Chapter 3

***

 

Not only did he have no lust, but also there was no lust part.

 

People thought he was full of desires since he had so many concubines. But he never slept with any woman, except with the Empress once a year.

 

The choice of a concubine was merely a pretext for peace. 

 

He was not fond of banquets, and on many occasions, when a banquet was held at the Imperial Palace, he would leave early and let the Empress handle it. He didn’t even invite his concubines to the banquets.  However, the Emperor’s eccentric was fortunate for Helen 

 

On her wedding day, she was worried that he might visit her in the evening, but she was relieved to find that he did not look for any of  the twenty-seven concubines of his entourage. 

 

All contact with the emperor was cut off. Perhaps she could live quietly like this forever. Helen woke up relaxed again today and took a walk in the garden that was built near the annex, then ate the food that Ellie had prepared. And read a book while relaxing in the sun. This was all the life of a concubine.

 

She was afraid that if she died, God would punish her for being so lazy, but she liked the way she was living, and even if she was punished, it would be sweet. 

 

Her goal wasn’t to kill the emperor. She had no good reason to refuse her father’s orders, so she came this far, but Helen was getting greedier by the day. To live each day with joy. That was Helen’s goal. But Ellie didn’t think that way. When she saw Helen in this lazy state, she looked unhappy and sulked.

 

“The other concubines are on the edge of their seats, but you’re now worried at all.”

 

‘What’s there to worry about? What will the Emperor really do?’

 

Seeing Ellie so sincerely worried about Helen’s safety made her feel bad.

 

It was no exaggeration to say that among the maidservants of the concubines, the favored mistress’s maidservants rose to the top. They were able to gain wealth, honor, and fortune.

 

It was only natural, since they became the second highest-ranking women, excluding the Empress. Therefore, the maids were desperate to help out the concubines they served.

 

However, the maidservant assigned to her, Ellie, was not going to be rich for the rest of her life.

 

The fact that she was assigned to Helen meant that she was not from a good family, and she would never be able to win the favor of the emperor, so her path to success was closed.

 

“Thank you for your concern.”

 

Helen bowed her head apologetically.

 

“It’s fine. Because you’re the easiest person to serve out of all the concubines.”

 

Ellie said comfortably.

 

“The other maids are scolded every day, and the anger caused by the absence of the emperor is unleashed on them. The other maids are envious of me.”

 

 

“But you’ll never get ahead.”

 

“The Emperor is unique.”

 

Even the maids knew that Emperor Carmun Idelberg was unique. An emperor who wouldn’t even embrace the Empress, let alone a concubine…

 

The nobles were in an uproar over the Emperor’s peculiar behavior. 

There must be a huge flaw in the emperor’s lower body.

 

However, since no one had ever seen the Emperor’s lower half, rumors grew more and more widespread, and it was rumored that the emperor was enjoying his single life or that he had a secret lover.

 

“It’s safe if you don’t say that to others. They will beat you.”

 

Helen turned pale and hurriedly said,

 

“I don’t know if that’s true.”

 

But Helen trembled more to think that Ellie, who was younger than her, would be right.

 

“Of course.”

 

Ellie laughed and poured tea into the teacup. Ellie was a good kid, but the problem was that she talked a lot. She came to the palace at a young age and learned to work quickly, and she loved hanging out with people.

 

Helen looked sideways at Ellie, but Ellie looked at the book Helen had been reading and sighed gloomily.

 

“Are you reading that book again?”

 

“Oh, this book?”

 

“Yes. Isn’t it the Adventures of Idelberg? I’ve seen it so many times that I even remember the title.”

 

“Is that so?”

 

Ellie’s rebuke forced Helen to cover the book and review the title again.

 

‘I hadn’t read that many, it seemed.’

 

The front part of the book was still clean. Helen had read more books in her room in Cordelia than she could count, where the fronts were old and gone, and only the contents remained.

 

“Go read other books. You’ve read this one so much that it’s all worn out.”

 

“I’ve read all the books in the Imperial Palace Library. If you are unhappy with the way I read, just tell me.”

 

Helen didn’t want to lose the kindness she had first experienced.

 

She really liked books, but if Ellie told her to stop reading, she would never read again.

 

Ellie began to sweat down her back as Helen opened her eyes and asked genuinely.

 

“I’m not unhappy at all!”

 

Ellie waved her hands in the air hurriedly. She denied to the end that she was absolutely not dissatisfied and continued to speak.

 

“Oh, I’ve heard that the Emperor’s private library has more books than the Imperial Library. Why don’t you visit His Majesty next time and ask him to access his library?”

 

Helen always knew this girl was good at her job, but… That was amazing.

 

Helen’s heart skipped a beat.

