Translator: thursdays Editor: thursdays
‘Is he aware that Rezef is the true culprit?’
To buy time, Cayena took a silk handkerchief from a servant and smoothly wiped the Emperor’s lips.
The Emperor’s question was open-ended and ambiguous, as expected of a seasoned politician.
The original Cayena would certainly have been caught in the trap. But instead, she spoke slyly.
“Please look upon me kindly.”
Her voice was unexpectedly soft.
Moreover, her composed smile was not that of an immature young woman, and the Emperor was inwardly impressed.
‘Was this child always this skilled at hiding her true self?’
The Emperor wondered what change had overcome his daughter while he was ill.
‘Has she finally come to her senses?’
His daughter had changed.
The Emperor’s eyes flashed. “You don’t mind if the real criminal is not caught?”
If Cayena wanted it, the Emperor was willing to lend his help in bringing out the real criminal.
The situation was not yet clear, but it was highly likely that Rezef was the culprit. The Emperor thought it might also be a good time to put Rezef in his place again.
‘Is he suspicious of Rezef? If Rezef’s power decreases at this time, I won’t be able to use him.’
Cayena shook her head.
“Rezef will punish the real culprit. I thought that it would be better to deal with this incident in this way rather than inciting the nobility.”
The Emperor felt a spark of admiration for his daughter. “That’s quite impressive.”
“I was afraid that my foolish thoughts would disturb your state, Father.”
Even as Cayena revealed her tactics, she credited her results to the Emperor.
“You have trusted in and waited for your firstborn daughter this entire time, so now I will do my part.”
At Cayena’s words, the Emperor burst into laughter.
It seemed that a king’s child was born with a king’s ability. With a happy heart, he thought that he should give Cayena some sort of reward.
“Now that I think of it, your coming-of-age ceremony is coming up.”
Cayena did not reply. She just handed over the teacup to a servant.
Then, the Emperor said, “I must start looking for a good marriage partner for you.”
A marriage partner.
At that phrase, Cayena immediately thought of Raphael Kedrey. It was something like a habit.
However, she tried hard to push down her agitation.
“You’re correct, Father. I’ll come of age soon.”
In her first life, Cayena was courted by many, but did not have any marriage partners. Eventually, she was sold off to Viscount Gillian.
The Emperor passed on without any interest in her marriage. Rezef, on the other hand, actively encouraged competition over the position of the Emperor’s son-in-law.
They may have been the Imperial family, but how could anyone call this a family?
‘Am I really your daughter?’
Contrary to her cold feelings toward her father, Cayena asked with a smile, “Did you have anyone in mind?”
The Emperor did not show it, but he was surprised.
He thought for certain that Cayena would mention Raphael Kedrey if he brought up marriage.
If she answered as he expected, he would have been disappointed in her again.
But Cayena didn’t even mention Lord Kedrey.
It seemed that she had finally learned that her marriage was not a card that she should waste on love or desire.
Just to be certain, the Emperor asked, “Do you mean that you would marry someone else after investing so much time and effort into Raphael Kedrey?”
The question made Cayena think of her first love, like a distant memory.
‘I wasn’t meant for him, anyway.’
It would be a lie to say that she had no regrets.
Even if she disregarded her personal feelings, Raphael was an excellent marriage partner.
But Raphael despised her.
She didn’t want to cling on to someone who hated her.
Furthermore, she had to become friends with Raphael. His role was necessary for her to marry successfully.
‘To be more exact, it’s the power of Duke Kedrey that I need.’
Cayena fixed her smile and said calmly, “As I don’t have any sisters, how could I allow myself to be swayed by a momentary emotion and make such a mistake? I will follow your will, Father.”
“You’ve surprised me many times today,” the Emperor said. Generously, he added, “Choose your partner carefully. Take your time to examine your options.”
At those extraordinary words, the servants who were nearby forgot themselves, dropping their jaws and gasping.
‘Now, if I can rid myself of Rezef’s interest, it won’t matter whom I get married to.’
Cayena had accomplished what she had come here for.
Politely, she said, “Thank you for giving this matter your attention. I will make sure that my partner is truly suitable to join the Imperial family.”
The Emperor nodded and beckoned the grand chamberlain. This meant that he was going to lie down and rest.
Cayena greeted him once more and left the bedroom, taking her ladies-in-waiting with her.
“It seems she’s come for her senses after growing up.”
The grand chamberlain bowed his head at the Emperor’s remark and smiled softly.
“The princess has already grown and matured so admirably—how time flies.”
The Emperor smiled. “You’re twisting my words,” he said.
As Cayena left the Emperor’s room, she came across someone unexpected.
Naturally, her footsteps stopped.
She could feel the wariness of the approaching court ladies, the nearby knights, and the servants.
But of course they were wary. The one that she had run into was well known as Cayena’s unrequited love.
The raven-black hair and crimson eyes were the symbols of the Kedrey ducal family. Raphael was born with those distinct features. Cayena, who was pale and blonde, had been fascinated by his vivid presence.
In fact, even though Cayena was experienced and living her third life, she thought that he was a wonderful and beautiful person.
Raphael stood out from other noblemen his age, starting with his presence.
He had the heavy, vivid, and overwhelming aura of those who had experienced the battlefield. Combined with his natural beauty and figure, he was unrivaled among his peers.
Cayena was just another girl who was helpless to his rare charm.
‘In my first life, I thought he was merely a nice person.’
Raphael from the novel was not just a gentleman, though.
He was obsessively meticulous in how he interacted with people, and it tired him to have to meet people and keep up social relationships.
Originally, Olivia helped him with his compulsion, and Raphael had fallen in love with her.
“Raphael Kedrey greets Her Imperial Highness.”
Raphael, who had been in the waiting room, greeted Cayena in a dry manner.
Suddenly, Cayena felt relieved. He didn’t hate her as much as she had expected.
Raphael only thought of her as a bother right now, rather than outright loathing her.
She had time to fix her mistakes.
Now she just had to not do all the things she had previously done.
If she stopped pretending to be close to him and touching him—while also being careful not to be rude—she would be able to have a much better relationship with him than before.
Anyway, it wasn’t like she wanted to be remembered as an awful woman by her first love.
“You may rise.”
Cayena made her decision.
“It’s been a while, Lord Kedrey.”
Raphael looked puzzled at her polite address, as she usually called him ‘Raphy.’
Come to think of it, even though Cayena had found him, she didn’t run to him and hug his arm.
He was not the only one pondering her behavior.
Everyone present was looking at Cayena with wide eyes.
‘What, why is Her Highness acting like this?’
Cayena was normally very rude and uninhibited.
While everyone was confused, Cayena looked around herself and was lost in other thoughts.
‘Even though Raphael had come, nobody announced his presence.’
Seeing that it was clear that the Emperor was keeping Raphael in check.
“Are you here to see His Majesty?”
If she was the original Cayena, she would have talked nonstop to get Raphael’s attention by now. But Cayena knew her part well.
She was the villainess, not a heroine.
‘Now I know my place.’
Cayena called forth a servant.
“Tell His Majesty that Lord Kedrey is asking for an audience.”
Release Rate: 2 chapters a week
Release Day: Thursday (12:00 PM +5:30 GMT)
For any errors and issues contact us through discord:- https://discord.gg/Q3dStgu