Empress of Otherverse - Chapter 70
Chapter 70: <Chapter 70>
I continued to walk inside the library. I kept trying to remember how I got here, but it was useless. I should have left a trail of crumbs like Hansel and Gretel.
I sighed again loudly.
I could hear some people talking. It was so faint for a second, I thought I imagined it. I could barely hear anything, but I was sure somewhere in this place, there were people talking.
I listened carefully and followed the sounds. I didn’t know who they were, so I made sure to remain quiet and walk carefully so they wouldn’t find out about me.
Finally, I found them. When I realized who they were, I hid behind a large bookcase.
There were two people. A male and a female. I knew one of them, but not the other.
I knew the girl.
Bright red hair. Clear ruby eyes like her mother’s but with innocence.
I was shocked at seeing her. The precious princess was meeting with someone secretly in the deserted library.
I stayed quiet and listened. I thought perhaps I would be able to get a piece of important and useful information from this encounter.
Luckily, I could hear well from where I hid.
The man asked the princess in a low voice. He sounded like he was a few years older than Princess Liliana. His voice sounded serious and desperate.
“Do I still have a place in your heart?”
The red-haired princess exclaimed passionately, “Yes, of course…! Now and forever, you will be the only man in my heart!”
The man looked relieved. I realized they were a couple in love.
He replied, “That is enough for me… Even if you become another man’s wife…”
The girl’s eyes filled with tears as she held his hands. I never knew how forward Princess Liliana was until now. I always thought she was very shy. This was a surprise.
She replied, “How… How could I do that? You… you are the only one who has ever been kind to me! I have been dreaming of leaving this castle with you!”
The boy looked pleased but quickly frowned unhappily.
“… I am so sorry for everything.”
The princess started to cry.
“Why would you say that!? You and I both know the truth! Your mother… was sacrificed by the dowager empress!”
Princess Liliana didn’t call the dowager empress her mother. She probably didn’t think of her as her mother, just as the dowager empress didn’t treat her like her daughter. Other than their red hair, they had nothing else in common.
I remembered my friend from Korea again. I knew now for certain how Liliana felt about her mother.
The princess continued to cry and whispered, “It is I who should be ashamed. Even the emperor didn’t find out the culprit who was behind your mother’s murder, but we both know who did it. Everyone in the castle knows.”
“… Your highness.”
“Why would you say you’re sorry? It was the dowager empress who ruined your family… And because of her, you lost your title…”
The boy’s face darkened even more. After a brief hesitation, he held Liliana’s beautiful face and kissed her forehead lightly.
“Perhaps once the dowager empress achieves what she desires, my mother, my brother, and I will be reinstated.”
The boy’s voice trembled. Liliana shook her head.
“But… you know what will happen! If your father gets another wife and gets a son… Then you will lose your title forever!”
“And… Before you get your title back, the dowager empress might marry me to someone else!” Liliana was shouting by now. She continued, “You know this might happen… You and I both know…”
Liliana started to weep. Her fragile shoulders shook sadly as she whispered.
“I… I don’t want that… It has to be you…! I want you!”
The boy called her by her pet name and hugged her.
Suddenly, Liliana stopped crying and said hopefully, “I will try to beg for us. I will ask the dowager empress. Maybe if we get her what she wants, she will let us be together. Perhaps she might even give you your title back! You are her family after all!”
The boy shook his head unhappily.
“But you know it’s not possible. You know the dowager empress better than anyone. Do you really think she will listen to you?”
The girl couldn’t answer. The boy took her hand and lifted her sleeve.
What I saw was shockingly disturbing.
From her elbow to her upper arm were scars and bruises. It looked like she was whipped over and over again. Who would dare hit the princess?
I could think of only one person, dowager empress Katleyanira.
I remembered what I saw last night.
The scars on the back of Lucretius.
It all made sense now. I had a good guess what had happened. It had to be the dowager empress.
My body shook with sudden anger.
Why though? Why was I so angry?
While I contemplated my fury, the girl and the boy continued to talk.
The boy gently touched the princess’s scars.
“If you ask for anything, the dowager empress will do something even worse than this.”
The boy insisted that the princess say nothing to the dowager empress. He made her promise. He was desperate.
The girl looked like a sad doll. Large tears rolled down from her eyes.
She asked, “Then… what should we do…”
The boy couldn’t say anything. He just hugged her tightly. The princess continued to cry.
I could guess who that boy was.
Clodys des Cornell.
The first-born son of Marquis Toruka, who is the dowager empress’s older brother. Clodys was supposed to inherit the family title. He was also Princess Liliana’s fiancé until recently. Once he lost his name and title, the marriage became void.
Clodys and Liliana were cousins, so when I first heard about this, I was shocked. However, I knew even on earth, there were some countries allowing cousins to marry. Even in Korea, it was legal for cousins to marry each other in the olden days.
I knew marriage was a political move, but I hadn’t realized they were actually in love.
Clodys lost his title because of Lucretius’s plot. I felt guilty. It was one thing to attack the marquis and marchioness Toruka, but their children were innocent. I had been trying to ignore this fact until now. However, I saw the result right in front of me and it was devastating.
I shook my head. It wasn’t me who did it. I was actually used myself by Lucretius. I reminded myself to hold my head high. I shouldn’t have to feel guilty.
While I tried to come into terms with my feelings, Liliana left. She kept looking back at the boy she loved, but eventually, she was gone.
When he was finally alone, Clodys yelled.
I flinched as I looked at him. He looked furious and was glaring at something.
I knew then.
I knew this boy was dangerous. He was a boy, but he was in his late teens. Being alone with him in this empty library was dangerous.
However, despite knowing this, I knew I had to take my chances. I felt that I could actually use the element of surprise to my advantage.
Before I could wimp out, I walked out. I put on a poker face and greeted him in a calm voice.
“Nice to meet you, Clodys des Cornell.”