Chapter 20

 

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Sponsored by Jill 💖 (8/8)

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“I think it’s roughly done, can you give it some shape?” (Iker)

 

“…what? Oh, I see.” (Elysia)

 

Elysia, who realized that the answer went a beat late, quickly stared at cravat, biting her lower lip in embarrassment. So she didn’t even see it. The golden eyes staring at her with a satisfying smile.

 

Iker’s tied cravat looked plausible, except that it was a little crooked.

 

‘You’re fine. But why are you asking me?’

 

Feeling an unknown sense of defeat, Elysia reached out to the cravat.

 

Perhaps it was because of the six failures, and even though it was only correcting the shape, the strength was put into her fingertips. Fortunately, in her hands, the cravat took shape without a single bit of dislocation. 

 

“It’s done.”

 

Elysia’s eyebrows frowned slightly as she took her hands off the cravat with a sense of pride in her own way.

 

The Duke’s front hair, which was flowing down slightly, caught her eyes at that moment. It was perfect in the meeting, but it looked messed up now, perhaps it happened when she caught him.

 

“Wait.”

 

Feeling guilty, Elysia grabbed Iker’s arm, reached out and carefully fixed his hair.

 

Elysia, who lowered her hand after arranging his hair neatly, swallowed saliva involuntarily.

 

All of a sudden, Iker and she were getting close enough to feel each other’s breath. If he tilted his head a little, their lips would immediately touch.

 

She blinked her eyes. It felt like the air around her suddenly tightened even though she didn’t do anything.

 

‘What? What is this atmosphere?’

 

Elysia was awakened by the sudden warning sound in her head. Thinking it was dangerous, she quickly stepped back and opened her mouth.

 

“Now it’s done. Your hair was a bit messy.”

 

She was worried that her voice might crack, but fortunately it was normal.

 

The man’s lips, who didn’t smile often, curved in a long arc. It was an elegant and beautiful smile as if painted. 

 

“Thank you for caring.” (Iker)

 

For a moment, Elysia could not take her eyes off his face as if possessed.

 

Not noticing that her heart, which had been quiet, was beating a little faster.

 

***

 

Seeing that the discussion on the agenda was almost over, Elysia glanced at Iker. He was still watching with a relaxed attitude, as if he had no intention of intervening.

 

 ‘Does he really have nothing to say?’

 

She was annoyed at the thought that the agenda might pass, but there was nothing she could do.

 

What could she say when she herself said it many times that she would not mix her personal feelings with work?

 

Apparently, the information that Lulien delivered had not been delivered to Iker. It didn’t make sense for him to stand still if he knew.

 

‘There are days when Lulien also fails. How surprising.’

 

How bad would she feel about her pride?

 

Elysia sighed inwardly, thinking that she should comfort Lulien when the agenda was passed, and slowly got up.

 

Usually, the leader of the faction who raised the agenda had to get up even if she didn’t want to, as to proceed with the majority vote.

 

As soon as she got up, the nobles who were sitting at the long table began to have a discussion.

 

Elysia waited for a moment to give them time to finish their conversation.

 

It was when she was about to open her mouth when she noticed that the hall had become quiet after a while.

 

A blunt low-pitched sound broke the silence and resounded in the hall heavily.

 

“Looks like everything is sorted out. So can I say a word before the vote begins?”

 

Was this voice such a welcome voice? Elysia sighed in relief as she saw the eyes of the nobles sitting at the table instantly turning to Iker. However, she spoke boldly toward him with her eyes raised as if she was displeased.

 

“If you have any opinions on the agenda, why didn’t you tell me in advance? As you can see, the discussion is already over.”

 

It might seem cheeky, but this degree of overaction was necessary to give the Duke Russet and his entourage the feeling that she did her best to get the bill passed.

 

And in her experience so far, Iker Deimos wasn’t the kind of person who would care if she was like that.

 

Unsurprisingly, he made eye contact with her and answered slowly.

 

Iker’s golden eyes, which had been languid just a moment ago, were shining brightly as if they had ever been.

 

“Because it’s not an opinion.”

 

At Iker’s reply, the hall murmured for a moment, and a questionable expression appeared on the faces of the nobles. Only Elysia understood what he meant.

 

‘Well, not an opinion.’

 

While nodding her head inwardly, she pretended not to know and asked him.

 

“If it’s not an opinion, what are you trying to say?” 

 

“There are a few important facts related to this agenda. Everyone should know for a fair vote.”

 

Iker, uncrossed his arms, took the paperwork that was lying in front of him and got up slowly. In Elysia’s eyes, he looked like a beast that came out to hunt.

 

‘I should argue about it properly.’

 

To hide the rush of anticipation, Elysia deliberately frowned and spoke with a hard voice.

