"Awaaaha." Rhea threw herself into the general's embrace. It was the most cheerful Hilda had ever seen Rhea. She couldn't help taking another look at the old general.
She still had no idea about the identity of this person, but she was sure it was someone Rhea truly loved. On top of that, this old man's position was high enough to call the emperor by his name.
"Rhea." Hilda attracted Rhea's attention as she pulled the old general towards Hilda to introduce him.
"Aooo iii my awaapa," Rhea tried her best to introduce the general in her broken language.
"Grandpa?" Hilda stared at the old general in confusion. She had read about the first wife of Marquess Ashgard but didn't remember much about her.
Naturally, in her mind, she wasn't someone of too much importance or high nobility. However, looking at the attitude of the old man, Hilda was forced to reconsider.
Rhea's eyes were shining while she nodded at Hilda. Rhea tried to explain more about her grandfather, but it still made no sense to Hilda. Yet Hilda waited patiently to let them have their much-awaited reunion.
Promising to speak with her later, the old general sent Rhea back and turned to Hilda. The aloof looks on the old face didn't change as he asked, "What are you planning to do?"
Hilda sighed in her heart but asked nonetheless, "But before that, shouldn't you introduce yourself?"
"Ridic? Ridic?" Hilda tried to remember. There was only one person she could think of with that name.
Ridic Flare. A great general of the generation of her grandfather's generation. Despite their similar ages, Hilda wasn't sure if the old general was the one who hadn't been seen in 20 years.
Everything would make sense if he were the same person. He was, after all, one of the teachers who had taught the current emperor.
"As I had thought." The old general shook his head, "the knowledge of the current prince is quite lacking."
"How can I help the grand teacher?" Hilda chose her words wisely. After all, all the teachers of the current emperor were raised to the status of 'grand teachers.'
If Hilda were to become Emperor one day, the grand general Kaison would become a 'grand teacher.' However, Hilda was sure that no way could happen, so she didn't dare to think about it.
"Grand teacher?" Ridic snorted. "Call me general."
"I don't think the great general came all the way here just to meet his beloved granddaughter."
"How did you convince that woman?"
"Convince?" Hilda shook her head, adding, "we just fulfilled each others need. After all, the marchioness is my beloved aunt."
"Let me remind you that Eric doesn't like anyone who touches his things."
"I know." Even if the old general was the grandfather of Rhea, he was still the teacher of the emperor. Naturally, Hilda didn't dare to say anything that could be used against her.
"Unlike my brothers, I didn't have an abundance of resources. So I have to use everything I could. Even if the things were discarded by the emperor."
"As expected, your knowledge is inadequate." Ridic looked at Hilda as if she was a lost cause, "do you understand what it means to send a man, who was under house arrest for 20 years, to battlefield?"
"house arrest?" That was news to Hilda. It's not that she couldn't figure it out. It was just that she didn't dare to believe it was true.
The emperor would have to remove all the marquess' supporters if he truly desired to control the Ashgard knights. The marquess's father-in-law, who was also a great general, would naturally be the first target.
So it was natural that he put this old general under unofficial house arrest. And if the emperor was sending this old general to fight a war after all these years, it could only mean one thing. It's the right time to dispose of him.
"Is the great general sent by the emperor to aid me?" Although she knew the answer, she had to ask.
Looking at her anxious face, the general gave a bright smile, saying, "it took the prince long enough to understand."
It drained the blood from her face. For the first time in her life, she was terrified of her future. Yet, she had no way to control it.
"It looks like the prince is too afraid of his imperial father's love."
Looking at the smug face of the old general, Hilda sighed in her heart. She realized that Bodil's guess was perfectly correct. It was the emperor, not the imperial court.
'Maybe I was too optimistic.' After reassigning the situation in her heart, Hilda said, "It doesn't change the situation by much. It just increases the number of people who wants me to die by one."
"However, the number of people who wanted to fulfill those wishes is not low."
"But why did he have to go to such lengths to get rid of someone as insignificant as me?"
"Because you are just a pawn, just like me."
"So he is trying to take care of something bigger." Hilda sighed in her heart.
Back on Earth, Hilda had only one ability, and that was to fight. However, after one year of coming to this world, she was sure that it wouldn't do any good.
Inside the imperial harem, one needed to use their brain to survive, and it was the thing she lacked most. She crammed as much as she could as a result.
She studied everything from history to politics, business to philosophy with the help of the imperial teacher. Yet, she failed to notice the trap set for her.
"Looks like you are not totally useless." Ridic smiled and continued, "but it intrigues me to see that you believed Eric would let you do whatever you want."
"I know it was childish."
"Then? What are you planning to do?"
Hilda looked straight into his eyes without uttering a single word. Ridic, too, didn't avert his eyes and stared straight back at him.
"Let me ask first. Why are you here, general?" At this question, Ridic smiled back at her but didn't say anything.
"You know the emperor wouldn't let me go. As he didn't kill me directly, then he wouldn't let me have a righteous death. Maybe he is trying to frame me with treason, and kill my..." Hilda came to a sudden stop.
"You are here to save your granddaughter."
"Eric's blood is running through your veins after all."
"So the general is willing to help me, to save his granddaughter?" Ridic just smiled at her, didn't answer.
