Just as he stiffened in surprise, another person grabbed Zair’s wrist.
An eerie sound of a sharp metal passed by Yi-Gyeol’s ears as if scraping on something.

“Please let go, Second Prince.”

The surrounding air froze in an instant.

Zair glared at the man who was holding his wrist with great force.
His eyes were as fierce and cold as Lenox’s half-drawn long sword.

“Do you dare point your sword at me, a prince?”

“I apologize, but if you don’t release your hand, it could be more than that.”

“Sethian’s knights are all the same, arrogant.”

“Thank you for the compliment.”

Lenox was not at all swayed by Zair’s harsh voice.
Rather, he threatened further, revealing more of the blade.

It was Zair who retreated first in the cold atmosphere.

When the hand that was holding Yi-Gyeol’s wrist fell off, Lenox hid him behind his back as if he had been waiting.

Zair glared at Lenox and stroked his numb wrist.
If he had held on a little longer without letting go of Yi-Gyeol’s hand, Lenox’s sword might have actually struck to cut off his wrist.
And who knows, perhaps it might’ve directly aimed at his neck, not his wrist.

Originally, threatening the imperial family or pointing a sword alone would have been enough to be dragged to the dungeon, but Zair knew that Sethian’s knights were all insane enough that they did not care about such things.

Zair, who was glaring at Lenox, met a pair of clear eyes sticking out from behind his back.
He opened his mouth as he looked at the eyes that he thought wonderfully complemented curiosity.

“What are you doing in my garden without permission?”

Yi-Gyeol’s eyes widened at the words.
He looked around quickly, and from the place where he reached out his hand, he could definitely feel a different atmosphere from the garden of the Emerald Castle.

The flowers of the Emerald Castle were indistinctly diverse in harmony with each other even though they had a strong scent, but from where Yi-Gyeol reached out to catch the butterfly, there were only three or four colors that were much more distinct and dark and there was not much fragrance.
And just like the castles of Sethian and Zair, their gardens were both bordered by flowers and were closely attached to each other.

Although Yi-Gyeol, who had been pushed behind Lenox, did not know, he was embarrassed that he had run to a place he was not allowed.
The boundary was divided by flowers instead of fences, and it was only the tip of the finger that went over at best, but given the harsh atmosphere, it seemed unlikely that those words would work.

The other person must be one of Sethian’s brothers who he has a bad relationship with, and Yi-Gyeol thought that it would be a big deal if he made a fuss by making an issue with his unauthorized intrusion.

‘Just because of that….’

A forgotten feeling brushed like a scratch on Yi-Gyeol’s back.

He must not cause inconvenience to others.
If he becomes a burden, even those warm gazes will quickly turn cold.
He will end up ‘alone’ once again.

Yi-Gyeol immediately hardened with a pale face, and quickly stepped out of Lenox’s back and bent down.

“Sorry, I didn’t realize I was already in a different garden…!”

Yi-Gyeol’s body, who got up after bowing down, looked at the white butterfly in front of him and stiffened.
The reason why is because the butterfly, which is clearly a soul, suddenly spoke to him.

−Can you also see me?

A woman’s voice resounded softly inside his head, not his ears.
He was surprised because it was the first time he had personally experienced it, and when he thought that the owner of the voice was the soul in front of him, his heart raced without realizing it.
The white butterflies that he has seen in the soul state so far didn’t pay attention or talk to him as if they couldn’t perceive him.

‘Does Seth also feel the same way?’

Yi-Gyeol, who had forgotten that he was apologizing and was completely amazed with twinkling eyes, turned his head, startled by the sudden gaze.
Before he knew it, Zair was also looking at Yi-Gyeol with the same gaze.

“By the looks of it, it seems that not only can you see, but you can also hear it.”

Zair was also aware of the butterfly floating in front of Yi-Gyeol.
The high-handedness or coldness in his voice just moments ago couldn’t be sensed at all.

Yi-Gyeol knew that Zair could see souls and hear their voices.
He got quite interested in Zair because of that when he first met him, but he couldn’t think of him as a good thing any longer because he was a person who hates Seth and was a threat to him.

As he hesitated, Lenox once again hid Yi-Gyeol behind his back.
As a result, the butterfly that was roaming in the air, flew around Zair’s shoulder as if it was looking after its owner.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, but we will shortly prepare a compensation for crossing the garden’s boundary without permission.
I apologize.”

“When did you guys ever prepare a proper compensation? You just throw away things you didn’t care about.”

Zair took a step closer and spoke to Yi-Gyeol behind Lenox.

“Why don’t you talk to me for a while instead of giving me compensation?”

