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The Crown Prince replied as he took off his coat and handed it to the servant next to him. He had just returned from the Duke of Lillian’s residence, but he sat at his desk without resting.
Baron Cheston nodded with an uneasy look on his face.
He went to Baron Dana’s residence at the order of the Crown Prince, and as soon as he returned, he came to report.
He reported to the Crown Prince about what he had seen and heard today. However, the Crown Prince remained silent for a while, even after hearing everything. With a quiet face, he just looked down at the pile of papers in front of him. At his reaction, Baron Cheston cautiously looked at the Crown Prince.
Usually, the Crown Prince cared for Lady Dana very much, and he had a righteous nature that could not stand injustice if he saw it.
At the last banquet, when his fiancée, the princess, bullied the innocent Lady in front of everyone, he came forward and protected the victim, Lady Dana.
At the time, there were not a few public opinions condemning the Crown Prince and Lady Dana because of the Princess’ unexpected accident, but Baron Cheston did not think so.
He was also present at the banquet that day, and saw the entire situation.
When the Princess and Lady Dana met, the kind-hearted Lady Dana greeted the Princess first with a smile.
Princess Lillian’s expression became hardened from the moment she first spotted her, she immediately became angry and tried to raise her hands in a loud voice.
It was certainly not a common situation and no one in the place thought the situation was strange.
For it was always the case that the highly speculative Princess would torment the powerless Baron’s daughter.
Her notoriety was not only in social circles but also among the general public.
It was hard to see how a daughter like the Princess could be born from someone as brilliant and honorable as the Duke of Lillian.
Honestly, if it wasn’t for the Duke and his family, Baron Cheston didn’t think someone like the princess would have the position of Crown Princess.
The Crown Prince seemed to think the same way, seeing as how he spent more time with Lady Dana than his fiancée. But for some reason, the Crown Prince didn’t say anything even after he finished listening to him. In the end, Baron Cheston couldn’t stand it and asked.
“Your Highness, in order to know the exact truth, wouldn’t it be better to send someone to Count Milanov to investigate what happened that day?”
They didn’t know the exact facts as they haven’t yet investigated whether Princess Lillian ordered Lady Milanov to bully Lady Dana or not. But there must have been some reason for Claire to say so, for she was full of certainty.
So, Baron Cheston was sure he could find something if he investigated.
“No, that won’t be necessary.”
At the Crown Prince’s answer, Baron Cheston looked at him with a surprised face.
“We can’t afford to waste time and efforts at this busy time.”
Baron Cheston was at a loss for words at the sudden change in the Crown Prince’s attitude. But the Crown Prince didn’t seem to want to deal with him any further.
“Now that you’ve said all you have to say, you can leave.”
The Crown Prince no longer looked at Baron Cheston, but turned his gaze to the papers.
His hand, holding a pen, moved busily back and forth over the paper, and Baron Cheston had no choice but to turn away. But he stopped when the image of Claire he had seen earlier came to mind.
He pondered for a moment, then gathered the courage and asked cautiously.
“Your Highness, are you going to let it go like this?”
“That is my intention.”
The Crown Prince answered in a casual tone.
“If we leave this matter as it is, something similar will happen next time. Perhaps next time it won’t end with a splash of water.”
“I also feel sorry to hear about Claire’s situation and circumstances. But didn’t she already see the doctor and you already asked her about what happened?”
“But Your Highness…….”
The Crown Prince paused. He placed his pen on the table and stared coldly at Baron Cheston.
“But what? I really don’t know who’s the superior here. Baron Cheston, since when did you start questioning my orders?”
The Crown Prince asked coldly. His sharp voice really revealed his displeasure.
As soon as seeing the Crown Prince’s displeasure, Baron Cheston became nervous and regretted what he said.
Ever since the return of the Second Prince, the Crown Prince had been suffering from political affairs every day, and his nerves had become acute.
At a time like this, he (Baron Cheston) should be as low as possible and be careful of his actions, because he might offend the Crown Prince.
The cold demeanor of his usually benevolent superior made Baron Cheston feel as if he had made a terrible mistake.
“Baron Chesterton, you don’t seem to like my decision.”
The Crown Prince stood up with a displeased look on his face.
Then, looking down at Baron Chesterton with a cold face, he asked.
“In order to search the Count’s mansion and investigate the people within it, we must first obtain His Majesty’s approval. Baron, what would you say to His Majesty about this?”
At the sharp question, Baron Cheston was at a loss for words. The Crown Prince looked at his hardened face and said in an irritated voice,
“What do you think His Majesty will say when the Imperial Family sets out to investigate the exact circumstances and get to the bottom of the incident, assuming that Claire was bullied by the young ladies of her age and got sick?”
