When she looked at the article with the three words “The First Prince”, she was not sure if she was referring to Cardan, who persistently survived, or if she was referring to her tears, which appeared like a physiological phenomenon.
Erina threw the newspaper into the fireplace without hesitation.
After seeing him off in the past, she couldn’t stop crying as if she were going to die.
But now she wants to become better.
Whether the first prince dies on the battlefield or returns as the crown prince.
It was none of her business.
Erina picked up the papers.
She has now finally overtaken Evan as the head of Bayer Pharmaceuticals.
But she shouldn’t be complacent here.
Bayer Pharmaceuticals’s stake was still in the name of the Duke of Baloa.
No matter how hard she struggles, a half-blood like her won’t truly be part of the ducal family.
She didn’t know when she’d be stabbed in the back even if she did her best.
If she could not be the duke’s person, Erina intended to make the duke’s title her own.
The first step was to transfer the core technologies of Bayer Pharmaceuticals to Mortir Pharmaceuticals one by one. Currently, the owner of Mortir Pharmaceuticals is Erina.
Erina, immersed in her work, did not take her eyes off the document even when the maid brought her a meal.
Soon, the meal became her pigeons’, which were flying freely around her room.
As if jealous of the pigeon rushing into the meal, the pigeons trapped in the cage fluttered their wings. At that sight, Erina laughed for a moment, but soon focused again on the document.
But it was not until long after she realized that the pigeons had become silent.
Something is terribly wrong.
When she looked up again, Sena was lying down. There were crumbs around her mouth that were pecking.
She quickly held her small body in her hand, but the pigeon didn’t move at all.
No matter how much she felt around her white chest, she couldn’t feel her heart beat.
Sena’s appearance became paler. Only then did she realize that she was crying.
“No, it can’t be.”
She burst into tears to the point where she began to pant due to the lack of air.
But denying it didn’t change anything.
“Bread… because of the bread.”
Erina took a piece of bread and put it in her mouth as if possessed.
There was a slight sour taste behind the savory taste of the familiar bread.
There was no doubt. The bread was poisoned.
It must have been Evan. Because his hatred for her reached its peak when he was pushed out of Bayer Pharmaceuticals.
The bread crumbled easily in her trembling grip.
She didn’t know what made her angry. Is it because the heir of the family tried to kill her? Or is it because Sena died because of that?
Infused with anger, Erina did something she would never normally have done.
She marched to the Duke with Sena and the poisoned bread.
“The pigeon died after eating the bread from my meal.”
It was the first time she went to her father’s office without being called.
“It was poisoned.”
However, even after throwing the ragged bread on the Duke’s desk, the Duke of Baloa did not respond.
“Obviously, it was Evan.”
Her unstable voice grew louder and louder.
“He’s angry because of Bayer Pharmaceuticals. He takes it out on me because he lost his chance. Don’t you know, Father? He’s been constantly protesting against me for the past few days, and his hand goes up first whenever he encounters me! I’m just working hard fairly……!”
Then suddenly, she stopped.
Funny how she thought of Cecilia Harris at that moment.
She wondered if she could call it “fair”.
It was a funny thing to say.
A terrible burst of pain crushing one side of her face snapped her out of her thoughts with a jarring sound.
The Duke’s insensitive remark fell.
It was an incredibly monotonous tone as he just slapped his child in the face.
“So, what do you mean?”
Erina managed to spit out the words, swallowing the blood that burst in her mouth.
“……uh, what do I mean……. The poison… …I was poisoned.”
His daughter almost died.
Sena is lying down cold.
“How can you make such a fuss about a pigeon? So vulgar.”
The Duke clicked his tongue briefly.
“If you are trying to frame the eldest son of Baloa, you should bring more solid evidence than this.”
The Duke pushed the bread and Sena on the desk into the trash with a firm touch.
“Don’t waste any more of my time and get out.”
With his cold attitude, Erina had no choice but to take Sena out of the trash can and leave the office like she was being chased.
On the day she buried Senna, Erina buried many things together with her.
She no longer plays with the pigeons
She didn’t think of Cecilia Harris anymore
She no longer looked for articles with Cardan’s name.
On days when she read something about him, she no longer shed tears.
Meanwhile, Evan Baloa’s mistakes continued.
He stumbled upon an exclusive casino through a flyer he picked up at a Gentleman’s Club and became extremely interested in it.
But due to the Duke of Baloa’s thorough surveillance, he could not go freely in the casino, so he found an excuse.
