Novel Name : Favored By The Villain

Favored By The Villain - Chapter 116

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The first stop within the Southern territories was at the estate of Count and Countess Mentine. Levisia watched as the Count stepped out of his manor to greet the Emperor and the convoy. Behind him were several members of the household, which Levisia assumed were his family.
“Your Majesty, it is an honour.” The Count bowed, his hand over his heart.
“Count Mentine.” The Emperor nodded at him, and waved him up. Up close, Levisia could see that Count Mentine was an older man with his gray hair neatly pulled back. He seemed to be a similar age, or older, with the Emperor. Behind him, Levisia caught the eyes of a boy around her age, who was coughing slightly as he stood up straight.
The Count had obviously caught Levisia staring, as he loudly cleared his throat.
“This is my oldest son, Cheta Mentine.” Count Mentine spoke in a booming voice, gesturing for Cheta to step forwards.
“Nice to meet you! I mean…” Cheta let out an awkward laugh. ”It is an honour to meet you.”
He bowed his head deeply, and then rose to step back. Levisia could not shake off the feeling that there was a strange familiarity about him. She stared at him a bit more, suppressing the urge to gasp when it suddenly dawned on her.
Rayne Moore. Levisia got a sense of Rayne – Elizabeth’s brother and the weakest of the Imperial court – from Cheta Mentine.
But he wasn’t the only one. Not only the decrepit Countess Mentine, who was hovering at the Count’s side, but also the other maids and servants. In fact, everyone looked somewhat miserable.
“You all are not looking too well.” Cassian muttered from his position next to the Emperor. The Count made no attempt to deny the accusations.
“I’m sorry to have troubled you…” He started speaking, only for the Emperor to cut him off.
“Let’s talk inside.”
He walked ahead with a serious look on his face while the others followed close behind.
Just like at the Filendell estate, the first thing was to assign their rooms. When Levisia and the other members scattered, only Count Mentine and the Emperor were seen moving separately.
“Is something going on?” She whispered to the nearest Kraiden to her, Siaphyl. He responded with a half-hearted shrug.
Elizabeth hadn’t once explained the schedule of the inspection to Levisia. However, she thought that it was strange they had to look at only the southern part of the country, as well as to push up the date that had been kept year after year. But since the atmosphere of the Mentine estate was unusual, she thought that the inspection might actually have a different meaning.
“This place, it has a weird mood.” Pel hissed at Levisia as they reached one of the bedrooms. She looked at him and nodded.
“So, you’ve noticed it as well?” She asked as Pel set the luggage down and took a swipe at some dust on a table. He held up his dust-covered finger to Levisia.
“Indeed I have. And they neglected to clean this place.” Pel wiped the dust on his trousers. “I couldn’t imagine having my place look like this if I had Imperial guests coming to stay.”
Sheila also tilted her head as if to suspect something strange. On the surface, the management of the place did not seem too bad. But, upon closer inspection, many things stood out..
“Didn’t they all look so depressed?” Sheila folded her arms. “The maid we just saw… She looked so tired behind the eyes. She doesn’t have an infectious disease or something like that, right?”
“I don’t think so.” Levisia said, rolling her eyes.
“But they’re all acting like sick dogs.” Pel frowned.
“I don’t know if there’s another problem.” Levisia paused to reflect on everything that was going on. She wasn’t sure if it was  related to the withering of the fairy trees, but if it was, it would explain a lot. She suddenly recalled something she had read in a book.
Wasn’t the Kraiden’s abnormally rapid collapse not only due to the struggle over the throne but also to other causes? She thought about how she needed to leave the country. Before, she thought about secretly living in the countryside, but if there was another seed of disturbance, it would be better to leave the country altogether.
Her thoughts shifted from the disharmony felt from the Mentine estate to her future plans for survival.
“I should learn a foreign language.” She smiled to herself, before realizing that she had spoken her thoughts out loud and now how Pel and Sheila were staring at her like she had lost her mind. Right when she was about to explain herself, there was an interruption.
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