2 years before spring.
The Emperor, the ruler of the Peoreun Empire, protected by St. Jesus and Ionel, and the owner of ninety nine estates said,
“I have a young child to introduce to the Baron.”
Edward set his fork and knife down and stared at Emperor Laodin.
It was against the imperial etiquette, but the magistrate did not criticize him.
The grand chamberlain Edward, who revered Emperor Laodin, was shocked by the Emperor’s remarks.
Edward struggled to answer the question calmly.
“With all due respect… what did Your Majesty say to me?”
“It’s literally what I said. I have an infant who I especially cherish. She’s as beautiful and lovely as a peony.”
A soft smile rose to the Emperor’s mouth.
There were only a few people who could be called beautiful by the Emperor of the Peoreun Empire for his picky taste.
Edward, however, had an ominous premonition.
“You mean you want to introduce a noblewoman to me.”
“Yes! I think we should make an appointment right away. Servant, send a messenger to the Duke of Xavier.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
The servant poured wine into the Emperor’s empty glass and stepped back carefully. Edward felt the temperature of the room fall.
“Now… the Duke of Xavier.”
“He’s the most sensible and decent person I know, and he’s old enough.”
“Your Majesty, isn’t the Duke of Xavier seventeen this year?”
Edward knew this because he had encountered the Duke of Xavier in the reception room of the Imperial Palace last week.
But Edward couldn’t open his mouth even though he wanted to because it would be against the imperial etiquette.
Before he knew it, he had a cold sweat running down his back while the Emperor said as if revealing his trump card,
“Don’t let it go past May, if it’s too late, the guests will be sweating and complaining.”
The sun was sunny and warm, and the gentle spring of March fell onto the great house of the Duke of Xavier.
The gracefully blooming hyacinths and iris shook in the sky every time the wind blew.
On the second floor terrace overlooking the bright garden, Yelodia was reading a book in a relaxed posture.
The skirt of her green negligee, tailored with frills, swayed like the wings of a dragonfly every time she walked.
Rather than an elegant noble, she was more like a playful fairy in the summer. She let out a yawn.
Finally covering the bookshelf, she imagined her future as a gardener with her lips clenched.
The sight of her growing apple trees and planting apricots with shabby clothes made her feel good.
However, the image of her angry father and brother burning the apricot trees soon appeared.
The delusions that could not be achieved quickly faded.
However, Yelodia did not feel discouraged and began her next fantasy. As always, she was drawn in to cross the continent with a strong horse.
After crossing the path with moments of life and death, she finally reached the Forest of Death, where she began her adventure…
“What do you mean by marriage!”
Yelodia almost dropped her teacup at the sudden sharp voice.
It was definitely her first brother’s voice.
She had sensed an unusual atmosphere, and hastily got up and walked quickly away from the terrace with her maid, Martha’s signal.
“I think Master Kias is here, but he seems to be angry, isn’t he?”
“Yes. What’s going on?”
Yelodia asked, puzzled, because it was extremely rare for her first brother of calm and quiet character to raise his voice.
“Would you want me to find out?”
Yelodia stood up, not worrying for long.
“No, I’ll go.”
Yelodia’s elegant dress swayed in the air.
I was tired of the new book from the bookstore, and Kias’s loud voice raised my curiosity.
“Come on, Martha.”
“I’m sorry.” Martha shouted, embarrassed by Yelodia’s unconcerned pace.
“Don’t worry, Martha, it’s okay.”
Since the age of thirteen, Yelodia had been sickly and running had been difficult for her, so Martha kept an eye on her pace.
“Baron Adrian is a brutal man! Does it make sense to pair Yelodia with a terrible man whose fiancée has even run away?”
Just as she was entering the terrace door, she stopped, startled by an angry voice, and she could not understand what Kias was saying.
Baron Adrian? Marriage?
On Yelodia’s signal, artha followed her with her widened eyes and stopped.
When Yelodia motioned for her to leave, Martha nodded cautiously and disappeared into the hallway used by servants.
Yelodia heard Kias’s angry voice again,
“I will fight him right away!”
“Don’t be angry, Kias. The Emperor has decreed it himself.”
“How could he make such a rash decision…!”
Kias was stunned and unable to speak. His face, which was red to his neck a moment ago, began to turn pale.
“No way, he said…”
Yelodia could see clearly how discouraged Kias was in that brief moment.
His voice had changed, as if he were trying to persuade the Duke of Xavier.
“He wasn’t even a man until a month ago, Father, and he’ll find it hard to act as an adult, let alone carry out a nobleman’s manner. I can’t marry Yelodia to a man like that.”
“It’s no use. It’s already decided.”
The Duke of Xavier raised his voice and gave clenched the fist that Kias held.
On that notice, Yelodia was starting to get dizzy.
The Duke of Xavier was saying that the Emperor directly ordered the marriage of Yelodia.
And everyone including Yelodia knew that they would have to go against the Emperor if they opposed.
“The Emperor invited all of your family to dinner. Tomorrow night, be prepared.”
“Kias, it is an honour for this family. Don’t be so difficult.”
However, the voice of the Duke of Xavier, who mouthed the family’s honour, was sinking.
The Duke had felt a similar anger from his first son until a few hours ago.
How much did he care about his daughter who was born sickly, anyways?
Unlike her siblings, he never tried to care for his daughter or even asked her to be careful of her behavior.
The Duke was just happy for her walk at the age of five, just by his daughter laughing cheerfully.
The Duke of Xavier could not dare to pretend to not know the Emperor’s intention to draw Edward Gierrie Adrian, who had made a great contribution in the notorious Central War, to the title of a Baron.
Above all, Yelodia, the daughter of the Duke of Xavier, was also the Emperor’s relative.
The Emperor, who was doting for his niece, would not have chosen this marriage for pure political advantage.
“I’ll tell Yelodia. Don’t let yourself neglect the preparations.”
The Duke of Xavier could not turn around and became stunned and stiff. So was Kias.