Be Indulged - Chapter 2.2
Chapter 2 – Part 2
If they are going to keep being like this, the conversation will take place regardless of the topic.
“Your Majesty, why are you giving me jewelry? I’m not worthy.”
This person wouldn’t kill me. Amelia realized this today, so it gave her a little courage.
“Yes. I am nothing. I must pay for the offense of offending Your Majesty yesterday at the Empress Candidate Selection, however, I have no idea why you are bestowing upon me these ornaments instead of handing down punishment for my lack of propriety.”
“Do you want to be punished?”
The Emperor’s golden eyes sank darkly. She trembled in fear.
“If Your Majesty will punish me, I shall accept it.”
“You mean that punishment is better than jewelry?”
“I-it’s not that…”
Amelia stuttered. Was that the case? After she said all that, she ended up demanding punishment. What if this Emperor was also a crazy person with a lot of mood swings? When she lifted her head and stared into the Emperor’s eyes, the Emperor burst into laughter. It looked like he was merely joking. He looked at Amelia’s face and spoke with a smirk.
“Amelia, have some sense.”
“Who would tailor a dress and give jewelry to someone who is nothing?”
Amelia’s eyes trembled. She felt like she was the only foolish one. The Emperor smiled and walked up to her, grabbed one of her hands and lifted it up.
“The answer is simple.”
His lips touched the back of her raised hand. The sound of his lips on her hand echoed.
Facing Amelia’s confused face, it was when he was about to say something with a smile on his face that someone exclaimed.
Someone called out the Emperor, at which he grimaced.
“They can’t even give me a second to stay still.”
The atmosphere around the Emperor, which was as warm as a spring day, suddenly turned into the cold midwinter again. The Emperor turned to Amelia and smiled at her.
“Stay here. If you’re bored, it would be good to take a walk in the garden.”
“If you need anything else, just tell me. Understand?”
As Amelia nodded, the Emperor headed outside with a more relieved expression. She stared blankly at the door.
‘What did that person just say?’
He asked who would fit a dress and give jewelry to a nobody. He answered it simply. And she wasn’t dense enough not to know the answer.
The Emperor likes her? Is that even possible?
She couldn’t understand why the Emperor would do that. He was the person she met for the first time yesterday. Even when they met, the circumstances were quite inappropriate. The reason couldn’t be that she seduced him. Still, to fall in love? Did that even make sense?
She was relieved that he wasn’t a bad person, but she changed her mind. The Emperor may not be sane. Amelia dared to doubt the Emperor’s mental state.
Maybe he’s playing around with her because Amelia seemed to be easy to fool? Maybe there was something else in store for her. She felt that she shouldn’t be relieved. She gripped the hem of her skirt.
* * *
Entering the afternoon, Amelia felt bored. She was locked up in a room in the Imperial Palace, nervous, and it was nothing but a torment for her to sit and do nothing.
“Can I go out for a walk?”
At her careful question, the maid nodded.
“His Majesty has told me that you are free to go anywhere. Where should I take you?”
“I want to go somewhere where there’s not much people.”
“Then I shall guide you to the back of the Imperial Palace, to the northern garden.”
Was it because of the Emperor’s strict command? The maid smiled kindly and nodded. After getting ready, Amelia headed to the northern garden, guided by the maid.
There was a time when it was her wish to visit this Imperial Palace. It seems like it wasn’t much of a wish, but it was a grand one already considering that she was a poor noble, and she never had a chance to go to the Imperial Palace. Then her fiancée, Elliott, a nobleman who was somewhat established in the capital, promised he would take her to the Imperial Palace they’d married.
She looked around the Imperial Palace. This place seemed to be a gathering of all the beautiful things. Each marble she stepped on was a beautiful color, and the window handles were carved. She carefully examined this frightening yet beautiful place.
She saw the fountain she had only heard of. Cool streams of water gushed up toward the sky. As she got closer, small water droplets splashed out. She looked at it and smiled.
“Is this a fountain?”
At Amelia’s words, the maid explained the figures and sculptures in the fountain. She opened her eyes and listened to her talking.
“Are all the people working in the Imperial Palace so knowledgeable? That’s great.”
