Author: alyalia

“… I’m sorry for the test, Lady.”

 

“No, it was a delightful conversation, Your Highness.”

 

Viyon raised a teacup in front of her with a calm expression.

 

“Count Aretta has two daughters with very different personalities.”

 

“It’s something my father often hears.”

 

“I think it’s rude of me to keep someone this smart puzzled.”

 

Charelize continued with a smile on her lips. “I don’t have free time and won’t waste it anymore.”

 

“Your Highness?”

 

“Let me tell it directly.”

 

“…”

 

“I’ll help Lady become the successor.”

 

“…”

 

“If you want, I’ll let you go into politics later.”

 

“What does Your Highness want from me?”

 

“What do I want?”

 

“I am… just the second daughter of Count Aretta. There’s nothing to benefit you.”

 

Instead of hastily agreeing, Viyon asked the reason. As she said, Count Aretta wasn’t really a great family. The fact that the eldest daughter, Freya, was invited to Lillian’s tea party by Duke Marsetta behind her was only possible because she was the same age as Lillian. They didn’t have much reputation.

 

“That’s a good point. It’s also something I thought about.”

 

“If so…why….”

 

“Lady.”

 

“Yes, Your Highness.”

 

Charelize continued, looking at the bouquet of flowers that Viyon had brought. “You know, I’m the little Duchess.”

 

“…”

 

“This is also a threat to my position. I mean, countless people are aiming for my neck.”

 

“That’s…”

 

“As much as that, it also means that many words come and go with every action and every word I say.”

 

Charelize rose from her seat and untied the string securing the bouquet.

 

“I need someone to be my eyes and ears for me.”

 

“…”

 

“A noble who is not well known, no one wary about, and people won’t expect at all.”

 

“What if I become your eyes and ears at the same time… I’m holding someone’s hand?”

 

Charelize put it in a vase by the window and sat back down.

 

“Would a person as smart as Lady make such a risky choice?”

 

“Can I ask… what Your Highness means?”

 

Charelize didn’t speak in a threatening manner at all. Contrary to the words she uttered, her tone was always soft. Her speech method wasn’t superfluous either. Viyon’s review of Charelize was like that.

 

Viyon was abandoned by her birth mother shortly after she was born as Count Aretta spent a night in a brothel. There was a time when she wandered around the street without knowing where she came from or when she would die.

 

She then met Countess Aretta, who lost her second daughter, then received her sympathy. From there, she took a new name and grew into a noble young lady. As she took the place of the dead, the process was never smooth.

 

“Oh my gosh, that’s Lady Liriel’s dress.”

 

“Hasn’t Madam finally gone mad? How can she give Lady Liriel’s things to such a lowly child?”

 

The murmur of the servants and the gaze that they saw something they couldn’t bear were tolerable.

 

“You’re my younger sister?”

 

“If you were born low, you should know your subject. You will be kicked out immediately when my mother comes to her senses. Don’t you know that?”

 

She fully understood Freya’s tyranny.

 

“My daughter is so pretty. Viyon, do you want to try this on too?”

 

Above all, the person who made the most sense to hate her loved her and cared for her the most in the world. It didn’t matter if her gaze looked at her as her dead daughter’s substitute.

 

“Happy birthday, Viyon.”

 

She received a lot of love that her birth mother hadn’t given her.

 

“This mother will always be by your side, so what are you afraid of? Come here.”

 

It was pretty good. The first fence was solid. Perhaps because of her memory of living as an orphan and the growing and implicit disregard, her natural perception had been accelerated.

 

“Father, can you not overdo it?”

 

“Thank you, Viyon. How can you be so kind?”

 

She knew how to get close and what actions to take. Proud of knowing about it, she had lived like that all this time. When she saw people who knew one thing and didn’t know ten, she thought they were stupid, which made her laugh.

 

“Do you intend to entrust the hand of the emperor who brutally beheaded his half-sister with a smiling face?”

 

“…”

 

“Or, will you live your whole life paying attention to those who are no help in your life?”

 

However, she couldn’t help but laugh in front of Charelize. Charelize just said a few words; strangely, her whole body started to tremble slightly. For the first time in her life, Viyon was in awe of others.

 

“How about working together by granting each person their wishes rather than a submissive relationship of allegiance?”

 

“…”

 

“In my life, unconditional obedience and one-sided service are not good for each other.”

 

“…”

 

“Because one day, there must be a day when you bite your master’s hand.”

 

Charelize recalled Baron Ite.

