Author: alyalia

As if looking at the situation, Harbert IV stopped talking. He slowly scanned the face of those standing in front of him.

 

“It’s not fun…”

 

Despite such provocations, Charelize didn’t easily reveal her emotions, making Harbert IV lose interest. He clicked his tongue briefly and continued his words. “Marsetta family already has little Duchess, and the right of succession is an issue that even I, as the Emperor, can’t easily touch…”

 

At his words, Lillian, who was looking forward to it, looked at Iris while chewing on her lips.

 

“So, as a result of listening to the opinion of Marchioness Luxen, who will soon be the head of the family… It has been decided to grant her the succession right for Marquis.”

 

Iris said not to worry and gave Lillian a light tap on her shoulder.

 

“Lillian.”

 

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

 

“How about taking the first surname, Ludisa?” said Harbert IV, staring at Lillian, who was still unable to hide her disappointment.

 

Ludisa. It must have been named after Princess Ludisa, who married into the Marquis Luxen several generations ago. Although it won’t give her the right to succeed Duke Marsetta, she would be treated semi-royal, just like Charelize.

 

“I like it, Your Majesty.”

 

“Lillian Ludisa von Marsetta, I have work for you to do.”

 

“Please tell me, Your Majesty.”

 

“The first princess of the Peschte Empire is getting married soon. The eldest son, Prince Edenberg, died long ago, so the princess is the oldest of all siblings… The chance of her becoming the next emperor is relatively high.”

 

“Don’t tell me…”

 

“Go as the representative of the delegation. If you fulfill your duties perfectly… I will give you a chance to become a little marchioness.”

 

“Your Majesty!” Duke Marsetta, who had been quiet at Harbert IV’s words, was astonished.

 

“Is there a problem?”

 

“I apologize. However, it wasn’t long after Lillian was registered to the family, so she didn’t learn enough etiquette…”

 

“No way… Did you think I would only send Lillian?” To Duke Marsetta’s words, Harbert IV replied with a shrug of his shoulders.

 

“If not, then with whom…?”

 

Then, Duke Marsetta questioned whom he would entrust this task with.

 

“Charelize, can I ask you too?” Harbert IV looked at Charelize and raised one corner of his mouth.

 

Charelize knew at once what he was thinking and saying. As Lillian became the princess of Duke Marsetta, that meant as the successor, Charelize had a duty to closely watch Lillian’s every movement. Their family’s prestige would be greatly damaged if she didn’t take good care of Lillian. And it would be more difficult to recover if Lillian committed sins in other empires.

 

So what was the reason for sending Lillian, who had recently become a noble, as the representative of the delegation? Harbert IV intended to use this moment as an excuse to somehow keep Duke Marsetta in check.

 

“Charelize?”

 

“…Yes, Your Majesty.”

 

“Think of this as a trip with your sister. Now is the time for Lillian to show her face as a princess.”

 

“…Coincidentally, I have been invited by Her Royal Highness Princess Casilla.”

 

“…You mean you’re directly invited by the Princess?”

 

The fact that she was directly invited by Princess Casilla meant that they were close. It was only for a moment, but Harbert IV’s face subtly frowned. The fact that Charelize was close with Princess Casilla, who might be the next heir to the throne, seemed to bother him.

 

“That’s right.”

 

“That’s good. I’ve already told the chief chamberlain to make general preparations, so keep that in mind.”

 

He took Empress Lireet’s duty, the imperial palace’s hostess, and instructed the chief chamberlain to do all the work. That meant Empress Lireet’s position was narrow within the imperial family.

 

“For details, an official letter will be sent to the Marsetta Duchy soon.”

 

“Thank you for trusting me. I’ll do my best, Your Majesty.”

 

“Lillian, I look forward to your kind cooperation.”

 

Harbert IV then said he had something to discuss with Duke Marsetta and Iris. “I have something to say to the Duke and Marchioness, so it’s okay for the two of you to go back.” He told Charelize and Lillian that they were free to go out.

 

“Greetings to the little Duchess and Princess. I am Countess Nosen, serving Her Majesty the Empress.”

 

The person waiting for Charelize and Lillian to come out was Countess Nose, the exclusive mad at Elac Palace, where Empress Lireet resided.

 

“How have you been?”

 

“That, thanks to Her Majesty, I am always on the safe side.”

 

“I’m glad.”

 

“Her Majesty has invited the two of you to the Garden of Light.”

 

After exchanging light greetings with Charelize, Countess Nosen conveyed Empress Lireet’s words.

 

Garden of Light. From generation to generation, only members of the imperial family and those invited separately could enter that place.

 

“Right now?”

 

“Yes. If you have another schedule.”

 

“It’s not like that…”

 

Empress Lireet’s invitation was something Charelize hadn’t even thought of, so she showed a look of bewilderment. She felt uneasy because she would be going there with Lillian, not anyone else. Nevertheless, she couldn’t let Lillian go alone.

