Chapter 26 - Show Me What You Promised
Thanks to that, Cecile had to remain in a terribly irreverent pose while listening on top of him.
“You can wreak vicious havoc, and my people won’t be able to do a single thing to you. And those who hate me will no doubt cheer for your actions. They don’t wish for a wise, virtuous empress by my side. A kind and caring empress doesn’t help their plans in any way, you see, what with them constantly sniffing around for an excuse to hound me.”
Cecile could now see why he was urging her into misdeeds. The emperor would not make a single noise of complaint about whatever mess she caused. In fact, he would surely praise her for doing well. Outsiders would assume the emperor to be hopelessly smitten with a villainess and spread the word. Even rumors of wrongdoings she had no part in would likely be exaggerated and spread.
The adversaries of the emperor desired to forge a weakness of his. An empress who committed all kinds of evil acts would no doubt appear to be a fine weakness for his enemies indeed. Thus, they would continue to leave her be, until the moment they struck at the emperor. In any case, she would be safe until then, so she said, “I understand. I will do my best to wreak havoc.”
What else could she do if that was the only way to survive?
The emperor nodded at her. “That’s the spirit.”
“But do you think I’ll do well?”
“You can. You have the talent,” Estian answered firmly upon hearing Cecile’s worried tone.
“…Talent to become a villainess?”
“Yes. One might say you’re overflowing with talent merely by judging how you can talk so well before me. The other three women couldn’t even make eye contact a single time, nor could they even speak properly.”
“But saying I have the talent to become an evildoer with that alone is a bit…”
Hearing Cecile’s somewhat indignant voice, Estian pulled at her arms. Her body that was swaying above him fell to his chest. He liked the soft sensation against him. “You’re not perfect, of course. So it seems you’ll need some practice.”
Estian’s lips curved into a dangerous smile. “We’ll start with that practice in the time I have left.”
Act 2: All for the Empress
A commotion stirred in the imperial palace. Be it court officials, knights, or attendants coming and going, they all shared a common topic of interest.
“I hear His Majesty is absolutely besotted with Her Majesty the Empress?”
A week had already passed since the shocking wedding of the emperor. On the wedding day, those who witnessed the bride—claiming she would not budge until the emperor came to escort her—had all shared the same thought: ‘Will you please off yourself quietly if you’ve got a death wish…’
But, contrary to everyone’s expectations, the woman survived to become empress, and, surprisingly, she remained alive until the next day. And that was not all.
The emperor, who had always been indifferent to women, spent the whole night in the bridal room, and according to hearsay, the very next day he went to visit the empress while she was bathing as if he couldn’t stand being away from her for even a moment. After that, the emperor ordered one of the most beautiful palaces in the imperial palace to be given to her instead of the room that was originally prepared. From then on, the emperor confined himself to staying in that palace and did not come out.
The attendants who entered the palace every day to deliver meals and clean up would come out with reddened faces. There were rules forbidding attendants from speaking of anything they witnessed in the empress’ palace, so those who entered could not tell of what they saw. But the bedsheets and ruined clothes they carried out spoke volumes as to the ongoing days of pleasure inside the palace. The attendants took a letter they had received from the emperor and went to Kane.
Upon finishing reading the letter, Kane tried re-reading it sideways, then upside down, and finally exposed it to light—and realizing there was no secret code to it, his face was struck with disbelief. The content of the letter was simple.
“Let everyone rest until the end of the honeymoon.”