I Sought Out the Tragedy’s Scheming Mastermind - Chapter 7
Translator and Editor: nieye
2. I Sought Out the Tragedy’s Scheming Mastermind
Early in the morning, both Fon and Eliana got into a carriage and set off somewhere.
They passed through the town’s marketplace, and even though it was morning, they could hardly move because of so many people in the way.
Considering Fon refused to let Fin run off with Eliana, she was sure the client he spoke of was Hera.
‘Phew… I can’t believe I’m physically going to the worst villain in this novel. It’s terrifying to think we’ll meet personally.’
Eliana took a careful deep breath.
A dancer from another kingdom who deliberately approached the emperor to gain higher status and have his child.
Since she was from a different kingdom, she could not become Queen Consort, especially since she was not Verkley’s mother.
The empress suggested she take the title, however.
But Hera’s greed did not vanish, even after she became Queen Consort.
Rather, she aimed for the empress’ position.
Because the emperor loved the empress.
“That night with Hera was a drunken mistake,” he had said, and after that, the emperor never went near Hera again.
That placed Hera in deep shame.
Due to the emperor’s indifference, the maids often ignored Hera.
Only the empress and Verkley treated her, a foreigner, as if she were a gentle woman.
‘But Hera found that rather abominable…’
In the end, Hera wanted to get rid of the empress who held the emperor’s love, yet despised her. She wanted her daughter, Mary, to rise to the throne.
Hera kept her ambitions secret by staying quiet.
She poisoned the emperor and his wife when they had their guards down.
It was all her intention to have Prince Verkley there and miraculously survive but become blind.
But Hera did not let Verkley live because she felt sorry for him.
Before her daughter ascended the throne, she only needed a temporary emperor to stand-in.
Otherwise, Grand Duke Crombell would be ready to snatch the emperor’s position.
In other words, if Verkley had died, Hera and her daughter’s position would have been jeopardized, so he was spared.
Hera created an alibi while Verkley wandered across death, and she managed to escape all allegations against her.
And the criminal who took all the blame was sentenced to death for Hera’s sins.
When Verkley opened his eyes, the game had already begun for Hera.
In the aftermath of the poison, Verkley became extremely weak, and Hera’s prestige remained unchanged even after he became emperor.
Regency of the Empress Dowager.
It was unnecessary for eighteen-year-old Verkley, but Hera eventually seized the throne.
All due to the strings she obscurely pulled in advance.
Verkley was a blind emperor with a weak body and insignificant in his powers, so no nobles could stop Hera.
Keeping him as a stand-in emperor was the safest way to prevent civil war in the Owen Empire, where the royal family had almost no heirs.
It was a disgrace to Verkley, but he followed Hera’s orders as if he had accepted his fate.
Hera ate away at him.
Waiting for her daughter to officially make her debut and for her to gain the royal family’s powers that were passed down.
At the coachman’s signal, Fon opened the carriage door and held out his hand.
Eliana took his hand and gently stepped out of the carriage.
They were in front of a dessert café in the middle of the capital.
[ Carpe diem ].
It looked like a normal café on the outside, but Eliana knew the truth. This was where the people who worked for Hera gathered in secret.
“Welcome back, Sir.”
The clerk looked at Eliana and Fon and bowed.
When Fon spoke to him in a lowered voice, they were ushered somewhere.
‘It looks like a normal café on the inside.’
On the first floor, the open hall had cute tableware and furniture placed.
It didn’t matter if it were morning. Nobles were full of laughter while drinking their tea and eating pastries.
The clerk led them through the second floor and guided them up to the third floor, which was blocked off with a door that said: No Employees Allowed.
Some might believe the third floor was a small sleeping quarter, but it was a secret room for the Empress Dowager.
The clerk opened the door immediately after knocking.
Eliana’s eyes were drawn to the color red that stood out.
Flaming red thick hair curved past her shoulder and down to her waist.
She gives off a sense of power just by her back profile.
Eliana instinctively knew who she was.
Fon, who stood next to Eliana, approached her first and said, “I brought her to you, Empress Dowager.”
“Job well done.”
A loud voice echoed inside the room.
Eliana stood stiffly.
Hera slowly turned her head, and Eliana met her red eyes.
Gulp, Eliana swallowed her saliva with nervousness.
It was like a roaring flame scanned Eliana head to toe if that were possible.
