Mommy Villainess Chapter 19


19 Princess Nia Moonchester
KIHO received a call from Blake who broke the news of Tilly's current health state.

According to the vice captain, his fiance fainted due to high fever.

[I should hurry back to her side.]

Now he regretted not getting a communication device with Tilly. He didn't want to hear her voice or see her while on the mission because he would probably want to come home right away. But if he knew she'd get sick, he wouldn't leave her side at all.

[Past is past. I should focus on the current situation first.]

"C-Captain, can we really defeat those monsters?" Damian stuttered. The young knight was shaking in fear while looking up at the sea monsters blocking their ship. "They're huge!"

"Damian!" Whitton scolded him. "A Black Serpent knight should never tremble before the enemies! And hold your sword properly. You'll die because of your awful posture!"

"Hush," Kiho said coldly that made both Damian and Whitton quiet instantly. "I'll attack first. Just watch my back."

"Yes, Captain!" Damian and Whitton said in unison.

Kiho looked sized up the three headed black serpent in front of them.

[A serpent, huh? Our squad was named after this monster. I feel bad that I have to slay it but I have to hurry back to Tilly.]

"I'm sorry, Mr. Serpent," Kiho said while unleashing his power. The breeze started to get colder and the waves began slowing down. He was going to freeze the giant serpent and attack it to get past the monster. "You don't look appetizing so I can't bring you home to Tilly."

***

TILLY woke up alone in one of the luxurious guest rooms in Moonflower Palace.

She got up and carefully moved her shoulders in a circular motion to loosen up her muscles. Thankfully, it didn't hurt. She remembered being in pain when she fell badly on the ground because of her terrible acting.

[The royal doctor must have treated me.]

At first, she was just pretending to lose consciousness. But since she was in pain, she forced herself to sleep. She could barely remember being brought to the room to be examined by the royal doctor.

Ah, right. She woke up a while ago when the maids gave her a bath and changed her clothes into a comfortable night gown. But then, they made her drink a medicine for fever. She had to take it and so, she fell asleep again.

Luckily, no one was in the room this time when she awoke.

[I'm sure the palace sent a letter to my father to inform him that I'm spending the night here.]

Tilly was safe, right?

She didn't witness the princess faint so she didn't have to investigate the cause of it. And so, in this lifetime, she didn't have to "discover" that Her Royal Highness was taking medicine that would cause infertility.

That very act was treason.

[Does the princess secretly hate the emperor?]

But as far as she remembered, Princess Nia and Emperor Aku had a good relationship. Everyone in the empire knew that the emperor was in love with the princess. In fact, the two were the main reason why diamond rings became popular as engagement rings.


[Ever since they were kids, His Majesty would give Princess Nia diamonds as a present. So somehow, diamond became the symbol of love in the empire.]

To be honest, in her past life, she didn't think that the royal family's custom to marry within the family was weird or disgusting. For the citizens of Moonchester Empire, that was something normal. Actually, they even thought that it was the royal family's duty to the empire.

[But during my second life as a modern woman, I learned that marrying your own sibling was banned and frowned upon. It also causes birth defect.]

In this world, children born within the royal family were completely healthy. In fact, they were even born beautiful, intelligent, and strong. Maybe it was because people in this world had what they didn't have in the modern world Mana.

It wasn't like incest was heavily practiced in the empire though. Only the royal family was allowed to marry a sibling. But in other parts of the empire, marriages between cousins were legal as well. It was mostly done by nobles.

For the nobles, marriages between cousins were done to keep their wealth within the family.

While for the royal family, marriages between siblings were practiced to keep their bloodline pure. The purer the blood of a Moonchester was, the stronger their Mana was. And according to the rumors, only a female Moonchester could carry the child of a male Moonchester in her womb.

The emperors in the past had other lovers. But no concubine in history had succeeded in giving birth to a Moonchester.

[Which means that right now, only Princess Nia is capable of giving birth to an heir.]

And that was exactly why taking medicine that caused infertility was a heavy crime enough for her to be executed even though she was a princess.

