Returning to the Empress’s Palace, Medea fretted over Lyle’s hostility.
I am the Empress, you know! Just because I’ve slept with you for a night or two doesn’t mean I belong to you!
She wondered about how to get revenge, but there was no way since Medea was not a powerful Empress.
Additionally, Medea had other things to do:
‘I also need to find a way to invest in the mines on Seira’s estate.’
She asked her maids-in-waiting to find experts on the Silore region. So Medea still needed to wait a couple of more days:
‘I still have time, but this concerns my life. I wish I could deal with it cleanly and clearly……’
Medea needed help, and the only person who came to her mind right now was Luke. She had thought about asking Lyle for a while, but looking at his attitude today made her reconsider him as a choice.
‘Can I trust Luke? Luke wouldn’t be suspicious of me because he hasn’t met Medea years before her death……’
The Medea that Luke remembered was years ago when she took classes under their mother’s command, the Duchess. He had only peeked at her a couple of times from afar. A dazzlingly beautiful sister that clearly remained in the memory of a four-year-old until he reached adulthood. He received a rigorous education under the orders of their father, Duke Ceiard, and wandered as a knight, so he didn’t see Medea again.
After receiving the knighthood and ascending to the position of a small duke, Luke tries to meet Medea but ends up meeting her coffin instead.
Facing his sister’s corpse, his vague disapproval for Lyle transforms into outright hatred.
‘I guess Luke would be a good choice.’
Medea asked a maid to bring a letterhead and started to write a letter to Luke, stating that she would like to meet him soon.
It was difficult for her to visit, so she wanted Luke to come to the Imperial Palace. Medea sealed the letter with beeswax and handed it to the maid.
“Give this to Luke, son of the Duke of Ceiard.”
“You mean the small duke?”
Perhaps because Medea hadn’t even mentioned the duke until now, the maid asked Medea, a bit surprised.
“Did he become a duke?”
At the time of the funeral in Medea, Luke was already a small duke, but the exact timing was not known because it was expressed in a few lines in the novel.
“Yes, he became the small duke a while ago.”
“I see, then give it to the small duke. Ask the messenger to wait and get a reply on the spot. I don’t want to wait.”
I added in case the letter might be intercepted.
The maid left the room with a letter from Medea with a pale face.
Why did she have that face? Does Lyle still hate Medea contacting the Duke?
Medea considered the Duke the Duchess’ accomplice and therefore scorned him. And she had no interest in her younger brother Luke.
So she never contacted the Duke of Ceiard first, and although the Emperor hated Medea, he established her as the Empress. As such, a sufficient budget was allocated to her, so Medea never had to ask for help from the duke.
The Duke of Ceiard said there was no reason to visit her unless she needed his charity to uphold the dignity of his house’s name.
Anyways Medea sent a letter to Luke, hoping for his assistance, and wondered how to avoid the Emperor at night.
‘.…Should I just run away?’
Last time I was caught because I was unlucky, but I wouldn’t have encountered Lyle if I had been hiding in one of the many and many bedrooms of the Empress’s Palace.
‘Before night falls, let’s find a suitable location and hiding place!’
Medea left the bedroom and began wandering around the palace, gleeful and jovial for coming up with such an amusing prank.
Lyle was impatiently waiting for the time to pass. Medea was in the Imperial Palace, so she could not go anywhere without his permission as the Emperor.
And even though my mind knew it in concept, my heart was anxious just because I couldn’t see her. I wanted to go to the Medea right now, but I wasn’t so brazen with so many eyes around me, watching and whispering about my every move.
‘Even I know I am overreacting.’
As Lyle watched the sunset, he wondered how he must look in Medea’s point of view… probably arbitrary, dictatorial, difficult….
He knew–but he couldn’t be sane when he heard Medea utter the words,
‘Divorce… … .’
Medea had never even entertained the idea before; if it had been the former Medea, just saying the word divorce would have made her tremble with anger.
But now Medea…….
‘If there is a woman your Majesty loves… … Then can you set me free?’
Just the mere thought of the word coming out of her mouth chilled his blood.
Before, he couldn’t stand Medea’s face, and now within the span of a few days, she became the opposite of the person he had loathed.
And it was natural that Medea detested him. He hadn’t even checked on her after her accident. Instead, he had been mainly concerned about whether or not the accident was adequate grounds to skip their union night.
And now he realized the tables had turned; the current Medea had offhandedly called the Empress position a “mannequin” with stones [jewels] attached to her dress.
Being Empress meant nothing to her. Lyle understood this but wasn’t going to let go.
We are already married, and you’ve moved my heart. I won’t……
“I’m not going to leave you alone anymore……”
Even after such a vow, Lyle knew that his past sins of neglect would not be erased, but he could think of nothing else except to make it up to Medea through his actions.
Why don’t you ask me for something?
Lyle’s heart was full, he was sure he could listen and grant any request in the world as long as she asked it. [tn: err…. didn’t she ask for a divorce?]
The sun completely tilted over the mountain, and the darkness began to fall.
Right away, Lyle wanted to run to the palace where Milledia would be waiting, but Lyle decided to take more time.
Even though I knew it was a useless play, I could only protect myself like this.
Darkness spread slowly as my stomach burned.