It was not long after that Duke Barantes visited Anastasia.
“Your Majesty, how have you been?”
Her father, whom she had not seen in a long time, was as cheerful as ever, and his affection for her was dripping from him.
“I was fine, but I guess my father wasn’t.”
Anastasia narrowed her brow worriedly.
“You look a little tired.”
“Oh, I guess you can’t help but notice it.”
Duke Barantes replied shyly.
“I’m sorry. Lately, I’ve been very busy with the issue of immigration in the northeastern border area. That’s why I rarely enter the duchy… … I was out of my mind anyway. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Your Majesty. In fact, I’ve only managed to find time to visit you now.”
“Oh, I heard about it too.”
It happened before her return. In the end, it was resolved safely, so she wanted to encourage her father not to worry too much, but it was just her imagination.*
*TN: as in all in her head because she was the only one that returned
Anastasia soothed the regret with seemingly meaningless words that it would just work out.
“If you’re that busy, aren’t you too busy to come here?”
“Oh no, no. I haven’t seen you in so long though.”
Duke Barantes said with a chuckle.
“But, actually, being busy is an excuse.”
“Actually, Her Majesty the Empress has been pushed back from the priority list.”
Anastasia couldn’t understand the meaning of his words, so she only blinked.
“Before that, Your Majesty always made such a big accident that you were prioritized.”
“These days, you’re doing so well on your own.”
“You seem to be busy, but you’ve heard such news again.”
“The busier I get, the more often I keep my ears open for news about Your Majesty. That way, I feel reassured as a father.”
Duke Barantes said with a smile.
“But you were doing so well. So much so that I don’t even need to see you.”
“Is that what you think?”
“Absolutely! How much admiration came out when I heard it… … Compared to last year, it seems that the Goddess Rosenia has descended and changed. I can’t wait to see how much you will develop in the future, now.”
To Mrs. Rochester, to Wilhelm, to my father. Oh, this was already the third time.
Anastasia smiled awkwardly and turned her back.
“I should have met you sooner too, but I’ve been busy these days. There are also preparations for the foundation day, and…”
“I heard. The two factions in the social world were fighting quite fiercely. Well, it looks like things have been sorted out to some extent.”
“You are well versed in social media news.”
Anastasia mobilized her entourage to the best of her ability to spread rumors as Olivia was ousted from her position as nanny.
One side of the aristocrats had the opinion in favor of Anastasia’s execution, saying that the education of a 6-year-old child, no matter how much of a Prince he was, was excessive.
The other was of the opinion that it was too much for his aunt to see his aunt’s care of her nephew as abusive, and even to expel her from her position as nanny.
At first, as Duke Barantes said, the two opinions were strongly opposed, but soon the former established a position in the middle, and the situation turned to Anastasia’s favor.
Anastasia’s reputation had been steadily improving since last year, and most of all, the widespread rumor that Louis chose Anastasia to go to the Empress’ Palace played a part.
‘After all, people have to manage their reputation well.’
Conversely, Lady Fontaine was tagged with suspicion as to whether she had dark intentions and forced the prince to study unreasonably.
Due to Olivia’s recent contact with many nobles, there had been quite a few people who did not regard this as just a rumor.
‘At least for the time being, she won’t be able to move around.’
It was the result that Anastasia had perfectly desired.
Thanks to that, the rumors about the Emperor, which had been systematically distributed by Fontaine, was also stranded like a ship that hit a reef.
“Oh, and this is a bit late.”
At that time, Duke Barantes had been speaking in a low voice, as if he were speaking secretly.
“Actually, Lady Fontaine came to see me. Late at night.”
“What? What the hell…”
“It was probably.”
The Duke of Barantes answered after digging into his memory.
“It must have been the last Friday last month.”
She knew when. Anastasia laughed as if it were exquisite.
“It is the day that I dismissed Lady Fontaine from her position as Prince Louis’ nanny, which started all this.”
“As expected, I see. No wonder her face was full of venom.”
“But it’s fast, too. She went to see father that day. I expected her to visit you one day.”
