The Duke’s Villainous Daughter is Depressed - chapter 15
Leaving the palace, I looked around through the gardens thoroughly and even ventured on the gardens from other courts, but I couldn’t find a single strand of dog hair. As time passes, I’m quite certain that nose fly had Tofu.
There was a high possibility that he hid Tofu somewhere so I couldn’t find him right away.
The servants and maids who were under Coffari refused to speak no matter how much Lari and I asked questions.
Even now, when I’m wandering in the area far away from Lily Palace to find Tofu, there were still dozens of eyes on me.
In order to find Tofu, I must probe deeper into Coffari’s corruption and threaten him with it.
“Leaving aside how the Emperor treats the Second Prince, there will still be someone who comes to check the books.”
“…… Perhaps so. But I’m sure they were also bribed?”
“I suppose so.”
Coffari would have personally devoured the incoming budget, so bribing someone would be a piece of cake for him.
Just in case, I have to check the ledgers related to the Second Prince.
He said he didn’t even know where the prince was, but why did the budget for maintaining status was steadily going out? It was evident in his words that he was pocketing it.
What he’ll be showing the top administrator is the fake ledger, so the real one must have been hidden somewhere.
Although the second prince was abandoned, the budget amount was incredibly large.
Let’s not dismiss the possibility that high-ranking aristocrats may be involved either. It seems it might be more difficult than I thought. Am I in a hard mode?
“I hate it when things get too complicated……”
Should Coffari and I reach an agreement? It’s too much for me to handle if there’s an influential noble involved.
It’s extremely inconvenient to have nothing even though I’m a princess. Life here sure is hard. If I’m going to broach again the topic of leaving me and finding a new employer to Lari, I’ll receive another harsh scolding from her.
As expected, I should go back to that nose fly and beg—.
“Lady Elle! Stay strong!”
“Let’s find the Second Prince together!”
Unknowingly, I stopped on my tracks some time ago and just slumped by the bushes with a faraway look. I turned towards Lari, who was somewhat on fire.
“Will he help us?”
However, the real question was, could I even find that guy? It was just pure luck the first time we met.
If he was cursed at a young age and no one had seen him since that time(except me), isn’t he on a level of a hide-and-seek genius?
“…… Will he really help us?”
Elle had thought that everything would be okay if she found the Second Prince and took over the authority, but it seemed like an easy thing to say.
I wasn’t able to see his face because he was wearing a mask at our wedding and that night at the lake. I also didn’t get the chance to talk to him.
There’s a high probability that his perspective on humans had now mired in distrust and hate. Even if just living an average life, relationships were not always easy to deal with.
Luckily, Lari, the only person that I cared about, the only human that I had an amicable relationship with, is still here for me. That same person whom others left behind to serve the foreign princess in their stead.
I’m glad Lari was optimistic, but if it were me, I would have been resentful to the servants and maids who sent me here.
But will the monster prince help a human without any conditions?
“…… I’m sorry.”
“Lady Elle? Why are you saying sorry all of a sudden?”
Until now, I hadn’t had any intention of finding the Second Prince. I thought I had nothing to do with him and wanted to live separate lives. If we meet by chance, I only plan to give my greetings, and that’s it.
But now, how absurd would it be to seek him out on purpose for my own selfish demands?
“…… Finding the Second Prince, let’s put that on hold for now.”
“The last resort will be to contact the duchy.”
I didn’t want to contact them if possible because wouldn’t it be an excellent opportunity for the Duke to finally wage war under the pretext of helping his bullied daughter?
“…… Shall we go visit the Emperor?”
“P-pardon?” Lari’s eyes went wide when I mentioned the Emperor, and she seems to be in a panic.
“It’s been a while since I got married, and I haven’t say my greetings to him yet.”
“Well, that’s true, but….”
“If we send a letter first, it will not be rude.”
“Also, I need to kick that chamberlain out of here as soon as possible.”
More than that, I’ve been out of touch for a while, so it’s more advantageous to build connections in this Empire’s society, and I’ve been too lazy to go around and make ties, but I can’t help it with my condition.
Of course, I’ll have to look for Tofu as soon as I can before that.
“If he so touched a single hair of Tofu, he’s dead.”
* * *
I sat on my desk and tried to write a letter to the Emperor. Fortunately, I was assigned to a branch that handled American accounts, if not then I’m doomed.
Though my English was mediocre at best, it’s still somewhat passable. Also, people would understand since I’m from the Sahad Kingdom, which had their own language—the same language back on Earth, Arabic. Luckily, the Ducal estate doesn’t speak the local dialect and only an Arabic version of English. But whether I speak Arabic or English, I’m likewise doomed if I stayed there.
