Viscount Roteschu went straight to the palace to meet Rashta. She greeted him with her usual look of disdain, but he ignored it. He wouldn't kill his golden goose over a moment of anger, let alone a golden goose that had the Emperor wrapped around her finger.
However, no matter how shocked Viscount Roteschu was by the new developments, he was not as shocked as Rashta.
"Why will the Empress meet with Rivetti?"
Rashta exclaimed in surprise.
"I don't know, but I came here as I thought it would be better to inform you."
Rashta took stock of this new information and muttered to herself.
"…The Empress is digging into Rashta."
She was convinced of it, and nervously bit her lip. She should have considered that the Empress would go poking around, or that Rivetti would have gone chasing after her. However, there was not much she could do despite her anger.
"Keep them quiet. Both Rivetti and Alan."
All she could do was apply pressure on Viscount Roteschu.
Viscount Roteschu had come running to her with unwelcome news, and now he had a large smile on his face. Rashta's anger flared when she saw it. She wanted to violently overturn all the tables and chairs in the room, but the Emperor would find out if she did so.
"Why is everyone bothering Rashta? Rashta just wants to live a quiet life!"
Although Viscount Roteschu didn't have anything else to say, he didn't go away.
"Aren't you going to leave?"
Rashta glared at Viscount Roteschu. He usually made excessive demands from her, whether it was money, jewelry, a big mansion, or money to hire more servants. The fact that he was likely to do so again caused her temper to rise.
"Oh no. Don't get too excited."
Viscount Roteschu smirked and settled himself deeper in his chair.
"There's no need to rush me."
"What else do you want?"
"You speak too quickly, Rashta."
"You're too slow, so Rashta had to quicken it."
Viscount Roteschu shrugged and pretended to look around, then asked if she had a calendar.
She stared at him nonplussed, and he chuckled.
"Spring is debutante season, don't you know?"
She knew that, but she didn't know why he brought it up.
Rashta looked at him with a foreboding feeling, and he smiled again.
"I have a debutante this spring."
Rashta's expression stiffened. She could guess where this was going.
A debutante made their official debut into society at a ball, and so everyone dressed up as beautifully and as expensively as they could. Viscount Roteschu must be expecting her to pay for a dress.
"Did you already spend the money you took before?"
Rashta seethed in irritation. She had already received a large amount of jewelry as baby presents, so this time she wouldn't have to borrow money from Duke Elgy or Baron Lant. However, whether she had money or not, she did not want to be threatened, nor be forced into giving that rotten Rivetti a dress to wear.
"I'm not asking for money."
"There are many famous designers who work for their high-profile clients for free."
"So have your own dress tailored for my daughter."
"Of course, you should only use the finest fabrics and jewelry. No need to let the money go to waste."
It's my money, not yours, Rashta fumed inwardly. There was nothing more she wanted to do than to kill Roteschu. If she thought about her future as an empress…wouldn't it be better to do it now?
Rashta's eyes flared, but a smile spread on Viscount Roteschu's face.
"Rashta, just in case—"
"Don't even think about it."
He laughed as she stared defiantly at him.
"Did you think I would simply stroll into the Imperial Palace without a backup plan?"
"What do you mean?"
"If anything happens to me—whether I'm dead or if I'm unable to take action—there are people here and there that will spread your secret within a day."
Rashta's eyes widened.
Here and there. How many people knew the secret?
Looking down at the trembling Rashta, Viscount Roteschu grinned and left.
"Viscount Roteschu visited Miss Rashta again…?"
"Yes, Your Majesty."
"…Very well. Thank you for informing me."
After Sir Artina reported the news of Viscount Roteschu, I returned to the book about Rwibt that Grand Duke Kapmen had given to me. Although trade with his country was still a long way off, it was still something I was looking into.
Countess Eliza sent out the maids who were cleaning the room before turning to me with a question.
"Is it because Lady Rivetti is coming tomorrow?"
Laura glared and she let out a snort.
"I think they're trying to shut Lady Rivetti's mouth beforehand."
I gave the same answer as before and nodded. The ladies-in-waiting exchanged anxious glances with each other, but I casually returned to my book. My calm indifference wasn't for show. In truth, I did not expect Rivetti to tell me about Rashta anyway.
"What I want isn't information from Miss Rivetti."
Of course, it would be useful if I could learn about Rashta's past, but it wasn't necessary. The ladies-in-waiting looked at me in wonder, and I languidly flipped a page of my book.
'All I want to do is give Rashta a warning.'
If I met with Rivetti, Rashta would wonder why I did and become frantic from worry. That was all I wanted. She had to know she could never be in a dignified and honorable position.
I closed my eyes. She needed to be more careful about her behavior.