AIWTRO Chapter 131
Raw Provider: Jessica
TL: Ms MTLer
Two days later, Cosette voluntarily left the palace.
As a result of the search, not even a grain of wheat was found to be poisonous. To make matters worse, it was revealed that Mason had mastered lip-reading, and he had consistently claimed to have learned from Cosette.
She shouted that she was unjustly framed, but no one listened.
The Empress Dowager only told her handmaiden to rest and not worry while she recuperated. However, she didn’t accept Cosette’s request for an audience.
In the meantime, there was no way she could shamelessly continue to stay in the Imperial Palace.
Eventually, she was forced to leave the palace, fleeing despite not being fully recovered.
As she left her temporary lodging, a servant sent by her uncle greeted her, carrying a letter from Count Weinberg.
「The Grand Duke is furious. It’s understandable since his property was searched because of you. Stay in my house until his anger subsides.」
He was right. Ludwig might get more enraged if she stayed next to him.
Cosette made that decision and headed to Count Weinberg’s residence.
“Then please rest well, milady. I shall bring your medicine after the meal. If there is any inconvenience, please call me anytime.”
The Count’s maid said politely and bowed. However, she acted overly cautious as if she knew Cosette wasn’t in a good mood.
Which meant she knew why Cosette wasn’t in a good mood.
When Cosette thought that others had found out about the humiliation I had suffered, anger and shame flooded her.
Cosette: “Get out.”
Cosette: “Get out now!”
The maid rushed out without even closing the door. Cosette slammed the door and threw herself onto the sofa.
She clenched her jaw so tightly that she felt pain in her gums.
‘I shouldn’t have left that stupid thing in the grand duchy in the first place!’
She was furious that such a big accident had happened that was out of her control.
Before Keira, Cosette wanted to rip Mason to pieces.
No matter how much she screamed, her anger didn’t fade. She knew it would be the same even if she broke all of the things in this room.
She’d only feel better if she paid the same to the person who caused this situation.
How the h*ll should I fix this mistake?
There are a lot of slaves who will take my side because of my good looks. I’ll get a few glares, but the first thing I should do is go to a social event.
Whether it’s pretending to reflect on the incident with tears or not, that’s the way it should be.
She would only really lose if she tried to lie low on the pretext of waiting for the rumors to subside.
‘One or two mistakes can be undone.’
If she acted in tears while pretending to be unfairly framed…
But it was then
The footsteps echoed through the hallway, and the door swung open. The sound was loud enough to worry that it might break.
Cosette: “Uncle? What happened?”
Cosette rose from the sofa, rekindling her anger.
Count Weinberg’s face had turned blue. He had just returned from a social gathering and must have heard bad news there.
Cosette: “Now, calm down and talk. What’s going on?”
Count: “You… are the rumors circulating in the capital true?”
She didn’t know what rumor he meant. The incident at the auction house? Or the one with the Dowager Empress?
Cosette: “If you’re talking about the auction house or the palace, then yes. Please listen to me first. It’s only half true…”
Count: “Neither! What happened in Lady Johanna’s residence!”
Cosette’s hand stopped suddenly. The memory of the first defeat she tasted immediately after debuting in the capital came to mind.
‘Why did it come out now…!’
The only witnesses were Johanna, who lived in seclusion, and employees who worked in the restricted areas.
Despite this, there had always been a risk of spreading, but it had been quiet for a month, so it put Cosette’s mind at ease.
But why has it become an issue now?
Flustered, Cosette recalled a memory from two days ago– Keira, who briefly talked about the incident, and the princess, whose eyes seemed to gleam with interest.
‘It’s that girl!’
If the princess, the queen of the social circle, talked even a little, it wouldn’t take much to bring up forgotten news again.
Besides, many noble girls moved like limbs around her.
If she made up her mind, she could do anything.
Cosette didn’t say anything, but Count Weinberg found an answer in the silence.
“Everyone, get out.”
He drove all the servants out and locked the door. Then, after checking once more that the door was closed properly, he sat on the sofa.
Count: “Why did you make such a mistake?”
Count: “No, no. There’s no point in arguing about that now. What’s important is that your sincerity is now being questioned.”
His speech changed into a more polite tone.
Count: “An attempt to frame Princess Keira at the auction house could be dismissed as a quarrel between women. But what’s wrong now is the trajectory is different.”
I know. I know even if you don’t tell me.
She would be suspected of pretending to be the Grand Duke’s real daughter and conspiring to obtain spirits.
After remaining silent for a moment, Cosette finally spoke.
Cosette: “It’s just a little chatter. Words alone can’t hurt me.”
Cosette: “Relax. Your goal isn’t to make me the queen of the social world, right?”
Count: “That’s… true, but.”
Fame in society, the affectionate gaze of her subordinates and those around her, the love of a father.
Cosette’s ultimate wish wasn’t such a trivial thing.
What she longed for was…
Cosette: “So, act like you normally do. Do you understand?”
Cosette: “You should go now.”
Cosette motioned for Count Weinberg to get up from the couch.
Soon, she heard footsteps moving away and the door opening and closing.
In the empty room, Cosette swallowed her anger.
Let’s remain calm. Remember your goal.
Wasn’t there something else she wanted?
She sighed as she ruffled her hair.
Her red eyes flashed through her flowing silver hair.
Since this happened, all secondary issues had to be put on hold.
Cosette: “I have no choice but to hit it head-on.”
Ludwig: “The events under my household… Why am I the last to hear about this?”
All the members of the household knew it, yet they remained quiet.
Even the nobles of the capital heard the rumors that had been secretly spread a few days ago.
But Ludwig was the only one who didn’t know?
Ludwig: “Were you aware of it, too?”
Ludwig: “There’s no need for excuses. Answer yes or no.”
Robert: “……Yes, that’s right.”
Ludwig said as he slammed the desk. Despite his violent actions, his voice remained quite calm. However, Robert, who had been next to the Grand Duke for a long time, could feel his anger.
Robert: “Lady Johanna didn’t say anything, so I thought it would be absurd if I did.”
Ludwig: “You must be well aware of her temperament, right? She doesn’t speak of others’ faults. If you heard the rumors floating around among the maids, shouldn’t you have told me?”
Worried he might lose his job, Robert exclaimed.
Robert: “L-lady Keira told me to keep quiet!”
Unsurprisingly, Ludwig’s voice softened.
Ludwig: “Keira did?”
Robert: “Yes, and I don’t know why. But Lady Keira wanted to sweep it under the rug, so I thought it wasn’t my place to talk about it. I apologize if my judgment was wrong.”
Ludwig: “…No, it’s done.”
Why? Wouldn’t it be good for Keira if it became known?
Ludwig’s eyes narrowed in thought. No other answer came to mind.
Ludwig: “If that child told you to keep quiet… Well, I understand.”
Robert: “Thank you. Then… What would you do with Lady Cosette?”
Ludwig kept mum, but not because he hesitated in punishing her. Instead, he pondered how to punish her most effectively.
Not only did she frame Keira for attempting to gain unauthorized access to Beatrice’s spirit stone, but she also sought to ruin her image by accusing her of having an inappropriate relationship with someone else’s marriage partner.
Besides, why did she teach her servant how to lip-read? It was probably to do another bad thing.
Ludwig: “…You said she’s staying at the Count’s mansion right now.”
Robert: “Yes, that’s right. Shall I call for her?”
Ludwig: “No. It might be uncomfortable to stay at the Count’s mansion, so please send her belongings. Everything in her room, everything.”