Chapter 22 - His Method To Survival
Cecile attempted to get up with a jerk upon hearing his voice again, but Estian was quicker to move. As if he had seen it all coming, he pressed a finger to her forehead and laid her down again before lowering his torso over her. He then whispered into Cecile’s ear. “From the sound of things, it seems you have everything you wish for.”
“Y-y-ye-yes. I think so as well.” Cecile nodded frenetically.
“So what are you worrying for?”
“Because I feel the remainder of my life will be a bit short.”
Estian nodded at that. “You’re not wrong. It’s not well known, but before you became empress, there were women pushed into the imperial palace by the ministers of my empire, as well as the royalty of other nations. They wanted me to take those women, even if I did not make them empress.”
Cecile pricked her ears up. It was her first time hearing about this.
“The first woman who came in died the next day, and the second woman who came in died a week later. The third woman who came in lasted a month but died in the end. I killed the first woman. The second and third I left alone—I didn’t care whether they died or not—and they were eventually killed by somebody.”
Estian paused his words for a moment, and Cecile took the chance to immediately ask what had been bothering her. “Did you sleep with all three of them?”
“That concerns you more than their deaths?”
She also found her point of interest to be strange. Perhaps being in the imperial palace was gradually turning her weird. Estian chuckled at Cecile’s immediate answer. “You’re a slightly odd one.”
“It’s due to my lack of upbringing.”
“That matters not. What matters is that you’re to my liking.”
“I’m honored. But…” She trailed off.
“You still haven’t answered my question…” Cecile mumbled in a barely audible voice, and this time Estian laughed a little louder.
“Excellent. How perfect.” Cecile clenched her fists. Before her eyes was a male lead right out of a novel. A stallion of man who was sweet at night, possessing both power and money, and while he did have a few screws loose in the head, he was even her first man.
“Don’t know what you mean by perfect, but I’ll take it as an honor. In any case, I’ve taken a liking to you. Somehow, I don’t welcome the thought of doing away with your corpse. Which is why I’m going to teach you how to survive in this place.” Estian said as he caressed Cecile’s face with his hand before spotting the dropped bunch of grapes by her side; he picked a berry and drew it to her mouth, slowly pushing it between her lips. The grape that entered her mouth collided against her teeth and burst, releasing its flavorful juices.
Cecile’s face grew languid again at the sweet taste. Estian took in the look on Cecile’s face with satisfaction as he licked the nectar off his fingers. He hated grapes. The first poison he ever took was contained in green grapes like the very one he had just fed Cecile. Yet he could not tell why it tasted so delicious at that moment. He slowly bent over Cecile to whisper in her ear. “The method for you to survive in this imperial palace is…”
“…Is?” Cecile echoed him pitifully. What in the world could she do to live? She soon received an utterly unexpected answer.
“To gain enough notoriety to shadow my reputation.”
Cecile grew wide-eyed in surprise. What are you on about?
* * *
At the same time, in the holy kingdom located at a corner of the continent.
The holy kingdom, unlike the other nations of the continent, was a city-state whose people served God, aloof and set apart from the laws of the secular world. Located in the deepest part of the holy kingdom that was surrounded by white walls was the sanctuary, where the saintess resided. And deeper still in the very heart of the sanctuary was the saintess, the messenger of God, who was giving prayer today as well. Or she should have been.
Today, however, the saintess was standing on the white castle wall of the kingdom. A cold voice left her lips. “So you failed.”
“Forgive me, Saintess.”
A man knelt before the saintess, bowing his head. The saintess shook her head at his apology, saying, “It was not the last chance. We still have infinite opportunities.”
The eyes of the saintess glinted with an unreadable emotion.
“Opportunities for this world to follow its ‘intended path’.”
“Everything will be as the future you foretold, Saintess.”
“Go back. I will call you again once you recover.”
The man withdrew himself, and now alone, the saintess began to hiss under her breath. “F*ck. Why can none of these fools do a single job properly?”
If someone were here to listen, they might very well have fainted. Who would have imagined the most virtuous person in the world to spit crude words of the secular world in such a natural manner? The saintess continued grumbling to herself. “Why did I end up possessing the saintess instead of the villainess! This girl’s a supporter, created with so many penalties! She can’t even make any careless moves!”
The saintess huffed in anger as she flung her fists at the air. All of a sudden then, blue cracks appeared in the air where there should have been nothing. These cracks were part of the holy kingdom’s barrier whose purpose was to protect the saintess. However, the barrier was a power that also served to prevent her from leaving the kingdom. The saintess muttered to herself as she gazed at the barrier. “He’s my male lead. Mine, I say.”
She gnashed her teeth. She was a writer. An author who used to write the novel ‘A Villainess For The Tyrant’ in some other part of the universe. She had crammed all of her preferences into the male lead of her book, Tyrant Estian. Handsome, well-built, ill-humored, with a painful past, was the emperor, had black hair, black eyes, etc. And, as an added random bonus, she vaguely recalled making it so that he hated grapes.
The plotline of the novel was simple. The female lead would possess the body of Cecile, the empress, and Estian, who had no interest in his wife until that point would suddenly grow interested in her change. They would eventually fall in love and, ultimately, live happily ever after.
Thus, when the author woke up to find herself in this place and discovered that this was her world, she cried with joy. Then, when she realized she had possessed the saintess’ body, she cried in anguish. My novel, my male lead. Why has it all become someone else’s?
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