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    Translated by Tam
    Edited by Genie


     

    “What? Is it over already?”

     

    “Gilbert. What are you doing here?”

     

    Renia responded coldly. 

     

    ‘Ah, that’s Gilbert!’

     

    Gilbert looked around the greenhouse. 

     

    “I heard that the Emperor’s lover is here. Did she go somewhere else?”

     

    “I don’t think it’s your business?”

     

    “I was going to take a look at that famous face. Am I a step late? Who’s the Lady behind you? It’s my first time seeing her.” 

     

    Gilbert looked at Amelie with shiny eyes. Amelie felt very unpleasant. 

     

    “It’s my first time seeing this face. Are you a local noble? How old are you? Where are you from?” 

     

    When Gilbert put his hand on Amelie’s shoulder, Amelie hit his hand away. 

     

    “Why don’t you answer my question? Ah, did you learn that it’s attractive to be coy? Cute.” 

     

    “Stop it.” 

     

    Renia stood in front of her as if protecting Amelie. 

     

    “She’s my guest. You can do stupid things while watching other people.” 

     

    “I’m watching enough. Why?” 

     

    Gilbert smiled. He deliberately aroused Renia’s anger.

     

    ‘This stupid jerk. How are you going to lead the Count when you’re so ignorant?’ 

     

    Renia’s face heated up red. She was angry with Gilbert, and on the other hand, she was embarrassed to let Amelie see this. She can’t believe she found out that the successor of Count Manvers is such a jerk. 

     

    “You won’t be able to help, so will you just destroy the family reputation?”

     

    “Even if I help, you can’t receive it, right? You’re having a tea party like this. If it were me, I would have kidnapped that woman and sold her away.” (t/n : TRASH) 

     

    Gilbert giggled. Amelie and Milena frowned at his vulgarity at the same time. 

     

    “Can’t you shut your mouth?”

     

    Does this stupid bastard have to talk like that in front of this guest? Only Renia’s insides felt like bursting out. 

     

    “Did I say something I couldn’t say? Are you afraid the Lady behind you will talk to anyone? What’s wrong with you? No matter how much I do, would they be able to hurt the successor of Count Manvers?” 

     

    “Just don’t talk.” 

     

    Is it because he really doesn’t know that status and power have no meaning in front of the Emperor’s blind sword? 

     

    “Okay. The beauty of the century can be seen in just a few days. Now, I’m looking for a woman I can see easily, well.” 

     

    Gilbert left the greenhouse with neither greeting nor parting. 

     

    ‘—If Gilbert becomes Count, our family will be ruined.’

     

    Before that, she had to become Empress and leave the family quickly. Renia’s chest became stuffy. 

     

    “Young Lady? Are you okay?” 

     

    “Miss Amelie was more surprised than I was. I apologize for my younger brother’s disrespect. He’s a poor brother, but he’s the precious successor to our family, so please don’t tell His Majesty about today.” 

     

    Renia bowed her head. It was clear how much her pride would have hurt at this moment. In the original work, she often struggled to deal with Gilbert’s mistakes. Gilbert’s evil deeds also played a decisive role in Renia’s loss. 

     

    Renia was definitely a villain, but Amelie still felt very sorry seeing her suffering from her ugly family. 

     

    ‘It’s interfering— But still—’

     

    Amelie hesitated and held Renia’s hand.

     

    “Young Lady, be strong. And let brother or father take care of your brother. He’s not Young Lady’s child, so why are you trying so hard?” 

     

    Renia was greatly embarrassed. Why is she holding her hand all of a sudden?

     

    “Excuse me, my hand—”

     

    “And thank you for earlier. You stopped Gilbert.” 

     

    Amelie waved her hand up and down as if shaking hands. Renia and Amelie suddenly shook hands with each other. 

     

    ‘But can I just hold her hand like this? Even holding hands worked for Serwin.’ 

     

    There were no visible symptoms like black smoke, so it was not known if it was helping. 

     

    “How do you feel now? Do you feel comfortable? How’s your health?” 

     

    As soon as Amelie’s words were finished, Renia’s pretty face quickly distorted. 

     

    “How do I feel? Are you kidding me?”

     

    Renia rejects Amelie’s hand. 

     

    “No, I’m—”

     

    “I want to rest. Please forgive me for not seeing you off until the end. Then, bye.” 

     

    Renia turned the guest away. 

     

    “Yes, then please take a rest. I’m going back.” 

     

    Amelie left Renia and left the greenhouse first. When Renia was alone, she lost all her energy. She sat weakly in a chair. Amelie’s back gradually moved away. 

     

    ‘What? How do I feel? Now I have to be laughed at by the commoners—. I was just trying to protect my family’s honor.’

     

    Renia had taken sacrifice for granted so far. As the eldest daughter of the Count, she thought it was a good thing for her to do for the family and successor. But, she doesn’t have to clean up her brother’s mess. 

