“Who are you” Apollonia narrowed her eyes and examined the boy’s appearance.
It was her first time meeting this kid.
High quality clothes with golden embroidery on the collar showed his distinguished status.
That was even stranger.
If he was a noble, she would’ve recognized his face sooner.
“Le-let me go.”
But as soon as the boy raised his head, Apollonia was reminded of someone.
He was a handsome boy with a small, lovely face and wavy hair that covered his ears and reached his neck.
He looked docile, a few years her junior, probably.
His round eyes were red with a glint of gold.
It was only her and the previous emperor who had those eyes.
“…Little Grand Duke of Evinhart.”
The boy seemed slightly surprised when his title came out of Apollonia’s mouth, but soon smiled.
“It’s an honor to meet you.
Your Highness, I’m Caelion.”
Apollonia beckoned Uriel to remove the sword from the boy’s neck.
“What were you doing here I heard you’re sick.”
“It was so stifling staying in my room all day, so I went out.
Then I got lost.
So when I saw someone coming, I hid myself, but I didn’t expect it to be you…”
She bowed her head and looked closely at Caelion’s face.
There seemed to be no problem with his voice, complexion or movement.
He was no different from other boys his age.
“So your sickness is just a lie.”
Apollonia was aware as to why the grand duke tried so hard to avoid the emperor’s eyes.
But she didn’t expect to confirm their lies with her own two eyes.
The boy’s pupils shook when he heard Apollonia.
She could see him nervously gulp, clearly scared.
She felt pity for a moment.
He, who seemed to be accustomed to bow before others, reminded her of herself.
‘Should I tell him to be careful and send him back I’m not sure how much of our conversation were audible.
Of course, he would just deny it if I asked him.
But no matter how much he heard, anyone with common sense would never report it to anyone, especially if he was supposed to play pretend in front of the emperor.
It shouldn’t be a problem if she just turned a blind eye.
But when she thought so, an unexpected answer came out of his mouth.
“…It’s almost like the rumor about Your Highness being foolish and naive is completely false.”
Before being asked, he confessed that he had listened to their conversation.
It was such a provocative statement that didn’t match with that meek and docile appearance.
Uriel pulled out the sword again before he could open his mouth again.
“Stop.” Apollonia raised her hand to stop Uriel.
“You have a good ear, little grand duke.
How much did you hear” she asked gently while trying so hard suppressing her bewilderment.
Of course, for Caelion, it sounded like she was threatening to end his life depending on his answer.
So his pupils dilated once again.
“…That Your Highness is the one who bought the Dharmayu tea, that you pushed another woman to your own fiancé, and that you had a business plan…” He trembled slightly, counting his fingers innocently to the point that he seemed cheeky.
Apollonia bit her lips.
“You’ve heard everything and figured out the situation.” She beckoned Caelion to stand up.
“Are you threatening me” Her voice lost any trace of tenderness
“Little Grand Duke, do you know how many people have accidents in this large palace”
Caelion shuddered at her ominous words.
Then he bowed his head and recited quietly, “…If you could help me, wouldn’t I be able to live”
“…What did you just say”
His expression was serious.
“Your Highness, no, Sister, please help me.
Then I won’t tell anyone this secret.” He managed to finish what he needed to say despite his trembling voice.
Then he fixed his posture and stayed still.
“You came to me on purpose.” Apollonia decided to take off her mask at once.
Just like the boy in front of her.
“You heard the conversation and made a noise on purpose.
To catch my attention and make a deal with me.”
As far as she knew, the little grand duke was only fifteen years old this year.
But this innocent-looking boy turned out to be sly and bold.