Author: Tam Editor: Genie

‘Is it true what Young Lady Serina is saying?’

 

Serwin shook his head.

 

‘Count Bowen has nothing to do with it.’

 

‘Then why is Young Lady Serina like this?’

 

‘I guess someone has a grudge. Let’s just call the knights and kick her out.’ 

 

Amelie grabbed Serena’s shoulder.

 

“Get up for now. I will look into what you said and write a letter.”

 

“Yes, yes!”

 

“I’m just looking into it. There’s nothing else I can do. His Majesty is the one who will make the decision.”

 

“His  Majesty will help Miss Amelie with anything you ask. Please speak well to him.”

 

Amelie hardened her face. It occurred to her that Serina’s shamelessness was too much.

 

“You really have no shame. Are you hiding your faults and being rude to me and His Majesty?”

 

“It’s not like that… I’m sorry if it offended you.”

 

“I’ll look into what you said and write to you later. Go back now.”

 

Amelie turned coldly and took a step towards the palace.

 

“Ah, Miss Amelie!”

 

Woof, woof! 

 

Serina tried to follow Amelie but couldn’t out of fear of the big black dog Serwin, who barked at her with his fangs showing, and began to sob from fear.

 

‘Uh… Why are you crying?’

 

Amelie was very concerned about what was going on behind her, but she walked firmly looking forward.

 

*****

 

Returning to the bedroom, Amelie turned Serwin back into a human. She was sad when his tail, which had been spinning around frantically, disappeared.

 

‘It was cute though.’

 

Amelie looked at Serwin’s hair for no reason. It was really cute that every time she patted his head, his ears tilted back.

 

“As expected, it’s good to be a human. How frustrated I was because I couldn’t talk.”

 

Serwin sat down on the sofa.

 

“Sit down.”

 

He stared at Amelie. He returned as a person, but his golden eyes were not very different from when he was a dog. The sharp eyes somehow looked round.

 

‘Cute.’ 

 

Amelie was taken aback by the thought and was startled. He looks cute even with that size and those bloody eyes! There must be something wrong with her eyes! Amelie rubbed her eyes with her hand.

 

“Amelie?” 

 

“Ah, it’s nothing.” 

 

Amelie sat opposite Serwin.

 

“By the way, what does Young Lady Serina mean?”

 

“Ah, that thing.”

 

Serwin began to explain the whole story to Amelie step by step.

 

“Last time, Young Lady Manvers’ took the data on the Count’s corruption as evidence, right?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“There are also other aristocrats involved in the Manvers’ faction. I am pruning based on that.”

 

“Pruning?” 

 

It was an unfamiliar word for Amelie. Serwin thought for a moment about how to explain.

 

“The nobles of the empire are largely divided into four factions. Bureaucratic factions centered on Marquis Lewin, Count Manvers, Duke Odorus, and Baron Avery.”

 

“Yes. I learned that from Mrs. Enard.”

 

The four factions maintained their power by keeping each other in check and cooperating. It was the balance that Serwin had built for his entire life as emperor.

 

“The power of each faction varies from time to time. If one side becomes too strong, the other forces are threatened, that’s why we need to reduce their power to an appropriate level, which is called pruning.”

 

Serwin used to control the distribution of power by punishing people belonging to a particular faction, expelling them to their estates, or reducing their business. 

 

“So that’s why Young Lady Bowen was so stressed, because the pruning target is the factions supporting Count Manvers.”

 

“Yeah. Their power grew so much while I was away. As the Count Manvers’ faction grows, the powers of Baron Avery and Duke of Odorus usually shrink. So I started pruning.”

 

“What about Count Bowen?”

 

“Not with Bowen. Recently, he has been lining up in the Manvers faction with his daughter, but he is originally from the Duke faction. His son is also a young bureaucrat working in the Ministry of the Internal Affair, and he is a part of the Duke Odorus faction.”

 

“It’s like being half in and half out.”

 

“That’s right. Count Bowen was excluded from pruning because the Duke’s power shouldn’t decrease.”

 

Moreover, Count Bowen’s father, the former Count, was a respected scholar. He was a difficult opponent to meddle with.

 

“But you’re the one who sends threatening letters in the first place on my behalf?”

 

“That’s true.” 

 

Amelie agreed. What would Serwin gain by doing so? He can just ask the heads to punish any young women who may have offended her.

 

“But I can’t believe that the target of pruning is the same as the family of Young Lady who received the threat letter. It’s not just a coincidence.”

 

“That’s right, it’s uncomfortable to pass it off as an accident. I’ll have to do some investigating. If the list leaked out it’s a serious problem.”

 

“Who sent this letter?”

 

Then, Milena carefully raised her hand. Serwin looked at Milena and nodded. It was a gesture to speak quickly.

 

“Milena?”

 

Milena said, bowing her head.

 

“I sent that letter.”

 

“You did?” 

 

Amelie was startled. Milena walked to Amelie, shoulders hunched like a guilty child.

 

“Why did you send such a letter?”

 

“They ignored Miss Amelie at the tea party.”

 

“What’s wrong with that?”

