“What could that be”
“I just want you to keep a close watch on the princess and report her every move to me.”
The count was momentarily repulsed.
Reporting the master’s behavior to others felt like a betrayal.
“I’m just worried that the princess will cause trouble before her wedding.
I won’t make you do more than that, so don’t worry.”
Only then did the count understand Petra’s intentions.
She had various surveillance measures planted in the palace.
They were mostly servants who were indebted to her or had a weakness, but among them were also the children of the nobles that were close to her.
Petra’s impure intentions would be too blatant if she picked her own people and brought them in as the princess’ maid.
She couldn’t risk disappointing the precious prince of Bjern if he saw that his future wife was treated poorly.
That’s why Petra wanted a noble lady from a prestigious family to attend to the princess while keeping that person as her right hand.
When he couldn’t respond, Petra held out a small box that seemed to be prepared beforehand.
When he opened the box, there was a brilliant opal bracelet inside.
“How happy would she be if you gave this to your daughter as a wedding gift”
It was a priceless item.
In other words, Petra was showing her sincerity.
He agonized for a moment, but he nodded after a while.
After all, the imperial palace is in the hands of the emperor and his family.
It wouldn’t be shameful to go with the flow as long as the princess isn’t harmed.
Most of all, he desperately wanted his precious daughter to marry into a noble family, and if possible, to a son-in-law who knew martial arts.
He wanted to do everything he could for her.
I’ll inform my daughter, so please take her with you at your convenience.”
“That’s a good idea.
Bianca will meet a groom whom the count will admire and become a noble lady.”
Petra wasn’t really interested in Bianca’s future.
After she got what she needed, she would just introduce any nobleman that moderately fit the qualifications, and the count would have no choice but to accept.
Of course, if Bianca was useless, or if she pledged loyalty to others, she could have an accident even before that.
She had no idea that her promise to find Bianca a precious husband will be perfectly fulfilled in the near future.
The perfect groom would catch Bianca’s eyes, surprising even the count.
* * *
Lishan was now free of the thorn in its side.
Gunther Berton was left behind, unable to refuse the emperor’s order to remain in Lishan as the acting lord.
“I feel sorry for the people who suffered under the viscount’s governance.
So why doesn’t someone as capable as Lord Berton stay here and help them”
Apollonia had asked it of Gunther with tears in her eyes.
Entrusting Lishan to the competent and upright man was something she always had in mind from the time she promised a better life for the Bellas.
She gave Gunther the status and rank that Viscount Diamann had before as gratitude for the work that he had done so far.
Of course, it was also symbolic of her trust in him…
Gunther, who was neutral and stayed away from those in power, had never been given such trust.
Apollonia’s decision gave Gunther a newfound fulfillment, and though he was originally going to retire, he accepted the offer without hesitation.
The decision was made because she wasn’t worried about him being loathed by the emperor or the Leifer Dukedom, as he was in a faraway province.
His beloved wife, Veronica, decided to pack up and come to her husband.
Apollonia was able to return to the imperial palace with ease and was planning for her next move.
“I’ve returned safely.
Father.” Apollonia stopped by the emperor’s palace to deliver a formal greeting.
“You almost went missing in Lishan.
Are you all right” the emperor asked.
Although the words seemed affectionate, the tone was stiff like usual.
“It was my mistake.
Fortunately, I was able to reunite with the honorable knights again.”
“It’s pathetic that you can’t even follow your escort properly.”
Perhaps because there was no one else around except for the queens, he had finally given up on any pretense.
Apollonia bit her lips and listened quietly.
It was something she had rehearsed thousands of times, but she felt tired and wanted to go back quickly.
Fortunately, she knew the way out.