Tilly's train of thought was cut off when she heard a light knock. When Princess Nia entered the room, she tried to get up. But Her Royal Highness told her to stay still so she did.

"How are you feeling, Lady Prescott?" Princess Nia asked in a kind voice. "The doctor said you fainted because of high fever. I apologize for calling you over when you are in such state."

"Please don't apologize, Your Royal Highness," Tilly said while gently shaking her head. "In fact, I should be punished for coming into the princess's residence while I have fever. I have endangered Your Royal Highness' health." She lightly bowed her. "I apologize. I'll accept any punishment that you see fit, Your Royal Highness."

[I don't want to be punished but I have to apologize. No noble should be crazy enough to be in the presence of the princess while having a "high fever."]

"Rise," the princess said. When Tilly raised her head, Her Royal Highness smiled. "I won't punish you, Lady Prescott. If you want to make it up to me, just get well as soon as possible. My heart hurts to see you in poor health."

"Your Royal Highness' concern is enough to rejuvenate my energy," she said. "Thank you for the concern."

The princess laughed softly. "Why are being so formal, Tilly?" she asked casually this time. "We're the only people in the room right now. You can talk comfortably."

Right, they were supposed to be good friends.

But Tilly's heart right now was heavy with guilt that she couldn't act friendly with the princess.

In her previous life, Emperor Aku also discovered Princess Nia's secret. In order to protect Her Royal Highness, the emperor postponed the royal wedding several times. If the two got married and the princess didn't get pregnant right away, the royal doctor and the High Priest would definitely examine the princess' body.

Normally, an empress candidate should have been examined first for her fertility before she was declared as a crown princess. But since the only purpose of a female Moonchester was to give birth to an heir, everyone in the empire just assumed that the princesses of the royal family couldn't be infertile. There was no record of an infertile princess in the long history of the empire after all.

[Anyway]

In the past, Emperor Aku never stopped looking for a medicine or a method to "fix" Princess Nia's infertility.

Tilly, during that time, thought that if the emperor succeeded, then Princess Nia would definitely give birth to an heir. She was afraid that Winter's supposed special existence would be overshadowed by the birth of the crown prince.

And so, just before Princess Nia became the empress, she exposed Her Royal Highness' secret.

Tilly's family was supposed to be a part of the Royal Faction the group of nobles who supported the royal family. But in the past, she secretly worked with a high-ranking member of the Noble Faction the group of nobles who wanted to overthrow the Moonchesters and destroy the monarchy and exposed Princess Nia's secret.

So while maintaining her position in the Royal Faction, she was collaborating with the Noble Faction. She did that because she needed the Noble Faction's support to put Winter on the throne. After all, the Royal Faction were too fanatics to allow a non-Moonchester like her son to be the next emperor.

In the end, her evil plan succeeded.

Thankfully, Tilly was stopped before she could further destroy the empire and her son.

"Tilly?" Princess Nia called her before she gently placed a hand on her forehead. Her face lit up as soon as she did that. "Your fever has gone down," she said while pulling her hand away. "I'm relieved. I thought you were about to faint again because you're looking at me like you wanted to cry."

Oh, was she?

"I apologize, Princess Nia," Tilly said. Because the princess gave her permission to talk comfortably, she called her the way that she did in her previous life. "Ah, how about Your Royal Highness? You weren't feeling good a while ago"

The princess gently shook her head. "I'm fine, Tilly. It was just a minor headache."

"That's a relief, Princess Nia."

Tilly was really relieved. After all, Princess Nia didn't have to confess her secret to her in this lifetime. She just wanted to focus on her family than get involved in a royal drama.

[Let me live a good life this time.]

"Tilly, are you not upset anymore?"

"Pardon?"

Princess Nia's hand reached for her cheek. She wasn't sure if it was the soft moonlight on her face or did the princess really look solemn when she spoke again. "You wanted to be the empress, didn't you? Tilly, you were upset when my engagement with the emperor was officially announced."

She was about to deny the princess' remarks but suddenly, she felt a sharp pain in her head. The next things she knew, she was already hearing an unfamiliar yet commanding voice inside her mind.