 

“What do you mean what’s wrong with it? You have to get revenge! How can you stay still? They completely betrayed Amelie’s favor! They have to taste the bitterness of life when it comes to things like that!”

 

Milena began to tell Amelie one by one of the things she had done in the meantime. As she watched Amelie get hurt, she was determined not to let everyone in the room sit still. As Amelie would not approve, the revenge took place in secret.

 

Using her specialty, she collected random information about the Young Ladies attending the tea party. About them, their friends, their surroundings, even family problems. Most of the people of the Manvers faction had similar values and personalities to Count Manvers, so the more she dug, the bigger the flaws she found.

 

“They did a lot of things. Don’t they have an affair with a maid’s husband or steal things from a jewelry store? I didn’t have enough space to write all their sins on the letter, so I had to choose a few evil deeds.”

 

Milena sent her carefully selected threats in an anonymous letter, and the Young Ladies who received her letter went into panic.

 

“At first, I thought they would try to find out who sent the letter, and they would question where the information came from.” 

 

Since they mostly had relationships for the benefit of their families, there was no such thing as loyalty to each other as friends.

 

“If they fight with each other like that, and uncover each other’s faults, they think they will destroy themselves…”

 

Meanwhile, Serwin’s pruning began, and Milena had no choice but to stop her revenge before it was complete.

 

“Then, did the families of those who received the threatening letter overlap with those that were pruned?”

 

“Young Lady Manvers only invited Young Ladies from families close to the Count. The people gathered at the tea party are naturally members of families deeply belonging to the Manvers faction. Your Majesties pruning targets and the tea party invitee’s inevitably overlap.”

 

“So, of those who received the threatening letter, Count Bowen is not the only one to be eliminated.”

 

“Yes. That’s right.” 

 

“No matter how rude they were, it’s a threatening letter. You can’t send things like that.”

 

“They’re asking for it. If they hadn’t done bad things in the first place, they wouldn’t have been threatened…”

 

“Milena!” 

 

Amelie shouted at Milena, who wiggled her hands. If it wasn’t for Serwin, the scolding would have been perfectly successful.

 

“Why are you scolding her? She’s doing a good job. Your maid is loyal. It’s also the maid’s job to deal with the person who insulted her master.”

 

Serwin was very satisfied. He was worried that they had gone too far to the gentle Amelie, but he was glad that her maid was so sharp.

 

“Your Majesty! You can’t praise her! Don’t do that again, Milena.”

 

“I’m confident that I won’t get caught.”

 

“It’s not important whether you get caught or not. You can’t threaten anyone in any situation!”

 

Amelie opened her eyes wide. Milena bowed her head again. She was discouraged to see Amelie truly angry for the first time.

 

“…Yes.” 

 

“I have to write a letter to Young Lady Bowen so she doesn’t have to worry, so please prepare it.”

 

Milena left the room with a sullen face. It was the first time she was scolded by Amelie, so the shock was even greater. But afterwards she still didn’t regret it. If they hadn’t been ignoring Amelie from the start or blaming her, she wouldn’t have written a threatening letter.

 

Serwin agreed with Milena’s thoughts.

 

‘They’re asking for it.’ 

 

But he kept his mouth shut. It was because he realized through experience that Amelie is quite scary when she’s angry.

 

Amelie started writing letters to Serina. There was no Count Bowen on Serwin’s list, so it was meant to be reassuring. She tried to write frankly, but she couldn’t bear to write that Milena had sent her a threatening letter. She did it to protect Milena and also not to be falsely accused of ordering the letters herself.

 

‘My conscience hurts…’

 

Amelie struggled to deceive even when just writing a letter. Watching her figure, Milena vowed to protect Amelie more meticulously and thoroughly in her future.

 

*****

 

On the other hand, Serina couldn’t believe it when she received Amelie’s letter.

 

‘His Majesty won’t touch Count Bowen? There’s no way!’

 

Then, what happened! Why is Count Bowen’s business getting difficult!

 

Serina remembered Amelie getting very angry at the end.

 

“That’s true. There’s something I’ve done.”

 

If she could help her after such a thing, she would be a real pushover.

 

‘Because she’s angry with me, I have to make up for it. I’m sure she’ll help my family when her anger is relieved.’

 

However, Serina was at a loss for how to get forgiveness from Amelie.

 

‘What does Amelie need? I should give her what she wants.’

 

Serina fell into trouble. She won’t accept jewelry or money, and she won’t need it. The emperor is giving away all his personal wealth.

 

‘However, Amelie showed interest in…’

 

Serina remembered that she had run into Amelie’s maid a few days ago.

 

‘Did she say she was interested in the anomalies of the Imperial Palace?’

 

She also asked the emperor to receive related data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

 

‘Should I collect some data on that? If I ask my grandfather’s disciples, I can give her more detailed information than the Ministry of Internal Affairs… If it is not satisfactory, it will at least be an expression of sincerity.’

 

She wondered if this would work, but she couldn’t think of anything that would suit Amelie’s taste.

 

‘Yeah, I have to do something!’

 

Serina began to write letters to people who could help her.

 

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