Cedric called her curiously.
Artizea tried to stand up from her seat. She couldn’t possibly be keeping a casual face, so she decided she would avoid the spot altogether.
Before that, Cedric stood up first and held her hand.
Artizea tried to suppress her agitation.
“Are you not feeling well?”
“No. I’ve got some work to do. I want to rest upstairs.”
Artizea said it without thinking. She was not ready to talk about the child.
Cedric pulled her up. And he gently hugged her.
“I’m not going to force you to talk, so just stay.”
Artizea hardened her body. She then gave strength to push Cedric.
Then, thankfully, Freil entered the sunroom.
Freil said after looking at the two of them for a moment.
“Should I come back in 30 minutes?”
Artizea shook Cedric’s hand away. Cedric frowned slightly.
Freil shrugged his shoulders. Cedric didn’t say anything, but he didn’t want to be called a bother.
“What’s going on?”
“Her Grace has a visitor.”
“Tia would have decided not to see anyone for a while.”
“Someone brought a message from the East from an old friend.”
Artizea calmed her expression. Her coolness returned.
An old friend was a reference to Rye Fidget.
When he moved to the East, Artizea gave him the last task of finding one thing.
It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t find it quickly, she said. Because the thing lived in hiding, she didn’t think he would be able to find the thing easily.
However, Rye seemed to have quickly fulfilled his part.
“An old friend?”
Cedric asked. Freil looked at Artizea with a slightly perplexed face.
Artizea doesn’t want to tell Cedric, and she shakes her head lightly.
“I have to go.”
Cedric didn’t know what Artizea was trying to do, but he chose not to interfere.
Instead, he held her hand and pressed his lips lightly to her cheek.
“Don’t overdo it. Not only physically, but also mentally. If you care too much, you will get tired.”
“Do you have anything else you want to tell me?”
Artizea hesitated a bit. It wasn’t clear whether Cedric was talking about the news Rye had sent, or a trivial greeting, or perhaps more importantly, the most important issue she’s currently avoiding.
“Good luck with the meeting.”
Artizea chose the second and said.
Artizea turned away from him and hurriedly left the room.
She felt the creeping sensation in her stomach again. The air bubbles seemed to tap her heart.
Freil brought the messenger sent by Rye Fidget to Grand Duke Evron’s residence.
Had it been before her pregnancy, he wouldn’t have brought outsiders into the mansion.
But now, it was not a good choice to leave the mansion and go to a safe house.
The two crossed the quiet backyard and headed for the annex.
When the estate landscaping was remodeled, Artizea also had the outbuildings repaired.
And she hid a passage.
At first glance, it looked like they were considerate enough to create a trail in the backyard to make walking more enjoyable.
However, if they choose a specific path and walk on it, they will be covered by tall trees.
Now that the road was completed, it was impossible to tell who was going in and out even by looking through a binocular from the outside.
From the main building to the annex, it was possible to move through an underground road.
In other words, it meant that there was a way out of the main building, and out of the annex without anyone’s notice.
There were three other similar secret passages. One of them was a blatant secret passage, and the other was a real emergency passage.
“I brought him blindfolded, so he won’t know where he came in.”
Freil said as if making excuses for Artizea, fearing that Artizea wouldn’t like to allow an untrustworthy person to use the secret passage.
Artizea just nodded her head.
Then she put on the veil that Freil had handed her in front of the annex, and smoothed her hair into the net.
She draped a black cloak lightly over her clothes.
If the other person is not an idiot, he will guess her identity. However, there is an immeasurable difference between thinking “maybe” and being certain “yes”.
A man, blindfolded with an eye covering, was sitting in the reception room of the annex uncharacteristically.
He was young, and his appearance was ordinary. His face was sunburned. It proved that the excruciating fatigue from his rough hands limping and sweat soaking all over his body was not solely due to the long journey.
Artizea looked carefully at the man’s figure. The thing that remains in her memory is this man’s younger sister, but looking at his appearance alone, the person she was looking at was definitely the right one.
Freil handed Artizea two envelopes.
One was a letter of introduction that Rye handed over to this man.
[The person you’re looking for was not completely hidden. You’ll hear the news soon.
His parents had already died, and his sister’s side married early and joined her husband’s household. An ordinary merchant family.
I don’t know about other blood relatives yet.
