He had simply watched with a deadpan expression as the knight came in and bent down on one knee, then his eyes looked as if he was looking at something very funny and he gave a closed-lipped smile.
Now, what’s wrong with the guy?
I started to get scared for no reason.
Caitel lifted a glass and the sound of ice clinking could be heard.
Clink Clink, only the soft refreshing echo of ice hitting glass could be heard in the room. It sounded quite cool to the ears.
“…had a guest.”
Ah, I felt thirsty because of that noise. Of course, it could also be because I cried too much. I started to gently whine at my nanny.
I definitely felt even more parched when I heard that cool clinking sound.
“It was a guest I never invited.”
As soon as Caitel finished speaking, his sight landed on the Captain. The Captain’s body trembled. Caitel’s eyes grew even darker as he watched his response. The thin, close-lipped smile on his face made it difficult for the receiver to even breath.
His appearance seemed to glow with beauty, but at that moment, no one wanted to even touch the guy.
If he weren’t a moth, who would want to throw themselves into that burning black fire? His eyes, which always glowed red to the point it made his eye hurt, was now dark to the point that it almost looked pitch black. It made oneself hold their breath.
That’s right, this was my first time seeing him truly angry.
“I committed a crime deserving of death. This was all due to my own carelessness.”
It’s scary. When I said it’s scary, I meant it’s scary in a different way than earlier. Before, it was scary because of the possibility that I would get killed, but now, the atmosphere felt like ‘getting in trouble in front of the principal’ kind of scary.
I know I didn’t do anything bad, so why am I getting scared too?
After crying my heart out, I was much calmer, and I no longer sniffled. I did keep trying to rub my eyes because they were itchy, but each attempt was foiled by Serira. I started whining in dissatisfaction
My eyes were itchy!
For a moment, Caitel’s face relaxed as he heard my whining, but it went by so fast no one else noticed. He slaked his thirst with a sip of wine and put the glass on the table.
Then he walked up slowly, so slowly it gave off a terrifying vibe that made everyone hold their breath as he stood in front of the knight. Only when he was practically in front of the knight’s nose did he stop.
An arrogant voice dropped from above.
The Royal Guard’s Captain lowered his head even lower.
“Find out who sent the assassin within those four days.”
The terrifying sound of cold steel rang throughout the room. Caitel had pulled out the Captain’s sword by his side and lifted it up. The sword’s blade gleamed in the light, it was so dazzling it almost blinded would blind me if I directly stared at it. He lifted it up as if it was just a toy, then looked down at the Captain.
The soft sound of slender cold metal being swung around reverberated in the room. It made me frown just listening to it because it sounded so sharp and thin.
No. I hated that sound.
The good news… Only the sleeve of the guard was cut.
The bad news… The slender and gleaming white steel was now placed at the guard’s neck.
“If you can’t find out who is behind this then consider yourself dead.”
The thin cut on his pale neck started to turn into a blood-red line on the Captain’s neck. The red line had a metallic smell, making one think of the thick and rusty smell of the blood rain earlier. The Captain lowered his head one more time.
“Yes, your majesty.”
Then he stood up and humbly received his sword back with both hands. Then, Caitel seemed to have lost interest in the Captain and turned his whole body away, as if he no longer cared about whether he stayed in the room or leave. Instead, he looked in my direction and started to come closer to Serira who was holding me in her arms. Then he spread out his two arms without any hesitation.
His movements were confident and clear. He was commanding her to place me into his waiting embrace.
Dad, we had never been close, so why was he acting all friendly now? I wanted to protest, but my throat was so sore I couldn’t make a sound. Serira looked like she didn’t want to hand me over, but she did not want to be his opponent. After all, it wasn’t like he was just any opponent, so she had to reluctantly hand me over without a fight.
Poor pitiful Serira! It’s too much!
As soon as he received me in his arms, his face changed once again.
I gazed at him with swollen eyes. His darkened eyes had already turned into his regular red gaze. I could once again see my reflection clearly in those everyday reds.
At that moment, he laughed at me.
Huh? Why was he laughing?
“I will sleep with Ariadna for a while.”
Oh… Excuse me?
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, so I just stared at him in a daze until I had to blink several times.
Huh? What did he just said?
Did he just said we would sleep together!?
While I was at a complete loss of words due to a combination of shock and fear, Serira simply bowed her head.
“Yes, your majesty.”
Caitel’s bedroom was much more simple than I had thought.
