The plan hit the rocks again.
Anastasia became very troubled when her plans were repeatedly thwarted by Wilhelm.
She wasn’t the only one in trouble, of course. The nobles also split into two categories and argued fiercely day after day.
Those who support the existing Empress Anastasia and those who support Avelin, the real woman of the oracle.
No matter how much Avelin was a real woman of oracle, the Emperor had made sure she wouldn’t be deposed.
As to which side they had to line up on so that their neck would not fly, they must have decided their position after a lot of thought.
“It was like that before returning.”
Of course, he did not punish those who supported Avelin.
But there was no law that Avelin would not, so Anastasia was bothered by those who were forced to support her.
‘Well, she’s a nice girl, so it won’t be a big deal.’
One day, while waiting for her disposition with little regard.
“…So for now, it was concluded that Lady Hazel would stay in the palace. The temple agreed.”
The Duke of Barantes visited Anastasia again and reported the news.
That was the most appropriate compromise for now.
There was an expectation that the Emperor’s will would remain the same on the side that supported him, and that the Emperor’s mind would change if he looked at her often.
“So I think you’d better get ready for the next two months and run away when the delegation’s reception is over. Unless you have changed your mind by then.”
The expression on her father’s face about running away was so serious that Anastasia had to struggle to contain the laughter that was about to burst out of nowhere.
“What do you think, my plan?”
“For now, the way you said is the best way.”
As long as they were entangled in diplomatic issues, they couldn’t act recklessly.
‘After all, the disaster started about a year after Avelin appeared.’
So, 2 months was enough.
“I hope that His Majesty will like Lady Hazel even a little bit.”
“… Are you serious?”
“Yes. … I’m sure.”
Anastasia smiled brightly and nodded her head.
‘If I can’t make him happy anyway.’
She wished Avelin to do that for the rest of her life, more than anyone else.
For Anastasia, his happiness was the top priority.
“Let’s talk about Prince Louis’ adoption after some time has passed. It’s too soon to put it in your mouth right now. I’ll tell the prince myself.”
After saying those words, Duke Barantes stood up. And the moment he was about to leave the reception room, he called Anastasia as if he almost forgot.
Anastasia looked at the Duke of Barantes with a curious expression.
“You know? I’m always on your side.”
“No matter what Your Majesty decides, I will always follow and support you. Don’t forget that.”
Then he left the reception room with a strong smile.
Anastasia, who was left alone, couldn’t take her eyes off her retreating father’s back for a while, muttered with a sentimental expression.
“Thank you, Father.”
In this life, she had a good hunch that everything would end up well.
Anastasia waited a few days for Louis to completely recover his emotional stability, and then asked the child if he would agree.
“Louis, you know what?”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“I’ve been thinking hard about it.”
Anastasia carefully brought up the plan.
“Even if I am no longer the Empress, I think there is a way for us to be together as a family.”
“What is that?”
“For Louis to join the Barantes family as the heir to the Duke of Barantes.”
Anastasia explained eagerly, making eye contact with the child.
“Then we can continue to see each other after I leave the Empress’ Palace.”
Contrary to expectations, however, Louis’ response was flat. When Anastasia was about to ask carefully what was wrong.
“But I just want Your Majesty to stay as my aunt…”
“Can’t you do that?”
Somehow, Anastasia was heartbroken by Louis’ sullen expression, but she tried to soothe the child without expressing her feelings.
“It’s, um… So it’s like the last resort.”
“What does that mean?”
“I’ll be here for the time being.”
Anastasia explained, stroking Louis’s hair.
“Later on, even if we can’t do that one day, we’ll continue to see each other.”
“But the most important thing is Louis’ will. So, if you don’t like it, you can say no. Even so, if I go to see Louis…”
Louis interrupted Anastasia’s words and shouted.
“I will do whatever Your Majesty the Empress wants. I want to be adopted into the Barantes family.”
“Are you serious? Louis, it’s an important issue, so think about it a little more…”
“No. It’s okay. The more I think about it, the more I think it’s a good idea.”
Louis ran into Anastasia’s arms with those words.
“I don’t want to be separated from Your Majesty the Empress…”
“If we go to the Barantes family, are we really going to be able to see each other again in the future? You won’t abandon me, will you?”
“What do you mean abandon you? Even if you don’t choose to enter the family, it’s never going to happen.”
