“Oh my, Clyde! Lariette is only fifteen years old. What are you planning to do with a snot-nosed kid?”
Ellor giggled as if she had heard a funny joke.
Clyde revised his impression of Ellor.
Ellor wasn’t just a woman that liked playing and did things without thinking.
While the depth of her thoughts was yet to be seen, Ellor was his best option for now.
‘Even so, I was wondering how to approach her, so it’s a little puzzling how it came to this.’
Clyde decided to ignore the awkwardness he was feeling for a moment and took Ellor’s hand comfortably.
“I can’t believe that you really aren’t just trying to sound me out.”
“You’re saying that we should write a contract, right?”
Ellor was again able to grasp what he was thinking immediately, and beckoned a lady-in-waiting that was a distance away to bring paper and ink.
The paper that was brought by the lady-in-waiting was a contract that she had prepared beforehand.
“The terms of this contract are simple. You and I will become partners to win the competition for the throne. Please lend me your wisdom. I will do my best to become your chess piece. As soon as I’ve become the crown princess, I will marry you immediately, and after I become the emperor, I will use appropriate excuses and gradually advocate for you to be my proxy. And when everyone has gotten used to your reign, I’ll abdicate in favour of you.”
“Promise me one more thing. I won’t condone my husband living with another woman, even if our marriage is contractual. I will not have a man other than you beside me either.”
Ellor’s green eyes gleamed. It was unknown whether that was from bashfulness or anticipation.
Clyde once again confirmed that Ellor was reasonably favourable towards him.
While she raised the topic under the guise of a brazen attitude first, it was definitely based on affection.
And that was in Clyde’s favour.
“Of course, Your Highness. With a beautiful person like Your Highness by my side, how would another woman enter my gaze?”
“……Is that so?”
For a moment, Ellor’s response was chilly, but it was soon covered with a smiling face, so Clyde missed the slight sign of abnormality.
After carefully perusing the contract, Clyde penned down his signature at the bottom, and tucked his copy of the contract away, before drinking the tea that the lady-in-waiting had poured again.
While things proceeded smoother than he had expected, it wasn’t wrong to say that the real work is starting from now onwards.
“The first test given to the emperor’s candidates is…”
“It’s probably the hunting competition that will happen in a month.”
“Oh dear, Your Highness doesn’t actually require me.”
“Apologies for interrupting. Please tell me, instead of sulking. What should I do on that day?”
Ellor, who had finally grasped Clyde’s hand, gave a deep smile.
“Whatever it is, the very firsts and very lasts are the things that will greatly influence people’s impressions. You must never miss these two opportunities. As such, you have to stand out during the first stage of this competition. the hunting competition.”
That’s what Clyde from Ellier’s previous life had told her.
He visited her in secret after the Spring Banquet and whispered that he would make Lilliette the Emperor.
When the genius of the Empire that was recognised by everyone had proactively approached her and said that he would be her advisor, she couldn’t help but think that she was very fortunate.
Lilliette was only a girl that had just turned seventeen.
His handsome appearance and talent for persuasion got rid of Lilliette’s vigilance instantly.
That’s exactly what that punk had expected, right? How ridiculous did she look?
The hands that were lacing her boots strengthened.
She had wondered if she could have become the emperor without relying on such a cad, but it’s probably next to impossible.
Whenever she thought about how Clyde struggled against Slarhan till the very end…
‘But, even the great Slarhan needs some good fortune.’
While Slarhan, who had been viewed as the ideal emperor, chased behind Lilliette from a frightening distance at the very end, he had suffered greatly in the beginning as he didn’t obtain the support of the nobles.
The reason he managed to gain the right attention was thanks to Lilliette.
In a situation where none was able to easily approach the successor to the Ventiark family, which had suffered at length under the emperor’s oppression, Lilliette, who had been running wild indiscreetly, dragged Slarhan’s hand and let him to the light.
However, a princess named Lilliette didn’t exist in this life, so Ellier had to make him stand out in other ways.
‘Come to think of it, I’m also helping you this time, right? You really should thank me, Lehan.’
As she was giggling internally, Ellier jumped up from her seat.
During the first test of the Imperial successor race, the hunting competition, Lilliette won the first prize.
Differing particularly from the other imperial princesses, who sent their escort knights in their stead, she participated personally and obtained the first place, leaving a deep impression on people.
‘But that was just a trick.’
Even if Lilliette was proficient in archery and swordsmanship, she wouldn’t be able to come close to the knights that were close to the level of a Sword Master. She could only compete in swordsmanship with lower levelled knights.