Oh, okay. I had thought this was a chance for me to see some results of him showing off his treasures but, unexpectedly, it was quite plain. I was surprised by all the plain space spread out in front of my eyes.
What in the world? Weren’t tyrants supposed to be the King of all wastrels? Showing off their gold and using it like water? Even though he’s the Emperor, he seemed to have no interest in showing off his fortune at all. My Dad was… Hmm.
Well, this still didn’t change anything. Just because he didn’t go around wasting money didn’t mean the way I looked at him would drastically change or anything.
Reality was cruel and this world was rotten.
“You may place the Princess here and leave.”
The voice of the servant in charge of Soleil palace could be heard.
Now that I thought about it, she had much more experience than Serira in the palace, but due to the difference in status, she seemed to respectfully serve her.
Serira held me close and carefully walked into the room.
We were only walking into an unfamiliar room, why were they so tense? It’s not like we were a pair of cat burglars. Oh yeah, this unfamiliar room belonged to that stranger, the Emperor.
Instead of feeling contempt, all I felt was a surge of annoyance. How did this even happen to me?! Just how?! What did I do to end up like this?! Was it not enough that he would harass me all day? Was he not satisfied enough with messing me during the day, he wanted to mess with me at night too? Who would even guarantee that I would get some peaceful sleep? I too had a right to sleep peacefully!
This world was rotten I tell you! This world was damned! My Dad just handed me poop!
I started to struggle as a form of protest. As I tussled in her arms, Serira patted me on my back, but I refused to be pacified.
I hated it! I hated this world that flows only according to the will of the adults!
I looked around the spacious room. The room had some expensive decorations scattered around to fill up the empty space. It seemed randomly placed, so it didn’t look too empty. The bed stood out the most. It was five times the size of my room and looked like at least four fully grown man could sleep on it with plenty of space.
My spot seemed to be that crib next to his bed. I had assumed they would bring the crib from my own room but this was a crib I had never met before.
‘Hello, my name is Ariadna. Who are you?’
“Here, Princess. Today you will sleep here.”
Could I not sleep here?’
My lips started to quiver as I raised my face to look at her with teary eyes. I was almost ready to burst out in tears at any moment.
Serira’s face showed that she didn’t know what to do and simply let out a sigh.
I know, Mom… Mom had no power. That was why you must send me off.
Why did it seem like we were a mother-daughter pair being sold off for money?
Suddenly, the legend of Chunhyang popped up into my head.
‘Hmph, come serve me at night!’
Shut up, she hates it! Chunhyang tried to resist.
Then the world ended.
I should not become an author.
Why were my endings all fucked up? I felt a bit disturbed at myself and frowned. Serira, who was laying me down, saw it and laid a kiss on my forehead. She whispered something softly to me. It seemed to be a type of prayer.
“It’s okay. Since our princess is calm, so she will definitely sleep well.”
How did she know if I had a sensitive or mild personality?! This wasn’t just about changing the location of where I slept! This was an important and precious problem! Where did I get my rights to sleep?! I was positive that damned father of mine would harass me all night! He definitely would!
“Ah, I will go.”
Then Serira followed the scary maid’s command and left the room after pushing a small doll in my hand. How rotten! This was messed up!
To leave a delicate and lovable young baby alone.
Humans had no consideration anymore. Seriously, consideration was dead.
The room I could see from my crib was five times bigger than usual. It was too large to the point I felt scared. Not only was this the first time I was in this room, but I could only just sit here. That was the source of my horror.
If only I could walk, run or sleep, then I could somewhat manage by myself…
Ah, even if I did, I would probably just get caught right away anyway.
‘Eyeam skuwuwed…’ (Baby talk for “I am screwed.”)
I leaned my cheek against the safety guard and looked around the room comfortably.
Well, a mountain was a mountain and water was water.
It’s true that unlike my first impression of him, the guy wasn’t showing his fortunes off, so the room wasn’t covered in gold leaf, but it’s not exactly a plain room that diminished the dignity of an Emperor.
How should I describe it? Should I just say it was adequately fancy, adequately expensive, and adequately dignified? Especially that single sofa and tea table with delicate carvings that looked simple at first glance, but had an aura oozing out from it. Also, the look of that heater that took one side of the wall by itself and the tapestry hanging on the top, there was no place to criticize in this perfect arrangement. Damn.
“Are you not sleeping?”
I hate the fact that I am so used to his voice. I leaned against the safety rail and raised my head.
“You are not sleeping.”
Caitel, who came closer, put his face right in front of my nose.
For a moment I couldn’t breathe.