Author: Chewyy

“Your Highness, Duke Daphnen asks to see you.” 

 

“Let him.”

 

Closing the book he was reading, Second Prince Julius rose from his seat and brushed his long hair.

 

The dusk was sinking in the middle of the landscape outside the window.

 

Originally, Duke Daphnen was not the type of person to do things like entering the palace at this time. It seems that the news he heard was surprising.

 

With a wry smile on his lips, Julius made his way to the living room, where Duke Daphnen was already there. 

 

“Meet Your Highness the Prince.”

 

“Get up.”

 

Julius took his seat and ordered the servants to serve him a drink. 

 

Working time has passed, so Duke Daphnen didn’t dare refuse a drink.

 

The servant, who quickly prepared a bottle of wine, a glass of ice, and simple refreshments to snack on, bowed politely and closed the door of the living room.

 

Julius poured wine into Duke Daphnen’s cup and spoke like a joke.

 

“I heard that today is the Marquis Ajas’s wedding, but it looks like you came straight here after from there. Seeing that you are wearing stuffy clothes that you hate.”

 

“Is this the time to talk about that, Your Highness? What is this? I thought we had concluded that it was too early to talk about the crown prince coronation ceremony.” 

 

The subject of the crown prince coronation ceremony had come up at the Council of State earlier in the month.

 

The scandal of the second crown prince, who was popular with the poor and common people, had not only completely destroyed public opinion of him but also inflated antipathy towards the royal family.

 

It was widely believed that even the second prince was doing such a dirty thing behind, and the rest of the royal family deserved to know.

 

“If you leave it alone, it will be quiet.”

 

The emperor thought so, but the antipathy towards the imperial family grew day by day as if someone was instigating it.

 

In the end, people who openly criticized the royal family appeared in the square and immediately arrested them. In the hands of the somewhat brutal knights, antipathy and fear were added.

 

People’s support for the emperor leads to imperial authority.

 

Realizing that a serious problem would arise if he left it unattended, the emperor demanded a solution.

 

The plan that Duke Kereis came up with was the crown prince coronation ceremony.

 

“Isn’t His Highness the first Prince not only a hero with a good heart who threw himself to defend his half-brother who tried to harm him, but also possessing powers strong enough to defeat a higher-level monster while being poisoned?”

 

Duke Kereis hurried smoothly.

 

“Even in the midst of spreading unsavory rumors among the people, we know that His Highness the First Prince’s popularity is quite high. At a time like this, if we appoint him as the crown prince, I think many people will be happy.”

 

“It’s not fair enough! Although His Highness the Second Prince is on probation, he hasn’t been deprived of the throne!”

 

It was not wrong. If there are more than two legitimate successors, it is national law to appoint the crown prince after going through an Estroa test.

 

“Do the Duke realize that you are now urging His Majesty to break a sacred imperial law?”

 

“Don’t make a big deal out of me!  Marquis, Do you think that His Highness the Second Prince is the rightful heir? He dares to bring a monster into this capital city, to this imperial palace where His Majesty lives?”

 

“How dare you, Duke?! Be careful with your words! He is a prince!’ 

 

The argument, which was mixed with emotions and raised voices, was interrupted by the emperor’s words. 

 

“Stop!”

 

“It is true that the second prince had a serious accident, but he hasn’t been deprived of the throne, As long as there are two heirs, the First and Second Princes, we will decide who will become the crown prince through Estroa’s test at the right time.”

 

“Your Majesty, but… “

 

“We’re done talking about this. What’s next on the agenda?”

 

As an emperor who usually supported the first prince, it wouldn’t have been strange to accept Duke Kereis’s proposal on the spot.

 

If so, it wouldn’t have been easy to cancel the crown prince’s coronation ceremony. The Duke of Dafnen thought that even if the emperor fell in love with the mistress, he didn’t completely lose his sense.

 

‘By the way, it’s not even been 15 days, but you’re suddenly preparing for the crown prince’s coronation ceremony?’

 

If that was the plan from the beginning, it worked very well. Duke Daphnen ran his palm over the back of his head, which seemed to be in tingling pain. 

 

“Still, that ruling had to be overturned somehow. This scandal will remain a weakness even after Your Highness becomes Emperor.”

 

“Stop the disrespectful remarks. I’m afraid someone will listen.”

 

“Your Highness.”

 

“Didn’t I already say that it was useless? It’s a case for which His Majesty has already passed judgment. Even if you prove that all the evidence and witnesses brought by Duke Kereis are false, you will never overturn the judgment unless you present the true criminal.” 

 

If he had offended the emperor with an objection that lacked complete rebuttal evidence, he might be punished worse than confinement under the guise of probation.

 

In the worst-case scenario, the prince status will be removed.

 

“Besides, who would offer an objection? Duke Khalid has already disappointed the Emperor three years ago, and there’s no way he’s going to do it again.”

 

“If you had asked Marquis Ajas to help you…”

 

“I doubt he would have helped. The Duke is quite naive. Was he really like a nephew just because he followed the duke well? This is Marquis Ajas, after all. He’d never accept a request to enter into central politics after hundreds of years of hibernation.” 

 

Even if the interests were at stake, it was Ajas who gave up if it was connected to central politics.

 

Would he take a request from an acquaintance he wasn’t even related to by blood with him?

