Translated by Rae
Thank you for the kofi support, arwendolyn! (1/4)
Ellie was caught looking absentmindedly at Helen.
Did she hear it right? She was a concubine who wasn’t interested in the Emperor? So she didn’t want to be his lover?
She was a little puzzled while looking at Helen, she was already frightened and shut her eyes.
“I-If you wish, you can be a maid for another… the maid for another concubine.”
Helen was already afraid that Ellie would leave her.
She didn’t know what kind of courage she had to be able to say so with her small shoulders shook in fear.
“Your Highness, It all…. doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter whether Your Highness likes His Majesty or not.”
Ellie smiled gently and took Helen’s hand in hers.
She thought it would be considered rude to hold the hand of Her Highness the Concubine first, but she was confident that her master wouldn’t send her away just because she did that.
Ellie smiled, the corner of her mouth lifted up with twinkle appearing in her eyes.
“I feel even more sorry to see Your Highness trembling and feeling uncomfortable like this. I just want you to have a little more joy in your life. If you think that you won’t be happy by staying in His Majesty’s side, then it’s fine.”
“…… You know what I mean, right? There is no hope of your success in your life….”
“From the beginning, success doesn’t matter after all. I’ll be happy if I’m allowed to stay by your side.”
After they held hands together, thick drops of tears escaped Helen’s eyes.
Ellie said she would stay with her even if it meant she won’t be successful in her career.
So, how could she not let tears flow down her face?
“Don’t cry. What if it gets to your light makeup?”
It was also a sniff of Helen’s shoulders. She patted Helen, who was sniffing, on her shoulder.
It was so touching that her tears continued to flow down her face.
She was happy and touched to have such a good friend.
‘I have to hide well. So I.’’ never get caught by the Emperor’s eyes.’
She couldn’t put Ellie in danger. Because it was her fault and she was the one who caused this.
Helen cried in Ellie’s arms. The more she cried, the more she recalled the man in the library.
So this was how it felt not wanting to be abandoned.
Her guilt toward the man doubled again as she realized how this feeling that she just felt.
Around that time, the Imperial couple also sat in the carriage that looked incomparably glamorous and durable.
The Emperor didn’t let go of the documents on his hands while looking at the general affairs. The Empress scowled seeing how serious the Emperor looked.
“It’s been a while.”
It’s already been a long time since the last time she left the palace. Long enough that it left traces on the chair seat of the carriage which was covered with lovely cloth.
The two haven’t exchanged a single word with each other, hence disregarding the term ‘married couple’ attached to them.
The Empress, Josephine, casually started the conversation.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s only between us, but please at least be supportive of me in front of others. Do you need to let other countries know that we are not close to each other?”
Even though she finished talking, Carmun still focused his attention on the paper and didn’t utter any answers.
Josephine eventually had a slight scowl on her face, feeling offended.
“I don’t even ask you to smile. I’m just asking you to be supportive and treat me properly like a person.”
That was the answer.
Josephine nibbled on her lower lip. She didn’t want to talk to that man because he made her angry.
The fact that she nibbled on her lips and even got upset, but unfortunately it still wasn’t enough to get her husband’s attention.
They were a married couple in name only. It’s already been 10 years!
Did it make sense to say that even a single conversation felt awkward?
Moreover, even she was prohibited from entering the Lion Palace, except during the time when she had to attend to state affairs.
They couldn’t even be called a married couple.
‘What is he looking at?’
Carmun, who she thought was just looking at documents, raised his head and looked out the window. It seemed like he was staring intently into something.
‘He had been distracted since a moment ago.’
She was so annoyed because she realized that he even pretended to not hear what she said.
Carmun was looking at the carriage filled with a ridiculous amount of the Emperor’s other women as well as the concubines.
For a moment, Josephine felt like the lid of her head was popped open.
She looked at the Emperor with a menacing look.
“Now that I think about it, so about the concubine.”
The Emperor’s eyes immediately turned to her when he heard the word ‘concubine’.
Ha….! She was taken aback by that.
When she was talking about herself, he treated her like a wet blanket, but his eyes immediately changed when she talked about his concubines.
She felt like being disgraced while looking at the sight, so Josephine crossed her arms and held her chin up in the air.
Carmun looked displeased when the Empress had such an arrogant posture.
“May I ask why you invited me to such a big event when you weren’t even interested in me? We have to match our stories with each other.”
“We haven’t seen each other for a year, so we should meet at least once, shouldn’t we?”
Shouldn’t he pull up more effort to make up any excuses?
Josephine was quite surprised at the Emperor’s remark.
He had a precarious smile on his face before continuing.
“You know that I manage the inner palace, right?”
“Why are you suddenly talking about that?”
“When I manage the inner palace, it’s natural for me to know where Your Majesty’s attention is focused. I can see at a glance where the finances flow.”
“Cut to the chase.”
This was how Josephine usually talked. If there was anything that she wanted, she would turn her words around and make the person look like a fool so they would tell the answer with their own mouth.
Josephine, who was very pleased seeing Carmun’s dissatisfaction, raised one corner of her mouth high.
