FMDF – Chapter 17

-+=

Indeed, the response was tremendous. When Kaelus overcame his illness and showed his robustness, he was sent letters from all over.

I asked the butler who brought the coffee.

“At the letters arriving in front of Kaelus as much as it comes to me?”

“Yes, but her barely reads it, and he just lets it  pile up.”

“Phew, I thought so.”

But he should at least send a reply. If not all.

Uross said, reading my darkened expression.

“If Hestia is willing to take care of it, I’ll ask Kael.”

“Well, it’s better to do that, right?”

“We’re just grateful for the relief.”

Uross’ countenance was much brighter.

After he left, I sighed again.

“Ha… It’s a disaster. A complete disaster….”

Sitting down and earning work, is this not a disaster that has been brought on by myself?

But if he can be comfortable as much as I suffer, I can take on even more.

I sat down in front of the desk with coffee. And I tore through piles of letters in the basket.

“…”

A rush of reality. Damn it.

Who said that noble women live gracefully and leisurely? It’s not easy to relax. My eyes are going to fall out.

But complaining doesn’t solve anything. I exhaled a long breath, and then determinedly opened the letters one by one.

When you’re behind in your work, you have to deal with the important thing first. Fortunately, the competent butler Uross tied these letters separately.

“Oh, thank you.”

This certainly makes me feel comfortable.

I looked first at the report sent by the official of the Illion estate. It was a special request for a separate investigation.

“Let’s see if the number of visitors to the temple have changed.”

Thanks to Helen and Pollux’s sibling enthusiastic advertising, the soap quickly spread throughout Illion. Since most of the production cost was covered by the my finances, the price was also very low.

Kaelus’ idea that even if it costs more, the scent must be added was also right. The commoners of Illion imitated the life of the venerable aristocracy by using their own fragrant soap.

The use of soap was steadily increasing, and it’s about time for the effect to come into play.

“Oh, oh….”

For a little over a month, the number of visitors to the temple were gradually decreasing. If the temple was not careful checking these changes, it was highly likely that it will still not be noticed.

I laughed with satisfaction. It couldn’t be better.

It’s much better to dry up like this than to stand out. It’s like a frog that doesn’t even know it’s cooking in boiling water.

“Shall we start a campaign to drink boiled water?”

If you want to tighten your leash, you have to do it until they’re out of breath. Otherwise, they’ll jump at you as soon as they can breathe.

I took up my pen and wrote back to the official in Illion. I read in an academic journal that it’s better to drink hot water after cooling it down than just drinking cold water. Therefore, inform the people of the land to drink water after cooling it as much as possible.

“Hmm…”

Since it’s a tea-drinking culture, I don’t have to say it. But there’s no harm in telling him, so let’s use it for now.

While I was in the midst of moving my pen, Uross, who had gone to Kaelus, returned.

“Kaelus has given us permission. From now on, he said that you can read the letters to master and sort them out.”

“Oh, yeah. Alright.”

Work increased, but a corner of the heart warmed up.

Kaelus is trusting me. It gives me a lot of feelings. Wasn’t he supposed to work alone?

“Please say thank you, Uross.”

“Yes, Lady Hestia.”

A master who trusts me, and a faithful butler.

Perfect. I’ll never fail.

~~~~

After that day, it was mostly up to me to answer the invitations flying to Kaelus.

The contents of the reply were all the same. ‘Thank you for the invitation, but I’ll see you next time.’

The seemingly important invitations were checked directly with Kaelus. But his answer was the same.

“I refuse everything.”

There was also a letter inviting us as a couple once, but there were a lot of things that I didn’t feel the need to attend.

After all, Kaelus never went into society again after Countess Erinnis’ concert. I don’t even know when my next outing will be.

Nevertheless, the society has been talking about Kaelus every day.

~~~~

“Marchioness Hestia! Even if you didn’t come, I waited with my neck out to see when you would come.”

When I stopped by the salon after a long time, Madame Harmonia was very pleased.

I replied with a big smile.

“I was so busy that I was out of my mind. I really wanted to meet you, too. Harmonia.”

When I showed up, there was a stir in the salon. I’m having difficulty swallowing for some reason. I feel like I’ve become a star. This is all thanks to my favorite.

Harmonia quickly noticed the air.

“It must be a little noisy here.”

She guided me to the pre-arranged separate room. There seems to be something else you want to tell me.

At first, I thought she’d ask how Kaelus was doing, but judging from her appearance, it seems to be more serious than that.

