I Sought Out the Tragedy’s Scheming Mastermind - Chapter 34
Translator and Editor: nieye
“Eventually, I’ll send you out of the palace, saying you are getting engaged as a cover.”
“Why are you so surprised? Don’t you want to leave the palace?”
Hera spoke softly to Eliana, who was visibly agitated.
Hera regained her composure and had a warm smile.
But her eyes were cold as if she could cut out Eliana at any moment.
Of course, she thought Hera would order her to assassinate Verkley, but an engagement?
It was an unexpected command, so she couldn’t respond quickly.
“N-No, it’s just such a sudden proposal.” Eliana rubbed her neck.
Her seat felt uncomfortable, like a thorny cushion.
‘What do I do?’
Eliana had no intention of betraying Verkley from the beginning.
Hera would lose anyway.
When she was ordered to assassinate him, she planned to reveal all the facts to Verkley.
Of course, she’d give him the poison as evidence.
But becoming engaged was an ambiguous order.
Hera shrugged at Eliana’s uncomfortable response. “I’m not asking you to get married this instant. Just pretend to be engaged for a while.”
“Who’s the other person?”
“Well, does it matter who the other person is?” Hera whispered with a sinister smile.
It sounded like a provocation if she refused her commands.
“T-That’s not what I meant, but…”
Eliana tried to hold back her frown and glossed over her words. She made it difficult not to look stupid.
Then, Hera began to laugh.
‘I’m sure your laugh is cheerful, but your eyes don’t reflect that at all.’
After a while, Hera’s laughing ceased, and she stared at Eliana intently.
Her eyes were fierce as if trying to gauge something.
As Eliana waited, swallowing hard, Hera turned away and said stiffly,
“Things have gotten more complicated than I thought, so I’ll have to buy myself some time.”
“What do you mean, ‘complicated’?”
“As of now, that’s none of your concern. Just prepare yourself to leave.”
Then she dimly looked out of the window.
Seeing this, Eliana spoke with full courage.
“Well… If you have to buy some time, wouldn’t it be better if I kept an eye on His Majesty?”
Hera’s gaze snapped in Eliana’s direction at her suggestion.
It was scary, but Eliana continued. “If I leave, you will have no one to watch His Majesty.”
This was her suggestion because now, it was impossible to leave the palace in many ways.
She hadn’t even figured out what Verkley was thinking yet.
She needed more time.
But Hera was adamant. She shook her head and affirmed. “No. Wouldn’t you rather be empowered if you, a natural mage, were a candidate for the empress?”
“You are a very naïve girl. I give you my heart without knowing you’re using it.”
Hera intended to publicize Eliana’s power.
Few people knew of Eliana’s ability right now.
Count Mussieux seemed to be silenced by Hera, and Marquis Valkyrie kept his mouth shut due to his pride being ruined the moment she struck him.
Mary was incapable of having powers, so she was trying to gain ground by using Eliana and Kallius.
‘I wanted to escape the palace so badly…’
She never dreamed that a day would come when she tried not to escape.
Eliana sweated at Hera’s stubborn attitude.
Hera showed no signs of changing her intentions.
A moment of choice comes without notice.
‘It’s time to end this risky tightrope.’
Hera insinuated that Eliana sat silent. “Why? Don’t you want to get engaged?”
“You’ll be quite intrigued to hear who the other person is.”
“Now that you’ve said that, Empress Dowager, I’m curious about them.”
Hera’s lips lifted as Eliana struggled to answer with a smile.
“It’s not uncommon to go from guardian to lover.”
“Your fiancé, Marquis Rube Demeter.”
Eliana’s eyes widened with the sudden mention of his name.
She thought it was strange when she entered the palace with the notion of receiving his support from the start.
But now they’re getting engaged?
This story’s development was very different from the novel.
You would think knowing the future is more reassuring. But everything was slowly starting to shake.
No, everything was about to collapse completely.
Hera smirked as Eliana turned speechless. The floor beneath her feet was slowly disappearing.
“You must be shocked.”
“…Quite a bit.”
“I’m just trying to match what I deem the best fit. Well, if you like, we can proceed as is.” Hera encouraged her with a gentle smile.
She always expected Eliana to look forward to her orders but never upheld them.
