The Marquis, who returned with an expressionless face as if he hadn’t smiled before, looked down at her.
“There were a lot of mistakes.
She was the one who caught the marquis trying to turn away.
“Wait a minute, Marquis.”
The Marquis looked back.
She smiled as best she could and said.
“…I will listen carefully to that advice.”
The Marquis, who was looking at her with strange eyes, soon left the balcony.
At the same time, her legs loosened.
She let out a breath, barely holding on to the railing to support herself.
She thought she was dying pretending to be calm.
She lifted the mask and carefully wiped the sweat from her forehead.
How the hell did he know her? Her head was spinning with confusion.
She wanted to go and talk to the Duke right away, but he was currently away.
It seemed that they would have to wait here for the gift delivery ceremony to take place.
Her mind was dazed, probably because she had suffered two major incidents in a row.
Was it like that for a while? She slowly got up from her seat outside when it was quiet again.
It seemed that the gift delivery ceremony would begin.
When she left the balcony, the middle of the banquet hall was empty as measured by a ruler.
Aristocrats were standing on both sides.
The Duke was seen standing not far away, accompanied by his attendants.
She quietly walked to the Duke’s side and stood.
His gaze turned to her for a moment and then withdrew.
Soon after, the gift-giving ceremony began.
At a glance, the order seemed to be in order of rank.
The emperor showed minimal sincerity when he saw the gifts given by the nobles.
It was plainly written on his face that he was not interested in the slightest.
It was around the time the delivery ceremony reached the second half.
Finally, the Duke’s name was called.
“There will be a gift delivery from Duke Kayden Nathan.”
The Duke, who was standing next to her, walked towards the podium accompanied by an attendant.
“This is a present prepared to give to His Majesty.
I hope you like it.”
“Yes, I am very curious what Duke Nathan will give me as a present.”
The Emperor winked at the attendant next to him.
“Yes, your majesty.”
The attendant who opened the box held out what was inside so that the Emperor could see it.
The gift prepared by the duke was a sword.
Compared to the gifts of other nobles, it did not look fancy.
But she knew that sword was no ordinary sword.
That it had an enormous value that was incomparable to the items gifted by the nobility.
“It’s not an ordinary sword.”
“Yes, it is not.”
The back of the Emperor, who had been sitting loose until just now, had become straight.
“What sword exactly?”
“It is a holy sword filled with the energy of Pezetion.”
As soon as the Duke uttered his words, the hall became noisy.
What the duke had prepared for the emperor’s birthday present was a holy sword.
A holy sword imbued with the energy of Pezetion.
According to the contents of the book, it was a holy sword found in a forgotten ancient temple.
Normally, if it was a normal holy sword, it would be owned by the temple, but that sword was different.
Pezetion was not a common God, but an ancient forgotten God.
The reason was because Pezetion was a god of the dark attribute.
He was also the god who managed death and curses.
Compared to the light attribute, the gods with the dark attribute had few believers.
In particular, Pezetion’s followers were few, but as the number of believers gradually decreased, Pezetion’s power also weakened.
Just before Pezetion was annihilated, the one who remained his follower until the end came up with a clever plan.
It was just rest.
To seal Pezetion within the sword imbued with the remaining holy power and put it to sleep in eternal rest.
A sword imbued with the consciousness of Pezetion, who fell into eternal sleep instead of perishing.
That sword was that sword.
The reason why the Duke found that sword was because of the many wars he had fought.
“…Is this the sword with the consciousness of disobedience that we have only heard about?”
“Yes, it is.”
“Even if it’s true, I still can’t believe you found this.”
Despite the Emperor’s suspicions, the Duke remained calm.
He just opened his mouth with an expressionless face.
“This is something I found during the war with Kragen Kingdom.
Your Majesty knows that I was seriously injured in an attack while crossing the meeting point.”
“The Duke was seriously injured at that time.
“When I fell off the cliff, I was looking for a way to climb up and found a cave.
What I found there was this holy sword.”
“The proof that it’s Pezetion’s holy sword?”
“Through the verification process of the temple, we have obtained a certificate confirming that it is the holy sword of Pezetion.”
As if the Duke’s attendant had waited, he handed the rolled parchment to the Emperor’s attendant.
The attendant who received it held out the parchment to the Emperor.
The Emperor holding the parchment in his hand slowly unfolded it.
The Emperor, who was reading the contents written in it, raised his head.
“I’m sure it’s the seal of the temple.
Then it must be Pezetion’s holy sword.”
“Do you like my present?”
I like it.
It’s a wonderful gift.”
The Emperor smiled at the duke with a satisfied face.
Originally, it should have ended after a war of nerves, but why was the atmosphere flowing so smoothly? It was when she was in doubt for a moment.
Suddenly, the Emperor’s gaze fell on her.
