Madame Rochester couldn’t ignore the conversations from the maids that she had heard earlier by chance.
“Her Majesty the Empress has a fatal disease.
That’s why she has decided to reflect on her past mistakes and change.
It might be because of that is why she’s now more attentive to what she eats.
Like the salad that she requested which she hasn’t ever eaten in her entire life.”
‘Is Her Majesty the Empress really dying’
‘She looked fine when I saw her earlier, but of course I can’t be sure of it.
I really couldn’t tell since we’re having a good conversation at that time.’
‘It’s valid to suspect that there might be a reason for a sudden change of behavior, like eating a salad that you abhor eating before.’
But of course Madame Rochester didn’t have the courage to do it herself.
That’s why she looked for an alternative solution.
“Why don’t you try calling for the royal physician”
“From the palace Why so suddenly”
Anastasia was bewildered.
As if she had heard an out-of-the-box question.
“Madame Rochester, by any chance are you sick”
‘….It’s her Majesty who needs to be checked.’
Madame Rochester couldn’t finish her words, because she felt that her stomach was churning.
Her throat seemed prickly with emotions that were difficult to explain.
Now, the rumors about Anastasia’s deadly disease were slowly being accepted inside Madame Rochester’s head.
‘What if it’s true that Her Majesty is really dying’
She finally found the person that she’d like to serve for the rest of her life.
‘I can’t let her go like this.
If she’s really dying due to an incurable disease, I’ll do my best to find ways to save her no matter what.’
Madame Rochester, who was determined to save Anastasia, answered without saying anything related to the rumor.
“I strongly suggest that Her Majesty take some tests.
It’s been a while since you had your last regular checkup.”
“But I’m not sick, I’m perfectly fine…”
We still need to make sure that your body is in perfect condition.
Also, these past few days have taken a toll on you.
This is the first time that you’ve overworked and you haven’t eaten at the right time as well…..”
Her voice gradually became emotional.
She tried to swallow up her cry as she ended her speech right away.
“You need to take a little break from work as well.
I’ve rested well enough these past few days thanks to you, Your Majesty, so please don’t overdo it.
Of course, make sure to eat properly as well.”
Thank you, Madame Rochester.”
‘Compared to before and now, she still thinks about my own welfare.’
Anastasia didn’t dwell on whatever Madame Rochester was thinking.
She just felt grateful for her concern.
-ˏˋ ━━━━━━ ʚɞ ━━━━━━ ˊˎ-
At the same time, at Emperor Wilhelm’s office.
A sudden realization came to Wilhelm’s mind, who was silently fixing his gaze on his documents for a long time.
Colton, who was reviewing the papers beside Wilhelm, suddenly looked up at him.
“What’s wrong, Your Majesty”
“I finally got it.”
Colton looked at Wilhelm with a puzzled look.
Wilhelm muttered as if he realized something unexpected.
“The answer was just right in front of me but like a fool, I didn’t notice it at all….”
“Did you come up with any new measures to support the drought in the Northeast”
“No, not that.”
Wilhelm shook his head coldly.
“It’s the Empress.
I realized why all of a sudden she was doing something that she had never done before.”
“About Her Majesty”
Colton furrowed his eyebrows when an out-of-the-ordinary character was mentioned.
‘… For some reason, I couldn’t remember hearing papers being turned for a long time.’
‘Maybe because he was thinking about something else Rather than the ones we should be reviewing.’
Colton said in a very confused voice.
“I didn’t know that you were thinking about the Empress for that long.”
“You were very quiet, and I had thought you’re very passionate about the drought issue.”
Wilhelm stared at Colton with a look of displeasure at those words.
Colton sighed and hurriedly saved himself.
“No…I just thought that you don’t usually care even if you heard any rumor about the Empress, but now you suddenly care about her actions.”
“…..That is because the Empress’s actions are questionable.”
“Well, that’s true.”
‘She was really suspicious.’ That was what Colton, who had been watching Anastasia closely for the past few days, had thought about the situation.
“As I have already reported, the Empress has recently been confined to her office and has been concentrating on her work in the Empress’ palace.
There has been no luxury, no pleasure, or anything like that.
None of the courtiers had said they’d been beaten by Her Majesty.
I think this is the first time the Empress’ Palace has been this quiet.”
Isn’t it strange”
Wilhelm said still in disbelief.
“Because the nature of a person cannot be changed that easily.”
“Your Majesty, do you mean to say that Her Majesty is planning something”
“Maybe…but the Empress is doing a play now.”
“Like a temporary display of hard work and conscientiousness to deceive us all.”
“But why Her Majesty the Empress is not someone who cares about anyone in the first place.
She doesn’t even care about her reputation.”
“There is only one thing that the Empress truly regrets now.”
Wilhelm raised one corner of his mouth sullenly and finished his speech.
-ˏˋ ━━━━━━ ʚɞ ━━━━━━ ˊˎ-
“I greet you, Your Majesty the Empress.”
