Mommy Villainess Chapter 63
63 Battle Of Wits
KIHO was waiting at the entrance of the emperor's palace for Blake.
The vice-captain didn't have an ID that would give him access to the premise of the emperor's palace so he had to pick him up. He had only been standing there (with two other royal guards) for five minutes but he was already restless.
To be honest, he didn't want to leave Tilly alone with the emperor. Not that he didn't trust His Majesty. But Emperor Aku loved teasing other people.
[I hope the emperor doesn't tease my wife too much.]
Kiho turned to see Captain Denver. He nodded politely as a greeting. "Captain Denver."
"I heard you and Lady Prescott were summoned by His Majesty," Captain Denver said when he stood in front of him. "Where's your wife?"
He didn't like that the other captain asked for his wife.
"It's none of your business, Captain Denver."
"Hey, no need to be hostile," Captain Denver said. "I'm just making a small talk."
"Tilly is having tea with His Majesty right now."
"My wife is having tea with His Majesty," he repeated. "What's with that reaction?"
"You left Lady Prescott alone with His Majesty?"
His forehead knotted in confusion. "And what's wrong with it? The safest place in the empire is beside His Majesty."
"Of course," Captain Denver said dryly. "It's just that knowing how protective and possessive you are when it comes to Lady Prescott, I didn't expect that you'd be okay to leave her alone with another man."
"I don't consider His Majesty as a potential rival though," he said without missing a beat. "Everyone in the empire knows that his heart belongs to Her Royal Highness alone."
In the history of Moonchester Empire, only Emperor Aku was the emperor who didn't take a concubine. Emperors were allowed to have one empress and three concubines that would be crowned as queens.
The first queen was expected to take the empress's place in case the empress died or wasn't able to fulfill her duty properly.
But Emperor Aku was firm on his decision to only marry Her Royal Highness.
[I respect His Majesty for that.]
In the past, the emperor killed all the women sent to his chamber to seduce him. Even though those ladies came from affluent families, they didn't attempt to take revenge because the emperor compensated them with either territories or high position in the palace.
"Ah, is that so?" Captain Denver said, obviously uninterested with what he said. "Kiho, be careful whom you trust. Lady Prescott is a special lady."
"Captain Denver, you're not interested in my wife are you?"
He shrugged casually. "What if I am?"
Kiho tried to attack the other captain with ice daggers.
But Captain Denver just raised his arm with a red and gold armband. The fire produced from his weapon melted his ice daggers.
That was only because he created the ice without the intention to kill Captain Denver. If he did, the other captain wouldn't and couldn't easily melt his ice. Unfortunately, he had to restrict his Mana because fighting in the emperor's palace was forbidden.
In fact, the two royal guards looked nervous while watching them. They knew that they had to stop them but obviously, the royal guards were scared because he and Captain Denver were both captains of the Four Orders.
"I'm just teasing you, Captain Kiho," Captain Denver said before he jumped away from me. "But don't leave your wife carelessly. She needs you by her side as much as possible."
"You don't have to tell me that," he countered. "I know my duty as a husband."
"I hope so, Captain Kiho."
"Captain Denver, I'd appreciate it if you refrain from getting involved with my wife," he warned him. "His Majesty is the only man in the empire that I won't consider a rival. I don't care if you're a fellow captain. I'll kill you if you try to lay a finger on my wife."
"Keep that energy on the right enemy," Captain Denver told him while walking away. He even had the audacity to wave at him. "Take care of your wife, Captain Kiho."
[Kill], Kiho told himself while watching Captain Denver's back. He knew that the previous rumor between the other captain and his wife was only a misunderstanding. But as a man, he could sense that Captain Denver was seriously interested in Tilly. [I'll kill you if you try to steal Tilly from me, Captain Denver.]
"LADY Prescott, where were you when the replica of the Red Phoenix attacked Nia?"
Tilly got scared for a second.
But she knew she'd be suspicious if she showed her emotion so she caught herself right away. She could only hope that the emperor didn't catch her initial reaction.
