The Grand Duchess Escape - Chapter 43
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There was a small murmur amongst the nobles.
The fact that all previous emperors had graduated from the Academy and viewed it as an essential qualification made the Academy’s status very high in the Harmenian Empire.
Every nobleman dreamed of sending their children to the Academy, and just being accepted to the Academy was an honor to the family. Graduates were treated well wherever they went, and many of them became close assistants to the Emperor as a result of their association with the Academy.
It was only natural for anyone with talent to try their luck.
However, the words of the Grand Duchess gave the impression that Philip was blocking his second daughter from entering the Academy.
The nobles watched the situation closely, alternating between Asella’s and Philip’s faces.
Philip was struggling to manage his expression.
‘This damned woman!’
It drove him mad, but there were too many eyes watching.
Philip looked around, judging the atmosphere and averting his gaze from the nobles.
Questions popped up on each of their faces. They wondered why the Grand Duchess had to go so far to demand something that should usually be encouraged.
Philip’s keen mind raced to find a suitable way to respond, but nothing good came to mind.
‘What should I do?’
It would have been easy to handle if Mariel was a foolish child, but that wasn’t the case.
But what if rumors about how he went out of his way to prevent her from entering the Academy when she had the potential spread?
He would be stigmatized for not only depriving his eldest daughter of her right to inherit the house but also preventing even the education of his second daughter, who was more than qualified.
While Asella’s case was justified as being related to her mother’s death, Mariel’s case was different.
Philip pressed his trembling lips together, trying to force a smile onto his face.
Asella’s demands were things that were taken for granted; saving her brother’s life without damaging her pride with absurd demands for an apology, she preserved the honour of her family while preserving the dignity of the Grand Duke.
In the meantime, Calix Benvito’s threat to kill Anthony was by no means empty words.
Philip’s gaze followed the sword of the Grand Duke without leaving it even for a second. Just imagining what that sword did in the last war made his hair stand on end.
“What will you do?”
As the Grand Duke spoke, Philip had no choice but to answer.
“You speak of the obvious, Asella.”
If he had to meet her demands anyway, it would have been better to reverse this atmosphere.
It was the most favourable way for him.
“As long as Mariel can pass the test…” He added.
“I think you misunderstood something.”
Calix cut off Philip’s words. He wasn’t going to be fooled by a clever game of words, not in the slightest.
“Mariel Chartus won’t fail the test.”
Philip asked back with a puzzled expression.
“Because if she fails the test, your son’s head will fall with it.”
“Wha- This doesn’t make any sense…!”
In a surprise, Philip stammered and shouted. Anthony’s face turned pale as he stood there, supported by the servants.
Calix dismissed his remark.
“The condition my wife set is to ‘send’ Mariel Chartus to the Academy, not just giving her the chance to take the exam.”
At that moment, a satisfied expression appeared on the faces of the nobles.
To send a child to the Academy required a huge investment.
Occasionally, there were people born with unmatched talent. However, most of them were ordinary people.
In the end, it was the person’s own effort, study, and hard work that decides if they got to enter the Academy.
Since one had to prove one’s excellence in front of a room full of high-profile people, the success or failure of the entrance exam depended on the quality of education one had received from an early age.
“You have to provide her with the best teachers so that she can get into the Academy.”
Philip could not say anything. His body trembled, and his mouth gaped like a carp fish. His greedy face was filled with nothing but shock.
Calix laughed coldly as he watched him, unable to control his expression even slightly.
Compared to what Phillip had taken from the two daughters of Chartus, this was a drop in the ocean. It was funny to see him refuse to let go of something that didn’t belong to him in the first place.
But how long would this be possible?
Calix narrowed his eyes as he thought of his private conversation with the Emperor not too long ago.
He would face a miserable end if he was foolish and couldn’t see a single inch ahead.
Calix could only estimate the time.
He could see a future where Phillip ruined himself without needing Calix to do anything, so up until now, he ignored it, but today he changed his mind.
And there was another thought that changed.
‘It’s not like me to do this,‘ Calix thought even as he spoke.
He rarely changed a decision once he had made it. He was a person who did not regret what had already passed, nor did he cling to the past.
In other words, it wasn’t his way to change a decision he had already made.
However, an exception to this rule was now being made.
“Mariel Chartus’ education might as well be handled by us.”
“Wh-What does that mean?”
“Or are you confident in what you can provide for her?”
Philip swallowed hard.
Anthony’s neck was at stake, so he had to send Mariel to the Academy at all costs.
However, even the rough estimate of the cost of education was shocking. This was translated by leila, It was even more difficult to find a reliable teacher since all teachers that were renowned for their abilities were already hired by other families.
Furthermore, the selection exam was only a few months away. Time was running out.
“Perhaps… Are you saying you want to sponsor her?”
As the thought flashed across his mind, anticipation crept across Philip’s face. With the support of the Benvito family, the job of sending Mariel to the Academy would be much easier.
A short answer came to Calix’s mind.
“I suppose you could say that.”
Calix lowered his head, and the woman with her eyes wide open in surprise looked back at him.
The man’s cold face suddenly softened. The change was so subtle that if one wasn’t a very sharp person, they wouldn’t notice it.
“Shall we take your sister with us back to the Duchy?”
Instantly, Asella’s heart skipped a beat.
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