Chapter 16 - Aphrodisiac
‘But I’m not wrong, though.’
There were sure to be such people in the world. No, there were sure to be heaps of them. It was just hard to find them because the candidates for empress were usually chosen among princesses who were already living a life of comfort. If they were to search for empress hopefuls from among those who were just a little more desperate, they might strike the mother lode. Who knew if there were actually many princesses like her, born out of wedlock?
There might be some who think it—instead of living in perpetual worry of being sold off to who knows where and god knows who—better to daringly go to the greatest power holder on the continent. While Cecile was locked in her thoughts, the look in Estian’s eyes had changed. He resumed his questioning. “You don’t seem to hold such desires?”
“Yes, I wanted to live a quiet and long life.”
“…I see.” Her instantaneous response rendered Estian silent for a moment, then he asked, “What do you think of me?”
“You are the greatest tyrant of this time. You formed rivers of blood and built mountains of corpses, after all.”
“…No, not that sort of thing.”
“Then what, if I may ask…?”
“I just want your first impression of me. What I mean to ask is… Say you don’t know me as the emperor. How would you consider me as a potential husband?”
Cecile got the feeling Estian had stuttered a little, but her mouth went on to answer without even giving her time to ponder on it. “Wonderful. Your face is striking on its own, but your body is the real killer. Your skin isn’t too white, nor is it burnt by labor—it’s the ideal tanned tone. On top of that, when I saw you throwing daggers a while ago, I noticed you have better strength than any male lead I’ve always read about in books. You’re supposed to lack muscles if your face is pretty or look mediocre if you have muscles to show… But who would have dreamed you had both! A marvelous face and marvelous body. I give you 10,000 points out of 10. And add another 1,000 points for having a good voice. If only you weren’t the emperor, I swear I would’ve snagged you to my side and given you a life of comfort, even if I had to work twenty-two hours a day. Even at this very moment, if it weren’t for this situation, I would’ve liked to lay you down beside me and gaze upon you for hours. Oh, and with your top off, of course.”
…Goddamned truth serum.
Is there no way to roll out the window somehow? She wondered. She felt like she would find more peace of mind floating alongside the corpses out there.
Estian’s mouth curved into a smile while Cecile was suffering from her own words. “You don’t say…?”
“B-but why did you ask something like that…?”
Estian’s smile grew deeper. “I think… we need to talk a little longer.”
He opened the bottle next to the one Cecile had drunk from, and poured its contents into a cup, saying, “Drink up. This is the antidote.”
“You should’ve given that to begin with if you had any!” Cecile complained and hastily drank from the cup Estian brought to her mouth. She could not allow her mouth to do anything crazier than it already had. Before long, she was feeling similar to when she had first drunk the truth serum. The strength left her body and she swayed on her chair.
‘I should start keeping my mouth in check.’
Cecile tried desperately to raise her drooping body. She was before the emperor, in any case. She had to at least stay seated…? “Eh?”
She grew wide-eyed upon being suddenly lifted into the air. All of a sudden she was in the same situation as she was from before. From before, as in, when she was being carried in the emperor’s embrace before the wedding.
“You wanted to talk…?”
“Oh, but we will.” Estian’s voice tickled Cecile’s ears. “After I tend to some unfinished business.”
Unfinished business? What business?
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