“Madam, what’s going on?”

Sure enough, Harmonia sighed and smiled awkwardly.

“As expected, the Marquis’ wife can’t be beaten.”

“What’s wrong with you? Is the crown princess the problem again?”

I made a bold stab at it. Then a series of sighs broke out from her.

 “Rather than a problem…… She doesn’t have anyone to get any helpful advice from.”

I burst out laughing. There were a lot of people who could help, but how many of them did Diana beat?

“Oh, my God, madam. There are not many people who can withstand the royal courtesies. Besides, she prefers to respond to advice.”

I pointed out quite acrimoniously. Harmonia was also weakly positive.

“That’s true, but I can’t leave her like this.”

“What’s the use of forcing a wise woman to come to you when she doesn’t want to?”

“She’s a good woman by nature. She just doesn’t know the ropes.”

I’m frustrated. Should I say goodbye to Harmonia? I can’t afford to lose to Diana.

  However, unexpected words continued.

“Marchioness, help me.”

“What?”

I’ve never heard anything more ridiculous.

“Harmonia. I’m the one the crown princess is most wary of. Besides, I already did madam’s favor last time. You still have that debt, did you forget?”

“I know. Lady Marquis. But there’s really no one but you.”

Harmonia said desperately. But I shook my head.

“How many famous adults in society do you say that to? And the crown princess would hate me to approach her as an advisor.”

“Hestia is also an aide to the crown prince. If you are concerned about the coldness of Her Majesty Diana, I have an idea.”

Oh, you have an idea? Let’s hear it.

“What are you thinking?”

“You can sit down with the young people they’re close to.”

Oh, my God. I shouldn’t have heard her out. This is ridiculous.

“Is that madam’s plan? Just listen to that. What would happen if you put me in a place full of the Crown Prince’s allies? I’m sure they’ll bite me off thinking they’re right.”

“No, I’m sure they won’t.”

“?”

Her answer was so convincing that I wondered. Harmonia once again stressed.

“There will never be a chance for the young to antagonize or look down on the marchioness. I guarantee you.”

“Is it a well-founded guarantee?”

“Yes, of course.”

Harmonia closed her eyes gently and opened them.

“At some point, the young ladies began to stay away from Her Highness Diana. Right now, there’s no one around her who can call her a close friend.”

“….”

To be honest, it’s not surprising. I told Countess Erinnis to take in Diana’s friends.

However, even if we didn’t plan it, it was time to get tired of Diana’s inconsiderate justice one by one. It’s Diana’s fault for thinking everyone would like it if she said the right thing.

Harmonia calmly persuaded me.

“Young ladies would rather listen to the marchioness. If Diana’s close friends come out like that, she won’t be able to throw out the Marquis’ wife.”

“You know the personality of the crown princess. No matter what people say, she’s not the kind of person who can break her stubbornness, Harmonia.”

“It’s going to be different this time. I’m telling you.”

I stared at her. You’re that sure? Really?

She added with a big nod.

“Trust me. If you want proof, I’ll be happy to show you.”

“How will you prove it?”

“I’ll tell the crown princess to send an invitation to the marchioness for tea time. Young ladies, who are close to her, including me, will attend the event.”

“Hmm…”

“At first, you don’t have to give advice, just relax and chat. Hestia will be good at understanding the atmosphere of the participants, even if I don’t bother to tell you.”

“….”

I’m a little moved. So I can just sit down and come back? It’s enough if I don’t go after the second time.

I quickly rolled my brain. If I accept this, Harmonia will owe me a huge debt. What should I tell her to pay me back to make a lucrative business?

Diana. Temple. Power. Weakening.

The main keyword passed through my head in an instantaneously. Then, a pretty good plan came to mind.

I raised my head and stiffened my neck.

“Okay, so instead of accepting madam’s offer, I have a favor to ask.”

“Oh…!”

Harmonia opened her mouth with emotion.

“Just say it. I’ll do my best.”

“Keep it a secret what I’m pushing for, and carefully gather the opinions of the nobles. I want the temple to release a list of properties.”

“!”

Harmonia’s eyes grew as big as they could be. I lowered my eyes coyly.

“I can’t do it if you can’t. It’s not so easy to be an advisor to the crown princess.”

“No, it’s not. Marchioness, you can do it. You don’t know unless you try.”

I glanced at her with my eyes moving.

Suddenly my mind became complicated.

Harmonia’s efforts not to give up Diana somehow. Why is Diana so fascinating that she tries so hard? She’s a total stranger.

