“Lady Crimson Rose.
How far have you been briefed?” Heinz asked, also confused.
Roseline muttered, “I didn’t hear anything.
No explanation whatsoever…”
Heinz felt sorry for Roseline, whose embarrassment for her obliviousness was evident.
But it was also difficult for Heinz to come forward and talk if the Grand Duke hadn’t explained to her.
“First of all, there are two things I can tell you,” Heinz began, “one is that Lady Crimson Rose was brought here by the Grand Duke for your protection.”
This means that they are going against the Empress.
Roseline’s expression became serious.
“The other is,” Heinz paused, “His Excellency needs your help.”
Roseline was puzzled.
She didn’t know why he needed her to the point that he would defy the Empress’s orders.
What was so important that he had to do this? But Roseline didn’t know anything that might benefit the Duke. If she couldn’t give what the Duke desired, she might be discarded to the Blue Knights later on.
Roseline could already see the worst thing that could happen.
“What should I do?” she mumbled to herself dejectedly, “there is nothing I could do.”
“You must have had a hard time coming in the carriage, so you’d better take a rest.”
When Roseline faced Heinz, her worries seemed to fade away.
She decided to remain quiet, believing that asking more questions would not solve her curiosity.
She ought to speak with the Grand Duke himself.
He’ll come again tomorrow for an interrogation, right?
But rarely do things go the way people want.
* * *
“Melchor, oh, Grand Duke of Postenmeyer!”
As soon as the door of the drawing-room on the first floor opened, a dark silhouette appeared and a short, fat man jumped out of his seat and approached Melchor.
“You may call me whatever makes you at ease, Count Wiegelhoffen.”
Count Rainer Mostri Wiegelhofen. The younger brother of Empress Wilhelmine, a greedy figure who constantly uses his sister’s power to satisfy his own interests.
Unfortunately, his power was insignificant compared to his greed.
It was also rumored that the Empress covered up all the accidents he had caused.
The Count was unable to meet Melchor in the eye, causing the Duke to laugh at his nervousness. Count Wiegelhofen had a small physique, while Melchor was of considerable stature.
His mere presence would undeniably intimidate the feeble Count.
I’m sorry to barge in without an appointment.
It’s such an urgent matter,” the Count rambled as he fidgeted.
“Since you came all of a sudden, I thought there was a reason for that,” replied Melchor.
“I’m glad you understand.
Then, let’s sit down and talk.”
I’ll have the tea ready.”
“Oh,” the Count chuckled nervously, “excuse me then.”
As Melchor beckoned, Count Wiegelhofen sat on the sofa, wiping the sweat that trickled down his fat chin.
When Melchor sat across from him, the butler named Hugo served the tea.
“Well,” the Count coughed, eyeing the butler, “Duke of Melchor, would you please tell the butler to step aside?”
“Hugo is a faithful butler.
He’s not going to move anywhere from here.”
I want to talk to the Duke of Melchor alone.”
When Melchor beckoned, Hugo politely bowed his head and left the drawing-room, closing the door carefully behind his back.
Afternoon sunshine enveloped the spacious room along with the strong scent of tea.
But in spite of this serene and warm scene, Count Wiegelhofen, as he faced Melchor, felt as if an eclipse had happened.
He felt frightened as the Grand Duke’s icy glare pierced his soul. He even believed that the man in front of him wasn’t actually a human, but a human-eating beast or a demon of hell.
Count Wiegelhofen felt a chill in his back and a cold sweat running down his cheeks even when he avoided his gaze. He puffed and wiped off his sweat with his damp palms, gulped down his tea like cold water, and put it down.
It was quite hot to drink at once, but Count Wiegelhofen was not in a condition to feel the temperature of the tea.
He began, trying his best not to stutter, “The Duke of Melchor.
I hear you’re protecting Count Crimson Rose’s daughter.”
“Yes, Count Wiegelhofen.”
“The Count of Crimson Rose has already lost his title and territory, which makes his daughter also the daughter of a sinner.
I don’t think there’s any need for interrogation because the crime of the family is crystal clear.
Hence, I’d like you to hand over Roseline Crimson Rose and her personal belongings.”
Melchor stared straight into Count Wiegelhofen, a smirk playing on his lips. What a rude fellow.
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