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Medea sipped her tea as she waited in the drawing-room where distinguished guests were received. To her right, Seira sat looking nervous and hesitated as her eyes were drawn to Medea.
But they weren’t the only two in the reception room. Servants stood at attention against the wall as maids served refreshments.
“Your majesty, the Little Duke of Card has arrived—-”
Luke appeared behind the attendant announcing his arrival. Luke had apparently ignored the servant who would have led him to a waiting room and came straight over. The attendant quickly stepped aside letting Luke pass him as he rushed by and approached Medea.
“Your Majesty the Empress…It’s been a while since we’ve seen each other.”
Luke greeted Medea politely, kneeling on one knee beside her chair. Medea realized that she was in a situation where she had to offer her hand. Luke held Medea’s hand, kissed the back of it, and rose up.
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Luke sat to her left with a smile on his face.
His eyes suddenly turned to Seira, who sat across from him at the table.
“This is Baron Hestia. He’s just arrived in the capital.”
It was the first time Luke heard of the name plus the baron’s poor appearance did not reflect on the trends of the nobility in the capital.
Seira nervously glanced at Luke as he studied her.
“Nice to meet you. My name is Ian Hestia.”
“Ah… I’m Luke Card.”
Luke then turned his attention to Medea again.
Medea smiled softly.
“I’m investing in Baron Hestia’s estate. I’d like to attend to the Baron as my guest, but he’s taking the knight’s examinations soon.”
The knight’s tryouts were held annually every spring.
In principle, a lord of each estate could appoint a knight, but the most qualified and honorable thing was to pass the difficult tests and receive a knighthood from the Emperor. Because the Emperor would appoint them after the tests prospective knights were not allowed to stay in the Imperial Palace for fairness.
“Could you take the Baron as a guest at the Dukedom and assist him with the exam?”
It was late autumn now, so Seira would have to prepare for the test during winter. It was quite a lengthy duration until spring, but Medea figured the spacious Duke’s mansion could afford a long-term guest.
“Of course, Your Majesty. Of course, I’ll listen to your suggestion!”
Luke’s response was better than Medea hoped to her request. He was passionately enthusiastic and Medea felt a tinged of guilt internally.
Later, when he found Seira was a woman would he condemn her for deceiving him and say, ‘How dare you fool your sibling!’
This was different from the original story; ‘I think Luke knew Seira was a woman from the very beginning and helped her…….’
Medea hesitated and beckoned Luke. Luke looked flustered for a moment and quickly got up from his seat and approached Medea.
As he knelt down on one knee and looked up at Medea, Medea leaned her head towards him and whispered into Luke’s ear,
“If something surprises you later, don’t blame the Baron. I knew it all along anyway. I want you to protect him as much as possible.”
Luke paused and searched Medea’s face, but Medea looked up and took a sip of her tea with a nonchalant face as if she had never said something suspicious.
Luke glanced at Seira. ‘What if I’m surprised later? Does that country aristocrat have any secrets…….’
No matter what the reason, it was the first request that he had ever received from his sister. Luke was ready to listen to whatever it was.
“Don’t worry. I will do whatever Her Majesty wishes.”
Medea nodded at Luke’s reliable reply.
After sending Seira to Luke’s side, Medea left the drawing-room. By now Seira had probably already left the palace with Luke or was just getting the carriage that Luke brought.
“Your Majesty, are you still at work?”
When Medea asked how Lyle was doing, as was her habit, the maid quickly came to her side.
Medea shot her a doubtful look as the maid was reluctant to speak. She presumed that since the maid looked uncomfortable that there was bad news.
“What is it?”
“His Majesty said he releases the Empress from probation. He said you could also go back to the Empress’s Palace…….”
But why did her expression look like it was a bad thing?
Medea instantly rejoiced and her eyes shone with delight.
“Then I can walk around?”
“Yes, Your Majesty the Empress.”
“Good! Let’s go to the library!”
Medea had saved Seira and Seira’s older brother…… she wasn’t sure if she was missing anything………but she decided to leave it to Luke, and now she could celebrate and play to her heart’s content.
“Wouldn’t you like to visit his Majesty? Perhaps you could thank his Majesty.”
From her attitude, she seemed to think Lyle’s releasing of her probation was a loss of favor. Or something about Lyle being sulky.
‘Do I have to?’
These days Lyle had been acting like a vicious loan shark with Medea. He would demand as he groped her, to pay him back with her body…….It wasn’t that she couldn’t, but she was embarrassed.
“It’s still daytime………I’ll do it later!”
Medea quickly turned around and headed in the direction of the library. Her maids pestered her with anxious faces, but Medea was inflexible.
She’s not coming.….’
Lyle was waiting for Medea in his office, tapping his fingertips on the desk.
Of course, it was her free will to do whatever she wanted, but he annulled her probation and allowed her to return to the Empress’s Palace— but she didn’t thank him!
‘The guy who follows and chases too much is not cool. Hang in there, Your Majesty! You’ll have to deal with discomfort but you’ll make headway.’
‘Your Majesty won’t last long anyway.’
Remembering Sid’s smug attitude, Lyle wanted to hit him but thought he had a point.
‘I’ve only been pulling too much. Medea just runs away…’ To some extent, he felt she also needed to struggle too.
But for how long?
Sid said he should only find her when it was the time before they went to bed. So there was less than a half-day left.
And yet Lyle felt impatient and the wait seemed unbearable.
You can read advance chapters here. 🔞🔞🔞