The Villainess Needs A Tyrant - Chapter 36
Azil frowned. He already knew that Innis would approach Maribelle at today’s party.
No, it was so natural and expected that it would have been strange if Innis had not approached her. Because Ethelred was aiming for that from the beginning.
However, it was a different story for Maribelle to leave the party hall with Innis.
‘What should I do?’
Azil was lost in thought.
No matter what happened, Maribelle wasn’t so weak that she couldn’t break free from Innis’s evil hand. (마수 = evil hands. Evil hand in here means trick or foul.)
Innis would be unable to kidnap one of the figures who drew the most attention in the Imperial Palace so openly.
Therefore, if he thinks about it rationally, there’s no reason for him to be worried about her by watching her back so carefully.
However, when he saw Innis going somewhere with Maribelle, a chill climbed up his spine. Words that he couldn’t get out of his mouth choked his throat and caught his breath.
Lady. Don’t go. It might be dangerous.
Then how will you answer? Will you ask why I’m bothering you while you frown? Well, at least, as he expected, Maribelle wasn’t visibly upset. In a calm voice she will answer like this: “You worry too much, Sir Azil.”
Eventually, Azil turned around and entered the party hall as soon as Maribelle and Innis turned the corner. There was nothing he could do about having to maintain appearances even with his worries. He is just doing what he has to do.
The reason Ethelred required all his aides attend the party was not just to diffuse the attention received but also to observe the movements of Maribelle and inform Ethelred. It was their second task.
Azil, who entered the party hall, visited Ethelred, who was surrounded by people just like him, and delivered a quiet message.
“The Lady went to the royal lounge with Marchioness Rhodein.”
After Azil delivered the news, Ethelred felt somewhat complicated.
‘I didn’t mean to make you follow Innis to dig for information.’
It wasn’t because he was concerned about Maribelle’s safety that he was being so complicated. She will be safe. That’s what he judged based on how Innis normally behaved and operated.
Innis looked sophisticated, but she had an unexpectedly naive aspect. To put it bluntly, she didn’t have much sense.
She’d always kept her nose up, so why should she be wary of others? It wasn’t that Innis had a stupid brain or a lack of communication skills, but she couldn’t read the atmosphere. That was the cause of her defeat.
‘If she tried to bring Maribelle to a quiet place, there would be two reasons.’
It could be to inform her of Ethelred’s dismissal or to embrace her. Perhaps it’s both.
That was the reason he felt complicated.
‘Especially because I don’t want to let you know that much—’
Although he hates to admit it, Innis was one of his enemies who had known him the longest. Ethelred’s past failures that she can use against him are too many to even dare to guess.
It would be nice if his aunt picked a silly topic and talked only about that instead.
He hoped so, but there was nothing he could do to stop his curiosity or the meeting.
Perhaps his dilemma was revealed on the outside, a Young Lady, who was originally laughing turned her head at the sound of the noise next to her. The hazelnut-colored hair and rust-colored eyes were not very noticeable on their own, but she was a person who stood out for her natural loveliness with a round puppy-like face.
She whispered softly, wiping away the tears that formed slightly from laughing with her fingertips.
“Your Majesty. That person speaks really well.”
Is Lariette Ellua her name? Ethelred tried to recall his memories. She was also a candidate for empress, supported by southern aristocrats. He remembered being surprised by how simple she was.
“But I don’t think it’s Your Majesty’s taste.”
He was surprised because she was quick-witted.
Lariette pushed both corners of her mouth and looked up. She had essentially said he had a stern expression on his face. It wasn’t until that moment that Ethelred realized he’d rarely been able to control his facial expressions.
Ethelred smiled mischievously and pressed the corner of his lips with one hand, much like Lariette had done earlier. His slanted gaze met Lariettes green eyes before looking away.
It was kind of a token of gratitude.
Turning his head again, with a faint smile on his face, Ethelred opened his mouth.
“It’s just not my taste, but other people like it, don’t they?”
“Your Majesty should be pleased. Your Majesty is the leader of this party, aren’t you?”
“Is that so?”
I wish I had only one person to fill my heart. Ethelred looked at the people who were chatting to others with interest in their eyes.
If Maribelle had been standing next to him, she would have asked, ‘Can’t we go outside?’ She would lower her voice as much as possible in case she is caught by someone, just like a child who sneaks out of their room at night without their parents knowing.
‘Even if I try not to think about her, I keep thinking about her.’
Ethelred eventually frowned again.
It’s been a while since he couldn’t hear Maribelle anywhere in his vicinity. He thought everything was fine until Azil passed on a message.
At this point, this is also serious.
Eventually, Ethelred turned his body.
“Kir, nevermind. Jaylin, come here.”
Jaylin turned her head as she emptied her glass while making a loud noise. Her eyes sparkled, in contrast to her face, which was flush from drinking alcohol.
“Did you call me, Your Majesty!”
“—Didn’t I tell you not to drink alcohol?”
“I’m keeping my head, so please have faith!”
In response to Jaylin’s confident attitude, Ethelred was at a loss for words. Yeah, Jaylin doesn’t get drunk after drinking this much anyway.
“I’ll be outside for a while, so keep your wits. Young Lady Ellua, I apologize for leaving first.”
These were absurd words, but Ethelred didn’t even have time to care about them. He spewed his words out like vomit, and immediately began to head outside.
