Chapter 280. Which One? (1)
Translator: Aura / Editor: SaWarren
When the ghost’s commotion was over, I remembered something Kapmen had told me at the time, but I had put aside.
Duke Liberty turned a blind eye even though he knew of the ghost’s commotion being caused by Marquis Ketron.
Mullaney’s rival, William, was Duke Liberty’s son.
Although he sent him up for adoption, William and Duke Liberty did not have a bad relationship. It was a decision he had made for the sake of his son’s future.
So, William was also influenced by Duke Liberty’s thoughts?
It was true that the Amares Family was almost neutral now, but it could change course if William became the successor. One more reason for Mullaney to become the successor.
However, it was a family matter in a way, neither Heinley nor I should intervene.
In the end, I called Mullaney after much reflection.
Originally, the secret agreement with Mullaney was to keep Christa away.
Now that she was completely away, there was no reason to be extremely careful.
Shortly after I called her, Mullaney appeared,
She looked exhausted, as if she had come running.
“You wanted to see me, Your Majesty.”
“Were you busy?”
“No, I was nearby.”
I asked an aide to bring the tea. After a while, the aide returned and I extended to Mullaney a cup of tea.
Once she calmed down, I confessed honestly,
“The task I gave you earlier was a scenario I deliberately set up so that you could show your abilities.”
Mullaney stared at me with the teacup in her hand.
“I am sorry for what happened.”
Why did she say that?
Mullaney didn’t move as she held the teacup. Not even her eyelids. Her flushed cheeks grew redder. She looked embarrassed.
“Miss Mullaney, is something wrong?”
When I asked curiously, she blinked several times, lowered the teacup and set it on her lap.
Eventually, she hesitantly confessed,
“The previous report. Actually it was me who copied it, Your Majesty.”
This was unexpected.
It was never known which of the two had copied the report, but naturally I did not believe it was Mullaney.
I felt that her personality was similar to Nian’s, with such strong pride that she would not copy anyone even if she was in an unfavorable position.
“Why did you do that? I didn’t think you were that kind of person.”
When I said disappointed, Mullaney hesitated to explain,
“I did it because I was angry.”
“You were angry?”
“My father found out I was competing with William on the same task.”
“Was that a problem?”
“That alone wasn’t a problem.”
Mullaney snorted with an angry face. However, she also looked hurt.
“The problem was that my father helped him. He wanted William to defeat me.”
“I was so angry that I copied William’s research. Although I originally wanted to base my research on other issues.”
Mullaney’s words were surprising. But more than Mullaney copying William’s report, I was more surprised by something else.
“I’m sorry. I let you down.”
“That’s not it.”
It is understandable that a young inexperienced person would unintentionally write an erroneous report. Therefore, she did not expect a perfect report from them.
However, if Marquis Amares was involved in the report, it was a different matter.
He was a man with a lot of experience and business ability. He should be better than me in this field.
But did he overlook such obvious mistakes to me? It didn’t make sense.
Clearly Marquis Amares had explained with another intention to William.
While I remained silent, Mullaney twiddled her fingers anxiously.
I concluded after telling her what I thought,
“There are two possibilities. Unlike what was known, your father was a supporter of Christa, or else in the hope that you would do better than William, he deliberately gave him false information.”
Either way, he was definitely different from the current image.
Mullaney thought about it for a moment, then smiled ruefully,
“Surely it’s the former. My father wouldn’t give William false information for me.”
“Paying attention from now on is the only way to know which one it is.”
“In any case, what I can do for you is to set up another stage where you can demonstrate your talents. It’s up to you, Miss Mullaney, to push your opponent and shine. You have to do it yourself.”
“I understand that made you angry. But I hope you don’t mess it up next time by being too focused on William.”
After giving her another chance, Mullaney asked in a low voice,
“Aren’t you disappointed in me?”
“Of course, I’m disappointed.”
How could I not be disappointed? It would have been better if she had acted more rationally.
“But that doesn’t break our alliance.”
Duke Liberty was hostile to Heinley, and his son was not to be trusted. Naturally, I could only give Mullaney another chance.
“… Thank you. I wasn’t much help to you, so I thought you wouldn’t bother to continue with the alliance.”
“It is not right to hold a person’s hand when you need it and release it when it is no longer useful.”
Heinley was very happy to hear the news of Koshar’s victory and the retreat of the thousand eternal bandits.
The report also noted that Koshar had become quite the hero to the locals, and a series of village festivities were being held in his honor.
After reading the report, Heinley asked McKenna with a smile,
“When Koshar returns, I’d like to make him the first golden knight. What do you think?”
The golden knight was a new position created by Heinley after he ascended to the throne.
It was a sort of honorary position that could be awarded to knights other than the Imperial Guard, although it could only be awarded to two people a year by selecting those ‘deeply loyal’.
Heinley wanted to use this position to raise the loyalty and competitive spirit of talented individuals.
But he had not yet decided who should be the first golden knight. In many ways, Koshar seemed to fit the position perfectly.
McKenna agreed with a smile,
“No one will be able to refute it.”
“Would it be too blatant to also place Viscount Langdel as a golden knight?”
“Yes. Most people won’t be in favor.”
“You think so?”
“I think so.”
Heinley felt sorry for that, but gave up quickly.
Instead, he went to the empress’s room as soon as he finished his duties to give her this good news.