Chapter 39 - Unexpected Turn
The emperor glared at the duke and raised his voice. “How can you guarantee that when I was already attacked?”
Little did he know, the duke could guarantee it because he was certain that his disciple, the mastermind behind the assassinations, wasn’t going to act rashly from now on. ‘As long as I stay calm, Max knows there won’t be a revolution even if he pushes the emperor towards the extreme.’
“Tell me right now!” the emperor shouted. Even now, he was causing a ruckus, oblivious to the machinations that brewed below the surface. He was a rather easy man to manipulate by nature.
In response, Regis let out a small sigh. “Your Majesty has become increasingly guarded, so the mastermind probably realized that sending out more assassins would be futile,” he replied vaguely.
Although Regis spoke kindly, the emperor regarded his words as an implication that he himself was frightened of the assassinations. ‘How dare he…!’ He fumed with resentment, but the duke continued.
“There’s no need to act rashly in this situation, seeing as it has already attracted a lot of attention from people.”
Every word he said was right, but the emperor refused to admit it. Doing so meant admitting defeat.
‘That vile rogue. He’s running his mouth to cover up his incompetence.’ The emperor was filled with indignation, but he calmed down by stroking the ring on his finger. ‘No, as long as I have this… he cannot disobey me.’
Even so, he couldn’t help but feel nervous. The duke didn’t seem concerned about this weakness anymore; in fact, he hadn’t in a long time. ‘Since I can’t be sure, I should find something else that could oppose him…’
At that moment, the prime minister’s advice came to mind. “If you want to keep him in check, you must bring His Highness the Crown Prince back to the capital,” he had said.
The emperor had finally found use for his son, who he always thought of as a terrible existence that threatened his place on the throne. ‘Yes, it’s a good idea to make him keep this atrocious man in check. He won’t suspect anything if I act like I’m going to give the throne to him.’
“I realize my personal affair has bothered you, duke,” the emperor said in a relatively mild tone.
His subjects would usually refuse to admit such a bold claim, but the duke didn’t respond. It was like a silent affirmation. The emperor clenched his fists, barely controlling his urge to throw something at him.
“Seeing as the mastermind might still be observing the situation, shouldn’t you guard the palace for at least a week, Duke Floyen? Please work hard for three more days.”
At this last-notice command, Regis bowed at the emperor. “Yes, I will do my best to serve you, Your Majesty.”
As soon as Regis left the office, he heard the sound of something breaking. Despite the commotion, he wore a slightly pleasant expression on his handsome face.
‘I’m getting bored of his predictability.’ Regis tilted back his head to stare at the sky with weary eyes. When he saw the moon glowing in the dark sky, a hint of warmth colored his frozen expression.
‘I wonder if my child is doing well.’
If he stayed in the palace for a little longer, the people would blame the emperor for mistreating him. The duke also wanted to go back home to see his daughter.
It had only been four days since he left the mansion, but Regis couldn’t wait to go back home and see how she was doing.
* * *
‘It’s quiet.’ The office without my father was far emptier than I thought it would be.
‘I didn’t know his absence would make it seem so deserted.’
Even so, I was relieved that my father wasn’t here. I would be too mortified to give the letter to him in person.
‘He’ll read it if I put it over there, right?’ I walked towards his desk. When I saw an open ink bottle, I secured the lid so it wouldn’t dry up. As I wondered where I should put the letter, I glanced over a stray piece of paper without much thought.
‘Huh? A prospective marriage partner list?’ I wondered if I had seen it correctly, so I carefully read it from the top to be sure. The list clearly contained the names of noblemen around my age.
‘Why did he make this list without confiding in me…?’
I suddenly remembered the conversation I had with him after I broke up with Mikhail. “What is your ideal type?” he had said.
‘No way… is he actually trying to find a man with all the conditions I mentioned?’ I looked at the list with trembling eyes. Among the many names, some were underlined. ‘Is he really trying to set up extravagant blind dates with these distinguished men?’
One of the underlined names was the son of a foreign royal family. Another one was Lord Frederich, the only son of Duke Elios, the prime minister. Although his family was wealthier than Mikhail’s, he was the supporting character of another supporting character who didn’t even appear in the original novel.
For a brief moment, I thought it might be a good idea to marry one of these men and live happily ever after. Doing so would allow me to live comfortably, as well as escape my predestined death.
‘Lord Frederich has good qualifications and good looks. He’s probably the best choice that I could ask for.’ Even so, I had no intention of changing my mind about getting married. The moment I did, I would have to live as that man’s wife and not as myself, Jubelian.
‘It’s reassuring that both of these underlined names are from families that are just as wealthy as ours because I had asked my father for someone whose wealth exceeded ours.’
I could only think of one family that was qualified in this aspect. ‘But there’s no reason for us to get involved with them, so that’s a relief.’
I continued to skim through the list with a smile on my face until I stumbled upon a circled name. ‘Huh? Why did my father mark this?’ When I looked closer with curiosity, I ended up dropping the paper I was holding.
‘Maximillian Casein Assiette?’
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