Penelois hesitated for a moment, wiggling her fingers, then clenched her fists as if determined and opened her mouth.
“Is there really a chance that Eleon will succeed to the throne?”
“I know he’s trying. But is there really a chance? You never know what will happen to His Majesty’s intention if the First Prince returns.”
At her question, Sarah tilted her head to the side as if puzzled. From Penelois’ point of view, who should be hoping for that, it should be a question of hope for a win. But the anxiety and subtle grit on Penelois’ face seemed to be the other way around. As if she wished that the Third Prince would not inherit the throne. Sensing that subtle feeling, Sarah asked, not hiding her doubts.
“Doesn’t Lady Penelois want His Highness Eleon to become emperor?”
“I want it. I want it. I’ll stand by whatever Eleon wants. However……”
Penelois’ voice was trembling faintly. Sarah, who had been quietly listening to her, asked in a soft voice.
“Are you afraid of them?”
At Sarah’s words, Penelois shuddered as if she had been stabbed to the head. Sarah’s gaze at her looked as azure and deep as the blue sea that embraces everything. No matter what she said, she felt a sense of benevolence that she would listen to everything. Why does it feel like that to Sarah, who was about the same age, Penelois felt like she was dealing with someone who had lived decades longer than her.
“That’s right. I’m so scared after Eleon takes the throne.”
“……Because of Lady Penelois’s status?”
Seeing Penelois nodding her head with a heavy expression on her face, Sarah fell into deep thought for a moment.
‘She doesn’t look very vulnerable.’
Considering the swearing words that the Empress had learned from her daughter-in-law, Penelois wasn’t the one who grew up nicely in the greenhouse. The years of living as a slave in a foreign country would have made her even stronger.
“My existence itself will be a flaw for Eleon and Elexa.”
Nevertheless, her failure to cross the great wall of status was making Penelois infinitely weak. Sarah said with a deep sigh.
“It’s definitely a disadvantage to deal with them.”
This was not Korea, but in this world, there was a law unique to this world. The magician was the one walking with the principles, Sarah had never tried to break the laws of this world. Her involvement in power brought about a different butterfly effect.
‘There are many things I can’t do because I have the power. However……’
However, Penelois was different. Living in her world now, she was able to ignite the spark of small change. It was because Penelois had a cause in her hand. So Sarah smiled sweetly and said.
“But it’s not impossible.”
“Even though His Highness the Third Prince already knew Lady Penelois’s identity, he loved you deeply.”
“But will the nobles accept me just because Eleon loves me?”
At Penelois’ question, Sarah raised her hand and covered her mouth with a soft smile.
“You can’t expect the nobles to accept it.”
Penelois’ face hardened for an instant. Unknowingly, she clenched her fist and bit her lip.
“Make them accept it. You will stand on top of them. They won’t dare comment on Lady Penelois’ status.”
At Sarah’s subsequent words, Penelope’s face quickly turned red. It was because she was ashamed of herself for interpreting her as if she was the same aristocrat. She was able to realize how much her qualification was inflated without realizing it herself.
“In the future, if Young Master Elexa succeeds His Highness the Third Prince, Lady Penelois will become the Emperor’s mother. All of Young Master Elexa came from Lady Penelois, and no nobleman can ignore you.”
Penelois put her hands together and looked at Sarah. It was because Sarah, not random people, said so, so she thought it would be the case. Crombell was an empire where women were not allowed to hold titles. Nevertheless, Sarah took the title of successor to the Count’s family in her hands, and the words that came out of her mouth gave Penelois hope that she could soon become like her.
“So, please, please do everything in your power to make His Highness the Third Prince win and become the master of this Empire.”
At Sarah’s words, Penelois’ face was complicatedly entangled. But if there was a vague worry ahead before then, this time there was a faint will.
“Make people become Lady Penelois’ one by one. Once one of the princes except for the First Prince becomes Emperor, Her Majesty the Empress will become the Empress Dowager, who will lead the Imperial Palace.”
“Her Majesty the Empress is kind to me.”
“I’ve met her before, and she seems to be. She seems to like Lady Penelois a lot, doesn’t she?”
Sarah smiled and nodded. Penelois was not just a soft-hearted person, which she fully understood after witnessing her habit when speaking to the Empress.
“If you have won the heart of your Majesty the Empress, then the family is next.”
“You mean Marquis Orlin’s family?”
“Yes. Marquis Orlin’s family is Her Highness’ maternal relatives. Her Majesty the Empress will try to avoid having any family other than Marquis Orlin’s family become a maternal family.”
“Maybe that’s why she’s kind to me.”
Penelois’ eyes widened, and then she smiled bitterly. She thought that the Empress might not fully like Penelois herself, but it was a different feeling for her to be confirmed with her own words like this. From the point of view of the Empress, she must have thought that there was no other thing as easy to use as Penelois, who was all alone. The more wretched Penelois was, the easier it would be for the Empress to keep her.
“But you can’t be satisfied with that.”
“You must know how to hold Marquis Orlin’s family in your hand and shake it.”
“Marquis Orlin’s family, how dare I……”
Sarah pressed Penelois with a firm but stern voice at the seemingly unconvinced answer.
“How do you plan to lead this country with His Highness the Third Prince if the person who will become the Empress of the Empire cannot wield a single noble family?”
Sarah said, putting her hand on her temple as if she had a headache.
“The easiest place for Lady Penelois to take control will be Marquis Orlin’s family. So be greedy, and pull it to Lady Penelois’ side entirely.”
Penelois bit her lips. She knew better than anyone else that she was lacking. However, she had a child to protect and was in a situation where she could no longer back down. She also knew that everything Sarah said to her now was blood and flesh. Sarah might have collected all the favors she had shown her if she didn’t realize it after telling her so openly.
‘Nobles don’t invest in things that have no value. So one must always be of value to them.’
She remembered what Eleon had said to her one day. For Sarah, Penelois’ worth was a bond that could help her later when she became Empress, and when Elexa, who became friends with Claude, became Emperor. So, if Penelois was to repay Sarah’s favor, she had to realize that value.
“Please let me know how I should do it. I’ll do it.”
“It’s a good will.”
As if Penelois’ words were correct, Sarah finally relaxed her stern expression and smiled.
“Use carrots and sticks properly.”
“Carrots and sticks?”
“That’s how you tame Marquis Orlin’s family.”
What was a carrot and a whip to Marquis Orlin’s family? Was there anything Penelois would dare to wield against Marquis Orlin’s family, a noble family who was the Empress’s maternal family and the family of knights who had served as the head of the Imperial knights for generations to generations? Penelois thought Sarah was holding the key. Penelois began, thinking that she should be more brazen if she should seek advice.
“Please tell me a little more.”
Sarah smiled softly, and there seemed to be a sweet scent in her voice. Sarah said in such a subtle and secretive voice.
“Crassida Orlin, who used to be Young Master Elexa’s nanny, is now back to the Marquis’s family, isn’t she?”
At Sarah’s words, Penelois exclaimed as if she remembered her existence at that moment. Crassida Orlin had been sent back to the Marquis’s family for failing to fulfill her nanny’s duties and ignoring Penelois and Elexa and saying rude things.
“The medicine Lady Penelois asked for, the investigation is over. It’s a pity for Crassida Orlin, though.”
Only then did Penelois realize what the whip and the carrot she had to wield.