“Even you have to admit it.
He’s so popular in the royal capital.”
I wondered what they were gossiping about this time, but it still involved praising their lord.
“If he’s so handsome and wealthy, why hasn’t he gotten married already?” I asked.
All the maids laughed nervously.
“Well… He’s been engaged a few times.”
“Only a few?” I can’t believe my husband had more than one engagement.
“Hmm, wasn’t it eight times?”
“Are you sure it’s not eleven?”
“I could have sworn it was twelve.”
The maids counted on their fingers; however, they were already confusing one another.
“He doesn’t seem to have a hobby of annulling engagements.
The excited maids were now at a loss for words.
How long did they stay like that?
“His Highness Prince Albert seduced all the women who ended up engaged to our lord.”
“The crown prince?”
He was the human who hated witches more than the witches who hated humans.
Albert Letisia Edelin, whose parents were the emperor and the empress.
The empress was the daughter of a well-established noble family, so there were no objections to Albert becoming the crown prince.
All was as it should be, except the crown prince had a flaw that made his background worthless.
It was his personality.
The Mad Prince.
That was the nickname the emperor gave him.
Having a twisted mind since he was a child, Albert became more violent as he grew up.
In the end, the nobles, fed up with his excessive behavior, turned their backs on him.
There were even rumors the emperor favored his nephew, Duke Havel, which destabilized the crown prince’s position.
Some nobles wanted Duke Havel to be the next emperor.
Albert must hate it.
I pitied him ever so slightly.
“What did he do to seduce them?”
“His Highness bedded each and every one of those noblewomen.”
Never mind, I don’t feel any sort of pity for him.
I take back everything I said.
Albert was so jealous of his cousin that he stole every fiancée the duke had.
It was too much.
“We don’t talk about it now, but back then, a huge scandal broke out and His Majesty had to act upon it.”
“There were a few nobles who cut ties with the royal family.”
“The nobles whose daughters were involved were especially furious.”
“That’s why there’s a lot of opposition to His Highness taking the throne.”
No father could forgive the man who touched his daughter, even if he was the crown prince.
Not to mention, the nobles of the Edelin Empire were infamous for their pride.
“Since then, the proposals for our lord’s hand in marriage are few and far between.”
“The only ones that do arrive are from low-ranking nobles.”
“In our empire, the noblewomen from distinguished families want nothing to do with our lord.”
Since it meant you’d have the crown prince’s attention.
It didn’t matter if things went well.
Unfortunately, most of the women who fell for the crown prince suffered a fate worse than death.
“In high society, once you get involved in such a scandal, it’s over.”
Those who dreamed of becoming a duchess, then a princess, were married off to a wealthy old man in another country.
“Isn’t marrying Duke Havel everything a noblewoman could ask for? Is there really a need to flirt with the crown prince?” I furrowed my brow.
“They would rather be a princess than a duchess.”
Betty added, “Didn’t every girl dream of a prince riding up to them on a white horse at least once?”
“I’m glad in any case.”
Imagine if a woman like them became Duchess Havel.
I quietly laughed to myself when they said they’d rather become a witch than let something like that happen.
“All of those poor noblewomen suffered.”
“Ah, except for one.
His Highness still keeps her by his side.”
“Oh, who is it?” I was curious.
Unlike the other women who were taken advantage of, this noblewoman liked the prince.
“Lady Vanessa Merlin, the third daughter of Count Merlin.”
“They say she’s an incredibly beautiful woman.”
The third daughter was the future empress.
I didn’t know much about the social hierarchy of humans, but even I could tell that was a big increase in status.
“But she has a crush on our lord.”
“I heard she gave him a letter in front of everyone at a ball.”
“That’s not normal?”
“Of course not!” Betty exclaimed.
“A noble family’s worst fear is having their daughter’s engagement broken! No one should express their true feelings or else they won’t get married.
She was basically saying she won’t marry anyone unless he’s Duke Havel.”
Even if a noblewoman loves someone, she wasn’t allowed to confess? Suddenly, I felt bad for human aristocrats.
“Anyway, despite her devotion, she became the fiancée of His Highness.”
“There’s a rumor that she intentionally chased after our lord to seduce His Highness.”
The more they talked about the topic, the more I felt I shouldn’t have asked so carelessly.
Emily mentioned how a duchess was supposed to be a flower of society.
The thought of going to such a brutal place like a ball soured my mood.
Meanwhile, the maids exchanged gossip.
“Lady Merlin is popular among the nobles, but now that my lady is a duchess…”
“I don’t even want to see Lady Merlin with His Highness.”
My lady, if you run into her at a ball later, you must avenge us!”
Why me? I was determined to avoid social events.
“Can’t I just live here quietly?”
I might become more familiar with the responsibilities of a duchess, but everything will change after a year.
“My lady, you must be strong!”
“Other noble families have been trying to keep House Havel in check lately!”
“You’re in a position to have some influence on high society at this time!”
I recalled Emily’s lecture on how the Kingdom of Byrne was focused on Havel.
“Why does he have so many enemies anyway?”
The maids closed their mouths as they tried to think of an answer.
“I am the best there is.”
“Everyone sees me as the object of envy.”
“To think my lord would visit such a shabby place…”
The sudden appearance of my husband startled the maids.
Maybe he was eavesdropping on our conversation.
The maids were worried, but fortunately, it appeared he didn’t hear anything.
“Are you following me?” I looked up at him after he stopped in front of me.
Lukas gave me a small smile.
“I’d love to do that, but alas, being a duke means I am quite busy.
The knights monitor the castle in my place.
You have nothing to worry about.”
I was getting ahead of myself.
“Why are you here?”
“I have some spare time, so I thought to have a cup of tea with my wife.”
“Is this an attempt to get closer to me?”
Observing the expression of the butler who walked into the kitchen, I was pretty sure Lukas was lying.
“You hate tea.”
“I shall try and like it from now on.” He shrugged.
“Why? Don’t you hate it a lot?”
“It is not that I dislike it so much…”
I wanted to know why he was going to force himself to like tea, but I decided to leave it aside.
Come to think of it, I still had to thank him.
I looked around the room; I couldn’t open my mouth because of the troublesome gazes of the maids.
“All right, we can have tea time together.”
My husband’s mood greatly improved.
On the contrary, the butler’s complexion paled, but Lukas pretended not to see it.
Hmm, it might be better to ask my husband about the witch he met.
I started to work quickly.
As I was about to leave the potion-making room, a servant rushed in.
“My lord! Oh, you’re all here.”
“What is it?” asked my husband, who seemed to be in a bad mood again.
The servant handed him something.
It was a letter.
My husband stared at its seal and frowned.
“Ah, it’s from the person who I hate the most in the world.”
“Yes.” The servant nodded.
“It is an urgent message from the royal family.”
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