The sun had already reached its zenith by the time their meeting ended. Hilda asked him to spend some time with Rhea, but he just shook his head and left.
As soon as he did, Hilda pulled out a paper and jotted down three pages of instructions. After putting an ember seal on the envelope, Hilda asked, "call Aizen."
"Chief," Soon Aizen, the butler of the manor, appeared in the office.
"Send this to Hati." Aiden nodded and received the envelope from Hilda. As he was about to leave, Hilda added, "Take the secret entrance. Make sure nobody is following you."
"What do you think?" Wolfy, who was clearing the table, came to a halt and looked at Hilda.
"What are you talking about?" Wolfy asked.
"Let's talk about the matter of you are ignoring me later. For now, tell me what you think about the general. Should we trust him? After all, he is Rhea's grandfather."
"How much do you know about Ridic?"
"He is a great general. He is also the teacher of my imperial father. And it is also true that nobody had seen him for the last 20 years."
"Ridic is very well known in the tribe." Wolfy's sudden remark surprised Hilda a little, as Wolfy continued, "He was the general who had slaughtered hundreds of our people."
"He was one of the generals against whom we had fought for a long time. He had fought not only us but also the feline tribe and the barbarians."
"Now that you are talking about it, I think I have read something about that. After all, the Ashgard knight were well known for their victory over the demi-humans."
"Against the barbarians, I think, having the general in the troop would help us all. As long as he is willing to help us."
Hilda stared at Wolfy in confusion, asking, "are you sure?"
"There is no other way." Wolfy refuted. "You don't have any other choice. On the other hand, you're aware that he could cause you problems, so you need to take precautions."
"You are right. I need to do what I can. Make preparations; we will return to the barracks tomorrow. We need to prepare for everything." Hilda nodded.
As she was in deep thought, Wolfy pushed forward a closed envelope. "General Ridic had brought the letter with him. He said that marchioness Asgard sends her regards."
Opening the letter, Hilda read through the content, and a smile appeared on her face. She said excitedly, "Prepare a room for marchioness to stay for the night. She will stay here for a week."
Looking at the lecherous smile, Wolfy frowned and was about to say something. But Hilda ordered before she could, "Prepare the room at the manor of the barrack too."
Wolfy, on the other hand, continued to glare at her. She had no idea how to react. She frowned as she tried to control her voice, "Hilda."
Under normal circumstances, Wolfy would address Hilda as "my lady." When Hilda heard Wolfy refer to her as 'Hilda,' she knew it meant something important.
"Why are you doing this?"
Looking at her face, Hilda was sure that Wolfy was truly angry. However, Hilda couldn't understand why. And it frustrated Wolfy more.
"You married Rhea just yesterday. Yet you are…" Wolfy wasn't sure how to put her anger in words. After all, she was part of the mistake.
It was something she shouldn't have done. Every time she was reminded of the moment when Rhea had opened the door, she felt like shit. If she could, she really wanted to stop herself from giving in to Hilda. However, she couldn't.
"A man should have a child with his principal wife before accepting a concubine. You should." Wolfy paused for a moment. While staring at the floor, she added, "You should spend more time with Rhea. She is your principal wife."
Hilda smirked as she pulled Wolfy onto her lap. Her sudden action caught Wolfy off-guard. However, before Wolfy could stand up, her lips were closed shut with Hilda's.
Even if she struggled hard, Hilda had no intention of letting her go. Helpless, Wolfy bit the lips that were violating her. The wound on Hilda's lip, which had yet to close, started to leak blood again.
As soon as Hilda let her lips go, Wolfy continued to stare at her. She struggled to stand up, but Hilda didn't let her.
"Didn't you say that I should be patient with Rhea?"
"That doesn't mean you would go around and plow one woman after another every night."
"Sorry?" With a teasing smile on her lips, Hilda asked, "don't say it like I am some kind of pervert."
"Are you not?"
"Of course not. The only person I have slept with is you."
"Aren't you aiming to mate with the marchioness tonight?"
"That." Hilda closed her mouth shut. After all, Wolfy's words were right at the point. But she couldn't just accept it. She refuted, "are you jealous?"
"Jealous?" Wolfy gave a hysterical laugh. However, that didn't convince Hilda. Wolfy quickly added, "I am worried about Rhea. You are supposed to spend your night with her."
"Didn't you see Rhea was looking for you in the middle of the night? If you don't spend your nights with her, then how will she accept you?"
"So as long as I spend my night with her, it will be okay, right?"
Wolfy nodded, adding, "Don't go around and plant your seeds in every woman you can find."
"That I can't promise." Hilda declared with a serious face.
"You," Wolfy grumbled as she glared at Hilda.
"Until I have it with Rhea, I won't plant my seed in other women. However," Hilda gently kissed her forehead, adding, "I can't control myself if it is you."
A tinge of red appeared on her face while Hilda planted a kiss on her cheek. As Hilda was aiming for her lips, wolfy pushed her away and escaped from her grasp.
Creating some distance between them, Wolfy glared at her and said, "Don't you think your trick will work on me anymore."
"Chee." Hilda clicked her tongue, adding, "you are becoming immune to my charm. It looks like I need to work hard."
"YOU." Wolfy continued to glare at her from a distance, not daring to come closer anymore.