"Alice? That's a nice name. Don't you want to come to the clock tower?”
"...the clock tower?"
I was curious about Alice's clear eyes. Mimir grinned and stroked her head wildly.
No particular movement has been made at the orphanage.
The head of the orphanage, whom I met in person, also did not appear to be a person who would do anything wrong.
But it would be better to ask the children directly and check. Thinking so, Leonhardt returned to Mimir's place.
Despite the sudden visit of a strange adult, the children welcomed him with a pure curious face without showing signs of fear or caution.
"Was it really there?”
Instead of approaching him without hesitation and sanctioning the child reaching for the emperor's star on his chest, Leonhardt lifted the child up and put him on his lap.
"There are times when growth slows because you can't handle your natural horsepower, but if you don't release it in time, you probably won't live long."
Mimiir said, arm in arm. Her gaze was staring at Elizabeth reading fairy tales to the children in front of the stove.
Elizabeth, who was sitting with a wide skirt spread out on an old but neat carpet, was reading to the children, eye-to-
The beautiful empress, who seemed to have come out of a fairy tale book, was telling an old story in a soft and resonant voice.
A small child, carefully fiddling with the hem of her dress, as well as a fairly tall child, huddled around her as if possessed.
Leonhardt's voice, who was talking with Mimir about the new talent of the clock tower, gradually decreased.
"...there's a lot of talk in the clock tower about what to do with the Duke."
Leonhardt breathed out a short breath and blinked.
It meant that the situation was serious, even if words came out from the clock tower, even though it could have been handed over elsewhere.
"First of all, I'm leaving it to Rizzie. It's perfect for the emperor to behave recklessly against the empress's parents.”
"But it'll make sense just by looking at it."
"If you can't get the best out of it, why don't you choose evil?”
"The clock tower is friendly to the imperial family, but it must be friendly to the private sector. I want to refuse to act in public.”
"Can't you make a machine that automatically calculates with its superior magic?”
"Even if I make it for you, you'll calculate it yourself and check it."
Leonhardt did not necessarily deny it.
"The whole nation already knows how Elizabeth lived as a child.”
Mimir looked at Leonhardt pitifully with eyes asking if he really didn't know.
"There were many maids who were kicked out of the duchess, and there were as many newspapers to interview them as there were."
"You were a brother, weren't you?"
"He is heir to the Duke."
"If she were a girl, she would naturally lose her successor and the duchess would disappear, or she would be absorbed into the imperial family. You could have decorated the story like this.”
"Do you really think so?”
Mimir also saw the Duke and his wife in person, so it was easy to guess.
What they wanted was a kind of insurance that allowed them to enjoy a luxurious and luxurious life until the moment they closed their eyes and lay in the coffin.
The name of the empress's family was, above all, a strong rope for them.
The Empress could never abandon them for Ludwig's sake, however she stood in front of people saying she was no longer a member of Elysium.
"Can Lizzie handle this?"
"It's because he's so nice. I wish I had lived a little more clever, selfish or something like that."Mimir and Leonhardt sighed at the same time.
The child touching the emperor's star on his lap tilted his head.
Mimiir decided to become Alice's guardian on the spot.
While some papers were coming and going, Elizabeth kissed the children's foreheads and said goodbye to them by name.
Lord Lane, who had to deal with young children at the height of his game all day, returned with a slightly weary face.
Returning to the palace, the two lay dead on chairs until their next schedule began.
"What's left is..."
"Saying hello to the nobles."
"...are your parents here?”
Elizabeth wriggled her fingers nervously. Leonhardt handed over the list of invitations on the desk to her.
"What are you really going to do?"
Leonhardt rested his elbows on his knees and his chin rested on his hands. Elizabeth also crossed her legs and tilted her head obliquely.
"Elysium is a prestigious family that produced the first empress. He's a great contributor to the nation's foundation. There's been a lot of blood ties to other families. And most of all...I'm your father."
"I don't have a father."
"What about Ludwig?"
Elizabeth couldn't say anything, unlike the biting of her lips and harsh reply a while ago.
"If Ludwig were a woman, he would have asked me to marry her earlier or send her to maid-in-law. That's what you're thinking, right?”
Elizabeth nodded a little.
Is there anyone else who can study etiquette and talk with her right next to her as much as the empress' sister?