I even tried to make a wedge between Harmonia and Diana, but I think I failed. I think Helios has done quite a good job.

Or is she giving Diana one last chance before she’s abandoned?

“All right, Madam Harmonia. I’ll be waiting for the tea time invitation.”

“Thank you very much, Marchioness Hestia!”

Harmonia even had tears in her eyes. As if she were truly grateful.

~~~~

I was quietly lost in thought in the returning carriage. About Harmonia’s faith in Diana.

What a great friendship. It’s almost impossible to help Diana even by telling me a sad story, unless you truly have affection for her.

In the original work, Diana was able to enter the aristocratic society without difficulty thanks to Harmonia. The manners she taught her, the world, the physiology of the society. Harmonia’s assistance was absolute.

Harmonia thought that Diana could give a fresh shock to an aristocratic society. Born as a daughter of an aristocrat and living without marrying an aristocrat, Harmonia looked at the aristocratic society calmly at a strange border.*

*TN: Harmonia is an anomaly in the aristocratic society so she looks at it from an outside view

But basically she wasn’t a fighting personality. As her name suggests, she wanted everyone to be in harmony.

“She has a big dream….”

A bitter talk to myself.

What Harmonia wanted from Diana was “change,” not “fight.” However, doesn’t the word “change” itself already contain an inevitable confrontation with the existing one?

“I thought you were a realistic person, but you were a complete romantic.”

She is solely to blame for being my partner in crime. I know. Yeah, she should’ve cut me off quickly. I’m holding on to my lingering feelings.

Now Harmonia, even if I didn’t like it, has to make public opinion as I wish. By pressuring the temple to disclose its property list, the temple has no choice but to enter the fight against me, Diana, and even the temple.

And she’ll be right on my side, not on Diana’s side.

“Diana. Diana….”

I laughed and shook my head excitedly. Does she know that my side is falling apart because of her stubbornness?

If even Harmonia turned against her this time, it would be a great loss for Diana. She’ll be in trouble if she underestimates the value of her friends or colleagues. The original heroine.

By the way, what kind of atmosphere is tea time led by such stubbornness? I’m not going to give her any advice anyway, so I’m going to find something to enjoy.

I’m not sure when the invitation will come, or if it’s really going to come before that, but I can’t help but look forward to it.

“I wish I could tell you something interesting….”

That’s enough for me.

One day I was waiting for a tea time invitation from Diana.

It was heartbreaking that Kaelus said his eyes were tired. Eventually, I ordered Uross to bring in a skilled optician to the marquis.

“My husband reads a lot of books and documents. I think we need to do something before it gets worse.”

“Of course, you’re right.”

The optician bent over and agreed. He himself wore round-rimmed glasses.

I took him to Kaelus’ room.

“Kaelus, the optician is here.”

He was looking at diplomatic documents as usual. As we entered, we slowly laid the papers down on the table.

“Oh, I see.”

“Once your eyes start to get worse, the rate of getting worse is very fast. When you feel tired, you need to take care of it quickly.”

The servants picked up the whole table strewn with documents and put it aside. And on the clean table they brought, the optician opened a bag containing various tools.

“Marquis, I’m sorry, but please wear this optometric measurement.”

I watched the work with interest. Basically, it was not much different from the process of making glasses in modern times.

Fortunately, Kaelus’ eye condition wasn’t so bad. When looking at the writing, it was enough to manage to relieve fatigue.

Naturally, glasses were a very expensive item in this world. It was burdensome to make a few more as a spare unless you were a decent aristocrat. On my paper, the lord of my adoption, Elea, should probably take it easy to get one.*

*TN: it would be difficult for him to get glasses 

However, the story is different if you are the lord of Illion, who is known to be rich.

“Make three more of the same. I’ll be relieved if he has enough.”

“Yes, I will do as you say.”

My order was answered by the optician with a beaming face.

Kaelus seems to have been quite tired from measuring his eyesight by changing the glasses around.

“I feel a little dizzy.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. Marquis, it’s over now.”

The optician sweated through his shirt.

Unfortunately, there was almost no such thing as spectacle design in the world. At best, an antique pattern is drawn on the bridge of the glasses. It’s a pity that it’s not fun to choose by changing the frames like I used to do at the optician’s.

But let’s ask.

“Can the lens only be round?”

The optician looked at me with a quizzical expression.

“In a different shape, you mean?”

“Yeah, square or streamlined.”

“Oh…… Actually, I’ve never tried anything else. It’s hard to get the refractive index right….”

“Well, I see. If you can afford to, it would be good to study it.”

Is the technology still difficult here? But since I threw it like this, something will come out in the future.

