In order to infiltrate the Imperial Palace, Jackal took care of his body with a knife-like diet and strength training.
Thanks to this, he became a more handsome and magnificent horse.
Sosa looked around and approached the noble-looking people in the distance.
There, Marquis Iris, one of the five great noble families, was talking to other nobles with a worried expression on his face.
“Since something like that happened in the Imperial Palace this time, His Majesty must have been more nervous… … I’m worried that the gifts I prepared this time are already insignificant and will go against….”
The nobles, assuming that the Emperor would be in a very bad mood, prepared a tribute.
The fact that a real butterfly appeared at this flower banquet also contributed to that.
“I’m afraid I’m already behind the two dukes…….”
Marquis Iris, who had come from the border, sighed heavily.
Sosa boldly walked ahead of them with Jackal.
The nobles stopped talking and looked at them with their eyes wide open at the sudden appearance of a fine steed.
Jackal looked at them with charismatic eyes.
His figure looked very majestic and oozed elegance.
Marquis Iris asked, coughing heavily.
“Hey, will that excellent horse be auctioned off too?”
“That’s right! If you can recognize this amazing horse at glance, you have a very good eye! This horse is to be presented to His Majesty the Emperor.
It is said that His Majesty likes to hunt, so he’s very interested in horses…….”
Sosa spoke while looking at Jackal out of the corner of his eye.
They needed a powerful aristocrat who would recklessly offer Jackal to the Emperor.
Jackal gave the nobles a charismatic look.
It was an unspoken threat to ‘buy me’.
“Wow, his eyes are amazing! It’s the first time I’ve seen such a horse!”
Marquis Iris’s eyes sparkled, and he asked, dumbstruck by Jackal.
“Why don’t you sell me this horse?”
Sosa said to himself, ‘This is it!’,’ but said with a victorious smile.
“Can I trust you, Marquis? This horse has been meticulously trained and maintained since birth to be His Majesty The Emperor’s only horse.
It must be presented to His Majesty during the flowering ceremony when the butterfly appears.”
“Of course! I’ll make him as pretty as possible!”
Sosa sold Jackal only after receiving confirmation from him over and over again.
Seeing the Marquis handing out a huge sum of money that he had never seen before, Sosa was very surprised but hid his surprised expression.
The Marquis was proud to have obtained an excellent and valuable steed.
Sosa felt uncomfortable because it seemed that he sold the captain with his own hands, but Sosa looked at him with a face that said that now everything depended on Jackal.
Jackal exchanged glances with him and walked after the Marquis.
But the Marquis had his servants groom him as soon as he bought him.
Jackal’s eyes widened and struggled at the touch of his bare body, trimming his mane with scissors.
“Wow, good boy.”
The servants appeased him and smeared perfumed oil on his muscular body with the scent of flowers.
His bluish gray fur now has a shiny feel and even a sultry feel to it.
Jackal closed his eyes and endured the embarrassment, recalling only Asha.
If he could get to Asha safely, this was nothing.
He only hoped that Asha was safe before his arrival.
* * * * *
Ever since Karaf left the room last night, Asha has been awake and hasn’t been able to sleep again.
But since morning, someone has come up to her and politely greeted her at the door.
“This is the Knight Commander, Duran Dandelion.
I would like to formally greet Lady Vanessa.”
Duran bowed politely in the doorway, bending to one knee and placing a hand on his chest.
Please take care of me from now on.”
Duran was slightly embarrassed by Asha’s reaction and raised his head to ask.
“Aren’t you mad at me?”
“Why should I?”
“I couldn’t keep Lady Vanessa safe at the banquet.
Please don’t hold back and get angry.
I have nothing to say, even if you throw a glass at me.”
Asha wondered if His Majesty does this often…… but she just bit her lips.
Karaf became so violent that no one could stop him once he got angry.
Throwing things is the basics, and if there is a problem with a job, he would grab the noble who proposed it to him.
Duran’s face looked particularly haggard, probably because of the assassin.
His head had really sparsely white hairs like dandelion seeds.
His hair seemed to turn white even when he was under a lot of stress.
Asha looked at him sadly and said.
“You must have been through a lot of hardship by His Majesty’s side all this time.”
Duran’s eyes widened in response, and he looked up at her.
This morning, Karaf approached him while he was guarding his bed and instructed him to apologize directly to Vanessa.
After going through something like that, she thought that he must have lost faith in himself.
He was prepared to go in, but Asha didn’t blame him in the least.
“You forgave me….?”
“You don’t need to ask for my forgiveness.
It’s my fault I didn’t tell you about the assassin in the first place.”
