Chapter 89 - He Knows!
‘Are you messing with me?’ Cecile wanted to scream at her husband, about to blow her top. She had expected Estian to be sorry, at the very least, but what was this? He looked at her in amusement, evaded the subject, then began chewing out the art troupe.
Cecile bit her lips fiercely. She knew why Estian was abruptly picking fault with the troupe. ‘He wants me to act in front of these people again.’ Whenever he was being like this, the right thing to do was to play moderately coy and suggest something like ‘let’s not bother with something like that and focus on our business’. But she wasn’t in the mood for that right now so Cecile made up her mind to act as she pleased, thinking, ‘The world can go burn. You told me to surpass a tyrant, didn’t you? You think I can’t?’ “But I don’t think that alone will be fun,” she mused. “How about we have his limbs slowly amputated and enjoy some tea time as we listen to his screams, then make a pond with his flowing blood? I think it’ll be nice to add a new feel to my palace garden as well.”
Cecile’s relentless words shocked the banquet guests into dropping their knives and forks.
Back when Estian proposed that she play the villainess, some part of her had felt relieved; all he had to do was give the command, but instead, he had asked for her thoughts. That was why she felt she was being treated as a human being and not a tool. But now she couldn’t help but think, ‘How many times have I deluded myself now?’ Cecile was struck by the same sense of shame and hollowness she had felt when she overheard Estian saying he would not have any children. Again, again, she had jumped to conclusions on her own, thinking that Estian cared for her a little, at the least, but he merely amused himself without even considering her feelings.
Cecile looked at the slack-jawed people sitting in front of her, all dumbfounded by her words just seconds ago. ‘Did I go a bit overboard?’ she wondered.
It was then that Estian carefully turned her face around with a hand. He looked just as dumbfounded as the others. “Why do you say such cruel things?” he asked.
Cecile smiled at the way he looked at her as if she had spoken the unspeakable. “My, I didn’t think I’d hear that from you, Your Majesty. You make me blush.” She had forgotten about it for a while now, but who out there could match up to Estian when it came to cruelty?
The eyes of the two met for a moment. There was a volatile air about them, ready to explode at any time. The onlooking attendants shrunk their necks, swallowing the words they could not afford to voice. ‘Lunatics…’ Everyone in the banquet hall was certain of this. ‘Looks like Her Majesty isn’t normal either.’
The air in the hall had turned suffocating in the instant Cecile said she would not let the art troupe off. Everyone in the banquet hall felt difficulty breathing, their skin prickling from the tension. They had forgotten about this palpable murder in the air they were now sensing, misled by the harmonious atmosphere the emperor and empress had shown until now. Why had they forgotten this feeling when they had experienced it every day before the empress came?
Others found it hard to even stand in such an atmosphere, yet the empress who was closest to the emperor seemed completely unfazed. She was, in fact, talking in a tone and expression that were even livelier than usual. Not only that, she was outright retorting to the emperor as if asking, ‘Are you really one to talk?’
Their conversation did not end there.
“But there does seem to be a better way.”
“A better way?” The emperor echoed.
“I hear that our caretakers are troubled because of the dragon that was captured recently. Apparently, it’s not eating well…” When Cecile spoke up to that point, a collective gasp could be heard from the art troupe members. “How about we prepare a special treat for that dragon?”
No one was oblivious as to what she meant by a special treat.
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