 

“Will you guide us there?” Charelize asked, in case Countess Nosen had any other things to do.

 

“Follow me, please.”

 

“Excuse me… Countess Nosen?”

 

“Yes, Princess.”

 

“Your Majesty the Empress… What kind of person is she?” Lillian, who couldn’t resist curiosity, asked carefully.

 

“What do you mean by that…?”

 

“It doesn’t mean anything else… I just wonder if there is something I need to be careful about…”

 

“Ah, don’t worry. Her Majesty is a very gentle person,” Countess Nosen said with a slight smile. “She never treats her employees carelessly, and she is always generous, so everyone respects him.”

 

Countess Nosen added that the empress always donated to the orphanage every month. Whether it was because of her loyalty to her master, she boasted about the empress for a long time.

 

“Little Duchess?”

 

“Long time no see, Countess Ermano.”

 

It was then. Countess Ermano, who was passing through the hallway, spotted Charelize and called her.

 

Countess Ermano was born as a legitimate child, but her father loved his illegitimate child more. She even lost one of her eyes by the illegitimate child, who coveted her successor position. After that, she put in twice as much effort as others and became the head of the family. That was why she hated illegitimate children of nobles.

 

“I heard that there is a new princess of Duke Marsetta.”

 

“…My name is Lillian Ludisa von Marsetta.”

 

Countess Ermano didn’t even pay attention to Lillian, who introduced herself.

 

“How is Her Majesty doing?”

 

“As usual, Her Majesty wants to see Countess Ermano.”

 

“Please tell her that I will see her soon. I stopped by today because I have some business to do with the knights…”

 

She continued the conversation, saying her greetings only to Charelize and Countess Nosen.

 

“Thanks to the graduation thesis Your Highness wrote, we halved the tolls offered by the maritime kingdom of Frances.”

 

“Ah.”

 

“Thanks to that, we successfully signed for trade business. Thank you, Your Highness.”

 

“I’m glad that was helpful.”

 

“I was so moved to tears when Professor Ranadel from Rosielt Academy helped… How did Your Highness find such a solution?”

 

“I also received help from Professor Ranadel, so it’s embarrassing to say it’s achieved by me.”

 

“You’re so humble.”

 

Countess Ermano was tired of the two-month-long war of nerves with Kingdom Frances. Neither side made concessions, and it wasn’t easy to see the end. Coincidentally, she visited Rosielt Academy, and after hearing about her troubles, Professor Ranadel, her close friend, showed Charelize’s graduation thesis. Seeing that, her tired, half-closed eyes flashed open. After that, she met their envoy and succeeded in signing a contract on favorable terms.

 

“By the way, why does Your Highness go with Countess Noesen…?”

 

“Her Majesty has invited the two of us to the Garden of Light.”

 

“…together?”

 

“Yes, Countess.”

 

Countess Ermano’s face hardened when she heard Empress Lireet invite Charelize and Lillian together. “May I speak with Your Highness for a moment?”

 

“?”

 

“I have a question about another business…”

 

Soon after, she said she had something urgent to say to Charelize and wanted to be alone for a while.

 

“I’m sorry to bother Your Highness. It’s an urgent matter…”

 

“No, it doesn’t matter as long as Her Majesty is okay with it.”

 

“If it’s a business matter, we can’t help it.” Countess Nosen nodded her head slightly and gave the permission. “Shall we go first, Princess Lillian?”

 

“Wh-What kind of business… if I may ask?”

 

Lillian, who had been quiet all this time, stopped her steps and turned her back to ask.

 

“It’s not something that Princess would understand even if you heard it.”

 

“…”

 

“Rather than that, since Her Majesty is waiting for Princess, how about going first?”

 

Countess Ermano was right. Lillian didn’t know anything about it. She just went ahead with her intention to keep Charelize in check. Her question itself was rude as she had never been acquainted with Countess Ermano.

 

“I-I’m sorry.”

 

Lillian, who blushed instantly, chose to run away today as well.

 

“Princess Lillian!”

 

Looking at Countess Nosen chasing after her, Charelize let out a sigh of relief.

 

“I apologize for embarrassing you, Your Highness.”

 

“I don’t mind. Anyway, what business…?”

 

“Actually, talking about business is an excuse.”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“On the day of the Grand Duke’s succession ceremony, I went to rest on the terrace… Princess Lillian and Marquis Pasimello were talking loudly as if they didn’t hear me coming…”

 

“Marquis Pasimello…?”

 

“They exchanged a glass bottle of blue water. Just in case, always be careful when Your Highness eats something.”

 

“…Thank you.”

 

Count Ermano had a lot of trouble as she had seen the scene. At first, she didn’t know what to do and thought she was worrying for nothing. Like herself, she was worried that Charelize would lose something important because of the blue water given by her half-sister. 

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