I could tell at once since I had lived in alcohol waste for many years in my previous life.
“This liquor. Unlike its sweet taste, it’s very strong.”
I wiped my cheek with the back of my hand.
Maybe it was because I coughed a lot, but my face was quite warm.
“I’ve had a sip, but I feel quite drunk.”
“The Duke of Baloa, no I mean, I seem to be able to manage a drink.”
My words came out weird, but fortunately, Cardan didn’t seem to notice my mistake.
“It’s just alcohol.”
In a moment, his gaze reached the prince, who was still snoring shallowly on the sofa.
“It’s a relief, though. Avoiding the stigma that the prince was poisoned in the Hisronian Empire.”
“It became impossible to hold the Empress Dowager accountable.”
Cardan was right.
If the prince had been poisoned by a trace amount of poison and even a sleeping pill, it would have provided an excuse to reprimand the Empress Dowager.
But if it’s alcohol…….
It was the responsibility of the prince who drank too much without knowing how much he drank, and the Empress Dowager pretended not to know.
“Was there anything else suspicious?”
“Lady Sherrington was there. And… she’s barely dressed.”
Lady Sherrington, who fell in front of the prince in the banquet hall, came to mind.
Since then, that has been her goal.
“It’s a trick to marry the Prince.”
Cardan nodded briefly.
“At tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting, I’ll call in Lady Sherrington, for questioning.”
“Yes, I’ll be ready, too.”
I chewed my lips.
I couldn’t get the thought of the Empress Dowager out of my head. I tried not to bump into her as much as possible because it was a dangerous variable.…. What the Empress Dowager kept aiming for collided head-on with my plans of asylum.
One last time, I’d be happy to mess up the Empress Dowager’s plan.
I belatedly noticed Cardan’s gaze as I was deep in thought. Once again, his gaze seemed to wander around my lips.
“Is there a problem……?”
An ambiguous sigh flowed through Cardan’s lips.
“……Did the Duke lose your childhood memories as well?”
Since I got caught. It would be more convenient to admit the truth than to pretend to know.
“Yes, I can’t remember anything but fragments of memories.”
Cardan’s jaw, which was closed, was gently tightened.
“Among those fragments of memories…….”
Suddenly, Cardan, who was blurring his speech, curled his lips sharply.
I couldn’t get rid of the idea that his eyes were still hovering around my lips. Maybe it was just me.
I made up my mind again.
In order to find the prince’s marriage partner, I will also find the Emperor’s concubine at the same time. It would be better if I could raise that candidate to the Empress position as well.
Of course, it’s just my feeling, but there’s no harm in being safe.
The next day, Lady Sherrington, was called out to the Cabinet meeting with her hands trembling.
“I called the lady here today to hold her accountable for the prince, who was at the palace as my guest last night, who was caught up in an unsavory incident.”
Cardan, who always yawned at the throne, seemed like a completely different person today.
All nobles instinctively straightened their backs and tried not to make eye contact with Cardan.
“Well, I don’t know…….”
Lady Sherrington, stuttered and wept.
“I just helped him because he seemed very drunk…….”
Cardan burst into a short laugh.
“Do you need to take off your clothes to help?”
Lady Sherrington’s eyes began to wander around the venue as if looking for an exit.
However, as soon as she made eye contact with Marquis Sherrington, her older brother, the lady grabbed her fist tightly and took a deep breath.
“It wasn’t me, but the prince, who wanted to spend the night first.”
Her trembling voice became clearer and clearer.
“If there’s anyone to blame, it’s not me, it’s the prince!”
There was a commotion in the conference room.
Only the Marquis of Sherrington laughed satisfactorily.
Obviously, the lady’s argument was plausible to anyone.
Even if the prince denied what she said, there was no way that his words, as he was drunk, would have been credible.
Above all, the prince was still asleep, snoring.
Even though I tried everything to wake him up, he didn’t budge until morning.
At that time, Cardan’s words put the disturbance to rest with a single blow.
He rubbed his chin and smiled strangely.
“No matter how rough I handled him, he didn’t wake up.”
In his statement, Cardan was referring to the fact that the Prince didn’t budge even though he was thrown randomly like a piece of luggage. The conference hall, however, froze because of a misunderstanding.
Everyone couldn’t even breathe out.
As expected, I wasn’t the only one who thought it was weird.
I misunderstood it because it was a situation that could be misunderstood.
“Why? Can’t you believe it?”
Cardan smiled as if he had interpreted the silence differently.
“The Duke of Baloa and the servants have all watched, so you can ask.”
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh……. My reputation……. My reputation…….
Unsurprisingly, the ministers’ eyes grew wide as if they would pop out when they heard that everyone was watching.
I could see what scenes were passing by in their heads without having to say anything.