In other words, she shouldn’t take her words seriously.
Eliana asked Hera with a deepness in her gaze, “What did the marquis say?”
“Well, what do you think he said?”
But she answered with a counter-question, so Eliana remained quiet and stared.
Hera continued with indifference, losing her lukewarm voice.
“Actually, this engagement was Rube’s suggestion, so I don’t know what to expect. Ask him yourself if you’re curious. You’ll see him soon because of the revelation ceremony.”
“Oh, are you moving that fast? I heard that the princess was still ill…”
She didn’t expect the revelation ceremony to be held again so quickly.
Eliana was even more worried when she heard that Mary was not leaving her room.
Hera replied with a very cool expression. “I’ll have to deal with it before that sly snake of an old man comes and ruins everything.”
“What do you mean, ‘ruins everything’?”
“I mean, I have to get things done before Grand Duke Crombell arrives. So take Mary with you to the Temple of Hosios and stand surety. I’ll meet Rube there.”
“Yes. Whatever you see there, you’ll help Mary. Rube will explain the details on that day, so please wait.”
With those finishing words, Hera stood from her seat.
Eliana got up and bowed to say goodbye.
Hera gently strode to the door. And just before opening the door, she looked back.
She spoke with a very soft smile. “Don’t forget that I trust you.”
“Of course, Empress Dowager.”
With Eliana’s words, Hera grinned and exited the private room.
Eliana’s expression hardened as soon as she left.
She noticed the hidden meaning in her command that she spoke of lightly. As if it were a passing situation.
If Mary’s incapability was not discovered, it would give Hera an advantage.
‘Looks like she’s going to put on a show about Mary’s power.’
She didn’t know exactly what kind of show she’d put on, but she was worried that it might be a trap.
Eliana looked nervous as she bit her nails.
She had to find the note quickly.
This was a situation in which no unnecessary weaknesses should be discovered.
If she found the note, it would be best to burn it.
It was a bit unreliable, but it was safer to memorize things in her head.
No wonder her comfortable life at the Imperial Palace has come to an end.
This is why it’s called the Imperial Palace.
Eliana sighed deeply as she stared at the cold teacup.
* * *
On her way back from meeting with Hera, Eliana, fortunately, remembered where she left the note.
While organizing the novel’s changes, she was surprised by the sudden arrival of a maid, and hurriedly crumpled the paper into her skirt’s pocket and forgot about it.
She put it in her clothes, so she had to take it out quickly.
Eliana hurried her steps with pulsing anxiety.
When she arrived at the Central Palace, Eliana adjusted her dress and entered as normal.
“I’m here, Your Majesty.”
But why was Verkley staring at her so fiercely?
Eliana’s gaze moved to his hand.
A crumpled white piece of paper.
Eliana knew better than anyone what this meant.
If Eliana could turn back time to a few hours prior, she’d do it in a heartbeat.
Just so that Verkley wouldn’t look at her like that.
An even worse situation awaited her after facing Hera’s hurdle.
As Eliana backed away, Verkley got up and slowly walked toward her.
All while staring straight at her.
It was the first time his eyes looked straight at Eliana.
And they were very, extremely cold.
* * *
Verkley glanced around the empty bedroom.
Eliana was not there when she always waited inside the room.
She’d only be gone for a brief moment, but he was looking around for her subconsciously.
It was something he didn’t understand himself.
“Your Majesty, I’m coming in.”
Then, someone entered with a voice muffled behind the door.
It was two people.
As Verkley sat with indifference, they approached carefully, grabbing his hand, and guiding it to their foreheads.
It just felt unfamiliar because it wasn’t her warm touch.
“I’m here to retrieve the laundry.”
The maid explained as she grabbed the clothes in Verkley’s room and dropped them into a basket.
She was checking all the pockets to see if there was anything in his clothes.
The other bought clothes from Eliana’s room and searched her pockets.
In the case of laundry, Eliana’s clothes were collected together, as she did not have a personal maid.
Then a white piece of paper dropped onto the floor.
T/N: Hello! I’m nieye, the translator/editor for this novel. If you’d like to support me, head over to my Ko-fi (っ˘ω˘ς ). Thank you for the love <33