Misunderstandings, Lies, and Truths (6)

“The Duchess of Jaxen.
If there is a feud between the Imperial Family and the Duke, the Empire cannot be maintained.”

“……I don’t blame the Empress.
I just wanted to know why…”

“What’s the reason? Why don’t I order an investigation?”

Or, the empress folded the fan, cutting it off.

“Do you mean why I dropped the embers in the tea room?”

Ezet swallowed her breath.
She suspected that the Empress was the culprit, but she didn’t expect her to confess so readily.
Even though what was suspected became true, only Ezet was surprised, and the Empress remained calm.

“The Duchess of Jaxen.
Did you see the results of the mirror of truth yesterday?”

“What? It’s…”

“Of course I know.
The mirror of truth is not perfect.
When various events and circumstances are combined, they can produce wrong results.
I don’t think the Duke of Jaxen and your love are false either.
If it were a fake love, I would have acted more skillfully.”

Whether others see it or not, the best newlyweds in the Empire who can’t live apart get out in the middle of a banquet, and spend their time alone, rarely attending afternoon tea parties with the Empress.
If they were a couple who played love, they would have made a good appearance by showing it in a timely manner.

But the love of the Duchess of Jaxen was not.
It was so blatant that everyone noticed that it was so desperate that they could not bear to say a word of condemnation.
So even though Edmond and Ezet were outspoken, they couldn’t say anything.
Even the Emperor and Empress.

“But the Duchess of Jaxen.
As Empress of the Empire, I can’t judge just by what I see and feel now.”

“What do you mean?”

“What if the mirror of truth floats, not just errors, but future events?”

No matter how hot the love between the Duke of Jaxen and the Duchess of Jaxen is, what if it cools down in the future? What if the Duchess of Jaxen loses her power to hold the Duke of Jaxen?

It is unknown how the relationship between the Imperial family and the Duchy will be.

“As Empress, I can’t help but come up with countermeasures.”

“Is that why you tested the love between Edmond and me? setting the tea room on fire, putting other wives in danger?”

“Compared to the danger of the Empire splitting up.”

It is a sacrifice of cattle for generations.
The Empress, of course, had no intention of killing the hostesses of the great nobility.
If the Duke of Jaxen did not come until everyone was in danger, the Empress would use a relocation tool to escape.

But the truth is, she didn’t want to use the last resort either.
Rather, it is the Empress’s side who did not earnestly long for love between the two of them to be sincere.

“So, Your Majesty, did you get the results you wanted?”

“For the time being, I thought I could relax.”

“Then apologize to the other wives.”

The Empress blinked slowly at Ezet’s bold request.
The hallway on the fourth floor was chilly without a single passerby, and even the windows were closed, so there was no wind.
It was calm and heavy.
Ezet felt her heart beating and breathing sound grow louder.
The tension sent chills down her spine.


“You put other wives in danger for testing love between Edmond and me.
Your Majesty should apologize for that.”

It is frankly unpleasant that they were tested, but it was an inevitable choice considering the Empress’s position.
Perhaps if it had been tried differently, it would have understood and passed even if it felt a bit bad.

But the two ladies have already been hurt, and the other ladies must have been shocked by the unexpected accident.

It was not acceptable for Ezet to make such an accident and move on so casually.

Even though Countess Harrington has become so, it shouldn’t happen again to enjoy the party as usual without anyone mentioning it.

“Your Majesty…”

“I understand what the Duchess of Jaxen wants to say.
But Madam, it’s not etiquette.”

When a superior’s fault injures a subordinate, the desired behavior is not an apology but a reward.
The moment one apologizes in words, the hierarchy collapses.

This is especially true when it comes to the relationship between the Imperial Family and the aristocracy.
They are not friends, colleagues, or neighbors.
Without knowing when they’ll turn their backs on each other and point their swords at each other.

It can’t or shouldn’t be a relationship that apologizes and is forgiven in words.

“I must reward the ladies.”


That is the ‘apple’ of the nobility.”

Ezet recalled what Edmond had said.
He said they needed to get a reward.
Countess Devon was robbed of her red fox fur, while other ladies were robbed of a large donation.
And Marquis Barth offered exclusive distribution rights.

When something goes wrong, one must make a physical reward to the other person.
If the other person doesn’t apologize, they’ll take it even if it’s ripped off.
By doing so, one forgives their opponent for the other’s wrongdoing.

That’s how the aristocracy works.

“But Her Majesty.
Still… ”

“Do you think the other ladies caught up in yesterday’s disturbance want my ‘apology’?”

The nobles value justification and are sensible.
A verbal apology is not an apology to them.
She means it, they mean it, they don’t need it all.
Material rewards are all there is to it.
Whether it’s money, rights, or benefits, no matter how much they kneel in tears, they don’t feel any emotion.

‘…that’s why the nobles, they hate the common people so much.’

Just as the Duchess of Jaxen was first guarded by the aristocracy, servants, and commoners who served were ‘not understandable’ from the aristocracy’s point of view.
That’s why they take it for granted to look down on, ignore, and be a slave.
They don’t understand, so they can’t see them as people like themselves, so they don’t feel guilty even if they bully or kill them.

“A true apology is to give the other person what they want.
It’s not about giving what you want.”

“Oh, ……”

“But the Duchess of Jaxen demanded an apology.”

The Empress took a step back and bowed slightly toward Ezet.

“I apologize for the rudeness of testing your love, Duchess of Saxony.”

“Your Majesty!”

Surprised as the Empress bowed to her, Ezet ran and grabbed her hand.
The Empress, who raised her head again, was gentle.

Just because one’s a nobleman, they are Imperial Family members; it doesn’t mean they’re emotionless.
It’s not like they don’t feel anything.
They feel love and kindness like humans, are compassionate and touching.
And they know they’re sorry.

To her, she felt sorry.

The Empress and other nobles know how to thank and feel sorry for someone.
It’s just that the feeling is directed to the aristocracy.

Ezet felt a little mixed up, relieved by the Empress’ genuine apology.

But she can’t ask for more than that from the Empress.
Just as people’s perception does not change overnight, it will take more years for a change in the etiquette and discipline of aristocratic society to occur.

“Well, now I’m going to have to make it up to the other wives.
Which one would be good?”

The Empress again opened her fan and looked sideways, covering her mouth.

“There’s one place I haven’t even shown to the Duchess of Jaxen.”

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