In the small annex attached to the flower garden, we sometimes find a woman’s belongings or underwear.
They’ll definitely make an appearance in Gareth’s wild adventure story soon…”
Goosebumps crept down Adrian’s body as Apollonia spoke.
“Gareth loves to boast about his skills at seduction.
He’ll soon summon you to the palace, under the pretext of you escorting him.
Then he’ll take you to the Serbia Garden.”
“Are you saying he plans to seduce me… with the garden” Adrian asked, bewildered.
“Well, he calls it ‘seduction,’ but there’s no way he could actually win the heart of all women,” Apollonia said dryly.
“And yet he boasts he’s never failed to obtain a woman’s body in the Serbia Garden.”
“That… that means…” Adrian’s face was almost white with fear.
Apollonia answered her bluntly.
“Because he can’t rape women in the Imperial Palace, since it’s so noisy, so he planted azellia flowers in the garden.”
Adrian looked stunned.
The azellia flower was an aphrodisiac.
“They’re a powerful aphrodisiac, but the antidote isn’t hard to find.
If you drink it beforehand, you’ll be able to keep him from raping you.”
Gareth may have been an idiot, but he wasn’t so foolish as to forcefully rape a woman inside the palace without countermeasures.
If his victim screamed, he would be found out.
Adrian turned back to the path, leaving Adrian, dazed, behind her.
At Apollonia’s cue, Sid joined her.
“Did you just plant a spy” Sid asked jokingly.
“What do you mean, a spy She wants to kill herself.
If she’d rather die than be with Gareth, don’t you think I should help her”
“That girl is the one the Duchess offered to the young duke.
Even if she managed to escape him once, it wouldn’t end there.”
“Are you sure about that Gareth loses interest quickly.
Don’t you think she’ll be safe once she manages to get away from him”
“So since she’ll be safe, you won’t help her anymore” He asked this as if he were testing her, but his expression said he already knew the answer.
“Please keep a close eye on Gareth, especially at the next time he enters the palace.”
Sid nodded proudly.
After the death of the late emperor, he’d been Apollonia’s teacher, and they’d grown so close he was practically her father.
Of course, he still served and respected Apollonia as his master.
He admired her subtlety and cool-headedness.
Yet what he valued most out of all her redeeming traits was her tenderhearted personality.
She was someone who tried to help others as much as possible, but she didn’t go so far as to endanger herself in the process.
She helped all kinds of people: from the servants kicked out by the emperor, to servants brutally beaten by the hot-blooded Paris, to the poverty-stricken people camped outside the palace.
She even took care of Sid’s family, who received the emperor’s animosity for no reason other than that Sid was a servant of Apollonia.
Sometimes she would use false aliases, and other times she would take advantage of her reputation as a kind, soft-hearted princess to give them money, or otherwise help the best she could.
The inheritance she’d secretly received from the late emperor was quickly dwindling, but she didn’t stop.
Sid didn’t think her efforts were a waste, either.
A trait of a great emperor was taking care of their subjects.
It was a bonus, too, that many of the people she helped became her informants in order to repay her.
He didn’t know if she saw the warm smile he gave her, but it didn’t matter.
Apollonia simply continued walking forward firmly, just as she always had.
Uriel was bored.
Six days had passed since he’d failed his mission and been locked in a room in the Star Palace.
The only person he ever saw was Maya, who came by three times a day to deliver his meals.
The grey-haired knight had locked the door and placed a barrier around Uriel, so he was free to roam around the room, but he couldn’t even get close to the door.
Of course, he had no plans to escape.
No matter whether he returned to Safiro or not, the only thing that awaited him was an excruciating death.
The princess had said she’d raise him, but he found it hard to believe the Leifer dukedom would let that happen.