Author: alyalia

“Please send a letter to Her Majesty Lanensia Xavi asking if it’s okay for me to visit.”

 

“I understand, Your Highness.”

 

Hailey took the necklace, put it in a box, and went outside. Not long after that, Lanensia Xavi sent her person directly.

 

“May Goddess Ressina’s blessing reach you, little Duchess.”

 

“You…?”

 

“I’m Countess Rodit, servant of Her Majesty Xavi. I’m here to answer your letter.”

 

“Ah.”

 

“Her Majesty said that the door to her palace is always open to Rina’s child.”

 

Rina. It was a nickname of her mother that only those who had permission could call her mother like that.

 

How… could she call my mother’s nickname…? Charelize followed Countess Rodit, thinking about what Lanensia Xavi had said, holding the box containing a necklace studded with green jewels that Empress Lireet asked for.

 

“Charelize Elze Roxana von Marsetta, greetings to Her Majesty Xavi.”

 

“I didn’t know when I first saw you, but now I look at you… I see a lot of Rina on your face.”

 

Charelize noticed that her mother and Lanensia Xavi were close. However, she never heard anything from her mother about Lanensia Xavi.

 

“With all due respect, may I ask… how do you know my mother?”

 

“Come on. Line and Lireet, I had known them even before they got married.”

 

“?”

 

“I don’t think it’s been long, but it has already been long. Our relationship started when Lireet and I were chosen as Rina’s playmates and entered the palace.”

 

Lanensia Xavi was chosen by Crown Princess Elizabeth to be Charelize’s mother’s playmate, along with Empress Lireet.

 

Empress Lireet couldn’t go out often because of her weak body. And that time, nobles complained about her status as an illegitimate child. Not long after that, she was replaced by Ludmilla, the Marchioness of Radiasa, who was back then the daughter of Countess Azel.

 

“Her Majesty Empress Lireet asked me to deliver it.”

 

Charelize quietly listened to what she had to say, then handed over the small box she had brought with her.

 

Tilting her head slightly, Lanensia Xavi opened the box and took out the necklace. She suddenly got up and took out the same necklace with a different color from the drawer.

 

“Each of us made a promise when we made this to match our pupils.”

 

“Promise…?”

 

“When we have our own children later, we will be good mothers and aunts to each other… my child is dead… but I can keep that promise now.”

 

“…”

 

“I will be a good aunt to the little Duchess. Thank you for growing up well.”

 

Lanensia Xavi held Charelize’s hands. Charelize felt the warmth of her mother.

 

“Are you… saying that… she sent Princess, who was still this young, all the way here by herself?”

 

“Because the age at which you can take the entrance exam is lower at Rosielt Academy.”

 

“How can she send her only daughter…”

 

“Your Majesty Xavi…?”

 

“…It’s nothing. I heard Princess applied for political science.”

 

“Yes. If I wanted to become the little duchess, political science would be my best option.”

 

“…As long as you stay in the Peschte Empire, you don’t need to worry about anything. Just play to your heart’s content.”

 

“…”

 

“Except for the Adenlabel Palace, where the emperor resides… With my authority, there will be no place Princess cannot go.”

 

“…Thank you, Your Majesty Xavi.”

 

“Baroness Azwell. I will let you… take care of the Princess for the time being.”

 

“I will serve you with all my heart, Princess Charelize.”

 

“While you’re here, I hope Princess laughs a lot.”

 

She wasn’t much different from her first impression when she first met Lanensia Xavi.

 

“Please tell Xavi. The time has come to keep the promise the three of us made back then.”

 

Only then did Charelize understand what Empress Lireet meant.

 

Charelize, who was strolling through the corridors in a dazed state, ran into Queen Lilze. She had something to say about interpreting ancient characters.

 

“May Goddess Resina’s blessing reach you.”

 

“May you be protected too. Will the little Duchess attend the wedding too?”

 

Charelize approached Queen Lilze and greeted her first.

 

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

 

“Is that so?”

 

“I have no face to see Her Majesty. I’m sorry.”

 

“Ah, you don’t have to do this. You even sent Count Luwen, but there is nothing we can do about it.”

 

“But—”

 

“Still, what if it’s not ancient characters?”

 

“What do you mean…?”

 

“I asked a friend of mine who is a professor of history at the Rosielt Academy, and he said it doesn’t seem like ancient characters.”

 

“I’ll look into it and contact you again.”

 

“Then, I’ll be waiting.”

 

Charelize needed to go to the villa where she first discovered it and needed to ask the count couple who manage it. She immediately returned to her room.

 

“She couldn’t do it for her child, but to be a good aunt instead…”

 

Charelize kept remembering what Lanensia Xavi had said.

 

“Little Duchess, Your Royal Highness Prince Arensis is here.”

 

“…Bring him inside.”

 

She just happened to have something to say about him, so Charelize put her complicated mind aside for a moment.

 

“May Goddess Resina’s blessing reach you, little Duchess.”

