Chapter 6. Does the contract marriage have a wedding night clause?

 

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The wedding was held in the Grand Council Hall, the highest point on the Palatni Hill.

 

Passing the triumphal arch supporting the rainbow-shaped piers, there were large, thick roofs that attested to the grand setting. A large, ornate door decorated with a golden eagle appeared.

 

Emperor Carius, wearing a white uniform with a red band on his shoulders, and Liv, wearing a white dress and a high crown, emerged.

 

They walked onto the red carpet and faced each other, swearing a vow of love in front of everyone.

 

It bothered Liv that the young Prince Theodore Del Quantil  was unable to stand in the palace and attend this sitting, but she decided to focus on the ceremony first.

 

“I pledge my eternal love to you, Liv.”

 

Carius came closer to Liv and kissed her lightly. It was as if he was making a promise of eternity.

 

Edgar, who was watching, finally turned his head away. Glancing at him, Liv felt refreshed at the thought that she had paid back some of the humiliation that he had done to her.

 

She gave a fishy smile and closed her eyes gently.

 

With the applause of many nobles, Liv became the official Empress of the Emporium Empire.

 

“Please greet Her Highness, the Empress Dowager.”

 

On the upper throne was the stern-eyed Empress Dowager Patricia.

 

The Empress Dowager stared with disgruntled eyes at the wedding of Carius, the eldest son of the previous emperor and not her own child, and Liv, who was the focus of her attention.

 

Liv saw her mother-in-law, Patricia, whose expression was rotting after a long time, and avoided looking at her because she was intimidated like her old habit.

 

It was a learning experience that Liv couldn’t say a single word in front of her mother-in-law among the many insults and humiliations in the past.

 

But she no longer had any reason or need to be wary of that wily Empress Dowager.

 

‘Raise your eyes and look straight ahead.’

 

 She had come this far because of that woman, and now she would pay back what she received. That heartbreaking moment, that disastrous despair. 

 

Having made a firm vow in her heart, Liv turned her gaze towards the Empress Dowager.

 

“I have the pleasure of meeting the Dowager Empress.”

 

Liv smiled, making clear eye contact for the first time.

 

The Empress Dowager frowned as if she didn’t like Liv’s regal and plausible appearance. Liv could see and feel the Empress Dowager. How much the Empress Dowager would cringe at the sight of her. 

 

It would certainly divide her, as Liv had left her (Empress Dowager) great son behind  (Edgar) and chosen the hand of Carius, whom the Empress Dowager had taken so lightly. 

 

‘Empress Dowager, please watch. Your son will never be able to rise to the throne.’ 

 

Liv clasped her white gloved hands tightly together, welcoming a new beginning. Liv’s red eyes shone more intensely than ever.

 

***

 

Liv wandered down the hallway, feeling nervous.

 

Because as soon as she became Empress, her plans went awry. And that was the part she didn’t expect.

 

Due to the custom of the Emporium Empire, the emperor’s wedding night would involve a number of attendants, chief priests, and maternity nurses from the Imperial Household Administration.

 

It was a custom that had not existed in the past, after Edgar became emperor.

 

‘Did this practice disappear after Edgar ascended the throne?’

 

It was all very curious to Liv, so she had no choice but to go to the emperor’s bedroom first.

 

She couldn’t hide her confusion when she saw the bed with white curtains on all four sides and covered with roses.

 

“Are they all here?”

 

Liv asked as she looked at the crowd, which seemed to be over thirty people at most.

 

“Not exactly. Your Majesty, perform the ritual and we’ll leave.”

 

The maid, who applied a subtle lavender flavor to Liv’s hair, said with a smile. But Liv couldn’t shake the awkward feeling.

 

The maid left her seat when Carius entered, having quickly and neatly finished Liv’s preparations.

 

“Your Majesty.”

 

Her eyes were like, “What should I do with these people?” Carius slowly approached her and whispered in her ear.

 

“If you behave poorly tonight, they will suspect you.”

 

“That’s true, but…”

 

‘It’s about how you and I have to sleep together, no matter how much so.’

 

“Trust me.”

 

Carius said to his maid, averting his gaze.

 

“I’m tired, so I will perform the ritual quickly and go to bed.”

 

At his words, the maids turned red at the mere thought, and began to hastily prepare the bed. Liv forced herself to lie down on the bed, her body like a hardening wooden stone.

 

The candles beside her were extinguished and with a small ceremony they lay down on the bed side by side. Carius quickly climbed on top of her.

 

“Your Majesty.”

 

Liv quietly said to him, both eyes widened.

 

“Shh!”

 

Carius covered Liv’s lips with his hand, as if to tell her to be quiet, and stared at her. 

 

“They will only retreat if you give them a suitable excuse.”

 

“But!”