Of course, you can be friends with your parents early. Then, if I meet Youngsik from a decent family, it would be better than that.
But Ludwig was a boy. Born heir to Elysium, the small duke who will one day succeed his father as Duke of Elysium.
"...do you want me to train a driver?"
"You're too young, and there won't be any knight who wants to seed the Little Duke.”
"A family that's all falling apart?"
Both of them sighed at the same time. No matter how many times I thought about it, I couldn't find the answer.
"It's time for you to go."
Unlike Leonhardt, who stood up with a grunting sound, Elizabeth turned her eyes away and sat still.
"Let's go, Lizzy."
Eventually Leonhardt held her hands together and helped her up. Elizabeth put her hand on his arm with an unwilling look.
"Lizzy, can you look here for a second?"
Low blue eyes looked up at him. Leonhardt broke his mouth wide open and said, "Oh, Lee, Woo, E, O. I pronounced it slowly.
"Try it—you'll have to keep smiling for hours even if you don't like it—you'll have to relax your muscles in advance."
"Um...Um...Um...Um...Oh, Lee, Woo?"
Leonhardt's expression was subtly distorted. Elizabeth tilted her head and loosened her muscles.
Facing each other, oh, Lee, Woo. It was funny how he opened his mouth wide. Eventually Elizabeth laughed out loud first.
"Are you relaxed now?”
Leonhardt lightly tapped Elizabeth on the shoulder and stepped out to the banquet hall together.
It was the first time that the new emperor and empress were greeted by nobles.
Neatly dressed aristocrats were sitting on chairs pre-arranged to their respective positions.
A red carpet road continued between the two chairs.
At the end of it was the roof where Isidore and Freya once sat.
Elizabeth was the first to glower at the empty chair, forgetting that she should naturally look around the nobles.The front row, originally the Duke and his wife, was vacant.
The nobles who followed her eyes opened their mouths small, saying oh.
Those who had been living in a vicious imagination until they came expected how the empress would react with a mischievous look.
But Elizabeth soon regained her composure and focused on what she had to do.
The family of the empress. The founding family. Beatrice's family appeared first instead of the family that should have been named first.
Five steps away from the throne. Come closer and do it again.
Elizabeth was very nervous while the ceremony of exchanging pre-arranged greetings and leaving, like a painstaking play, ended.
Even a small mistake could be a gossip that would demean the imperial family.
Unlike other empresses, she was in such a fragile position that she had no paternal backbencher - precisely rejected by herself.
If you are careful and not careful about each action, you will become someone not only for yourself but also for the honor of the great empress who raised you since you were young.
When I thought so, I felt as if someone was strangling me with invisible hands.
After a boring greeting, a full-fledged banquet began. The nobles greeted the two with a much lighter attitude than before.
Most of them knew Elizabeth as long as they had lived in the palace.
They blessed the two or exchanged a light New Year's greeting without saying much as they knew Elizabeth's situation.
However, far-flung aristocrats, who usually do not enter or leave the palace, were blatantly glancing at Elizabeth.
Recognizing the gaze, Leonhardt clasped her hand as if it were all right.
Even without having to listen, I could hear the sound of the empress of the fallen family.
A love marriage in a society where political marriage prevails?
You're not even a commoner, you want to be the hero of romance of the century!
It's beautiful, but that look won't work in decades.
Shall we start looking for a girl who's half and half in advance.
León Hart whispered into her ear, unable to see her paris-weary face in real time.
"Just in case I mention government, aim between my legs and shoot."
We can't collect them and kick them out for insulting the Imperial family.
Leonhardt grated his arms around Elizabeth's shoulders.
Not too far away, I heard a voice saying, "Oh my gosh." As the music turned into a waltz in time, Leonhardt took her hand and went down the podium.
Only then did the people become quiet. With the music filling the spacious hall, the young emperor couple moving gracefully like one body was as beautiful as a picture.
"I mean Ludwig."
Ouch, Leonhardt frowned. Elizabeth, who was so surprised that she accidentally stepped on his foot, was about to say if she was OK.
"How do you want him to grow up?”
"Do you have to talk about it now?”
"It's not something I can say before I go to bed. And if we do it now, people will be happy to see us no matter what we say."
He raised the corners of his mouth, supporting Elizabeth's waist as if to show.
Then I heard a roar from the gathering of young ladies.