Chapter 429. Not Much Time Left (2)
Translator: Aura / Editor: HB168
After I took an aromatic bath with flower petals, I walked into the drawing room and was surprised when I saw Heinley there.
‘Isn’t it still a couple of hours until dinner?’
There was a cup of tea in front of him. Since the cup was half empty, I didn’t think he had just arrived.
When I looked at him, Heinley smiled and waved at me. The same way I had greeted him a while ago. I couldn’t help but smile too.
When I reached over and placed my hand over his, intertwining our fingers, Heinley held it firmly and kissed my hand slowly, from the back to my fingers.
Heinley chuckled as he kissed me slowly again.
“I told you it tickles.”
He did it one more time.
As I squirmed and giggled involuntarily, Heinley slid his arm around my back, settled me on his lap and hugged me tightly.
Leaning against his chest, I closed my eyes and rested my head comfortably on his shoulder.
… It was very pleasant.
“My Queen. Did you just take a bath? You smell good.”
“Don’t I usually smell good?”
“Oh, you usually smell nice, but now it’s more intense.”
“So you don’t like my scent, you like the scent of my bath.”
“What? Absolutely not! I like your scent, My Queen.”
“I was only kidding.”
Why did he get so nervous over a joke?
I looked up and lifted Heinley’s chin with my hand. He let out a sigh. Then he shook his head and gently bit my fingers.
“You always bite me.”
“Because I’m a bird.”
“You only say you’re a bird when it suits you.”
“But it’s the truth. I really am a bird.”
He was right.
“Will our baby be a bird too?”
“Our child will definitely be a bird.”
“Huh? Why do you look so serious all of a sudden, Queen?”
Heinley took my finger out of his mouth and hugged me tighter around the waist.
Heinley spoke with alarm, as if he shared my fear. But unlike his tone, his muscular arms held me steady.
I hadn’t seriously thought about this until now.
“If our baby gets mixed up with other birds… how will I be able to tell it apart?”
As soon as I confessed my fear, Heinley’s serious expression disappeared and he broke into laughter.
“Don’t laugh! It’s very serious. All birds look the same to my eyes.”
I spoke coldly because I was embarrassed, but Heinley was not fooled and he rubbed his cheek against mine.
“Do you confuse me with the other birds too?”
“No, not you. You’re especially large and handsome.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll be able to tell our child apart.”
Really? But shouldn’t I also be able to tell it apart? As soon as I instinctively put my hand on my belly, I felt the baby inside me laugh too.
After I steadied my emotions in Heinley’s arms last night, I regretted that I hadn’t been as cold as possible to Sovieshu.
As soon as Heinley left for work, I made up my mind with clenched fists.
‘Today, I will not get involved with Sovieshu at all.’
During breakfast, Heinley told me that the mages had already left for Yorne.
The flood problem has been solved with the temporary dam that the mages will build, and later with the Jewel Dam. Of course, the construction of the Jewel Dam will take about a year, but it has been solved anyway, so today I will have a positive mind.
I was looking through some parenting books that Countess Jubel recommended, when…
No way. As soon as I decided to have a positive outlook, I heard angry voices coming from the corridor.
‘What could be going on?’
“Didn’t you like these books, Your Majesty?”
Countess Jubel asked with concern, as I had become distracted.
“It’s not that, it seems there’s a commotion outside.”
Although Countess Jubel hadn’t noticed anything unusual, I heard it clearly. I got up and left the drawing room, where Mastas and Rose were facing each other with serious faces.
“Are you two fighting?”
I asked with concern, to which Mastas answered with a hasty curtsey.
“No, Your Majesty. Never.”
“That’s not the proper way to respond in this situation.”
Rose tugged on Mastas’ dress to get her upright again and added,
“We were not fighting, Your Majesty.”
“Then what about the angry voices a moment ago…?”
Mastas snuck a glance at Rose that made me suspect that something bad had happened. Both slumped their shoulders.
As I silently watched them, Mastas scratched her head and finally spoke again,
“Your Majesty… the servants of the Eastern Empire are actually rude vermin bastards…”
Just as the insults seemed to get more hostile, Rose covered Mastas’ mouth with one hand and took over
“We were just complaining to each other because we have constant clashes with those people.”
