“By the way, what’s going on? Didn’t you come to see me?”
“His Majesty will come to see His Grace in a moment.
You need to get ready to see His Majesty.”
“What a great timing.
I will get ready quickly.”
Please go to the main building.”
By great timing, Nadia didn’t mean to say it because she was glad to have a schedule when she was bored.
Nadia realized she returned to 20 years old self, but she didn’t remember exactly what had happened around this time.
No matter how trustworthy the Duke family was, it was unusual for royalty to visit his servant’s home.
The King’s visit would help her to remember what happened during this period.
Nadia was lost in thought as she walked along with the maid.
‘If the King came to father around this time of year… Oh, it must be because of the problem of the progress of the Karla’ai expedition triumph.’
The Karla’ai expedition team made a contribution to drive out the immigrants and stabilize the western border.
The problem was that one of the expedition commanders was the Marquis Winterfell, the Northern Territory.
The Southern-based Balazit was blatantly at odds with the Northern Lords.
As much as Nadia’s father hated the Northern Lords, they naturally hated the Duke of Balazit just as much.
What kind of local lord had the authority to manipulate the King and control the affairs of the state?
Even the stupid King was wary of the North after falling for Balazit’s lies.
At the same time, they had to fulfill their obligation as vassals, so it was obvious that no one expected them to fight tooth and nail, and they did a great job.
‘The King doesn’t want to give his enemy the honor of a triumph ceremony.’
It was not the time to feel sorry about the Marquis of Winterfell, who had to fight with the King after the victory.
Around this time, the matrimonial alliance with Lee Ji-ho, her fiance who betrayed her in her previous life, was decided.
If Nadia remembered correctly, there would be news about her engagement today.
‘I am running out of time.
It would have been better if I could have gone a little far back…’
Nadia thought as she walked nervously.
When Nadia headed to the main gate after fixing her appearance, a carriage with a royal symbol already arrived.
Nadia guessed that it was the one that the King rode.
She walked faster as her father was seen across from her.
“Why are you so late?”
I tried to prepare faster, but–“
“You should be glad that His Majesty is still looking around the garden.
More than that, I have something to tell you.”
It seemed that Nadia didn’t remember it wrongly that there would be a talk about her engagement today.
Sure enough, the Duke of Balazit brought it up.
“I’m sure you’ve heard that you and Callaine are going to enter the marriage market, right?”
“Yes, the housekeeper* said.”
“Today there will be talk about the triumph ceremony.
There will be a talk that you should bestow a laurel wreath to Sir Jiho, and you just have to agree that it is a good idea.
Do you understand?”
A marriageable woman bestowed a laurel wreath to a hero in a triumph ceremony.
What was the meaning? It was basically a love confession.
They couldn’t omit a triumph ceremony for the expeditionary who have driven out the western immigrants.
However, they didn’t want the most notable war hero, Marquis of Winterfell, to be the centre of the triumph ceremony.
A beautiful young Lady of a Duke, who was at her marriageable age, publicly confessed to a promising knight.
And the young knight was willing to accept her courtship and promised to marry her.
It was a perfect romance that the public would cheer for.
All those who were absorbed in the heroic story of the Marquis Winterfell would be distracted by it.
‘To solidly tie the matrimonial alliance.’
Nadia’s father wanted to make Lee Jiho completely his people, but it wouldn’t be suitable if he gave him to his legitimate daughter, Callaine.
The Duke must have decided so and made a plan to marry his illegitimate daughter to him.
The mention of the laurel wreath from the Duke’s mouth meant that his mind was set.
He wouldn’t listen if Nadia said she didn’t want to get married.
‘I wished I had gone back to being a little younger.
There is not much time left until the engagement.
…Should I accept the engagement and find a way to break up the marriage later?’
Let’s say they broke up the engagement anyway.
What would Nadia do after that?
The fact that her fate rested within her father’s hand didn’t change.
It was not easy for a woman with no maternal family, wealth, or lineage to stand on her own feet.
While Nadia was nervously chewing on her lips, the two had reached the garden before she knew it.
She could see the King looking around the garden a few steps away.
And next to him was Callaine, who seemed to be his companion.
