For any subject of their empire, the emperor's order was of the utmost importance.
Rose saw Wells off as he left for the Imperial Palace.
Though he did have to promise to return home immediately after reporting to the emperor.
She would discuss the breakup then.
Now, her problems lay elsewhere.
Rose stood motionless at the door of their grand central foyer, wearing the coat Anne brought to stay warm.
Ilya and Rose were now left alone in the manor.
The Lady Rose Honeywell was at a loss as she stared at the tightly shut door, oblivious to the butler at her side, who was carefully calling for her.
Rose was startled to hear the butler's call.
The butler, gauging that his mistress was frightened, patiently waited for her to regain her bearings before bringing up the task at hand.
“May I show Miss Titonsser to her room? Her luggage had already been moved by the attendants.”
“Her room? Yes.”
His query was her salvation, especially as Rose was unsure of how she should treat Ilya.
Yes! I should send her to her room.
If we keep her there, then we won't have to face one another for the entire seven days.
Rose smugly raised her brow and smiled at the butler.
“Alright, butler, please guide Miss Titonsser.
Until the time of her debut, she will reside here, so please take care.”
“Miss Titonsser, I will guide you to your room.”
Ilya was escorted out of the room.
As she trailed after the butler, Ilya hestitantly glanced back at Rose.
Rose, however, did not notice her look, as from the moment her brother left, she never spared another glance at Ilya.
In the Tristan Empire's Imperial Palace, the emperor's office.
Russell Whittle Van Tristan, the sun of the Tristan Empire.
Russell was unamused as he watched Wells rush in after leaving the Honeywell Manor, skip his greetings to the emperor of his nation, and speedily report on the mines.
“Mine 1 has the same amount of yield as three months ago…”
Wells spoke without stopping.
“In the northeast, Mine 2, there was no harvest, especially compared to last month.
We've decided to stop digging for another week and start work in another area next week as we deliberate.
It is said that traces and sightings of magical stones were found on the west side.
It was a rare sight to see Wells talking nonstop, so Russell sat in his seat and listened with interest and a bit of concern for the friend who appeared to want to relay his entire report in one breath.
“In Mine 4, the yield has proven far greater than originally expected, and we plan to transport the materials to the capital once they have been trimmed and organized.
That is all.”
Report successfully completed, Wells gasped for breath as his friend, Russell, clapped.
“Amazing, it's truly amazing! It's my first time witnessing the Duke of Honeywell reeling off.”
[TL/N: The emperor is mocking Wells for talking very fast because he knows he is rushing so he can leave quickly.]
“Ah, it's because I have to go back to the manor now.
The rest of the details are written in the paperwork, Your Majesty.”
Russell laid his eyes on the newly submitted papers reporting Wells' findings in the Tuga Mines.
As the emperor calmly read through the report, from the corner of his vision, he spotted the Duke of Honeywell restlessly shifting from foot to foot.
Your Majesty, I—“
“I finished my report.
May I take my leave now?”
Today I have learnt of the new faces Wells can make.
Russell tilted his head at the sight.
“Have you hidden away your lover at your manor?”
“A lover? Ha! I'm a person who is too busy working for this empire and raising our precious Rose.”
I only joked once, but you took it so seriously.
Russell came to the conclusion that he was boring the duke and laughed.
After all, Wells had to make his way to the Imperial Palace immediately after arriving at Honeywell Manor.
The answer to Wells' mood came to mind.
Ah, he couldn't reunite with his sister, so he wants to get away from me and go back to her.
The emperor placed the report down, his fingers tapping his desk rhythmically as he lost himself in thought.
How should I do it? Should I let you go with the excuse that you haven't seen your family for a week, Wells?
It was only a week that Wells had been away at the Tuga Mines.
He could send Wells back early, knowing that he wanted to spend time with his sister.
From experience, the emperor understood that Wells would, without fail, purchase a gift for Rose whenever he left the capital.
Even if he had to leave for a place that wasn't the Tuga Mines.
When he returned to the manor, he'd hand the gift to his beloved sister, and the two would spend time together talking about this and that.
The age difference between the two was fairly large, and as Rose was practically raised by Wells since she was young, their relationship was more of a father-daughter one than a sibling one.
In any case, I could search throughout the entire Tristan Empire, maybe even the whole world, and I would still not find another family with a better relationship than the Honeywell siblings.
Resting his elbow on the desk and his chin in his hands, Russell lowered his gaze slightly.
His amethyst-colored pupils were half-closed.
Come to think of it, the last time I saw that child was at the coming-of-age ceremony last spring.
Rose was unfamiliar to everyone except the Honeywell family, the Honeywell servants, and Elliot Proud.
At first glance, she seemed almost afraid of others, rarely attending banquets held by the aristocratic families, let alone the Imperial Family.
Some of the nobles would joke about how it was harder to lay eyes on Honeywell's beloved Rose than the emperor, Russell.
I would like to meet you, Rose.
Wells would scold me if I brought up such an idea.
Crossing his arms as he leaned back, Russell nodded to his duke.
The poor Duke of Honeywell had reached his limit; his body was subconsciously poised and ready to run out of the office at any given moment.
It's your reunion.
I shouldn't be a hindrance.”
“Yes? Yes! Then I'll take my leave.”
As expected, Wells happily turned his back on the emperor now that he had gained permission to leave.
The fear of the emperor revoking his permission was clear on Wells' face.
Do you like your sister that much?
With a small smile playing on his lips, the emperor switched his focus to the work he put off while receiving Wells' report.
I will focus; no more daydreaming.
Picking up the scattered papers on his desk, Russell watched as Wells walked to the door and froze.
