It was late in the evening that Limapheus came to the Grand Duchy. He was exhausted from dealing with His Majesty the Emperor for more than half a day over Verne matters. He tried hard to bring her to the palace. There’s nothing he can’t do if he can be by her side.
As soon as he came to the Grand Duchy, he immediately looked for Verne. Only after seeing her beautiful face and uninjured body did he feel what had weighed heavily on his heart was fading away.
“Lady Cersinia saved me. If it wasn’t for Lady… I would have turned into ashes in the warehouse.”
Verne’s eyes welled up as she recalled the incident yesterday. Indeed, Cersinia, who was walking toward her through smoke when she was lying in the warehouse, was like a light of salvation that would never happen again.
Limapheus held Verne’s trembling hands. Then he met her eyes and whispered affectionately.
“I will express my gratitude to your savior and say to her that she didn’t need to do it anymore.”
“Pardon? Your Highness…”
Verne looked at him with trembling eyes, struggling to ignore the rising expectations. The feeling of ‘what-if’ made her greedy, but the wall of reality was so high that it could never happen, so she scolded herself.
“Because I will be the one who saves you from now on.”
“I kept seeing you. Therefore, now I will convey my heart to you.”
Verne took a deep breath at the strong sound of her pounding heart.
“I like you. I hope you feel the same way as me.”
Verne’s eyelashes trembled.
‘How can this happen? Is it true that the feelings I have now and the Crown Prince’s heart are the same?’
When her mind is clouded because it is like a dream,
The voice that caught her mind came again.
“Come into the palace. Where I could see and reach you.”
“Y-Your Highness… If you’re talking about jobs, I love this place, and this job is enough for me.”
“Get engaged with me.”
Verne’s eyes widened at the word unexpected engagement.
“You will become the Crown Princess who shines more than anyone else.”
Verne suddenly looked down at the ring that was being put on her finger. She couldn’t refuse him. She doesn’t know when, but she was already in love with the Crown Prince when she realized it.
“So please, stay with me.”
At the words of Limapheus, Verne bit her lips and nodded her head. This was an inevitable fate.
* * *
Cersinia, who came out of the mansion, was standing on the utterly desolate soil. When she heard that Jonathan had started the fire from Verne’s testimony, she came there and muttered, “What is this?”
There were three more accomplices. Even those who already made a problem before. It was natural for them to be expelled, and they deserved punishment.
“I’m not at fault.”
Carl and Kevin, who followed, looked at James with their faces turned white. How dare he talkback about the woman who will be the Grand Duchess. They wondered if James had gone crazy.
“What kind of a woman named Cersinia?”
“She is strong like a monster? Isn’t she only a woman?”
They had already tasted Cersinia’s power directly when she grabbed them by their shoulder. It wasn’t until almost two weeks that the black bruise healed, so they knew how strong her grip was. Cersinia wasn’t the kind of person to be taken lightly. But unlike them, James had never tasted her power. That must be why he is being arrogant and cocky.
“You didn’t do anything wrong? Then what did he say before?”
“It’s all a lie.”
When Cersinia asked, pointing to trembling Jonathan, James firmly answered.
“What’s your name?”
Upon hearing the name, Cersinia’s eyebrows twitched.
‘James. Isn’t he that guy?’
“Verne, do you know how much James bragged about it? He said he will never forget that hot night.”
The source of the rumor when the trio sarcastically said the rumors to Verne.
Cersinia’s expression, which had been expressionless, quickly became rough.
“Yes, it’s me. Lady Cersinia, the fire in the warehouse was caused by Jonathan. I didn’t get involved.”
From the beginning to the end, James didn’t bend his posture. His attitude reminded her of Charles, so her eyes grew cold.
“Who said you could make an excuse?”
James, who grasped the situation in the sudden change in Cersinia’s mood, shut up. Even though she would be the Grand Duchess, she’s still a commoner. Still, James swallowed his saliva with an extraordinary aura that made people feel overwhelmed.
“I’ll be the judge.”
It was the order that no one should open their mouths carelessly anymore.
The four stood in front of Cersinia, looking at each other. Among them, except for James, had their heads bowed and held their hands in front of them politely.
Cersinia slowly opened her lips as she glanced at them in trouble.
“Four of you will be fired from today.”
