Rosina’s eyes opened widely at Canillia’s words.
Shocked, she asked, “Why”
“I think he left it by mistake.
The Duke said he will come back for it.
He said he could end the war more quickly that way.”
“Get it back That’s not the same as finding the owner.
Then the Duke has lied.
Perhaps, Sir Canillian, could it be true that you actually did harass Marilyn” asked Rosina.
Kieran stood up at Rosina’s accusing tone.
But Canillia answered more quickly.
It felt like she was spitting a thorn out of her mouth.
But she didn’t want to make Claude’s claim to help her get tied up with a lie.
Claude hadn’t lied, but if she kept silent, it was essentially confirming that he did lie.
She couldn’t and wouldn’t do anything to ruin his honour.
She continued with a low tone, “I’m a lady, Princess.
How can a lady harass Marilyn”
“I’m Canillia Vale, Princess.
Rosina stared blankly at her as she had no words.
She swooned and swayed toward Kieran who caught her before she fell.
His embrace kept her upright.
Are you okay, Princess There’s a reason why Lia had to live like a man.
“Ah! Thank goodness,” said a relieved Rosina.
She put her hand on her forehead and sighed in relief.
Then she smiled brightly in Kieran’s arms.
“I thought Claude,” she hesitated and started again.
“I thought that perhaps the Duke liked men.
But now I see.”
Kieran scoffed at Rosina’s reaction and Canillia’s mind went blank.
Canillia had expected Rosina to be angry or shocked and yell in response.
It was this easy
Until now, Lia thought the world would collapse if she were discovered to be a woman.
But, here it happened and the world was fine.
No one was angry with her.
“You must have been through a lot, Sir.
I mean, Miss,” said Rosina correcting herself.
Rosina hugged Canillia, who stood with a blank expression on her face.
Lia’s cheeks blushed and the tip of her nose tingled in response to her embrace.
“I’m okay, Princess.
“Now that I know of this deception, I must ask,” said Rosina.
“Does the Duke know”
“I don’t think he does,” said Kieran.
Kieran met Rosina’s eyes and nodded.
It was a sign of agreement between the two.
Rosina believed all along that someone as lovely as Canillian would never do such thing.
Rosina was sympathetic and apologetic and she wanted to hear the whole story of Canillia and how the Duke’s clematis came into her possession.
“I’ll tell them to prepare a feast,” declared Rosina.
“And for deceiving me for so long, Kieran has to have dinner with me every evening as punishment,” she added, her eyes twinkling.
The hawk, with its outspread wings, circled above Claude and then landed on his arm.
Claude was wearing a steel arm guard to prevent injuries from its sharp claws.
He untied the message from its leg.
“If we were to accept your offer, what would you give us in return” asked Ian Sergio in the prideful message.
Claude could practically hear his voice.
It was an answer to the Prince’s strategic alliance.
“Something in return.
Prince Wade looked over the map while smiling.
“I don’t need an alliance with Prince Ian, Your Majesty the Prince,” said Claude.
“You might not need it, but I do,” replied Wade.
“I’m thinking of making Ian Sergio the King of Geore.
They started fighting inside.
The King’s second child became an ally with us after knowing that we’re after Erin’s neck If Erin Sergio inherits the throne like this, then Ian Sergio would become the next target for assassination.
It’s always best to kill off the wild horse, the one you can’t tame.
If Erin becomes the king, he will officially declare war—a war on a scale that would eclipse the one right now.”
“What would the Empire get out of this” asked Claude.
And an influx of scientists.
Even though Geore can be a cruel, savage kingdom, their continued development is impressive.
Just imagine every city with electricity, lighting the way through dark nights.
Perhaps even one day, we will find a way to fly from one place to another.
Just dream of an empire like that, Claude!”
Wade’s answer revealed his greed, power—and leadership skills.
Claude glared toward Geore’s camp, wrote a message, and tied it to the hawk’s leg.
The message was simple: The throne of Geore.
But Claude was disdainful of Ian.
He wasn’t fit to be a king.
Plus, Ian Sergio’s greed wasn’t towards the throne.
After a while, the hawk returned soaring through the darkness.
Claude untied the message and couldn’t hold back a wicked smile.
Claude read Ian Sergio’s reply.
“I don’t need the throne.
What I want is something you also find very important.
I’ll give you time to think about it.”
As he read the message, Claude’s eyes became dark and cold.
He immediately knew exactly what Ian meant.
Claude calmly put the message down in front of the Prince and went into the armory to grab a sniper rifle.
Ivan came after him in surprise.
But Claude aimed at the prey without any hesitation.
Thoughts and memories swirled through Claude’s mind as he aimed the weapon toward Geore.
The sweet beauty treading water in the steamy lake.
Her wet hair.
Her happy face—happy as a child holding candy.
The sleeping beauty in the carriage.
The stars twinkling in the nighttime sky.
A night protecting her from nothing and everything.
The dawn illuminating her face.
You’re going to rob me of my happiness in return
Claude pulled the trigger.
Wade’s shout was too late.
There was a hole in Geore’s royal flag.
In quick response, Geore’s militiamen started shouting.
It was an obvious taunt as well as a serious warning—a warning that Claude could take Ian’s life from this distance at any given opportunity.
Claude leisurely put down his gun and went to the watchtower.
As he whistled against the rough wind, the hawk flew to its master.
Claude caressed the hawk and whispered quietly, “I wish you could fly to the Capital.
Fly to my Canillia.”