Duke Salvador stood in front of the Emperor.
He looked quiet as he looked at the Emperor. Aiden waited patiently for the Emperor to say something.
"So have you come to a conclusion?" The emperor asked with a smile.
Duke Salvador smiled as he looked at the Emperor. "Yes, Your Majesty."
It was clear that there was only one logical explanation which all of them knew, but no one spoke of.
The emperor grinned as he looked at the Duke with eager eyes. So "What is the conclusion then? Who should we punish?"
The Duke looked at the Emperor and knew that he was being teased, but Duke Salvador's main motive was not to look for the culprit, but to see if his doubts about the fifth princess were true.
"Due to the restraint in time, I need some time to investigate further and clear some doubt. So I would like to have a one-on-one talk with everyone." Duke Salvador said in a low voice.
The Empress sitting next to the Emperor was happy with this decision. If they do really hard and one-on-one talk, Princess Valeria's chances would increase. The empress was confident that the princess would not miss such a good opportunity if she could, but looking at how Duke Salvador had managed today's affairs there was a slight possibility that he would not meet the princesses head-on.
'But he would need the lady in red.'
The Empress thought,
'The restrictions in the palace are strong. If the Duke entered we will be the first to know.'
'I want to see who this Princess is that is making Duke Salvador do things he had never done before.'
The Empress looked at the Emperor in hopes of him giving a logical response. But the Emperor had another opinion. He looked at the Duke as he tried to understand the situation.
It was true that the Emperor was the most powerful there was, but he could not deny the fact that the Duke's were also equally powerful. There was always a possibility that the four Duke would come together to overthrow him.
Maybe that was a reason why the Emperor always wanted to marry one of the princesses with the Dukes, to reduce this possibility. But one of the Duke was already married and the other one did not have his heir declared, while one was an Old man with a daughter. The only one which was the most powerful of them all, was the most difficult to catch.
The Emperor looked at Duke Salvador with narrow eyes. He understood that, even though there was a slight possibility that the Duke would marry one of the princesses, the emperor shouldn't allow this investigation to continue further.
The Emperor was quiet for a few seconds. He knew that Duke Salvador was a stubborn person. He would not stop until he gave a valid response. And if this continues further, the citizens might also start seeing the flaws in it.
'I cannot let things go out of hand.'
'I don't why Duke Salvador insisted on doing this investigation, but it may backfire.'
'I have to keep the power of decision in my hand.'
"There is no need for that. The investigation team of the palace will handle it. The Duke does not have to worry about it." The Emperor's words were loud and clear. The authority in his words was evident, making it unable for anyone to deny.
The Empress's hopes were high initially, but a word from her husband broke it down into pieces. She looked at her husband with anger. Her hands formed a fist under her dress.
The Empress always felt that her husband did not have any intellect when it came to such things. Although the man was powerful enough he was not very judicious.
But once the Emperor has given his voice, even she as the Empress could not go against it.
Yet the Empress looked at the Duke as she tried to come up with an excuse, but the Emperor saw what his wife was trying to do.
"It is better if we do not trouble Duke Salvador anymore." The Emperor said as he looked at the Empress with a narrowed gaze. "After all, the Duke is a busy man and this is a matter of the palace."
The Emperors' voice was low, that could be heard only by the Empress. "What if the person who initiated the fire is one of us?"
The Emperor's words made the Empress quiet. 'One of us.' was stuck in her mind.
The Empress knew exactly who it was. It was her own daughter that she wanted to protect.
If people knew it was not an accident by rage, Princess Valeria might suffer. The Empress understood it as she swallowed her words.
The Empress smiled as she took deep breaths to control her thoughts.
'I have to think rationally.'
'I have to marry Valeria to Duke Aiden.'
The Empress looked at the Duke as she said with concern. "Yes, the Empress's guards will handle the matter. The Duke does not have to worry about it."
Duke Salvador smiled as he nodded his head. He could not oppose the decision of the Royal couple or it might be considered treason. He bowed before the Royal couple and took his leave. He hated staying in the court anyways.
"As the Emperor and Empress wish." Duke Salvador said as he left.
He had a place to be and he did not want to waste his precious time on things that did not matter. The reason why he was here to investigate was over and Duke Salvador had so many questions for the fifth Princess to answer.
Aiden knew what his soldiers saw. The fifth Princess's lady-in-waiting was really there at that time.
'No wonder the Empresses guards were searching for her so desperately.'
Duke Salvador knew from his thoughts that the culprit was one of the Princess. Even though the Princess's were lip tied, their lady-in-waiting wasn't.
'But the first Princess has full control over her power.'
When Royalty unlocks their full potential they usually become uncontrollable. When that happened to lose control resulting in death was acceptable but if the royalty killed the people in cold blood that was something unacceptable.
'It was the first Princess.'
'The Emperor and Empress are trying to protect her.'
Aiden was sure about it. Even though the Princess cried in front of him, he knew the tears were fake.
Duke Salvador has seen many of such people trying to catch his eyes in the process. Duke Salvador has been the head of the family since a young age. He was aware that the first Princess was interested in him but he wasn't.
'Is this the reason why the fifth princess is avoiding me?' Dukes Salvador thought.
'Is this why the fifth Princess wants to keep a distance from me?'
Aiden could not understand what he was thinking. He could still see the fifth Princess smiling and looking at Lord Bentham while avoiding his gaze. The mere thought made his blood boil.
'Am I that scary?'
'Should I ask my aid or the Princess herself?'
Duke Salvador thought as he moved fast to enter their meeting place.