“Last night Lady Fontaine visited the Duke of Barantes in secret.”
Upon hearing this shocking news early in the morning, Wilhelm almost dropped the pen he was holding.
“… Is it true?”
Wilhelm was silent for a long time. He seemed to be thinking deeply about something.
“What about the conversation?”
“So far… … Well, you can guess.”
That was the case. It was obvious that Olivia Fontaine was going to meet the Duke of Barantes.
“She must have gone to the Barantes family and to make a proposal to put Louis on the throne.”
“At the moment, that kind of conversation is the most likely.”
As Colton responded, Wilhelm’s eyebrows narrowed even further. Colton added hastily.
“I will keep an eye on him.”
“The same goes for the Fontaine family. It’s unusual to see aristocrats meeting these days.”
“You don’t need to worry too much. If so, what would you do?”
Colton said in a voice that felt even at ease.
“You know? There is no other way than a coup d’état, but now the military power is…”
“Duke Barantes holds it. That’s why they’re trying to recruit from the other side, and they’ve been watching for a long time.”
“Trust the Duke of Barantes, Your Majesty. The daughter he cherishes so much is Your Majesty’s Empress.”
“Before that, my brother’s maternal uncle.”
Wilhelm shook his head. There’s a strange twist in his veins.
“It could be a revolution disguised as a coup.”
“They have no reason.”
“What if I killed my brother?”
Colton frowned at the remark, and Wilhelm added bitterly.
“That’s what they’re talking about. from the beginning to present in society …to the bitter end.”
“You can respond to rumors with rumors.”
Then an unfamiliar voice interrupted.
Both Wilhelm and Colton looked at the voice with embarrassment.
Anastasia was entering that way.
“I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, I’m sorry.”
He didn’t know how far she heard them.
Did she hear that he didn’t trust her father?
He was suddenly curious, but he decided not to care. She must have known anyway unless she was a fool.
“I see the sun of the Empire, Your Majesty.”
Looking at Anastasia greeting gracefully, Wilhelm sent Colton out and asked her.
“What are you doing here? So early.”
“I have something to tell you.”
“I heard Louis collapsed from a high fever yesterday.”
Wilhelm took the lead in a dry voice.
“The fact that you drove away Lady Fontaine and took the prince to the Empress’ Palace. Lady Fontaine made the prince study close to abuse?”
“As expected, you’re quick to hear about it. I apologize for doing things on my own without permission.”
“Your will is my will.”
Anastasia flinched for a moment at Wilhelm’s casual words.
Wilhelm didn’t seem to place much meaning in the words.
“So it doesn’t matter. Don’t you think so?”
“But the Louis problem is…….”
Anastasia cautiously concluded.
“I think it’s a matter of discussion and decision. Anyway, his legal guardian is Your Majesty.”
“The Empress has a much closer relationship with the Prince than I do.”
Wilhelm responded with a quiet voice.
“I think you’ll make a better decision for the Prince. Much more than I would.”
When he said that, he looked somewhat bitter.
Anastasia hesitated a little and continued.
“I plan to change the entire palace maids. In order to stabilize the prince’s emotions, I purposely filled the palace with only those who attended to him from Schweig Island, but I thought that maybe it would be more harmful to the Prince.”
“Someone will definitely look at us in a bad way.”
Wilhelm expressed his concern in a serious voice.
“They’ll say we’re trying to isolate Louis from the Fontaine family.”
“I know. But I can’t ignore Lady Fontaine’s actions because I’m afraid.”
“So, are you going to respond to rumors with rumors?”
“Yeah, I’m going to release people into the social world so that they can tell the truth about yesterday.”
Anastasia continued to speak.
“How the sickly prince fell from a high fever, and what Lady Fontaine did to such a prince as an excuse to educate him.”
As she spoke, she was naturally reminded of what happened yesterday, and Anastasia’s voice had been trembling slightly with anger from a certain moment.
“All of them. I have to explain to everyone, without question, why I removed her from her position as her nanny to the Prince. That way she won’t be able to go around talking about the injustice.”
“… It’s rude.”
