I assumed that every woman believes that their cheating lover should be dangled on the cliff naked right away. I was thinking of having him busted but I decided to hold back.
Tiptoeing while going back, I covered my mouth with my hands and giggled.
There is only one reason why Nodelli’s family, which is led by Philip Nodelli, a bad businessman, is still flourishing.
It’s because the largest diamond mine in the continent is in their hands. The emperor gave it to Princess Ingrid as their wedding gift.
However, if Princess Ingrid divorces him and brings the mine, he wouldn’t be left with anything. Hence, he would be forced to sell the estate, rather than buying an abandoned mine to secure Suwon.
I happily raised my fist while thinking so.
Princess Ingrid’s pride wouldn’t let her husband act recklessly, and her husband will reach his limit soon.
‘Thank you, Elizabeth. I wouldn’t have had a chance to witness something like this if you didn’t act foolishly.’
Thank you, thank you so much!
I cleared my head on the way back to the empress’ drawing room.
‘What should I do?‘
Princess Ingrid and the empress should burst into rage, but, I think it’s too soon.
If Nodelli secures the Suwon first, what I had prepared will be turned into ashes.
As I went inside the drawing room with a troubled face, the guest that had arrived while I was away greeted me.
“Hello, little miss.”
“Nice to meet you, Lady Dubbled.”
They are familiar faces I often see at parties. I greeted them politely and went to Johann.
“Where are the empress and the princess?”
Perhaps, their conversation was cut short on purpose. Right now the empress is greeting the ladies from a transparent door connected to the drawing room.
Soon the servants pushed in the tray. The garden was quickly crowded, as the empress took care of me the whole time.
But something was weird.
‘Where is Elizabeth?’
Does it take a long time to calm down because she was so annoyed that the empress praised me a little while ago?
When the empress spoke with an amiable tone, the attendees gathered at a huge round table to chit-chat.
The scale is much smaller than a proper tea party, but as it is hosted by the empress, every attendee is a leader of a powerful family that is rarely seen. For example, there is a close confidant of the empress, who usually never attend such parties.
In the meantime, the empress seated me next to her.
“I’ve prepared my favorite tea for my beloved friends. I’d be happy if it suits the child’s taste.”
When the empress raised her hand lightly, the servants politely moved the teacup.
‘There’s no teapot.’
Usually, tea is brewed on a pot and distributed in a teacup. But this time, the tea was already in the teacup.
A lady smiled and said,
“Isn’t it beautiful?”
As I peeked inside the teacup, I was a little astonished. Unlike ordinary tea, this tea had dried flowers floating on the tea.
Chrysanthemum flowers were blooming in the clear yellow tea.
‘It looks like seaweed.….’
Honestly, it seemed a bit odd to me, but as I need to be an agreeable child, I smiled broadly.
“There is spring in the teacup!”
People burst into laughter at my naive words.
“Is this your first time drinking it? The empress often gave it to me.”
Elizabeth, who returned to the garden before I noticed, said proudly. A lady explained her words,
“It’s a tea that the empress gives to VIPs.”
The empress nodded her head.
“Lady is also a VIP. Taste it.”
I answered yes with my hands folded in my lap. Suddenly, I could see a butterfly coming from somewhere.
It hovered over to the empress’ teacup as she let out a scream. People already know that Empress Yvonne hates butterflies.
Everyone looked at the panicked empress with a worried face.
“Are you okay?”
“……yes. I apologize, it seems like I made quite a scene. Lady Dubbled, don’t forget to enjoy your tea.”
I sip the tea.
The child in me urged me to put a lot of cream and milk in the tea right away. But I held it in and smiled brightly, I didn’t forget to clap my hands and rejoice.
“It smells so good. It’s a really nice tea.”
The empress nodded with a pleasant smile.
Leblaine blinked, grabbed her forehead as her brows narrowed in pain.
Johann and the empress called me, but the child only shook her head and didn’t answer.
“I’m dizzy…… why…….”
Leblaine, who was mumbling blankly, was falling from her chair due to dizziness.
The nobles who saw the fallen child shrieked in surprise.
“There must be poison in the tea……!!”
Johann ran towards her and carried her body.
“Call the doctor right away!”
Hearing Johann’s voice, the servants got out of their stupor and began to run in a hurry.
The garden was chaotic in an instant, even the empress was pale and at her wit’s end.
The Duke of Dubbled arrived at the palace. The emperor even came despite his duties and visited Leblaine, who was being treated by a doctor.
The imperial mages and investigators continued to investigate the empress’ garden.
“It is poison.”
Hearing the imperial mage, everyone was astonished, especially the empress.
“Poison, how ridiculous! How can poison be in the palace? If someone had brought in the poison, the inspection before they came in would have caught them.”
“It’s not a common poison. The inspector couldn’t have detected it easily. It only works after it is put into the human body as a medium.”
