They were coordinating foreign affairs with the foreign delegations before the end of the Founding Celebration period.
There were no complicated formalities or procedures as it was an informal event, but as it was a meeting with the delegations, it was still an important schedule.
So this situation shouldn’t have happened.
Rodelia sighed at the strong smell of alcohol emanating from Kane.
This was unlike him.
Rodelia, who was looking at Kane’s particularly disorganised figure, frowned and asked.
“…Have you been drinking?”
She had heard of what happened at the meeting with the nobles and delegations the day before.
He was humiliated in front of the nobles, by Cerdian at that.
‘That must have wounded your pride.’
She didn’t hear the full details of what happened but the Imperial faction wouldn’t have been able to cover up and defend Kane in such an unfortunate circumstance.
In addition to Cerdian, the criticism would have been much greater.
For Kane who had never looked at Cerdian in a good light, his ego must have been greatly damaged.
So she simply asked out of concern.
However, Kane took Rodelia’s sincerity negatively.
“Why? Are you afraid that I’ll make a mistake in front of the delegations?”
“It’s not like that, I’m just worried…”
“Worried… That’s funny.
Why don’t you just worry about yourself?”
Kane snorted and looked away.
She hoped that he wouldn’t have this attitude at the meeting with the delegations.
Fortunately, contrary to Rodelia’s concerns, the meeting seemed to end safely, and the last one, Princess Charlotte, the representative of the Kingdom of Clavia, came in.
“I see His and Her Majesty.”
Charlotte quickly lowered her gaze when it met Rodelia’s.
She could still vividly recall her humiliation a few days ago when she visited her.
Charlotte clenched her hands to calm her trembling eyes.
“What’s going on?”
The Emperor always had a face whose thoughts one could not read, but today, he showed a particularly annoyed look.
Are you looking down on me because I’m from a small country… Or did the Empress do something?
Several thoughts ran through her mind.
After contemplating, Princess Charlotte shifted her sharp gaze to Rodelia.
The injustice she felt was short-lived.
She couldn’t help but widen her eyes at Kane’s next words.
“As for the port opening, the documents you handed were well-organised so I have finished the conversation with the Marquis of Florence that day.”
“It is a pretty good offer so I sent an official trade notice to the Kingdom of Clavia yesterday.
Do you have any other items to suggest? If that’s the case, why don’t we discuss it together?”
Kane said that without looking at her, still with an annoyed expression.
It took her quite some time to fathom what he said.
Embarrassed, Princess Charlotte rubbed the nape of her neck and rolled her eyes.
“I asked if there was anything else on the agenda.”
Slowly blinking, Charlotte realised that she had been nicely beaten by the Empress.
No, Rodelia gave her a hint but like an id*ot, she didn’t notice.
“No, I am just here to say my gratitude.
Thank you, Your Majesty.”
However, she was quick-witted.
She didn’t want to offend Kane anymore so Charlotte crafted a plausible answer.
“Then you may leave, I am tired.”
“May the glory rest upon Your Majesties.”
Charlotte, who had finished her hasty greeting, turned her head blankly.
The shape of Rodelia’s mouth was overlaid with a slow motion over her swaying gaze.
‘I’m a Bayard now.’
Charlotte really thought Rodelia was making fun of her.
Princess Charlotte, who gave out a dejected smile, walked slowly out of the audience chamber without saying anything.
I was nicely beaten.
Gasping for breath as she leaned against the wall, Princess Charlotte finally admitted it.
Rodelia, who she simply thought was an id*ot, had gone easy on her.
“Why did you give him a handkerchief?”
After finishing the audience with the last delegation, or to be exact, as soon as Princess Charlotte left, Kane asked.
For a moment, she felt like her heart was sinking.
Seeing Kane bring it up to her like this, it won’t just be one question.
There were more reasons why she didn’t feel too good.
Rodelia managed to clear her expression.
“Is it some form of sympathy? Or something like a trivial revenge against me or Solar?
She was already familiar with Kane’s anger like this.
Perhaps that was why she was embarrassed and angry but she was able to give a blunt answer.
“It’s not like that.”
“I was humiliated for your rude behavior.
I can’t even show my face in front of the delegations from all over the world.”
“The rumors have already spread.”
She was careful but someone must have witnessed the scene.
But that’s it…
Kane, who was talking as if he were the victim, disgusted Rodelia.
