Ch. 35 They Look Amazingly Alike (1)
Days passed. Elena planned to head to the capital city before the date of the ball. Carlisle had urged her to come quickly, and it was natural for her to go where he was. She was also afraid something would happen to him in her absence.
Before she could leave, however, she had made the final preparations to make sure the household would run smoothly without her there. It had taken her longer than expected to sort out the paperwork and coordinate the employees, and Elena hadn’t been able to go to bed until near morning for the past several days.
Elena rubbed her stiff eyes and pushed herself out of bed. She went to sleep very late last night, or in other words, early enough that the sun was already rising out the window. She had another busy day ahead of her, and she had no time to delay because she had to leave for the capital with Mirabelle as soon as possible.
Elena rang the bell on the table and Mary entered the room.
“My Lady, are you awake?”
“Yes. I’m going to bathe right away, so please prepare.”
“Yes, My Lady.”
Mary gently bathed Elena with her hands. Mary had been pale with shock for a while after Sophie was dismissed, but fortunately she soon returned to normal. Perhaps she blamed herself for what happened. It was a very different reaction compared to Sophie’s resentment against Mary until the end.
In any case, the rumors about Elena, which caused quite a stir in the household, had died down in the past few days. The rumors didn’t gain much traction outside, and fortunately it didn’t spread to high society and instead ended it quietly. Mary suddenly remembered something.
“Oh, My Lady. The Count left for the capital last night. He said something urgent came up.”
As the head of the Fourth Order of the Knights, Alphord spent most of his time at a mansion residence in the capital. This time though, their schedules had aligned, and Elena and Mirabelle planned to travel alongside him to the capital. It seemed that something urgent had already taken their father away though. She felt sorry that she missed the chance to be with him, but in his line of work it couldn’t be helped.
She finally finished her morning preparations, then immediately sat down at her desk to catch up on her work.
She immersed herself in the documents and took food and drink in her office while time passed her quickly. It didn’t feel that way, though, as she exercised every time she took a break. It was when the room was silent, save for the scratch of her pen, when–
There were a couple brief taps on the door. Elena lifted her head and looked towards it. There was no reason for anyone else in particular to disturb her, so she had an idea to who the visitor was. However, she spoke as if to a servant as a precaution.
Then the door swung open with a slight creak, and the face of the man she had been expecting came into view. He had dark blue hair and pale white skin. It was Kuhn.
“Welcome, Sir Kasha. Did you find out what I asked for?”
Elena was no longer curious as to how Kuhn infiltrated the castle, as she had seen it before.
“Yes. Please take a look.”
Kuhn strode over to Elena and held out his report. He didn’t ask why she wanted this information. Elena liked that about Kuhn. Of course, his ability to get the job done was what she liked the most.
“Thank you for your work.”
Judging by the thickness of the stack, there was a wealth of information contained within these papers and she quickly skimmed through the contents. She took note of the overall state of affairs but a few important details leapt out to her.
Kuhn’s report said that the most powerful person in Ruford Empire was…
‘Oh my god…’
To Elena, this was a completely unexpected revelation. In her last life she had little interest in politics until her family died. She had no choice but to read carefully through the parts she had no prior knowledge about.
Empress Ophelia grew her power while Emperor Sullivan was confined to his bed. It was her that made it possible for Ruford Empire to retain it’s strong imperial grip.
The Anita family.
A proud count family who had produced numerous successful generals for the Ruford Empire, and had become powerful due to the long war.
An even more astonishing detail was written below.
‘What? Is Paveluc is categorized as under the Empress’ force?’
She could not hold back a shocked laugh. Paveluc murdered Empress Ophelia in the future, but presently they were allies. However, she realized a crucial detail here. Paveluc was not in power from the beginning. He was a parasite to Empress Ophelia and made a grab for the throne when the opportunity was ripe.
Her eyes began to pick up speed as she read further. There were more interesting details that she didn’t know before. If you could quantify the power of the Ruford empire by the number ten, then the emperor was three, the empress was four, and Paveluc was one. And the other two…
Was the Kraus family. The name was recognizable by anyone, as every soul in the empire had purchased at least one item with the Kraus crest. It was a very well-established business. It was because of their commercial presence that the perpetually war-driven Ruford Empire remained afloat.
While the reign of Emperor Sullivan had made it easier for everyone to live their lives, it was the Kraus family that made it possible for people to buy goods for many years. While their wealth could not be ignored, however, the Krauses were merchants and had little interest in the political affairs of the empire.
Elena’s head turned side to side as she read quickly. Her aim was to make Crown Prince Carlisle the emperor. At this point, the powers of the current Emperor Sullivan were to be handed over to Carlisle, the next in line. The easiest way to keep Empress Ophelia and Paveluc in check was to gain the support of the Kraus family.
Elena lifted her head up in satisfaction after she looked over the information Kuhn brought her. She would never have discovered many of these details if she investigated alone. She already knew that Emperor Sullivan was in poor health, and this secret information, which was only known to only a few of the top nobleman, was included in the report as well, increasing Kuhn’s credibility.
“Well done. You brought so much information in such a short period of time.”
Despite Elena’s rare praise, Kuhn did not show any sign of emotion. She was familiar with his quiet nature and continued.
“Does Prince Carlisle know all of this?”
Elena felt pleased. Carlisle was more well equipped than she expected. It was highly likely that the people were right in her past life when they claimed that if Carlisle was not assassinated, Paveluc would never have become emperor. Once again she felt fortunate to be the one to hold Carlisle’s hand. Elena arranged the papers neatly on her desk and continued.
“I’ll keep this information and look at the rest later. I’m sure you must’ve had a difficult time gathering all of this, but I’d like ask you one more thing.”
“I want you to find out more about the Kraus family.”
Kuhn paused for a moment before replying softly.
“I will investigate them if you wish, but it’s difficult to get information about the Krauses.”
“Is that so? Then please find out what you can.”
Elena smiled faintly at Kuhn’s succinct reply. Another thought came to her mind.
“You likely know this, but I’m going to leave for the capital soon. Will you be nearby?”
“Yes. Protecting you is my most important duty.”
“Then please bring information about Kraus even when we’re on the move, as soon as you can.”
“Yes, My Lady. Do you have any more instructions?”
She was about to nod her head. Just then there was a knock on the door. Elena and Kuhn turned to face the sound at the same time.
“Can I come in for a moment, sister?”
Mirabelle’s voice could be heard from outside. Elena and Kuhn automatically turned to the door, then turned back to look at each other. She had to solve this, quickly.