Ch. 228 How Are You Two Together? (1)
The tournament ended with an enthusiastic and captivated audience. Paveluc left the stadium and arranged a secret meeting place at Batori’s request. When he heard the spy’s report, he was stunned.
“You’re saying that the man that was Lord Derek today…was the Crown Princess?”
“Yes. It may be difficult to believe, but I saw with my own eyes Lord Derek lying in the waiting room. The only person that had been alone with him was the Crown Princess.”
Paveluc gave a sharp bark of laughter. Unlike his smiling face, however, his eyes were still dark and cold.
“So the reason why she was injured during the ambush was because she was defending Prince Carlisle.”
“Yes, My Lord.”
It was certainly an incredible story. Even though the Blaise family had served as knights for the Imperial Family for generations, it was surprising there was a woman among them as skilled as she was. While Ruford Empire did not allow women’s advancement into the military, it didn’t make sense that the family would hide the daughter’s skills.
However, while more questions were raised for Paveluc, other riddles were being solved. He carefully pondered this new information, murmuring to himself in a low voice.
“…It’s unclear if Carlisle made a meaningless wish on the Dragon’s Orb, but he has reaped an unexpected harvest.”
Although it wasn’t clear whether Elena’s fighting abilities were due to the Dragon’s Orb, she did wear it as a ring. Paveluc might have made a crucial mistake without knowing this information. Knowing the enemy’s secrets was vital to winning.
Paveluc nodded with a satisfied expression.
“Very well. It was beneficial to have you on this job.”
“Thank you, My Lord.”
“No one knows you’ve noticed this?”
A deep smile creased Paveluc’s mouth. Elena would be reclassified as one of Carlisle’s most dangerous allies, and the advantage of surprise would be no longer hers.
Batori carefully spoke.
“Do you wish for me to inform the Empress?”
“That’s not necessary.”
Paveluc answered quickly, and Batori glanced upwards. The duke continued with a strange smile.
“I must wait until either the Empress or Crown Prince are taken out. The Ruford Empire rests strongly on them, and I cannot confront two powerful forces at once…thus, they can weaken each other by fighting.”
The Empress may stand to lose if she didn’t know Elena had a secret strength.
“I may be holding the Empress’ hand now, but it’s no matter to me if Carlisle wins their little fight.”
In Elena’s first life, Ophelia’s and Paveluc’s alliance was established only because Carlisle died first. However, Paveluc didn’t care if Ophelia had died instead, as long as any Imperial forces weren’t turned against him.
Batori gave a deep bow.
“Yes. I understand.”
“We should keep this secret to ourselves. Even if the last one standing is Carlisle, he will still prove useful.”
Paveluc looked down at Batori with a pleased expression.
“Tell me your wish. I will generously reward my servant.”
“If My Lord says so…there is one thing.”
Paveluc looked expectantly into his eyes, and Batori quickly nodded and shouted in a loud voice.
“When you are crowned emperor, please make your loyal servant into a general!”
It was not possible for a non-noble like Batori to become a general of the Ruford Empire, not unless the heavens and earth opened up. Paveluc’s rebellion would be a drastic change of the status quo. It was likely that many of today’s nobles would be purged of their positions, while new people would rise up to take their place. Batori did not want to miss this opportunity.
Paveluc gave a moment’s thought, and then he smiled.
“Very well. You know I don’t look down on ambition.”
Before Batori could express his gratitude, Paveluc’s voice continued.
“But I hate those who don’t know their own place. If you make similar contributions in the future, I will give you a position above even that of a general.”
In short, Paveluk was telling him to continue putting in the same amount of effort. It wasn’t a definite promise, but Batori could clearly see the possibilities. When Batori understood what Paveluc said, he fell to his knees.
“I will never let you down, Your Majesty.”
Paveluc’s eyes glimmered at the title Batori addressed him with. He slowly stroked his dark beard.
“I hope so. For now, continue to monitor the Crown Prince and Crown Princess and report to me.”
“Yes. I am your loyal servant.”