Kaelus’s visit to Ilion with me quickly spread to society.
For some reason Madame Harmonia came to visit the marquis. She must have been quite curious about the story of my date. I guess my body would’ve disappear if I waited until I went to the salon.*
*TN: she’d be dead if she waited that long
“Welcome, madam. it’s my first time to greet you at home like this.”
I welcomed her with a big smile. Harmonia also smiled softly.
“I’m just grateful that you allowed me to visit, Marchioness Hestia.”
Isn’t she Diana’s best friend? I didn’t feel any animosity or awkwardness towards me in her attitude; even though I made the fuss at Diana’s tea party.
Is the bond between Harmonia and Diana still the same? I should check.
“Last time, thank you for your quick statement of condemnation of the temple. I should have thanked you soon after, but I couldn’t go to the salon because I was busy with this and that.”
“Whoa, you had to go to Illion. How could you have? I’m fine.”
She lifted the cup gracefully and suddenly stopped moving.
“Oh, by the way, marchioness. Did you hear the news? Madame Merope has decided to leave the palace.”
What a surprise! Madame Merope, the palace’s master, is leaving her home?
Harmonia continued with a bitter face.
“Yes, even though the emperor and the crown prince tried to stop her, madame’s resolve seems to be very strong. They put it to old age and health issues.”
I made a serious face on purpose.
“Actually, that’s all an excuse, right? I know even I’ve been on the fringes of society. There’s a real reason why Madame Merope wants to leave.”
Harmonia put the teacup down quietly.
I let out a big sigh.
“Madame Merope is a frustrating person, too. You’ve been in the palace for decades and you still don’t know when to bend.”
“Yes, go ahead, madam.”
Harmonia sighed deeply at my gentle way of speaking.
“Do you know who her highness cares about the most?”
“Isn’t it the emperor and His Highness Helios? They’re the most noble people in this empire. Oh, if it’s not that…….”
I smiled bitterly and went on to finish my sentence.
“…the poor people who have always been emphasized since the days of the temple…?”
As expected, Madam Harmonia is a person who has a good ear for words. I was haunted by the words I was spilling.
“You’re the marquis’ wife. It was no coincidence that you were so bold at the tea party.”
She shook her head.
“Actually, there are so many things I wanted to say to the marchioness. I wanted to ask you about your visit to the shrine, but I also wanted to talk about what happened at the Imperial Palace.”
Her tired expression bodes well. I tried to calm down my big smile and comforted Harmonia.
“Isn’t Madam the friend that the crown princess relies on the most?” What’s the matter with you having such a hard time?”
“I’m telling you, because it’s Hestia, not anyone else, but Her Highness Diana is still not used to being a royal.”
I nodded my head in understanding.
“I understand what you mean. Her character is too strong.”
Although I put it in a good way, in the end, Diana is stubborn as a bull.
Harmonia sighed one after another.
“Madame Merope must have determined that she couldn’t handle her anymore. Like she said, she may be mentally exhausted from getting older.”
“The more important it is, the more important the role of Madame Harmonia is. I’ll let you know to keep your balance.”
“Madam marquis, I’m sorry to say this, but I’m not confident anymore.”
“Hmm? What do you mean?”
I know, but I pretended I didn’t know. Man, it’s so hard to hold back laughter.
Harmonia looked at me with serious eyes.
“Do you remember what I just said? Who does the crown princess care about most?”
“Yes, and I answered. His majesty the emperor, his majesty the crown prince, and the people of this empire.”
Harmonia’s eyes are slightly bent. A strange smile in her eyes.
“Why, of course that’s true. But it’s not the first. It is none other than the Marchioness Hestia.”
“What? No way. That can’t be true.”
I smiled and waved my hands.
“You know what I’m talking about. I had an accident at her tea party a while ago. Her highness wouldn’t have hated me, but she wouldn’t have liked me.”
“Even being noisy means that you can’t help but care about it in some way. Hestia is the only one who dares to speak directly to her enough to move her highness.”
“Oh, that’s too much. I’m not that great of a person. And I can only say that straightforwardness is only useful when there are followers and listeners.”
Humility is humility, but the specifications are very clear.
Why would I say nice things to Diana? If you leave it alone, it’s about to walk down the muddy road. I don’t really want to do anything other than fight with Diana.
