“You came out with a ribbon that I’ve never seen before.”
When Anastasia came out of Avelin’s room, Selene, who was waiting outside, pretended not to know.
Anastasia smiled awkwardly and smoothed her hair.
“Oh, this? It’s Lady Hazel’s gift. Does it look good on me?”
“Your Majesty is good with everything. Red looks so good on your majesty’s blonde hair.”
Selene, with her sparkling eyes, continued to stare at Anastasia’s half-tied back hair as she walked. Then she carefully opened her mouth again.
“But I think you’re being too nice to Lady Hazel.”
When Anastasia looked back at Selene at the words, she began to tell her thoughts.
“Of course, if she is the real woman of the oracle… Her Majesty’s intention to step down, I’m sad, but I’ll follow it.”
“But you don’t have to be kind to even come to see the Sienna Palace yourself.”
“Because she is the one who will serve His Majesty instead of me in the future.”
Anastasia replied in an emotionless voice.
“I’m just giving respect to the woman of the oracle and the empress-to-be.”
“But…… To be honest, you don’t even know if Lady Hazel is a good person.”
“What are you talking about?”
“How can I say it… It feels a little strange.”
After speaking frankly, Selene hurriedly covered her mouth.
There was no basis in what she said. It was rash and inappropriate to judge people simply by their senses.
Selene hastened to patch up her remarks.
“Oh, please forget what I said. I don’t know what to say…”
“I don’t know why you feel that way.”
Anastasia smiled and said to Selene.
“She’s a good woman. So I don’t think you have to worry too much.”
She didn’t just say that because she was the heroine of the original.
Avelin was gentle and kind to everyone not only in the original but also before her return.
She did not spare herself in volunteer work for the poor, and always lived a frugal life as a priestess.
‘Actually, when I first saw her, I wasn’t as impressed as Selene was, but…’
For that, Avelin’s later move was too good. To the point where she was ashamed of her narrow-mindedness in trying to judge people only by their first impression.
‘Even when Wilhelm refused to abdicate me, Avelin volunteered to become a priest in the temple.’
Nevertheless, Avelin did not resent her or Wilhelm. Except for the last moment when the story ended in tragedy.
Well, that was the situation back then, so it wasn’t something she couldn’t understand.
“Even if Lady Hazel is not a good person, what can I do? I don’t have a choice. In the end, the person pointed to by the oracle is Lady Hazel.”
She didn’t care if she wasn’t a good person. All she had to do was be nice to Wilhelm.
“Be careful of what you say elsewhere. I’m afraid there will be a rumor that I’m jealous of Lady Hazel while pretending not to be.”
At Anastasia’s quiet plea, Selene nodded, swallowing the unresolved stinging into her throat.
‘Her Majesty’s words are correct. Anyway, for the Empress, as soon as the Vislante diplomats leave, she will leave the Imperial Palace.’
So, thinking that it was probably nothing, Selene decided not to think of Avelin any more.
“Even if you die today, you’re going to be busy. There are so many things to choose from, starting with the dress.”
“A dress? What are you talking about?”
“Did you forget? Tomorrow is Your Majesty’s wedding anniversary.”
With those words, Anastasia unknowingly stopped her steps.
‘… right. After all, that was tomorrow.’
She had completely forgotten. Because if it went according to her plan, she would not have been in the Imperial Palace.
‘It’s a wedding anniversary in a situation where you are asking for a divorce…’
It was so uncomfortable. Despite the subtle tension between the two factions at the party tomorrow, facing Wilhelm was the biggest task.
‘Will I be able to get through without anything happening?’
… In the end, that was just Anastasia’s wish.
“Your Majesty, your hairstyle has changed since you left.”
When Anastasia returned to the Empress’ Palace, Mrs. Rochester, who found a red ribbon tying her hair, opened her mouth with a bright smile.
“I haven’t seen such a luxurious red color in a long time. Was it a gift from His Highness the Prince?”
The face of Mrs. Rochester, who couldn’t take her eyes off the ribbon Avelin gave her, quickly turned red at Anastasia’s reply.
“Ah, Lady Hazel gave it to me. Does it suit me?”
“… I beg your pardon? Your Majesty, please stay here for a moment.”
“yes? What’s wrong?”
But before Anastasia could hear her answer, Mrs. Rochester quickly untied the ribbon that had tied Anastasia’s hair. Then she wrapped it in clean white paper and opened her mouth in a harsh voice.
