The nobles were birds of a feather.
The emperor confirmed the engagement between Damian and me, sending shockwaves to all those present.
His Majesty then looked at me with a warm gaze.
“Then at the upcoming victory banquet, we shall introduce the crown prince’s fiancee.”
…..I swear to Aurelia, today was the first time the emperor looked at me warmly.
My pupils quivered as if an earthquake had taken place.
There were only two people here who seemed pleased with this decision.
The emperor, and Damian.
In such a situation, I could only turn to the empress.
‘Empress, what should I do’
I slowly moved closer to the empress’s side.
At that moment.
I saw her.
“Prince, how could you surprise me like this…”
….that was the only thing the empress said as her voice grew fainter.
I simply wanted to cry.
No, Empress what’s the matter with you!
* * *
The audience with the emperor came to a close.
I needed to talk with Damian right away.
Damian must have realized he did something wrong, judging by how he was constantly looking into my eyes with a concerned expression.
“Lize, are you mad”
Before answering him, I checked our surroundings, holding back my anger.
All the doors and windows are shut.
The empress said she would keep those who stayed around occupied to give us privacy.
Still, it doesn’t hurt to double check…
After being completely certain no one was around, I let it rip.
“Your Majesty, are you crazy!”
I yelled at Damian for the first time.
Damian dropped to his knees, falling flat on his face.
“I’m sorry, Lize!”
“What are you sorry for!” I exclaimed, needing to make sure we were on the same page.
“Well, I asked for an engagement in a crowded place…..come to think of it, that was the problem! But you didn’t refuse!”
Asking for an engagement in a place with so many people watching, wasn’t exactly an environment where I could just refuse!
I felt my blood boiling.
But that was a secondary issue.
What I need to ask Damian now is…
“Your Highness, you want to be Emperor, don’t you”
“Well, yes but…”
“So to do that you should have chosen to be betrothed to a woman from a powerful family! For example…”
“….for example” Damian asked, surprised I would say something like that.
I paused at that moment, struggling to get the name out.
‘Unsurprisingly…Damian looks quite frustrated now.’
Darkened scarlet eyes looked straight at me with a cold gaze.
The embarrassed look he had before all but dissipated.
Damian put on an irked look as he asked me.
“Were you going to talk about Sienna again”
“….Viscountess Antes is a good match.”
My heart began to pound.
I tried my best to maintain a calm facade, preventing any changes in my facial expression.
It was then Damian’s expression changed, becoming colder.
….why do you have that look on your face
It’s not like I said anything offensive.
Damian asked me in a low and suppressed voice.
“Why are you deciding who’s good for me to marry”
“I decide whom I want to marry.”
Damian declared adamantly.
I pursed my lips and glared back at Damian.
No matter how much I hate to say it, Sienna will be of more help to Damian, more than I ever could be.
What could I as a maid do for you”
I shook my head back and forth.
Am I not right
Sienna is the current viscountess of the North and will later inherit the title of Marquess.
Compared to me, a maid of the Empress’s palace.
It’s clear which one of us can be of help to Damian.
“No, it’s not like that.”
“Just having you by my side is enough, that’s already of great help to me.”
At his firm voice, I closed my eyes shut.
If you keep saying that….
‘I’ll be looking forward to it.’
Once again, I tried to look as calm as possible.
Otherwise, Damian might have figured me out.
“Then please convince me.”
“Good, I will.”
Damian responded in a way that seemed like he had been waiting for me to say that.
“With this engagement, the Emperor will be less wary of me.”
I blinked my eyes at his unexpected answer.
I see now.
Come to think of it, Damian said before…
‘Don’t worry too much, I’ve already thought of a way to lower the Emperor’s vigilance.’
….I’m positive he said that.
But why do it this way Surely, a noblewoman would have been better suited.
I widened my eyes.
“If I was betrothed to a high-ranking noblewoman, the Emperor would undoubtedly keep a close eye on everything I do.”
As if to strengthen his previous statement, Damian shrugged his shoulders and added.
“So from my perspective, this is better.”
“So to just avoid the Emperor from keeping a tab on you….you’re taking me as your fiancee”
I asked back in a skeptical tone.