Chapter 281. Which One? (2)
Translator: Aura / Editor: SaWarren
“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 Eternal Thousand 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.
“I’m glad to hear that my brother managed to deal with the Eternal Thousand bandits.”
I trusted him, but was relieved to hear from Heinley’s mouth that everything had worked out well.
I smiled naturally once the tension in me dissipated. Heinley quickly continued, saying that wasn’t the end of it.
When Heinley ascended to the throne he had created an honorary knight position, and he wanted to bestow that position on my brother.
“Don’t you think there will be people who don’t like it?”
Of course I agreed, but at the same time it worried me. However, Heinley remarked on how much other countries had suffered from the Eternal Thousand bandits, praising my brother for his enormous contribution in preventing the Western Empire from getting involved in such a conflict.
Although it was true, I felt embarrassed to hear it from him, so I nodded slightly.
After chattering for a long time, Heinley exclaimed, “Ah!” as if he had remembered something and went to his room after asking me to wait a moment.
Soon after, Heinley appeared with a large green liquor bottle.
“It’s a gift from Grand Duke Kapmen as an apology for what happened before.”
Grand Duke Kapmen?
Heinley sat down in a chair at the table and showed me the bottle of liquor.
“It is a very precious liquor that the Royal Family of Rwibt drinks.”
Just as he said, the label on the liquor bottle was written in the Rwibt language, and on it was also a symbol representing the royal family.
Helping to solve Christa’s case, as well as the ghost case, and giving Heinley a separate gift…. Grand Duke Kapmen seemed to continually strive to make up for the mistake of that day.
“Let us drink together, My Queen.”
Heinley brought two glasses and placed them on the table, removed the cork and poured the liquor.
The bottle was green, but the liquid inside was golden and shiny.
“The liquid is pretty.”
“Yes, it is.”
When I raised the glass and took a sip, it tasted unexpectedly sweet. A taste so sweet and smooth that it didn’t taste like liquor.
Heinley seemed to like it so much that he drank all the liquor in his glass quickly.
Without cheese or sandwiches, we drank successively.
As we became more at ease, the laughter became more frequent.
Heinley looked cuter than usual, and the light in my room seemed brighter. The floor and ceiling were spinning.
Laughing happily, I rested my head on Heinley’s shoulder, who immediately grabbed me around the waist and pulled me to him.
I kissed him naturally, and I could smell the sweet scent in his mouth.
When I regained consciousness, I was lying on the bed. I had a pillow in my hands, which was half torn.
As I threw the pillow aside in bewilderment, the white feathers from inside the pillow flew out.
This is… the shared bedroom. I was on the manna stone bed.
It looks like I came straight to the shared bedroom, after being drunk, because I was still wearing the same dress.
By the way, Heinley? Where’s Heinley?
Did he get up first and went to prepare breakfast?
As I yawned, recalling what he did every morning, I saw something golden between the sheets.
It was Queen’s rear.
Heinley became Queen because of the liquor?
I smiled and quickly grabbed Queen with both hands.
After picking him up, I placed him on my lap…
In recent days, a terrible rumor had been circulating in the capital of the Eastern Empire.
It was about a maid who had been sentenced to death after hitting the empress with a chair.
People wondered if that maid was crazy.
“”She dared to swing a chair at the empress! How could there be such a crazy person in this world?””
“No one would.”
“She has no common sense.”
“It is said that she is the daughter of a prisoner condemned to death, she couldn’t find work because of her father, so the Empress hired her so she could survive. She is very ungrateful, right?”
When people heard the rumor, they began to whisper in disgust.
But then, a rather famous newspaper published an article totally contrary to people’s opinion.
[None of Empress Rashta’s maids have been by her side for long. None have resigned of their own free will. This has been the case from her days as a concubine to the present day, and the maids have been punished and expelled for all sorts of reasons, such as abortion pills, fraud, aggression, etc… with the former Empress Navier, who is now the Empress of the Western Empire, only two women resigned from their maid work, but the reasons were that one would marry and the other was pregnant. They were not expelled after being punished. Even the maid who resigned because of her pregnancy later returned. So why did such problems arise with Empress Rashta? Was she being attacked for having been a commoner? However, all maids are commoners. If she would be inconvenienced for having been a commoner, it would not be with the maids. At this point, I really wonder if this is a problem related to Empress Rashta’s personality, which even her subordinates can’t bear.].
Rashta enjoyed reading the commoners’ newspaper, where articles praising her were often published.
Because of this, she was able to read this article immediately. Once Rashta read it, she was terrified and went to visit Sovieshu.
“Your Majesty, look at this.”
