‘Gosh, I was going to pat him on the head for being so nice, but I shouldn’t even think about it.’
“Children, it’s great to engage in activities that will create future descendants, but don’t forget that I’m here.”
Ah, come to think of it, I completely forget about Camilla’s existence.
I awkwardly opened my mouth.
“Anyway, I’ll go back to the mansion.”
* * *
“It’s okay, Ella. You can just relax and read a book in the lounge named ‘confinement room’ until the party is over.”
Before Ella was taken away by the knights, Anji had whispered in her ear, reassuring the worried her. However, she was not reassured.
‘I heard that His Majesty also went to the confinement room where Madam Anji is!’
She had heard that Anji was confined.
‘Anji did something she shouldn’t have done.’
Even if the concubines cursed and tarnished the honor of the imperial family at the party, and even if they behaved rudely to the emperor, he would only give them public punishments. The only time he would get strict was when it came to harming the honor of another concubine.
Even though Grand Duchess Erestein wasn’t a concubine, she was currently the trophy that the emperor cherished the most.
And yet, Anji was trying to ruin her.
‘Anji, it’s just a misunderstanding that we have nothing to lose. We still have our life.’
Ella regretted missing the timing to say that to Anji.
Just as Ella was panicking, the Empress, Roxanne Alphair Zacka, approached her.
“Do you want to save Madam Anji?”
Her pristine white and beautiful face smiled. Despite the fact that it was a graceful and soft smile, Ella felt a shiver of fear in that moment. She could never guess why she brought up Anji.
“Yes… That’s right, Your Majesty the Empress.”
Hence, she answered obediently, and the Empress smiled with her red eyes.
“I have a way.”
“You have a way…”
“Ask the Grand Duchess of Erestein for a song in honor of the guest at the birthday banquet, The Birth of Adnelli.”
The Birth of Adnelli was a song that mothers sing to celebrate their child’s birth, and everyone in the Empire, whether commoner or noble, had heard this song and grew up with it. As a result, those who didn’t know The Birth of Adnelli were suspected of being raised in other countries.
“Grand Duchess Erestein lost all of her memories three years ago, so she probably doesn’t know the song, which she only heard when she was a child.”
“…She lost her memory?”
Ella had never heard the story before. So when Empress Roxanne nodded, she opened her mouth after some thought.
“Are you saying you don’t know about it?”
A gust of wind blew outside and passed through Empress Roxanne’s silver hair. Like a moon that appeared during the day, Empress Roxanne gave a faint smile. Ella, who understood the smile as a sign of affirmation, asked.
“But if Grand Duchess Erestein had lost her memory, wouldn’t any charges against her be easily dismissed?”
“Only a few people know about the fact that she has lost her memory. The rumor was that she lost her memory due to abuse from Duke Hoover, and the Duke tried to cover up her memory loss.”
If Duke Hoover had indeed concealed the medical records of Grand Duchess Erestein’s memory loss, there would be no way to prove her memory loss. It was a perfect opportunity to pin the blame on her. Once she was accused, no matter what the truth was, she would have to endure all kinds of torture.
It would be quite a sight to see the once dignified Grand Duchess Erestein turn into a pitiful person after enduring all the torture. Plus, it could also help her find Anji.
There was no reason to refuse such an offer.
* * *
“Are you the Grand Duchess Erestein?”
A man I had never seen before called out to me just before I left the party venue with Reinhardt and Camilla. When I asked who he was, the man revealed his identity.
“I am Madam Ella Candia’s aide. She has invited you to sing a birthday song.”
Usually, those invitations were reserved for close acquaintances, so why me…? I looked at Ella’s aide with eyes that begged for an explanation, but he had an awkward expression. Perhaps he didn’t know the details either.
‘I was planning to leave since I wasn’t feeling well, but… I can’t refuse.’
It would be extremely rude to reject the birthday girl’s request, no matter who she asked. If I were to refuse, I would be excluded from all birthday parties for at least a year. Even for my own birthday party, no one would respond to the invitations.
“Doesn’t Madam Ella know that the Grand Duchess has just passed out? What’s the point of asking someone who is not feeling well?”
Reinhardt’s eyes, filled with anger, were fixed on me. He asked in a bitter tone.
“What’s with that expression on your face?”
What was wrong?
As I looked at him with a puzzled expression, he poked my cheek with his finger.
“Why are you smiling so much?”
It was only when Reinhardt pointed it out that I realized that the corners of my mouth were upturned.
“Stop laughing and answer the question. Why the sudden enthusiasm?”
Of course, I was happy. I had been unable to get on stage for the past three years since becoming Irovel, but now, I had the chance! Of course, I couldn’t help but be excited!
“Are you thinking of getting on stage?”
Reinhardt asked with a serious expression when he saw my worried face.
Of course, Reinhardt… This was a chance for me to relieve my memories!
“Yes. I just fell asleep because I was so sleepy earlier. It must have been my alter ego that woke up.”
“Don’t talk about your alter ego as if it’s some latent ability.”
“Though what song did Madam Ella request?”
Camilla asked, and the aide answered, “It’s ‘La Vie en Rose’.”
I nodded lightly at the answer. It was a song often sung at birthday parties for women, and I had heard it a few times at the parties my stepmother forced me to go.
“The performance starts in ten minutes.”
Only ten minutes left. It was not enough time to learn a song I had only heard a few times.
“Do you know the lyrics?”
Camilla asked with concern, knowing through the background check. I was set to have lost my memories three years ago, after all.
I shook my head.
“No, but I will start memorizing from now on.”
“In just ten minutes?”
“I am capable of it.”
As a former survival audition program contestant, I had trained for various unexpected situations before going on stage, such as changing the center position and composing on the spot in just ten minutes.
So, memorizing a song I had never heard before was one of them, so although it was difficult, it was not impossible.
“I disagree. You have amnesia, isn’t it a problem? What if you suddenly fall asleep on stage and get seriously injured?”
“You suddenly had a fever right before you collapsed. Looking back, it seemed like a premonition before you collapsed.”
“If I have a fever again, I’ll come down right away. So please, let me do it. Okay?”
When I begged, Reinhardt said with a complicated expression.
“You’re not my possession just because you’re my wife. You don’t need my permission for all your actions. Even if I oppose it…”
It occurred to me that I had always needed permission from my agency or my stepmother for everything, but Reinhardt said he didn’t need that even though he was basically holding my life in his hands.
‘If I had married that Emperor, I would have to ask for permission again.’
I was so grateful that Reinhardt chose me.
“Thank you for saying that, Reinhardt.”
Grateful, I gazed into his blue eyes and smiled at his handsome face. Then, for some reason, I said to him, who suddenly turned his head.
“I don’t know why, but I feel like it’s going to be okay. So, don’t worry.”
* * *
“This is a congratulatory song from Grand Duchess Irovel Erestein to Madam Ella Candia!”
As I went up on stage at the host’s call, thanks to Camilla’s help, I was able to learn the song.
‘Now, all I have to do is perform as I practiced.’
I glanced around the audience below. It was thrilling to know that all their eyes were on me, each thinking different thoughts, and I was so happy to see this sight that I had missed so much.
“The song’s title is…?”
As the host was about to announce the title, the aide I saw earlier approached. The aide whispered something to the host and then disappeared, and the host opened his mouth again.
“The song’s title is The Birth of Adnelli!”
What is that? Earlier, it was ‘La Vie en Rose,’ right?