Chapter 16

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“Your Majesty, you look very pale, did you have a bad dream last night?”

 

Viscountess Cohen asked with a worried expression when she saw Rodelia’s pale face.

 

“Oh …… no, I had a nightmare.”

 

She clearly remembered falling down from the table, but when she opened her eyes, she was in bed. Was that even a dream? Her body trembled at a strange feeling.

 

Seeing her pale complexion over the course of the day, the maids were very worried. Or perhaps it was because of something bad that had happened at the dinner.

 

“Your Majesty, could it be because of what happened at the dinner yesterday?”

 

“I heard that the Emperor pointed his sword at Grand Duke Eisen?”

 

“Oh, …… yes, he did.”

 

Contrary to the worries of the maids, she had forgotten all about what had happened at the dinner. It was because she was only preoccupied with the strange dream she had last night.

 

“Is it true, Your Majesty? Oh, now there’s a rumor going around that the Grand Duke won’t look down on you…”

 

“What?”

 

Rodelia opened her eyes wide at the unexpected news.

 

“Rumors are already spreading throughout the palace. It’s as good as pushing Grand Duke Eisen…… Anyway, His Majesty is amazing, too. He treats Princess’s brother like that.”

 

 

“Did the …… rumors turn out that way?”

 

It seemed that Kane had taken care of it.

 

Otherwise, there was no way he would have started such a false rumor.

 

It seemed that his intention was to suppress the rumor before the fact spread. It was a kind of show to make the emperor look good.

 

Rodelia bit her lips. She hated Kane for always putting his own interests first.

 

‘You ignore my dignity like that…’

 

Her fists tightened.

 

“I heard that the Princess stopped His Majesty and he let the Grand Duke live. ………Anyway, it’s good to see the Empress wasn’t involved.”

 

“Yes.”

 

However, Rodelia was the one who stopped the Emperor from killing the Grand Duke. Was it Kane’s consideration that there is no rumor? Or…

 

A strange feeling of discomfort crept into Rodelia’s senses.

 

“In any case, if you are deeply troubled by yesterday’s events, do not worry. There are no bad rumors about the Empress.”

 

Baroness Verna waved her hand and giggled as she poured the tea.

 

“Is that so…… Are there any other rumors?”

 

“Rumors about the Princess, but not bad news for Your Majesty. It is said that Princess Eisen has been humiliated by the Grand Duke, and that the brother and sister do not seem to get along well. I don’t know anything about that house. ….”

 

The Baroness murmured as she handed Rodelia a hot cup of tea.

 

“A disgrace? What kind of……”

 

The sweet scent of tea wafted to her nose.

 

Wrinkling her brow, Rodelia gently set the teacup down. Unless something happened to her memory, Sola had no stake in yesterday’s incident.

 

‘What do you mean disgrace?’

 

“We’ll….”

 

The Baroness slurred her words. Rodelia’s brows contracted.

 

The problem was that there were no rumors about her. Rumors that spread as if she had no power to use in the situation. It was as if the intention was to deliberately suppress the empress’s power.

 

‘Kane is so far …….’

 

She felt like he had completely abandoned her. Her throat began to dry up.

 

After gulping down a suitably cooled cup of tea, she walked over to the window. Then she opened the window to relieve her frustration.

 

A cool breeze leaked in and filled her lungs. It was then that the thoughts that had been clogging her finally were removed, piece by piece.

 

The scenery piled up as it was in Rodelia’s empty eyes as she lifted her long eyelashes and looked out the window.

 

Before she knew it, outside the window was as desolate as her own mind. The branches of the dead trees were all in a state of thinness. Wasn’t it like her own situation?

 

‘When will this heart be better……?’

 

She could not define her heart either. It was a jumble of all kinds of dirty emotions.

 

Of course, the majority of the feelings were for Kane, but now she even had mixed feelings of doubt for Cerdian.

 

Rodelia let out a small sigh.

 

Puzzled by her pitiful back, the maids approached Rodelia with a blanket neatly folded on the bed.

 

The blanket was gently draped over her frail body.Viscountess Cohen gave her a bitter look.

 

Rodelia smiled faintly at the worried faces of the maids.

 

“Your Majesty, you are going to catch a cold. Should I tell them to light the fireplace?”

 

Speaking of which, she felt a creeping shiver run through her. Probably because her body was chilled from the cold sweat she shed last night.

 

“Will you do that for me?”

 

“Yes, Your Majesty. I’ll get it ready.”

 

Rodelia nodded in the affirmative, and the maids left the room at once. They did not want to disturb her personal time.

 

Only the sound of the chilly wind filled the quiet room. Rodelia, who was still in the wind, smiled bitterly.

 

The fierce wind seemed to be chiding her.

 

‘You shouldn’t have gone like that.’

 

****

 

“Your Majesty, this is enough.”

 

“Yes, please wait a moment.”

