affair with a wife like that?’

Erna frowned involuntarily when she remembered the man lying on the stone bench in the garden.
Fortunately, the unpleasant memories did not last long as the name of her close friend came into her mind once again.


It was obviously Pavel…

She chased after him frantically, but in the end, she only managed to see the back of her dear friend whom she missed.
There was no way that she made a mistake, since he’s been her friend for over 10 years.
She could easily recognize him even when she could only see his back.

Erna raised her eyes cautiously and looked around once again.
Her heart began to race with hope that maybe she could finally meet Pavel here, however, it didn’t take long for that excitement and hope to turn into fear.

In her mind, she couldn’t help but feel that the eyes of the guests were peeking at her.
She suddenly felt her chest tightened up with apprehension, making it difficult for her to properly breathe.
Erna clasped her trembling hands and stood closer to the palm tree that was taller than her in an attempt to hide her small figure behind the tree’s leaves.

‘There are no humans here..
Only animals and plants…’

She seriously thought of the absurd advice Countess Meyer had given her.
The slender young ladies became weasels running in the woods, the old gentleman with a sloppy face was an angry goose, and that woman in a dark green dress with a bright red ribbon was a Yew Tree that bore fruit.

The absurd imagination soon unexpectedly brought her a sense of stability.
Even though her body was still shaking and sweating, she was able to avoid the pain of not being able to breathe due to panic.

Finally able to breathe even for a bit, she finally noticed the commotion within the crowd of guests.
Prince Bjorn was now standing at the entrance of the hall, and  Princess Gladys, who was greeting the Crown Prince, also became aware of the Grand Duke’s presence shortly thereafter.

Prince Bjorn stopped for a moment and stared at Princess Gladys with narrowed eyes, and entered the hall shortly after.
Erna became part of the onlookers, as she gazed at his dignified figure with bated breath.

‘A wolf.’

Staring at the prince who leisurely crossed the hall with unhurried steps, such a thought came into her mind unexpectedly.

‘He is certainly a man who reminded me of that graceful beast, I guess.’

A beautiful and majestic white wolf, just like the one in the crest of the Dniester Royal Family.


Bjorn looked at Gladys as he took a slow step forward.
It wasn’t difficult for him to figure out what the current situation and his ex-wife’s intentions were.
It seems that he was too carefree, he thought she already understood what he wanted after their last conversation.

‘I guess she’s still very obvious and typical.’

Even with apparent nervousness on her face, Gladys still showed hope when she caught a glimpse of him; such a situation made him laugh.
To say that her return to Lechen was not the will of King Lars seemed sincere, if he was idiotic enough.
Originally, she was someone who was so pure that lying was something that she couldn’t do.
However, that pure and innocent Princess taught the Grand Duke certain truths that were more despicable and irresponsible than lies.

Examining his father, mother, and Leonid’s stiff expressions, Bjorn arrived in the middle of the hall.
The sunlight streaming in through the floor-to-ceiling windows and the dazzling light of the chandelier enveloped his upright and dignified figure.

Her relationship with Princess Hartford was quite a fair deal for both of them, and they ended it up in a clean and concise manner.

This view of his still hadn’t changed, however, it was a different story if Gladys wanted to start a new game.
He had no intention of letting himself suffer, especially if the cause was Gladys Hartford herself.
Suddenly, a certain lady caught his attention.

The Grand Duke shifted his gaze to Erna, who was hiding next to a potted palm tree.
His lips, that were tightly closed in a straight line, curled up softly as he remembered the handkerchief that was inside his pocket.

‘Such an obvious and boring old trick’

That lady’s intention was so obviously clear to him.
Seeing that she was so good at committing embarrassing schemes, it seemed that this Lady Hardy was also as obvious and typical as a certain princess that he knows well.

‘Then, there is no other game piece that is as advantageous as her.’

Finally reaching a clear conclusion internally, Bjorn took a step without hesitation.
He slowly approached the place where Gladys stood, when suddenly, he turned around to another direction which caused the agitated crowd to break into a commotion.
Erna, realizing that something bad was gonna happen soon, took a step back but the Prince quickly narrowed the gap that she had meaninglessly created.

There was no reason for him to hesitate if Lady Hardy was his current winning hand, both in the bet that he made with his peers and in the game he was playing with Gladys.
Give what you could give and you would receive what you deserve, that was how gambling works.
Not to mention, he was also someone whom others could make an easy and clean transaction to.

It was agreed that the bet’s starting point was today’s exhibition, and the day of the final battle was the day of the rowing competition.

Bjorn closed the gap between Erna with the last few steps as he carefully recalled the contents of the bet that they made.

The rowing competition was held every summer, on the longest day of the year; and during this day, various festivals were held all over Lechen to celebrate the hot season.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it was the highlight of the summer for socialites, it was the largest and most colorful event celebrated for that season.

The highlight of the Schwerin Summer Festival was the fireworks display on the Avit River during the night of the end of summer.
There was always a scarcity of boats in the city during the event, thanks to the multiple young lovers who believed in the childish myth that seeing the fireworks on a boat together ensures a long lasting relationship between the couple.

On that special day, the person who boarded the boat with Erna would become the winner of the bet.
He thought he was a bit of an asshole and this view was still not much different as of now he admits, but in the end, Bjorn Dniester had to win any bet that he participated in.

It was not a bad deal for her too, as her prestige would rise a little more because of the rumor that she was someone who was courted by him, Prince Bjorn.
Wasn’t that what Lady Hardy’s accomplice, Countess Meyer, was aiming for in the first place? If more bidders jump in with a burning desire to win her hand in marriage, she might get a groom that was far better than that dying old Count.

“Here you are, young lady.”

Bjorn looked down at the petite lady with friendly eyes, his voice filled with power, as if he wanted the other guest’s to hear him.
Standing under his shadow, Erna couldn’t help but to blink her big round eyes in confusion.

“You left this in the garden.”

With his head bowed down while maintaining eye contact with Lady Hardy, he deliberately held out the handkerchief he took out slowly.

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