Chapter 101 – Only I Can Protect Myself (2)
“I’m forbidden from entering the palace?”
I was with my brother when the Emperor’s messenger came to give him the news. The messenger shrank back when Koshar yelled angrily at him.
“Yes. And if you push or threaten Miss Rashta again, you will be punished for threatening the Imperial family.”
“Who was pushing who?!”
Koshar gave a roar, tearing a cushion with his fist, and the messenger scurried away.
“Can you believe this!”
Koshar didn’t calm even after the messenger escaped the room.
“I pushed her?! Would she even be fine if I pushed her?”
“Navier. Is there a problem with her tongue or your husband’s ears?”
My attempts to calm him went unheard. I approached Koshar and knocked him on the back. He held the torn cushion close to his bosom and ground his teeth, but after a moment he slumped and apologized.
“…I’m sorry for the cushion.”
“It’s fine. How about you? Are you alright now?”
“Had you not been there, I might have beaten the servant who delivered the message.”
“Drop your temper.”
“You’ll regret it.”
I was completely dejected by this news, but I was sure that my brother, who caused this, felt far worse. In a situation where the people on “our” side were many and Rashta was one, my fiery-tempered brother simply approaching Rashta would already be considered a threat. If she had spun that as my brother’s fault, that would have been much more understandable.
However, she claimed that she fell because my brother pushed her. Wasn’t that a complete lie? Sovieshu even believed her and gave my brother a restraining order. It was the same when Prince Heinley was asking about the letters. Rashta was a duplicitous woman.
“You need to be careful in the meanwhile, brother.”
“Careful about that damn woman?”
“Did you hear how the Duchess Tuania got divorced?”
“Rashta’s the one who played a part in the divorce. She stirred up old rumors about Duchess Tuania and manipulated them to be far worse.”
“She’s not just a concubine. She’s clever.”
Sovieshu unequivocally believed in Rashta’s words, and Rashta herself had the ability to manipulate public opinion and win people’s favor. In the midst of that, she was also bearing the Emperor’s first child. It was best not to collide with her.
My brother looked at my face, and couldn’t hold back the swears in his mouth.
“Shit! Damn rotten thing!”
That night, Koshar found himself drinking with his friend Marquis Farang.
“Hey, drink slowly.”
Marquis Farang looked on worriedly as Koshar drank like a fish, but the marquis’ concerns were dismissed.
“I want to get drunk. Leave me.”
“I’m worried that you’ll get drunk and cross the palace wall.”
“You can stop me, right?”
“Are you serious? I can’t stop you even when you’re sober, so why do you think I can stop you when you’re drunk?”
Koshar snorted and poured another strong drink in his glass.
“My mother and father nagged me as soon as I got home. It will be bad for Navier if I take any action, so for her sake I have to keep a low profile.”
“I said a low profile. This is the way it has to be after all.”
Koshar spilled more liquor into his mouth and slammed the glass down on the table.
“I’m so mad, I’ve never done anything to deserve punishment!”
“Well. This time it was undeserved.”
“I didn’t push that bitch!”
“I saw. You should avoid her.”
Marquis Farang did not add that ordinary people stumbled back from Koshar because they were afraid. What his friend needed now was a voice of comfort, not criticism. However, Marquis Farang’s words failed to allay Koshar.
“If that woman has a baby, one day she will devour Navier. One has to strike first.”
Koshar took a drink, and choked on his liquor. He gave a hacking cough to clear his throat.
“You’re going to strike her? The Emperor’s concubine?”
“I’ll find out her weakness.”
“Really. You can’t even enter the Imperial Palace.”
“I can’t go in. But my money and power can.”
“You can go in.”
“What? You’re drawing me into this? ”
Marquis Farang looked like he had swallowed something sour.
“Well. Fine, I’ll follow you. So, what are you going to do to dig up her weakness?”
“It depends on what the weakness is.”
“When you were briefly speaking with the Empress earlier, I asked around. There had been a rumor going around that the woman was a slave.”
“At the New Year’s celebrations, someone named Viscount Roteschu claimed that Rashta was a runaway slave of his.”
“But he amended his words and said he had the wrong person.”
“Can we use that?”
“It’s going to be difficult for Viscount Roteschu to change his words back. The Emperor went to great lengths to bury that rumor.”
Koshar replied in a low murmur.
“We’ll decide how we’re going to take advantage of that weakness later.”
He took a small pouch from his pocket and handed it to Marquis Farang.
“Let’s buy some people to solve this.”
Marquis Farang glanced inside the pouch and saw sparkling jewels, obtained from the bandits they had driven out from Parme.
“The jewels were collected by the bandits, so it’s difficult to track down the owner even if they are discovered.”
The marquis nodded and pocketed the jewels. Koshar tapped his finger on the table.
“There’s one more thing.”
“What is it?”
“I need an effective abortion-inducing drug. Something that harms the mother as little as possible.”
Marquis Farang’s eyes widened. If they were going to obtain an abortive drug…
“Are you serious?”
A dangerous smile spread across Koshar’s lips.