“And for the Count, if I bring in a group of soldiers to question his daughter, do you think he will stay still?”
Count Milanov was a very proud man.
As the Crown Prince said, there was no way he would get the Emperor’s approval.
And yes, if he took a group of soldiers to investigate the Count’s daughter for the sake of a Baron’s daughter, Count Milanov’s mood would have been greatly offended.
Of course, no other nobles, not even Count Milanov, would have accepted the idea of someone searching through his residence.
To the nobles, their homes were their personal space. No one knew what secrets were hidden in it until they searched.
No one would like to have their private space invaded unnecessarily, because the more daring they were, the more they would be unwilling to let their secrets come to light. Of course, there was a way to crush them with power, but he was unsure if it was usually possible.
Now it was a situation where every single person was spared.
There was nothing good about daring to offend the Count, who was on their side.
“I was not thinking clearly.”
Baron Cheston said with a gloomy face.
“Of course, just because His Majesty doesn’t approve doesn’t mean that I can’t search the Count’s residence. I can mobilize soldiers and find out secretly.”
The Crown Prince stopped speaking for a moment and stared at the glowing fireplace with downcast eyes.
As he watched the wood burn black, it was as if he was looking into himself. It was indeed a pity that Claire went to Lady Milanov’s tea party, went through the ordeal, and got sick.
And the fact that the person behind it might be his own fiancée.
‘I thought she’d be quiet for a while…’
Through this previous conversation, he was able to understand Roxana’s position to some extent. However, that didn’t justify all the times Roxana has insulted and sworn at Claire.
Moreover, original words can sound different depending on the situation and each person’s position. As it turned out, Claire’s provocative words to Roxana didn’t sound like she had any real or bad intentions.
However, Roxana’s case was a little different. She would act with obvious malice, hoping that the other person would be harmed.
“It wouldn’t change if something came up, so Claire was right, even if Roxana ordered someone to bully Claire behind the scenes, it couldn’t be helped.”
Unlike Baron Cheston, who looked more than a little surprised, the Crown Prince’s face was nonchalant as he passed on his words.
He was able to help Claire from being bullied last time.
However, if the imperial family were to step in and dispatch investigators or release soldiers because of the extent to which she attended a tea party and was hosed down, it would rather invite ridicule. Since it was directly linked to the dignity of the Imperial Family, they could not move recklessly.
Especially at a time like this.
The Crown Prince sighed as he thought of the lovely fiancée he had seen during the day. Maybe this time it had nothing to do with Roxana, or vice versa.
But the important thing right now was not whether she did it or not, because the date of the Duke of Lillian’s return was fast approaching.
He thought he would come back around the end of the year, but it was earlier than he expected.
When the Duke returned, he would find out that Roxana had an accident at the Imperial Palace last month. No, there was a high probability that he had already known.
Roxana made no small amount of mistakes that day, but as the saying goes, ‘arms bend inward,’ so such an excuse would not work for the Duke.
Thinking of the Duke’s reaction already made him feel heavy and tired.
There would be no need to add more anger to the beehive.
It was better to let this one go for everyone’s sake.
It was right after he had barely quieted the rumor that Roxana and him had broken up. But now, the Baron wants him to officially offend the Duke of Lillian over something of this magnitude? Then there was the second Prince and the people…at this time of the year?
The Crown Prince was adamant.
His words would sound heartless, but they were all true.
“I’m sorry. Your Highness, I was just…”
“All right, get out.”
The Crown Prince looked coldly at Baron Cheston’s back and added before he left the room.
“Baron, your duty is to assist me, not to mindlessly interfere in every petty squabble between noblewomen. Do not forget that fact just because you have a sense of justice.”
After my walk in the garden, I went back to my room and had a hot cup of tea with brioche freshly made by the family chef. The reddish black tea had a very mild aroma and was sweet with sugar.
As I enjoyed my leisurely tea time, I recalled the events of my visit to the Hermes.
At first, I had expected him to be of a very high status, given his appearance.
Still, I couldn’t imagine that he was from a grand ducal family.
Elvin didn’t look much like not only the recent Grand Duchess, but also his two half-brothers, and even the Grand Duke of Croix.
This would mean that he resembled his mother’s family, but his mother, Princess Katarina, had been dead for a long time and I could not remember her face.
Unlike the members of the Grand Duchy whose faces were publicly known, Elvin was mainly in the shadows and rarely engaged in social activities.
So it was certainly a stretch for me to immediately think of him as Elvin Croix.
Today, Elvin appeared before me in the form of the master of Hermes, and covered his face with a mask, but otherwise he made no effort to conceal his identity.
Yet he asked me not to disclose anything to the outside world that would reveal his true identity.
“What is his ulterior motive…?”
Finally, I found Stephen, after much agonizing.