Author: alyalia

“…Revenge of the death of your mother? Wait, should I say that you wanted to show that even the child of a lowly woman can become the head of the family?”

 

Iris immediately wiped the smile off her lips.

 

“I wanted to be rewarded for the life I had lived. Just in time, I found out about Lillian’s existence.”

 

“Rewarded?”

 

“Unlike me, who grew up being persecuted my whole life just because I was an illegitimate child… I didn’t like Siael to be easily accepted into the family. There is not much difference between me and her.”

 

“…”

 

“That’s why I didn’t announce that I succeeded Marchioness. Because I only had to show it to my mother.”

 

Iris quickly confessed that she had taken advantage of Lillian.

 

Charelize remembered after drinking the poison at Grand Duke Innovestin’s succession ceremony, Iris had said that she needed to pay the price for enjoying what Lillian didn’t have. Now that she knew it, those words were meant for Iris herself, not for Lillian.

 

Charelize wasn’t too surprised. In fact, she had expected it to some extent. She could tell just by looking at how Iris fed predecessor Grand Duchess Innovestin with the potion she received from Marquis Pasimello.

 

“When I think of Lari, I want to tear you apart right now, and even if I find your mother’s grave and throw it as food for animals, my anger won’t subside easily.”

 

“Really.”

 

“I will make you feel that being dead is much more comfortable than being alive for the price of taking Lari’s life.”

 

Charelize was very curious to see what Lillian would look like when she found out that her aunt, whom she trusted so much, had betrayed her. Clearly, if Duke Marsetta found out about this truth, he wouldn’t be Lillian’s shield.

 

Charelize didn’t have much time to give back to Lillian what she had been through. In addition, she intended to watch over Duke Marsetta and Lillian, who would fall into the abyss. It wasn’t a too-distant future, which made her smile just thinking about it.

 

After those words, Charelize left Helsen Prison and headed to the temple. It was in order to register Lari into the family register of Duke Marsetta. In order to register her, she had to have the emperor’s permission or a document with the high priest’s seal. However, Harbert IV, who didn’t want the numbers of Marsetta

 

Upon arriving at the temple, Charelize found the high priest who had just left the prayer room.

 

“Greetings to the little Duchess of Marsetta. May the blessing of Goddess Resina reach you.”

 

“May you be protected too.”

 

“Are you here to pray?”

 

“…I have come to request for the High Priest’s seal, as I’m planning to register someone into the Marsetta family.”

 

“Ah, in that case, please come this way.”

 

Charelize followed the high priest into the parlor.

 

“Please sit here and wait a moment.”

 

While the high priest brought the documents, a strangely familiar priest served tea.

 

“…You’re?”

 

“My name is Sabrel, the third servant of Goddess Resina.”

 

He was the priest who witnessed the marriage between Royal Princess Casilla and young Master Seint.

 

Charelize briefly greeted him, then lifted the teacup and slightly held it to her lips. The high priest, who had brought the documents, sat down in the opposite seat and raised a quill.

 

“Please tell me the name of the one who will be registered.”

 

“It’s Lari.”

 

“Will you give that person the second surname?”

 

Since it was a sensitive issue related to the succession of the family, the high priest asked if she would give her the second surname. It was because the contents of the document with his seal couldn’t be reversed no matter what.

 

Lari, who was already dead, couldn’t succeed in the family. However, Charelize had another mind.

 

“Yes.”

 

“What is it?”

 

“It’s… Isla.”

 

Isla. It was also her mother’s second surname and the name of her favorite room in the villa. Isla had the meaning of a free bird flying in the sky.

 

“Your Highness… I have something to ask you.”

 

“Please speak comfortably, High Priest.”

 

“Is she… Your Highness’s exclusive maid… that… at the birthday banquet of Royal Princess Veloche?”

 

“…That’s right.”

 

At Charelize’s confirmation, the high priest made a surprised expression.

 

Until now, no nobles had registered their maids who served them by their side as family members. The high priest wasn’t at the birthday banquet. Still, he heard the story about the exclusive maid who unknowingly shielded the little duchess. He prayed for the maid’s soul, who died on her master for several days. The high priest hoped that maid would rest in peace under the blessing and protection of Goddess Resina. That’s the extent to which Lari’s actions weren’t easily believed.

 

Now that Charelize had come, he could understand why that maid had gone so far. They cared about each other enough to give her the surname. Beyond the relationship between master and maid, they were close enough to be called family.

 

The high priest filled out the documents more carefully than ever before and stamped them. “Lari Isla von Marsetta.”

