Mommy Villainess Chapter 109
109 Duchess Nystroms Tea
THAT damned holy fossil.
Tilly was pissed because after Saint Forrester dragged her to the parlor, he left her there saying that he wanted to take a bath first.
And because the saint literally ran off by himself, the servants of the church that were supposed to assist them ran after him. At least, those people had already served the tea and the snacks before they left her.
But she wasn't mad. Aside from the fact that she'd rather be alone than socialize with strangers, she knew that the most important person in the church right now was His Holiness.
I can't believe that a person as important as the saint is a crazy dude.
To lessen her stress, she ate the macaroons served on the table. She wanted to eat the sandwiches but she held back, remembering that she had a breakfast "meeting" with the saint.
Gosh, I'm so hungry. If Kiho finds out that I didn't have breakfast before going to the church, he'd be super angry at the High Priest. My husband never lets me starve, you know? He asked our chef and kitchen staff to always prepare good food for me even if I'm not hungry.
Her thoughts were cut-off when she heard a knock on the door.
"Come in," she said, then she sipped her tea.
She almost choked on her tea when the door opened and His Majesty entered the parlor with Sir Gregory.
Tilly immediately stood up and bowed politely. "Greetings to the only moon of our Great Moonchester Empire."
"Don't be too formal, Lady Nystrom," Emperor Aku said, then he sat down on the accent chair across from the sofa that she was using. Sir Gregory stood behind the emperor. "Take a seat."
She bowed again before sitting down.
As a proper higher noblewoman, she poured some tea for the emperor. He might be an enemy, but that wasn't an excuse to not follow the protocol. No matter how evil His Majesty was, he was still the emperor. As a duchess, her status came with responsibility.
If Sir Gregory is the one who's accompanying His Majesty here, then Captain Sherwood might be the one guarding outside. Is Kiho outside as well?
"Kiho isn't here," His Majesty said as if he could read her facial expression right now. Or perhaps, it was too obvious that she was looking for her husband. "I asked him to wait for the carriage that I prepared for you and His Holiness."
"Is that a job that should be given to a duke?"
His Majesty looked surprised by her retort.
Sir Gregory remained pokerfaced but his twitched slightly.
"Your Majesty, with all due respect, Kiho is no longer the captain of the Black Serpent Knights," she reminded him "politely." "I know that officially, my husband is only on a year-long vacation. But we both know that he will never return to his former position. He is now the Duke of Oakes and it will remain that way for as long as House Nystrom stands."
"Is it confidence or arrogance?" the emperor asked with an amused smile. "I can't tell."
She just smiled and sipped her tea.
"Arrogance it is," he declared while shaking his head. "It looks like you know what will happen to House Nystrom now after you have woken up His Holiness. Your family has lucked out, Lady Nystrom."
"It's not luck, Your Majesty," she said with a smile. "It's good karma."
"I'm speechless," the emperor said, then he sipped his tea before he continued. "Anyway, I'm not giving Kiho a menial job just because I want to. Checking the carriage that you and His Holiness will be using is an important task. And I plan to make him the leader of the temporary security team that I'm arranging for His Holiness."
She smirked because she knew what His Majesty was doing.
The emperor wants to make it look like he's the one who assigned Kiho to stick with His Holiness. He doesn't want other people to think that His Holiness asked for her and her husband's company. In short, His Majesty doesn't want to make a big deal out of our sudden closeness with the saint.
"I hate that look," the emperor said. "You're looking at me like you know exactly what I'm doing."
Ah, His Majesty was seriously perceptive.
But that made sense. As an emperor, it was his duty to be very observant of his surroundings. And thus, he was wary of people around him.
"How can a lowly subject like me know what His Majesty is thinking?" she said in a slightly sarcastic tone. "Please don't overestimate me."
He smirked while shaking his head again. "If you didn't do that to my beloved Nia, I think we would have been great friends."
Okay, that surprised her a little.
The emperor wasn't being subtle at all.
Then, there was no reason for her to hold back now.
"I don't want to be friends with a person who wants me dead," she deadpanned. "Plus, please don't make it sound like the princess didn't deserve what happened to her."
"Careful, Lady Nystrom," he warned her menacingly. "You can disrespect me all you want and I'll just laugh it off. But talking that way to my Nia especially in her terrible state right now is unforgivable."
She would admit that the emperor's rising Mana scared her.
But her anger was still bigger than her fear.
"If you don't want people to talk badly about Her Royal Highness, then you should have raised her as a decent human being," she snapped back. "She wouldn't have been burnt to crisp in the first place if she didn't come at an innocent woman who just wants to have a peaceful like with her husband and son."
Emperor Aku seethed at her. "Matilda 'Tilly' Nystrom."
