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In other words, the maid’s disrespectful attitude yesterday opened my mind. Claire and even her maid looked down on me, so if I let this go lightly, it would happen again.
So I was going to look into this matter and punish those involved severely to make sure it wouldn’t happen again. There was nothing wrong with just having to deal with it myself instead of borrowing someone else’s hand.
“Well then, Your Highness, I’m going to leave now, I have a new job that will keep me busy for the time being.”
That was enough for today, as the Crown Prince had at least made a promise that he would leave the maid’s matter to me. Claire’s gaze became even steeper as she looked at me as if she was unhappy with the Crown Prince’s decision.
I stared at her with a cold stare, the edges of my lips slightly raised.
“Lady, why do you seek to entrap and persecute the innocent?”
The corners of Claire’s eyes suddenly turned red as if she was really upset. I asked, looking at her like that with a numb face.
“Lady Dana, what do you mean?”
“My maid is innocent of any wrongdoing. The person who pushed me down the stairs yesterday was not my maid.”
“Many people know that Lady Dana has a beautiful heart, but you should learn when to step up and when not to.”
“Even though the maid has been by your side for a long time, you shouldn’t cover for her when she does something wrong. No matter how kind hearted Lady Dana is, trying to insist on her innocence like this is a bit much, I must say. Is there some other reason why you’re trying to protect the maid so much?” (Roxana)
There were certainly many suspicious things about the accident that happened yesterday.
It might look as if someone had been sent to kill Claire. Even if the party who had caused it had not been there, it was still possible that that person had the power and means to manipulate people behind the scenes.
I fitted the criteria because I had a grudge against Claire.
And people knew that.
But now that there was no evidence anywhere that I had ordered anyone to hurt Claire, plus the fact that even the Crown Prince, who was on her side, had let go of her hand, there was nothing she could do.
The only thing she could do was to hold on to this incident and let people see me as a “wicked woman” who only believed in power and bullying people.
Roxana’s reputation was already bad enough as it was, so one more minor charge wouldn’t make much difference.
“That’s just speculation. The Princess continues to try to pin the crime on an innocent person. My maid is innocent.” (Claire)
By all accounts, Claire’s demeanor today was strange.
Claire was usually calm and patient. She knew when to step back and Roxanna was always troubled when dealing with her. But today, Claire was like a different person. She was easily excited, easily expressed her emotions.
She didn’t even try to listen to the Crown Prince’s words.
This meant that Claire was emotionally cornered. It was not only the capture of the maid that made her lose her self-control. Recently, Claire has experienced no small amount of change as a result of my actions.
Claire pretended to be calm, but in reality, she was not. I turned to Claire with a calm face and said.
“The knights from the imperial family and Count Evans investigated thoroughly, but the most suspicious person was your maid. Isn’t it natural to suspect the most powerful person as the culprit? Besides, the maid has already committed the crime.”
Claire’s face was as beautiful as ever.
However, her brow was furrowed and she didn’t look as soft and gentle as she usually did.
Claire’s stare at me with a hint of venom in it reminded me of the black eyes of a snake.
I looked at her and said calmly with a gentle smile.
“It is only natural to hold the maid responsible for the problems caused by her inability to take good care of her master.”
“When did the Princess become so concerned about me? I was the party in question, and it was someone else who pushed me that day……….”
Eventually, the Crown Prince couldn’t take it anymore and raised his voice.
His angry rage surprised me a bit, and Claire seemed more surprised.
The Crown Prince said firmly.
His gaze at Claire was filled with warning.
The tears that had been pooling in both of Claire’s large eyes eventually flowed down her white cheeks as the Crown Prince decisively gave her the order to leave.
Claire turned and walked out and bit her lip.
The sight of her frail body trembling and shaking looked so pitiful to see. Claire had a look of regret on her face, but it seemed more like resentment and embarrassment.
Today was the first major humiliation she had ever experienced.
Claire was low in status, but arrogant.
She always ignored Roxana. Up until now, when the three of them met in one place, the Crown Prince always sided with Claire, not her fiancée Roxana.
Today, however, was different. Earlier, the Crown Prince took my side and not Claire’s, and it was she, not I, who retreated in defeat. Not only was she leaving without accomplishing a single thing she had hoped for, but it was the person whom she usually ignored the most made the outcome of it all.
For Claire, who thought so highly of herself, today would be a good memory that she would never forget. The higher her vanity, the more she would be ashamed to admit her defeat and retreat. I said in a worried voice as I stared at her before Claire left the room.
“Lady Dana looks perfectly fine for someone who fell down the stairs, but you should still report to the doctor just in case.”
Claire’s gaze turned to me. The Crown Prince may not know the meaning of my words right now, but Claire would understand.
Perhaps that was why her face was a little stiff. As I looked at her, I added a few words with a smiling face.
