Shadow Queen

Chapter 24

Chapter 24

‘Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.’

Even if she refrained from speculating, she should definitely point out what she had to say. Ren was too dangerous a man to let go of the tension.

“I saw Sir Ren fall while dancing. What happened to him?”

“Oh, I pushed him.”

Leabrick frowned at Elena’s words.


“He grabbed my wrist so hard that I was sick and scared that I couldn’t just shake it off. Then I pushed him as hard as I could. That’s all.”

Leabrick opened her eyes wide at Elena’s words. Ren was well-built enough to hold Elena, who can’t dance. He was also an expectant athlete who was born with a skill for swordsmanship and was expected by the Empire. He wasn’t a man easy enough to fall down just because a woman pushed him.


“No wonder Liv doesn’t believe it. But it’s true.”

Leabrick was frustrated. Common sense doesn’t make sense, but she had no choice but to believe Elena when she said that.

‘It’s weird. I feel like I’m missing something.’

The problem was that there was no way to explain what was missing.

“Again, Sir Ren is dangerous. Avoid him if you can. If you have no choice but to run into each other, avoid him.”

“Yes, I’ll be careful.”

Elena nodded her head in a solemn expression. Perhaps because she didn’t want to let go of what she lost, Leabrick no longer said the same thing.

“It looks like you had a conversation with Madame de Flanrose.”

“Oh, I had a chance to say hello to her by chance.”

Elena confided without a lie. There was no particular reason to hide it. Elena and Madame de Flanrose talked about etiquette in an official place.

“It looked like you were exchanging something?”

‘Did you watch me in the meantime?’

It must have been hard to leave Elena alone. She could see that she had talked to a lot of aristocrats, but she kept her eye on her for a while. Elena hid her mind and spoke calmly.

“Oh, I was so happy that I gave her a handkerchief to thank her for her good manners.”

Then Elena intentionally shrank, pretending to look at Leabrick’s cold expression.

“… Did I do something wrong?”

“What do you think you did wrong?”

“… It’s not good to give a handkerchief?”


Leabrick continued in a cold tone.

“The princess’ manners are still immature. She’s much better, but she’s as young as she looks. Have you ever thought that if you were involved with such a woman, you’d get caught?”

Elena opened her eyes wide in surprise.

“B-but she definitely praised my manners.”

“Compliment your opponent for their lack. It’s also part of etiquette.”


Leabrick pointed out only by applying her yardstick to Elena.

“Listening to Liv, I think I was careless. In that state of mind I’ll be careful from now on.”

Elena apologized in that position, saying she would correct the mistake. Leabrick, who had completed her business, stood up from the sofa and gave a final warning.

“Princess, always remember. How you are in your current situation and where you come from. Will you go back there again or stay here? It all depends on being a princess.”


“You know what I mean, right?”

Leabrick, who unilaterally finished what she had to say, left the drawing room.


When Elena, who was left alone, heard the door closing, she got up from her seat and turned on the flag. When she tried to move away from Leabrick’s eyes, her body unconsciously tensed up.

“But it was a very satisfying day.”

A deep smile spread around Elena’s mouth with a feeling of accomplishment that filled her heart. She took a step forward to avenge herself today.


Duke Rosette’s birthday banquet was held for five days. Considering that the banquet of the royal court-organized event was less than four days, it was a glimpse of how high the power of Duke Friedrich was.

Elena appeared at the banquet for only three days, an odd number out of the five days. It was unusual considering that most of the high-ranking nobles did not participate except on the first day of the banquet.

Leabrick wanted to show off her robustness to the public. That way, they could completely calm the noise that comes out over the successor to the Grand Duke.

There is another reason. It was to give Elena a social experience. It was a great opportunity because it was less important as their children and local nobles usually participated in the banquet than high-ranking nobles. As such opportunities are rare, Leabrick also took the time to stay with Elena.

After the banquet, she was asked to review what happened that day and correct anything wrong. Emphasizing that the small change is the process of becoming a more perfect Princess Veronica.

Elena refrained from acting independently and acted obediently according to Leabrick’s will. As long as she got what she wanted, she had no reason to stand out and be out of Leabrick’s eyes.

That year, the biggest event of the Grand Duke’s residence ended. The mansion went back to the old days and became busy again, and the servants heated up in the cleanup. Leabrick also went out of the house to deal with matters big and small in the Grand Duchy that had not been dealt with. Then she told Elena to take a rest for a few days because she had a hard time.