Enclosed is a copy of the parent’s family register and the person’s birth certificate kept at the temple here.]
Artizea put the papers back into the envelope, put it down, and said.
“Release the blindfold.”
Freil loosened the man’s blindfold.
The man tried not to roll his eyes. He seemed to know well that looking around was never a noble act.
He straightened his back and tried to act confidently. Curiosity and embarrassment were etched on his face.
He knows that not being able to act nobly will be a weakness for him.
He must have been educated on etiquette from an early childhood. After that, he must have worked like a commoner, and made his own meals with his own hands.
So Artizea could guess that his parents worked hard to keep their children from forgetting their old glory.
Artizea said softly.
“Nice to meet you.”
She knew that the man was wary of her. But she wasn’t too worried.
Without revenge and ambition, he wouldn’t have come here with a letter of introduction.
“Camellia Heir Apparent.”
The man’s body twitched and convulsed, knowing why she was looking for him.
Ian, the man called the Camellia Heir Apparent, clenched his fists nervously without realizing it.
“Do you know me?”
“Yes, of course I know. Do you not know what this document you brought with you is?”
Ian could not open the tightly sealed documents. But he was just guessing.
If he wasn’t a descendant of the Camellia family, why would a stranger pay his debts? Also, why would a stranger give him a sum of money and make him run an errand to bring papers to the capital?
Even as he was blindfolded and put in the carriage where the papers had been handed over, he was guessing roughly as he stepped on the fluffy carpet.
She had called him because of the Marquisate Camellia.
Ian’s mother was the eldest daughter of the previous marquis. Had it not been for the Marquis of Luden, the present Marchioness Camellia would have been his mother.
But it was already in the past.
His mother fell down and died. It looked like an accident. However, the only people who didn’t acknowledge that it was an assassination were the former marquis who had eyes for the second wife.
After that, his father took Ian and Ian’s sister and ran away at night.
That was when Ian was 5 years old.
Ian didn’t know what happened to his uncles and cousins.
All he knew was that Marchioness Camellia continued to monitor them as they fled.
Perhaps even if they survived, they probably wouldn’t be living a very comfortable life.
“Who are you?”
After thinking about it, Ian squeezed the question out.
He knew very little about the state of the capital. He did not know the faces of the ladies well.
“Wrong, Heir Apparent.”
“Wrong, you mean?”
“I have brought you here to do you a favor. It means that Heir Apparent is not in a position to ask me first.”
Ian took a deep breath.
“Are you saying that you will do me a favor because you need me anyway?”
“And the reason I need it is to cause a dispute with the current Marquisate Camellia.”
“That’s right, too.”
“Madam is already using me just by bringing me here. I didn’t even know where I was going to be.”
“But how can you say that I am wrong for asking first?”
Artizea did not answer for a moment.
Ian said the rest while at it.
“Also, I don’t know who madam is, how can I be sure that what madam is doing is a favor?”
How can he be sure that the woman in front of him, with her face covered, is not Marchioness Camellia?
Perhaps, Marchioness Camellia herself, had summoned him to sprout the conflict.
While telling him to forget the name Camellia, his father in his whole life, would always tell him.
[“Don’t be hopeful. Don’t even think about getting revenge. Even if Grand Duke Roygar falls, even if Marquis Luden also falls, what can we do now?”]
[“Wealth is good to have, but it is not more important than peace of mind. What’s the point of going back to such a battlefield? This father just wants you and your sister to find a good person and lives happily ever after.”]
Ian nodded his head at that.
But when he thinks about it now, it was different.
Little Ian could not have known the true meaning of the words ‘hope’ or ‘revenge’.
Nevertheless, Ian never forgot those two words.
In the end, his father also regarded it as a ‘hope’ to reclaim Marquisate Camellia.
That’s why he came all the way here, though he knew it could be dangerous.
The sign of Artizea’s smile was felt beyond the veil.
“You are a thoughtful person.”
“It is better to be thoughtful than foolish. You seem to already have a good grasp of what you have and what you don’t have, so let’s be honest.”
“My purpose is to disturb Marquisate Camellia. I don’t expect it to be knocked down. If possible, I would like to harm the honor of the family and prevent them from raising their heads.”
Ian tilted his head.
“That said…… , are you saying you’re not interested in taking over Marquisate Camellia?”