     

    ‘That’s why commoners don’t know anything.’

     

    Renia laughed at Amelie, but felt a throb in her chest. Because in her heart she felt responsible for Gilbert’s rudeness. 

     

    Amelie’s words lingered in her head for a long time. She has not forgotten the strength of the hand holding hers and the warmth of her soft hand for a long time.

     

    *****

     

    Even after returning to the imperial palace, Amelie remained lost in thought.

     

    ‘On a foggy day, what I saw wasn’t a shadow, but the energy of disaster—.’ 

     

    It becomes clear that the corrupt garden that Serina said is also because of the disaster. 

     

    ‘But how? Does His Majesty know anything?’ 

     

    She thought she should talk to Serwin. 

     

    “Milena, I want to go to the Imperial Palace right away.”

     

    “Are you going to see His Majesty?”

     

    “Yes.”

     

    “That’s good!”

     

    Milena was very pleased. 

     

    “His Majesty should know how much Miss Amelie suffered today. Only then will they be properly punished!” 

     

    “I’m not going to tell him about that. I have no intention of telling His Majesty about what happened today.” 

     

    “Huh? Why!”

     

    “The party is only a week away, and I don’t want to cause problems.” 

     

    “But! What kind of person is Miss Amelie! Those who treat you like that should get punished. That’s how scary the world is!”

     

    Milena was outraged.

     

    “But still no.”

     

    “You’re still depressed because of those people.” 

     

    “It’s not like that. Anyway, don’t say anything.” 

     

    Amelie’s will was firm, so Milena nodded while sulking. 

     

    ‘She meant don’t tell His Majesty, but she didn’t tell me to stay still.’ 

     

    The idea of not leaving them alone remained unchanged. 

     

    “Anyway, did you hear what Serina said earlier?””

     

    “Yes. Is it her brother who works for the Ministry of Internal Affairs?” 

     

    Amelie nodded. 

     

    “I want to know where that place is.” 

     

    “Yes, but is that weird?”

     

    Milena tilted her head. 

     

    “Isn’t it strange? It happened overnight? It’s the same as when the energy of a disaster spreads.”

     

    Amelie explained what happened in the Fidelia forest. Milena looked puzzled. 

     

    “But the Imperial Palace is always like that, right?” 

     

    “Huh?”

     

    “Should I say the site is not good? There’s a lot of fog and it’s exceptionally cold. That’s why I thought it was like that.” 

     

    Milena frowned his forehead. 

     

    “Now that I think about it, it’s strange. Why didn’t I ever think it was strange?” 

     

    Milena tilted her head. Come to think of it, none of the people in the imperial palace have raised an issue with such a phenomenon. It seemed like everyone was used to it, and they just passed by without thought. No matter how cold, shady, and humid a place was, trees would not rot and animal corpses would not accumulate overnight.

     

    “There’s something else that bothers me.” 

     

    Amelie hesitated and brought it up.

     

    “Do you remember the foggy day last time?””

     

    “Yes.”

     

    Amelie began to talk slowly about the day. While turning into a rabbit and running, she bumped into Renia’s leg, and at that time, she said she saw black smoke at first glance. 

     

    “I’m not sure. I was running away from a hound, and there was a dark shadow on the bottom of her dress.” 

     

    “Why must it have been a foggy day? It makes people uneasy.’

     

    “Why?”

     

    “There is such a myth among the imperial palace people. On foggy days, strange things always happen, so everyone needs to take care of themselves.”

     

    “—Isn’t that strange?”

     

    “In fact, there were many incidents on such a day, but—”

     

    Milena had never thought that it would be the disaster. Even when she didn’t know about the existence of the disaster, or even after she knew about it. 

     

    The imperial palace was a workplace with strong work intensity and severe stress. People who had to work with their lives on the line couldn’t be out of their minds everytime the weather was bad. Even if it usually looks lovely in the palace, the staff knew that on extremely bad days weird things happened. 

     

    However, listening to Amelie, she couldn’t say it was a conspiracy theory anymore. 

     

    “I’ll find out. Don’t worry.” 

     

    “Yes.”

     

    Amelie nodded. Does the site of the imperial palace really just have bad weather and luck? Or is it the disaster? 

     

    Nothing has been known yet.

     

    *****

     

    When Amelie arrived at the office, Serwin had a meeting and was away for a while. One of Serwin’s aides sweated a lot and told Serwin’s whereabouts to Amelie.

     

    ‘Should I wait? No, I can’t disturb him while he’s working.’ 

     

    At night, he will come to Amelie’s palace, so she can wait without sleeping and talk then. 

     

    “Then I’ll just go.”

     

    “N, no! You can’t!”

     

    The aide hurriedly stopped her. Other assistants who pretended to look at their documents also raised their heads. 

     


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