Author: alyalia

“Then…”

 

“…”

 

“I hope there will be grace from the Goddess on the path Grand Duke Innovestin has to walk forward on.”

 

Having finished his words, Harbert IV looked at Princess Veloche with affectionate eyes.

 

“…Congratulations, Grand Duke Innovestin.”

 

“Thank you, Your Royal Highness.”

 

Despite the formal brief congratulatory speech, Harbert IV still had a happy expression on his face, without even giving Empress Lireet a chance to speak.

 

“High Priest Lucio, let it begin.”

 

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

 

Harbert IV ordered Lucio to perform the blessing ceremony. High Priest Lucio drew the sign of the cross on his chest.

 

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

 

Soon after, the ceremony began in earnest in a solemn atmosphere.

 

Grand Duke Innovestin, who slowly came forward, knelt on one knee.

 

“May Goddess blessings upon Grand Duke Innovestin and his family.”

 

“May the protection be with you too.”

 

“Under the grace bestowed by the goddess, a noble who has reached adulthood will formally succeed to the title.”

 

High Priest Lucio, who put his hand on his head, recited a prayer. “First of all, please pray for the two of them who are sleeping in the arms of the Goddess so that they can rest in peace.”

 

“…”

 

It was a word of remembrance for the previous Grand Duke Innovestin and Princess Penelope, who were no longer in this world.

 

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

 

Without showing any emotion at all, Grand Duke Innovestin’s shoulders trembled slightly.

 

Originally, the end of the ceremony was for their parents or close relatives to deliver heirlooms prepared in advance. But that wasn’t the case with the Grand Duke Innovestin. The reason was that his only left family member, his mother, maintained a secluded life and didn’t come.

 

In Charelize’s previous life, instead of the predecessor Grand Duchess Innovestin, who didn’t come until the end, High Priest Lucio personally handed over the heirloom. Right now, Harbert IV bestowed a brooch on him. Charelize watched the current situation go a little different from what she remembered.

 

“Did you know that the predecessor Grand Duke Innovestin… and the Grand Duchess died in the carriage accident?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Since the predecessor Grand Duchess was on an unplanned stay, so I came here thinking he wouldn’t come. Shouldn’t at least one adult show their face?”

 

 

Charelize heard something from his teacher, Professor Hail, the other day, and she felt sorry for him. Everyone was hesitating, but how could you not know? That it was a death planned by Harbert IV, who was wary of the side descendants of the imperial family.

 

“Congratulations on your official succession, Grand Duke.” The person in question, Harbert IV, said his words as if nothing was wrong.

 

“… I’m honored.”

 

Finally, High Priest Lucio asked, calling his name. “I dare to ask Grand Duke Ludwig Belshier von Innovestin.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Do you swear to be loyal to the Emperor and give your life to Goddess Resina?”

 

“…”

 

Grand Duke Innovestin did not immediately answer. A suffocating tension lingered at his hesitant attitude. It was because this could be regarded as treason.

 

“Your Excellency?”

 

“…”

 

With an uneasy voice, High Priest Lucio urged to call him once more.

 

“…I swear.”

 

“I am delighted that Grand Duke Innovestin has become a full-fledged adult and inherited the title.”

 

“I will do my best to live up to Your Majesty’s expectations.”

 

To Grand Duke Innovestin, who replied belatedly, Harbert IV gave a satisfied smile.

 

“Chief.”

 

“Give me your command, Your Majesty.”

 

“Bring what I’ve prepared.”

 

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

 

The chief servant at his command brought wine and two glasses.

 

“Hurry up and pick it up.”

 

“This is…?”

 

“A 31-year-old wine made by Belgor’s artisans. This is also something I enjoy often.”

 

Harbert IV poured the wine directly into the glass and handed it to Grand Duke Innovestin. The attention was focused on who the other cup would go to.

 

“This…”

 

“…”

 

“I’d like to give it to my nephew, whom I’m very fond of.”

 

Harbert IV indirectly expressed his desire to give it to Charelize.

 

“Charelize.”

 

“Did you call, Your Majesty?”

 

“Come forward.”

 

Calling her name, he waited for her to come forward.

 

“Greetings to His Majesty the Emperor, the brilliant sun, father of the Elioter Empire.”

 

“You’ve become even prettier when I haven’t seen you.”

 

“I’m honored.”

 

Charelize, who had no choice but to stand on the podium, showed impeccable manners.

 

“You’re becoming more and more like your mother.”

 

“…”

 

“I wonder if your fate will be the same…”

 

At that time, what Harbert IV referred to was Duchess Marsetta.

 

“May I ask… what do you mean?”

 

Hastened her death and even insulted her mother, who had already passed away. Charelize asked about it in a polite but sharp tone.

 

“Oh no… I meant it as a joke, so don’t take it too seriously.”