How could she abandon this lovely child? Louis had already become like her child for a long time.
“It’s just that I don’t want Louis to get nervous about this.”
“I see. I won’t be anxious anymore.”
After Louis boldly replied, she asked.
“But when I’m registered, am I going to the Duke of Barantes’ home?”
“No. As long as I am in the Imperial Palace, Louis will remain in the Imperial Palace.”
Anastasia shook her head and smiled.
“I’m writing to register you so we don’t lose each other but it won’t change much.”
Louis’ laughter finally brightened, and Anastasia felt relieved.
‘I’ve been worried about this.’
With Louis’ consent, it was really only her father’s hardwork left.
“Your Majesty the Empress.”
Then Selene came up to Anastasia and told her the news.
“Lady Hazel entered the palace.”
After a few days of preparation, she entered the palace almost immediately.
On the way back from the Imperial Palace to the Empress’ Palace, there was Sienna Palace, Avelin’s residence, so Anastasia went to meet her in person.
“Empress, so far, it’s just a matter of…”
Perhaps thought Anastasia’s visit was unexpected, Avelin greeted her with a very surprised look.
The room looked chaotic because it was not yet organized.
“I didn’t expect you to come here in person. Oh, let’s not do this here and go to the reception room.”
“No, it don’t have to be complicated. I’m just here to take a look. I wanted to make sure that there was no shortage or inconvenience for the lady’s stay.”
“Thank you for your kindness. But it’s such a nice palace. It’s too much.”
“That’s too much, is it?”
Anastasia smiled vaguely and glanced at Avelin’s shoulder, which was revealed in an off-shoulder dress.
“This is a natural treatment for someone who has been chosen by the Goddess.”
At the words, Avelin, whose expression darkened, hurriedly bowed before Anastasia.
“I’m sorry, Your Majesty.”
“Hmm? What does that mean?”
“It feels like I’m taking Her Majesty’s seat for nothing…”….”
Avelin spoke with a restless face.
“I felt uncomfortable the whole time. If I knew this would happen, I would have just hidden my mark…”
“That’s nonsense. How long do you think you could hide it?”
Anastasia smiled and held Avelin’s hand.
Perhaps surprised by the sudden contact, she could feel Avelin shaking her body and hardening.
“You don’t have to think about that at all, Lady Hazel. It’s all the will of the Goddess. As her insignificant creatures, we can’t help it.”
“Don’t feel a sense of guilt. I’m… Because I’m about to leave.”
“Your Majesty the Empress…”
Tears of emotion began to form in Avelin’s eyes.
“Actually, I have a present for Your Majesty, can I give it to you?”
“Yes, there are many things I’m thankful for.”
Avelin replied in a voice of sincerity.
“I heard that the Empress begged the Emperor for me to stay in such a good palace. Thank you so much for taking care of me so carefully.”
At the same time, Avelin winked at the maid next to her and made her bring something.
Soon after, she received a small box and handed it to Anastasia with both hands.
When Anastasia received the box and opened it, there was a pretty red ribbon strap inside.
“It’s a small thing, but I prepared it. It’s made of precious silk from the East. My father gave it to me on his trip this time, and I thought it would look better on Your Majesty’s golden hair than me.”
“Thank you, Lady Hazel.”
“Well, if you don’t mind…”
At that time, Avelin asked Anastasia carefully.
“Can you give me the honor of tying your hair with it myself?”
“If you’d like.”
Anastasia readily accepted, and Avelin came up behind Anastasia with a broad smile and began to gently smooth her hair.
Naturally, a few strands of Anastasia’s hair fell to the floor, and Avelin kept moving her hands, looking closely at the figure.
After a while, Avelin pulled away with a contented voice, and took the mirror from the maid and showed it to Anastasia.
“I don’t know if you’ll like it.”
She was quite skillful. Anastasia smiled naturally when she her pretty half-tied figure.
“Thank you for the present, Lady Hazel. If you have any inconveniences in your life, feel free to tell me.”
“Thank you again for your consideration, Your Majesty.”
Leaving Avelin’s polite dismissal behind, Anastasia finally left the Sienna Palace with a relaxed look.
‘Since Avelin entered, I won’t have to worry about it for a while, at least.’
But it was a complacent thought that she could do whatever because she completely forgot what day would be in a few days.