Translator: Latte Editor: Sasha
For the two grandfathers, their cute granddaughter was an angel who wouldn’t even dare to hurt a fly.
“Iris, my granddaughter. How pretty you’ve become!”
“How could you have grown so beautiful?”
“Grandpas! You’re all right! Iris has been waiting for you two to return for so long!”
The two grandfathers, who had just returned from the battlefield, gave their grown-up granddaughter a warm hug while shedding tears of joy.
These were such blissful days…
They swore allegiance to a duke who became a war hero.
All that was left was to drive out Count Borque and his vassals.
A sneering smile was painted on their faces as they envisioned their long-awaited revenge on the vassals that had attached themselves to Count Borque.
The two barons intended to incite the duke to expel the rest of the vassals. Having not listened to the duke’s orders to participate in the war, he had every reason to cast them away.
Furthermore, they could also take away some of the other vassals’ lands.
However, contrary to their expectations, Baron Garcia came to visit them and gave them an offer.
“Now that he has come back as a hero, the duke will regain his former power.”
Baron Vendos and Baron Bernard expressed extreme displeasure at Baron Garcia’s sly remarks.
“He also deserves a new duchess. The daughter of Count McClair… How can a fool like that be the duchess?!”
It was ridiculous for a man who did not participate in the war to say such things, but what he said was not entirely wrong.
The current duchess was a cold-blooded woman who sent the young duke to war and never even sent him a letter.
“I’ve heard that Baron Bernard and Baron Vendos’ precious granddaughter is beautiful and intelligent…”
They raised their eyebrows.
“Isn’t it better for her to take the seat of the current duchess?” Baron Garcia said, giving a cunning smile.
Baron Vendos and Baron Bernard exchanged glances at each other.
It wasn’t impossible.
If their beloved granddaughter became the duchess…
To become the duke’s wife who became a war hero, even the empress would be envious of her.
As they were the contributors to the victory of the war with the duke, they would be able to push back the daughter of Count McClair.
The offer was so sweet that they couldn’t possibly refuse it.
It was only natural that the two barons, who were initially known for doting their granddaughter, accepted the vassals’ proposals.
Therefore, Baron Vendos and Baron Bernard decided to help the other vassals gain the duke’s forgiveness.
And conspired together for the future.
To regain the power of the Duke of Cernoir so that the whole empire wouldn’t be able to ignore them!
If that happened, then the vassals would gain control as well.
“Grandpas, is that true?”
Iris felt like she was dreaming when she heard that they would take her to the duke’s mansion.
‘To be able to go to duke’s mansion…!’
She had encountered numerous nobles who would laugh at her naivety in high society.
“Even if they’ve contributed to the war, it should be difficult to be invited to the duke’s mansion. Isn’t that right, Miss Iris?”
When Iris bragged about her grandfathers, the other nobles would snort at her words.
“You’ve never been to the duke’s mansion before anyway.”
None of those in her social circles had ever been to the duke’s mansion.
But now that would all change.
Iris would be the first.
Her level of happiness rose to ecstatic when she heard of the news.
The duke was a war hero, and he was rumored to be a very handsome man.
A few days ago, the ladies at her tea party chatted about how much they wanted to see the duke at least once.
Iris could finally brag to the other ladies who had looked down on her.
Iris asked with a curious look, “Grandfathers! Iris heard that the duke is an attractive man. Is that true?”
“Oh, of course! You’ll be surprised to see how handsome he is!”
“I’m sure His Grace will fall in love with our beautiful granddaughter, too!”
“Really? But the duke has a wife.”
“Don’t mind that!”
The duke had returned as a great war hero. If he wants, he could even make a commoner woman his duchess.
But the most important thing was to make the duke fall in love with Iris.
If everything goes according to their plans, then they wouldn’t need to worry about gaining the support of the other vassals.
“Call the best tailor here immediately!”
* * *
Iris recalled the lyrics of the bard’s song for the duke, which they sang on the main street.
A smile of joy and satisfaction lit up her eager face.
She had been walking around with her head up in the clouds, thinking about how the other nobles would look at her in envy.
Iris ordered several dresses and changed them dozens of times.
“As grandfather said, what if His Grace the Duke sees Iris and falls in love?”
“Then my lady will become the duchess!” The maid replied while combing her beautiful blonde hair.
The smile of pleasure came upon her face again.
“Will the duchess leave me alone?”
“She has to! If she touches even a strand of milady’s precious hair, then I won’t let her go!”
Iris chuckled at the maid’s loyalty.
And so Iris held her two grandfathers’ hands and waited, dreaming of the day when she could go to the duke’s mansion.
* * *
The day after the banquet, Baron Bernard and Baron Vendos visited Elody.
Caville was away with the knights to check the security of the land, and Elody was handling a backlog of documents.
Elody looked closely at the two barons who waited for her in the parlor.
After a brief greeting, they came straight to the main topic.
“Madame, I’m sorry to say this, but… The duke needs a supporter who can empower him.”
“Yes, we cannot acknowledge you as the duchess.”
Elody laid down her teacup and looked at them.
The two barons continued to talk, “If our two families’ granddaughter becomes the duchess, I’m sure she’ll be a greater help than you!”