“Do you know how much the budget is set for each concubine? I get paid less than the rookie who comes into the aide’s office. Then the one who captured Your Majesty’s attention?”
Please say something that makes sense.
Josephine, who spoke thoughtlessly in a gentle manner, seemed satisfied with herself.
The Emperor’s face, ruined by irritation, was Josephine’s favorite.
Carmun ruffled his hair slightly, as if facing Josephine irritated him a lot. He took a deep breath before exhaling slowly.
Josephine bit her lips at his undisguised annoyance. She couldn’t be worthless like this.
“Do I have to justify to you? I mean between us.”
“What do you think of our relationship? Aren’t we married?”
She already knew the answer, but Josephine kept picking at what he said and stretched it even more.
She knew this would only end up as a dirty fight, but she was eager to offend Carmun every time they spoke with each other.
If she didn’t do this, he would never look at her.
He wouldn’t talk to her, nor even let her hear his voice.
It was just her face that looked angry, but she liked the way Carmun gazed at her during this moment.
His red eyes made her feel suffocated.
‘Ah, he’s offended.’
Carmun’s smile, which was somewhat fishy, was spread across his lips. He seemed much angrier than his usual expressionless face.
“Oh, right. Wife, does your dad know? That we have never held hands before.”
Josephine screamed in embarrassment. She was afraid that anyone could’ve heard it.
Josephine looked around hastily as the Empress’ position could have shrunk even further.
Carmun just couldn’t understand this woman. She was someone who had received many kinds of insulting remarks but still hasn’t shed even a single tear.
She knew it was not a marriage due to love from the beginning, but she kept arguing with him about this.
‘How long do I have to hold back for this kind of disrespect?’
He knew he could have ignored her, but Josephine would go too far if he ignored her even more. Like usual.
If he blatantly ignored her, she could possibly make a big deal out of the imperial journal.
Carmun had a lot to say, but he only kept it to himself.
The Emperor couldn’t do anything to act on his own accord for this one.
After letting out a long sigh, Carmun spoke to Josephine with a cold and menacing look.
“I always say this, but there is no love between us. It means that you have no right to say anything even if I get caught with another man or see my concubines.”
“We are clearly a married couple who received the blessing of the temple.”
Carmun couldn’t understand why Josephine was so obsessed with the word ‘married couple’.
Didn’t the button get stuck in the wrong way from the beginning?
“You must have lost all your memories from the past. Did you suffer from memory loss?”
“Stop calling me. There is no one here who doesn’t know that I’m the Emperor of Idelberg even if you don’t call me out like that.”
The first button. Maybe it was just that they weren’t meant for each other in the first place.
Josephine Torre. She was Carmun’s younger sister as well as Onderon’s fiancée in the past.
Even though they were currently married, it was extremely ironic considering her past.
“If you want to act like a married couple, find a lover and I don’t care whether you do it with him or not. I’m telling you to not be attracted in me just like I’m not attracted to you.”
Carmun looked Josephine up and down with a cold gaze.
He couldn’t understand the woman at all.
She was the daughter of Duke Torre, but he thought her personality would have been different.
He thought so because he knew nearly nothing about Josephine. She was just like the image of Duke Torre who finished off with just a few words.
Carmun averted his eyes away from Josephine and looked at the documents again. He didn’t have enough time to split since he only got time to take care of the state affairs before night fell.
“I’m more curious because now that you have rasped my nerves. Why did you invite the concubines?”
Josephine’s voice shook with anger. The Emperor would never know how much she was holding back throughout the time.
She desperately wanted to take away those documents immediately, tore them apart, and threw them out of the window.
“Would you become satisfied when I’m treated poorly like a fool by the women who were technically my subordinate and being put aside because I wasn’t favored by Your Majesty?”
Josephine’s voice was filled with so much anger. The muscles around her mouth and face stiffened from how tight she clenched her jaw.
Contrary to Josephine, who was very angry, Carmun’s expression didn’t change that much. One of his eyebrows came down obliquely in an annoying way.
“I have no grudge against you. As long as you remain quiet.”
Is there no one who would do that?
Josephine sarcastically said to herself.
However, she felt so drained that she was unable to spit that remark from her mouth. It would have been more comfortable if she went to the wall and let out all of her emotions there on her own.
The fact that her husband wasn’t attracted to her made Josephine feel sad rather than not treated properly as an Empress within the Imperial Family.
Even though the veins on her neck protruded out, she chose to turn her head away and looked out the window, pretending that nothing had happened.
The Imperial couple didn’t say anything to each other until they arrived at the hunting ground.
Arriving in the middle of the mountain, the carriage slowly came to a halt.
Then Carmun suddenly spoke up.
“Does it still hold true?”
“What do you mean?”
“That we have to look like in good terms in front of others. I don’t think I have to do that anymore.”
Eventually, Josephine let out a short sigh. She glared at Carmun angrily while clenching her teeth.
Despite the sharp gaze she sent to him, Carmun smiled and got off the carriage.
“Then enjoy your time well at this hunting festival, Empress.”
The last remark was quite hollow.