Chapter 38 - Aled
“What are you doing?” he asked.
Cecile, who had jumped out of the door, was wearing accessories all over her body. At the sight of her state, Estian turned to the attendant, and the attendant nodded with a face that said ‘Yes, this is why I didn’t tell you!’. Dressing up at a time like this? Estian gazed at Cecile in bewilderment for a moment, but then his eyes narrowed. “Why aren’t you wearing clothes?”
“You’re the one who took them off, Your Majesty!” she exclaimed.
He had not taken off all of them, of course. She was wearing basic underwear and a slip as well. But even though all the attendants here were women, he did not like them taking peeks at Cecile. Estian took off his cloak and wrapped it around her with a flourish and carried her up into his arms. He covered her up because, for one, he did not like the attendants looking. More than that though, he could not take it any longer. He had simply thought it amusing when he was hanging gems on her in the day, but seeing Cecile now decked out in jewelry while nearly naked, he almost felt like groaning. ‘I was going to just sleep tonight since I didn’t want to wake her, but…’
Seeing Cecile awake and decorating herself with gusto, he felt it would be fine to burn the night away now. But, as he was about to go inside the room, Cecile cried out to stop him, “You can’t!”
Then, she struggled out of his arms and rushed to the attendants, ordering them to do something again.
“What is it you need?” The emperor asked.
Cecile answered his question with, “Jewels! And lots of it! Big ones!”
* * *
“How about thiiis…?”
Cecile rubbed at her heavy eyelids with one hand as she held out a large ruby with the other. Piled in front of her were the jewels she had received from Estian during the day, as well as the other jewels that she had not brought back. There was a reason for this.
Aled had suggested an alternative solution to Cecile, who simply laid down in defiance. The spirit’s suggestion was to hand over another home-worthy jewel if she could not pay up and, after hours of Cecile going through one jewel after another, looking for Aled’s new home, it was now getting bright outside.
“No can do. That’s a fail. The craftsmanship isn’t delicate enough.” Aled shook its head after looking over the ruby held out by Cecile. She buried her head on her desk in frustration at his evaluation. Estian, who was sitting across Cecile and watching her, stood up and brandished his sword before Aled.
“How about you stop being choosy and pick whatever to go in?” The emperor spoke coldly.
“Hey, hey! Get that sword away from me! Goodness gracious, I’m about to be killed by a human! You’ll be cursed for generations to come! It’s true, I tell you! We spiritual kind are experts in that aspect!”
“All the better to kill you then, since I had no such thoughts of having children.”
Cecile’s ears pricked up at his words as she lay on the desk, but Estian failed to notice. He held Aled even closer at sword point.
“Oh, come on! Let’s talk it out, alright? Talk! My condition for my home-to-be is…” It pleaded, trying to free itself.
“Shut it. I’ve heard it five times already. Say it again and I’m cutting you down.”
“You mean, five times only!”
I should kill this bastard, after all, Estian thought. He gripped the sword in his hand harder at Aled’s retorting words. It was then that Cecile unburied her face from her desk. A beaming smile was hanging on her lips.
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