Chapter 10 - A Wildly Hot Night
‘I wonder when the emperor will come.’
After the wedding was over, Cecile became surrounded by the imperial attendants and was led to the room she was in at present. When they arrived, the attendants bustled about getting her changed, washed, and ready for the night. By the time Cecile regained her senses, she was left all alone in the large room.
The room was far bigger and more luxurious than anything she had seen in the royal palace of Navitan. And the room was not the only thing that oozed with extravagance. Be it the bed, so wide one might roll ten times without falling, or the table, chairs and dressing table, there was not a single thing that did not scream premium.
On the table in one side of the room was a veritable mountain of fruit, other food and alcohol. The arrangement was pleasing to the eye, but the quantity was tremendous. So much so that one might mistake this place for a banquet hall.
Cecile drew near the plate of fruits, peeking around her despite knowing there was no one around, and cautiously took a bite out of a neatly sliced orange fruit. The refreshing juice erupted with sweet goodness, rejuvenating the inside of her mouth which was dry from tension. “Yum.”
Back when she was living at her royal villa, fruits were a luxury item that could only be had during large events. The kingdom of Navitan was a country with a poor climate, so its fruit market was mostly dependent on importation. It was painful for Cecile as she was fond of eating fruits. She had once valiantly attempted to grow a fruit tree in the garden of her royal villa, together with her maidservants, but that had not borne much fruit. Though of course, that was not to say she did not eat any. Many times she snuck into the greenhouse of the main palace to loot its treasures.
Cecile was engrossed in gobbling up fruit after fruit, even as she savored nostalgia, when suddenly her hand paused. ‘He wouldn’t grouch about me eating first a bit, would he?’
The emperor’s face suddenly came to mind. And along with his face popped up a question she had forgotten in the fever of her feast.
‘Why didn’t he kill me, I wonder?’
She had heard his officials crying for blood in the distance as she was hauled off by the attendants after the wedding.
“Let us wipe out the kingdom of Navitan!”
“I am ready to wage war this very instant! I will burn them off the face of the earth!”
“How outrageous to send such a crazy woman!”
And to their cries, Cecile inwardly responded, ‘Yes, my sentiments exactly! Smash ’em good!’, silently cheering them on with fervor.
For a long while, Cecile puzzled over as to why the emperor had not killed her on the spot back then, but afterward gave up and went over to flop herself onto the bed. The pleasantly springy mattress and soft bedding on her face was blissful.
‘I just might enjoy being an empress.’
She could not help but bubble with joy, lying on a cleanly kept nice bed after a meal of tasty fruits. Before the wedding she was feeling ‘I may as well die’, but now that thought was fading at such speed that one might think her shallow. But a moment later, Cecile’s face grew dark. ‘But what’s the point of having such thoughts now?’
The deed was already done. She did not know why the emperor spared her for the time being, but her fate was set in stone regardless. Cecile returned her gaze to the table from before. Her eyes zoomed in on the many bottles of drinks placed next to the mountainous pile of food. She went over to uncork one of them and a deep, heavy fragrance wafted out.
‘I don’t know much about wine, but this has gotta be expensive!’
The bottle was in a stylish wine bucket, which was apparently made of silver, so it was surely nothing ordinary. Cecile took out a silver cup from the bucket and after filling it to the brim with wine, she took a sip.
“Ahh!” She exclaimed.
It turned out to be a very strong drink. She felt the insides of her throat burn the moment she swallowed.
“Wow, this stuff is no joke.” Cecile murmured and stood there, slowly blinking. She felt the world start to spin in an instant. The hotness of the alcohol began to spread throughout her body before she even put her lips to the cup again.
※The rights of this work belong to the copyright holders. No portion of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form. Copying, duplicating, modifying, or distributing works without written permission from the copyright holders may result in criminal penalties or civil liabilities.