Chapter 179: <Short stories 8.1: Fraudulent Cransian couple>
After Empress Sa Bina officially ‘left’ the castle to Maram after the ‘argument’ with Emperor Lucretius…
Norma, the Duchess Lonensia, remained bowing as she said to the emperor. Her face was rigid.
“Please, your highness. Please don’t disappoint her highness, the empress, who left the castle in hopes that you will marry your first wife. Please don’t ignore her selfless sacrifice.”
Norma took another deep bow politely and left the room.
The door finally closed behind her.
The emperor stared at the door silently for a few minutes. His face remained blank until finally, his lips started to tremble as if he was trying not to laugh.
Suddenly, a loud clap started from behind the nearby curtain.
Clap, clap, clap!
Lucretius covered his lips so his laugh wouldn’t be heard, and he walked towards the floor-length curtain. When he opened it, his lovely wife was sitting behind it and clapping quietly.
Everyone thought the empress left the castle with her daughter after her fight with her husband, but here she was, hiding in the emperor’s personal office!
They stared at each other for a moment.
After a few seconds, Bina couldn’t take it anymore. She was the first one to start laughing loudly.
“Hahahahaha! Me!? She said I left the castle so you can take a wife! Hahaaaa! I sacrificed myself… for the royal family…! She said I did that!? Hahaha!”
She was rolling on the floor from laughing so hard. Lucretius tried to control himself, but he finally gave in as well. He started to laugh hilariously.
“Hahahahaha! I know! It was so ridiculous! She… She said she was only being… loyal! Hahaha…!”
Lucretius was laughing so hard that he started to cough. Bina stroked his back to help him while she continued to laugh.
They were both crying by the end. Bina wiped her eyes and murmured, “Oh gosh… That was so hilarious. I haven’t laughed like that in a really long time. I could feel the [endorphin] coursing through me.”
Lucretius also calmed down and replied, “[Endorphin]? That’s a word from your homeland? What does it mean?”
“It’s like… a good force or substance within your body. It’s something that forms when you are happy or when you laugh.”
“I see. So we basically got an [endorphin] shower from the duchess.”
Lucretius was so great at learning her language.
They looked at each other proudly.
Lucretius asked, “Did you have fun?”
Bina nodded. “Yes! It was the best! So cool! It was really exciting!”
Lucretius looked at his wife happily. The empress, whom he loved the most in the world, could be very cruel. She loved it when she managed to get back at her enemies. She seemed so lively whenever her revenge plan worked.
Lucretius loved her more for it.
“Her family started it, so we don’t have to feel guilty or sorry at all. I feel great! They are the best kind of enemy to have!”
It had been a long time since he saw Bina having this much fun. After the death of Katleyanira, their nemesis, they hadn’t had this kind of fun(?). Bina enjoyed the operetta, but this was even better for her.
Lucretius smiled with pleasure.
Bina asked, “Aren’t you having fun too?”
“Of course, I am. Or should I say in your language, [totally]!”
Bina laughed again, while this time, Lucretius couldn’t understand why Bina found it funny.
In the beginning, Bina and Lucretius didn’t plan on carrying out this charade. At first, they both thought that all they had to do was to stop the duchess from moving forward with her plan of placing Yulia as the first wife. Without the duchess’ knowledge, they were very close to banishing the tradition regarding women being sent from different kingdoms and colonies. They knew they could slowly but surely diminish Duchess Lonensia’s power.
However, things happened unexpectedly. Even the duchess couldn’t have predicted the turn of event. Her son Roberto started to cause troubles all on his own.
Things, however, worked out better for them in the end. During the empress’ supposed ‘absence,’ Lucretius and Bina managed to have private dates through the secret passages.
They purposely had a fake fight in public to bait the duchess and Roberto. It was hard to fight even though it was not real. While they were ‘arguing,’ Bina had to try hard not to start laughing. She ended up biting her tongue, which made it easier for her to cry.
Afterward, she pretended to leave the castle. Of course, it was another woman wearing a black wig that got into the carriage and left.
Bina remained in her bedroom for the rest of the week. She had to remain completely hidden. Beatrice also stayed with her, and only Samantha and Agnes knew of this secret.
Samantha and Agnes gave all the maids a vacation and both of them took care of the empress and the princess. Agnes managed to make their meals secretly at Lonez and deliver them to the mother and the daughter.
Thanks to this act, Bina was able to have easy relaxing days.
She missed taking walks in the gardens, but thanks to the secret passages, she managed to roam around the castle freely.
Yulia also knew of Bina’s plan. She volunteered to spy on her aunt, and she asked for one thing.
“Your highness, I know I don’t have the right to ask for anything, but I would still like to ask something of you. Please… Let my aunt and the Lonensian name live. I know she has acted greedily, but my aunt still took care of myself and my older sister. Please, I beg you.”
Bina agreed. From the beginning, Bina had no intention of destroying the duchess or the Lonensian family.
As they expected, the desperate duchess imprisoned Yulia against her will.
Lucretius was annoyed. “So Yulia is refusing to eat? It must be very tough for her.”
Bina sighed deeply. “She wants to make sure the duchess won’t suspect anything. I told her she doesn’t have to go that far, but Yulia insisted.”
“I guess this situation puts Yulia in a very awkward position. She is working very hard for us, so we will make sure she gets rewarded.”
Bina nodded. Lucretius then changed the subject.
“Oh, by the way, I heard something funny from my assistant. I heard that this news came from that theater owner.”
“What is it?”
“The masquerade’s prima donna wants to meet us. She has requested an audience.”
Bina looked very interested. “That…”
“Yes. I think she might be able to tell us something very interesting. Amarince Toul knew Roberto personally, so she probably knows something.”
Bina murmured, “I hope it’s good news. I am already disappointed by my favorite composer; I don’t want my favorite singer to disappoint me too.”
Lucretius did his best to console his unhappy wife.