At the beginning of Conrad's Fate, Count Robert is nothing but a mysterious name.  He is away in another city when protagonist Conrad Tesdinic shows up at the Manor to apply for a job as a servant.

Because Conrad has been convinced by his uncle Alfred Grant that he has a karmic obligation to kill someone up at Stallery Manor, he is carefully observing each new person he meets to see if this will be the one he'll have to kill.   After meeting practically all the inhabitants of the manor, Conrad has still not had the moment of certainty his uncle told him about, and he begins to suspect it must be Count Robert, since he's just about the only one left.

However, when he does run into him he is forced to conclude that he's nothing but a pleasant, wealthy young man who doesn't seem to deserve killing at all.

He does, however, seem to have secrets.  In front of servants or his mother the Countess, he acts perfectly composed and happy, but in private moments, some of which Conrad accidently overhears, his mood changes immediately and he seems to have far more cares than he was letting on.

Conrad is not sure what's going on, but he regretfully concludes that he won't be killing young Count Robert.  Not right now, anyway.

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