[You want to be the empress so bad,] the voice inside her head said. She couldn't figure out if it was a male or a female. All she knew was she couldn't get the voice out of her mind even if she wanted to. [Matilda 'Tilly' Prescott, you're only purpose in life is to be an empress. And if you can't be one, then find a new way to seize the throne. Perhaps, the son you're supposed to give birth to can help you]

At that moment, Winter's face painted with blood came into her mind.

Tilly snapped out of whatever spell she fell into when she remembered her son. She believed that she was given a chance to correct her mistakes to protect Winter and Kiho. And that purpose was stronger than any suppressed greed for power in her heart, if there was any.

"I don't want to be an empress, Princess Nia," Tilly said in a firm voice that seemed to surprise the princess. "I just want to have a normal life with Sir Kiho and our future son."

Princess Nia pulled her hand away from her face with a shocked look on her face. But that expression was gone as soon as it appeared so she wasn't sure if she really saw that. "Very well," Her Royal Highness said with a smile. Then, she stood up and said her farewell. "Good night, Lady Prescott."

Tilly suddenly felt a chill by the way the princess called her this time. But before she could pinpoint what exactly was going on, she suddenly felt very sleepy. The next thing she knew, she was already plopped on the bed.

[Just what the hell happened?]

***

TILLY woke up feeling refreshed.

The maids gave her a bath and helped her get ready. The princess prepared a brand new dress for her. It was a peach long off-shoulder dress that reached her ankles. Her Royal Highness also gave her a new pair of shoes and a set of jewelries that went well with it.

After getting ready, she was ushered to the fancy dining hall to have breakfast.

The Princess Nia, apparently, wasn't able to join her because of her busy schedule.

Right now, the maids were showing her the way to the rose garden where Blake would pick her up.

[And my mind won't shut up.]

To be honest, her memory of last night was a little blurry. She couldn't decide if Princess Nia really visited her or she just had a nightmare.

[And was the voice I heard came from the greed in my heart?]

Tilly never wanted to be dumb as much as she did right now. But unfortunately, her head wasn't only for display. Gosh, why did she have to be smart?!

[If what I heard wasn't an illusion, then it can only mean that Princess Nia]

She couldn't say it even to herself because fear started to creep in her heart.

[What will I do now? It looks like Princess Nia purposely revealed her secret to me. If she turns out to be involved with happened to me in my previous life, then I'm in trouble.]

But what would Her Royal Highness gain by getting herself exiled?

[What are you planning, Princess Nia?]

"Fancy meeting you here, Lady Prescott."

Tilly flinched in surprise when she heard Emperor Aku's voice. When she realized that she was standing in front of the emperor, she immediately gave him a curtsy with a bow. "Greetings to the one and only moon that embraces our empire."

"Rise," Emperor Aku said.

She thanked His Majesty before she raised her head to properly face him.

Only now did she notice that the emperor was being accompanied, naturally, by Sir Noel Sherwood the captain of the Blue Dragon Knights and Emperor Aku's personal knight.

Captain Sherwood was Emperor Aku's official personal knight while the Blue Dragon Knights were the royal knights assigned to guard the whole palace. But whenever Captain Sherwood was out on a mission, the other remaining three captains of the Four Orders would take turns in protecting His Majesty,

Anyway, Captain Sherwood was also the handsome young duke of House Sherwood.

His hair was a mix of silver and light blue while his eyes were ash gray. He was tall and lean, and had a gentle face. Out of all the captains of the Four Orders, he was the one with the best reputation.

[And the citizens love Captain Sherwood.]

She greeted the captain and he returned it with a smile and a polite nod.

"Nia asked me to take care of you since she was busy for today while I have a little bit of free time this morning," Emperor Aku said in his usual cheery voice. "So, Lady Prescott. Do you miss Kiho?"

The question made Tilly blush but smile at the same time. "I can't wait to be with Sir Kiho again, Your Majesty."

"Then, lucky you because their ship is about to land in a few hours," Emperor Aku asked in a playful tone. "Lady Prescott, would you like to fetch Kiho yourself?"

***

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