HCM – 83

It was two days later so the duke’s returning knights hadn’t reached Mulia yet.

The staff was confused, and Reed was very worried.

They first contacted the Duke of Atreille. Contact was easy because they both had wizards. The Duke of Atreille was irate resembling an explosive fire.

―Why did you make the situation like this!

He feared that the Atreille duchy would be harmed. In his mind, it was an outrageous impossibility that the family members of the Duke of Atreille would be imprisoned.

Frisia was married into Duke Tintalion’s household, even gaining the same surname as her husband, but in his mind, she was still a part and a possession of Duke Atreille.

He naturally thought that since his son-in-law wouldn’t be at risk of losing his blood, even if his wife was accused.

Fortunately, Duke Atreille’s outrage was not just directed at the Duke of Tintalion. Instead, he felt outraged that someone dared to accuse his offspring.

He seemed to think that the emperor should be punished and be set as an example for not dismissing Julien’s accusations.

This seemed like a petty game of dare, a fight over who had more courage and how far they could push each other’s limits.

They knew very well that in the event of a military conflict, the damage would be severe to both sides.

A rebellion produced only extreme results. If there were a success, the throne would be up for grabs, but if they failed, the whole family would be destroyed.

However, they could not just submit to or be trampled on by the imperial family, so they had to show they could go this far.

A show of force was the last card that could be both edged for, but it could also be used as an excuse for treason.

―The emperor must believe that we would never mobilize an army.

Both sides agreed it was unnecessary to push the troops into the capital, but the knighthoods should be moved.

Even the emperor knew that Frisia was innocent. Nevertheless, she was used to harm the two ducal families.

“… … Do you think the emperor will appoint the second prince as the crown prince?”

In response to Aslei’s question, Duke Atreille was silent momentarily. Since he stayed in the capital, enmeshed in politics, and stood in opposition to the emperor, he knew the monarch better than Aslei, who mostly stayed in his territory in the east.

– He will accept it eventually. There is no alternative… … . But if there were other options, he’d be willing to pursue them, even at a risk.

That would be the case if an illegitimate child miraculously appeared.

The emperor had five children, but his fortune was not good. His youngest son died of illness as a child, and a monster killed his daughter. His eldest son, the crown prince, had an accident on a horse, and recently the third son also died, so only Julien was left.

Even if he hated Julien, he would eventually make him the crown prince and the next emperor.

And as long as they didn’t overthrow the current imperial family, someday they too would have to serve Julien as emperor. Aslei was concerned.

Julien, like the current emperor, would try to destroy the two duchies if they did not wholly submit and become loyal to him

It was natural for a ruler to hate anyone who might threaten their power. The two families had long been kept in check by the imperial family.

―What we need to worry about now is the immediate problem. It’s not too late to judge the imperial family later!

Duke Atreille gritted his teeth and said. He also planned to move the duchy’s forces to the vicinity of the capital.

The two dukes decided to meet in the capital and then cut off communication.

Aslei realized that the Duke of Atreille had not said goodbye to his daughter, Frisia, but she was calm. Her nonchalant attitude to her father meant his actions were within her expectations.

‘My father probably thinks that this happened because I didn’t give birth to Aslei’s children.’

Everything was possible because Julien considered Frisia a ‘branch that could be cut.’

The Duke of Atreille evaluated that if she had done her duty and given birth to one or two children with Aslei, Julien would not have dared to accuse her falsely.

Because Aslei wouldn’t be able to easily throw her away.

However, because they had no children, Aslei could abandon Frisia at a whim’s notice.

“Frisia… … .”

“I am alright.”

Her father thought she would be abandoned when Aslei divorced her due to this incident. But, now that he blamed her, it didn’t sting too much.

❁ ❁ ❁

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