~~~~

After the optician returned, I shared tea with Kaelus.

He smiled bitterly.

“I thought glasses were needed when you’re middle-aged….”

“If you put it off with that thought, you’ll regret it a lot after losing your eyesight. Rather, if you start using glasses early, other people who have hesitated will slowly be encouraged. No matter what anyone says, your health is the best.”

His head tilted slightly to the side.

“Have you been paying attention to my eyes?”

“Sure. It’s my job.”

Besides, I’m filling up some of my little desires. What do you mean, a man with glasses? Do you know how sharp and intelligent the guy in the rofan is? Although the strange law of second leads only applies.

A little false smile leaked from him and soon sank into loneliness.

“…I’m sorry for some reason.”

I know why Kaelus says so. Because he doesn’t care about me as much as I do him.

But it’s only natural. It is possible because I pour infinite affection toward my favorite. On the other hand, Kaelus’ favorite is not me.

What glory would I expect from Kaelus in this novel? I just wish my favorite could heal his wounds and be happy, regardless of me.

“You don’t have to think about that at all. It’s all for my goal.”

I replied as if I were taking care of my own interests so that he wouldn’t feel sorry for anything. No, I’m actually being honest. My goal is the happiness of my favorite.

Kaelus opened his mouth as he stared at me.

“Your goal.… Did Heli and Diana say they were apologizing?”

“Yes.”

To be exact, not to me, but to Kaelus.

“Can you tell me what you want them to apologize for?”

How can I resist what my favorite asks?

“It’s simple. They were too narrow-minded and selfish.”

“Did they do anything special to you?”

Kaelus is digging quite deep today. I should be careful.

“Ha ha, there’s no way high-ranking people would have targeted a meager existence like me. But let me just say that I lost the will to live because of them.”

The specific answer threatens to reveal my identity. In particular, you should never let your guard down in the face of sharp insights from your favorite.

And as expected.

“Is it related to me that it’s their fault?”

 Sudden sharpness. I managed to keep my composure.

“Not much… No….”

It was all that, actually.

It was the only reason that made Kaelus give up his life on his own that made me angry. The decline of the empire due to the absence of Kaelus was of no concern to me.

The same is true now. The unexpected damage that happens while I’m throwing and splitting bait is out of my own interest.

Diana and Helios were also immersed in their love, but they did not care about Kaelus and others. The original couple did the same, but am I the only one who should pay special attention to others?

Let’s make it clear. In the story I make, the main character is Kaelus alone. Other than that, it means I have a supporting role that does not matter whether I die or live for the main character. Isn’t this the beauty of secondary creation?

Therefore, to make the end of my story a happy ending, I will conceal my identity and make Kaelus the strongest man.

I smiled on purpose with an air of awkwardness

.

“The trigger for my decision may be insignificant to others. But it was a very important event to me.”

Was my intention to not want to reveal it in detail fully conveyed?

Kaelus slowly opened his mouth without taking his eyes off me.

“Someday…”

If you wait in silence.

“…I look forward to hearing it.”

My heart heated silently.

I replied, trying not to cry.

“Yes, I’ll tell you one day.”

The purple eyes stared at me the whole time, and I couldn’t bear to face it properly. I dodged his gaze.

The heart that tickled for a while, but the words that followed, suddenly cooled down.

“By the way, I’d like to see his majesty in a few days. I’n going back into politics.”

“What? Already?”

Kaelus replied coldly.

“Already? I rested for too long. And as you predicted, if I want to prevent a crisis, I have to come back quickly and collect as much information as possible.”

That’s not wrong. Even when Kaelus decided to attend the concert, he said he could take on a heavy responsibility only if he proved his health to the world. This decision will also be an extension of that.

The head admits it, but the heart doesn’t. Kaelus has not yet fully returned to normal.

“There’s no need to rush back. You’re not fully recovered….”

“This won’t cure itself.”

Stubborn Kaelus, then I have to point it out.

“Even if you meet Her Highness Diana every day?”

“…!”

Kaelus shut up for a moment. I didn’t miss this opportunity to persuade him.

“There is always the saintess next to the emperor now. His majesty’s illness isn’t getting better, so she doesn’t leave for a second either. And yet, can you stand in front of them like nothing happened?”

“Hestia.”

His voice cooled before I knew it. My heart froze too.