When she asked with pure admiration, the maid flushed her cheeks.
“Lady, I’ve been wanting to ask you for a long time, but do you always speak so respectfully for people who work for you?”
“No, it was…”
“The lady is very careful with us. We are not aristocrats like the lady.”
Amelia’s cheeks were dyed red. The people of the Imperial Palace thought she was someone special, so they treated her differently, but it seemed against the rules.
“I am not trying to burden you with anything. Because His Majesty said to let you do whatever you wanted to.”
Amelia tried to change her tone, but it still wouldn’t stick to her mouth. She gave up and talked to the maid. The maid’s name was Rose, who was kind to her.
Rose didn’t tell her everything, but she explained things to the best of her knowledge. She even said that she would sometimes say things that amused Amelia by listening to it, and she replied in ways that she didn’t think she could have. As they talked like that, Amelia realized that it had been a long time since she chatted with someone like this. She was glad that somehow she had gone back to the old days.
With her conversations with Rose, she learned a lot. Amelia didn’t know what her real intentions were, but the Emperor ordered the maids to shower her with great care. All the maids regarded her as the Emperor’s lover.
Thanks to this, even when she knew nothing about her situation while she was here, she was able to learn more about the Emperor. The Emperor was a person who had been crowned for half a year, and it was said that he was not the first prince, but the second prince. When she was young, she clearly knew that the first prince was a strong candidate for succession, but perhaps something had happened?
When Amelia hesitated about this, Rose noticed her doubts and said that the first prince suddenly renounced the throne and gave the throne to the current Emperor, the second prince, who never revealed his face.
“They seem to have a good brotherly relationship.”
“Rather than that…”
“No, I mean, the Grand Duke wasn’t interested in things like that…”
In history, it was said that there were many conflicts because of the throne, but it seemed like this was not always the case. The first prince was praised wherever he went because he was so perfect, but the second prince must have deserved the same praise.
“It’s amazing that there were no rumors about His Majesty when he was a prince.”
“That’s because the Emperor was a little different from what he is now.”
“Is he different?”
“Yes, the Prince I saw when I came in when I was 16 years old and the Emperor he is today are different. He has changed a lot.”
“Can you tell me exactly what he was like?”
“His Majesty was a very quiet person. And he hated stepping up…”
That was to say, he was timid. Thinking of the “timid” boy, Amelia naturally thought of her younger brother. Colin wasn’t the type to go out, either.
‘Did uncle explain the situation to Colin?’
Colin was still young. How sad would he be once he found out that she couldn’t come back to the mansion anymore. It broke her heart just thinking about it.
“What kind of lady came here on her own?”
A quiet voice was heard. Amelia raised her head, then she saw a beautiful woman with golden hair and golden eyes who was looking at her.
Embarrassed, Amelia looked at Rose, and she whispered quietly, “I greet Her Majesty the Queen Dowager.”
She was a beautiful person. The Emperor must have been born from that person’s womb. Because the beautiful golden eyes were definitely the same as that of the Emperor.
Amelia hurriedly went out and greeted.
“Greetings to the Queen Dowager.”
Even with her polite greeting, the Empress Dowager had yet to erase the frown on her face.
“Don’t you know that this northern garden is only accessible to the royal family?”
Amelia’s eyes widened. Had she known that, of course she wouldn’t have gone here.
“I am not worthy. It was through His Majesty’s blessing that—”
“It’s not a place for a bitch like you!”
At the same time, a fierce hand flew up and was directed towards Rose’s cheek. Amelia’s eyes were wide in astonishment as she watched the scene unfold. Rose covered her face with a sullen expression, her head bowed. Amelia bowed her head as she looked into the Queen Dowager’s eyes that were full of displeasure.
“Forgive me. I told her to lead me here. How could she have stopped me?”
Amelia’s words sounded like she had forced Rose to go here. It was an obvious cover. Rose looked at Amelia with her eyes wide open.
“If Your Majesty will punish me, I will accept it graciously.”
Seeing Amelia with her head bowed, the Queen Dowager’s face became even more distorted. The Queen Dowager already knew who this woman was. Amelia Laszlo, the ‘dirty lady’ brought in by the Emperor. She kneeled and begged for punishment, but instead of the Emperor, the Queen Dowager herself would gladly punish her. What an impudent bitch. The Queen Dowager gritted her teeth and said.