From her long blonde hair, Nadia could recall a little bit of her face from her last memory.
Nadia’s expression was slightly distorted when she saw her half-sister.
But she soon managed to pretend to be calm.
“I greet Your Majesty the King.”
The first person to greet the King was Duke Balazit.
Nadia also followed her father and offered a formal greeting to the King.
“‘I greet Your Majesty the King.”
“Oh, you are the first young Lady of Lord Balazit.
You are beautiful as the rumor says.”
The King was a middle-aged man in his late 40s, a figure that unexpectedly looked ordinary for someone who led a country.
‘My father’s stupid puppet.’
It wouldn’t take much to make the Northern Lords hate such a man as Nadia’s father.
The Duke of Balazit said,
“Your Majesty, my daughters knew you were coming and they would like to treat you with some refreshments.
Please allow my daughters to join us.”
“Why would there be any reason for your daughters not to join us? Aren’t they more trustworthy than anyone else? Hahaha.
It’s chilly outside, let’s go inside.”
“Thank you for your generosity.”
The King urged loudly as if to hurry them in.
Once he’s inside, he walked on the carpet that the servants’ had prepared.
The destination was the drawing-room attached to Duke Balazit’s study.
It was mainly a room used for secret talks.
The King and Duke Balazit, Callaine and Nadia went into the drawing-room together.
When the King settled down on the sofa in the drawing-room, Callaine began to take out the refreshments first.
Because of that, it naturally became Nadia’s responsibility to brew the tea.
She took this chance to listen carefully to the conversation between the two, pretending to prepare the tea leaves.
“As you already know, the Karla’ai expeditionaries has requested for a triumphal celebration.”
“Isn’t holding a ball good enough?”
“I know that! But the Marquis of WInterfell is the biggest contributor among the expedition commanders! He will get the most attention if the triumphal celebration is held.
He just inherited the title, so he will take this opportunity to establish himself.”
“But we can’t ignore their request.
The expedition supported not only the Marquis Winterfell but also other Lords.
If we don’t hold a triumphal celebration, there will be criticism from all over the country toward the royal family for neglecting veterans.”
“But can’t you do something to those Northern people? Do you have any idea?”
“I have an idea.
A plan to shackle the northern people’s necks by turning the hero of the triumph to someone else.”
“As expected from Duke Balazit.
What is it, how do we do that?”
The plan to make the main character of the celebration another person meant Nadia and Lee Jiho’s engagement.
‘But what is their plan to shackle the Northern people’s necks?’
Nadia focused more on the conversation between the two.
“Yes, a couple of marriages.
First of all, let’s talk about Marquis Winterfell’s marriage.
Use your authority to urge him to get married.
Of course, the marriage partner should be a woman from your loyal aristocrat.”
There was one thing that came to mind when Nadia heard that.
Marquis Winterfell’s wife was a woman from a family that was sponsored by her father.
‘So their intention was to put spies in the enemy’s den while preventing the Northern Lords from establishing power through marriage.’
In fact, Duke Balazit’s ulterior motive could only work to some extent.
Until Marchioness Winterfell was caught leaking the internal situation in the North to outside.
This would make the relationship between the Northern Lords and Duke Balazit worse, and the Marchioness Winterfell was expelled from the North.
‘Marquis Winterfell’s wedding is probably… after my engagement with Lee Jiho?’
Apparently, the scheme that cost Nadia her life was a part of her father’s scenario to shackle the Northerns.
Nadia felt sorry for the women who had to marry into the Winterfell family at such a young age only to be not welcomed…
Something flashed through Nadia’s mind.
‘Can’t I replace that role?’
Marquis, who protected the North, and a daughter of a Duke.
In terms of status, it was a pretty good combination, and their age was similar.
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Moreover, Nadia was nothing but an obedient daughter to her father.
He wouldn’t mind sending Nadia to the North, as he would never have imagined that his daughter, who had always been well-behaved, would betray him.
There was no one more suitable than Marquis Winterfell to avenge her previous life, and she could avoid her engagement with Lee Ji-ho.
In a hopeless situation, it felt like a rope of salvation had come down for Nadia.
(*Housekeeper refers the title of the head of all female employees in a noble house.)
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