‘Do you want me to take a break?’

Elena summoned famous jewelers from the empire to her mansion. Each of them had a variety of elaborately crafted ornaments, each of which was an expensive item made of precious jewels that were so rare that they could throw out their tongues.

Elena selected and bought some of them that were easy to make as an imitation. Among them, the most preferred one was the diamond. Unlike sapphire, ruby, and emerald, there was no color, so it was easy to fabricate glass by processing it. Unlike other gems, whose prices vary widely due to impurities and sophistication, the larger the size, the higher the price went up. In addition, the market fluctuations were small as long as the imperial aristocrats liked the transparency of it.

‘I need a route to get rid of it from Leabrick’s eyes. I need craftsmen to make imitations.’

Elena didn’t think in a hurry. While in the Grand Residence, the range of movements was bound to be narrow. It was difficult to avoid Leabrick’s eyes, and it was impossible to act independently.

‘I can move freely when I enter the academy.’

Elena’s return to the academy was a scheduled step, as Leabrick also admitted. The Frontier Institute, located near the Empire’s capital, made it a rule to live in a dormitory without exception for any students. Even the capital aristocrats were strict enough to take disciplinary measures against them.

Her academic career was a great opportunity for Elena to build her foundation. Because academic institutes have no choice but to live a restricted life in the shadow, the monitoring of Leabrick would be loosened.

‘Lorentz’s been taken off. Now she’s the only one left, and…’

From the beginning, Anne was a maid that Leabrick had assigned as a watchman. If she didn’t know who it was, she wouldn’t know, there was no problem with knowing that she was Leabrick’s limb.

‘She’s not the only one who can use the reverse, right?’

It’s bad luck to just kick Anne out. Elena predicted more than one, or two, than that.

‘Leabrick must be relieved to have Anne on me.’

There was no need to be suspicious of defeating Anne. Having Anne alone had many advantages for Elena. It was very meaningful to be able to relax Leabrick’s vigilance and lead to carelessness. Elena, who returned from the jewelry store, had a relaxed tea time.

“Your Highness the Princess.”

Hurelbard, who had never opened his mouth before during his escort, spoke first. Elena looked back at him as she put the teacup on the pedestal.

“That’s a big deal. Sir spoke to me first.”



Hurelbard bowed his head as permission fell.

“I was delayed due to the lack of circumstances, but I would like to dispose of my mistakes now.”


Elena broached the words and picked up the teacup she had put down. She savored the scent of black tea with her nose, tasted it with her tongue, and organized her thoughts.

“What do you want to do?”

“How could I dare decide that for myself. I will take any punishment.”

Hurelbard was sincere. At the time, Ren was not identified, so there was nothing he could do about it. Eventually, however, Elena’s order not to clash with Len was not fulfilled. He was appointed as a knight and couldn’t stand it because he couldn’t keep it even though it was his first order.

“I just can’t get over it because I want to dispose of it. Take it off.”


Hurelbard’s eyes shook like an earthquake. His expression, which was so embarrassed that he was frozen, was questionable of whether he was the knight of ice, who was called the epitome of coolness.

“Didn’t you hear me tell you to take it off?”

“W-what the hell…”

Frustrated, Hurelbard blurted his words out of control. Elena said, holding back her laughter from the response.

“What did you expect? Did you think I was asking you to take your top off?”

“How dare I.”

“Sir, you’re afraid I might have mentioned your bottoms?”


Elena, who was looking at Hurelbard’s relentlessly shaky expression, smiled. Hurelbard looked blank as he stared at Elena without knowing what was going on. Elena pointed to Hurelbard’s hand with a wink.

“I’m asking for the gloves you’re wearing.”

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“You mean these gloves?”

“Yes, those. Are you ignoring me because you don’t want to give it to me?”

Elena’s mischievous remarks prompted Hurelbard to hurriedly take off his gloves. Elena’s black cotton gloves looked more like a protocol than combat gloves. She heard that many people wear sword handles to support them from slipping.

Elena rose from her chair and took out her embroidery from the drawer. She opened the lid and took out the needle and thread, then turned the gloves over and started putting embroidery inside. Every time the thin, slender fingers moved, five-colored threads fell on the surface. Her hand movements were so exquisite that Hurelbard stood blank, his eyes blinded.

Within such a long time, the inner side of the cotton glove was embroidered with letters that harmonized with gold and silver.

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