There Were Times When I Wished You Were Dead - Chapter 4
It’s hard to understand when she always ignored him, and he doesn’t even know why she often stares at people like that. Every time she did that, Karloi hated Yvonne even more.
Karloi urged Yvonne for an answer without hiding his boredom.
“What will change if you look at me like that? Don’t complain that there’s no work… Please do it as soon as possible, Empress.”
As Yvonne answered, Keana replied cheerfully.
“Thank you, Your Majesty!”
The handmaidens gulped in relief.
“I think that’s enough for lunch. I want to spend some time alone with Kea, so I’ll be leaving.”
Keana looked up at Karloi, who got up and opened her eyes wide. She didn’t notice that Karloi got up from his seat and hasn’t eaten anything.
When Karloi nudged her, Keana snapped out from a daze and politely bowed to Yvonne.
The emperor and the lady folded their arms together and left the palace. Being left alone with the handmaidens, Yvonne quietly ate the food alone. The handmaiden, Jean Mary Ann, approached Yvonne with a worried face.
“It’s okay. Isn’t that what happened every time.”
Even if it’s something that already happened, she couldn’t shake off the feeling of Karloi bringing a new woman, but Mary Anne wisely changed the subject.
“Now that I’ve got the job, I’ll have to go prepare. Let’s hurry.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Yvonne, speaking in a quiet voice, suddenly burst into laughter.
“Ah, I’m in trouble, Mary Anne.”
“As His Majesty said, I don’t know how to deal with being an Empress. I came in with my father’s help, so it’s really big trouble.”
Yvonne shook her head, as Mary Anne stood with a puzzled look, not knowing what to do. Though it seems like a joke, the muttering says otherwise.
That day, the Empress left after eating all the food by herself.
“You, what was that about?”
Karloi, who entered Kiana’s temporary residence in the palace, asked with a look of disapproval. Kiana opened her eyes wide as if she didn’t know what he was talking about.
“Me? What did I do?”
“You raised it earlier…”
“Are you talking about my hand? Your Majesty held my hand as he pleased, and also put your hand on my waist. You’re supposed to stop doing that.”
“I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about what you said at that time. Why would you suddenly leave the job to the Empress? And on that topic, what do you think the Empress will do?”
Kiana, who was adjusting her headdress, looked at Karloi through the mirror.
“I want to check Her Majesty’s reaction, and… What about you, Your Majesty?”
The small face looking at Karloi showed a sign of displeasure.
“Please tell me in advance that it was lunch with the Empress, and I must go with you. I heard rumors that your Majesty is a cruel husband, but this is beyond my imagination.”
“You are the one who shows the Empress no mercy. I wasn’t wrong to make you a queen.”
“Oh, be careful. I’m not the queen, yet.”
“….Did you know that you are very ruthless? If you were a normal person, you would hear from Gorten already.”
Kiana just laughed at Karloi’s words.
“It’s already overwhelming just to be in a contract with the Emperor. It won’t hurt if we happen to add one or two more things in there.”
“Your role is to keep the Empress in check in public.”
“And you’ve been using me too much for your private affairs. Don’t tell me you are trying to make the Empress jealous?”
Karloi’s face was horribly distorted. That statement was ridiculous to hear.
Jealousy was a word that would be used between people with feelings for each other. There was no such thing between Yvonne and himself.
“Don’t be mistaken. I have to pretend that all this is a private thing that happened because of love so we can avoid the interference from the nobles.”
“And don’t you know what kind of person the Empress is? How could you make someone who wouldn’t even shed a drop of blood when you stab them jealous?”
“How would you know?”
Kiana suddenly turned away from the mirror and stared at Karloi.
“When you see the Empress’s reaction, it doesn’t seem like a person who’s emotionless at all. Has your Majesty never thought of the Empress’s position? You could choose who your wife is, but not the Empress who has the Duke as the father. You shouldn’t be so cold…”
When Karloi waved his hand dismissively, Kiana bit her lips.
“Don’t talk nonsense. Does the Empress seem to be a person like that? It would be faster to seduce a stone on the street since it would likely have more emotions than her,”
“What a pity.”
“It’s a useless waste of emotions considering there is someone else you should feel sorry for. It’s likely because I hurt her heavenly pride. How can the Duke endure such an insult like today?”
“Is that so?”
“He would be the one who didn’t blink even if I was beaten by the empress. Even if I died, he would be joyful and get a luxurious steak to the news of my death.”
It was an unnecessarily extreme statement.
Why is he so repulsed by an Empress, who he has no interest in, after bringing her into the palace?
