Who is the Fake Bride? (14)
Tap, tap, tap.
Kergel’s non-stop tapping on the desk echoed throughout the whole office.
A person who was rather sensitive to such constant sounds would have said something.
However, no one said anything about it since Heinez who had been unrivaled to being sensitive was not there right now.
No matter what he did, it had simply been natural that only the Chief of Staff, who merely watched over him with a smile, was now guarding the office instead.
“Is there anything bothering you?”
But this moment seemed to be an exception.
After reading the anxiety that contained in the tone of Kergel’s endless tapping on the desk, the servant began to ask carefully.
“……If you have to hide something important—no, someone important, where would you hide it?”
Kergel was looking somewhere around the desk as he raised his eyes and asked a question out of the blue at the Chief of Staff.
The attendant had a brief look of suspicion, but soon answered the query anyway.
“Well, I’ll hide it within my reach or within the absolute reach of my power, which no one else can interfere with at all.”
“What if it’s a place that can’t really be absolute? Like a foreign country……”
“………Did the delegation from Rakain do anything?”
The attendant’s gentle expression began to harden coldly.
It was because of the fact that he might have missed something when he had always been proud to know about the situation inside as well as outside of the Palace itself.
“That’s not exactly right.
Is the delegation staying in the Outer Palace?”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“Send those who are quite heavy-mouthed and observant to watch it very carefully—especially near the residence of that person who came over as the representative of the delegation.
Was there any sign of anyone else? Some traces of a small, slender woman.”
The Chief of Staff looked at Kergel with an even stiffer expression.
When he was told to look for traces of a ‘woman’, he seemed to have misunderstood it for something else instead.
Kergel waved his hand in response while appearing to be hesitant before he opened his mouth with much difficulty.
“You won’t believe what I’m about to say.”
“I don’t really understand what you mean…”
“The Empress has disappeared.”
Kergel merely answered the Chief of Staff’s question.
However, the simple answer seemed to be rather elusive to the Chief of Staff.
“What do you mean, the Empress disappeared? I do know that she is now having a private meeting with the representative of the Rakain delegation in the Imperial Palace.”
The Chief of Staff shook his head unconsciously since he just couldn’t believe Kergel’s words.
Then, Kergel could only smirk and utter once again.
“The woman who is having a private meeting with the leader of the delegation right now; she is not the Empress.”
The servant opened his eyes wide as he appeared to be losing his composure.
Kergel noticed a glimmer of mistrust over his face and straight away laughed.
“Look at that, didn’t I tell you? You won’t believe it.”
“Are you implying that someone who looks like the Empress is actually posing as the Empress right now? The delegation of Rakain came unexpectedly for that very purpose…… no, but there’s no way that the maidservant and the maids who have been serving the Empress at their closest will not know about this.”
The Chief of Staff asked once again, incredibly.
Kergel instantly shook his head at those words.
“No, she’s definitely not the Empress.
Anyway, check the accommodation of the delegation as I already instructed.
And report back to me as soon as you find any kind of trace at all.”
Kergel didn’t think the Chief of Staff would have believed in him anyway.
As he had said, Lucy and the other maids could not even recognize the ‘fake‘ directly, so how would the Chief of Staff be convinced without having seen it with his own eyes?
Nevertheless, he couldn’t really explain anything else to persuade him.
He was not trying to do something right now anyway.
“Nobody from that side should notice anything.
We need to find out what they’re truly up to.”
What he needed to do right now was to secure the safety of ‘Erita’ herself.
And the next problem was to carefully find out what the fake was actually trying to do in reality.
“Now that we’re talking about it, I’ll have to go back to the Palace… just to ask, what it’s like to have a wound that doesn’t even appear like a scratch on her hand.
Isn’t that quite a plausible excuse to pay a visit?”
The corner of Kergel’s lips eventually curled up.
It didn’t even matter where she had gotten hurt, but he thought that he ought to hang out with her for a while.
‘But of course, if anything were to happen to the Empress…… I won’t ever let you sit still.’
Kergel slowly rose from his seat with a glint of a cold rift.
Then, the Chief of Staff who yet couldn’t erase his own unease immediately bowed his head in such a way that he would definitely carry out the order soon.
* * *
“Isn’t something rather strange, Head Maid? The Empress looks like a different person altogether.”
Lucy didn’t reply to Silloa’s whisper at all.
If it were at other times, she would have scolded her for making such light remarks again.
It was because of the fact that she also agreed with Silloa’s words to some extent.
But of course, it couldn’t be true at all, so she knew how wild those ideas truly were.
“What the hell is going on? Has the Empress been deceiving us all this time? That would be really upsetting……”
Silloa eventually cried as she was unable to finish her words properly before she kept her mouth shut.
Lucy didn’t say anything to her as well.
She didn’t even scold her and on the contrary, Lucy never comforted her in response too.
She merely gazed at the back of the Empress who was now walking ahead.
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