Chapter 85 - Babe, I Can Explain
Etiquette dictated she was below the empress. Therefore, even if she wanted to give a greeting, she had to either wait for someone to introduce her or wait for the empress to speak to her first. As such, Yuliana wished for someone to take the initiative to introduce her; even better if the emperor—who was holding her by the waist—was the one who did so.
No one, however, fulfilled Yuliana’s wish. Rather, no one was even looking at her, which left her bewildered. She clenched her fists, sweat gathering in her palms as she wondered ‘Wh-what’s going on?’
‘This can’t be happening.’ She looked down at her slightly exposed chest, where a tiny light flickered before disappearing. ‘There’s no problem with my ‘power’, so what is it?’
While Yuliana was feeling lost, not knowing what to do, the clicking of a pair of heels echoed throughout the now quiet banquet. The sounds drew closer to Estian until it stopped in front of him. “Your Majesty,” Cecile called out.
“…” She merely addressed the emperor, and yet the surrounding air became chilly in an instant. No one could tell why. “I see you were having a wonderful time,” she continued.
Then, she stared fixedly at Estian’s hand. Only then did he realize what he had been doing. Blast it all. Estian’s face crumpled as he hastily retrieved his hand from Princess Yuliana’s waist. He immediately shot to his feet, pushing Yuliana away as he walked toward his wife. “Empress, this is…”
“A foreign delegation, I see. Oh my, I would never have entered so thoughtlessly had I known in advance.” Smoothly cutting off Estian’s attempt at an explanation, Cecile swept her gaze around the banquet table, meeting the eyes of those staring at her. At that moment, even an ant crawling by would be able to tell that if someone sprayed water near the empress, it would freeze; if someone sprayed oil… it would combust.
Radiating an explosive yet cold aura, Cecile walked even closer toward Estian. “Forgive my rudeness, Your Majesty, but how could I stay still after receiving something so extraordinary? I was so overjoyed that I ended up forgetting Your Majesty’s order for me to stay in my palace—because-you-were-worried-for-me—and here I am.”
Estian swallowed dryly. He had never felt such fear like this before, not even when he was single-handedly facing a phantom beast. “But still, there was no need for you to…”
“Well, that’s because I wanted to show everyone what I got. But…” Cecile cast a cold eye around the banquet hall. “…Why the long faces on everyone? It’s almost as if their eyes are saying I’ve come somewhere I shouldn’t.”
She turned her back to the rest and stood face to face against Estian. “Do you think so too, Your Majesty?”
“I…” The insides of Estian’s mouth shriveled up. He had to tell her that whatever she was thinking was a misunderstanding, but his tongue would not budge. He came to empathize with how a frog felt before a snake. Barely getting a hold of himself, Estian let out a low cough before saying, “How could I ever? I merely feel sorry that you took the trouble of coming all this way, seeing as I intended on going straight to your side when the banquet ended.”
“Aha, you don’t say.” Cecile’s gaze remained on him, sharp and cold. “Whatever the case, thank you so much. Now then, why don’t we continue the banquet? It appears the meals have yet to be finished. Let us all be seated.”
Cecile’s words prompted the spectators to return to their senses and they immediately returned to their seats.
Yuliana sat among them, dumbfounded. The empress suddenly appeared clad in a shocking outfit, stunning everyone witless, and before they knew it, she was leading the banquet.
‘I had them all in the palm of my hand… but they snapped to their senses in just a second.’ Yuliana gazed at Estian, who held the empress’s hand and walked away with nary a backward glance. How much had she prepared before making the journey to the empire? She knew what a dangerous and powerful individual Emperor Estian was, even without having to investigate. Nevertheless, she daringly chose to approach him. ‘The emperor’s cruelty is focused on certain nations and people, after all.’
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