Lady To Queen - Chapter 112 – Side Story Ch. 4 Because I Loved You, Your Majesty
Chapter 112 – Side Story Ch. 4 Because I Loved You, Your Majesty
Their reunion happened in a detached and composed manner.
“It’s been a while, Your Majesty.”
Petronilla greeted Lucio with an especially beautiful smile. He knew that this was a dream, but the fear that permeated his body screamed otherwise. He swallowed hard, and Petronilla’s smile only deepened.
“Please have a seat, Your Majesty,” she said.
Lucio couldn’t refuse. It was a request from the deceased. Moreover, it was a request from someone whom he had killed.
“Have you been well?” she asked.
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Upon hearing her question, Lucio started to doubt whether this was the Queen—no, the deposed Queen, that he knew. The Petronilla he was familiar with wouldn’t act so elegant and composed towards the man who killed her. He expected her to rip him apart the moment she saw him. He even prepared himself to willingly let her rip him apart. However, this wasn’t it. Out of all the possibilities that he imagined, this wasn’t one of them. He couldn’t help but be bewildered.
“Why…would you ask me such a question?” he asked.
“Because I’m curious. Since I loved you, Your Majesty.” Petronilla smiled again. “I was always curious. The two of you always considered me an annoyance. Once I was gone, you should be happy.”
“Are you happy right now ?’
“…Yes,” Lucio replied honestly. “Yes. I’m happy right now.”
“I see.” Petronilla continued smiling at him.
“I feel sorry,” Lucio said.
“No matter what I say, it’ll only be hypocritical. I met you through this relationship, but if I didn’t, then you…”
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Those words instantly burst out of Petronilla’s mouth. Her face looked fierce—a complete one-eighty from the placid smile that she had on before. Lucio was momentarily taken aback at the sudden change, but he complied and kept his mouth shut. Petronilla spoke, her expression frightening, her voice cold.
“If you know that you’re being hypocritical, then shut up.”
“No, no,” Petronilla said. A chill shivered down Lucio’s spine from her icy smile.
“I’m no longer your queen. Isn’t that right?”
“You’re the one who dethroned me. How… how could you…!”
At her furious tone, Lucio couldn’t say anything. He felt like he was being oppressed by the spirit. No, he knew that she was right. Her anger was justified, but so were his sins. If that was the case, then who was the bad guy in this situation? Who was allowed to be angry at who?
“How can you even dare to call me ‘Queen’?”
“…Do you want my apology?”
“An apology,” she snorted. The look on her face was incredulous. “Then give me the apology I want, exalted Emperor. Our precious Sun of the Empire.”
“This relationship of ours isn’t fortunate. It’s ill-fated. Awfully so! Let’s say that I forgive you! But what about my…my poor younger sister and my parents? How do you plan on apologizing to them?” she demanded.
He had nothing to say. For there wasn’t a way to apologize to them. Lucio swallowed hard again. Petronilla continued to spit out harsh words at him.
“You asked if I wanted an apology?”
“Yes. I do want an apology. A sincere one,” Petronilla murmured. “The apology I desire is yours and Rosemond’s destruction.”
The word ‘destruction’ carried a heavy weight. Lucio looked at Petronilla with bloodshot eyes, and she looked back at him with a fierce look.
“If God isn’t going to punish you, then I! Petronilla! Will! Personally!” she cursed.
Petronilla instantaneously closed the distance between her and Lucio, and she wrapped her hands around his neck. Her hands had a strength that shouldn’t have been possible from a woman. Lucio began to choke, completely forgetting that this was all a dream.
“Die! Die! Die!” she chanted.
Lucio woke up screaming. His breath came out labored, as if he actually had been choked in real life.
“Damn it… again.”
Lucio tried to calm himself, forcing out the breath that he didn’t realize he was holding in. How many times has he had that same dream? The same dream paired with the same response.
Suddenly, the head lady-in-waiting came barging in, thinking it was another episode. “Your Majesty, are you alright?!” Alarm crossed her face when she saw the cold sweat on Lucio’s forehead. “I…I shall bring Her Majesty the Queen.”
“No, it’s fine,” Lucio said while panting. “It’s not like that tonight. I just had a strange dream.”
“Just bring me a glass of water.”
“Yes, Your Majesty. I will obey.”
The head lady-in-waiting left the room. Lucio, who was now alone, slowly wiped his sweat-drenched forehead with a handkerchief. Anytime he had this dream, he truly felt strange.
“I must have pushed myself too hard lately.”
He dismissed the thought. He didn’t want to dwell on how strongly the curse of a dead woman was affecting him.
“His Majesty has been having strange dreams lately,” Glara commented. Meanwhile, Rosemond was busy putting on a necklace.
“What do you mean? Are they dreams about Queen Alisa?”
“I don’t think so. According to the servant girls at the Central Palace, he’s been having strange dreams often these days. When he wakes up from them, his entire body is drenched in cold sweat.”
“If that’s the case, then why hasn’t the Central Palace notified me yet?”
So they’re saying it’s not an episode. Rosemond tilted her head in thought.
“Why…why hasn’t His Majesty told this to you?” Glara said cautiously from beside her.
“…He probably thinks that it’s not something I need to know.” A thought brushed past Rosemond’s mind, and there was one thing that she got from it. “He’s likely doing this out of consideration towards me.”
