Author: alyalia

“That’s good news. What family is he from?”

 

I heard a voice I didn’t want to hear. It came from a shallow woman who pretended to be the mistress of this mansion and tried to act as a mother to me. It was none other than Madam Irene.

 

“It’s the crown prince.”

 

At the next words from my father, my eyes widened at the absurdity.

 

Now, did he say crown prince?

 

Crazy!

 

Perhaps it wasn’t just me who was shocked, Madam Irene asked in an unusually loud voice.

 

“But he already has a wife, doesn’t he?!”

 

“What does that matter? We’re talking about the vrown prince. It doesn’t matter if that man has few concubines.”

 

My father’s words that followed made me smirk.

 

Yes, let’s say that’s the case. The problem is that the concubines crown prince had already…

 

Are there about five?

 

It was something I had already prepared for, but to become a concubine… I thought I would at least marry someone who already got married once, but it seems that I wasn’t allowed to even get that.

 

Indeed, my father was a human being who would have given his daughter to an old Emperor if only it could satisfy his greed.

 

I ran out of that place as if I didn’t want to hear what was behind me.

 

Crown prince? Why of all things…

 

* * *

 

There was a woman in the mirror who looked exactly like my father, whom I hated so much. Mysterious purple eyes with fine silver hair and fair skin that are enough to look translucent.

 

“…”

 

I hit the mirror with a comb I was holding.

 

Crack!

 

As the mirror cracked, my face reflected in the mirror also split into pieces. Seeing that made me feel more at ease.

 

“You’re going to sell me as a concubine?”

 

To the crown prince… and become that perverted motherfucker’s concubine? I would absolutely not allow it.

 

Now is the time for me to think. I had to get out of this mansion as soon as possible. Clenched my chin in front of the cracked mirror, I was lost in thought.

 

If I’m being sold as a concubine, then there won’t be preparations for the marriage.

 

My plan has gone awry.

 

I already planned to run away with the wedding funds when there was a talk about my marriage. With that money, I would have been able to buy a three-story building on the southern coast of the neighboring Empire and live in ‘simplicity’ while receiving rent for the rest of my life… Unfortunately, my plan has gone awry.

 

Count Bornes had completely isolated me. Mentally, physically, and financially.

 

I didn’t have any money in my hand. My expensive jewelry had to be returned to my father after using it, and I had to pay a heavy price if the money in my father’s safe ran out.

 

At the end of the day, he locked me up for three days and didn’t even give me water.

 

Of course, it was true that I touched my father’s safe. I gave up the plan to take my father’s money after my father caught me trying to escape with his money, and he almost made me die from starvation.

 

Should I just report my father’s corruption to the imperial family and run away?

 

That’s not meant to be. Obviously, I would not be left in good shape even if I ran away without any money. If then…

 

“As expected. Is that the only way?”

 

I had another plan in my mind, just in case something like this would happen. It’s how to get out of my father by damaging him as much as possible.

 

Just doing something like what my father did.

 

I could clearly imagine how his face would be distorted if his child did the same thing he had done.

 

That’s very… thrilling?

 

At last, the corners of my lips rose.

 

Then I have to choose a partner now. Who would be good?

 

I thought about it quietly as I tapped my dressing table with my index finger.

 

The situation of the Harpion Empire right now, there is the crown prince faction centered on Duke Krow and the second prince faction that opposed him. Count Bornes, the hotbed of corruption with a mass of ambition, belonged to the crown prince faction.

 

If so, it would have been good to find one from the opposite faction. If I couldn’t find someone from there, the neutral faction would be also good.

 

“They have to be single…”

 

I didn’t want to die for the concubine position. A concubine wasn’t legally recognized in this empire, so it’s a big no.

 

My plan needed a law. The law that would protect me until I achieved my purpose in a stable position.

 

“Who could it be?”

 

Suddenly a carriage passed by in the morning came to my mind.

 

Duke Kaien.

 

He is a genius prosecutor and a close friend of the second prince. They said he had married his sword and refused all the marriage proposals. Nevertheless, it was still rumored that marriage proposals still come in and out for the duke.

 

“Duke Kaien…”

 

He has no interest in women and has a high title that my father cannot reach. It made him a perfect partner. 

 

I was thinking of offering him a contract marriage. There was only one condition for me, a year later, I would divorce him and get a large amount of alimony.

 

If I could get one of the Duke’s mine for the alimony, I could eat and play till I die…

 

All the luxuries that would make me stand out came from money. And I didn’t intend to work to make money.

 

I had no intention of walking on a hard road because of my pride, making me choose a comfortable road. But my pride couldn’t feed myself.

 

I believed the contract would be established if I showed the duke some of my father’s secret ledger books.

 

Originally, I planned to escape after taking the money for the wedding, then give the ledger books to the imperial family…

 

Things have changed, so there’s nothing I can do about it.

 

Most of my father’s business was related to the crown prince’s faction. Most of his corruption was a crime forbidden by the imperial family, so it could be used to oppress and pressure the crown prince’s faction.

 

Is there any better help for the Second Prince faction, which is weaker than the crown prince faction?