After a second of silence, Hera greeted her with a light smile. “Nice to meet you.”
Eliana curtsied in fear, her voice trembling.
“I-I greet you, Empress Dowager Hera Owen, the flower of the empire!”
“You’re quite tactful.” Hera burst into a fit of laughter.
She stroked the white cat on her lap.
Despite her gracefulness, Eliana could not smile back knowing her true nature.
She shivered without realizing it.
It was true. This woman had immense power.
She was not as afraid as she was now when she ran from Count Mussieux and slapped Marquis Valkyrie.
Hera was overwhelming Eliana with just her presence.
The Scheming Mastermind Verkley may be scary, but Hera was also a terrifying opponent.
‘I would be walking on thin ice with both of them.’
Hera turned to Fon as Eliana trembled. “Do you think she’s frightened?”
“You must have surprised her.”
“Oh my. You didn’t tell her about me?”
“…Didn’t you ask me to discreetly bring her in?”
“Highly knowledgeable. That’s what I like about you.”
Hera reached out with a wicked smile, and Fon placed a kiss on the back of her hand before backing away.
In the meantime, when the new Eliana lifted, a maid ushered her farther inside.
As Eliana sat face to face with Hera, she spoke with her fingers crossed.
“I have magical powers.”
”…But I cannot handle them properly yet.”
“I’m very interested in magic. An ice mage who has powers comparable to Duke Harpons’, a wind mage. This is an excellent thing.”
“Thank you for the compliment.”
“You have nothing to worry about if you can’t control them. You only need training. I will notify Duke Harpons separately.”
“I don’t know how to thank you for your consideration.”
It would be much easier for Eliana to handle her powers if she were trained by Duke Harpons.
She thought about how she would learn to control her powers, but thankfully, she no longer had to worry.
As Eliana thanked her, Hera responded with a soft smile. “I know you’re not on good terms with your father. I had him investigated and found out he wasn’t a good man. You must’ve had a hard time.”
Hera discreetly hinted at the fact that she had people look into her life.
Eliana interpreted Hera’s words differently.
Now that I know your secret, you can stand by me.
Nothing more, nothing less, is exactly what it sounded like.
Eliana was sure she wasn’t saying that because she was worried.
When Eliana did not respond, Hera unthreaded her fingers and drummed them on the table.
“So, what will you do for me if I support you?”
Hera’s expression basically told Eliana to lay down her cards.
But Eliana had no intention of revealing her cards first.
It didn’t matter that they were negotiating. She was a clear opponent because of their difference in status and power.
Therefore, she should not show all her cards but let the other side show theirs first.
And when your opponent reveals their hand, you have to present a fake card to be vigilant.
Eliana knew what Hera was going to ask her to accomplish.
To become someone Verkley can rely on.
And to discover who is helping Verkley by becoming an insider.
And lastly… all she wanted from Eliana was for her to seduce Verkley, betray him, and eventually kill him.
Eliana tried to look foolish and hesitant before shouting hastily.
So that Hera could see her loyalty and feel relief.
“Whatever you need me to do, I’ll do it!”
When Eliana suddenly shouted, Hera frowned for a moment and then spoke with a gentle smile and tone as if nothing had happened.
“Yes, I have a job that will suit you.”
Eliana inwardly cheered.
It was because Hera’s expression was softer than when they first started their conversation.
She seemed to define Eliana as a naïve soul.
“I happen to need someone who can keep the emperor company. I want you to play that role. I hear you have no place to go anyway, wouldn’t you love to stay inside a palace?”
“The- the Imperial Palace?” Eliana stuttered, pretending to be surprised.
Hera grinned in satisfaction as she saw Eliana’s excitement.
‘It looks like I’m unknowingly taking the bait, right?’
It is best to belittle your opponent if you want to get away from them.
And safer to act like a simple-minded person who can only see what’s in front of them.
“Yes, I will send you to the brightest being in the empire. All you have to do is stand next to him and listen. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?”
“Yes, that is too easy! Thank you for allowing me such a precious opportunity, Empress Dowager!” Eliana exclaimed and sprang to her feet, bending at the waist.
Like an employee who flattered their manager, saying, “Nice one, Boss!” Eliana did her best to express her admiration.
She could sense Fon way in the back staring at her with a strange face, but she did not care.
Eliana bowed straight down.
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