 

Rodelia replied formally, not taking her eyes off the papers.

 

The Imperial Palace was in the final stage of preparing for the banquet. She had been even more methodical in her work lately, due to the compulsion she had developed to do her best, and the preparations for the banquet were going crazy, and the maids had to stop her.

 

However, she was not fazed by the maids’ concern. She checked meticulously even the parts she didn’t pay attention to yet, and even looked at the order of the banquet several times.

 

‘I can’t let him take away the Empress’s position.’

 

Being an Empress was like her last rope. Unlike the previous emperors’ concubines who were ordinary commoners or lower class nobles, Sola was the only official lady in the empire.

 

This meant that she could take the Empress’s place at any time. Since all the high-ranking nobles, except the Marquis of Florence, were on the Eisen’s side, it was only natural that Rodelia’s anxiety would gradually grow.

 

[Be an empress whose name will remain in history for a long time, and raise the dignity of the Florence family.]

 

The Marquis of Florence’ terrible voice was stuck in her head.

 

Rodelia closed her eyes softly. Her long, finely eyelashes shook.

 

She didn’t show it to the maids in case they were worried, but she couldn’t deny the fact that anxiety was eating away at her heart.

 

“There is no need for you all to stay with me.”

 

“How is that possible…….. How can we play while Your Majesty is at work?”

 

“Oh, I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking about you guys at all.”

 

It was then that Rodelia saw the damaged faces of the maids.

 

She couldn’t believe she overworked her own people. That was really messed up as an empress.

 

“Um…..Your Majesty, why don’t you pick another maid?”

 

Baroness Verna spoke up cautiously. It was just what Rodelia had been considering. After all, with one of the maids gone, they had their hands full with everything.

 

She was glad that she had told her first. The only problem was that…….

 

“It’s a little tough. I’m not sure who the right person is. It’s been a long time since I’ve chosen a maid….”

 

“Don’t worry about that. I know the right person for the job. Just as long as you don’t mind the low status family.”

 

Viscountess Cohen, who had been silent, spoke up cautiously. Interested in what she had to say, Rodelia looked at her.

 

She knew she could trust anyone the Viscountess would recommend. What does the family’s status have to do with this?

 

“Of course, the family’s status is irrelevant.”

 

“Will the Romanov frontier Count’s daughter be alright?”

 

“The frontier Count of Romanov?”

 

Rodelia’s expression became tinged with seriousness. Now she knew why the Viscountess hesitated.

 

Wasn’t the Frontier Count of Romanov the one who incurred Kane’s wrath and was driven to the border region close to the Silver Kingdom?

 

When she hesitated for a moment, Viscountess Cohen looked frustrated.

 

“I guess not…….”

 

But it was the one that Viscountess Cohen had recommended. She didn’t know what on earth the Count did wrong that Kane kicked him out, but it was not her business anymore. Rodelia replied with a smile.

 

“It’s fine.”

 

“What?”

 

She smiled and spoke to theViscountess, who said she would find other suitable candidates.

 

“Let’s meet her first.”

 

* *

 

Aden, the newly arrived female servant was the daughter of Count 

Romanov was a good maid, as the Viscountess said. 

 

She was sensible for her age, and most of all, she loved Empress Rodelia.

 

“Empress, I am very happy that you have chosen me as your maid.”

 

In this way, she poured tea and was charming in a flustered manner. It was fortunate that Rodelia had no time to be melancholy thanks to her. Even though she was a year younger than Rodelia, she could be a bit of a worldly wise woman sometimes.

 

“I don’t want to get married, Your Majesty. I just want to live a free life without being tied down by men. Live your life, Your Majesty. As a matter of fact, I feel more sorry for you than for me.”

 

As Rodelia spent time with her, the thoughts that she had been obsessively thinking about, either of her own volition or through other intentions, began to fall away one by one.

 

Aden said that her dream was to live alone. However, her father didn’t like her idea.

 

However, seeing that she hasn’t married until now, it seemed the Count didn’t force his daughter. It was probably all thanks to him that Aden grew up so free and uninhibited.

 

Rodelia was jealous of Aden. At one time, she wanted to shine like that.

 

From a young age, she lived through a lot of pain to become an empress, and she thought she would shine once she became one.

 

But from the moment she entered the palace, her heart became increasingly dry. She had to hide her true self. She had to be the best empress she could be.

 

All her efforts to obey the many disciplines and rules that had strangled her, to find even a single crack, to endure the many glances of the nobles who had looked at her countless times, had all been to protect Kane’s side.

 

But what was the reward for her efforts?

 

Kane’s betrayal.

 

She couldn’t even remember when she was happy. Did she have such happy memories?

 

A bitter smile spread across Rodelia’s lips.

 

She leaned against the chair for a long time and looked serious, so Viscountess Cohen hesitated again as she delivered the news. It was the beginning of a nightmare.

 

“Your Majesty, the emperor is here to see you.”