 

Harbert IV smiled and tapped Charelize slightly on the shoulder. At his glance, the chief of servants delivered the pre-prepared glass to Charelize.

 

“Little Duchess.”

 

Charelize stared at the wine in it, and the chief called again.

 

“With the grace of His Majesty… Thank you.”

 

Only then did Charelize raise her glass, bowing slightly at Emperor Harbert IV.

 

“Hurry up and drink it up.”

 

It was an official event with many people watching. There was no way or justification for refusing what the Emperor had given.

 

Charelize hadn’t forgotten to eat her allergy medicine, so she wouldn’t fall down right in front of many people watching. She thought Harbert IV wouldn’t have put deadly poison in it.  

 

Whether there was anything to believe, Grand Duke Innovestin gulped it at once. Charelize, who was watching him, took a sip and carefully handed it over.

 

“Both of you, you can go back to your seats.”

 

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

 

“I will be on my way.”

 

Grand Duke Innovestin and Charelize returned to their respective positions.

 

“Please, I hope you enjoy this time today.”

 

Only then did Emperor Harbert IV announce the start of the banquet.

 

“Your Highness.”

 

“Are you okay?”

 

Hailey and Martin quickly examined Charelize’s complexion.

 

“So far.”

 

“No way… did he know that?”

 

Hailey brought up her grape allergy. Did he intentionally bring wine on purpose?

 

“Don’t you know that very few people know that fact?”

 

“But what if…”

 

“It must be a coincidence.”

 

“Your Highness…”

 

Charelize replied with a slight nod.

 

“Don’t you know I’ve kept this fact even from the Duke?”

 

When Charelize was young, at dinner with Duke Marsetta, she ate a dessert made of grapes, which caused her fever to rise through the night, and her life was almost in danger.

 

Has the emperor served me wine before?  Charelize wondered, recalling memories of the day.

 

The moment the quiet atmosphere was ripening, suddenly, the room became noisy.

 

“I want to brighten up this place today with my one and only heir.”

 

It was Emperor Harbert IV who asked Princess Veloche to dance.

 

The only heir. It was as if he had declared that he would give the throne to her. Princess Veloche, who had hardened her expression, stood up from her seat while holding Harbert IV’s hand.

 

“Veloche, your dancing skills have improved.”

 

“Even now, you still call me His Majesty Father.”

 

“Before His Majesty is my father, isn’t His Majesty the emperor who leads the empire?”

 

“Good girl. So far, this father is the one who takes your first dance.”

 

“May blessing reach His Majesty Father.”

 

“May protection be with you.”

 

Their dance ended with Harbert IV kissing Princess Veloche’s hair lightly.

 

“It’s perfect, Your Majesty.”

 

“I respect the filial piety of Her Royal Highness for His Majesty.”

 

“They were like a painting.”

 

The nobles who watched the conversation between father and daughter, who seemed quite friendly, clapped and said something as their dance approached its end.

 

After the bloody tragedy when he beheaded his half-sister, Crown Princess Elizabeth, at his own birthday banquet, Harbert IV used this tactic often as his reputation had fallen sharply.

 

“…really, that’s funny.”

 

“Your Highness?”

 

Charelize knew it was a shallow gimmick to raise his reputation. As she watched them, Martin called Charelize curiously, who spoke to herself.

 

“It’s nothing. By the way…”

 

Charelize slightly shook her head and touched her forehead. A sudden headache came. Unlike usual, it was accompanied by slight dizziness.

 

“Are you okay?” Seeing Charelize frowning at her brow, Hailey asked with a worried tone.

 

“As expected, the wine Your Highness drank earlier…”

 

“I don’t think so.”

 

“Then… why…”

 

Martin thought it was due to allergies but was at a loss.

 

“The symptoms of deterioration include redness on the arms and neck, in severe cases difficulty breathing, but… something is different.”

 

Hailey shook her head after a moment of agonizing.

 

“It’s all right. You don’t have to worry.”

 

Charelize, who thought it was just a temporary symptom, felt a prickly stare staring at her from somewhere. She looked around to see if she was mistaken, and her eyes met Arensis’s.

 

“…Your Royal Highness.”

 

“Where do you… feel sick…?”

 

“Nowhere.”

 

Arensis seemed to recognize Charelize’s unstable condition. He bit his lips and walked towards Charelize at a fairly quick pace. 

 

Table of Contents
Reader Settings
Font Size
Line Height
Font
Donation
Amount
alyalia

Ko-fi Ko-fi

Comments (1)

  1. No momento que o imperador chamou os dois já pensei que iam os dois de base ali mesmo… sinceramente pra mim esse imperador envenenaria sim pq o que ele realmente tem a perder? Quem vai brigar pela morte de um órfão e de uma menina que nem tem amor do pai? Só por política
    Thanks for the update 😊🇧🇷