Obviously, It's My Child - Chapter 27
He was not an illicit paramour—after all, they never crossed the line.
Only, Louisa took pleasure in his beauty and kindness. Apart from that, he gave counseling about her cold, difficult stepson, and the conversation he provided was enjoyable.
Louisa suddenly felt ashamed of her disheveled appearance and for tossing things around in a mess.
“Were you there?”
“I didn’t arrive with the afternoon rumors. I ran to you in case you were offended by the amount of speculation and nonsense in the newspaper article. You were already out.”
Louisa said, tidying her hair.
Her maid hurriedly brought her slippers, which Louisa put on.
Johann held out his arm affectionately to her. Louisa took his arm gracefully and headed towards the boudoir toilette room.
Said Johann, “I heard the rumors. You must be very concerned.”
“It makes no sense. That woman is a mere baron’s daughter, and on top of that, someone from Southern Arren. And then, Erich.”
“Everyone at the academy will think it’s only inevitable.”
Louisa looked back at Johann in surprise. Come to think of it, Johann was twenty-eight years old, so he must have attended the academy around the same time as Erich.
“We weren’t close, but I’ve heard the rumors. Duke Klausener has always been so great.”
“Lady Delford, on the other hand. Although she herself could not be called famous at the time, I often saw her conversing with the Duke.”
Erich was still just the Young Duke of Klausener back then, and there was a time when Johann heard the Young Duke raising his voice so loudly that it could even be heard in the hallway—while the person in front of him was Lady Delford.
‘Come to think of it, while fighting with him, her complexion remained unchanged.’
That’s why he remembered her name. Other than that, there was nothing to care about.
Claire had average grades and an average reputation. Surprisingly, everything about her was normal. She seemed to have been called an eccentric, but that was something that her close friends talked about, and no one knew why Erich talked to her so often.
When Johann heard the name again recently, he was surprised by Erich’s eyes.
“She is the owner of the Weaving Guild.”
Louisa widened her eyes.
Johann did not elaborate further. It was amazing that a mere barony could make that much wealth, but that was it.
It mattered little to his master if Louisa or Marquisate Belf would fight with the new Duchess. Even so, it was nothing more than an internal fight within the duchy.
What Johann’s master cared about was that Baron Delford was an Arren noble.
Three generations ago, The Northern Rommel Empire and the Southern Arren Kingdom were merged by an imperial wedding, and a law about the right of succession had been established as well.
And according to that law, descendants born from a union between Rommel and Arren would be given priority for the throne.
Erich Klausener was the fourth in line to the throne. His biological mother was the second princess.
The late crown prince had been the son of the former empress, Henrietta Arren. Ever since his death, however, the first in line had become the emperor’s older sister, Archduke Victoria, but she was unmarried and already quite aged.
Second in line was Prince Linus, the son of the current empress—esteemed daughter of the Ernst Duchy—but he did not become the crown prince because he was not a child born from a union between Rommel and Aren. The Ernst Duchy was a traditional noble family of the Rommel Empire.
If Erich were to marry Baron Delford, it would give the child a fairly high rank in the line of succession.
The controversy would lay upon the discussion whether the marriage of nobles would take precedence, or perhaps the law of succession. In other words, whether the direct line came first or the law of succession.
‘Her Majesty must be very concerned.’
Johann thought to himself.
Louisa had no idea, but his master was the empress.
* * *
A new space opened on the third floor of the Innenhof Hotel.
When the Duke’s carriage arrived, the manager threw everything aside and ran out.
Not everything was going in favor of the hotel right now. Reporters attacked like flocks of wild geese, and even dealing with the employees was a formidable task.
But it was also a great opportunity. It was not uncommon for the hotel name to be talked about so often. This much was priceless advertisement.
Even more, their name had become intertwined with Duke Klausener.
“Welcome, Your Grace.”
The manager opened the carriage door and lowered his head to the ground. Erich got off the carriage.
“I prepared everything just as you said.”
“Didn’t Baron Delford say something?”
“The Innenhof Hotel does not belong to Baron Delford, sir. Of course, the Baron is the most valuable guest of our hotel,” the manager said.
The Innenhof Hotel was receiving considerable investment from the Weaving Guild and was loyal to Claire—to the extent that even a mere hotel manager would not hesitate to stand in the way of the Klausener Duchy’s Elder Madam for Claire’s sake.
However, Duke Klausener himself was different. There was no specific order to stop him.
‘If they get married anyway, he’ll be the baron’s husband.’
Why would he refuse a request to make a play area for the children after he had come here with carriages full of toys?
This was a request that the duke had made for his son. The hotel manager did not hesitate to invest in a large drawing room.
“Among the staff who have been with us for more than five years at this hotel, we only pick out the tight-lipped ones, and always have at least one person looking after the children.”
Erich praised him lightly and headed for the third floor as the manager guided him.
A loud noise was heard. The manager opened the door. It was still early, but there were about a dozen children playing.
“I am the boss bandit of these grasslands!”
Elliot shouted, raising his sword on top of a wooden toy castle.
Unknowingly, a smile had formed upon Erich’s lips. Elliot spotted him and shouted excitedly.
The child hurriedly threw away the toy sword and ran at him, opening his arms.
The effect of the gift was great!
Erich naturally picked up the child. Elliot’s lips touched his cheek.
“Uncle, thank you!”
He replied half-heartedly with an awkward feeling. Deep inside his chest tickled.
He had never thought of himself as someone who liked children.
Of course, he knew that he’d eventually have to marry and sire an heir, and he would cherish and nurture his own children. It was the natural order of things, and it was his duty—not a matter of personal like or dislike.
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