Artizea bowed in surprise at the sight of the Emperor. The young ladies who followed Artizea also knelt on their knees in unison.
“With all due respect, I did not know that His Majesty the Emperor was here.”
Lawrence bowed his head and greeted.
“You’re here, Father?”
“Is it already time?”
Lawrence hesitated a little.
Today he was supposed to be the escort of the Empress. It was because it was unclear whether the Emperor would attend today.
If he escorts the Empress at the birthday celebration, he will be acting as her son. Even if he does not officially enter the household, it shows that he has an extremely high chance of becoming the Empress’ adopted son.
Then the opportunity would come to have a proper conversation with the Empress.
However, if the Emperor was present, the escort was, of course, the Emperor’s role.
Instead of the hesitating Lawrence, Artizea beckoned to Skyla.
Skyla opened the lid of the ebony box she was holding. A scarlet jeweled crown appeared inside.
Said the Emperor.
The Emperor knew that these crowns were made in pairs. But he didn’t bother to ask where the other one was. It was because he wondered what Artizea would say.
If the Emperor went out without wearing the crown while the Empress does, all preparations would have been lost.
The reason why the Emperor suddenly came without announcing the news was also out of curiosity. Would Artizea have prepared both of the jeweled crowns at the expense of the Queen’s displeasure? Or, would she have prepared only one with the Empress at the center?
And Artizea was prepared for both cases.
Skyla took the crown and stepped back, this time Hayley lifted the ebony box. Inside was a jeweled crown that belonged to the Emperor.
“Did you expect me to come?”
“Even if you do not attend, I think it would be good to show it to the Empress, so I brought it.”
That was, of course, a lie. If the Emperor had not come, she had no reason to bring this up at the risk of the Empress’ displeasure. That was why Hayley was standing inconspicuously at the very back, holding it.
Even though the Emperor knew this, he just laughed. There was nothing he couldn’t do to nitpick it, but it was a good response.
“I am not going to attend the banquet.”
“You came all the way here, Father.”
“You and your sister must have plans, and I don’t want to ruin it. I have seen the face of the Empress, so that’s enough.”
Those words, which should have been affectionate expressions, sounded dry like the winds of a wasteland.
Lawrence expected the Emperor to take the crown and place it on the Empress’ head. But the Emperor did not.
“I’ll just go back.”
Said the Emperor. However, the Empress did not bid the Emperor farewell face to face.
After the Emperor left, Artizea brought the young ladies, who were chatting like birds, into the Tuvalet room.
“Your Majesty’s new dress is truly a jewel!”
Even the older ladies-in-waiting didn’t seem to mind it. The Empress had been relinquishing the glory she should have had for too long.
Lawrence found his place awkward. He wasn’t without the experience of attending a women’s Tuvalet. But he seldom received invitations without sexual intent.
It was even more unfamiliar how he should have behaved in a place where no one cared about him and it was unclear even if he was invited.
“We’re just going to leave.”
“The ladies-in-waiting will prepare.”
Lawrence nodded his head. It was strange to see the Empress wearing a crown with her own hands.
“It will take some time to prepare. Do you have nothing else to prepare for, brother?”
“Then you should rest in the lounge for a while. When I’m ready, I’ll send someone.”
Lawrence nodded his head. And he said to Artizea.
“Good work. You too looked tired…….”
That was then.
A young man rushed in.
“Lord Lawrence, Lord Lawrence, something has happened!”
“What’s going on? This is in front of Her Majesty’s waiting room. Do not make a fuss.”
Lawrence scolded him harshly.
“Lady Miraila, Lady Miraila…… !”
The man was so agitated that he couldn’t speak properly and shouted.
“She has been arrested by the Guards!”
Lawrence was startled and turned to Artizea. It’s not because he thinks Artizea knows something he doesn’t. He just looked around at her involuntarily.
Artizea looked at Lawrence without expression. Lawrence shook his head.
At that time, in the carriage in front of the Rosan mansion, Hazel was trembling.
It started out of curiosity and resonance. She only came to see Miraila out of guilt and a little bit of discomfort because Mielle was ill after the ritual.
She didn’t intend to make a big deal out of it.
However, a few days after her visit to Rosan’s mansion, a maid came to visit her. Hazel didn’t know the maid at all. The maid said with her face mixed with a little bit of fear and anticipation.
[“I heard that Lady is a newspaper reporter.”]
[“I am not a reporter.”]
[“You’re the Lady of the Belmond newspaper, aren’t you?”]
The maid said she has information she wants to sell when it comes to the necromancer.
She says Miraila often goes out alone to meet an old woman, nobody knows whether she is a new necromancer or a prophet.
A feeling came. Obviously this is a big deal.