Even if Wells turned around and claimed that getting out of the palace the normal way was too long and he'd rather jump out of the window to save time, the emperor would not be surprised.
Thinking about it, it would be funny to watch.
The emperor pursed his lips to contain his amusement at that vivid scenario.
A low, serious voice distracted the emperor.
If an edict had been personally sealed and stamped by Your Majesty, is there no way to re-evaluate it?”
Russell pondered over the question, trying to get a hint as to why he would ask such a question.
“Well, to prevent such a thing from occurring, the edict is discussed prior to its issuance with you, Duke Proud, and the other ministers.
Why would someone like you, who knows this, ask?”
Given the expected answer, Wells didn't hide the complex expression on his face.
It was as though he had a problem that he found particularly troublesome to solve.
Wells was not a man who spoke nonsense for no reason.
Aware of his character, Russell guessed that there must have been a hint in the question that had slipped his notice.
“What's going on, Wells?”
When Wells Honeywell reached the age of five or six years old, it had already become widely known that he knew how to handle most problems and had the ability to solve them by himself.
But the same Wells is in such a state.
What made him so unnerved?
The emperor worried that the cause was a secret attack on the Honeywell Family.
Wells shook his head.
“Nothing of concern.
I will be leaving for real now, Your Majesty.”
Silence filled the office as Wells closed the door.
I feel like this has become a torture chamber.
Occupant 1, the Emperor.
Sitting there, procrastinating his work, the Emperor of the Tristan Empire recalled the question asked by Wells.
“Let's think, what are some of the issues discussed at the aristocrat meetings recently?”
The Imperial Palace was a busy place every day; meetings between the aristocrats and the emperor were scheduled.
That meant that edicts piled up daily, and remembering a specific edict would take time and effort.
After much thought, Russell remembered one edict related to the Honeywell Family.
“I remember approving the engagement of Duke Proud and Rose Honeywell two months ago.”
He had a clear memory of the day when Wells had brought up the marriage along with the papers.
Papers requesting the emperor's permission for the engagement and marriage of Rose Honeywell and Duke Proud.
Russell had felt his blood boiling as he watched Wells standing before him like a criminal sent to the glutton, even if it was himself who had handed in the documents.
“Are you crazy?”
Russell grabbed the papers, his hands ready to tear them to pieces and pretend he saw nothing.
It wasn't just any marriage, but for Rose Honeywell and Elliot Proud.
It may have seemed tyrannical, but Russell could never allow Honeywell and Proud to get over their differences and reconcile.
Wells' sobbing tone stopped his actions.
“My Rose is not eating.
Please, Your Majesty! Please allow our Rose and Duke Proud's engagement ceremony.”
The thought of his beloved sister starving finally caused Wells to cave.
There had been no aristocrats who objected to the union of the two families, as the Honeywell and Proud families' loyalty to the Imperial Family surpassed those of the other families.
So, Russell, who felt forced against his will, grudgingly approved the marriage.
I thought the engagement preparations were going smoothly, but I guess that's not the case.
“From what I've heard, Rose likes Elliot so much.
Was it Elliot who brought up the idea of canceling the engagement?”
Wells didn't say anything, so it's not like my making up scenarios magically makes them true.
“If the two of them break off their engagement, then the harmony of the Honeywell's and Proud's will break as well.”
The corners of his lips subtly lifted as he muttered to himself hopefully.
However, all too soon, he came to his senses and shook his head vigorously.
“What are you thinking? Even if Rose and Elliot cancel their engagement…”
An image of a blonde girl appeared in Russell's amethyst eyes.
Blonde hair like the glints of melting gold.
Red eyes that were more beautiful than rubies.
Russell fell boneless on his desk.
Russell Whittle Van Tristan, you are not the man Rose likes.”
There was work to do, but Russell stayed slumped in his position for a little longer.
Rose had skipped her breakfast.
She had stayed in bed, avoiding Elliot, and now she was hungry.
Her hunger came belatedly, and Rose asked Anne to bring her meal to her room.
“It's lunchtime now, Lady Rose.
Would you like to have lunch instead of breakfast?”
The young lady looked up at the clock hanging on the wall.
It would almost certainly be lunchtime soon.
She turned to Anne.
“Is my brother back yet?”
“Master has not returned yet.”
“Have you not received word if he would be coming back to eat?”
“No, but as it will be lunch soon, perhaps he will be dining with His Majesty?”
“It could be.”
The Emperor, the Sun of the Empire, very much loved his loyal right-hand man, Wells Honeywell.
He often had his meals with Wells, and on days like today, when brother returned from a trip or inspection outside the capital, the Emperor would have a meal or tea with him.
Rose, who wanted to speak to her brother regarding the engagement during lunch, pursed her lips.
…I know my brother is capable, but isn't the Emperor taking up too much of his time?
Rose remembered Emperor Russell Whittle Van Trista.
She had met him at the banquet on the day she returned to the past.
His appearance was vivid in her memories.
Romance aside, Russell was one of the most beautiful people who lived on the continent.
His silver hair was mysterious, shining brilliantly in the light.
His amethyst eyes were indescribably enchanting.
It was those eyes that had kindly soothed and comforted her when she was crumbling with worry for her brother at the banquet that day.
Her imagination drew up a scene of herself being comforted in the arms of Russell.
His embrace would tightly wrap around her slender frame, leaving no space between them.
What about pats on the back? It must be awkward since he has never appeased anyone before.
Rose felt that she would feel peace in his arms.
Rose jumped; Anne's voice suddenly struck her ear.
Her face burned, her heart beating wildly with surprise and newfound excitement.
[TL/N: I feel like the emperor will be the guy whose outer behavior and inner thoughts contrast one another.
He is like a prisoner now being tortured with official work by himself.]
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