Author: alyalia

Even if Charelize hadn’t listened to it, she seemed to know what he had to say to Royal Princess Veloche. He probably would tell his daughter to be vigilant and not to trust Charelize no matter what.

 

However, there was one thing that Harbert IV overlooked. The person Royal Princess Veloche didn’t trust the most was him. It must have been heartbreaking to have been betrayed by those who served him, but he would be shocked to learn that his daughter, whom he cared so much for, was the one who poisoned him.

 

“Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Elizabeth was going to yield the throne to His Majesty and go to the Medical Faculty of the Eralpier Academy.”

 

“Veloche… call… her…”

 

“If Your Majesty had waited a little longer… You wouldn’t have heard that you were the one responsible for the bloody tragedy, and since you didn’t have the emperor’s seal, you wouldn’t have been belittled by the senate.”

 

“Right…now, what…”

 

Harbert IV couldn’t finish his words. It seemed that he had only little energy left.

 

“Should I call Royal Princess Veloche?”

 

“Yes, hu…rry…”

 

It was funny that he still looked for Royal Princess Veloche weakly.

 

“Does Your Majesty remember the poison you gave to my mother?”

 

“…”

 

“Vallesium flowers were included in the medicine that Royal Princess Veloche gave to His Majesty every day. The chief chamberlain wasn’t on His Majesty’s side from the beginning, and the imperial doctor knew about this but pretended not to know. You must be wondering why Royal Princess Veloche joined hands with me. She said that if His Majesty hadn’t tried to kill Queen Salome, you wouldn’t have died at your child’s hand.”

 

“…”

 

“Do you feel wronged? Unfortunately, Your Majesty doesn’t even deserve that. Because Crown Princess Elizabeth must have felt the same way.”

 

Harbert IV tried to raise his body at the mention of Royal Princess Elizabeth. He spoke, but because his body had no strength, he only made a strange sound.

 

“Even if it wasn’t me, there are as many as three nobles who were planning a rebellion. Count Idept, who lost his granddaughter because of His Majesty, Viscount Latine, whose daughter was taken away by His Majesty, Marquis Opert, whose wife was killed by His Majesty.”

 

“…”

 

“Your Majesty’s time has long since passed.”

 

“How dare you… to… m, me….”

 

“I have the emperor’s seal, so don’t worry too much.”

 

He was so angry that his veins were popping out. Harbert IV struggled to choke Charelize.

 

“Well then, goodbye.”

 

“…”

 

“I don’t want you to be at peace even when you die.”

 

His hand, which had been trying to grasp Charelize’s neck with force, dropped into the air. Without closing his eyes to the injustice of it all, Charelize confirmed with her hand on his nose. She couldn’t feel his breath. Harbert IV passed away. With her hand wrapped around her reddened neck, Charelize left the room.

 

“His Majesty… has passed away,” said Charelize with a choked voice. Tears fell from her eyes. She wasn’t acting. All of her revenge was over, and she felt relief.

 

The news of Harbert IV’s death shocked those who heard it, causing them to slump to the floor. Since midnight hadn’t passed yet, the day Harbert IV drew his last breath coincided with the anniversary of Crown Princess Elizabeth’s death. The bloody tragedy had come to an end.

 

With the consent of the Senate, Charelize promoted Crown Princess Elizabeth to the throne. As a result, she became ‘Elizabeth VI.’ Charelize took her mother’s ashes from her mother’s villa and placed them in Florence Palace.  

 

Elizabeth IV and her mother were placed on the side of the tomb of the predecessor emperor. A family that had been separated was reunited after decades. Of course, Harbert IV was buried far away. The direction of his tomb was also completely opposite, so Harbert IV was thoroughly isolated even after his death.

 

Keeping her promise to her mother, Charelize was able to walk out in a relaxed state. On her way back to the carriage, one thing caught her mind. It was the chief chamberlain. After greeting Charelize, the chief chamberlain went missing. He left without leaving any trace.

 

“The chief chamberlain… did you find him?”

 

“Yes, Your Highness.”

 

Four days after that, Charelize heard that the chief chamberlain had followed Harbert IV. When she heard that he was gone, she expected it to some extent, but when she confirmed it herself, she couldn’t help but feel that her heart was heavy.

