“Why is the Young Lady here”
Benelucia’s voice not was all that welcoming.
It was quite late, which meant that a guest would appear unless they were invited to dinner.
Liana was even riding in Count’s Citrine’s carriage, so Benelucia knew that there might be another rumor of an affair with her come tomorrow morning.
Because everyone in the Helios Empire wanted to know of their only immeasurable Grand Duke.
And for the first time, Benelucia felt that knowledge uncomfortable.
If rumors spread like this… It was going straight into the ears of Senelia by morning.
“It’s been a while since I’ve seen you, and yet, you’re so cold.”
Liana spoke in a calm tone despite Benelucia’s reaction.
It was almost as if she knew he would behave as such.
Or as if she had gained a burst of courage from somewhere.
“Am I that good enough to be kind to uninvited guests”
The more they spoke, the colder the duke’s attitude solidified.
He wanted to get Liana out of his mansion as soon as possible.
It was not possible to bring her out immediately as he had been raised in an elegant royal family who grew up in the ways of chivalry.
“There’s too much between us, Your Majesty.
I don’t think it would be so bad if I stayed in the Grand Duke’s residence.”
“Ha, between you and me How was it possible to tie us up together when we only had that scandal ‘accidentally’”
At Liana’s words, Benelucia said coldly.
It was then that he remembered why he had first broken up with Senelia.
The Archduke, who appeared so among the commoners and nobles, was a scandalous existence even when all he did was breathe quietly.
It was true.
So, he was usually only moderately kind to most people, but he was by no means easy to come by.
There was a reason why Benelucia and Liana were briefly together the day before the first scandal.
It was because of the Count of Citrine.
The count had been in contact with Viscount Daphnen for a long time.
To be honest, the Grand Duke had always wondered what had happened during Senelia’s two0month stay at the Daphnen’s estate.
However, he had already acted as if he was not interested in Senelia, and had even ordered Suha not to investigate.
So that happened.
Because the estate of Count Citrine was right next to the Daphnen’s estate, it would have been easy to hear about any news.
It was very unfortunate that a brief conversation of Benelucia’s had turned into a scandal.
But… Senelia hadn’t asked about anything in regards to the scandal.
Benelucia, unable to bear it again, said farewell to her.
So, technically, he knew it was not really Liana’s fault, but nevertheless, the duke disliked her.
“Is it really not possible for us to have some kind of relationship”
However, Liana’s subsequent words changed his evaluation of her.
She had been a vaguely antipathetic object, now, she was a distinctly antipathic object.
[T/N: Antipathic object – meaning that Benelucia views her as an object that he has absolutely no interest in.]
“I heard that you broke up with Senelia Daphnen.
I want to take her place, Your Majesty.”
The Grand Duke’s expression hardened.
How dare…Who do you think you can replace
A moment of anger erupted.
But Liana carried on as though she didn’t mind.
“I know that His Majesty the Grand Duke has the Young Lady Elihan in his heart.
I know what Senelia Daphnen’s role was, I can take over that role.”
But even Liana could not make light of the words of the duke that followed.
“How did you know”
Because the duke had become serious.
“What… What are you talking about”
Liana unwittingly avoided his gaze as the corners of her lips drooped.
Benelucia was known as quite a friendly person to most people.
So, they often then to forget.
They forget about how many men the kind Archduke had cut through during his countless battles.
If the opponent standing before Benelucia had not been a weak noble girl but a strong knight, he would not have stopped at just words.
“The fact of Lucalina returning is not known yet.”
Marquess Elihan had said that Lucalina arrived on horseback before the army.
This meant that the army, who was returning to the capital after a long-fought war, had yet to arrive.
There was no report of an official victory, so it was strange that a noble girl who had never participated in politics knew about it.
Of course, it would be a whole other matter if one of her parents were qualified to participate during politics, but Count Citrine was not that privileged.
It was strange.
Through that analysis, Benelucia was quick to realize that someone had deliberately sent Liana to his mansion.
And who would dare to do this to the only Grand Duke of our country It played out as if all of this had been decided from the very beginning.
Benelucia took a guess.
