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“That’s a great idea!”
Ian’s idea was out of the ordinary, but it was equally appealing. Furthermore, it corresponded to the slightly irrational remarks I said a while ago, ‘I dyed my hair a different color because I wanted to wear a pink dress.’
I really liked the new lie suggested by the Commander of the Holy Knights.
I had arrived in front of my room and raised my head to look at Ian. It was time to say goodbye.
“Oh, and~ Sir Ian.”
I grabbed the doorknob and looked back at Ian. I had suddenly remembered it.
“My hair is actually fake.”
As expected, Ian’s brow furrowed.
I quickly replied with a follow-up.
“My hair is originally pink.”
I cut a few strands of my hair and handed them to Ian. The hair that had fallen out of my head quickly lost their magic and turned pink.
“I was hiding it to avoid tracking, but I forgot to tell you ahead of time.”
“Are you kidding me? You forgot?”
“I’m really sorry. Ah, and my eyes are originally a golden-yellow color. I’ll show you my true self next time. Then goodbye! It’s already night.”
“Stop right there, Madam.”
I stood tall as I snatched the doorknob. As expected, that person could not simply ignore the matter.
‘Damn you, Count Paras!’
Even if it wasn’t because of him, the truth would be revealed eventually. Ian moved in closer and grabbed my chin. I could feel his gaze piercing my face.
“…This is fake. All of this.”
Ian’s words made me shudder.
“I just changed the color. As I previously stated, the purpose is to avoid tracking. Sir Ian is well aware of how tenacious these people are.”
Ian clicked his tongue.
“As expected, you, do you realize that it’s too suspicious?”
I smiled apologetically while suppressing my racing heart.
“Be honest with me. Tell me what your real identity is.”
My heart was racing like crazy as I heard his devilishly deep voice.
I barely calmed down and raised my eyes to Ian.
“We’re both hiding secrets from each other.”
Ian frowned and furrowed his eyebrows.
Just as I’m hiding my real identity, Ian was hiding his real purpose. His real purpose was to bring down the current Emperor.
“Sir Ian would not open up about everything to me. But I promise. Whatever I’m hiding, I will be your faithful wife for a year.”
Ian was silent for a moment.
He looked down at me, as if he was searching for something.
At that moment, I began to hear a group of people in the hallway in the distance. I could feel the group approaching us, and then they came to a halt as if they had found us.
“Please kiss me on the cheek.”
I raised my head and whispered to him. Ian, as a Sword Master, could not have known his popularity.
Ian slowly lowered his head and brought his lips closer to my cheek.
“Don’t make me too curious about you. I would be in trouble if there are more questions than this.”
Shallow goosebumps spread all over my body.
* * *
The following day.
The following day.
Numerous institutionalists read with their eyes wide open.
“Have you all read today?”
“Of course. Oh my God… I didn’t know that Irene had such a past.”
The nobles who had gathered around and were having tea time excitedly murmured.
“Lady Irene, she is a member of the Royal Family!”
“She was a Princess from a faraway island as well!”
“The nobles of the Rehart Empire were soaked in peaceful days, but they become crazed when hearing romantic stories.”
Everyone was enthralled by the fact that the newly appeared Saintess was a Princess from a faraway island country.
My remarks that made many ladies flutter yesterday, ‘I changed my pink hair because it didn’t go well with a pink dress,’ made more sense now.
The Royal Family may have been familiar with the luxury of being a Royal Family and a Princess who grew up beautifully, regardless of how small an island country on the periphery was.
[TL/N: periphery means countries are those that are less developed than the semi-periphery and core countries.]
“However, who were the bad guys who kidnapped Lady Irene?”
“As if that wasn’t enough for them; they also sold her as a slave. What a terrifying experience that must have been. Stupid bastards!”
“I can’t believe Sir Ian rescued a carriage that was about to be sold into slavery. What a dramatic fate!”
Ian frequently crossed the border to subjugate monsters in order to fulfill his duty as a Sword Master.
Slavery was still practiced secretly in neighboring countries, unlike in the Rehart Empire, where it was strictly prohibited.
Ian was also known for raiding top slaves and freeing them.
“A Princess who was about to be sold as a slave fell in love with the Holy Knight who saved her…”
“It’s so dramatic and romantic. This is real. All of the playwrights will lose their jobs!”
“No wonder the new Saintess spent a lot of money.”
A young lady who was at the after-party banquet yesterday nodded her head.
“She used the transformation powder because she wanted to wear a pink dress. I was amazed at how casually she spoke.”
“It was such a high class way of thinking. I couldn’t believe she’d been kidnapped and sold into slavery. Can you imagine how difficult it must have been for her?”
“She is likely suffering partial amnesia from that shock.”
“Everyone should be careful when you treat the new Saintess. Let’s not talk about her past.”
In the words of one woman, everyone agreed with a sad expression.
“I hope the Saintess Verification Ceremony will be held soon. What kind of power would the new Saintess possess?”
“I can’t take it anymore because I’m curious.”
