When Stella left Clyde’s mansion, Clyde didn’t know that she was leaving until the carriage became a dot and disappeared.
And so, from then until now, he had not thought of her for a single moment.
It all came back to him vividly.
The long brown hair that brushed him like a spring breeze on the way back from the reeds, the familiar scent, and the waist that fit perfectly in his hands.
The way she looked at him with the setting sun at her back while he was drunk on her, it didn’t faze him.
For the first time in his life, the emotions he was feeling overwhelmed him with the urge to touch her more. He moved closer and smelled her scent. Just looking at her made his heart flutter.
Looking at her made him want to know more about her.
He felt like he wanted to monopolize her.
Clyde couldn’t escape the desire to be the only man in Stella’s life.
As he contemplated her leaving, a stiff newspaper was shoved into Clyde’s face.
“Looks like we’ve got a fight on our hands.”
His former aide, Peter Gilworth, visited Clyde in a hurry with the newspaper.
Tossing the newspaper to the side without looking at it, Clyde rose from his seat.
“I understand I’ve dismissed you, Gilworth, was I wrong?”
“No, sir. Of course, Your Highness dismissed me, but fortunately he didn’t notify the servants of the mansion, and everyone thought I was on a small vacation. So, as luck would have it, I came straight to your office. Wait a minute. You should listen to me before you find the sword.”
Gilworth, who had assisted the Duke for some time, knew exactly where the Duke’s sword lay.
And if the bad lord wasn’t in a good mood, he would look for it.
Gilworth picked up the Velvet Daily from the floor, turned nobly with his hand, and spread it out neatly.
Placed next to Stella’s brightly smiling face was the pompous face of Jason Evanders.
It had been a few days since it was published, and the second princess had even issued a correction, so the news was already out of date.
But that didn’t change the fact that Jason Evanders was interested in Stella Ethelanche. Gilworth began to talk.
“Heh. I mean to say that Your Highness the Duke has used it for the benefit of his rival. …Of course, I’m sure you’re aware of the Velvet Daily…”
He said this, but Gilworth was completely convinced that his master had not read the Velvet Daily.
In addition to being too dull, his lord was too serious and uninterested in the fashions of the nobles.
At the mention of Princess Stella, Clyde finally grabbed the newspaper and started reading.
‘Hmmm, I guess you didn’t know about this.’ Gilworth was in a very good mood.
Gilworth was caught off guard and was grabbed by the chest by Clyde, he reflexively ducked.
When Clyde saw him shrink back, he grabbed his outstretched hand to suppress his anger.
The aide was quick to add.
“Ah, of course, Lord Evanders is rich, and is very well liked by the ladies…. Ah!”
Gilworth said quickly as he saw Clyde’s eyes turn deadly.
“I will give you information, special information, that will help Your Highness defeat that man! As you can see, I have heard much in the Imperial Palace while I have been dismissed for some time.”
As he said this, Gilworth reminded Clyde of a chicken that persuades predators not to catch and eat it.
Seeing Clyde was somewhat bothered, Gilworth said in an excited voice.
“Do you know what kind of letter Princess Stella took from the Emperor on the day she decided to leave the palace after six months? That turned the palace upside down.”
“But I do know. I know. The letter is at …..”
“Then how do you know about it?”
Once again, the chicken, or rather Gilworth, said while barely suppressing the urge to let out an almost high-pitched scream.
The Duke’s eyes staring at him were still deadly.
“I know because I have eyes and ears. So I’m not talking about the fact that Your Highness doesn’t have eyes and ears. …..”
‘I will die.’
‘I’ll definitely die.’
Ah! Gilworth sucked in a breath.
The Duke, holding his neck as if it would twist at any moment, glared at him with murderous eyes.
“Um, Your Highness. Let me go first….”
“What was the content of the letter?”
“Please let me go first.”
As the Duke’s hand squeezed tighter, Gilworth’s mouth fluttered, begging for his life.
“Oh, oh, no, ah. From what I’ve heard, according to the letter, Princess Stella had another family. Other than the esteemed Emperor and Empress of the Imperial Family… so ….”