On hearing the news that the president of Bayer Pharmaceuticals’s rival, Mortir Pharmaceuticals, was going to go to the casino, he bragged to the Duke several times. He said he would become close to the president of Mortir Pharmaceuticals and steal their business secrets, so he was gladly granted permission.
However, exactly a year later, Mortir Pharmaceuticals released a drug that was similar in efficacy to Bayer Pharmaceuticals’ representative product and had less side effects.
The president of Mortir Pharmaceuticals was alleged to have stolen secrets from Evan Baloa in the casino.
Upon learning of this fact, the Duke was furious.
Of course, by that time, Evan lived in the casino, so he didn’t hear the news.
When I woke up, I felt my cheek reflexively.
The skin I touched with my fingertips was smooth, but the pain I felt in my dream was still clear.
“Ha, another dog’s dream.”
I rubbed my tired eyes.
In the same way as the people who possess another person’s body in novels I read in my previous life, I slowly recalled the memory of my body’s true owner. I seemed to regain the memory of Erina Baloa little by little through my dreams.
“If this is the case, I should’ve gotten her memories from the beginning. Why do I remember them only now?”
How nice it would be if I remembered from the beginning. I would have known her enemies everywhere. I would have known everything about the contract.
Grumpy, I rolled out of bed.
There was no more time to procrastinate.
“I have to establish an alliance, and I have to find a marriage partner who can win the prince’s heart…….”
I mumbled to myself what I had to do today and paused.
‘The Duke didn’t seem to know. His Majesty has a heart for the Duke.’
It was because the prince’s words came back to mind unnecessarily.
He can never be right, but…….
“Let’s recruit concubines again.”
“Thank you for accepting my sudden invitation.”
I greeted the young ladies in the drawing room with a bright smile.
These were the few elite heroes I painstakingly selected myself.
They are young ladies who came from a prominent family, have excellent character, and have no connection with the empress.
“As you know, the prince from the East wants to find a bride in our empire. I also promised my full support to him in finding a partner.”
I could see quite a few young ladies hiding behind their fans whispering about the beautiful prince who appeared at the banquet hall last night.
“Since the issue of not only the prince but also the emperor’s concubine is still unresolved, as a servant of the Empire, I felt responsible for this situation so I called you all together.”
Even the other young ladies, who seemed not to be impressed by being the current emperor’s concubine, began to fan themselves with excited faces.
“So, I’d like to make it clear now.”
I raised my right hand.
“If you want to meet the prince, line up over here.”
I then pointed to the other side of the drawing room with my left hand.
“If you want to be a candidate for the Emperor’s concubine, I’d appreciate it if you could move over here.”
Immediately, the reception room became bustling with young ladies competing for the first seat.
“……if you don’t like either option, of course, you can stay where you are!”
I shouted belatedly, but it was already after all the young ladies had been divided into two sides of the drawing room.
“Well, then I understand that everyone is participating.”
On the side of the eastern continent’s prince were familiar faces.
Lady Linoa and Lady Treve.
However, it was my left side that attracted a lot of young ladies by an overwhelming margin.
I put my head on one side of the crowded drawing room.
It was expected to be a difficult journey to select the concubine that the emperor would like.
I murmured softly.
“It’s as magnificent as the one waiting at the top.”
At the time when Erina was enthusiastic about the last-minute selection of the young ladies, the Empress Dowager’s Palace dinner hall was filled with chandelier lights and the smell of food, for the first time in a long time.
“Thank you for accepting my invitation.”
When the Empress smiled, the prince of the East continent nodded briefly.
“No, I’m more grateful for the invitation.”
The Empress Dowager clicked her lips at the prince’s polite but unreadable expression.
“You were surprised, right? An old woman like me suddenly sent you an invitation.”
“Not at all. The Empress Dowager’s benevolent personality and beauty are also famous in the East.”
The Empress Dowager slightly narrowed her eyes as she saw the prince rearranging the food on his plate and not actually taking it to his mouth.
“Hoho, is that so? I’m glad. Ever since I was in Esland, I’ve been longing for the East.….”
The queen soaked her lips in wine.
From my time in Esland, I have a very positive impression of the East continent. A long history and rich culture. Would you believe that most people feel closer to the Eastern Empire than to the Western Empire?”
The prince replied with a small smile.
“Sadly, I don’t know much about Esland.”
In his words, the corners of the Empress Dowager’s mouth, which was beautifully rolled up, were tightly drawn.
“I hope we get to know each other gradually.”
Just in time, the door to the dinner hall opened.
“Oh, by the way, I invited this young lady, whom I cherish like my own daughter, to enter the palace today. Do you mind if she joins us?”