Author: Tam Editor: Genie

The imperial palace she arrived at was grand and splendid, but at the same time quiet.

 

She felt as if she had entered the middle of the Elbash forest with how similar the brutal energy that suddenly surrounded and oppressed them felt.

 

It’s not even her first time here.

 

‘But that doesn’t mean I came here often.’

 

During the birthday banquets of the royal family, she had ventured to the palace several times as part of her duties as a noble.

 

And back then she wasn’t alone.

 

‘Whoo, let’s be alert.’

 

The chamberlain led her to the Emperor’s private office, not to the audience room.

 

As she entered through the open door, the first thing she noticed was the guard knight standing by the wall.

 

She naturally turned her eyes away.

 

With his back to the half-curtained terrace, a middle-aged man was looking at her.

 

His white skin was pale, and his wrinkled eyes were fierce.

 

His eyes were as cold as ice, and she was much more nervous after seeing the severe aura emitted from the skinny body over a communication channel.

 

If Falden is the kind to dominate the room to the point that it’s almost as if he’s saying “This is my territory!” and it seems huge like nothing can oppose him for a while.

 

This man overwhelmed everything under the crown over his head.

 

He wasn’t the type to dominate his opponents with explosive charisma, but he was a person who could use the power in his hands better than anyone else.

 

To put it bluntly, he was good at politics.

 

At worst, he was opportunistic and intolerant.

 

‘In the original story and in the past.’

 

Judging from the atmosphere, she didn’t think it would be very different at this time.

 

“I see the highest sun in the empire. Count Robbesta’s Serdel Robbesta—” 

 

“Sit down.”

 

She was ignored before she even finished saying her greetings. She sat down at the seat he pointed to and glanced at the curtains for a moment.

 

As if they had already prepared it, a servant brought the tea.

 

The Emperor stared at her. 

 

Without asking anything.

 

Without a word, simply staring for a while.

 

When the tea in front of her became cold, the chamberlain changed it back to a fresh cup of warm tea.

 

The emperor didn’t even touch his teacup.

 

Naturally, she was unable to relieve her thirst.

 

She had no idea why he was putting indirect pressure on her in this way.

 

“When you went on an expedition, you didn’t take any of my men. I didn’t know they were all alone in the village and eating away.”

 

When teaming up.

 

Falden excluded the rest of the Imperial Knights from the expedition except those who favored him.

 

It is obvious that every move will be reported to the emperor or other people. This was because many of them had arrogant personalities.

 

In particular, they are those who have been closely observing Falden’s position in the imperial family. The look in their eyes was disrespectful.

 

The prince treats them the same way, but there is no guarantee that there will be no clashes within the team.

 

From Falden’s point of view, it was natural to take such people out of the equation by not allowing them on the expedition.

 

Serdel felt her palms get wet.

 

If she answers that she doesn’t know, she’ll put all the blame on Falden.

 

‘But then it could be seen that the Count’s Young Lady is scheming with the Prince.’

 

But she can’t give another answer recklessly.

 

Or it might appear as if she had ignored the emperor’s people.

 

Eventually, she had no choice but to just shut up.

 

“….”

 

When Serdel remained silent, he clicked his tongue. 

 

It was clear that he thought that if he applied pressure to the Young Lady, she would become terrified and try to talk to him.

 

Silence fell again.

 

It was suffocating,

 

“Why did Young Lady participate in the expedition?”

 

He asked a question to which she had no choice but to answer.

 

Serdel, pretending to be in trouble, spoke carefully.

 

“I have always been interested in forests. There is something I want to investigate, so—”

 

“Did you go to that?”

 

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

 

She smiled softly.

 

Yet without looking too naive. She made her expression right at the right time.

 

It was better to act as if she were on guard against such an opponent. 

 

“You’re fearless.”

 

“It’s not true, Your Majesty. I was very scared.”

 

Her voice without a hint of cuteness is a little calm.

 

It sounded strangely pleasant.

 

Hmmm. At the same time he let out a low groan, the now cold teacups were again removed and the hot tea was placed in front of them once more again.

 

The Emperor’s hand naturally gestured.

 

“It smells good, doesn’t it?”

