“Why are carpenters and blacksmiths here?”
“We didn’t receive the construction payment, but they are insisting on coming here and receiving it.”
“How much is the price? Did Cesare ever work on a townhouse?”
“No. Not the Duke… That’s from Count Peliard.”
For a moment, I thought I heard it wrong. Otherwise, Peliard’s name wouldn’t come out of here.
The maid looked into my eyes and said.
“Until we give the money, they’re protesting that they will never go back. Their wife and children have been starving for days now.”
Is it because the stress suddenly piled up? My stomach churned like I was about to vomit.
Daphne’s parents seemed sincere in holding Daphne’s ankles.
Did they torment me this way because I won’t give them the legacy?
The word “family” is an understatement.
Besides, it’s today… Doesn’t it look like he’s done today because Cesare is not here?
Shannet was restless and comforted me.
“Madam. It will be alright since your Excellency asked the knights not to let anyone in.”
I shook my head at Shannet’s words. Of course, as Shannet said, if it was safe here, the knights could have driven them out. Maybe the butler or the maid can take care of it.
But I was the Duchess of Burstoad. And now without Cesare, I had to take responsibility for the servants of this mansion.
“I will go.”
With Shannet’s support, I went downstairs to the mansion.
When I reached the front door, the knights were struggling to disperse the people gathered at the entrance.
The face of the butler who found me became contemplative.
I nodded my head slightly, as if trying to tell him, and stepped forward.
“What kind of fuss is this?”
A man shouted courageously.
“Duchess! Give me my salary! I haven’t been able to even eat properly because the payment has been delayed for several months!”
“I have nothing to do with the business of Count Peliard.”
I just cut it off.
Although I felt sorry for their situation, I didn’t want to solve what Count Peliar had done.
“So, tell Count Peliar your requirements.”
“But surely the Count said that the Duchess would pay for it!”
“You’re right! That’s why I came all the way here!”
“If you don’t go back now, I will call the guards.”
People seemed a little perplexed because my attitude was more stubborn than they thought.
Count Peliard probably confessed that they could go to the Duchess of Burstoad and get the money after making a little fuss.
Daphne in the original was a timid character who could not speak out even in injustice.
But then, a man was lying on the floor.
“I can’t go back! My wife at home is pregnant! I will definitely get my money today!”
“What filth! What are you doing in front of the Duchess now!”
“I’m going to starve to death. What’s the point of all this?”
“What are you doing?”
In an instant, the air changed.
I turned my head and opened my mouth at the appearance of a person I had never expected.
“Knights. Let these people be removed immediately.”
At one time Gabriel’s orders, those who had been protesting in front of the Duchess Burstoad were quickly cleared up.
As I watched the people being dragged by the knights, I frowned.
Even though it was the probt Count Peliard had sprinkled on me, I was not happy to see them being dragged away mercilessly.
“Daphne. Are you okay? What is this?”
Gabriel approached me, looked around me and asked worriedly.
Yeah, let’s think about it later…
“Gabriel. Where’s Cesare?”
I had more important things to do.
“Gabriel was in the courtroom. Why was Cesare convicted?”
Cesare was with me on the day of the festival when a fire broke out in the hunting grounds.
It was the first day in my life when he prepared a gift and gave it to me and tried to be nice to me.
“Gabriel knows. that Cesare is innocent.”
“Daphne, I’m sorry.”
Gabriel apologized to me with a sad face.
“The evidence was clear enough to be acquitted.”
“Clear! How can you say that?”
“We tried to reduce the Duke’s crimes as much as possible, but it was impossible to avoid punishment altogether.”
I can’t believe it. I guess I’ll have to go see Cesare in person.
Gabriel caught me as I was about to call the carriage. It was a pretty hasty gesture, so I looked up at him a little surprised.
“It’s worse than that. Are you being threatened by Count Peliard?”
I wanted to say no, but it was after the carpenters and blacksmiths made a fuss.
I bit my lower lip.
“Daphne. Don’t do this, go to my house.”
“The Imperial Palace…?”
Gabriel shook his head.
“There is a separate mansion in the capital that I own. In that place, even Count Peliard would not be allowed to enter.”
Count Peliard and Countess were typical strong to weak people.
Look at it now. As soon as he found out that Cesare was arrested, he came to the mansion and started a riot.
So, as Gabriel said, his mansion would be safe.
Because Gabriel has the status of a Crown Prince in this Empire that no one can touch.
“Then what about Cesare?”
“Someone has to wait for Cesare. And I don’t have time for this now, Gabriel. I need to go to Cesare quickly-”
“Daphne. The trial is already over.”
Gabriel stopped me.
“It was decided by the judge. The Duke is the arsonist who set fire to the royal hunting grounds.”
“Gabriel, are you believe Cesare is the culprit?”
You shouldn’t do that. Because you love Cesare as much as I love him.
… You like Cesare.
At that moment, I felt like I had been hit in the head with a hammer.
Like a fool, I’ll find out only when this happens.
I mean, I really liked Cesare.
At first, I thought that it would be good to live as a Duchess at a time when the original work was also played. Because I can have a luxurious life without being envious of others.
As a loner in the world in this novel, I had nowhere else to go. So I stayed.
By the way… Since we’ve been together…
It was funny to see that Cesare likes me, but to deny it. So I thought it was fun and wanted to be together.
I thought that there might be more than everything described in the original work.
I thought maybe I could be a kinder and more reliable person than I thought….
As if my clothes were wet from the drizzle, I was gradually falling into Cesare.
“Gabriel, listen to me. Cesare was framed. On the day of the fire, Cesare was with me-”
“Daphne. I believe in Daphne.”
Gabriel stopped me as I was spitting gibberish.
Gabriel grabbed my hand. A soft voice rang in my ear.
“Daphne is not a liar. If it was Daphne, it wouldn’t be a lie.”
“I will help you. So, first, go to a safe place. Daphne must be safe to save the Duke. If it’s Count Peliard, our knights can solve it. Investigators will be dispatched from the Imperial family soon.”
I opened my eyes wide.
“A search order has been issued to find the documents hidden by the Duke. He won’t do any harm to Daphne, but you won’t be able to get out of the mansion because you are involved. Then it will be more difficult to find the Duke.”
“Escape to my mansion for now, and then we’ll find a way to save the Duke together. yes?”
Gabriel’s whispers shook my heart.
“Only His Majesty the Emperor can overturn the outcome of this trial executed by the judge. If you want to approach the Emperor, you better stay with me.”
Gabriel’s words were a very tempting offer to refuse. After a struggle, I finally made a decision.
“I’m going to take Shannet.”
“If there was only one maid.”
Shannet quickly stuck to me. The butler approached me with a worried face.
“Make sure to protect the mansion, butler.”
Cesare will come to the rescue.
As I got on the prepared carriage, I looked towards the Imperial Palace where Cesare would be located.
Cesare. Are you okay?
Cesare raised his eyebrows. The knight guided the underground prison of the Imperial Palace, where only those who committed serious crimes were arrested.
Late in the night, when darkness had completely subsided, Cesare looked down coldly into the prison, where the wind blew and the rats roamed.
‘You’ve prepared it very well.’
Cesare swallowed the seething anger.
What the knight brought out was a thin cotton cloth. It wasn’t expensive, but it was still clean whether it was washed or not.
It would not have been possible for criminals to be provided with this kind of cotton cloth. Cesare realized that this was the favour of the knight.