The Sleepless Night of the Maid — Chapter 77
Translator: Scarlet / Editor: Mango Kitten/Scarlet
As a Princess of the Asteon Kingdom, she married Louis, the Emperor of the Hemblin Empire, by arrangement at an early age. Her father, King of Asteon, pursued the marriage to Emperor Louis, even dedicating the southern port, an important trading port, to Hemblin. Tactful and clever, Mary willingly accepted the marriage, even though she knew Louis had no heart for her.
After several years of marriage, they had no children, during which time the Emperor fell in love with an old friend, Catherine Holland, and had a son. Everyone felt sorry for Empress Mary, but she maintained a good relationship with Catherine without complaining and kept her seat quietly. It was after she gave birth to her son James that she began showing her true colours. After she gave birth to a son, the Emperor made Edward the Crown Prince.
“Come here, Edward.”
The Empress, who was sitting at the tea table, welcomed Edward as he entered. Even though she had passed middle age, she was still beautiful. Her voice was consistent, without fluctuating, her eyes were calm, and her every move was graceful.
“Long time no see, Your Majesty the Empress.”
Edward bowed to the Empress and sat in the chair opposite her.
Soon, a maid poured clear tea into his teacup.
“I have prepared a special tea for you to taste.”
The Empress pointed to the teacup with a gentle gesture. People always said the Empress was like a beast, but Edward found no vigilance or hostility in her actions. Rather, there was a mixture of joy and concern in the eyes of the Empress to the extent that such rumours were embarrassing.
“Thank you, Your Majesty.”
Edward knew that the nature of her care and concern was different from that of ordinary people.
“Did you enjoy your vacation?”
“Yes, I wanted to rest quietly, so I announced the date to the Imperial Palace a little later. If Your Majesty imposes disciplinary action, I will accept it.”
The Empress gracefully lowered her gaze and brought the teacup to her lips.
As much as Count Holland was concerned, the Empress did not seem to care. As he faced the Empress, Edward felt like he was at the real Imperial Palace.
The constant pulling of the rope around each other’s necks, yes, the Empress was such a person. Emotions without any benefit were completely ignored. Instead, whenever she said something, she fully grasped the opponent’s weakness and scraped it down with her sharp claws.
She was a woman who was hard to prepare for because no one knew what was inside. She was a completely different person from her son, James.
If James were to become the Emperor, he would not have any involvement in governmental affairs. The Empire would fall into the hands of Empress Mary, not James.
“I heard you met the daughter of Count Massies?”
“Yes. I hadn’t seen her for quite a while.”
Edward twisted the corners of his mouth and responded immediately. He looked casual, but it was just a pretence. In fact, he was perplexed. Conversations with the Empress always included close details, but it was the first time he was taken aback like this. He could never imagine that Eva’s story would come out here like this.
He had guessed that the Empress was monitoring him. If not, then someone would have been sent to follow him. After hearing the report, he thought the Empress would talk about the Duke of Kensington. That was a mistake.
The Empress had found the most important name in the report and grasped it to weaken Edward.
“It seems like you had a good time together, but you were being cautious.”
“That’s nothing to fuss about. She is my ex-fiancée, I just talked to her.”
He smiled slowly and deliberately, holding up his teacup. If he showed even a sign of hesitation or bewilderment, he would’ve attracted the Empress’s attention. She would sharply grasp his weakness and shake it. Therefore, Eva must not catch the Empress’s eye. She didn’t really have anything to do with him anymore.
“Tell me the story… Is that really all?”
“What more do you want to know?”
He put the teacup to his lips and asked indifferently. The gaze flying over him was still wearing a kind mask. At other times, it didn’t matter whether the Empress was kind or not, but not today. Edward needed this conversation to end without a hitch. He wasn’t sure how he would be able to endure if the story about Eva came up again.
“Nothing. I was worried because I suspected you had done something wrong with the name of the Imperial family.”
“Are you going to stop me?”
Edward raised his cool gaze and faced the Empress. The Empress’ gentle eyes suddenly became cold. There were no words in his ears yet, but his heart began to tremble.
“It’s nothing. She is like her father, she is not good.”
“You seem unnecessarily concerned. Count Massies was a gentleman, and Lady Massies is also a good-natured woman.”
It would be okay to defend Count Massies this much. The Empress was also aware of Edward’s relationship with the Count, and the fact that he liked the Count was not surprising. Also, it wasn’t wrong to say nice things about the ex-fiancée he met by chance either.
In reality, Edward’s anger soared the moment the Empress threw Eva into the mud with her seemingly gentle tone.
“Hm. It seems everyone’s eyes are different. Anyway, I say this because she ran away from her house.”
“Who ran away? Eva?”
Edward, who was maintaining his composure, wrinkled his face involuntarily. He didn’t even know what kind of expression he was making. He couldn’t believe what the Empress had just said, so he was very displeased and confused.
“My, didn’t you know? The young lady stabbed Baronet Biti’s son and ran away…”
“The letter arrived a few days ago. It said he wouldn’t marry her, so she stabbed him in revenge and ran away…”
“You seem to have misunderstood something, Your Majesty. Miss Massies would never do something like that.”
Edward’s voice became low and harsh. Now it didn’t matter whether the Empress was getting suspicious or not. The Empress was not one to back people into a corner by making up things that didn’t exist. The fact that she said that meant it was true, Eva had a problem.
It was absurd to even think that Eva had an affair with Baronet Biti’s son. To say that she stabbed him with a knife for not marrying her was more ridiculous than saying Edward’s dead mother came back to life.
Eva was obviously framed. She must have had bad things happen to her before that. Running away was such a big deal that most couldn’t handle it.
“I’m sorry, Your Majesty. I have work to do, so I’ll take my leave.”
Edward excused himself and stood. He couldn’t afford to play mind games with the Empress here anymore. His worry about Eva and anger at Baronet Biti was soaring rapidly, he couldn’t stand around anymore.
I shouldn’t have listened to Eva and just helped her. Or maybe I should have left just a few days later.
Belated regret hit him painfully.
The Empress advised sweetly with a friendly face and a smile as he left the room.
“Be careful, Edward. I don’t care what kind of woman you court, but do stay away from the miscreants.”