Standing in the spot where Ethelred had been standing a while ago, Jaylin scratched the back of her head.
“Hmm, I see he has some urgent business. Don’t be too offended. I’ll keep his seat and he’ll be back soon—Lady? Where are you going?”
Leaving behind Jaylin’s question, Lariette began to chase after Ethelred as if possessed.
On the other hand, Maribelle was in a confused state rather than feeling any impending danger.
Rumor? About the Imperial Palace personnel?
She can’t be sure she knows it very well, but she did know a few things about Ethelred and his aides. For example, something like this?
“Are you saying that His Majesty may have assassinated the late Emperor?”
“Ah, I thought it would be hard not to know the rumor.”
Innis smiled bitterly, then raised her chin with her index finger.
“My brother wanted to revive Pheopil a little more. You know that we only fought a few wars of conquest during the late Emperor’s time. Then he ended up being murdered.”
Maribelle knew what she’d say next, in the battle where the late Emperor went out as a commander and was killed, Jaylin Mard was the deputy commander.
It’s suspicious, but given that only the battalions under Jaylin returned alive from the war in which the Emperor was killed and defeated, it’s not difficult to see how awful the rumors were at the time.
—To be honest, Maribelle also believed that this rumor was true.
“If the rumor is true, Ethelred had his father killed by a subordinate. He didn’t kill him, but he got his subordinate’s hands dirty. Because I don’t want to believe it, I’m denying it—”
Innis’ relaxed gaze reached Maribelle. As if searching the other person for something, she scanned her face thoroughly and asked.
“What do you think about it?”
“—There must be a reason why the rumor spread.”
Huh? Innis closed her lips as if this were unexpected and looked at Maribelle. With her eyes down, Maribelle spoke once again.
This was an opportunity. An opportunity to open up a little more of that disguised heart and see what was really inside.
“I don’t think I’m too different from other people. The Imperial Palace is a place where people die or get hurt every day.”
“Oh, that’s… Wasn’t it scary?”
“There’s nothing I can do even if I’m scared.”
Maribelle raised her head slowly. She firmly closed her shaking eyelids, then opened them, then lowered them halfway down again.
“Because I have no power.”
“Of course, can a noble Young Lady go against the Emperor?”
Innis completely stopped the clumsy formal speech. As her formalness disappeared, her boundaries would also disappear.
“I called you today to talk about Ethelred, but this time, there was someone from the southern side who was nominated as a candidate for Empress. I wondered if you, with a little experience, could help.”
‘I’m glad you didn’t mean to step on me.’
She would have planned to win over her first and throw her away when she was used up. Wherever she goes, when hunting is over, the hunting dogs are eaten.
“She’s the Count Ellua’s Young Lady. I think it wouldn’t be a bad thing to get along with a gentle person.”
“If you help her—. Am I getting kicked out of the palace now?”
“No, not yet. Unless Ethelred throws you out.”
“A hunting party is planned to be held in the Mireon Forest after the full moon. It will be hosted by my son, Marquis Rhodein, and an invitation will go to the imperial family. If you attend it, you’ll be able to meet him.”
“Ah, I see—”
Mireon Forest. Hunting party. She asked for something big but she didn’t expect to get it so soon. Maribelle lowered her gaze and exclaimed inwardly.
That also meant that it was time to quit this clumsy play.
“By the way, there is something I haven’t told you before.”
“His Majesty is the one who is criticized for killing your brother and ascending to the throne.”
“I don’t know if His Majesty really told Dame Mard to assassinate His Majesty the Emperor—”
Maribelle’s gaze, which had been lowered, came up and faced Innis.
“I figured it wouldn’t be a problem if I added a little more immorality to it. What would happen if we tipped the balance of the power scale?” (I’m not sure about this.;;)
Innis’ eyebrows twitched.
“What does that mean, Maribelle? Don’t you know why I brought that up? I’m worried about you, not Ethelred. Don’t think you won’t be used as a tool just because you’re you!”
“That’s presumptuous, Marchioness.”
Maribelle smiled leisurely. Just like the woman in front of her had done a while ago.
“Have you never thought that I, in front of Marchioness, was already His Majesty’s tool?”
“As you may already know, His Majesty’s aides aren’t those who claim to be tools. You’re very concerned about that though, thank you for your concern.”
It was an obvious provocation. Innis had already lost her composure. Maribelle smiled happily as she looked at her opponent, who had lost just a moment ago. Of course, she only smiled on the inside.
“The tools are bound to be thrown away when they’re used up. At least it’s my job to find a place where I can be of use for longer.”
I will not stand on your side, as it is obvious that you will use me once and throw me away. This is what was meant to be conveyed.
It wasn’t like Innis couldn’t understand these words. The cushion on the sofa was crumpled in her hands.
“I offered my hand so you wouldn’t have to live as a tool— Are you saying you’re going to turn your back on me? Maribelle Edenbert?”
Is this her hand? Maribelle glanced at the fingertips of Innis, who seemed to have reached the peak of her patience.
It would be nice to move on easily here, but since it’s like this—.
—Let’s just pour it all out. Maribelle sneered briefly.
“Didn’t Marchioness really see me as a tool?”
Innis’s face turned red at once. With a face that must have broken the string of patience left, she jumped up.
At the same time, the door swung open.