“Yes….”

Purplish eyes that have cooled down.

“You think I can’t do it, do n’t you? And I’ve told you before. Diana is nothing to me anymore.”

“….”

“I already know how you see me. But I’m not as weak as you think.”

“….”

I wanted to say it wasn’t the case. But my lips wouldn’t move. The cool air squeezed my whole body.

“I won’t interfere with your move just because I’m resuming my outside activities. If you’re worried about that, I’d say you can relax.”

The cold purple eyes seem to penetrate me.

“You can use your position as a marchioness as you have done. I won’t disturb you at all.”

It’s not like that. I was really worried about you.

“I don’t think you’d trust me if I say this. Then you should accompany me when I go to see his majesty. There, I just have to face Diana and see with your eyes how I’m doing.”

I think I’m going to cry because of the cold voice. Still, I managed to keep my mouth shut.

“…Okay. I’ll come with you.”

Even if Kaelus misunderstands me because of this answer, I can’t help it.

No, maybe it’s not a misunderstanding. Maybe he saw through me more precisely than I did.

That I don’t believe in Kaelus. that I still see him as a sick person.

I want him to be happy, but I want him to be in my hands. Maybe he recognized my dark greed that I didn’t even realize.

I rose to his feet in silence. Then I bowed very politely towards Kaelus.

Thank you for teaching me about my stupidity.

Speaking in my heart, I turned around and left.

~~~~

Kaelus acted unexpectedly quickly. As soon as he expressed his intention to return to politics, he asked the emperor to attend and immediately received the date.

I still haven’t received a tea time invitation from Diana. This made it clear how much the emperor anxiously awaited Kaelus’ return.

“Ha….”

And the difficulties that have emerged. Helios and Diana are said to be with the emperor. Diana was expected, but even Helios?

“I’m going crazy… It’s one mountain over one  mountain….”

It was too hasty to say that Kaelus’ symptoms have been cured by attending a concert once. Maybe he’s overconfident in himself.

But there’s already spilled water. From now on, we have no choice but to do our best to make this event happen safely. Oh, I’m cursing.

“Whoo….”

What’s the difference with just a fever? I sighed for a long time and calmly pictured the reality of the situation in my head.

The emperor who welcomes Kaelus like a son. And Diana and Helios, who will sit awkwardly next to him. I don’t know if the emperor knows the end of the relationship between the two best friends, but if he doesn’t, he will also feel awkward and wonder.

Diana would probably be wary of me all the time. Every time I open my mouth and say a word, she’ll be on my nerves and observe me. She might believe in the emperor and the crown prince who support her and send a sharp message.

Although it is an official audience, it will not be a hard and heavy atmosphere as Kaelus announces his return to politics for the first time in a long time. But unless his panic disorder is completely cured, it will be hard for him  to laugh.

“Phew, good. The simulation is over!”

I patted my cheeks lightly.

Swans seem to float gracefully on the surface of the water, but underneath they move their soles desperately. While Kaelus and the emperor have an elegant conversation, I have to constantly grasp the situation like the soles of a swan.

I’m the only one who can protect Kaelus there.

I pulled the rope to call a maid running an errand.

“Go get the doctor.”

“Yes, ma’am!”

The preparation is thorough. The stabilizer is prepared in advance. If I pack the medicine in front of Kaelus’  eyes, he may feel down.

~~~~

A carriage to the imperial palace. Kaelus was silent the whole time.

“…”

I don’t think it’s because he’s upset with me, he’s just very nervous.

I added the words carefully.

“How do you feel, Kaelus?”

“Ah…”

At last, as if out of his thoughts, he looked up at me.

“It’s just like that*.”

*TN: he’s feeling just okay. Not good but not bad either

“Whoa, that’s a relief.”

I answered back with a smile. I can’t give off a lot of  energy either.

A faint smile flashed around Kaelus’ mouth and quickly disappeared. He’s trying to relax, but I guess it’s not working well.

I need to help a little bit.

“You must be a little nervous because it’s been a while. But honestly, I can’t believe it. It’s my first time doing this.”

“First time? Oh, to see his majesty?”

“Yes, I’ve only seen him from afar.”

I nodded his head softly.

 “But you’re so strong that I don’t think you’ll be too nervous in the future.”

“Haha, no way. His majesty is a very imposing man.”

The tip of Kaelus’ lips went up slightly at my words.

“Let’s see.”

“Well, I mean it..….”

