Chapter 34: Step by Step (4)
After listening to John, Juno looked at Jupiter. "What do you think, Teacher?"
"Do what you want. You don’t need to work with His Majesty."
Juno gently caressed Jupiter’s face. She combed her fingers through his hair. His complexion wasn’t bad, and his hair was soft thanks to the nutrients being supplied.
"Yes, there are plenty of ways to gain power without the emperor." The title of alchemist held a lot of value. As long as she was active, there were people willing to become an ally. "However, it will take a lot of time." Juno wanted to sort things out as soon as possible to focus on Jupiter.
"It won’t be easy. Working with the emperor means you can’t avoid him," Peter said.
"Yes, but if I can, I should."
The anger buried under her composure still boiled. Peter sighed as he saw it.
Juno continued, "I thought about what I’d do. If I were Jupiter, I’d use them until they served their purpose, then throw them away." Jupiter was kind and gentle in front of her, but he was always a cold, cruel person. "It’s not a bad idea to isolate His Highness." The crown prince would be shunned by the nobles even if Juno didn’t do anything. "There are still a few people who support him, right?"
The position of the crown prince was unstable because he wasn’t the son of the empress. The emperor was also facing opposition from the empress’s family. In recent years, the emperor has been criticized for turning a blind eye to the crown prince’s reckless behavior. Then, Juno reached out to the royal family. I thought it was a blessing in disguise, but that wasn’t the case.
If the empire lost the war, the crown prince and the emperor, the main instigators, wouldn’t have been able to act as they are now. The royal family won the war thanks to Juno but also used her to bury their faults. Since they used me like this, I should do the same to them.
"I’ll get as much as I can, and when Jupiter wakes up, I’ll ask him how he wants them to be thrown away."
"…All right, go ahead."
"I’ll let His Majesty and His Highness bring about their own ruin. I have my own path of destruction to follow."
Juno remembered the crown prince who had approached her.
"Are you Countess Sergien?"
He had been sneaking glances at her and "accidentally" bumped into her. Truly the worst. Recently, he had been talking casually about Juno and Count Sergien.
"I thought I had to be the one to take the reins of the emperor and the crown prince, but it seemed there was no need." Juno almost wanted to laugh. "I will abandon both of them when I know all their secrets."
It would take a long time for her revenge to come to fruition.
Juno opened the curtains and the window. The sunshine and fresh air that poured into the room made her feel better.
She always said that to him every day after he returned to the mansion for eight years now. She gently touched his face before wringing the water out of a wet towel.
"My lady, here’s a letter for you," John said after entering the room.
Juno was wiping Jupiter’s hand. "From who?"
Letters were always sent to her, so it wasn’t anything new. She grinned as she looked at Jupiter’s nails.
"Marquis Robert’s legal representative…"
Her smile disappeared. How many letters had she received? "I’ll see him today."
Juno hadn’t met a persistent opponent in a long time. She’ll see what was happening and determine if the visit was worth it. Juno shuddered, remembering the countless letters sent over the past few days.
As she put away the wet towels, John gave Juno medicine.
"Oh, thank you." She began to apply it to Jupiter’s skin. It was a new medicine for him that was absorbed through the skin.
After examining Jupiter’s body, John said, "Fortunately, there seem to be no problems."
Indeed, there wasn’t, except that Jupiter was still unconscious. "How is Teacher doing?"
"No major issues so far. Master is making progress as always."
During these past eight years, Juno continued her own research and gained more power. As a result, her position was very stable. It’s all a matter of skill and politics. With her long wait coming to an end, she was concerned when she received a letter from House Trish. About my father’s will.
After the incident with Jupiter, Marquis Robert lost power as soon as Juno established herself as an alchemist. I didn’t do anything, however. Those who paid attention to her pushed the marquis away. She only remembered him after hearing about his death. He realized what kind of mess he was in. When Jupiter was said to have died and Juno become more popular, the marquis continued to pick fights with other nobles for eight years. In the end, they wiped each other out.
Now there was this problem. The legal representative insisted to meet Juno to discuss the will even when she said she wasn’t interested. I was going to ignore it this time, but… She didn’t want to be stingy with opportunities. She also wished to focus on her research as soon as possible. As she sighed in exasperation, Pi flew through the window and put a flower next to Jupiter.
"Good morning, my lady!" Pi perched next to her and chirped.
Juno stroked Pi’s head. "Hello, Pi. You brought him a present today too."
"Yes, a gift for the sleeping beauty. Aren’t I nice?"
Pi was cute as always. "Thank you," Juno said. "Are you going to keep me company?"
Juno petted her head. "Please take care of him for today. I have to go."
Juno always felt grateful to Pi for saving Jupiter. "I’ll be right back, Jupiter."
She had changed a lot over the past eight years. Her title was the same, but in terms of personality, it could be said she had become a completely different person.
She was a cold-hearted person who followed her own rules, but the only thing that didn’t change was her feelings for Jupiter. No, I can’t say my feelings haven’t changed. There was a growing sense of urgency. Was it because she repeatedly said she wouldn’t give up? Her love for Jupiter only grew stronger and stronger. I wonder if it borders on the line of obsession. Knowing she wasn’t a good person, Juno moved forward. If she stopped or looked back, she would collapse. Juno caressed Jupiter’s face before she left the room.
Things that you don’t want to do should be done first. Juno changed into formal attire and looked in the mirror. An aloof woman with red hair stared back. Not pretty.
"My lady." John entered the room as she was about to leave.
Juno shook her head. "I’ll go by myself."
"It’ll be fine. You know it won’t be dangerous."
Juno had the strongest versions of the Protective Barrier and Shooter, neither of which were on the market. Since Juno became popular, John became more concerned about her safety. She smiled as if to reassure him, and John stepped aside.
"I understand. Have a safe trip."
"Of course. I’ll be back as soon as I can," Juno said as she got on the carriage.
"If you don’t come back in three hours, I’ll pick you up."
"Do you think it will take that long?"
It won’t take three hours.
The carriage began to move. And so, Juno visited the mansion of House Trish for the first time in nearly ten years. There, she encountered the unexpected remains of the past.
A little girl sat in the drawing room. She was a pretty child; her twin tails added to her cute appearance.
However, Juno looked away without much of a reaction. She shoved the will back into the legal representative’s hand. "What is the meaning of this?"
"A mansion and a child who must be loved and cared for—"
"What if I don’t want either?"
The man had a puzzled expression. "My lady, this place is—"
"Don’t you know who I am?" Juno’s attitude, which had been polite, changed in an instant.
"Yes," the legal representative answered quickly.
There’s no way he didn’t know. In the empire, no, the entire continent, no one didn’t know the name of Juno Sergien.
But what the hell is this?