“I mean, a young man stole the Empress.”
It was so funny that Rodelia almost burst out laughing.
“My face has been sullied.”
Kane was such a disgusting man.
“So that’s what made you mad?”
“That face that was saved by that person, it has been meeting Princess Aizen well.”
“Why are you talking about that again?… It is already a thing of the past.”
Kane turned his gaze to the side as if he had heard an unfavorable story.
“All in the past? Your Majesty has not yet broken your relationship with the princess and I’m still the subject in the ladies’ mouths whenever they have a chance.”
“What? Who dares to talk about the Empress…”
“You really did not know?”
He might not have known.
He just didn’t want to be bothered by such a troublesome, low-class rumor.
Kane shut his mouth.
Taking a deep breath, he frowned as he tried to organise his thoughts.
Rodelia didn’t want to continue the conversation with Kane any longer.
She was exhausted after dealing with so many people and had given up as she was tired of the constant arguments.
Were we not talking about something else now?
“You gave the handkerchief so he won the championship.”
“I beg your pardon?”
This was deflection.
For a moment, as she was rebuked, her thoughts stopped.
There was no way Cerdian could have won the title just because of one handkerchief.
Of course, the story Viscountess Cohen told her was intriguing but it was merely a superstition.
“Fine… Yes, it is all good.
But why him? If only it was someone else! If you were looking for someone, I would have found you a handsome man and brought him in as your concubine.”
Kane’s jaw was very stiff.
He got up from his seat, trying to quench his anger and walked around the room with an uneasy gait.
With blurry vision, Rodelia let out a long sigh and hardened her body.
The desire to leave immediately rose but doing so would only aggravate Kane’s anger.
Rodelia chose to simply try to remain calm.
“The handkerchief… it was my negligence, but Your Majesty also received one.”
“The Grand Duke did not win because I gave him a handkerchief.
“Besides, I heard that everyone would’ve been in danger if the Grand Duke hadn’t been there.
Is that correct?”
“How did you know that?”
To be honest, she was a little surprised by Kane’s question.
She was just guessing but it turned out to be true.
So, isn’t it a matter of congratulations?
Lives were at stake and Cerdian saved everyone.
However, Kane acted as though the fact had nothing to do with the emperor’s life being saved.
“Did you meet that man separately? Did he laugh at me when he said that?”
What the hell did he exactly have against Cerdian? His blood-shot eyes trembled.
“What kind of… No.
I don’t know why Your Majesty is being so rude.
Shouldn’t you be thanking Grand Duke Cerdian? Your life…”
“Cerdian? Have you decided to call him by his name now?”
He seemed unwilling to listen to Rodelia.
Kane casually interrupted her, wrinkling the back of his nose and giving a cold sarcasm.
I never dreamed that such a sly man would be the Empress’ taste.
You’re taking that b*st*rd’s side, right in front of me.
You’re saying that you don’t even care now.”
“That’s not it…”
She couldn’t possibly continue the conversation.
(T/N: chanting inner peace )
All she wanted to do was get out of this uncomfortable situation quickly.
Whether he knew Rodelia’s thoughts or not, Kane weighed in with a mad face.
“Tell me! I asked if you met him separately.
Did he laugh at me in front of you?”
“We met separately.
But the reason…”
Of course it was to get the handkerchief back.
It was before she could make an excuse.
Kane interrupted Rodelia again.
“So you did meet him?”
With his blue eyes wide open, he approached Rodelia.
Kane, who raised her chin roughly, gave her a demeaning look.
“Grand Duke Eisen is Solar’s sibling.
You do know I have relations with her, don’t you?”
Fear crept up from within her.
Kane’s violent and threatening appearance overlapped with that of Marquis Florence.
Rodelia lowered her eyes, hugging her uncontrollably trembling body in her arms.
“The reason I went to see Cerdian, or Grand Duke Eisen, was to get the handkerchief back.”
Her voice trembled accompanied with shortness of breath.
When the Marquis of Florence looked at her like that, she had to say something, and it was no different with Kane.
He took out a cigar and bit it in his mouth as if seeing Rodelia scared was nothing.
The acrid smoke passed by Rodelia and filled the room.
The thick scent of tobacco hung on the tip of her nose.
After indifferently glancing at Rodelia who was coughing and waving the smoke away, he breathed out smoke a few times and rubbed the cigar on the ashtray.
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