“This is everything that you need to study.”
“Do you mean all of this”
These are the things I read when I was little,” Apollonia said, pointing to the books that were piled up like a mountain.
Caelion was staying in a secret room inside the palace.
It was the only place that the emperor could never find as he was unaware of the palace’s structure.
“Until you get a good teacher, you should learn on your own.
Report to me how much you learned every time.
I’ll bring you the next books when the time comes.”
He opened each book one by one.
Many were books by famous scholars in each field, but some were books he had never heard of.
If Apollonia learned all of this at the age of nine, she must be way smarter than he originally thought.
“Military strategy….” He picked up a brown book at the very bottom.
“It’s a very important book.
The writer was once the greatest general in the empire.”
She gestured lightly, telling him to check the author’s name.
“But Your Highness…”
A hero who was once the great general and the prince’s consort.”
Watching his shocked face, Apollonia replied with a sneer, “It’s a military book written by Gaius Leifer himself.”
“What’s the problem It’s true that my father was a warrior praised by everyone.
Even though he was incomparable to my grandfather during his heyday, he was second to none when it comes to military tactics.”
“Your Highness, he’s our enemy.”
“He’s also the person who wrote this book systematically and devotedly,” Apollonia responded as if his concern were insignificant.
If this already shocked you, you’d faint looking at the book just above it.”
“Pardon” Caelion picked up a blue, thick book just above the military book.
“It’s a book that contains the theory of economics and business practice.
It’s very important.”
“…By Petra Leifer.”
Caelion was made speechless after checking the author’s name.
“You have to study it properly until you memorize the whole content.”
“There are many similar books.”
“You don’t get it, do you”
When Apollonia put her hand on Caelion’s shoulder, he raised his head.
He still looked shocked.
“When dealing with strong enemies, you must acquire as much information as possible about them.
You still know nothing about them, don’t you”
Caelion bit his lips for a while and sighed defeatedly.
“Your Highness is right.” He opened the book without further delay.
As he was gradually immersed in studying, Apollonia finally left the room.
“Are you alright” Uriel, who stood in front of the door, asked Apollonia without even turning his head toward her.
He seemed to be lost in thought.
After winning the tournament, he ran out of the banquet hall, and after returning to the capital, he did not make a public appearance on the pretext of worrying about the grand ducal family.
“I’m completely healed.” Apollonia smiled and rubbed the burn marks on her wrist.
The scar Adrian drew was already gone.
“…That’s a relief.” He seemed to want to say something more.
But she spoke first, “Thank you, Uriel.”
“What are you thanking me for”
“What you said a few days ago was right.
I’m not going to die and I’m not going to give up.”
“I heard you have a plan.” With a thoughtful look on his face, he reluctantly added, “Even the marriage.
Adrian told me.”
His eyes wouldn’t meet hers.
Even though he tried to hide it well, it was clear that he was angry.
Apollonia could see him biting his lips.
Apollonia remembered the day she made Caelion promise.
Uriel’s face had flashed in her mind the moment she proposed to Caelion.
And for some reason, one corner of her heart was tingling.
“I have no choice but to include marriage in this political fight.
When the time comes, I will grant him complete freedom so that he can meet another woman.”
“Does he really want freedom”
“Huh” Apollonia, who failed to understand his question, only blinked a few times.
However, Uriel changed the subject again.
“It’ll take at least a few years to build power.
How are you going to keep the grand duke alive until then The Leifer family will try to assassinate him countless times in a year.
They’ll use various means.”
“I’m going to give him a competent escort.”
“Pardon” This time, he turned his head completely to face her.
“Uriel, you said you’d protect me, right”
“Please don’t ask me the obvious.”
“Then follow Caelion.”
A complex emotion spread over his face.
“Uriel, I have to win every game in a few years before Paris succeeds the throne.” Apollonia took a step closer.
“To do that, I need you and Caelion.
You’re the only one who can protect him.
“What about Your Highness Sid is dead…”
“If Caelion is alive and grows up well, they’ll eventually lose interest in me.
As you said before, I just need to evade their eyes.”
Uriel knitted his eyebrows.
His beautiful face was crumpled horribly.
“And this is necessary for you, too.”
“What is that supposed to mean” Apollonia did not take her eyes off him and told him the other parts of the plan.
“What is your status in the empire now”
“That’s…” He couldn’t answer immediately.
It was only natural since he only lived his life in the shadows without having a formal status, so he couldn’t fully register the fact that he held such an important position.