 

Charelize stopped all her work and honored him for that day. It was a courtesy that should be given to a true loyalist of the predecessor emperor.

 

* * *

Two years had already passed since Harbert IV passed away. In the meantime, Royal Princess Veloche became the crown princess. With the help of Charelize and the senate, Royal Princess Veloche was slowly handling the empire’s affairs.

 

One spring, Charelize finally decided to succeed in the title. With the permission of Crown Princess Veloche, the event was scheduled to be held at Erharak Hall, so a huge crowd gathered.

 

“Isn’t she going to take an oath of allegiance at today’s succession ceremony?”

 

“Given the current situation, it seems likely.”

 

“What do you mean, Baron Lehen?”

 

“Isn’t that something only done to the emperor from generation to generation? Even if Royal Princess Veloche became the crown princess, she’s still only a successor… So, isn’t it natural that the little duchess won’t make an oath of allegiance?”

 

“But…”

 

“Those who attended the succession ceremony expressed their curiosity. As they were discussing what would happen about the oath of allegiance, Young Master Kozel, who approached from somewhere, interrupted.

 

“From what I’ve heard… The one who will succeed the throne is not Crown Princess Veloche.”

 

“Is that true?”

 

“Have you forgotten who I am? I heard that Crown Princess Veloche is preparing for independence to receive a new surname and become the grand duchess.”

 

At the words of Young Master Kozel, everyone looked surprised and couldn’t keep their mouths shut. It wasn’t that there was no credibility at all since Young Master Kozel was related to one of the main members of the senate.

 

“T-t… Then… W-who will succeed to the throne… is it Grand Duke Innovestin? O-or… Lady Opert?”

 

Baron Lehen asked softly, covering the shape of his mouth.

 

“It seems that the soon-to-be duchess is the most likely. She is, after all, second in line of succession to the throne… and gained the trust of Crown Princess Veloche, right?”

 

“Are you… certain…?”

 

“Well, whether you believe it or not is up to you… I have already made an appointment to meet with the little duchess.”

 

Upon witnessing the playful smile of Young Master Kozel, the nobles quickly dispersed and conveyed his words to their spouses.

 

“Is that true?”

 

Baron Lehen, who asked if she would take an oath of allegiance, nodded his head at his wife’s question.

 

“Of course… You, last time… Didn’t you say you know Viscountess Rael, the nanny of the little duchess?”

 

“Yes. We’re not close friends, but Viscountess Rael and I were classmates from the Art Faculty of the Eralpier Academy. Come to think of it, I also went to Lady Rael’s coming-of-age ceremony. Don’t you remember?”

 

“Lady Rael?”

 

“She’s the little duchess’s exclusive maid. Even at her coming-of-age ceremony, the little duchess personally came to congratulate me…”

 

“Anyway, yes. You’re saying you know? That’s great.”

 

Baron Lehen’s face glowed at the reply that she was close.

 

“…I think I will have to meet my brother Ed after a long time.”

 

“Varia?”

 

“I heard he’s doing business with the person who will become the emperor… It’s an opportunity to make the second son of Marquis Matte as her concubine.”

 

“Honey… I’m scared… Calm down…”

 

In addition to Baron Lehen, Count Aile, who was there, also burned his will.

 

“Vel.”

 

Meanwhile, Young Master Kozel, who provided the information, approached Royal Princes Veloche.

 

“Good work, Haem.”

 

“Praise me more.”

 

“Later. Rather, what about the little duchess?”

 

“Little Duchess? I thought she was in the break room.”

 

At Crown Princess Veloche’s question, Young Master Kozel pointed his chin to the most central break room. As soon as he finished talking, the break room door burst open. Charelize walked out slowly. Hailey and Martin, who were near her, bowed deeply toward her.

 

The robes Charelize wore were sufficient to show off her dignity as a little duchess. Arensis followed and placed the red robe that was hanging from his arm around Charelize’s shoulder. It was the cape Charelize wore to her coming-of-age ceremony. Two gypsophilas, the symbol of the late Viscount Rugal, revealed their presence.

 

Feeling like being with a mother, Charelize smiled small. Her strength to carry on was filled again. Straightening her slightly crumpled sleeves, Charelize took Arensis’s hand. His warmth was transmitted.