 

“My weakness is…”

 

“Weakness?”

 

“The point is that I am not Count’s daughter but his illegitimate child, Your Highness.”

 

“Lady… seems to be an interesting person the more we talk.”

 

“Even if it’s not a one-sided, loyal relationship.”

 

“Hmm?”

 

“I will not betray you, so please do not cut off my hands.”

 

Charelize seemed happy at Viyon’s answer, which she had not expected at all. She said nothing short of one’s own disgrace, which made Charelize not expect her to accept the offer.

 

“As soon as possible, I’ll send you a contract for the Radello mining business.”

 

“If it’s a Radello mine…?”

 

“It will suffice to broaden your position within the family.”

 

“…”

 

“At that rate, the Count will also notice that Lady has become my person.”

 

“…”

 

“May I call you Viyon?”

 

Charelize reached out her hand to Viyon. Viyon tried not to show as much as possible that she was trembling.

 

“I… would appreciate it if Your Highness could call me comfortably.”

 

She took a deep breath and held Charelize’s hand.

 

“Why are you trembling so much? Is it cold?”

 

“No, Your Highness.”

 

“Since I’ve heard of your weaknesses, I’m asking you…” Charelize said with a slight tilt of her head.

 

“You can ask me anything, Your Highness.”

 

“It’s about your family. That person has done something wrong to my people…”

 

“…”

 

“Why do you hate your sister so much?”

 

“Hating…my sister?

 

To Charelize’s question, Viyon answered as if wondering.

 

“If you had been on good terms, you wouldn’t have accepted my offer.”

 

Viyon then put on a convincing look. “I don’t hate her. I just don’t think of her as a family.”

 

“What are you talking about?”

 

“It’s not the kind of inferiority complex I feel as an illegitimate child.”

 

“…”

 

“I just think there is no need to consider someone who doesn’t consider me as her sibling in the family.”

 

Charelize was quite curious about the values that Viyon had.

 

“No matter how close the blood is to each other, there is no need for me to put in all my time and effort, right?”

 

It seemed to be so in contrast with Charelize’s previous life.

 

“Does that mean that… someone who doesn’t regard you as a family isn’t even worthy of your dislike?”

 

“Yes, you can say that.”

 

After receiving a definite answer, Charelize felt like she had been punched in the back of her head. What she only realized after she died, Viyon already knew too well, as if she took it for granted.

 

On behalf of her sick mother, there was a time when Charelize tried to get a share of affection from Duke Marsetta. She felt foolish for shedding bloody tears as if she had uncovered the secrets of her childhood, which she had been hiding.

 

“Viyon, I wish I had met you earlier.”

 

“Your Highness?”

 

Charelize sighed and suddenly opened the drawer to find something. Soon she took out the invitation and put it out to Viyon. Viyon was puzzled and asked what it was.

 

“In a few days, it’s an invitation to a tea party hosted by the lady of Viscount Ramed.”

 

“If it’s the lady of Viscount Ramed…?”

 

“Her father will soon succeed the Marquis of Luxen.”

 

Harbert IV killed all those born into the blood of the Marquis of Luxen. In fact, it was ambiguous to call Viscount Ramed, who would succeed the Marquis of Luxen, as the collateral family. The belated reinstatement of the extinct family seemed ridiculous even at that time.

 

The sudden whim of King Harbert IV, who killed all the family’s people, was difficult to forget, simply dismissed as incomprehensible. Just in time, the one and only daughter of Viscount Ramed, who would succeed as the new Marquis of Luxen, sent an invitation to the tea party herself.

 

Charelize won’t miss the opportunity to get information easier than she thought.

 

“If I attend it, it will look like I made a hasty decision, and I would receive backlash from the Senate…”

 

“…No way.”

 

“Please attend the tea party on my behalf and find out who and what kind of relationship they had,” said Charelize, interlocking her arms. 

 

“This is an invitation for Your Highness. Would it be alright if I go?” Viyon said with a worried face.

 

“Not really. Even if I go, aside from the uncomfortable atmosphere… she won’t hastily say anything.”

 

“If that’s the case, I’ll do my best.”

 

“Since she is Viscount’s only daughter, who lost his wife and raised her dearly, I’m sure Viscount will show up there.”

 

“…”

 

“It would be better if you could tell me what kind of personality the Viscount has.”

 

Viyon was struck by the intelligence that Charelize had. It was because Charelize looked like she was born to become the future duchess in the first place. 

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