“What do you mean the atmosphere in the imperial palace is unusual?”
“Hasn’t her Majesty and his Majesty grown closer with the appearance of their child?”
The Duke of Card nor the nobles with close ties to the duchy were present. This was not an aristocratic gathering at the House of Lords but a private meeting discussing politics.
“I understand that the new escort appointed by the empress is the problem.”
“If it’s that escort knight… … Aren’t you the one who showed nothing during the hunt?”
“They say he had extraordinary skills… … . he’s not… … ?”
It was a tale that should not leave this room, so the nobleman dismissed the attendant. The other attendants waiting behind the nobles also quickly left the room.
“It’s an scandalous topic to mention, but… … it is said the Empress is having an affair with him.”
“There must be a basis for this, right?”
If one spoke of the Empress’s infidelity without any grounds, it was a crime worthy of death. A man glanced over the crowd with a confident face.
“… … The guards said they saw a man entering and leaving the empress’ residence at night.”
“Going in and out of the Empress’ residence… … . Isn’t it guarded by knights?”
“Is that possible?”
“It is said that he has been seen several times climbing up walls and entering through windows. If he didn’t have just an ordinary skill… … Wouldn’t it be possible for Baron Hestia?”
An uncomfortable silence fell among the nobles at the man’s words.
The Empress was difficult even for them to touch. First of all, she was the daughter of Duke Card, and it was all the more so because the Emperor had never implicitly abandoned the Empress.
“but… … The heir to the imperial family is growing inside the Empress’s womb… … Even if we accuse her of this, his Majesty will not do anything to the Empress.”
“So that’s why I’m saying this. Who knows if the child in that belly is his Majesty’s seed?”
“Before Baron Hestia came to the capital, the Empress was already with child!”
Some of the nobles shouted in excitement, but the man was confident.
“Who can prove it? It’s a matter of simply lying to his Majesty that she’s pregnant and bringing in Baron Hestia from the province to have his child.”
“Ha… … .”
The possibility alone was terrifying, so they stayed silent. But, if this were true, no matter how powerful and imposing the prestige of the Card family was, they would not be safe.
“But… … There is no evidence. It is a clear fact that her Majesty the Empress is pregnant now.”
“Even if there is no evidence, it would be enough to accuse her Majesty. Right now, his Majesty’s eyes are blurred and he’s only fond of the Empress, but if he comes to know this… … As in the time of the previous Emperor, he will not hesitate to bring in other empresses, queens and concubines.”
“… … .”
At the man’s words, the nobles fell silent again.
They all wanted to send their daughters to the side of the mighty Emperor who enjoyed his reign more than ever. If a daughter went to the Emperor’s side and had offspring, they could enjoy power like the Duke of Card.
The Card family’s authority had not sprung up overnight, but in the eyes of many nobles, it appeared so. They overlooked that Card could push his daughter into the position of Empress because the duchy had been strong beforehand.
“Ahem. Of course, his Majesty should know about this, but… … Will Duke Card stay still? He will not let his daughter lose his Majesty’s favour.”
“So what, what can he do? No matter how much his Majesty favors her Majesty, the current Empress… … no one could tolerate such a thing. It’s a matter of the lineage of the imperial family… … . In the end, Duke Card and her Majesty the Empress will be kicked out.”
If it caused a gap between the Duke of Card and the Emperor, the Emperor might end up empowering other families. Now that power is concentrated in both the Emperor and the Duke of Card… … This was an opportunity.
“So… … Who intends to tell His Majesty?”
For a moment, all the aristocrats became quiet.
It was easy to whisper such suspicion into the Emperor’s ears, but what followed was the problem.
Duke Card was not upright like the current Emperor Lyle. He showed infinite generosity to those who followed him but harmed those who became his enemies by any means and methods.
Because he is the Duke of Card, who doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty even though he was touted as a dignified aristocrat… … Everyone had to keep their mouths shut even when the Empress was violent and indecent.
Futhermore… … the evidence of the Empress’s affair was too weak. The alleged appearance of a man walking in and out of the window of the Empress’ room was undoubtedly enough to arouse suspicion, but… … The problem was that no one had actually witnessed the scene of a tryst between Baron Hestia and the Empress.
The Emperor’s favor was too much these days… … If this turned out to be false, the Emperor would not let the accusers live.
“Hmm… … . Isn’t the evidence too weak? There is not a single maid who has witnessed the affair… … .”
“That’s right! It is a dangerous idea that her Majesty’s fetus is not the seed of his Majesty the Emperor! It would be foolish to make accusations without any proper evidence.”
The man clicked his tongue in distaste. Even though they were greedy for power, no one was willing to step forward… … .
However, the man was also afraid of offending Duke Card, so he kept his mouth shut for the moment. It was not yet time. Not yet… … .