In addition, the biggest reason why she has to tell me this is because she’s an ugly person, so does she think I should take the lead in getting beaten? She’s hiding behind me.
However, Harmonia did not give up easily.
“Doesn’t the marchioness have the crown prince’s confidence? There are not many nobles of the capital who have the same skill as Hestia.”
“I’m flattered. There are many people who are much more experienced than me. Like Countess Erinnis.”
I shook my head excitedly. A clear indication that I don’t want to step in on Diana’s business.
Then Harmonia dropped her shoulders.
“But… at this rate, she’ll lose a lot of popularity….”
Hmm. What does that have to do with me? Rather, it’s something I want.
However, if I refuse too loudly here, I will be uncomfortable when I face Harmonia in the future. She’s acting like she’s given up on Diana for the first time in a while, and she’s pretending to help?
“Phew…. Madam is so pitiful that my heart is weakened….”
I smiled helplessly.
“Okay, I’ll tell Diana straightforwardly. I’ll do my best, so start cheering up, Harmonia.”
“Whoa, the marchioness is a very kind person. I won’t forget your kindness.”
Only then did Harmonia’s complexion brighten.
Well, to a certain extent, Harmonia would’ve acted like she was weak. It’s not so bad though. This way she can owe me a debt. Isn’t it the basic law of society to exchange what you want with each other?
“Then do me a favor later. Hehe.”
“I’ll be waiting for you any time.”
I shook my head gently as if I could not bear it.
“Oh, my goodness. Madam is not ordinary. Now, let’s talk about something else. You want to know about Ilion?”
“Hohohohoh, we’ve been talking about it for a long time. The marchioness has a very good domestic skill.”
The atmosphere soon warmed up. Harmonia and I laughed and continued our conversation.
After Harmonia returned, I had a headache because of the assignment I had thrown away.
I know the news, so I’m sure Countess Erinnis knows it. She seemed to be quite close to Diana, but she couldn’t stop Madame Merope’s exit.
Even Madame Harmonia, who thought she was Diana’s ally more than anyone else, has come to me on both hands and feet.
“Hmm…. How do I cook this….”
I have no intention of running to Diana as innocent as a fool and saying, “Please call me.” I wanted to twist this against Dianna somehow.
As the days go by, the position of crown princess will become more uncomfortable. Diana.
I’ll make you regret it endlessly, thinking you’d rather be a marquis wife. Honestly, I wonder if you can handle that.
I wrote down the names of Diana and Madame Merope in my fanatic notebook and flicked a pen. Then I took two arrows from Merope and wrote the emperor and the crown prince, respectively. As Merope said he stopped her from leaving the palace.
Then at least for Merope’s future, Helios and Diana would have been at odds with each other.
Given that he hasn’t paged me yet, so I think Diana’s still keeping the prophecy I told her a secret.
I’m curious. How long will it last?
“…it’s up to me.”
There is no such thing as breaking a promise. Especially if it’s a “promise” with Diana.
I’m sorry, Diana.
I have something. I need to talk to your husband.
Humming, I drew a small picture in my fan’s notebook. Heart between Diana and Helios. And the crooked line that separates it.
I walked lightly into the lily palace. The strong scent of flowers is vibrating in the residence of the crown prince and his wife.
I took a deep breath.
It was Diana’s taste to like flowers. Thanks to this, Kaelus also planted colorful flower trees in the artist’s garden after taking care of it. Strangely enough, they’re all dead now.
Actually, I’m not very interested in flowers or plants. If you ask me to raise them with my own hands, even if I can admire the wonderful gardens that others have raised, hmm.
“What are you doing?”
“Oh my god!”
I was in the middle of breathing and was startled. Oh, I almost cursed.
I was a little flustered and polite.
“The empire’s great little…”
“I saw something strange. There are times when you’re surprised, aren’t there?”
Helios cut my greeting off with his usual cold face.
The sudden surprise sent a surge of irritation, but tried to calm down my voice.
“I was fascinated by the scent for a while. It’s a garden that her Highness has cultivated.”
“Diana likes gardening. She is quite well versed.”
“Yes, I’m familiar with it.”
He squinted at me.
“What’s going on today? I don’t think you’re here to see Diana.”
Gold eyes that look at me closely. It is an urge to answer clearly, but you should not forget your original purpose due to your emotions.
He bowed obediently.
“Yes, I’m here to see the crown prince. I need to ask you something.”