Judging from his response, I seemed to have succeeded in relieving tension to some extent. That’s a relief.

I glanced at the clutch that I put down next to me. In that small handbag were some of Kaelus’s vials in case of emergency. I have to be careful not to get caught if I check my bags.

~~~~

The emperor and the crown prince were there in advance. Kaelus and I slowly advanced before them, surrounded by servants and guards.

A somewhat pale emperor. It was immediately apparent that he was a sick patient. Next to him, Diana and Helios showed an ecstatic image like a goddess and a male god, making it even more contrasting.

“I see the great empire sun.”

“Honor to the wise family of the sun.”

The highest formality. The face of an emperor who tolerates no mistakes.

But strangely enough, as Kaelus said, I’m not nervous at all. Why is this? Is it because the bystander’s attitude is still firmly embedded in my consciousness?

“It’s been a while, Kaelus.”

The emperor received Kaelus with a very gentle voice, even though he had no power. He soon responded to me.

“And Hestia. I’ve heard of your story.”

“I’m sorry, Your majesty.”

I lowered myself somewhat.

At the emperor’s beckon, we sat side by side at the fancy table. Then I looked up and looked at Helios and Diana sitting next to the emperor. Naturally, I also sneaked a look at Kaelus’ face.

Kaelus looked at the emperor with a calm expression without a trace of agitation. It doesn’t make the prince and his wife consciously uncomfortable, but it just feels like they’re passing it over carelessly.

Somehow my heart ached. I wonder how much he practiced and practiced alone. He must have tried hard to prove to me that he was fine.

The emperor spoke to Kaelus.

“In fact, Kaelus. I’ve heard about your situation in detail from my son and his wife.”

“I’m ashamed.”

I became calm next to Kaelus, who responded calmly. If the emperor knows everything, it is rather easy to talk.

Helios and Diana were quietly holding the tea. I don’t know when they told the emperor, but it’s much better than being exposed here by my own mouth. No, it’s good judgment.

Kaelus lifted his white face.

“Your majesty, I’ll be in charge of the affairs again. I’m sorry for causing you a lot of anxiety because I wasn’t feeling well.”

“Will you be all right? You don’t have to overdo it, Kaelus.”

That’s what he’s saying, but in reality the emperor seemed very pleased.

Then Helios spoke.

“Is the marquis’s sudden announcement of his return to politics influenced by his wife?”

Kaelus and I looked at each other for a moment. Then, I replied to that.

“To be honest, I dissuaded him. I don’t think the marquis’ health is completely restored yet.”

“I thought this was enough. So I persuaded my wife.”

Diana’s sea-colored eyes glided at me. I smiled as I looked at her eyes.

The emperor looked at the two of us alternately.

“Kaelus, what a reliable companion you have.”

“Thank you, your majesty.”

Kaelus and I bowed our heads at the same time.

The emperor’s voice gently echoed the reality again.

“Kaelus.”

“Yes, go ahead, your majesty.”

The emperor glanced at his son and turned to Kaelus again.

“I’ve also heard that your relationship with my son and his wife is not the same as before. But you’re still like my second son.”

“Thank you, your majesty.”

“I want you to be happy. Don’t doubt that.”

“I’m just grateful for your kindness.”

Kaelus answered the emperor without a hitch.

I looked at my favorite without saying a word.

It is a wonderful demonstration. It clearly showed me that in the presence of Helios and Diana, he could speak and answer with great care. Even when talking about his painful past, he was calm as if it were someone else’s business.

This is why I can’t help but fall for him. My favorite is much stronger and more beautiful than I thought.

“Hestia.”

“Yes, your majesty.”

I bowed quickly at the emperor’s call.

“The marquis used to work alone most of the time. But now that you’re with him, I feel very relieved. Please help Kaelus.”

“You mean this? I will help my husband with all my heart.”

The emperor laughed aloud as if my answer was satisfactory.

“Hahaha, that’s good. In fact, you’re an aide to Helios. I’m sorry I’m putting too much pressure on you, but I’m saying this because I believe you can handle it.”

“I’m flattered, your majesty.”

The emperor did not seem to know why I became an aide to Helios. I wonder why Helios didn’t reveal my ‘ability’ but let’s just stay put for now.

Diana, who had been quiet all along, finally opened her mouth.

“I hear there’s a lot of praise for the marchioness in the Illion estate.”

How long has it been since I heard the voice of the heroine? There was a spontaneous burst of laughter.

“Oh, I’m ashamed. Rumors are always full of exaggeration…”

Then Helios snapped in.

“Even if it’s exaggeration, if it goes on for a long time, it hardens like the truth.”

As expected, Helios has a thorn in his tongue. He’s always impatient because he can’t eat me up.

I responded without removing my smiling face.

“That’s why I’m always self-conscious. I know that my little skills have been inflated by people’s mouths.”

“Hmm…”

Kaelus snorted. I’m excited, too, you punk.

Kaelus, with glazed eyes, jumped in.

“But, your majesty. I’ve been told you’re sick lately.” 

“!”

“…!”

A momentary silence engulfed the table. I, Helios, and even Diana froze in an instant.

What a bold statement. Bringing up the Emperor’s health issues in the presence of a saint.

If a half-hearted man had brought this up, he would have been in trouble, but fortunately, Kaelus is a high-ranking aristocrat who is absolutely trusted by the emperor. A position where you can be forgiven even if you go out boldly.

The emperor laughed with embarrassment.

“Is that what they’re saying outside?”