“From what I saw, the injury may not be to your body, but to your head.”
Upon hearing me, Claire paused and stared at me for a moment, then quickly turned her body and stepped out of the room. After she left, the Crown Princes and I were the only ones left in the large room.
“Then I will leave now.”
There was no reason for me to remain here any longer, since I had achieved what I wanted. I greeted the Crown Prince and was about to leave immediately, but he held me back.
“I will be ready in a moment. Let’s go for a walk together for the first time in a while. “
Earlier, I not only annoyed the Crown Prince’s favored Claire, but I even threatened him, believing in the authority of the family.
I had a feeling that he was trying to blame me for what I did earlier for which he held me back, but from the look on his face, I don’t think that’s the case.
If the Crown Prince had been able to endure my irreverence and overcome it, I should be able to suppress my displeasure and smile beside him as well. As before, I think pretentious friendship is better than quarrels.
Soon there would be two grand banquets in the royal household, and there would be no gain to fight with him.
“I will wait outside then.”
When I agreed, the Crown Prince looked at me with a slightly complicated expression and nodded. After seeing him put the heavy coat he was wearing on a hanger and go into the back room, I stepped out.
I pushed the doorknob and stepped outside to find Claire standing in front of it. Seeing that she hadn’t left even though it had been a while, it seemed that she still had something to say to me.
When Claire tried to approach me, Annie blocked her. I told Annie to step aside and faced Claire.
“Let’s talk for a minute.” (Claire)
“You’re still rude, aren’t you? First of all, it’s polite to greet your superiors.”
I didn’t have to put on a pretentious smile because there was no one here to protect Claire anymore.
Annie was nervous about what Claire might do to me. But this was an unfounded fear. This was the Imperial Palace and there were many people.
If she tried to harm me, Duke Lillian’s only daughter, in public, she would be heavily punished.
If I were to be severely injured or died, then she would not be able to die beautifully even if the Crown Prince did everything in his power to protect Claire.
Claire has never had the courage or ability to do anything more than playing tricks with her three-inch tongue before. So I had not the slightest reason to be afraid of her now.
I walked around a bit to find a place that wasn’t crowded. It was not easy to talk comfortably in front of the Crown Prince’s palace. As I took the lead, Annie and Claire followed me. After a while I stopped at the end of a back hallway.
The Crown Prince’s guards were standing far away, but at this distance they should not have been able to hear what I was saying.
“Are you happy that things are going like this?”
Claire asked. She seemed to be asking about the maid, but her words seemed to carry a lot of meaning. Seeing that, I couldn’t help but laugh. The Crown Prince was Roxana’s fiancé long before Claire appeared in society.
However, Claire now dared to act like someone who had been robbed of her position in front of me. I didn’t like the Crown Prince romantically, so there was no need to be angry, but I was puzzled. Instead of pointing out Claire’s attitude and getting angry, I opened my mouth with a pleasant face.
“Is there any reason why I shouldn’t be happy? The weather is nice, the Empress is good to me, and the Crown Prince has been sweet to me lately.”
Claire’s face became twisted. Her face immediately flushed red as she saw through the mockery in my words. Claire gritted her teeth, finding it difficult to control her emotions. I looked at her and continued.
“The Emperor asked me to tell him anything I want for my birthday present. What do you think I should ask?”
Claire was silent for a moment as the Emperor was mentioned. For her, who had to be wary of the Crown Prince and could not reach the Empress, the Emperor was someone whom she couldn’t dare to look at.
How she was angry and frustrated in front of Lady Flynn before, she could easily handle the mention of the Emperor better than I thought she could.
A few moments later, Claire opened her mouth again.
“It wasn’t my maid who pushed me down the stairs.”
“I know that. I knew from the beginning that you conspired with your maid. Perhaps by now, His Highness the Crown Prince may have guessed.”
Claire’s eyes widened with a look that said it couldn’t be. After shedding her gentle and soft mask, Claire’s true face was hideous. I couldn’t help but feel pity that the Crown Prince couldn’t see this face right now.
“You seem to think very highly of your maid, but even if the culprit is someone else, it has nothing to do with me. Your maid will be punished no matter what.”
Claire lowered her gaze down as if she had given up.
I don’t know what she was thinking, but her face looked very complicated now.
“It’s a pity that an innocent person had to suffer because of the master’s mismanagement.”
Getting a little bored, I turned away from her and looked at the sky. I stayed in the imperial Palace longer than expected because it was already getting dark outside.
The red sunset gave off a golden glow, and the flowers and grasses blooming in the garden were tinged with sunset.
I frowned while looking at the scene.
‘Was it my imagination? I think someone is there…….’
I think I saw a figure from the bushes, but it disappeared so quickly that I couldn’t be sure what it was that I saw.