"Her Royal Highness summoned me before the castle was attacked, Your Majesty," Tilly said carefully. Now that she had regained her composure, she sounded as natural as earlier. "We had tea for a while but the princess noticed that I was feeling unwell. Her Royal Highness was worried about me so she told me to go home and rest. Unfortunately, I got into an accident on my way home. I lost consciousness from shock and thus, I'm not sure if the castle was attacked during my accident." She politely lowered her head. "My deepest apologies for failing to give you a satisfying answer, Your Majesty."
"You don't have to apologize for that, Lady Prescott," Emperor Aku said. "Now raise your head."
She did as she was told.
The emperor smiled at her. Then, he sipped his tea before he continued. "I just asked because I heard that you got into an accident. For all it's worth, I'm glad that you weren't with Nia when the replica of the Red Phoenix attacked the castle."
"Nia was able to survive the replica's flame because of her power as a Moonchester," the emperor continued. "If a powerful mage like Lahara didn't survive, there was no way a delicate lady like you would have survived being burnt by the Red Phoenix." He elegantly put the tea cup down on the table before he grinned at her. "Not unless you're a Fire Mage, right?"
She got goosebumps when realization dawned upon her.
[He knows the emperor already knows.]
Tilly smiled to hide her shock. "How could a person like me with a weak Mana be a Fire Mage, Your Majesty?"
"I know, right?"
"If I were a Fire Mage, I'm sure I would have been killed the moment I was born," she said, testing the waters. "After all, the Fire Mages are enemies of the royal family." She sipped her tea before she smiled sweetly at the emperor. "Isn't that right, Your Majesty?"
Emperor Aku looked taken aback by her question. But when he regained his composure, she smirked as if he was amused by her retort. "That is correct, Lady Prescott," he confirmed. Then, he picked up a cookie and broke it into two without breaking eye contact with her. "We cannot allow traitors to return to the empire, can we?"
"Of course not, Your Majesty," she said with a smile. Then, she picked up the bread knife and used it to gently "stab" the croissant on her plate. She did that without breaking eye contact with the emperor as well. "The real traitors shouldn't be forgiven, right?"
He smiled as if he found her funny. Then, he changed the topic. "Ah, right. As the Beast Priestess, you'll have the honor to serve the High Priest for three days. A priest from the church will soon come in contact with you to explain the details, Lady Prescott."
"I can't wait to serve the His Eminence," she said with a smile. "I have a lot of things to ask of him."
"May I know what it is that you're curious to ask the High Priest?"
"I want to hear the prophecy again," she said with an exaggerated excitement in her voice. "I didn't really pay attention when father told me about the prophecy. I'm not sure if I was just not listening properly or the prophecy is really incomplete."
The emperor visibly froze. The playfulness in his eyes was suddenly replaced by cautiousness. "Lady Prescott, do you think that the prophecy is incomplete?"
Based on His Majesty's reaction, she could now safely assume that her hunch was correct: the prophecy was indeed incomplete. The risk she took when she brought that up was worth it. Plus, she was sure by now that both her and the emperor were aware that the "silent war" between them had just begun.
[We both know that the other is just purposely acting dumb.]
"It's not that I think that the prophecy is incomplete, Your Majesty," she denied while shaking her head. "I just want to know more about it so that I could raise my son the way that he should be brought up, considering that the empire would need him someday."
"Ah, I'm touched by your loyalty," he said with a soft laugh. "I'm sure that the High Priest would love to answer your questions, Lady Prescott."
She just smiled at that.
"Speaking of your son" Emperor Aku started. "Lady Prescott, you're a dear friend of Nia so in her stead, I will look after you. I'll pray for your safe pregnancy."
She politely bowed to him. "My utmost gratitude, Your Majesty. I'm sure Her Royal Highness will be pleased to know that you're looking after her friends in her place."
"Thank you for saying the words I want to hear," he told her. "I just want to make Nia proud of me once she wakes up."
"That's definitely how the princess would feel, Your Majesty."
The emperor just smiled, then he changed the topic again.
"Your son is prophesied to be a very special existence to the empire," Emperor Aku continued cheerfully. "Lady Prescott, I can't wait to meet your child."
"We feel the same way, Your Majesty," Tilly said with a forced smile. "Kiho and I can't wait to meet our baby as well."
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