Helios turned around and said,
“I happened to have something to say, so that’s great.”
That man has something to say to me. I apologized to Diana just like he told me to do before, what is he complaining about?
I walked behind him anyway, even if it was a bit dull.
“Did you say you had something to ask?”
“Yes, your highness.”
Helios went straight into business as usual. This is was for me, but I want to hear what he has to say first.
“But first, may I ask what you have to say to me?”
He raised his chin slightly.
“I heard that Kael was finally out.”
As soon as I heard it, I was relieved. Was it about Kaelus’ outing? What am I supposed to say?
“Illion officials asked me to greet them. So I visited with my husband.”
“Is everything all right with Kael?”
His voice sounds stiff. I can feel the traces of effort to speak casually.
I replied with a small smile.
“In general, he went around without any problems. He also looked around the embankment that was renovated this time.”
“I see… But if he was generally safe, does that mean that there was a time where he wasn’t?”
He must have been very curious about the circumstances of Kaelus. I hesitated whether to tell the truth or not, but eventually opened my mouth because I thought it would spread rumors anyway.
“We were accompanied by a doctor. He also took medicine along the way.”
Helios’ countenance was slightly blurred.
For some reason or another, Kaelus was an old friend of his, so it seems very unfortunate that he is insulated now.
But it’s strange. I can’t believe Helios is showing his feelings to this extent.
Somehow I asked him.
“Did anything depressing happen? For some reason, your highness seems to be different.”
“Huh, you know me very well, don’t you?”
That is how the answer comes back after asking as much as I can. Damn it. I won’t pretend to worry from now on.
“As an aide to your highness, I meant as much as I knew. I didn’t mean to point it out.”
I excused myself by suppressing my hot temper.
Helios shut his mouth and looked at me for a while. Damn it. What is it this time?
“…You think I’m strange to you who just became an aide?”
Ha. This fox-like impertinent writer is a nitwit to the end.
I think I’ll get caught even if I make more excuses. I told him honestly with a feeling of hope that everything would work out.
“Your highness is a man who rarely shows his true feelings. But today, somehow, you seem to be frustrated. You look tired…”
Helios’ expression was as cold as ever, but he was not as sharp as a thorn as before.
I kept silent and waited for his answer. But he just looked at me with squinty eyes, and didn’t respond much.
By the time he was getting embarrassed, he finally turned away from me.
“…Okay. Let me hear from you.”
Oh, what? You didn’t answer my question after all!
He really is like a fox. After all the nitpicking, he forgot what he had to say to me. My stomach was boiling, but I managed to keep a smile on my face.
“Actually, I also wanted to say hello. How’s your majesty doing?”
“Oh, you know what happened.”
“Yes, I heard it the other day when I saw the crown princess. Fortunately, you were vocal right away.”
Helios nodded his head.
Now that we’ve opened the door, let’s get to work. First of all, let’s check if Diana’s healing power is properly demonstrated.
I asked in a low tone.
“Your highness the crown prince. Let me ask you one more question….”
“Well, did his majesty make a full recovery? I mean, is he as healthy as ever….”
Helios stared at me again. As if he was trying to see through my heart.
In time his mouth slowly opened.
“Why? Are you afraid that your prophecy messed up?”
“Ah, your highness….”
I’m getting irritated. I can’t control my expression because of my sarcastic habit of asking back.
“You know I’m not asking you that, don’t you? I rather informed you in the hope that it would be wrong.”
Helios is quite nervous today. There must be a reason for this.
I made a bold bet.
“Her highness has not fully recovered from her power. Right?”
His lips stuck together.
When I met Helios, the servants were always gone. It was the privilege of an aide who could always be alone with the crown prince.
Thanks to him, I was able to touch a sensitive issue with ease.
“I was the first person to know about her majesty’s condition. You don’t have to hide it from me.”
“……She just feels a little uncomfortable moving around. Everything else is fine.”
An outspoken answer.
Helios was originally feisty to me. But that’s a little too much today. I don’t openly express hostility, but I’m very wary of everything I say and do.
Are you doubting me? Because I had an argument with Diana at the tea party? That’s the only reason why Helios is exceptionally sensitive today.
If I had heard from Diana that Diana’s healing power would be gone, she would have grabbed me by the collar and shook me from the beginning.
If so, it is a head-on breakthrough.