She must have a lot of resentment against her. Louis may be dismissing it as his own trick to say that he would follow her.
In order for Barantes and Fontaine to join hands and make Louis the next emperor, he was forced to sacrifice her. That would make it the best revenge for Olivia.
“Yes. When she came, she suggested that I join hands with the Fontaine family. Of course, I didn’t say it out loud.”
“Did you decline?”
Anastasia asked, trembling a little.
The conversation had never happened before the return. Because there was no reason to do it.
But it was true that she was curious about her father’s inner thoughts.
Apart from that, she firmly believed that he was on her side.
At the answer that fell without hesitation, Anastasia smiled out of relief involuntarily.
Seeing this, Duke Barantes asked with a bewildered voice.
“What is that smile? That maybe I would join hands with Fontaine and try to establish Prince Louis as the next emperor… … You didn’t think such a nonsensical idea, did you?”
“Oh, no. I believed in my father.”
“Did you believe it? You stuttered… … It seems like you didn’t completely believe it.”
Anastasia smiled awkwardly and raised the teacup.
“Anyway, Louis is my aunt’s grandson. It’s a little subtle.”
“Your Majesty, Louis is my yison.”
“… What is it?”
“Your sister or sister’s grandchild is called yison. It’s a word I don’t usually use.”
“But Your Majesty is my daughter. You’re my child. It’s simple.”
Duke Barantes looked at Anastasia with affectionate eyes and said.
“Isn’t it natural to take the side of my child rather than my yison, who is complicated to even count the distance of?”*
*TN: in relation
Anastasia smiled bashfully and apologized.
“I’m sorry if I seemed suspicious, father.”
“No. Actually, it’s not unusual to be suspicious.”
The Duke of Barantes shrugged his shoulders and replied indifferently.
“Usually, political interests are not just about family intimacy, as I just said.”
That was it. This one is just exceptional.
There were quite a few people in aristocratic society who would abandon their daughters as well as their sons if it was politically beneficial.
“But not me, Your Majesty. I hope you clear your doubts.”
As Duke Barantes said playfully, Anastasia laughed out loud at the same time.
“I don’t know if Fontaine is sane. She said that my daughter was the Empress and she thought I would betray you.”
“Well, it’s not unusual if she believes I’m infertile.”
When Duke Barantes narrowed his brow, Anastasia said with a smile.
“Just a joke.”
“It’s a joke… … In any case, there is nothing to worry about.”
“I believe in my father.”
Anastasia was still speaking with a smile on her face.
“His Majesty may not. He was once father’s foe.”
“Yeah… … Yes.”
“So please reassure him rather than me.”
At those words, Duke Barantes’ expression changed strangely.
He changed his expression as if he had heard something he couldn’t have heard, and asked if he had heard it correctly.
“Are you serious?”
The Duke of Barantes was speechless for a while.
“It seems that some progress has been made in your relationship without my knowledge.”
Anastasia looked at Duke Barantes as if it was a sudden development, but there was no change in Duke Barantes’ attitude.
“Otherwise, why are you suddenly worried about His Majesty?”
“Worried? When was i…”
“No, that’s what you’re worried about.”
Duke Barantes said with his eyes wide open.
“Your Majesty believes in me, so you asked me to reassure His Majesty the Emperor.”
“Isn’t that because you were worried that His Majesty the Emperor would be uneasy?”
He was right… … Oh man, did she expose herinner feelings too much?
Anastasia rushed around Duke Barantes as quickly as possible before there was a misunderstanding.
“It was meant to just stop suspicions among allies. What should I do if my father is cut off from his position as Minister of Defense for no reason?”
“Well, is that bad? A leisure life, how good it sounds! Then, wouldn’t it be possible to come to see the Empress every day?”
After Anastasia coughed a lot, the topic went back to the beginning.
“I didn’t say it because I was worried about His Majesty, so if you’re going to misunderstand me, just forget it.”
“Yes, I understand.”
However, contrary to his sincere reply, his expression did not seem to believe it that much.
‘… I wanted to add something.’
It was already too late to regret it.