Chapter 50 - Curious Talk
“Hoo… dearest milady… It might’ve been just half a day, but you must have had nothing to eat properly in the detention center… You don’t know how much I thought of you, even as I roamed the eateries outside the imperial palace. I went to the places with the longest of lines and bought your share as well while I was at it, and what a good thing I did. Dear, oh dear, look at your ruined complexion. You must have been so upset, no? Do eat this first.”
“What’s this? You know I don’t eat commoner… Ah? This is?” Irene asked as she turned her gaze to the paper bag placed on her hand and smelled a savory fragrance wafting out of it, though its contents did seem to have cooled. Upon reading the letters written on the outside of the paper bag, Irene’s face was colored with surprise. It turned out her maidservant had not lied to her about waiting in the longest of lines; the bag was labeled with the brand of the currently hottest snack shop in the capital.
“I bought it just for you, milady. Didn’t I do good? Come now, dig in quick.”
Urged by her maid, Irene made her mind to first open the bag and took one of the snacks to her mouth. The taste of well-fried dough sprinkled with sugar spread on Irene’s tongue, which had been withered from starving most of the day inside the detention center.
After several moments of chewing, the rims of Irene’s eyes turned red and all of a sudden, she was on the verge of tears as she began to bemoan what she went through. “Oh heavens… His Majesty didn’t even seem glad to see me. He just looked at me like I was a bother and told Sir Kane ‘Drag her out.’… What in the world has happened to His Majesty?”
“Well he’s completely fallen in love with Her Majesty the Empress, that’s what.”
“No! There’s no way… umph!” Seeing Irene tearing up again, the saintess shoved another snack in the former’s mouth as if tired of her noise. She really must’ve been hungry alright, the saintess mused. Normally she would have started yelling in outrage, yet she silently ate what she was given.
“Now, I have the coach ready to go, so for today let’s go back to the mansion and think about the matter slowly after taking a good rest. After we return, I’ll join you in flaming that empress till you feel all better inside, milady.”
“You have to do it until I feel better, until I say stop. But I really don’t get it. Why in God’s name is His Majesty acting like that?” Speaking up to that point, Irene pulled the saintess in close and whispered to her in a small voice. “Don’t you think the empress cast some sort of black spell over him, after all? I heard some people talk about her in the detention center, and they say the empress is bewitchingly pretty. And apparently, she’s getting prettier by the day?”
“Hmm? What did you say?”
“Nothing, milady. You must be tired, so please do get on the coach and sleep a little. I’ll wake you when we arrive.”
After pushing Irene into the coach and shutting its door, the saintess went behind the coach to punt an innocent pebble. “Aargh! Why’d I go and write her like that!”
She had gone with the flow and ended up pouring every kind of good quality into the main character, Cecile. It was a way of making it easier to advance the plot and, more than anything, satisfying her desires.
One of those good qualities was appearance. Appearance would not be the only thing in Cecile’s arsenal now, though; she would eventually obtain the hearts of the young ladies of nobility as well as the imperial attendants, who had kept their distance thinking her a villainess, and this was all due to the saintess writing her novel in a way commonly known as ‘placing the main character on a pedestal’. In other words, anything Cecile did would continue to result in praise along the lines of ‘Aah, our beloved empress thought so far ahead!’, or ‘Aah, our beloved empress had such knowledge and talent!’.
‘All the more why I have to get into Cecile’s body quickly. Such praise should be mine to enjoy! It’s my sweet nectar to savor!’
The saintess turned her gaze toward the imperial palace. As she was wandering around the capital today, she had caught wind that an envoy from the Kingdom of Stoan had arrived in the country.
‘The object brought by that envoy…’
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