Chapter 76 – Do You Have Compassion? (1)
Sovieshu stared at me for a moment, then let out a laugh.
“What do you mean? Will the Empress spread bad rumors about Rashta unless I change Viscount Langdel’s punishment to exile?”
“No. I’m just trying to prepare a report. Oh, do you know there’s a report?”
“Do you think I’ll fall for that?”
“Fall for it or not, it doesn’t matter. You will handle Viscount Langdel according to law, and I intend to deal with Miss Rashta according to the law.”
“And how will you do that?”
“Miss Rashta spread false information to discredit Duchess Tuania, encouraged the Duke to divorce her, and undermined the duchess’ reputation in society. She’s aggressive enough to buy people. For this she must be locked up in jail and whipped.”
“I’ll do it.”
Sovieshu’s gaze could sting one’s skin. He seemed to find my suggestion genuinely preposterous.
“No matter how much you hate Rashta, how can you defend someone that’s tried to kill her?”
Sovieshu glared at me with a face like thunder.
“The same as you if you were defending someone whose honor was intentionally destroyed.”
“Are those equivalent? What Rashta does is common in society.”
“Then everyone will understand if this happens. It’s common in society.”
“For you to say this…”
Sovieshu turned away, breathing deeply. He cooled down a little, then turned sharply back towards me.
“Does the Empress have no compassion?”
“I do. That is why I’m trying to save Viscount Langdel.”
“May I ask you a question?”
Sovieshu glowered at me instead of answering, and I raised my eyebrows questioningly.
“Does the Emperor have compassion only for Rashta?”
“You always ask me, ‘Don’t you feel sorry for Miss Rashta?’”
For a moment we stared at each other in silence. Sovieshu seemed to be in internal conflict with himself. He was mad at me, and he didn’t want to have Rashta whipped, but he also didn’t want to let go of Viscount Langdel…
After a long pause, Sovieshu finally surrendered. However, somehow I was not happy with my victory.
“There is a condition.”
“The report. Give it to me.”
“I’ll give it to you after Viscount Langdel leaves.”
I replied with as much calm as possible. Sovieshu’s jaw tightened, then he rang a bell on his desk. The door opened and a secretary came in.
“I will change the punishment on Viscount Langdel. He will be exiled, not executed.”
Sovieshu raised his eyebrows at me expectantly. Instead of answering, I bowed courteously and left the office.
I had done a lot of work, but it wasn’t evening yet. The sky was bright and people were bustling about. The world was peaceful in the hours of a man’s life being decided. During this time, everyone was busy talking about the emperor’s first baby.
My heart filled with unexplainable emotions, and I stared towards the Eastern Palace. Somewhere in there lay Rashta. Although she had not yet awakened, her world had changed. A childless concubine could easily be abandoned by the emperor. However, a concubine with children had a connection left, even if the emperor’s heart cools and she quits the concubine life.
I won the battle against Sovieshu and succeeded in saving Viscount Langdel. Why didn’t I feel relieved? I sighed and turned around.
As soon as I turned around, I saw Queen was sitting on a rock, holding a proper letter envelope in his beak. A few people passed by, and he ducked behind the bushes. When they were gone, he emerged again, and I was so confused that I laughed. I approached him, and Queen placed the envelope in my hand and flew away.
‘I was going to hug him.’
After pulling away my outstretched arms, I sat on a bench and opened the envelope. Unlike the previous short notes, it contained a proper letter this time.
-My elder brother’s not feeling well. I worry.
-Do you remember the blue-haired knight? He’s my knight, secretary and cousin, and he seems to want to be my enemy these days.
-How to get revenge on those who hurt you. 1. How about making a beautiful, well-known, respected man as your lover?
-How to get revenge on those who hurt you. 2. Ask Prince Heinley.
Perhaps because it was not a note, the content was longer than usual, although it was written in fragmented pieces. It was also unclear whether I should laugh or not. The story of revenge and the blue-haired knight were interesting, but his brother was sick…
Prince Heinley’s older brother was the king of the Western Kingdom, and was apparently not feeling well. If he worsened, Prince Heinley may have to go back home and stand by as the successor.
The thought of Prince Heinley and Queen leaving made me feel sick. Although we had known each other only recently, I felt the most comfortable with them.
“Why the long face?”
A voice spoke from my side. Startled, I turned and saw Prince Heinley with a wicked smile on his face, and behind him was the blue-haired knight. The knight bowed when our eyes met, and Prince Heinley approached and offered me his arm.
“Do you mind if I walk with you for a while, Queen?”
I thought it would help me relax. I rose up from the bench and took his arm, feeling his muscles flex beneath my hand. My eyes unknowingly glanced downwards. All I saw was clothes. I’ve been escorted by others several times, but…Prince Heinley had amazing muscles. While he looked quite slender on the surface, he was surprisingly solid underneath.
‘You’re crazy, Navier! How can you think that of a person escorting you?’
My face was flushed with shame, and Prince Heinley turned to me curiously.
“Are you hot, Queen?”
“Your face is red.”
“Ah yes…it’s a little hot.”
As soon as I finished speaking, there was a cold breeze and goose flesh popped on my skin. Prince Heinley’s knight sneezed from behind us, and I bit my lip in embarrassment. My face was hot at the sound of Prince Heinley holding back his laughter.