Author: alyalia

Doctors appointed by the imperial palace for inspection and long-serving professors from the Faculty of Medicine of Eralpier Academy gathered to hold a total of five meetings. Through this process, it was possible to change the law to designate Liref as a banned medicine if it was only used for the purpose of curing.

 

In addition, there was a justification for restoring Crown Princess Elizabeth, who had been executed for smuggling Katerias. Harbert IV’s act of killing his younger sister was enough to bring him out of the position of an emperor because he betrayed the heavenly principles.

 

Charelize had the emperor’s seal. That’s why her legitimacy wasn’t the problem. When it was time to wipe away the tears of those who became the stars in the night sky, Charelize received the support from Baron Alec.

 

* * *

“Yes, Your Highness. He is waiting for you in the parlor.”

 

Returning to the duchy and about to take off her gloves, Charelize was informed that Marquis Pasimello had waited. Soon after, she wore her gloves again and walked towards the parlor with a short sight.

 

“Marquis.”

 

“…You’re here.”

 

“The wine Marquis drank at Royal Princess Veloche’s birthday banquet contained hallucinogens, but… are you okay?”

 

“I’m fine. I’m sorry for coming so late.”

 

Marquis Pasimello bowed deeply, begging for forgiveness. He seemed to already know about Lari’s death and Iris’s execution.

 

“Marquis… the place where you lived as a child… was it Elpinis Orphanage?”

 

“That’s… How…”

 

“Really, Lari… I guess that’s right.”

 

This made it clear that the person Marquis Pasimello was looking for was Lari.

 

His gaze was still looking down as if he thought he had contributed to Lari’s death to some extent. In fact, he hadn’t done anything wrong. In the first place, Charelize couldn’t protect Lari and didn’t continue doubting Iris, which led to this result. In conclusion, Lari met her death while trying to protect her. It was her fault for taking a breather for a while as she was complacent.

 

It was Charelize who knew that better than anyone else. She wanted to somehow alleviate the helplessness she was feeling right now. Otherwise, it felt like she was going to fall into an endless hole.

 

“It’s not a story to share here. There is something I want to show to Marquis, so come follow me.”

 

“…Alright, Your Highness.”

 

Along the way, Charelize walked to Rosnia with Marquis Pasimello.

 

“Here is…?”

 

“In the picture… that child. Is this the Lira that Marquis is looking for?”

 

“That’s… right.”

 

“Lauren… who is she?”

 

“…Coming from the same orphanage… She was like a sister to Lira and me.”

 

Marquis Pasimello agonized for a long time and then opened his mouth with difficulty.

 

“I was taken by my mother at the age of six and ended up in the Elpinis Orphanage. And… I was abandoned there. No… It would be more accurate to say that my mother was trying to save me. My existence itself is a stain on my father’s life, so she’s trying to hide me from his eyes.”

 

“…”

 

“Lauren was the only one who reached out to me when I couldn’t get along with the existing children. I wasn’t about to reveal everything, but… thanks to her, I became close with Lira, and when I joked that the three of us would form a guild when we became adults.”

 

He added that the head of the Elpinis Orphanage stole donations, abused the children, and further sold the children for money.

 

“One of the main sponsors, Count Arnel… Just because he likes the color of her eyes… He was going to adopt Lauren.”

 

“Count Arnel… If it’s him… Doesn’t he already have three daughters? But did he dare to adopt her?”

 

“I think the truth is that he will wait until Lauren becomes an adult, then tries to make her his second wife. Lauren, who found out about it, ran away with Lira… But she was caught by Count Arnel. The Count… He seduced Lira, saying he would help her find her birth parents. In return, Lira told him where Laura was staying.”

 

“How did… Count Arnel know Lari’s birth parents?”

 

“Of course, it was fake. Those who claimed to be her birth parents also took money from the count and acted for a while. Upon learning of this, Lire tried to bring Lauren out while arguing with the count, but… Lauren, at that time… was already dead.”

 

Marquis Pasimello closed his eyes tightly. Tears streamed down his cheeks. It was a truly sad tear. He looked pitiful.

 

“Count Arnel tried to kill Lira too. Of course, I recently found out that Lira returned to rescue Lauren. Lira…”

 

“It looks like she met my mother while fleeing from the count… It’s not a pleasant memory either, so you can’t stop talking about it.”

 

Now Charelize knew what caused the scar on Lari’s back and shoulder. She also knew why every time Lari slept, she was anxiously calling out that name.

 

At the same time, Charelize was swept away by the waves of reality again. Lari is dead. There was no longer Lari who could openly confide with her about what had happened. She missed Lari enough to risk her life by drowning in a lake because she couldn’t distinguish reality and illusion.

 

Charelize said she would wait, wrapped it up well, and tightly put it inside her heart. It was because there were things that had to be done, and people still had to move on. Far from being an older sister, she pretended to be so indifferent and hid Lari’s absence. She was able to live now, thanks to her. However, the waves of emotions like this couldn’t be stopped.

 

In the letter left by Lari, these words were written that even though her friend could be a noble lady, that friend ran away, and she left that friend while saying immature things.  She said she was envious of her friend, who went to an environment where she could grow up with love.

 

It was heartbreaking to think about how much Lari would have blamed herself, knowing that it wasn’t the case. Charelize wasn’t trying to justify Lari’s actions. But she just wanted both of them to rest in peace. Whether asking for her wrongdoing or forgiving, it was all between Lari and Lauren.

