fter a war of nerves, but why was the atmosphere flowing so smoothly? It was when she was in doubt for a moment.
Suddenly, the Emperor’s gaze fell on her.

She momentarily took a deep breath.

“But I’m very curious about who the Duke brought as a partner.
Don’t you think so too?”

When the Emperor asked his attendant, the attendant answered yes as if he had been waiting.
The intention was very clear.
This was to invite her to the Duke’s side.
She watched the top of the podium nervously.

“Tell me, Duke.
Who the hell is your partner?”

“This is Elia Lawton, the daughter of Viscount Lawton.”

The Duke’s calm voice caught all the nobles’ eyes on her.
Half a look of surprise, half a look of displeasure.

“The daughter of Viscount Lawton… This is very surprising.
To think you brought Lady Elia Lawton to be your partner.”

Contrary to what he said, however, the Emperor looked down at the Duke with an unsurprised face.
She waited impatiently to see how he would react, but she heard a completely unexpected answer.

“Your Majesty knows that my son, Deliam, was kidnapped by a wizard the other day.”

“…Why are you bringing that up all of a sudden?”

“It’s because there’s a little strange part.
I didn’t say anything about him, but at some point, rumors about Deliam spread and came out.
Because it hasn’t been a day since.”

“I don’t know why you’re bringing that up all of a sudden.
Isn’t it strange that rumors don’t spread while your knights are on the move?”

“Do you think so?”

“Yeah.
I’d rather be talking about Elia Lawton.”

It was clear that the Emperor was deliberately trying to divert his words.
As if he was involved in the incident, she began to have doubts about the Emperor’s appearance.
The kidnapping of Deliam must have been because of the Marquis’ instigation, but was it possible that the Emperor had something to do with it? Just as her mind was churning with thoughts, she heard the Duke’s voice.

“To answer that, the reason I brought Elia Lawton as a partner is that she is my son’s benefactor.”

“Benefactor?”

“Yes.
It was Lady Elia Lawton who saved the kidnapped Deliam.”


She was the one who was most surprised by that statement.
She never dreamed that the person who had always doubted her would say something like that.
Did she hear it for real? She couldn’t sleep right now…

“Are you saying that the person who helped save your son is Lady Elia Lawton?”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“This is amazing.
Not to mention that Lady Elia Lawton saved your son.”

“Do you now understand why I brought Lady Elia Lawton as my partner?”

“Okay.
If that’s the case, I’ll have enough to bring.”

The Emperor, who had been stroking his chin, glanced at her once more and opened his mouth.

“Anyway, I’ll take care of your gift.
You can leave now.”

The Duke quietly bowed his head and came down from the podium.
He casually stood next to her.
When the gift delivery ceremony was completely over, the Duke’s gaze turned to her.

“I’m thinking of going soon.”

“…It’s not over yet, can we go?”

“I should have told you earlier.
It doesn’t matter if we go on the way.”

“You did, but…”

However, the Emperor and the Marquis were keeping an eye on them.
There was no way the Duke would not know that.
Did he still want to go?

“I think it’s a bit like going right now, but let’s do it a little longer and slip away.”

“Sure.”

The Duke, who replied indifferently, leaned against the wall.
It was a time when he was standing next to the Duke and looking around the banquet hall.

“Let’s go slowly.”


The Duke cast his gaze toward the podium.
When she turned her head towards it, the Emperor was gone.
The Duke held out his arm to her.
She looked down for a moment and then threw it into his arms.
She crossed her arms and left the banquet hall with the Duke’s arms crossed.
She finally let out a sigh of relief as she climbed into the carriage waiting in front of the entrance.
It just feels like the tension has been released. 

As she massaged her sore neck, she felt his gaze.
The Duke was staring at her with his back in his chair.
His eyes didn’t seem to mean much, but he even massaged his neck.
Then, thinking about it, she lifted the curtains and looked through the window.
It’s a bit far from the imperial castle, so can we talk?

“…Actually, when the Duke was away, I didn’t say anything.
Somehow, I ended up seeing him face-to-face.”

“With the Marquis of Dior?”

“Yes.
I went to the balcony to rest alone for a while, and the Marquis suddenly came in.”

The Duke quietly listened to her words.

“Then he warned me.
The Marquis already knew my identity.
He said it would be better if I didn’t stay by the Duke’s side for a long time, but I don’t know how to take the words of the Marquis.”

At her words, the Duke lightly snorted.

“Looks like he is trying to do something again this time.”

“Are they trying to kidnap Deliam again?”

“There’s nothing to worry about because the teacher is concerned about that part.”

“Then I’m glad.”

The conversation stopped for a moment, then silence fell.
She glanced at the window and said.

“…I have more to say.”

His gaze turned to her again.

“The words you said in front of His Majesty, now you believe me.
Is it true?”

The Duke looked at her quietly and then he said.

“I just didn’t want to make trouble, so I just stood up against the enemy.”

Was it like that too? It’s an answer she had already expected, but it’s strangely out of touch.
She closed her eyes completely, hoping to arrive at the mansion as soon as possible.

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