It was two days later when Ellier sensed the subtle change in the attitudes of the servants.
“Excuse me, I have come to get my dinner.”
“Oh my? We’ve run out of bread.”
“Yes? In that case, even if it’s just soup…”
“How would there be soup left when there’s no bread?”
“That’s right, who asked you to come so late?”
Ellier arrived at the same time she usually does, but it was strange that they said she was late.
Even the maids seated at the back were eating calmly.
There still was a soup pot atop the kitchen range, and it seems that there was some bread within the cloth-covered basket.
And, Ellier was quick witted.
It seems that she has incurred as much hatred towards her as in Ventiark Castle.
‘Hasn’t it been about a month since arriving at the mansion? Even so, it seems that they had endured longer than I’d expected.’
The slave’s position, having been given the position of the lofty Duke’s errand runner, was quite delicate.
If Ellier had been an ordinary maid, everyone would want to curry favour with her, or at the very least not be a nuisance, but when it was a slave, their pride wouldn’t allow them to do so.
Even at the fact that Ellier came from the most lowly Rubelfast.
“Then, I’ll come two hours in advance tomorrow to collect it.”
“No, you can’t. How can the slave be served before others? Come an hour earlier than today.”
“But at that time, I have physical training…”
At Ellier’s response, a mocking light flickered past the faces of the maids around her.
“Physical training? Aha! So you’re describing it as physical training, huh?”
“Well, it requires a lot of physical strength, so it can be seen as physical training. Isn’t it so?”
The surrounding maids burst into laughter at the same time.
As Ellier stood there absentmindedly, she was rather disconcerted.
“Six o’clock in the evening! I’ll give you bread only when you arrive exactly at that time. You mustn’t be late by a minute.”
“Who made such a law?”
“You’re pretty cocky when you’re a slave. Just because His Grace thinks you’re a little pretty, you don’t seem to see anything anymore?”
“Hey, what do you expect? Perhaps you thought that as long as you bore a child, you’d even get the position of a mistress.”
“Tsktsk, apparently slaves would roll around the sheets like that, well, that’s the only thing that they’ve learnt.”
The maids’ taunts and words of ridicule appeared indistinctly, but Ellier couldn’t understand at all.
‘What happened that made me be gossiped about as Slarhan’s, that b*stard’s, woman this time?’
No matter how much she thought about it, nothing has changed.
Although she would spar with Slarhan behind the warehouse every evening, it really for a short duration.
When she sparred with Slarhan, she would often roll about and break things, so she definitely didn’t look lovely.
In any case, bread wouldn’t appear even if she kept standing here.
Eventually, Ellier headed to her room, leaving behind the maids that kept ridiculing her maliciously.
“Nox! Mom’s back”.
It was fortunate that she could bring Nox with her when she came to the capital.
If it wasn’t for Nox, this life would have been much more difficult.
“I’m sorry, Nox, I couldn’t get dinner today. Those bad girls in the kitchen used a very strange excuse, and didn’t give me food.”
Ellier sighed deeply.
She didn’t mind starving. Although she was hungry, enduring hunger was a daily routine when she was at Rubelfast.
But the problem lay with Nox.
Perhaps it was because the first meal this peculiar and precocious cat ate bread for its first meal when it was starving, Nox paid no attention to small animals or insects, only eating bread.
Nox would ingest the meat in the soup that came with bread, but it would never eat raw meat.
Thanks to this, she was able to sit face to face with Nox and eat, which was the most enjoyable time for Ellier.
“Wait a little while longer, Nox. When it gets darker, I’ll go through the trash can in the kitchen. There should be something there that I can feed you with.”
So what if Ellier had the soul of an Emperor? In order to find something to feed her little cat with, she had to rummage through the kitchen’s trash can.
Of course, she knew that if she went to Slarhan and told him about the happenings just now, she would be able to obtain today’s bread.
But doing that was no different from turning all the servants in this mansion into her enemies.
Slarhan wouldn’t always be able to protect her, so if she was hated for nothing, she wouldn’t be able to escape unscathed right now.
She had always wanted to be Nox’s reliable owner, but it felt like she had become a mother cat that returned without finding food, making her feel depressed.
At that thought, Ellier sighed, and suddenly Nox meowed as it scratched at the window.
Just as Ellier turned her head, Nox successfully opened the window and ran out before Ellier could stop it.
“Nox! Where are you going? Nox!”
But after Nox looked back at Ellier and let out a meow for her to relax, it soon disappeared within the darkness.
As Ellier craned her neck out of the window and looked around, she caught sight of that and wore her shoes immediately to leave in search of Nox.
Just then, Nox jumped past the window sill and entered the room instantly.
There was a loaf of bread held within his mouth.
“Oh, my. Nox… Where did you get that?”
Seeing from how he had returned instantly, the bread must have been brought over from someplace nearby, but there didn’t seem to be a place outside the window that could produce such a fluffy bread.
Even still, the loaf of bread was warm and it was untouched by dust.
“It can’t be that you nipped the knight’s bread over?”
Unlike Ellier, who hesitated due to not knowing the source of the bread, Nox meowed as if it was asking for her to rip the bread quickly.
