Chapter 37 - Aled
Aled eyed Cecile, lying flat before itself, with satisfaction. ‘Good. It looks like she thinks it’s completely her fault.’
In truth, the jewel had not broken when Cecile threw it. Of course, it was true that there was some impact on it. It was, however, when the emperor hurled it into the wall that Aled’s leased home was completely cracked. ‘How is it that each and every one of these emperors is so stupidly strong?’
Aled had intended on quibbling with the emperor at first, but then changed thoughts at the sight of the sword by his belt. Why was a human in possession of a black steel blade, all of which the elves were supposed to have taken with them when they left this land? And how was a human using it so well? That was not something mortals could handle.
Black steel blades were the only thing Aled feared, for they were the only things that could harm him, a spiritual entity. The swords, said to have been forged by collecting darkness in the first era of the continent, killed their surroundings just by being held in possession. Their power was so great as to affect physical beings, let alone spiritual entities who would suffer death at the lightest scratch by those weapons.
‘Putting aside whether he really is a human or not, that emperor fellow doesn’t look like one for talking at all,’ it thought with a shudder.
Despite only taking a glimpse of the emperor, Aled knew that the man would definitely draw his sword instead of listening nicely upon being asked for compensation. Aled went inside the smashed jewel and looked through the insurance policy he received along with taking the loan. To the spirit’s woe, it was written on the insurance policy that ‘damage by humans is not covered by insurance’. That being the case, what was it to do? Who was to compensate for the losses suffered by itself, who was naught but a commoner that had been paying off a loan over 1,252 years?
It was then that Aled saw Cecile, who was crying from the belief that she had awoken the spirit. ‘It’s her! She’s the one!’
From the looks of it, the emperor seemed to treat her quite dearly, and this was why it tried speaking to her after the emperor went out of the room. Aled began speaking to Cecile, who was still bowing flat. “Well, as they say, fair is fair. Seeing you so willing to compensate me, I’ll let you off just this once if you just pay me what’s due.”
“The loan I’ve paid so far as well as the remaining sum. Plus compensation for causing emotional distress and the cost of what went into my house interiors. To explain in more detail, going by the calculation of 250 gold per month and 12 months each year, since I bought the house on a 1,500-year loan, that totals at 4,500,000 gold. And after including compensation for my mental wellbeing as well as the worth of all the interior designing I did over 1,252 frugal years, that comes to 10,000,000 gold. So fork it over in full.”
“…” Cecile stood still for a while at the spirit’s words before crawling over to pick up the Emerald of Aled that had fallen on the floor. Then, she shot to her feet, walked to the terrace, and threw it out with all her might. The ring whizzed through the air in the direction of the nearby pond, striking the head of a sleeping swan and bouncing off to strike the head of the duck next to it, before finally landing precisely in the plate meant for tossing coins into.
Aled blankly watched it all happen and was about to give a round of applause, but then it realized the identity of the object thrown. “You, you! What have you done! My house!”
“Sue me, then,” Cecile replied with a radiant smile at the yelling Aled.
* * *
‘It’s become too late.’
Estian had discussed much with Kane regarding how they would prepare for the empress’ lady-in-waiting election, and before he realized it was deep in the night. He headed for the empress’s palace with hurried footsteps. At his arrival, the attendants on standby greeted him joyfully. “Your Majesty, you’ve come!”
From the speaking attendant’s somewhat flustered looks, Estian could tell that something had happened. His tone grew low. “I told you to immediately send word if anything happened.”
“I beg your forgiveness! But it was something difficult to tell Your…”
It was then that the door of the empress’ room jerked open and out came Cecile, yelling, “This won’t do! Get me something… Eh, Your Majesty is here?”
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