“What is the lady’s name?”
“Amelia Laszlo, of the Laszlo County.”
“Ah, Lady Laszlo?”
When the Queen Dowager deliberately lengthened her name, Amelia was startled. She clearly expressed that she knew about ‘that’.
“Ah, did His Majesty the Emperor like the lady and let you in yesterday?”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“If His Majesty has given you permission, I cannot punish you separately.”
“Thank you for your mercy.”
The Queen Dowager twisted her lips as she bowed politely.
“By the way, Miss Laszlo.”
“So you don’t plan to participate in the Empress Candidate Selection?”
“If you don’t do anything because you are dear to His Majesty, and he had placed you by his side, aren’t you being overly arrogant? You think you deserve to be His Majesty’s wife, and you think it’s right for you to flaunt to everyone that you are His Majesty’s woman.”
“Isn’t Laszlo also a candidate? If you stay like this at the Imperial Palace without participating, you would just be making fun of the other ladies.”
Amelia’s face turned white. When she participated in the Empress’s Candidate Selection, it meant that she would again be exposed to those ridicules. However, if she did not participate, she would be ignoring everyone as the Empress said.
“That’s because the dress isn’t ready yet…”
“A dress? Oh dear. There’s a dress I wore when I was young, and it’s perfect for you, Lady Amelia.”
“Just because it is a dress I wore as a maiden doesn’t mean it’s out of fashion. Will you accept my favor?”
“I’d better prepare right now.”
The Queen Dowager put her arms around Amelia and began to grab her and drag her with a beautiful smile. Rose’s face turned white.
“You must follow.”
The Empress didn’t forget to bring Rose along, lest she would report to the Emperor. Could it be that she would be asked to leave? Amelia bit her lip.
* * *
In the guise of a favor, the Queen Dowager gave Amelia the most gorgeous ivory dress. The fully decorated Amelia was beautiful. The pearl-encrusted dress shone with every movement she moved, and her ears and neck were adorned with aquamarines similar to the color of her eyes. But it was clear that this splendor would only be poison to her.
The Queen Dowager looked at her and made a friendly expression.
“It’s time. Please enter first. I’ll be out when I’m finished with my own preparations.”
She wouldn’t enter with Amelia, was what she was saying, because Amelia would appear to be under the protection of the Queen Dowager. She was led to the banquet hall by the Queen Dowager’s maids instead.
As soon as she entered the banquet hall, the consul exclaimed as if they had been waiting.
People were stunned at the name and looked at Amelia. People’s eyes were even sharper on the gorgeous dresses and accessories.
Amelia put her hands together and quietly walked through the banquet hall. No one spoke to her. She’d rather faint, but no, she should have already fainted when she was wearing the dress. She was led to the middle of the circle. Becoming a spectacle, she quietly turned to the corner.
It’s okay, it’s okay. She quietly repeated to herself. She wondered if Clara would come to see her, but when she glanced at her, Clara looked at her with arms crossed. She seemed not to intend to make a fuss. In fact, the Elliott family must have been quite dishonored by ‘that’.
Contrary to Amelia’s wishes, people surrounded Amelia and began to speak to her. The events of that day began to be heard in words. It felt like her ears were buzzing. This was hard work. Wouldn’t it be better to get out of here? She couldn’t stand it. That was when she panicked.
“Her Majesty the Queen Dowager has entered!”
People’s eyes were distracted by that. Amelia, her lips almost blue, looked at the entrance to the banquet hall. It was the Queen Dowager entering with graceful footsteps. Amelia’s face grew even whiter. The Queen Mother was dressed in simple clothes. It was even more austere than the outfit she had worn earlier in the northern gardens of the palace. At a glance, It was incomparable to Amelia, the pinnacle of splendor.
It seemed the same in the eyes of others. Amelia could hear the reproaches mixed with accusations as they looked at her and the Empress Dowager alternately.
Amelia clenched her fists. She has been more glamorous than the current highest woman in the country. Even the youngest person here knew how arrogant and rude she looked. The Queen Dowager was obviously displeased with her.