 

“I bet he won’t refuse, right? It’s for the second prince and for his own shake.”

 

It was also a chance for him to drive away troublesome marriage proposals.

 

It was at that time.

 

“Arianne, are you inside?”

 

It was my father’s voice.

 

My long, voluminous eyelashes trembled.

 

He’s here.

 

I already knew why he had come to my room. Rose from my seat, I walked toward the door.

 

“Yes, Father.”

 

Creek.

 

The door opened, and the cold-faced Count Bornes strode into the room. He looked around the room and frowned at the broken dressing table mirror. But he soon looked at me and opened his mouth.

 

“Attend the Imperial ball in two days. You will see the crown prince, so watch your behavior.”

 

In the end, Count Bornes pierced my chest with sharp and cold words. I felt my heart grow cold. But, as always, a timid and soft reply came out of my mouth.

 

“Yes, Father.”

 

Now I have to get ready to attend the Imperial ball, which I will attend in two days. Until now, I had never attended a ball under my father’s direction, but it was an exception this time. Because the event will be the place where my father presented me to the crown prince. And it was said that Duke Kaien only attended the Imperial ball.

 

That was the only chance I had. If I missed this opportunity, the ending… There would be no way for me to prevent becoming the crown prince’s concubine.

 

I pulled the bell string and called my maid, Madrenne.

 

“Madrenne, teach me how to seduce a man.”

 

“Pardon?”

 

My maid’s mouth was wide open.

 

* * *

 

I smiled at the reflection of myself in the mirror.

 

“Ha, how dare you.”

 

My reflection looked beautiful, glamorous, and seductive in the mirror.

 

I wore a red dress that was cut so low that you could see my clavicle and even my breast. The dress, which was tightly attached to my body without an inch of a gap, clearly revealed the curves of my body.

 

It’s been a while since he managed the image of an angel for me. Is it that my use has been decided now?

 

Perhaps this was prepared according to the crown prince’s preference.

 

I was even stunned last night when I received this dress from Count Bornes out of the blue.

 

“Father, this dress is…”

 

“Tomorrow, try on that dress.”

 

My hand trembled slightly as I took the dress. I felt resentful toward him, but I have no power to go against my father’s will yet.

 

“All right.”

 

Indeed, the crown prince’s preference was so vulgar. I had never seen his face, but I knew what kind of person he would be. Just imagining him scanning my body with a sticky gaze made me terribly displeased.

 

I would finish my work and leave before the crown prince shows up.

 

“Lady, Master is waiting for you on the first floor.”

 

“Yes.”

 

I narrowly walked down the central stairway to the first floor. Because I’m tall and have long legs, I wasn’t used to high heels as I usually wear low-heeled shoes.

 

Damn it. Who invented high heels? If I ever found that person, I would make them suffer.

 

Without knowing my true feelings, exclamations burst from the mouths of the servants waiting on the first floor.

 

How dare these people to look at me and evaluate me?

 

But as soon as they received my bitter gaze, they hurriedly lowered their gaze and shut their mouth. At the bottom of the stairs, in the middle of the lobby, Count Bornes looked at her with a satisfied look and said,

 

“You look beautiful. Today is the day to repay the kindness for raising you. Do it right.”

 

It was a very appropriate statement for a father who would sell his daughter.

 

I nodded my head slightly in response to him. As if I would do his command, as always. I thought as I turned back and stared at the back of my father’s head as he left the lobby.

 

Oh… Father, I’ve never been indebted to you. And I’ve learned that you must avenge twice your enemy, and a merciful person is a fool. Of course, it applies to you too.

 

I’m going to hit my father in the back of his head today. So, I’m willing to let this slide for today.

 

* * *

 

Once again, Count Bornes’s carriage was really gorgeous.

 

Only this carriage was more dazzling than any other Imperial carriage. So, it seemed Count Bornes looked like hedonism, but he didn’t care about it.

 

The frontrunner of corruption, Count Bornes, was naturally rich and enjoyed spending the money on sight. The amount of money he earns from usury, prostitution, and even gambling houses was beyond imagination. But the daughter of such a man is known as an angel who helps the poor.

 

This is the irony of whether my father is too smart or people are too stupid.

 

Or maybe it was something I didn’t know about that my father had mobilized their imagination to make good achievements, such as a good-natured daughter trying to cover up her father’s flaws. Anyway, the rumors weren’t what I intended, but they will help my plan from now on.

 

“We’re here.”

 

The coachman announced his arrival at the entrance of the Imperial Palace Annex, where the Imperial ball was held.

 

Count Bornes got off first, reached out to me, and escorted me. My thigh dress and high heels nearly made me fall off, but my father didn’t seem to have any intention of supporting me.

 

How am I supposed to get off the carriage after you dress me up like this? If you’re not going to hold me properly, don’t dress me up like this!

 

Clenched my teeth, I managed to get out of the carriage and immediately took my father’s hand and headed to the ballroom.

 

“Count Bornes and Lady Arianne are entering.”

 

As I made up my mind, I puff off my chest and straighten my shoulders like a soldier going to the battlefield. It was because I heard the ball was the same as a battlefield.

 

Well, let’s get started.

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