 

Carius’s upper body came closer, the firm muscles in his slightly loosened shirt visible, the scent of pheromones grazing the tip of her nose.

 

When Liv met his blue eyes, she turned away in embarrassment. Then Carius gently took her by the chin and slowly turned her slowly toward him.

 

“It only takes a moment.”

 

Carius gently kissed Liv’s small, red lips. The sweet, tantalizing touch made Liv squeezed her eyes shut without even realizing it.

 

As his hands were unable to touch Liv, squeezing only the covers, Carius parted his lips and whispered in her ear.

 

“This is not what we signed up for, is it?”

 

Looking at Liv with her closed eyes, he continued.

 

“You have to love me with all your heart. At this rate, they’ll notice.”

 

‘Oh, I made a promise that day. But what does that have to do with this?’

 

Liv wanted to ask, but he seemed to mean that Liv needed to be a little more proactive to the play.

 

She huffed a short sigh and glanced sideways at the dark shadows, studying them.

 

“Your Majesty.”

 

Liv said, laying Carius down on his side and climbing on top of him. She gently brushed a strand of ivory-colored hair from her face, then whispered into his ear as she held him close to her chest.

 

“Is this enough, Your Majesty?”

 

Her beautiful silhouette could be seen in the moonlight that streamed by the window on the terrace.

 

Facing Liv’s seductive red eyes, Carius leaned upward and kissed her lips.

 

The lavender scent of her hair and the negligee that subtly showed her skin were enough to turn him on.

 

All other distractions had long since disappeared. His sixth sense reacted to each of her touches.

 

It was then that he heard the sound of the people leaving the room, closing the door behind them.

 

Liv hastily climbed down when she saw Carius’ hands on her hips, but stopped when she saw his right hand.

 

The skin looked like it had been ripped open by something, and blood was oozing out. It looked like he hadn’t even been treated properly.

 

“Your Majesty, what happened?”

 

Carius shook off his hand in a panic.

 

“Don’t worry about it. It will heal on its own soon.”

 

“I’ll call a doctor right now.”

 

As Liv turned to get out of the bed, Carius grabbed her wrist.

 

“I don’t really like someone touching my body. It’s always been a habit of mine to treat myself alone.”

 

His forgotten past. For Carius, who had always endured everything alone in the imperial palace, maybe the wounds on his hands were nothing.

 

Liv had no choice but to lie next to him, but somehow she kept paying attention to the back of his hand.

 

‘Let’s not worry about it, the Emperor and I are nothing to each other anyway.’

 

Liv reminded herself, but his hand was constantly bothering her, so Liv ended up sitting up with her eyes wide open.

 

“Your Majesty, I can’t help it. I’ll tell the maidservant to get you a first aid kit.”

 

As Liv was about to go out, Carius hurriedly grabbed her hand.

 

“Don’t you know that the moment you go out, you get caught? If any of the two of us leave this room, word will spread among the nobles.”

 

“But………”

 

Carius’s right hand was bleeding.The wound seemed to be open. Liv couldn’t sit still and watched. Liv spoke her mind.

 

“Don’t you know that if you leave it like that, the wound will get worse? Is there no other remedy in your chambers, Your Majesty?”

 

Liv’s concern caused Carius to eventually pull out a box of first aid from under the bed.

 

“I’ll take care of it.”

 

Carius turned his back on Liv so she wouldn’t look. Liv glanced at him.

 

Even though he was going to treat himself, the way he was doing it with his left hand looked difficult. Eventually, Carius dropped the scissors on the floor.

 

Liv gave a short sigh at the appearance and seized his hand.

 

“I can’t watch, Your Majesty. Let me handle it.”

 

Liv quickly picked up the scissors and turned to Carius, a serious look on her face. She cut the bandage neatly and disinfected the wound. 

 

Every time she put the medicine on it, the muscles in Carius’s stiff shoulders and arms twitched. A chuckle escaped from Liv’s mouth, as if the contradictory appearance were amusing.

 

Carius cleared his throat in embarrassment.

 

“Are you teasing me now?”

 

“I’m sorry, Your Majesty. I was afraid you might not be able to heal your wounds because you were afraid it would hurt.

 

Liv stifled a laugh as she answered and Carius said in a soft voice.

 

“No matter how much of an empress you are, please don’t make fun of me.”

 

In response, Liv nodded as if to say, “I understand,” and concentrated again.

 

Carius stared at her, feeling for the first time that someone was healing his body. Ivory hair scattered about as she focused on his treatment. Her red eyes were completely focused on his right hand.

 

As she touched his cold hand with her warm hand, Carius felt strangely aroused.

 

Liv, who was busy healing his wound, lowered her upper body, her soft skin slightly revealed through her thin negligee.

 

Carius did not know where to put his eyes……….

 

“Hmmm!”

 

He cleared his throat, looking only at the innocent ceiling.