Remarried Empress - Chapter 5

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Chapter 5 – Compare With Whom? (2)

The Imperial Palace was buzzing over the news of Laura’s confinement .

The gossip was that the Emperor’s punishment for the Empress’ lady-in-waiting was an outright expression of his love for Rashta . It was her first unofficial competition with me, and she had won . I didn’t hear this with my own ears, but my ladies-in-waiting were furious and told me about it .

“I should have been there!”

A lady-in-waiting who had bathed Rashta exclaimed that were she present, she would have kept me away from the slave .

“But I think the Emperor really likes her . ”

“I used to have admiration for him, but this time he didn’t even listen to the Empress’ words . ”

Despite their anger, the ladies-in-waiting were worried about the future .

“It’s only been a few days since the Emperor met her . I’m worried . ”

There was nothing I could do in this situation .

Sovieshu and I acted like nothing had happened when we ran into each other at the central palace . I focused on my work and tried to forget what had happened that day . When I was alone in my room, I remembered Sovieshu’s cold gaze and felt the bruise in my heart, but it ached less when I kept myself busy .

When Laura’s imprisonment finally ended after five days, I went up to the tower to retrieve her myself . I asked the other ladies-in-waiting to bathe Laura in my bathroom and bring her some soup . I also ordered Laura’s favorite cake .

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A secretary sent by Sovieshu came to me to deliver a message .

“His Majesty the Emperor wants to see you . ”

“Me?”

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“Yes . ”

What could it be? I nodded and turned to Countess Eliza .

“When the cake is finished, tell Laura to come here and eat . Then let her know she can rest for a few days before she comes back . ”

“Yes, Your Majesty . ”

I turned and nodded at the secretary, and he quickly led the way . The atmosphere changed as we went east, even though it was surrounded by the same wall . Perhaps it was because the palace was styled in completely different ways .

I was concerned that I might encounter Rashta again, but she was nowhere to be seen in Sovieshu’s bedroom .

The Emperor was sitting by a small round table .

“You called me . ”

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Sovieshu stared at me silently as I approached him . His eyes seemed full of things to say .

“What can I do for you?”

I spoke first, and Sovieshu seemed to hesitate for a moment and pressed his lips .

“Your lady-in-waiting, the one who was imprisoned–”

“Laura . The daughter of Marquis Tarital . ”

“I heard you took her back her from her prison . ”

“She’s my lady-in-waiting . She suffered for five days . ”

Sovieshu looked even more displeased .

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“Did you have to?”

“Are you asking me if I had to take care of a woman that was punished?”

Sovieshu could clearly hear the mockery in my voice .

“You know what I’m trying to say . In other words, you retrieved the lady-in-waiting yourself, even though you knew I would be offended . No?”

Partially . I suspected that Sovieshu might be offended…but I also thought he might have already cooled down after five days . Perhaps after everything had settled, I could let him know that his punishment was far too much .

Maybe not .

“I suspected you might be displeased . ”

“But now you’re taking care of her? If you had any thought for me, you would have sent her away . What is the emperor if the empress cares for the people he punishes?”

“It is not right to send someone away after they already received their punishment . Besides, what she did was not out of line . ”

“Calling people filthy?”

“She was trying to stop someone from pulling on my clothes . A scolding would be enough . ”

The more I spoke, the stonier his expression became .

“So, you will keep the lady-in-waiting?”

“It is entirely up to me to decide who is my lady-in-waiting . ”

Although Laura may want to quit working in the Imperial Palace, I was going to keep her for a while . Being punished because of a runaway slave was enough to make her an outcast of high society . If I let her go, she would have no protection, let alone against Sovieshu . As empress, I would use my name to safeguard her .

Sovieshu sighed and turned away .

“I am tired of arguing with you . Can’t you just be obedient to me for once?”

“The empress does not have to bend to the emperor’s will . ”

“Continue on like this, and you won’t even be able to compare . ”

Compare? …With whom?

He stared right at me, then he put on a wry face .

“I see that you’re tired . Please retire for the day . Go back to and take care of that misbehaving filly . ”

*

*

*

After Empress Navier left, Sovieshu sighed and rang a small bell on the table . The door opened, but it was not a servant who walked in the room .

“Since when do you work?”

At Sovieshu’s puzzled expression, Rashta smiled sheepishly .

“I feel like I’m a burden when I’m not doing anything . ”

“So you’re going to be working now?”

Rashta spread out her arms joyfully, and Sovieshu grinned .

“You can’t even go around by yourself . ”

Serving the Emperor was regarded as a great honor among nobles, and was a position that even those without titles coveted . But Rashta wanted to work for the Emperor because she felt like a burden… She had no idea that the nobles would strangle each other over this position .

“What an unusual person . ”

Sovieshu chuckled at her oddity . For Sovieshu, there had only been two significant women in his life so far . One was his mother, a great empress, and the other was Navier, the current empress . He was familiar with the empress’ imperial education and even studied together with Navier, but he thought the clumsy Rashta was incredible no matter what she did .

“Come here and have a snack . ”

Sovieshu rang the bell again, and the servant who had been waiting impatiently at the door came in .

“Pumpkin pie . Very sweet . And bring wine . A light one . ”

The servant left to fulfill the orders, and Rashta clapped her hands and exclaimed “Pumpkin pie!”

“Do you like food that much?”

“Not just any food . How many people have never eaten a bite of a pumpkin pie in their life?”

She smiled innocently like a child, and Sovieshu found he couldn’t pull his eyes away from her .

“The Empress doesn’t even respond to jewelry, no matter how expensive it is . But you’re still happy even with the little things . ”

“Doesn’t she like jewelry?”

“She does . But she doesn’t have a lot of emotional ups and downs . She only expresses herself in small portions . ”

Rasta frowned and gave a sigh .

“She grew up beautifully and doesn’t know the harsh world . Anyone would take jewelry for granted . ”

“Hmm?”

“It’s not that the Empress is wrong, it’s just that she has a lot of wealth . Even if you got her a big gem, it’s not a surprise…”

“That’s true . Oh my god . My prey is smarter than I thought . ”

Rashta didn’t know whether he was making fun of her or not, and she blushed and puffed out her lips .

“Tch, you always call me prey . ”

“Because you’re the prey I caught in my trap . ”

“So…Your Majesty . ”

Rasta laughed at his light joke, then settled to speak to him again . She twisted her fingers together and ventured forward carefully .

“You said you’d make me your concubine…”

“Yes . ”

“The Empress doesn’t seem to know that yet…”

Sovieshu nodded and gave her a reassuring smile .

“We’re in no hurry, so let’s take our time . Your legs haven’t completely healed yet . ”

“I’m not rushing, but…I had a hard time when I met the Empress before . I didn’t know how to introduce myself . And what if it happens again…”

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