After confirming about the poison, no one could get into the palace. Guests invited to the party were detained in private rooms, alongside the empress. Empress Yvonne bit her nails with a nervous look.
“What the hell is going on!”
Seeing the empress screaming nervously, the maids flinched in surprise.
‘There is no guest who touched the lady’s teacup.’
This meant the poison was inserted before the tea came out.
‘Those people will think I am the culprit.’
People could even make up a reason for that. Leblaine choses Adrian afterall. They would think that the Empress is afraid that Dubbled and Adrian would join hands.
‘Even if that’s not the case, I will not be able to avoid responsibility due to poor management.’
“Of all times why now…….”
Audrey, the maid who managed Leblaine’s tea today, called her with a pale face.
Audrey’s head was turned due to the impact.
“Just what in the world did you do. How could a poison be in the tea!”
The old maid said to the empress.
“Please calm down. This wouldn’t solve the case. Instead, you need to plan for your next move.”
The old maid glared at Audrey, who was shivering. Audrey was flabbergasted.
‘What’s up with that look?’
Anxiety was eating Audrey up.
When the empress, who had been angry for a while, sat down, the maid smiled strangely and held Audrey’s shoulder gently.
“Please don’t be upset, just go out and wait. I’m going to calm her down.”
Audrey, who left the room trembled, leaning against the wall.
‘Then I have to do this.’
The pale Audrey headed to the private room where the Marquis of Nodelli was detained.
“What, what’s wrong?”
“What should I do? The empress is going to blame me.”
“What…….that couldn’t be true. The empress thinks highly of you.”
“Do you think the empress would think about it when she’s cornered?”
“No way. Why would you poison an orphan girl in Dubbled?”
“The empress could make up many reasons. What should I do, I……! It’s all because of you!”
“Because of me?”
“If you hadn’t dragged me while I was preparing the tea, or if I hadn’t done your daughter a favor……!”
“Doing my daughter a favor?”
“Elizabeth asked me for the cup of Lady Dubbled! I prepared the tea. I never put poison in it, so who do you think it is? It’s your daughter!”
The Marquis of Nodelli moved away from her as Audrey screamed.
“That can’t be right. My nine-year-old daughter wouldn’t do such a cruel thing……!”
He suddenly realized something.
“This? Mr. Weiss gave it to me as a gift. A thing that Elizabeth hated will disappear if I had this.
Before leaving the mansion, he remembered his daughter smiling brightly with a small medicine bottle.
“Elizabeth…… No, no way…….”
“So your daughter came first before me?”
Audrey bit her lip and stared resentfully at the Marquis of Nodelli.
“You never loved me. I should have forgotten you when you abandon me and marry the princess. To you, am I only a nobody who warmed the bed.?”
Marquis Nodelli said as he held her in his arms.
“That can’t be true. You’re the only one I love.”
“Then what do I do……”
The marquis sighed seeing the pitiful Audrey.
‘Elizabeth is Ingrid’s daughter, she wouldn’t be harmed even though she indeed has the poison.’
The empress and Ingrid will do everything to make sure of that.
“I’ll take care of it. Trust me.”
“Philip……. I love you.”
Marquis Nordelli’s eyes became sharp as he stroked Audrey’s back.
“Kill me, Your Majesty!”
Marquis Nodelli said to the emperor. The emperor could only sigh hearing him.
“So Elizabeth poisoned her?”
“I will bear the sins of not raising my daughter properly.”
“Just how could you raise a child like that!”
Elizabeth let out a tearful scream after hearing it.
“No! It’s not me! I, I never did that! Seriously!”
“Search that kid’s body and you’ll see she has a vial.”
Princess Ingrid screamed in surprise.
“Are you crazy? Do you even understand what you’re doing to your daughter?!”
“Elizabeth needs to be punished now. That way, Elizabeth will become a better adult -”
Princess Ingrid slapped Marquis Nodelli on the cheek.
The emperor shouted, but Ingrid’s eyes were sharp.
“What are you doing you crazy man.”
“Mother, father! It’s really not me. Mr. Weiss gave it to me but I didn’t have enough time…… Audrey came back sooner than I thought, so I couldn’t put it in!”
Elizabeth burst into tears and the Emperor commanded without hesitation.
“Send Elizabeth Nodelli to the dungeon.”
“No! I never did that! Your Majesty! Your Majesty!”
There was a commotion in the palace. The emperor, who grabbed the back of his neck, groaned. There wouldn’t be a day where his headache would go away.
At that time, in the imperial palace ward, the chairman glanced at Leblaine, who was closing her eyes as if she was dead.
“What kind of thing did you…….”
“Everyone’s gone to see the emperor, so stop pretending!”
Leblaine opened her eyes at once and looked at her surroundings.
“You can’t say that so loudly. What if someone hears it?”
“Who would even believe that? You’re the one who made up the poison!”
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