“Clashes? You mean there are fights?”
There are people in the Eastern Empire who feel deep pride due to their origins in the most powerful country, so it is true that they tend to look down a little on people from other countries.
In particular, the people who worked in the Imperial Palace feel this pride the most strongly.
However, it was unusual for servants to be so reckless as to reveal such contempt while in another country.
Not even in the Palace of the Eastern Empire did they act like that around foreigners who came as distinguished guests. Why would they cause trouble in the Western Empire?
No matter how deep someone’s pride runs, wouldn’t they be careful to avoid a problem?
Rose added hastily.
“It’s not to the point of fighting.”
“Yes, it’s just minor arguments. But it happens two or three times a day…”
I understand what she means. It gets more annoying as it repeats over time.
However, it was strange all the same.
Had Sovieshu’s authority weakened with the loss of his memory? No, that’s not it. Even when he had his memories intact, Sovieshu never directly controlled the servants.
It was a job for someone in a lower position. Moreover, Sovieshu’s memory loss seemed to be known to few people in the Eastern Empire.
However, how was it possible that among the servants brought in there were so many particularly arrogant ones?
It was certainly strange.
“Your Majesty? Hmm… Did it bother you to hear about the Eastern Empire’s offensive behavior?”
Rose and Mastas looked at me worriedly, so I shook my hand to ease their minds and went back to the drawing room.
But I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
‘Could it be… that the people brought here aren’t actually servants?’
Just as several servants of the Eastern Empire were chatting among themselves in a spacious room that looked like a warehouse, there was a sudden knock at the door.
‘Who could it be?’
All the servants looked at the door in bewilderment and were surprised to see Emperor Sovieshu enter.
The servants hastened to kneel on the floor with fright.
Sovieshu stood in the doorway for a moment, then took a step inside and slammed the door shut with one hand
At his friendly greeting, the servants murmured nervously.
“Your Majesty, Your Majesty.”
Their anxiety worsened when Sovieshu asked with an expressionless face, “Do you have any idea why I came here?”
They blurted out different answers at the same time. But as soon as Sovieshu knocked loudly on the closed door, the room fell silent.
A smile like a spring breeze spread across Sovieshu’s face.
“My esteemed subordinates.”
With a soft voice, he walked over to personally help the servants to their feet one by one.
“Why are you all so nervous? There’s no need for that.”
The servants stood up in shame. They were still reluctant to meet his eyes, so Sovieshu pretended to sigh.
“I trust all of you. I only came because lately I’ve heard a lot of things being said about my valued subordinates.”
His words sounded like a rebuke.
As the servants lowered their heads even further, Sovieshu put a hand on the shoulder of the last servant he helped to stand up, patted it and smiled,
“I know this task affects your pride, but it is for the good of the Eastern Empire, is it not?”
The servant in front of Sovieshu managed to speak.
“Yes, yes, Your Majesty.”
Sovieshu smiled confidently as he lowered his hand from the servant’s shoulder.
“You must hold out a little longer like you have done so far. We don’t have much time left before we return home.”
As Sovieshu walked to his room after encouraging the ‘servants’ he had brought along, Marquis Karl spoke with relief.
“To tell the truth, I was a little worried when Your Majesty announced the visit to the Western Empire.”
“You were worried?”
“Your Majesty was very close to Navier in the days of your memory, so I was worried that it would cloud your judgment. But now I am relieved.”
Despite the trouble with Navier, once Marquis Karl saw Sovieshu control the ‘servants’ so well, his worry disappeared. He considered that his attitude befitted that of an Emperor.
Crown Prince Sovieshu was more outspoken than the current Sovieshu, who had spent several years as Emperor.
So when he said that his two purposes for coming here were Navier and the country, Marquis Karl became very worried… although he agreed that coming here might help recover his memory.
“No one would think that the main reason for your visit is this, everyone would think that you only came to see Navier.”
“Navier is the main reason.”
“If Navier wasn’t here, I would have sent you or another secretary to take care of this matter.”
“Oh… I see.”
‘Will I ever be able to relax?’
Marquis Karl closed his mouth sullenly.