As his hand tightened gradually, Gilworth opened his mouth, trying to remove the Duke’s hand as if he padded his wings.
“It is said that there is a family of commoners that Princess Stella misses! Yes, there was a story about Princess Karen picking up Princess Stella from the street….”
“Picked her up on the street?”
“That’s not what’s important about shareholder shares, is it? It’s about the important person of Her Imperial Highness Princess Stella…”
“She picked her up from the street.”
The relaxed voice made Gilworth think.
The Duke always had a talent for making Princess Karen’s words sound like a waste of time.
“If she lived on the street half of her life, how did the second princess suddenly show up at the Imperial Palace and take millions of golds from the Jason Evanders gambling house?”
Ignoring Gilworth’s faltering, Clyde thought of the correlation between Ethel and Stella.
Come to think of it, the reed field in his memory where he had gone with her was not far from the inn where Ethel was staying.
“It was a place I used to visit when I was called Ethel.”
Yes.That’s what Stella had said.
Then how did “Ethel” suddenly return to the Imperial Palace and rob the heir to the Evanders family of millions of gold?
Clyde knew the lives of the commoners as well as he knew the lives of lowborns.
And as far as he was concerned, it was nearly impossible for ordinary people to act as Edel did.
Something was wrong, he thought.
Why did she come back?
What made her come back?
And why would she want to leave? Clyde was confused. But this one thing was certain.
The one open fact that Karen Ethelanche had picked up Stella from the street was a lie.
Karen, the woman did not roam the streets of the common people. That was the premise from which the story did not begin.
Besides, Stella seemed to be someone who didn’t want to return to the Imperial Palace.
Plus, the shady connection between Stella and Jason Evanders.
Something had gone wrong.
While Clyde was thinking, Gilworth suddenly spoke up.
“Hmph, once again, I can provide you with information. Your Highness.”
Finally, Clyde stared at him with a look of realization on his face that Gilworth was also present in this space.
‘What do you think then?’
Gilworth was quick to suggest when Clyde’s grip on his neck loosened.
“If you hire me again. I’m always happy to provide good information.”
“None, of course, though there was no greater honor than to serve the Emperor. Nevertheless, I am willing to assist the great Duke…”
As he spoke, Peter Gilworth thought of the Emperor’s grim stare.
“If these words leak somewhere else.”
The Emperor’s eyes flashed with madness as he said this.
At that moment, Gilworth thought of the happy, peaceful days he had spent with the Duke.
The Duke was a relatively “good” lord who could always grab the last bit of reason and restrain himself as long as he kept to the good, but he was not the Emperor.
Gilworth remembered what kind of tyrant the emperor had been ten years ago.
The emperor was a madman.
He was the one who had cut off the head of his political opponent at an audience, his eyes black with blood stained face, and showed the enemy’s head in his hands to the nobles.
Today, ten years later, the Emperor’s eyes were looking at Gilworth with the same vigor they had back then.
At that moment, Gilworth sincerely felt the need to get out of the Imperial Palace as quickly as possible. Would that be all?
“…Stella had scattered a large sum of money to the nobles that no one had any idea where it came from. That’s interesting. There’s no way the first princess of the empire wouldn’t know anything about it.”
He even went against the Emperor’s orders to mention Stella, and blew Karen off for the extravagance of not knowing where the second Princess came from.
Of course, he had to hide behind the Duke to save his life!
The Duke stood there with a face thinking about something.
Then he quickly strode out of the room.
Gilworth called out loudly and chased after the Duke.
“Your Highness, what am I going to do if you just walk away like that?”
Gilworth stepped urgently.
However, for him, who was accustomed to holding a pen at a desk, it was impossible to follow the footsteps of the knight from the battlefield.
“Does this mean I’m going to be hired again? Your Highness! Your Highness!”
Of course, there was no reply.
Gilworth, who was exhausted after following the Duke, sat down and watched the Duke leaving the mansion through the windows, obliviously.