 

“Thanks for letting me know.”

 

After Ellie left, Helen couldn’t continue reading the book. It seemed she lost her interest in it.

 

In the meantime, the mention of the emperor’s private library, with new books, was as exciting to the book-hungry Helen as hearing about the location of the oasis.

 

“The emperor’s private library?”

 

Helen covered the Adventures of Idelberg book as if nothing had happened. This book could no longer relieve Helen’s boredom.

 

***

 

Helen looked out the window of her place and felt that today was the right day.

 

It was late at night, and the moon had finally risen, but it was dim and hidden by clouds.

 

“Since I won’t be able to see the Emperor… I really don’t have a choice.”

 

 Helen gulped nervously.

 

Quietly changing into comfortable clothes, she tied her hair into a single strand. Her long, wispy blonde hair was tied up, and she liked the ease of its movement.

 

In addition, as she stood in front of the mirror wearing dark clothes which wasn’t a dress, like a man. She suddenly felt different from the first day she came here.

 

Her wavy blond hair was shinier, her cheeks were fuller and fluffier thanks to eating well and sleeping well. And her skin was white, which reminded her of Edith’s.

 

‘We’re sisters for sure.’

 

Her father didn’t seem to think so.

 

Compared to Helen’s hair, Edith’s blonde hair had a slight red tint to it. And she has a slightly colder face…

 

Apart from that, their faces were similar enough to be believable that they were twins.

 

So when her father said, “I wish you looked just half as good as Edith,” he wasn’t talking about her appearance.

 

It was about something deeper inside that she didn’t know.

 

“No. Don’t be depressed.”

 

When she thought of my father, Helen felt a sharp pain in her heart. Her palms were sweating and she felt suffocated. She took in a big breath to ease the tension.

 

“Just a confirmation.”

 

According to her research, the emperor’s private  library was located near the Lion Palace. Fortunately, it was not in the Lion Palace.

 

But ….. The area was oddly empty.

 

Not a single antling was to be seen, except for the eerie sound of the door opening. The moment of entering through the library door, Helen’s heart clenched even more.

 

Thump. Thump.

 

Helen felt like her heart was going to explode as she climbed the stairs to the library.

 

She climbed the stairs, barely lighting her way with a little light.

 

“Shhhh, my heart is going to explode! Should I just go straight home? I’ve come this far but I’m so scared.”

 

Helen was scared that someone was here, but she was also scared that no one was here.

 

She could barely stand the horrible feeling as if a jet-black darkness was swallowing her, and opened the door to the entrance.

 

Squeak.

 

The lonely sound sent goosebumps up Helen’s spine.

 

In the dark night, Helen arrived at the emperor’s library with her footsteps hushed, and had an experience that confused her mind.

 

She swept the bookshelves quickly with her eyes. The shelves were filled with so many books that she thought she might die from being surrounded by them.

 

Her eyes were adapting to the books, forgetting the darkness. Helen hastily touched the books as she put down the light, her eyes sparkling.

 

“I can’t believe there are so many books I don’t know about. It’s true.”

 

Ellie’s story was true. The Emperor’s private library was stacked with an incomparable number of books.

 

She felt like she had found a golden vault of jewels, and her heart was pounding.

 

Helen took out the one book she really wanted to read and turned the first page. It was then that she felt the presence of someone right behind her that she didn’t notice before.

 

“Who is it? Show your face.”

 

‘Oh, no, I messed up! I’ve got caught…!’

 

She realized too late that someone was coming up behind her back because she was blinded by a book. That was not the problem now. Because a sword was pointing at her neck.

 

“!”

 

“Turn around.”

 

The man’s low voice was like a growl.

 

Even more so since the library was empty.

 

Someone had found out that she had recklessly stepped into the emperor’s private library. Helen had no idea what the penalty would be.

 

She turned around with a nervous gesture. How could she plead not guilty with her suspicious appearance?

 

In the meantime, she thought the man who guarded the Emperor’s library looked a little strange.

 

The shirt he was wearing was open, revealing his entire chest, and the hem of the shirt was sticking out of his pants.

 

It was quite lacking in etiquette for a nobleman’s attire.

 

‘Is he recently knighted? He doesn’t look like he was allowed to be in here.’

 

“Who are you?”

 

The man’s words were short. Helen took another look at the man she didn’t recognize.

 

Seeing the sword case at his waist and it looked like he was a knight alright.

 

‘No concubine knew his face.’

 

It was a new joy and a fright.

 

Helen thought it was a good excuse to tell her father, and how could  she overcome the difficulties now? It occurred to her at the same time.

 

“Excuse me…I….”

 

Helen tried to tell the man to remove the sword in a hushed voice.