 

“You say it is an important fact, so I can’t help but listen to it. Tell me.”

 

In the eyes of others, it would appear that she was displeased with Duke Deimos, who had just stood up to announce his opinion.

 

As if she couldn’t help it, she slowly backed away, and Iker held up the agenda in his hand. It was a page with a list of candidates.

 

“Did you properly investigate the people and types of people listed in your proposed agenda?”

 

“Of course. It was confirmed that there were no major problems. Isn’t it written on the agenda?” 

 

“Do you really think there is no problem?”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

Elysia had a puzzled expression on her face as if she didn’t really know anything. It was very natural because it was an acting that she had polished over the past two years.

 

A smile passed through Iker’s eyes when he saw her like that, but no one noticed.

 

It was because his eyes, looking around the nobles as if they had ever done so, were frighteningly shining.

 

“Everyone on the list is related to the Veramus organization. Whether you are sponsored or your family is a member of the Veramus gang. But did you really not know?”

 

‘That’s it!’

 

When the words she wanted to hear finally came out of Iker’s mouth, Elysia’s heart began to pound. At Iker’s words, the nobles began to murmur.

 

Veramus organization.

 

Smuggling, drugs, human trafficking, etc. It was a famous dark organization that did not hesitate to commit any evil if it got paid; it was known to rule the back alleys of the Empire.

 

Of course, with the power of the Helios organization, the Veramus organization has been pushed back a lot recently, but it was an organization that the citizens of the Empire could not know about.

 

But this time, it was surprising to hear that the talents recommended by the aristocrats were related to such an organization.

 

Elysia shrugged her shoulders invisibly as she looked at the bewildered nobles.

 

‘Why are you already surprised like that? A really important fact has not been revealed. If you know who Veramus is connected to, you’d fall off your seats.’

 

If it wasn’t for Lulien and Hal, who brought the information, Elysia wouldn’t have believed it either. The relationship between the Duke of Russet and Veramus. To that extent, the Duke of Russet was thoroughly hiding that he was the real ruler of Veramus.

 

Elysia glanced at Iker.

 

Not only Duke Deimos, but also the Emperor must be aware of who the owner of Veramus was. It was just that there was no evidence and no one could touch it. Their powers were so widely spread.

 

 ‘Anyway, now is the time to pretend I don’t know.’

 

So, Elysia eliberately opened her eyes wide and looked at Iker as if surprised. 

 

“What did you say now? Did you say that the people on the list belong to the Veramus organization?” (Elysia)

 

“Yes.” (Iker)

 

“Such nonsense! On what grounds do you, sir, make such a terrifying accusation? The Veramus Organization!” (Elysia)

 

At this point, Elysia gave a passionate performance, thinking that she could really enter the path of an actress. 😂

 

To those around her, it would seem that she did not believe what Iker had said and protested. And she didn’t forget to emphasize the word ‘Veramus’. The agitation will only get worse when it is deeply embedded in people’s minds.

 

As she intended, the hall soon filled with the murmurs of nobles.

 

The Duke of Russet and the Marquis of Berten also seemed to have not expected such a situation, as their expressions were hardened.

 

‘It seems to be going well.’

 

Elysia, who was satisfied, stiffened as her eyes met Iker. It was a fleeting moment, but what passed through his gold eyes was obviously a light smile. 

 

‘He didn’t realize it was acting, did he?’

 

Worried that she might be found out, she tightened her eyebrows, which were still raised, and continued speaking in a sharp tone.

 

“There are no citizens ignorant of the evils of the Veramus organization. So, is it possible for our aristocrats to recommend people associated with them to the central government? The people on the agenda I announced today are definitely people who have been confirmed many times that there are no problems.” 

 

Elysia’s words now contained two targets.

 

One was to emphasize that she knew nothing about these nominees, and the other was to instill suspicion in the nobility.

 

If it turned out that the candidates were related to the Veramus organization, the nobles attending today’s meeting would naturally suspect.

 

Furthermore, if they found out who recommended it, that suspicion would become more concrete.

 

It was a common practice for the person who drafted the agenda to go through the verification process as well.

 

After speaking, Elysia looked straight at Iker.

 

It was a look of dissatisfaction as to why he didn’t overturn it quickly. He had made such a big fuss, so he should have done it.

 

It was the current situation in the hall that allowed her to act so boldly.

 

If Duke Russet had known, he would have been furious, but in the current situation where he could not read the thoughts in her head, to the nobles, she only seemed dissatisfied with Duke Deimos’s remarks.

 

But Elysia didn’t know. Iker really understood the real meaning in her eyes. ‘You should do what I want.’

 

With his lips slightly raised, invisible to others, he spoke bluntly to Elysia.