Kiana ponders what went wrong between the Emperor or the Empress emotionally. Though, it was already too late when she realized that she was now caught up in such a dangerous and complicated situation.
“What about the Marquis?”
“Father? He would probably flip out by now. It’s good that he didn’t faint. You know that he was afraid of Duke Delois’s retaliation, right? No one dares to bring their daughter into the Imperial Palace.”
“Marquis Roden is the head of the Aristocratic faction, but he doesn’t have a lot of courage.”
Karloi clicked his tongue.
“My father is as big as a simple bean. Astonishingly, he doesn’t choose the Duke’s side, rather His Majesty’s.”
[Editor’s Note: The nickname Bean, comes from the Middle English “bene” which means friendly. It has been used as a nickname given to a person that is pleasant. The meaning of Bean is fair-skinned. It is said that people with this name valued truth and justice and are quick to anger with those who do not.]
Kiana muttered as she recalled her weak father.
“Doesn’t the Duke have a history of kidnapping members of the Imperial family?”
When Karloi was a young prince, he had been kidnapped by an unknown assailant for over ten days. It was a forest belonging to the Duke of Delois, and the assailants even tried to assassinate him.
Even though it seemed apparent who was behind the scenes, there was no evidence left in the case as the Duke killed all the people involved without reporting it.
“Did you tell your father? I want to investigate the matter again.”
The reason for bringing Kiana onto the throne was to avoid the Aristocratic factions’ eyes and make getting in contact with the Marquis of Roden easier.
“I told you I did, several times already. All the people who could potentially be witnesses of the incident are dead. No one survived, and the village was a total mess. There is no evidence left because the whole area was destroyed.”
“Then tell him to keep searching until he finds something.”
“Are you… looking for someone?”
Karloi hesitated to answer.
“…Nonsense. I’m just trying to find the evidence that the Duke did it.”
Kiana knew the Emperor was lying.
Anyone could tell that it’s a face that’s eagerly searching for someone, but Kiana Roden was a quick-witted woman with enough common sense and vowed not to get involved in this more than necessary. So she answered smoothly without any fuss.
Kiana, who answered carefreely, reminded him of Yvonne for some reason.
No matter what he says or what he does, she would always reply yes with short answers. That made her look incredibly awkward and annoying.
Karloi messed with his hair nervously.
The Empress’s Palace was busy for a long time. It was ironic. The first job for the Empress was to prepare the Queen’s ceremony with her own hands.
Even the handmaidens worked quietly without saying anything, as Yvonne, who was the person concerned, did the same. However, Yvonne’s father, the Duke of Delois, lost his composure.
He walked in and out of the palace with a red-green face three times a day.
Still, after he saw Yvonne, his beloved daughter, he looked a little calmer leaving. However, he went into the palace with an angry face, yet again the next day.
“A crazy old man goes in and out of the Imperial Palace like it’s his own house.”
Of course, all of this was reported to Karloi. The head attendant recounted the facts he had heard of the Duke shouted at Karloi with an angry face.
“The handmaidens say that the Duke is crying and raging, which could even be heard outside the door. He also said, how could you do this to her.”
“Stop. I’m tired of hearing it.”
“It was also said that the progress of the work had been noticeably slowed down as the Duke enters and exits the palace. Your Majesty, wasn’t the date of the ceremony set? What would we do with this setback?”
“Isn’t it the fault of the Duke? If the Empress makes up her mind, the work could’ve been done quickly, but she is dragging her feet.”
As a look of deep disgust appeared on Karloi’s face, the head attendant, Gorten, quietly closed his mouth.
“Send someone to the Empress. Tell her, don’t forget what I told her, and finish the job as soon as possible. I’ve finally given her a job, don’t make me regret it.”
“…I will word it more suitably.”
“If you do that, I won’t let you go. Gorten. Send it as I said.”
“Her Majesty is also a human, Your Majesty. What if she gets upset and tells the Duke about it…”
The office shook as Karloi shouted angrily. Gorten got startled and shook his head.
“Do you think I want to hear about the Duke’s prying eyes even inside my office?”
“I’m sorry, Your Majesty. I made a slip of the tongue. I’ll be more careful.”
As Gorten left the office, Karloi swept his tired face.
The Duke of Delois was a terrible specter, living vividly, not even dead…
[Yes, I did, Your Majesty. I indeed tried to take your Majesty’s life, but what can you do now? I’m lucky to be the guardian of your life that you got back, I’m glad to see you’re doing well.]
The memory of the duke whispering on his shoulder was vivid. He wasn’t wrong. Even his father acknowledged that it was a duke. But what could he have done as a child?
(T/N: So we finally got to know more about the backstories! This chapter certainly brought up even more questions >.<)