“Your highness, I’ve told you before. My wisdom is useful only if you believe it is true.”
“But now that I see you, I think you have some doubts about me.”
Helios raised his chin and folded his arms with perfect long legs crossed.
“If you’re going to give me advice, why don’t you quit?”
“I am ready to resign my position as an aide if you do not wish to. It’s just that….”
I deliberately lengthened the end of the sentence and watched his countenance. Helios’ brow was getting deeper and deeper.
“…Didn’t Diana say anything?”
Little sparks flew from Helios’ golden eyes.
His fatal weakness, Diana.
The reason why he’s expressing doubt to me now is because I pushed Diana hard at the tea party.
Sure enough, as soon as Diana was mentioned, Helios’ spirits became terrible.
“You attack my wife in everything. It’s too obvious.”
“What about her health? As soon as the accident happened, she poured her healing power into it!”
Helios clenched his teeth and stared at me. If you kill someone with your eyes, that’s the kind of eyes you have, right?
I sighed with envy.
“Hoo… I brought my foresight, but I won’t tell you this time.”
“What? Are you going to let go of your duty in front of me now?”
The more dangerous the opponent comes out, the more calm I am.
“Because I don’t have to tell you. Her Highness Diana will soon reveal it herself.”
Helios has hardened.
“Sir, I’d like to say one last thing before I leave. Who do you think is the most prestigious person in this palace?”
“Hestia, you’d better moderate your profanity.”
It was a cool voice, but I’m not afraid.
“Her Highness is the crown princess. Not his majesty, not Helios. Even Madame Merope couldn’t stand this strange phenomenon and ran away. Everyone, including me, is just looking at the crown prince….”
“Hestia. That’s it.”
I really shut up this time. For Helios’ anger was extraordinary.
Fiery yet frightening golden eyes. A life so frightening that one’s whole body is horrified without realizing it.
Oh, is this the original male character’s pose?
I stooped rather modestly as if I were under the weight of an impossible force.
“I’m sorry. The slip of the tongue went too far, your highness.”
Leaving behind a cold, piercing gaze, I turned around with courtesy. Without anyone knowing, pulling up the tip of my lips at an angle.
In the carriage to the house, the corners of my pouting mouth did not subside.
It was not easy because Helios was firmly upholding a wall, but I succeeded in throwing everything I aimed for.
“Prophecy” that Diana and I know. And the ranking of the imperial palace that is being overturned.
Although it was briefly mentioned, if it was a smart and quick-witted Helios, he would have fully understood what it means.
“They need to have an in-depth conversation.”
Helios was pretty nervous today, by the way. It’s not just because of what I said, but I feel like he’s already been under a lot of stress before.
“…Is it because he didn’t meet his friends?”
As soon as he saw me, he asked after Kaelus, and he looked tired.
But I don’t feel sorry or pity. He didn’t care about Kaelus having a hard time while playing around. Yet, he’s acting like he’s curious now.
I don’t like it.
It’s ridiculous. Helios’ nerves were on edge. Is there anyone who can comfort him? What the hell is Diana doing, loving him? If you’re tired, shouldn’t you go to your wife who can’t live and die because she likes you?
Is there already a conflict between the two? You’ve only been married a few months?
Before the return, after the death of Kaelus, I had completely cut off social contact, so I never saw the crown prince and his wife up close. So I also heard the news of the palace through hearsay like ordinary people.
It was almost two years after the end of the novel that the discord between the two couples became known to the common people at the time. However, it may be earlier than that, that that actually began to crack.
If I knew this would happen, I would have worked harder. I didn’t know I’d go back like this then.
Anyway, I appeared in front of his eyes for no reason today, so I think I became the target of Helios’ anger. But I’m not particularly upset because I’ve scratched his insides.*
*TN: upset him
The carriage came to a smooth stop in front of the porch.
“How was it, Lady Hestia?”
The butler, Uross, greeted me back from my departure.
“Is everything alright with Kaelus?”
“Yes. After taking a walk and taking a nap, he read a book in his study.”
Kaelus’ daily routine was also organized quite regularly. A sign that his daily routine was gradually recovering.
Alas, what a wonderful phenomenon.
My favorite, who was wandering in despair, is gradually escaping from the darkness, and cracks slowly began to form between the original couple, who tried to be happy only by themselves while leaving him behind.
But the real game hasn’t even started yet.
My heart swelled with anticipation.