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Thump, thump.

The sound of refined military steps echoed through the hallway. Freil clinged to the hallway wall, sobbing like a moving corpse.

The officers who were assigned to the Central Army posts for the first time this year passed through the corridor in line. It looked like they were going back after seeing the Emperor.

‘The chief. Full of hope.’

This time, as the organization of the Central Army, Eastern Army, and Northern Army was changed at once, many people from the province entered the Capital for the first time and entered the Palace.

It was not like the Emperor had summoned a commander who had made outstanding military achievements and placed them in an important position. The commander-in-chief was replaced, and nearly half of the mid-level officers were raised.

The Northern Army was properly formed under the name of the Northern Army, rather than in the form of a loose alliance that Grand Duke Evron cooperated with the military as before.

In order to break the ties between the military and the nobility, most of the Eastern Army officers were deliberately dispatched to a new area. The resistance was great. Cedric responded by firing all those who refused to be assigned.

For a moment, the tension had increased as the dismissed officer formed a group. However, since the Central Army was appointed one step earlier, they were able to take over the Eastern Army without any issue.

Because there were many dismissals, there were many promotions. Even if it was not, the transfer to the Central Army could be seen as an open path to success.

In addition to that, a large number of people were promoted, so morale was high and loyalty seemed to skyrocket.

From the change of organization to responding to tensions in the Eastern Army, Freil was involved in institutional reform on the surface, and on the other hand, collected and analyzed information from the East.

He was now involved in the qualitative integration of the Central Army, which was the sum of the three regional armies. Because he was a staff member.

‘Does His Majesty think I’m a fairy wand?’

Freil’s current full post was as staff aide. There is no specific job assignment. It was a role that changed as much as needed.

Even as a lieutenant to Grand Duke Evron, there was nothing that could be called a specific task. But back then, there wasn’t much to do.

Until Artizea started grinding him.

There was a time when he was making things that didn’t exist. There was a time when Grand Duke Evron’s simplicity was frustrating and he felt a sense of responsibility to do something, but now he desperately misses that time.

‘Isn’t this the time to write my resignation letter? Will he give me a pension?’

To be honest, in terms of time served, perhaps he didn’t work long enough to retire because he was old.

Freil arrived in front of his office, dragging his heavy body with a dark complexion.

A secretary stood in front of the office holding a mountain of papers. He looked very weary, but he looked at Freil and said in a sympathetic voice,

“Did you not go home yesterday?”

“I have no home to go home to.”

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Freil sighed deeply.

In the year of the Coronation, he had rented a small house in the Capital. Because he once thought the hard moments were over.

Whether it was Grand Duke Evron’s residence or the Imperial Palace, he thought he would have some time to himself by getting away from his place of work.

There was no getting away from his place of work.

The creation of a private room in the Imperial Palace was proof of power and favor. There has never been a more pleasant preference than this.

But when he opened the door to the office, it was also in ruins.

Clearly, the air was ventilated in a timely manner in a spacious, ornately decorated space, with a refreshing fruity scent. Flowers and green branches were placed in vases scattered all over the place.

Still, it was in ruins. Instead of dust, fatigue settled down.

“Did you call, Your Majesty?”

Cedric, who was looking through the documents, raised his head. He had a rather tired face.

Even though he fought on the battlefield for a week without a break, it did not erode his stamina, but he could not overcome the two years of gnawing at his desk.

Cedric said as he looked at the dim light that had settled under Freil’s eyes,

“I thought you had a good rest for a few days. You were on vacation.”

“It’s so…….”

Freil ruffled his words.

“I haven’t been able to take a break because it’s been so long. No, why are you looking at me like that? Your Majesty put me to work, not voluntarily.”

Freil said as he faced Cedric’s gaze. When he was in Grand Duchy Evron, he was frustrated and did a lot of things instead.

However, there were many capable people in the Capital, and many were anxious to prove their competence.

The formation of the Imperial Army, which took more than a year, was finally over. Now was the time to be relieved to some extent.

So he never had to split himself up again for the time being.

Recalling that situation, Freil took control of his mind. He had a list of suitable people to recommend no matter what new assignments would be taken.

But Cedric asked,

“How is it with Hayley these days?”

“Co, cough, cough, ugh!”

He was overtaken by the unexpected surprise attack. Freil coughed violently. A servant who stood quietly in one corner of the office brought water.

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Freil covered his mouth with his hand and drank the water. He tried to forcefully put it up, and eventually shed tears and a runny nose.

The servant handed him a handkerchief.

Freil wiped his reddened eyes and nose, barely speaking back.

“It was an accident, that!”

“Did you have an accident?”

“Cough cough cough!”

It was self-defeating. Cedric didn’t seem to know anything he was asking. He wanted to dig a grave and lie down.