“You’ve been doing a good job of managing the land, but… The two of you have not received the official seal from the temple, right?”
To put it shortly, what they meant to say was ‘You are not qualified to be the duchess.’
Elody was embarrassed because they were so transparent in showing what they want.
These were not remarks that the vassals could recklessly tell to the duchess.
However, they seemed to have no brain as they were audaciously rude.
At the same time, the two were the ones who sided with Caville on the battlefield.
It was natural that they wouldn’t favor Elody because they thought that she had never sent a letter to him.
They knew that they were being rude, but they were still confident. Elody thought they were at least sincere in their statements.
The duke was young, and the two barons respected him. They must have thought that the duke deserved the right duchess.
“If you have no intention of divorce, we will go through a formal meeting….”
Elody, who had been silent all the time, finally opened her mouth and spoke, “Well, was this something that needed elaborate recognition in the first place?”
The two Barons blinked in surprise at the unexpected answer.
“Baron Vendos, Baron Bernard. I don’t know if your granddaughter can be a great help to His Grace the Duke.”
“Wha-what are you…!” Baron Vendos baffled.
“Cough…! Still, she will be far stronger than the daughter of Count Meclair.”
Baron Bernard replied calmly.
Elody took another sip and smiled a little before saying, “I’m not talking about me. Did you hear the story that the emperor considers his niece, Princess Larissa, as a potential bride for His Grace the Duke?”
Elody was dumbfounded at their stupidity.
Caville has the princess, the original heroine of the novel…
Could the granddaughter of the mere baron be greater than the princess, the emperor’s niece?
As expected, the mouths of the two Barons dropped to the floor.
They were embarrassed.
The two barons expected the duchess to cry and insist on never getting divorced.
However… comparing the princess to their granddaughter. They certainly got caught off guard with her unexpected reaction.
Elody tilted her head.
She was embarrassed because she felt like a mother-in-law who was choosing a daughter-in-law for the duke.
She thought when Caville came back with the princess. She would just seal the divorce papers and end it right then and there.
Elody sighed deeply and said, “And seeing how you take lightly of the duchess’s position by showing up with your disrespectful behavior… I don’t think I should give this seat to that granddaughter of yours.”
Baron Bernard and Baron Vendos were further ashamed.
‘Their relationship had turned out to be like one between siblings. Plus, she already knew that she would get divorced from the start….’
After their granddaughter and Caville got married, a son’s birth might later result in more wealth and power.
However, their granddaughter was never an option from the start.
No wealth and no power. She had nothing she could empower Caville with.
As expected, the heroine Larissa was destined for Caville.
Elody smiled and offered them tea. The tea had been cold for a long time because they hadn’t drunk even a single sip.
The two who thought themselves to be genius schemers had no choice but to gulp down the cold tea.
However, it was ridiculous when they thought about it.
The duchess was the one who had been sitting on the sidelines during the war, doing absolutely nothing.
But now she was pretending to be a duchess, telling them that the princess was better than their granddaughter…
And frankly, they were embarrassed by Elody’s dignified appearance. She was calm, poised, but terrifying at the same time.
Baron Bernard spoke out angrily, “Well, the more I think about it, the more ridiculous it is. Do you think you deserve to worry about the duke’s life?”
Baron Vendos, who was encouraged by Baron Bernard’s words, also added, “That’s right! I don’t even want to call you madame! After all these years of hiding from the duke, how dare you suddenly act as if you care now! A woman who is not even qualified to be the duchess gives us advice!”
It was then.
“What are you talking about?”
The voice was so cold.
Caville came in and looked at the two barons with an icy cold glare that could freeze hell over.
* * *
A little while ago, Iris, who followed her two grandfathers to the duke’s mansion, was very excited.
She even dressed up in a beautiful dress that was nowadays popular in the capital city.
The pampered granddaughter of the two barons began to look around the mansion with excitement.
“Where’s my wife?”
“Her Grace is talking to Baron Bernard and Baron Vendos in the parlor,” Norman replied.
“With my wife? Why?”
Caville took off his gloves and entered the mansion with an anxious look.
Norman then led Caville up the stairs.
He felt uneasy even though his time away from his wife wasn’t that long.
Iris, who was in the hallway on the second floor, calmed her heart when she saw Caville going up the stairs.
‘What if he really falls in love with me?’
She was thinking about it and was about to say hello gracefully…
Caville brushed past Iris who was wearing a colorful pink dress as if she was a nobody.
As if he had seen nothing.
As if she was insignificant.
Iris was flustered and just blinked.
She wondered if she was invisible.
But it didn’t seem so.
“Ah, Oh my gosh! Wh-what the—?”
Someone screeched out of the blue.
It was Heinz who was following in Caville through the stairs.
He was surprised to see Iris while climbing the stairs with his head down.
“Oh, I thought you were a monster.”
He thought a giant pink slime had just come into the mansion. He almost pulled his sword out of fear.
His actions were unbelievably rude. Nevertheless, Heinz was a former mercenary, so it was only natural that he did not know the manners of a knight.
Heinz grumbled a little and passed by Iris with an annoyed look.
Iris was left alone to swallow her shock.