However, I can’t correct their misunderstanding because if I do that, they will know that the Emperor treated the Prince of the East like a piece of luggage. Therefore, I nodded, swallowing a bitter smile.
“Yes, the prince was so drunk that he couldn’t even move in any situation.”
At the word “any situation,” the nobles swallowed their breath again, but I continued.
“In the end, as the lady said, he was not in a state where he could talk to someone or control himself voluntarily.”
“That makes it clear.”
Cardan smiled satisfactorily as he could not see the eyes of the ministers, who had grown to the size of a lantern.
“Lady Sherrington approached the prince deliberately and tried to frame him.”
“Your Majesty, Your Majesty!”
All the color drained from the lady’s face.
She stared at her brother’s side as if holding onto her last rope. However, as soon as the Marquis of Sherrington shook his head slightly, the lady immediately knelt down.
“Sorry, I’m sorry. The moment I saw the prince at the banquet hall, I fell in love with him at first sight, so I made a great disrespect. It’s all my fault.”
I chewed my lips.
As expected, she is trying to prevent the name of the Empress Dowager from being mentioned.
“The lady’s punishment will be decided when the prince wakes up in the future.”
Cardan’s gaze briefly stayed with the Marquis of Sherrington and then fell.
“In addition, I will also hold the Empress Dowager responsible for sitting on the sidelines for something unsavory like this to happen. It’s also the Empress Dowager’s fault for not taking care of her guests properly.”
This time, I was also determined to work hard to tie the Empress Dowager to this incident this time.
I don’t know about anything else, but if she’s going to ruin my escape plan, she’ll have to pay for it.
“This quarter, the Empress Dowager’s Palace will have its budget cut in half and will be banned from taking outside guests.”
I laughed contentedly inside.
At least it’ll be enough to put restrictions on the Empress Dowager’s movements until I’m all set for my escape.
The Prince of the East also woke up shortly after.
He didn’t remember anything because the alcohol was strong.
I didn’t bother to say what happened that day either.
Because I shouldn’t blow the alliance because of what the Empress Dowager did.
So I had no choice but to say that I brought the prince, who was drunk and asleep, to a separate palace.
Instead, I sent Knoxus as a temporary aide to the prince and banned the entrance of Lady Sherrington.
At the same time, I stepped up my efforts to find a suitable spouse for the prince.
“I think I’ve never seen anyone drink tea with such elegant movements as Lady Linoa.”
“Oh, don’t mention it. If you practice 10,000 times, it’s easy for anyone to follow.”
The afternoon tea time in the garden, which I attended as an organizer, was always friendly.
The ladies, who were given turns one by one, showed off their polished abilities, and the prince sincerely admired the abilities of women in the empire.
I watched the whole scene with deep satisfaction from a safe distance.
It wasn’t just once or twice that I had to restrain myself from clapping whenever they displayed their skills and talents.
It’s so easy to arrange blind dates.
“As expected, Cardan was the strange one.”
“What is it?”
A faint voice in my ear made me jump.
Sure enough, Cardan was looking down at me, close behind me.
“Your Majesty, Your Majesty!”
As Cardan’s smile became more elegant, my heart sank.
Out of nothing but fear
I stared at my feet.
“I know! I briefly thought that ‘card games were strange as expected.'”
The more scared I am, the more I have to smile in front of Cardan.
I held back my tears and laughed my head off.
“I was thinking about recommending a card game so that the prince and the young ladies could get close, but I thought I should quit……!”
Cardan pressed my forehead with one finger which made me sink more into my chair.
“Well thought out, Duke. Refrain from such shallow thoughts in the future.”
“Yes, yes! Your Majesty’s advice, I will keep it in mind!”
I bowed my head hard.
However, Cardan dragged a chair from a garden that I had no idea where it came from and sat down next to me.
He is liiiiike a gem. XX.
“Your Majesty. Haha, what brings you here?”
“I heard that they were gathering in the garden in the morning and were laughing so loudly, so I stopped by to see what was so enjoyable.”
I raised the quivering corners of my mouth again.
“How about the meeting with Lady Gamora, which I arranged…….?”
As he was a very picky person, I set him up on a date with a lady, who was the most thoroughly prepared, but as if he was laughing at my efforts, he appeared in front of me less than 10 minutes after his meeting with Lady Gamora.
(t/n: her is written as 걔 which could also mean ‘dog’)
A person who is worse than a dog called the lady “her” with enthusiasm.
“Her thoughts are rigid.”
Cardan tilted his chair back and said heartily.
“It seems like she memorized the entire history book, but she couldn’t answer when I asked how she could prevent the collapse of the ancient Sumare Empire.”
The veins in my temples were about to burst.
“Ahaha, it’s a topic that even scholars are divided on. As expected, Your Majesty has a special passion for learning.”