Chapter 25

***

 

It was not strange for the maids to be so excited. It was no exaggeration to say that fireworks were the flowers of the Thebes Empire’s national banquet.

 

The scale of the event was so great that even foreign delegations visited the empire to see the fireworks. It was a bit strange that Viscountess Cohen did not leave.

 

“Wouldn’t you like to go and see the fireworks, Viscountess Cohen? The Viscount must be waiting for you.” 

 

“Your Majesty, this is the best place to be. Isn’t it greedy of you to take a good place by yourself. My husband will understand.”

 

Viscountess Cohen smiled mischievously and said so. She was so deep-hearted that Rodelia knew she was worried about her.

 

Smiling softly, Rodelia went to the terrace. The fireworks had just started, and the small fireworks flew up into the pitch black sky and exploded with a boom.

 

Viscountess Cohen, watched the fireworks with a sorry look in her eyes, said honestly.

 

“Don’t worry. The emperor is a man who is easily bored, so I am sure he will come back soon.”

 

Viscountess Cohen hesitated, perhaps thinking that Rodelia was heartbroken because of Kane. She tapped Rodelia’s shoulder with a careful hand.

 

Kane gets bored easily…….

 

Come to think of it, Kane’s interest never lingered. So perhaps he also got tired of Rodelia.

 

“I believe that the Empress Palace was also built directly by the Emperor.”

 

“Yes……”

 

Originally, there was no empress palace in the Thebes Empire.

 

Kane built it separately for Rodelia, who loved to admire the beautiful scenery, but everything in the palace was filled with Kane’s tastes, not hers.

 

A funny thing to say, but one of them also included Rodelia. She let out a self-mockery as she recalled that fact once more.

 

‘Was it such a pleasure to have a place of his taste?’

 

In the course of a few days, she realized too much.

 

Seeing the brilliant fireworks coloring the sky with the scent of faint gunpowder, Rodelia, her expression hardening, remembered what had happened earlier.

 

If what she remembered was correct, it was only herself, Prince Gray, and Kane, who had come in later.

 

Kane must have used his authority, since the attendants did not know either. It was only natural that if Prince Gray’s mouth was properly policed, there would be no rumors.

 

‘I don’t think he prevented it for me. …….’

 

In any case, it was good for her.

 

“Your Majesty, actually…..”

 

“Speak, madam.”

 

Viscountess Cohen, who had been watching the immersed Rodelia with worried eyes, cautiously opened her mouth.

 

“I saw Prince Gray following you out onto the terrace in the banquet hall earlier.”

 

“Yes. ….”

 

“Perhaps something has happened. You didn’t look good at the welcoming ceremony for the delegation…….”

 

Rodelia wondered how much she should tell the Viscountess. Gently, she glanced at her.

 

 After a moment, she opened her mouth with a short sigh.

 

“Actually…….”

 

****

 

The country’s founder day’s banquet was hard, but this one was especially demanding. Rodelia awoke to sunlight pouring in through the window.

 

Blinking her eyelids repeatedly, she got up, quite heavy, and headed for the dressing table. The fluffy carpet made her feel quite comfortable.

 

Looking at her tired face, Viscountess Cohen opened her mouth.

 

“What would you like to wear for lunch today?”

 

Her question troubled Rodelia for a moment, and slowly closing her eyes, Rodelia spoke.

 

“Since it’s a place to serve the foreign delegation, formal attire would be good.”

 

As Viscountess Cohen turned to Baroness Verna, the Baroness pulled out a dark green dress.

 

The mermaid-lined dress, which revealed the silhouette of the body, instead of a rich skirt, it had creases around the chest, giving off an elegant feeling. It was a dress that would look very good on Rodelia.

 

“I don’t suppose Princess Eisen will be attending today, will she?”

 

“Since she’s not of low status, why wouldn’t she?”

 

“Well, maybe so, since she’s so impudent.”

 

“We will find out when the lunch roster arrives shortly.”

 

“I’ll decorate Her Majesty the most elegant that no one can imitate. To press the Princess’s nose flat.”

 

Rodelia, who was idly changing her clothes while listening to the chatter of the attendants, shivered at the feel of the cold dress.

 

“Oh, wait a minute, Your Majesty.”

 

Lady Aden added a pale pink corsage near Rodelia’s shoulder to complete the look. Her curvy figure looked more prominent.

 

A careful hand touched her hair. After curling up her hair gracefully, the grooming was finished. Thanks to the hustle and bustle of the attendants, she was able to finish her preparations without delay.

 

Finally, the not-so-high shoes were lined up and the lunch list arrived.

 

“Here is the list of those attending today.”

 

After receiving the list in front of the door, Viscountess Cohen handed the paper to Rodelia.

 

“Thank you.”

 

“Oh, Princess Charlotte of the Kingdom of Clavia asked Your Majesty to give positive consideration to the port opening.”

 

“Me?”

 

It was unknown how the Princess found out, but apparently the Marquis of Florence has a firm grip on the port.

 

No matter how many affirmative answers Kane gave, it would be in vain if the Marquis refused.

 

Nodding her head, Rodelia’s eyes stopped at one place as she casually read the list.

 

There was no Sola, whom she had expected to find on the list. But she found a name she did not expect.

 

Her face hardened in worry.

 

‘Cerdian…?’

 

****

 

Rodelia left the room after a final inspection of her appearance in front of the mirror.

 

She thought about going with Kane, but she wondered if perhaps Sola might interfere again. She did not want to be an unnecessary laughingstock.

 

‘She said something happened and left the palace, but you never know.’

 

Rodelia hesitated for a moment, wondering if she was going to Kane’s palace, and then her steps turned the other way.

 

‘He told me to wait, so I might as well wait. Don’t get hurt anymore.’

 

It was common for outdoor lunches to be held at the Empress Palace.

 

The reason why it was decided to have it at the Stella Palace instead of the Empress Palace was solely because of the winter flowers.

 

“The weather is nice.”

 

A sigh of mixed emotions escaped her lips.

 

Fortunately, it was clear and cloudless outside, and instead of a cold winter breeze, a warm easterly wind blew and tickled her cheeks. The stream was quiet and the water flowed silently as the ice melted in the clear overnight weather.

 

‘I can’t make a mistake.’

 

She didn’t know what would happen, but just the fact that Sola was not here made her feel a little lighter.

 

However, she could not relax because rumors must have already spread and there were many people not easy to deal with.

 

Her clenched hands became stronger. Well-groomed nails dug into her palms. Her body was tense, but she tried not to let it show.

 

When she reached the garden of Stella Palace, she felt a little out of breath. Then, she heard some unexpected news.

 

“I heard they’re not going to participate?”

 

“Yes, both of them sent letters.”

 

Rodelia’s eyes grew wide with suspicion as she arrived at the lunch hall a little early.

 

Cerdian never showed up at such a setting in the first place, but it was surprising that Prince Gray wouldn’t come.

 

‘He went yesterday with so much enthusiasmR