She momentarily took a deep breath.
“But I’m very curious about who the Duke brought as a partner.
Don’t you think so too?”
When the Emperor asked his attendant, the attendant answered yes as if he had been waiting.
The intention was very clear.
This was to invite her to the Duke’s side.
She watched the top of the podium nervously.
“Tell me, Duke.
Who the hell is your partner?”
“This is Elia Lawton, the daughter of Viscount Lawton.”
The Duke’s calm voice caught all the nobles’ eyes on her.
Half a look of surprise, half a look of displeasure.
“The daughter of Viscount Lawton… This is very surprising.
To think you brought Lady Elia Lawton to be your partner.”
Contrary to what he said, however, the Emperor looked down at the Duke with an unsurprised face.
She waited impatiently to see how he would react, but she heard a completely unexpected answer.
“Your Majesty knows that my son, Deliam, was kidnapped by a wizard the other day.”
“…Why are you bringing that up all of a sudden?”
“It’s because there’s a little strange part.
I didn’t say anything about him, but at some point, rumors about Deliam spread and came out.
Because it hasn’t been a day since.”
“I don’t know why you’re bringing that up all of a sudden.
Isn’t it strange that rumors don’t spread while your knights are on the move?”
“Do you think so?”
I’d rather be talking about Elia Lawton.”
It was clear that the Emperor was deliberately trying to divert his words.
As if he was involved in the incident, she began to have doubts about the Emperor’s appearance.
The kidnapping of Deliam must have been because of the Marquis’ instigation, but was it possible that the Emperor had something to do with it? Just as her mind was churning with thoughts, she heard the Duke’s voice.
“To answer that, the reason I brought Elia Lawton as a partner is that she is my son’s benefactor.”
It was Lady Elia Lawton who saved the kidnapped Deliam.”
She was the one who was most surprised by that statement.
She never dreamed that the person who had always doubted her would say something like that.
Did she hear it for real? She couldn’t sleep right now…
“Are you saying that the person who helped save your son is Lady Elia Lawton?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“This is amazing.
Not to mention that Lady Elia Lawton saved your son.”
“Do you now understand why I brought Lady Elia Lawton as my partner?”
If that’s the case, I’ll have enough to bring.”
The Emperor, who had been stroking his chin, glanced at her once more and opened his mouth.
“Anyway, I’ll take care of your gift.
You can leave now.”
The Duke quietly bowed his head and came down from the podium.
He casually stood next to her.
When the gift delivery ceremony was completely over, the Duke’s gaze turned to her.
“I’m thinking of going soon.”
“…It’s not over yet, can we go?”
“I should have told you earlier.
It doesn’t matter if we go on the way.”
“You did, but…”
However, the Emperor and the Marquis were keeping an eye on them.
There was no way the Duke would not know that.
Did he still want to go?
“I think it’s a bit like going right now, but let’s do it a little longer and slip away.”
The Duke, who replied indifferently, leaned against the wall.
It was a time when he was standing next to the Duke and looking around the banquet hall.
“Let’s go slowly.”
The Duke cast his gaze toward the podium.
When she turned her head towards it, the Emperor was gone.
The Duke held out his arm to her.
She looked down for a moment and then threw it into his arms.
She crossed her arms and left the banquet hall with the Duke’s arms crossed.
She finally let out a sigh of relief as she climbed into the carriage waiting in front of the entrance.
It just feels like the tension has been released.
As she massaged her sore neck, she felt his gaze.
The Duke was staring at her with his back in his chair.
His eyes didn’t seem to mean much, but he even massaged his neck.
Then, thinking about it, she lifted the curtains and looked through the window.
It’s a bit far from the imperial castle, so can we talk?
“…Actually, when the Duke was away, I didn’t say anything.
Somehow, I ended up seeing him face-to-face.”
“With the Marquis of Dior?”
I went to the balcony to rest alone for a while, and the Marquis suddenly came in.”
The Duke quietly listened to her words.
“Then he warned me.
The Marquis already knew my identity.
He said it would be better if I didn’t stay by the Duke’s side for a long time, but I don’t know how to take the words of the Marquis.”
At her words, the Duke lightly snorted.
“Looks like he is trying to do something again this time.”
“Are they trying to kidnap Deliam again?”
“There’s nothing to worry about because the teacher is concerned about that part.”
“Then I’m glad.”
The conversation stopped for a moment, then silence fell.
She glanced at the window and said.
“…I have more to say.”
His gaze turned to her again.
“The words you said in front of His Majesty, now you believe me.
Is it true?”
The Duke looked at her quietly and then he said.
“I just didn’t want to make trouble, so I just stood up against the enemy.”
Was it like that too? It’s an answer she had already expected, but it’s strangely out of touch.
She closed her eyes completely, hoping to arrive at the mansion as soon as possible.
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