Chapter 39 - I Want It Right Now
Estian turned around at Cecile’s voice.
Strange, he mused. Cecile had called him in the most tender and adorable voice he had ever heard until now yet, for some reason, she seemed angry. But how could that be? She was just fine a moment ago, so why all of a sudden?
Cecile rose to her feet, drew closer to Estian’s side, and clung to him by his arm. She had taken off his cloak upon returning to the room, so she was still in her set of inner wear and jewelry. In truth, Estian could not help but swallow dryly at her current attire. He drew his hands around her waist and pulled her toward him.
Just as he was about to kiss Cecile, feeling giddy at the sensation of their intertwined bodies, she took the initiative to draw in closer and breathe hot air by his ear. Estian was thrilled, even as he felt bewildered; Cecile had never acted this way first on her own.
It seemed to him that the correct answer was to kill that Aled this instant and then enjoy a hot morning. But just as this thought crossed his mind and he was about to take her up into his arms… Cecile put on a shy smile and stepped back, pushing his hands away. Her actions made Estian realize for the first time what it meant to pine for someone.
Why, oh why was Cecile doing this all of a sudden when she had always done as he had wished?
He was going to voice this question, but Cecile spoke up first. “Your Majesty, I have something I want to have now.”
“What… is it?” He could not understand why his throat felt so terribly dry speaking three syllables. He did not know what Cecile wanted, but he wanted to hand it to her right here and now.
“That jewel you said you would bring to me, Your Majesty. The Forest of Tetin, was it?”
It was indeed called as such. Estian had not really intended on bringing it if he were to be honest. It was after discussing it through with Kane that he decided to cause some pre-emptive pressure on the Kingdom of Tetin, as they had shown signs of rebelling.
“I want it. Right now.” Cecile whispered into his ear. Her dulcet tone was so sweet that Estian could not do anything but nod his head.
* * *
The empress’s palace was busy since morning. Today was the day the empress’ lady-in-waiting would be elected. The attendants were hectic, adorning the empress all morning. All kinds of dresses, ornaments, and cosmetics were lined up in the dressing room. Even those who might be indifferent to this sort of thing would feel a little excited, yet Cecile was sitting in the middle of it all with a blank expression.
“Your Majesty, shall I raise your hair a little more?”
“Do as you will.”
“Your Majesty, how high would you like your heels?”
“Do as you will.”
“Your Majesty, as for decorating the dress…”
“Forgive us. We will do it on our own.”
Another quick-witted attendant by the side swiftly intervened. The faces of the attendants turned even stiffer and their hands even faster at the empress’ attitude of finding everything bothersome. Tension tautened their faces.
‘I just can’t figure her out,’ they collectively thought.
She was a strange and curious empress. She had seduced the irritable tyrant into being head over heels for her and unable to leave the empress’ palace. In her first meeting with the empire’s officials, she had dismissed the treasures of the imperial family as secondhand articles. In that situation, the attendants of the empress’ palace thought: ‘Looks like we’re serving a nutcase now!’
The attendants all wrote a will in advance. Some even looked into what would happen to their pension after death. They exchanged information and comforting words, cheering one another to try and live on to the best they could. No matter how much they searched through the records of past empresses, none had acted as the current one.
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