 

“Marquis.”

 

“…Please speak, Your Highness.”

 

“Iris is dead. So… I… think there is only a few left.”

 

Something in her heart jumped when she thought of Harbert IV, Duke Marsetta, and Lillian.

 

“Once those people have paid what they deserve… Never again will there be abandoned children.”

 

“…Yes.”

 

“I will create such a world so that such terrible things will never happen.”

 

In order to do so, she had to have a decent position. Still, there was nothing more suitable than becoming the emperor. Charelize brought out the emotions she had been holding back and suppressing all this time.

 

“Little Duchess.”

 

Marquess Pasimello wanted to believe that promise. He handed the bracelet he was wearing in his right hand, hoping that no children would have gone through an unfortunate past. He didn’t explain that it was Lauren’s keepsake. Still, Charelize carefully took the bracelet and slowly opened the glass cabinet door.

 

“Please be at peace. And… stay tuned. For the future empire I will create in the future.”

 

She carefully placed it next to Lari’s picture. As if not to forget, Charelize recited it once more and engraved it in her heart.

 

“Ah, beware of Chenia, Lillian’s exclusive maid.”

 

“…Chenia? Did she have anything to do?”

 

“She was trying to sell the duke’s information. She’s actually Lillian’s exclusive maid, but she doesn’t help much… She just helped the rumor floating around… But her act of trying to sell information is more serious, so it would be better for Your Highness to know.”

 

“Like the master like the maid. All of them are stupid, so it’s tiring to keep talking to them.”

 

Upon hearing the story about Chenia, Charelize clicked her tongue.

 

* * *

A few days later, Charelize learned the identity of the ‘poisonous but not poisonous’ Iris had told her about.

 

“Young Master.”

 

“What’s going on?”

 

At the sound of Butler’s voice knocking on the door and calling for her, Charelize responded with her eyes still fixed on the papers.

 

“Her Royal Highness Princess Veloche has arrived.”

 

Since she had no other appointments, Charelize thought for a moment. Even if she wanted to refuse, she couldn’t send Royal Princess Veloche back.”

 

“…Take me there.”

 

Since there were no documents she should deal with right away, Charelize sighed briefly and allowed Royal Princess Veloche to visit.

 

“Greetings to Your Royal Highness.”

 

“I’m sorry for coming so suddenly, little Duchess. There is the wine that His Majesty Father told me to deliver.”

 

Royal Princess Veloche smiled awkwardly and pointed to the win the servants were holding in her hands.

 

“His Majesty… the Emperor?”

 

“At the birthday banquet, he said I should give a token of appreciation for the emerald necklace the little Duchess gave to me. Since I received congratulations, it’s only fitting to pay it back.”

 

“…Firstly, please sit down.”

 

Charelize could clearly see the true intention of Harbert IV, who gave wine in return for the day Lari died. She knew he wouldn’t have done this if he had accepted Lari as the princess, and she could barely contain herself from laughing.

 

“There is a separate place to keep the wine, so follow the butler.”

 

Charelize didn’t like the cluttered atmosphere, so she tried to get rid of the servants filling the room.

 

“Wait.”

 

“His Majesty said that if little Duchess likes it, he will give you another one. However, since it’s a rare wine from Rivel Territory, he asked me to get your reaction in advance and tell him later.”

 

This meant that Charelize had to drink right here, right now. Having said so, refusing it wouldn’t make sense.

 

“Haliey, go get two glasses. It’s precious, so Your Royal Highness should drink it as well.”

 

Hailey, who was ordered by Charelize, brought two glasses.

 

“Everyone go outside.”

 

The people surrounding the room bowed their heads in unison and left.

 

“Since the glasses had been brought, our reputation is at stake, so please join me in a little while. I believe Your Royal Highness knows well why I don’t drink wine.”

 

Harbert IV wouldn’t send it with pure intention. Moreover, if he had to see that she was drinking it through Royal Princess Veloche herself, it would have been even more strange if there was no poison in it.

 

What caught Charelize’s attention as she rose from her seat was the action of Royal Princess Veloche, who opened the bottle of wine in the middle and poured it into a glass.

 

“Did you not understand what I was saying?”

 

Royal Princess Veloche took silver jewelry and white powder out of her arms without answering.

 

“Your Royal Highness.”

 

Royal Princess Veloche swallowed half of the white powder without a brief explanation. At first, Charelize thought it was just to confirm whether it was poisoned or not. She looked at the silver jewelry. However, the jewelry remained the same even though she had been waiting for quite a while.

 

“What does Your Royal Highness want to say?”

 

“This is the medicine Iris gave me. After eating this, my seizure symptoms were cured.”

 

“…”

 

“And… It also brings out the hidden poison.”

 

Royal Princess Veloche put the white powder into the glass and other accessories to prove what she had just said. Then the accessories quickly discolored. The wine contained poison. However, it was unknown that it contained poison until she added the white powder.

 

“Even if the wine is poisoned, it won’t leave evidence. Originally, His Majesty was going to give it by himself, but he sent me instead because he feared raising suspicion.”

 

Royal Princess Veloche in front of her now was a completely different person from what Charelize had known until now.

 

“I don’t think Your Royal Highness came here just wanted to let me know…”

 

As if intrigued, Charelize quickly tossed down the glass containing the discolored accessories. The glass that hit the wall instantly turned into sharp fragments. Even after seeing that, Royal Princess Veloche wasn’t shaken. 

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