“You’re leaving for the academy the day after tomorrow?”
Grand Duke Friedrich laid down his fork and knife gently. Then, he grabbed a glass of wine, spun it a few times, and then took it near his mouth.
Elena answered modestly. She was sitting on the left side of the table in reference to Grand Duke Friedrich who was at the top of the long table. As it was an official dinner, the maids and the chef attended: there was a reason to show a healthy father-daughter relationship.
“It’s been two years since you returned to school. Wouldn’t it be arduous to keep up?”
“I learned a lot from Liv during the break.”
Grand Duke Friedrich’s eyes fell on Leabric, who sat on the right.
“I just did what I was supposed to do.”
Elena listened to the conversation and cut the steak into bite-size pieces.
‘I won’t see these revolting faces for a while.’
In principle, academic institutes shall live in dormitories without distinction of status, such as royal families and aristocrats. Unless there is a particular reason, she would not run into Grand Duke Friedrich or Leabric. Nevertheless,she didn’t mean to relax and make herself comfortable there. She intended to take advantage of Leabric’s absence and lack of surveillance; she will lay the foundation for her plan to undo the Grand Dukedom.
‘Considering my early graduation, I’m given a year at most.’
In principle, she had to attend school for another year, including two years off from school, but Elena was an anomaly. As a sole heir to the Grand Duke, she was granted the privilege of receiving a diploma even if she lacked credits to obtain one. Eventually, the rate of success or failure of revenge depended on how she employed the time spent in the year or so.
After the formal dinner, Elena and Leabric had tea time separately.
The meeting was aimed at checking issues that should not be overlooked before departing tomorrow.
“As you know, you’re not as good as others as you took two years off. I’ll tell the dean, so take one more major and one more course.”
“I tell you this every time:don’t be nervous. You have to get your head straight. If there’s anything you can’t handle, don’t try to take care of it alone and tell me first. Do you understand?”
“Of course, Liv, don’t worry too much. I can do it.”
Elena nodded and showed her will. She seemed pretty reliable. Although Leabric was sceptical and didn’t get rid of her troubles.
‘Ha, I wouldn’t have been perturbed so much if you had Lord Loreche with you.’
If she had been with an experienced man, Leabric would have been able to control her to some extent in the worst situation. However, she couldn’t. In the end, the best measure was to be reported periodically by Anne, who was posted as a watchdog.
“Take Anne and Lunarin as your maids.”
Leabric’s tone was more of a command. It was because she believed that it was good in many ways to have Anne, who will serve as a watchdog, and Lunarin, who is experienced and is the eldest of the maids.
“Liv, you know what… Anne’s fine, but can I take May instead of Lunarin?”
“She learned how to work under Madame, so she has excellent skills. I like her very much, and she’s very attentive.”
Leabric wasn’t very contend, but considering her friendship with Madame, she thought it wasn’t bad either.
‘If you just take Anne, it doesn’t matter who you take.’
It didn’t matter much whether Lunarin or May went. With Anne being the watchman, she can be briefed on Elena’s daily activities, so that’s enough.
“The princess wants it, so take May.”
“I thought Liv would understand. Thank you.”
Elena gave her a child-like show of joy for doing her a favor.
‘I’d like to leave her as well, but if I force her off, it’ll only stir up Leabric’s suspicions.’
As long as Anne was accompanied, there was no choice but to restrict some of her behavior. She would have to be forbearing and go through it. Nevertheless, she was looking for the reflective benefits from it.
‘Relaxation will soon bring carelessness.’
Leabric would believe that Elena is under her control just by keeping Anne around. Elena thought of digging on the background of the guard that had been brought in. Elena, who had heard enough precautions to be careful at the academy, returned to her room.
“Come in, everybody.”
Lunarin, Jesse, Anne, and May stood in line. “Anne and May will go to the academy with me, so get ready.”
Elena said, scattering her eyes through their faces.
Anne’s lips twitched in pleasure for being chosen. May had a complex look on her face, but it was hard to guess how she felt with just her expression. On the contrary, the expressions of Lunarin and Jesse, who were not chosen, showed regret. However, it was not a topic to complain about, so they had swallowed up the disappointment.
“Everyone get out. May’s staying for a while.”
The three maids were dismissed, and Elena and May were only left in the room. Elena was the one who broke the awkward but heavy silence.
“Have you made up your mind yet?”
Elena smiled at May. That day, May was unable to make herself choose the offer made by Elena.. It was impossible to determine what was right or wrong with Elena’s proposal that broke common sense and prejudice.
Elena dismissed her, saying she would give her time to consider, and after May came out of the room, she realized that a daughter had let go of a woman who tried to assassinate her father. It was an inconceivable shock.
What child would let go those who killed their parents? Unless that child hated their parents.
May meditated the conversation she had with Elena over and over. Today, Elena wanted to hear the answer.
“I guess you still haven’t made up your mind. It’s alright, we’re going to the academy together, so take your time answering. I’ll wait.”
“However, be sure to engrave this. My hatred is no better than yours. You can leave now.”
May didn’t move an inch when asked to go outside. She stood there like a stone statue, with her two feet tightly attached. May’s lips, which were pressed against each other, opened.
“…… I have no idea. I don’t know what kind of person you are. Why do you say this? Why do you keep me around?”
The words that came out of May’s mouth with difficulty contained her confused feelings. Elena smiled so that May, who managed to speak out, would not feel burdened.
“You don’t have to be in a haste. You can watch and assess me by your own eyes.”
Elena waited for May to come on her own rather than urging her.
There were a lot of tasks to work on when she will go to the academy. For that, she needed someone to act as Elena’s hands and feet in earnest. Even though it was a delayed realization, May has recognized that the enemy was a comrade and Elena waited for May’s hand.
In the end, May, who was unable to make any choice again, said her goodbyes and left the room. Elena, who was left alone, sat on the window frame. She opened the window and raised her head.
The full moon fell.
“When the moon falls….”
Elena reached out her hand and clenched her fist like a clasp in the moonlight.
“My morning is coming.”