Ch. 107 I’m Just Too Bored To Let It Go (1)
The Empress Ophelia was seated on a chair with a backdrop of black drapery. The lavishly decorated room was filled with thick clouds of smoke, a fragrance made by Ophelia herself.
“It’s not something you should let go lightly, sister.”
The man before Ophelia was her brother Duke Cesare, head of the Anita family. Most of the men born of Anita’s blood had red hair, and his thick beard and sharp eyes gave an impression of a fierce lion.
“Then what should I do without smiling at this situation?”
“Immediately see the Crown Prince to discuss the case. How dare he torture your men. He should be severely punished.”
“That’s enough. The Crown Prince couldn’t authorize the search because he was sleeping.”
Flames erupted in Cesare’s angry eyes when Ophelia recounted the report brought by her subordinates.
“That is a joke! They are making excuses and openly playing tricks on us.”
“Let it go. I knew the man was sent by the Crown Prince anyway. He escaped and the prince would have covered for him somehow.”
The lightness of Ophelia’s attitude seemed only to inflame Cesare even further.
Cesare’s mouth immediately snapped shut.
“It is amusing when I look at it. However…the Crown Prince seems to have grown up more formidable than I thought. I didn’t expect this from him.”
“What kind of low blood could grow up like this?”
Cesare grumbled as if he was dissatisfied with Ophelia’s praise for Carlisle. The Empress, however, tapped the table lightly with her fingers and muttered in a low voice.
“I believed the throne would naturally go to Redfield if he captured the Duke of Lunen, but the return of the Crown Prince was unexpected.”
Cesare noticed her troubled face and quickly replied.
“We are still figuring out how to get rid of that pain of a prince. So, sister. It is widely rumored that the Crown Prince will offer marriage to Lady Blaise. Last I heard the Crown Prince personally visited Blaise Mansion, so I don’t believe it’s a false rumor.”
A political marriage between Carlisle and Elena would mean that Count Blaise would be directly obligated to the Crown Prince. So far, the ominous prophecy had repeated impeded Carlisle’s relationship with powerful families, and there have been nobles who avoided marriage with Carlisle because of Ophelia as well.
She continued to tap on the table with her well-polished nails. Cesare resumed with a confident voice.
“That’s why I have a plan in place to ruin the Crown Prince’s marriage.”
Cesare didn’t even have a chance to explain what he was going to do.
“Let it go. If they want to get married, let them.”
“What does that mean? Elder sister. While Count Blaise is not a strong force, he leads the Fourth Order of Knights of the Imperial Palace. We cannot ignore their military force–”
“This is better than the Crown Prince joining forces with the Kraus family.”
At the mention of the Kraus family he turned quiet. The Kraus family had a large commercial presence in the Ruford Empire. In the tight struggle for power between the Emperor and Empress, Kraus could tip the scales in one way or the other.
However, Count Evans, the head of the Kraus family, had no intention of lending his strength to anyone. The Empress had already tried to twist him to her side, but he did not budge, and the Emperor, of course, must have tried every means to have him. Neither one could lure Kraus to their cause, and they continued their political battles without him.
“If there’s any potential match from the Kraus family…are you thinking about the recently divorced Greta?”
“If the Crown Prince’s first marriage is to be with her…”
At present, Greta was the only eligible person in the Kraus family that could marry Carlisle. The rest were already married with two or three children. The problem was that Greta was seven years older than Carlisle, and her divorce was due to her affairs with other men. Everything about her appearance, character, and social status was anything but suitable for the crown prince of the country.
Ophelia, however, was careful for even one small situation, and Greta judged men by their appearance more than anyone else did. Carlisle was so handsome that any woman would be attracted to him.
“By marrying he could become the emperor, so what does it matter what type of woman is beside him? If the crown prince has any ounce of ambition, even if she’s an idiot he’ll keep her by his side.”
“I see, sister. I didn’t think that far. But wouldn’t it be a problem if he marries Lady Blaise? If the prophecy is resolved, many other women would vy for the throne.”
The corners of Ophelia’s mouth crept upwards.
“It won’t be easy as you think.”
“If the Crown Prince unconditionally makes his first wife the Crown Prince, it will be difficult to sign an alliance with other powers as a way to guarantee his second wife’s status.”
In the Ruford Empire the first wife was considered the lawful wife, and women who married afterwards were placed in a lower position. If the crown prince wanted to marry another woman, the difference in status between the first wife and the others was huge.
The more powerful the noble was, the less likely he would want his daughter to enter a lower position. Furthermore, to make an alliance with Carlisle meant to turn one’s back on Ophelia. Not many families would allow their daughters to become a concubine with such a risk. As long as the Crown Princess was taken care of, she could prevent Carlisle’s power from expanding through marriage.
“You are meticulous, sister. But isn’t it best not to have a princess at all?”
“You know…the Emperor’s days are numbered. He is aware of the fact and is keen for the Crown Prince to marry. That is likely why invited him to return to the palace. Even if I stop him, sooner or later the Crown Prince will find someone, and on that condition I can afford his marriage to House Blaise.”
“You’re right. The Blaise family is so loyal that they won’t change sides. We’ll have to get rid of them anyway, so it’s not a waste.”
Ophelia smiled at the like-minded Cesare.
“You don’t have to look that far ahead. It will be over by the time the Emperor dies.”
“The Crown Prince will die before he even gets a proper second wife. As soon as our Redfield takes the throne, the Crown Prince’s life will be over.”
Cesare let out a pleased chuckle. Ophelia murmured in a low voice as she imagined Redfield taking over the throne.
“If the Crown Prince had let himself die before he arrived at the palace, at least he wouldn’t have to watch his wife suffer that fate…”
And if Carlisle and Elena had a baby during their short marriage, Ophelia intended to kill it, too. Before Carlisle’s life was complete, his wife and her child would die before his eyes. If the child was still in the womb, Ophelia would tear Elena’s stomach. Carlisle would fall at Ophelia’s feet until the last moment of his life and beg for mercy for his family.
Ophelia, however, would slowly kill each of the people involved, and then finally take Carlisle’s life. Imagining his anguished cries seemed to ease the suppressed anger in Ophelia a little, and a smile spread on her face.