Sovieshu accepted the newspaper from Rashta’s hands.
He then quickly read the article and said with a sigh,
“It seems like that journalist is angry.”
“What do you mean by that journalist?”
“Look at the journalist’s name. Isn’t he the brother of the maid you sent to prison?”
“Ah! It can’t be, it’s the journalist who appeared in the audience hall..”
“Yes, that’s him.”
Rashta shuddered as she remembered the commoners’ journalist who had pleaded with her to find his sister.
“No way, is he doing this because he thinks his sister disappeared because of Rashta?”
Then she moved even closer to Sovieshu and begged him.
“Your Majesty. Please stop that man from writing articles like this. Rashta’s image may be affected.”
However, Sovieshu shook his head and said heavily,
“He seems to be very resentful. You never know how he might react if cornered, so it’s preferable to leave him alone.”
“Leave him alone? Are you serious?”
“It’s a rumor that will disappear on its own if nothing happens to reinforce it in the future.”
Sovieshu pointed at the article and explained,
“It’s an exaggerated argument that just fits the situation, without concrete evidence in the first place. Such an argument is hardly sustainable. It’s like a beehive. It’s best to leave him alone for now.”
“… It’s okay.”
To Rashta, Sovieshu’s words sounded quite reasonable. However, she no longer fully trusted Sovieshu.
In the past, she would have believed him without hesitation, but now she found it difficult to do so.
Just as he had pushed Navier aside as soon as she appeared, Rashta thought that perhaps Evely’s appearance had caused him to lose his interest in her.
Eventually, Rashta went to see Duke Elgy to ask him about this.
And about twenty minutes later.
Sovieshu burst into laughter when he heard that Rashta had gone to see Duke Elgy.
It was a dejected laugh.
“What are you going to do?”
When the knight asked, Sovieshu waved his hand.
“Nothing. Let’s leave it at that.”
It was the baby’s health that mattered, not Rashta’s reputation.
”She can have whatever hobby she wants if it makes her feel at ease.”
In the meantime.
William, reunited with his family at Liberty Mansion after a long time.
William was talking excitedly about all sorts of things, and also mentioned ‘the task given by the empress’ a few days ago.
William said it lightly, but Duke Liberty’s expression turned serious when he heard this,
“What is it, father?”
William asked with concern. Did I say something wrong? Or was he upset that I had done the task given to me by the empress?
However, the words Duke Liberty spoke next were completely different from what William expected.
“If you have another chance in the future, pay more attention and do it right.”
“If you meet the empress again, watch your actions and be sure to earn her trust.”
When William looked at him puzzled, his elder brother said in a tone of, ‘Don’t you get it?’
“Father wants you to become part of the Empress’ faction.”
William was surprised and asked, “Are you serious?”
He knew that his father and brother were not in favor of the empress. But suddenly, they wanted him to be of the empress’ faction?
“I don’t think the strange test the Empress put you both through was to help you. It was probably to help Mullaney.”
“I heard that Mullaney had no contact with the Empress either.”
“In any case, it’s the result that matters.”
Smiling broadly, Duke Liberty stroked William’s hair.
“If you stand out above Mullaney you’ll earn the Empress’s trust. She is a pragmatic person.”
“Do whatever it takes to become part of the Empress’ faction.”
“Then I’ll go the opposite way from my father and brother, right?”
When William spoke sadly, Duke Liberty burst into laughter.
“No. If we do this, our family won’t be affected even if one of the two sides collapses.”
The broad smile on his face disappeared once William left.
Duke Liberty turned to his eldest son with a serious look,
“Our ship has too many holes in it. I’ll try to fix it, but at this rate we’ll sink. So you must help your younger brother. He could be the last hope to save our family.”
“Wouldn’t it be better to side with the empress at once?”
“Even if we supported the empress now, she would never really trust us. If we can’t get close, there’s no need to wag our tail just yet.”
Once Duke Liberty said his point of view, he pulled an envelope from his breast pocket and handed it to his eldest son.
“Look at this.”
“What is it?”
“It’s a letter Christa left before she left.”
His eldest son opened the envelope in surprise.
The letter referred to what Christa had heard from Rashta.
[According to that woman, the decisive cause of Empress Navier’s divorce was not herself, but the Empress’ infertility. I kept my mouth shut because I lamented what might happen if this fact became known to the world, but now that things have come to this point, I wonder what good it did to keep my mouth shut.]
His eldest son looked at Duke Liberty with a stiff expression.
“Father, this is…”
“First we need to check if it’s true. We need to treat this matter very carefully.”
“Send someone to Empress Rashta to check it out.”