“What do you mean?”
“It means that he doesn’t think anything good will come out of it if I knew.” An elegant smile bloomed across Rosemond’s face. “Looks like it’s nothing we need to concern ourselves over. Don’t worry.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“And stop making such useless reports, Glara,” Rosemond snapped. “I’m already busy thinking of other things…”
“Yes, Your Majesty. My apologies.” Even as Glara apologized, she inwardly complained. But you told me to immediately tell you if anything happened!
It was evident that Rosemond’s sense of caution had lessened ever since she became queen. Put in a good way, it means that her heart’s finally at ease, but put in a bad way, it means that she’s easy prey for any opposers.
Rosemond came up with an unexpected question. “That aside, where did Lauren go?”
“Your Majesty, why are you suddenly looking for Lauren?” Glara asked.
“I told her to bring Countess Galbris so that we could discuss my dress for His Majesty’s birthday banquet. So why is she so late?”
Countess Galbris was the kingdom’s top dress designer. The problem was that it hadn’t even been thirty minutes since Rosemond sent Lauren out on her errand.
Glara did her best to reassure her. “Your Majesty, please wait a little longer. It hasn’t been long since Princess Witherford left.”
“If I call someone, they should come immediately! She’s not being like this because I’m the daughter of baron now, is she?”
“Of course not, Your Majesty.”
Her inferiority complex just has to show its rear in this situation as well. Grievances were bouncing around inside Glara’s mind, but she didn’t voice them. It was true that Rosemond was skilled in managing the workings of the Inner Palace. Even if her extravagance was a little—no, excessively, severe.
“Princess Witherford is not that kind of person,” Glara said kindly. “You know this, and that is why you selected her to be your lady-in-waiting, isn’t that right?”
Just then, the voice of a servant girl called out from outside the room. “Your Majesty, Lady Witherford has arrived.”
Glara smiled brightly. To think that she’d come back this early! This was good for both Lauren and Glara. It meant that Rosemond ’s mood wouldn’t worsen. However, for some reason, Rosemond didn’t look too pleased upon hearing the servant girl’s announcement.
Soon, the door opened and Lauren entered the room. She had her usual blank expression paired with the tiniest smile. Yet upon seeing that, Rosemond was offended.
“You’re late,” she said sharply.
Lauren wondered if she misheard. It had only been a little over thirty minutes. It wasn’t that long. She tried taking as little time as possible so that she wouldn’t be criticized by the Queen. And yet… she was considered late?
“I’m sorry?” Lauren said in surprise.
“…Did you just talk back to me?” Rosemond accused.
“No, Your Majesty, but… I did my best to come as quickly as I could.”
“You’re saying everything that you want, yet you claim that you’re not talking back to me?” Rosemond asked with a cold smile, and Lauren was momentarily rendered speechless. So the Queen had no intentions of listening to her explanation from the start? After having thought that, Lauren stopped herself. She wisely complied to the Queen’s whims.
“…My apologies, Your Majesty.”
“The only reason you’d act like this towards me is because you’re looking down at my original status as a baron’s daughter, isn’t that right?”
“Your Majesty, I have never thought that.”
This is unfair, is what Rosemond heard from those words. Her eyes turned fierce.
“How sly of you!” Rosemond said viciously.
“And where is Countess Galbris ?” she demanded.
“…She is outside,” Lauren replied meekly.
“Let her in. You, get out.”
There was no way that this couldn’t be heard from outside. When Lauren left the room, she was met with the pitying expression of Countess Galbris. Upon seeing that, Lauren felt her composure crack.
‘Do I need to suffer this humiliation?’
She inwardly seethed. However, she knew that her greatest revenge against Rosemond didn’t involve going back into the room and slapping her across her face.
Lauren quietly calmed the anger burning inside her before stepping outside of the Queen’s Palace. The carriage that her father, Duke Witherford, prepared had already arrived at the front gates of the palace. As soon as she got into the carriage, she told the driver the destination in a cold voice.
“To the Ephreney estate.”
Izu Ephreney was shocked upon the announcement of the unexpected visit.
“Who is it?” she asked.
“It is Lady Lauren, Duchess.”
“Butler, are you telling me that it’s Lady Witherford ?”
“That is correct.”
“Let her in.”
Duchess Ephreney had no connection with the girl. Moreover, they were not on familiar terms so as to elicit a visit out of the blue. Though she had on a suspicious expression, the Duchess nonetheless ordered her maid to prepare refreshments. Not long after, the elegant form of Lauren Witherford appeared in front of Duchess Ephreney with a polite bow.
“I apologize for visiting without any notice, Duchess. Please forgive my rudeness.”
“No, Princess. That shouldn’t be of concern between the two of us. Please do not worry.” Having said that, Duchess Ephreney studied Lauren before speaking again. “…You seem to have something to say. Why don’t we go to the living room?”
“I do not plan on staying for long, Duchess.”
“I figured that would be the case.”
With a smile, Duchess Ephreney led Lauren into the living room and ordered the house servants to leave the two of them alone.
“You seem to have come to talk about something important,” Duchess Ephreney said, still smiling. “Am I correct? I know that you’re not a person who would impose like this otherwise.”
“I’m glad that you understand. Then I shall quickly state my business.” Lauren gave a dry laugh, then spoke straightforwardly. “What is your opinion on the current Queen of Mavinous ?”