Chapter 27

Translator: effefille

Proofreader: xoxomonami

After witnessing the scene of human trafficking at Baron Yetz casino yesterday, he had been feeling slightly conflicted..

It was because he couldn’t figure out how far it would go.

As the case escalated, it became uncertain whether he’ll be able to get the jewel back in time.

The surest way to get the jewel back was to hold onto the information about trafficking and bribery to negotiate with Marchioness Camellia.

However, what conflicted him the most was the guilt he felt for not being able to keep his promise to Artizea.

Although it was a pressing matter, there wasn’t really time to worry.

“I couldn’t use this issue as a negotiating tool, even if it meant breaking my promise to the Lady. And I think the Lady would understand why I couldn’t..”

“I’m a bit embarrassed, Your Grace. You’ve probably already guessed that I didn’t ask for Saintess Olga’s heart because I actually wanted the gem.

“I know. The Lady probably wanted me to get involved in this situation through a more natural process. Because if this was truly just about dealing with the human trafficking that was ocurring, you would have instead just conferred with Sir Keshore.”

But she didn’t. She didn’t even tell Cedric the story of Baron Yetz directly.

If she had, Cedric would have been simply concerned with the procedural question of whether he should leave it to the security office,despite knowing that the corrupt security office will try to reduce the case.

The situation, instead, involved him meeting a jeweler to obtain a proposal gift and after hearing about the injustice that happened to the innocent jeweler, he pressed the matter against Baron Yetz at the casino house. As a result of the confrontation, he became furious at the discovery of the illegal trafficking that was occurring incognito.

And maybe in the future, his fury towards injustice can involve him into more of this kind of work. As such, he will quickly rise as a true nobleman who cares for the people, and not just as a hero of a distant border.

Cedric understood that purpose last night.

He knew from the beginning that she didn’t just want him to find the jewel.

He didn’t think Artizea would never have found the jewel.

Nevertheless, he wanted to come to apologize.

There was a kind of romantic notion to the word ‘proposal gift’. He seemed to care about it more than he had thought he would..

“Because a promise is a promise.”

Then Artizea bowed her head.

“It is actually myself who should apologize to His Grace.”

“Pardon?”

“I have already secured the jewel.”

Artizea said and proceeded to retrieve something from the bedroom.

She put the jewelry box down in front of the puzzled Cedric and opened the lid.

“This diamond is the Saintess Olga’s Heart.”

The necklace sparkled a brilliant light.

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Saintess Olga’s Heart, the central jewel, was great, and the jewels that adorned its surroundings were small but not lacking.

Cedric had no artistic eye, but he could see how carefully the necklace was made.

“This, when ……?”

“I went to Marchioness Camellia at dawn.”

Artizea replied. Cedric looked at her in surprise.

No amount of play was enough against her.

“You’re very quick with information. I think I went to the casino after 10 o’clock last night.”

“No one truly follows a man like Baron Yetz. Although there are people who work with him, they are all simply connected by money. It just so happens that employees are easily discarded. There are plenty of people who will provide information for just a few pennies.”

“So, knowing that I went to the casino last night, you went straight to the Marchioness Camellia.”

Artizea carefully looked at Cedric.

“Are you disappointed?”

Artizea looked up and looked directly at Cedric’s eyes.

When she spoke to Lawrence, her eyes were always down. But that was so he wouldn’t get angry..

But when you talk to Cedric, you have to keep your eyes on him.

Cedric was a person who wanted to understand and could understand.

Speaking to Lawrence was like giving a presentation to a wall, while Cedric was actually engaged enough in the conversation to actually respond.

He could never guess how much it made her tremble.

Cedric asked back in surprise.

“Why would I be disappointed?”

“Because I deceived you.”

“I don’t think so. Didn’t the Lady make it clear from the beginning that the gem was just a means? I’m going to need to get to know you a little better.”

Feeling the heat rising inside his chest, he said firmly,

“But I am angry. Not because the Lady did something wrong, but because you didn’t believe me.”

“Your Grace….”

“I understand that the Lady asked to marry me as a means to work together towards a better future. And although we didn’t begin our relationship with love, shouldn’t my partner trust me to carry out the same goals?”

“It’s different.”

Artizea stood up from her seat. It was because she didn’t want the waves tidaling in her heart to be evident.

“I told you about the political marriage, but it’s only a means. If I weren’t 20 years old and Lawrence’s sister, I would have knelt down and sworn allegiance instead of making such a request.”

