15. Master of Secrets
The drenched coat fell to her feet. Lasilia, who had become much lighter, turned her head to face the Marquise of Farshad.
“What does that mean? It’s medicine.”
The Marquise nervously swallowed her dry saliva.
“Didn’t you promise me? I will give Count Ayef’s inheritance right to my second son, not the Count’s daughter.”
It seemed that Count Ayef had no sons. Anyway, that didn’t matter.
“So, in exchange for you waiting on my clothes, I decided to deprive you of another family’s right to inherit? Is my understanding right now?”
“Isn’t it normal to wait on clothes, Her Majesty? How long have I been doing the lockdown? …!”
Racilia cut off the Marquise.
“I don’t know what you mean by that. As you know, I remember nothing of the former.”
“…that, like that… I, you don’t even have to do that to me, Your Majesty the Empress.”
The Marquise also assumed that her amnesia was fake.
“What do you mean? ‘You don’t have to do that’? Amnesia may not be selective depending on the person.”
The Marquise twisted her mouth and held her hands tightly.
“To me… You cannot do this, Her Majesty. If you knew what I was protecting you, you couldn’t do this to me…”
“Well. I don’t know what that means either. What do you mean you are protecting me?”
“You know? How the mark is going.”
Again, her guess was correct. The Marquise was robbing her, holding the Empress’s secret like her sword. Maybe it was the Empress who gave her the sword first, but that didn’t matter to her. The Marquise could see that she wielded her sword when she wanted, as long as she held a sword.
But just because she was, that didn’t mean she had to take the knife in silence.
“What is the mark?”
As if the Marquise of Farshad couldn’t believe it, she put on a puzzled expression.
“No way… Are you going to pretend you don’t even know the signs?”
“I don’t remember anything. So let’s talk. What are the signs and what do they mean? And if I don’t take away Count Ayef’s right to inherit, what will you do with that fact?”
“That… Then, ah, are you saying that it doesn’t matter if it is known?”
“Like I said, I don’t know what it is. It seems like it shouldn’t be known that you’ve been hiding it for me.”
“No, of course! If His Majesty the Emperor finds out…!”
“Then? What’s going on?”
“Yes? That, that’s right, the Pielion family…”
“The Farshad family? We’ve been hiding secrets together until now, but does the Fashad family have anything to do with it?”
There was one thing the Marquise of Fascard did not know. She knew that no human being was as useless as the Prophet. If the premise of blackmail was disclosure, it posed no threat to the Prophet. The prophet’s duty was to expose.
“If there is a guarantee that the Peelion family will be harmed and the Fashad family will be safe alone, then speak to His Majesty. I don’t remember anything, so I have nothing more to say.”
The Marquise made a strange moan and bit her lip. Up until now, the Marquise would have obtained this or that from the Empress through threats disguised as her loyalty. When the Empress refused to pay any more, citing her amnesia as an excuse, she said that if the Marquise divulged her secret, all that was left was to die together. Lasilia revealed that she would never die alone. That changed the positions of the blackmailer and the threatened.
“If that was all you could say, I would like you to take off my clothes. I want to wash myself.”
“…Yes, Her Majesty the Empress.”
With her face pale as if she had just rolled over in the snow, the Marquise began to take off her underdress.
Her trembling fingertips began to unbutton her buttons.
“A little faster.”
Lasilia has been chasing the Marquise.
“Ah, ah! …yes, yes. Her Majesty the Empress…”
For some reason, the Marquise started to panic even more.
“Don’t be too scared. You just have to do what you’ve been asked to do. Then I will treat you as before. If your hands are shaking too much, wait a bit.”
“That… Ah, I understand.”
Her hands, which had been trembling for a while, stopped moving. Then, as if she had settled down, she began to move properly. So Lasilia did not know that she had something else that made the Marquise’s hands tremble.
The fact that when she unbuttoned all the buttons on her undergarment, the mark that had been erased for more than half had clearly revived right above her buttocks.
* * *
“Put it on, Your Majesty.”
Lescal finished the bath in five minutes. It was at the level of soaking a soapy body in hot water once. Today, Serben did not stop wiping the water.
Lescal, who disliked contact with other humans, tended to do quite a bit of work alone. Anyway, after wiping off all the water, Serben put on new clothes on Rascal’s body.
Lescal asked without a word as he pushed his arm through his shirt and buttoned it up.
“What about Ryan?”
“I understand that you are planning a bird hunt.”
“I will allow her to hunt birds. But take her sword away.”
It was an unexpected statement, so Serben put on a puzzled expression.
“She has to take responsibility for the Empress drowning. It is one month.”
“Ha, one month at a time?”
If she wasn’t allowed to carry the sword for a month, Ryan would almost certainly turn into a beast driven mad by her frustration.
“Can you cut it down a bit, Your Majesty?”
Serben asked cautiously, but the answer was like a knife.
“…She will suffer immensely and regret it. All right.”