When I was halfway through my letter, someone knocked on the door of the office, which no one comes except for Lari and me.
Lari carefully opened the door to check if the chamberlain sent someone again. However, a man with a stern expression stood outside the door and immediately announced himself.
“I am Shuddin, the Grand Chamberlain of the Emperor.”
“Oh, ye….. yes!? From His Majesty, the Emperor!?”
“May I say my greetings to Princess Raella?”
Lari was startled by his prominent voice. The man was undoubtedly polite and had a refined bearing. From just the impression, it seemed to tell that he was a man of importance. He was a complete opposite of the chamberlain, who was in charge of managing the Lily Palace before.
“Of course, please come in!”
Lari hurriedly opened the door and stepped aside slightly. The Grand Chamberlain, who introduced himself as Shuddin, handed a letter to Elle while saying it was a letter written by His Majesty himself.
Amazing! It seems that the Emperor and I were telepathically connected?
However, I don’t feel right about this.
“He wants to meet Princess Raella at a later date.”
“Why so suddenly?”
“Your Highness can hear the details at the scheduled meeting.”
“…… I see.”
“Then I’ll be on my way.”
The Grand Chamberlain bowed politely and swiftly withdrew.
It was absurd, but it was a good thing that I had the opportunity of meeting him without any hassle. It was a little uncomfortable not knowing the reason. Nevertheless, I’ll find it out once I see him.
I opened the correspondence letter that the Grand Chamberlain gave me.
I wondered why he wanted to see me, but when I opened it, I was perplexed. The letter was composed of insincere contents, with only the date, time, and place written on the paper. What is this? A challenge letter?
Of course, there was no need to write texts full of rhetorics, but Elle was a Princess, even her name was omitted, and there’s only the word Princess on it.
I don’t think he would send such a letter like this even to a low-ranking aristocrat, right?
“Well, this is still good.”
I guess I’ll go ask the Emperor to take care of that nose fly. I originally thought of seeing him first, so now, I wouldn’t need to stay low-key.
“What did His Majesty say?”
“He wants to meet me.”
“Oh, my God, Lady Elle! With this, our problems will be solved!”
I don’t think it would be that easy, but we’ll never know until we try.
* * *
The next morning, Tofu came back. Elle was so surprised that she screamed. The reason was that his whole body, from head to paws, was covered with wounds.
That nose fly definitely ask for it! Does he want to die that much?!
I would never have thought that Tofu would end up like this, full of wounds, but still, it was already quite fortunate that he was able to escape his clutches.
As a result, I didn’t need to kneel and beg to Coffari or ask the Emperor for a favor anymore.
Of course, I’m not going to let go of that nose fly until my last breath!
Elle sobbed at the pitiful sight of Tofu waving his tail, obviously happy to see her, even though the action might have hurt him. With his tongue out and huffing for breaths, he might have run a long way just to get here.
Elle rushed towards Tofu and hugged him gently. She wanted to hug him tight, but doing so would cause him pain. Tofu licked Elle’s cheeks that were stained with tears.
Lari, who had gone to get Elle’s meal, came back and was suddenly surprised as soon as she saw Tofu. She quickly put down the tray on the table and went to hug Tofu as well.
The three of them were huddled like that for a long time, hugging each other.
It was only for one day, but when there was no glimpse of Tofu, Elle’s depression was at its peak even in the midst of finding him. But suddenly, the sight of Tofu filled with wounds made her snap out of it and enlivened with an energy she never had before.
I never thought that I would miss the warmth that Tofu’s body was emitting. I cried and cried until there were no more tears left. Given his wounds, Tofu must have done his best to try to escape on top of getting a harsh beating.
“It’s really Tofu.”
“…… Thank you. You did a great job, Tofu.”
“Thank you, too! Tofu! Waaa!”
Lari cried out and bawled. With snots and tears, she tried to kiss Tofu, but he turned his head back in disgust.
I burst out laughing at his ridiculous expression.
Tofu was so stiff when I was the one doing it, and now he’s avoiding Lari’s kiss like the plague.
Elle, in high spirits, grabbed Tofu’s head and kissed him between his eyes.
Sure enough, Tofu didn’t shrink back in repulse, but he became rigid instead.
Elle hadn’t realized it until now that Tofu’s existence always brought her warmth and happiness as well as heartache and grief. From now on, she will make her utmost effort to protect the ones she cared about and never let them be harmed again.