She was a little anxious.
Elliot was an emerging aristocrat.
His parents were said to be commoners.
There’s no way that Her Highness, the Queen Mother, wouldn’t know that, so why would she ask? Luckily, Elliot didn’t look displeased.

“They were commoners.
They went to the North before giving birth to me.”

“Where did you live before?”

Elliot hesitated, perhaps feeling a bit prying.
But he spoke again leisurely.

“I do not know.
We probably lived near the capital.”

“You don’t know?”

She felt bad.
They had had similar conversations before.
He said his parents both died when he was young.
She sat there, not knowing what to do.
She just came along but he had to tell her to go home first because she was the only one going.

They both died when I was young.”


A pitying expression appeared on Her Highness’s face.
She opened her mouth as if to comfort him, then she shut it and she said.

“I guess I asked something stupid.”

“No, Your Highness.
It was a story that could be confirmed, of course.”

Hearing Elliot’s attitude that it was no big deal, the Queen Mother began to ask him where he lived and whether he had any relatives in hiser hometown.

‘Oh my.
Because of me, you’re being investigated for no reason.
I can’t help you, Elliot.’

“Your Highness, Count Burns came suddenly.”

There was a schedule after that.
When asked if it was okay to leave, the Queen Mother looked at her and let out a sigh.

“People want to stay even if they tell me to stop, but Lady Biscon, you seem to want to go quickly.”

“I will visit you next time.”

“She speaks well when she is called.”

Higher nobles could enter the palace without being called.
Of course she didn’t since she was not royalty, and she was not familiar with royalty.
With that said, some would say it’s important to build friendships with royalty.
But she didn’t know if there were so many advantages to being friends with royalty.
If you get close to someone in power, the number of people who are jealous of you would increase.

She said without expression.

“Your Highness is busy.
Call me and I will come anytime.”

Her Highness the Queen nodded her head, tired of her words.
At the signal that it was okay to leave, she got up with Elliot.

“Is it like this?”

As they were about to leave the palace, Elliot asked. 

‘Oops, sorry I spoke in defense of Her Highness the Queen Mother.’

“It seems you were curious, but it is not always like this.”

Elliot hesitated for a moment at her answer, then grinned.
And he said softly.

It’s okay that you said so, of course.
I am the one who suddenly appeared.”

She was glad he thought so.
The Queen Mother tends to be strict with her, but she didn’t hate her.
Besides, she’s the king’s mother.
Even for Elliot’s sake, she hoped he didn’t have bad feelings for the queen.

“I wonder why they called for you.
I was wondering if Her Highness the Queen Mother always calls the protagonist of rumors like this.”

“Oh, no.
Maybe I, um…”

It’s hard to say that it’s special.
She picked out the words and said.

“Because my mother was the princess’s companion.”

She was talking about Princess Genevieve, now the Queen of Newkirk.
She was also the older sister of the current king.
So even now, Countess Sey Maria Biscon was more famous than her father, Count Biscon.
Because she was the princess’s companion.

“So she calls you sometimes.”

Elliot gave her a look of incomprehension at her answer.
Come to think of it, yes.
It was strange that she called her and not her mother.
But other than that, there was no reason.
“Hmm,” I said after thinking for a moment.

“Princess Genevieve is the queen of Newkirk, so it’s hard to see her grandchildren.
Couldn’t I be instead?”

She heard there were two princes in Newkirk.
In a normal family, since it’s a relationship between a grandson and a grandmother, you’ll see them at least once or twice a year, but that’s the royal family.
She wouldn’t be able to meet you casually.
But Elliot questioned it again.

“Are you saying that Her Highness the Queen Mother thinks of you as her granddaughter?”

It couldn’t be.
The Queen Mother was not particularly kind to her.
There were often cases where she called and drank tea without speaking.
When there was a commotion like today, she sometimes gave admonitions, but basically there was not much conversation between them.
To be honest, she didn’t know why Her Highness the Queen Mother called her so regularly.
So she said, tilting her head.

“To be honest, I don’t know.”

If other people hear it, they would think it’s unlucky.
Her Majesty the Queen Mother called her periodically, and she didn’t know why.
But that’s really all she could think of.
That her mother was the princess’s companion.
So  Her Majesty the Queen Mother might think of her daughters and grandchildren when looking at her mother and herself.

“Perhaps you are right.”

Elliot thought for a moment.
When  she tilted her head, he smiled.

“Eugenie, I mean, she considers you as her granddaughter.”

It felt a bit cheeky to say instead.
Because all of Her Highness’ grandchildren were princes.
But that was the most plausible hypothesis, so she nodded.

* * *

“Is Masha gone?”

After Eugenie and Elliot left, Andrea got up and asked the Countess of Devon who was waiting outside her door.