Before coming here, she had already talked about it to Ben. She will punish them and fire them. Ben nodded his head and said he would hand over all of the authority to manage the Grand Duchy.
Cersinia hated it and refused to do so. Ben can’t say anything anyway. Whenever she says something, Ben tries to do everything for her… Even at the jewelry store, she struggled to stop him from buying all the jewelry. The problem is that he always overdo his work. It’s not that she didn’t like it, but she was bound to get angry if he went too far.
“Please forgive me…”
Carl and Kevin humbly begged for forgiveness. If you were kicked out of this place, you wouldn’t be able to get a letter of recommendation to work in another place, so it would be difficult to make a living.
“I don’t understand. Do you mean I’m fired for something I didn’t even do? It’s unfair.” James responded with his eyes wide open.
No answer would come out even if he tried to crawl into the yard as the talk of their dismissal was already over. That’s why James pushed forward with a confident attitude.
“Is that so?”
Watching James, who did not deviate an inch from his thoughts, Cersinia uttered what she thought.
“I’ll let anyone who telling me the information that James has tormented Verne and how he’s been involved with the fire in the warehouse.”
Jonathan, who was bowing at the sound, quickly opened his mouth.
“It’s all James’s fault that I started the fire! It was James who first instigated us to bully Verne!”
“One day, he got dumped by Verne, and that’s why he spread the bad rumor! Then he harassed Verne in every way and got us involved.”
Without James to say anything, Jonathan revealed everything.
“That’s all a lie! He’s trying to frame me!”
James wheezes and raises his voice.
Cersinia asked, looking at Carl and Kevin without glancing at James.
“Is it true?”
“…What Jonathan said was true.”
Cersinia’s face was distorted by disgust. The behavior of James was the kind she hated the most.
‘Why are they so easily to find?’
The pathetic and mean man who got dumped by the woman they confessed then creates a false scandal as they get dumped.
“You should reconsider whether Verne was worthy of your subject.”
Unmerciful words flowed out of her red lips. James became red in embarrassment and spit out the words.
“I think the guy looking straight into my eyes right now is ruder.”
Cersinia strode over to James, who was standing upright with his back straight.
Cersinia’s hand climbed over James’s shoulder.
James let out a shriek in pain as if stone pressed against his shoulder. Cersinia stared at James’s unbending knee and put one hand on the other shoulder. Then she pressed his shoulder down with all her might.
Unable to bear the pressure pressing down on him, James fell to his knees on the floor. Tears welled up in James’s eyes in pain feeling why a woman could be this strong.
“Take a note. This is the attitude of the sinner should be.”
Cersinia smiled with a satisfied look at James kneeling on the floor. James couldn’t stand the pain and rolled around the floor. It was as if both his shoulder bones had been crushed.
Carl, Kevin, and Jonathan trembled as she drew her attention from James, who was no longer worth dealing with. From the moment she showed up smashing the door, she already made a mind that she wouldn’t let them slide… But they thought they could save themselves as much as possible.
“They’re all sinners, so take every single one of them.”
As they confessed their sins, Cersinia shouted without hesitation. Then knights appeared in front of them. The four men looked at Cersinia with their faces turned white at the appearance of the knights.
“You have to follow the law.”
She smiled at them.
Although the fire was quickly handled, the arson they committed was a serious crime. A simple dismissal couldn’t be given because their crime was too heavy.
“Lady Cersinia, please have mercy…”
Jonathan clung to her with pathetic eyes.
“Tsk. You should be thanking me for sending you to jail with your limbs still intact.”
Even after doing something like that, it was ridiculous and shameless to ask for mercy.
‘How could there be so many selfish people?’
Cersinia looked at them with bitter eyes at the disillusioned situation. The knights imprisoned the sinners with no-nonsense actions. Their devastated faces were seen, but she didn’t care at all. She should have been doing something like this from the beginning. From the beginning, the mercy given to them is nothing but luxury. They will not thank her for letting it slide, nor will they reflect on their own actions.
‘Isn’t there a saying for this situation? Ah, once a bastard, always a bastard.’
Since she had experienced it countless times, Cersinia believed those words.
“Then do your best.”
The knights dragged the sinners along.
Cersinia returned to her own people with a relieved smile as if her sick tooth had fallen out.