Wilhelm, who heard of Anastasia’s plan, commented.
Anastasia asked belatedly, a little shy.
“…How do you feel about it?”
“You’re better than me.”
Anastasia blinked at that moment, unable to take in his answer properly.
Wilhelm, who saw it, added with a dry laugh.
“I’m telling you. I’m surprised, too. I never thought I’d say this to you. …it was unimaginable until last year.”
Strangely, it overlapped with what she heard from Mrs. Rochester yesterday. Anastasia involuntarily twisted her mouth.
“I must look timid to you.”
“Not at all.”
Anastasia replied without hesitation.
“You must have forgotten that I am a third party in the rumor. Everyone becomes the goddess of justice in other people’s affairs.”
“No, I think I’m too soft. The quality of the emperor is questionable.”
Wilhelm, who said so, seemed a little distressed. No, actually a lot.
However, he did not seem to be suffering from doubts about his qualifications as an emperor like his complaint.
In Anastasia’s view, it was rather the opposite.
“Actually, Colton said the same thing a few days ago. We have to respond with rumors, too. I couldn’t answer right away.”
Anastasia nodded. He could do the job better than anyone else if he had his mind set to it.
In fact, he was the one who, after receiving Anastasia as Empress, moved public opinion with the oracle as a shield and put to rest the rumors of the Emperor’s reign surprisingly quickly.
However, Anastasia was well aware that any response would be a workaround measure unless there was a confirmation that Wilhelm did not kill the deceased Emperor.
So as soon as Louis returned, wasn’t the innocence he’s been trying to establish easily shaken?
The problem was that there was no way to save the proof that he didn’t kill the Emperor.
Nevertheless, if the Fontaine family was clearly defeated this time, the workaround measure would be more complete than last time.
“Then one day, everyone will accept the rumors about the Emperor’s reign as nonsense.”’
This was the idea of a third party, Anastasia, who had nothing to do with the rumor.
The theory was easy for those who were not involved.
“This problem is… I’m just sick of it. I feel like I’m dragging myself into a deep hole in a swamp. If I…”
“If I put the rumor to rest like that, the truth is that I really…”
No, maybe it was easy to her, too.
If Wilhelm Rosenberg didn’t really kill his brother, if he didn’t like it, or if he didn’t have a conscience, if he just saw this role as annoying.
Regrettably, he was too good, and even his innocence was being questioned and distressed for nothing by hearsay.
Rather than being foolish, he was just pathetic.
It was scary to talk about so many people’s opinions.
So, could anyone be like him?
If one could brainwash him for doing something he didn’t do.
But in the meantime, if no one, even those who follow and support him, believed he was innocent.
It would be more crazy.
“No, that’s not it.”
So, he should trust her.
“Your Majesty didn’t kill him.”
That way, he wouldn’t have to doubt and suffer unnecessarily for things he hadn’t done.
At least for a matter like this one, she’d fix it before Avelin shows up and leave.
“…I think you say that very easily.”
Wilhelm, who said that, looked vain and absurd.
“To say that you believe in my innocence.”
“There’s nothing more natural than telling the truth easily. It’s as easy as breathing for me.”
Wilhelm murmured, looking as if he had been hit hard in the head.
“No one has told me that.”
“Even my mother didn’t care…”
Wilhelm was speechless for a moment, then smiled in despair.
“Killed or not killed, it doesn’t really matter.”
“It’s more important that you became the Empress and I became the Emperor.”
“… The truth will come out one day.”
“I know everything. The rumors floating around every now and then are completely false, and your Majesty…”
Anastasia ended the conversation with a faint smile.
“Your Majesty, the truth is that you loved His Majesty the Sun Emperor very much.”
After Anastasia finished speaking, Wilhelm didn’t say anything for a while.
He just stared intently at Anastasia, not knowing what she was thinking.
Anastasia accepted the gaze, she didn’t say anything more and just waited.
After quite a while, he uttered only one word.
It was a word that sounded monotonous, plain, and perhaps even insincere.
But to Anastasia, it sounded like the answer was ‘thank you’.
She almost replied, ‘you’re welcome’.