“I don’t believe the original rumors, but I’m a little worried after seeing your majesty’s face today.”

Kaelus answered unwaveringly.

A thin ice-walking tension. I glanced at Helios. I made eye contact with him.

Very slightly, he rolled his golden eyes sideways.

“….”

Damn it. I see. The emperor does not know that Kaelus and I know the truth.

Helios and Diana never really told the emperor about my ‘prophecy’. I’m sure Kaelus understood the situation through the flow of conversation a while ago.

And yet he’s so blatant about the emperor’s health. What the hell are you thinking, Kaelus?

I listened to their conversation with nervousness.

“Doesn’t my complexion look good?”

“I looked at your face with anxiety, and you seemed somewhat pale.”

“Haha, I guess it’s because I’m old. But I’m better than I look.”

The emperor sighed briefly and continued.

“Maybe it’s because Helios is going to the cabinet meeting instead of me. But Helios also has to succeed soon. The more experience he has, the better.”

“Father!”

“Your majesty!”

Helios’ succession to the throne meant the death of the emperor himself. That’s why the male and female characters are surprised.

Kaelus spoke in that impertinent tone.

“But your majesty was concerned about the presence of the crown prince. Your majesty is alive and well, so I don’t think you have to worry about the well-being of this empire.”

A clean finish. This is the end of the issue.

I admired silently. Isn’t my favorite really a sophisticated politician!

Showing his loyalty to the emperor, he warned Helios and Diana. “I know your secrets”.

In short, Kaelus intentionally brought up the Emperor’s health problem to send a message to the crown prince and his wife.

It didn’t have to be like this when they were best friends. But now Kaelus is not their friend.

Will the marquis be regarded as a dear comrade or as an antagonist? The crown prince and his love must be deeply troubled.

Since there’s a straw mat*, I should help. Can we just let this great opportunity go?

*TN: opportunity 

He gathered his breath and spoke to the emperor.

“To do this, we need to have a loyalist to support you more. That way, the empire and the imperial family will be solid.”

The emperor looked at Kaelus with satisfaction.

“Isn’t it enough that the Marquis Kaelus is back? Hestia.”

I glanced at Helios one more time before detonating the bomb. At that moment, his golden eyes were violently distorted.

“…!”

As expected, Helios is quick-witted. It’s not Kaelus for me for no reason. He’s handsome and smart. Have you already got a sense of what I’m trying to say?

I smiled with satisfaction.

“Rather than the marquis… Wouldn’t a duke be better?”

“!”

“!”

Everyone but me has hardened. Ah, the taste of this bomb.

That’s what it is. I do as much as Kaelus.

Diana rebuked her anger in a repressive voice.

“It’s very arrogant and bold to say such a thing in such a place, Hestia.”

I gently lowered my posture.

“I’m sorry, your highness. I just remembered a precedent in which the Orcus family went on a rampage.”

With my head down, I glanced at Kaelus.

He remain motionless. He must be quite surprised too. Moreover, I fully understand because I put a sensitive name on my lips.

But I believe in Kaelus. I did it boldly because I believed he would endure it.

The emperor muttered groaningly.

“Orchus…”

Helios, of course, signed me as an aide, and promised to raise Kaelus as Duke and give me the Attica estate – the Old Duke Orcus.

But am I sure that fox-like lead will keep his word? Besides, he hates me a lot!

When the time comes, he’ll probably make excuses and put it off. I can’t stand to see it.

That’s why I have to hit him first.

I spoke with a deep bow.

“You have to raise your most trusted servant to the highest. That way, the authority will not be challenged.”

The voice of Helios flew in.

“Hestia, we’ll talk about it again later. This is not the right time.”

He also seems very perplexed by the rigid tone. Oh, my. I’m so sorry.

In fact, I don’t expect to hear an answer right now. Still, I mentioned the duke head-on in front of the emperor, so I will reap any fruit in the future.

“I’m sorry, your highness. Forgive me for disturbing you with my frivolous words and deeds.”

That’s it for today. I stepped back in a calm manner.

The emperor laughed and waved his hand.

“There you go, Hestia. I fully understand what you mean. Let’s have a serious discussion with the crown prince.”

“Ah…! I’m honored, your majesty!”

I stood up immediately and saluted the emperor.

The emperor laughed loudly.

“Hahaha, Kaelus. What a perfect helper you got as a companion. I’ll be honest with you now. In the meantime, II’ve been secretly suffering from the relationship between you and Heli.”

“I’m sorry, your majesty.”

Kaelus bowed his head still.

“But you’ve relieved much of that today. In the end, you’ve met a perfect match for you. Life is such a mystery.”

“I will keep your words in mind.”

I bowed my head quietly, too. But the inside was boiling.

He was able to meet me because he missed Diana? That’s funny.

Kaelus met me because he died in the past. Suffering from terrible despair.

They will never sympathize with my favorite’s suffering. That’s it when they feel comfortable. I don’t want to look back on how my favorite is enduring the pain now.

The female lead, male lead, and his father are all the same seeds. Disgusting egotists.

The emperor looked at Helios and said,

“The crown prince has a good eye. It was a hundred good times to have Hestia as an aide. You’ve got such a talented person.”

“…you’re flattering me, father.”

How angry he will be. He hates it, but his dad is complimenting him without knowing what to do.

Helios would never admit that I was competent. The reason he has me as his aide is purely because he wants my ‘prophecy’. And at the cost of trust in Diana.