As Anastasia entered the drawing room, Duke Barantes jumped up from his seat.
Anastasia greeted her father with a smile.
“You don’t have to be too polite whenever you greet me.
“This is a given.”
Compared to the last time that they met after her regression, he looked quite calm now.
“I’m afraid that I will be criticized by others for being comfortable with Her Majesty even just for a little bit.
So we always have to be careful.”
The Duke of Barantes had always been like this so Anastasia eventually gave up trying to convince him and sat down.
“Please sit down, father.
Oh my, your teacup is almost empty.
Let me fill it up for you.”
How could Her Majesty do this…”
“I used to do this often in the old days.”
After casually speaking without thinking about what she had just said, Anastasia belatedly realized she made a mistake.
Technically speaking, that was her past memories.
That’s why Anastasia immediately corrected herself.
“No, what I mean is that I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time now.”
Fortunately, the Duke didn’t seem to think something was strange based on what she had said.
Anastasia filled the Duke’s teacup with a fresh tea.
This tea has a good aroma.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty.
I actually became thirsty while waiting.”
Duke Barantes picked up the teacup that Anastasia had filled in and drank.
After a moment, he removed the teacup from his lips and carefully opened his mouth.
“Actually, I had a lot of thoughts about what to say first before meeting Her Majesty.”
“Oh What do you mean, father”
“Because you’re making very surprising moves these days.”
Duke Barantes continued speaking with a smile on his lips.
“I was shocked to hear the news but of course praise comes first, right You are doing very well, Your Majesty.”
“That’s good to hear, because I’d love to see you smiling more often.”
“If Your Majesty will continue to act like this, my face will always be this bright.”
Hearing those words, she realized how much Anastasia had caused Duke Barantes to suffer from her past actions.
“To be honest, I still couldn’t believe it.
Come to think of it, your tone of voice and attitude seems to be overflowing with dignity much more than before.”
“Well I’m paying more attention now to this and that.”
“May I ask why you suddenly changed your mind”
“There’s not much to it.
It’s just that the last time we talked, I’ve thought about it a lot and I didn’t want my father to be bothered anymore.”
Anastasia skillfully laid out her prepared answers.
“What you had said last time, I wanted to do some reputation management now.”
“You’ve thought well.”
Duke Barantes did not spare any compliments with his ecstatic face.
“By the way, when did you start studying Madame Rochester was very happy for the past few days.
Praising thanks to Her Majesty all the time.”
“Well, whenever I have an opportunity… It’s really nothing, father.”
“Madame Rochester is not a person who easily gives praise.
The recognition from the Duchess herself is already a sign that you’re doing a great job.”
“Thank you, father.
I will definitely work harder, and do a lot of good things in the future.”
“I have no regrets even if I die tomorrow.”
“Hey, don’t say things like that.
Anastasia, who was about to say, ‘You haven’t even seen your grandchildren yet’ stopped in the midst of her sentence, and smiled casually as she changed her words quickly.
“…What I mean to say is that you’re still young.
You’re only a little over fifty.”
“And since I’m so happy and grateful right now, of course I will live a long life.”
Duke Barantes continued speaking in a very excited voice.
“Don’t worry, Your Majesty.
I would definitely live until you give birth to an Imperial Grandson and see him ascend the throne in the future.”
“How’s your relationship with His Majesty the Emperor”
The topic went to the wrong place.
Anastasia smiled awkwardly and for the first time today, a look of disappointment crossed Duke Barantes’ face.
“You don’t seem to have made much progress yet.”
“You still don’t like His Majesty the Emperor”
Rather than that….”
‘The problem is that I just love him too much.’
Anastasia mumbled the unspoken words in her mouth.
“Well, I will take care of that one later.”
Well, both of you are still young.
You still have a lot of time.”
Fortunately, Duke Barantes did not continue the discussion about them.
Anastasia sighed inwardly.
“Aren’t you short of your personal funds”
Didn’t I say last month that I would no longer support you with personal funds”
Anastasia could not comprehend the nature of this conversation.
‘What’s the connection between my father’s wealth and my private money’
“You have to spend your money sparingly, Your Majesty.
The reason is that the Barantes family will no longer provide support to your finances.
It’s not simply because it’s a waste of money.
This is to instill to Her Majesty the correct viewpoint of economics up to now.”
‘Could it be that Anastasia used the Duke’s private wealth….’
After a brief period of doubt, certainty came.
No matter how influential the Empress was, it would still be difficult to spend that much money without internal support.
‘Even if I have written it down, there must have been a limit.’
In the end, the only place that they can rely on is their own family’s wealth.
However, as Anastasia’s repeated excessive spendings, the Duke who couldn’t bear it anymore and cut off her internal support.
“So, please continue to practice the virtue of frugality, Your Majesty.”
‘Wait a minute.’ Anxiety suddenly struck her.
‘Then how much money do I have right now’