 

If he did, he would have established himself in the capital long ago. Not only guarding the northern border.

 

And in the first place, if Marquis Ajas advances into the capital’s politics, the person who would be most wary of him is the emperor, not the Duke of Kereis.

 

The person who knows that better than anyone else is Marquis Ajas. 

 

“That’s in the past, so forget about that Duke. Wouldn’t the future be more important than that?”

 

“Your Highness is right.…”

 

In any case, it was too late to turn back. Duke Daphnen, who shook off his lingering feelings with a heavy sigh, discussed the future.

 

“The news of the crown prince coronation ceremony has probably already spread throughout the capital. As long as the word has spread, it will be impossible to hold a sudden ceremony…The important thing is why His Majesty’s intentions changed. Do you have any guesses?”

 

“It’s obvious. Did it take a day or two for the emperor to fall for Marquis Calvin and act on her whims?”

 

“But this is nonsense to flip on a whim like that….”

 

“Why do you think this is nonsense? Just looking at someone like your nephew, can tell how far a man who sold his soul for love can change.” 

 

“Your Highness.”

 

“What a pity… even If it hadn’t been for probation, he wouldn’t have sent me an invitation either.” 

 

Of course, even if he had not been sentenced to life imprisonment, Ajas would not have invited the royal family, who had the right to inherit, to the wedding.

 

“I wanted to see Odette’s tears in person, but since it became the Marquess’s wedding ring, I can’t ask to see it. It’s a pity.”

 

“Isn’t it time to talk about that, Your Highness?” 

 

“Yeah, we were just talking about the crown prince coronation ceremony.” 

 

Julius tapped the armrest of the chair with his index finger, then smiled.

 

“How about doing this?”

 

* * * 

 

The morning of leaving the capital.

 

All of Paul Herbina’s employees lined up in the garden early in the morning to see us off.

 

It’s natural to see off the owner who’s leaving, but just because I’m leaving doesn’t mean these people will have nothing to do.

 

“A report on the sponsors’ activities will be sent once every month at the beginning of the month, but if there are any unusual issues, we will report them separately.”

 

“Yes. I don’t mind giving more money as long as the reason is clear, but I don’t want them siphoning it off and using it for luxury or entertainment. If anyone does, fire them.”

 

“Is it possible?”

 

Logan’s face, which had a deep smile, was overflowing with trust, but somehow it seemed that there was something like a dark aura behind it. 

 

Hmm…, maybe I’m mistaken?

 

“Nell!”

 

At that time, the Howard family’s carriage arrived, and my older brothers, led by my older sister, got off. 

 

Lily, who ran quickly and hugged me, sighed, saying, “I’m glad. I was worried that it was a little late and that you had already gone.”

 

“I can’t just go. I need to see the faces of my older sister and older brothers.” 

 

I snooped behind my sister and my brothers and asked my sister. 

 

“But what about Helen? She didn’t come to see me?”

 

“She stayed at home because she thought she would cry when she saw you.” 

 

“I understand how she feels.”

 

Still, I wanted to see her face one last time before leaving the capital.

 

But thinking about it, I thought it might be better not to see her face. 

 

After much thought, I decided to respect her decision to stay in her hometown, but I thought I would beg her to come with me when I saw her face.

 

“She told me to deliver this.”

 

What Lily gave me was an envelope.

 

I haven’t even opened it yet, but just looking at the thin envelope made my nose tingle. I knew I’d burst into tears if I read it now, so I carefully put the envelope my sister had given me into my bag.

 

“It’s for Helen. I wrote her a letter, too. Give it to her for me.” 

 

“Okay.”

 

“Did you only write to Helen? How about us?”

 

Of course, it was my little brother who suddenly interrupted and asked. 

 

As if he was trying to hide his true feelings, his face, which was deliberately tightening his eyebrows and frowning, felt a little more hateful today.

 

But now that I leave the capital, I don’t know when I’ll see him again. I decided to be generous.

 

“I don’t have a letter, but I have a gift prepared for you.” 

 

“gift?”

 

“Yes. I left it to Helen. Go ask her later.”

 

“Helen doesn’t know either, does she?”

 

“It’s not like that!”

 

“I can’t believe it.”

 

Seriously, anyone who sees it will know that I’ve been cheating all the time. When I strained my eyes and glared at him, my little brother scolded me meanly, saying ‘Why, what?’

 

I was wrong. I shouldn’t have gotten him such a pretty gift!

 

“Speaking of which, I almost forgot. Now, this is a wedding gift from me.”

 

“what? You already gave me a wedding gift.”

 

“That is that, and this is this. If I had to add it, it would be an independent gift.” 

 

Lily winked one of her eyes and handed me a small box. Wow, I never thought I would get something like this!

 

The word gift itself had a knack for making people’s hearts pound.

 

I asked Lily excitedly as I gently shook the box tied with a green ribbon.

 

“Can I open it now?”

 

“Sure, open it.”

 

Looking at the size, it’s not the size to fit a necklace. So is it a bracelet? Or earrings? or something else?

 

Since Lily is the owner of Magic Tools, she might be inventing a new magic tool and giving it to me.

 

Thinking of all the other things Lily could have given me, I carefully untied the ribbon and opened the lid of the box.

 

But what I found inside was something I had never imagined.

 

* * *

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