Vanessa’s harsh footsteps thundered on the stairs leading to the council’s office. The secretaries following her held their breaths at Vanessa’s rare display of emotions, who looked like she was engulfed in fierce anger. They were afraid she would stab anyone in her way if she had a knife in her hand.
As they reached the second floor, Vanessa took a deep breath and looked into the mirror in the hallway. She mumbled to herself, “Nothing worth killing.”
To her secreteraris, her muttering sounded more terrifying than her words of death. Even without a subject, they knew whom her murderous intent was addressed to.
Haband’s army has crossed the border.
As it was a unilateral invasion that was not discussed in advance, the army as they reached the border immediately issued an announcement, saying that Haband’s army had come at the “desperate” request of the President of the Council, Vanessa Schultz, as per Princess Adelaide, to help the kingdom’s crisis.
Although Hessengard is ruled by the Grand Duke as a principality, the Council took care of its affairs majorly. At the sudden arrival of Haband’s army, Hessenguard’s knights situated on the border had no choice but to panic. They agonized whether or not they should deflect the advancing army. It was their duty. But what if their choice brings about the destruction of Hessenguard again?
In the end, Haband’s army was able to infiltrate the capital without resistance.
Facing the mirror, Vanessa replaced her grim expression into her usual smile. For a moment she cleared her mind before entering the room where Adelaide was waiting.
Upon entering, Adelaide greeted Vanessa with a bright smile, “Ah, here you are.”
“How did this happen?” Vanessa asked in the softest voice possible. “I haven’t heard that you sent a messenger.”
Adelaide thought Vanessa was surprised that her army had arrived so quickly, and waved her hand lightly. The words of thanks meant to be put aside. Vanessa, of course, wanted to slap Adelaide in the face right now. From the first time they met, she didn’t think she was a princess with such a good head; many times she wasn’t able to conceal her greed. However, Vanessa had no idea she could be so stupid and reckless.
Oblivious of Vanessa’s trembling fists, which she hid under her sleeves, Adelaide continued, “Some of Haband’s knights will come to the Wynfield Valley, and the rest will come straight to the capital…”
Vanessa interrupted, “What do you mean?”
“Isn’t it obvious? Now that Erna is also aware of all this, she won’t leave me alone. So I have to save my life too. In that sense,” Adelaide paused and looked around the council’s office. “From this moment on, I have decided to entrust my affairs to the Council.”
For the first time in a long time, Vanessa’s breath was taken away. Adelaide has successfully demonstrated the pinnacle of her ridiculousness. She was telling the Council to confront Erna.
The black hounds in the council crossed Vanessa’s mind. No, she thought, there is no need to. I will handle her myself.
After a moment, Vanessa smiled brightly.
“Why didn’t you tell me in advance? If that was the case, we would have prepared in advance. The House of Representatives has not been occupied recently, so it looks like it will need cleaning for a while,” she said.
“I would have informed you in advance, but I was worried about what would happen if the information leaked. If Erna were to know, she would detain me in the Grand Duke Castle. It would be a problem,” Adelaide replied.
Indeed, Erna would have detained her in order to hold her accountable or taken her as a hostage in case things went awry. Perhaps in a dungeon.
Adelaide continued, “I know it is not such a dignified building. It’s uncomfortable, but it can’t be helped. The people I brought will help clean up the guesthouse, so leave it to them.”
“…Let’s do that. Then please wait a moment. I will prepare right away.”
“Try your best,” Adelaide said. She was now fully accustomed to using Vanessa.
At her order, Vanessa lowered her head and left the room.
“Did you hear that?” she said to her secretary. “Get ready.”
The secretary, who had been listening to their conversation in the room next to her, replied with a troubled face, “Preparation is not a problem, but… I’m sure you’ll get a call from the Grand Castle soon…”
“I know,” Vanessa nodded, “I could be charged with treason right away. But Grand Duchess Erna wouldn’t do that. She doesn’t have the time or the mind to do that right now, and she can’t turn Haband into an enemy.”
Vanessa let out a sigh. The Council would now be her enemy.
Vanesas recalled Erna’s retreating figure after the meeting. She had divulged in a very strong drink that night. Even though she knew it had to happen one day, it still upset her. She had to comfort herself with something more bitter.
Vanessa shook her head to get out of her thoughts. Adelaide had contacted Haband in a way she was unaware of, and Haband’s army was already coming to the capital.
I should hold onto Adelaide. It would be advantageous to pretend to take Adelaide’s side, completely disguising her real intentions. That way, when it is most necessary, she could stop the forces of Haband. And… I will be able to protect Erna when she needs it the most.