 

“I’ve felt it before, but I don’t know why Prince is acting so recklessly.”

 

“What… you mean…”

 

To Arensis, who was greeting her, Charelize asked a straightforward statement.

 

“Isn’t it because Your Royal Highness did something that I’m still alive after being poisoned?”

 

“…”

 

“Next time, don’t do that.”

 

“Why are you always so strict with yourself? Why are you telling me not to do anything? Can’t you just say thank you?”

 

He wasn’t angry, but Arensis answered Charelize’s words without a nod for the first time. Charelize couldn’t tell him she didn’t want him to sacrifice his life for her.

 

“Because it’s you.”

 

“…”

 

“Honestly, I know something happened between Your Royal Highness and me.”

 

Charelize knew it would hurt him, but she was worried about what would happen if something like this happened again. Hearing that, Arensis simply put on an expression that couldn’t be expressed by words.

 

“…Please excuse myself.” Arensis went out without hesitation after saying that.

 

Charelize didn’t catch him. However, her heart wasn’t at ease. Maybe he had been avoiding her for a while, but she hadn’t seen him since then.

 

“Come to think of it, the little Duchess hasn’t seen Ian yet, right?”

 

“?”

 

“It’s the nickname of young master Seint, who will become my husband.”

 

While Charelize had tea with Royal Princess Casilla, she heard the story of young master Seint, who would marry Royal Princess Casilla.

 

“Three days from now… I will succeed my maternal uncle as Marchioness Jedwin, and Ian will become Marchionne’s husband.”

 

“Jedwin…?”

 

“It’s my mother’s family. His Majesty Father said it was still too early to achieve complete independence, so I decided to succeed my maternal uncle, who will go down to the territory.”

 

Royal Princess Casilla inherited the Marchioness Jedwin title from her mother, Empress Sione. And the young master of the Seint family would become the marchioness’s husband.

 

When a prince or a princess had a family, it was customary for them to be given a separate title and become independent. However, Royal Princess Casilla slightly said that Arkan I was against it. Even if she became Marchioness Jedwin, she would keep her princess title and continue living in the imperial palace.

 

“Little Duchess. About Arensis—”

 

“Your Royal Highness Princess! You can’t go there…”

 

“How dare you block my way!”

 

At that time, Charelize heard several conversations outside the door, and then Royal Princess Ioella opened the door and entered.

 

“Ioella, didn’t you hear there is a guest who came here? Next time—”

 

“Sister, why did you give the Etian mine to that lowly thing instead of me…”

 

“Your Royal Highness, I will leave now.”

 

“…I apologize, little Duchess.”

 

As if they had something to talk about, Charelize avoided her seat.

 

“What about the reply?”

 

“Lord Ian. Let me start by saying this—”

 

“Tell Her Royal Highness… that I cannot cooperate anymore… until I hear where she’s going to use it.”

 

In the hallway, a man presumed to be young master Seint was holding a maid by the wrist.

 

They seemed to get along very well, but such an attitude towards Royal Princess Casilla’s maid? What does he mean that he cannot cooperate…?

 

Charelize heard that they were in love with each other, not because of arranged marriage. So, Royal Princess Casilla would marry the second young master of Seint, who had no influence.

 

Embarrassed by some accidental eavesdropping behind the pillar, Charelize waited for them to go.  She didn’t know what was happening, but it seemed to be their personal life, so Charelize took her interest.

 

“You look better than I thought?”

 

“…Pardon?”

 

“I’m just glad you look healthy.”

 

The next day, Royal Princess Ioella, whom she met again in the hallway, threw meaningful words to Charelize. And beside her, there was the maid who was talking to the young master Seint.

 

* * *

“That person… Isn’t she the little Duchess of Marsetta?”

 

“That’s right. She’s close to that bastard, Arensis… By the way, why… her eyes are still alright?”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“Surely I sent Valerie… and told her to leave a small scar around her eye.”

 

“Maybe it’s gotten better?”

 

Royal Princess Ioella bit her lips in anger. “How much time has passed that it didn’t even leave a thin scar?”

 

“That…”

 

“…”

 

“…Shall we send Valerie back?”

 

“That’s enough. Other things are more important than that now. By the way, did you pick the right person to do the job?”

 

“Do you remember Count Youseph… who, as soon as his wife died eight years ago, remarried to a concubine from another empire whose status he didn’t know properly and eventually made her his wife?”

 

“…Count Yoseph?”

 

Royal Princess Ioella seemed to think momentarily about who Count Yoseph the maid was talking about.

 

“Wasn’t he the chief chamberlain that the empress directly appointed?”

 

“He is loyal… to Her Majesty, that he even resigned himself after the empress passed away.”

 

She soon remembered he was the chief chamberlain who served her mother.

 

“In the old days, he was someone who wouldn’t even accept bribes that everyone else accepts. I doubt if he will attend this wedding, and even if he does… he won’t do anything against my way.”

 

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