“Even more so, the Lady should have believed in me, because everything you do will be my responsibility,” Cedric said quietly.

Artizea shook her head.

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“I know that Your Grace hates authority and schemes. Perhaps you understand my reasons, but deep down, you are uncomfortable with being tricked into using your power for the sake of the victims of human trafficking.”

“A family is a family. I know that the Lady is trying to compensate for my shortcomings.”

Cedric stared at her.

“The Lady has been telling me things from the beginning till the end and you didn’t realize it yourself?”

“What?”

Artizea turned to him.

“For the future, you are telling me to give up my honor and justice for now, and to simply take the disgrace. From the day we first met to the present day, I understood the way the lady works.””

“Your Grace….”

“It wasn’t a straight path, but it was the right thing to do,” Cedric said calmly.

“One of my lieutenants is a guy named Freil.. He asked me to give up procedural legitimacy to do the right thing. I also led the knights to Baron Yetz casino to get White’s revenge. I’m not exactly the most righteous person.”

“Yes…….”

“I know you can’t get to the throne on a straight road alone. So tell me everything. No, I’m not good at lying, so you can tell me after all if necessary. However, I feel that I should also bear the burden of all this. “

Artizea couldn’t say anything.

“Answer me,” Cedric said firmly.

“… Yes. I will accept Your Grace’s wishes.”

Even if he decided to accept Artizea, he was still infinitely in the right. Artizea wouldn’t dare shake her head, saying she couldn’t.

However, even though she answered the way she did, Artizea did not intend to keep her word. Until now, she planned to disclose only the parts he could understand.

‘And because it’s something you shouldn’t be responsible for.’

As she did for Lawrence, any time she devised one of her schemes, she made sure it was clean.

Still, she was very grateful for his words..

She smiled bitterly.

“Do you know why I like you, Your Grace?”

“Pardon?”

Cedric flinched at her sudden words.

“Your Majesty was born with a noble status and suffered in his childhood. He was in a position where he could ignore his subordinates and not even consider them as human beings, or he could be buried in his own world and sympathize only with himself. But your heart always moves in the same direction as mine.”

“Ah……”

Cedric exhaled a long sigh from his lungs, which was momentarily startled and tense.

So it was that kind of story?

Cedric turned his gaze because it felt awkward for no reason.

He didn’t see himself as such a great person. He didn’t even think Artizea understood him at all. They have been together for less than a month after all.

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But Artizea’s words had a strange persuasive power.

She seemed to have faith that Cedric could change the world for the better.

He hoped to never betray that belief.

They drank tea without a word for a while.

“I’m thinking of going to Chancellor Lin soon,” Cedric said when the teapot was empty.

“Yes, Chancellor Lin is a fair and honorable man. You made a good decision. Your Grace is a military figure who has nothing to do with politics, and you don’t have to give up that image yet. Sometimes it would be appropriate to check the progress of things once in a while.”

Artizea said so. Cedric asked again.

“What are you going to do with Saintess Olga’s Heart?”

“I’m going to give it to Her Majesty the Empress. It’s a keepsake from a dear friend of hers, so it’s only right that she keeps it.”

“Right.”

“You’re not upset, are you?” Artizea asked carefully.

“I thought you’d plan to do that from the time I heard Pescher’s story. What do I have to be upset about?”

The truth was that he felt sad. So Cedric sighed a little.

“It’s just that I couldn’t retrieve the gift, so it’s difficult to make a splendid proposal.”

Artizea shut her mouth, unsure of how to respond.

Cedric took a small velvet pouch from his chest pocket. Then, he opened the pouch and revealed a diamond bracelet over his palm.

“Give me your hand.”

Artizea’s face flushed red.

She would not have felt this way if he had brought a jewel as big as Saintess Olga’s Heart in a precious box.

However, the diamond bracelet had neither history, political value, nor features worthy of attention. It was too simple to use as a gift for Grand Duke Evron’s proposal.

For that reason, it made Artizea feel even more embarrassed.

Did he buy the bracelet himself?

Cedric carefully put the bracelet on her wrist.

“I’ll use this as a replacement proposal gift. Please marry me.”

This was only a formality. Cedric only chose to recite the traditional proposal words.

The real meaning behind his words was instead, ‘I will accept you as my servant and fellow’.

Artizea thought so.

Cedric, however, thought differently.

This diamond bracelet, not Saintess Olga’s heart, was chosen by him for Artizea.

So rather, it was a much more meaningful moment for him.

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