Clyde was also highly aware of that fact.
As such, the plan he proposed was to spray a powder that caused a calming effect on the animals.
It wasn’t something that completely didn’t affect humans, so the other knights that inhaled the powder would also feel their bodies getting a little heavier and lose their concentration.
That was also what Clyde was aiming for.
“They might feel that their condition isn’t that good. They normally wouldn’t think that they had been drugged. It’s about their skills. It obviously would drop.”
After the conditions of others had been impaired and the animals in front of her were slowed down, all Liliette, who had taken a stimulant in advance, had to do was to aim for the prey spiritedly.
In any case, she decided to snatch his idea and implement it first.
She wasn’t sure if Clyde would use the method again, but even if he did, Slarhan would definitely be able to catch a lot more prey than the knights would.
“Alright! Let’s go, Nox!”
Ellier carried Nox to the woods behind the mansion.
Sedatives for animals were made by mixing several dried herbs with the essence of medicinal herbs, before drying in the sun and grinding them into powder.
Since the amount of essence from medicinal herbs wouldn’t amount to much, she should work hard at picking them in preparation for the hunting competition in a month’s time.
Perhaps it’s because Nox wanted to go out today in particular, it kept trying to open the window, and when it reached the forest, it began to prance here and there by itself.
“Don’t go too far!”
As if Nox really understood human language, it remained not too far from Ellier’s location.
Nox had fun by digging the ground, chasing insects, or eating weeds.
Ellier pushed through the grass and dug up the herbs that had begun to sprout with their roots without leaving anything out.
After hours of digging, Nox suddenly began to meow.
“Huh? What’s wrong, Nox?”
Nox seemed to be quite fussy as he wasn’t able to pick the red fruit hanging on a nearby thornbush.
“This? Is this what you want to eat?””
Like she was trying to test it out, she plucked a fruit and placed it in front of Nox, causing it to gnaw on the red fruit that was the size of a cherry, before spitting it out.
It seemed delicious, but it didn’t seem to be to its tastes.
“Huh? Wait a minute… “
Nox had run off to a side after a fluttering butterfly in the meantime, but Ellier was brooding due to Nox. She couldn’t take her eyes off the fruit that it had spit out.
A red seed was contained within a translucent flesh of the fruit.
‘This, it seems like that, no matter how I look at it.’
If a sedative exists, a stimulant would also exist.
In her previous life, Clyde insisted on giving Ellier a red seed that looked exactly like that and told her to chew on one whenever she felt her concentration drop.
After she ate that, her heartbeat would quicken, her mind would clear up and her confidence would rise, making her think that she could do anything.
She had investigated whether it would cause mental or health problems, but it wouldn’t cause problems unless an excessive amount was consumed.
Ever since then, Ellier would always find this seed to chew on whenever she was fatigued from working.
It might only have a similar appearance and was a completely different seed, so she picked up the red seed and bit on it.
‘Isn’t this exactly the same as that!’
It tasted the same, and the symptoms of her heartbeat slowly increasing was the same. Her mind was also cleared up.
Clyde had said it was hard to obtain this drug, and she had spent quite a pretty penny for it, but to think that it’s a seed of a fruit that could be found after briefly searching the forest?
“You d*mned scoundrel!”
As Ellier hurled all sorts of curses at Clyde, she picked the red fruit from the thornbush.
While the number of fruits was small compared to the size of the thornbush, it would be enough for Slarhan‘s usage.
Just as she was commending herself for the good harvest with a light heart.
“Yes? I’m…it’s Ellier!”
“How am I supposed to know who that is!”
“I’m the Duke of Ventiark’s errand girl.”
At the words ‘the duke’s errand girl’, the man that was shouting furiously from a distance scanned Ellier up and down.
“Ahh, so it’s the rumoured slave.”
“Ah, haha! Yes, probably…”
“What are you doing here by yourself? You tried to run away, didn’t you?”
“That’s ridiculous! I was digging up some herbs as it’s currently my free time. Mr Tariq had also given me permission.”
Ellier showed him the permit that she had received from Tariq.
However, the man, who seemed to be a servant, didn’t give the permit a proper glance and kept looking at Ellier.
“You don’t like anything special… is it, well, good technique?”
“How much do you receive per night?”
“What? How much do you receive per night?”
“I know that slaves would earn pocket money by selling themselves. How much is it? The b*tch that the duke values, shall I also have a taste?”