“Yes, Your Highness.
Shall I enter the palace again?”

At Francis’ answer, Andrea shook her head.

“No, that’s okay.”

Upon hearing that a new aristocrat had appeared, she instructed the Marquis of Henderson to find out about Count Burns.
And Marsha’s report was not too different from Count Burns’ answer earlier.

“They say he’s from a commoner.” said Francis, following Andrea as she made her way to her private parlor to change her clothes. 

It was already known that Count Burns was from a commoner.
That meant he was not from an aristocratic family, unlike the existing upstart aristocrats.
Although it was said that it was a new nobleman, the actual recipients of the title were often from aristocratic families.
Like the second or third sons of nobles, those whose fathers were nobles but do not inherit titles and were awarded for their achievements.

It was natural.
This was because he must have many opportunities to follow his parents to the royal palace so that he could stand out in the eyes of the royal family.
But a man named Elliot Burns had none of that.
His last record was at the academy, and it’s not even known where he went after he graduated.
That was all the Marquis of Henderson could find out.
After he graduated from the academy, he went back to Northern Izu and suddenly made a deal with the dragon and appeared in the ballroom of the royal palace.
There was no record of him learning magic, so the fact that he moved into a royal palace that was enchanted with anti-magic was evidence that he made a deal with a dragon.

“Such a waste.”

After changing her clothes, Andrea let out a sigh as she sat down on the long sofa.
If Count Burns had not been from a commoner family, it would have been better if he had come from an aristocratic family, even if he was foreign.

“What do you mean, Your Highness?”

The Countess of Devon, who had tidied up her clothes, asked, sitting across from her.
Francis picked up a teapot brought by an attendant and began pouring tea into a teacup for Her Highness the Queen Mother.

Since she wanted to rest, he chose a lightly scented one.

“Count Burns.”

“A man with strong likes and dislikes?”

It was famous even among the upper aristocrats.
Andrea smiled at Francis’ words and asked.

“Likes or dislikes?”

She thought he was wary of everyone? The one who made a deal with the dragon.
How he dealt with the dragon was unknown.
Oh sure, Andrea heard a little bit.
It was because Count Burns explained what kind of deal he had made with the dragon in front of the royal wizard and the king.
But people didn’t know what Count Burns had done or how he got to the dragon’s lair, so they were wary of him.
Besides, she’s been told that lately he’s caused a few little fuss.
He was said to have broken the fingers of a nobleman he was playing with during a card game.
He was also said to have broken the arm of a young knight on the road.

Francis told Andrea all these gossips and sipped her tea.

“On the surface, he seems polite.”

Francis burst into laughter at the queen’s reaction, saying it was strange.
That’s natural.
Who could be arrogant in front of royalty? Most people couldn’t say whether they liked it or not in front of the royal family.
Aside from the royalty, the only ones who told Andrea her own demands were her companions, the Marquess of Henderson and the Countess of Devon.
Oh, and the same goes for Lady Biscon, who came and went a little while ago.

“If there is a dislike, then it seems that there are many people who have marked him as a son-in-law.”

“Because he’s handsome and wealthy and single.”

Rumor had it that he was quite wealthy.
Along with plausible and detailed rumors of trading with dragons and bringing back loads of treasure.
Andrea nodded her head, recalling the story that Count Burns had bought several buildings in the capital.
That alone was enough to get  the attention of the nobles that had daughters.
Even if he was a bit violent, he was rich and the body was fine.
No, it’s not quite fine.

Andrea let out a sigh, remembering Elliot who was kind to Eugenie.
What a waste.
It’s really worth it.
A better man suited Eugenie.
She, who was only fine like that, was with a man who doesn’t even look like a man.
But she couldn’t help it.
Andrea let out a sigh as she raised her teacup.
Didn’t she have nothing to call a family?

“That’s why it seems that there are quite a few families keeping an eye on him.”

Francis laughed helplessly as she said that.
Until a few months ago, she thought her children’s wedding was over.
Because her youngest son’s wedding was scheduled for this year.
Andrea asked quietly at Francis’ helpless expression.

“How is Millie?”

Tears welled up in Francis’ eyes.
I don’t know why all of a sudden The Count yelled at her and threatened to put her in a convent, but Millie didn’t budge.

“It is as it is.”

“Does she still say she won’t get married?”

I still keep her mouth shut.”

The doctor diagnosed that there was no mental problem.
The words were clear and there was no problem with judgment.
Francis took out his handkerchief and wiped away his tears.

“I want you to just tell me why you are doing this all of a sudden.”

However, at the words of the Countess of Devon, who said she would not speak to her family, Andrea tried to tell her to bring her to him.
I didn’t even tell her parents because she didn’t think I would tell her.

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