Empress of Otherverse - Chapter 164
Chapter 164 –
Christian’s voice sounded familiar to Bina.
Amarince asked him, “Christian! Tell me the truth. Do you know how shocked I was when I saw you during the performance?”
Amarince’s speaking voice was just as lovely as her singing voice.
‘W, wow! Such a great voice.’
Bina thought secretly.
Bina was her biggest fan and she felt excited at seeing her favorite star outside of the show.
Christian smiled and finally took his mask off. When Bina saw his face, she gaped in shock.
‘Roberto des Lonensia?!’
Lucretius also seemed surprised as if he recognized the man.
The most popular composer in the kingdom was the second son of the Duke of Lonensia?
This was sensational news. Artists were popular among the public, but it was considered a lowly work; therefore, the noble families rarely allowed their children to pursue this field. It was no wonder Roberto wanted to keep this a secret, but…
At this surprising turn of event, Lucretius and Bina didn’t know how to react. They stopped paying attention to their surroundings, and this was when Roberto looked around and spotted them.
Three people locked eyes and an awkward silence fell. Amarince noticed something odd with Roberto and looked where he was staring at to find Bina and Lucretius hiding.
She seemed truly shocked and disturbed.
Bina started to sweat again uncomfortably. She felt thankful that she was still wearing her mask.
‘It would have been so embarrassing if people found out the emperor and the empress like to eavesdrop on people!’
However, her relief was short-lived as Roberto approached them and kneeled in front of them.
“Greetings from Roberto des Lonensia to the ruler of Krugadia, Orlean, and North Santus the great emperor of Cransia. Greetings to the most respected empress.”
Bina thought with a shudder.
She couldn’t understand how he figured it out; when they were still at the masquerade, people didn’t recognize her or Lucretius. How did he know then?
Thankfully, Lucretius reacted fast and smoothly.
Luc took off his mask to reveal his beautiful face. He nodded stiffly at Roberto and replied, “We’ve never met, Roberto des Lonensia.”
“It is my honor to meet you, your highness.”
Lucretius replied regally, “I remember you because Cornelius used to worry about you when he was still alive.”
Lucretius and Roberto acted as if nothing was amiss. Luc, especially, acted like nothing happened, as if he wasn’t just caught eavesdropping.
Bina realized what his plan was.
‘Oh, he’s going to act brazenly!’
Well, it made sense. Social status meant everything in this world, and Lucretius was at the top of the food chain. He firmly believed in using everything he had to his advantage.
Bina quickly changed her attitude as well to match that of her husband. She took her mask off and smiled like a true empress.
“Oh my, I didn’t expect to see you here, Roberto.”
“It’s a great honor, your highness.”
Just then, the singer who was standing behind shivered in shock and fear. She kneeled to the ground quickly and yelled, “T, this unworthy Amarince greets your highnesses! Please forgive my rudeness!”
Lucretius smoothly changed the subject.
“I didn’t realize the second son of Lonensia was such a famous composer.”
Roberto bowed with a smiled. “It’s just a silly habit.”
Suddenly, Bina exclaimed enthusiastically, “How can you say it’s silly! You are too modest. Everyone knows the impact the greatest composer Christian Boceti had in the music world.”
Roberto bowed gratefully to Bina. “I, I am truly honored you think so, your highness.”
“I really mean what I said. It’s the truth.”
Bina was genuine. Roberto, or Christian Boceti, was the reason why she fell in love with operetta. Bina’s heart beat fast as she looked at her idol.
‘Oh my god! I’m standing in front of my favorite composer!’
She seemed to have forgotten her initial negative reaction and impression of this man.
As he watched his wife’s excited face, Lucretius frowned and commented, “I suppose Duke and Duchess would be disappointed to hear this news.”
Roberto visibly flinched.
“Yes, that’s correct. If my mother found out, she would burn all of my secret works hidden in the library. I wouldn’t be able to compose ever again. Even during my school years at the academy, she used to hate it when I took extra music classes.”
Lucretius’ eyes shined dangerously. Bina noticed this and poked him to get his attention. She said to him silently with her eyes.
With this one look, composer Christian Boceti’s secret was safe. For now. Lucretius didn’t like the idea of keeping this useful information, but he had no choice. He remembered how happy Bina was during and after the show. He knew he had to be patient.
If he acted the way he wanted now, Bina would hate him. To harm her favorite composer… Lucretius didn’t even want to think of the consequences.
Lucretius decided to be the bigger man.
He said to Roberto grandly, “I never got to thank you for the wonderful show tonight. The empress enjoyed it immensely, which is rare.”
Roberto bowed deeply. He was acting properly, but somehow, Lucretius felt that he was being insolent. Perhaps it was just in Lucretius’ imagination.
“You flatter me, your highness.”
Suddenly, Lucretius looked at the woman who was still standing behind Roberto.
“And there is tonight’s prima donna. You sang beautifully and your acting was impeccable.”
It was rare for the emperor to compliment someone. Amarince blushed with pleasure.
“T, t, thank you. I, I’m honored!”
She didn’t seem to know the proper royal etiquette. It made sense. She was born into a commoner family, and this was only her second time being in the castle.
As Lucretius wanted, Bina’s attention turned to the singer. She agreed with her husband.
“That’s right. Every time I hear you sing, I am amazed at the beauty and the strength of your voice. Even today, your voice filled the large hall very easily.”
Seeing Bina’s shining eyes, Amarince remembered. That day when she first performed at the castle, there was a silence after her last note. She remembered feeling a sudden fear. Did she make a mistake? Did she do a horrible job and that was why no one was clapping?
This was her one chance at success. Amarince’s father was originally a knight. He was a proud man, but he was very poor. Amarince’s mother was from a merchant family; she gave up her dream of becoming a singer when she married her husband.
Thankfully, Amarince inherited her mother’s talent. She remembered seeing her mother sing sometimes.
As her father raked up more and more debt, her mother worked every lowly job possible to make ends meet. Her father was useless and often abusive. Amarince’s mother died at a young age, and when there was no one to provide him with an extra income, Amarince’s father sold her to an old baron to become his concubine. She was only fifteen.
On the night of her wedding, Amarince ran away with her mother’s things. She came to the city and started out as a servant while learning to sing wherever she could.
This was how she began.
She sang like her life depended on it. She couldn’t afford proper lessons, so she just sang whatever she heard on the street. She was truly talented, thankfully, so she became well-known very fast.