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The second Empress bit her lower lip.
She was well aware that Giel despises her. She was, however, very upset. Because it was not her fault, she only did it a few times.
‘I’d rather die than be accused of poisoning! Why is that girl willing to risk her life to help the first prince……’
Then the Second Empress moved forward, the skirt of her dress fluttered. The second empress was forced to assist the emperor into the ballroom.
She was still concerned about Giel, whom she still saw him as child in her arms, but she quickly dismissed the thought.
Michael, the first prince, and Phil, the second prince, appeared to be constantly fighting. So it was not like Giel doesn’t have a chance. Giel would overtake them when they hurt each other and their strength dwindled, so that would be enough for him to overtake the position.
‘It was only by the grace of God that Michael had no power. Let’s see, who ascends to the throne then.’
✦ ✦ ✦
Those of lower social standing were naturally the first to enter the ballroom, while those of higher social standing arrived late to receive their greetings.
Therefore, the baron and the Viscount family were the first to enter the ballroom. Following that, members of the Count family and members of the Marquis family entered one by one.
Of course, some people arrived late simply because they wanted to be late.
Such people would enter the ballroom quietly and only take seats with people they knew. She was also one of them.
“……Has the Duke of Cardian arrived yet?”
When she asked with a low voice, Viscount’s daughter, who was close to her, shook her head.
“Not yet. I’m sure he will be late. However, he will not arrive before the princes.”
They exchanged a nod and a glance toward the ballroom’s entrance. When people think of the imperial ball, they usually interested with the entrance to the passage dedicated to the imperial family, but today their attention was drawn to the entrance to the ballroom.
“…….Your Excellency the Duke of Carta! The Duchess enters!”
People’s attention was drawn to the servant who was shouting loudly at the door. Even if the duke and duchess were high-ranking aristocrats, they were distinguished from the rest of the aristocracy.
Because Duke of Cardian was a member of the royal family. They are a bloodline with the potential to become emperors.
The emperor promised to present the medals to a few families at today’s ball, but insisted on the majority of the high-ranking noble families should attend.
This demand was only met by a few families.
The Duke of Cardian was the exception.
Even Cardian stated that he would attend due to the involvement of Marquis Montague.
The other four dukes, as well as Princess Amelia, gradually made their way into the ballroom. However, the nobles are not interested in her, except if they have ostensible interest.
Amelia appeared to be used to such responses, and she was only greeted by nobles.
The servant’s loud shout brought the ballroom into silence for a brief moment. The Duke of Cardian’s presence, which they hadn’t expected, made everyone who had ever met him became more cynical.
Celia was walking on her own while holding Leonis’ arm. Leonis had his arms wrapped around her waist because she was nervous.
Those who thought it was affectionate widened their eyes. It is not a lie that the Duke of Cardian, who was accused of murder, fell in love with his wife.
From the beginning, there was such a thing.
The Duke of Cardian is said to have conspired with the emperor and taken her away after falling in love at first sight with the young lady of the Marquis of Montague in a certain ballroom.
Everyone claimed they had a different plan because the opponent was the Duke of Cardian, a murderer. Whether it’s because they’re envious of the lovely couple……
They were surprised to see the duke caring for the duchess’s steps and lovingly supporting her!
“Oh my……It is said that the Duchess’s body was badly wounded because of her marriage to the Duke……”
“The madam married to the Duke of Cardian is a little……She is suffering.”
The previous Duke of Cardian’s obsession with his wife was still a topic of gossip among the nobles. As a result, people suspected Leonis of following in the footsteps of the former Duke.
The ladies, who had already covered their faces with fans, sought Celia’s pale face. Despite the fact that her face was visibly hot.
After a brief lull in the atmosphere, the princes began to enter one by one. They would have entered with the emperor when they were still young princes , but not now. Because of their age, they were unable to do it anymore.
In fact, if there had been a Crown Prince, they would have left at the same time after they got married. The emperor, on the other hand, had not yet decided who will be the crown prince and was simply deferring the decision.
“Duke of Cardian, you have arrived. Duchess of Cardian……”
Michael greeted Leonis and approached them. He also gave Celia a warm welcome and introduced his aides.