Asha sighed, then glanced at him, still dazed, and asked mischievously.
“Or, do you want to be punished?”
Thank you for your forgiveness, Lady Vanessa.
I will do my best to serve you in the future.”
Duran got up quickly and placed a ledger on the table.
“After the flowering ceremony, you will officially have a maid, but until then, you will need a maid to serve you.
There will be people who may find it difficult for you to see their faces, so please, Lady Vanessa can choose whoever you want.”
As Asha skimmed through the list, Duran added bitterly.
“If you single out the maids who disrespected Lady Vanessa, I will take immediate action to remove them from the Palace.
His Majesty will not leave them alone.”
Asha remembered what happened last time.
Her complexion turned pale as she imagined the scene where Karaf would behead the heads of the servants.
Asha quickly shook her head and said.
“No, it’s okay.
Everyone has treated me well since that day.
But, I want to take care of a girl named Sonya Carnation.
She is the person I can trust the most.”
Duran instructed the chamberlain to bring a maid named Sonya.
Soon, a wavy, red-haired girl walked into the room with a shrunken body.
Sonya found Asha and her eyes grew bigger.
Asha said with a smile.
Sonya’s face flushed and she fell to the ground.
“I’m honored that Lady Vanessa remembers my name!”
Everything had already spread during the banquet, and Sonya seemed to know her true identity.
Sonya was delighted when she heard that Vanessa had shown up at the Palace, but she was so shocked that Asha was the butterfly.
Her hands were shaking, not knowing what to do.
Asha spoke softly.
“From today on, you will be my exclusive maid, so please take care of me.
You won’t have to work as hard as before.”
At those words, Sonya’s face almost looked like she was about to cry.
“Lady Asha, no, Lady Vanessa…….
How come you’re giving me so much great grace for nothing?”
Asha had a faint expression on her face.
In her past life, when she was lying on her bed crying because of Karaf, Sonya would always come to her and comfort her while wiping away her tears.
Those were the memories that she could never forget.
“Sonya, you are the warmest person I have ever met in this Palace.
I trust people with a warm heart the most.
So I want to keep you by my side.”
Sonya was moved and cried out all excited.
“Lady Vanessa! From now on, I will only be loyal to you! No matter what happens, I will protect Lady Vanessa without leaving your side…… !”
Even if she didn’t say it, she had already done it in her past life, but Asha replied with a faint smile.
“Thank you, Sonya.”
“Then I’ll bring you some food, so please wait a moment!”
Sonya only dealt with tasks like cleaning, but it was the first time she had heard from a high-ranking person.
She was very embarrassed and flustered, but the way she did her best seemed lovely in Asha’s eyes.
Hearing the door slam shut, Asha realized that she had just returned to this palace just then.
The scenery in this room was very familiar.
This was the ‘Empress’ Palace‘ that Karaf had prepared since his accession to the throne so that the butterfly could use it at any time.
Asha had been living in this palace like a butterfly trapped in a collection bin for three years.
Her expression darkened as memories of her past life surfaced.
Meanwhile, Sonya was walking quickly down the hall when she suddenly noticed a man walking in the distance like a lion, and her eyes widened.
“Your… Your Majesty!”
Sonya quickly turned to the wall like a magnet, put her hands in front of her, and bowed.
Karaf walked in front of her without saying a word.
Sonya couldn’t even look up and was sweating profusely.
He asked her as he glanced at her, who was nervous.
“You have red hair…….
It’s the first time I’ve seen a maid with your hair color, what happened to the Empress’s Palace?”
Karaf’s voice sounded slightly wary.
To Sonya, those words sounded like, ‘Are you wandering around this place because you want to die?‘
It’s not unreasonable to think that way, but Karaf hated anyone with red hair, regardless of age or gender.
Most descendants of the Imperial Family had red hair.
Occasionally, when roses of other colors were born, such as yellow or white hair, but such cases were rare, and red roses were overwhelmingly common.
Red eyes were a common symbol of the Imperial Family.
But since Karaf was a child he has been discriminated against only because of the color of his hair, so it was only natural that he hated the color red.
Sonya stuttered, gritting her teeth so hard she felt pitiful.
“La..la..lady Vanessa as..asked me to serve her…….”
When he found out that Asha was the one who chose her, Karaf’s expression softened a bit.
“Did Vanessa wake up?”
“Yes, Your Majesty… ….”
“How is she?”
Sonya’s eyes, which were only looking down at the ground, grew bigger at the question.
It was truly the first time he had ever been asked about someone’s well-being.
Considering that the only greeting she had ever heard from him was dreadful, “Is the criminal still alive?”
His change was definitely good.
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