Chapter 11

Translator: Gold

Countess Eunice slapped Artizea on the cheek so hard that her head swung.

Artizea could not help but wince and cover her cheek with her hand.

The employees and servants of the Marquisate Rosan, who were watching, were surprised and tried to approach. Even one of the knights guarding the foyer came running up in bewilderment.

The Countess’ maid turned pale and had no idea what to do.

“Nothing happens.”

Artizea shook her head slowly. Her mouth was torn and bleeding, so she pulled out a handkerchief and wiped herself.

Then she stared at Countess Eunice.

The Countess Charlotte Eunice was one of the Emperor’s two illegitimate daughters.

Her mother was not a beloved lover like Miraila, but a maid who had been dragged into bed for a night.

It was to keep the empress under control that he had a child with his maid, not because she was a beloved lover.

That wasn’t even a secret.

The Emperor was not interested in Charlotte’s mother. However, he loved his daughters like gold and jade.

Countess Eunice had memories of being loved by the Emperor until she was about ten.

Although she had no power or love now, her pride as the emperor’s daughter was stronger than anything else.

So she couldn’t bear to be defeated by Miraila.

At best, isn’t she just his lover? She knew it was inevitable to lose to his son, Lawrence, but being his daughter, she couldn’t bear to be behind his lover.

That’s why she hated his lover’s daughter, Artizea, like an insect.

From Artizea’s point of view, both were born denied.

However, the Emperor’s blood that flowed through her veins seemed to make that not important to her.

Countess Eunice looked down on Artizea. It was a look of superiority.

“Countess Eunice you have no idea what you have done.”

“Tell your mother to come here.”

“What do you think will happen if I collapse here and start crying?”

Artizea said quietly.

“The servants and knights of the Emperor’s Imperial Guard saw how you suddenly slapped me on the cheek.”

“Mmm, so what?”

“His Majesty detests noisy people. Besides, what man would want his daughter to visit him during his secret meeting with his lover? You are no longer a five or six year old girl, on the contrary, you are already married and even have children.”

Countess Eunice’s face turned pale. Artizea spoke coldly.

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“If I make a big fuss at this moment, crying out in humiliation and pain, I’m sure His Majesty the Emperor will come. And my mother would not let this opportunity pass, so she would cry with me, and tell the Emperor that his daughter despises and insults us in this way. What do you think will happen then?”

“He, he…”

“The more you try hard to deal with my mother, the more sympathy His Majesty the Emperor will have for her. Do you want to check?”

Said Artizea and stepped forward.

Countess Eunice felt so pressured by her overwhelming presence that she almost fell backwards. The maid rushed to hold her.

Artizea pulled the hem of her dress. Then she said quietly.

“My mother and my brother Lawrence are the only ones who would benefit from this. So go home today.”

“Who do you think you are? If you’re really so confident, why don’t you try?”

Countess Eunice spoke with an air of dignity, but her voice trembled.

Artizea smiled bitterly.

She didn’t have to try to find out. Because, in the past, she really had.

She was used to being slapped by Miraila, so she didn’t really find it painful. However, back then she acted as if it hurt, collapsed on the floor and cried. The astonished servants and knights approached her to help her.

Miraila, who was resourceful in this, quickly realized Artizea’s intentions and acted.

With tears in her eyes, she complained to the Emperor that she and her daughter did not deserve to be treated this way.

She then resigned herself to leaving her bedroom, and wept pitifully for almost ten days.

The Emperor, broken by the tears of his beloved woman, rebuked Countess Eunice. He also gave Miraila a great consolation gift and organized a glamorous party for her.

Miraila arrived at the party hugging proudly the Emperor’s arm and became the star of the party.

It was the first time that Artizea was recognized by Lawrence and Miraila as ‘something useful’.

“Countess Eunice, you should not compete with your father’s beloved woman. You who are his beloved daughter, if you want to push my mother aside, you have to accept to be loved in a different way.”

Countess Eunice looked at her in puzzlement.

She couldn’t understand why Artizea said this as if she wanted to take his mother down.

“His Majesty truly cared for you as his daughter, and there was a time when he loved you very much. Bring back those memories. Tomorrow go with your children to visit His Majesty. And be loved as a daughter. You shouldn’t criticize his relationship with women, you’ll only make His Majesty hate you. That does not benefit you in any way.”

“What the hell are you saying…?”

“I’ll pretend nothing happened today. Now, go away. No father in the world wants his children to see him with his lover.”

Artizea said this and looked back at the knight of the Imperial Guard. The young knight became nervous at Artizea’s gaze.

Artizea smiled sweetly at him.

“Countess Eunice is going to retire, would you please escort her out?”

“Is that all right with you?”

The knight looked at her sadly. Artizea spoke.

“We should not interrupt His Majesty’s time of rest. Countess Eunice, please mark my words and go home. Don’t forget what filial piety really is.”

