Chapter 321. Denial (2)
Translator: Aura / Editor: SaWarren
As soon as I woke up the next day, the first thought that came to my mind was, ‘I’m hungry.’
I wanted to eat Heinley’s baked bread. That thin, crusty bread. It was only when the urge to eat bread subsided a bit that I remembered what had happened yesterday.
While I was shocked by the unexpected reality, Heinley softly called me “My Queen”.
As I sat up hurriedly, I saw Heinley come in from his room with a food trolley.
“Did you get up early?”
“My Queen, I know you haven’t been able to eat well lately. I made breakfast mainly thinking about the food you love.”
“Ah, don’t you like the smell of breakfast?”
I shook my head and walked quickly to the front of the food trolley. Removing the light yellow cloth covering the dishes, I could see an omelet, vegetable soup, and the baked bread I wanted to eat.
I couldn’t stop my hand from going straight to the bread, I tore off a piece, dipped it in the soup and chewed it. My taste buds, which had been unable to perceive flavors for almost ten days, finally began to work.
“It pains me to see My Queen eat in such a hurry.”
“Isn’t it normal to eat like this if it’s delicious?”
“I feel like you wanted to eat, but couldn’t.”
“Coincidentally, I really wanted to eat this.”
Bringing a piece of bread back to my mouth, I pointed to what was left. Only after I finished eating did I begin to worry about my image.
‘What a fool I’ve been! I ate it all without waiting for Heinley.’
Fortunately, I didn’t eat Heinley’s bread as well…. As soon as I thought about it, Heinley even offered me his own baked bread.
“What happened to Whitemond?”
Once I felt satisfied, I was able to ask as if nothing had happened.
Although inside I was very embarrassed, I didn’t show it at all.
Actually, I wanted to ask him about the conversation he had with McKenna yesterday. However, I was afraid he would reply, ‘I have been preparing to invade your country.’ I wasn’t ready to hear that.
So I’ll put that question aside for now. I was also very curious about the results with Whitemond. When I arrived, the king had already left.
“What did the king say? Since he came all this way, it seems he didn’t want to go to war either…”
“The king says Whitemond can allow us to use the port again.”
“That’s great, isn’t it?”
“Well, it was a little ambiguous.”
“Before we can use the port, he demands that we sign a treaty that the port will never be used as an excuse to invade them. Also, he wants the agreement to be certified by the Wol Alliance.”
“If we accede to their demands, will we be able to use the port as before? Will it make no difference?”
“In that treaty will there be any clause that allows us to fight back in case of danger?”
It was quite complete. Would it even include a clause that the treaty would have no effect as long as the port was not used?
Not to start a war, but to be able to respond to provocations from the other side.
But with this clause, wouldn’t Whitemond be agreeing to be invaded as long as the port was not used?
“What are you going to do?”
“Instead of the complicated way, we should take the easy way…”
Heinley, who was muttering to himself, turned his gaze and discreetly changed his words,
“I need to think about it some more.”
While Navier and Heinley hid their true thoughts.
Christa’s father, the old Duke Zemensia, was in his home study. Behind him, a subordinate was looking around uneasily.
The subordinate was surprised that old Duke Zemensia did nothing despite the strong rumor circulating about Empress Navier’s possible infertility.
Not that he had decided to side with the Empress, but rather that he had no idea of her intentions as she didn’t show any reaction.
“It will be difficult for Marquis Ketron to make a move right now. The Marquise decided to completely change the family’s position after the Marquis’ scandal.She considers the future of her children more important than the loyalty between the Marquis and the Former Queen, so she seems to pressure the Marquis to stay quiet.”
The subordinate continued nervously.
“Shouldn’t we define our position as soon as possible? Between taking revenge or changing sides.”
Finally, old Duke Zemensia spoke in a harsh voice while silently staring at the cover of a book.
“Most likely the infertility rumor is a trap.”
“Do you mean that the Empress is not infertile?”
“It’s not just that she’s not infertile, but that it’s possible she’s pregnant. Otherwise, she wouldn’t be so confident in setting this trap.”
The subordinate’s eyes grew wide.
“Wasn’t it Marquis Ketron who started that rumor? Besides, whenever the successor is brought up, the Empress changes the subject with a serious expression.”
“Do you think the Empress Navier, who ruled the Eastern Empire, can’t even manage her expression?”
“That sly as a fox emperor has also let the rumors pass. They are definitely up to something.”
“I see. Then what should we do?”
The subordinate asked with a worried face.
“At the moment it’s best to be cautious, so we’ll keep our mouths shut.”
Old Duke Zemensia spoke heavily, slowly turned around and looked at the picture frame on the desk in his study. On the picture frame, a little Christa was sitting on his lap smiling broadly.
The old Duke, with tears in his eyes, opened his mouth helplessly,
“What I want now is to see my daughter. Is Christa still not responding?”
“No. It seems she was very upset that the old Duke did not intervene to defend her.”
The old Duke, who stood stunned for a moment like a dead tree, lifted the picture frame that lay on the desk.
“Then I shall have to go personally.”
Viscount Roteschu had set the arid frontier of Palme as the starting point in the search for Rivetti and also for ‘Rashta’s sister’.
Palme was the place where an infamous bandit group operated, the Thousand Eternals. Although they weren’t currently as active around this place, they were when Viscount and Viscountess Isqua lost their daughter.
Viscount and Viscountess Isqua did not lose their daughter in the Eastern Empire, but they had said that they were caught up in an attack by the thousand eternal bandits, so there was a possibility that their other daughter had made it this far.
Viscount Roteschu was too busy with both searches. It had not been an exaggeration what he told Rashta, he didn’t even know how Alan was these days.
Sometimes he worried about what Alan might be doing because of his foolish personality, but he tried to convince himself that nothing bad could happen.
Alan had always stayed home to take care of his son.
After several days of searching, Viscount Roteschu finally discovered a lead on the real daughter of the Isqua Family. He learned that the girl might have been sent to the Derose Orphanage after going through two foster parents.
That was not the lead he wanted having spent days searching mainly for information about Rivetti.
But he went to that orphanage anyway. He had hoped to find leads on his own daughter while searching for the Isqua Family’s daughter.
“Let’s see… What was her age range? Do you know her physical traits? If you don’t know anything about her personality it doesn’t matter, children’s personalities are constantly changing. Besides, if she was caught up in a group of bandits, it’s very likely that her personality has changed drastically… Hmm. You don’t even know her physical traits.”
As the orphanage director searched through the records of the time when the Isqua Family lost their daughter, Viscount Roteschu looked quizzically at the portrait of the Empress Navier hanging on the wall of the director’s office.
In fact, this orphanage was supported by Empress Navier. It was also an orphanage that Rashta had supported with Navier’s money.
“Oh, how fortunate.”
At that moment, the director let out a sigh and smiled. Then he turned the document he was examining toward Viscount Roteschu.
“Only two girls entered our orphanage back then.”
“We didn’t want to take in anyone else because we were full, but we had no choice but to take in two more due to the unfortunate circumstances the girls were in.”
Viscount Roteschu hastened to look at the document the director had shown him.
There were two small portraits side by side. One of the portraits had ‘withdrawn’ written underneath it.
“As I said, two were taken in. One left five years ago because luckily her real parents came to get her. So this is the only girl.”
The director pointed his finger at the girl without a note underneath and smiled broadly.
“She is the pride of our orphanage. Her name is Evely.”