"I tried to treat Claude like how my father treated me.
I, like that terrible man…..."
Ethan looked confused.
Throughout his life, he grew up listening to words close to the curse under his terrible father.
He feared that if he didn't get eaten by Ambrosia's power, he'd die at the hands of his father.
So he constantly vowed and vowed not to let Claude suffer the same pain as him.
He couldn't believe he was going to repeat the words and coercion of his father to Claude.
"How come that I"
He closed his eyes with a painful face.
Sarah put strength into her hand, which was entwined with Ethan's hand.
"Because you were in pain."
"The past days of Duke-nim living with this power were painful, so it is natural that he does not want Claude-nim to go through the same pain."
"But you have me now, Duke-nim.
As I said before, trust me."
Ethan slowly opened his eyes and looked Sarah in the eyes.
Her deep, unshaken eyes were staring at him as if they could see right through to the inside of him.
"If that child and Claude-nim become friends, I know that the name Claude Ambrosia will become the spark that escalates the battle for the throne between the Third Prince and the Second Prince."
"But we have the power.
For me, the power to protect Claude-nim from Ambrosia's power, and for Duke-nim, the power to keep Claude-nim from getting involved in the struggle for the throne."
Ethan's eyes looking at her were as straight and firm as always, but it felt as if he was alone somewhere and saw a barren old tree.
He looked like Claude in the future, so Sarah would unknowingly stare into Ethan's eyes.
Whenever that happened, she somehow felt like seeing something that she couldn't get out of it.
"I don't know what Duke-nim has lost or what he has given up.
But one thing is certain, Duke-nim now has the power to protect what is precious."
He had power, he had authority, and he was free to use it all.
It means that he had become a person who can protect what was precious to him, rather than being deprived of it.
So, if Claude had something precious, he could reach out to protect and cherish it.
He was good enough, he could do that.
"Did I tell you why it took 6 years for me to meet Claude-nim"
"You need time to learn about Ambrosia’s power."
I have to protect Claude-nim from that power.
I've developed my strength to respond to that power."
Sarah put down Ethan’s hand, which was holding hers, and grabbed his other hand.
She could feel the hard ring on Ethan's finger.
Sarah breathed her magic into the ring once more.
A cool and clear energy came into Ethan’s ring.
It felt like the darkness that had been eating his head was clearing away.
"I will block Ambrosia's power from taking away Claude-nim's precious things.
Duke-nim, please prevent other threats coming to Claude-nim."
Ethan blinked slowly at Sarah's words.
What she wanted to say, he seemed to know a little now.
"Don't take away Claude-nim's precious things and protect them together with me, for him."
"Protect, for him."
Ethan pondered Sarah's words for a moment.
It was a very strange word for him.
To say that you protect what's precious.
'Don't even think about making something precious.
That's the way for you.
This power will take everything by your side.'
His father's words were still hovering around his ears like a curse.
Even now, when he closed his eyes, he could hear it clearly in his head.
"Isn't it cooler to protect it even if it's hurt and hard a little bit, rather than trembling and doing nothing in fear of losing it"
Sarah's clear and beautiful voice was gradually driving away his father's voice.
"If Duke-nim and I work together, we're invincible!"
A small laugh escaped Ethan's lips.
Sarah looked at him with her eyes wide open.
'He laughed again.'
Ethan smiled at her again.
It was shorter than the last time, but he definitely smiled at her in a peaceful voice.
The sound that leaked out with a low and husky tone made Sarah’s heart pound, louder than ever.
Sarah frowned and muttered.
She was confused as to whether he was dazzling with his platinum blonde hair shining in the sunlight, or whether the smile on Ethan's face was dazzling.
Sarah was strangely caught up by an unknown feeling every time she made Ethan laugh.
She felt proud as if she had done something great, and it made her fall into the illusion that she was the only one to whom he showed such a smile.
"The sun seems to be too strong."
Then Ethan raised his large hand and placed it over Sarah's eyes, creating a shadow.
Her face heated up as she thought that Ethan must have heard the words she mumbled unconsciously.
She grumbled as if nothing had happened.
"In this way, I can't see Duke-nim's face."
"......Should you see my face"
"I mean, I like to talk while making eye contact."
"Then how about doing this"
Ethan bent down and made eye contact with Sarah.
Sarah's eyes trembled slightly as her eyes met the gaze that looked at her gently.
She lifted her gaze a little, and Ethan's dazzling hair, shattered in the sunlight, filled her eyes.
"I think you can see it well now."
Sarah nodded quietly without realizing it at the sound of his low-pitched voice with a hint of laughter.
"For making me realize."
Ethan said so and swept her hair away with the hand that covered her eyes.
Ethan straightened his back again and smiled at her with a cool face again.
"With gratitude, I won't ask how you know the illegitimate son of the Third Prince."
"Ah! That's a relief.
I was really worried about how to explain it."
Sarah blatantly patted her chest, reassuring herself.
Because she couldn't even tell Ethan that she knew him because he was a character she made up in 'Flower of Darkness'.
Ethan shrugged at the sight.
It was Sarah, who first discovered and approached the power of Ambrosia, which only the Emperor knew.
Perhaps that was why he felt nothing about Sarah knowing the illegitimate child of the Third Prince.
Although Ambrosia's intelligence organization had made countless sacrifices to find out that fact.
"So, when are you going to take that child home"
"Well, Duke-nim ran all the way here looking forward to the playtime with Claude-nim.
I'll have to send him back soon.
I'm sure the Third Prince is worried a lot."
Ethan looked noticeably relieved.
Although he was persuaded by Sarah, he still felt very uneasy about him.
"But, since Claude-nim likes his friend like that, I don't know if he is going to let him go easily."
Sarah was troubled as she led Ethan to where Claude and Elexa were playing.
'Should I just ask Duke-nim to play with them'
She also wanted to see the grown-up Duke struggling with the two children.
It was around the time when Sarah was about to incline the Duke to play with two children, she had to completely throw away what she had just thought.
"Don’t, don't cry, Elexa.
My father isn't that scary…..., he's not!"
It was because when Ethan approached the children, Elexa burst into tears.
In response to the unexpected reaction, Ethan was stunned, unable to say anything.
"......My face is that scary"
Ethan turned to Sarah, stroking his face with his hand.
She smiled awkwardly and shook her head.
One might feel scared because of his not too human-like appearance, but that was probably not why Elexa was scared of him.
He simply was oppressed by Ethan Ambrosia’s spirit and felt the pressure.
"Ha, I'll send Elexa-nim back."
"I will tell you the hiding place of the Third Prince."
Sarah eventually had to hold Elexa in her arms to comfort him and prepare to send the child back to the Third Prince's secret mansion.
Because the child was so afraid as he received Ethan's gaze from afar.
T/N: Hi its's Eliza.
I'm sorry to announce that life is quite hectic these days and some unfortunate things have happened, so I don't have time to translate and update as frequently as before.
I'll try my best to update twice a week, otherwise, it'll be once a week.
I hope for your understanding and I promise I'll update a ton of chapters once this busy time passes.