He might not have been aware of it himself, but if it was the emperor, then he would have to pretend to know nothing.
It wasn’t an attitude of a servant of Empire to take up such an issue, even if they knew of the emperor’s intentions.
Cliff was wary of the relationship between Benelucia and Lucalina.
To the point where he had become overly sensitive.
If the emperor has not been so paranoid, Benelucia would have been able to visit Lucalina while she had been on the battlefield for him.
Since it hadn’t been just a day or two in which the emperor took action to ward against them, they would have never been able to meet.
But the timing now couldn’t be any worse.
Because of the emperor’s suspicions, Benelucia would once again be misunderstood by Senelia.
There was no need to verify.
The answer was almost certain, especially when considering the reason why she was able to stand before Benelucia, the reason she knew about Lucalina’s return when the capital’s people did not, and the reason why she was unable to give Benelucia a proper answer.
Because the emperor was behind Liana.
Right now, she could either be daunted in front of the Archduke or not able to answer properly.
“Citrine, if today’s affairs leak out from your mouth, you will have to pay the price.”
The Grand Duke warned her with a heavy tone.
Liana’s face was utterly pale.
It was the emperor’s will that she had arrived at the Grand Duke’s residence.
In other words, their scandal was also meant to be the will of the emperor.
But now, it seems that Benelucia intended to put a stop to it.
Since the duke had never once gone against the emperor’s will, Liana knew that this time, he was serious.
If she knew that she, the shrimp, would be caught in the battle between the two whales, she never would have sniffed out the Grand Duke.
“I will go to the imperial newspaper and have it blocked.
You just need to watch your mouth.”
As if Benelucia was conciliating her, he spoke in a voice more generous than before.
Only then did Liana’s face get better.
The reason why his rumors were more prominent than others was due to the fact that the imperial newspapers never allowed any news of the Grand Duke to slip them by.
If it could be stopped the scandal between Benelucia and Liana would not be a riot.
In addition, Benelucia blocking the newspapers may be as good as him being the culprit for blocking what the emperor wants done.
In other words, Benelucia had created a hole for Liana to escape from.
However, as soon as Liana felt relief, the duke added his clause.
“Remember that you will pay for what you have done to me today.”
It was a warning that there would never be a second time.
The Grand Duke didn’t want there to be any more reasons to keep Senelia away from him.
Yes! Your Majesty, I will make sure that this never happens again.”
The young lady nodded her head urgently.
Perhaps, from this day onward, she would sleep without ever turning her head towards the archduke’s residence again.
“Count Citrine’s carriage had been sent away in advance.
Instead of going straight to the count’s estate from here, we will go to the outskirts.
Young Lady will call a public carriage to ride back.”
The Grand Duke’s residence is on the most expensive piece of land in the capital.
Meaning that it was the only mansion in that direction.
If anyone had seen the Count’s carriage coming that way, they will know where it led to.
That was why Benelucia had Count Citrine’s carriage go round and round on the outskirts.
The public carriages were, of course, more inconvenient than the carriages used by nobility.
However, Liana had no choice but to give an affirmative answer at that time.
After sending Liana back, semi-forcefully, the Grand Duke immediately summoned his men and made them put each newspaper under his control.
It was the very first rebellion of Benelucia against all that Cliff had done.
But his first rebellion was completed all in vain when the next day arrived.
Newspapers couldn’t publish the article in their newspapers because they were afraid of the Grand Duke, but strangely enough, rumors sprouted up secretly amongst the nobles the very next day.
Upon hearing of it, Benelucia grimaced.
In less than a day, only those with power could make rumors spread like that.
Besides, there was only one person who tried to entangle him and the Young Lady Citrine.
So, in the end, it was the emperor’s handy work.
Cliff de Helios had lightly snuffed even the smallest chance of the first rebellion of his younger brother.
Benelucia was furious at his brother’s actions, but there was a more pressing matter at hand.
He had left the sick Senelia and ran to Lucalina, and now, there were rumors of him having an affair with another young girl.
So, he wanted to clear up the misunderstanding without further delay.
That was the reason why Benelucia visited Senelia before the emperor.
But… His heart was mercilessly broken when he entered her townhouse.