Chapter 364. Rashta’s Despair (1)
Translator: Aura / Editor: HB168
Rashta muttered in annoyance and bewilderment.
“How insolent you are…”
“It is Your Majesty who is insolent. How dare you deceive the emperor with a cuckoo daughter?”
“Cuckoo? Did you just call the princess a cuckoo?”
[TL/N: A bird that lays its eggs in the nests of other birds.]
“She’s not a princess anymore. She also wasn’t born to a married noble couple, so she’s not a noble either.”
The Western Palace maids lacked proper etiquette ,unlike other palace employees, so they didn’t speak respectfully.
Rashta couldn’t stand it and pounced on the maid, who tried to run away, but Rashta ran and kicked her in the calf first.
“It doesn’t matter if I’m a cuckoo or if the princess is a cuckoo, you’re an insect! An insect that can be eaten by a cuckoo or any other bird. I’m the Empress! Don’t forget that I can kill you!”
“Stop it! Stop it! Ahh!”
“Stop it, stop it! Shut your filthy mouth!”
Rashta was not used to swearing, but during the course of her life as a slave she had received many insults.
The maid managed to run away in terror as Rashta insulted and assaulted her. Rashta was so angered by her insolent words that she chased after her, but as soon as she was out the door she collided against Duke Elgy’s firm chest. She stumbled and Duke Elgy quickly reached out to hold her.
Rashta looked at him in a daze, but soon her expression became distorted.
Seeing him reminded her of the prior day’s events, and a sudden feeling of betrayal and disappointment came over her, overshadowing her concern for the future and her anger with the maid. Rashta said between clenched teeth,
“You’re a bad… bad person.”
Rashta stared at him with tears in her eyes. Duke Elgy was the one who always helped her during difficult times, the only one who gave her strength when everyone mocked her, so although she felt hurt, she was also a little hopeful.
“Why did you do that?”
Rashta asked in a dull voice.
Rather than answer, Duke Elgy sighed as he examined Rashta’s face.
“You don’t look so good.”
“Why did you do that?”
“Let’s go inside to talk.”
“It’s not a good idea to talk here.”
Upon hearing Elgy’s words, Rashta realized that she was in the corridor. The knights standing on either side of the door were staring at them very curiously.
Rashta flinched, turned, and entered the room. Duke Elgy followed her silently and closed the door.
Then, he naturally tried to sit down on the couch, but stopped when Rashta shouted, “Don’t sit down!”
Although it was unpleasant, Duke Elgy answered calmly and straightened his bent knees. Rashta felt more hurt and asked again.
“Why did you do that?”
“What do you mean?”
Duke Elgy smiled before continuing, speaking softly,
“Do you want to know why I didn’t do what you asked me to do after I kidnapped Viscount Roteschu’s grandson? Or why did I take him to the temple? Or…”
There were thick thorns embedded in every word. Rashta wanted to cover her ears. She couldn’t believe what he was saying.
He didn’t stop there. Duke Elgy carried a folder with him. He paused, then put it on the table and opened it, revealing a stack of promissory notes and the document in which she promised to deliver a port to him.
‘Could it be… ‘
Rashta looked very surprised at Duke Elgy.
“Or, do you want to know why I’ll make these documents public?”
Her guess was correct. Rashta barely managed to speak.
“No, no way…”
“It’s time for you to pay me what you owe me.”
Rashta stared at Duke Elgy in shock. She would have never imagined this. Strangely, even though he had already betrayed her at the temple, she didn’t think he would force her to pay her debts.
‘Duke Elgy wasn’t so heartless.’
Rashta asked, her voice trembling
“Why? Why are you doing this to me?”
“Your way of speaking has changed.”
“I liked it when you referred to yourself by your own name.”
Rashta did not understand what Duke Elgy meant, she felt that her way of speaking was no different than before.
Rashta could not believe what was going on.
She couldn’t see Sovieshu’s face, nor did she know where the princess was. Nor could she leave the Western Palace, so it was like she was imprisoned. And Duke Elgy had betrayed her. Nothing seemed real.
Rashta exclaimed angrily,
“What do you want from me?”
“Does it hurt?”
“Did you think it wouldn’t hurt?”
Duke Elgy’s nonchalant expression made her feel even more detached from reality.
Rashta tried to regain her composure. But as much as she tried to calm down, tears welled up in her eyes. Rashta clenched her fists and cried as she pounded on the couch.
“What did I do to you? Why are you doing this to me? What did I do wrong? Weren’t we friends?”
“Aren’t friendships lost over money?”
“Did I threaten you?! You offered to lend it to me! Besides, these promissory notes don’t even have a payment date!”
Rashta recovered her courage after this last cry. Although she said it spontaneously, it made sense. A ray of hope arose within her.
‘Yes, the promissory notes did not specify when the money should be returned. It is a clear act of harassment for him to ask me for repayment right now.’
“If Your Majesty were still in an honorable position, I would not have urged you to return the money.”
However, Elgy answered with a slight smile as if he knew what Rashta was thinking. Rashta flinched at Elgy’s words.
“What are you talking about…?”
Rashta muttered, confused, but soon understood Duke Elgy’s words.
When power is solid, a promissory note with no payment date may not be a problem. But now, there were all kinds of scandals about Rashta.
If the promissory notes were made public at a time like this, everyone would be shocked by their existence. The lack of a repayment date didn’t matter.
So Rashta flinched again and asked,
“Did you always intend to collect from me…? You never lent me money just to help me.”
“You caught on fast. A lot of them didn’t understand until the end.”
“A lot of them? What do you mean…?”
“Haven’t you heard the rumors about me? I’m a very despicable and evil man.”
Rashta frowned and her expression instantly became rigid. She remembered Sovieshu’s advice that it would not be good to stay by Duke Elgy’s side due to the bad rumors about him.
But back then, Duke Elgy had proven his friendship to Rashta. He supported her when everyone rejected her. He supported her even more than Sovieshu.
Until now, he had been the person she trusted the most. Back then, she believed that Sovieshu’s advice was due to jealousy…