Chapter 15 - Aphrodisiac
“Name, Cecile Franvier Navitan. Correct?”
“Born between the king of Navitan and a maidservant of the royal palace. Thanks to your platinum hair and green eyes, you were acknowledged as a princess of Navitan, but spent your entire life in a royal villa?”
“While you did receive basic education at the royal villa, the only company you had were maidservants, and it was your hobby to read romance novels with them. Correct? And your favorite stories mainly involved a poor beauty who was about to be sold off being rescued by a knight, leading to them beginning a relationship.”
“And most of them were adult novels. The titles were, let’s see… The Imprisoned Princess Weeps at the Knight’s Love? Canary of the Eternal Cage? Secret Love Beneath the Attic?”
“…I was wrong. Please stop and kill me now.”
In the face of the ensuing questions, Cecile wanted to jump through the window from which the corpses were thrown out.
* * *
She had been nervous as to what questions would pop out when the emperor said he would start the interrogation. Never in her wildest imaginations did she think he would mention the titles of the novels she liked, asking her “This is the kind of stuff you like?”. Not to mention, they were all titles of books so embarrassing to read in the open that she had to hide their covers when doing so!
Every time one of her favorite titles was uttered by the emperor’s mouth, Cecile wanted to bang her head against the wall. Alas, swathed up in bedsheets, the best she could do was flinch on the spot.
‘So this is what they call death by shame.’
She had not expected her mind to become so exhausted when she was not even being tortured.
“Alright, that’ll do for personal details. Now, on to what I’ve been curious about. Why did you want me to come out and carry you under the pretext of non-existent Navitan customs?” The emperor asked.
Cecile contemplated on what excuse to give at his question. But her lips began to move non-stop against her wishes. “I wanted to drag down the kingdom of Navitan with me for selling me off… Hup?”
Wha-what? Why’s my mouth talking on its own? Cecile hurriedly shut her mouth in shock, but it was already too late. Strange. Why am I like this?
Bewildered, Cecile’s eyes roved about before halting on a certain bottle on the table. No way… Estian’s lips curved into a slight smile upon seeing Cecile’s gaze stop on the truth serum. “Yes, nothing to be surprised about. The truth serum you took is quite potent. Try as you might to not answer or divert your words, your mouth will speak only the truth.”
Cecile’s face paled at his words. Estian closely observed the look on Cecile’s face before speaking again. “Sold off, you say… You must have been very unhappy about coming to the empire instead of the other princesses. Do you hate this marriage so much?”
“But of course! Who would want to marry Your Majesty?”
Estian’s face turned rigid at her answer. The sight of his expression drove Cecile to tears inside, even as she felt admiration. ‘I don’t know where or how they made this truth serum, but it sure works wonders. Plucking out the truth from me…’
Estian remained silent for a while. She took a peek at him and thought his stiff face seemed somewhat shocked. Of course, she knew the emperor couldn’t be shocked by something like that.
Still, though, Cecile got the feeling that she had to comfort him for some reason. And the moment her thoughts reached that point, her mouth began churning into motion again and she said, “I mean… Now that I think about it, not everyone might hate marrying Your Majesty, and there might be some who will like it. I’m sure those people were miserable at not being chosen by Your Majesty, cursing me for entering the wedding hall in their envy.”
“…Who is the sort of person to desire marriage with me, then?”
“Uh… The sort of person who would want to enjoy all kinds of luxuries and pleasures without caring for tomorrow and go out with a bang? Besides, what with Your Majesty’s reputation being so rock-bottom, they probably won’t be criticized for most villainies…” At this point, Cecile thought that what she had drunk may as well be called a magical spell of some kind instead of a truth serum. She wholeheartedly wanted to smack her mouth that was pumping out words delivered from her brain without filtering a single thing.
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