Zair’s heavy atmosphere softened to the fullest, and even a faint kindness appeared in his voice.
It was to the extent that Yi-Gyeol, who was hiding behind Lenox, was curious about his expression.


Despite Lenox’s cold remarks, Zair showed no sign of backing down.

“Is there any reason to muddle up things that could just end in a light conversation? Not only was my break interrupted but I was threatened as well.
I’m definitely going to ask Sethian for an explanation on this matter.”

It was ridiculous to nitpick so much since only a part of his body had crossed the border, but Lenox straightened his expression to prevent his emotions from being revealed as much as possible.

“You may, but as you know, the Crown Prince is so busy that we don’t know if he’ll even have time to give you an explanation.”

“It seems that you also like making things that could be ended in a quiet way bigger like your master.”

“I don’t know where to put myself with the second prince’s repeated compliments today.”

Once again, the atmosphere became heavy and cold.
It would be good if Lenox would just bow his head and step down, but even though he was only a knight, he was facing an imperial family head-on.
It was only possible because Lenox was a close confidant of Sethian.
Zair knew well that if he just made a single wrong move, Sethian would go out of his way and retaliate in various ways.

Normally, no matter how much it is, Lenox would bow down with courtesy as the opponent is an imperial family.
However, it is impossible to expect such a thing because the fact that he is fiercely protesting as he is now only shows that it is based on ‘Sethian’s Order.’ In such a case, no matter how persistently he digs, he wouldn’t get the answer he wants, so he will be forced to step down after a little while.

“We just…have to talk, right?”

A cautious voice pierced into the cold atmosphere between the two.
Zair’s mood, which had cooled down again after dealing with Lenox, quickly turned soft.

“Would you like to talk to me?”

“There’s no need.
Please step back.”

Lenox intervened and dissuaded him, but Yi-Gyeol, who stepped out from behind him, looked at Zair straightforwardly.

“Are you going to let go of this matter if I talk to you?”

“Of course.”

A rare small smile appeared on Zair’s lips.
On the other hand, Lenox frowned and whispered to Yi-Gyeol.

“There’s no need to do that.
The Crown Prince will take care of it, so let’s just go back.”

It’s my mistake, so if I can just solve it by talking for a while, I’d like to.”

He doesn’t like that Sethian had to bow his head to Zair or reward him with something because of him.
Such an act itself seemed to convince him that he was just a burden, and just the thought gives him heartburn.

‘If I couldn’t help, at least I shouldn’t be a burden.’

Even if it wasn’t intentional, as long as he did something wrong, he wanted to be able to somehow solve it on his own terms.
He thought it would be fine as the only thing Zair requested was a ‘conversation.’


Sethian’s office was filled with nothing but the sound of pen screeching and the frictional sound of papers turning.
His atmosphere as he looked through the piled-up documents sequentially and quickly was quite extraordinary.
It was best known by Baron Ergen Luman, who was serving as an assistant in Crown Prince Sethian’s office.

‘It’s so strange since he is not the kind of person who puts a lot of effort into working like this.’

Ergen, who was primarily responsible for reviewing and filtering their contents before the documents were put on the Crown Prince’s desk, was quite nervous as he glanced at the documents that were being approved endlessly.
There was a terrifying sense that his head was going to fly right away if he even made a small mistake.
Ergen swallowed dry saliva as he stroked his neck which had just begun to wrinkle.

Knock, knock-

“Your Highness the Crown Prince, it’s Kirsty.”

“Come on in.”

The words of permission came straight out of Sethian’s mouth, who didn’t even take his eyes off the documents.
The door opened and Kirsty, an oversized man, bowed politely.
But even then, the eyes that were stuck on the papers didn’t seem to fall.

“Keep it short and leave.
If it’s not important, just get out.”

“Joo Yi-Gyeol-nim met Prince Zair while he was taking a walk.”

The screeching sound abruptly stopped.
Ergen, who was only pretending to be busy while listening, swallowed heavily without a sound due to the sudden switch of atmosphere.
The hair on his entire body felt like they were all standing up, and his body automatically stiffened on its own.

The quill in Sethian’s hand lay crookedly on the paper.

“Where are they now?”

“They’re in Prince Zair’s garden.”

After hearing Kirsty’s answer, Sethian got up from his seat and quickly headed out the door.
Ergen stood up from his seat to see him off, but could only shake his shoulders as he looked at Sethian’s expressionless face.

Even though it looks the same expressionless face, anyone who has served Sethian at a close distance will notice.
On what a terrifying bloodthirst lies beneath that expression.

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