“I’m a little worried now. Until now, Saintess Cordelia has been the youngest Saintess for a very long time. As you may know, Cordelia’s family is a little bit…”
“Is it unusual?”
Everyone nodded at someone’s remark.
“Yes, exactly. I’m not sure if the new Saintess will suffer because of her power.”
“Come on, she has Sir Ian. Did you all hear about the gossip of how Count Paras fought with her and ran away from Ian?”
“I heard that when Sir Ian was pushing out the Count, his face was so terrifying. Oh, I should’ve seen it in person.”
“I know right.”
A sigh of disappointment erupted from everyone.
* * *
“A runaway slave?”
The Emperor’s private office is located in the deepest part of the Imperial Palace.
The Emperor Rashid’s laughter echoed in the secret space where only a few people are allowed to enter and leave.
Rashid burst out laughing, then snatched a jewel from the desk and hurled it at the servant who had come to report.
“Take it. It’s the price of making me happy.”
“Thank… Thank you.”
With a puzzled expression, the servant said as he accepted the jewel. Rashid abruptly turned away from the servant and returned his gaze to the Empress.
“You did a very good job making Count Paras into a clown. Hearing such interesting news… our new Saintess was a slave. The plot will be drastically altered because this occurred. Isn’t that so? Empress.”
Empress Lorelai smiled softly.
“A lot of things changed.”
“My brother too.”
Rashid said with a smirk.
“I was surprised that he suddenly fell in love with a woman and he went to see her. It would’ve been suspicious if he had fallen in love with a woman from a prominent family. But if she was a runaway slave… that’s a different story.”
Rashid’s mouth was sneered, and he laughed twistedly. It was pointless to be a member of the Royal Family in a faraway island country in the past.
The world is enormous, and like the stars in the night sky, there are countless countries and Royal Families. Emperor Rashid considers the Royal Family of a kingdom so insignificant that they don’t even know the kingdom’s name; they are less valuable than the commoners of the great Rehart Empire.
‘What matters is that that woman had put her name on the slave list at least once.’
Rashid gently stroked his chin. Slaves are still slaves.
When it comes to the Imperial Family, no matter how adamantly Rehart Empire opposes slavery and is sincere about eradicating slavery in a foreign country, it’s a different story.
The Imperial Family is the most conservative people. It was unprecedented to bring slaves from foreign countries to become the Empress.
If Ian truly took the Saintess as his wife, it was safe to say that he truly had no intention of aiming for the throne.
“As expected… My brother is trustworthy.”
Rashid licked his lips and whined.
“Faithful, useful… you bastard.”
The most formidable force. Handsome face. Even numerous Holy Knights were loyal to him.
It was frightening if he became an enemy, but if he were a dog on a leash, he is a powerful ally.
“And… slave or whatever. She is definitely an interesting woman.”
Rashid clenched his jaw slowly. Irene’s expression clearly changed subtly when he made the mistake of calling Ian with ‘Lord’.
‘She must have noticed that I am the Emperor.’
The strange thing was what happened next. Those who recognize the Emperor usually show one of two attitudes.
Either fear or adore and flatter. Irene was neither the former nor the latter.
‘If I bothered to analyze any further, I feel like she would try to distance herself from me.’
Whether they are aristocrats or not, commoners tend to withdraw instinctively in front of the Imperial Family. But she didn’t show any sign of that.
“Are you thinking about that new Saintess kid?”
The Empress, Lorelai’s voice interrupted Rashid’s thought.
“The world is noisy because a new Saintess appeared after fifteen years, however there is nothing different for Your Majesty.”
“Haha. Are you trying to keep her in check because she is your new junior?”
“No matter how much the new Saintess flies and crawls, there is no other Saintess who is loved by God as much as you, my Empress.”
“You are flattering me.”
Lorelai drew an arc around her lips as she smiled.
* * *
“Count Paras has been imprisoned for blasphemy!”
Annette, who had brought a tray of snacks, exclaimed excitedly. I was surprised and asked her back.
“How dare he question the new Saintess and accuse her of being a criminal! The verification has yet to take place, but Lady Irene is truly a Saintess. Sir Ian has acknowledged it!”
“Haha… is that so?”
I felt like a cat on hot bricks after she mentioned the words of the Saintess’ Verification Ceremony.
The engagement ceremony went smoothly. But the real gateway started from now.
‘Somehow, I have to pass the Saintess’ Verification.’
Only ten days remain until Bishop Kennen, who is in charge of the Saintess’ Verification, returns. By then I’d have to do something about it.
‘Ugh. I should have met Rizello then!’
Shall I visit the Magic Tower again?
Then Ian’s voice came to my mind.
‘If you are curious about the Magic Tower, please ask me. I will accompany you.’
I shook my head helplessly.
He said that. But if I went to the Magic Tower alone again, it would be suspicious this time.
‘But I can’t escape secretly… What should I do about this?’
I suddenly stood up from where I had been lying like wet laundry on the chair.
Why did I come up with this only now?
I smiled complacently.
I remembered. A way to meet Rizello without going to the Magic Tower.