~~~~

Some time later, Diana spoke to the emperor.

“Your majesty, why don’t you return to be? The marquis has just returned from his illness.”

“Oh, is that so?”

The emperor nodded and accepted her words.

I looked closely at the two people. Diana was probably worried about the emperor, not Kaelus. The man who is still desperately hiding the fact that he is sick.

Kaelus and I rose from our seats and sent the emperor away.

“See you at the next cabinet meeting, Kaelus.”

“Yes, your majesty.”

The emperor greeted Kaelus one last time, and walked slowly with the help of his servant.

When he left the chamber completely, we also had to say farewell to the main couple.

“May your Highness the crown prince and your Highness be blessed. We’re leaving now.”

I greeted them with great respect.

Helios replied with a roaring voice.

“I’ll page you soon. Then you’ll have to explain what happened today.”

“Without a doubt, I’ll come running whenever you call me.”

I responded with a relaxed smile. Then, I turned towards Diana.

“Your Highness the crown princess. Someday, I will share tea with you and chat with you. I’ll be waiting.”

“…”

Diana was silent. Why don’t you stop being so stubborn and send me an invitation to tea time?

Kaelus finally said nothing to the two. As soon as the farewell was over, I turned very coldly.

I followed him and turned my back on them.

~~~~

“Hestia.”

“Yes, Kaelus.”

“Why did you mention the duke?”

When the two of us  were left alone in the carriage, a question from Kaelus came as expected.

“I can’t trust the prince’s promise alone. He hates me a lot.”

In my answer, Kaelus murmured, smoothed his chin.

“Hellie isn’t that disingenuous.”

Oh, no. Do you still believe in your old friend? Sometimes emotions win over reason.

“There should always be a contingency plan.”

“Hmm…”

I don’t think he agrees, but it doesn’t matter.

Anyway, Kaelus did better than expected today in front of Helios and Diana. Indeed, the two focused solely on conversation with the emperor, as if they didn’t care.

Let’s give him a short compliment with sincerity.

“Well….”

“…?”

I’m afraid Kaelus was just closing his eyes. When his eyes opened again to my voice, I quickly fixed my mind.

“…Never mind. Get some sleep. You must be tired, right?

“Well… it took more energy than I thought.”

“I’ll tell you when we get there.”

Yes, now is the time to get a little more sleep than listen to  my drivel.

My favorite. My Kaelus.

I held my breath so as not to disturb his sweet sleep.

“…”

My favorite sleeping like a picture.

I’m going to store it in my heart.


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