"Aku Moonchester," she hissed back at him.
Okay, she just committed a grave sin.
Calling the emperor by his name was actually a crime punishable by death.
No wonder Sir Gregory was now pointing his sword at her neck.
Yep, it happened so fast that she only realized what was happening when she felt the cold blade under her chin.
She felt the strange chest in her chest threatening to come out. It was probably Sentinel. But even before the spirit guardian could come out of her heart, the blade of Sir Gregory's sword suddenly broke into tiny pieces.
The heat in her chest disappeared as well.
"What are you trying to do to my savior, good sir?"
Tilly was surprised to see Saint Forrester who was now sitting on the sofa's arm rest. The saint was even eating a cookie. When did he get here?
"Please excuse my knight, Your Holiness," Emperor Aku said immediately, then he turned to Sir Gregory. "You overreacted, Sir Gregory."
"My deepest apologies, Your Majesty," Sir Gregory said with a bow, then he turned to her and bowed again. "I apologize, Lady Nystrom. It looks like I've misunderstood the situation."
"It's fine, Sir Gregory," Tilly said with a smile even though she was still seething. "I know that you couldn't kill me anyway."
Saint Forrester stifled a laugh at what she said. But when His Majesty turned to the saint, His Holiness suddenly turned pokerfaced. "Your Majesty, is the preparation for our departure already complete?"
Emperor Aku stood up. "I'll check on it, Your Holiness."
The saint bowed politely. "My utmost gratitude, Your Majesty."
After that exchange, His Majesty respectfully bid his goodbye to her and the saint. Then, he left the room with Sir Gregory.
Whew, what an intense confrontation.
"You're really an insolent child, aren't you?"
Tilly turned to the saint.
His Holiness has changed into new clothes and he looked fresher now. But she wasn't sure if he really took a bath because his long hair was as dry as her current mood. Perhaps he used magic to dry himself faster than normal. She didn't care though.
"That young spirit inside your heart is also frustratingly impatient," the saint said while getting another cookie from the pastry stand on the table. "Don't let His Majesty know that you've already found the Red Phoenix's spirit guardian, you hotheaded little girl," he scolded her, and that shocked her.
"Your Holiness, you know that I have a spirit guardian inside my heart?"
"You can conceal the spirit's presence from the emperor, but not from me. I'm the saint, you know? I can feel all kinds of spirits in the empire," he said before he looked up at her. "That spirit guardian is your ace, child. The game has only begun don't show all your cards yet."
"You were asleep for many years," Tilly said, confused. "How come you seem to know what's going on?"
"My physical body has been asleep, yes. But my consciousness has always been awake," Saint Forrester said, then he smiled "sweetly" at her. "So you better listen to me before I smack your pretty little head, you bad-tempered troublemaker."
Wow, who knew a holy fossil could have a sharp tongue?
""SASAENG fan?"" the woman asked, obviously confused by the term he used. "I apologize by my limited vocabulary. But what does it mean, Your Grace?"
Kiho blinked in surprise when he realized who this woman could be.
He remembered that Tilly mentioned the name of his "second wife" in her past life. But his brain refused to acknowledge that fact and thus, the piece of information just simply forgotten.
If this woman didn't appear before him, he would never remember her.
The annoying feeling in my chest is back.
"You do not have permission to enter the area, Miss," Kiho said in a formal tone, completely ignoring her question. "Please leave now or I'll be forced to ask the guards to escort you out."
"Your Grace, you may not remember this but we've already met," Lu-something said in a pleading voice. "You saved my town from being invaded by an enemy kingdom. I owe my life to you"
"I didn't save you on my own accord so you don't owe me anything," he cut her off coldly. "I used to be the captain of the Black Serpent Knights. I only followed His Majesty's order. And even if I really saved you back then, you still can't put any meaning behind it."
"Oh," she said, obviously dejected.
"Please leave," he said more firmly this time. "Or else, I'll call the guards to drag you out. His Holiness and my Tilly will use this area so strangers aren't allowed here."
"I will leave for now," Lu-something said in a sad tone, but desperation and determination were both evident in her eyes. "See you later, Duke Nystrom. And when we see each other again, I hope you don't look at me with contempt anymore."
"Even if we cross paths again, nothing will change," he told her bluntly. "But don't think that I'm only this way towards you because that's wrong. I'm always like this to everyone. My Tilly is the only exception."
Pain crossed Lu-something's eyes. Then, she bowed to him before she ran away.
Finally, she's gone.
Still, he didn't let his guard down.
I don't want that woman to hurt Tilly in this lifetime, Kiho said while clenching his fists tight. Should I kill her the next time we meet?
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