Of course, Apollonia and Sid encouraged this rumor.
In an instant, rumors spread through the palace that the princess had almost been assaulted.
The rumor stated that the man had escaped so quickly from the palace that the guards failed to see his face.
The atmosphere in the Leifer household was heavy.
The Duchess was in a bad mood.
She’d received a report earlier that morning and had spent several hours taking out her anger on the servants.
Petra’s way of venting her anger was different from the hot-blooded emperor, or her son, Gareth, who would scream when he was angry.
Except for her furrowed brows, no one was able to sense her anger.
However, in between those graceful gestures and smiles, she would cruelly torment her servants.
“The weather is quite pleasant, isn’t it.” Her voice was quiet.
She picked up the silver teacup sitting on the table and took a sip.
Her hand shook.
Crash! The teacup she’d thrown smashed into her servant’s forehead.
She was a low-ranking aristocrat who’d been selected as a servant by Petra herself.
Because of her beautiful appearance, she had been hired as a maid for the young Duke, Gareth Liefer.
Yet because she continually showed reluctance to him, she’d become the object of Petra’s anger.
“Aaaaaaaah!” the brown-haired girl shrieked and collapsed to the floor.
Blood trickled down her pale face.
Petra didn’t bat an eye.
The other servants couldn’t display their shock.
They knew that even the slightest disturbance would make the duchess lash out even more.
The girl wiped her forehead and slowly stood.
Her legs were shaking violently.
Petra pointed to the girl.
“You’ll do my hair today.”
“What” the girl asked in bewilderment, but then snapped her mouth shut.
At that moment, she remembered another servant who Petra had beaten until she was crippled for not following her orders.
She gingerly approached Petra and began brushing her hair.
The girl had been gentle, but as soon as she touched the duchess’ head, a small sound leaked out of Petra’s mouth.
Smack! Suddenly, the girl saw stars.
Smack! Smack! Petra’s hand raised again and again, yet the girl only steeled herself and continued brushing.
Petra hadn’t stopped slapping her for several minutes but was interrupted when a maid of honor suddenly rushed into the room.
She knew who it was without looking.
Carlin was the only one in the entire palace who could rush into the duchess’ chambers so recklessly.
“His Majesty has ordered you to come to the palace immediately.”
The girl was soaked in blood, and her heart soared when she heard Petra would be leaving.
But her hope was for nothing.
The cruel duchess had no intention of letting her prey escape.
“Have you heard the news” The emperor’s voice was subdued.
She and Gaius were alone in his study.
“How quickly has the rumor spread that the princess was almost raped” He slammed his fist into the desk.
“We would be lucky if it hasn’t reached everyone in the palace by tomorrow.”
Gauis gritted his teeth and frowned.
He was obviously annoyed, but Petra saw no trace of concern for his daughter.
He turned to look at her.
“Petra, I have no choice but to suspect you.”
She didn’t confirm nor deny his accusation.
“Even if you were able to do it without leaving any evidence, did you really think that I wouldn’t get angry”
“Your Majesty, that child..”
“Don’t you know that rumors about how she was almost raped are as likely to spread as if she were actually raped Does it not matter to you if I’m branded as a father whose daughter was violated by a mysterious man”
The safety of his daughter wasn’t important to Gaius.
However, her future value was important.
Petra didn’t respond.
Her forehead crinkled in a frown.
“So what do you think now Do you still believe that a child who can’t even distinguish between an assassin and a pervert could be a threat to me”
Petra had to agree with his assessment.
Apollonia had little interest in politics and didn’t care about her lineage.
How could she have not even considered the possibility that the man who’d snuck into her bedroom was actually an assassin
“But her healing ability…”