”

“The person who the Marquess was looking for.”

“I was looking for him?”

“The person who you are still looking.”

Stella finally nudged was looking for the, thinking it might be the boy she was talking about.

“Daddy, it’s the person you were looking for.
Let’s go.”

“Huh…?”

Heint, without understanding a word, was led by Stella, following the knight.

Throughout the way, Heint couldn’t shake off the strange thoughts and feelings.
If it was the person he had been looking for and was still searching for, it could only be his lost son…

Could it be Milo? But how would Milo come here? No, it couldn’t be.
He repeated the cycle of hope and denial, and his heart pounded, and his hands started sweating.

Stella, noticing his sweaty hand, tightly held onto it.

Outside the ballroom, there were only knights, unlike the inside, filled with people.
However, there was one boy standing alone.
He was neatly dressed, with curly silver hair.
It was the same hairstyle as Heint’s.

Heint couldn’t take his eyes off the boy.
Throughout their walk towards him with the knight, he had only one thought in his mind.

Is that sturdy boy, who resembles me in height, my son?

To not interrupt their reunion, Stella let go of his hand.

As the footsteps approached, Milo slowly turned around with a tense expression.

The boy with cherry-red eyes, resembling his birth father, finally faced Heint.

Upon seeing him, Heint stood frozen, as if he couldn’t believe it was real, calling out tentatively,

“Milo…?”


His lost son’s name.

Milo nodded tearfully, unable to bear the emotions.

But even with his nod, Heint couldn’t believe it.

Milo, his long-lost son.

The last time he saw his son, he was so small that he only reached Heint’s waist.
He could lift him up with both hands and play airplane with him.

However, the boy standing before him now was a teenager who no longer had the appearance of a child.

Nothing felt real, and Heint’s hands trembled as he struggled to accept the truth.

“Yes, you, are you our Milo…?”

His throat tightened, his nose tingled, and tears welled up.
Milo was already shedding tears.

“I wanted to see you, Father.”

They ran towards each other and embraced tightly.
Though they felt the warmth of each other’s embrace, they held onto each other tightly, as if unable to believe the reality of the situation.

After a while in each other’s arms, Heint, who finally felt the reality of the situation, spoke first.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry for not finding you all this time…”

Heint apologized, shedding tears repeatedly.
He thought everything was his fault.

“If I had found you sooner… our family would have been happy…”

At times like this, Milo would say,

“It’s not your fault, Father.
You’re not at fault for anything.”

Even at this tearful reunion, Milo and Stella’s eyes met.

Stella felt that she shouldn’t interfere in this moment and stepped back, but Milo approached her.
He greeted her with courtesy.

“Pleased to meet you.
I’m Milo, Young Lady.”

The address as “Young Lady” felt awkward, and Stella asked nervously,

“You knew about me…?”

“Yes, of course.
I wanted to thank you when we met.”

Thank you for being with my father and not letting him be lonely.


“I thought it was fortunate that you were with my father.”

“Milo…”

Upon hearing words of gratitude, Stella was moved to tears.

She had thought that Milo might be uncomfortable with her presence.
After all, she wasn’t his biological sister; she suddenly appeared in his life.

However, from their first meeting, Milo treated her as his sister without any hesitation.

Touched by his warmth, Stella couldn’t help but shed tears.

“Thank you, Milo.”

Diego moved towards the center of the Emerald Hall, where a long red carpet was laid out.
At the end of the red carpet, there was a throne.

As he ascended the red carpet alone, everyone’s gaze was fixed on Diego.

It wasn’t until Jed came by his side that Diego raised his voice and said loudly,

“Dear Emperor, I have something to tell you.”

The Emperor let out a sigh, and his expression seemed to say, ‘What trouble is this troublemaker causing now?’

Regardless, Diego instructed the knights,

“Bring them here.”

The knights went outside the hall, and soon after, they returned with around 20 customs officials, all tied up with ropes.

The knights made the customs officials kneel on the red carpet.

The Emperor furrowed his brow and scolded,

“Prince, what is this mischief on such a joyful day?”

“There is no better day to expose the crimes of sinners than today.”

“Sinners? Aren’t they customs officials?”

“That’s right.
They are those who should have been working for the financial stability of the Stacia Empire, but for the past seven years, they helped Penso evade taxes.”

“What?!”

The Emperor stood up from his throne with a start.
The hall was filled with commotion.
Upon hearing Diego’s words, Count Penso and his wife, Elyssa, rushed to the red carpet as if struck by lightning and denied,


“No, no! We haven’t done such a thing!”

“Whether you did it or not, you must be misunderstanding something!”

After hearing this, Diego winked at the knights.

“It’s incredible that they can say such things even after seeing this.”

The knights had brought documents as instructed and handed them to the Emperor, Empress, Crown Prince, and the Penso couple.
They also distributed copies to the nobles around.

“These are the customs reports embezzled from the Customs Office and records of tax evasion.
Penso has not paid even one percent of the taxes he must pay.
These people, brought here, either helped him evade taxes or turned a blind eye to it, even though they knew about it.
They received bribes, of course.”

People looked at the Penso couple and murmured in surprise.
The Penso couple looked at the documents and turned pale with fear.

‘How did this happen… I should have made sure they wouldn’t get caught if they took the bribe.’

Count Penzo glared at the customs officials as if he wanted to kill them, and they quickly lowered their heads, avoiding his gaze.

“You embezzled a lot, Count Penzo.”

The Emperor’s icy voice sent shivers down Count Penzo’s spine.

This time, Jed spoke up.

“Not only that, Penso also smuggled prohibited drugs into the empire.”

Jed presented evidence to the Emperor.

‘Tax evasion and drugs… I never thought the truth would come out in my lifetime.’

“Oh, no! We didn’t know about this…!”

Penso’s wife vehemently denied, but the Emperor calmly and majestically gave an order.

“Detain them until the details of the case are revealed.
Take them away.”

The Imperial Guards immediately took Count Penso and his wife, as well as the customs officials, away.

“We truly didn’t know…! It’s someone else’s scheme…!”

“Your Majesty, please spare us!”

Despite their constant pleas, the Emperor paid no attention.

Shortly after the Penso couple and the customs officials were taken away, Clovin and Clara entered the ballroom.
They had no idea that their parents had been taken away.

Feeling the disapproving stares from everyone, they sensed that something was amiss.

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