‘All right, if there’s anything you want from me, let me know.’
In front of the huge arch gate of the Emperor’s audience, I swallowed my saliva, remembering Joseph’s promise.
‘Yes, let’s just think about Yvonne. There is no need to be afraid.’
After returning to the past, even the Roscoe Cardinale, who had been the object of my fear all my life, did not cause me fear, but in front of Vitiges II, I felt somewhat reluctant.
The current emperor, Vitiges II, is the father of Joseph, Carlo, and George.
But he is a human being who had never shown a fatherly side to any of them.
At the moment of his birth, Joseph, who had been crowned Crown Prince and prepared for the throne, was forced to dethrone just because he was born with a tainted aura, leaving him in a dangerous battlefield close to urging death.
In addition, George is flimsy because his mother, Queen Ursula, was of humble origin.
‘If I remember correctly, I think he preferred Carlo a little more than George.…’
Are you going to be surprised that I, a mere aristocrat, intervened in the Imperial family’s battle for the sacred throne?
“Grand Duchess Rita Cardinale Katan, please prepare for an audience with His Majesty the Emperor.”
In front of the ivory door, which opens and closes on both sides, two servants bowed their heads.
Soon the gently greased door began to move.
I swallowed my breath ahead of the meeting with the Emperor, who couldn’t easily to be meet.
I had met Vitiges II at an Imperial ball or at an Imperial palace before, but I had never met him alone.
“Rita Anunziata Cardinale Katan see, the only sun of the Empire, your Majesty the Emperor.”
In order to keep the imperial etiquette, I slowly advanced to the Emperor and bent my knees low without raising my head.
The first thing to see is the black leather shoes worn by the Emperor.
The emperor was crossing his legs in a crooked sitting position.
“Raise your head, Grand Duchess of Katan.”
As soon as the Emperor’s permission fell, I quickly raised my head.
The Emperor, sitting on a huge throne large enough for two people, looked down at me.
The pure platinum throne, with no foreign matter mixed in, is the pride and symbol of Raspechia Empire.
‘The Eternally Noble Throne.’
The throne protected by the holy blood of the Angelos dynasty was neither destroyed nor defiled by physical attacks.
‘It is an artifact that contained the holy power of the first Emperor Angelos, who was a holy knight.’
I opened my eyes wide at the sight of the throne, which is as dazzling as the rumors.
“Do you know why I called you to the palace?”
“I’m sorry, but I don’t know, your Majesty.”
I gently shook my head, observing the Emperor’s slow tone.
Vitiges II did not seem to resemble Joseph, Carlo, or George.
I got the impression that he is like a corpse that is dull and decrepit enough to contrast the Emperor’s clean white hair.
“Because I heard that you helped the Prince Carlo recover from his injuries.”
Emperor Vitiges II looked at me with his chin clenched as if asking for an explanation.
I grimaced his eyes, which had sunk like deep abyss, but I tried not to frown.
“I wanted to be of help to the Prince of Carlo, even though only a little.”
“Why. Is it because he is your husband’s brother?”
I shrugged my shoulders, judging the Emperor’s intentions to mention that Grand Duke Katan is the dead Crown Prince.
“…That’s right, Your Majesty.”
“Is Joseph still blaming me?”
I wanted to say no, but the Emperor stood up shaking his head as if it was not a question.
Every time he took a step, the servant next to the throne waved a huge bell.
“Secretary, I have a reward for her.”
At the Emperor’s gesture, the secretary stepped forward with a velvet cushion that seemed to have been prepared in advance by his secretary.
“It’s the medal of Angelos. In addition to helping the Prince Carlo, I also greatly appreciate your services for treatment of the returning soldiers.”
My lips twitched at the unexpected words of Emperor Vitiges II, but I was stratled by the servant’s coughing and bowed my head.
“Thank you, Your Majesty.”
You’re giving me the medal of Angelos?
Medal of Angelos is a medal of great significance as it was given a title if it were awarded to ordinary people.
We could expect to receive a general who made a great contribution to the development of the Empire, mainly in the war, or scholars who made great achievements.
‘What’s your plan?’
Medal of Angelos is nothing more than an honor to me, who is already a high-ranking aristocrat.
However the gold medal given by the Emperor is the same with medal of Angelos, so I had no right to refuse that medal.
“I will give you a title and a fief worthy of a medal.”
I opened my mouth to the Emperor’s decrepit voice.
“If you call it a title……”
“Even though you are the Grand Duchess of Katan, it is not the same as no independent title and no territoriality.”
Only then did I open my rabbit eyes when I found the official document hiding under the medal.
‘Are you going to grant me the title of Countess?’
It would be very helpful to live with Yvonne in the future if I could have a title and land.
However, I could not measure the Emperor’s will, so I could not just be happy.
“I intend to hold a ball in praise of your services, so be sure to attend.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“Yes, you’ve got to go.”
I hurriedly exited the auditorium, giving my clenched fists a lot of strength to keep my composure.
* * *
The Imperial Ball in honor of my distinguished service was arranged suspiciously quickly.
‘It’s suspicious no matter how much I think about it, that it’s held so quickly that my husband, Joseph, couldn’t participate.’
The Emperor held my feet so that I could not return to Katan, and then held a ball the next day.
Although he sent a message to Katan in a hurry, it was such a short time that Joseph could not attend the ball even if he rode a horse.
With an ominous feeling, I wiped my forearms with goosebumps and looked back at the maids of Imperial Palace who were clinging to me.
“Call my maid.”
“Rona-sama is grooming up too. Because she is a VIP to attend the ball. Instead, we’ll help Grand Duchess to dress up.”
Since Emperor has also designated Rona, who has followed me from Katan, as a VIP guest of Imperial family, I have been left alone in the Imperial Palace, with Rona being taken away.
‘Why am I so anxious?’
The court ladies were friendly, well-educated servants.
But they are different from Rona, who I can trust and leave my body to.
“I can prepare by myself. Everybody out.”
I was reluctant to let them touch my body.
At my command, the maids jumped and shook their heads as if they couldn’t.
“It must be difficult to prepare by yourself. It’s a ball the Emperor prepared himself, so you can’t be late.”
“It won’t be late, I promise.”
I glared at them with the expression that I used to make when I pretended to be the flower in the social world, smoothing the eyes that rose up in protest from the ladies.
“What’s your name?”
“It’s Sana, Your Highness.”
“Do you want me to remember your name?”
“I’m on my way out, Your Highness.”
As if on fire, I let out a light sigh as I stared at the tails of the maids who left the waiting room.
“…this make up should be enough.”
Sitting in front of the dressing table mirror, rubbing the roughly applied powder and chewing my fingertips.
Although it was not a makeup that was carefully made by the maids, it was not very noticeable because of my gorgeous features.
‘My appearance is helpful again in times like this.’
I was fortune that I didn’t have to re-apply anything because of the thick line eyebrows that I’ve never liked.
I counted the time remaining and quickly started making potions for emergencies.
‘Fortunately, I’ve brought the extra ingredients in advance, and the perfume is enough.’
The advantage of alchemy is that it is possible to disassemble the finished product.
‘Perfume is basically made of several flowers and plants, so if you mix it well, it can turn it into poison.’
With a light grin, I began to gather and pour the bottles of perfume in the waiting room for the distinguished guests.
‘You thought I’d sit back and let you down.’
I wouldn’t mind whatever trap the Emperor prepared.
Neither in Katan nor in the Imperial Palace, I’m the only one who could protect myself.