They’d met at the social club banquet, but it was important for them to be seen by other nobles.
‘… He doesn’t seem to realize how shameful he is!’
After being forestalled, Phil gritted his teeth. He couldn’t approach the Duke and Duchess of Cardian first because he was filled with rage over what had happened to him with the emperor.
When he looked at Celia, his eyes were filled with malice. According to his standards, Celia was a cheeky girl who didn’t know her place.
Giel directed his attendant to bring him a glass of wine while looking at them. He didn’t want to go any further because his mother had said something before he entered the ballroom.
‘That was a mistake. Regardless, the Duke of Cardian will generate a flurry of sparks and return to the Duchy of Cardian. He’s done it before.’
The Cardian was well-known for his refusal to participate in a shady power struggle, blaming it on the curse. Because that has always been the Duke of Cardian’s nature.
The first was the agony of murdering the woman he loved with his own hands, and the second was his insane quest to break the curse. And the current Duke of Cardian, he……
‘It must be because they hate the imperial family.’
When he saw the emperor and other princes, the Duke of Cardian’s eyes were filled with hatred. Giel was well aware of this. Because he had those eyes every morning when he looked in the mirror.
The current Duke of Cardian, on the other hand, seemed content. It was an unusual word for him, but it worked. He appeared to be a man desperately trying to conceal his insanity and the woman in his arms.
It wasn’t that he wasn’t interested; it just that wasn’t the case.
Giel was content with the appearance of fighting for power in a proper line with the other princes. Despite his mother’s blame, she barred him from going any further.
He had no plans to ascend to the throne. He intends to seize and wear the emperor’s crown if it falls to the ground on its own, but he has no intention of fighting for it.
‘Why must I fight for that damn thing?’
Even if he had to go through all kinds of humiliation and sacrifice to get it, he was only giving his mother a power. As time passes, he is subjected to yet another humiliation by his mother…… He will eventually gain power, but what is the point?
He has no one with whom he can share his feelings.
Giel requested a stronger drink because he had swallowed the ice. It would be preferable if the drink was strong enough to make him feel like he was drinking fire just by taking a sip.
“Your Highness. His Majesty hasn’t had anything to eat yet. He will be offended if you are too drunk.”
Giel smirked as he listened to the advice of the less-than-vigilant servant.
“His Majesty will not notice my excessive drinking. Only older brothers and his concubines are reflected in his eyes……”
Giel took a deep breath because he wasn’t yet staggering. When he arrived, he brought his fiancee with him, but the princess had already detached herself to his aides.
She stated that she did not want to deal with a drunkard.
‘If that’s the case, I’d like you to call the marriage off sooner rather than later….. Is it reasonable for you to be afraid of my mother?’
His mother, the emperor’s second concubine, was deemed unworthy of the emperor’s attention. She was only suspected until now because there is no proof she poisoned Michael’s wife.
Even his exhaled breath will smell like alcohol. Giel laughed as he imagined her frowning at him if he had been by her side.
It was all for naught. All of it.
‘I just want to see your face.’
“Everyone, please be quiet! The Emperor of the Great Empire, His Majesty the Emperor Orkan Ermos, has arrived!”
The sight of everyone in the large ballroom clasping their hands in silence was incredible.
Giel stood on the pillars of the ballroom, watching the scene unfold.
The emperor was followed by the first and third Empresses, who were followed by the second Empress. Based on his angry expression, she did not appear to have entered because she wanted to.
‘An odious mother. The order of entry isn’t that important.….’
It will be more exhausting to fight every day. Giel dashed behind the pillar when he noticed the emperor looking around the ballroom. He exhaled deeply and let out a long sigh.
He expected the emperor to be uninterested in him. If there is a problem, he serves as a stand-in for the other two princes.
“Raise your head.”
The emperor said with a low smile on his lips. He could see that the nobles were all standing up and staring at the emperor and his wives. Giel clicked his tongue.
Because he was the Emperor, no one would criticize his expression. As a result, the emperor’s emotions could be difficult to conceal at times.
‘Even if a seat can make a person, there are limits.’
Giel hid behind the pillar again after the emperor’s tedious speech. It was beneficial to his mental health to do so before the Emperor’s second wife, his mother, discovered him.