 

“Lize.”

 

“Why?”

 

“I love you.”

 

“Stop talking. I already know.”

 

At the sudden confession of Arensis, Charelize replied with a smirk.

 

“I’m glad you know, but I’ll tell you till I die.”

 

“…What?”

 

“Today, you’re so cool. I’m so proud of you being a Duchess.”

 

“…”

 

“My surname is Marsetta, so I’m so happy you gave it to me.”

 

Embarrassed at the continued compliments of Arensis, Charelize turned her head. She heard it every time, but she never got used to it. It was even more so because Arensis, who smiled brightly with a shameless face, said such a thing.

 

After a while, when the High Priest Lucio arrived, a full-fledged succession ceremony was held.

 

“First of all, I would like to thank my benevolent parents for allowing me to be here.”

 

High Priest Lucio began the blessing ceremony in a set order.

 

Charelize, who came forward to him, knelt down on one knee.

 

“May the blessing reach the Duchess of Marsetta and her family.”

 

“May the High Priest also be protected.”

 

“Under the grace of Goddess Resina, the noble who has prepared everything will formally succeed to the throne.”

 

High Priest Lucio, who put his hand on Charelize’s head, recited the prayer.

 

“First of all, please pray that Her Majesty Elizabeth VI and Her Royal Highness Yekaterina may rest in peace in the arms of the Goddess.”

 

He added words of tribute to Elizabeth VI and her mother. Everyone had a moment of silence with their hands on their chests.

 

“Count Idept, please deliver the wings of Ophelia, the heirloom of Duke Marsetta, to the Duchess.”

 

“Here it is.”

 

The heirloom of Duke Marsetta was passed by Count Idept, the brother of Empress Roxana. Originally, the predecessor Count Idept was going to give her. Still, his condition was not good, so his son attended as a substitute.”

 

“…Thank you for attending.”

 

“You look alike… so much with Eli. Please be at peace, Duchess.”

 

Having made a brief eye contact with Count Idept, Charelize received the heirloom. It was a sword studded with silvery hawks.

 

“I sincerely congratulate you on becoming a Duchess.”

 

Crown Princess Veloche gave the necklace that she had prepared in advance. It was a blue diamond, the same as Charelize’s eyes.

 

Now Charelize wasn’t alone, so the diamond necklace she was wearing now didn’t seem lonely to her.

 

I dare to ask Charelize Elze Roxana, Duchess Marsetta.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Do you swear to give your life to Goddess Resina?”

 

Like Grand Duke Innovestin, Charelize didn’t immediately answer. Even so, High Priest Lucio didn’t get impatient like that time and waited.

 

“Truly… I swear.”

 

“May the infinite glory be with the new head of the family anytime, anywhere.”

 

It was what he had done every time, but the High Priest Lucio crossed his sign with a more careful hand than usual.

 

“I think you two look really good together.”

 

“I mean, her husband gave up his authority of the imperial family for the sake of the little duchess, no… the duchess.”

 

High Priest Lucio took two steps back. The sound of the trumpets signaled the end of all the ceremonies.

 

Today’s protagonist, Charelize, made her first appearance with Arensis. Admiration flowed from all over the place for the two’s dance moves that smoothly passed even difficult movements.

 

“…I shouldn’t have stayed close to that woman in Ribelv. I didn’t even know that she was a vicious person, and now I can’t even send an invitation to the duchess… Why did I think that woman would succeed the family…”

 

“Who didn’t? At that time, she was being favored by the previous duke… I knew that the successor would change because of various circumstances.”

 

“That’s right.”

 

“I think it was a mistake to think that it was possible even though that woman’s maternal family, Marquis Luxen, was all purged for treason.”

 

Everyone who had been friends with Lillian for a while was sitting in a corner. Not daring to go to Charelize, they gathered together and regretted their mistake too late.

 

A few years later, news came that Lillian had passed away from her genetic disease. The place where she died was the cold floor of Ribelv.

 

It was Charelize, not Lillian, who succeeded Duke Marsetta. That fact has never changed. Throughout all the time, the owner of Duke Marsetta has always been the same person. 

 

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