Freil coughed painfully. If caught, Hayley will kill him. He was as sure as he would have been slapped in the face if he had said he would take responsibility.

What happened a few days ago was an accident. As long as a person lives, such a thing happens. Hayley and him were completely in agreement about that.

Cedric said with a grin,

“Well, I don’t mean to interfere with your private life.”

“Yes.”

“Then, there will be no problem leaving as the Northern Governor.”

“Uugh, ugghh!”

A second shock was heard. Freil grabbed himself by the neck. The vertigo made his eyes flutter.

“Are you kidding me? The Northern Governor?”

“Why should I kid you?”

Cedric asked with a smile on his face.

Freil opened his mouth.

“It is unreasonable to send people from other regions. However, if I change it to direct control and make the Jordyn family or a person from another traditional family as governor, it will only be a change in the name.”

Only then the meaning of making it a direct control of the Emperor disappears.

Grand Duchy Evron must no longer be moved by outdated customs. So the governor had to be a Northerner but also a new man.

Freil was just right.

First of all, his status was appropriate. More than half of the high-ranking officials were from commoners, and Freil had a high enough rank. However, he wasn’t from a good family enough to be seen as a good lineage.

He wasn’t too old either. Over the past year, many of the high-ranking officials have retired for various reasons, and the positions have been filled by young officials worthy of the young Emperor.

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There was nothing wrong with being a young governor.

In the Capital, Freil was one of Cedric’s close associates from his days as the Grand Duke.

If he just goes to Evron, it wouldn’t be ridiculous to simply use the fact that he was a close associate or something. However, if he was to be officially appointed governor, he had to meet the standards demanded by the Capital’s nobles and officials.

Cedric said,

“It is a sensitive time. Within three years, the gates of Alia Wall will be opened, and a few units of the Central Army have already gone up north.”

“Yes.”

“The conflict between the North and the mainland seems to have already occurred.”

Cedric said,

“I need a trusted representative. Because you know my goals and are good at dealing with information.”

Freil squashed his face. But he didn’t say no.

“But if you ever marry Hayley, it won’t be breaking the rules. The North will accept that the Jordyn family becomes Evron’s representative.”

“…….”

“I have no intention of embarrassing you. It’s your private life, and I don’t even want to say this or that. It’s just that the circumstances have confirmed it.”

Cedric looked at Freil.

“So, you haven’t proposed yet?”

“No, why do you keep doing that? We’re not dating.”

“Then, can I appoint you?”

Freil was speechless. He didn’t even know why.

Cedric lowered his gaze to the papers, and said,

“This is my advice, not as a master, but as a friend.”

“…….”

“You should do it when you’re thinking of it, otherwise you will regret it.”

Freil had nothing to say. There was no energy in the mumbled words, “But it’s not like that.”

***

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Cedric finished work early that afternoon.

Following the doctor’s advice, he set a regular holiday to rest. But more than that. This irregular half-day felt more like a vacation.

Instead of riding his horse, he walked to the Empress’ Palace. The sun was warm and his body warmed up quickly.

‘It’s sunny.’

Winter passed and it was spring.

He used to relax every winter when he heard reports that the harbor had melted during the nerve battles both on the northern border and on the mainland.

But it was different this year. Work raged like a wave without rest, but winter never drove him mad. It simply felt like the seasons had changed.

Only now did he feel a little used to the new location.

During the winter, the Empress’ Palace also changed slightly.

During the winter, they cut down the trees south of the Palace. It was also intended to open the sight to prevent the assassin from invading.

But the first cause was that Leticia climbed over the railing to climb the branches outside the window of her room.

They pruned down the trees in the path that she would be able to catch if she jumped out of the window, and cleaned everything up to the front.

Originally, Artizea had little interest in decorating the residence.

She had repaired the old Grand Duke’s residence in the past, which was done out of necessity. Decorating a wedding hall or properly adorning the Imperial Palace also had political implications.

But now there was no need. Cedric succeeded Emperor Gregor, and had military power.

The Emperor’s power was high enough, and he no longer had to show off his authority.

Artizea didn’t do anything as she said. Immediately after the Coronation, there were countless opinions about reconstructing the Palace to fit the new Emperor and his wife, but neither paid any attention.

However, as the baby’s range of activity begins to widen, it has to be a little different.

So, while cutting down trees in winter, the south living room was opened to the outside, and a large terrace was created.

On the outside, white sand was taken and laid thickly. To install the swing, only one tree with a strong trunk was left.

Cedric paused for a moment.

“Your Majesty.”

The guards guarding the Empress’ Palace raised their spears and saluted him.

Cedric smiled and nodded at them slightly. The servants ran out, bent their knees and bowed.

“Ddaaadddd!”

The excited Leticia ran out.

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