During the month that Ryan would suffer, it was certain that he would become the object of her anger. Serben was trying to comfort her, who was already suffering, and was finishing her clothes.
Lescal suddenly sank to the floor. He didn’t hit it hard on the butt, thanks to the footrest he used to put on his shoes, but it was definitely odd.
“Why is that? Have you ever been hurt?”
Serben came up behind him and grabbed Lescal’s ankle.
“No. I wasn’t hurt…”
There were no injuries. Until a little while ago, Lescal was moving without any problems. And there was never a time when such keen senses failed to notice an injury. However, it was the sight of Lescal’s hands that made them both speechless.
“Why is this happening?”
Lescal asked, looking at his hand that didn’t stop shaking even when he gave it strength.
“That is… Umm… Maybe you can finally feel the shock you got when you saw Her Majesty fall into the water.”
There were frequent cases of belated shock when a severe injury to the level of amputation of limbs was received. It was a common thing for knights living with swords.
“Shock… is it.”
“Yes. You will be very surprised.”
At those words, Lescal briefly remembered what had happened in the canal. He hear a splash and the sound of the Empress falling into the water repeated over and over again, and cold sweat began to flow. He felt sick to his stomach.
“I don’t want anything to happen to the Empress in the future.”
Lescal spat out low, clenching his fists with trembling hands.
“I might lose control of my body.”
“Uh, that… If that’s the case, yes. I don’t think so.”
Lescal quickly raised his head.
“From now on, you will be the Empress’ escort.”
Serben pointed a finger at himself with a surprised expression.
“Is that what you mean?”
“Ryan can’t use her sword for a month.”
“No, I… I am a Shadow Knight, Your Majesty!”
It meant that he was well aware that he had been in charge of His Majesty’s bodyguard even before the ink on his knight’s commission had dried.
“No, Your Majesty… The Emperor and Empress are different, so the escorts are different, but…”
“They will be the same from today.”
Serben tried his best not to cry.
“No. It’s different. Her Majesty the Empress is His Majesty’s companion and a member of the Imperial Family, but she does not inherit imperial blood.”
“It will be the same.”
Lescal was adamant. It was like nothing else could be the answer.
“When the Empress fell into the water, my heart seemed to break. If the empress dies, I will die too. So it’s the same.”
“Oh no, that… so suddenly…”
“Protect her. Make sure nothing happens to her.”
“That… If so, as you wish.”
Serben nodded his head as it was, weighed down by the Emperor’s momentum. In fact, it seemed meaningful to designate an escort for the Empress at this point, when Lescal had already decided to stick with the Empress for twenty-four hours, but there was something else to think about ahead of that.
The Emperor thought that it would be right for her to be his true partner.
‘I don’t think Ryan will like it very much.’ Serben muttered to himself. ‘Of course I’m bad too. If it’s Her Majesty’s personality…’
With that personality, it was clear to his eyes how much more terrible she would be when she knew the Emperor was sincere. Even now, the Empress lived by stirring her palace as she pleased. Her extravagance was nothing. She unreservedly summoned her unmarried lover to her palace, killed several of her unknown courtiers, and buried dissatisfied nobles very often. Even when the Emperor showed no affection for the Empress, she lived like that. Now that the Emperor cared for her as if she were his own life…
‘It’s obvious without looking at it.’
Horrible was not enough to say. Serben bit his teeth and read his heart.
‘We should try to prevent that from happening as much as possible. Perhaps she is fortunate to have become Her Majesty’s escort.’
As far as possible, the Empress should remain unaware of the Emperor’s true feelings.
‘But if he says it like that, even an idiot will notice… This is really embarrassing.’
He had to use the child anyway. First of all, he intended not to tell anyone useful information about the Empress’ love of Denia flowers.
* * *
He came quickly too. It felt like she was getting used to the sudden appearance of the Emperor.
“Are you here, Your Majesty?”
She was fortunate enough that he came when she was at least dressed in her clothes.
The Emperor brushed his blonde hair with a strangely anxious look on his face.
“I didn’t mean to take this long. The bath was finished quickly…”
The bath was finished quickly, but it seemed like something else was going on. No, normally it takes a long time but it was too fast.
“I know that there is a distance to the Imperial Palace. You are not late at all.”
His nervous expression slightly brightened.
The Emperor sat next to her very casually. The problem was that Lasilia deliberately sat on the sofa for one person, fearing this would happen, and despite this, the Emperor sat on her armrest. He naturally clung to her body. There were naturally clear golden eyes looking down this way. Looking at it, she wondered if she could adapt to that glitz, and now it seemed that she could read the expression to some extent.
The Emperor lightly gripped the tip of her Lasilia’s hair and kissed her on the lips.
“I was late because I was shocked because of you.”
She didn’t think he needed to kiss her.
“So I guess we’ll have to keep making exceptions until the shock wears off.”
…What was he saying, really.
Hello there! This is RJR.
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