 

“…”

 

“I will never forget Your Highness’s younger sister’s name.”

 

Listening to the high priest’s words, Charelize nodded her head slightly.

 

* * *

A noble trial was held two days later to determine Iris’s punishment.

 

“Without the need to hold a trial like this, wouldn’t it be fine if she was just being exiled?”

 

“P-please reconsider, Your Majesty. She dared to throw the dagger at the little Duchess Marsetta, the successor. She tried to murder a member of a semi-royal family, so we have to deal with her according to the law.”

 

“But the result is that the little duchess is not dead, and I heard that her exclusive maid is a commoner… Honestly, I think she should just be in exile. She’s my benefactor who healed Royal Princess Veloche, the only royal descendant of Elioter. Don’t you think so?”

 

Viscount Blanche, a vassal of Duke Marsetta, was taken aback and stopped Harbert IV. Even if Lari was a commoner, Iris tried to kill Charelize. It seemed that his incident was intended to clarify Harbert IV’s position that he didn’t support Charelize as the heir to Duke Marsetta. He would never have said anything like this if he had treated Charelize as a little duchess.

 

Charelize let out a laugh as if it were absurd and took out Lari’s registration papers that she had prepared in advance. Then she passed it to the chamberlain and waited for Harbert IV to read it all. Seeing that even the high priest’s seal was stamped on them, Harbert narrowed his eyes and asked.

 

“This… what is this?”

 

“This is the registration documents for Lari Isla von Marsetta.”

 

“Registration documents? Without my permission—”

 

“Didn’t Your Majesty see the seal of the high priest?”

 

“Seal?”

 

“Isn’t there another way to get registered besides asking Your Majesty’s permission? In addition, no one can change the documents with the high priest’s seal.”

 

Charelize cut off his angry words in the middle. A tension flowed between Harbert Iv, who looked at her with a sharp gaze, and Charelize. It was a noble trial, but the atmosphere was so suffocating that none of the people gathered there could speak first.

 

“You’re having such a great relationship that you even gave the second surname just to an exclusive maid. I didn’t know.”

 

“She is now officially a princess of Duke Marsetta. Please correct the way you address her.”

 

“…Ha.”

 

“According to Article 8, Paragraph 12 of the Elioter Imperial Law, those who harm or cause death to nobles higher in status than themselves are strictly punished with execution.”

 

“…”

 

“Could you give the judgment of Marchioness Luxen, who killed the Princess of Duke Marsetta again?”

 

Harbert IV noticed that he had been beaten. He also realized he had reached the limit where he could no longer protect Iris.

 

“…Princess. Okay, right, little Duchess. If you’re prepared this far… I will take a step back.” He laughed for a long time, perhaps unconscious in the eyes of the people around him.

 

“I order the execution of Iris Tessa von Luxen. It will be held… three days from now.”

 

After the noble trial ended, Harbert Iv called Charelize separately.

 

“You made some pretty interesting moves in that short period of time.”

 

“I’m flattered, Your Majesty.”

 

“Marchioness Luxen is my benefactor who cured Royal Princess Veloche’s illness. To disgrace me in front of nobles… That’s fun. Really fun… I will never forget what happened today.”

 

“I, too, will not forget Lari’s death date.”

 

“…Just go.”

 

“Ah, I have one thing to tell you.”

 

“What is it?”

 

“I will only step back… for this matter.”

 

Charelize bowed slightly and left. The moment she said her last words, Harbert IV chewed his lips. As she expected, it was worth seeing. It was clear that by now, he was going to throw everything and kill her. Even so, Charelize wasn’t afraid.

 

Returning to Marsetta Duchy, Charelize made a transparent glass cabinet in Rosnia and placed Lari’s urn there. On her birthday, she didn’t forget to place an edelweiss. Charelize pulled out a picture of a young Lari smiling brightly. It was taken when she went to the lake with her.

 

Looking at Lari’s mementos, Charelize found that most of them were related to herself. The pearl bracelet and blue hair ties were among Lari’s mementos. Lari always wore that bracelet on her wrist. She also braided her hair into two pigtails every day with worn-out blue hair ties.

 

“Older Sister, is… here… I will forever remember the days I spent with you.”

 

Older Sister. She had never heard those words from Lari. Just by looking at what was written on the letter, Charelize could tell at once how much Lari wanted to address her with that word.

 

Charelize opened the window. The sky was clear today. It was Lari’s favorite weather.

 

“You’re free to fly in the sky that you like.”

 

“…”

 

“If you tired of living like that… come back any time. This time, I will wait for you.”

 

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