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Countess Eunice didn’t seem to understand your words. However, when the knight urged her to leave, she did so obediently.

Artizea released the hem of her dress.

The love one person could feel for another had a limit. Even more so for an egocentric person like Emperor Gregor.

Love for a woman is different from love for a child, but neither can be poured out infinitely.

As Countess Eunice recovers the Emperor’s love, Miraila will eventually be pulled out of his heart.

Artizea was not like before, when she slandered and schemed against others to sow doubt in the Emperor’s mind.

In the past, she used to destroy people who wanted to get close to His Majesty, so that all his love would go to Miraila.

But now, she had to drive Miraila out of the Emperor’s heart and fill it with other people. At the same time, she had to prevent the emergence of anyone who had enough influence to replace Miraila.

Shortly after Countess Eunice left the foyer, the Emperor and Miraila appeared.

The servant glanced furtively at Artizea with an apologetic expression.

“I heard that Charlotte was here.”

The Emperor looked down at the foyer. He saw Artizea holding a bloody handkerchief with a swollen cheek. The side of her lips, which had scratch marks caused by fingernails, was torn and still bleeding.

That alone gave him a general idea of what had happened.

He knew perfectly well Countess Eunice’s temperament, and he also knew that she hated Artizea.

“I’m sorry.”

Said the emperor in a low, muffled voice. The shame for his daughter’s foolish behaviour was evident in his voice.

Artizea knelt solemnly on one knee and responded.

“Nothing happened.”

“Charlotte seems to have been hard on you.”

“Countess Eunice made a small mistake because she misses her father, I could not harbour any resentment against Your Majesty or the Countess for that alone.”

After Artizea said this, Miraila’s face turned completely red and she exploded in anger.

“No matter the reason, she came to my home and slapped my daughter on the cheek, how dare she despise us like this? You too! You should have called me when that happened!”

“How could I, a fatherless daughter, not understand Countess Eunice’s feelings?”

Artizea said, addressing the Emperor, not Miraila.

“She probably did this because she misses her father very much, and is jealous of me. Besides, as master of the Marquisate Rosan, the most important thing is that Your Majesty should feel comfortable in this place. Should I have made a big fuss over such a small matter?”

The Emperor smiled.

“You have a commendable heart.”

Artizea bowed her head respectfully.

“But it’s my fault for not disciplining Charlotte. She’s very pretty, but also very violent because of her upbringing. Now that she has three children, she should improve her temper a bit. I’m a little embarrassed because she hurt a young lady’s face. Ask me anything you want. Come to think of it, I haven’t even given you a birthday present.”

Although the Emperor said that, he had never cared about Artizea’s birthday.

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Artizea was surprised by this windfall. However, she wouldn’t make the mistake of asking for a gift at this point.

Instead, she said.

“Then, with all due respect, I would like you to accept the gift I have prepared.”

“Gift? For me?”

“Yes, Your Majesty. In fact, it’s a gift I had prepared to give to my mother on my birthday as a thank you for giving birth to me, but it’s an accessory that comes in pairs for parents.”

Artizea bowed her head with deep regret.

“But I had no one to accept the other pair. Even so, when I prepared it I thought of Your Majesty, but I could not even give it to my mother because I was not sure. If you would accept it, I would be very happy.”

“Haha.”

The Emperor laughed cheerfully.

“If it is a accessory for parents, does that not mean that it is an accessory for a couple after all? How could I refuse to use an accessory for couples with Miraila? Bring it forth.”

Artizea winked at Alice, who was now in a corner of the foyer, observing the situation.

Alice had come to report after she had finished distributing the bribe to the servants, but she was watching from afar when she came across this incident.

Alice hurried to Artizea’s room to bring a gift box that had been prepared.

Meanwhile, the Emperor finished coming down the stairs and sat down comfortably on a sofa in the foyer.

Artizea took the gift box that Alice had brought and held it carefully in front of the Emperor.

Inside were a pair of large amber brooches.

The Emperor took the woman’s brooch and placed it on the top of Miraila’s dress. Then he put the man’s brooch on himself.

He smiled at Artizea.

“Don’t be so careful. You’re Miraila’s daughter, so you’re like a daughter to me.”

“I am honored.”

Artizea said politely.

In the past, she really wanted to hear those words. She wanted to be part of the ‘family’ of Miraila and Lawrence.

But in the end, the family she had imagined was just a sweet illusion.

Lawrence had killed Miraila. There was no family to trust, love and support each other.

“So, shall we head off to the opera now?”

“Yes.”

Miraila coldly looked at Artizea as she stood up, holding the Emperor’s hand.

However, he seemed to like the brooch, he had a satisfied face.

Artizea knelt down and bowed her head, waiting for the two of them to leave.

Now with this, the Emperor will feel indebted to her for today’s events, not to Miraila.

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Even if it was a momentary feeling, it was a big gain.

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