“Your Majesty, did you come there knowing what Lady Hazel’s intentions were? What if there was even poison on it!”
“It’s not poison, Mrs. Rochester. Even if Lady Hazel had malicious intent to me, would she use such an obvious trick?”
“I don’t know. I’ll ask Dr. Faulkner to see if it’s poisoned or not.”
“Mrs. Rochester is also…”
“Your Majesty is so nice that it’s a problem. I can never acknowledge her as the Empress’ Palace master!”
Mrs. Rochester had maintained the same position ever since the day the oracle fell. Of course, Anastasia didn’t respond to that.
“Leave it. Tomorrow I will show everyone who is the real hostess of this palace!”
“Madame, I’ll help too!”
“Me too! Tomorrow, let’s decorate Her Majesty like the goddess Rosenia has descended!”
Watching Mrs. Rochester and her other maids, Anastasia realized there was no point in stopping her and just smiled awkwardly.
The next day, Anastasia had to suffer a lot from the fighting Empress’ Palace’s maids from the early afternoon.
The dresses and accessories carefully selected for several days hung over Anastasia’s body.
It was simply the height of glamour. Her intense red dress, with a bell-shaped skirt, was meticulously crafted by a craftsman, with each lace adorned, and scattered diamonds and sapphires embroidered the dress with twinkling stars in the night sky.
Anastasia’s appearance in the elegant dress, which was about the price of a villa, naturally exuded an overwhelming aura that even people from afar would kneel down.
On top of that, it was no exaggeration to say that after wearing a red diamond necklace, earrings, and tiara, which were elaborately crafted with a round brilliant cut, it was dazzled by the glow.
“Oh, my God, there’s a halo on Her Majesty now!”
If she stood under the chandelier of the party after a while, it was so dazzling that you wouldn’t see her properly.
“Never mind, it’s perfect! It’s worth doing our best!”
It really seemed that way. All the maids were exhausted and looked happy, but they looked very proud with a single expression.
They were all very aware of how the results of their fire would return today.
“The moon of the Empire, Her Majesty enters!”
And the prediction, exactly right.
Today was Anastasia’s first official event after it was revealed that the oracle was wrong three years ago.
“I’m sure she’s dressed calmly and modestly today, right? As long as it’s known that she’s a fake, it’s better to be careful.”
“Well, at times like this, she might come out showing off her robustness.”
“Maybe she will be more elated because the Emperor has no intention of divorce.”
So people were all waiting for her to see what she would look like…
“Oh my, look at the glittering jewels on that dress! How dazzling! If you add up the gems scattered over there, the price would be huge, right?”
“The dress line is so elegant! It’s rich, but it doesn’t look dull at all. Oh my gosh, what kind of designer is that?”
“Who made that necklace? I’ll have to ask the Empress later.”
The moment Anastasia appeared, the topic was focused on her style today, as if everyone was enchanted.
Although a new oracle woman appeared, Anastasia’s position did not diminish in the slightest. As always, numerous aristocrats circled around to see her.
Of course, this was not the case for everyone.
“Your Majesty, look at Mrs. Martha over there. She’s very attached to Lady Hazel. At the last party, she pretended to be close to Your Majesty, but she’s like a traitor!”
Anastasia took Mrs. Rochester’s voice mixed with anger without much thought.
As the political world was divided, someone naturally stuck with Avelin. Anastasia glanced at Avelin surrounded by a multitude of people.
She was wearing a dress with bare shoulders, but not too deep a cut in the back, so her back was almost invisible.
“Oh my, Your Majesty. Lady Hazel is coming this way.”
She was probably coming to say hello to her. It was when, in everyone’s attention, Avelin was getting closer and closer to Anastasia, finally stopping in front of her.
“The sun of the empire, His Majesty the Emperor enters!”
The whole situation stopped at the loud cry that dug into the gap between the two of them.
It was when everyone at the party turned to the door where only the royal family came in and out at the same time and tried to honor Rosenberg’s owner..
“Oh my gosh…”
As always, Wilhelm appeared with a dignified aura, and embarrassed moans erupted from the mouths of those who saw it.
‘… What is that?’
Anastasia also looked at Wilhelm with a puzzled expression.
He appeared completely unexpectedly and walked her way, looking straight at her.