Chapter 33 - Cough Up The Cash
At the same time, in the empress’ palace.
Cecile appeared to have quietly fallen asleep on a spacious bed… but she had, in fact, fainted.
Worrying for Cecile’s body, Estian had targeted the spot that would hurt the least and cleanly knocked her out. Moreover, he had meticulously stripped her down to her innerwear and swathed her up in blankets, intending for her to be knocked out in comfort.
It was then that suddenly, a small cluster of green light began to form above Cecile.
The light gradually grew in size until it began to take on human form. What appeared could not be called human, however; long green hair and green eyes, green lips, and even green nails and green clothes. The entity, which looked like a small doll doused in green paint, looked about the room before spotting the cracked Emerald of Aled and approaching it.
“My house… I still had 248 years of installments to pay…” It mumbled to itself in a grievous voice.
It wiped at its runny nose with the back of its hand before turning its head. It saw Cecile, quietly unconscious on the bed. The green entity flew in front of Cecile and reached out a hand, calling out to her.
“Wake up, lowly mortal.”
* * *
Cecile opened her eyes and looked around at the voice of somebody calling, but there was nothing but the absolute absence of light. She realized she could not even see her own hand.
‘Am I dreaming?’
But she thought the voice speaking to her was too vivid for it to be a dream.
“Hearken, lowly and vicious mortal.” The voice rang through the darkness again. Cecile could sense something in the voice.
‘Whoever it is sounds angry?’
The voice sounded like it was trembling a little more than the first time she heard it. She even got the feeling the speaker was tearing up a bit. Am I really being called? Rather, who is it to be so angry? Cecile was in the middle of her thoughts when the voice rang once again.
“You lowly, vicious, and violent human! Will you wake yourself up already! How long will you sleep!” The voice yelled at her and suddenly she was sent flying away with a thump.
She opened her eyes and found herself flying through the air and falling to the floor, rolling over and over without stopping until she hit the wall.
‘Why doesn’t it hurt?’ Feeling puzzled, Cecile looked at the spread-out bed sheets in front of her. Oh, I rolled myself in… No, but I fainted? She definitely remembered her last conscious memory was of the emperor asking, “Do you intend on still crying?”, to which she had replied, “Yes. I’m going to cry for another day or so.” The emperor had then nodded in an understanding fashion and approached her. Her memory was cut off after that, at the moment she registered something hitting the back of her neck.
“Your Majesty, you meanie,” she pouted. How could he knock her out because he didn’t want to hear her crying? Tears began to well in Cecile’s eyes as she rubbed at her somewhat aching nape. It was then that something strange entered her vision.
A cluster of light was floating in the air a few feet away from her. Anyone could tell it was not human. The entity began to speak again. “Fork it over.”
She was bracing herself for a deeply memorable moment, feeling a mysterious and holy air about the light, but what she got instead were abrupt menacing words like that of a street gangster.
“I said to cough up the cash.”
“…What the…?” What was this all about out of the blue? Why was an unknown entity suddenly asking her for money?
“First of all, who are you and why should I… Owie!” Out of nowhere, something flew toward Cecile’s forehead and collided with a smack. The object that hit her forehead and bounced to the ground was the Emerald of Aled.
“If you have a conscience, no—if you have even a shred of morality left in you, you wouldn’t pretend to not know what this is, would you now?” The voice said.
How could she not know? It was the very reason she poured out a torrent of tears and was knocked out. The jewel was cracked and now some green entity had appeared in the air. Cecile instinctively realized that the green figure was the thing contained in the Emerald of Aled, the being that the Elven king feared. Cecile was about to step back but then called to mind what the entity said to her.
Hang on. ‘Cough up the cash’? Not ‘I’m gonna kill you’?