Talking to her parents, it was clear that they would tell her to stop being stupid and study or work hard. And even more so if the opponent was the Emperor’s mistress.
But Hazel felt a kind of responsibility. She even made Mielle ill to write an article, so she can’t back down because she’s scared now.
Hazel followed Miraila, joining hands with some of the Belmond magazine reporters she was close with. And watched the slum house she came in and out of.
And she knew that this wasn’t just proof that Miraila was superstitious. Because the bloodstained animals began to be thrown away as garbage.
And finally, the old necromancer also bought a child.
As soon as she realized what the child was going to be used for, Hazel ran to Sir Keshore.
[“What’s in the basement of that house, I don’t know what it is, but it’s a bad thing, Uncle. The Dowager Marchioness Rosan, is a superstitious person. She’s already killed a dog or a cat several times!”]
Sir Keshore was the Emperor’s Guard Knight, who could lead the Knights into any house without permission.
After hearing the story from Hazel, he immediately raided the mansion.
The basement door was smashed, and the smell of blood stung. A large magic circle was drawn on the floor.
And in the middle of the magic circle, he found children sitting dazedly, drunk on drugs.
Miraila, astonished to see him, shouted at him.
“How did you get here! Who said you could come in!”
Even before Hazel spoke, Sir Keshore knew Miraila was going to do something heinous.
Because Artizea had already spoken to him.
[“If Lady Hazel was the first to find out, she would definitely run to Sir Keshore. Be sure to catch it.”]
If it was a request, rationally she would ask him to take care of her mother, or to delay and let her know so she could handle it first. But Artizea said the opposite.
[“Sir Keshore’s catching is the lowest risk. His Majesty thinks that Lord Keshore has no two hearts. As long as you catch her in time, he’ll leave all other specifics to Sir Keshore.”]
[“Should she be arrested after the sacrifice is made?”]
[“Sir Keshore is not one who can tolerate that. Do what you have to do.”]
There was no guarantee that the event would happen in the short time. But one day something will happen.
Or, even if Miraila did not move just by stimulating her through Hazel, there was a second and third plan.
Sir Keshore kept an eye on Miraila to make sure there were no victims.
Thanks to that, as soon as Hazel’s message arrived, he was able to immediately dispatch the knights.
If someone later found out about this, it could have been bad for Sir Keshore himself.
However, Sir Keshore hoped that Hazel would not be hurt or that Artizea would not accumulate a bigger evil.
Sir Keshore did not know the principles of magic. However, it was clear what was going to happen when he saw the animals that had been killed so far, the magic circles painted in blood, and the children brought out.
“Dowager Marchioness Rosan.”
He said in a cracked voice.
“What are you here for?”
“Who, who told you to come in!”
Miraila was furious.
“Who is it! Did you follow me? Are you from the Empress? Do you know who I am?”
Sir Keshore opened his mouth, and then closed it again.
Miraila suddenly fell to her knees and knelt on the floor. She knew what she was doing.
Miraila clings to the Keshore.
“Nothing has happened yet, Sir Keshore. I’ll clean it up right away.”
“Dowager Marchioness Rosan.”
“Please turn your blind eye to me just once. I guess I just lost my mind in a moment. Please don’t tell His Majesty. I would do anything. We haven’t just known each other for a while.”
Sir Keshore let out a long sigh.
“I will tell His Majesty first. That is the greatest favor I can show to Dowager.”
And he made Miraila go out.
Miraila was quiet at first. But by the time she was dragged out of the house, she was shouting all kinds of curses against the Empress.
The old woman who was helping Miraila was also dragged away and cried.
The knights who had been brought by Sir Keshore looked away as if they were horrified by the appearance of the basement.
Sir Keshore ordered the frightened, terrified, trembling children to be wrapped in blankets and taken to their houses.
Then he set up a sentry to guard the scene, and returned to Hazel’s side.
“Did something really happen?”
Hazel asked, trembling in terror. Sir Keshore patted her hair and spoke softly.
“Thanks to you, three children were saved today. And Dowager Marchioness Rosan was also stopped before committing a mortal sin.”
“I-I should have told you sooner.”
“You didn’t know exactly what was going on.”
“Will it cause any trouble for Grand Duchess Evron? Since she’s in a mother-daughter relationship, she may be dragged into the kin punishment.”
“It will be fine.”
Sir Keshore said in a low tone.
“She must already be prepared for when the Dowager sinned.”
Sir Keshore told Hazel to go to his house first. Because he thought his own mansion would be safer for her than Hazel’s. It was also an excuse to Hazel’s parents.
Hazel nodded quietly. Sir Keshore also set off Hazel’s carriage.
And he, himself, went to the Imperial Palace. Because he had to report directly to the Emperor.
It had been about half an hour since Artizea and Lawrence received the news.