 

“Thank you.”

 

She was very thirsty, so she drank a few sips as little as possible, and then she felt like she was going to live.

 

“Did you run into Monsters often?”

 

“It wasn’t often, but when I went deep into the forest, I ran into—”

 

Serdel explained a version of event with a little tension, but not too much fuss.

 

The Emperor’s eyes and ears were increasingly focused on her words and expressions.

 

“Whoo, Sir Damon must have suffered a lot. He almost died and came back to life. If he had died, his brothers wouldn’t have liked it. Fortunately, he survived, so the vassals will be more than happy.”

 

Serdel made a natural expression. She couldn’t laugh or put on a straight face here.

 

She hid her face by drinking tea.

 

“How was Sir Damon in Young Lady’s eyes? Do you think he will be able to take over the Marquis?”

 

“Isn’t it because he’s the successor?”

 

“You understand what I mean, but you’re clever enough to avoid it. That’s rather like Count Robbesta.”

 

He picked up the teacup again. 

 

In the meantime, Serdel motioned to Chamberlain to prevent silence from consuming them again.

 

He gave the box he was holding to Serdel.

 

She pushed it out in front of the emperor.

 

He opened it and took out the mana stones.

 

There was no change in his expression. When he took out a map and opened it, his eyes changed a little.

 

“I never thought I’d see a map of the Elbash Forest! The forest is bigger than I thought. It wouldn’t have been easy to look around all these places in that short time!” 

 

Anyway, it was supposed to be reported to the emperor later. 

 

Showing everything now will be more helpful to gain his favor rather than trying to explain or hide something vaguely.

 

“I wondered if it was because Falden took the two old scholars. They were put to good use. It’s great. Isn’t it, Young Lady?” 

 

Instead of answering, Serdel smiled lightly.

 

“How does it feel to Young Lady? Do you think the second Prince will be able to properly set foot in the imperial family with this incident?”

 

Questions that were difficult to answer followed. Beyond that was a clear boundary.

 

Falden thinks that the Emperor only hates him, but in the original story, he did not love either the 1st Prince or the 3rd Prince.

 

He didn’t even give any affection to the Princesses. 

 

They were merely born out of necessity.

 

He didn’t like his children and, on the contrary, saw them as a static enemy out to take his place.

 

Even though he had three grown-up Princes, he didn’t choose a successor. His obsession with power was considerable.

 

In fact, until he was killed, the emperor constantly fought the princes and prevented them from confronting him.

 

‘Who killed him?’

 

“You’re not answering me this time, are you?”

 

The Emperor’s eyes were cold.

 

Standing up, he opened the desk drawer and took out the paper.

 

Then he scribbled something with a fountain pen and sealed the letter in an envelope.

 

On the front, he stamped the seal.

 

“Take it.”

 

Serdel took the thing that was given to her. 

 

“Come with the Count tomorrow. Let’s have a meal together. If you have a favorite food or dessert, I’ll tell them to prepare it.”

 

“…I’d be happy with anything Your Majesty likes.”

 

“Yeah.”

 

The audience ended with this.

 

As the silent celebration fell, Serdel slowly lifted the hem of her dress.

 

“It was an honor to meet you. Also, thank you for allowing me to taste that glory tomorrow as well. Well then, I’ll get going, Your Majesty.”

 

Fortunately, this time her greeting was not ignored or cut off.

 

Relieved inwardly, Serdel went out with the chamberlain. 

 

Taak. 

 

The door closed.

 

The emperor at the desk glared at the door.

 

“What in the world caused that person to change so drastically?”

 

He murmured for a moment, and his eyes darkened.

 

There is only one person who has changed throughout everything.

 

‘Serdel Robbesta.’

 

She was always at the center of big and small changes.

 

In other words, it could be said that all these unique coincidences were caused or at least affected because she had changed.

 

The Marquis of Spendar intervened.

 

‘Even Falden, who used to only looked at me, was acting boldly.’

 

The Elbash forest expedition ended quickly, and it produced quite a lot of results.

 

He looked at the map Serdel had brought.

 

‘That child was merely involved in the expedition, and I can’t believe such a map was created.’

 

How should he accept this?

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