“Yeah, it would all be eaten up anyways, so who would know? It wasn’t stolen by me.”
After locking the door tightly, Ellier tore half of the loaf into small pieces and placed them onto a plate for Nox, with a water bowl next to it. She then ate the other half.
At the sight of Nox devouring the bread ravenously, the guilt of eating the bread with an unknown owner faded.
After all, no one will starve just because a single loaf of bread went missing in this luxurious mansion.
“Thanks to you, Nox, I don’t have to starve today. Thank you, Nox, you are such a smart and pretty kitty.”
Perhaps it understood Ellier’s praise, the satiated Nox had only yawned for a long time.
“Welcome, Young Lord of the Kassir Marquisate. It’s nice to meet you.”
“It’s an honour, Your Highness.”
“I hope that you’ll call me by my name, Ellor.”
Ellor smiled brightly at Clyde, who visited the palace after receiving an invitation.
It has been roughly a week since the Emperor announced the competition between successors.
By now, Clyde should have already finished his calculations.
There wasn’t any news that indicated his interest in Iris, Luria, or Lariette.
So when an invitation was sent, Clyde lived up to her expectations and came to Ellor immediately.
“It is an honor to be granted permission to call you by your name. I would be happy if you call me Clyde too.”
“I’ll be happy to do so, Clyde.”
Ellor tried her best to prevent her smile from being too visible.
After taking a sip of tea elegantly, Ellor appraised Clyde silently, before opening her mouth.
“Wasn’t the celebration last week amazing?”
“Although it’s still quiet, everyone’s head must have been filled with complicated calculations.”
Clyde could roughly guess what Ellor was about to say, but paid more attention to her oddly calm attitude.
Currently, Ellor seemed to be pitying the other candidates’ efforts that would be in vain, as she would obviously win the competition.
“It would obviously have been so. This has never happened before, even from the days when Paldinas was a kingdom. But Your Highness, Ellor, seems to have made up your mind for some reason.”
“You’re quick to catch on. That’s right. I have made up my mind. I’ve decided to be the Emperor.”
Ellor spoke assertively.
If it was the words of a young Princess, others would smile at her cuteness, but Ellor was neither young nor stupid.
Clyde lowered his voice slightly.
“Do you have a plan?”
“Clyde. While this competition was inevitable, an advisor is really important. I’m destined to be a chess piece wielded by the advisor.”
“There wouldn’t be anyone that would have such an irreverent attitude.”
“No, it is true. In your eyes, aren’t I just an Imperial descendant that you can use to wear the Emperor’s crown?”
At that moment, Clyde was rendered speechless. He didn’t expect that she would broach the topic so honestly.
Just as Ellor had mentioned, it wasn’t possible for any of the Imperial descendants to win this fight solely with their own brains.
Especially against the sly snake-like Emperor and the hard to read Slarhan Ventiark…
“What is it that Your Highness is trying to say?”
“Clyde, take my hand. Because I’m the most suitable amongst your available choices.”
“Don’t you feel that it’s unjust that you can’t inherit the Marquisate even though you possess such outstanding ability? But in actual fact, being a Marquis isn’t the only thing that suits you.”
Ellor’s voice became more quiet.
“Don’t you want the Emperor’s throne?”
“I’ve never had such a disloyal heart…”
“Then, conceive one from now onwards. Help me become the Emperor, and marry me. Then, I’ll be able to hand my position of Emperor to you.”
Goosebumps seemed to form on the back of Clyde’s neck. It was a proposal that was 100% consistent with his thoughts.
He didn’t know how the Princess, who he thought was living in a flower garden without any thoughts, noticed his own idea.
“Why… Why did you have such thoughts?”
“Pfft! Clyde, you don’t have to be that scared. I don’t have any great plans. As you are aware, if I fall behind in this succession competition, my life would be like a candle in the wind. However, I want to live longer and enjoy this power and wealth. Is that a bad thing?
“Anyone would think the same way, as long as they’re a human being.”
“Isn’t that right? But I hate being troubled. That’s why I’m not very interested in the Emperor’s position, which has to look after governmental affairs.”
Then, Ellor leaned forward and approached Clyde.
“But you’re the right person for that position, and you’re someone that can perform well. What do you think? Don’t you think our interests match perfectly?”
There was nary a sign of apprehension on Ellor’s smiling face.
As such, Clyde became even more dubious.
He wondered how she could be so confident when it came to such a major issue.
“Then, I can also choose another Princess.”
wouldn’t it be possible for him to choose another princess?”
“Oh my! Are you now in the mood to be honest? But since you’re smart, you’d probably know, right? Iris is greedy, so she would want herself to occupy the throne. As for Luria, it isn’t good for me to speak as she’s my sister, but there’s nothing for you to look forward to in this regard. To put it bluntly, she’s too stupid.”
“Then, what about Her Highness, Lariette?””
Elor’s eyebrows flinched for a moment at the sound of Lariette’s name.
This was because an afterimage of her past life flashed by momentarily.
But Ellor vowed once again, this life is different.